He/him. Chinese born, Canadian citizen. University student studying environmental science, hobbyist programmer. Marxist/socialist/leftist.

  • 555 Posts
Joined 2Y ago
Cake day: Oct 02, 2019


The Chrome extension store is riddled with malware and general scam extensions. Part of the reason is Chrome’s massive market share making it the most enticing target for browser extension malware authors. That said, Google absolutely has the man power and technical ability to combat it even despite the amount of activity the Chrome Web Store gets, but they barely bother to moderate their store at all.

https://betanews.com/2014/01/23/chrome-has-a-malware-problem-and-google-needs-to-fix-it/ - this article is from 2014 and AFAIK it has not gotten much better. The article also mentions how Firefox is somewhat better in terms of moderating extensions. Full disclosure, I don’t know if Firefox has slackened their moderation policies in recent years, but I have not seen any reports directly stating that they have. Here’s are Firefox’s stated moderation policies, at least.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/01/seeking-higher-ground-after-chrome-extension-adwaremalware-problems/ - also from 2014, also mentions Firefox

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/fake-chrome-extensions-malware - from 2019

I’m surprised more people aren’t complaining about it.

Probably because they’re rate limited /s

I mean, a VPN’s most basic job is to hide your IP address, some do it better than others in practice though.

Many commercial VPNs do also have an ad blocking system by connecting to their DNS server which just sinkholes known ad and tracking domains, essentially it’s PiHole but provided by the VPN.

The important part of the article:

When software is not in the repo’s, You will have to use other options. Snap, Flatpak, and appimages are all good. However, when using Debian/Ubuntu based distros there is a option that in my opinion is better than all of these. Deb files. Deb files are files that allow you to install the package on your system using a file. Most applications will have their .deb file online. However, they can be difficult to install. I am going to go over the best way to use .deb files to install software on your system.


Using apt is my preferred way of installing .deb files. It is not graphical, but is is very easy and means that you not only don’t have to install anything, but you don’t have to fix anything after the installation either. To install using apt, you will have to use the terminal to cd into the directory where the .deb file is. Then type this in the terminal.

sudo apt install ./NameOfFile.deb

A lot of the more “advanced” web apps don’t “support” Firefox (though Firefox can usually run them with a user agent spoof). The browser version of Skype for example.

If you want to try out this option without a Linux phone, Anbox is available for Linux desktops. There is also an OS called Android x86 which can be run in a virtual machine, and it gives you, well, a custom Android OS that is compatible with desktop x86 processors. Your mileage with both may vary though, I’ve experienced stability and performance issues, and some apps might not work at all.

Adding to this: If you’re comfortable with flashing custom ROMs or are willing to learn (it’s not actually that hard): get a used phone that is able to run LineageOS (typically you’re looking at an older Android phone that was the flagship of a major vendor a few years ago, they should give you pretty good bang for the buck) or a similar AOSP-based ROM, make sure you completely wipe the memory, install said OS on it, and then install whatever invasive apps on it. LineageOS has something called Trust which can help a little with privacy, and you also ditch most OEM specific trackers with an AOSP ROM. Turn the phone off when not in use.


We (as in the FLOSS community) did this with LibreOffice and MariaDB, we can do it again!

A big breakthrough is major OEMs, namely Dell and Lenovo, starting to ship computers with Linux, generally with models aimed at the professional/enterprise market. Maybe things are finally looking up for the pipe dream of desktop Linux (excluding non-FLOSS ones like Chrome OS) rivalling the likes of Windows and Mac OS!

Yeah. It aggregates articles from various media outlets on your homepage. You get the occasional serious one that is a good read, but a lot of the time they’re either fluff pieces or clearly intended to push an American narrative.

Even fairly basic automated test coverage would almost certainly have caught it. I feel like whether the system starts up properly and enters the main UI (which this update failed to) should be the first thing you test for.

If the reason a company writes buggy software is that they’re big, then they absolutely don’t deserve to be big.

Firefox’s only hope is for Linux desktops and phones to gain more market share, where Firefox is most commonly the default browser. However, I don’t see Linux (exclusing Android because it’s not relevant in this discussion) becoming a serious competitor in the consumer tech world, because most normal users don’t care about things like privacy, security, or FLOSS, and Linux does not have the R&D or marketing money to compete with proprietary operating systems in the mainstream consumer world. For servers, embedded, and the like, it’s obviously different, but those things are hidden from the average user, and the average user don’t really care to know how those things work anyway.

Even among programmers/developers, more people seem (from my admittedly limited observation, anyway) to use Mac than Linux. The lecture halls in my CS classes are a sea of Macs, some Windows laptops (mostly Surfaces), and like five people using Linux. Even the profs use Mac.

Also, this feels too much like crocodile tears. As in they’re only apologizing as damage control because people were choosing to fork the project or not use it entirely, not because they actually feel bad.

I don’t see China becoming a tech monopoly any time soon. Many countries are stepping up their own tech game lately (at least domestically) due in great part to distrust in the US.

Also, Windows S doesn’t allow Firefox. Edge (chromium) only, Microsoft will tell you that it’s for “security” reasons since it’s an “unverified browser engine”, but we all know what the real reason is. Same with Apple and their Webkit engine.