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Latest About GNU/Linux Software on Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Linux Apps Coming To MediaTek-Powered Chromebooks Like The Acer R13

    Google made no mention of Linux apps on Chrome OS at last week’s hardware event in New York. I was a little surprised considering the fact that the Pixel Slate and Chrome OS saw nearly as much stage time as the Pixel phone that brought most of the media to Manhattan.

    [...]

    Unfortunately, the Chromebook R13 was quickly overshadowed by new flagships from Samsung and ASUS that featured more powerful processors and various features that made them more appealing to consumers. It was a sad happenstance for the Acer Chromebook because honestly, it is still a great device two years later. Seeing Google bring Linux apps to this device could breath much-needed new life into this model.

  • Linux app support coming to MediaTek-based Chromebooks

    Linux apps have arrived in the Chrome OS stable channel, but not all Chromebooks have access to them. The Linux container requires some kernel features that won't be backported to several models, but now Google is bringing the feature to a handful of MediaTek-based Chromebooks.

    Chrome Unboxed discovered a commit that enables Linux app support for the "oak" platform, which a number of Chromebooks were based on.

  • Linux apps on Chrome OS: An easy-to-follow guide

    The software that started out as a strictly web-centric entity — with everything revolving around the Chrome browser and apps that could operate inside it — is now one of modern computing's most versatile operating systems. Contemporary Chromebooks still run all the standard web-based stuff, of course, but they're also capable of connecting to Google's entire Play Store and running almost any Android app imaginable. And if that isn't enough, many models have recently gained the ability to run Linux apps as well.

Google: Desktop, Server and Kernel

Filed under
Google
  • Chrome OS Linux support to gain folder sharing, Google Drive, more

    Chrome OS has been shaping up to be the all-in-one system, combining the best of Google’s ecosystem, including Android apps, with the power of Linux apps. The latter is still in beta phase with improvements and new features in every update. Today we take a look at some of the features coming soon to Chrome OS Linux apps.

    Chrome OS first gained its Linux app support, also known as Crostini, with version 69. While it’s certainly not flawless, the support has been groundbreaking, enabling everything from full photo editors to Android Studio on Chrome OS. With upcoming versions of Chrome OS, Google is working to smoothen the rough edges of Crostini to make it easier to use.

  • Google Cloud CTO Brian Stevens on using open source for competitive advantage in the public cloud

    As all three continue to vie for the affections of CIOs, how they market their respective public cloud propositions to enterprise IT buyers has subtly shifted over time.

    For evidence of this, one only has to look at how little fuss the big three now make about rolling out price cuts for their services compared to several years ago, when one provider announcing a price drop would not only make headlines, but prompt its competitors to publicly follow suit too.

    This in itself is indicative of the fact enterprises expect more from providers than just access to cheap commodity IT services these days, and that ongoing cost reductions are simply an accepted part of using cloud, Google Cloud CTO Brian Stevens, tells Computer Weekly.

  • KUnit: A new unit testing framework for Linux Kernel

    On Tuesday, Google engineer Brendan Higgins announced an experimental set of 31 patches by introducing KUnit as a new Linux kernel unit testing framework to help preserve and improve the quality of the kernel’s code.

    KUnit is a lightweight unit testing and mocking framework designed for the Linux kernel. Unit tests necessarily have finer granularity, they are able to test all code paths easily solving the classic problem of difficulty in exercising error handling code.

Chromebox and Chrome 'Hacks'

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Google
  • CTL’s New CBX1 Chromebox is a Powerhouse at a Great Price

    Chromeboxes are really great desktops for users who have moved their workflow into a web browser, especially at lower prices. You don’t need higher specs inside a Chromebox for it to work well, but it can help.

    For those who want a supercharged Chromebox on the cheap, Oregon-based CTL has just the thing for you. Its new Chromebox—the CBX1—has all the high-end parts you could want, at a comparatively low price.

  • How to Install Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in Chrome

    Chrome 70, available now, lets you install “Progressive Web Apps,” or PWAs, on Windows. When you visit a website with a PWA, like Twitter or Spotify, you can now “install” it to make it behave more like a normal desktop application.

  • How to Stop Chrome From Automatically Signing You Into the Browser

    With Chrome 69, Google began automatically signing you into the Chrome browser whenever you signed into a Google website like Gmail. Chrome 70, available now, has a hidden option to disable this feature.

    We don’t think most Chrome users will care about this. But, if you do care, Google now gives you a choice. And that’s good news.

Chrome OS Stable Channel Gets Linux Apps

Filed under
OS
Linux
Google

After months of user testing in developer and beta channels, the Crostini project at Google finally delivered the goods, Linux apps for most users of Chromebooks in the stable channel—definitely worth the wait. While this still is aimed primarily at developers using Chromebooks, I think there's a good chance these Linux apps will be used and enjoyed by the general public using Chromebooks as well. There's still a bit of a learning curve to overcome before that possibility is realized, but if you already are a user of any Linux distro, it will feel very familiar. Here's an overview of how to install it and what to expect afterward.

After getting the update to version 69, go to Settings and scroll down a bit, and you'll see the option to turn on Linux apps. Figure 1 shows this first step. Note that this isn't available on all Chromebooks; if you're using an older one, you'll have to wait a while before this function is available. If you don't see the option to turn on Linux apps, your Chromebook currently lacks that functionality. But, if you have a Chromebook produced in the past two years, you probably will see the option.

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Microsoft is Sabotaging PCs Again, Google Has New Laptops/Tablets, Samsung Chromebook

Filed under
Google
Microsoft
  • Windows 10 Version 1809 Cumulative Update KB4464330 Causes BSODs

    Windows 10 cumulative update KB4464330 for version 1809, as well as cumulative update KB4462919 for the April Update (version 1803), are both pushing a number of HP systems into a BSOD loop, with no easy method to go back to a functional desktop.

  • Pixelbook vs. Pixel Slate: Which Chrome OS Device is the Better Choice?

    As expected, Google announced its first house-branded Chrome OS tablet, the Pixel Slate, a few days ago. It looks like a great device, but how does it compare to the Pixelbook when it comes to a high-end Chrome OS machine?

    Before we get into the comparison, it’s probably worth talking about what this means for current Pixelbook owners. To put it plainly, if you already have a Pixelbook there’s very little reason to consider getting a Slate—it isn’t even an upgrade, but more of a lateral movement from the Pixelbook. It’s an incredibly similar device in a slightly different package.

  • Samsung’s Updated Chromebook Plus V2 Adds LTE Connectivity to an Already-Great Device

    The premium Chromebook market has exploded over the last couple of years, and Samsung helped push that charge with the Chromebook Pro and Plus. It recently revamped the Plus model with updated internals, and now it’s adding LTE to that platform.

    If you’re not familiar with the Chromebook Plus, here’s a bit of backstory for you. The original Chromebook Plus was launched at CES in 2017 alongside the Chromebook Pro. Samsung has since revamped the Plus hardware with an updated processor for improved performance, calling this new version the Chromebook Plus V2. Super original.

“Made By Google” Event

Filed under
OS
Android
Google

Google+ and Hyper-Threading (Intel) Compromised

Filed under
Google
Hardware
Security
  • Project Strobe: Protecting your data, improving our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+

    Many third-party apps, services and websites build on top of our various services to improve everyone’s phones, working life, and online experience. We strongly support this active ecosystem. But increasingly, its success depends on users knowing that their data is secure, and on developers having clear rules of the road.

  • Google+ Is Shutting Down After Data Breach

    Google has decided to shut down the consumer version of its failed social network Google+. This news comes in the wake of a previously undisclosed security flaw that exposed the data of the profile of users.

    The bug in question remained active between 2015 and 2018, and Google discovered it in March; during this period, the flaw affected more than 500,000 users. However, Google claims to have no evidence that suggests that any external developer or app had access to the data.

  • Google Concealed Data Breach Over Fear Of Repercussions; Shuts Down Google+ Service

    Google opted in the Spring not to disclose that the data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users had been exposed because the company says they found no evidence of misuse, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Silicon Valley giant feared both regulatory scrutiny and regulatory damage, according to documents reviewed by the Journal and people briefed on the incident.

    In response to being busted, Google parent Alphabet is set to announce broad privacy measures which include permanently shutting down all consumer functionality of Google+, a move which "effectively puts the final nail in the coffin of a product that was launched in 2011 to challenge Facebook, and is widely seen as one of Google's biggest failures."

  • Google+ is Dead, Survived By Better Privacy Controls

    Earlier this year, Google started a project to review third-party developer access to Google accounts through the use of APIs. It found a security breach surrounding Google+, and is now shutting the service down, at least for consumers.

    The long and short of the issue is that there was a security hole that allowed third-party developers to access Google+ users’ account data, including name, email address, occupation, gender, and age—even if the account was set as private.. This isn’t particularly sensitive data, but regardless, a breach is a breach.

    The bug was discovered in March of 2018, but was presumed to have been open since sometime in 2015. To make matters slightly more troubling, Google only keeps this particular API’s data log for two weeks…so the company has no way of knowing which users were affected. Presumably, however, some 500,000 users were on the list.

  • How does TLBleed abuse the Hyper-Threading feature in Intel chips?

    A new side-channel attack called TLBleed abuses the Hyper-Threading feature of Intel chips. Researchers say there is a high success rate of TLBleed exploits, but Intel currently has no plans to patch it. How does TLBleed work, and what are the risks of not patching it?

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.

Everything you need to know about the Pixel Slate

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

The Pixel family is about to welcome a new member on October 9: The Pixel Slate (also known under the code name “Nocturne”), a new Pixel tablet that uses Chrome OS and may provide a viable alternative to Chromebooks for many Google fans.

But what do we know about the Pixel Slate? Here’s everything we can say about the Slate’s specs, design, and important features. Check it out, and if you’re interested, remember to stop by Digital Trends on October 9 to get all the latest updates on Google’s new products.

Read more

Also: Google Pixel 3 XL Is Already Selling In Hong Kong Before Launch

New Chromium change makes it easier to uninstall Chrome OS Linux apps

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

The most recent release of Chrome OS added Linux app support, but it’s clear the feature has a long way to go before leaving beta. A new Chromium code change has been discovered that will bring some simplicity and consistency when you want to uninstall Chrome OS Linux apps.

Because of the inclusion of innovative Linux app support in Chrome OS 69, more users have been getting exposed to the wide world of Linux apps, some for the first time. These first time users may not necessarily have a great experience, as Linux can sometimes be a little rough around the edges.

The best example of this is in app installation and removal. Currently, to uninstall Chrome OS Linux apps, you need to use the command line or a separately installed package manager application. Chrome OS’s Linux app support does not come with an instruction manual, and this procedure is not necessarily intuitive.

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat: OpenShift and Awards

  • OpenShift Commons Briefing: OpenShift 3.11 Release Update with Scott McCarty (Red Hat)
    In this briefing, Red Hat’s Scott McCarty and numerous other members of the OpenShift Product Management team gave an in-depth look at Red Hat’s OpenShift’s latest release 3.11 and some insights in to the road ahead.
  • Awards roll call: Red Hat awards, June to October 2018
    Depending on the weather in your region, it’s safe to say that the seasons are changing so it’s a good time to look back at what was a busy few months for Red Hat, especially when it came to industry awards for our technical and product leadership. In recent months, Red Hat products and technologies took home twenty awards, highlighting the breadth and depth of our product portfolio as well as the expertise that we provide to our customers. In addition, Red Hat as a company won five awards recognizing its growth and culture as a leader in the industry.
  • More advice from a judge - what it takes to win a Red Hat Innovation Award
    Last year I penned the below post to provide insight into what the judges of the Red Hat Innovation Awards are looking for when reviewing submissions. Looking back, I would give almost the identical advice again this year...maybe with a few tweaks. With all the stellar nominations that we receive, the question I often get is, “how can we make our entry standout?” There’s no magic formula for winning the Red Hat Innovation Awards, but there are things that the other judges and I look for in the entries. Overall, we’re looking for the project that tells a compelling story. It’s not just about sharing what Red Hat products and services you used, we want to hear the full narrative. What challenges did you face; how you implemented the project; and ultimately, what was the true business impact and transformation that took place? Submissions that are able to showcase how open source culture and values were key to success, or how the project is making a difference in the lives of others, are the entries that most often rise to the top.

today's howtos

OSS Leftovers

  • How to be an effective and professional member of the Samba user and development Community
    For many years we have run these lists dedicated to developing and promoting Samba, without any set of clear guidelines for people to know what to expect when participating.  What do we require? What kind of behavior is encouraged?
  • Blockcerts Updates Open Source Blockchain Architecture
    Learning Machine is making changes to its Blockcerts Credential Issuer, Verifier and Wallet to enable native support for records issuance and verification using any blockchain. Blockcerts was launched by Learning Machine and MIT Media Lab in 2016 as new way to allow students to receive digital diplomas through an app, complementing a traditional paper degree. Blockcerts was originally designed to be blockchain-agnostic, which means that open standards can be used to anchor records in any blockchain. The Blockcerts Universal Identifier recognizes which blockchain is being used and verifies accordingly. Currently, the open source project has added support for bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, but anyone can add support through the project's GitHub page.
  • First full featured open-source Ethereum block explorer BlockScout launched by POA Network
  • Amsterdam-based ING Bank Introduces Open-Source Zero Knowledge Technology
  • ING Bank Launches Open Source Privacy Improvement Add-On for Blockchains
  • Imec tool accelerates DNA sequencing 10x
    As a result, in a typical run, elPrep is up to ten times faster than other software tools using the same resources. It is designed as a seamless replacement that delivers the exact same results as GATK4.0 developed by the Broad Institute. elPrep has been written in the Go programming language and is available through the open-source GNU Affero General Public License v3 (AGPL-3.0).
  • On the low adoption of automated testing in FOSS
    A few times in the recent past I've been in the unfortunate position of using a prominent Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) program or library, and running into issues of such fundamental nature that made me wonder how those issues even made it into a release. In all cases, the answer came quickly when I realized that, invariably, the project involved either didn't have a test suite, or, if it did have one, it was not adequately comprehensive. I am using the term comprehensive in a very practical, non extreme way. I understand that it's often not feasible to test every possible scenario and interaction, but, at the very least, a decent test suite should ensure that under typical circumstances the code delivers all the functionality it promises to. [...] Most FOSS projects, at least those not supported by some commercial entity, don't come with any warranty; it's even stated in the various licenses! The lack of any formal obligations makes it relatively inexpensive, both in terms of time and money, to have the occasional bug in the codebase. This means that there are fewer incentives for the developer to spend extra resources to try to safeguard against bugs. When bugs come up, the developers can decide at their own leisure if and when to fix them and when to release the fixed version. Easy! At first sight, this may seem like a reasonably pragmatic attitude to have. After all, if fixing bugs is so cheap, is it worth spending extra resources trying to prevent them?
  •  
  • Chrome for Linux, Mac, and Windows Now Features Picture-in-Picture by Default
    Chromium evanghelist at Google François Beaufort announced today that Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support is now enabled by defualt in the Google Chrome web browser for Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms. Google's engineers have been working for months to add Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support to the Google Chrome web browser, but the long-anticipated feature is finally here, enabled by default in the latest version for Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The feature lets you detach a video in a floating window so you can watch it while doing something else on your computer.
  • Teaching With an Index Card: the Benefits of Free, Open-Source Tools
  • Decentralized Authentication for Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems
    The GNU Name System (GNS) is a fully decentralized public key infrastructure and name system with private information retrieval semantics. It serves a holistic approach to interact seamlessly with IoT ecosystems and enables people and their smart objects to prove their identity, membership and privileges - compatible with existing technologies. In this report we demonstrate how a wide range of private authentication and identity management scenarios are addressed by GNS in a cost-efficient, usable and secure manner. This simple, secure and privacy-friendly authentication method is a significant breakthrough when cyber peace, privacy and liability are the priorities for the benefit of a wide range of the population. After an introduction to GNS itself, we show how GNS can be used to authenticate servers, replacing the Domain Name System (DNS) and X.509 certificate authorities (CAs) with a more privacy-friendly but equally usable protocol which is trustworthy, human-centric and includes group authentication. We also built a demonstrator to highlight how GNS can be used in medical computing to simplify privacy-sensitive data processing in the Swiss health-care system. Combining GNS with attribute-based encryption, we created ReclaimID, a robust and reliable OpenID Connect-compatible authorization system. It includes simple, secure and privacy-friendly single sign-on to seamlessly share selected attributes with Web services, cloud ecosystems. Further, we demonstrate how ReclaimID can be used to solve the problem of addressing, authentication and data sharing for IoT devices. These applications are just the beginning for GNS; the versatility and extensibility of the protocol will lend itself to an even broader range of use-cases. GNS is an open standard with a complete free software reference implementation created by the GNU project. It can therefore be easily audited, adapted, enhanced, tailored, developed and/or integrated, as anyone is allowed to use the core protocols and implementations free of charge, and to adopt them to their needs under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, a free software license approved by the Free Software Foundation.
  • Make: an open source hardware, Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine
    How To Mechatronics has pulled together detailed instructions and a great video explaining how to make an Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine whose gears can create arbitrary vector images out of precision-bent continuous lengths of wire.
  • RApiDatetime 0.0.4: Updates and Extensions
    The first update in a little while brings us release 0.0.4 of RApiDatetime which got onto CRAN this morning via the lovely automated sequence of submission, pretest-recheck and pretest-publish. RApiDatetime provides seven entry points for C-level functions of the R API for Date and Datetime calculations. The functions asPOSIXlt and asPOSIXct convert between long and compact datetime representation, formatPOSIXlt and Rstrptime convert to and from character strings, and POSIXlt2D and D2POSIXlt convert between Date and POSIXlt datetime. This releases brings asDatePOSIXct as a seventh courtesy of Josh Ulrich. All these functions are all fairly useful, but not one of them was previously exported by R for C-level use by other packages. Which is silly as this is generally extremely carefully written and tested code.
  • 6 JavaScript books you should know
    If there was ever the potential for a giant book list it's one based on our favorite Javascript books. But, this list is short and easy to digest. Maybe it will help you get started, gently. Plus, check out three of our top Javascript articles with even more books, resources, and tips.

Security: Telstra, Google+ and Facebook Incidents, and Latest Updates