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Mozilla: Localisation, DNS over HTTPs (DoH) and Restricting Notification Permission Prompts in Firefox

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  • Mozilla Reps Community: Rep of the Month – October 2019

    Shina is from Pune, Maharashtra, India. Her journey started with the Mozilla Pune community while she was in college in 2017, with Localization in Hindi and quality assurance bugs.

    She’s been an active contributor to the community and since then has helped a lot of newcomers in their onboarding and helping them understand better what the Mozilla Community is all about.

  • Asking Congress to Examine the Data Practices of Internet Service Providers

    At Mozilla, we work hard to ensure our users’ browsing activity is protected when they use Firefox. That is why we launched enhanced tracking protection this year – to safeguard users from the pervasive online tracking of personal data by ad networks and companies. And over the last two years, Mozilla, in partnership with other industry stakeholders, has been working to develop, standardize, and deploy DNS over HTTPs (DoH). Our goal with DoH is to protect essentially that same browsing activity from interception, manipulation, and collection in the middle of the network.

    This dedication to protecting your browsing activity is why today we’ve also asked Congress to examine the privacy and security practices of internet service providers (ISPs), particularly as they relate to the domain name services (DNS) provided to American consumers. Right now these companies have access to a stream of a user’s browsing history. This is particularly concerning in light of to the rollback of the broadband privacy rules, which removed guardrails for how ISPs can use your data. The same ISPs are now fighting to prevent the deployment of DoH.

  • Mozilla Future Releases Blog: Restricting Notification Permission Prompts in Firefox

    In April we announced our intent to reduce the amount of annoying permission prompts for receiving desktop notifications that our users are seeing on a daily basis. To that effect, we ran a series of studies and experiments around restricting these prompts.

    [...]

    Most of the heavy lifting here was done by Felix Lawrence, who performed a thorough analysis of the data we collected. You can read his full report for our Firefox Release study. I will highlight some of the key takeaways:

    Notification prompts are very unpopular. On Release, about 99% of notification prompts go unaccepted, with 48% being actively denied by the user. This is even worse than what we’ve seen on Nightly, and it paints a dire picture of the user experience on the web. To add from related telemetry data, during a single month of the Firefox 63 Release, a total of 1.45 Billion prompts were shown to users, of which only 23.66 Million were accepted. I.e, for each prompt that is accepted, sixty are denied or ignored. In about 500 Million cases during that month, users actually spent the time to click on “Not Now”.

    Users are unlikely to accept a prompt when it is shown more than once for the same site. We had previously given websites the ability to ask users for notification every time they visit a site in a new tab. The underlying assumption that users would want to take several visits to make up their minds turns out to be wrong. As Felix notes, around 85% of prompts were accepted without the user ever having previously clicked “Not Now”.

    Most notification prompts don’t follow user interaction. Especially on Release, the overall number of prompts that are already compatible with this intervention is very low.

    Prompts that are shown as a result of user interaction have significantly better interaction metrics. This is an important takeaway. Along with the significant decrease in overall volume, we can see a significantly better rate of first-time allow decisions (52%) after enforcing user interaction on Nightly. The same can be observed for prompts with user interaction in our Release study, where existing users will accept 24% of first-time prompts with user interaction and new users would accept a whopping 56% of first-time prompts with user interaction.

Tracking Diaries with Matt Navarra

  • Tracking Diaries with Matt Navarra

    In Tracking Diaries, we invited people from all walks of life to share how they spent a day online while using Firefox’s privacy protections to keep count of the trackers that tried to follow them.

    Whenever you’re online, a multitude of third parties attempt to record what you’re doing, largely without your knowledge or consent. Creepy! That’s why Firefox has turned the tables, letting you block and see the trackers. Read on to find out how many trackers tried to trail Matt Navarra throughout his day, and how he felt about it.

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More in Tux Machines

Arcan 0.6 – ‘M’ – Start Networking

This time around, the changes are big enough across the board that the sub-projects will get individual posts instead of being clumped together, and that will become a recurring theme as the progress cadence becomes less and less interlocked. We also have a sister blog at www.divergent-desktop.org that will slowly cover higher level design philosophy, rants and reasoning behind some of what is being done here. A few observant ones have pieced together the puzzle — but most have not. This release is a thematic shift from low level graphics plumbing to the network transparency related code. We will still make and accept patches, changes and features to the lower video layers, of course — ‘Moby Blit’ is still out there — but focus will be elsewhere. Hopefully this will be one of the last time these massive releases make sense, and we can tick on a (bi-)monthly basis for a while. Read more Also: Arcan 0.6 Display Server Adds Network Transparency, XWayland Client Isolation - Phoronix

Games: HIVESWAP: ACT 2, Gaming Rack Design and Construction, Parkitect and DualSense

  • Amusing adventure game HIVESWAP: ACT 2 is out now | GamingOnLinux

    With no prior knowledge of the Homestuck web comic series needed, the second part of the video game adventure is out now with HIVESWAP: ACT 2. "The artistry and humor of the golden age of adventure games meet hand-drawn 2D animation in this love letter to the point-and-click classics. Bizarre, beautifully illustrated alien landscapes and colorful characters make Alternia a joy to explore."

  • Gaming Rack Design and Construction – CubicleNate's Techpad

    I have collected a number of gaming systems throughout my life and there is little point in having them if they sit in a box or using them takes an annoying level of set-up time, making it fun prohibitive. I was then inspired by Perifractic Retro Recipes video where the computer museum has everything so nicely laid out. I looked at my mess and decided that I had to do something about it because my arrangement just isn’t presentable.

  • Theme park building game Parkitect is getting 8-player online multiplayer | GamingOnLinux

    With the second year release anniversary of the great theme park building game Parkitect coming up, Texel Raptor had a quite a huge surprise ready. Releasing on December 8 is the free cooperative online multiplayer mode. This is absolutely crazy considering the type of game it is, and one I can only imagine right now being ridiculously fun to play online with others. Eight people in total too, that's a lot of building that can get done. Texel Raptor mentioned you can see what everyone else is doing, and it's going to have a full online lobby system it seems too.

  • The DualSense Is Making Even More Sense - Boiling Steam

    As reported earlier this month, the DualSense controller from Sony was already working great out of the box on Linux. However, it wasn’t long after that that Valve added support for the more advanced features of the device. Starting November 12, Valve updated the controller to have basic input functionality with their beta Steam client:

Devices/Embedded and Open Hardware Leftovers

  • Embedded Linux for Teams | Ubuntu

    Developer-friendly embedded Linux should just deliver apps to devices. Satellite companies don’t build their own rockets. They focus on building satellites and lease a rocket to deliver it as a payload. Many developer teams also have to “build the rocket” to deliver embedded applications. Developers would be more successful, if Linux vendors made it their job to provide and maintain the scaffold that teams need to deliver embedded apps. In such a world, teams would focus on creating apps. The resulting app-centric development cycle could boil down to booting, building and deploying. Building on top of vendor-provided scaffolds, developers would create a bootable image for their target boards. Teams would then develop apps. After testing, they will build a system image that delivers all these apps. Then burn, deploy, done.

  • Personal Raspberry Pi music streamer
  • Run Pi-hole as a container with Podman on openSUSE - SUSE Communities

    There is arguably no better way to protect devices on your local network from unwanted content than Pi-hole. Add a machine running Pi-hole to your network, and it will quietly scrub all incoming traffic from pesky stuff like ads and trackers in the background. As the name suggests, Pi-hole was initially designed to run on a Raspberry Pi. But if you already have a machine running openSUSE on your network, you can deploy a Pi-hole container on it instead. And to make things a bit more interesting, you can use Podman instead of Docker for that. Installing Podman on openSUSE 15.2 is a matter of running the sudo zypper install podman command. A Pi-hole container needs the 80 and 53 ports, so make sure that these ports are available on your machine.

  • MorphESP 240 ESP32-S2 board integrates a 1.3-inch color display (Crowdfunding)

    We’ve already seen ESP32 platforms with a color display such as M5Stack, but MorphESP 240 is kind of cute with a 1.3-inch color display, features the more recent ESP32-S2 WiFi processor, and supports battery power & charging.

  • Rockchip RK3588 specifications revealed – 8K video, 6 TOPS NPU, PCIe 3.0, up to 32GB RAM

    Rockchip RK3588 is one of the most anticipated processors for the year on this side of the Internet with the octa-core processor features four Cortex-A76 cores, four Cortex-A55 cores, an NPU, and 8K video decoding support. The roadmap shows an expected launch date in Q3/Q4 2020, but sadly the release date will be pushed back in the future. Having said that, the Rockchip Developer Conference (RKDC) is now taking place, and the company has put up a poster that reveals a bit more about the processor.

  • Arduino Blog » Arduino psychic ‘magically’ guesses random numbers

    Standard Arduino Nanos can be used for many purposes, but they do not feature wireless capabilities. Somehow, though, Hari Wiguna’s Arduino psychic system is apparently able to pass data between two of them. No external communication hardware is implemented, yet one Nano is able to recognize when a random number chosen on the other Nano setup is input via an attached keypad. As noted by Wiguna, it’s easier shown than explained, and you can see this techno-magic trick in action in the first clip. How things work is revealed in the second video, but can you guess how it’s done?

Security, Digital Restrictions (DRM), and Proprietary Problems

  • Best forensic and pentesting Linux distros of 2020

    20.04 LTS and uses the Xfce desktop, and is available as a single ISO only for 64-bit machines. In addition to the regular boot options, the distro’s boot menu also offers the option to boot into a forensics mode where it doesn’t mount the disks on the computer. BackBox includes some of the most common security and analysis tools. The project aims for a wide spread of goals, ranging from network analysis, stress tests, sniffing, vulnerability assessment, computer forensic analysis, exploitation, privilege escalation, and more. All the pentesting tools are neatly organized in the Auditing menu under relevant categories. These are broadly divided into three sections. The first has tools to help you gather information about the environment, assess vulnerabilities of web tools, and more. The second has tools to help you reverse-engineer programs and social-engineer people. The third has tools for all kinds of analysis. BackBox has further customized its application menu to display tooltips with a brief description of each bundled tool, which will be really helpful for new users who aren’t familiar with the tools. As an added bonus, the distro also ships with Tor and a script that will route all Internet bound traffic from the distro via the Tor network.

  • Thanksgiving security updates

    Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (blueman, chromium, firefox, LibVNCServer, postgresql10, postgresql12, thunderbird, and xen), Slackware (bind), SUSE (bluez, kernel, LibVNCServer, thunderbird, and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (mutt, poppler, thunderbird, and webkit2gtk).

  • Drupal core - Critical - Arbitrary PHP code execution - SA-CORE-2020-013

    AC:Complex/A:User/CI:All/II:All/E:Exploit/TD:UncommonVulnerability: Arbitrary PHP code executionCVE IDs: CVE-2020-28949CVE-2020-28948Description: The Drupal project uses the PEAR Archive_Tar library. The PEAR Archive_Tar library has released a security update that impacts Drupal. For more information please see: CVE-2020-28948 CVE-2020-28949 Multiple vulnerabilities are possible if Drupal is configured to allow .tar, .tar.gz, .bz2 or .tlz file uploads and processes them. To mitigate this issue, prevent untrusted users from uploading .tar, .tar.gz, .bz2 or .tlz files. This is a different issue than SA-CORE-2019-12, similar configuration changes may mitigate the problem until you are able to patch.

  • Financial software firm cites security, control as reasons for moving from email to Slack [Ed: Unbelievable stupidity; Slack is illegal mass surveillance and it’s centralised proprietary software (whereas E-mail can be encrypted, e2e)]

    ASX-listed financial software firm Iress is moving away from email to Slack for communications and its chief technology officer, Andrew Todd, says this is because the app offers improved security and control.

  • Introducing another free CA as an alternative to Let's Encrypt

    Let's Encrypt is an amazing organisation doing an amazing thing by providing certificates at scale, for free. The problem though was that they were the only such organisation for a long time, but I'm glad to say that the ecosystem is changing.

  • Denuvo's Anti-Piracy Protection Probably Makes Sense For Big-Selling AAA Titles

    A hacking team believed to have obtained data from gaming giant Ubisoft has published documents that claim to reveal the costs of implementing Denuvo's anti-piracy protection. While the service doesn't come cheap, the figures suggest that for a big company putting out big titles with the potential for plenty of sales, the anti-tamper technology may represent value for money.

  • Disappointing: Netflix Decides To Settle With Chooseco LLC Over 'Bandersnatch' Lawsuit

    Well, it's been quite a stupid and frustrating run in the trademark lawsuit between Netflix and Chooseco LLC, the folks behind Choose Your Own Adventure books from our youth. At issue was the Black Mirror production Bandersnatch, in which the viewer takes part in an interactive film where they help decide the outcome. The main character is creating a book he refers to as a "choose your own adventure" book. Chooseco also complained that the dark nature of the film would make the public think less of CYOA books as a result. Netflix fought back hard, arguing for a dismissal on First Amendment grounds, since the film is a work of art and the limited use or reference to CYOA books was an important, though small, part of that art. The court decided that any such argument was better made at trial and allowed this madness to proceed, leading Netflix to petition for the cancellation of Chooseco's trademark entirely. This story all seemed to be speeding towards an appropriately impactful conclusion.

  • TPM circumvention and website blocking orders: An EU perspective

    Website blocking orders in IP cases (mostly, though not solely, in relation to copyright-infringing websites) are routinely granted in several jurisdictions, whether in Europe or third countries. The availability of such relief has been established in case law, administrative frameworks and academic studies alike. The Court of Justice of the European Union ('CJEU') expressly acknowledged the compatibility of such a remedy with EU law in its 2014 decision in UPC Telekabel. Also the European Court of Human Rights recently found that, although it is necessary that this particular remedy is available within a balanced and carefully drafted legislative framework which contains a robust and articulated set of safeguards against abuse, website blocking orders are not per se contrary to the provision in Article 10 ECHR. Over time, courts and other authorities (including administrative authorities in certain EU Member States) have dealt with applications which have: been based on different legal grounds; been aimed at protecting different types of rights; and resulted in different types of orders against internet service providers ('ISPs'). An interesting recent development concerns website blocking orders in relation to websites that market and sell devices and software aimed at circumventing technological protection measures (‘TPMs’). TPMs offer rights holders an ancillary right of protection and are deployed to protect against infringement of copyright in works that subsist in multimedia content such as video games. TPMs are a cornerstone in copyright protection in the digital age where large-scale copying and dissemination of copyright-protected content is so prevalent. [...] In light of the foregoing, copyright owners appear entitled to seek injunctions against intermediaries to also block access to websites dealing with TPM-circumventing devices. The legal basis for that can also be, subject to satisfying all the other requirements under EU and national law, the domestic provision implementing Article 8(3) of the InfoSoc Directive. All in all, it appears likely that we will see more blocking orders in the future, including orders – issued by courts and competent authorities around Europe – targeting websites that provide TPM-circumventing devices. This is an unsurprising and natural evolution of website blocking jurisprudence. It also serves to show the very flexibility of this type of remedy and, matched inter alia with the loose notion of ‘intermediary’, its inherently broad availability.

  • Prolonged AWS outage takes down a big chunk of the internet

    Many apps, services, and websites have posted on Twitter about how the AWS outage is affecting them, including 1Password, Acorns, Adobe Spark, Anchor, Autodesk, Capital Gazette, Coinbase, DataCamp, Getaround, Glassdoor, Flickr, iRobot, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pocket, RadioLab, Roku, RSS Podcasting, Tampa Bay Times, Vonage, The Washington Post, and WNYC. Downdetector.com has also shown spikes in user reports of problems with many Amazon services throughout the day.