The base image of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS beats the lightness record in the offer of Canonical With a size of 28 megabytes

The information is from Dustin Kirkland – Product Manager at Canonical – who tweeted about it late last week. The base image of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – the first beta of which was recently available – has a size of 28 megabytes on the amd64 architecture. Only Ubuntu 14.04 LTS does as well with a 29 megabyte installation archive for 32-bit PowerPCs.

The base image allows the creation of a minimal operating system environment on a given platform. It is generally intended for experts who want to customize the OS for specific purposes, for example, to support e-cards with limited resources compared to a PC-type computer. Canonical announced that Ubuntu 18.04 would have a minimal installation option. According to the company, it allows you to get rid of some pre-installed software through manipulation in the operating system’s desktop environment. It is not to be confused with the basic ISO image even if the objective also remains to get rid of some superfluity when necessary.

The briefing note by Dustin Kirkland leaves nothing to filter about the motives behind this quest for the “little one” as it relates to the basic picture. However, the use reserved for the latter makes it possible to provide a part of the answer. In the opinion of more sophisticated third parties, however, the maneuver is much more about repositioning Ubuntu as the default distribution for the Docker container manager.

In 2016, the founder of Docker announced the recruitment of the creator of Alpine Linux. Since then, it has been followed by the adoption of the OS as the default distribution for the images of the famous container manager. And for good reason, Alpine Linux is unique in the size of its base image; the Linux Embedded Appliance Framework (LEAF) fork rootfs does not exceed 8 megabytes. That of the current version (3.7.0) weighs 2 megabytes (compressed archive) on the x86_64 architecture. The ideal candidate to reduce the size of containers as explained by the brains behind Docker.

The Alpine community has been on the rise since this adoption. The development of the operating system – which uses the Linux kernel, the C musl library, BusyBox, LibreSSL and OpenRC – is supported by Docker. The other projects that rely on the OS continue to sprout even if we do not echo it too much. The free community is still looking for the open source smartphone that would free it from dependency on Android and others; PostmarketOS is an initiative that goes in this direction.

Google Pay is officially available

And Google Wallet has been renamed Google Pay Send

The Mountain View company has announced the official launch of Google Pay and its deployment on supported devices in lieu of Android Pay and Google Wallet services. With its new payment solution, the search giant promises to offer a consistent payment experience to all users of Android and Chrome OS.

Google Pay brings together all the payment solutions proposed by Google until now in a single package. This tool would be the result of a redesign / merger and renaming of old payment technologies available to Google (change in form), without there having been drastic revisions in the specifications (no change in the background ). This measure would essentially allow the Alphabet subsidiary to unify two payment solutions that could have been perceived as competitors.

Google claims that the advanced security technologies that underpin the operation of its new payment solution offer its customers the best guarantees in terms of encryption and protection of personal information. It can even be used to pay for travel tickets in cities like London, Portland and Kiev. In the process, Google Wallet has been renamed Google Pay Send and additional features should be added to Google Pay in the coming months, such as the ability to send and request money.

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Android 9.0 could ship a security mechanism

Who blocks camera access for applications running in the background

According to a recent commit on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), Google engineers implemented a new security feature in the Linux Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) module, which prevents unused applications or services that are in the background to access the camera with a UID (User ID).

To be more precise, it is after a certain time, which can be defined by the user or the one defined by default, that the security function no longer allows inactive applications or services running backwards. to access the camera. A measure that probably comes to prevent potential spyware or other malicious programs that could spy on you through the camera camera.

“If the UID becomes inactive, we generate an error and close the cameras for this UID,” reads the commit. “If an application in an idle user ID tries to use the camera, we immediately generate an error because applications must already handle these errors, so it’s possible to apply this policy to all applications to protect privacy.” users. ”

This new security feature, which will be deployed with Android P to block access to inactive apps in the background, highlights the fact that Google would like to take more important steps to protect Android users. Andrew Ahn, Product Manager on the Google Play team, said in late January that “Google Play is committed to providing a safe experience for billions of Android users to find and discover such applications. Over the years, this commitment has made Google Play a more reliable and secure place. ”

According to him, last year, Google has reduced by more than half the probability that a user installs a bad application, “protecting people and their devices, and making the task more difficult for those who seek to abuse the ecosystem of apps on Google Play for their own benefit. ”

And continue by saying “That in 2017 we removed more than 700,000 apps that violated the rules of Google Play, 70% more than the applications removed in 2016. Not only have we removed other bad apps, but we could also identify them. In fact, 99% of applications with abusive content have been identified and rejected before anyone can install them. This has been possible because of significant improvements in our ability to detect abuse – such as identity theft, inappropriate content, or malware – through new models and machine learning techniques. ”

In addition, given that its application showcase has reached record highs (more than 19 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017 alone), it is important for Google to redouble its efforts to better protect its users.

5G – the United States will be the first country to have it in 2018

The 5G will be available in the United States from 2018! The US operator AT & T will launch the network of the future in a dozen US cities by the end of this year. In its official statement, the operator also lifted the veil on the 5G speeds that will be offered to its subscribers.

As reported by AT & T, the second largest telecommunications operator in the United States behind Verizon, 5G will be launched in many cities by the end of the year. These include mega cities such as Dallas, Atlanta, and the city of Texas. The other antennas, intended for the less populated areas, will be installed in the following months, during the year 2019. “AT & T is the only US telecom that has announced its intention to deploy this revolutionary technology in 2018” says the operator.

5G: several cities in the United States will benefit from 2018

“We are working with a tight schedule to allow our customers to take advantage of the 5G mobile phone when we launch the network this year,” said the operator in its release. Only a handful of subscribers, however, will benefit from the 5G network this year. The operator says that other devices will be added to the list of mobiles compatible with its network in early 2019.

On the theoretical side, AT & T is reassuring and enthusiastic “With a higher speed and a lower latency, our 5G mobile network will enable our customers to have exciting experiences.” The operator claims that its 5G network will be faster and will suffer from a lower latency rate than 4G. The delay between when you start a query and where the connection to the network is established will be shorter.

Android P – no photos or videos taken without your knowledge, Google will block access to the camera!

Android P, the next Google OS, will not allow applications to take photos or videos without your knowledge. Google will block access to the camera! A boon for privacy, but also for the autonomy of smartphones. Google would be working on such a feature for the next major version of Android, based on the interpretation of lines of code found in the Android Open Source Project.

Android P, which could be called Android Pie with reference to Pi, will further improve the security of its users through a feature revealed by XDA. In a commit of the Open Source Android project, a new rule regarding the use of the smartphone camera has appeared. A feature that stands as continuity of Google’s work on access to components of smartphones, after Marshmallow and Oreo. Thus, no photo or video can be taken without your knowledge!

Android P: access to the camera blocked for inactive applications

Thanks to the open source nature of Android, it is possible to discover as new features of the next Google OS. We know for example that Android P will record calls or that operators can hide the strength of the network signal with Android P. A commit reveals that access to the camera may be blocked by the Google OS when the request will come from an application considered inactive or running in the background

An evolution that will greatly limit the possibilities of malicious applications that run in the background. Indeed, to capture images, the application will appear in the foreground and will be reported to the user! Continuity after Marshmallow that already favored access to the applications in the foreground and visible to the user. And after Android Oreo, already available for a list of smartphones, which displays a notification to the user when an application is running.

Thus, when Android P detects that an inactive application is trying to access the smartphone’s camera, it will generate an internal error and block access. It is therefore a boon in the protection of privacy, but also for the autonomy of smartphones.

Android P could be called Android Pie with reference to the figure Pi

Android P could well take the name of Android Pie (pie). An appellation that would keep the tradition of cookies and desserts while making a nod to the mathematical symbol. Or how to claim to be greedy and geeky at a time. Nothing is decided yet of course, but Pi would be the code name used at Google for Android 9.0.

An appellation that allows to stay in the tradition of sweets and desserts while referring to the mathematical symbol Pi (3.14159265 …). Android P, code-name Android Pi. Google developers would use anyway the code name Android Pi to refer to Android 9.0, says Mishaal Rahman, specialist of Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for the site XDA Developers. Digging into the source code, he fell twice on references to Pi. Of course, it may be a temporary name, and nothing will be certain until the formalization of Google.

Rahman’s research has also led him to learn a little more about Project Treble, which speeds up the availability of Android updates. Appeared with Oreo, it would not be fully integrated before the arrival of Android P. Improvements in this area can make us hope that Android 9.0 is better adopted than its predecessor: Oreo is installed on less than 1% of smartphones Android.

We still know very little about the future Android P. XDA Developers had by the same means used to discover Android Pi already found that operators will be able to hide the strength of the network signal on Android 9.0. It could also be that Google is focusing on its Android Go and Android Things ecosystems. It will be necessary to wait several more months to be entitled to a communication on the next Google OS.

Android Messages: Google would prepare to deploy a Web client

So that you can answer your SMS and MMS on your computer

A year later, our colleagues in Android Police have found lines of code in version 2.9 of the application indicating that it is preparing to have a web interface. Clearly, it means that we could view and respond to our SMS and MMS from a computer or tablet with ease. The procedure would be quite simple: it would be enough to consult a website, scan a QR code from the application, and voila!

Another major change that accompanies it suggests that Google is tired of the slow deployment of RCS. Also, the application would push users to “write through Wi-Fi” in the future, using a new notification inviting to change protocol.

Where things get really interesting is that Google offers to provide some services rather than waiting for the operators to be ready. A line even carries the words “chat features powered by Google”, giving the impression that Google could offer to act as an intermediary for your email.

Our colleagues also talk about integrated purchasing and payment features. In the United States and other countries where Google Wallet is available, it is already possible to send money to friends, but it would be more a matter of making purchases.

Before giving details of the lines of code scanned, the site has written a disclaimer:

“Disassemblies are based on evidence found inside apks (the Android application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It is possible that the assumptions made here are totally and completely false. Even when the forecasts are correct, there is always a chance that plans can change or be completely canceled. Just like the rumors, nothing is certain until it is officially announced and published.

“The features described are probably not online yet, or can only be online for a small percentage of users. Unless otherwise noted, do not expect to see these features if you are installing the apk. “

Android Fragmentation – Oreo finally exceeds the 1% adoption mark

Nougat becomes the most used version of the operating system

Google has updated its dashboard for the fragmentation of its mobile operating system.

Like Android Nougat before it, the Android version Oreo took five months to pass the milestone of 1% adoption.

This month, Android Nougat has surpassed Android Marshmallow in terms of market share, which means that the second most recent version of Android is now the most widely used. The latest version of Android usually takes more than a year to become the most used version, and so far, it does not seem that the story of Oreo is different.

Here are the changes that were observed between January and February:
Android 8.0 / 8.1 Oreo (August 2017, December 2017): up 0.4 points to 1.1%.
Android 7.0 / 7.1 Nougat (August 2016, October 2016): up 2.2 points to 28.5%.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow (October 2015): down 0.5 point to 28.1%.
Android 5.0 / 5.1 Lollipop (November 2014, March 2015): down 0.5 point to 24.6%.
Android 4.4 KitKat (October 2013): down 0.8 point to 12.0%.
Android 4.1 / 4.2 / 4.3 Jelly Bean (July 2012, November 2012 and July 2013): down 0.6 point to 5.0%.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (December 2011): down 0.1 point to 0.4%.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread (December 2010): down 0.1 point to 0.3%.

As shown in the diagram above, the order of adoption of Android is now as follows: Nougat in first position, followed by Marshmallow, then Lollipop. KitKat is in fourth place while Jelly Bean is in fifth position. Oreo is in sixth place, Ice Cream Sandwich in seventh and Gingerbread in last position. All eyes are now on Oreo to see how fast he is going to nibble away.

Google’s Platform Version tool uses data collected from the Google Play Store app, which requires the device to run on Android 2.2 or later. This means that devices running on older versions are not included in the statistics, let alone devices on which Google Play is not installed (like many Android phones and tablets in China, the Amazon Fire line, etc.). In addition, Android versions with adoption of less than 0.1%, such as Android 3.0 Honeycomb and Android 2.2 Froyo, are not listed. The two older Android versions will be deleted this year.

Android P will know a spectacular redesign and bring the support of the notch as the iPhone X

According to Bloomberg, Google would be working on a dramatic redesign of Android to support the next generation of smartphones that could copy the notch on the iPhone X. The new major update of the mobile OS on behalf of “Android P” code is expected later this year, it should bring better integration with Google’s personal assistant, better battery life and support new designs, such as multiple screens and foldable screens.

The main goal of the next Android update is to persuade more iOS users to migrate to Google’s mobile OS. The search engine intends to achieve this end by improving the design of its mobile OS. Bloomberg reported that this update would be quite the opposite of the next iOS update that should focus on performance and security.

Although Android continues to control the entry and mid-range segments of the global smartphone market, Apple controls the bulk of high-end sales, a segment that includes users spending more on apps and other services. For this reason, Google hopes that supporting the notch could help remedy this situation. This new design means that the next Android devices should have more space at the top of the screen to place cameras and other sensors. They will be able to bring new features to allow manufacturers to stay close to the elbow with technology from Apple.

But despite the rapid development cycle of Android, the mobile OS continues to suffer the problem of fragmentation. Indeed, out of more than one billion users, only a small minority runs under the latest version of Android Oreo. In fact, most users continue to use outdated versions of the OS, exposing users to real security risks and damaging Android’s reputation.

Google, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet, controls the software development of Android, while other manufacturers are responsible for the design of terminals. The search giant’s partners can also modify Android according to their needs, which means that not all the next Android smartphones will include the famous notch. This is especially true for Samsung, which has not missed the opportunity to make fun of Apple’s choice after the release of the iPhone X.

However, the fact that Google will support designs including a notch at the top of the screen suggests that the firm Mountain View hopes to see the design of the iPhone X gain popularity. For now, only a smartphone Essential, a startup led by Andy Rubin, includes the choice of design popularized by the iPhone X. But according to sources familiar with the subject, Huawei should also launch a smartphone with a similar design.

Android P should also focus on Google’s assistant who competes with Apple’s Siri and Alexa’s Amazon. Rumors suggest that developers will finally be able to integrate Google Assistant into their applications.

Mac Office 2016 now shares the same base code with Windows, Android, and Office iOS

Microsoft has recently released a major update to its Office for Mac desktop suite (Mac Office 2016 build 16 build 18011602). In addition to the many features it brings, this update includes real-time collaboration options on Word, more formulas on Excel, and options for backing up / restoring files on the cloud.

In addition, it fixes some vulnerabilities related to remote code execution (CVE-2018-0792, CVE-2018-0794, and CVE-2018-0793). It also marks a significant step forward in its publisher’s course of action for several years: unify the Office code for Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS.

Now, the 16 Mac Office 2016 and its counterpart on Windows share the same code that was written in C ++, a first for more than 20 years. This should allow the Redmond firm to better support its office suite Office on all platforms where it is used (Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS).

As Erik Schwiebert, senior software engineer at Microsoft, said, the Office for Mac program code is already old, even older than some developers working at Microsoft every day to improve it. He commented on this information on his Tweeter account by writing: “For the first time in more than 20 years, Office is again made of a common code for all platforms (Windows Mac, iOS, and Android). ”

Regarding the collaboration options previously mentioned, it can be pointed out that Word, Excel and PowerPoint have been optimized to allow several users to work on documents at the same time.

Thumbnails displayed in the upper right corner of the application window indicate to different users who is working on the document. In addition, changes to manipulated files are automatically backed up to the cloud with a detailed history that allows you to restore earlier versions of the same file at any time.

Excel should, in parallel, see its improved multithreaded performance, while PowerPoint should provide better support for the use of laser pointers in slideshows.