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Brave Privacy and Wayback Machine

Filed under
Software
Web
  • Brave beats other browsers in privacy study

    Users looking for a privacy-focused browser might want to consider Brave first, according to a study published this week.

    Douglas Leith, professor of computer systems at Trinity University, examined six browsers for his report – Web Browser Privacy: What Do Browsers Say When They Phone Home? He found that Brave’s Chromium-based browser is the least likely to reveal unique identifying information about the computer using it.

    The study examined six browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Edge, and Yandex. It used several tests to deduce whether the browser can track the user’s IP address over time, and whether it leaks details of web page visits. To do this, it looked at the data shared on startup after a fresh install, on a restart, and after both pasting and typing a URL into the address bar. It also explored what the browser did when it was idle.

    Even though Mozilla makes a talking point of privacy in Firefox, it was Brave, developed by Mozilla’s founder (and creator of JavaScript) Brendan Eich, that won out. Brave, which has accused Google of privacy violations, is “by far the most private of the browsers studied” when used with its out of the box settings, according to the paper.

  • Brave browser now automatically points to Wayback Machine on 404

    The Brave web browser can now automatically detect when a webpage is unavailable and will offer to search the Wayback Machine for a backup, the Internet Archive has announced. Although the 404 error code is the most well known, the announcement notes that the feature also works for 408, 410, 451, 500, 502, 503, 504, 509, 520, 521, 523, 524, 525, and 526 errors.

    If you visit a missing page (such as this one) using Brave then the browser will generate a notification that reads “Sorry, that page is missing. Do you want to check if a saved version is available on the Wayback Machine?” Clicking the prompt takes you to an archived version of the page, where you can then scroll through different snapshots of the page taken over time. It makes it easier to find information that’s disappeared from the internet, regardless of whether it’s been deliberately removed or has just disappeared by accident.

Revive your RSS feed with Newsboat in the Linux terminal

Filed under
Software
Web

Psst. Word on the web is that RSS died in 2013. That's when Google pulled the plug on Google Reader.

Don't believe everything that you hear. RSS is alive. It's well. It's still a great way to choose the information you want to read without algorithms making the decision for you. All you need is the right feed reader.

Back in January, Opensource.com Correspondent Kevin Sonney introduced a nifty terminal RSS reader called Newsboat. In his article, Kevin scratched Newsboat's surface. I figured it was time to take a deeper dive into what Newsboat can do.

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Web Standards

Filed under
Web
  • Inrupt, Tim Berners-Lee's Solid, and Me

    All of this is a long-winded way of saying that I have joined a company called Inrupt that is working to bring Tim Berners-Lee's distributed data ownership model that is Solid into the mainstream. (I think of Inrupt basically as the Red Hat of Solid.) I joined the Inrupt team last summer as its Chief of Security Architecture, and have been in stealth mode until now.

    The idea behind Solid is both simple and extraordinarily powerful. Your data lives in a pod that is controlled by you. Data generated by your things -- your computer, your phone, your IoT whatever -- is written to your pod. You authorize granular access to that pod to whoever you want for whatever reason you want. Your data is no longer in a bazillion places on the Internet, controlled by you-have-no-idea-who. It's yours. If you want your insurance company to have access to your fitness data, you grant it through your pod. If you want your friends to have access to your vacation photos, you grant it through your pod. If you want your thermostat to share data with your air conditioner, you give both of them access through your pod.

  • World wide web founder scales up efforts to reshape internet
  • Sir Tim Berners-Lee's Inrupt is Redesigning the way the web is to Work and Apple is working with them on their Data Transfer Project

    Inrupt, the start-up company founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee to redesign the way the web works, is expanding its operational team and launching pilot projects in its quest to develop a "massively scalable, production-quality technology platform."

  • Inconsistent user-experiences with native lazy-loading images

    The specification for web browser native support for lazy-loading images landed in the HTML Living Standard a week ago. This new feature lets web developers tell the browser to defer loading an image until it is scrolled into view, or it’s about to be scrolled into view.

    Images account for 49 % of the median webpage’s byte size, according to the HTTP Archive. Lazy image loading can help reduce these images’ impact on page load performance. It can also help lower data costs by clients that never scroll down to images far down on a page.

    Historically, lazy-loading was implemented by responding to changes in the scroll position and tracking the image element’s offset from the top of the page. This could degrade page-scrolling performance. Comparatively, the new native lazy loading for images is easier to implement and doesn’t degrade scrolling performance.

Greenpeace, greenwash, openwash

Filed under
Red Hat
OSS
Web
  • Greenpeace takes open-source approach to finish web transformation

    Greenpeace is working with open source software firm Red Hat to scale and revamp its grassroots engagement platform, Planet 4.

    The project marks a complete re-design of Greenpeace.org’s backend content management systems (CMS), which are now designed to put content on the web and provide a vehicle for driving grassroots environmental action.

  • Greenpeace turns to Red Hat to scale its “Planet 4” global engagement platform
  • Greenpeace turns to open source to finish its web transformation

    In 2016, Greenpeace International decided to try a new way of stimulating grass-level environmental activity via something it called ‘Planet 4’ - a global content management system (CMS) it defined as its new engagement platform. In its original mission statement, it also outlined its expectations for the tool: that it would foster more engagement “when we present ourselves to our supporters, and our potential supporters, through a clear representation of our values with a clear proposition for why we exist, how people can become change agents through our work, and what they can do with us right now”.

Mozilla/WWW: TenFourFox, Markdown, DOM, Firefox Spying ("Glean") and Apple Monopoly

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Moz/FF
Web
  • TenFourFox FPR20b1 available

    When using FPR20 you should notice ... absolutely nothing. Sites should just appear as they do; the only way you'd know anything changed in this version is if you pressed Command-I and looked at the Security tab to see that you're connected over TLS 1.3, the latest TLS security standard. In fact, the entirety of the debate was streamed over it, and to the best of my knowledge TenFourFox is the only browser that implements TLS 1.3 on Power Macs running Mac OS X. On regular Firefox your clue would be seeing occasional status messages about handshakes, but I've even disabled that for TenFourFox to avoid wholesale invalidating our langpacks which entirely lack those strings. Other than a couple trivial DOM updates I wrote up because they were easy, as before there are essentially no other changes other than the TLS enablement in this FPR to limit the regression range. If you find a site that does not work, verify first it does work in FPR19 or FPR18, because sites change more than we do, and see if setting security.tls.version.max to 3 (instead of 4) fixes it. You may need to restart the browser to make sure. If this does seem to reliably fix the problem, report it in the comments. A good test site is Google or Mozilla itself. The code we are using is largely the same as current Firefox's.

  • Moving to Markdown

    I'm writing this only for those who follows this blog via RSS feed and probably wonders why they had many notifications on their RSS reader. Sorry, this thing happen when upload a new version of my website. So, what's new on this new website? Not much, nothing changed visually... But everything changed under the hood!

  • Semantic markup, browsers, and identity in the DOM

    HTML was initially designed as a semantic markup language, with elements having semantics (meaning) describing general roles within a document. These semantic elements have been added to over time. Markup as it is used on the web is often criticized for not following the semantics, but rather being a soup of divs and spans, the most generic sorts of elements. The Web has also evolved over the last 25 years from a web of documents to a web where many of the most visited pages are really applications rather than documents. The HTML markup used on the Web is a representation of a tree structure, and the user interface of these web applications is often based on dynamic changes made through the DOM, which is what we call both the live representation of that tree structure and the API through which that representation is accessed.

    Browsers exist as tools for users to browse the Web; they strike a balance between showing the content as its author intended versus adapting that content to the device it is being displayed on and the preferences or needs of the user.

    Given the unreliable use of semantics on the Web, most of the ways browsers adapt content to the user rarely depend deeply on semantics, although some of them (such as reader mode) do have significant dependencies. However, browser adaptations of content or interventions that browsers make on behalf of the user very frequently depend on the persistent object identity in the DOM. That is, nodes in the DOM tree (such as sections of the page, or paragraphs) have an identity over the lifetime of the page, and many things that browsers do depend on that identity being consistent over time. For example, exposing the page to a screen reader, scroll anchoring, and I think some aspects of ad blocking all depend on the idea that there are elements in the web page that the browser understands the identity of over time.

  • Chris H-C: This Week in Glean: A Distributed Team Echoes Distributed Workflow

    I was recently struck by a realization that the position of our data org’s team members around the globe mimics the path that data flows through the Glean Ecosystem.

  • Apple May Soon Let You Set Third-Party Mail, Browser Apps as Default on iOS: Report

    Apple has always had its own apps set as defaults in cases like the music player and the browser, Apple Music and Safari respectively. But, this might change soon. Reportedly, Apple is considering allowing third party apps to be set as defaults on iOS. Apple is also debating whether to allow third-party music apps on the HomePod speaker, something would mean allowing users to stream music via Spotify, which is one of Apple Music's rivals. No decision has been made by the company as of now.

Gopher: When Adversarial Interoperability Burrowed Under the Gatekeepers' Fortresses

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Web

In the early 1990s, personal computers did not arrive in an "Internet-ready" state. Before students could connect their systems to UMN's network, they needed to install basic networking software that allowed their computers to communicate over TCP/IP, as well as dial-up software for protocols like PPP or SLIP. Some computers needed network cards or modems, and their associated drivers.

That was just for starters. Once the students' systems were ready to connect to the Internet, they still needed the basic tools for accessing distant servers: FTP software, a Usenet reader, a terminal emulator, and an email client, all crammed onto a floppy disk (or two). The task of marshalling, distributing, and supporting these tools fell to the university's Microcomputer Center.

For the university, the need to get students these basic tools was a blessing and a curse. It was labor-intensive work, sure, but it also meant that the Microcomputer Center could ensure that the students' newly Internet-ready computers were also configured to access the campus network and its resources, saving the Microcomputer Center thousands of hours talking students through the configuration process. It also meant that the Microcomputer Center could act like a mini App Store, starting students out on their online journeys with a curated collection of up-to-date, reliable tools.

That's where Gopher comes in. While the campus mainframe administrators had plans to selectively connect their systems to the Internet through specialized software, the Microcomputer Center had different ideas. Years before the public had heard of the World Wide Web, the Gopher team sought to fill the same niche, by connecting disparate systems to the Internet and making them available to those with little-to-no technical expertise—with or without the cooperation of the systems they were connecting.

Gopher used text-based menus to navigate "Gopherspace" (all the world's public Gopher servers). The Microcomputer Center team created Gopher clients that ran on Macs, DOS, and in Unix-based terminals. The original Gopher servers were a motley assortment of used Macintosh IIci systems running A/UX, Apple's flavor of Unix. The team also had access to several NeXT workstations.

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Also: The Things Industries Launches Global Join Server for Secure LoRaWAN

Meet Ephemeral: The Always-Incognito Web Browser For Linux

Filed under
Linux
Web

Popping up of the ads based on your browsing data has become a common issue that most people face nowadays. Hence, it’s obvious that people are turning toward the more privacy focussed search engine and web browser.

Keeping the private browsing in mind, Cassidy James Blaede, co-founder & CXO at elementary, developed an open-source and always-incognito web browser, Ephemeral.

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Rclone Browser (Fork) 1.8.0 Gets Proxy Support, Option To Create Public Link

Filed under
Software
Web

Rclone Browser (fork), a Qt5 GUI for Rclone, was updated to version 1.8.0, getting proxy support, an option to display the complete directory tree for a remote, and the ability to create a public link to easily share files, among others.

Rclone Browser is a cross-platform (Windows, macOS and Linux) Qt5 GUI for Rclone, a command line tool to synchronize (and mount) files from remote cloud storage services like Google Drive, OneDrive, Nextcloud, Dropbox, Amazon Drive and S3, Mega, and others.

This GUI can be used to simplify operations like copying a file from one cloud storage to another or to the local drive, mount cloud storages on your system with a click, and browsing the contents of various cloud storage remotes in a tabbed interface.

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Brave Browser and DRM With 'Open' Veneer

Filed under
OSS
Web
  • Data Doctors: Is the Brave browser safe to use?

    If you’re like most users, you spend more time using a browser than any other program on your computer or smartphone.

    You probably don’t think about what browser you’re using; the focus is on getting to a website, not what got you there.

    Google Chrome is by far the most popular browser, but because it’s a Google product integrated with all their tracking and advertising networks, a lot of people are looking for an alternative.

  • Here’s how to know if the Brave browser is safe to use

    A: If you’re like most users, you spend more time using a browser than any other program on your computer or smartphone.

    You probably don’t think about what browser you’re using as the focus is on getting to a website and not what got you there.

    Google’s Chrome is by far the most popular browser, but because it’s a Google product integrated with all their tracking and advertising networks, a lot of people are looking for an alternative.

  • Netflix Now Exploring AVIF For Image Compression

    Following Netflix's AV1 adoption with collaborating with Intel on the SVT-AV1 encoder, now using AV1 streaming for Android users, and others around this advanced royalty-free video codec, Netflix is now exploring AVIF as their next-gen image format.

    [...]

    Netflix acknowledges the significant need for next-gen image coding that has better compression efficiency and more features than JPEG. Netflix believes AVIF has the potential albeit they aren't yet ready to transition to AVIF today.

    In their testing they are finding good results out of AVIF compared to JPEG and other image formats. For those wanting to go through a long and interesting technical read, on the Netflix Tech Blog they have example screenshots and results comparing their AVIF results to other formats.

  • Netflix begins streaming AV1 content on its Android mobile app

    Netflix today announced that it is beginning to stream videos compressed using the AV1 codec, on its Android mobile app. AV1 is a next-generation, royalty-free video codec that provides compression efficiency that is improved by 20%. This codec, developed to replace VP9, was built by the Alliance for Open Media, of which Netflix, Google, Amazon Prime Video, and more big-name content providers are a part of.

Openwashing of 5G

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OSS
Web
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More in Tux Machines

Programming Leftovers

  • Type instances

    The particular nature of our work is up for any amount of debate, but the basic fact of it comes with a few requirements, and they are by and large inevitable if you wish to be a well-behaved, well-integrated member of the GNOME community. One of which is: “please, think of the language bindings”. These days, luckily for all of us, this means writing introspectable interfaces that adhere to fairly sensible best practices and conventions. [...] Please, please use GObject. Writing type system code is already boring and error prone, which is why we added a ton of macros to avoid people shooting themselves in both their feet, and we hammered away all the special snowflake API flourishes that made parsing C API to generate introspection data impossible. I can only recommend you go down the GTypeInstance route if you’ve done your due diligence on what that entails, and are aware that it is a last resort if GObject simply does not work within your project’s constraints.

  • The joys and perils of C and C++ aliasing, Part 1

    In C, C++, and some other programming languages, the term aliasing refers to a situation where two different expressions or symbols refer to the same object. When references access that object in different ways—as both reads and stores—there are consequences for the order in which these mixed accesses can happen. The value that is stored first is expected to be read by the subsequent access. In many instances, aliasing is harmless: It is common, safe, and usually optimally efficient to use two pointers of the same type to read, and even to write to the same object. But in some cases, using aliasing symbols for mixed accesses is less benign, and can adversely affect the correctness or efficiency of your code. Although there are quite a few articles on this subject, most tend to focus on the rules and requirements outlined in the standards (such as the strict aliasing rule). In this article, I focus on the details of the C and C++ language restrictions, their challenges and pitfalls, and examples demonstrating the restrictions’ beneficial effects in optimized code. In Part 2, I will present exemptions from aliasing, which can help you get around the restrictions more or less safely. I also consider some of the common pitfalls of aliasing and mixed accesses, and the actual problems these pitfalls might cause.

  • Why I switched from Java to Kotlin

    Kotlin is a cross-platform, general-purpose programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). JetBrains led its implementation, which began in 2010, and it has been open source since early in its development. The great news for Java developers is that Kotlin is interoperable with Java. Standard Java code can be included in a Kotlin program, and Kotlin can be included in a Java program. That immense investment in compatibility means if you come from a Java background, picking up Kotlin will feel familiar and be a low risk since it will run alongside any of your existing Java code. To introduce you to Kotlin, I will go over some of its basic syntax, ranging from variables to defining functions and classes. If you want to follow along and learn some of the language's features, there is a great browser-based Kotlin playground you can use. [...] Kotlin's simplicity and Java interoperability equate to little risk that you will spend time learning something that isn't useful. After taking your first steps into Kotlin, you may never look at your Java code or the JVM the same way again.

  • New feature highlights in Elixir Cross Referencer v2.0

    Maxime Chrétien has extended Elixir to support kernel configuration parameters. Actually, he contributed a new parser to the universal-ctags project to do so. This way, you can explore C sources and Kconfig files and find the declarations and uses of kernel parameters...

  • Excellent Free Books to Learn Eiffel

    Eiffel is an object-oriented programming language designed by Bertrand Meyer (an object-orientation proponent and author of Object-Oriented Software Construction) and Eiffel Software.

  • Fortran newsletter: June 2020

    Welcome to the June 2020 edition of the monthly Fortran newsletter. The newsletter comes out on the first calendar day of every month and details Fortran news from the previous month.

  • sidetable - Create Simple Summary Tables in Pandas

    Today I am happy to announce the release of a new pandas utility library called sidetable. This library makes it easy to build a frequency table and simple summary of missing values in a DataFrame. I have found it to be a useful tool when starting data exploration on a new data set and I hope others find it useful as well. This project is also an opportunity to illustrate how to use pandas new API to register custom DataFrame accessors. This API allows you to build custom functions for working with pandas DataFrames and Series and could be really useful for building out your own library of custom pandas accessor functions.

  • Using pandas to plot data in Python

    In this series of articles on Python-based plotting libraries, we're going to look at an example of making plots using pandas, the hugely popular Python data manipulation library. Pandas is a standard tool in Python for scalably transforming data, and it has also become a popular way to import and export from CSV and Excel formats. On top of all that, it also contains a very nice plotting API. This is extremely convenient—you already have your data in a pandas DataFrame, so why not use the same library to plot it?

  • 2020.21/22 Four by Wenzel

    Wenzel P. P. Peppmeyer has written not one, not two, not three, but four blogs in the past two weeks, each addressing some feature or quirk of the Raku Programming Language.

  • Monthly Report - May

    I have been doing Monthly Report since June 2018 non-stop. It has become a ritual for me now. It gives me an opportunity to look upon my activities. Since the beginning of the year 2020, I have made conscious decision to slow down as far as submitting Pull Request. I have also stopped playing CPAN game of daily upload after breaking the chain three times. I am happy that Perlancar is keeping the game alive. It has given me space to try something new. Although COVID-19 keeping us indoor all the time, still looking for interesting project to keep the mind busy.

  • PHP 8.0 JIT Is Offering Very Compelling Performance Ahead Of Its Alpha

    With the PHP 8.0 schedule putting the first alpha release for the middle of June, I've been trying out its latest Git state in recent days for looking at its performance as well as when enabling its brand new JIT (Just In Time) compiler support that is new to PHP8. The results are quite compelling and here are metrics going back to the days of PHP 5.4 for comparison.

Security Leftovers

  • What sort of SSH keys our users use or have listed in their authorized keys files

    My first surprise is that we have so many DSA keys listed, since they're no longer supported (and those 380 ssh-dss keys are across 203 different people). People clearly don't clean out their authorized keys files very often. 670 people have RSA keys, 13 have Ed25519 keys, and 15 have some form of ECDSA keys (which implies that a few people list a bunch of ECDSA keys).

    However, that's just what people have sitting around in their authorized keys files, not what actually gets used. What actually gets used is a somewhat different picture. Here are the numbers for how many different keys of each type have been used over the course of 2020 so far: [...]

  • Microsoft is blocking the Windows 10 May 2020 Update on lots of devices [Ed: Microsoft cannot even patch its own software without breaking it]

    Microsoft is preventing a large number of devices from updating to the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. While the software company released the update last week, Microsoft has quietly acknowledged that there are a number of known issues preventing the update from being installed on a variety of PCs. Microsoft has a list of 10 issues it’s currently investigating, and 9 of them have resulted in a “compatibility hold” which stops the Windows 10 May 2020 Update from being installed via Windows Update. One issue involving unexpected errors or reboots with always-on, always-connected devices, affects devices like Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 or Surface Laptop 3.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (ant, bind, freerdp, and unbound), CentOS (bind, freerdp, and git), Debian (python-httplib2), Fedora (ant, kernel, sqlite, and sympa), openSUSE (java-11-openjdk and qemu), Oracle (bind), Red Hat (freerdp), Scientific Linux (python-pip and python-virtualenv), Slackware (firefox), SUSE (qemu), and Ubuntu (Apache Ant, ca-certificates, flask, and freerdp2).

Android Leftovers

Mozilla Firefox 77 Is Now Available for Download, Here’s What’s New

Highlights of the Firefox 77 release include improved accessibility by allowing screen reader users to access the applications list in Firefox Options, providing labels for date/time inputs for users of accessibility tools and updated text in the JAWS screen reader for some live regions. This release also implements support for viewing and managing web certificates via a new about:certificate page, and adds Pocket recommendations on the New Tab page for users located in the United Kingdom (UK). Among other changes, Firefox 77 removes the browser.urlbar.oneOffSearches preference. Users will now have to uncheck the search engines on the One-Click Search Engines option in the about:preferences#search page if they want to hide the one-off search buttons. Read more Direct: 77.0 Firefox Release Also: Firefox 77 Released With Security Fixes, AV1 Image File Support Firefox 77.0 Released with Pocket Recommendations for UK users Firefox 77.0