ER

Palemoon instead of Firefox

Dear Reader,

What is your favorite web browser?

For as long as it has been around I have been using Firefox by the Mozilla foundation. And prior to Firefox I used its predecessor, Netscape Navigator.

Microsoft Internet Explorer was used only to install Firefox. Apple fanboys are using Safari quite often, but that’s their problem. The market leader today is Google Chrome. And it is just as bad as Microsoft Edge, which is what Microsoft calls its Internet Explorer now.

Why do people use Chrome? Why would you hand over all your personal browser data to an advertising company??? Beats me.

Occasionally I see friends using Chrome. And there, a lot of websites are so plastered with advertising, that they become almost unusable. It has gotten so bad, that Google is threatening to include an Ad Blocker in its web browser Chrome. Imagine, the advertising company number one complaining about too much advertising. Oh, the irony.

In any case, I never wanted advertising, And Firefox has had Ad Block extensions for many years. Those were among the first things to install.

Unfortunately, Google has been very successful in pushing people to use Chrome. Partially because of its smartphone operating system Android. There Chrome is the pre-installed browser and mobile web browsing counts for half the internet traffic by now. In response websites are following what Google demands And the Mozillla Foundation has been following Google for a while now in its quest to maintain market share. So the Firefox browser is becoming more and more of a Chrome lookalike.

Could Mozilla have known better? Yes. The most popular extension for Firefox is CTR, Classic Theme Restorer. It makes Firefox look and behave like, well, Firefox.

Now besides making Firefox as bad as Chrome, Mozilla is screwing with extensions. And CTR will not work after November 2017. What to do?

Luckily, Firefox is Free Open Source Software. And even better, knowledgeable people have been upset with Mozilla for a while. They took the source code and built what is called a fork.

Say hello to:

You can get it here Pale Moon

Pale Moon is based on the old Firefox. It looks and behaves like Firefox (should). And equally important, the must have extensions work.

Just in case you don’t have those yet, get uBlock Origin and uMatrix. uBlock is the best advertising blocker around, and uMatrix blocks trackers. Don’t go online without them!

Stay safe,

Engine Room

ER

domain extended

Dear Reader,

Glynsky’s last post here dates back to March 17, almost six months ago. Pete, the other naming patron, went missing in January 2014 already.

A big thanks to Philippa

who stepped up and submitted posts.

Yet, the original idea of Glynsky and Pete isn’t fulfilled. So, when a few days ago the domain administrator asked, whether the registration of glynskyandpete.com should be extended, I wondered: should it?

Well, at least for another year diablog will remain online. After almost seven years I’d be sad to see it gone.

The always impatient,

Engine Room

ER

Fake News – GOP style

Dear Reader,

Let me start by assuring you, I am not affiliated with any political party. And certainly not with the GOP.

Nevertheless, the “Poll” email from the GOP shown below arrived:

This is a screenshot, altered only by removing the email address.

You can learn a few things from this so called poll:

  1. The GOP fakes its polls. You can rate Trump’s performance as “Great”, “Good”, “OK” or “Other”. This isn’t polling. At best it is spin, at worst it is cheating.
  2. The GOP is just as bad as Trump. And they dare talking about fake news?
  3. The GOP must consider its “friends” as stupid and ignorant as Trump.

I have no idea, how the GOP got the email address. But I know for certain, it was not registered with the GOP. Thus, this email qualifies as junk or illegal.

The GOP must be very desperate, if it spams people with stupid junk like this.

And if I ever needed confirmation, that I do not want to be associated with the GOP in any way, I now have it.

What a pile of shmocks. The GOP has the president it deserves. What a sad story.

Engine Room

 

ER

Good news: control your data

Dear Reader,

Diablog is a bit silent right now. The head honcho is still very busy, and so am I. But the following good – or rather excellent – news need sharing.

Let me start with the tl;dr (too long, didn’t read):

The FreedomBox is ready for productive use.

In case you forgot, here now the longer part.

Since 2011 I am advocating for more privacy and for us to take back control over our data. And I am very much against censorship.

Yet, the last five to six years we have seen governments and companies going exactly the other way. The USA, UK, France, Switzerland and even Germany increased mass spying, instead of reducing it. F*c*book, Google, Microsoft and other internet biggies are taking and selling more of your data than ever.

Already in 2011 some very smart people wanted to reverse this mis-development. They started the FreedomBox. And diablog donated to make it happen. In 2012 I wrote this little post explaining it a bit.

Like many software projects it took a while. And since the hardware changed quite dramatically in the meantime, FreedomBox had to adjust. In 2014 I almost lost patience, as you can read here.

Now the developers – thank you debian – announced at debconf17, that the software bundle for a FreedomBox is what is called “stable”. It is ready for productive use.

During the next few weeks I will get one ready and keep you posted.

To quote Craig Ferguson, an American late night talker originally from the UK:

“It is a good day for America”.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

ER

Have another coffee

Dear Reader,

Finally, I was able to talk to the head honcho of diablog, Mr. Glynsky himself, Guess my surprise, when I found out, I am not on one of his many block lists. His army of beautiful, yet utterly useless, secretaries and assistants passed my call on to him. And what did he say?

“I’m in the middle of something, let me call you back.”

Yeah, we’ve all heard that before.

But, he did. He called, after many hours. And I am at liberty to reveal, the reason for his extended silence is … work.

Really, that’s what he claims. He is swamped or drowned in work. I hear you gasp. As in real work. Paid work. I cannot believe the gentleman has lowered his life style that much, but that’s what he claims. So, the gentleman is out to increase is already vast fortune.

While I am here, drinking coffee. My love for coffee is well documented here on diablog. And now there is an even better reason for coffee:

“Coffee drinking was associated with reduced risk for death from various causes.”

Yep, coffee drinkers live longer. There you have it. And this does not come just from me, this comes from a proper scientific study. The European Commission had it done, and the correlation between coffee consumption and a longer life is proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Now, it could be, that coffee drinkers are healthier people in general. I don’t care.

More tea for the English, please. Since you dislike coffee and the EU so much. I’ll continue to enjoy plenty of espressi, and watch them die younger. And here is the song to go with it:

Sting – Englishman in New York

Cheers,

Engine Room