Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Moz/FF

Mozilla and Chrome: WebP, WebAssembly and Google Chrome Alternatives

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Mozilla Firefox Embracing Google’s Image Format After 8 Years

    Google brought its WebP Image Format to compete with PNG and JPEG back in 2010. The images using WebP are usually 45% smaller in size than PNG and JPEF which is great for websites as it helps reduce page load times.

    Firefox had remained rebellious to WebP until now. The browser now supports WebP, 8 years after it became a standard for Google Chrome and Chromium based browsers such as Opera.

    Mozilla originally rejected the use to WebP claiming that it doesn’t offer enough improvements, The browser supported JPEG and PNG while evaluating the use of Google’s image format every now and then.

    At this point, the format is only supported on Windows PCs and Android-based devices. Support for iOS devices such as Mac won’t roll out until the first half of 2019, according to Mozilla.

  • Calls between JavaScript and WebAssembly are finally fast

    At Mozilla, we want WebAssembly to be as fast as it can be.

    This started with its design, which gives it great throughput. Then we improved load times with a streaming baseline compiler. With this, we compile code faster than it comes over the network.

    So what’s next?

    One of our big priorities is making it easy to combine JS and WebAssembly. But function calls between the two languages haven’t always been fast. In fact, they’ve had a reputation for being slow, as I talked about in my first series on WebAssembly.

  • 10 Best Google Chrome Alternatives

    Google Chrome dominates the browser market worldwide with a massive 60% share, leaving the rest to other web browsers. To be honest, Chrome provides a really good web browsing experience with a seamless functioning across multiple devices. However, we all know that such a smooth experience comes at a cost — our personal data.

    We know that Google tracks us relentlessly and the onslaught of personalized ads gets really annoying at some point. Even if we keep it aside, there are serious problems like heavy RAM usage that makes your device sluggish. So whatever may be your reason to leave Chrome and seek other options, here is a list of best Google Chrome alternatives for you.

Mozilla on VR

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Close Conversation is the Future of Social VR

    In many user experience (UX) studies, the researchers give the participants a task and then observe what happens next. Most research participants are earnest and usually attempt to follow instructions. However, in this study, research participants mostly ignored instructions and just started goofing off with each other once they entered the immersive space and testing the limits of embodiment.

    The goal of this blog post is to share insights from Hubs by Mozilla usability study that other XR creators could apply to building a multi-user space.

    The Extended Mind recruited pairs of people who communicate online with each other every day, which led to testing Hubs with people who have very close connections. There were three romantic partners in the study, one pair of roommates, and one set of high school BFFs. The reason that The Extended Mind recruited relatively intimate pairs of people is because they wanted to understand the potential for Hubs as a communication platform for people who already have good relationships. They also believe that they got more insights about how people would use Hubs in a natural environment rather than bringing in one person at a time and asking that person to hang out in VR with a stranger who they just met.

    The two key insights that this blog post will cover are the ease of conversation that people had in Hubs and the playfulness that they embodied when using it.

  • Drawing and Photos, now in Hubs

    As we covered in our last update, we recently added the ability for you to bring images, videos, and 3D models into the rooms you create in Hubs. This is a great way to bring content to view together in your virtual space, and it all works right in your browser.

    We’re excited to announce two new features today that will further enrich the ways you can connect and collaborate in rooms you create in Hubs: drawing and easy photo uploads.

    Hubs now has a pen tool you can use at any time to start drawing in 3D space. This is a great way to express ideas, spark your creativity, or just doodle around. You can draw by holding the pen in your hand if you are in Mixed Reality, or draw using your PC’s mouse or trackpad.

Google/Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Leftovers

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • 10 Productivity Gmail Extensions for Your Browser

    Gmail is used by 500+ million people but how many of us make the best use of it? Yes, it’s a convenient email client to use but what if I told you that Gmail is capable of way more functions than it offers you at the moment?

    The same way applications use plugins is the same way Gmail does, and here are 10 that will boost your productivity.

  • How is Crosh Different From the Linux Terminal on a Chromebook?

    As of Chrome OS 69, support for Linux applications is a baked in part of the operating system. Once enabled, this installs the Terminal on your Chrome OS system, but what is it and how does it compare to Crosh?

    Don’t worry if all that sounds like gibberish to you—if you’ve never spent any time poking around in your Chromebook’s guts, then you’ve likely never used (or even heard of) Crosh. And if you’ve never used Linux before, well, then you’ve never had to bother with the Terminal. The good news is that we’re going to make sense of both things today.

    [...]

    The Terminal and Crosh are similar tools—in fact, they’re the same basic concept, but the Terminal is specifically for the Linux aspect of Chrome OS, where Crosh is for the Chrome OS side.

    You’d be forgiven if that doesn’t make a lot of sense right out of the gate—they’re both running on the same machine, at the same time after all. But they’re not connected.

    One of the biggest benefits of Chrome OS is its enhanced security. As a result, most things on the operating system run in an independent sandbox. That means that most elements don’t really interact with each other—for example, if a single tab suffers a failure and crashes, the other tabs in the browser window aren’t affected.

  • Helping you to tackle the midterms on your terms

    For many people, a confusing tangle of cyberjargon and misinformation have combined to make the idea of turning to the web for election information a weird proposition.

    [...]

    We’re doing this to make it easy for people across the political spectrum to participate this November and beyond.

    We want to help make sure that the web isn’t being used to manipulate, misinform, and limit you from accessing all the information you need to make an informed choice.

    In addition to the Firefox election tools, we have other resources to help you.

  • WebRender newsletter 24

    Hi there, this your twenty fourth WebRender newsletter. A lot of work in progress this week, so the change list is pretty short. To compensate I added a list of noteworthy ongoing work which hasn’t landed yet is but will probably land soon and gives a rough idea of what’s keeping us busy.

Mozilla: WebPush Shield Study, Firefox Mania, Bleach 3.0.0 and This Week in Rust 254

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Upcoming WebPush Shield Study

    WebPush does more than let you know you’ve got an upcoming calendar appointment or bug you about subscribing to a site’s newsletter (particularly one you just visited and have zero interest in doing). Turns out that WebPush is a pretty good way for us to do a number of things as well. Things like let you send tabs from one install of Firefox to another, or push out important certificate updates. We’ll talk about those more when we get ready to roll them out, but for now, we need to know if some of the key bits work.

    One of the things we need to test is if our WebPush servers are up to the job of handling traffic, or if there might be any weird issue we might not have thought of. We’ve run tests, we’ve simulated loads, but honestly, nothing compares to real life for this sort of thing.

    In the coming weeks, we’re going to be running an experiment. We’ll be using the Shield service to have your browser set up a web push connection. No data will go over that connection aside from the minimal communication that we need. It shouldn’t impact how you use Firefox. Chances are, you won’t even notice we’re doing this.

  • Firefox got maniac

    I don’t know what, I don’t know why, but Firefox behaves completely maniac on one of my computers. Opening simple tabs beats up 4 Web Content threads to nearly 100% CPU time, switching tabs the same.

  • Bleach v3.0.0 released!

    Bleach 3.0.0 focused on easing the problems with the html5lib dependency and fixing regressions created in the Bleach 2.0 rewrite

  • This Week in Rust 254

    Every week the team announces the 'final comment period' for RFCs and key PRs which are reaching a decision. Express your opinions now.

Mozilla: ESLint, The Things Gateway, Distributed Teams, Uplift, MDN

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • What’s next for ESLint on Firefox Source Code?

    Around 2015 a couple of projects had started using ESLint in mozilla-central. In the last quarter of 2015, there was a big push to enable ESLint for browser/ and toolkit/ – the two main directories containing the javascript source behind Firefox.

    Since then, we have come a long way. We have commands and hooks for developers to use, checks during the review phase, and automatic tests that run against our review tools and our continuous integration branches. Not only that, but we’ve also expanded our coverage to more directories, and expanded the amount of rules that are enabled.

    As we’ve done this work, we’ve caught lots of bugs in the code or in our tests (there’s much more than just those links). Some of those have been small, some have been user facing issues. There are also now the countless potential bugs that we don’t get to see where ESLint catches issues for us before they even hit the core source trees. All this helps to save developer time and leaves more for fixing bugs and implementing new features.

  • The Things Gateway - A Pythonic Rule System

    In my last post, I talked about the features and limitations of the Rules System within the Things Gateway by Mozilla graphical user interface. Today, I'm going to show an alternate rule system that interacts with the Things Gateway entirely externally using the Web Thing API. The Web Thing API enables anyone armed with a computer language that can use Web Sockets to create entirely novel applications or rules systems that can control the Things Gateway.

    In the past few months, I've blogged several times about controlling the Things Gateway with the Web Thing API using Python 3.6. In each one was a stand alone project, opening and managing Web Sockets in an asynchronous programming environment. By writing these projects, I've explored both functional and object oriented idioms to see how they compare. Now with some experience, I feel free to abstract some of the underlying common aspects to create a rule engine of my own.

  • Distributed Teams: Regional Holidays

    Today is German Unity Day, Germany’s National Day. Half of my team live in Berlin, so I vaguely knew they wouldn’t be around… but I’d likely have forgotten if not for a lovely tradition of “Holiday Inbound” emails at Mozilla.

    Mozilla is a broadly-distributed organization with employees in dozens of countries worldwide. Each of these countries have multiple days off to rest or celebrate. It’s tough to know across so many nations and religions and cultures exactly who will be unable to respond to emails on exactly which days.

  • Uplift forms get a refresh

    Firefox is shipped using a train model. Without going into too much details, this means that we maintain several channel in parallel (Nightly, Beta, Release and ESR). Normal changes happen in Nightly. When a change needs to be cherry-picked from Nightly to another branch, the process is called “Uplift”.

    Uplifting is a key tool in the Firefox release management world. When developers want to apply a patch from Nightly to another branch, they will use Bugzilla, answering some questions in a textarea.

  • A New Way to Support MDN

    Starting this week, some visitors may notice something new on the MDN Web Docs site, the comprehensive resource for information about developing on the open web.

    We are launching an experiment on MDN Web Docs, seeking direct support from our users in order to accelerate growth of our content and platform. Not only has our user base grown exponentially in the last few years (with corresponding platform maintenance costs), we also have a large list of cool new content, features, and programs we’d like to create that our current funding doesn’t fully cover.

    In 2015, on our tenth anniversary (read about MDN’s evolution in the 10-year anniversary post), MDN had four million active monthly users. Now, just three years later, we have 12 million. Our last big platform update was in 2013. By asking for, and hopefully receiving, financial assistance from our users – which will be reinvested directly into MDN – we aim to speed up the modernization of MDN’s platform and offer more of what you love: content, features, and integration with the tools you use every day (like VS Code, Dev Tools, and others), plus better support for the 1,000+ volunteers contributing content, edits, tooling, and coding to MDN each month.

Mozilla: Mojolicious, CSS, MDN, Android Users and Desktop

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • happy bmo push day – mojolicious edition

    As previously announced at FOSDEM 2018 and then re-announced at MojoConf, bugzilla.mozilla.org is now running on Mojolicious “A next generation web framework for the Perl programming language”

    This release incorporates 28 changes and the Mojolicious migration is the least interesting to the end-user, but it is pretty important in terms of being able to deliver rich experiences moving forward.

  • Supporting Referrer Policy for CSS in Firefox 64

    Navigating from one webpage to another or requesting a sub-resource within a webpage causes a web browser to send the top-level URL in the HTTP referrer field. Inspecting that HTTP header field on the receiving end allows sites to identify where the request originated which enables sites to log referrer data for operational and statistical purposes. As one can imagine, the top-level URL quite often includes user sensitive information which then might leak through the referrer value impacting an end users privacy.

  • Hack on MDN: Better accessibility for MDN Web Docs

    Hack on MDN events evolved from the documentation sprints for MDN that were held from 2010 to 2013, which brought together staff members and volunteers to write and localize content on MDN over a weekend. As implied by the name, “Hack on MDN” events expand the range of participants to include those with programming and design skills. In its current incarnation, each Hack on MDN event has a thematic focus. One in March of this year focused on browser compatibility data.

    The Hack on MDN format is a combination of hackathon and unconference; participants pitch projects and commit to working on concrete tasks (rather than meetings or long discussions) that can be completed in three days or less. People self-organize to work on projects in which a group can make significant progress over a long weekend. Lightning talks provide an unconference break from projects.

  • New Firefox Focus comes with search suggestions, revamped visual design and an under-the-hood surprise for Android users

    When we first launched Firefox Focus, we wanted to quickly deliver a streamlined private browsing experience for your mobile device. Since then, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many people use Focus for more than just private browsing and we’ve made Focus better with a thoughtful set of features based on what our users are telling us. Custom tabs, tracker counter, full screen mode and so much more have been the result. Today, we’re pleased to announce another big update with another much-requested feature, a design refresh, and an exciting change to the underlying technology behind Focus for Android.

  • Working on Firefox desktop developer efficiency

    Mozilla is an engineering company. Its interface to—and impact on—the world is through its primary product, the Firefox web browser. Firefox is of course created, maintained, and improved by Mozilla’s developers (both employees and community members). Thus, when one increases Firefox developer efficiency and velocity the velocity of the Firefox product increases. Because Firefox is Mozilla’s primary product, an increase in Firefox product velocity transitively increases the velocity of the company and the mission overall.

Mozilla: Firefox 63 Beta 10, Firefox Nightly, October’s Featured Extensions and Privacy

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • QMO: Firefox 63 Beta 10 Testday Results
  • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 46
  • October’s Featured Extensions
  • ndian Supreme Court rules on Aadhaar: Delayed scrutiny

    The Aadhaar judgment holds important lessons (and warnings) for how courts and the polity should respond to the technological vision of the state. The task before the Supreme Court was to evaluate the constitutionality of a specific choice and design of technology made by the government. Note that this choice, of a single biometric identifier for each resident linked to a centralised database, was made almost a decade ago. And decisions about this project have largely evolved within the closed quarters of the executive, including the one to roll it out, and the subsequent call to link Aadhaar to essential services. All this was done without any statutory backing, until its hurried passage as a money bill in 2016.

    As one reads through the decision of the three judges that formed the majority opinion, it becomes clear that there are limits to this delayed judicial scrutiny of a technology-driven project that has already reached scale (over 99% of the population is already enrolled). While the judgment does well to impose limits on its scope, it disappoints in its reluctance to engage with its underlying technical and evidentiary claims, and the application of weak legal standards.

Mozilla: European Commission Contributions, Hubs by Mozilla, Localisation, DevTools GCLI

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Contributing to the European Commission’s review of digital competition

    Following on the heels of our submission to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission last month, we have submitted a written filing to the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition, as part of a public consultation in advance of the Commission’s forthcoming January 2019 conference on competition challenges in the digital era. In our filing, we focus on two specific, related issues: the difficulty of measuring competitive harm in a data-powered and massively vertically integrated digital ecosystem, and the role played by interoperability (in particular, through technical interfaces known as APIs) in powering the internet as we know it.

    Mozilla’s Internet Health Report 2018 explored concentration of power and centralization online through a spotlight article, “Too big tech?” The software and services offered by a few companies are entangled with virtually every part of our lives. These companies reached their market positions in part through massive innovation and investment, and they created extremely popular (and lucrative) user experiences. But we are headed today down a path of excessive centralisation and control, where someday the freedom to code and compete will be realised in full only for those who work for a few large corporations.

  • Hubs by Mozilla: Immersive Communication on Any Device

    Hubs by Mozilla lets people meet in a shared 360-environment using just their browser. Hubs works on any device from head-mounted displays like HTC Vive to 2D devices like laptops and mobile phones. Using WebVR, a JavaScript API, Mozilla is making virtual interactions with avatars accessible via Firefox and other browser that people use every day.

    In the course of building the first online social platform for VR and AR on the web, Mozilla wanted confirm it was building a platform that would bring people together and do so in a low-friction, safe, and scalable way. With her years of experience and seminal studies examining the successes and pitfalls of social VR systems across the ecosystem, Jessica Outlaw and Tyesha Snow of The Extended Mind, set out to generate insights about the user experience and deliver recommendations of how to improve the Hubs product.

  • Support Localization – Top 50 Sprint and More

    I hope you can still remember that last month we kicked off a “Top 20 Sprint” for several locales available on the Support site. You can read more about the reasons behind it here and the way it had been going here.

    In September, the goal has been extended to include a wider batch of articles that quality into the “Top 50” – that is, the 50 most popular Knowledge Base articles globally. You can see their list on this dashboard: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/contributors/kb-overview

    I wanted to share with you the progress our community has made over the last weeks and call out those who have contributed towards Mozilla’s broader linguistic coverage of support content, making all the possible versions of Firefox easier to use for millions of international users.

  • The Developer Toolbar (or GCLI) is no longer in DevTools

    The DevTools GCLI has been removed from the Firefox codebase (bug), which roughly translates into 20k less lines of code to think about, and the associated tests which are not running anymore, so yay for saving both brain and automation power!

    We triaged all the existing bugs, and moved a bunch worth keeping to DevTools → Shared Components, to avoid losing track of them (they’re mostly about taking screenshots). Then the ever helpful Emma resolved the rest as incomplete, and moved the component to the DevTools Graveyard in Bugzilla, to avoid people filing bugs about code that does not exist anymore.

    During this removal process we’ve heard from some of you that you miss certain features from GCLI, and we’ve taken note, and will aim to bring them back when time and resourcing allow. In the meantime, thank you for your feedback! It helps us better understand how you use the tools.

Mozilla: Privacy Settings, Recovery Keys and WebRender Progress

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • 25,000 Americans Urge Venmo to Update Its Privacy Settings

    Earlier this week, Mozilla visited Venmo’s headquarters in New York City and delivered a petition signed by more than 25,000 Americans. The petition urges the payment app to put users’ privacy first and make Venmo transactions private by default.

    Also this week: A new poll from Mozilla and Ipsos reveals that 77% of respondents believe payment apps should not make transaction details public by default. (More on our poll results below.)

    Millions of Venmo users’ spending habits are available for anyone to see. That’s because Venmo transactions are currently public by default — unless users manually update their settings, anyone, anywhere can see whom they’re sending money to, and why.

    Mozilla’s petition urges Venmo to change these settings. By making privacy the default, Venmo can better protect its seven million users — and send a powerful message about the importance of privacy. But so far, Venmo hasn’t formally responded to our petition and to the 25,000 Americans who signed their names.

  • Mozilla Firefox Account Gets A New Recovery Key Option For Forgotten Passwords

    The Mozilla team has announced a new recovery key option for Firefox accounts that can be used to access Firefox data if users forget their passwords.

    Starting today, users will be able to generate a one-time recovery key associated with their account. Once the key is used to access the account, it becomes invalid, and the user needs to create another one.

    [...]

    Sync encrypts the user’s browser data on a local computer by using Firefox account password. It then sends this encrypted data to Mozilla’s servers for storage making sure that no one can access it without the user’s password (which acts as a decryption key here).

  • WebRender newsletter #23

    Bonjour everyone! Here comes the twenty third installment of WebRender’s very best newsletter. This time I’m trying something a bit different. Instead of going through each pull request and bugzilla entry that landed since the last post, I’m only sourcing information from the team’s weekly meeting. As a result only the most important items make it to the list and not all items have links to their bug or pull request. Doing this allows me to spend considerably less time preparing the newsletter and will hopefully help with publishing it more often.

    Last time I mentioned WebRender being enabled on nightly by default for a small subset of the users, focusing on nVidia desktop GPUs on Windows 10. I’m happy to report that we didn’t set our nightly user population on fire and that WebRender is still enabled in these configurations (as expected, sure, but with a project as large and ambitious as WebRender it isn’t something that could be taken for granted). The choice of this particular configuration of hardware and driver led to a lot of speculation online, so I just want clarify a few things. We did not strike any deal with nVidia. nVidia didn’t send engineers to help us get WebRender to work on their hardware first. No politics, I promise. We learnt from past mistakes and chose to target a small population of Firefox users at first specifically because it is small. Each combination of OS/Vendor/driver exposes its own set of bugs and a progressive and targeted rollout means we’ll be better equipped to react in a timely manner to incoming bugs than we have been with past projects.
    Worry not, the end game is for WebRender to be Firefox’s rendering engine for everyone. Until then, are welcome to enable WebRender manually if your OS, hardware or driver isn’t in the initial target.

Mozilla: Account Recovery, Censorship Advocacy, Rust, Aadhaar

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox Accounts offer recovery key option

    Firefox Accounts help you get more out of your Firefox experience. With a Firefox Account, you can get all your bookmarks, passwords, open tabs and more — everywhere you use Firefox. Working on your desktop, browsing on your couch with a tablet, out and about in the world on your mobile device.

  • Account recovery keys in Firefox Accounts

    The Firefox Accounts team is in the process of releasing a new feature called Account Recovery. Previously, when a user resets their password, they would be given new encryption keys and could potentially risk losing any synced bookmarks, passwords and browsing history. With Account Recovery, a user can keep their encryption keys and not lose any data.

    A more technical overview of how this feature works can be found here.

    If you are interested in trying it out, simply goto your Firefox Account settings and click Account Recovery. If you do not see the Account Recovery option, you might not be in the rollout group yet. However, it can be manually enabled using these instructions.

  • EU Code published: another step forward in the fight against disinformation

    Today, the advertising and technology sectors presented the world’s first ever Code of Practice on Disinformation. Brokered in Europe, and motivated by the European Commission’s Communication on Tackling Disinformation and the report of the High Level Expert Group on Fake News, the Code represents another step towards countering the spread of disinformation.

    This initiative complements the work we’ve been doing at Mozilla to invest in technologies and tools, research and communities, to fight against information pollution and honour our commitment to an internet that elevates critical thinking, reasoned argument, shared knowledge, and verifiable facts.

  • This Week in Rust 253

    This week's crate is packed_simd, a crate with portable SIMD vector types. Thanks to Gabriel Majeri for the suggestion!

  • A mixed bag: Mozilla reacts to the Indian Supreme Court’s landmark verdict on Aadhaar

    By holding Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act to be unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of India has recognized the privacy risks created by the indiscriminate use of Aadhaar for private services. While this is welcome, by allowing the State wide powers to make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare subsidies and PAN, this judgment falls short of guaranteeing Indians meaningful choice on whether and how to use Aadhaar. This is especially worrisome given that India still lacks a data protection law to regulate government or private use of personal data. Now, more than ever, we need legal protections that will hold the government to account.

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Security: Bo Weaver, New Scares, Clones With Malware

  • Bo Weaver on Cloud security, skills gap, and software development in 2019
    Bo Weaver, a Kali Linux expert shares his thoughts on the security landscape in the cloud. He also talks about the skills gap in the current industry and why hiring is a tedious process. He explains the pitfalls in software development and where the tech is heading currently. Bo, along with another Kali Linux expert Wolf Halton were also interviewed on why Kali Linux is the premier platform for testing and maintaining Windows security. They talked about advantages and disadvantages for using Kali Linux for pentesting. We also asked them about what they think about pentesting in cybersecurity, in general. They have also talked about their stance about the role of pentesting in cybersecurity in their interview titled, “Security experts, Wolf Halton and Bo Weaver, discuss pentesting and cybersecurity” [...] I laugh and cry at this term. I have a sticker on my laptop that says “There is no Cloud…. Only other people’s computers.” Your data is sitting on someone else’s system along with other people’s data. These other people also have access to this system. Sure security controls are in place but the security of “physical access” has been bypassed. You’re “in the box”. One layer of security is now gone. Also, your vendor has “FULL ACCESS” to your data in some cases. How can you be sure what is going on with your data when it is in an unknown box in an unknown data center? The first rule of security is “Trust No One”. Do you really trust Microsoft, Amazon, or Google? I sure don’t!!! Having your data physically out of your company’s control is not a good idea. Yes, it is cheaper but what are your company and its digital property worth? [...] In software development, I see a dumbing down of user interfaces. This may be good for my 6-year-old grandson, but someone like me may want more access to the system. I see developers change things just for the reason of “change”. Take Microsoft’s Ribbon in Office. Even after all these years, I find the ribbon confusing and hard to use. At least, with Libre Office, they give you a choice between a ribbon and an old school menu bar. The changes in Gnome 3 from Gnome 2. This dumbing down and attempting to make a desktop usable for a tablet and a mouse totally destroyed the usability of their desktop. What used to take 1 click now takes 4 clicks to do.
  • Security experts, Wolf Halton and Bo Weaver, discuss pentesting and cybersecurity [Interview]
  • Cloud security products uninstalled by mutating malware [Ed: Affects already-compromised servers]
    Linux is more prevalent than one might think, Microsoft Azure is now predominantly run on Linux servers - it's not just the Chinese cloud environments being hosted via Linux, it's likely that your business is running at least one cloud service on a Linux server too.
  • Google Play still has a clone problem in 2019 with no end in sight
    A fake app tries to clone another app in name, looks, and functionality, often also adding something like malware. Despite Google’s best efforts, both types of apps were fairly common in 2018.

Programming: GNU Binutils, Qt, Python, GStreamer, C++ and GTK+

  • GNU Binutils 2.32 Branched Ahead Of Release With New Features
    A new release of the GNU Binutils programming tools will soon be available. The upcoming Binutils 2.32 release is primarily made up of new CPU ports.  GNU Binutils 2.32 is bringing a MIPS port to the Loongson 2K1000 processor and the Loongson 3A1000/3A2000/3A3000 processors, all of which are based on the MIPS64r2 ISA but with different instruction set extensions. These new GPUs are exposed via -march=gs264e, -march=gs464, and -march=gs464e flags. With Binutils 2.32, the utilities like objdump and c++filt now have a maximum amount of recursion that is allowed while demangling strings with the current default being 2048. There is also a --no-recurse-limit for bypassing that limit. Objdump meanwhile allows --disassemble to specify a starting symbol for disassembly.
  • Building Qt apps with Travis CI and Docker
    I recently configured Travis CI to build Nanonote, my minimalist note-taking application. We use Jenkins a lot at work, and despite the fact that I dislike the tool itself, it has proven invaluable in helping us catch errors early. So I strongly believe in the values of Continuous Integration. When it comes to CI setup, I believe it is important to keep your distances with the tool you are using by keeping as much setup as possible in tool-agnostic scripts, versioned in your repository, and making the CI server use these scripts.
  • PyPI Security and Accessibility Q1 2019 Request for Proposals Update
    Earlier this year we launched a Request for Information (RFI) followed by the launch of a Request for Proposals (RFP) in November to fulfill a contract for the Open Technology Fund (OTF) Core Infrastructure Fund.  The initial deadline for our RFP was December 14th. We had hoped to begin work with the selected proposers in January 2019, but ultimately fell short of the ability to do so.
  • GStreamer 1.15.1 Released With Work On AV1, V4L HEVC Encode/Decode
    GStreamer 1.15.1 was announced on Friday as the first development release in the trek towards GStreamer 1.16 for this powerful open-source multimedia framework.
  • GStreamer 1.15.1 development release
    The GStreamer team is pleased to announce the first development release in the unstable 1.15 release series. The unstable 1.15 release series adds new features on top of the current stable 1.14 series and is part of the API and ABI-stable 1.x release series of the GStreamer multimedia framework. The unstable 1.15 release series is for testing and development purposes in the lead-up to the stable 1.16 series which is scheduled for release in a few weeks time. Any newly-added API can still change until that point, although it is rare for that to happen.
  • Is C++ fast?
    A library that I work on often these days, meshoptimizer, has changed over time to use fewer and fewer C++ library features, up until the current state where the code closely resembles C even though it uses some C++ features. There have been many reasons behind the changes - dropping C++11 requirement allowed me to make sure anybody can compile the library on any platform, removing std::vector substantially improved performance of unoptimized builds, removing algorithm includes sped up compilation. However, I’ve never quite taken the leap all the way to C with this codebase. Today we’ll explore the gamut of possible C++ implementations for one specific algorithm, mesh simplifier, henceforth known as simplifier.cpp, and see if going all the way to C is worthwhile.
  • Python Counters @PyDiff
  • Report: (clxi) stackoverflow python report
  • Regular Expressions in Python
  • Starting on a new map rendering library
    Currently in Maps, we use the libchamplain library to display the bitmap map titles (based on OpenStreetMap data and aerial photography) that we get from our tile provider, currently MapBox. This library is based on Clutter and used via the GTK+ embed support within libchamplain, which in turn makes use of the Clutter GTK embed support. Since this will not be supported when moving along to GTK+ 4.x and the Clutter library is not maintained anymore (besides the copy of it that is included in the GNOME Shell window manager/Wayland compositor, Mutter) eventually Maps will have to find a replacement. There's also some wonky bugs especially with regards to the mixing of event handling on the Clutter side vs. the GTK+ side. So to at least get the ball rolling a bit, I recently decided to see how hard it would be to take the code from libchamplain and keep the grotty deep-down internals dealing with tile downloading and caching and such and refocus the top-level parts onto new GTK+ 4 technologies such as the Snapshot, GSK (scene graph), and render node APIs.

today's howtos

LibreELEC (Leia) v8.95.3 BETA

LibreELEC 9.0 (Leia) Beta 3 has finally arrived after a long gestation period. Based upon Kodi v18 RC5.2, the 9.0 Beta 3 release contains many changes and refinements to user experience and a complete overhaul of the underlying OS core to improve stability and extend hardware support. Kodi v18 also brings new features like Kodi Retroplayer and DRM support that (equipped with an appropriate add-on) allows Kodi to unofficially stream content from services like Netflix and Amazon. Read more