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Pixel 4 gets automatic robocall screening, improved location accuracy, and more

If Google’s Pixel 4 is your daily driver, good news: It’s now able to screen robocalls — and more. Google announced this morning an update to the Pixel 4’s Call Screen feature in the U.S. that automatically declines calls from unknown parties and filters out suspected robocallers, alongside an improved video calling experience on Duo, the rollout of the new Google Assistant to more users, and a zippier software experience made possible by memory usage optimizations.

On the subject of Duo, Google’s cross-platform video chat app, it auto-frames faces to keep them centered during conversations even as subjects move around. Plus, playback of calls is smoother than before thanks to an AI model that predicts the likely next sound and helps to keep the conversation going with minimum disruptions.

[Source: VentureBeat]

It’s the end of the road for Google Glass Explorer Edition

There is an element of risk in being an explorer, as Wikipedia grimly documents. Perhaps with hindsight, the words “Explorer Edition” that featured prominently on the first generation of Google Glass should have warned of a similarly disappointing end. Google plans to put out one final software update and then to cut all those Explorers loose. And it’s less of a last hoorah and more a last wah-wah.

The update simply lets you pair Glass with the phone, as MyGlass will stop working. Bluetooth will continue, as will the ability to creepily take photos and videos via your lenses.

[Source: The Inquirer]

Linus Rejects “Size Of Member” Change From Linux 5.5 Kernel

This weekend was the last-minute pull request by Google’s Kees Cook to introduce the new sizeof_member() macro that had been previously rejected from Linux 5.4. Well, it was again rejected by Linus Torvalds prior to tagging the Linux 5.5-rc1 kernel.

The sizeof_member() macro has been aimed to unify 2~3 other macros within the kernel tree currently and using the size-of-field moniker, but Cook argued that for measuring the size of a member of a C struct, the new macro is more appropriate and converted usage of the old macros to this new single macro.

[Source: Phoronix]

Linux users can now enjoy Disney+

When Disney+ launched, Linux users were shut out. Attempting to stream content resulted in an error message reading: “Something went wrong. Please try again. If the problem persists, visit the Disney+ Help Center (Error Code 83).” The problem stemmed from the way in which Disney chose to implement digital rights management but now the company has tweaked the way DRM is used, lowering the security settings it had in place, meaning that it is now possible to enjoy Disney+ on Linux.

[Source: BetaNews]

Nvidia Is Preparing An Unexpected Surprise For Linux Users In 2020

Each year Nvidia hosts the GPU Technology Conference, a global gathering of AI developers, data scientists, graphic artists, and pretty much anyone in the technology industry working with GPUs in their chosen fields. The event packs in keynotes with roadmaps and reveals, face-time with Nvidia engineers, and hundreds of sessions to participate in. GTC 2020, though, looks to include a special surprise for Linux users and open source enthusiasts.

An eagle-eyed Phoronix reader spotted this GTC 2020 session clearly titled “Open Source, Linux Kernel, and NVIDIA.” The talk will be driven by Nvidia Principle SW Engineer John Hubbard.

[Source: Forbes]

Open Repos provides code metrics on open source projects

GitClear, maker of a toolkit for generating software project performance metrics, has publicly released Open Repos, a free tool to make it easier for contributors to participate in open source development by better visualizing how the codebase changes between releases.

Open Repos tracks a number of high-profile open source projects including TensorFlow, Ansible, Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Angular, and React. The goal of the product, according to GitClear’s announcement blog post, is to provide visual answers to common practical questions people have about an open source project’s status that often aren’t readily available from code-hosting hubs.

[Source: InfoWorld]

Former Oracle product manager says he was forced out for refusing to deceive customers. Now he’s suing the biz

A former Oracle employee filed a lawsuit against the database giant on Tuesday claiming that he was forced out for refusing to lie about the functionality of the company’s software. The civil complaint [PDF], filed on behalf of plaintiff Tayo Daramola in US District Court in San Francisco, contends that Oracle violated whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, the RICO Act, and the California Labor Code.

According to the court filing, Daramola, a resident of Montreal, Canada, worked for Oracle’s NetSuite division from November 30, 2016 through October 13, 2017. He served as a project manager for an Oracle cloud service known as the Cloud Campus BookStore initiative and dealt with US customers. Campus bookstores, along with ad agencies, and apparel companies are among the market segments targeted by Oracle and NetSuite.

[Source: The Register]

New vulnerability lets attackers sniff or hijack VPN connections

Academics have disclosed this week a security flaw impacting Linux, Android, macOS, and other Unix-based operating systems that allows an attacker to sniff, hijack, and tamper with VPN-tunneled connections. The vulnerability — tracked as CVE-2019-14899 — resides in the networking stacks of multiple Unix-based operating systems, and more specifically, in how the operating systems reply to unexpected network packet probes.

According to the research team, attackers can use this vulnerability to probe devices and discover various details about the user’s VPN connection status.

[Source: ZDNet]

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 Debuts With Added Developer Tools, Security & Automation

Red Hat, Inc. today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1, the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. The first minor release of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 enhances the manageability, security and performance of the operating system underpinning the open hybrid cloud while also adding new capabilities to drive developer innovation.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the foundation of Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio, providing the underlying engine that allows complex workloads to be developed and deployed across physical, virtual, private and public cloud environments with greater confidence and control.

[Source: Light Reading]

AWS Outposts begins to take shape to bring the cloud into the data center

When AWS announced Outposts last year, a private cloud hardware stack they install in your data center, there were a lot of unanswered questions. This week at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, the company announced general availability as the vision for this approach began to become clearer.

AWS CEO Andy Jassy, speaking at a press conference earlier today, said there are certain workloads like running a factory that need compute resources to be close because of low-latency requirements. That’s where Outposts could play well, and where similar existing solutions in his opinion fell short because there wasn’t a smooth connection between the on-prem hardware and the cloud.

[Source: TechCrunch]