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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Surveys, WebRender, Firefox 61, Response to EFail/EFFail

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Moz/FF
  • What’s Your Open Source Strategy? Here Are 10 Answers…

    Mozilla is a radically open and participatory project. As part of the research we compiled into turning openness into a consistent competitive advantage, we identified that the application of open practices should always be paired with well-researched strategic intent. Without clarity of purpose, organizations will not (and nor should they) maintain long-term commitment to working with community. Indeed, we were not the first to observe this.

  • curl user survey 2018

    The curl user survey 2018 is up. If you ever use curl or libcurl, please donate some of your precious time and provide your answers!

    The curl user survey is an annual tradition since 2014 and it is one of our primary ways to get direct feedback from a larger audience about what's good, what's bad and what to focus on next in the curl project. Your input really helps us!

  • WebRender newsletter #19

    I skipped a newsletter again (I’m trying to put publish one every two weeks or so), sorry! As usual a lot of fixes and a few performance improvement, and sometimes both the same time. For example the changes around image and gradient repetition were primarily motivated by bugs we were encountering when dealing with repeated backgrounds containing very large amounts of repetitions, and we decided to solve these issues by moving all images to the “brush” infrastructure (bringing better batching, faster fragment shader and the ability to move more pixels out of the alpha pass), and optimize the common cases by letting the CPU generate a single primitive that is repeated in the shader. I don’t always properly highlight fixes that benefit performance but they are here.

  • GSConnect, Mozilla Firefox 61, Scientific Linux 7.5, GNOME and Nautilus

    The Mozilla team has been hard at work to address all of the known problems plaguing their bookmark sync functionality. A new engine has been developed to address these issues which landed in the latest Nightly build.

  • Cameron Kaiser: Secure mail on Power Macs is not a good idea

Mozilla and Firefox News

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Moz/FF
  • Linux sandboxing improvements in Firefox 60

    Continuing our past work, Firefox 60 brings further important improvements to security sandboxing on Linux, making it harder for attackers that find security bugs in the browser to escalate those into attacks against the rest of the system.

    The most important change is that content processes — which render Web pages and execute JavaScript — are no longer allowed to directly connect to the Internet, or connect to most local services accessed with Unix-domain sockets (for example, PulseAudio).

    This means that content processes have to follow any network access restrictions Firefox imposes — for example, if the browser has been set up to use a proxy server, connecting directly to the internet is no longer possible. But more important are the restrictions on connections to local services: they often assume that anything connecting to them has the full authority of the user running it, and either allow it to ask for arbitrary code to run, or aren't careful about preventing that. Normally that's not a security problem because the client could just run that code itself, but if it's a sandboxed Firefox process, that could have meant a sandbox escape.

    In case you encounter problems that turn out to be associated with this feature, the `security.sandbox.content.level` setting described previously can be used for troubleshooting; the network/socket isolation is controlled by level 4. Obviously we'd love to hear from you on Bugzilla too.

  • Switching to JSON for update manifests

    We plan on switching completely to JSON update manifests on Firefox and AMO. If you self-distribute your add-on please read ahead for details.

    AMO handles automatic updates for all add-ons listed on the site. For self-hosted add-ons, developers need to set an update URL and manage the update manifest file it returns. Today, AMO returns an RDF file, a common legacy add-on feature. A JSON equivalent of this file is now supported in Firefox. JSON files are smaller and easier to read. This also brings us closer to removing complex RDF parsing from Firefox code.

    Firefox 62, set to release September 5, 2018, will stop supporting the RDF variant of the update manifest. Firefox ESR users can continue using RDF manifests until the release of Firefox 68 in 2019. Nevertheless, all developers relying on RDF for their updates should read the documentation and switch soon. Firefox 45 introduced this feature, so all current versions of Firefox support it.

  • Visualizing Your Smart Home Data with the Web of Things

    Today we’re mashing up two very different applications to make a cool personal dashboard for investigating all our internet-connected things, and their behavior over time. We can use one of the Web Thing API’s superpowers: its flexibility. Like Elastigirl or Mr. Fantastic, it can bend and stretch to fit into any situation.

  • Tor Browser 7.5.4 is released

    Tor Browser 7.5.4 is now available from the Tor Browser Project page and also from our distribution directory.

    This release features important security updates to Firefox.

  • Announcing Rust 1.26

    The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.26.0. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

Looking Ahead at Firefox 61 (Beta)

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox 61 Enters Development with Faster Tab Switching on Linux and Windows

    Now that Mozilla released the final Firefox 60 "Quantum" web browser, it's time for them to concentrate on the next release, Firefox 61, which enters beta testing today with a bunch of much-needed enhancements.

    While Firefox 60 marked the Quantum series as ready for enterprise deployments, Firefox 61 will focus on performance enhancements and improvements of all sorts. For starters, Firefox 61 promises to enable faster tab switching on both GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows platforms and makes WebExtensions run in their own process on Apple's macOS.

    Talking about WebExtensions, Firefox 61 will improve the way they manage and hide tabs. Mac users are also getting a new feature in the Page Actions menu that allows them to share the current URL with the sharing providers from macOS, and it looks like the dark theme will receive various improvements for a more consistent experience across Firefox's user interface.

  • Firefox 61 Beta Brings Quantum CSS Improvements, Faster Tab Switching

    Rounding out today's Firefox 60 release comes with promoting Firefox 61 to beta.

    Firefox 61.0 is now available in beta form and it excites us a lot for a sizable amount of performance work that's been ongoing. Among the work to find with the Firefox 61 Beta are Quantum CSS improvements for faster page rendering times, improved page rendering speed thanks to retained display lists, and faster switching between tabs on Linux/Windows.

  • Firefox 60 for Android Brings Faster Page Rendering, New View Page Source Option

    Mozilla released today the Firefox 60 "Quantum" web browser for supported desktop platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows, as well as for Google's Android mobile operating system.

    Mozilla Firefox 60 "Quantum" is the next ESR (Extended Support Release) version of the open-source and cross-platform web browser, introducing USB token based authentication support, enhancements to New Tab and Firefox Home pages, revamped Cookies and Site Storage section, enhanced camera privacy indicators, better WebRTC audio performance and playback on Linux, and a new a policy engine to make enterprise deployments a breeze for IT professionals.

Mozilla: Firefox 60, Things Gateway, Activity Stream and More

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Moz/FF
  • Open for business: Firefox Quantum is ready for IT

    The new, super fast Firefox supports Windows Group Policy, so enterprise IT pros can easily configure the browser for organizational use.

    In the fall of 2017, Mozilla introduced Firefox Quantum — the blazing fast, completely reinvented Firefox. The new Firefox quickly won critical acclaim, with Wired writing that “Firefox Quantum is the browser built for 2017”.

  • Firefox 60 Is Here, And It (Finally) Includes Linux CSD Support

    Firefox 60 is now available to download and among the changes it sports is support for CSD on Linux.

    The latest stable release of Mozilla’s hugely influentially open-source web browser also brings a number of other tweaks, including a somewhat controversial change to the new tab page…

  • Firefox 60 released
  • An Enterprising Future

    So, to say that I’m happy about this particular release would be an understatement. I’m absolutely ecstatic that Mozilla decided that adding support for enterprise features was important.

    But I have to admit something; over the years in my zeal to get enterprise support into Firefox, I’ve encouraged just about every method possible to get customizations into Firefox. As a result, I know there are many installations of Firefox that use methods that are definitely not recommended anymore, especially now that we have real policy support.

  • Things Gateway - Monitoring Solar Panels
  • L10N Report: May Edition

    Activity Stream has become an integral part of Firefox, officially replacing the existing New Tab and soon integrating code for displaying snippets and onboarding content. For this reason, we’re working on moving translations to mozilla-central.

    Currently, Activity Stream is managed as a stand-alone project in Pontoon, and store its translations in a GitHub repository. Once this meta bug is fixed, Activity Stream’s strings will be exposed as part of the Firefox project.

    While this makes the relation between Activity Stream and Firefox more obvious for localizers, it will also allow to make some improvements in the future, like reducing the lag between translations landing in repositories and actually being available for testing in Firefox.

Firefox 60 Released and More Mozilla News

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox 60 Released With New Enterprise Features, Web Authentication / Yubikey Support

    Firefox 60.0 is out this morning and it's quite a big update while also being Mozilla's newest ESR release for extended support.

    Among the many changes to find with Firefox 60 is the new Policy Engine and Group Policy support for better integrating Firefox within enterprise deployments. The new policy engine supports the Windows Group Policy as well as a cross-platform JSON file for defining the policy. Firefox 60.0 also features the new Web Authentication API with support for devices like the Yubikey for dealing with passwords/authentication.

  • Firefox 60 – Modules and More

    Firefox 60 is here, and the Quantum lineage continues apace. The parallel processing prowess of Quantum CSS is now available on Firefox for Android, and work continues on WebRender, which modernizes the whole idea of what it means to draw a web page. But we’re not just spreading the love on internals. Firefox 60 boasts a number of web platform and developer-facing improvements as well.

  • Firefox Quantum: Fast for Business, Better for IT

    Browsers are key to how everyone in your company works, but how often do you think about them? A memory-hungry browser can slow your systems to a crawl, killing productivity across your org. Replacing it with a fast, lightweight browser is an easy win for IT.

    Last fall, Mozilla launched Firefox Quantum, an all-new browser based on an advanced rendering engine that bests every other browser and uses less memory. Independent tests proved its blazing-fast performance and miserly memory usage, and Wired wrote that “Firefox Quantum is the browser built for 2017”.

  • Firefox gets down to Business, and it’s Personal

    Right now everybody’s talking about the right way to make the products that we love meet our individual needs AND respect our privacy.

    At Mozilla, striking this balance has been our bread and butter for more than two decades. With today’s release of Firefox, we’re bringing you more features and tools that allow you to personalize your browser without sacrificing your privacy.

  • Mozilla Fights for Net Neutrality this May (and Always)

    Mozilla is continuing to fight for net neutrality — in the courts, alongside Americans, and, today, by joining the Red Alert protest.

    The Red Alert protest raises awareness about net neutrality’s importance, and the means for keeping it intact: In mid-May, the Senate will vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s net neutrality repeal. We’re partnering with organizations like Consumer Reports, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Reddit to encourage Americans to call Congress in support of net neutrality.

  • This Week in Rust 233

Mozilla: Privacy, Firefox Quantum Extensions, and Rep of the Month

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Moz/FF
  • We Asked People How They Feel About Facebook. Here’s What They Said.

    Facebook has been in the news a lot lately. It started with the announcement that over 87 million Facebook users had their personal information shared with the private firm Cambridge Analytica without their knowledge. Since then, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has testified twice in front of the US Congress and people all around the world have been talking about Facebook’s data practices. We took this opportunity to survey people on how they felt about Facebook these days. 47,000 people responded to our survey. The data is interesting and open for your exploration.

    The top takeaways? Most people (76%) say they are very concerned about the safety of their personal information online. Yet few people (24%) reported making changes to their Facebook accounts following the recent news of privacy concerns around Facebook. The majority of people who responded to our survey (65%) see themselves — rather than companies or the government — as being most responsible for protecting their personal information online. And very few people (only 12%) said they would consider paying for Facebook, even a version of Facebook that doesn’t make money by collecting and selling personal data.

  • Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge Winners Announced!

    We know many Firefox users love web extensions, and we do, too. Today we’re announcing the winners of our Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge.

  • Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge Winners

    The results are in for the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge! We were thrilled to see so many creative, helpful, and delightful submission entries.

  • Rep of the Month – April 2018

    David is a Mozillian living the UK and active in a lot of different Mozilla projects. In his day job he is building an Open Source Fitness platform. You might have seen him at the past few MozFests in London. Last year he did a great job wrangling the Privacy&Security space.

Android P, Android Things and Mozilla Things Gateway

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Android
Google
Moz/FF
  • Android P to improve users' network privacy

    The forthcoming Android P release will protect the operating system's network processes against snoops and nasties.

    Android's problems lie in a folder and file inherited from Linux, the source of Android's kernel and its key structures: /proc/net.

    In a commit at Android Open Source, Google's Jeffrey Vander Stoep launched the apparently-prosaic process of “locking down /proc/net”.

  • Say Hello to Android Things 1.0

    Android Things is Google's managed OS that enables you to build and maintain Internet of Things devices at scale. We provide a robust platform that does the heavy lifting with certified hardware, rich developer APIs, and secure managed software updates using Google's back-end infrastructure, so you can focus on building your product.

    After a developer preview with over 100,000 SDK downloads, we're releasing Android Things 1.0 to developers today with long-term support for production devices. Developer feedback and engagement has been critical in our journey towards 1.0, and we are grateful to the over 10,000 developers who have provided us feedback through the issue tracker, at workshop events, and through our Google+ community.

  • Google Launches New Operating System “Android Things” For IoT Devices

    Google has tried to take some attention away from Build 2018 by releasing Android Things 1.0 – an operating system specially designed for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

    Android Things was first announced back in 2016. It will allow developers to take advantage of Google Assistant, Google Cast, and the company’s knowledge of machine learning.

  • Things Gateway - the Virtual Weather Station Code

    The Virtual Weather Station was written using Things Framework, a new communication protocol to connect devices with controllers based on Web technology. The Things Framework consists of a set libraries and modules written in various languages. Each library implements a server that offers the Web Thing API on behalf of the device running the server. The protocol is HTTP, so the server offers a Web interface by embedding a Web Server. That interface contains all the mechanisms to query or control the device and is, therefore, the embodiment of the Web Thing API.

Mozilla: Mozilla’s 48-Hour Hackathon, Vice President of IT, 4 Suggested Firefox Extensions

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  • Mozilla’s 48-Hour Hackathon for a Better Internet

    Mozilla’s fifth-annual Global Sprint is May 10 and 11. Open-source engineers and activists around the globe will swap code and ideas to make the internet a healthier place

    A decentralized alternative to today’s social media platforms. A community-built air quality monitor to thwart pollution in Buenos Aires. An open-source investigative tool for journalists in Hungary.

    These are just three of nearly 150 projects from 24 countries participating in the 2018 Global Sprint, Mozilla’s fifth-annual distributed hackathon. Each year, coders, scientists, artists and activists gather online and in person for 48 hours to collaborate on open-source projects. This year’s Global Sprint is happening Thursday, May 10 and Friday, May 11.

  • Welcome Chris Lin, our new Vice President of IT

    I’m excited to announce that Chris Lin is joining us today as our new Vice President of IT.

    Chris will work closely with me to scale our impact and optimize operational efficiency. He will be responsible for the strategy, execution and operations of Mozilla’s business technology, information security, data management, network and infrastructure services.

    “I am honored to join Mozilla at such an exciting juncture and work with the IT team to support the organization as we develop and grow our business and technical expertise,” said Chris Lin, Mozilla VP of IT. “Mozilla is a truly mission-driven organization with great products and technologies while also promoting internet health including privacy, security, openness, decentralization, digital inclusion, and web literacy. It’s wonderful to be part of Mozilla and contribute to our mission.”

  • 4 Firefox extensions to install now

    As I mentioned in my original article on Firefox extensions, the web browser has become a critical component of the computing experience for many users. Modern browsers have evolved into powerful and extensible platforms, and extensions can add or modify their functionality. Extensions for Firefox are built using the WebExtensions API, a cross-browser development system.

    In the first article, I asked readers: "Which extensions should you install?" To reiterate, that decision largely comes down to how you use your browser, your views on privacy, how much you trust extension developers, and other personal preferences. Since that article was published, one extension I recommended (Xmarks) has been discontinued. Additionally, that article received a ton of feedback that has been taken into account for this update.

    Once again, I'd like to point out that browser extensions often require the ability to read and/or change everything on the web pages you visit. You should consider the ramifications of this very carefully. If an extension has modify access to all the web pages you visit, it could act as a keylogger, intercept credit card information, track you online, insert advertisements, and perform a variety of other nefarious activities. That doesn't mean every extension will surreptitiously do these things, but you should carefully consider the installation source, the permissions involved, your risk profile, and other factors before you install any extension. Keep in mind you can use profiles to manage how an extension impacts your attack surface—for example, using a dedicated profile with no extensions to perform tasks such as online banking.

Famous Firefox Memory Leak and Why to Avoid Adblock

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  • The Famous Firefox Memory Leak

    I suppose I have led a charmed life. I have known for many years about the notorious Firefox "memory leak." This is when the browser allocates RAM from the operating system to display some page, and then neglects to release that RAM when done. This causes the RAM usage to steadily increase, until Firefox is using all available RAM. And yet I had never witnessed this myself, even on my wife's computer, where she would leave Firefox running for days with a dozen or more tabs open.

    [...]

    Well, there's one other solution. I've read that Pale Moon browser does not exhibit this problem. And since this is a 64-bit Linux machine, Opera is once more an option. (I refuse to use Google's Chrome snoopware.) My wife really likes Firefox, but the annoyance level is pushing her to consider a different browser.

  • Please Stop Using Adblock (But Not Why You Think)

     

    It seems like they're actually trying here with the inclusion of some user advocates, but the imbalance is obvious. Let's count those up:

        23 advertisers
        11 somewhat neutral entities
        7 user advocates
     

Mozilla: TenFourFox FPR7 and VR

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  • TenFourFox FPR7 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 7 final is now available for testing (downloads, release notes, hashes). There are no other changes in this release from beta 3 other than remaining outstanding security patches. It will go live Monday evening Pacific time as usual assuming no showstoppers over the weekend.

  • Experimenting with Computer Vision in WebXR

    Over the past few months, we’ve been experimenting with what it would take to enable efficient, usable computer vision in WebXR. We’ve implemented a simple set of APIs in our iOS WebXR Viewer and the webxr-polyfill to test these ideas, and created some examples demonstrating how these APIs would work in practice, from simple color detection to tracking black and white markers in 3D using a WebAssembly version of the OpenCV computer vision library.

  • This week in Mixed Reality: Issue 5

    As we continue to add the building blocks, we’re really seeing Firefox Reality, Hubs and the content related projects coming together.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME: NVMe Firmware and GSConnect

  • Richard Hughes: NVMe Firmware: I Need Your Data
    In a recent Google Plus post I asked what kind of hardware was most interesting to be focusing on next. UEFI updating is now working well with a large number of vendors, and the LVFS “onboarding” process is well established now. On that topic we’ll hopefully have some more announcements soon. Anyway, back to the topic in hand: The overwhelming result from the poll was that people wanted NVMe hardware supported, so that you can trivially update the firmware of your SSD. Firmware updates for SSDs are important, as most either address data consistency issues or provide nice performance fixes.
  • Gnome Shell Android Integration Extension GSConnect V12 Released
    GSConnect v12 was released yesterday with changes like more resilient sshfs connections (which should make browsing your Android device from the desktop more reliable), fixed extension icon alignment, along with other improvements. GSConnect is a Gnome Shell extension that integrates your Android device(s) with the desktop. The tool makes use of the KDE Connect protocol but without using any KDE dependencies, keeping your desktop clean of unwanted packages.
  • Linux Release Roundup: Communitheme, Cantata & VS Code
    GSconnect is a magical GNOME extension that lets your Android phone integrate with your Linux desktop. So good, in fact, that Ubuntu devs want to ship it as part of the upcoming Ubuntu 18.10 release (though last I heard it probably just end up in the repos instead). Anyway, a new version of GSconnect popped out this week. GSconnect v12 adds a nifty new features or two, as well as a few fixes here, and a few UI tweaks there.

Red Hat Leftovers

  • Red Hat Advances Container Storage
    Red Hat has moved to make storage a standard element of a container platform with the release of version 3.1 of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage (OCS), previously known as Red Hat Container Native Storage. Irshad Raihan, senior manager for product marketing for Red Hat Storage, says Red Hat decided to rebrand its container storage offering to better reflect its tight integration with the Red Hat OpenShift platform. In addition, the term “container native” continues to lose relevance given all the different flavors of container storage that now exist, adds Raihan. The latest version of the container storage software from Red Hat adds arbiter volume support to enable high availability with efficient storage utilization and better performance, enhanced storage monitoring and configuration via the Red Hat implementation of the Prometheus container monitoring framework, and block-backed persistent volumes (PVs) that can be applied to both general application workloads and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) infrastructure workloads. Support for PVs is especially critical because to in the case of Red Hat OCS organizations can deploy more than 1,000 PVs per cluster, which helps to reduce cluster sprawl within the IT environment, says Raihan.
  • Is Red Hat Inc’s (NYSE:RHT) ROE Of 20.72% Sustainable?
  • FPgM report: 2018-33

OSS Leftovers

  • Infineon enables open source TSS ESAPI layer
    This is the first open source TPM middleware that complies with the Software Stack (TSS) Enhanced System API (ESAPI) specification of the Trusted Computing Group . “The ease of integration on Linux and other embedded platforms that comes with the release of the TPM 2.0 ESAPI stack speeds up the adoption of TPM 2.0 in embedded systems such as network equipment and industrial systems,” says Gordon Muehl, Global CTO Security at Huawei.
  • Open source RDBMS uses spurred by lower costs, cloud options
    As the volumes of data generated by organizations get larger and larger, data professionals face a dilemma: Must database bills get bigger in the process? And, increasingly, IT shops with an eye on costs are looking to open source RDBMS platforms as a potential alternative to proprietary relational database technologies.
  • Progress open sources ABL code in Spark Toolkit
    New England headquartered application development company Progress is flexing its programmer credentials this month. The Massachusetts-HQ’d firm has now come forward with its Progress Spark Toolkit… but what is it? The Progress Spark Toolkit is a set of open source ABL code combined with some recommended best-practices.
  • Mixing software development roles produces great results
    Most open source communities don’t have a lot of formal roles. There are certainly people who help with sysadmin tasks, testing, writing documentation, and translating or developing code. But people in open source communities typically move among different roles, often fulfilling several at once. In contrast, team members at most traditional companies have defined roles, working on documentation, support, QA, and in other areas. Why do open source communities take a shared-role approach, and more importantly, how does this way of collaborating affect products and customers? Nextcloud has adopted this community-style practice of mixing roles, and we see large benefits for our customers and our users.
  • FOSS Project Spotlight: SIT (Serverless Information Tracker)
    In the past decade or so, we've learned to equate the ability to collaborate with the need to be online. The advent of SaaS clearly marked the departure from a decentralized collaboration model to a heavily centralized one. While on the surface this is a very convenient delivery model, it simply doesn't fit a number of scenarios well. As somebody once said, "you can't FTP to Mars", but we don't need to go as far. There are plenty of use cases here on Earth that are less than perfectly suited for this "online world". Lower power chips and sensors, vessel/offshore collaboration, disaster recovery, remote areas, sporadically reshaping groups—all these make use of central online services a challenge. Another challenge with centralization is somewhat less thought of—building software that can handle a lot of concurrent users and that stores and processes a lot of information and never goes down is challenging and expensive, and we, as consumers, pay dearly for that effort. And not least important, software in the cloud removes our ability to adapt it perfectly for use cases beyond its owner's vision, scope and profitability considerations. Convenience isn't free, and this goes way beyond the price tag.
  • ProtonMail's open source encryption library, OpenPGPjs, passes independent audit
    ProtonMail, the secure email provider, has just had its credentials re-affirmed after its encryption library, OpenPGPjs, passed an independent security audit. The audit was carried out by the respected security firm, Cure53, after the developer community commissioned a review following the release of OpenPGPjs 3.0 back in March.
  • Uber Announces Open Source Fusion.js Framework
    Uber Announces Fusion.js, an open source "Plugin-based Universal Web Framework." In the announcement, Uber senior software engineer Leo Horie explains that Uber builds hundreds of web-based applications, and with web technologies changing quickly and best practices continually evolving, it is a challenge to have hundreds of web engineers leverage modern language features while staying current with the dynamic nature of the web platform. Fusion.js is Uber's solution to this problem.
  •  
  • ASAN And LSAN Work In rr
    AddressSanitizer has worked in rr for a while. I just found that LeakSanitizer wasn't working and landed a fix for that. This means you can record an ASAN build and if there's an ASAN error, or LSAN finds a leak, you can replay it in rr knowing the exact addresses of the data that leaked — along with the usual rr goodness of reverse execution, watchpoints, etc. Well, hopefully. Report an issue if you find more problems.
  • Oracle Open-Sources GraphPipe to Support ML Development
    Oracle on Wednesday announced that it has open-sourced GraphPipe to enhance machine learning applications. The project's goal is to improve deployment results for machine learning models, noted Project Leader Vish Abrams. That process includes creating an open standard. The company has a questionable relationship with open source developers, so its decision to open-source GraphPipe might not receive a flood of interest. Oracle hopes developers will rally behind the project to simplify and standardize the deployment of machine learning models. GraphPipe consists of a set of libraries and tools for following a deployment standard.
  • OERu makes a college education affordable
    Open, higher education courses are a boon to adults who don’t have the time, money, or confidence to enroll in traditional college courses but want to further their education for work or personal satisfaction. OERu is a great option for these learners. It allows people to take courses assembled by accredited colleges and universities for free, using open textbooks, and pay for assessment only when (and if) they want to apply for formal academic credit. I spoke with Dave Lane, open source technologist at the Open Education Resource Foundation, which is OERu’s parent organization, to learn more about the program. The OER Foundation is a nonprofit organization hosted by Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, New Zealand. It partners with organizations around the globe to provide leadership, networking, and support to help advance open education principles.
  • Tomu Is A Tiny, Open Source Computer That Easily Fits In Your USB Port
    There are a number of USB stick computers available in the market at varying prices. One of them that really stands out is Tomu — a teeny weeny ARM processor that can entirely fit inside your computer’s USB port. Tomu is based on Silicon Labs Happy Gecko EFM32HG309 Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller that runs at 25 MHz. It sports 8 kb of RAM and 60 kb of flash onboard. In spite of the small size, it supports two LEDs and two capacitance touch buttons.
  • RcppArmadillo 0.9.100.5.0
    A new RcppArmadillo release 0.9.100.5.0, based on the new Armadillo release 9.100.5 from earlier today, is now on CRAN and in Debian. It once again follows our (and Conrad's) bi-monthly release schedule. Conrad started with a new 9.100.* series a few days ago. I ran reverse-depends checks and found an issue which he promptly addressed; CRAN found another which he also very promptly addressed. It remains a true pleasure to work with such experienced professionals as Conrad (with whom I finally had a beer around the recent useR! in his home town) and of course the CRAN team whose superb package repository truly is the bedrock of the R community.
  • PHP version 7.1.21 and 7.2.9
    RPM of PHP version 7.2.9 are available in remi repository for Fedora 28 and in remi-php72 repository for Fedora 25-27 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS). RPM of PHP version 7.1.21 are available in remi repository for Fedora 26-27 and in remi-php71 repository for Fedora 25 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

GNU/Linux on Laptops and Desktops

  • Endless OS and Asus, Update on L1TF Exploit, Free Red Hat DevConf.US in Boston, Linux 4.19 Kernel Update
    Some of us may recall a time when ASUS used to ship a stripped down version of Xandros Linux with their line of Eee PC netbooks. Last week, the same company announced that Endless OS will be supporting non-OS offerings of their product. However it comes with a big disclaimer stating that ASUS will not officially support the operating system's compatibility issues.
  • The Chromebook Grows Up
    What started out as a project to provide a cheap, functional, secure and fast laptop experience has become so much more. Chromebooks in general have suffered from a lack of street-cred acceptance. Yes, they did a great job of doing the everyday basics—web browsing and...well, that was about it. Today, with the integration of Android apps, all new and recently built Chrome OS devices do much more offline—nearly as much as a conventional laptop or desktop, be it video editing, photo editing or a way to switch to a Linux desktop for developers or those who just like to do that sort of thing.
  • Windows 10 Linux Distribution Overload? We have just the thing [Ed: Microsoft is still striving to control and master GNU/Linux through malware, Vista 10]
  • What Dropbox dropping Linux support says
    You've probably already heard by now that Dropbox is nixing support for all Linux file systems but unencrypted ext4. When this was announced, much of the open source crowd was up in arms—and rightfully so. Dropbox has supported Linux for a long time, so this move came as a massive surprise.
  • Winds Beautifully Combines Feed Reader and Podcast Player in One Single App
    Billboard top 50 playlist is great for commuting. But I’m a nerd so I mostly prefer podcasts. Day after day, listening to podcasts on my phone has turned into a habit for the better and now, I crave my favorite podcasts even when I’m home, sitting in front of my computer. Thus began, my hunt for the perfect podcast app for Linux. Desktop Linux doesn’t have a huge selection of dedicated podcast applications. Of course, you can use Rhythmbox music player or VLC Media player to download podcasts (is there anything VLC can’t do?). There are even some great command line tools to download podcasts if you want to go down that road.
  • VirtualBox 5.2.18 Maintenance Update fixed VM process termination on RDP client disconnect
    Virtualbox developers released a maintenance update for virtualization solution on the 14th of August, 2018. The latest update raised the version of VirtualBox to 5.2.18. The improvements and additions have been welcomed by several users as it makes the virtualization product even more convenient to use.