What's new in February: Mozilla leak monitoring, VirtualBox over KVM, Go 1.22, and web monetization in Chromium

Dive into some exciting news of February with is*hosting digest!

is*hosting team 5 Mar 2024 4 min reading
What's new in February: Mozilla leak monitoring, VirtualBox over KVM, Go 1.22, and web monetization in Chromium

February still reminds us of the beginning of the year, so we suggest familiarizing yourself with the new options in Mozilla, starting web mentoring for your site, or even using open-source versions of Gemma's AI models for development.

Data Leak Monitoring Subscription Service Offered by Mozilla

Data Leak Monitoring Subscription Service Offered by Mozilla

Mozilla is introducing a new subscription privacy monitoring service called Mozilla Monitor and Mozilla Monitor Plus. Mozilla Monitor is a free service that allows you to view data leaks. A paid version of Mozilla Monitor Plus is also available, automatically removing data from the leaked array and monthly scans for ongoing security.

An annual plan allows you to subscribe to Monitor Plus for $13.99/month or $8.99/month.

The service automatically monitors your data on more than 190 websites where brokers sell information collected from online sources. If your sensitive information is found, Mozilla Monitor Plus will attempt to remove it. Mozilla Monitor has searched for your email address against publicly available vulnerability data since 2007.

It's worth noting that the free version only shows you which sites have your data, and then you have to manually contact each site and ask them to delete your account. Monitor Plus does this automatically when it detects your data. Deletion can take as little as 1-14 days or as long as several months.

Mozilla Monitor works in all browsers. All you need to do is register a Mozilla account in the browser of your choice.

Windows 11 24H2 will Replace Windows 12 in 2024

Windows 11 24H2 will Replace Windows 12 in 2024

Microsoft has announced that it will automatically upgrade compatible user PCs from Windows 11 21H2 and 22H2 to the newer Windows 11 23H2 to ensure continued support for the operating system. Technical support for older versions of Windows 11 will be discontinued after a set period (October 10, 2023, for 21H2 and October 2024, for 22H2).

The update process will be staged using artificial intelligence to identify the most compatible PCs. The process will be halted if issues arise during the automatic update on specific computers. However, users will still be able to install the update manually at a later time.

In late October 2023, Microsoft released Windows 11 version 23H2, which includes new AI features like Copilot and Cocreator in Paint, an improved Explorer, and various interface and software updates.

The release of Windows 12 in 2024 is expected to be replaced by version 24H2, codenamed Hudson Valley. This update will include significant artificial intelligence improvements. Microsoft plans to release annual feature updates for Windows 11 in the second half of each year.

Two Open-Source AI Models Unveiled by Google

Two Open-Source AI Models Unveiled by Google

Google has released two open-source versions of its Gemini AI models, named Gemma 2B and Gemma 7B.

These are small open-source AI models designed to solve English language problems. They enable developers to use Google's closed Gemini model.

Although Gemma is small, Google claims it outperforms larger models on critical metrics and will be able to run on regular PCs. The models are accessible through the Kaggle, Hugging Face, NeMo, Vertex AI, and Google Cloud platforms.

Unlike Gemini, Gemma is open source. Google emphasizes responsible use of these models through built-in monitoring and customization tools.

Google aims to expand Gemma's English-language capabilities to other languages with the assistance of the developer community. Access to the models will be available under a commercial license, regardless of the size of the purchasing organization.

The Responsible AI Toolkit enables developers to establish regulations or list prohibited terms when integrating Gemma into their projects. Additionally, it features a model debugging tool that allows users to analyze Gemma's actions and resolve any problems.

Developers can use Gemma for free on Kaggle. The first Google Cloud users will also receive $300 in model credits. Google also states that researchers can claim up to $500,000 in cloud credits.

Go 1.22 Release

Go 1.22 Release

The most recent release of Go, version 1.22, arrives six months after Go 1.21. Most changes in the new version pertain to implementing the toolchain, runtime environment, and libraries.

  • Changes in Go 1.22 include support for integer ranges for loops (e.g., "for i := range 10") and experimental iterators with range over function.
  • Runtime optimizations improve performance by 1-3% and reduce memory consumption for most applications by 1%.
  • Compiler improvements use profile-oriented optimizations to further devirtualize calls, improving performance by 2-14%. Experimental changes to inlining are also included.
  • Go 1.22 now includes an experimental port for OpenBSD on big-endian 64-bit PowerPC (openbsd/ppc64).
  • Additionally, the standard library now includes the math/rand/v2 package with an improved randomization API. HTTP routing has also been updated to support methods and wildcards.

Other changes and additions to Go 1.22 can be viewed here.

Chromium is Testing Automatic Micropayments to Monetize Websites

Chromium is Testing Automatic Micropayments to Monetize Websites

Web monetization is a web technology that enables website owners to receive micropayments from users when interacting with content.

According to Chromium developers, this feature allows content creators and website owners to receive compensation for their work beyond advertising or subscriptions. This could include offering paid access to specific content or receiving digital tips.

The technology extends the HTML element by introducing rel="monetization". This requires the site owner to add a link to their wallet. Suppose a user has set up their wallet for a particular website. In that case, their browser will automatically start a web monetization session, allowing for direct payments from the user to the site.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that a prototype implementation of Web Monetization may be included in the Chrome 127 release scheduled for July 2024.

Verisign Raises .com Prices

Verisign Raises .com Prices

Verisign announced a price increase for .com domain names starting September 1, 2024.

Verisign, a US-based company, operates two of the 13 DNS root servers worldwide and other network infrastructures. They are responsible for authoritative first-level domain registries, including the .com and .net domains, among the most extensive top-level domains.

The registry charges registrars $9.59 per year to register .com domains, which will increase to $10.26 in the fall.

Verisign is authorized to increase prices by 7% in the last four years of its six-year contract renewal. To avoid price increases, current owners of .com domain names can renew their domains in advance for up to ten years at the current list price.

Approximately 158 million websites are registered in the .com domain zone, making it the most common general-purpose domain zone.

VirtualBox KVM Backend Source Code Public Release

VirtualBox KVM Backend Source Code Public Release

On February 8, 2024, the VirtualBox KVM backend source code was publicly released. The source code is available on GitHub under the GPLv3 license and is written in C and C++. Running VirtualBox on top of KVM offers several advantages.

VirtualBox is a virtual machine monitor (VMM) on multiple platforms. It has a wide range of features and supports various guest operating systems. The user interface is consistent across different host operating systems.

Cyberus Technology's KVM backend enables VirtualBox to operate virtual machines with the Linux KVM hypervisor instead of the proprietary kernel module used in standard VirtualBox.

The development team asserts that VirtualBox KVM is stable in Linux-based host environments on x86_64 systems with Intel processors. At the same time, support for AMD processors is still experimental.

Have a great month, and see you in the following is*hosting digest!


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