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Tails 4.1 is out

Filed under
Security
Web
Debian

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

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Also: Tails 4.1 Anonymous OS Released with Latest Tor Browser, Linux Kernel 5.3.9

Mastodon announces Pixelfed, an open-source alternative to Instagram

Filed under
OSS
Web

Mastodon’s quest to federate the Internet continues with the imminent launch of a photo-sharing platform which promises to be more privacy-focussed and to give more power to netizens

Mastodon is not done making headlines. One November 26, the open-source and federated platform announced, via Twitter, that they would be launching Pixelfed, “a fediverse alternative to Instagram and other photo sharing platforms.” Tacked on the end of the tweet is the hashtag #TheFutureIsFederated.

The tweet is a quote-tweet from the Pixelfed The only form of explanation comes in a teaser video. “What is the fediverse? It’s magic. A platform for the people. And we mean everyone. We’ll be arriving soon! Power to the people. Pixelfed.org,” says the video.

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5 best lightweight browsers for Raspberry Pi

Filed under
Web

The Raspberry Pi is a lightweight computer. It is not designed for resource-heavy programs like modern web browsers. Instead, if users want to browse the internet on the Raspberry Pi, they’ll need something much more lightweight. In this list, we’ll go over some of the best lightweight browsers to use on the Raspberry Pi.

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WWW: Mozilla and the Contract for the Web, IPv6 and Terrible News for .ORG

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • Mozilla and the Contract for the Web

    Mozilla supports the Contract for the Web and the vision of the world it seeks to create. We participated in helping develop the content of the principles in the Contract. The result is language very much aligned with Mozilla, and including words that in many cases echo our Manifesto. Mozilla works to build momentum behind these ideas, as well as building products and programs that help make them real.

  • Native IPv6: One Month Later

    That’s telling me I received 1.8 times as much traffic via IPv6 over the past month as I did over IPv4. Even discounting my backups (the 2 v6 peaks), which could account for up to half of that, that means IPv6 and IPv4 are about equal. That’s with all internal networks doing both and no attempt at traffic shaping between them - everything’s free to pick their preference.

    I don’t have a breakdown of what went where, but if you run a network and you’re not v6 enabled, why not? From my usage at least you’re getting towards being in the minority.

  • Why I Voted to Sell .ORG

    Hi, I'm Richard. I've been around the Internet for a while. I work for Cisco now, and used to lead security for Firefox. I've published a few RFCs and served on the Internet Engineering Steering Group (the board of the IETF). I was a co-founder of Let's Encrypt and I currently serve on its board. I care about the Internet, and I care about nonprofits.
    I'm also a member of the Board of the Internet Society, and in that role, I joined the board's unanimous decision to sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR), the registry for the .org top-level domain, to Ethos Capital. Since this transaction has gotten some attention, I'd like to speak a little about why, in my estimation, this deal is a good one for the Internet.

PHP 7.4.0 Released!

Filed under
Development
Web

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.4.0. This release marks the fourth feature update to the PHP 7 series.

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Also: PHP 7.4 Released With FFI, Typed Properties, Arrow Functions, Better Performance

Chromium and Mozilla: ARM, TenFourFox and Firefox Engineers

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Arm Has Been Working To Boost The Chrome/Chromium Browser Performance

    Arm engineers have been working to speed-up the open-source Chromium web browser on 64-bit ARM (AArch64) and ultimately to flow back into Google's Chrome releases. Their focus has been around Windows-on-Arm with the growing number of Windows Arm laptops coming to market, but the Chromium optimizations also benefit the browser on Linux too.

    Arm has been focusing on Chromium optimizations not only for the Chromium/Chrome browsers itself but also for software leveraging the likes of CEF and Electron that rely upon Chromium code for rendering.

  • TenFourFox FPR17b1 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 17 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). SourceForge seems to have fixed whatever was making TenFourFox barf on its end which now might actually be an issue over key exchange. For a variety of reasons, but most importantly backwards compatibility, my preference has been to patch up the NSS security library in TenFourFox to support new crypto and ciphers rather than just drop in a later version. We will see if the issue recurs.

    This release fixes the "infinite loop" issue on Github with a trivial "hack" mitigation. This mitigation makes JavaScript slightly faster as a side-effect but it's because it relaxes some syntax constraints in the runtime, so I don't consider this a win really. It also gets rid of some debug-specific functions that are web-observable and clashed on a few pages, an error Firefox corrected some time ago but missed my notice. Additionally, since 68ESR newly adds the ability to generate and click on links without embedding them in the DOM, I backported that patch so that we can do that now too (a 4-year-old bug only recently addressed in Firefox 70). Apparently this functionality is required for certain sites' download features and evidently this was important enough to merit putting in an extended support release, so we will follow suit.

    I also did an update to cookie security, with more to come, and cleared my backlog of some old performance patches I had been meaning to backport. The most important of these substantially reduces the amount of junk strings JavaScript has hanging around, which in turn reduces memory pressure (important on our 32-bit systems) and garbage collection frequency. Another enables a fast path for layout frames with no properties so we don't have to check the hash tables as frequently.

  • Week notes - 2019 w47 - worklog

    Week Notes. I'm not sure I will be able to commit to this. But they have a bit of revival around my blogging reading echo chamber. Per revival, I mean I see them again.

    The Open Data Institute just started one with a round about them. I subscribed again to the feed of Brian Suda and his own week notes. Alice Bartlett has also a very cool personal, down to earth and simple summary of her week. I love that she calls them weaknotes She's on week 63 by now.

  • Marco Zehe: My extended advent calendar

    This year, I have a special treat for my readers. On Monday, November 25, at 12 PM UTC, I will start a 30 day series about everything and anything. Could be an accessibility tip, an how-to about using a feature in an app I use frequently, some personal opinion on something, a link to something great I came across on the web… I am totally not certain yet. I have ideas about some things I want to blog about, but by far not 30 of them yet.

Acquia/Drupal After the Vista Equity Partners Takeover

Filed under
OSS
Drupal
Web
  • Acquia, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert on open source, Vista, CDPs

    Dries Buytaert: No. We were profitable, we really didn't need more investment. But at the same time, we have an ambitious roadmap and our competitors are well-funded. We were starting to receive a lot of inbound requests from different firms, including Vista. When they come to you, you've got to look at it. It made sense.

  • New Acquia Drupal tools show open source loyalty post-Vista deal

    Web content management vendor Acquia Inc. delivered new marketing automation and content personalization platforms for the open-source Drupal faithful and for commercial customers.

    In late September, venture capital firm Vista Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Acquia, but commitment to Acquia Drupal open source content management applications remain steady, according to Acquia CMO Lynne Capozzi.

Mozilla Firefox News and Opera Release

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • 2019 Add-ons Community Meetup in London

    At the end of October, the Firefox add-ons team hosted a day-long meetup with a group of privacy extension developers as part of the Mozilla Festival in London, UK. With 2019 drawing to a close, this meetup provided an excellent opportunity to hear feedback from developers involved in the Recommended Extensions program and to get input about some of our plans for 2020.

    [...]

    We recently announced that Firefox Preview, Mozilla’s next generation browser for Android built on GeckoView, will support extensions through the WebExtensions API. Members of the Android engineering team will build select APIs needed to initially support a small set of Recommended Extensions.

    The group discussed a wishlist of features for extensions on Android, including support for page actions and browser actions, history search, and the ability to manipulate context menus. These suggestions will be considered as work on Firefox Preview moves forward.

  • Here’s why pop culture and passwords don’t mix

    Were they on a break or not?! For nearly a decade, Ross and Rachel’s on-screen relationship was a point of contention for millions of viewers around the world. It’s no surprise to learn that years after the series finale, they are not only TV’s most beloved characters, but their names are popular account passwords, too. That’s right. More than thousands of internet users love Rachel, Monica, Joey, Chandler, Ross and Phoebe enough to use their names as passwords.

    Wondering about trends, we turned to haveibeenpwned (HIBP) — the website that aggregates data from known breaches — for pop culture favorites. (Firefox Monitor draws from HIBP to help people learn if they’ve been caught up in a data breach and take steps to protect themselves.)

    We couldn’t access any data files, browse lists of passwords or link passwords to logins — that info is inaccessible and kept secure — but we could look up random bad passwords manually on HIBP. It turns out, quite a lot of sitcom and sports fans are using pop culture passwords for their accounts. These bad passwords are not only weak, they have also been breached. Here’s what we spotted.

  • Adding CodeQL and clang to our Bug Bounty Program

    One of the ways we’re supporting this initiative at Mozilla is through renewed investment in automation and static analysis. We think the broader Mozilla community can participate, and we want to encourage it. Today, we’re announcing a new area of our bug bounty program to encourage the community to use the CodeQL tools.  We are exploring the use of CodeQL tools and will award a bounty – above and beyond our existing bounties – for static analysis work that identifies present or historical flaws in Firefox.

  • Opera Browser 65 Released with Redesigned Address Bar

    Opera web browser 65 was released a day ago with redesigned address bar, improved tracker blocker, and new bookmarks panel.

  • Opera 65 Launches with Much-Improved Tracker Blocker, Redesigned Address Bar

    Opera Software announced today the general availability of the Opera 65 web browser for desktop platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows, a release that brings a bunch of enhancements and new features.
    Based on Chromium 78, the Opera 65 web browser is here and it's better than ever, brining a much-improved tracker blocker that finally lets you see which trackers are tracking your digital footprint while you're surfing the Internet.

    Based on the EasyPrivacy Tracking Protection list, Opera's tracker blocker feature will now show you all the trackers following you and let you take action against them if you believe some aren't good for you.

    By default, the tracker blocker will automatically block known tracker scripts to speed up the loading of pages and keep your online activity private. In Opera 65, the built-in tracker blocker can be toggled on and off per site too.

Browse Faster With Brave! The First Stable Release is Here

Filed under
OSS
Web

Brave browser is an interesting take as a privacy-focused browser. Even though we already have plenty of options to consider for Linux (Chromium/Firefox, etc.), the Brave browser stands out for things like strictly blocking ads and trackers.

It was in the beta phase before the announcement. So, if you already had it installed, you may not find a significant change with this release.

If you are learning about this browser for the first time, I shall mention a few key highlights associated with this release.

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Also: Brave Launches Next-Generation Browser that Puts Users in Charge of Their Internet Experience with Unmatched Privacy and Rewards

Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Web Browsing – Week 4

Filed under
Linux
Web

This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers.

This week’s blog focuses on an absolutely essential desktop activity. Surfing the web. A web browser is the quintessential desktop application. Everyone needs one, and there is not a desktop Linux distribution around that does not make a web browser available.

For Linux, there’s a web browser for every need. There’s heavyweight browsers jammed with a large feature set with addons and extensions. Then there’s leaner web browsers which still offer an attractive graphical interface. And there’s lightweight browsers including console based web browsers too.

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Mozilla: GFX, JavaScript, DeepSpeech and RFC Process

  • Mozilla GFX: moz://gfx newsletter #49

    By way of introduction, I invite you to read Markus’ excellent post on this blog about CoreAnimation integration yielding substantial improvements in power usage if you haven’t already. Next steps in this OS compositor integration saga include taking advantage CoreAnimation with WebRender’s picture caching infrastructure (rendering tiles directly into CoreAnimation surfaces), as well as rendering using a similar mechanism on Windows via DirectComposition surfaces. Markus, Glenn and Sotaro are making good progress on all of these fronts.

  • JSConf JP 2019 - Tokyo, Japan

    I do not step often in JavaScript conference. The language is not my cup of tea. I go through minified, obfuscated broken code every day for webcompat work. JavaScript switched from language that "makes Web page inaccessible and non performant" to "waste of energy, cpu, and nightmare to debug". But this last week-end, I decided to participate to JSConf JP 2019 and I had a good time. I met cool and passionate people. I also felt old. You will understand later why.

  • DeepSpeech 0.6: Mozilla’s Speech-to-Text Engine Gets Fast, Lean, and Ubiquitous

    The Machine Learning team at Mozilla continues work on DeepSpeech, an automatic speech recognition (ASR) engine which aims to make speech recognition technology and trained models openly available to developers. DeepSpeech is a deep learning-based ASR engine with a simple API. We also provide pre-trained English models. Our latest release, version v0.6, offers the highest quality, most feature-packed model so far. In this overview, we’ll show how DeepSpeech can transform your applications by enabling client-side, low-latency, and privacy-preserving speech recognition capabilities.

  • AiC: Improving the pre-RFC process

    I want to write about an idea that Josh Triplett and I have been iterating on to revamp the lang team RFC process. I have written a draft of an RFC already, but this blog post aims to introduce the idea and some of the motivations. The key idea of the RFC is formalize the steps leading up to an RFC, as well as to capture the lang team operations around project groups. The hope is that, if this process works well, it can apply to teams beyond the lang team as well. [...] In general, you can think of the RFC process as a kind of “funnel” with a number of stages. We’ve traditionally thought of the process as beginning at the point where an RFC with a complete design is opened, but of course the design process really begins much earlier. Moreover, a single bit of design can often span multiple RFCs, at least for complex features – moreover, at least in our current process, we often have changes to the design that occur during the implementation stage as well. This can sometimes be difficult to keep up with, even for lang-team members. This post describes a revision to the process that aims to “intercept” proposals at an earlier stage. It also proposes to create “project groups” for design work and a dedicated repository that can house documents. For smaller designs, these groups and repositories might be small and simple. But for larger designs, they offer a space to include a lot more in the way of design notes and other documents. Assuming we adopt this process, one of the things I think we should be working on is developing “best practices” around these repositories. For example, I think that for every non-trivial design decision, we should be creating a summary document that describes the pros/cons and the eventual decision (along with, potentially, comments from people who disagreed with that decision outlining their reasoning).

Red Hat: Ceph Storage, RHEL, OpenShift and More

  • Comparing Red Hat Ceph Storage 3.3 BlueStore/Beast performance with Red Hat Ceph Storage 2.0 Filestore/Civetweb

    This post is the sequel to the object storage performance testing we did two years back based on Red Hat Ceph Storage 2.0 FileStore OSD backend and Civetweb RGW frontend. In this post, we will compare the performance of the latest available (at the time of writing) Ceph Storage i.e. version 3.3 (BlueStore OSD backend & Beast RGW frontend) with Ceph Storage 2.0 version (mid-2017) (FileStore OSD backend & Civetweb RGW frontend). We are conscious that results from both these performance studies are not scientifically comparable. However, we believe that comparing the two should provide you significant performance insights and enables you to make an informed decision when it comes to architecting your Ceph storage clusters. As expected, Ceph Storage 3.3 outperformed Ceph Storage 2.0 for all the workloads that we have tested. We believe that Ceph Storage 3.3 performance improvements are attributed to the combination of several things. The BlueStore OSD backend, the Beast web frontend for RGW, the use of Intel Optane SSDs for BlueStore WAL, block.db, and the latest generation Intel Cascade Lake processors.

  • Red Hat: Leading the enterprise Linux server market

    Red Hat has long believed that the operating system should do more than simply exist as part of a technology stack; it should be the catalyst for innovation. Underpinning almost every enterprise IT advancement, from cloud services and Kubernetes to containers and serverless, is the operating system; frequently, this operating system is Linux. Red Hat is proud of the leadership position we have long maintained in the enterprise operating system market, providing the Linux foundation to drive enterprise IT innovation forward. Today, we’re pleased to continue this leadership, with a new report from IDC that includes data showing that Red Hat as the leading choice for paid Linux in the worldwide server operating environment market as well as a powerful player in server operating systems at-large. According to the report, "Worldwide Server Operating Environments Market Shares, 2018: Overall Market Growth Accelerates:"

  • Microservices-Based Application Delivery with Citrix and Red Hat OpenShift

    Citrix is thrilled to have recently achieved Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification (Press Release). This new integration simplifies the deployment and control of the Citrix Application Delivery Controller (ADC) to a few clicks through an easy-to-use Operator. Before we dive into how you can use Citrix Operators to speed up implementation and control in OpenShift environments, let me cover the benefits of using the Citrix Cloud Native Stack and how it solves the challenges of integrating ingress in Kubernetes.

  • Wavefront Automates and Unifies Red Hat OpenShift Observability, Full Stack

    Red Hat OpenShift is an enterprise Kubernetes platform intended to make the process of developing, deploying and managing cloud-native applications easier, scalable and more flexible. Wavefront by VMware provides enterprise-grade observability and analytics for OpenShift environments across multiple clouds. Wavefront ingests, analyzes and visualizes OpenShift telemetry – metrics, histograms, traces, and span logs – across the full-stack, including distributed applications, containers, microservices, and cloud infrastructure. As a result of Wavefront’s collaboration with Red Hat, you can now get automated enterprise observability for OpenShift that’s full stack, through the Red Hat OpenShift Certified Wavefront Operator for OpenShift 4.1 and later. This Operator is available in Operator Hub embedded in OpenShift, a registry for finding Kubernetes Operator-backed services.

  • RHEL 8.1: A minor release with major new container capabilities

    The release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 is a minor update to RHEL, but a major step forward with containers. The container-tools:rhel8 application stream has been updated with new versions of Podman, Buildah, Skopeo, runc, container selinux policies and other libraries. The core set of base images in Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI) have been updated to 8.1, and UBI has expanded to include Go 1.11.5 as a developer use case. There are now 37 images released as part of UBI - they can all be seen on the UBI product page. Finally, we have released some really good updated documentation covering rootless, and other new features in the container-tools module. [...] When we launched Red Hat Universal Base Image at Red Hat Summit in 2019, we got a lot of great feedback. One of the first requests we received was for Golang. It is a popular programming language in the Cloud Native space, and we immediately recognized the value of adding it (also, I know what you’re thinking! Stay tuned and you might see OpenJDK images soon). With the update to RHEL 8.1, we have added the ubi8/go-toolset container to the UBI family. This gives users the ability to compile Go applications using a pre-packaged container with Go 1.11.5.

  • Red Hat’s CTO sees open-source as driver of choice and consistency in hybrid environments

    A case can certainly be made that Red Hat Inc. and the open-source movement have commoditized portions of the information technology infrastructure. A much wider range of tools and systems are now available to enterprises than ever before. This trend is just part of the open-source journey, one that Chris Wright (pictured), as the senior vice president and chief technology officer of Red Hat and a veteran Linux developer, has seen evolve over more than 20 years as a software engineer. “What we’re experiencing in the Linux space is, it’s driving a commoditization of infrastructure,” Wright said. “It’s switching away from the traditional vertically integrated stack of a [reduced instruction set computer]/Unix environment to providing choice. As infrastructure changes, it’s not just hardware, it’s virtualized data centers, it’s public clouds.”

  • Introduction to the Red Hat OpenShift deployment extension for Microsoft Azure DevOps

today's howtos

Polo – A Modern Light-weight File Manager for Linux

Polo is a modern, light-weight and advanced file manager for Linux, that comes with a number of advanced features that are not present in many commonly used file managers or file browsers on Linux distributions. It comes with multiple panes with multiple tabs in each pane, support for archive creation, extraction and browsing, support for cloud storage, support for running KVM images, support for modifying PDF documents and image files, support for writing ISO files to UDB drives and much more. Read more