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Rclone Browser (Fork) 1.8.0 Gets Proxy Support, Option To Create Public Link

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Software
Web

Rclone Browser (fork), a Qt5 GUI for Rclone, was updated to version 1.8.0, getting proxy support, an option to display the complete directory tree for a remote, and the ability to create a public link to easily share files, among others.

Rclone Browser is a cross-platform (Windows, macOS and Linux) Qt5 GUI for Rclone, a command line tool to synchronize (and mount) files from remote cloud storage services like Google Drive, OneDrive, Nextcloud, Dropbox, Amazon Drive and S3, Mega, and others.

This GUI can be used to simplify operations like copying a file from one cloud storage to another or to the local drive, mount cloud storages on your system with a click, and browsing the contents of various cloud storage remotes in a tabbed interface.

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Brave Browser and DRM With 'Open' Veneer

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OSS
Web
  • Data Doctors: Is the Brave browser safe to use?

    If you’re like most users, you spend more time using a browser than any other program on your computer or smartphone.

    You probably don’t think about what browser you’re using; the focus is on getting to a website, not what got you there.

    Google Chrome is by far the most popular browser, but because it’s a Google product integrated with all their tracking and advertising networks, a lot of people are looking for an alternative.

  • Here’s how to know if the Brave browser is safe to use

    A: If you’re like most users, you spend more time using a browser than any other program on your computer or smartphone.

    You probably don’t think about what browser you’re using as the focus is on getting to a website and not what got you there.

    Google’s Chrome is by far the most popular browser, but because it’s a Google product integrated with all their tracking and advertising networks, a lot of people are looking for an alternative.

  • Netflix Now Exploring AVIF For Image Compression

    Following Netflix's AV1 adoption with collaborating with Intel on the SVT-AV1 encoder, now using AV1 streaming for Android users, and others around this advanced royalty-free video codec, Netflix is now exploring AVIF as their next-gen image format.

    [...]

    Netflix acknowledges the significant need for next-gen image coding that has better compression efficiency and more features than JPEG. Netflix believes AVIF has the potential albeit they aren't yet ready to transition to AVIF today.

    In their testing they are finding good results out of AVIF compared to JPEG and other image formats. For those wanting to go through a long and interesting technical read, on the Netflix Tech Blog they have example screenshots and results comparing their AVIF results to other formats.

  • Netflix begins streaming AV1 content on its Android mobile app

    Netflix today announced that it is beginning to stream videos compressed using the AV1 codec, on its Android mobile app. AV1 is a next-generation, royalty-free video codec that provides compression efficiency that is improved by 20%. This codec, developed to replace VP9, was built by the Alliance for Open Media, of which Netflix, Google, Amazon Prime Video, and more big-name content providers are a part of.

Openwashing of 5G

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OSS
Web

Detailed tests of search engines: Google, Startpage, Bing, DuckDuckGo, metaGer, Ecosia, Swisscows, Searx, Qwant, Yandex, and Mojeek

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Google
Reviews
Web

Since my last in-depth comparison review of alternative search engines in 2014, a lot has changed, and a lot has stayed the same. Google is appearing as a loan-verb in more and more languages due to its continued dominance in the search engine market. But at the same time, Google is being increasingly demonized by privacy focused users. An even more more interesting development is the trend of complaints that Google’s algorithm is producing results that are less relevant and more indicative of artificial stupidity than artificial intelligence. I belong in this latter camp, as I am more of a pragmatist than a privacy pundit. I simply want the best search results with minimal effort and no nonsense. Back in my 2014 article, I was hopeful that DuckDuckGo was quickly becoming a viable and attractive alternative to Google. While DuckDuckGo continues to be the darling of privacy conscious users and is enjoying more popularity than ever, I am concerned that its core search infrastructure and algorithms have largely stagnated. Since my last article, many other alternatives have cropped up, bringing some very interesting features and concepts, but it still remains to be seen if they offer acceptable results in the fundamentally important area of relevant search results. This comparison sets out to analyze and compare the current batch of alternatives in 2020.

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Browsers and Privacy

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OSS
Web
  • Browsers, web sites, and user tracking

    Browser tracking across different sites is certainly a major privacy concern and one that is more acute when the boundaries between sites and browsers blur—or disappear altogether. That seems to be the underlying tension in a "discussion" of an only tangentially related proposal being made by Google to the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG). The proposal would change the handling of the User-Agent headers sent by browsers, but the discussion turned to the unrelated X-Client-Data header that Chrome sends to Google-owned sites. The connection is that in both cases some feel that the web-search giant is misusing its position to the detriment of its users and its competitors in the web ecosystem.

  • Data detox: Four things you can do today to protect your computer

    From the abacus to the iPad, computers have been a part of the human experience for longer than we think. So much so that we forget the vast amounts of personal data we share with our devices on a daily basis. On any given day we could be tackling sensitive work emails, planning our next vacation, or just booking some good ole doctor’s appointments. No big deal right? Well, in the wrong hands it can become a huge deal.

    Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to tighten your device security. Read on for four easy things you can do today to protect your personal info along with your devices.

Brave Browser on Chromebook, Firefox 73 on POWER and Privacy/VPN Leftovers

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Web
  • Can I install the Brave Browser on my Chromebook?

    If you’re using a Chromebook, chances are high that you’re perfectly comfortable using the Chrome browser as your default portal to the internet. However, as the Chrome OS ecosystem continues to expand, more and more users are moving to the platform and some of them may want other options. Because of the nature of Chrome OS, you’re out of luck if you want to install a secondary browser directly onto the main operating system. Thankfully, there are curious people out there that like to ask me questions that lead me to figure out new and inventive ways to do cool stuff on Chrome OS.

    [...]

    Built to block ads and trackers, Brave boasts that their browser can attain speeds twice that of Chrome. Where Brave differs from many other ad-blocking platforms is that it was designed to create an alternative traditional to advertising platforms by offering publishers and users a way to be part of a privacy-respecting revenue sharing program. When you browse the site of a verified Brave Publisher, they benefit by receiving BAT (Basic Attention Tokens). Users are also rewarded with BAT when they allow a limited number of ads to display on sites they browse. I’ll save you the long, drawn-out argument about the pros and cons of this type of advertising model. If you want to learn more about Brave and the Basic Attention Token at the foundation of its revenue, you can do so here.

  • The Talospace Project: Firefox 73 on POWER

    ...seems to just work. New in this release is better dev tools and additional CSS features. This release includes the fix for certain extensions that regressed in Fx71, and so far seems to be working fine on this Talos II. The debug and optimized mozconfigs I'm using are, as before, unchanged from Firefox 67.

  • Security Still the Top Concern as Privacy Regs Loom

    Enforcement of CCPA doesn’t begin until July, which gives some time for American companies who do business with Californians to come into compliance. But other states are expected to follow in California’s footsteps and craft data privacy regulations that are similar to CCPA (which itself is similar to GDPR).

    HelpSystems is also tracking how those new data privacy requirements translate into new requirements for IBM i tools and technology. “We’ve also seen a lot of request for data encryption at rest, and data encryption for data that’s in flight,” Huntington says.

    Ian Jarman, the former IBM i product offering manager who now heads up IBM Lab Services, is keeping an eye on the evolving compliance landscape, in particular the “dramatic rise” in the number of the regulations.

    “The thing that is beginning to change is consumer privacy,” Jarman says. “The GPDR, the [data protection] regulations in Europe, these are being replicated, or similar types of regulations are coming in Latin America, in California, and I think you will continue to see that rise.”

  • OpenVPN vs WireGuard: The Best VPN Protocol

    Before I begin, I want to give a brief overview of the development history and business model of both the VPN protocols. As most of us know, OpenVPN is among the oldest VPN protocols which was first released in 2001. It’s an open-source VPN protocol and run by the OpenVPN project. Having said that, OpenVPN is not free to use either for personal or commercial users so keep that in mind. Nevertheless, you can use the OpenVPN Community Edition for free, but with very limited features.

Daniel Stenberg: curl is 8000 days old

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Software
Web

Another pointless number that happens to be round and look nice so I feel a need to highlight it.

When curl was born WiFi didn’t exist yet. Smartphones and tablets weren’t invented. Other things that didn’t exist include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Firefox, Chrome, Spotify, Google search, Wikipedia, Windows 98 or emojis.

curl was born in a different time, but also in the beginning of the explosion of the web and Internet Protocols. Just before the big growth wave.

In 1996 when I started working on the precursor to curl, there were around 250,000 web sites (sources vary slightly)..

In 1998 when curl shipped, the number of sites were already around 2,400,000. Ten times larger amount in just those two years.

In early 2020, the amount of web sites are around 1,700,000,000 to 2,000,000,000 (depending on who provides the stats). The number of web sites has thus grown at least 70,000% over curl’s 8000 days of life and perhaps as much as 8000 times the amount as when I first working with HTTP clients.

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Vivaldi 2.11 Adds New Picture-in-Picture Controls, Improves Accessibility and Themes

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Software
Web

Vivaldi 2.11 is the first release of the popular web browser for power users in the new decade. It’s not a massive update, but it does bring some cool enhancements to make your browsing sessions more enjoyable.

For starters, there’s now a lot easier to watch videos from your favorite websites in a floating, resizable, and movable window. All you have to do to enable the browser’s Pop-out video (Picture-in-Picture) feature is click on a small video box icon on the center of the video.

Furthermore, the Pop-out video feature will now display forward and back buttons to let users skip tracks or navigate to a previous video.

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Lessons learned maintaining EdgeDeflector for Windows 10

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Microsoft
Web

Three years ago, I released EdgeDeflector; a tiny open-source utility program for Windows 10. It reinforces the default web browser setting in situations when Microsoft ignores its own setting and pushes you to use its Edge browser instead. It’s a tiny software project that I’ve not had to write any new code for in years. However, supporting it has proven a frustrating experience.

The origin story of EdgeDeflector is a tiny act of rebellion against tech behemoths abusing their market positions. Microsoft uses Windows 10 features like Search, Cortana, and others to force users to open links in its Microsoft Edge web browser. The operating system has a default web browser setting, but Microsoft circumvents this setting in certain parts of its operating system. It doesn’t respect the choices of its consumers to not use its software. EdgeDeflector gave back this control.

EdgeDeflector was positively received by users and has been downloaded over 300 000 times. 265 000 through the project page on GitHub and 35 000 times from mirrors. It popped up in all the Windows news/fan blogs within a few months of its launch. It still occasionally receives coverage from tech blogs with nothing more original to cover.

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Also: I opened up Edge to test something and it added BING as a search provider in Firefox. The only thing in there before was DuckDuckGo.

Servers and CMS Leftovers (HPCC, Weblate and AgoraCart)

Filed under
Server
OSS
Web
  • Stanford Student Program Gives Supercomputers a Second Life

    Despite their incredible capabilities, today’s supercomputers typically only have three years of operating life before they need an upgrade. With the march of Moore’s Law, faster, more efficient systems are always waiting to replace them.
    A novel program at Stanford is finding a second life for used HPC clusters, providing much-needed computational resources for research while giving undergraduate students a chance to learn valuable career skills. To learn more, we caught up with Dellarontay Readus from the Stanford High Performance Computing Center (HPCC).

  • 30 projects migrated their translation to Weblate, what about yours?

    The localization community gave it’s approval: Weblate fits our expectations. Many projects have already migrated. It’s time for yours to migrate, because the next Fedora release will mark the end of the old translation platform.

  • AgoraCart "Route 66" Version Released

    I have avoided any spotlight in the Perl community after negative experiences early on but at the urging of Gabor Szabo over at PerlMaven.com, I realized that I should not care if I am not the normal Perl community member/developer. As a result, announcements on Perl type groups was skipped until now. So here's to new beginnings.

    I love the flexibility of Perl and hated the feeling that I was giving up on it as other languages rose in popularity and Perl seemed to surrender from the web on its own accord. I restarted development of the new version of AgoraCart during my masters degree coursework, and kept grinding on the development and testing for another 2+ years. This release marks a huge milestone, for AgoraCart and for me personally. I basically gave up on AgoraCart for a few years (motivation to work on it came and went like the changes in the wind after a family tragedy).

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