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GNUnet News: 2019-05-12: GNUnet 0.11.4 released

Filed under
GNU
Web

This is a bugfix release for 0.11.3, mostly fixing minor bugs, improving documentation and fixing various build issues. 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 (about 200 peers) and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.11.4 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

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Chrome 75 Beta and More Chrome News

Filed under
Google
Web
  • Chrome 75 Beta: low latency canvas contexts, sharing files, and numeric separators

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Find more information about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 75 is beta as of May 2, 2019.

  • Beta Channel Update for Desktop

    The Chrome team is excited to announce the promotion of Chrome 75 to the beta channel for Windows, Mac and Linux. Chrome 75.0.3770.18 contains our usual under-the-hood performance and stability tweaks, but there are also some cool new features to explore - please head to the Chromium blog to learn more!

  • Chrome 75 Beta Released With Low-Latency Canvas Contexts, RTC Improvements

    Following the recent Chrome 74 web browser update, Google has now promoted Chrome 75 to its beta channel.

    Chrome 75 introduces an Animation constructor for more control over creating animations with the Web Animations API, low-latency canvas contexts, various RTC improvements, FIDO CTAP2 PIN support was added to the Web Authentication API, Web Share API Level 2 support, and various other developer editions.

  • 5 Best Free VPN Chrome Extension For Privacy In 2019

    Whenever you are online on Google Chrome, it collects information on your browsing patterns and habits — right from your location, to operating system, to hardware. Therefore, securing your browsing sessions through Virtual Private Networks (VPN) is a good idea. VPNs are useful services which help you overcome geo-location restrictions and avoid getting tracked on the internet.

    While there are many Chrome VPN extensions available in the Chrome store, picking out the best ones can still be a confusing task. This is why I have put together a list of the best VPN Chrome extensions that you can use to encrypt your browser traffic and browse anonymously.

How to use a FreedomBox running open source software to regain control of your online privacy

Filed under
Server
OSS
Security
Web

As numerous posts on this blog have noted, some of the biggest threats to privacy come from Internet giants like Facebook and Google. The centralized nature of their services allows them to aggregate personal data on a huge scale, and to extract information that we never agreed to provide. Although it is only recently that the mainstream media has caught up with this development, some people were warning about this problem a decade ago.

One such is Eben Moglen. He was General Counsel of the Free Software Foundation for 13 years, and helped draft the most recent version of the GNU GPL, the core license of the open source world. As well as being Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, he is the Founding Director of the Software Freedom Law Center. Back in 2009, I interviewed him for the now-defunct site The H Open.

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Browsers: Chromium 74 on Slackware, TenFourFox on OS/2, Debugging Firefox Trunk and Brave Forked

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Chromium 74 available in my repository. Also for 32bit Slackware.

    The Chromium 74 sources were released a few days ago by Google, and it comes with a long list of fixes for security issues.
    I spent almost two months to investigate why the 32bit package could no longer be built (which is one of the reasons why there were so few updates in march and april – I only have a few hours every day that I can spend on Slackware these days) and had finally managed to compile a 32bit package for Chromium 73 in a 32bit chroot environment on a 64bit Slackware OS, and that package was online for one day…. and now I tried compiling the new release on a regular 32bit Slackware OS and that worked! No idea whether this is because of my modifications of the SlackBuild.

  • Cameron Kaiser: Another interesting TenFourFox downstream

    Because we're one of the few older forks of Firefox to still backport security updates, TenFourFox code turns up in surprising places sometimes. I've known about roytam's various Pale Moon and Mozilla builds; the patches are used in both the rebuilds of Pale Moon 27 and 28 and his own fork of 45ESR. Arctic Fox, which is a Pale Moon 27 (descended from Firefox 38, with patches) rebuild for Snow Leopard and PowerPC Linux, also uses TenFourFox security patches as well as some of our OS X platform code.
    Recently I was also informed of a new place TenFourFox code has turned up: OS/2. There's no Rust for OS/2, so they're in the same boat that PowerPC OS X is, and it doesn't look like 52ESR was ever successfully ported to OS/2 either; indeed, the last "official" Firefox I can find from Bitwise is 45.9. Dave Yeo took that version (as well as Thunderbird 45.9 and SeaMonkey 2.42.9) and backported our accumulated security patches along with other fixes to yield updated "SUa1" Firefox, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey builds for OS/2. If you're curious, here are the prerequisites.

  • Update To rr Master To Debug Firefox Trunk

    The issue is that LMDB opens a file, maps it into memory MAP_SHARED, and then opens the file again and writes to it through the new file descriptor, and requires that the written data be immediately reflected in the shared memory mapping. (This behavior is not guaranteed by POSIX but is guaranteed by Linux.) rr needs to observe these writes and record the necessary memory changes, otherwise they won't happen during replay (because writes to files don't happen during replay) and replay will fail. rr already handled the case when the application write to the file descriptor (technically, the file description) that was used to map the file — Chromium has needed this for a while. The LMDB case is harder to handle. To fix LMDB, whenever the application opens a file for writing, we have to check to see if any shared mapping of that file exists and if so, mark that file description so writes to it have their shared-memory effects recorded. Unfortunately this adds overhead to writable file opens, but hopefully it doesn't matter much since in many workloads most file opens are read-only. (If it turns out to be a problem there are ways we can optimize further.) While fixing this, we also added support for the case where the application opens a file (possibly multiple times with different file descriptions) and then creates a shared mapping of one of them. To handle that, when creating a shared mapping we have to scan all open files to see if any of them refer to the mapped file, and if so, mark them so the effects of their writes are recorded.

  • Gab is forking Brave, and Brave is forking furious

    Gab, the free-speech absolutist social media network, continues to look for creative ways to resist being silenced.

    Having earned a reputation as a platform that is tolerant of even the most hateful (yet still technically legal) expressions of speech, Gab has been booted off virtually every Silicon Valley service imaginable—from payment processors to web host providers.

    Now, fresh off having its browser plug-in Dissenter, the “comment section of the Internet,” ejected from the Google and Mozilla extension libraries, Gab is taking the oft-used “if you don’t like it, go create your own” criticism to heart. The company has built its own web browser—a forked version of the open-source Brave browser—and will be releasing it within the next few weeks, Gab CEO Andrew Torba tells Decrypt .

Google/Chrome: Filament and More, Notably Google Chrome 74 Release

Filed under
Google
Web
  • Google's Filament Real-Time PBR Engine Updated With New Features

    Filament is Google's real-time physically based rendering engine that supports Android along with Linux and all other major platforms, including a target for WebAssembly+WebGL. Filament 1.2.0 was released on Tuesday as the latest step forward for this PBR rendering engine.

    Filament 1.2.0 features various tooling and engine improvements, improves render target management, squeezes better performance out of the job system, support for compressed textures from its JavaScript API, more JavaScript bindings were also added, the Vulkan rendering support now can handle RGB textures, and there are a variety of other rendering advancements.

  • Google Chrome 74 Released for Windows, macOS, and Linux; Dark Mode Arrives on Windows

    Google has released Chrome 74 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, and Android (beta). The latest release brings a number of new features apart from quite a few bug fixes. Probably the biggest highlight of Chrome 74 is support for dark mode on Windows. After arriving on the Mac last month, support for dark mode in Chrome is finally available on Windows. Google Chrome currently has over 1 billion users worldwide.

  • Data Saver is now Lite mode

    Since we introduced Data Saver in Chrome, we’ve reduced users’ data usage by up to 60 percent. But now, the feature is expanding to provide more benefits in addition to data savings. Pages will now load faster, in some cases considerably faster, and use less memory. This is why starting today, we will be renaming Data Saver to Lite mode.
    Lite mode will continue to reduce data use by using Google servers to compress the pages you visit before downloading them. Using the NetworkInformation API, Lite mode tells web servers that you are interested in receiving a version of the site that uses less data if one is available.
    Lite mode also helps improve page loads. If Chrome predicts that a page will take longer than 5 seconds for the first text or image to show on screen, it will load a Lite version of the page instead. Lite pages are highly optimized to load considerably faster. A whitepaper will be published in the coming months that will explain this in more detail.

  • Google Chrome 74 Released: Dark Mode For Windows, Lite Mode For Android

    Google released the Chrome version 74 today for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and Chrome OS users. The new version comes with new features and bug fixes with the main highlight being support for a Dark Mode in Windows.

    Other noteworthy changes include the replacement of Data Saver feature with Lite Mode for Chrome on Android devices. There are a few security improvements too, so read on to find out the details.

WWW and Development

Filed under
Development
Moz/FF
OSS
Web
  • Acquisition roundabout sees Zend Framework spun off to Linux Foundation

    The Zend Framework is to get a new name and a new home, under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, just a few months after its parent co was itself swallowed whole.

    Zend – as was – is an open source, object-oriented web application framework implemented in PHP 7. It was synonymous with Zend Technologies, which was taken over by Rogue Wave Software in 2015. Rogue Wave Software was itself acquired by private equity outfit Clear Lake Capital earlier this year.

    According to the website for the new organisation, “To take it to the next step of adoption and innovation, we are happy to announce that we are transitioning Zend Framework and all its subprojects to an open source project hosted at the Linux Foundation.”

  • Five RESTful web service client examples for developers

    How do you access a RESTful web service? That depends on what you're trying to accomplish.

    If you just want to test connectivity, a terminal-based utility like curl is a great RESTful web service client. If you want to inspect the JSON a service returns to you, a browser-based plugin will probably be a better fit. And if you are in the midst of application development, you'll likely need to use JAX-RS, Spring or a similar framework.

  • 5 Best Reasons to Opt for PHP Web Development

    Many companies now are choosing PHP web development to realize their IT needs. According to research, almost 83 percent of web services are using PHP, and it is the preferred choice of industry stalwarts such as BlaBlaCar, Slack, and Spotify. PHP is open source and comes with a great community, and it is continuously upgrading. There is no doubt about the same.

  • It’s Complicated: Mozilla’s 2019 Internet Health Report

    The Report paints a mixed picture of what life online looks like today. We’re more connected than ever, with humanity passing the ‘50% of us are now online’ mark earlier this year. And, while almost all of us enjoy the upsides of being connected, we also worry about how the internet and social media are impacting our children, our jobs and our democracies.

    When we published last year’s Report, the world was watching the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal unfold — and these worries were starting to grow. Millions of people were realizing that widespread, laissez-faire sharing of our personal data, the massive growth and centralization of the tech industry, and the misuse of online ads and social media was adding up to a big mess.

    Over the past year, more and more people started asking: what are we going to do about this mess? How do we push the digital world in a better direction?

    As people asked these questions, our ability to see the underlying problems with the system — and to imagine solutions — has evolved tremendously. Recently, we’ve seen governments across Europe step up efforts to monitor and thwart disinformation ahead of the upcoming EU elections. We’ve seen the big tech companies try everything from making ads more transparent to improving content recommendation algorithms to setting up ethics boards (albeit with limited effect and with critics saying ‘you need to do much more!’). And, we’ve seen CEOs and policymakers and activists wrestling with each other over where to go next. We have not ‘fixed’ the problems, but it does feel like we’ve entered a new, sustained era of debate about what a healthy digital society should look like.

Put the internet back under your control with the FreedomBox

Filed under
OSS
Web

On today's internet, most of us find ourselves locked into one service provider or the other. We find ourselves tied down to Apple, Facebook, Google, or Microsoft for our e-mail, social networking, calendering -- you name it. It doesn't have to be that way. The FreedomBox Foundation has just released its first commercially available FreedomBox: The Pioneer Edition FreedomBox Home Server Kit. With it, you -- not some company -- control over your internet-based services.

The Olimex Pioneer FreedomBox costs less than $100 and is powered by a single-board computer (SBC), the open source hardware-based Olimex A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 board. This SBC is powered by a 1GHz A20/T2 dual core Cortex-A7 processor and dual-core Mali 400 GPU. It also comes with a Gigabyte of RAM, a high-speed 32GB micro SD card for storage with the FreedomBox software pre-installed, two USB ports, SATA-drive support, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a backup battery.

Doesn't sounds like much does it? But, here's the thing: You don't need much to run a personal server.

Sure, some of us have been running our own servers at home, the office, or at a hosting site for ages. I'm one of those people. But, it's hard to do. What the FreedomBox brings to the table is the power to let almost anyone run their own server without being a Linux expert.

The supplied FreedomBox software is based on Debian Linux. It's designed from the ground-up to make it as hard as possible for anyone to exploit your data. It does this by putting you in control of your own corner of the internet at home. Its simple user interface lets you host your own internet services with little expertise.

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WWW: Indie Web Server, Administrating Nextcloud and Project Spotlight on Drupal

Filed under
Web
  • Indie Web Server 8.1.1: Reverse proxy (local mode)
  • This site now runs on Indie Web Server

    In the interests of eating my own hamster food1, I just switched this site from nginx to Indie Web Server.

    The only complication in the process was that I had to update the hostname of the server to match the domain name.

  • Administrating Nextcloud as a Snap

    As I’ve described in both my Linux in Action book and Linux in Motion course, Nextcloud is a powerful way to build a file sharing and collaboration service using only open source software running on your own secure infrastructure. It’s DropBox, Skype, and Google Docs all rolled into one, but without the vendor lock-in, security, and privacy fears.
    While the platform is certainly well-designed and polished, the initial installation can be tricky. Looking for proof? Try manually installing Nextcloud on an Ubuntu 18.04 server using any one of the detailed instructions available around the internet. Sometimes everything goes smoothly, but not always. You might encounter packages no longer supported by the official upstream repositories or changed dependencies. Don’t blame the people who wrote those guides: blame the pace of change in official Linux software repositories.

  • FOSS Project Spotlight: Drupal

    Drupal is a content management framework, and it's used to make many of the websites and applications you use every day. Drupal has great standard features, easy content authoring, reliable performance and excellent security. What sets Drupal apart is its flexibility; modularity is one of its core principles. Its tools help you build the versatile, structured content that ambitious web experiences need. With Drupal, you can build almost any integrated experience you can imagine.

  • Carlos Soriano: DrupalCon

    Last week I went to DrupalCon in the lovely city of Seattle invited by Tim, the executive director of Drupal.

    Our plan was to have a panel discussion about the tooling we use in FOSS organization such as GNOME, Debian, Drupal, etc. Specially since we recently transitioned to GitLab. The panel discussion was between Tim himself, Alex Wirt from Debian, Eliran Mesika and Tina Sturgis from GitLab and me. We were 5 out of 9 featured speakers!

4 of the Best Web Browsers for Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Web

There are plenty of web browsers for Linux these days, but not all of them support all distros. This makes it a little bit difficult to choose, but there are some viable options that still work with the ecosystem. The choice isn’t just dependent on your Linux distribution, but also on your preferred use cases.

While Linux desktops offer most of the web browsers you’d use on Windows and Mac, there are some lesser-known browsers that aren’t available for the latter two operating systems.

Our top four picks for the best browsers you can use on Linux support the majority of most top distros, but your distro’s performance may vary for each of these browsers.

Here are four of the best web browsers for Linux.

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Android Browser Choice Screen in Europe

Filed under
Android
Google
Moz/FF
Web

Today, Google announced a new browser choice screen in Europe. We love an opportunity to show more people our products, like Firefox for Android. Independent browsers that put privacy and security first (like Firefox) are great for consumers and an important part of the Android ecosystem.

There are open questions, though, about how well this implementation of a choice screen will enable people to easily adopt options other than Chrome as their default browser. The details matter, and the true measure will be the impact on competition and ultimately consumers. As we assess the results of this launch on Mozilla’s Firefox for Android, we’ll share our impressions and the impact we see.

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