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Mobile Interfaces, Internet, Devices and UX

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A mobile phone

Summary: Visitors who use mobile phones get a subpar experience, but that's an issue that boils down to preservation versus novelty

TUX MACHINES is turning 15 later this year. Longtime readers may very well know that the appearance or the layout of this site barely changed over the years. The key components have been in place since the very start. We still use node IDs as URLs (not ideal, but that works), mobile devices are barely supported (they were barely used on the Net at the time the site started), and due to SPAM we can no longer allow new user registrations (they overwhelm the site with a flood of SPAM submissions, i.e. noise such as pornographic comments, abusive blog posts etc.) within hours. We know because we tried opening up these registrations several times in the past. Any loosening of these restriction means a complete and utter mess.

"Mobile users who struggle with the site contact me routinely and my best suggestion for them is an RSS reader (many exist for mobile devices), which overcomes these issues and bypasses all the 'cruft'."

So-called 'UX' (buzzword for user interfaces/experience) in Tux Machines is far from ideal, especially for those who use a phone. We are aware of it, but the overhaul required to change that would be truly massive because of the number of pages, images, and the underlying framework, which was heavily modified and tailored for the existing user experience. I spent a lot of time making things work as they do. Susan had also invested a great deal of effort.

Mobile users who struggle with the site contact me routinely and my best suggestion for them is an RSS reader (many exist for mobile devices), which overcomes these issues and bypasses all the 'cruft'. Taking all the implications into account (endless work associated with a change), we don't plan a site redesign/overhaul. Maybe in the distant future, but not any time soon. The RSS feed is already used by a lot of people, even desktop/laptop users. We have no ads and no surveillance in this site, so RSS feeds don't impact some "business model" or whatever. In fact, it helps lower the strain on the server.

More in Tux Machines

Security: Sphinx, Ransomware, Webmin, YubiKey

  • Exposed Sphinx Servers Are No Challenge for Hackers [Ed: That’s the same agency and the same troll site that initially promoted the lies and the FUD about VLC]

    A popular open-source text search server, Sphinx offers impressive performance for indexing and searching data in databases or just in files. It is cross-platform, available for Linux, Windows, macOS, Solaris, FreeBSD, and a few other operating systems. [...] CERT-Bund posted the warning on Twitter today alerting network operators and providers about the risk of running Sphinx servers with a default configuration that are open on the web. The organization highlights that Sphinx lacks any authentication mechanisms. Exposing it on the web gives an attacker the possibility "to read, modify or delete any data stored in the Sphinx database."

  • Ransomware Hits Texas Local Governments [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The attack was observed on the morning of August 16 and appears to have been launched by a single threat actor, the DIR announcement reads.

    The State Operations Center (SOC) was activated soon after the attack reports started to come in, and DIR says that all of the entities that were actually or potentially affected appear to have been identified and notified.

    A total of twenty-three entities have been confirmed as impacted so far, and the responders are working on bringing the affected systems back online.

  • Webmin Backdoored for Over a Year

    The security hole impacts Webmin 1.882 through 1.921, but most versions are not vulnerable in their default configuration as the affected feature is not enabled by default. Version 1.890 is affected in the default configuration. The issue has been addressed with the release of Webmin 1.930 and Usermin version 1.780.

  • The YubiKey 5Ci is the 'first' iOS-compatible security key

    Like other YubiKey options in the 5 series, the YubiKey 5Ci supports multiple authentication protocols, including IDO2/WebAuthn, FIDO U2F, OTP (one-time-password), PIV (Smart Card), and OpenPGP.

Android Leftovers

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Android Leftovers