The successor to SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption protocol, Transport layer Security (TLS) serves to secure communications between the browser and destination server so as to thwart hackers from intercepting and reading the data.

While the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has recommended that older TLS versions 1.0 and 1.1 should be discontinued, given that several aspects of the architecture are neither as strong or robust to cover the security requirements of the Internet today.

And the specific problems with TLS 1.0 that require immediate action, remains that TLS 1.0 does not support modern cryptographic algorithms, which poses some risks to our valuable information, such as log-on credentials and credit card numbers.

As a result, both TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are now obsolete and to be replaced by the later newer versions 1.2 and 1.3, with TLS 1.3 as the most recent update, haven been released in August by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and the major browsers haven introduced support for the draft specification of TLS 1.3.

The four biggest browsers, Chrome, Firefox, IE or Edge and Safari have all set the timeline when they will drop support for the TLS (Transport Layer Security) 1.0 and 1.1 encryption protocols.

Google Chrome will start deprecating the protocols starting from Chrome 72, which is expected to ship in January 2019 with warnings in the DevTools console. And support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will eventually be dropped with Chrome 81, slated for release around March 2020.

And Firefox will disable support for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 starting in March of 2020, with changes appearing in pre-release versions of Firefox (Beta, Developer Edition, and Nightly) earlier than March 2020.

Apple on its part will remove support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 from Safari in March 2020 via updates to macOS and iOS. Also other browsers have made similar announcements, including Microsoft Edge all setting almost same timeline and plan to make the same changes.

Timeline for the major browsers ending support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 encryption protocols

Google has released Chrome 70 for Windows, Mac, and Linux, with the expected reversal of the automatic logins to its services through an option to disable the automatic sign-in, and allowing users to turn off web-based sign-in linking within the browser.

Chrome 70 also bring with it the full desktop take-on on the Progressive Web App (PWA) functionality, which feature served as new way to deliver amazing user experiences on the web, whereby mobile applications behave more like a hybrid of regular web pages (or websites) and mobile applications.

The desktop PWA shows up in the Start Menu and just like you'd expect a native app on Windows to function; it can serve up notifications using the Action Center with the added support for native Windows 10 notifications in Chrome.

It came as no surprise as Google has been advocating for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), with the initial touting of it as a way of improving the experience of application and the actual alternative to native desktop apps.

While the term "native" is key to PWAs, as it does not necessarily require an internet connection or a browser to function, and Windows isn't the only OS to receive PWA support; with Linux and macOS slated to get the functionality with Chrome 72.

Google is definitely shooting for the native experience, and there is no denying of the fact that the implementation remains a core Chrome functionality, devoid of the windows tabs and toolbars.

Aside the PWA support, Chrome 70 also expands the Credential Management API support for public key credentials, which enable websites to use such features like Face ID and fingerprint as additional security measures for two-factor authentication.

Meanwhile, Chrome 70 is still rolling out, but you can manually check for the update from the 'About Google Chrome' menu, by clicking on the (three dots) button in the top right, and navigating to help.

Chrome 70 turns the full throttle on for Desktop Progressive Web Apps

GitHub, where the world's largest community of developers discover, share, and build software, has added a new workflow tool called GitHub Actions to enable Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) right on the platform.

While CI/CD requires that developers integrate their code into a shared repository several times daily, with GitHub Actions developers are able to build, deploy, and update projects on GitHub or other platforms without having to run the codes themselves.

GitHub Actions bring customizable workflow capabilities that allow developers to build and share code containers to run a workflow, even across multi-clouds.

It is quite similar to the Apple Shortcuts task management app and the IFTTT app which enables communication between apps, albeit the GitHub Actions run on containers, and developers can integrate their tools with custom actions or those shared by the community.

The tool is free for open source use, but will perhaps require payment for commercial usage and supports cloud deployments, code containers among others, allowing for continuous integration and deployment right within GitHub itself.

GitHub Actions is still in beta, and other tasks that can be done with the tool include packaging NPM module and sending SMS alert.

GitHub Actions to enable Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) right on the platform

Mozilla's recently released Firefox Nightly beta has improved calls between the WebAssembly binary format and JavaScript to run faster than the non-in-lined JavaScript-to-JavaScript function calls, as it's optimized for such call fuctions.

While programming languages like JavaScript  are very much different from the computer language, as such the .js files are needed to be translated to the language that the machine understands.

The case of JIT-ed JavaScript code, where JavaScript and WebAssembly are speaking the same language, still use different customs. For instance, to handle dynamic types, JavaScript uses boxing, and because JavaScript doesn’t have explicit types, types need to be figured out at runtime.

The engine tracks the types of values by attaching a tag to the value. But now, Firefox ensures a great throughput, with improved load times and streaming baseline compiler, which helps to compile code faster over the network, making calls between JS and WebAssembly faster than non-inlined JS to JS function calls.

These enhancements are now live in Firefox Nightly, making calls in both directions , JavaScript to WebAssembly and WebAssembly to JavaScript, and even calls from WebAssembly to built-ins to become faster.

It is expected, however that other browser vendors should follow in Mozilla's footsteps to improve call speeds between WebAssembly and JavaScript in their own respective browsers.

Firefox make calls between the WebAssembly binary format and JavaScript faster

Facebook has begun rolling out 3D photos in the News Feed and also viewable with virtual reality headsets; while the 3D photos will help to bring scenes to life by the facets of depth and movement in the still images.

The company first announced their intent to bring 3D to the News Feed and VR photo option in May, but the feature was finally launched at the Facebook 360 event, with the technology touted as running on the depth map data stored in Portrait mode photos taken with the iPhone 7+, 8+, X and the newer versions.

A photo taken using the Portrait mode on a compatible iPhone can be shared with the 3D photo on Facebook to allow viewers to pan and tilt while scrolling, akin to looking through a window.

The “3D photo” option has arrived for most users and will appear right within the list of post options for people using compatible iPhone when they want to make an update. And perhaps, the rest of us on Android will have to wait for a later release.

Albeit, it is quite less advanced as the 3D reconstructions teased by Facebook back in May, and there’s still no word out if or when we’ll see the actual availability of the full feature on Facebook.

Facebook's 3D photos Arrival to the News Feed and virtual reality headsets

Microsoft has joined the open-source patent consortium, Open Invention Network (OIN) in a move that's perceived as its open endorsement of open source, which it has essentially agreed the grant of royalty-free and unrestricted license to its patent portfolio.

While OIN is the largest non-aggression patent community and represents a core set of open-source intellectual properties, with members including: IBM, Google, Red Hat, and SUSE.

The OIN patent license and cross-licenses are available royalty-free to anyone who joins the community, and currently OIN has more than 2,650 community members with over 1,300 global patent portfolios.

Microsoft patents cover all older open-source technologies such as the Linux kernel, Android and OpenStack; also newer technologies like LF Energy and HyperLedger, and the predecessor/successor versions as well.

The company cashed in about $3.4 billion from its Android patents alone, of which Samsung paid over a billion dollar to license its Android system.

Albeit, there has been many legal battles in the past between Microsoft and the open-source community over some patents, now Microsoft will be bringing 60,000 patents out of its 90,000 total patents to the OIN community.

Microsoft has openly published its roadmap, and stressing its 20,000 employees on GitHub, with over 2,000 open-source projects, making it the largest open-source project supporter in the world.

Microsoft to share its Patents portfolio with the Open-source patent Consortium

Facebook Workplace is a collaborative platform launched in 2016, that offers standard chat functions and ability to share files, including: photos, videos, voice clips, emoji and GIFs, between workers within an organization.

The chat app is used by over 30,000 organizations worldwide, but hitherto the Workplace Chat was only enabled for communication between direct colleagues in an organization.

The company at the Flow conference for Workplace, announced that the chat app, which is part of the enterprise social network and equivalent of its Messenger app, now supports communication between workers in separate organizations.

It works with Standard and Premium versions of Workplace, and requires a corporate email address, as well as the creation of a corporate account, and individual logins using corporate email addresses.

Albeit, the first major additions to Workplace, is allowing users to interact with external partners, suppliers and agencies within the application.

The new update makes it possible for up to 50 participants to interact via text, voice and video in one-to-one or group conversations; and it will help users be more productive on Workplace with the companies they work with every day, according to Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s vice president for Workplace.

Other features launched include pinned threads, that make it easier for users to keep track of conversations, with the ability to “pin” up to 15 important messages at the top of the app. And the “do not disturb” mode which allow users to turn off alerts and notifications when busy or away, and a new “replies” feature that enables direct responses to an individual chat within a broader Workplace conversation.

Additionally, Facebook plans to bring Safety Check to Workplace, which feature is one of the popular from its consumer platform used by millions to alert friends and family of their whereabouts during a crisis situation.

Facebook Workplace expanded to include Collaboration between workers in separate Organizations

Microsoft Infer.NET machine learning framework has evolved from a mere research tool to become the machine learning engine in a number of Microsoft products, including: Office, Xbox and Azure.

Now, the company has open-sourced the Infer.NET framework, and it will eventually become part of the ML.NET machine learning framework for .Net developers, extending ML.NET for statistical modeling and online learning.

Initially, Infer.NET was envisioned as a research tool released for academic use in 2008, and there have been hundreds of papers published using the framework across a variety of fields, from information retrieval to healthcare.

In this age of abundance of machine learning libraries, Infer.NET will enable model-based approach to machine learning, which allow incorporation of domain knowledge into statistical model.

The framework can build a bespoke machine learning algorithm directly from a model, instead of having to map a problem onto a pre-existing learning algorithm, Infer.NET will actually constructs a learning algorithm based on the model provided.

The model is compiled by the framework into high-performance code to implement deterministic approximate Bayesian inference, which allows for substantial scalability. And the use of deterministic inference algorithms is complementary to the predominantly sampling-based methods of most other probabilistic programming frameworks.

The Infer.NET team is looking to engage with the open-source community in developing and growing the framework further, and Infer.NET will become part of ML.NET – the machine learning framework for .NET developers.

Microsoft open-sources Infer.NET framework for model-based approach to machine learning

Google Photos app now boasts of an AI enhancement feature called Live Albums, which automatically sorts and organizes photos into different categories like friends and family, depending on your preferences.

The Live Albums is also integrated with the new Google Home Hub, which are paired together to serve as a smart digital picture frame. While Google voice assistant is now capable of sifting through the photos and organize them in the albums.

The new feature seems to be a spin-off from the earlier launched, partner sharing, which automates the sharing of photos (mostly kids picture) between two people; though Live Albums will allow automated sharing of photos (including people and pets) with anyone.

It could also be used to share photos of children with extended family, and you can specify close friends whom you would always share the photos you took together.

Albeit, Google introduced Live Albums as a feature meant to work alongside its new smart screen, Home Hub.

According to Google, the feature means that photos displayed on the Home Hub will “never get stale because Live Albums update automatically every time you take new pictures” and makes an easier way to share with loved ones.

The sharing capability comes in version 4.3 of Google Photos which is now available for download on the Play Store.

Google Photos to automatically sort and organize photos with Live Albums

The announcement by Google that it will be shutting down its social networking platform, Google+ came as a shocker, as the company cited the issue of a compromise on its system owing to a bug that led to the breach of over 500,000 users' data on the social network.

Google+ isn't just useful as an alternative to the other social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, but as it present stack differentials, which bothered on business usage and collaborations.

And Google+ page offered a way for businesses to show their reputation and garner trust, as it has come to serve as a basis for ownership and authorship, which have become important in the effort to curb the spread of fake news.

Google claims that the Google+ bug discovery has spurred its focus to expand users' privacy protections, with a new initiative called Project Strobe, which will give users more control over what is shared with third-party apps.

The company will also expand the control to include apps that interact with Gmail and Android, as it intends to limit how apps gain access to users data on Android phones. Additionally, third-party apps that access sensitive Gmail contents via APIs will need to undergo a thorough review as part of the expanded protection program.

And perhaps, Google's initial withholding of information about the breach likely underscored the company's proactive stance on privacy protection.

How Google+ shutdown will effect more privacy and protection for users data