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Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Leftovers

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Chrome 74 beta: reducing unwanted motion, private class fields, and feature policy API

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Android WebView, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. View a complete list of the features in Chrome 74 on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 74 is beta as of March 22, 2019.

  • Chrome 74 Beta Released With CSS Media Query To Prefer Reduced Motion/Animations

    Google engineers are ending out their work week by issuing the beta of Chrome 74. 

    The Chrome 74 Beta features the CSS "prefers-reduced-motion" media query for honoring accessibility settings for those that may want to reduce/eliminate animations or other motions. Also on the developer side is ECMAScript private class fields, a JavaScript API for feature policy, CSS transition events, WebRTC additions, and other changes.

  • Mike Conley: Firefox Front-End Performance Update #15

    Firefox 66 has been released, Firefox 67 is out on the beta channel, and Firefox 68 is cooking for the folks on the Nightly channel! These trains don’t stop!

    With that, let’s take a quick peek at what the Firefox Front-end Performance team has been doing these past few weeks…

  • SUMO A/B Experiments

    This year the SUMO team is focused on learning what to improve on our site. As part of that, we spent January setting support.mozilla.org up for A/B testing and last week we ran our first test!

  • Get the tablet experience you deserve with Firefox for iPad

    We know that iPads aren’t just bigger versions of iPhones. You use them differently, you need them for different things. So rather than just make a bigger version of our browser for iOS, we made Firefox for iPad look and feel like it was custom made for a tablet. Mostly because it was.

Mozilla, Firefox and ChromeOS/Chrome

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Sharing our Common Voices

    From the onset, our vision for Common Voice has been to build the world’s most diverse voice dataset, optimized for building voice technologies. We also made a promise of openness: we would make the high quality, transcribed voice data that was collected publicly available to startups, researchers, and anyone interested in voice-enabled technologies.

    Today, we’re excited to share our first multi-language dataset with 18 languages represented, including English, French, German and Mandarin Chinese (Traditional), but also for example Welsh and Kabyle. Altogether, the new dataset includes approximately 1,400 hours of voice clips from more than 42,000 people.

    With this release, the continuously growing Common Voice dataset is now the largest ever of its kind, with tens of thousands of people contributing their voices and original written sentences to the public domain (CC0). Moving forward, the full dataset will be available for download on the Common Voice site.

  • Mozilla GFX: WebRender newsletter #42

    WebRender is a GPU based 2D rendering engine for web written in Rust, currently powering Mozilla’s research web browser servo and on its way to becoming Firefox‘s rendering engine.

  • Firefox UX: Look over here! Results from a Firefox user research study about interruptions.

    The Attention War. There have been many headlines related to it in the past decade. This is the idea that apps and companies are stealing attention. It’s the idea that technologists throw up ads on websites in a feeble attempt to get the attention of the people who visit the website.

    In tech, or any industry really, people often say something to the effect of, “well if the person using this product or service only read the instructions, or clicked on the message, or read our email, they’d understand and wouldn’t have any problems”. We need people’s attention to provide a product experience or service. We’re all in the “attention war”, product designers and users alike.

    And what’s a sure-fire way to grab someone’s attention? Interruptions. Regardless if they’re good, bad, or neutral. Interruptions are not necessarily a “bad” thing, they can also lead to good behavior, actions, or knowledge.

  • Google Releases Chrome 73 Update for Linux, Windows, and macOS

    Google has just released an update for Chrome 73, the major update of the browser that was shipped to all supported platforms earlier this month.

    Now at version 73.0.3683.86, Google Chrome comes with under-the-hood improvements on Windows, Linux, and macOS, and you can download it using the links here.

  • Google will implement a Microsoft-style browser picker for EU Android devices

     

    We don't have many details on exactly how Google's new search and browser picker will work; there's just a single paragraph in the company's blog post. Google says it will "do more to ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browsers and search engines available to download to their phones. This will involve asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use."

  • EU hits Google with fine for abuse of AdSense service

     

    The European Commission has hit search giant Google with a third fine, related to abuse of its AdSense advertising service, and told the company to fork out €1.49 billion (A$2.38 billion) for breaching EU anti-trust rules.  

  • The EU fines Google $1.69 billion for bundling search and advertising

     

    Google and the EU's European Commission are making all sorts of announcements lately. Fresh off the revelation that Google would implement a browser and search-engine picker in EU-sold Android devices, Google's advertising division is getting slapped with a fine next, to the tune of €1.5 billion ($1.69 billion). The European Commission's latest antitrust ruling says that Google's bundling of its advertising platform with its custom search engine program is anti-competitive toward other ad providers.

Google Removed the KDE Connect App from the Play Store (Update: It’s Back)

Filed under
KDE
Google

The official KDE Connect Android app was briefly removed from the Google Play Store for “violating” app permission policies.

Google yanked the phone-side companion app, which works with desktop tools like GSconnect, from its Android app store on March 19. It said the app did not adhere to its new rules on apps that can access to SMS messages.

Read more

As a longtime Windows user, I made the switch to Chrome OS: How does it fair?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

I’m a Google fan, but there has always been one product that I’ve been hesitant to try: Chrome OS, Google’s desktop operating system that powers all Chromebooks on the market. If you’ve ever heard anything about Chromebooks, chances are that you’ve heard the stereotype that it’s just a “glorified web browser.” I’ve been following Chrome OS for years and I know that there is so much more to it now—Android apps, Linux support, etc. But I never actually ditched Windows and exclusively used a Chromebook as my only laptop—until now.

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Season of Docs

Filed under
Google
HowTos

Google Linux-Based Consoles and Chromebooks

Filed under
OS
Google
Gaming
  • The first Android Q beta hints at Google's bold gaming plan

    Google has released the first beta of Android Q. It won’t give the software its official moment in the spotlight until the Google I/O conference in May, of course, but we already know some important information about its direction.

  • All signs point to a Google game console announcement at GDC

    Normally, Google showing up to the Game Developers Conference isn't a huge deal. The company does this pretty much every year—Android smartphones and Google Play are a pretty big gaming platform, after all—and it shows up with livestreams and blog posts and all the usual festivities. This year, though, is different. Google has been sending out vague teasers since last month for a GDC event, but as the date approaches, the company has been dropping more and more hints of exactly what it is announcing: Google is launching video game hardware for the Project Stream platform.

  • Google Chrome will soon support Nintendo Switch controllers

    Google Chrome may soon have native support for both the Nintendo Switch Pro controller and its Joy-Cons, according to an article from 9to5Google.

    A new commit in Chromium’s Gerrit source code, titled “Improve support for Nintendo Switch gamepads”, was discovered by both 9to5Google and Owen Williams.

  • Next@Acer event scheduled for April 11; new Chromebooks expected

    I also have a slight inkling on what new devices we might see announced but I’m still researching and checking with some sources, so it’s premature to share anything just yet. Stay tuned though.

Chrome Gets More DRM

Filed under
Google
Web

Google and Mozilla Funding for FOSS

Filed under
GNU
Google
Moz/FF
OSS
  • Topics for GSoC 2019

    It is time for GNUnet to run properly on Android. Note that GNUnet is written in C, and this is not about rewriting GNUnet in Java, but about getting the C code to run on Android.

  • Introducing Season of Docs

    Google Open Source is delighted to announce Season of Docs, a new program which fosters the open source contributions of technical writers.

    Season of Docs brings technical writers and open source projects together for a few months to work on open source documentation. 2019 is the first time we’re running this exciting new program.

    Join us in making a substantive contribution to open source software development around the world.

  • Apply for a Mozilla Fellowship

    Mozilla Fellows work on the front lines of internet health, at a time when the internet is entwined with everything from elections and free expression to justice and personal safety. Fellows ensure the internet remains a force for good — empowerment, equality, access — and also combat online ills, like abuse, exclusion, and closed systems.

    Mozilla is particularly interested in individuals whose expertise aligns with our 2019 impact goal: “better machine decision making,” or ensuring the artificial intelligence in our lives is designed with responsibility and ethics top of mind. For example: Fellows might research how disinformation spreads on Facebook. Or, build a tool that identifies the blind spots in algorithms that detect cancer. Or, advocate for a “digital bill of rights” that protects individuals from invasive facial recognition technology.

BMQ "BitMap Queue" Is The Newest Linux CPU Scheduler, Inspired By Google's Zircon

Filed under
Linux
Google

While there is the MuQSS CPU scheduler that lives out of tree as a promising CPU scheduler for the Linux kernel, it is not alone. Another option has been the PDS scheduler while now its author, Alfred Chen, has announced another new CPU kernel scheduler option he has dubbed the BitMap Queue.

The BMQ "BitMap Queue" scheduler started off from his existing PDS development experience and inspired by the scheduler found within Google's Zircon, the kernel powering their Fuchsia OS initiative.

Read more

Google's Liberation of More Code for Illiberal Spying, Data-mining

Filed under
Google
OSS
  • New tool searches for misconfigured Google cloud storage

    GCPBucketBrute – the open source tool recently released by Rhino Security – allows pen testers to discover open buckets found on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The tool can also determine if privilege escalation can occur on a particular cloud instance.

    “There are countless AWS S3 bucket enumerators out there online, but none (that we could find, at least) that targeted other similar storage services, such as Google Storage,” said Rhino in a blog post on February 26.

  • Google is staking its claim in the next big thing after cloud computing with a new line of AI-powered hardware for developers

    On its website, Google Coral has product listings for a $150 motherboard, a $75 USB device to bring AI to existing systems, and a $25 camera that slots into the board. The listings were first spotted by the Verge.

    "Coral offers a complete local AI toolkit that makes it easy to grow your ideas from prototype to production," writes Google in a blog post announcing Coral.

    In theory, it's more than a little bit like the Raspberry Pi, the pioneering $35 minicomputer, which is mega-popular among hackers as an easy and cheap way to build experimental hardware and other oddities.

  • Google open-sources GPipe, a library for efficiently training large deep neural networks

    If you’re in the business of training large-scale AI systems, good news: Google’s got your back. Google’s AI research division today open-sourced GPipe, a library for “efficiently” training deep neural networks (layered functions modeled after neurons) under Lingvo, a TensorFlow framework for sequence modeling. It’s applicable to any network consisting of multiple sequential layers, Google AI software engineer Yanping Huang said in a blog post, and allows researchers to “easily” scale performance.

  • Google AI division open sources GPipe neural network library

    Google open sourced GPipe, a scalable machine learning library designed to enable users to train large-scale deep neural networks faster, more accurately, and potentially with less compute power.

    The tech vendor made the library available on GitHub March 4, open sourced under the Lingo framework, a TensorFlow-based deep learning framework designed specifically for linguistic sequence models.

  • Google Open-Sources GPipe Library for Training Large-Scale Neural Network Models

    Deep neural network (DNN) models such as BigGAN, BERT, and GPT 2.0 have demonstrated that larger DNN models produce better task performance. These huge models are however becoming increasingly difficult to train. Google this week introduced GPipe, an open-source library that dramatically improves training efficacy for large-scale neural network models.

    In 2014, GoogleNet finished first in the ImageNet visual recognition challenge. The winning model consisted of four million parameters and achieved 74.8 percent accuracy. Three years later, Squeeze-and-Excitation Networks scored 82.7 percent to win the challenge with a model containing 145.8 million parameters — some 36x more than GoogleNet.

  • Is Google's New Lingvo Framework a Big Deal for Machine Translation?

    Neural machine translation experts weigh in on Google's open sourcing of Lingvo, a sequence modeling framework built on TensorFlow.

  • Google Open-Sources Lingvo Framework for Sequence-To-Sequence Modeling

    Natural language processing has made significant progress in the past year, but few frameworks focus directly on NLP or sequence modeling. Google Brain recently released Lingvo, a deep learning framework based on TensorFlow. Lingvo focuses on sequence-to-sequence models of language-related tasks such as machine translation, speech recognition, and speech synthesis; and significantly enhances code reuse and iteration speed. Lingvo-supported frameworks include traditional RNN sequence models, transformer models, and models that include VAE components. Lingvo is now open-sourced on GitHub.

  • AI Weekly: Google’s federated learning gets its day in the sun

    New versions of TensorFlow, including TensorFlow 2.0 with tf.keras as a central API and TensorFlow Lite 1.0 for mobile devices, were released, as was a $150 Coral board for edge TPU applications.

    Speed optimization for AI on mobile devices and a cleanup of TensorFlow’s cluttered APIs is more than cosmetic — these changes will shape how developers and businesses train AI systems. But the news that caught my eye was the release of TensorFlow for federated learning.

  • Google Makes Machine Learning Library Open Source

    To help developers train AI agents with strong privacy guarantees, Google just released a machine learning library called TensorFlow Privacy. The library, which is open source, can be downloaded on GitHub.

    Aside from training AI models with privacy, TensorFlow aims to “advance the state-of-the-art in machine learning with strong privacy guarantees.”

    [...]

    TensorFlow Privacy operates on the principle of differential privacy. This is a statistical technique to maximize accuracy while balancing user information.

    Differential privacy ensures that an AI model cannot encode information unique to a developer. This blocks all chances of a breach releasing a user’s identity.

    Instead of gathering and storing information to learn, differential privacy enables an AI agent to acquire knowledge from patterns that show up en masse.

  • Google announces TensorFlow 2.0 Alpha, TensorFlow Federated, TensorFlow Privacy, and the Coral development platform

    Google is fully invested in advancing the potential of artificial intelligence. The company has released a bunch of tools, documentation, tutorials, and platforms to help developers utilize machine learning for applications. TensorFlow is one of their most important projects in this field. It’s an open-source development platform, helping teams and individuals to train models via machine learning. At the 3rd annual TensorFlow Developer Summit, Google announced the first alpha release of TensorFlow 2.0. The summit also introduced a lot of other stuff, which we’ll summarize below.

  • Google launches TensorFlow 2.0 alpha with fewer APIs

    The world’s most popular open source framework for machine learning is getting a major upgrade today with the alpha release of TensorFlow 2.0. Created by the Google Brain team, the framework is used by developers, researchers, and businesses to train and deploy machine learning models that make inferences about data.

    A full release is scheduled to take place in Q2 2019.

    The news was announced today at the TensorFlow Dev Summit being held at the Google Event Center in Sunnyvale, California. Since the launch of TensorFlow in November 2015, the framework has been downloaded over 41 million times and now has over 1,800 contributors from around the world, said TensorFlow engineering director Rajat Monga.

  • Google previews TensorFlow 2.0 alpha with focus on simplicity and ML beginners

    At the 2019 TensorFlow Dev Summit today, Google announced a number of updates for its open-source machine learning library aimed at research and production. The TensorFlow 2.0 alpha provides a preview of upcoming changes aimed at making ML easier for beginners.

  • Google tool lets any AI app learn without taking all your data

    A new computing tool developed by Google will let developers build AI-powered apps that respect your privacy.

    Google on Wednesday released TensorFlow Federated, open-source software that incorporates federated learning, an AI training system. It works by using data that's spread out across a lot of devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to teach itself new tricks. But rather than send the data back to a central server for study, it learns on your phone or tablet itself and sends only the lesson back to the app maker.

  • Google is making it easier for AI developers to keep users’ data private

    Google has announced a new module for its machine learning framework, TensorFlow, that lets developers improve the privacy of their AI models with just a few lines of extra code.

    TensorFlow is one of the most popular tools for building machine learning applications, and it’s used by developers around the world to create programs like text, audio, and image recognition algorithms. With the introduction of TensorFlow Privacy, these developers will be able to safeguard users’ data with a statistical technique known as “differential privacy.”

  • The AI-Art Gold Rush Is Here
  • How an engineer’s accident at Google changed the art industry

    Why? To make this image, the artist group Obvious used the source code and data that another artist, Robbie Barrat, had shared freely on the web.

    Obvious had every right to use Barrat’s code and claim authorship of the work. Nonetheless, many criticized Christie’s for elevating the artists who played only a small part in the creation the work. This was generally read as a failure of Christie’s, particularly in the misleading way it promoted the work, rather than a need to rethink authorship of AI art.

  • Open-source HPC Workload Manager, Slurm Now to Have Improved Deployment Scalability on Google Cloud

    Google is now sharing a new set of features for Slurm running on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) including support for preemptible VMs, custom machine types, image-based instance scaling, attachable GPUs, and customizable NFS mounts. In addition, this release features improved deployment scalability and resilience.

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