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Posts tagged as “chrome”

The Firefox Is in the Hen House

Way back when, before Google got into the software biz with stuff like Android and Chrome, Firefox cut a deal with the ad-agency-masquerading-as-a-search-engine which probably made Mozilla’s browser the most well funded open source project outside of Linux. The deal — simply to make Google the default search engine in Firefox — was a no brainer, not only for Google and Mozilla but also for the browser’s user base, as most users would most likely choose Google anyway, since Google then, like today, was overwhelmingly the most used search engine in the solar system.

Firefox logoThe deal created a river of money flowing into Mozilla’s coffers — $138 million in 2011 alone — allowing rapid development of Firefox, proper maintenance of Thunderbird and Bugzilla, and the creation of Firefox OS. Although there was a bit of grumbling from some FOSSers who would’ve preferred a default search engine that was more respectful of user privacy rights, the deal was generally seen as a good thing for the free and open source community.

Happy Birthday Chrome, a New Elementary & More…

FOSS Week in Review

While Larry’s on the West Coast, where it’s never too hot nor too cold, on a brief educational sabbatical, burning the midnight oil while cramming to increase his Linux skills, I’m in North Carolina where it’s not often too cold — at least in my part of the state — but where in summer heat and humidity conspire to make life miserable for homo sapiens. Thankfully, September has arrived, so we’re hopeful that the temps and moisture will soon drop to tolerable levels.

elementary os logoMeanwhile, in the world of free tech…

Elementary OS steps up: Not quite four months after the release of version 0.3.0 Freya, the folks at elementary have announced the release of 0.3.1. Although this is officially a minor point release, it does come packed with changes that should make it a must-install for elementary users. Included in the update: Version 14.04.3 of Ubuntu’s Hardware Enablement stack, improvements to the interface in Files, and the latest and greatest version 0.5.11 of the Midori browser.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Saying Goodbye to Java the Hard Way

The Best of Ken Starks

We were fortunate enough to have a donated space in the expo hall at Texas Linux Fest this year. Carolyn Hulsey, who is one of our directors, manned the Reglue booth for us on Friday. She jokingly asked if I wanted her to be our “booth babe” this year. She was, indeed, all of that.

What was truly humbling was the number of people who recognized us without introduction. When someone approached, I stood and extended my hand in greeting. More often than I would have thought, the person shook my hand and told me, “I know who you are.”

free softwareWow…just wow.

It was one of these people who later pursued a three day email discussion with me on free-as-in-beer software. And yeah…we all know the benefits. But what of the negatives?

His take on Linux distributions?

“Anyone paying for a Linux distribution is putting their money down the drain. What they should be doing is putting that money into the hands of a free distro developer so (s)he can make their distribution better.”

Ken StarksKen Starks

Ken Starks is the founder of the Helios Project and Reglue, which for 20 years provided refurbished older computers running Linux to disadvantaged school kids, as well as providing digital help for senior citizens, in the Austin, Texas area. He was a columnist for FOSS Force from 2013-2016, and remains part of our family. Follow him on Twitter: @Reglue

Netflix, Chrome, DRM & Other Nasties

Monday’s article on easy Netflix coming at last to Linux garnered a few polite responses, taking me to task for my enthusiasm for a “non-free” solution. The problems are that Netflix uses DRM and that currently its use on GNU/Linux requires the use of the proprietary Chrome browser. One commenter even questioned FOSS Force’s commitment to software freedom with the remark: “Your logo “Keeping Tech Free” I take it that means free beer and not freedom.”

Netflix logoNope. I’m an advocate of free “as in speech” software — which includes the freedom to choose. If there’s a FOSS solution for something I need or want to do, I’ll take that every time, and encourage my friends to do so as well. However, if there’s something I need or want to do with no FOSS solution available, I might use a proprietary solution, depending on the depth of my need or want and on how draconian the terms of the proprietary EULA.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Google, Browsers & DRM

A recent brouhaha concerning Google comes from an item that made the rounds in the last week or so regarding older browsers and Google search. It seems that some users of older browsers have been receiving an outdated version of Google’s homepage when attempting to make a search. Evidently, Google searches made using these browsers returned results just fine, using Google’s current results page, but users needed to return to the search engine’s homepage to conduct another search. The browsers affected are primarily older versions of Opera and Safari.

This led to a discussion on the Google Product Forums, which prompted a reply from a Google employee using the name nealem:

“I want to assure you this isn’t a bug, it’s working as intended.

“We’re continually making improvements to Search, so we can only provide limited support for some outdated browsers. We encourage everyone to make the free upgrade to modern browsers — they’re more secure and provide a better web experience overall.”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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