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Chromebox and Chrome 'Hacks'

Filed under
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

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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

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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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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.

Steam GNU/Linux Usage Doubles This Year, Google Still Snubs Linux Drivers

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Gaming
  • Steam Linux Usage For September Revised Slightly Higher

    The initial Steam Linux market-share figures for September showed a rise in Linux gamers which isn't too surprising given the recent roll-out of Steam Play / Proton. It turns out those figures are even higher than originally reported.

    The original Steam survey figures for September 2019 put the Linux gaming market-share at 0.71%, or a 0.12% increase compared to the month prior. That has now been revised to 0.78%.

  • Google Has ‘No Plans’ to Enable Chrome Hardware Acceleration on Linux

    Google says it has no plans to enable Chrome hardware acceleration on Linux — not even as an experimental option.

    The news is certain to be greeted with groans by those who struggle to stream HD YouTube videos and other rich media content smoothly in Chrome on Linux.

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More in Tux Machines

Five-Way Linux OS Comparison On Amazon's ARM Graviton CPU

Last month Amazon rolled out their "Graviton" ARM processors in the Elastic Compute Cloud. Those first-generation Graviton ARMv8 processors are based on the ARM Cortex-A72 cores and designed to offer better pricing than traditional x86_64 EC2 instances. However, our initial testing of the Amazon Graviton EC2 "A1" instances didn't reveal significant performance-per-dollar benefits for these new instances. In this second round of Graviton CPU benchmarking we are seeing what is the fastest of five of the leading ARM Linux distributions. An Amazon EC2 a1.4xlarge instance with 16 cores / 32GB RAM was used for this round of benchmarking across the five most common ARM Linux distributions that were available at the time of testing on the Elastic Compute Cloud. The tests included: Amazon Linux 2 - The reference Amazon Linux machine image with the Linux 4.14 kernel and GCC 7.3. Read more

Take a swim at your Linux terminal with asciiquarium

We're now nearing the end of our 24-day-long Linux command-line toys advent calendar. Just one week left after today! If this is your first visit to the series, you might be asking yourself what a command-line toy even is. We’re figuring that out as we go, but generally, it could be a game, or any simple diversion that helps you have fun at the terminal. Read more

Photography and Linux

So, as you can see, except for the printing step, pretty much the whole workflow is handled very easily by Linux and open-source photography software. Could I have done the whole thing in Linux? Yes and no. Depending on your printing needs, you could forego the printer entirely and use a local professional printing service. Many of those shops use the ROES system for the uploading and management of images to be printed. The ROES client is written in Java and is compatible with Linux. If you invest in a large format printer, you may have to investigate using a solution similar to what I have set up. Open-source software RIPs exist, but they have not been updated for more than a decade. Some commercial Linux solutions are available, but they are prohibitively expensive. Read more

Linux 3.18.130

I'm announcing the release of the 3.18.130 kernel. All users of the 3.18 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 3.18.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-3.18.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... Read more