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Web Browsing: Mozilla Firefox, Project Maelstrom and FreeTube on PCLinuxOS

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  • Firefox usage is down 85% despite Mozilla's top exec pay going up 400%

    One of the most popular and most intuitive ways to evaluate an NGO is to judge how much of their spending is on their programme of works (or "mission") and how much is on other things, like administration and fundraising. If you give money to a charity for feeding people in the third world you hope that most of the money you give them goes on food - and not, for example, on company cars for head office staff.

    Mozilla looks bad when considered in this light. Fully 30% of all expenditure goes on administration. Charity Navigator, an organisation that measures NGO effectiveness, would give them zero out of ten on the relevant metric. For context, to achieve 5/10 on that measure Mozilla admin would need to be under 25% of spending and, for 10/10, under 15%.

  • This is a pretty dire assessment of Mozilla

    Back to Mozilla -- in my humble but correct opinion, Mozilla should be doing two things and two things only:

    1. Building THE reference implementation web browser, and

    2. Being a jugular-snapping attack dog on standards committees.

    3. There is no 3.

  • The Talospace Project: Firefox 81 on POWER

    Firefox 81 is released. In addition to new themes of dubious colour coordination, media controls now move to keyboards and supported headsets, the built-in JavaScript PDF viewer now supports forms (if we ever get a JIT going this will work a lot better), and there are relatively few developer-relevant changes.

    This release heralds the first official change in our standard POWER9 .mozconfig since Fx67. Link-time optimization continues to work well (and in 81 the LTO-enhanced build I'm using now benches about 6% faster than standard -O3 -mcpu=power9), so I'm now making it a standard part of my regular builds with a minor tweak we have to make due to bug 1644409. Build time still about doubles on this dual-8 Talos II and it peaks out at almost 84% of its 64GB RAM during LTO, but the result is worth it.

  • What happened to BitTorrent’s Project Maelstrom web browser?

    In April 2015, BitTorrent Inc. announced the public beta of Project Maelstrom; its new experimental peer-to-peer web browser. The browser reimagined the web using the company’s name sake file-sharing protocol. Websites would be distributed equally by its visitors instead of being hosted by an expensive central webserver. The company published a beta and some blog posts, but then never mentioned Project Maelstrom again. What happened to it?

    Project Maelstrom was launched four years after Opera had launched Opera Unite (Project Alien). Unite gave everyone their own web server built right into its web browser. It enabled anyone to host a website, share photos, and do all sorts of web things like music streaming directly from their own computer. Unite failed to account for people wanting to shut their computers — now servers — off at the end of the day, however.

    BitTorrent’s Project Maelstrom sought to fix this limitation by making everyone who visited a website help contribute to its distribution! As long as someone else was hosting a copy of it, you could shut down your computer for the night without taking your website offline with it.

  • Freetube 0.7.3 added to repository

    FreeTube is a YouTube client built around using YouTube more privately. You can enjoy your favorite content and creators without your habits being tracked. All of your user data is stored locally and never sent or published to the internet. Being powered by the Invidious API, FreeTube has become one of the best methods to watch YouTube privately on the desktop.

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Today in Techrights

Security Leftovers

  • Videoconferencing Malware, Vizom, Discovered [Ed: Wrong. Zoom itself is malware and they admit having back doors.]

    It was probably only a matter of time before the cyber attackers hit videoconferencing software in 2020. Apps such as Zoom had a bona fide boon this year because of the world health crisis. Researchers discovered a new form of malware that uses remote overlay attacks to hit Brazilian bank account holders who use videoconferencing software. [...] Phishing campaigns spread Vizom, disguising it as Zoom. Once the malware accesses a Windows computer, it hits the AppData directory to start infecting the system. Using DLL hijacking, it tries to force malicious DLLs to be loaded, using names the attackers believe are on the software directories for the Delphi-based variants.

  • Combating abuse in Matrix - without backdoors.

    Last Sunday, the UK Government published an international statement on end-to-end encryption and public safety, co-signed by representatives from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and Japan. The statement is well written and well worth a read in full, but the central point is this:

    We call on technology companies to [...] enable law enforcement access to content in a readable and usable format where an authorisation is lawfully issued, is necessary and proportionate, and is subject to strong safeguards and oversight.
    In other words, this is an explicit request from seven of the biggest governments in the world to mandate a backdoor in end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) communication services: a backdoor to which the authorities have a secret key, letting them view communication on demand. This is big news, and is of direct relevance to Matrix as an end-to-end encrypted communication protocol whose core team is currently centred in the UK. Now, we sympathise with the authorities’ predicament here: we utterly abhor child abuse, terrorism, fascism and similar - and we did not build Matrix to enable it. However, trying to mitigate abuse with backdoors is, unfortunately, fundamentally flawed.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (python-flask-cors), Fedora (kleopatra, nextcloud, and phpMyAdmin), Gentoo (ark, libjpeg-turbo, libraw, and libxml2), openSUSE (bind, kernel, php7, and transfig), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-alt, kernel-rt, rh-python36, virt:8.1 and virt-devel:8.1, and virt:8.2 and virt-devel:8.2), and Ubuntu (collabtive, freetype, linux, linux-hwe, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-oem, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux-snapdragon, and linux-oem-osp1, linux-raspi2-5.3).

  • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 161 released

    The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 161. This version includes the following changes:

    [ Chris Lamb ]
    * Fix failing testsuite: (Closes: #972518)
      - Update testsuite to support OCaml 4.11.1. (Closes: #972518)
      - Reapply Black and bump minimum version to 20.8b1.
    * Move the OCaml tests to the assert_diff helper.
    
    [ Jean-Romain Garnier ]
    * Add support for radare2 as a disassembler.
    
    [ Paul Spooren ]
    * Automatically deploy Docker images in the continuous integration pipeline.
    

today's howtos

  • How to Configure And Customize Openbox [Linux]

    Openbox is a great lightweight desktop manager for Linux, except that it can be a bit intimidating for the first time user. Here's a complete guide to configure and customize Openbox for new users.

  • 2 Ways to Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 To Ubuntu 20.10 (GUI & Terminal)

    Ubuntu 20.10, codenamed Groovy Gorilla, will be released on October 22, 2020. This tutorial will be showing you 2 ways to upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 to Ubuntu 20.10.

  • 3 Ways to Power off Debian

    Along with many other routine tasks, Linux administrators also have to perform a safe shutdown or reboot. It seems the simplest task but should be done in a secure way. Our systems are continuously running processes. If the system is not properly powered off, files and processes will not safe closely, might result in corrupted files, and can leave your system in an unstable state. It is therefore advised to properly and securely power off the system.

  • Disowning a process in Linux | Network World

    When you disown a process in bash, you keep it from being terminated when you log out and allow it to finish on its own. This post shows how to use the disown command.

  • How to install Ubuntu Budgie 20.10 - YouTube

    In this video, I am going to show how to install Ubuntu Budgie 20.10

  • Install Lutris on Manjaro - LinuxConfig.org

    In this tutorial, we guide you through the process of installing Lutris on Manjaro, allowing you to play a lot of popular gaming titles on Linux.

Android Leftovers