Samsung unleashes ad blocking Android browser

Also in today's open source roundup: Oracle wants $9.3 billion dollars from Google for using Java in Android, and 5 open source home automation tools

Samsung unleashes ad blocking Android browser
Credit: Globalite

Samsung unleashes ad blocking Android browser

Apple received quite a bit of criticism from certain media sites for adding the ability to block content (ad blocking) to its Safari browser. And now Samsung has followed in Apple's footsteps once again, offering its own ad blocking browser for its Android devices.

Steve Dent reports for Engadget:

Owners of certain Samsung devices now have a new browser option: Samsung's very own "Internet" app. Wait, don't go! You may have given up on the app long ago, but version 4.0 has some pretty interesting features. All versions of Android on Samsung devices (not just Marshmallow) now get content blocking (aka ad-blocking), provided you have a dedicated third-party app installed.

The other notable feature is "Secret" mode, which is like Chrome's Incognito or Firefox's private browsing settings. However, Samsung has added authentication and encryption to more fully protect your internet browsing history.

Samsung got off to a rocky start with ad-blocking for its Android browser. It initially launched it for devices on Marshmallow (Android 6.0), but Google quickly pulled the required partner app, Adblocker Plus. The search giant subsequently changed its mind, meaning there's now a variety of ad-blockers you can use with Samsung's browser.

More at Engadget

Oracle wants $9.3 billion dollars from Google for using Java in Android

Oracle has never been an…er…shy company when it comes to protecting its intellectual property. And now the company is seeking $9.3 billion dollars from Google for using Java in its Android operating system.

Liam Tung reports for ZDNet:

Oracle thinks it is due $9.3bn in damages from Google, mostly from profits the search company is claimed to have made from using Java in Android.

The tech giants are scheduled to duel again in May at a federal district court in San Francisco to settle a long-running feud over whether or not Google was covered by "fair use" when it copied 37 Java application programming interfaces to build Android, now the most widely-used mobile OS in the world.

In June last year, the Supreme Court denied Google's appeal against an Appeals Court decision that overturned an earlier ruling that APIs aren't covered by copyright law.

But while Oracle had previously sought damages of $1bn, a new court submission from Oracle shows the company is now seeking almost 10 times that amount.

More at ZDNet

5 open source home automation tools

The Internet of things is a very big deal right now, with many companies racing to provide connected devices that go far beyond computers, laptops, tablets, and phones. Home automation is one of the big new product categories, and has a helpful list of five open source home automation tools.

Jason Baker reports for

With an ever-expanding number of devices available to help you automate, protect, and monitor your home, it has never before been easier nor more tempting to try your hand at home automation. Whether you're looking to control your HVAC system remotely, integrate a home theater, protect your home from theft, fire, or other threats, reduce your energy usage, or just control a few lights, there are countless devices available at your disposal.

But at the same time, many users worry about the security and privacy implications of bringing new devices into their homes. They want to control who has access to the vital systems which control their appliances and record every moment of their everyday lives. And understandably: In an era when even your refrigerator could now be a smart device, don't you want to know if you fridge is phoning home? Wouldn't you want some basic assurance that, even if you do give a device permission to communicate externally, that it is only accessible to those who are explicitly authorized?

While connected devices often contain proprietary components, a good first step in bringing open source into your home automation system is to ensure that the device which ties your devices together -- and presents you with an interface to them (the "hub") -- is open source. Fortunately, there are many choices out there, with options to run on everything from your always-on personal computer to a Raspberry Pi.

Here are just a few of our favorites.



Home Assistant



More at

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