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GNUnet 0.13.1 released

Filed under
GNU
Web

This is a bugfix release for gnunet and gnunet-gtk specifically.
For gnunet, no changes to the source have been made. However, the default configuration had to be modified to support the changes made in 0.13.0.
For gnunet-gtk, this fixes a more serious issue where the 0.13.0 tarball failed to build.

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Tor and Mozilla on Politics

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • #MoreOnionsPorfavor: Onionize your website and take back the internet
  • Anti-censorship team report: June 2020

    Tor's anti-censorship team writes monthly reports to keep the world updated on its progress. This blog post summarizes the anti-censorship work we got done in June 2020. You can find a Chinese translation of this blog post below. Let us know if you have any questions or feedback!

  • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0a3

    Tor Browser 10.0a3 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory. This is an Android-only release.

    Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

  • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Criminal proceedings against Malaysiakini will harm free expression in Malaysia

    The Malaysian government’s decision to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against Malaysiakini for third party comments on the news portal’s website is deeply concerning. The move sets a dangerous precedent against intermediary liability and freedom of expression. It ignores the internationally accepted norm that holding publishers responsible for third party comments has a chilling effect on democratic discourse. The legal outcome the Malaysian government is seeking would upend the careful balance which places liability on the bad actors who engage in illegal activities, and only holds companies accountable when they know of such acts.

    Intermediary liability safe harbour protections have been fundamental to the growth of the internet. They have enabled hosting and media platforms to innovate and flourish without the fear that they would be crushed by a failure to police every action of their users. Imposing the risk of criminal liability for such content would place a tremendous, and in many cases fatal, burden on many online intermediaries while negatively impacting international confidence in Malaysia as a digital destination.

GNUnet 0.13.0 released

Filed under
GNU
Web

We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.13.0.
This is a new major release. It breaks protocol compatibility with the 0.12.x versions. Please be aware that Git master is thus henceforth INCOMPATIBLE with the 0.12.x GNUnet network, and interactions between old and new peers will result in signature verification failures. 0.12.x peers will NOT be able to communicate with Git master or 0.13.x peers.
In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.13.0 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

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Also: Glibc-HWCAPS To Help With AMD Zen Optimizations, Other Per-CPU Performance Bits

Mozilla, the Web, and Standards

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • Firefox UX: UX Book Club Recap: Writing is Designing, in Conversation with the Authors

    Beyond the language that appears in our products, Michael encouraged the group to educate themselves, follow Black writers and designers, and be open and willing to change. Any effective UX practitioner needs to approach their work with a sense of humility and openness to being wrong.

    Supporting racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement must also include raising long-needed conversations in the workplace, asking tough questions, and sitting with discomfort. Michael recommended reading How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

    [...]

    In the grand scheme of tech things, UX writing is still a relatively new discipline. Books like Writing for Designing are helping to define and shape the practice.

    When asked (at another meet-up, not our own) if he’s advocating for a ‘content-first approach,’ Michael’s response was that we need an ‘everything first approach’ — meaning, all parties involved in the design and development of a product should come to the planning table together, early on in the process. By making the case for writing as a strategic design practice, this book helps solidify a spot at that table for UX writers.

  • Tantek Çelik: Changes To IndieWeb Organizing, Brief Words At IndieWebCamp West

    A week ago Saturday morning co-organizer Chris Aldrich opened IndieWebCamp West and introduced the keynote speakers. After their inspiring talks he asked me to say a few words about changes we’re making in the IndieWeb community around organizing. This is an edited version of those words, rewritten for clarity and context. — Tantek

  • H.266/VVC Standard Finalized With ~50% Lower Size Compared To H.265

    The Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard is now firmed up as H.266 as the successor to H.265/HEVC.

    H.266/VVC has been in the works for several years by a multitude of organizations. The schedule had been aiming for finalizing the standard by July 2020.

  • DSA Is Past Its Prime

    DSA is not only broken from an engineering point of view, though, it’s also cryptographically weak as deployed. The strength of an N-bit DSA key is approximately the same as that of an N-bit RSA key4, and modern cryptography has painstakingly moved away from 1024-bit RSA keys years ago considering them too weak. Academics computed a discrete logarithm modulo a 795-bit prime last year. NIST 800-57 recommends lengths of 2048 for keys with security lifetimes extending beyond 2010. The LogJam attack authors estimated the cost of breaking a 1024-bit DLP to be within reach of nation-states in 2015.5 And yet, DSA with keys larger than 1024 bits is not really a thing!

  • Email Isn’t Broken, Email Clients Are!

    You wouldn’t say “the Web” is broken (or HTTP for those reading who happen to be technologists). Actually some of you (of the HTTPS all-the-things variety) might but that’s beside the point. The real problem with email is managing the massive volume received in a way that’s relatively sane. You can’t fix this problem at the protocol level, it’s an application-level problem. The only real solution to dealing with massive amounts of email is automation (maybe even massive amounts of it). The uninitiated might be shocked to realize how much preprocessing their email messages undergo before they make it to the inbox, researching spam filtering is a great way to get a glimpse into what’s happening, but it’s not enough because it’s not personalized in a way that’s truly effective for the end-user.

German Translation in the Brave Desktop Browser: A moan about localisation

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Web

In Linux, smaller distributions in particular have an issue with well done localisation, the bigger ones have this sorted as far as I can tell. It also seems to depend on the desktop environment but this alone is not an axcuse. For instance, the Cinnamon desktop in a standard Linux Mint Debian install is well translated and fully localised from the start. Trying the same in Artix though with their Cinnamon edition offering yields a half-baked, half-localised desktop where parts of the menu, the submenus and application entries themselves, and interestingly all Gnome and other applications that are not part of the Cinnamon desktop tools have fully translated menus and options but the Cinnamon desktop, including its control panel/ system settings and file manager are not. This can hardly be due to missing support because it works in LMDE, so the use of English is certainly not hard-coded. Perhaps it's missing a language pack somewhere, but the real reason is down to QA and probably, in the case of smaller projects like Artix, lack of manpower. And that's understandable.

What I am trying to say here is that localisation in Linux is still an issue in 2020, but one would only notice if actually trying to use something other than American English, or any form of English. That reminds me, I've never tried the South African English locale.

Brave is a browser I've been enjoying quite a bit lately as a well supported Chrome and Chromium alternative where you do actually get updates, in contrast to the Debian world where even using the latest stable release means outdated libraries are keeping us on Chromium 73. That or install the privacy invading Google-Chrome. Brave has got a few good features incl. effective built-in ad-blocking and stripping out a lot of Google's tracking and API's so that I'm now using it in all my installs.

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Dillo: Does This Ultra-Lightweight Browser Still Work in 2020?

Filed under
Software
Web

Before jumping in, you should know exactly what Dillo doesn’t include, just to temper your expectations. Dillo does not include Flash, Java, or Javascript and only has limited support for frames. It also doesn’t allow you to create a user profile. Presumably, that will be most of the modern Internet out of the picture, but who knows? We’ll see.

The advantage of all that feature-cutting is that it will run on almost anything – even a 486 with dial-up Internet. Running at idle, Dillo was using 2.9 MB of RAM and 9.5 MB of shared memory, which is microscopic compared to the gigs of RAM used by modern browsers.

If you’re willing to trawl the Internet, people have run it on Mac, DOS, and a bunch of Unix variants, but now the website just has source tarballs, mostly focusing on Linux. It can also run on Windows, but the Dillo team actively dislikes the platform!

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Epiphany GSoC Milestone

Filed under
GNOME
Web

During the past month I have been hacking on Epiphany’s Preferences dialog. The first piece of submitted work was splitting the dialog source code files into smaller ones. The split didn’t reflect any visual changes on Epiphany’s user interface so I decided to postpone writing this blog post.

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Unblock Websites Restricted By ISPs In Some Countries With GreenTunnel

Filed under
Software
Web

So how does this unblock websites? GreenTunnel runs as a localhost HTTP proxy server that does the following.

For HTTP, GreenTunnel sends requests in 2 parts, for example GET / HTTP/1.0 \n Host: www.you as the first part, and tube.com \n ... as the second part. This way the Internet Service Provider (ISP) doesn't match the blocked word "youtube" in the packets, and as a result the data is not throttled or blocked.

In the case of HTTPS, the application splits the first CLIENT_HELLO packet into small chunks so the ISP can't parse the packet and find the SNI (Server Name Indication, an extension of TLS that indicates the actual destination hostname a client is attempting to access over HTTPS) field.

As for DNS (Domain Name System), GreenTunnel makes use of DNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS to get the real IP address and prevent DNS hijacks.

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OSS, Consortia and Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
OSS
Web
  • Apache Advances Multiple Open Source Cloud Efforts

    The Apache Software Foundation updates a number of its open source cloud projects, including Apache Libcloud, Traffic Control and CloudStack, with new functionalities

  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn D

    D is a general-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax that compiles to native code.

    It is statically typed and supports both automatic (garbage collected) and manual memory management.

    D programs are structured as modules that can be compiled separately and linked with external libraries to create native libraries or executables.

  • Worrying about the npm ecosystem

    The npm ecosystem seems unwell. If you are concerned with security, reliability, or long-term maintenance, it is almost impossible to pick a suitable package to use — both because there are 1.3 million packages available, and even if you find one that is well documented and maintained, it might depend on hundreds of other packages, with dependency trees stretching ten or more levels deep — as one developer, it’s impossible to validate them all.

    I spend some time measuring the extent of the problem.

    I suggest that this is a social problem, more than a technical one, and propose a semi-social solution: a human-maintained subset of the total registry, based on shared criteria by which a “healthy” package can receive a seal of approval. One criterion would be to only depend on other approved packages.

  • Be a better Scrabble player with a Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera
  • Learning openshift: a good moment to revisit awk too

    I can’t believe I spent all these years using only grep.

  • 2020.26 Cloud Gone

    The Conference in the Cloud is over. All that’s left is a number of videos (and some slides):

  • Handling Perl character codes is very easy even for beginners.

    I feel that Perl users are losing confidence because of negative feedback from other communities.

    The opinions of people who intend to harm Perl are 99% useless in my experience.

    Handling character codes is actually simple.

    Because all you have to do is remember the following three things.

    1. use utf8 and save file as UTF-8

    2. if you print text, encode text to platform charset(Linux is UTF-8, Windows is cp932)

    3. if you get text from outside, decode text from platform charset(Linux is UTF-8, Windows is cp932)

    If "use v7;" enabled "use utf8", it would be less memorable and less mistake.

  • OASIS Open Joins Open Source Initiative

    “OASIS Open and OSI have been informal collaborators on licensing and other topics from the early days of the OpenDocument Format to our recent Open Projects Program,” noted Guy Martin, Executive Director of OASIS Open. “We are delighted to formalize our relationship as a sign of our mutual commitment to expanding the role of open source in the standards definition process and look forward to an exciting future for this combined open ecosystem.”

    Founded in 1993, the OASIS Open community is committed to advancing work that lowers cost, improves efficiency, stimulates innovation, grows global markets, and promotes interoperability. Each project operates independently under OASIS’s industry-leading process and clear Intellectual Property Rights.

    Begun in 2019, the OASIS Open Projects program provides open source communities with foundation-level support—for governance, intellectual property (IP) management, collaboration tools, outreach and events—with an optional path to standardization and de jure approval for reference in international policy and procurement. Open Projects lets communities choose from seven currently-supported, OSI-approved licenses.

  • Gopherspace in the Year 2020

    Today the Gopher protocol has been supplanted almost completely by the HTTP protocol upon which the World Wide Web is based. Though the Internet has changed considerably, Gopher servers are still around. Text is still mostly what users see in gopherspace, and it can still be navigated with gopher-capable Internet browsers. Sadly, only one Veronica search engine appears to operate today. Now, When a user navigates through gopherspace with the Veronica search engine, by following links, or by entering URL's into his browser, he has an experience in many ways similar to surfing the modern Internet.

    Though about two dozen Internet browsers can still access gopherspace, either natively or with plugins, I will only talk about one. I'll focus on the Lynx browser, because it is readily available, easy to use, and powerful. The Lynx browser also runs on all the major operating systems. I'll show readers how to use the Lynx browser to get into gopherspace and have a look around.

10 ReactJS tools to boost your web development skills

Filed under
Development
Web

Did you know most résumés submitted for jobs get rejected with just a single glance? That's a daunting fact if you are trying to get started in web development, but there are ways to improve what you have to offer prospective employers and clients. For application developers, now is a great time to increase your skills, and open source is the best avenue for professional development. You don't need to attend university to learn new open source skills; all you need is a sense of direction and self-discipline.

ReactJS is one of many skills you would be wise to learn on your way to becoming a successful web developer. If you're already comfortable with JavaScript and HTML, it is a natural next technology to learn. If you're not familiar with them yet, then you'll find ReactJS a great place to start as a programmer.

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More in Tux Machines

Mudita Pure OS and Purism's PureOS

  • Mudita Pure OS is going open source

    The company stated that MuditaOS operating system will be publicly available on the GitHub platform, under a GPL (GNU General Public License) license. In the initial phase, MuditaOS will be available as a Developer Preview, during which, Mudita will work with the growing community to fine-tune the documentation and deal with the first reported issues. [...] The Mudita phone has been delayed numerous times this year, it was supposed to have come out in April, and was slated for release in October and now has been pushed back until Spring of 2021. It will eventually come out, it is a vanity project of Michal Kicinski, who created the Witcher/Cyberpunk games.

  • A Librem 5 Video Made on a Librem 5

    When it comes to making a video, there are a lot of workflows involved. From writing, planning, to local screen capture, all the way to editing raw 4k footage with proxy clips. Even with all that workflow complexity, the following video was made completely on the Librem 5 phone. [...] Ultimately the Librem 5 phone lets you take your regular workflow with you while also keeping you in contact with your friends and family.

  • Specify Form-Factors in Your Librem 5 Apps

    While more and more applications are being redesigned to take smartphones like the Librem 5 into account, PureOS still offers lots of desktop applications which are not ready to run on such devices yet. As a user you want to know which applications are relevant to install, so PureOS Store will by default only present mobile-ready applications, while still letting you opt-into showing all applications to take full advantage of the Librem 5’s convergeant docked mode. As a user you also want to know which applications are relevant to run at a given time, so Phosh will let you run desktop-only applications only when the phone is docked. This requires the applications to provide some information on which form-factors they can handle, if you are an application developer and you want your applications to work as expected on the Librem 5, please provide the relevant information as shown below. To make your application appear in PureOS Store, add the following lines to your AppStream metainfo...

Septor 2020.5

Tor Browser is fully installed (10.0.2) System upgrade from Debian Buster repos as of October 21, 2020 Update Linux Kernel to 5.9.0-1 Update Thunderbird to 78.3.1-2 Update Tor to 0.4.4.5 Update Youtube-dl to 2020.09.20 Read more

Incremental backup with Butterfly Backup

This article explains how to make incremental or differential backups, with a catalog available to restore (or export) at the point you want, with Butterfly Backup. Read more

Regressions in GNU/Linux Evolution

  • When "progress" is backwards

    Lately I see many developments in the linux FOSS world that sell themselves as progress, but are actually hugely annoying and counter-productive. Counter-productive to a point where they actually cause major regressions, costs, and as in the case of GTK+3 ruin user experience and the possibility that we'll ever enjoy "The year of the Linux desktop". [...] We live in an era where in the FOSS world one constantly has to relearn things, switch to new, supposedly "better", but more bloated solutions, and is generally left with the impression that someone is pulling the rug from below one's feet. Many of the key changes in this area have been rammed through by a small set of decision makers, often closely related to Red Hat/Gnome/freedesktop.org. We're buying this "progress" at a high cost, and one can't avoid asking oneself whether there's more to the story than meets the eye. Never forget, Red Hat and Microsoft (TM) are partners and might even have the same shareholders.

  • When "progress" is backwards