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Ubuntu Web Remix 20.04.1: First Stable Version Of Chrome OS Alternative

Filed under
OS
Web
Ubuntu

It’s been over four months since I reported about the arrival of yet another Ubuntu-based Linux distribution called Ubuntu Web Remix.

So, if you were also waiting for it just like me, the wait is over because its creator, Rudra Saraswat, has finally announced and made its first stable release, Ubuntu Web Remix 20.04.1, available to download.

To remind you, after Ubuntu Unity and UbuntuEd, Ubuntu Web is the third unofficial Ubuntu remix distros by the same developer Rudra Saraswat.

Unlike the other two, Ubuntu Web Remix aims to be a web-centric operating system and an alternative to Google’s Chrome OS or Chromium OS.

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Sam Thursfield: Search Pinboard.in from GNOME Shell

Filed under
GNOME
Web

Pinboard.in is a bookmarking and archival website run by Maciej Ceglowski, also a noted public speaker, Antarctic explorer and political activist. I use Pinboard as a way to close browser tabs, by pretending to myself that I’ll one day revisit the 11,000 interesting links that I’ve bookmarked.

Hoping to make better use of this expansive set of thought-provoking articles, hilarious videos and expired domain names, I wrote a minimal search provider for GNOME Shell.

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I LOST MY TWITTER ACCOUNT

Filed under
Web

At 00:42 in the early morning of November 16, I received an email saying that “someone” logged into my twitter account @bagder from a new device. The email said it was done from Stockholm, Sweden and it was “Chrome on Windows”. (I live Stockholm)

I didn’t do it. I don’t normally use Windows and I typically don’t run Chrome. I didn’t react immediately on the email however, as I was debugging curl code at the moment it arrived. Just a few moments later I was forcibly logged out from my twitter sessions (using tweetdeck in my Firefox on Linux and on my phone).

Whoa! What was that? I tried to login again in the browser tab, but Twitter claimed my password was invalid. Huh? Did I perhaps have the wrong password? I selected “restore my password” and then learned that Twitter doesn’t even know about my email anymore (in spite of having emailed me on it just minutes ago).

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How Many Users Can Open Source Zoom Alternatives Handle?

Filed under
Server
OSS
Web

Zoom has been a boom since Coronavirus started, it seemed to be one of the very few software in the world capable of handling the planet’s digital transfer of most face-to-face communication since people were forced to stay in their homes during the quarantine. Governments, schools, universities, hospitals, companies, enterprises… All of them went to Zoom in order to face the new communication hassle.

Its stock market increased by %500 since the beginning of the pandemic, and tens of of millions of new users worldwide signed up for its premium plans. Everything sounded so great so far for Zoom, unlike most of the human race standing on the other side of the equation.

Until, an investigational report by the FTC showed that Zoom lied about its end-to-end encryption for years, and that its so-called E2E secure communication is actually false marketing. Of course, users and developers around the world had no way of verifying Zoom’s marketing claims easily since it was a proprietary, closed-source application. And thus, they were not able to check the source code by their selves to verify those claims.

Zoom being fully proprietary is why people started switching into open source zoom alternatives, like Jitsi, BigBlueButton and many others, so that they don’t remain in Zoom’s jail locking all their remote communications in one place.

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Warp: Improved JS performance in Firefox 83

Filed under
Development
Moz/FF
Web

We have enabled Warp, a significant update to SpiderMonkey, by default in Firefox 83. SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in the Firefox web browser.

With Warp (also called WarpBuilder) we’re making big changes to our JIT (just-in-time) compilers, resulting in improved responsiveness, faster page loads and better memory usage. The new architecture is also more maintainable and unlocks additional SpiderMonkey improvements.

This post explains how Warp works and how it made SpiderMonkey faster.

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Also: SpiderMonkey's Warp Upgrade Is Ready For Firefox 83 - Phoronix

Noscript cures font vulnerabilities

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Security
Web

In the past month, I've read about a dozen security bulletins involving remote execution exploits due to font parsing vulnerabilities in a range of operating systems, from desktop to mobile. In all these cases, there was a detailed mention of problems, but very little if any mention of possible solutions, other than vendor updates, that is.

Which is rather intriguing, because there is a tool that can help you with fonts. It's called Noscript, it's a supreme browser extension available in Firefox and more recently in Chrome, and it allows you to govern the loading of fonts in your webpages. A simple and elegant tool that can save - or at the very least, significantly minimize, headache with fonts. But does it get the spotlight it deserves? Of course not, drama and fear are far more interesting. Let's see what gives.

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Mozilla Firefox and Tor Browser

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 7 (Firefox 82-83) | spidermonkey.dev [Ed: Mozilla blogging on Microsoft servers]

    SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 82 and 83 Nightly release cycles.

  • iodide retrospective [Ed: Mozilla blogging on Microsoft servers and talking about spying on Firefox users]

    A bit belatedly, I thought I’d write a bit about Iodide: an effort to create a compelling, client-centred scientific notebook environment.

    Despite not writing a ton about it (the sole exception being this brief essay about my conservative choice for the server backend) Iodide took up a very large chunk of my mental energy from late 2018 through 2019. It was also essentially my only attempt at working on something that was on its way to being an actual product while at Mozilla: while I’ve led other projects that have been interesting and/or impactful in my 9 odd-years here (mozregression and perfherder being the biggest successes), they fall firmly into the “internal tools supporting another product” category.

    At this point it’s probably safe to say that most of the project has wound down: no one is being paid to work on Iodide and it’s essentially in extreme maintenance mode. Before it’s put to bed altogether, I’d like to write a few notes about its approach, where I think it had big advantanges, and where it seems to fall short. I’ll conclude with some areas I’d like to explore (or would like to see others explore!). I’d like to emphasize that this is my opinion only: the rest of the Iodide core team no doubt have their own thoughts. That said, let’s jump in.

    [...]

    It describes how people typically perform computational inquiry: typically you would poke around with some raw data, run some transformations on it. Only after that process was complete would you start trying to build up a “presentation” of your results to your audience.

    Looking back, it’s clear that Iodide’s strong suit was the explanation part of this workflow, rather than collaboration and exploration. My strong suspicion is that we actually want to use different tools for each one of these tasks. Coincidentally, this also maps to the bulk of my experience working with data at Mozilla, using iodide or not: my most successful front-end data visualization projects were typically the distilled result of a very large number of adhoc explorations (python scripts, SQL queries, Jupyter notebooks, …). The actual visualization itself contains very little computational meat: basically “just enough” to let the user engage with the data fruitfully.

    Unfortunately much of my work in this area uses semi-sensitive internal Mozilla data so can’t be publicly shared, but here’s one example

  • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.4 [Ed: Firefox inside]

    Tor Browser 10.0.4 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

    This release updates NoScript to 11.1.5 and includes an important security update to Firefox.

  • You’re Invited: State of the Onion 2020

    Every year people from the Tor Project communities present the State of the Onion, a compilation of updates from our different projects, at conferences around the world. We use this opportunity to talk about highlights of the work we’ve accomplished during the year and what we are excited about in the upcoming year.

    With COVID-19 pandemic this year, we didn’t have the chance to ‘tour’ our State of the Onion during any face-to-face conferences. So we decided to bring the State of the Onion to you in a special livestream on November 16 from 16:00 - 18:00 UTC.*

Share RPG battle maps with this open source web app

Filed under
OSS
Web

I play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), a tabletop role-playing game in which players take control of mythic heroes to explore imaginary dungeons and fight make-believe dragons. D&D players often like to draw maps on big sheets of butcher's paper, or buy and craft evocative set pieces, so that they can track their progress through the realms with gaming miniatures.

However, when you're playing online, you need digital maps and digital miniatures plus a way to share these components among all players. For years, I've used the excellent MapTool software, an open source client that runs locally on each player's computer and shares maps and miniatures among all. When one player moves her piece forward on her map, another player sees it on his. It's a powerful application that makes my gaming life easy, private, and flexible.

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Mozilla: DeepSpeech, Glean, Tor Browser

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • Mozilla's DeepSpeech 0.9 Released For Open-Source Speech To Text Engine - Phoronix

    Following this summer's big round of layoffs at Mozilla, the organization's deep learning open-source speech-to-text engine has been among the projects considered at risk. Fortunately, at least for now, DeepSpeech is still moving forward and is up to version 0.9.

    After the summer's layoffs at Mozilla, the future of DeepSpeech has been in question even as the project has been nearing its 1.0 stable release. While back in August they said DeepSpeech 1.0 would be released "soon", that hasn't happened yet but today marks version 0.9.

  • This week in Glean: Glean.js

    In a previous TWiG blog post, I talked about my experiment on trying to compile glean-core to Wasm. The motivation for that experiment was the then upcoming Glean.js workweek, where some of us were going to take a pass at building a proof-of-concept implementation of Glean in Javascript.

    [...]

    The reason for our initial focus on webextensions is that the Ion project has volunteered to be Glean.js’ first consumer. Support for static websites and Qt/QML apps will follow. Other consumers such as Node.js servers and CLIs are not part of the initial roadmap.

    Although we learned a lot by building the POC, we were probably left with more open questions than answered ones. The Javascript environment is a very special one and when we set out to build something that can work virtually anywhere that runs Javascript, we were embarking on an adventure.

    Each Javascript environment has different resources the developer can interact with. Let’s think, for example, about persistence solutions: on web browsers we can use localStorage or IndexedDB, but on Node.js servers / CLIs we would need to go another way completely and use Level DB or some other external library. What is the best way to deal with this and what exactly are the differences between environments?

  • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.3 (Android Only)

    After many months of design and development we are very happy to announce the release of Tor Browser 10.0.3 for Android. This is the first Android Tor Browser version in the stable 10.0 series. The Desktop version was released at the end of September. We began working on this project in April 2020 with the goal of rebuilding the Android Tor Browser on top of Mozilla's new Android Firefox Browser, Fenix. Over the last six months, we successfully achieved this goal and we reached feature parity with the previous Android Tor Browser version.

KDE.org migrated to Hugo

Filed under
KDE
Web

KDE.org now uses the Hugo. Hugo is a fast and modern static site generator written in Go. It provides a few improvements over the old system that was using plain PHP. A large part of the work was done by Anuj during GSoC 2020. This was a massive work, converting the repository storing more than 20 years of KDE history.

The website is now generated once and no longer use PHP to generate itself at runtime. This improves the loading speed of the website, but the speed boost is not significant, since the PHP code used before was quite small and KDE’s servers are powerful.

But the biggest improvement is in terms of features. We are now working with markdown files instead of raw HTML files, this makes the life of the promo team much easier.

The internalization of the website now creates a unique URL per language, this should allow Google to link to the version of the website using the correct language. A french, ukrainian, catalan, Dutch, and a few more languages are already available. There is also a proper language selector! We also don’t need to manually tag each string for translations.

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More in Tux Machines

TUXEDO Computers Enables Full Linux Support on the Intel-TongFang QC7 Gaming Laptop

At the request of numerous users, TUXEDO Computers is now providing the necessary drivers and software needed to enable full Linux support on the Intel-TongFang QC7 reference gaming laptop, which is the base of several laptops available for purchase in stores across Europe and the US. Some well known brands include the Aftershock / LEVEL51 Vapor 15 Pro, Eluktronics MAG-15, MAINGEAR ELEMENT, and XMG FUSION 15, the latter being now offered by TUXEDO Computers on their online store fully configurable and pre-installed with the company's in-house built, Ubuntu-based TUXEDO_OS. Read more

Red Hat/Fedora: Cockpit, WHO, DarwinAI and Emmanuel Bernard.

  • Cockpit 233 — Cockpit Project

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 233.

  •  
  • World Health Organization Embraces Open Source Technologies to Assist Healthcare Workers

    Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced it is working with the World Health Organization (WHO), the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health, to create a sustainable open source development infrastructure to support the development of the Learning Experience Platform (LXP) for the WHO Academy, the organization’s new state-of-the-art training center.

  •  
  • DarwinAI and Red Hat Team Up to Bring COVID-Net Radiography Screening AI to Hospitals, Using Underlying Technology from Boston Children’s Hospital

    DarwinAI, the explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) company, and Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced a collaboration to accelerate the deployment of COVID-Net—a suite of deep neural networks for COVID-19 detection and risk stratification via chest radiography—to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. DarwinAI and Red Hat are also leveraging the expertise of a computation research group, the Fetal Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC) at Boston Children's Hospital to better focus the software for real world clinical and research use.

  • Emmanuel Bernard fell into open-source

    Hello, and welcome to developer's journey, the podcast, bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. My name is Tim Bourguignon, and on this episode 127, I receive Emmanuel Bernard. Emmanuel is a Java champion, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect for RedHat, open source contributor to the Java standards, public speaker, community leader, and among others, the host of the podcast, The Cast Coders. Emmanuel, welcome to DevJourney.

Kernel Space: Systemd, OpenZFS, AMDGPU Driver

  • Systemd 247 Released With Experimental Out-of-Memory Daemon, New Credentials Capability - Phoronix

    Systemd 247 is out today as the latest major version of this Linux init system. Like most systemd releases, systemd 247 is very heavy on new features.  Systemd 247 most notably introduces the still-experimental systemd-oomd as the out-of-memory daemon with that Linux OOMD code originally developed by Facebook and later adopted for desktop use-cases. Once stabilized, the goal of systemd-oomd is for improving the behavior when the Linux system is low on memory / under memory pressure.  Beyond systemd-oomd, systemd 247 now defaults to using Btrfs with systemd-homed and other enhancements as outlined below. 

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  • OpenZFS 2.0-RC7 Brings Better ABI Handling, Reduced Latency For Non-Interactive I/O - Phoronix

    OpenZFS 2.0 is getting quite close to release but isn't over the finish line yet and this week brings the seventh release candidate.  OpenZFS 2.0-RC7 is lighter than some of the past release candidates so it looks like work may be winding down. OpenZFS 2.0 is a big release with Zstd compression, mainlined FreeBSD support, various performance improvements, sequential resilvering, persistent L2ARC support, and many other changes. 

  •   
  • AMD Stages More Driver Updates For New GPUs With Linux 5.11 - Phoronix

    While the Radeon RX 6800 series is now shipping that was developed under the Sienna Cichlid codename, there are other fishy codenames remaining and are seeing more work for the Linux 5.11 kernel that will officially open development in December and then likely reaching stable in February.  AMD on Wednesday sent out more AMDGPU kernel driver updates for Navy Flounder and Dimgrey Cavefish. Navy and Dimgrey are for unreleased AMD Radeon products that appear to be for additional RDNA 2 / Radeon RX 6000 series parts. Nothing too notable with the latest batch of updates, just more enablement churn and more device IDs added in. 

today's howtos

  • How to install Mageia Linux

    Mageia is an RPM-based Linux operating system forked from the famous French Linux distribution Mandriva. It is an open-source operating system and is an excellent option for using Linux the RPM way. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install the operating system on your computer.

  • How to free up RAM on Linux

    Are you running out of usable memory on your Linux PC? Are you trying to free up RAM space but don’t know how to do it? We can help! Follow along as we go over how to free up RAM on Linux!

  • [Older] How to monitor network activity on a Linux system - LinuxConfig.org

    In this article we learn how to monitor network activity on Linux.

  • How to Disable Your Webcam in Ubuntu?

    Find out these simple methods to disable webcam in Ubuntu. We can stop the webcam driver to load in Linux OS by modifying the configuration file.

  • How to install Code Blocks on Ubuntu 20.04 - YouTube

    In this video, we are looking at how to install Code Blocks on Ubuntu 20.04. Enjoy! For the command and more, look here: https://www.linuxmadesimple.info/2020/11/how-to-install-code-blocks-on-ubuntu.html