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Fedora: Systemd, AskFedora, Varnish

Mozilla, Firefox and ChromeOS/Chrome

  • 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.

Programming: Learning, Java Development Kit 12, and Python Bits

  • How to Be a Tech-Savvy
    Learn how to write a program: You cannot make anything new in the computer world without programming skills. You can create windows, apps, websites, a desktop application using programming languages. Some programming languages that you can learn in your beginning level of becoming tech-savvy is Java, C, C++, Html, CSS, JAVASCRIPT, PHP, PYTHON. You can enhance your programming skills by sitting home by taking online tutorials. Use a Linux or Unix Operating System: If you want to be a tech- savvy I recommend using Unix operating system because a techy person mostly uses the Unix operating system in the world. Unix operating system is open source anyone can use it, and you can view its code too. So, it will help in enhancing your programming skills and learning about technical skills.
  • JDK 12: The new features in Java 12
    The production release of Java Development Kit 12, based on Java SE (Standard Edition) 12, is now available. JDK 12 builds are available from Oracle for Linux, Windows, and MacOS.  [...] Open source builds are provided under the GNU General Public License v2, with Classpath Exception. Commercial builds of JDK 12 from Oracle can be found on the Oracle Technology network under a non-open source license.
  • Python dictionary "addition" and "subtraction"
    A proposal to add a new dictionary operator for Python has spawned a PEP and two large threads on the python-ideas mailing list. To a certain extent, it is starting to look a bit like the "PEP 572 mess"; there are plenty of opinions on whether the feature should be implemented and how it should be spelled, for example. As yet, there has been no formal decision made on how the new steering council will be handling PEP pronouncements, though a review of open PEPs is the council's "highest priority". This PEP will presumably be added into the process; it is likely too late to be included in Python 3.8 even if it were accepted soon, so there is plenty of time to figure it all out before 3.9 is released sometime in 2021.
  • Debugging and Profiling Python Scripts [Tutorial]
    Debugging and profiling play an important role in Python development. The debugger helps programmers to analyze the complete code. The debugger sets the breakpoints whereas the profilers run our code and give us the details of the execution time. The profilers will identify the bottlenecks in your programs. In this tutorial, we’ll learn about the pdb  Python debugger, cProfile module, and timeit module to time the execution of Python code. This tutorial is an excerpt from a book written by Ganesh Sanjiv Naik titled Mastering Python Scripting for System Administrators. This book will show you how to leverage Python for tasks ranging from text processing, network administration, building GUI, web-scraping as well as database administration including data analytics & reporting.

Security: AccessEnforcer, Windows Ransomware Does Major Damage, Spammers Send Junk Mail to Thousands of Printers, Google Cleanup and More

  • VLANs and More Added to AccessEnforcer UTM Firewall
    AccessEnforcer Version 4.1 also updates firewall's operating system to OpenBSD 6.3. OpenBSD is one of the most secure operating systems in the world. Version 6.3 provides additional mitigations against the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities and also mitigates against return-oriented programming and other memory corruption attacks. 
  • Norwegian aluminium firm slowly recovering from ransomware attack
     

    Norwegian aluminium maker Norsk Hydro says it has made some progress restoring its systems back to normal after being hit by Windows ransomware known as LockerGoGa on Monday evening.  

  • Spammers Send Junk Mail to Thousands of Printers
    Spam has been with us since the very first days of email, but a Russian marketing agency recently took things a stage further by sending good old-fashioned paper-based junk mail over the internet. The company claims to have advertised a graphic design course for its client Skillbox using a software bot that searched for online printers. It printed a one-page promotion on every device it found, directing them to a website boasting about its exploits. The website for the company's marketing campaign, which I am deliberately not linking to here, explains that "by the 2024", it is "94% likely" that bots will replace accountants, auditors, and financial analysts by the million. Consequently, it says, accountants (or anyone else worried about being replaced by AI) should learn graphic design instead. The stats come from a five-year-old Oxford Martin School report, but that needn't concern us here. What's more interesting is another statistic: 600,000. That’s how many printers the marketing agency claim to have clogged up with advertising, according to this report from Graham Cluley. [...] It wouldn't be the first time that someone had spammed printers online. In December, a hacker calling himself TheHackerGiraffe spammed 50,000 printers promoting popular YouTube celebrity PewDiePie. Other incidents have been much darker. Nazi nerd Andrew Aurenheimer, a.k.a. Weev, sent white supremacist messages to every printer in North America that he could find instead of using Shodan, he used Masscan, which is a mass IP port scanner. 
  • Android clampdown on calls and texts access trashes bunch of apps
    Android looks a little less open now that Google has begun to enforce draconian new rules on accessing a phone's call and text logs. Developers have been forced to remove features or in some cases change the fundamental nature of the application. One example is BlackBerry's Hub, an email client which also aggregated notifications from a variety of apps and presented them chronologically in a timeline. This application has lost its ability to includes calls and texts in that timeline. Exceptions created by Google don't seem to be honoured, developers complained. One said that an enterprise archiving app – a category specifically exempt from the clampdown – has been broken. Another developer, Miroslav Novosvetsky of MobileSoft, rued that he might have to withdraw his Callistics usage monitor app altogether.
  • The martian packet case in our Neutron floating IP setup
    A community member opened a bug the other day related to a weird networking behavior in the Cloud VPS service, offered by the Cloud Services team at Wikimedia Foundation. This VPS hosting service is based on Openstack, and we implement the networking bits by means of Neutron. Our current setup is based on Openstack Mitaka (old, I know) and the networking architecture we use is extensively described in our docs. What is interesting today is our floating IP setup, which Neutron uses by means of the Netfilter NAT engine. Neutron creates a couple of NAT rules for each floating IP, to implement both SNAT and DNAT. In our setup, if a VM uses a floating IP, then all its traffic to and from The Internet will use this floating IP. In our case, the floating IP range is made of public IPv4 addresses.