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October 26 2017

16:05
Welcoming 25 mentor organizations for Google Code-in 2017

October 25 2017

21:10
Announcing OpenFermion: The Open Source Chemistry Package for Quantum Computers

October 23 2017

17:45

Introducing the Chrome User Experience Report

Chrome was founded to push the web forward, and a key part of that is enabling developers to improve their user experience. Although current tools allow developers to understand how real-world users experience their own sites, they have never provided insight into comparisons with other sites or macro user experience trends across the web. Following similar efforts like the HTTPS Transparency Report, today we’re making the Chrome User Experience Report available to encourage performance and user experience improvements across the web.

The report is a public dataset of key user experience metrics for top origins on the web. All performance data included in the report is from real-world conditions, aggregated from Chrome users who have opted-in to syncing their browsing history and have usage statistic reporting enabled. The initial release includes data from a sample of ten thousand origins and focuses on loading metrics, though we hope to expand coverage in future iterations. For full details on the dataset format, how to access it, and best practices for analysis, please see our developer documentation.

By querying the dataset, developers can understand how real Chrome users experience the web from the diverse set of hardware, software, and networks they use in the wild. Analyzing many origins on the web will help site developers and the web community understand where they are doing well, identify areas for improvement, and observe advancements in user experience over time.

We welcome feedback on the dataset’s format, metrics, dimensions, or any other ways to improve the report. We hope that this dataset will help the web community identify opportunities, record trends, and improve user experience on the web.

Posted by Bryan McQuade and Ilya Grigorik, User Experience Reporters

October 18 2017

16:42

Building unified documentation for the web

Browsers are always exploring new directions. This independent experimentation has enabled the web to evolve to meet new use cases, but it also means that keeping up with how the web is changing can be difficult. Browsers maintain documentation for their features and APIs, but cross-browser documentation is often fragmented across several sources. One of Chrome’s top priorities is making it easier to build sites that work in all browsers, and simplifying web documentation is a key part of that effort.

Today, web documentation is taking a big step towards a unified source. Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) Web Docs is announcing a new product advisory board, which includes founding members from Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and several others from the web standards and development communities. The product advisory board will review and provide feedback on the direction of MDN’s web documentation going forward.

For the last several years, Chrome has been transitioning its web documentation efforts to MDN, allowing us to combine our documentation efforts with many open source contributors like Mozilla. The product advisory board is another step towards making MDN the best source of up-to-date, comprehensive documentation on the web and aligns closely with our goal to make it easier to build for the web as a whole. As part of this effort, we’re also investing in interoperability tests for the web, which allows browsers to share tests and compare the compatibility of their features. We’re also building new infrastructure to help browser developers find bugs and missing APIs between implementations.

Check out MDN Web Docs as the centralized source of web API documentation. And look out for more information on how we’re working to make the web an even easier platform to build on.

Posted by Dru Knox, Product Manager

October 11 2017

17:00
TensorFlow Lattice: Flexibility Empowered by Prior Knowledge

October 09 2017

16:15
Google Code-in 2017 is seeking organization applications

October 08 2017

03:25

What I’m Reading: Doomsday prepper sends all of his food to Puerto Rico

Shared Article from SFGate

Doomsday prepper sends all of his food to Puerto Rico

MEDFORD, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man who spent decades preparing his home for doomsday is donating all of his stored food to families affected by Hur…

sfgate.com


October 03 2017

17:00
Announcing more Open Source Peer Bonus winners
00:00
Talk to Google at Node.js Interactive

September 26 2017

17:00
Introducing Abseil, a new common libraries project
15:21

Fue el estado

Shared Article from NACLA

In Mexico, Solidarity Versus the State

Many in Mexico think the government and political parties are hampering aid efforts.

Christy Thornton @ nacla.org


. . . In Mexico City and the surrounding areas, the response of the state has caused exasperation and anger. Outside the capital, in smaller towns in the state of Puebla, for example, no official help has arrived at all; citizens are left to coordinate relief themselves. But in parts of Mexico City where massive volunteer efforts got underway immediately after the quake—such as in the central neighborhoods of Condesa and La Roma, where multiple buildings collapsed—the military later arrived and cordoned off damaged blocks, kicking out volunteers and refusing to provide further information. This has created what one journalist called a “struggle” between the military and civilians, many of whom argue that the army and marines, with their heavy equipment and top-down approach, care little about finding survivors and have done nothing to communicate with those looking for their loved ones. The marines are also coming under blame—together with the PRI-aligned Televisa television network—for stoking the false story of “Frida Sofia,” the non-existent student who was supposedly trapped in a collapsed elementary school.

Elsewhere, aid collected by volunteer groups is being channeled by a state agency known as the DIF, which is headed by the first lady and the wife of the interior minister, and is nominally responsible for family welfare programs. That is, rather than distributing government aid, the agency appears to be appropriating aid collected by citizens in order to distribute it under their banner. A widely circulating video showed aid trucks arriving in Morelos from the state of Michoacán forcibly diverted by police from their intended destination to the DIF headquarters, where huge stores of supplies sat undistributed, officials said, because they did not have bags. . . .

–Christy Thornton, In Mexico, Solidarity Versus the State (23 Sep. 2017)

September 25 2017

16:30
Google Summer of Code turns 14

September 23 2017

13:55

Anarchy, Swamp, and Utopia

Shared Article from Reason.com

Anarchy, Swamp, and Utopia

Archeologists offer a new look at a secretive settlement of runaway slaves.

Jesse Walker @ reason.com


September 22 2017

18:10

Aspirational History and the Color of American Citizenship

There’s a new political book out by E.J. Dionne, Norm Orenstein and Thomas E. Mann, called One Nation After Trump. Dionne and Orenstein went on Fresh Air the other day to talk about their book, their take and their hopes for a better political climate. Terry Gross asked them to speak a bit about one of the themes of their book — that part of what’s notable and different about Donald Trump and the political movement behind him, as opposed to past waves of right-wing politics, is the extent to which they have embraced ideas from the European far right.

That much is certainly true, and it’s worth noting. But what’s harder to go along with is Dionne’s effort to pivot from the influence of the European far right, into a countervailing political appeal to American patriotism. Here’s what Dionne says:

DIONNE: The idea that Bannon and Trump have imported ideas from the European far-right comes from the notion that there’s been a great historical difference between what it meant to be an American and what it meant to be a citizen in many European countries. . . . American citizenship has always been based on a commitment to ideas. It didn’t matter where you were from. It didn’t matter what the color of your skin was . . . .

–E.J. Dionne, interviewed by Terry Gross. Could The Trump Presidency Lead To An Era Of Democratic Renewal?
Fresh Air, NPR, 19 September 2017

This is just wrong. It would have been nice, and better for America and the entire world, if it had been true, but it’s flat-footedly and literally mistaken. In 1790, when Congress passed the first Naturalization Act in the U.S., the language of that act directly stated that it mattered what the color of your skin was: you had to be a free white person to qualify for naturalized American citizenship:

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof, on application to any common law court of record, in any one of the states wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such court, that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law, to support the constitution of the United States, which oath or affirmation such court shall administer; . . .

— An Act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization (March 26, 1790)
United States Statutes at Large, First Congress, Second Session, 103ff. (Source: White By Law: Naturalization Act of 1790)

Whiteness was a condition not only for naturalization, but for both the rights and obligations of citizenship more broadly, at the federal level and at the state level. Skin color prerequisites, nearly identical to the federal prerequisite, were written even more pervasively into the state constitutions and legal codes of antebellum Southern states. For example, in Alabama, the same formulas made white skin color was an explicit prerequisite for the franchise and for political office. At the federal level, to take another example, in 1792 Congress said that the color of your skin (as well as your gender and citizenship) mattered to your eligibility, and obligation, to serve in the militia:

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia by the captain or commanding officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this act.

— An Act more effectually to provide for the National Defence by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States (May 8, 1792)
United States Statutes at Large, First Congress, Second Session, 271-274. (Source: White By Law: Uniform Militia Act of 1792)

Every amendment to the Naturalization Act passed from 1790 up until 1952 repeated the free white person formula, or a close variation on it. In 1870, in the wake of Emancipation and Reconstruction, there was a debate in the Senate over whether to remove the racial prerequisite from citizenship; but in the end the Reconstruction drive to wipe out the racial-law legacy of slavery ran up against the rising nativist sentiment against Chinese immigration in the West. And in the event, the bill that they passed never struck out the racial prerequisite; it just added aliens of African nativity and … persons of African descent as a second racial category that could be admitted. For the next 80 years, a series of prerequisite cases in the federal courts — beginning with In Re Ah Yup — repeatedly affirmed that skin color absolutely mattered to a person’s eligibility for American citizenship, and then litigated over and over again the sometimes porous legal and social boundaries of just who counted as white. (For example, Chinese and Japanese immigrants did not; Mexican immigrants did. For many immigrant groups, including Arabs and South Asians, different courts made numerous, sometimes inconsistent rulings. A good, standard reference on this series of cases is Ian F. Haney-Lopez’s White By Law: The Legal Construction of Race.) Gradually Congress added more racial groups in addition to white and black, but this basic framework — of a limited number of racial categories allowed to become naturalized citizens, and everyone else ruled ineligible to citizenship — remained the core of American naturalization law until racial bars were finally repealed by the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1952.

There is no question that for the first century and a half of its existence, the United States government was explicitly a racial state, and that race and skin color were explicit conditions on citizenship and political participation. This shouldn’t be surprising: before the Civil War, the United States was a slaveholding nation. After the Civil War, immigration exclusion and Jim Crow increasingly reinscribed systems of racial categorization into the law.

I hope it should go without saying that this is not any kind of argument in favor of race or skin color as a condition of citizenship. The fact that the United States had a long tradition of racially discriminatory citizenship laws isn’t any reason to think kindly of the traditional, white supremacist approach. It’s a reason to think worse of the United States government, and to be much more skeptical of traditional American patriotism. Whatever deeper values Dionne may think were present in the American system, at some other level, and however much he may think that the old racial prerequisite law was an aberration or an inconsistency, there is no way that you can reasonably pretend that It didn’t matter what the color of your skin was without substituting a sort of aspirational self-identity for the much messier historical fact.

September 20 2017

11:43

Chrome 62 Beta: Network Quality Estimator API, OpenType variable fonts, and media capture from DOM elements

Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Network Quality Estimator API

The Network Infomation API has been available in previous versions of Chrome, but has only provided theoretical network speeds given the type of a user's connection. In this release, the API has been expanded to provide developers with network performance metrics as experienced by the client. Using the API, a developer can inspect the current expected round trip time and throughput and be notified of performance changes. To simplify application logic, the API also summarizes measured network performance as the cellular connection type (e.g. 2G ) most similar to it, even if the actual connection is WiFi or Ethernet.


Using these network quality signals, developers can tailor content to network constraints. For example, on very slow connections, developers can serve a simplified version of the page to improve page load times .  These signals will also soon be available as HTTP request headers and enabled via Client Hints .

OpenType Variable Fonts

OpenType Font Variations bring new typographic capabilities to the web. Previously, one font file contained just a single instance of a font family, including only one weight (Regular, Bold, Black…) or one stretch (Normal, Condensed, Expanded…).
Figure: Animated Amstelvar and Decovar variable font examples


With variable fonts, responsive design on the web now extends to typography. OpenType Variations provide a continuous spectrum of stylistic variations while saving space and bandwidth, since they all load from a single compact font file. Stretch, style, and weight can be adjusted using the respective updated CSS properties which now allow numeric values. Fine tuning of variation axis parameters, such as weight or width, is possible using the font-variation-settings CSS property.

Media Capture from DOM Elements

The W3C Media Capture from DOM Elements API now allows sites to live-capture content in the form of a MediaStream directly from HTMLMediaElements (i.e. <video> and <audio> ). By invoking the captureStream() method on HTMLMediaElements , streamed content can be recorded and sent remotely using WebRTC, processed with WebAudio, or manipulated in various other ways .


Sorry! Your browser does not support the video element. View animationhere.
Figure: A 3D rendering being live-captured and streamed to a peer connection using WebRTC.

Other features in this release

Deprecations and interoperability improvements

  • Following an update to native button appearance on macOS, the appearance of <input> buttons and the <button> element have been similarly changed , affecting the default values for the background-color ,   border ,   border-radius , and padding CSS properties .
  • The ability to request permission to show notifications has been removed over HTTP connections and within cross-origin iframes , in line with our policy on restricting powerful features to only HTTPS.
  • To increase accuracy and ensure that users receive content in the language they expect, base language is now added immediately after language+region when generating accept-language headers from language settings.
  • To improve UX and browser consistency, transitional mouse events will now be dispatched , and hover states will now be updated more quickly after the intended layout has been modified.
  • OfflineAudioContext now accepts a dictionary argument, in addition to the existing constructor that takes three separate arguments.
  • In line with other browsers, the getStreamById method on RTCPeerConnection has now been removed .
  • SharedWorker.workerStart has been removed, following its deprecation and removal from other major browsers.
  • To better conform to spec, the default value of <ol>.start has been set to 1 .

Posted by Ben Greenstein and Tarun Bansal, The Network’s Watch
Reposted bysofiasfinkregh

September 19 2017

14:00
Authenticating to Hashicorp Vault using GCE Signed Metadata
10:28

Rad Geek status update (19 Sep 2017, 5:28am)

Shared Article from Prudentia

Getting it Right, or Left: Marxism and Competition

It's educational to keep friends around who disagree with you. ... Disagreeing, if not disagreeable, friends make you a better person and a better sci…

Deirdre McCloskey @ deirdremccloskey.org


September 18 2017

16:33
Announcing Google Code-in 2017: The Latest and Greatest for Year Eight
01:12

Rad Geek status update (17 Sep 2017, 8:12pm)

Shared Article from latimes.com

Are we headed for a second civil war?

A near-future war with two clear sides is about as likely as a war with the Moon.

latimes.com


A.: Probably not.

September 14 2017

23:10

Unified autoplay

Users watch and listen to a lot of media, and autoplay can make it faster and easier to consume on the web. However, one of the most frequent user concerns is unexpected media playback, which can use data, consume power, and make unwanted noise while browsing. To address this, Chrome will be making autoplay more consistent with user expectations and will give users more control over audio.

Starting in Chrome 64, autoplay will be allowed when either the media won’t play sound, or the user has indicated an interest in the media. This will allow autoplay to occur when users want media to play, and respect users' wishes when they don't. These changes will also unify desktop and mobile web behavior, making web media development more predictable across platforms and browsers.

Not all users have the same preferences for autoplay media, so Chrome 63 will add a new user option to completely disable audio for individual sites. This site muting option will persist between browsing sessions, allowing users to customize when and where audio will play.

These changes will give users greater control over media playing in their browser, while making it easier for publishers to implement autoplay where it benefits the user. For more details, please see the autoplay roadmap.

Posted by Mounir Lamouri, Software Engineer
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