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Posts tagged as “chrome”

Chrome Eavesdropping, Balkanized Internet & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Sixteen-year-old wrote the code for Target breach

TargetMiamiThe press calls him a “nearly seventeen-year-old” and he’s reported to be one of the people behind the malware used to compromise credit card data at Target and other locations. By our way of counting, “nearly seventeen” means he is sixteen or, like the show tune says, “sixteen going on seventeen.” He lives in Russia and is said to be the author of the BlackPOS malware that was used against Target and might have been used against Neiman Marcus.

This info comes from Los Angeles based cyber-intelligence firm IntelCrawler, which says it’s also traced six additional breaches to BlackPOS. As noted on MarketWatch, despite authoring the malware, the kid is just a small fry in this affair.

Chrome Clamps Down, Bitcoin Vulnerability & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Swiss cloud with, presumably, no holes

Back when the Edward Snowden brouhaha first began, we said that this was going to have serious repercussions on the tech sector here in the United States, especially after it became evident that Microsoft was actively working with the spooks by allegedly designing back doors into their operating system and keeping federal intelligence agents informed about unpatched security holes that could be used against foreign governments and “terrorist,” which now days seems to be everyone who doesn’t work for the NSA, FBI or CIA.

Swisscom logoSwisscom logoBrazil is already spending big bucks in an effort to make sure that no Internet cable entering their country goes anywhere near the US of A and is working to pass laws to make sure all Brazilian businesses use only servers located in-country. Similar efforts are underway in Europe, most notably in France and Germany.

Now the frugal Swiss are jumping on board, and they rightfully intend to profit from our stupidity by taking advantage of their strong privacy laws.

Why Not ‘Click to Play’ Flash?

Last week we learned that in the near future, browser plugins won’t automatically work out of the box in Chrome and Firefox. Instead of running automatically whenever a website calls for a plugin function, they’ll be “click to play,” meaning the user will have to give permission for the plugin to run with each instance. According to Google and Mozilla, this new rule will apply to each and every browser plugin in existence on the entire planet, save one. Flash will still run automatically, requiring no prompt from the user. With Flash, it’ll be business as usual.

This has the look and smell of a business play all the way through, although that might not be immediately evident when reading what ad giant Google and open source Mozilla have to say. At first glance, their reasoning makes sense. Flash is just too darn ubiquitous. It’s everywhere; buried in everything. Including Flash in “click to play” would put too much of a burden on the user.

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

The Death of the Browser Plugin is a Good Thing

Oddly, the death of the browser plugin started with Microsoft. Now, the other two major players in the browser game seem to be in the process of saying goodbye as well, although it’ll be a long goodbye evidently.

Everybody’s reporting on this. Earlier this week we heard that Google is in the process of doing away with the NPAPI architecture, a Netscape relic. They’re not throwing it out the window just yet; they’re just making it a damn nuisance to use. Brad Chacos at PCWorld put it this way:

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

Freeware: Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Just because software is free doesn’t mean it’s free software.

This may confuse those who only know the Windows world, where the software animal known as “freeware” is readily available but truly free software is a bit more scarce. They may be excused for thinking, when we Linux users talk about “free software,” that they use free software too. After all, doesn’t a free antivirus program qualify as free software? Or what about that gee-whiz free password manager that’ll generate and store five or six passwords–more if the “pro” version is purchased?

Linux users will also be excused for rolling their eyes before answering, “Nope. Neither of those examples is what we mean by ‘free software.'”

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

Linux Won the Desktop Wars a Long Time Ago


Linux has won the desktop wars and Tux now represents the dominant desktop operating system. We’ve been in this position for a while now. The reason many of us haven’t recognized it is because this win doesn’t look anything like we thought it would. When wishes come true, they’re rarely what we envisioned.

To make my point, I’ll take us back to 2006.

Just like now, in 2006 the FOSS press was busy at work asking, “Will this be the year for Linux on the desktop?” Let’s start by looking at what we meant by “desktop” in those days, because what we really meant was the personal computer.

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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