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Google

Browsers That Spy

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Firefox Advance Uses Your Browser History to Recommend Web Content

    If you’re short on things to read — seriously? — be sure to check out the latest experiment in the Firefox Test Pilot program.

    It’s called Advance and it aims to ‘advance’ you past the site you’re currently gawping at and on to the next. How? By giving you a list of articles and web pages based on your browsing history, of course.

    Don’t scream. Honestly. This feature is not part of the default browser (not yet, anyway). You have to explicitly choose to enable it.

    [...]

    Now, before anyone screams “I already use this! It’s called Google Chrome!” let me stress that this is an entirely optional, opt-in feature for Firefox. You have to go out of your way to install it. It is not part of the default install. If you don’t want it, you don’t have to use it.

    You remain in control when Advance is running. You can, at any point, see what browser history Laserlike has processed and — GDPR box check — request the deletion of that information.

    Advance by Firefox limits its remit to your search history, specifically web page addresses. It doesn’t monitor what you write/say/do when using a website, or the specific content that’s on it.

  • Dev Channel Update for Desktop

    The dev channel has been updated to 70.0.3514.0 for Windows & Linux, and 70.0.3514.2 for Mac.  

  • Chrome 70 Dev Release With Shape Detection API

    While Chrome 69 was released last week, today Google has shipped their latest "dev" release of Chrome 70 for interested testers.

    New Chrome 70 dev channel releases are available today for Linux, macOS, and Windows. Key features for Chrome 70 is the introduction of the Shape Detection API, disabling some touch event APIs by default on desktop hardware, CSS Grid Layout behavior updates, WebUSB support within dedicated worker contexts, several security enhancements, and various other minor updates.

Sharing open source alternatives to Google's online tools

Filed under
Google
OSS

In an earlier article, the crew from French non-profit Framasoft discussed their mission to help people slip the bonds of internet giants and take control of their own data. While promoting free and open source software is at the core of Framasoft's mission, the group is also dedicated to educating people about both free software and free culture. What's refreshing is that the group's approach isn't steeped in ideology. Instead, they're more concerned with helping people take back their privacy and digital freedom.

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Can You Get By with a Chromebook in College?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

When heading off to college, finding the right laptop for your money is a challenge—you don’t want to spend more than you have to, but not having enough laptop is arguably worse. That’s what makes Chromebooks so appealing.

Chromebooks have a relatively low entry point for everything they offer. Since the operating system is so lightweight, even modest hardware can keep everything running nice and snappy. Where a Windows laptop for a similar price can get bogged down quickly, a Chromebook will often remain zippy even during heavier use.

Given the low price point and very usable performance, Chromebooks are often looked at by college students—but it may not be that straightforward. There are several things to think about before jumping right into a Chromebook to make sure it’s the right choice for you.

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Debian Linux Package Support Hits Chrome OS Canary, Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android
Google
Debian
  • Debian Linux Package Support Hits Chrome OS Canary

    Google’s Chrome OS can now install and run Debian Linux packages with the .deb extension, at least in the Canary channel. This happens by simply double-clicking the file in your file browser. From there, the automated installer takes over. Once a Linux application is installed, it will be available in your terminal, invoked in the same way as a Chrome OS app, and some apps may show up in your Chrome OS launcher, depending on the metadata present in them and whether they support such operations. Most Linux apps that have a graphical user interface fall into this category, though there are many command line utilities out there for Linux users to enjoy. Both are now available to Chrome OS users. You still cannot replace default Chrome OS utilities, so don’t expect to run an i3 desktop with a brand new ALSA media handler unless you’re willing to gut your Chromebook entirely and install Linux.

  • Debian Linux Packages Now Working In Chrome OS Developer Channel

    A recent update to the experimental Canary Channel of Chrome OS brought about the ability to install Debian packages with a simple double-click. The only prerequisite being you are on a Chromebook or Chromebox that has support for the Crostini Project.

    Now, thanks to our Brother in Chrome Kevin Tofel, we’ve learned this ability has already found its way into the Developer channel of Chrome OS. Again, there are some requirements but if your device supports the Crostini Linux project, you can have this feature up and running with just a few, simple steps.

  • Android Q Name Predictions: What’s Next “Dessert” For Android 10?

    Now that Google has officially released Android Pie marking August 6th as the new “Pie” day, we are wondering what will Google call its next Android version: Android Q. In the past, we’ve also prepared a list of Android P names.

  • 6 Best Song Finder Apps For Android To Identify Songs By Tune
  • Google introduces Android 9 Pie

Kernel: Linux 4.18, New Flaw and Potential Back Door (Google/NSA)

Filed under
Linux
Google
Security
  • The Best Features Of The Linux 4.18 Kernel

    Following a one week delay, the Linux 4.18 kernel is set to be released this coming weekend. In case you forgot about the new features and improvements since the Linux 4.18 cycle kicked off back in June, here's a look back at some of the most prominent additions for this latest kernel version.

  • Linux kernel bug: TCP flaw lets remote attackers stall devices with tiny DoS attack

    Security researchers are warning Linux system users of a bug in the Linux kernel version 4.9 and up that could be used to hit systems with a denial-of-service attack on networking kit.

    The warning comes from Carnegie Mellon University's CERT/CC, which notes that newer versions of the Linux kernel can be "forced to make very expensive calls to tcp_collapse_ofo_queue() and tcp_prune_ofo_queue() for every incoming packet which can lead to a denial of service (DoS)".

  • Speck Crypto Code Called For Removal From The Linux Kernel

    Now that Google will not be using the Speck crypto code for disk encryption on low-end Android devices but instead developing "HPolyC" as outlined in the aforelinked article, a plea has already been submitted to remove the current Speck code from the mainline Linux kernel.

    Following yesterday's mailing list announcement that Google has changed its mind on using Speck and instead investing in a new option, Linux developer Jason Donenfeld took the liberty of issuing a "request for comments" on removing the Speck crypto code. Donenfeld is the developer that's been working on WireGuard and the new Zinc crypto library.

Android 9 Pie

Filed under
Google
  • Android 9 Pie

    Android 9 harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to give you more from your phone. Now it's smarter, faster and adapts as you use it.

  • Google finalizes Android P as Android 9 “Pie,” launching today

    Android Pie is a major update for Android. Large chunks of the OS get a UI makeover in line with Google's updated Material Design guidelines. There is an all-new notification panel, a reworked recent-apps screen, new settings, and tons of system UI changes. There's support for devices with notched displays (like the iPhone X) and a gesture navigation system (also like the iPhone X). So far, battery life on the preview builds has been great, with improvements like the AI-powered adaptive battery system, a new auto-brightness algorithm, and changes to CPU background processing.

  • Android 9 Pie Is Finally Released: Get It Now

    At last, the wait is over! Google has finally started shipping the stable version of Android 9.0 for smartphones. Fans who placed their money on Popsicle, Popcorn, Pistachio, sad news for you guys — the new Android P is now “Android Pie.”

Raspberry Pi now officially supports Google's TensorFlow software

Filed under
Linux
Google

Since its launch in 2015, the software firm has had a goal to be "an open source machine learning framework for everyone". But to do that, it has needed to run on as many of the platforms that people are using as possible.

"We've long supported Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android, but despite the heroic efforts of many contributors, running TensorFlow on a Raspberry Pi has involved a lot of work," the company's software engineer, Pete Warden, said in a blog post on Medium.

However, thanks to a recent collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, it announced that the latest 1.9 release of TensorFlow can be installed from pre-built binaries using Python's pip package system.

Read more

How Google decides to open source its technology

Filed under
Google
OSS

Google has a solid reputation as an engineering organisation with an open source culture, with Googlers contributing a huge amount of code back to the community and projects like TensorFlow and Kubernetes making a mainstream impact.

Speaking to the press during the Google Cloud Next event in San Francisco last week, Sarah Novotny, head of open source strategy at Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Melody Meckfessel, VP of engineering for GCP, spoke candidly about how the company decides to open source its technology and building an open culture.

"Google has a long history of engaging in open source communities," Novotny started out by saying. "We've had an open source programs office for more than 12 years and have worked with several other large companies to come into this space in a way that protects both the company and the projects and the culture of the projects."

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Chromebook Marketing Badmouths Windows, MacOS

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft
Mac

Linux Apps may come to Chromebooks in Stable Channel In Version 69

Filed under
Linux
Google

We were originally hoping that Chrome OS version 68 would get Linux App support, but that wasn’t the case. Now, Chrome 69 is said to be released for the 4th September this year. (Not too long left to go) and the update has a strong chance to hit Google’s very own Chromebook first instead of the other Chromebook. This information is gleaned from several commits that suggest a review of the Crostini project will now finalise.

Without the upcoming update, Linux app support is already available on a fair amount of Chrome OS laptops that are running the Dev Channel version of the Chrome OS. The fair amount of Chrome OS laptops, which includes Google’s own Pixelbook and HP’s Chromebook x2, can potentially run Linux Apps. But, as many of these laptops are not high specification machines, they might (will) struggle to adequately run Linux Apps.

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Snake your way across your Linux terminal

Welcome back to the Linux command-line toys advent calendar. If this is your first visit to the series, you might be asking yourself what a command-line toy even is. It's hard to say exactly, but my definition is anything that helps you have fun at the terminal. We've been on a roll with games over the weekend, and it was fun, so let's look at one more game today, Snake! Snake is an oldie but goodie; versions of it have been around seemingly forever. The first version I remember playing was one called Nibbles that came packaged with QBasic in the 1990s, and was probably pretty important to my understanding of what a programming language even was. Here I had the source code to a game that I could modify and just see what happens, and maybe learn something about what all of those funny little words that made up a programming language were all about. Read more

Growing Your Small Business With An Affordable OS

Your small business needs to grow, there's no doubt about that. Expansion is the name of the game when you have a one or two man company, and you're going to want to bring on at least 20 or more people to really get the cogs grinding. And if you're working on a digital interface, slowly phasing pen and paper out of the office you operate in, you're going to need plenty of people around to oil the engine and keep the tech in a usable state. Because of this, technology helps your small business grow, and can do quite a few wonders for the time and effort you invested into it. Even if you're working on a minimal budget, there's quite a few option to look into to make sure you've got just as much of a chance as the shop next door to you that seems to have a never ending stream of customers. After all, you've got to get your internal processes working perfectly first, and with a bit of technological aid, you might manage that faster than you first thought. Read more

Security: Polkit, CSP, Ansible and Router Hardening Checklist

  • Polkit CVE-2018-19788 vs. SELinux
  • Why is your site not using Content Security Policy / CSP?
    Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching on Frikanalen the OWASP talk by Scott Helme titled "What We’ve Learned From Billions of Security Reports". I had not heard of the Content Security Policy standard nor its ability to "call home" when a browser detect a policy breach (I do not follow web page design development much these days), and found the talk very illuminating. The mechanism allow a web site owner to use HTTP headers to tell visitors web browser which sources (internal and external) are allowed to be used on the web site. Thus it become possible to enforce a "only local content" policy despite web designers urge to fetch programs from random sites on the Internet, like the one enabling the attack reported by Scott Helme earlier this year.
  • Red Hat Ansible Playbooks Password Exposure Vulnerability [CVE-2018-16859]
    CVE-2018-16859. A vulnerability in Red Hat Ansible could allow a local attacker to discover plaintext passwords on a targeted system.
  • Router Hardening Checklist