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Google

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Firefox Add-on Reviews: YouTube your way—browser extensions put you in charge of your video experience

    YouTube wants you to experience YouTube in very prescribed ways. But with the right browser extension, you’re free to alter YouTube to taste. Change the way the site looks, behaves, and delivers your favorite videos.

    [...]

    Though its primary function is to automatically play all YouTube videos in their highest possible resolution, YouTube High Definition has a few other fine features to offer.

  • Location history: How your location is tracked and how you can limit sharing it

    In real estate, the age old mantra is “location, location, location,” meaning that location drives value. That’s true even when it comes to data collection in the online world, too — your location history is valuable, authentic information. In all likelihood, you’re leaving a breadcrumb trail of location data every day, but there are a few things you can do to clean that up and keep more of your goings-on to yourself.

    [...]

    For some apps, location helps them function better, like navigating with a GPS or following a map. Location history can also be useful for retracing your steps to past places, like finding your way back to that tiny shop in Florence where you picked up beautiful stationery two years ago.

    On the other hand, marketing companies use location data for marketing and advertising purposes. They can also use location to conduct “geomarketing,” which is targeting you with promotions based on where you are. Near a certain restaurant while you’re out doing errands at midday? You might see an ad for it on your phone just as you’re thinking about lunch.

    Location can also be used to grant or deny access to certain content. In some parts of the world, content on the internet is “geo-blocked” or geographically-restricted based on your IP address, which is kind of like a mailing address, associated with your online activity. Geo-blocking can happen due to things like copyright restrictions, limited licensing rights or even government control.

  • An update on Memory Safety in Chrome [LWN.net]

    The Google security blog provides an overview of what is being done to address memory-safety problems in the Chrome browser.

  • Chrome 94 Released for Android, macOS, Windows, Linux: What's New | Technology News

    Chrome 94 stable update has been released by Google for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The update will be rolled out over the coming weeks and it brings new security features, new functionality, and bug fixes. Google Chrome 94 stable is the first version of Chrome of the new four-week release cycle. Previously, Chrome update was released every six weeks. Its features include HTTPS-First mode that makes users browsing more secure. Also, Google said that 19 different security issues were fixed in the Chrome 94 version.

    The update for Google Chrome was announced through a blog post on September 21. Chrome 94 introduces HTTPS-First mode. It is available in Chrome for desktop systems and for Android. HTTPS is a more secure version of HTTP and many websites support it. With the latest update, the browser will also show a full-page warning when the user loads a site that doesn't support HTTPS. This ensures privacy when using public Wi-Fi. Google says this was previously planned for Chrome 92.

  • Google emits Chrome 94 with 'Idle Detection' API to detect user inactivity amid opposition

    Google has released Chrome 94 for desktop and Android, complete with an "Idle Detection" API to detect user inactivity, despite privacy concerns expressed by Mozilla and Apple.

    New and changed features in Chrome 94 are listed here and include the removal of the AppCache feature, described as a "security and stability liability", and something which has "imposed a tax on all of Chrome's significant architectural efforts."

    There is also a new VirtualKeyboard API with more control over its shape and an event fired when it covers page content; more efficient low-level access to media encoders and decoders; and a new JavaScript Self Profiling API which enables developers to collect JavaScript performance profiles from end users.

Chrome, Flow, and Chromium

Filed under
Google
Web
  • 25 Best Chrome Flags You Should Enable To Optimize Your Browsing

    Google Chrome has become the most popular web browser because of its simplicity and speed. Besides, it has lots of excellent features, including some hidden features that boost your browsing experience. Chrome flags are the hidden feature tools that tweak your Chrome UI and performance by changing Chrome settings. This is basically an experimental feature tested on Chrome OS, but it is available in the trial. If you want to learn more techniques about boosting your browsing experience, you need to follow our complete guidelines to enable a flag.

    However, no flag ensures stable performance. Moreover, finding bugs is a widespread occurrence in a flag. Besides, it would be best if you considered that flags are not tested on online security. So it takes a little bit of risk of using a flag. If you want to experience the cutting edge of Chrome by taking small risks, let’s talk with the 25 best Chrome flags.

  • Crank up the volume on that Pixies album: Time to exercise your Raspberry Pi with an... alternative browser

    While browser-makers squabble over standards, privacy and exactly what their User-Agent string should say, Ekioh's clean-room browser, Flow, has continued to quietly advance.

    The Register last looked at Flow over Christmas 2020 and we came away impressed with the work in progress, not least its speed and the lack of data slurpage. There were, however, problems, one of which was that Google's web applications were not entirely happy.

    In a lengthy blog post Ekioh's CEO, Piers Wombwell, explained the hoops that need to be jumped through in order to persuade Google Docs to run acceptably. While a canvas-based approach is inbound, getting the current incarnation up and running necessitated some head-scratching from the Flow team and demanded fixes. Sure – Google Docs seemed to load OK, although there was no word-wrap. But could you type into it? Nope.

  • Another attempt to compile Chromium [Ed: Web browsers have become overly bloated crap that takes away freedom, even when some code is available and liberally licensed]

    Over the years, I have made a few attempts to compile Chromium. One of those, in 2019, I posted about it:

    https://bkhome.org/news/201910/attempted-to-compile-chromium.html

    Yesterday, thought would try again. Tried and tried to download the source from the Chromium project on github, but it kept failing. The download is huge, over 1GB, and when it failed, when unable to continue, a restart from the beginning is required. This is the case when using gn "fetch --nohooks --no-history chromium" or when using wget -- in both cases, cannot continue from the point of failure.

    My contract with Vodafone is 40GB per month (on my phone), a fixed price with unlimited downloads -- but it drops to a considerably slower speed when exceed 40GB. So don't want to have too many 1GB download failures.

    So I downloaded the source from the Arch Linux repo, which was a 991MB tarball, no problem downloading. Version 93.0.4577.82.

Mozilla and Chrome Issues

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • The Talospace Project: Firefox 92 on POWER

    Firefox 92 is out. Alongside some solid DOM and CSS improvements, the most interesting bug fix I noticed was a patch for open alerts slowing down other tabs in the same process. In the absence of a JIT we rely heavily on Firefox's multiprocessor capabilities to make the most of our multicore beasts, and this apparently benefits (among others, but in particular) the Google sites we unfortunately have to use in these less-free times. I should note for the record that on this dual-8 Talos II (64 hardware threads) I have dom.ipc.processCount modestly increased to 12 from the default of 8 to take a little more advantage of the system when idle, which also takes down fewer tabs in the rare cases when a content process bombs out. The delay in posting this was waiting for the firefox-appmenu patches, but I decided to just build it now and add those in later. The .mozconfigs and LTO-PGO patches are unchanged from Firefox 90/91.

  • Mozilla bypasses Microsoft, makes it easier to set Firefox as default browser in Windows

    Changing the default apps such as browsers in Microsoft Windows 10 is not a straightforward process. While this means that users have to jump through extra hoops to set up, let's say, Mozilla Firefox as their default browser, it also means that vendors such as Mozilla face more competition from Microsoft's own offering, which is Edge. The bad news is that in Windows 11, this is becoming even more cumbersome for end-users and vendors as the OS requires users to change the default browser for each type of extension individually.

  • Firefox 94 will change the output for X11 to use EGL by default

    A nightly builds build that will on the Firefox 94 release to added to the change has been include a new rendering backend by default for graphical environments that use the X11 protocol. The new backend is notable for the use of the interface for displaying graphics EGL instead of GLX. The backend supports the open source Mesa 21.x OpenGL drivers and the proprietary NVIDIA 470.x drivers. AMD proprietary OpenGL drivers are not yet supported.

    "A nightly builds build that will on the #Firefox 94 release to added to the change has been include a new rendering backend by default for graphical environments that use the X11 protocol." https://www.itsfoss.net/firefox-94-will-change-the-output-for-x11-to-use-egl-by-default/

  • Chrome update 93.0.4577.82 fixing 0-day vulnerabilities

    Google has formed a Chrome 93.0.4577.82 update, which fixes 11 vulnerabilities, including two issues already used by hackers exploits (0-day). The details have not yet been disclosed, it is only known that the first vulnerability (CVE-2021-30632) is caused by an error leading to an out-of-buffer write in the V8 JavaScript engine, and the second problem (CVE-2021-30633) is present in the Indexed DB API implementation and is connected with access to the memory area after its release (use-after-free).

  • Google Releases Security Updates for Chrome

    Google has released Chrome version 93.0.4577.82 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This version addresses vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit to take control of an affected system.

Release of Chrome 93

Filed under
Google
Web
  • Stable Channel Update for Desktop

    The Chrome team is delighted to announce the promotion of Chrome 93 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux. This will roll out over the coming days/weeks.

    Chrome 93.0.4577.63 contains a number of fixes and improvements -- a list of changes is available in the log. Watch out for upcoming Chrome and Chromium blog posts about new features and big efforts delivered in 93.

  • Google rolling out Chrome 93 on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS - 9to5Google

    Following version 92’s release on Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux, the next release of Google’s browser is rolling out. Chrome 93 is here today as a smaller update.

  • Chrome 93 Released With WebOTP Cross-Device Support, CSS Module Scripts - Phoronix

    Google is shipping Chrome 93 today as the latest stable version of their web browser.

    Chrome 93 brings WebOTP API cross-device support to the desktop where if connected via the same Google Account across devices can seamlessly handle one-time pass-codes sent to your mobile device. Chrome 93 on the developer front also exposes the Multi-Screen Window Placement API. This new API makes it easier to manage several displays and can be used for use-cases like presentations where one display may be showing a slide deck while another display is showing the speaker notes, managing multiple windows for tool panes like for image and video editors, or virtual trading desks with showing multiple related windows. With Chrome 93 this new Multi-Screen window Placement API is exposed as an origin trial.

Running benchmarks with Vulkan in Crostini (Linux for Chrome OS) yields surprising results

Filed under
GNU
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Google

We recently cracked the case of how to get Vulkan graphics acceleration working in Crostini. I’ve got a full guide on how to do this yourself coming up as my next article so stay tuned for that if you’d like to be able to tinker with this a bit yourself! With the power of Vulkan, we wanted to see how well this all performs inside and outside of a the virtualized Crostini environment. Spoiler alert: the first results aren’t great.

Let me first start with a disclaimer. There’s a reason Vulkan isn’t enabled for the masses: it’s not ready yet. We’re seeing a large performance drop comparing a game running in and outside of Crostini. This new graphics pass-through driver, code-named Venus, was only merged upstream a few months ago and is truly revolutionary. There could be lots of patches behind closed doors at Google that we don’t know about. We only have what is publicly available to us.

Read more

Google Work on Graphics/GPUs

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Google
Web
  • Chrome 94 Beta Released With WebCodecs API Promoted, WebGPU Origin Trial

    Google promoted Chrome 94 to beta status today with some exciting changes.

    First up, Chrome 94 Beta marks the completion of the WebCodecs API under its origin trial and thus now officially available. WebCodecs is the low-level codec API around audio/video encoding and decoding along with raw video frame handling and more. WebCodecs API handling is intended to be more efficient than JavaScript or WebAssembly codec implementations.

  • Google Working On Making VirtIO-GPU More Extensible

    Google Chrome OS engineers are working on making Linux's VirtIO-GPU driver more extensible. The VirtIO-GPU driver has been modeled around the Virgl protocol for handling 3D within guest virtual machines but with a new context type addition they aim to support additional protocols.

    With the proposed "context type" addition to VirtIO-GPU, multiple different protocols could be supported for allowing GPU communication between the guest VM and the host. Virgl could still be supported alongside other protocols like GFXSTREAM rendering commands for OpenGL or Vulkan and more rather than artificially limiting VirtIO-GPU to the Virgl use-case.

GNOME and Debian GSoC Reports

Filed under
Google
GNOME
Debian
  • GSoC 2021 Final Report – Abanoub's Blog

    I have been working on tracker project for the past 10 weeks to improve its support for custom ontologies. It has been a great journey and I gained great software engineering experience by exploring the project and its architecture. Also, the project mentors helped me a lot during the project. In this article I’m going to summarize the work done in the project and the future work.

  • GSoC 2021: Overview – Ivan Molodetskikh's Blog

    Over the summer I worked on implementing the new screenshot UI for GNOME Shell as part of Google Summer of Code 2021. This post is an overview of the work I did and work still left to do.

    The project was about adding a dedicated UI to GNOME Shell for taking screenshots and recording screencasts. The idea was to unify related functionality in a discoverable and easy to use interface, while also improving on several aspects of existing screenshot and screencast tools.

  • GSoC: Second Phase of Coding Period

    So here we are near the end of GSoC 2021 and with that, I am sharing details of the work I completed in the second phase of the coding period.

Ackee: The Google Analytics Open-source alternative for 2021

Filed under
Google
Web

Ackee is a free real-time web analytics tool built on top of Node.js and MongoDB. It comes with a fancy simple user-interface which summarize all insights in a clear organized dashboard.

While there are a dozen of open-source free website analytics solutions, Ackee is built upon modern technologies and offers a real-time tracking for multiple domain and website at the same time.

Read more

Mike Gabriel: Chromium Policies Managed under Linux

Filed under
Google
Web
Legal

For a customer project, I recently needed to take a closer look at best strategies of deploying Chromium settings onto thrillions of client machines in a corporate network.

Unfortunately, the information on how to deploy site-wide Chromium browser policies are a little scattered over the internet and the intertwining of Chromium preferences and Chromium policies required deeper introspection.

Here, I'd like to provide the result of that research, namely a list of references that has been studied before setting up Chromium policies for the customer's proof-of-concept.

Read more

Download Google Fonts Quickly with this Neat GTK App

Filed under
Google
GNOME

Looking for an easy way to search and download fonts from Google Fonts on your Ubuntu desktop?

Try Font Downloader, a perfectly formed GTK front-end for the Google Fonts repository. The app makes it easy to browse, search, and filter (e.g., monospace, handwritten, etc) from the 1,075 free and open source fonts available on Google Fonts.

When you touch upon some typography you like the look of, Font Downloader makes it easy to test the font within the app (perfect to check it has the character coverage you need) as well download the font (to a folder of your choice) or install it on your system in ‘one-click’.

“One day I was bored of my terminal font and wanted to switch, unfortunately going through the entire process of searching Google Fonts for a font, then downloading, then copying and pasting it into my .fonts folder to only then test a font was a pain. So I decided to create this app,” the developer, Gustavo Peredo, explains on the GitHub page.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover protocol found leaking hundreds of thousands of credentials

A flaw in Microsoft's Autodiscover protocol, used to configure Exchange clients like Outlook, can cause user credentials to leak to miscreants in certain circumstances. The upshot is that your Exchange-connected email client may give away your username and password to a stranger, if the flaw is successfully exploited. In a report scheduled to be published on Wednesday, security firm Guardicore said it has identified a design blunder that leaks web requests to Autodiscover domains that are outside the user's domain but within the same top-level domain (TLD). Exchange's Autodiscover protocol, specifically the version based on POX XML, provides a way for client applications to obtain the configuration data necessary to communicate with the Exchange server. It gets invoked, for example, when adding a new Exchange account to Outlook. After a user supplies a name, email address, and password, Outlook tries to use Autodiscover to set up the client. Read more

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome

  • Firefox Add-on Reviews: YouTube your way—browser extensions put you in charge of your video experience

    YouTube wants you to experience YouTube in very prescribed ways. But with the right browser extension, you’re free to alter YouTube to taste. Change the way the site looks, behaves, and delivers your favorite videos. [...] Though its primary function is to automatically play all YouTube videos in their highest possible resolution, YouTube High Definition has a few other fine features to offer.

  • Location history: How your location is tracked and how you can limit sharing it

    In real estate, the age old mantra is “location, location, location,” meaning that location drives value. That’s true even when it comes to data collection in the online world, too — your location history is valuable, authentic information. In all likelihood, you’re leaving a breadcrumb trail of location data every day, but there are a few things you can do to clean that up and keep more of your goings-on to yourself. [...] For some apps, location helps them function better, like navigating with a GPS or following a map. Location history can also be useful for retracing your steps to past places, like finding your way back to that tiny shop in Florence where you picked up beautiful stationery two years ago. On the other hand, marketing companies use location data for marketing and advertising purposes. They can also use location to conduct “geomarketing,” which is targeting you with promotions based on where you are. Near a certain restaurant while you’re out doing errands at midday? You might see an ad for it on your phone just as you’re thinking about lunch. Location can also be used to grant or deny access to certain content. In some parts of the world, content on the internet is “geo-blocked” or geographically-restricted based on your IP address, which is kind of like a mailing address, associated with your online activity. Geo-blocking can happen due to things like copyright restrictions, limited licensing rights or even government control.

  • An update on Memory Safety in Chrome [LWN.net]

    The Google security blog provides an overview of what is being done to address memory-safety problems in the Chrome browser.

  • Chrome 94 Released for Android, macOS, Windows, Linux: What's New | Technology News

    Chrome 94 stable update has been released by Google for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The update will be rolled out over the coming weeks and it brings new security features, new functionality, and bug fixes. Google Chrome 94 stable is the first version of Chrome of the new four-week release cycle. Previously, Chrome update was released every six weeks. Its features include HTTPS-First mode that makes users browsing more secure. Also, Google said that 19 different security issues were fixed in the Chrome 94 version. The update for Google Chrome was announced through a blog post on September 21. Chrome 94 introduces HTTPS-First mode. It is available in Chrome for desktop systems and for Android. HTTPS is a more secure version of HTTP and many websites support it. With the latest update, the browser will also show a full-page warning when the user loads a site that doesn't support HTTPS. This ensures privacy when using public Wi-Fi. Google says this was previously planned for Chrome 92.

  • Google emits Chrome 94 with 'Idle Detection' API to detect user inactivity amid opposition

    Google has released Chrome 94 for desktop and Android, complete with an "Idle Detection" API to detect user inactivity, despite privacy concerns expressed by Mozilla and Apple. New and changed features in Chrome 94 are listed here and include the removal of the AppCache feature, described as a "security and stability liability", and something which has "imposed a tax on all of Chrome's significant architectural efforts." There is also a new VirtualKeyboard API with more control over its shape and an event fired when it covers page content; more efficient low-level access to media encoders and decoders; and a new JavaScript Self Profiling API which enables developers to collect JavaScript performance profiles from end users.

Kernel: Google, Xen, and Mesa

  • Google Finally Shifting To "Upstream First" Linux Kernel Approach For Android Features

    Google's Android had been notorious for all of its downstream patches carried by the mobile operating system as well as various vendor/device kernel trees while in recent years more of that code has been upstreamed. Google has also been shifting to the Android Generic Kernel Image (GKI) as the basis for all their product kernels to further reduce the fragmentation. Looking ahead, Google is now talking of an "upstream first" approach for pushing new kernel features. Google's Todd Kjos talked today during Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC2021) around their Generic Kernel Image initiative. With Android 12 and their Linux 5.10 based GKI image they have further cut down the fragmentation to the extent that it's "nearly eliminated". With the Android 12 GKI, most of the vendor/OEM kernel features have now either been upstreamed into the Linux kernel, isolated to vendor modules/hooks, or merged into the Android Common Kernel.

  • Google Finally Shifting To 'Upstream First' Linux Kernel Approach For Android Feature
  • Clang-format for Xen Coding Style Checking Scheduled - Xen Project

    At the moment there is no tool that would allow to format patches in Xen. The idea of Xen-checker is to use the clang-format approach as a base for Xen ‘checkpatch’ process. The new tool consists of modified .clang-format configuration file to automate Xen patches format checking and reformatting. The tool can be used as a pre-commit hook to check and format every patch automatically. Some features are missing in the clang configurator, so new clang-format options have been proposed for more flexible code formatting. Also, the purpose of the topic is to start the discussion about the existing rules for Xen code formatting to eliminate possible inaccuracies in the work of the Xen checker. This will make it easier to adhere to the unanimous decision.

  • Mesa Merge Pending For Vulkan Ray-Tracing On Older AMD GPUs - Phoronix

    Merged yesterday for Mesa 21.3 was open-source Vulkan ray-tracing for AMD RDNA2 / RX 6000 series GPUs with the RADV driver. Opened today now is a merge request that would provide Vulkan ray-tracing with RADV to pre-RDNA2 GPUs on this driver going back to the likes of Polaris, granted the performance is another story. Joshua Ashton known for his work on DXVK and other Direct3D-on-Vulkan efforts for Valve has opened the merge request to enable RADV Vulkan ray-tracing for older generations of AMD GPUs.

Astro Pi Mk II, the New Raspberry Pi Hardware Headed to the Space Station

While Izzy and Ed are still going strong, the ESA has decided it’s about time these veteran Raspberries finally get the retirement they’re due. Set to make the journey to the ISS in December aboard a SpaceX Cargo Dragon, the new Astro Pi MK II hardware looks quite similar to the original 2015 version at first glance. But a peek inside its 6063-grade aluminium flight case reveals plenty of new and improved gear, including a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 8 GB RAM. The beefier hardware will no doubt be appreciated by students looking to push the envelope. While the majority of Python programs submitted to the Astro Pi program did little more than poll the current reading from the unit’s temperature or humidity sensors and scroll messages for the astronauts on the Astro Pi’s LED matrix, some of the more advanced projects were aimed at performing legitimate space research. From using the onboard camera to image the Earth and make weather predictions to attempting to map the planet’s magnetic field, code submitted from teams of older students will certainly benefit from the improved computational performance and expanded RAM of the newest Pi. As with the original Astro Pi, the ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have shared plenty of technical details about these space-rated Linux boxes. After all, students are expected to develop and test their code on essentially the same hardware down here on Earth before it gets beamed up to the orbiting computers. So let’s take a quick look at the new hardware inside Astro Pi MK II, and what sort of research it should enable for students in 2022 and beyond. Read more