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Now and Then: The Fate of 7 Promising Free Linux Web Browsers

Filed under
Linux
Web

This is illustrated by the image to the left which depicts the web browser share for visits to LinuxLinks.com for the period covering June – September 2020.

But Chrome and Firefox are not for everyone. Chrome is proprietary software so it’s not very appealing to open source enthusiasts. There’s the open source Chromium, of course, but that’s not very popular. And Firefox has been steadily losing market share.

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TenFourFox FPR27 available

Filed under
Mac
Moz/FF
Web

TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 27 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). Unfortunately, I have thus far been unable to solve issue 621 regarding the crashes on LinkedIn, so to avoid drive-by crashes, scripts are now globally disabled on LinkedIn until I can (no loss since it doesn't work anyway). If you need them on for some reason, create a pref tenfourfox.troublesome-js.allow and set it to true. I will keep working on this for FPR28 to see if I can at least come up with a better wallpaper, though keep in mind that even if I repair the crash it may still not actually work anyway. There are otherwise no new changes since the beta except for outstanding security updates, and it will go live Monday evening Pacific assuming no new issues.

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5 Linux VPN Providers To Secure your Connections With

Filed under
Software
Security
Web

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a communication tunnel between your devices and remote connection servers to bypass your local ISP censorship and local network monitoring. The working concept is that you redirect all your Internet traffic via these tunnels to access the Internet rather than directly using your ISP, and in this way, ISPs ability to see your activities on the Internet will be greatly reduced.

[...]

There are many companies out there which provide VPN services, but if you are a Linux user then what you should be concerned with is what companies provide native clients for Linux? Because not all of them do so, so you have to make sure that the VPN provider supports Linux before subscribing for their service.

This, of course, is in addition to the privacy and security features provided by the VPN provider.

We’ll take you today in a tour on some Linux VPN providers, so that you can use them and increase your security and privacy online.

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Wasmer, TenFourFox FPR27b1 and Socorro/Firefox

Filed under
Development
Moz/FF
Web
  • Wasmer 1.0 Is Approaching For Running WebAssembly Anywhere

    The Wasmer 1.0 alpha release is now available for running WebAssembly programs anywhere. Wasmer is about providing a universal runtime for WebAssembly (WASM) that can run across platforms / operating systems and also embed into other programming languages. Wasmer leverages WebAssembly principles to provide safety around untrusted code on top of its other design features.

  • TenFourFox FPR27b1 available (now with sticky Reader View)

    The big user-facing update for FPR27 is a first pass at "sticky" Reader View. I've been paying attention more to improving TenFourFox's implementation of Reader View because, especially for low-end Power Macs (and there's an argument to be made that all Power Macs are, by modern standards, low end), rendering articles in Reader View strips out extraneous elements, trackers, ads, social media, comments, etc., making them substantially lighter and faster than "full fat." Also, because the layout is simplified, this means less chance for exposing or choking on layout or JavaScript features TenFourFox currently doesn't support. However, in regular Firefox and FPR26, you have to go to a page and wait for some portion of it to render before you enter Reader View, which is inconvenient, and worse still if you click any link in a Reader-rendered article you exit Reader View and have to manually repeat the process. This can waste a non-trivial amount of processing time.

    So when I say Reader View is now "sticky," that means links you click in an article in reader mode are also rendered in reader mode, and so on, until you explicitly exit it (then things go back to default). This loads pages much faster, in some cases nearly instantaneously. In addition, to make it easier to enter reader mode in fewer steps (and on slower systems, less time waiting for the reader icon in the address bar to be clickable), you can now right click on links and automatically pop the link into Reader View in a new tab ("Open Link in New Tab, Enter Reader View").

  • Socorro Engineering: Half in Review 2020 h1

    2020h1 was rough. Layoffs, re-org, Berlin All Hands, Covid-19, focused on MLS for a while, then I switched back to Socorro/Tecken full time, then virtual All Hands.

    It's September now and 2020h1 ended a long time ago, but I'm only just getting a chance to catch up and some things happened in 2020h1 that are important to divulge and we don't tell anyone about Socorro events via any other medium.

KMail account trouble

Filed under
KDE
OSS
Web

KMail is the open-source email client that I’ve always wanted to use. However, I’ve always given up on it after a few hours or days after running into critical bugs. I gave it another shot this month, and here’s how it went.

I’ve been using Evolution for the last few years. I’ve recently had serious issues with it corrupting messages, and its PGP-integration has been buggy for years. A couple of weeks ago, I needed to send off a PGP-encrypted email to [redacted] regarding a security issue. So I went looking for alternative email clients. As many times before, KMail was the first option on my list.

KMail has every feature I need, including PGP support and integration with my email provider (IMAP/SMTP) and address book server (CardDAV). It’s recommended by Use plain-text email and formats email messages in the way I like it. It even has a Unicode-compatible spellchecker (something Thunderbird is still missing in 2020!) It’s been an appealing option for me for years.

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The 10 Best Linux Web Browsers

Filed under
Software
Web

Web browsers were introduced around 1991. Since then, they have progressively advanced to operate on multiple operating systems with increased efficiency and performance. Linux, being an open-source community product, gives freedom for experimenting with several browsing features to improve functionality and usability.

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7 Important Privacy-Preserving Extensions for Chromium-Based Browsers

Filed under
Google
Web

According to StatCounter, 70% of all desktop users worldwide use Google Chrome as their default Internet browser. A sad fact, as Chrome is a proprietary web browser that does not respect the user privacy by default. Chromium however, is %100 open source and licensed under the BSD license. Chrome extensions do work on Chromium.

Still, we do not recommend any user who cares about his/her privacy to use Google Chrome or Chromium, as both browsers are full of Google’s integrated services which phonehome some of your data, besides their horrible default settings for privacy which block nothing by default. Instead, we recommenced using Firefox, but if you still want a Chromium-based browser to use (Whether for performance or because of the huge number of extensions… etc), then what we recommend is the Ungoogled-Chromium browser instead.

However, what can’t be completely reached shouldn’t be completely left; Here’s a list of 7 privacy-preserving extensions to have if you are still going to use Chrome/Chromium browsers anyway. Or maybe you can even use them with the Ungoogled-Chromium browser, which is a better choice.

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DRM Creep: Serious Encrypted Media Extensions on GStreamer based WebKit ports

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Web

Encrypted Media Extensions (a.k.a. EME) is the W3C standard for encrypted media in the web. This way, media providers such as Hulu, Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Prime Video, etc. can provide their contents with a reasonable amount of confidence that it will make it very complicated for people to “save” their assets without their permission. Why do I use the word “serious” in the title? In WebKit there is already support for Clear Key, which is the W3C EME reference implementation but EME supports more encryption systems, even privative ones (I have my opinion about this, you can ask me privately). No service provider (that I know) supports Clear Key, they usually rely on Widevine, PlayReady or some other.

Three years ago, my colleague Žan Doberšek finished the implementation of what was going to be the shell of WebKit’s modern EME implementation, following latest W3C proposal. We implemented that downstream (at Web Platform for Embedded) as well using Thunder, which includes as a plugin a fork of what was Open Content Decryption Module (a.k.a. OpenCDM). The OpenCDM API changed quite a lot during this journey. It works well and there are millions of set-top-boxes using it currently.

The delta between downstream and the upstream GStreamer based WebKit ports was quite big, testing was difficult and syncing was not always easy, so we decided reverse the situation.

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Rclone Browser Enables You to Sync Data With Cloud Services in Linux Graphically

Filed under
Software
Web

If you want to use One Drive or Google Drive on Linux natively and effortlessly, you can opt for a premium GUI tool like Insync (affiliate link).

If you can put some effort in the terminal, you can use Rclone to sync with many cloud storage services on Linux. We have a detailed guide on using Rclone for syncing with OneDrive in Linux.

Rclone is a pretty popular and useful command-line tool. A lot of power users will need to use Rclone for its features.

However, not everyone is comfortable using it from the terminal even if it’s useful enough.

So, in this article, I’ll talk about an impressive GUI “Rclone Browser” that makes it easy to manage and sync your data on cloud storage using Rclone.

It is also worth noting that Rclone does offer an experimental web-based GUI — but we are going to focus on Rclone Browser here.

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Break Free from Google’s Tracking With Ungoogled-Chromium

Filed under
Google
Web

For those who don’t know, Google Chrome is built on the top of the Google Chromium browser, which is an open source browser released under BSD license having almost the same features as in Google Chrome. Google’s approach is to add new features and tests to Chromium gradually before they land in the closed-source Google Chrome browser, which Google ships to the world with its own branding. It also adds its own extra layer of tracking/integrations into the Chrome browser, and some (+50) tracking services/integrations are also in Chromium.

A lot of other browsers such as Vivaldi and Brave are also based on Chromium, but they have their own approaches to remove Google’s tracking and services from it.

Ungoogled-Chromium is a community project managed by a lot of volunteers to simply remove all the integrated Google’s services and features from the Chromium browser, so that it can be a good privacy-respecting web browser, away from Google’s eyes.

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