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New Zealand chooses Google Chromebooks over Microsoft Windows 10 for education

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft

While many people use Windows 10 every day, I sometimes wonder how many actually enjoy doing so. Look, Microsoft's operating system is very popular, but that could be largely out of habit. The interface is very inconsistent, and with aggressive telemetry, it can feel like you are being spied on too. Computers running Microsoft's OS are prone to malware, and even worse, users could find their important files deleted! Hell, even the Surface hardware feels uninspired these days. Once people start looking at alternatives, such as the excellent Linux-based Chromebooks, they may wonder why they need Windows 10 at all.

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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'

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

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.

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

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More in Tux Machines

From Trusty to Bionic - my Ultrabook story

I am happy with how the upgrade went, given that I've actually bumped the system two major releases. Apart from small issues, there was nothing cardinal in the move. No data loss, no complications, no crashes. All my stuff remains intact, and so does Windows 8, living happily together and sharing the disk with Ubuntu. Mission accomplished. But we ain't done. I need to make the system as usable as possible. Which means Unity testing - and Plasma testing, of course, duh! Indeed, this remains a productivity box, and as such, it must fulfill some very stringent requirements. It must be stable, fast and elegant. It must work with me every step of the way, and it must allow me to transparently and seamlessly use various programs that I need. On this particular machine, that would be video editing with Kdenlive, that would be image processing with GIMP, the use of encryption and VPN tools, tons of writing on the superbly ergonomic Asus keyboard. But all that and more - coming soon. For now, thank you Trusty for five sweet, loyal years. May you ReST in ethernet peace. Read more

Software: Avidemux, Cockpit and NVMe VFIO in Linux

  • Avidemux 2.7.3 Released with Various Decoder Fixes (Ubuntu PPA)
    Avidemux video editor released a new bug-fix version just 11 days after the last, with decoder fixes and misc small improvements
  • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 190
    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 190.
  • NVMe VFIO Mediated Device Support Being Hacked On For Lower Latency Storage In VMs
    Maxim Levitsky of Red Hat sent out a "request for comments" patch series this week introducing NVMe VFIO media storage device support for the Linux kernel. Levitsky is pursuing faster virtualization of storage while striving for low latency and that led to the creation of a VFIO-based mediated device driver to pass an NVMe partition or namespace to a guest. This NVMe VFIO mediated device support would allow virtualized guests to run their unmodified/standard NVMe device drivers, including the Windows drivers, while still allowing the NVMe device to be shared between the host and guest.

Fedora: Parental Controls, FPgM, Ambassadors/Translation Sprint, Modularity Test Day and Delays

  • Allan Day: Parental Controls and Metered Data Hackfest
    This week I participated in the Parental Controls and Metered Data Hackfest, which was held at Red Hat’s London office. Parental controls and metered data already exist in Endless and/or elementary OS in some shape or form. The goal of the hackfest was to plan how to upstream the features to GNOME. It’s great to see this kind of activity from downstreams so I was very happy to contribute in my capacity as an upstream UX designer. There have been a fair few blog posts about the event already, so I’m going to try and avoid repeating what’s already been written…
  • FPgM report: 2019-12
    Fedora 30 Beta is No-Go. Another Go/No-Go meeting will be held on Thursday. I’ve set up weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. The Fedora 30 Beta Go/No-Go and Release Readiness meetings are next week.
  • Not posting here means not there is nothing done
    I looking with fears to this strange ideas Mindshare has for the future of the Ambassadors. You can not write reports if you not have an event, so I telling here now how hard it is in this country to organize an event. Since October 2018 I search for a place which would host the next Translation Sprint. We have tons of co-working spaces or NGO’s which have space available. But is always the same I asked e.g. Open Institute, answer we can host you just on Saturday. And I had actually to write there several times and even make calls because I got no answer for the first contact. The same on The Desk, we can host you only on Saturday. This makes no sense in Cambodia, it is a regular working day, because they have 28 holidays. So most people have to work until 2pm. What sucked on this one, I was working on it since end of January. So first meeting was setup for 11th March, I went there but nobbody there to meet me. This is normal cambodian working style I dont tell I am busy and cant meet you and give you an alternative time. Well the promised mail with an alternative time never arrived, so I had to ask for it again. Second meeting was then this Monday, I spent an hour with them with the useless result of “just Saturday”. But there is light on the horizon OpenDevelopment might host us but here just on Sunday, which is for us better then just Saturday. So six months, hundreds of mails and several meetings and achieved nothing. How easy is it to setup a Fedora Womans Day in the Pune office, compared to this and then just travel around the world to visit other events and this is then called “active”
  • Fedora 30 Modularity Test Day 2019-03-26
  • Fedora 30 Beta Won't Be Released Next Week Due To Their Arm Images Lacking A Browser

Games: Lutris, Flux Caves, Cities: Skylines

  • Lutris 0.5.1 Brings Improved GOG Integration, Various Fixes
    Released at the start of February was the big Lutris 0.5 release with an enhanced GTK interface, GOG.com support, and much more for this open-source gaming platform. Lutris 0.5.1 is now available with some much needed fixes.
  • In the puzzle game Flux Caves you will be pushing around blocks to play with large marbles
    If you like puzzle games and marbles today is your lucky day as I came across Flux Caves, which merges them into one game. It's early-on in development but it has a pretty great idea. It's like piecing together an oversized marble-run, with each level having various tubes and other special blocks missing that you need to slot into place.
  • Cities: Skylines is another game having a free weekend on Steam right now
    As a reminder, it recently turned four years old and it's showing no signs of slowing down with multiple thousands on it every day. If you do decide to give it a go, I highly recommend the Clouds & Fog Toggler mod from the Steam Workshop to give you a really clear view. That's another thing that I love about Cities: Skylines, there's a huge amount of extra content available for it like maps, mods, scenarios and more. The mod selection is incredibly varied too from simple tools to automatically bulldoze abandoned or burned down buildings to adding in entirely new ways to play.