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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Search, Decentralised Web and Rust

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Moz/FF
  • Searchfox in Phabricator extension

    Being able to search code while reviewing can be really useful, but unfortunately it’s not so straightforward. Many people resort to loading the patch under review in an IDE in order to be able to search code.

    Being able to do it directly in the browser can make the workflow much smoother.

    To support this use case, I’ve built an extension for Phabricator that integrates Searchfox code search functionality directly in Phabricator differentials. This way reviewers can benefit from hovers, go-to-definition and find-references without having to resort to the IDE or without having to manually navigate to the code on searchfox.org or dxr.mozilla.org. Moreover, compared to searchfox.org or dxr.mozilla.org, the extension highlights both the pre-patch view and the post-patch view, so reviewers can see how pre-existing variables/functions are being used after the patch.

  • Searching Made Faster, the Latest Firefox Exploration

    earch is one of the most common activities that people do whenever they go online. At Mozilla, we are always looking for ways to streamline that experience to make it fast, easy and convenient for our users.

    Our Firefox browser provides a variety of options for people to search the things and information they seek when they’re on the web, so we want to make search even easier. For instance, there are two search boxes on every home or new tab page – one is what we call the “awesome bar” also known as the URL bar, and the other is the search box in the home/new tab pages.

    In the awesome bar, users can use a shortcut to their queries by simply entering a predefined keyword (like @google) and typing the actual search term they are seeking, whether it’s the nearest movie theater location and times for the latest blockbuster movie or finding a sushi restaurant close to their current location. These Search Keywords have been part of the browser experience for years, yet it’s not commonly known. Here’s a hint to enable it: Go to “Preferences,” then “Search” and check “ One-Click Search Engines”.

  • Dweb: Decentralised, Real-Time, Interoperable Communication with Matrix

    Matrix is an open standard for interoperable, decentralised, real-time communication over the Internet. It provides a standard HTTP API for publishing and subscribing to real-time data in specified channels, which means it can be used to power Instant Messaging, VoIP/WebRTC signalling, Internet of Things communication, and anything else that can be expressed as JSON and needs to be transmitted in real-time over HTTP. The most common use of Matrix today is as an Instant Messaging platform.

  • This Week in Rust 256

Mozilla Developments and Blurbs

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Moz/FF
  • Going from New Laptop to Productive Mozillian

    My old laptop had so many great stickers on it I didn’t want to say goodbye. So I put off my hardware refresh cycle from the recommended 2 years to almost 3.

    To speak the truth it wasn’t only the stickers that made me wary of switching. I had a workflow that worked. The system wasn’t slow. It was only three years old.

    But then Windows started crashing on me during video calls. And my Firefox build times became long enough that I ported changes to my Linux desktop before building them. It was time to move on.

  • Show your support for Firefox with new badges

    Firefox is only as strong as its passionate users. Because we’re independent, people need to make a conscious choice to use a non-default browser on their system. We’re most successful when happy users tell others about an alternative worth trying.

  • At MozFest, Spend 7 Days Exploring Internet Health

    Workshops that teach you how to detect misinformation and mobile trackers. A series of art installations that turn online data into artwork. A panel about the unintended consequences of AI, featuring a former YouTube engineer and a former FBI agent. And a conversation with the inventor of the web.

    These are just a handful of the experiences at this year’s MozFest, Mozilla’s annual festival for, by, and about people who love the internet. From October 22-28 at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and Ravensbourne University in central London, more than 2,500 developers, designers, activists, and artists from dozens of countries will gather to explore privacy, security, openness, and inclusion online.

  • Using requestIdleCallback for long running computations

    One of the ways developers have tipically tried to keep a smooth web application, without interfering with the browser’s animation and response to input, is to use a Web Worker for long running computations. For example, in the Prism.js (a library for syntax highlighting) API there’s an async parameter to choose “Whether to use Web Workers to improve performance and avoid blocking the UI when highlighting very large chunks of code”.

  • These Weeks In Servo 115

    In the past three weeks, we merged 181 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

    Our Windows nightlies have been broken for several months for a number of reasons, and we have now fixed all of the known breakage. If you’re a Windows user, give our latest builds a try! You can visit arbitrary URLs by pressing Ctr+L.

    The Android Components project added a component to use Servo in any Android app.

Mozilla: FirefoxOS, Quality Speakings and Mozilla's Take on Encryption in Australia

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Moz/FF
  • FirefoxOS, A keyboard and prediction: Story of my first contribution

    This was at IBM, New York where I was interning and working on the TJ Watson project. I returned back to my desk, turned on my dual monitors, started reading some blogs and engaging on Mozilla IRC (a new found and pretty short lived hobby). Just a few days before that, FirefoxOS was launched in India in the form of an Intex phone with a $35 price tag. It was making waves all around, because of its hefty price and poor performance . The OS struggle was showing up in the super low cost hardware. I was personally furious about some of the shortcomings, primarily the keyboard which at that time didn’t support prediction in any language other than English and also did not learn new words. Coincidentally, I came upon Dietrich Ayala in the FirefoxOS IRC channel, who at that time was a Platform Engineer at Mozilla. To my surprise he agreed with many of my complaints and asked me if I want to contribute my ideas. I very much wanted to, but then again, I had no idea how. The idea of contributing to the codebase of something like FirefoxOS terrified me. He suggested I first send a proposal and then proceed from there. With my busy work schedule at IBM, this discussion slipped my mind and did not fully boil in my head until I returned home from my internship.

  • Quality Speakings

    Unfortunately my suite of annoying verbal tics – um right um right um, which I continue to treat like Victor Borge’s phonetic punctuation – are on full display here, but I guess we’ll have to live with that. Here’s a talk I gave at the GTA Linux User Group on “The State Of Mozilla”, split into the main talk and the Q&A sections. I could probably have cut a quarter of that talk out by just managing those twitches better, but I guess that’s a project for 2019.

  • Encryption bill will cause 'significant risk' to Internet: Mozilla

    Any measure that permits a government to lay down specifications for the design of Internet systems would cause significant risk to the security, stability and trust of such systems, the Mozilla Foundation has said in a submission about Australia's proposed encryption bill.

Mozilla: Featured Extensions Advisory Board, Extended Mind, Firefox Deprecating TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 Support, Google's Lies, Mozilla Reps

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Moz/FF
  • Apply to Join the Featured Extensions Advisory Board

    Do you love extensions? Do you have a keen sense of what makes a great extension? Want to help users discover extensions that will improve how they experience the web? If so, please consider applying to join our Featured Extensions Community Board!

    Board members nominate and select new featured extensions each month to help millions of users find top-quality extensions to customize their Firefox browsers. Click here to learn more about the duties of the Featured Extension Advisory Board. The current board is currently wrapping up their six-month tour of duty and we are now assembling a new board of talented contributors for the months January – June, 2019.

    Extension developers, designers, advocates, and fans are all invited to apply to join the board. Priority will be given to applicants who have not served on the board before, followed by those from previous boards, and finally from the outgoing board.

  • Mozilla VR Blog: How XR Environments Shape User Behavior

    In previous research, The Extended Mind has documented how a 3D space automatically signals to people the rules of behavior. One of the key findings of that research is that when there is synchrony in the design of a space, it helps communicate behavioral norms to visitors. That means that when there is complementarity among content, affordances, and avatars, it helps people learn how to act. One example would be creating a gym environment (content), with weights (affordances), but only letting avatars dress in tuxedos and evening gowns. The contraction of people’s appearances could demotivate weight-lifting (the desired behavior).

    This article shares learnings from the Hubs by Mozilla user research on how the different locations that they visited impacted participant’s behavior. Briefly, the researchers observed five pairs of participants in multiple 3D environments and watched as they navigated new ways of interacting with one another. In this particular study, participants visited a medieval fantasy world, a meeting room, an atrium, and a rooftop bunker.

  • Removing Old Versions of TLS

    In March of 2020, Firefox will disable support for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1.

    On the Internet, 20 years is an eternity. TLS 1.0 will be 20 years old in January 2019. In that time, TLS has protected billions – and probably trillions – of connections from eavesdropping and attack.

    In that time, we have collectively learned a lot about what it takes to design and build a security protocol.

    Though we are not aware of specific problems with TLS 1.0 that require immediate action, several aspects of the design are neither as strong or as robust as we would like given the nature of the Internet today. Most importantly, TLS 1.0 does not support modern cryptographic algorithms.

  • Wladimir Palant: So Google is now claiming: "no one (including Google) can access your data"

    A few days ago Google announced ensuring privacy for your Android data backups. The essence is that your lockscreen PIN/pattern/passcode is used to encrypt your data and nobody should be able to decrypt it without knowing that passcode. Hey, that’s including Google themselves! Sounds good? Past experience indicates that such claims should not always be taken at face value. And in fact, this story raises some red flags for me.

    The trouble is, whatever you use on your phone’s lockscreen is likely not very secure. It doesn’t have to be, because the phone will lock up after a bunch of failed attempts. So everybody goes with a passcode that is easy to type but probably not too hard to guess. Can you derive an encryption key from that passcode? Sure! Will this encryption be unbreakable? Most definitely not. With passwords being that simple, anybody getting their hands on encrypted data will be able to guess the password and decrypt the data within a very short time. That will even be the case for a well-chosen key derivation algorithm (and we don’t know yet which algorithm Google chose to use here).

  • Rabimba: Voting impartially for fun and profit a.k.a Mozilla Reps Council Voting

    I am part of a program called Mozilla Reps. Though I am involved as a volunteer contributor with Mozilla for quite some time now, I am relatively new to the Mozilla Reps program and hardly know anything about the program apart from my scope of work in it.
    Apparently, this is the Election time for voting the nominated candidates for the Council who will spearhead the program for the next session. Since I am new to the program reading about everyone's election campaign and hearing about what they will do for the program was not giving me any clear motivation to vote for anyone specific. Though this wasn't anything super important, I still thought since I have a bit of time in my hand why not do something interesting about it.

Brave and Firefox Latest

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Moz/FF
Web
  • Brave Browser Team Up With Tor

     

    TOR [sic] or The Onion Router uses technology that separates your computer from the website you’re viewing by routing the network traffic through 3 seperate servers before it reaches your computer. That being said Brave Core Beta hasn’t been fully tested yet so “users should not rely on it for serious use just yet,” Brave said.

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  • Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

    When Firefox 64 arrives in December, support for RSS, the once celebrated content syndication scheme, and its sibling, Atom, will be missing.

    "After considering the maintenance, performance and security costs of the feed preview and subscription features in Firefox, we’ve concluded that it is no longer sustainable to keep feed support in the core of the product," said Gijs Kruitbosch, a software engineer who works on Firefox at Mozilla, in a blog post on Thursday.

    RSS – which stands for Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication, as you see fit – is an XML-based format for publishing and subscribing to web content feeds. It dates back to 1999 and for a time was rather popular, but been disappearing from a variety of applications and services since then.

    Mozilla appears to have gotten the wrecking ball rolling in 2011 when it removed the RSS button from Firefox. The explanation then was the same as it is now: It's just not very popular.

  • Cameron Kaiser: It's baaaaa-aaack: TenFourFox Intel

    It's back! It's undead! It's ugly! It's possibly functional! It's totally unsupported! It's ... TenFourFox for Intel Macs!

    Years ago as readers of this blog will recall, Claudio Leite built TenFourFox 17.0.2 for Intel, which the update check-in server shows some determined users are still running to this day on 10.5 and even 10.4 despite various problems such as issue 209. However, he didn't have time to maintain it, and a newer version was never built, though a few people since then have made various attempts and submitted some patches.

    One of these attempts is now far enough along to the point where I'm permitted to announce its existence. Riccardo Mottola has done substantial work on getting TenFourFox to build and run again on old Intel Macs with a focus on 32-bit compatibility, and his patches have been silently lurking in the source code repository for some time. Along with Ken Cunningham's additional work, who now also has a MacPorts portfile so you can build it yourself (PowerPC support in the portfile is coming, though you can still use the official instructions, of course), enough functions in the new Intel build that it can be used for basic tasks.

Mozilla: Pocket, Rust and MDN Updates

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Development
Moz/FF
  • Pocket’s Updated Listening Feature Effectively Turns Web Pages into Podcasts

    The read-it-later service has been focused on convenience and entertainment since Mozilla acquired it last year. Previous updates to the app introduced sponsored and recommended content based on a user’s interest. The new “listen” feature mimics the button layout and usability of podcast and music apps, encouraging users to treat Pocket like a source of entertainment, rather than a glorified bookmark app.

  • Announcing Rust 1.29.2

    The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.29.2. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

  • Payments, accessibility, and dead macros: MDN Changelog for September 2018

    We’ve been thinking about the direction and growth of MDN. We’d like a more direct connection with developers, and to provide them with valuable features and benefits they need to be successful in their web projects. We’ve researched several promising ideas, and decided that direct payments would be the first experiment. Logged-in users and 1% of anonymous visitors see the banner that asks them to directly support MDN. See Ali Spivak’s and Kadir Topal’s post, A New Way to Support MDN, for more information.

Firefox ESR 60 Is Now Available on Ubuntu as a Snap, Here's How to Install It

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Moz/FF
Ubuntu

Every six weeks, a new major Firefox release hits the streets, and it's soon available in the Ubuntu repositories, but thanks to Canonical's Snappy technologies, users now have access to the latest ESR versions of Firefox too, which are mostly intended for the company's enterprise partners who want long-term supported Firefox release.

"The ESR version of Firefox is aimed at corporations who want to have more control over the version of Firefox their employees have installed," said Canonical in a blog post. "Mozilla recommends that users stay on the Rapid Release version if they wish the newest product features offered by Firefox."

Read more

Mozilla/Firefox News

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Moz/FF
  • Slimmer and simpler static atoms

    In Firefox’s code we use the term atom rather than intern, and atom table rather than string intern pool. I don’t know why; those names have been used for a long time.

    Furthermore, Firefox distinguishes between static atoms, which are those that are chosen at compile time and can be directly referred to via an identifier, and dynamic atoms, which are added on-demand at runtime. This post is about the former.

  • Home Monitoring with Things Gateway 0.6

    When it comes to smart home devices, protecting the safety and security of your home when you aren’t there is a popular area of adoption. Traditional home security systems are either completely offline (an alarm sounds in the house, but nobody is notified) or professionally monitored (with costly subscription services). Self monitoring of your connected home therefore makes sense, but many current smart home solutions still require ongoing service fees and send your private data to a centralised cloud service.

  • WebRender newsletter #25

    As usual, WebRender is making rapid progress. The team is working hard on nailing the remaining few blockers for enabling WebRender in Beta, after which focus will shift to the Release blockers. It’s hard to single out a particular highlight this week as the majority of bugs resolved were very impactful.

  • DevEdition 63 Beta 14 Testday, October 12th

    We are happy to let you know that Friday, October 12th, we are organizing Firefox 63 Beta 14 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on: Flash Compatibility and Block Autoplay V2.

  • Mozilla B-Team: happy bmo push day!Mozilla B-Team: happy bmo push day!
  • Mozilla B-Team: happy bmo push day (last friday)
  • Firefox removes core product support for RSS/Atom feeds

    from Firefox 64 onwards, RSS/Atom feed support will be handled via add-ons, rather than in-product.

    [...]

    By virtue of being baked into the core of Firefox, these features have long had outsized maintenance and security costs relative to their usage. Making sure these features are as well-tested, modern and secure as the rest of Firefox would take a surprising amount of engineering work, and unfortunately the usage of these features does not justify such an investment: feed previews and live bookmarks are both used in around 0.01% of sessions.

    As one example of those costs, “live bookmarks” use a very old, very slow way to access the bookmarks database, and it would take a lot of time and effort to bring it up to the performance standards we expect from Quantum. Likewise, the feed viewer has its own “special” XML parser, distinct from the main Firefox one, and has not had a significant update in styling or functionality in the last seven years. The engineering work we’d need to bring these features, in their current states, up to modern standards is complicated by how few automated tests there are for anything in this corner of the codebase.

  • Firefox Reality 1.0.1 - with recline mode

    Firefox Reality 1.0.1 is now available for download in the Viveport, Oculus, and Daydream app stores. This is a minor point release, focused on fixing several performance issues and adding crash reporting UI and (thanks to popular request!) a reclined viewing mode.

Mozilla: TLS Certificate Distrust, Bugzilla Automatic Bug Triaging Challenge, Firefox Nightly and More

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Moz/FF
  • Delaying Further Symantec TLS Certificate Distrust

    Due to a long list of documented issues, Mozilla previously announced our intent to distrust TLS certificates issued by the Symantec Certification Authority, which is now a part of DigiCert. On August 13th, the next phase of distrust was enabled in Firefox Nightly. In this phase, all TLS certificates issued by Symantec (including their GeoTrust, RapidSSL, and Thawte brands) are no longer trusted by Firefox (with a few small exceptions).

    In my previous update, I pointed out that many popular sites are still using these certificates. They are apparently unaware of the planned distrust despite DigiCert’s outreach, or are waiting until the release date that was communicated in the consensus plan to finally replace their Symantec certificates. While the situation has been improving steadily, our latest data shows well over 1% of the top 1-million websites are still using a Symantec certificate that will be distrusted.

  • Taming triage: Partnering with Topcoder to harness the power of the crowd

    We are excited to announce the launch of the Bugzilla Automatic Bug Triaging Challenge, a crowdsourcing competition sponsored by Mozilla and hosted by Topcoder, the world’s largest network of software designers, developers, testers, and data scientists. The goal of the competition is to automate triaging (categorization by products and software components) of new bugs submitted to Bugzilla, Mozilla’s web-based bug tracking system. By cooperating with Topcoder, Mozilla is expanding its open innovation capabilities to include specialized crowdsourcing communities and competition mechanisms.

    Mozilla’s Open Innovation strategy is guided by the principle of being Open by Design derived from a comprehensive 2017 review of how Mozilla works with open communities. The strategy sets forth a direction of expanding the organisation’s external outreach beyond its traditional base of core contributors: open source software developers, lead users, and Mozilla volunteers. Our cooperation with Topcoder is an example of reaching out to a global community of data scientists.

  • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 47
  • Community Coordinator role

    The Reps program is evolving in order to be aligned with Mozilla’s changes on how we perceive communities. Part of those changes is the Mission Driven Mozillians project, where the Reps are involved.

  • Announcing a Competition for Ethics in Computer Science, with up to $3.5 Million in Prizes

    Today, computer scientists wield tremendous power. The code they write can be used by billions of people, and influence everything from what news stories we read, to what personal data companies collect, to who gets parole, insurance or housing loans

    Software can empower democracy, heighten opportunity, and connect people continents away. But when it isn’t coupled with responsibility, the results can be drastic. In recent years, we’ve watched biased algorithms and broken recommendation engines radicalize users, promote racism, and spread misinformation.

TenFourFox FPR10b1 and Firefox Push Notifications in Vista 10

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Moz/FF
  • TenFourFox FPR10b1 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity 10 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). This version is mostly about expanded functionality, adding several new DOM and JavaScript ES6 features, and security changes to match current versions of Firefox. Not everything I wanted to get done for this release got done, particularly on the JavaScript side (only one of the ES6 well-known symbols updates was finished in time), but with Firefox 63 due on the 22nd we'll need this period for sufficient beta testing, so here it is.

    The security changes include giving document-level (i.e., docshell) data: URIs unique origins to reduce cross-site scripting attack surface (for more info, see this Mozilla blog post from Fx57). This middle ground should reduce issues with the older codebase and add-on compatibility problems, but it is possible some historical add-ons may be affected by this and some sites may behave differently. However, many sites now assume this protection, so it is important that we do the same. If you believe a site is behaving differently because of this, toggle the setting security.data_uri.unique_opaque_origin to false and restart the browser. If the behaviour changes, then this was the cause and you should report it in the comments. This covers most of the known exploits of the old Firefox behaviour and I'll be looking at possibly locking this down further in future releases.

  • Mozilla Firefox Collabs With Windows 10 Action Center for Push Notifications

    Similar to other browsers, Firefox supports push notifications but for some reason, it never used the Microsoft Windows 10 Action center for notifications. However, that is about to change with the in-development Mozilla Firefox build 64, as reported by Tech Radar.

    The browser is getting updated soon to support Windows 10 Action Center for notifications. The aim here is to improve the overall user experience and make it seamless to access your notifications from Mozilla Firefox.

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More in Tux Machines

Themes With Emphasis on GTK/GNOME

  • Stylish Gtk Themes Makes Your Linux Desktop Look Stylish
    There are plenty of nice themes available for Gnome desktop and many of them are in active development. Stylish theme pack is one of the great looking pack around since 2014 and constantly evolving. It offers stylish clean and flat design themes for Gtk-3 and Gtk-2, including Gnome shell themes. Stylish theme pack is based Materia theme and support almost every desktop environment such as Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce, Mate, Budgie, Panteon, etc. We are offering Stylish themes via our PPA for Ubuntu/Linux Mint. If you are using distribution other than Ubuntu/Linux Mint then download this pack directly from its page and install it in this location "~/.themes" or "/usr/share/themes". Since Stylish theme pack is in active development that means if you encounter any kind of bug or issue with it then report it to get fixed in the next update.
  • Delft: Another Great Icon Pack In Town Forked From Faenza Icons
    In past, you may have used Faenza icon theme or you still have it set on your desktop. Delft icons are revived version of Faenza and forked from Faenza icon theme, maybe it is not right to say 'revived' because it looks little different from Faenza theme and at the same time it stays close to the original Faenza icons, it is released under license GNU General Public License V3. The theme was named after a dutch city, which is known for its history, its beauty, and Faenza in Italy. The author who is maintaining Delft icons saw that Faenza icons haven't been updated from some years and thought to carry this project. There are some icons adopted from the Obsidian icon theme. Delft icon pack offer many variants (Delft, Delft-Amber, Delft-Aqua, Delft-Blue, Delft-Dark, Delft-Gray, Delft-Green, Delft-Mint, Delft-Purple, Delft-Red, Delft-Teal) including light and dark versions for light/dark themes, you can choose appropriate one according to your desktop theme. These icons are compatible with most of the Linux desktop environments such as Gnome, Unity, Cinnamon, Mate, Lxde, Xfce and others. Many application icons available in this icons pack and if you find any missing icon or want to include something in this icon pack or face any kind of bug then report it to creator.
  • Give Your Desktop A Sweet Outlook With Sweet Themes Give Your Desktop A Sweet Outlook With Sweet Themes
    It is feels bit difficult to describe this theme we are going to introduce here today. Sweet theme pack looks and feel very different on the desktop but at the same time make the Linux desktop elegant and eye catching. Maybe these are not perfect looking themes available but it lineup in the perfect theme queue. You may say, I don't like it in screenshots, let me tell you that you should install it on your system and if you don't like then you already have option to remove it. So there is no harm to try a new thing, maybe this is next best theme pack for your Linux desktop.

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Open-source hardware could defend against the next generation of hacking

Imagine you had a secret document you had to store away from prying eyes. And you have a choice: You could buy a safe made by a company that kept the workings of its locks secret. Or you could buy a safe whose manufacturer openly published the designs, letting everyone – including thieves – see how they’re made. Which would you choose? It might seem unexpected, but as an engineering professor, I’d pick the second option. The first one might be safe – but I simply don’t know. I’d have to take the company’s word for it. Maybe it’s a reputable company with a longstanding pedigree of quality, but I’d be betting my information’s security on the company upholding its traditions. By contrast, I can judge the security of the second safe for myself – or ask an expert to evaluate it. I’ll be better informed about how secure my safe is, and therefore more confident that my document is safe inside it. That’s the value of open-source technology. Read more