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Mozilla: Firefox for ALSA, OverbiteNX, Scripts on GitHub

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Moz/FF
  • Building Firefox for ALSA (non PulseAudio) Sound

    I did the work to built my own Firefox primarily to fix a couple of serious regressions that couldn't be fixed any other way. I'll start with the one that's probably more common (at least, there are many people complaining about it in many different web forums): the fact that Firefox won't play sound on Linux machines that don't use PulseAudio.

    There's a bug with a long discussion of the problem, Bug 1345661 - PulseAudio requirement breaks Firefox on ALSA-only systems; and the discussion in the bug links to another discussion of the Firefox/PulseAudio problem). Some comments in those discussions suggest that some near-future version of Firefox may restore ALSA sound for non-Pulse systems; but most of those comments are six months old, yet it's still not fixed in the version Mozilla is distributing now.

  • Let's kill kittens with native messaging (or, introducing OverbiteNX: if WebExtensions can't do it, we will)

    WebExtensions (there is no XUL) took over with a thud seven months ago, which was felt as a great disturbance in the Force by most of us who wrote Firefox add-ons that, you know, actually did stuff. Many promises were made for APIs to allow us to do the stuff we did before. Some of these promises were kept and these APIs have actually been implemented, and credit where credit is due. But there are many that have not (that metabug is not exhaustive). More to the point, there are many for which people have offered to write code and are motivated to write code, but we have no parameters for what would be acceptable, possibly because any spec would end up stuck in a "boil the ocean" problem, possibly because it's low priority, or possibly because someone gave other someones the impression such an API would be acceptable and hasn't actually told them it isn't. The best way to get contribution is to allow people to scratch their own itches, but the urgency to overcome the (largely unintentional) institutional roadblocks has faded now that there is somewhat less outrage, and we are still left with a disordered collection of APIs that extends Firefox relatively little and a very slow road to do otherwise.

    Or perhaps we don't have to actually rely on what's in Firefox to scratch our itch, at least in many cases. In a potentially strategically unwise decision, WebExtensions allows native code execution in the form of "native messaging" -- that is, you can write a native component, tell Firefox about it and who can talk to it, and then have that native component do what Firefox don't. At that point, the problem then becomes more one of packaging. If the functionality you require isn't primarily limited by the browser UI, then this might be a way around the La Brea triage tarpit.

  • Fixing Content Scripts on GitHub.com

    Content scripts ordinarily reload for each new page visited but, on GitHub, they don’t. This is because links on GitHub mutate the DOM and use the history.pushState API instead of loading pages the standard way, which would create an entirely new DOM per page.

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CPod – A Simple, Beautiful And Cross-platform Podcast App

Podcasts have become very popular in the last few years. Podcasts are what’s called “infotainment”, they are generally light-hearted, but they generally give you valuable information. Podcasts have blown up in the last few years, and if you like something, chances are there is a podcast about it. There are a lot of podcast players out there for the Linux desktop, but if you want something that is visually beautiful, has slick animations, and works on every platform, there aren’t a lot of alternatives to CPod. CPod (formerly known as Cumulonimbus) is an open source and slickest podcast app that works on Linux, MacOS and Windows. CPod runs on something called Electron – a tool that allows developers to build cross-platform (E.g Windows, MacOs and Linux) desktop GUI applications. In this brief guide, we will be discussing – how to install and use CPod podcast app in Linux. Read more

today's howtos

Security: Updates, Anonymity, EFF and Open Source Security Podcast

  • Security updates for Monday
  • For Hackers, Anonymity Was Once Critical. That’s Changing.

    “This is a profession for a lot of people now,” she added. “And you can’t fill out a W-9 with your hacker handle.”

    [...]

    “The thing I worry about today,” he added, taking a more serious tone, “is that people don’t get do-overs.” Young people now have to contend with the real-name policy on Facebook, he said, along with the ever-hovering threats of facial-recognition software and aggregated data. “How are you going to learn to navigate in this world if you never get to make a mistake — and if every mistake you do make follows you forever?”

  • EFF Leader: Security Decisions Are Different When Women Are In The Room
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  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 115 - Discussion with Brian Hajost from SteelCloud
    Josh and Kurt talk to Brian Hajost from SteelCloud about public sector compliance. The world of public sector compliance can be confusing and strange, but it's not that bad when it's explained by someone with experience.

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