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Mozilla: More on Firefox 81, Security and UX

  • Firefox 81 Arrives with New Theme, Media Controls, PDF Viewer + More

    Mozilla Firefox 81 has been released and it features some genuinely useful improvements. I know I probably say the same thing ever release, but last month’s Firefox 80 was a very low-key release for such a high-key milestone. Thankfully Mozilla has delivered plenty to talk about in the latest update. For instance, the famed open source web browser now lets you to pause/play audio and video in Firefox using keyboard shortcuts (physical ones), via MPRIS (e.g., sound menu), or using a connected headset (assuming it has player controls).

  • Mozilla VR Blog: Your Security and Mozilla Hubs

    Mozilla and the Hubs team takes internet security seriously. We do our best to follow best practices for web security and securing data. This post will provide an overview of how we secure access to your rooms and your data. [...] When you deploy your own Hubs Cloud instance, you have full control over the instance and its data via AWS or DigitalOcean infrastructure--Mozilla simply provides the template and automatic updates. Therefore, you can integrate your own security measures and technology as you like. Everyone’s use case is different. Hubs cloud is an as-is product, and we’re unable to predict the performance as you make changes to the template. Server access is limited by SSH and sometimes two-factor authentication. For additional security, you can set stack template rules to restrict which IP addresses can SSH into the server.

  • Firefox UX: From a Feature to a Habit: Why are People Watching Videos in Picture-in-Picture?

    At the end of 2019, if you were using Firefox to watch a video, you saw a new blue control with a simple label: “Picture-in-Picture.” Even after observing and carefully crafting the feature with feedback from in-progress versions of Firefox (Nightly and Beta), our Firefox team wasn’t really sure how people would react to it. So we were thrilled when we saw signals that the response was positive.

Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 Released with Support for Sony Xperia X and OnePlus 3/3T

The biggest news in this release is, of course, the support for new devices. You can now install the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on the Sony Xperia X, Sony Xperia X Compact, Sony Xperia X Performance, Sony Xperia XZ, OnePlus 3, and OnePlus 3T smartphones using the official UBports Installer. This update also incorporates the QtWebEngine 5.14 components, which updates the built-in Morph Browser to the latest Chromium version, making it up to 25% faster across all devices and enabling support for selecting only the text you want from web pages using the touch handles, as well as to open downloaded PDF, TXT, IMG or MP3 files directly in the browser. Read more

KTextEditor - Small Things Matter

Thanks to the feedback & patches provided by others, I found a bit more motivation to take a look at the small things that seems to be odd in KTextEditor. Interesting enough, if you once notice a small detail (like a dead pixel on your display you suddenly find after years of use), it really sticks out like a sore thumb… Here two small things that caught my interest this week. Read more

Hardware With Arduino and GNU/Linux

  • Convert an old cassette player into a synthesizer

    Cassettes (if you remember those) are normally used to play back music and other audio, but what about using an old Walkman-style tape player as the instrument itself? That’s exactly what this project by Zack Scholl allows you to do, varying the playback speed to modify pitch output. It’s a very simple setup, requiring one to hook up wires that enable an Arduino Uno and MCP4725 DAC to adjust the speed using a voltage input. A drone sound is recorded on the tape, which may also involve some hacking depending on your equipment.

  • GigaDevice GD32E5 Cortex-M33 microcontrollers target motor and industrial control
  • Making a 3D graphics video for the Librem 5

    At Purism, we do all our videos and other promotional material internally, with Librem hardware and free software only. This is part of our policy and I think it’s important, when I believe in something, to act in accordance with it. A few days after releasing the video of the Librem 5 hardware design, I was asked by a few people to publish an article describing the process of making this video. In early 2019, we shot a funny commercial for Librem One and I made a blog post, along with a video, to explain the process of making this kind of commercial with Librem hardware and free software. I was not going to do a “behind the scenes” blog post again but the Librem 5 video is entirely made with 3D graphics and the workflow is quite different so I think that it is interesting to describe that process in a new post.

  • AMD Enables Ryzen in Chromebooks, Improving Performance

    A modern enthusiast will scoff at the concept of a Chromebook – limited performance, capabilities, and a simplistic OS for doing some serious work? The fact is that the Chromebook, and Chrome OS, have been gazumping good portions of the notebook market share in recent years, mostly down to its stripped down nature but also the low pricing. In 2019 AMD relaunched its older A-series APUs for Chromebooks, meeting that market need. However, at CES this year we saw the first indication of premium $700+ Chromebooks from Intel. Now AMD is moving into a higher performance space with its Chromebook offerings with new optimized Ryzen hardware and Vega graphics. [...] AMD claims to have a 21% market share in the Chromebook space, using IDC data, and Chromebooks currently account for 18% of all notebook sales. The market is largely split into three categories: education, enterprise, and consumer, with education seeing a big uplift in recent months due to the pandemic. Also because of the pandemic, as well as the growth of Chromebooks as a viable tool for these markets, use-cases are expanding with new productivity applications becoming available as well as the need to drive multiple high resolution displays.

  • AMD Announces Ryzen/Athlon 3000 C-Series For Chromebooks

    AMD today announced the Ryzen 3000 and Athlon 3000 C-Series processors for use in Google Chromebooks from multiple vendors. AMD announced these 3000 C-Series mobile processors as the first Zen optimized Chromebook processors with Acer, ASUS, HP, and Lenovo all committing to releasing AMD Chromebooks in Q4'2020. Compared to the previous-generation AMD A-Series "Excavator" APUs in Chromebooks, AMD is promoting up to 251% better graphics performance, up to 104% faster productivity, and up to 152% better photo editing with these new Zen C-Series processors.

  • OnLogic’s Ubuntu-ready AMD servers include compact industrial edge model

    OnLogic has launched a line of AMD servers, including two with 2nd Gen Epyc and three with Ryzen 3000, including a $1,547 and up Compact Industrial AMD Ryzen Edge Server. Meanwhile, AMD launched some 15W mobile Ryzen C-series chips. OnLogic and AMD, which last year teamed up on promoting OnLogic mini-PCs based on AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1000 and R1000 SoCs, are now collaborating on OnLogic’s new lineup of servers based on 2nd Gen Epyc and AMD Ryzen 3000 processors. Most of these are rackmount servers that are beyond our typical product coverage, but we are intrigued by the desktop form-factor Compact Industrial AMD Ryzen Edge Server (MC850-40), which blurs the line with the high-end embedded edge servers. [...] AMD’s Eypc Embedded SoCs are scaled down versions of the 2nd Gen Epyc SoCs used by OnLogic’s new rackmount systems: the 2U, $2,887 and up MK200-60 and 4U, $5,051 and up MK400-60. These “Eypc Edge Servers” tap the Epyc Rome 7002 in up to 32- and 64-core configurations, respectively, with up to 256GB RAM.