Firefox 65.0 Released, CO.LAB to Host First "Global Experience" at the Tate Modern, Electric Guitar with a Built-In RPi Synthesizer, Debian's Reproducible Builds Report and Update on Fedora's New Privacy System for User Stats

News briefs for January 29, 2019.

Firefox 65.0 was released to Channel users today. New features include enhanced tracking protection, better experience for multilingual users, support for HandOff on macOS, better video streaming for Windows users, and improved performance and web compatibility, with support for the WebP image format. Go here to download Firefox.

CO.LAB to host its first "global experience" at the Tate Modern in London. On Wednesday, "students from two London schools will participate in an all-day session learning a bit about coding, a bit about music and a lot about open source. The program is a collaboration between Red Hat and Femi Owolade-Coombes, better known as Hacker Femo. Femi, a 13-year-old coder known for his Young Coder Workshops in London, worked with us to provide a curriculum that extends the capabilities of the micro:bit, a pocket-sized codeable computer of which one million were delivered to England and Wales year 7 students in 2016. Differing from previous CO.LAB events, the curriculum will be led by Femi, and mentors will be both Red Hat experts and middle school girls from the Young Coders program." For more info about Red Hat's CO.LAB initiative, go here.

Lucern Custom Instruments from the UK teamed up with Tracktion Corporation of Seattle to create Spirit Animal, an electric guitar with a Raspberry Pi synthesizer built in. According to the Raspberry Pi Blog, the guitar "boasts an onboard Li-ion battery granting about 8 hours of play time, and a standard 1/4" audio jack for connecting to an amp. To permit screen-sharing, updates, and control via SSH, the guitar allows access to the Pi's Ethernet port and wireless functionality." See also the Gear News website and the Lucern Instruments Facebook page for more information.

Debian published its Reproducible Builds report for the past week. There are many updates of note, including "There was considerable progress towards making the Debian Installer images reproducible with a number of rounds of code review, a subsequent merge of Chris Lamb's merge request and the closing of the corresponding bug report for the time being, pending further testing."

Fedora's new privacy system for user statistics is making progress. Phoronix reports that "Earlier this month there was a change proposal announced that would give Fedora system's a new unique UUID tracking identifier to count systems. The intention isn't to track users but rather to provide more statistics about the Fedora install base compared to the current system that is just tracking unique IP addresses, but a revised proposal would improve the privacy while still offering up much of the same statistics potential." The revised proposal will work like this: "Rather than relying upon a unique identifier that is transmitted to the Fedora update servers, the revised proposal is focusing upon just transmitting the 'variant' (indicating if you are running Fedora Workstation or one of the other spins) and then a new 'countme' variable. That countme variable would be managed client-side and under current thinking would increment weekly to reflect the age of the Fedora system: that would allow Fedora to see the age of the systems, new vs. updating installs to new releases, the number of users just running in Docker/cloud/other short-lived instances, and other metrics but without relying upon a per-system UUID."

Jill Franklin is an editorial professional with more than 17 years experience in technical and scientific publishing, both print and digital. As Executive Editor of Linux Journal, she wrangles writers, develops content, manages projects, meets deadlines and makes sentences sparkle. She also was Managing Editor for TUX and Embedded Linux Journal, and the book Linux in the Workplace. Before entering the Linux and open-source realm, she was Managing Editor of several scientific and scholarly journals, including Veterinary Pathology, The Journal of Mammalogy, Toxicologic Pathology and The Journal of Scientific Exploration. In a previous life, she taught English literature and composition, managed a bookstore and tended bar. When she’s not bugging writers about deadlines or editing copy, she throws pots, gardens and reads. You can contact Jill via e-mail, ljeditor@linuxjournal.com.

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