Google is giving developers an early look into its upcoming Android operating system: Android N. The company said it is giving developers the preview earlier than usual in order to give them more time to address feedback and make changes.

“By releasing a ‘work in progress’ build earlier in development, we have more time to incorporate developer feedback. Also, the earlier preview allows us to hand off the final N release to device makers this summer so they can get their hands on the latest version of Android earlier than ever,” wrote Dave Burke, vice president of engineering, in a blog post.

The latest operating system is expected to include:

  • The ability to launch user activity into split-screen modes on phones and tablets, and to specify an activity’s minimum allowable dimensions
  • Direct reply notification to give users the ability to reply to messages without leaving the notification shade
  • Bundled notifications that group notifications from the same app together
  • Better battery efficiency
  • Improved Java 9 language support

Let’s Encrypt moving to the EFF
Let’s Encrypt, a certificate authority designed to make HTTPS the default protocol for the Web, is getting a new name and a new home. The initiative will be moving to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

“Moving forward, we feel it would be best for Let’s Encrypt to focus on promoting a generally healthy client and protocol ecosystem and for our client to move to the EFF,” wrote Josh Aas, executive director at the Internet Security Research Group, wrote in a blog post. “This will also allow us to focus our engineering efforts on running a reliable and rapidly growing CA server infrastructure.”

The initiative has yet to announce its new name, but said the reasons go beyond its EFF move.

“One additional reason for the rename is that we want the client to be distributable and customizable without having to create a complex process for deciding whether customized variants are appropriate for use with Let’s Encrypt trademarks. Another reason is that we want it to be clear that the client can work with any ACME-enabled CA in the future, not just Let’s Encrypt,” Aas wrote.

Framework shows Docker Swarm exceeds Kubernetes performance at scale
A recent survey of more than 500 respondents addressed questions about DevOps, microservices and the public cloud. It revealed a three-way orchestration race among Amazon EC2 Container Service, Docker Swarm and Google Kubernetes.

Docker wrote that the company believes in considering performance, simplicity, and flexibility before picking an orchestration tool. Jeff Nickoloff, an independent technology consultant, created a framework that assesses performance across orchestration tools to accurately assess the tools that currently exist (like Kubernetes and Swarm).

The tests measured container startup time and system responsiveness under load. The results, according to Nickoloff’s framework, show that Swarm is on average 5x faster than in terms of container startup time and 7x faster in delivering operational insights necessary to run a cluster at scale in production.

Nickoloff wrote on his blog that “Half the time Swarm will start a container in less than .5 seconds as long as the cluster is not more than 90% full. Kubernetes will start a container in over two seconds, half of the time if the cluster is 50% full or more.”

According to further results, compared to Swarm, Kubernetes took up to 7x longer to list all the running containers as the cluster approached full load, taking more than two minutes to list out the running containers. Furthermore, Kubernetes had a 98x increase in response time as the cluster went from 10% to 100% full.

The full report and framework information can be found here.

Obama administration might expand sharing of data that NSA intercepts
The Obama administration is close to allowing the National Security Agency to share more of the private communications it intercepts with other American intelligence agencies without first applying any privacy protections to them, the New York Times reported.

This change would “relax” restrictions on access to the contents of phone calls and e-mail the security agency picks up around the world, said the report. This includes bulk collection of satellite transmissions, communications between foreigners as they cross network switches in the United States, and messages acquired overseas or provided by allies.

The idea is to let more experts across American intelligence gain direct access to unprocessed information. It also means more officials will be looking at private messages. This includes e-mails that have not yet had irrelevant personal information screened out, but it also includes communications to, from or about Americans that the NSA’s foreign intelligence programs swept in incidentally.

The full report can be found here.