Google Flights – Google says it can warn you of flight delays before air carriers

Google Flights, the service specializing in search, purchase and flight monitoring Google, wants to distance itself from the competition. To do this, Alphabet’s affiliate service relies on artificial intelligence to inform users if flights may be delayed even before the information has been disclosed by airlines.

To explain the motivation behind it, Anket Mathur, Product Manager of Flights at Google, said, “One of the most stressful parts of the trip is between the airport and the flight waiting, because you start to check if your flight is on time. Flights is already experiencing delays, and now we share the reasons for these delays and make a forecast of the delays for these delays as well. ”

Clearly, only predictions with at least 80% certainty will be displayed in the app, although the company believes that it is still better to go to the airport in advance even if its application predicts a delay. The app will also provide reasons for delays, such as the weather or an aircraft arriving late.

As you can see below, the predictions appear as a small text box above the flight information: on the left, in green, it is marked that the flight is on time; on the right, in red, it is indicated that the delay is 42 minutes.

The company took the opportunity to present a new feature that aims to help travelers understand what basic economy fares include and exclude with the price of their ticket. For now, this option is only available for a limited number of airlines.

“New fare types like Basic Economy are great for budget travelers, but it’s sometimes hard to understand if there are important options, such as space for bags, the ability to select your seat, and the cost of travel. luggage, are included in the price. Google Flights now offers information for flights on American, Delta and United. “

Office 2019 Will Only Be Available On Windows 10

Microsoft office 2019

“Microsoft also reduces the extended support of this version to two years”

Having focused its strategy on the cloud in recent years, Microsoft is encouraging businesses to move to Office 365 to take advantage of its cloud-based desktop applications, in addition to many other features and applications that are not available with the cloud. traditional version of Office. “Office 365 offers cloud-aware versions of Office applications that are always up-to-date … but we recognize that some customers are not ready to move to the cloud and will instead choose to deploy on-premise or hybrid architectures,” Microsoft says in a blog post. For these customers, the software giant will continue to offer the traditional version of Office at least for a while. Office 2019, for example, will be available later in the year after pre-releases that will be released starting in the second quarter. But the next version of Microsoft Office will not be available to anyone hoping to use it.

In an article on support for Windows and Office, released Thursday by Microsoft, the software giant has indeed announced that the next version of its office suite will only be supported on Windows 10 and Windows Server. In other words, Office 2019 can not be installed on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, while their extended media will end respectively in January 2020 and January 2023. So you will need to upgrade to Windows 10 if you want the latest version of Office without you subscribe to the Microsoft Office 365 service.

Microsoft also changes the duration of Office 2019 support. Like other versions of Windows and Office, Office 2019 will benefit from a five-year core support, but an “about two-year” extended support instead of five years. Microsoft explains that “modern software offers not only new features to help users do their best, but also new and more efficient management solutions and more comprehensive security approaches,” says Microsoft. software older than 10 years that has not benefited from this innovation is difficult to secure and intrinsically less productive. And as the pace of innovation accelerates, Microsoft has made sense to no longer support its software for as long as 10 years, at least with regard to Office 2019. There is no change to the duration support for existing versions of Office.

The announced changes also concern Windows 10, among others. About Windows 10, Microsoft has decided to expand its support for businesses and customers in the educational community. “Windows 10 is rapidly being adopted by organizations of all sizes, and many customers have made significant progress in moving to Windows as a service … However, some have asked for an extension of standard support to 18 months for updates. of Windows 10, “said Microsoft. To help these customers, Microsoft has announced an additional six months of support for the Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10, versions 1607, 1703 and 1709.

Canonical wants to make Ubuntu 18.04 faster at startup

Canonical’s Ubuntu Desktop manager, Will Cooke, recently released a newsletter that details further developments that should accompany the upcoming release of the Ubuntu Desktop version 18.04 LTS Linux distribution,¬†which is scheduled for official release April 26, 2018.

Recall that “Bionic Beaver” (Beaver Bionique) is the code name of this next version of Ubuntu and that it should benefit from long-term support. The development of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS that started on October 26, 2017 will follow the same pattern as its predecessors: a six-month development cycle with two alpha versions (in January and February 2018) and two beta versions to be released (in March and in April).

Various improvements would have been made in particular at the level of the theme, at the level of the design and at the level of the multimedia functionalities. They should, for example, improve the responsiveness of some Wayland applications to mouse clicks while correcting for bugs that affect them and give the user the ability to increase the volume above 100 %.

In addition to the various enhancements that should affect the GNOME desktop environment, Canonical’s Ubuntu Desktop development team is also looking at the boot speed of the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Canonical developers have planned to use the latest features of the systemd (system daemon) for profiling to identify issues that could slow down the startup of the OS.
Note that the systemd is an initialization system and a daemon that was specifically developed for the Linux kernel to replace the System V. It should provide a better framework for managing dependencies between services, allowing parallel loading services during startup and reduce calls to shell scripts.

“We have begun our investigation of boot speed and are using systemd features to do profiling, which will help us identify bottlenecks and get Bionic up and running as quickly as possible,” said Will Cooke. “We are working on moving the user session to the systemd,” he added.

A fix that allowed the udisks application to hide all virtual devices at the disk manager level and update the LibreOffice Snap component to version 5.4.4 of the office suite was also mentioned by Will Cooke.

Apart from the previously mentioned optimizations, the Canonical team in charge of Ubuntu Desktop development would have detected and corrected a problem that affected the NetworkManager Connectivity Checker package as well as a bug that caused the incorrect alignment of the NetworkManager connectivity checker. title of the windows. A new version of CUPS-Filters (version 1.19.0) that discusses determining the color space and color depth of the CUPS at the PPD generator level and fixes some bugs should also be included in Ubuntu Destop 18.04.

Recall that CUPS (common unix printing system) is an printing system developed by Apple for Mac OS X and UNIX . CUPS-Filters is a package required to use printer drivers with CUPS on Linux. CUPS-Filters provides backends, filters and other software included in the basic CUPS distribution, even if they are no longer managed by the Cupertino company, as well as filters and software developed independently of Apple.

Microsoft Will Block And Remove Optimization Software That Push Users To Pay A Premium Version

Microsoft has decided to block and remove programs that try to convince users to buy solutions that are supposed to help optimize their system. These are typically applications such as system optimization tools, malware cleaners, or registry cleaners. These programs, which are increasingly popular, claim to scan computers for errors, and then use alarming messages to scare customers into buying a premium version of the same program. The paid version of these programs claims to correct the problems found by the free version.

“We find this practice problematic because it can push customers to make unnecessary purchasing decisions,” says Barak Shein of Windows Defender Security Research. To protect its customers, Microsoft has decided to update its evaluation criteria to specify that programs must not use alarming or compelling messages that may prompt users to make a purchase or perform other actions. .

“We use the evaluation criteria to determine which programs are identified as malicious software and unwanted software. In the future, programs displaying compelling messages will be classified as unwanted software, detected and deleted, “says Microsoft. Starting March 1, 2018, Windows Defender and other Microsoft security products will classify such programs as unwanted software and will be detected and removed.

Microsoft encourages users to report programs that display such unwanted behaviors. If you’re a developer, and want to make sure your software meets Microsoft’s evaluation criteria, you can submit it for analysis on the Windows Defender Security Intelligence portal. This will help you find out if your software is classified as a threat, unwanted software or a normal file, and how to correct the problem if your software does not comply with the evaluation criteria.

Haven – the portable security system on Android proposed by Snowden

Can he compete with surveillance cameras?

The Freedom of the Press Foundation (an NGO whose mission is to defend the freedom of the press and help journalists revealing corruption, misdemeanors and mismanagement of governments) and the Guardian Project (an initiative developing secure applications , open and easy to use to protect their communications and personal data) have launched a new Android application named Haven.

His goal is to turn a phone into a mini-surveillance kit. Users can install the Haven app on their primary or secondary phone, and the app will work by relying on the phone’s sensors (microphone, motion detector, light sensor, and cameras) to analyze the surroundings for the search. any change in environmental data.

For example, he will use the camera to detect motion and capture images, the accelerometer to detect when the phone is moved, the microphone to detect noise, and so on.

Haven only saves images and sound when it’s triggered by motion or pressing the volume key, and can store this information locally on the device or send it to another phone or to a remote website even when hosted on the Dark Web.

“The main view of the application allows the user to define which sensors to use and the corresponding sensitivity level,” explain Haven developers. “A security code must be provided, necessary to disable monitoring.”

You can position the device’s camera to capture visible movements, or set up your phone in a quiet place to listen for noises. You can receive secure notifications of intrusion events instantly and access remote logs later.

Edward Snowden, who is the president of the Foundation, and the rest of the development team created the app for use in the case of so-called “evil maid” attacks, an expression used to describe people with access physical to a device.

Users can then use Haven in different ways. They can leave the phone where Haven runs in their hotel room during their absence and receive notifications on another phone if someone enters the room.

They can also leave the Haven phone on a laptop or PC, and see if anyone is in front of the PC or trying to move the phone to access the laptop (and sensitive data contained in the PC).

They can install a Haven phone inside the safes and see if anyone else accesses its contents when they are away.

Android now gives indications on the speed of a Wifi network

The mobile device will need to be Oreo compatible

So far, Android smartphone users have benefited from a single indicator regarding their connection to a Wi-Fi network: the power of the signal. With Android Oreo, or for those who like numbers, version 8.1 of Google’s mobile operating system available since December 2017, the firm of Mountain View has decided to take a step forward. The latest version of its mobile operating system allows users to be informed of the speed of a Wi-Fi network before deciding to connect to it.

Thus, next to the traditional bar icon dedicated to the strength of a Wifi signal, a speed indication will appear under the name of a network. Google states that its operating system will return speed information only for public networks; those whose access requires the provision of a password are not affected. Google has decided to separate the speeds in four categories and at the same time indicated the possible uses:

  • slow: the user can make use of the feature of Wifi calls, make phone calls and send SMS.
  • Correct: You can view web pages, use social media, and stream music
  • fast: you can watch most videos streaming.
  • very high: viewing videos of very high quality streaming is possible.

In a forum reserved for Pixel, a smartphone from the Mountain View company, a community animator gives the details of these categories in terms of numbers:

  • slow: 0 to 1 megabit per second.
  • correct: 1 megabit per second at 5 megabits per second.
  • fast: 5 megabits per second to 20 megabits per second.
  • very high: at least 20 megabits per second.

Good news in principle for the regulars of Wifi networks who should be able to choose more easily which to choose. Note however that only smartphone owners already equipped with the second developer preview can make the jump to the final release of the OS with this feature through an update Over The Air (OTA). In this category, there are de facto users of smartphones Pixel and Nexus that do not suffer the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem. In most other cases, you will probably need an Oreo compatible device.

Different ecosystems, different realities in principle, but not in all cases. Indeed, with the addition of this feature to its mobile operating system, it quickly comes to the lips of the observer the question: what is happening on this side on the side of the giant of the mark at the apple ? To date, it seems that no version of iOS returns this type of information. On the other hand, the DataMeter application, available under this OS, makes it possible to display the speed of a download made through the Wifi or telephone network, which makes it possible to get an idea.

Goobuntu – Google abandons Ubuntu-based Linux Distribution for Debian

For years, Google has used Goobuntu, a custom Linux distribution based on Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) versions. Google, however, was not a contributor to the Ubuntu project, but simply used distribution as a client for the Ubuntu Advantage program.

By the way, it should be noted that Ubuntu is available for free download and users can also get free support from the community. But for companies with production workloads, Canonical offers a suite of tools and services through its Ubuntu Advantage program to help them get the most out of their Ubuntu deployments.

Last August, during the DebConf 17 event, the Mountain View giant announced plans to abandon Ubuntu. For its in-house machines, Google will migrate from Goobuntu to gLinux, a distribution based on Debian Testing. Note that the Debian testing distribution contains packages that have not yet been accepted into the stable distribution but are waiting to be accepted. The main benefit of using this distribution is that it contains newer versions of the software.

Goobuntu glinux

The migration process from Goobuntu to gLinux has now begun. The exact reasons for dropping Ubuntu are not yet known, but it will allow Google to perform timely testing of packages and fix problems. The migration from Google to gLinux is also good news for the Debian project, as Google will contribute upstream to the project. But for Canonical, it’s certainly a big loss. Although Ubuntu has a large number of clients in the server and cloud arena, and remains one of the most popular Linux distributions on the PC market, Google is still a big payer.

source : itsfoss

Android – back on the Treble project

What impact on the development of alternative ROMs?

Android alternative ROMs, a last resort for smartphone users for whom the manufacturer no longer provides support, benefit from the launch of Android Oreo (the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system). According to opinions gathered on the specialized site “XDA developers”, the new operating system is well on track to give a new breath to the development of customized system images.

It must indeed take into account the fact that Oreo is a break with its predecessors. And for good reason, the architecture of the operating system is special and its details, recorded in the documentation of the Treble project which was also published on this platform last May.

Google has not made the economy of developments in this project. Oreo separates the hardware abstraction layers put in place by the chip makers of the operating system framework. “Treble-enabled smartphones have partitions dedicated to backing up hardware abstraction layers [by chipmaker],” reports XDA Developers.

The measure is intended to speed up the process of updating the operating system. Under these conditions, in fact, the original equipment manufacturer is not conditioned by the provision of the hardware abstraction layer to work on an update of the operating system. It is also expected that chip manufacturers can proceed with the release of hardware abstraction layer updates through the Play Store. Google ensures the quality of the “chip maker interface” through its Vendor Test Suite (VTS) certification tests which, if successful, make the device a “Treble compatible” device.

According to developments at the XDA Developers, the Treble project is already bearing fruit. One of the requirements of the VTS certification test suite is that a device is able to boot with an AOSP ROM build. So far, contributors to the site have managed to compile an AOSP ROM identical to the one that Google makes available to OEMs.

“We have an AOSP ROM that we are sure we can use to boot Treble compatible. The bulk of the work was done by the original chip and equipment manufacturers, “reports the XDA Developers site.

Pixel smartphones are de facto excellent candidates for experimentation with this ROM as tailor-made for them. Contributors to the site report using the ROM to start smartphones from three different original equipment manufacturers (Huawei Mate 9, Sony Xperia Z1 and an Essential Phone).

This is a promising prospect for owners of Treble compatible smartphones. We are entitled to think that the community will ensure that the lifespan of their devices can be extended in case of abandonment by the manufacturer. There is still some work to do as reported by the contributors. They also note that the path taken by chip and original equipment manufacturers significantly reduces the ROM development work for additional devices. Contributors from all sides, on your marks, ready, go!

Microsoft Announces End Of Support For Word, Excel And PowerPoint Viewer

And recommend solutions accessible via Windows 10 and Office 365

Today, there are several solutions for viewing documents in Office formats, especially when it comes to viewing Word, Excel or PowerPoint files. Many of these are available online and require no third-party software installation.

For its part, the Redmond firm maintains a list of applications that can quickly view documents in Microsoft Office formats. The main advantage of these applications is that they are lightweight, have good compatibility and prevent the user from installing the heavier applications recommended by Microsoft and which are usually delivered with Office, the Productivity Suite. complete Windows editor.

The Microsoft Word Viewer, Excel Viewer, and PowerPoint Viewer applications are some of the quick viewers that have been specifically designed to make it easier for users to view the content of documents created in Microsoft Office. Originally, Microsoft would have implemented these solutions to ease the transition to the new default file formats supported on the most recent versions of its Office Suite.

Microsoft now wants to adopt a new policy and plans to stop distributing its Office Word, PowerPoint and Excel Viewer file viewer. Microsoft now mentions the dates from which these applications will be decommissioned and their respective download links will be removed. Word Viewer, for example, should be removed this month, while PowerPoint Viewer and Excel Viewer are expected to disappear in April 2018.

“Microsoft Word Viewer will be removed in November 2017. As of this date, the application will no longer be available for download and will no longer receive security updates,” says Microsoft in a short note. published on the application’s download page.

Even though the download links will be removed and the support closed, it will still be possible to use the outdated versions of these applications to view Office documents. Nevertheless, it is important to know that Microsoft will not provide any new security updates beyond the above dates. As a result, any vulnerabilities discovered in these applications after the announced deadline could be exploited by cybercriminals and compromise the security of the end user’s data.

Microsoft is now recommending that people continue to use simple solutions such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Viewer to visualize documents created with their Office Suite from Windows 10, Office 365, or, if not, OneDrive.

With Windows 10, they will be able to download and install Office mobile apps from the Windows Store. These apps are free and can also be used on iOS and Android devices by installing the correct version of the software from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Office 365, for its part, can be tested free of charge for a trial period of one month. Office 365 has all the official software recommended by the Redmond firm to create, edit, manage or view Office files online. Finally, OneDrive can be used as a last resort to download documents and view them online.

A flaw in Android allows an attacker to record screen activity and system audio

Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat involved

The Android operating system is present on billions of devices around the world and, as software, does not escape one of the rules of the test which states that the absence of the faults is a utopia. Researchers at security firm MWR InfoSecurity have exposed a new operating system vulnerability. Back to Google in early January 2017 by the team of researchers, it allows an attacker to abuse an application to get a user to record the activity of his screen without his knowledge. The briefing note also notes the possibility of siphoning the audio from the system.

Vulnerability affects smartphones that run the Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat distributions; that is, when these lines are written, more than 75% of the Android devices on the market are concerned. This is due to the MediaProjection framework that launched with Lollipop distribution and whose role is to allow developers to capture the screen activity of a smartphone.

According to researchers at the security firm MWR InfoSecurity, in distributions prior to Lollipop, applications with such features had to either have root privileges or be signed with special keys, which leaves think that they were reserved for original equipment manufacturers. From Lollipop, they are accessible to third-party developers via this framework and the consequence is that they do not need root privileges or application signatures.

Moreover, as noted by the researchers of the security firm, it is not necessary to require permissions via the manifest file of the application. “To use the service, an application only needs to access it through an Intent. Access to the service is granted through the display of a system prompt that warns the user that the application requires permission to capture the screen activity, “write the researchers. In principle, the user is notified of the activity that is problematic except that the researchers of the security firm add that it is possible to superimpose a malicious invitation to that generated by the system. A message well placed and the user of the application is rolled.

“This vulnerability is mainly due to the fact that the affected Android versions are unable to detect that a system prompt has been partially hidden,” the researchers added.

To date, only the Oreo distribution of the Android operating system contains a fix for this problem. Old distributions of the operating system therefore remain vulnerable. However, researchers at the security firm say that this type of attack is not completely silent. According to the latter, an application that accesses this service generates a notification in the dedicated bar for this purpose. Users should pay particular attention to the presence of a screencast icon as shown above. Morality: pay attention to the applications that we download. Fortunately, in this case there is a point of support for vigilance.