GitHub Sponsors is a new program launched by the popular web-based Git hosting service, to allow anyone to support the open source developers or contributors through a new ‘Sponsor Me‘ button on their repositories to receive funding.

While the ‘Sponsor Me‘ button is available only to the open source developers, there will be no charges by GitHub for supporting the work of the developers, for the first year of participation; GitHub will also cover the payment processing for all the payments made via the platform.

The Microsoft owned web service, GitHub intends to help circulate funding amongst the developers with the new tool by allowing recurring payments to other members of the community, much like a crowdfunding service, and whenever a developer solves issues or answers queries on your repository, you can visit their profile by hovering over their username to make a donation.

GitHub will match up about $5,000 in contributions for each sponsored developer, for the first year, but the company won't be taking any cut of the funds paid out through the service, at least for now.

What this means is that 100% of the sponsorship funds will go to the developer, with GitHub Sponsors payouts spread across every country where the GitHub service is supported.

Albeit, there's likely to be a problem of keeping track of where all the code in a given application comes from, as libraries often rely on others, but GitHub will be adding new features to make it easier to see who contributes to the software, and then be able to sponsor the projects developer.

The company also announced some other new features that will make it easier for developers to keep track of all the open source projects they've contributed or rely on and to be able to incorporate security fixes.

GitHub Sponsors: Open source devs gets new ‘Sponsor Me‘ button to receive funding



The risks associated with using unsecured public Wi-Fi are enormous, ranging from the danger of third-parties intercepting your emails, even encrypted messages and login information are not spared. And it could be possible for a cyber-criminal to use the login details to access your other accounts as well.

Nowadays, Wi-Fi access are available in more places than ever, enabling everyone to keep in touch or surf the Web from wherever they happen to be, but definitely, getting online via public Wi-Fi hotspots isn't as safe, as it is simple.

Top 5 Risks associated with Public Wi-Fi hotspots



  • Man-in-the-middle (MITM) Attacks: In this attack scenario, an attacker secretly relays or possibly alters a supposed communications between two parties who believe they are communicating directly with each other. And this is mostly possible via public Wi-Fi, because hackers can leverage the unsecure connection to position themselves between the person who is using the Wi-Fi and the connection point.
  • Malware over unsecured Wi-Fi: With unsecured Wi-Fi connection, hackers are able to distribute malware easily, and having infected software on your device can be crippling for your business.
  • Snooping: This is the act of cybercriminals trying to access everything you are doing online, potentially monitoring all your activities and able to capture login credentials or even hijack your accounts.
  • Attacks via ad hocs: Peer-to-peer networks that connect two computers directly are known as ad hocs, and when used over a public Wi-Fi network, the machines are likely to be compromised making it possible for hackers to directly connect to them.
  • Exposure to other attack vectors: Asides malware, viruses can wreak havoc all by themselves, especially when connected to a public Wi-Fi.


How to ensure you are protected over Public Wi-Fi Hotspots



While it is generally recommended that businesses should switch their sites and applications to the more secure HTTPS, as HTTPS-enabled websites provide the more critical security and protection against personal information theft.

But making use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the sure thing for individual users, as VPN acts like a tunnel that keeps out prying eyes from interloping into your online activities. It affords you a secure connection to the network, of course, at the same time shielding your activity from cybercriminals on public Wi-Fi hotspots.

What is Ivacy VPN?



Ivacy VPN is a one-size-fits-all solution, that allows you to skip all the hassles associated with finding more than one VPN for the type of experience you crave. It guarantees maximum protection with advanced 256-bit encryption to protect you from hackers, snoopers and even government surveillance.



It offers the most diverse of servers across 50 countries, numbering over 1000 servers in 100+ locations to make your activities undetectable and to access restricted content without any hassles. It comes as a premium software, though there is a free test version, while the premium is pretty cheap, as low as $1.33 per month (for 5 years activation) or $2.25 (for a two year activation).

And the best part, Ivacy has a strict ZERO LOG policy, giving you the total online freedom you've always desired!

What Steps are necessary to Protect You On Public Wi-Fi Hotspots?



WebRender, also known as Quantum Render, is a GPU-based renderer for the web which promises performance increase for the given components, built using the programming language, Rust.

Mozilla has been tinkering with the new web technology, and has finally began the rollout to select Firefox users, running version 67 of the browser, which feature was supposed to launch with Firefox Quantum, but the WebRender technology wasn't ready at the time.

While Firefox Quantum brought many performance improvements, including the Servo super fast CSS engine, albeit the big piece of Servo technology, WebRender was omitted in Firefox Quantum, with Mozilla promising that it is coming soon, which is now being added to Firefox as part of Quantum Render project.

According to Lin Clark, a programmer at Mozilla, WebRender runs at a silky smooth 60 frames per second (FPS) or better no matter how big the display is or how much of the page is changing from frame to frame, and pages that chug along at 15 FPS in Chrome or today’s Firefox run at 60 FPS with WebRender.

Firefox 67 beta release notes has it that the WebRender feature is only been tested for desktops equipped with an NVIDIA GPU, and running on Windows 10, but it's not clear whether the feature will be coming to other platforms or even to older versions of Windows.

Mozilla begins the push of WebRender (Quantum Render) to users on Firefox 67



There is a vulnerability on WhatsApp that could allow hackers to send spyware to mobile phones, which is exploitable in the audio call feature of the app. The spyware is called ‘Pegasus’ - traced to the Israeli cyber-intelligence company, NSO, and its fully capable of infiltrating all mobile phones, including iOS and Android devices, with the messaging app.

It was specifically targeted at a London lawyer involved in lawsuits that accused the Israeli Group of providing tools to hack the mobile phones of Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi dissident in Canada; and also a group of Mexican activists, which according to the researchers, made up the list of the initial targets.

The vulnerability in WhatsApp aided the group to insert malicious code that steal data from the target phone by simply placing a call through the messaging app, and it is even portent when the target fails to pick up the call.

According to WhatsApp researchers, the NSO Group operated the spyware in secret for years, and it was only discovered in 2016 on the iPhone of a now-jailed human-rights activist in the UAE through an undisclosed Apple security vulnerabilities. WhatsApp had promptly responded by issuing a fix as soon as they discovered the flaw, and have recommended that its users should update to the latest version of the messaging app.

The company had also alerted the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) about the attack, which was as a result of the WhatsApp flaw first reported by The Financial Times.

How WhatsApp Flaw could allow Hackers to Send Spyware Via Voice Call



Java Development Kit (JDK) 13 has been scheduled for September 17 release, with the release candidate stages beginning in the coming months. While Java 12 launched without the much anticipated Raw String Literals, it is a no-brainer that the supposedly enhancement to ease Java development will be coming with the Java Development Kit (JDK) 13.

The OpenJDK reference page for Java Development Kit (JDK) 13 doesn't however list new features for the upgraded standard Java, albeit some few proposals covering packages, unused heap memory, and application class-data sharing, are cited as being targeted for the new release.

Along with the Raw String Literals, JDK 13 has been slated to come with a tool for packaging self-contained Java apps, which tool is called jpackage and would be based on JavaFX javapackager toolkit with support for native packaging formats that give users natural installation experience. It will also allow for launch-time parameters specification at packaging time, which can be invoked programmatically through the ToolProvider or directly from the command line.

Although, most applications will need to be installed natively on a “first-class” way instead of being placed on the class or module path. And the packaging tool is able to fill gaps left by the Java Web Start technologies, which were removed ostensibly as part of JavaFX from JDK 11.

JDK Enhancement Proposals also include, the extending of application-class data sharing (AppCDS) which enables dynamic archiving of classes at the application execution. With archived classes comprising all library classes not present in the default, base-layer CDS archive and loaded applications. The proposal, however is still in the early stage, and intended to improve the usability of AppCDS by eliminating the need for users to run trials in creating a class list for application.

Admittedly, the ZGC (Z Garbage Collector) enhancement to restore unused memory to the operating system, which proposal is cited as integrated into JDK 13, billed as a scalable, low-latency collector, currently doesn't restore unused memory even when the memory has been unused in a long period.

However, this is not optimal for most applications and environment, as those where memory footprint is really a concern, like containers or environment where applications are idle for a long period or are sharing or competing with other resources.

What new features are coming to the Java Development Kit (JDK) 13?



The newly introduced GitHub Package Registry, is package management integrated right into GitHub to allow developers to publish privately for their team, or publicly for the open source community alongside their own source code.

While GitHub Package Registry supports most other package management tools like Maven, Docker, NPM and NuGet; the multiple package types can be hosted in a single registry, devops workflow includes code and deployment solutions, coupled with APIs, and for workflow automation, GitHub Actions and webhooks.

It provide downloads backed by global CDN powering GitHub, though Packages can be hosted publicly or privately, and also used as dependencies in other projects.

The integration with GitHub will enable developers to utilize the familiar GitHub UI to work on public packages from the site or private packages within the organization.

And the full API and webhooks support, means that you can extend your workflows to work with GitHub Package Registry, and packages inherit the permissions of the repository, and no longer need third party solutions to manage and sync permissions across systems.

To start publishing your packages to GitHub, simply sign up for the beta waitlist, and be among the first to use the GitHub Package Registry. You can also check out the documentation to get a head up on what to expect.

GitHub Package Registry to enable developers to publish packages alongside source code



Podcast (also known as Netcast), is a series of digital audio files or videos which can be downloaded in order to listen, or the single component of such a series. While podcasting which often requires a subscription model, is whereby new episodes of podcasts are automatically downloaded and syndicated to users mobile apps or media player.

Google has made it possible to play podcasts in search results so that users can listen to their favorite podcasts without the need for any standalone podcast app. The podcast access on Google search is now live for both desktop and mobile search, with a search of relevant podcast surfacing a card of the most recent three episodes.

The Podcasts experience is possible without even signing in to Google account, though logging in will allow you to sync your playback across all your devices, but there is no dedicated page to view your subscriptions, unlike what is obtainable on the Podcasts app.

Steps to access and play podcasts on Google search results





Simply search for a podcast, and you will be presented with a card of the most recent three episodes. Then click the ‘play’ button, the podcasts can be played right on the search result. But if you tap on the link, it will take you to podcasts.google.com, with offerings of a feed for all the episodes.

And selecting ‘play’ bring up a basic audio player, with available controls to play/pause, rewind/forward, and adjust playback speed.

Albeit, to access your subscribed podcasts for the time being is only through the Google search bar. The podcasts in search will mostly benefit iOS users who use Google Assistant from the platform, as Google has not launched any standalone Podcasts app for iOS.

Google had earlier given a means to discover and listen to podcasts with Google Play, whereby people can have access to a wider variety of podcast apps, but the company eventually released Google Podcasts, which was rather a back stab at podcasting services.

How to replay your Favorite Podcasts directly on Google Search



Workplace by Facebook, the collaboration platform launched in 2016, that offer both standard chat functions and ability to share files, like photos, videos, voice clips, emoji and GIFs, between employees within an organization has undergone a revamp, making it quicker and easier for employees to communicate.

Facebook announced the update to the platform at its F8 Conference; the redesigned interface makes it less cluttered, and offers a faster and easier navigation, with greater focus on chat and group elements for Workplace’s users.

Albeit, the first major update to Workplace, is allowing users to interact with external partners, suppliers and agencies, along with the possibility of 50 participants to interact via text, voice and video in one-to-one or group conversations within the application.

Workplace new UI adds the ability to jump between notifications, groups and Workplace Chats more quickly, with shortcuts on left-hand navigation bar. The changes in user interface made the Workplace platform look like a refresh from the old design and more akin to the main Facebook platform.

The groups feature had been moved to the right hand side of the application, which is more prominently placed, to help users keep track of their groups. It is now possible to collapse the left and right-hand navigation bars for better focus on contents, like items on News Feed and group posts.

Additionally, the Workplace admin panel, is now easily accessible from the left-hand navigation bar, with a People tab to manage users, including adding and deactivation. Workplace already boasts of about two million paid users, according to the latest statistics from the company, with customers including: Telefonica and Virgin Atlantic.

Workplace by Facebook: Gets a revamp for quicker and easier Navigation with group chats



Microsoft's virtual assistant, Cortana has already found its way to the smart home, as core to a smart speaker from Harman Kardon. But Satya Nadella, the company's CEO, is also looking at how Cortana can leverage the voice recognition, speech synthesis, and natural language processing (NLP) to power the office.

At Microsoft Build developer conference, the company offered a glimpse of Cortana's inroad to the workplace, with the virtual assistant support for more fluid, back-and-forth conversations.

The keynote was a demo of an office worker managing calendar via a mobile device powered by Cortana. While Cortana provided answers to numerous questions and was also able to carry out specific actions in continuous interaction that lasted for over 30 “turns” - including a view of upcoming plans, schedules and rescheduling of meetings, checking for availability and booking of rooms.

It isn't coming as a surprise, as Gartner Research has predicted that 25 percent of digital workers will be using virtual assistants on daily basis in 2021; this will provide an opportunity for SMBs to use virtual assistant technology to take care of more auxiliary office processes, which in turn will give customers more time to attend to other issues, as it will reduce delays in office communications.

Cortana's ability to engage in complex and dynamic interactions has greatly improved following Microsoft’s acquisition of Semantic Machines, a conversational AI startup which has lend to keeping track of context on iterations.

Semantic Machines input helped Microsoft to push forward to the boundaries of what is possible in natural language interfaces, and further expanding in conversational AI with its digital assistant Cortana, while using machine learning to enable users to discover and access information and services in a much more natural way, with less effort.

Microsoft is in a vantage position to win the race for Office dominance, as it already boasts of the most popular business apps with Office 365. But Microsoft will still need to prove it can deliver on the promise of more natural conversations.

Microsoft offers a glimpse of the virtual assistant, Cortana in the workplace



Mozilla’s bug tracker, Bugzilla first suggested the sudden failure in the code signing certificate built into the Firefox browser, which lapsed just after midnight on May 4, causing the re-installation of extensions to fail — with users getting different error messages.

While the company neglected to renew the certificate, Firefox browser treated the extensions as no longer trusted and potentially a malicious program, so disabled any already installed add-on on the browser for that same reason.

The resultant effect was that the extension is listed as a “legacy” extension, with warning that it “could not be verified for use in Firefox and has been disabled” for security reasons.

Mozilla, however promptly crafted a temporary fix for the desktop versions of Firefox and pushed out the patch to the browser using the Studies system. It uses Studies to push out test code to a subsection of the Firefox user base, and also to collect data on users' reactions to its sponsored content.

The issue has now been fixed in the standard desktop version of the browser, though some versions (like Firefox for Android) will still require a separate update. And the patch will be automatically applied in the background with no active steps needed to be taken from the users to make add-ons work again. Albeit, it is recommended that users should not delete and/or re-install any add-ons in attempt to fix the issue.

It is worth to mention that Firefox gained a full percentage point this past April, ending the month with 10.2% user share, the highest since March 2018 and the first above 10 points since mid last year. This is nearly two years since Firefox has had a sustained period of rise (about five months, from March to July 2017).

Mozilla fixes the lapsed Certificate issue that affected Firefox extensions