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An introduction to Cockpit, a browser-based administration tool for Linux

Filed under
Linux
Red Hat
Web

Cockpit is a server administration tool sponsored by Red Hat, focused on providing a modern-looking and user-friendly interface to manage and administer servers. Fedora 21 included Cockpit by default, and since then, it has continued to grow and mature. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 included Cockpit in the optional and extras repositories, and it’s included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 by default.

Cockpit is not the first of its class (many old-time system administrators may remember Webmin), but the alternatives are usually clunky, bloated, and their underlying APIs may be a security risk. That’s where Cockpit is different and shines. With Cockpit, unnecessary services or APIs don’t get in the way of doing things.

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Between Software and Service

Filed under
Software
Web

I write this article to explain the connection between software and service on the internet as my articles often mention them. The intended audience are people without deep knowledge in computing. This kind of explanation is needed because the computing is not as simple as one may thought. For example, one should be able to distinguish between WordPress the software and WordPress the service, so everything would be clear and no misunderstanding could happen in the future. Another example, one should be able to distinguish between PeerTube, Mastodon, and Jitsi the software with those three the services. My articles here which mentions such things are for example Riot/Matrix Intro, Alternative-World Resources, Code Hosting list, and Stay at Home Solution the series, among others. This explanation is wished to be useful too to understand circumstances outside of this UbuntuBuzz.com website. Happy learning!

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Jit.si if you care and Zoom if you don’t.

Filed under
OSS
Security
Web

So, last week, from 8th April onwards, the Singapore Government imposed a partial lockdown (PL) – or as they say euphemistically “circuit breaker” (CB).

The Singapore Ministry of Education introduced Home-based Learning (HBL) that they had initially trialed from early April with a once a week HBL setup.

And that was the week of 30th March.

But following the PL, all schools were closed and all 500k students and I guess 40k teachers had to switch to full-on HBL using online tools, especially Zoom.

Then this happened. So, a classroom was zoombombed. As expected, the Ministry of Education suspended the use of Zoom.

Sigh.

Let me offer the following to all of those who are using Zoom.

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New Release: Tor Browser 9.0.9

Filed under
Moz/FF
Security
Web

or Browser 9.0.9 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

This release is updating Firefox to 68.7.0esr, NoScript to 11.0.23 and OpenSSL to 1.1.1f.

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Staying "safe" while you stream: DBD's tips on living DRM-free during quarantine

Filed under
GNU
Web

As most of us are cooped up in our homes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it's somewhat natural that we turn to online movies, music, and other media to help pass the time. For most people, this involves turning to Internet streaming for convenient, "all-in-one" services that promise an endless array of recommendations to while away the hours. "Binging" is all well and good every once in a while, but we should remain careful that the ways we're getting our media don't come with compromises to our freedom. As we've mentioned before, Netflix and other giant media providers are responsible for keeping the practice of DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) alive, and it's important not to provide them with the subscription fees they need to keep going. It's also important, even under less dire circumstances, to support businesses and Web sites that provide DRM-free media, and to promote them to our friends. So to help provide you with a plethora of DRM-free and often gratis places to stream from while keeping your rights, here's a few choice selections from our Guide to DRM-free Living.

When it comes to finding good videos to watch during times of crisis, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the Internet Archive. This section of the digital library contains bona-fide cinematic masterpieces like Nosferatu, as well as "classics" of a different sort like Plan 9 from Outer Space. Many of these works have been voluntarily uploaded to the Archive by their creators, or, like Night of the Living Dead, have fallen into the public domain due to some of the vagaries and finer points in United States copyright law.

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Tails 4.5 is out

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Web
Debian

This release fixes many security vulnerabilities. You should upgrade as soon as possible.

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Five Open Source alternatives to Slack

Filed under
OSS
Web

Like Slack, Riot allows you to chat, exchange files, make voice calls, hold video conferences, and work with some bots. The application is developed on the Matrix platform. That has two significant advantages in terms of security and privacy. The data gets store in a private server, and conversations are end-to-end encrypted.

Riot allows it to be installed for free on the servers of any company. Although those interested can also contract it as a managed hosting service. Like Slack, it also has open APIs that allow its integration in a good number of applications, like instant messaging standouts.

Riot has support for both the leading desktop platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux) and mobile (iOS, Android) and web version.

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Kiwi TCMS 8.2 and WordPress Tales

Filed under
Web
  • Kiwi TCMS 8.2

    We're happy to announce Kiwi TCMS version 8.2!

  • Contact Form 7 Datepicker Taken down from WordPress Plugin Repository

    With great power comes great responsibility. Recently a WordPress plugin with as many as 100,000 installations was taken down from WordPress plugin repository due to a severe vulnerability.

    The Wordfence team found a severe vulnerability in Contact Form 7 Datepicker, a WordPress plugin allows to show datepicker in forms created with a very popular plugin Contact Form 7. Though the vulnerability does not affect Contact Form 7 but anyone with Contact Form 7 Datepicker on site, should immediately deactivate and uninstall the plugin from the site.

  • The Month in WordPress: March 2020

    The month of March was both a tough and exciting time for the WordPress open-source project. With COVID-19 declared a pandemic, in-person events have had to adapt quickly – a challenge for any community. March culminated with the release of WordPress 5.4, an exhilarating milestone only made possible by dedicated contributors. For all the latest, read on.

Better than Zoom: Try these free software tools for staying in touch

Filed under
Web

In times like these it becomes all the more important to remember that tools like Zoom, Slack, and Facebook Messenger are not benign public services, and while the sentiment they've expressed to the global community in responding to the crisis may be sincere, it hasn't addressed the fundamental ethical issues with any piece of proprietary software.

After taking the LibrePlanet 2020 conference online, we received a number of requests asking us to document our streaming setup. As the pandemic grew worse, this gave way to more curiosity about how the Free Software Foundation (FSF) uses free tools and free communication platforms to conduct our everyday business. And while the stereotype of hackers hunched over a white on black terminal session applies to us in some ways, many of the tools we use are available in any environment, even for people who do not have a lot of technical experience. We've started documenting ethical solutions on the LibrePlanet wiki, in addition to starting a remote communication mailing list to help each other advocate for their use.

In the suggestions that follow, a few of the tools we will recommend depend upon some "self-reliance," that is, steering clear of proprietary network services by hosting free software solutions yourself, or asking a technical friend to do it for you. It's a difficult step, and the benefits may not be immediately obvious, but it's a key part of preserving your autonomy in an age of ubiquitous digital control.

To those who have the technical expertise and available infrastructure, we urge you to consider hosting instances of free communication platforms for your friends, family, and your community at large. For example, with a modest server and some GNU/Linux knowledge, you could help local students learn in freedom by volunteering to administer an instance of one of the programs we'll be recommending below.

The need to self-host can be an uncomfortable reminder of our dependence on the "cloud" -- the network of someone else's computers -- but acknowledging our current reliance on these providers is the first step in making new, dependable systems for ourselves. During dangerous and stressful times, it's tempting to sideline our ethical commitments for easier or more convenient ways to get things done, and software freedom is no exception. We hope these suggestions will inspire you to inform others about the importance of their freedom, privacy, and security.

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Jitsi Without Google and Videoconferencing as Malware

Filed under
Web
  • Videoconferencing with #privacy

    Videoconferencing is on the rise worldwide with the COVID-19 crisis. But did you know that most videoconferencing software is NOT offering any guarantee about your privacy?

    Even some nice open source software such as Jitsi is relying on some Google services.

  • Zoom Is Leaking Emails And Photos Of Users

    It has reported that the popular video-conferencing app Zoom is leaking email addresses and photos of its users to the unknown people and Zoom is giving strangers the ability to attempt to start a video call with those users.

    Zoom Is Leaking Emails And Photos Of Users

    Zoom meetings are not end-to-end (E2E) encrypted. Zoom’s spokesperson told The Intercept, “It is not possible to enable E2E encryption for Zoom video meetings.”

    In E2E encryption, no one can read your conversation, not even the company.

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