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Browsing the web with Min, a minimalist open source web browser

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OSS
Web

Does the world need another web browser? Even though the days of having a multiplicity of browsers to choose from are long gone, there still are folks out there developing new applications that help us use the web.

One of those new-fangled browsers is Min. As its name suggests (well, suggests to me, anyway), Min is a minimalist browser. That doesn't mean it's deficient in any significant way, and its open source, Apache 2.0 license piques my interest.

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Brave and Firefox Latest

Filed under
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.

Fediverse and Mastodon

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OSS
Web
  • Spritely: towards secure social spaces as virtual worlds

    If you follow me on the fediverse, maybe you already know. I've sent an announcement to my work that I am switching to doing a project named Spritely on my own full time. (Actually I'm still going to be doing some contracting with my old job, so I'll still have some income, but I'll be putting a full 40 hours a week into Spritely.)

    tl;dr: I'm working on building the next generation of the fediverse as a distributed game. You can support this work if you so wish.

  • The demise of G+ and return to blogging (w/ mastodon integration)

    I’m back to blogging, after shutting down my wordpress.com hosted blog in spring. This time, fully privacy aware, self hosted, and integrated with mastodon.

    Let’s talk details: In spring, I shutdown my wordpress.com hosted blog, due to concerns about GDPR implications with comment hosting and ads and stuff. I’d like to apologize for using that, back when I did this (in 2007), it was the easiest way to get into blogging. Please forgive me for subjecting you to that!

    Recently, Google announced the end of Google+. As some of you might know, I posted a lot of medium-long posts there, rather than doing blog posts; especially after I disabled the wordpress site.

Four Web Browsers for the Linux Command Line

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Web

Remember the days when the web was as simple as searchable text. The terminals and low powered personal computers were enough to access the text-based web over snail-paced internet connections. Of course, people then used the command-line web browsers to visit the web; these included the famous Lynx browser as well. Times have changed now, the browser technology has shifted to the graphical and more powerful web-browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and, Safari. Still, there are people who are more Terminal savvy and prefer accessing to-the-point information from the web through Terminal based browsing. Even Terminal based computers also exist and for them, command-line browsers are sometimes the only way to connect to the web. So how do we install and use these text-based browsers through our Linux command-line, the Terminal?

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Mozilla and Chrome: WebP, WebAssembly and Google Chrome Alternatives

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Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Mozilla Firefox Embracing Google’s Image Format After 8 Years

    Google brought its WebP Image Format to compete with PNG and JPEG back in 2010. The images using WebP are usually 45% smaller in size than PNG and JPEF which is great for websites as it helps reduce page load times.

    Firefox had remained rebellious to WebP until now. The browser now supports WebP, 8 years after it became a standard for Google Chrome and Chromium based browsers such as Opera.

    Mozilla originally rejected the use to WebP claiming that it doesn’t offer enough improvements, The browser supported JPEG and PNG while evaluating the use of Google’s image format every now and then.

    At this point, the format is only supported on Windows PCs and Android-based devices. Support for iOS devices such as Mac won’t roll out until the first half of 2019, according to Mozilla.

  • Calls between JavaScript and WebAssembly are finally fast

    At Mozilla, we want WebAssembly to be as fast as it can be.

    This started with its design, which gives it great throughput. Then we improved load times with a streaming baseline compiler. With this, we compile code faster than it comes over the network.

    So what’s next?

    One of our big priorities is making it easy to combine JS and WebAssembly. But function calls between the two languages haven’t always been fast. In fact, they’ve had a reputation for being slow, as I talked about in my first series on WebAssembly.

  • 10 Best Google Chrome Alternatives

    Google Chrome dominates the browser market worldwide with a massive 60% share, leaving the rest to other web browsers. To be honest, Chrome provides a really good web browsing experience with a seamless functioning across multiple devices. However, we all know that such a smooth experience comes at a cost — our personal data.

    We know that Google tracks us relentlessly and the onslaught of personalized ads gets really annoying at some point. Even if we keep it aside, there are serious problems like heavy RAM usage that makes your device sluggish. So whatever may be your reason to leave Chrome and seek other options, here is a list of best Google Chrome alternatives for you.

Google/Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Leftovers

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • 10 Productivity Gmail Extensions for Your Browser

    Gmail is used by 500+ million people but how many of us make the best use of it? Yes, it’s a convenient email client to use but what if I told you that Gmail is capable of way more functions than it offers you at the moment?

    The same way applications use plugins is the same way Gmail does, and here are 10 that will boost your productivity.

  • How is Crosh Different From the Linux Terminal on a Chromebook?

    As of Chrome OS 69, support for Linux applications is a baked in part of the operating system. Once enabled, this installs the Terminal on your Chrome OS system, but what is it and how does it compare to Crosh?

    Don’t worry if all that sounds like gibberish to you—if you’ve never spent any time poking around in your Chromebook’s guts, then you’ve likely never used (or even heard of) Crosh. And if you’ve never used Linux before, well, then you’ve never had to bother with the Terminal. The good news is that we’re going to make sense of both things today.

    [...]

    The Terminal and Crosh are similar tools—in fact, they’re the same basic concept, but the Terminal is specifically for the Linux aspect of Chrome OS, where Crosh is for the Chrome OS side.

    You’d be forgiven if that doesn’t make a lot of sense right out of the gate—they’re both running on the same machine, at the same time after all. But they’re not connected.

    One of the biggest benefits of Chrome OS is its enhanced security. As a result, most things on the operating system run in an independent sandbox. That means that most elements don’t really interact with each other—for example, if a single tab suffers a failure and crashes, the other tabs in the browser window aren’t affected.

  • Helping you to tackle the midterms on your terms

    For many people, a confusing tangle of cyberjargon and misinformation have combined to make the idea of turning to the web for election information a weird proposition.

    [...]

    We’re doing this to make it easy for people across the political spectrum to participate this November and beyond.

    We want to help make sure that the web isn’t being used to manipulate, misinform, and limit you from accessing all the information you need to make an informed choice.

    In addition to the Firefox election tools, we have other resources to help you.

  • WebRender newsletter 24

    Hi there, this your twenty fourth WebRender newsletter. A lot of work in progress this week, so the change list is pretty short. To compensate I added a list of noteworthy ongoing work which hasn’t landed yet is but will probably land soon and gives a rough idea of what’s keeping us busy.

Chrome and Google: Breaking the Web, Extension Permissions and In-Browser Games

Filed under
Google
Web
  • Google wants to change URL? Proposal.

    You may have heard about this. Google is considering an idea of changing how people interact with websites. More specifically, how people interact with URLs, the human-readable Web addresses by which we largely identify and remember websites we go to. The ripple effect around this proposal has been quite interesting, to say the least. And it got me thinking.

    One, the actual backlash against the change is more revealing than the change itself. Two, is there really any real merit in trying to make URLs somehow more meaningful and/or useful than their current form? To that end, you are reading this article.

  • You’ll Soon Have Granular Control of Chrome Extension Permissions

    Chrome extensions have been under heavy scrutiny over the couple of years due to security risks, but Google is looking to change that with upcoming granular permission control. This is a huge step forward for extension security.

    Basically, this is a similar take on Android’s granular permissions controls, just for Chrome browser extensions. The biggest problem with extensions—at least from a security standpoint—is their essentially universal ability to read, write, and change data on websites. With this upcoming feature, you’ll be able to control when and how extensions can read and write data.

  • Google’s Project Stream is Ready To Play AAA Console Games in Chrome

    Streaming full 3D games over a high-speed web connection is a fast growing trend. And with ridiculous amounts of infrastructure and remote computing power, Google is well equipped to join it.

    That’s the gist behind Project Stream, the web giant’s latest foray into the consumer market. Google will stream Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the latest entry in Ubisoft’s long-running stab-em-up series, to Chrome browsers on desktops and laptops. Aside from a small client program, you won’t need the usual gigabytes of local storage or beefy PC hardware to play: it’s all running on Google’s remote systems. The beta test of the service will begin this Friday, October 5th, and it’ll be playable on Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS.

Web inventor Berners-Lee creates a new privacy first way of dealing with the internet

Filed under
OSS
Web
  • Tim Berners-Lee launches open source project Solid to decentralize the web and place users in control of data
  • The Inventor of the World Wide Web Plans to Start a New Internet to Take on Google and Facebook
  • One Small Step for the Web…
  • World Wide Web inventor plans a new version to bypass big tech companies
  • Web inventor Berners-Lee creates a new privacy first way of dealing with the internet
  • Exclusive: Tim Berners-Lee tells us his radical new plan to upend the World Wide Web

    Last week, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, asked me to come and see a project he has been working on almost as long as the web itself. It’s a crisp autumn day in Boston, where Berners-Lee works out of an office above a boxing gym. After politely offering me a cup of coffee, he leads us into a sparse conference room. At one end of a long table is a battered laptop covered with stickers. Here, on this computer, he is working on a plan to radically alter how all of us live and work on the web.

  • Tim Berners-Lee Launches Open Source Project Solid To Start A “New Internet”

    Due to the continuous torrent of data breaches and scandals like Cambridge Analytica, Tim Berners-Lee is devastated. To fight the powerful forces of the Internet, world wide web inventor has worked on a project called “Solid.”

    In collaboration with MIT, the open-source project is build to make web decentralized, snatch power from big players like Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. Solid offers tools to create social applications which follow the existing W3C standards. In simple words, you will have a tremendous amount of control over your data.

  • One Small Step for the Web...

    I’ve always believed the web is for everyone. That's why I and others fight fiercely to protect it. The changes we’ve managed to bring have created a better and more connected world. But for all the good we’ve achieved, the web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas.

    Today, I believe we’ve reached a critical tipping point, and that powerful change for the better is possible - and necessary.

    This is why I have, over recent years, been working with a few people at MIT and elsewhere to develop Solid, an open-source project to restore the power and agency of individuals on the web.

    Solid changes the current model where users have to hand over personal data to digital giants in exchange for perceived value. As we’ve all discovered, this hasn’t been in our best interests. Solid is how we evolve the web in order to restore balance - by giving every one of us complete control over data, personal or not, in a revolutionary way.

    Solid is a platform, built using the existing web. It gives every user a choice about where data is stored, which specific people and groups can access select elements, and which apps you use. It allows you, your family and colleagues, to link and share data with anyone. It allows people to look at the same data with different apps at the same time.

    Solid unleashes incredible opportunities for creativity, problem-solving and commerce. It will empower individuals, developers and businesses with entirely new ways to conceive, build and find innovative, trusted and beneficial applications and services. I see multiple market possibilities, including Solid apps and Solid data storage.

Malicious Features in Chrome

Filed under
Google
Web
  • Chrome 70 Will Let Users Opt Out of the New Auto-Sign In Feature

    An upcoming Chrome option allows users to log into Google accounts without logging into the browser. The change was prompted by a backlash among users and privacy advocates.

    Chrome 69, which came out earlier this month, logs all Google users into Chrome, even if they’ve previously opted out of signing into Chrome. This did not enable Chrome’s sync feature, but some users saw it as intrusive.

  • Google Does Damage Control After Chrome Faces A lot Of Backlash For Automatic Sign In Feature In Recent Update

    The first thing that most of us noticed was the UI redesign in the latest chrome update underlying which were many small and big changes alike that were not as easy to catch the eye. One of these was the feature that would automatically sign people into Chrome when they sign into a spate Google service such as Gmail.

    Google faced a lot of criticism this past week as even security experts are calling out Google for breaching individual’s privacy and point that this is a method which involves tricking the less technically adept people into sharing or rather handing over more data to Google.

  • How to stop Chrome running in the background

    Whilst I use Firefox personally, I understand that some people like to use Chrome due to the availability of a lot more extensions. So what do you do to stop Google tracking your activity even when it’s not signed in?

More Malware-Like Behaviour From Chrome and Firefox Introduces Firefox Monitor, Other News

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Now Chrome Doesn’t Delete “Google Cookies” Even If You Clear All Cookies

    Yet another privacy concern for Google Chrome users! Previously, we talked about Google’s auto-login mechanism which is hijacking our local Google Chrome data. Now, another Chrome 69 setting has come to light which is risking our freedom to remove data.

  • Introducing Firefox Monitor, Helping People Take Control After a Data Breach

    Data breaches, when information like your username and password are stolen from a website you use, are an unfortunate part of life on the internet today. It can be hard to keep track of when your information has been stolen, so we’re going to help by launching Firefox Monitor, a free service that notifies people when they’ve been part of a data breach. After testing this summer, the results and positive attention gave us the confidence we needed to know this was a feature we wanted to give to all of our users.

  • Firefox Monitor, take control of your data

    That sinking feeling. You’re reading the news and you learn about a data breach. Hackers have stolen names, addresses, passwords, survey responses from a service that you use. It seems like we’re having that sinking feeling more and more. But we don’t have to despair. While technology will never be impervious to attacks, we can make sure that we’re able to respond when we learn that our personal data and passwords are part of a breach.

  • Firefox Quantum, Beta and Nightly Affected by ‘Reap Firefox’ Crash Attack

    A particular vulnerability in the present Firefox browser has been unraveled by the security researcher and basically the creater of this bug, Sabri Haddouche in his blog post. He pointed towards a bug which brings the browser and also the operating system possibly with a ‘Reap Firefox’ attack crash. This vulnerability affects Firefox versions working under Linux, macOS and Windows.

  • $1.6 Million to Connect Unconnected Americans: Our NSF-WINS Grand Prize Winners

    After months of prototyping and judging, Mozilla and the National Science Foundation are fueling the best and brightest ideas for bringing more Americans online

    Today, Mozilla and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are announcing the grand prize winners in our Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society (NSF-WINS) Challenges — an audacious competition to connect millions of unconnected Americans.

    The grand prize winners are as novel as they are promising: An 80-foot tower in rural Appalachia that beams broadband connectivity to residents. And, an autonomous network that fits in two suitcases — and can be deployed after earthquakes and hurricanes.

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat: OpenShift and Awards

  • OpenShift Commons Briefing: OpenShift 3.11 Release Update with Scott McCarty (Red Hat)
    In this briefing, Red Hat’s Scott McCarty and numerous other members of the OpenShift Product Management team gave an in-depth look at Red Hat’s OpenShift’s latest release 3.11 and some insights in to the road ahead.
  • Awards roll call: Red Hat awards, June to October 2018
    Depending on the weather in your region, it’s safe to say that the seasons are changing so it’s a good time to look back at what was a busy few months for Red Hat, especially when it came to industry awards for our technical and product leadership. In recent months, Red Hat products and technologies took home twenty awards, highlighting the breadth and depth of our product portfolio as well as the expertise that we provide to our customers. In addition, Red Hat as a company won five awards recognizing its growth and culture as a leader in the industry.
  • More advice from a judge - what it takes to win a Red Hat Innovation Award
    Last year I penned the below post to provide insight into what the judges of the Red Hat Innovation Awards are looking for when reviewing submissions. Looking back, I would give almost the identical advice again this year...maybe with a few tweaks. With all the stellar nominations that we receive, the question I often get is, “how can we make our entry standout?” There’s no magic formula for winning the Red Hat Innovation Awards, but there are things that the other judges and I look for in the entries. Overall, we’re looking for the project that tells a compelling story. It’s not just about sharing what Red Hat products and services you used, we want to hear the full narrative. What challenges did you face; how you implemented the project; and ultimately, what was the true business impact and transformation that took place? Submissions that are able to showcase how open source culture and values were key to success, or how the project is making a difference in the lives of others, are the entries that most often rise to the top.

today's howtos

OSS Leftovers

  • How to be an effective and professional member of the Samba user and development Community
    For many years we have run these lists dedicated to developing and promoting Samba, without any set of clear guidelines for people to know what to expect when participating.  What do we require? What kind of behavior is encouraged?
  • Blockcerts Updates Open Source Blockchain Architecture
    Learning Machine is making changes to its Blockcerts Credential Issuer, Verifier and Wallet to enable native support for records issuance and verification using any blockchain. Blockcerts was launched by Learning Machine and MIT Media Lab in 2016 as new way to allow students to receive digital diplomas through an app, complementing a traditional paper degree. Blockcerts was originally designed to be blockchain-agnostic, which means that open standards can be used to anchor records in any blockchain. The Blockcerts Universal Identifier recognizes which blockchain is being used and verifies accordingly. Currently, the open source project has added support for bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, but anyone can add support through the project's GitHub page.
  • First full featured open-source Ethereum block explorer BlockScout launched by POA Network
  • Amsterdam-based ING Bank Introduces Open-Source Zero Knowledge Technology
  • ING Bank Launches Open Source Privacy Improvement Add-On for Blockchains
  • Imec tool accelerates DNA sequencing 10x
    As a result, in a typical run, elPrep is up to ten times faster than other software tools using the same resources. It is designed as a seamless replacement that delivers the exact same results as GATK4.0 developed by the Broad Institute. elPrep has been written in the Go programming language and is available through the open-source GNU Affero General Public License v3 (AGPL-3.0).
  • On the low adoption of automated testing in FOSS
    A few times in the recent past I've been in the unfortunate position of using a prominent Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) program or library, and running into issues of such fundamental nature that made me wonder how those issues even made it into a release. In all cases, the answer came quickly when I realized that, invariably, the project involved either didn't have a test suite, or, if it did have one, it was not adequately comprehensive. I am using the term comprehensive in a very practical, non extreme way. I understand that it's often not feasible to test every possible scenario and interaction, but, at the very least, a decent test suite should ensure that under typical circumstances the code delivers all the functionality it promises to. [...] Most FOSS projects, at least those not supported by some commercial entity, don't come with any warranty; it's even stated in the various licenses! The lack of any formal obligations makes it relatively inexpensive, both in terms of time and money, to have the occasional bug in the codebase. This means that there are fewer incentives for the developer to spend extra resources to try to safeguard against bugs. When bugs come up, the developers can decide at their own leisure if and when to fix them and when to release the fixed version. Easy! At first sight, this may seem like a reasonably pragmatic attitude to have. After all, if fixing bugs is so cheap, is it worth spending extra resources trying to prevent them?
  •  
  • Chrome for Linux, Mac, and Windows Now Features Picture-in-Picture by Default
    Chromium evanghelist at Google François Beaufort announced today that Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support is now enabled by defualt in the Google Chrome web browser for Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms. Google's engineers have been working for months to add Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support to the Google Chrome web browser, but the long-anticipated feature is finally here, enabled by default in the latest version for Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The feature lets you detach a video in a floating window so you can watch it while doing something else on your computer.
  • Teaching With an Index Card: the Benefits of Free, Open-Source Tools
  • Decentralized Authentication for Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems
    The GNU Name System (GNS) is a fully decentralized public key infrastructure and name system with private information retrieval semantics. It serves a holistic approach to interact seamlessly with IoT ecosystems and enables people and their smart objects to prove their identity, membership and privileges - compatible with existing technologies. In this report we demonstrate how a wide range of private authentication and identity management scenarios are addressed by GNS in a cost-efficient, usable and secure manner. This simple, secure and privacy-friendly authentication method is a significant breakthrough when cyber peace, privacy and liability are the priorities for the benefit of a wide range of the population. After an introduction to GNS itself, we show how GNS can be used to authenticate servers, replacing the Domain Name System (DNS) and X.509 certificate authorities (CAs) with a more privacy-friendly but equally usable protocol which is trustworthy, human-centric and includes group authentication. We also built a demonstrator to highlight how GNS can be used in medical computing to simplify privacy-sensitive data processing in the Swiss health-care system. Combining GNS with attribute-based encryption, we created ReclaimID, a robust and reliable OpenID Connect-compatible authorization system. It includes simple, secure and privacy-friendly single sign-on to seamlessly share selected attributes with Web services, cloud ecosystems. Further, we demonstrate how ReclaimID can be used to solve the problem of addressing, authentication and data sharing for IoT devices. These applications are just the beginning for GNS; the versatility and extensibility of the protocol will lend itself to an even broader range of use-cases. GNS is an open standard with a complete free software reference implementation created by the GNU project. It can therefore be easily audited, adapted, enhanced, tailored, developed and/or integrated, as anyone is allowed to use the core protocols and implementations free of charge, and to adopt them to their needs under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, a free software license approved by the Free Software Foundation.
  • Make: an open source hardware, Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine
    How To Mechatronics has pulled together detailed instructions and a great video explaining how to make an Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine whose gears can create arbitrary vector images out of precision-bent continuous lengths of wire.
  • RApiDatetime 0.0.4: Updates and Extensions
    The first update in a little while brings us release 0.0.4 of RApiDatetime which got onto CRAN this morning via the lovely automated sequence of submission, pretest-recheck and pretest-publish. RApiDatetime provides seven entry points for C-level functions of the R API for Date and Datetime calculations. The functions asPOSIXlt and asPOSIXct convert between long and compact datetime representation, formatPOSIXlt and Rstrptime convert to and from character strings, and POSIXlt2D and D2POSIXlt convert between Date and POSIXlt datetime. This releases brings asDatePOSIXct as a seventh courtesy of Josh Ulrich. All these functions are all fairly useful, but not one of them was previously exported by R for C-level use by other packages. Which is silly as this is generally extremely carefully written and tested code.
  • 6 JavaScript books you should know
    If there was ever the potential for a giant book list it's one based on our favorite Javascript books. But, this list is short and easy to digest. Maybe it will help you get started, gently. Plus, check out three of our top Javascript articles with even more books, resources, and tips.

Security: Telstra, Google+ and Facebook Incidents, and Latest Updates