Tag Archives: Free and Open Source Software

Fedora removes Creative Commons CC0-licensed software; leaves Fraunhofer AAC. Bonus: Use Opus instead of AAC.

Fedora is removing all software under the Creative Commons CC0 license.

The Register: Fedora sours on Creative Commons ‘No Rights Reserved’ license

Web / Gemini (NewsWaffle) / “WebWaffle”

This is said to be because the license directly threatens patent hostility against the users when the author chooses it. Open threats are obviously not okay, and should not be tolerated.

We should come down on them fast and hard by giving them the boot.

However, Fedora is not going to remove the Fraunhofer AAC codec (the one that Android uses, FDK-AAC), even though the license states the following.

3. NO PATENT LICENSE

NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED LICENSES TO ANY PATENT CLAIMS, including without limitation the patents of Fraunhofer, ARE GRANTED BY THIS SOFTWARE LICENSE. Fraunhofer provides no warranty of patent non-infringement with respect to this software.

You may use this FDK AAC Codec software or modifications thereto only for purposes that are authorized by appropriate patent licenses.

Software License for The Fraunhofer FDK AAC Codec Library for Android

Fraunhofer is a member of the MPEG-LA patent troll, and other patent trolls. It is a patent troll.

They are giving you software and threatening to see you in court if you use it without paying a ransom to someone. This is blackmail.

You may remember Fraunhofer from the late 90s and early 2000s threat letters sent out around the time that Napster made MP3 popular, which said that they intended to collect royalties from or sue people for using MP3 or offering people encoders (such as LAME) or decoders which could play the files back.

They specifically demanded “$25,000 per year” in one case, from one open source MP3 encoder project called 8hz MP3, knowing it would ruin them, and that they would decide to shut down the project instead.

(Although the article plays up MP3 “Pro” and Microsoft WMA, nobody took them seriously. The only serious usage WMA ever got was some music “stores” that failed and destroyed your entire library with the Digital Restrictions Malware when they did. Walmart even had one!)

This resulted in a number of responses.

Many people got LAME somewhere anyway, and LAME never distributed binary copies, and so Fraunhofer never threatened them.

They compiled it, made, and listened to MP3 anyway.

(Truth be told, they were already paying for it somewhere since most devices and computers had MP3 codecs in them.)

It also spawned the Ogg Vorbis project.

(MP3 patents are expired as of 2017, and it’s very widely used even now, but Fraunhofer pressured the media to lie and suggest you couldn’t use it anymore due to being in the public domain. The media in the US is very corrupt and usually spins losses for corporations as a negative thing, even when they benefit the public. Such as with generic prescription drugs.)

The reason nobody really needs to mess with AAC too much these days is it’s basically deprecated, and Opus is a new IETF standard that’s supported on GNU/Linux, every Android device, and even Windows.

The version of the AAC encoder included in Fedora is crippled just because of the patents that the license threatens you with. Only the Low Complexity profile is enabled by default.

They’ve patched out the High Efficiency AAC profiles, which are useful at really low bitrates.

By the way Opus works anyway, it’s very comparable to HE-AAC at the standard bitrate you get for stereo music (~96kbps) if you don’t specify any encoding parameters. I normally use it at “128 kbps” (it’s a VBR codec by default, so it adjusts as it sees fit, as it goes along) and it always sounds nice.

I don’t know why Fedora even bothers shipping FDK-AAC. It’s not set up to be straightforward to use. It’s not like there are any programs that I’m aware of that will use it and batch trans-code FLACs or something and then copy the tags over when they’re done. The program is pretty awful, really.

My point is really that if we’re going to throw out software that explicitly threatens the user in the license, (which is not how to win friends and influence people in the FOSS community) that’s not necessarily a bad idea, but let’s get rid of everything that does that if we’re going in that direction anyway.

If you need an AAC encoder, FFmpeg has the native one. It’s not that bad, it’s easy to use. People should contribute to that one.

The FFmpeg developers don’t directly threaten their users in the license.

Ideally, we should refuse to use the “standards” of a patent troll, so when using AAC, ask yourself, “Is there a reason for doing this, or am I just blindly using patent troll standards when something better would work?”.

Quite often, Opus will do the job, and will give you your Freedom instead of sliming you.

“Advanced” Audio Coding isn’t really very advanced. It’s a dinosaur in the tech industry. It’s not much newer than MP3.

It was finalized as a standard in 1997, right before the Lewinsky Scandal really got going, when one of the hottest shows on TV was Star Trek: Voyager, and you were in your living room watching it on a CRT television, and dialing into your ISP over the phone line.

If you use it, you will not only prop up patent trolls who specialize in adding “Yeah, we do that too!” profiles that keep it patented for 20 more years, and you will miss out on the innovations that the Opus audio codec has made using over two decades of additional research and development.

So before you do anything, I want you to ask yourselves, “Is this good for the community?”.

Am I right?

The SeaMonkey Internet Suite is still developed. Is it right for you?

The SeaMonkey Web Browser and Internet Suite (Web page editor, Mail and News client, and ChatZilla for IRC) is still producing releases.

I installed version 2.53.13 as packaged in Fedora GNU/Linux 36.

The program is based on a forked version of the Gecko Web engine that Firefox uses.

Ironically, it was Firefox that was forked from SeaMonkey.

It was also SeaMonkey that caused AOL’s iteration of Netscape Corporation to go ahead and collapse.

(It was not on solid footing following Microsoft’s attack on the original company, which is what made AOL decide to buy it out as a distressed asset.)

This is because many people, myself included, saw no point at all in using Netscape’s version of “Mozilla Suite” (SeaMonkey’s original name) and started following Mozilla Suite instead, because the browser was open source, highly Web Standards compliant, and packed full of features.

AOL turned these releases into “Netscape 6/7” by adding proprietary software (useless) and a bunch of garbage bookmarks to shopping sites, and having their setup program put icons for “Free AOL Trial” on your desktop.

(Which seemed to be their only concrete business plan for anything they took over, including another of my favorite programs, Winamp.)

The “done thing” by people like me was to just grab a new nightly build and install it every once in a while manually to get at the latest new features in “Mozilla” as the Suite was commonly referred to, happily ignoring the “This is just for testing. End users should go to Netscape.” warning.

We knew that “Mozilla” was a fully functional browser sans AOL crap, so why use something from AOL?

Meanwhile, AOL made a series of unforced errors, including pressuring Mozilla to declare something “stable” and then finally giving up and basing Netscape “6” on something that was clearly not ready for average users and throwing a multi-million dollar advertising budget behind it. This, only to get booed in the tech media as a “bloated program that crashes all the time”.

Microsoft Windows, especially in the 1990s, was really really ugly to look at. Honestly, it’s the ugliest operating system of its time in any decade, but that’s an aside.

One of the things AOL pressured Mozilla to do was create a “theming engine” that had performance problems on everything it ran on, especially the “Modern” theme (which Netscape made their default), and especially on Windows, where the majority of reviewers would be evaluating it.

(Mozilla with the default theme usually ran fine on my old AMD K6/2 system, so I mean…..they clearly weren’t the only problem here.)

By the time Microsoft had a theming engine in Windows XP, running Netscape 6/7 on it looked even worse, because they looked like two clown cars with a different paint job crashed into each other.

After AOL divested itself of Mozilla, Blake Ross (who left to work at Facebook) and David Hyatt (who left for Apple, to work on Safari) spun off the far less capable Firefox browser, whose selling point was ease-of-use for people who couldn’t figure out how to use an Internet Suite.

They also claimed Firefox was “less bloated”, however most of the bloat was in the engine and loaded with Firefox anyway, so it did not consume significantly fewer resources than the Suite. In fact, if you used ThunderBird as a separate program, you’d load everything twice instead of opening Mail and News and observing a ~1% increase of RAM consumption.

Over the years, since the fork, Firefox has continued to bloat up to the point where people used to complain that the entire program was using 1 GB of RAM, and now it often uses almost that much per tab. So, we should begin by dispelling this revisionist history that led to the forking of Firefox.

At the time, I was one of the people who kept on using the Suite and pooh-poohed Firefox for being “dumbed down”, but clearly the Suite’s days were numbered. And even I began using Firefox as fewer people used or developed for the Suite anymore, and you could add most of the missing features back to Firefox with extensions.

SeaMonkey 2.53.13 (released July 11th, 2022) uses Gecko 60.8 “with backports and fixes” and advertises itself as Firefox 78.

For the most part, I was able to browse the Web just fine in SeaMonkey.

However, it had problems dealing with certain Web sites, including the Element chat software (incorrect rendering) and the WordPress Editor (malformed rendering, but usable).

I also had a problem when I went to log in to Facebook, which I barely use except to occasionally message distant relations about something.

(I don’t even use my real name and always load it in a private window, but relatives know it’s me.) Facebook text entry boxes do not function, which is also a problem I had near the end with Firefox 78 ESR.

I also had problems with some video sites not playing videos.

I ended up having to drop to about:config and set site-specific user-agent overrides sometimes, identifying it as mobile Safari for some video sites, or desktop Safari for some others.

Why Safari? Well, it’s pretty much the least Web Standards compliant browser, but it has too many users for Web developers to ignore completely.

Since Apple has so much of the Web platform missing from Safari, that leads to a situation where developers have to make changes and not use those features to get a site to work, which means your chances of having it work (or at least work better) in an old version of Gecko should improve.

In most cases, lying to a particular domain to get the Mobile Safari version at least got the site to work, even if it looked odd on my laptop computer.

This is exactly the same approach that Cameron Kaiser used in Clasilla, a long-lived fork of the Mozilla Application Suite 1.3.1 for old version of Mac OS, which couldn’t run anything else.

Mobile Web sites assume that your computer has less resources, a partially functional Web browser like Safari, and tend to foist less code for the browser to figure out what to do with.

While the current state of the Web on SeaMonkey is almost certainly nowhere near as bad as a fork of a browser from 2003 (Clasilla) that was maintained mostly by one guy, a browser core rooted in 2018, even with modifications, is going to start having some trouble in 2022.

As GNOME Web, which is actually based on Webkit (like Safari, although with improvements) found out, even if you use the same rendering engine, lying globally and identifying as Safari turns out to be radically destructive. Sites start trying to send you files meant for Mac OS, for example. Or, with the mobile version, pressuring you to use an Apple store, which doesn’t exist on a real computer.

Still, for a Web engine from 2018 (plus some enhancements), I was still somewhat surprised at how quickly things have managed to degrade.

In some cases, such as YouTube or the News Web sites, which are far too bloated anyway, I was able to bypass them using an instance of Invidious (for YouTube), or double converting news Web sites to Gemtext (meant for Gemini browsers), then back to a simplified version of HTML that SeaMonkey fared better with. I bookmarked the Gemini NewsWaffle through a proxy that sends it back to Web format, and SeaMonkey now has a fast and efficient way to get at the news without bloated JavaScripts, crap formatting, in-page pop-ups, and paywalls.

You can try out the NewsWaffle without a Gemini browser (such as LaGrange) by clicking this link.

Most news sites that are unbearable on a modern PC could be loaded this way even on a computer from the 90s with a dial-up modem.

(I tested it out, including the “enter any news site” feature, and found it to work about as I expected.)

Certainly nothing important must have been added to the Web platform in the last few years that could account for all of these problems. Sites are just getting morbidly obese to the point where you have to find some way of “tricking” them. Even in browsers like Firefox that can handle them better, they’re still far too annoying.

All of those sites and apps that are now giving SeaMonkey so many problems existed in 2018 and all of them did pretty much what they do now without trouble. That proves that this is all gratuitous bloat.

I found the process of installing Extensions (Add-Ons) to be somewhat annoying and indirect in SeaMonkey.

For starters, I absolutely need an ad blocker. The Web is totally unusable without one, unless you use Lynx, which can’t load ads in the first place. (No images, no scripts.)

When I went to SeaMonkey’s Add-Ons Manager and tried to look for ublock-origin, nothing showed up. Same when I went looking for anything to block ads with. Okay, that’s irritating.

Not to be discouraged, however, I remembered something about a “legacy” version which Raymond Hill maintained for Pale Moon, which might work in SeaMonkey. Sure enough, it still exists and still works. Problem solved.

(I found this page and installed the “Firefox Legacy” version, and then set up my usual block lists.)

For e-mail, the SeaMonkey documentation says it shares code with Mozilla Thunderbird’s back-end.

It seems to do this while preserving the classic Mail and News GUI layout and features. These will be immediately recognizable to people who were around in the Netscape Communicator days.

The problem is, while you will get it working eventually, there’s too much trial and error, especially if you want to set up Microsoft or Google IMAP account. Both of them make it incredibly difficult, and for my Outlook Mail, for example, I did not get the settings correct on my first try.

Once I found the IMAP and SMTP servers, and the non-standard ports that Microsoft and Google use, and the security protocols to use, I also had to create an App Passwords, which both also made hard to find. Google is actually worse than Microsoft, in that you additionally have to find a setting hidden in your GMail account to enable IMAP, or else the server will refuse to deliver mail.

When I tried to simply use OAuth with Microsoft, it told me that I couldn’t use it with a personal account and they only let you use it with a work or student account. However, GNOME Online Accounts and Thunderbird get to use OAuth. Do they have some sort of Microsoft deal?

I set up GMail to. Google is apparently threatening to cut off anything that doesn’t support XOAuth2 in the near future. So far, I have K9 Mail on my phone set up to check GMail and my Outlook to avoid their official application.

(I wonder how long that will keep working. Bark Bark.)

Other than Microsoft and Google deliberately making their IMAP settings hard to get at and use to drive people onto their terrible 500 MB per tab WebMail with built-in spam, which is not SeaMonkey’s fault, I found the Mail and News client to be quite enjoyable to use, once properly set up. I don’t understand why people with many e-mail accounts don’t insist on a Mail client running on their local machine. It’s gotten to the point that even many GNU/Linux distributions don’t offer a Mail client because people have been trained to roll over, fetch, and play dead by megacorporations with “free” WebMail.

The good usability of SeaMonkey’s Mail and News client comes from the fact that it hasn’t really changed much at all since AOL/Netscape paid to have Netscape Mail re-written as part of the Suite. I knew of people continuing to use Netscape 4 in a limited capacity into the mid and late 2000s just because it could open Netscape Mail, and that still worked.

AOL was the butt of a lot of jokes, but they always did e-mail really well, and you even still see a few @aol addresses out there in use today.

Due to the “If it’s not broken, don’t ‘fix’ it.” mentality, Mail and News works! This was always the strongest part of Mozilla/Netscape/SeaMonkey line in my opinion.

To give an example of how badly “WebMail” has devolved under Microsoft, one of my attorneys PAYS them for Microsoft “365”. It crashes all the time, it loses attachments. It’s a complete disaster. I had to resort to uploading sensitive documents onto a Google Drive and then deleting them as soon as she told me she had it(!) to get around Microsoft’s shit that people actually pay for!

SeaMonkey allows the user, of course, to customize their interface.

The GUI works much like Netscape Communicator did by default, because that’s what it was modeled on, but the user can customize it, even to resemble Firefox.

Unfortunately, in all of these years, nobody has added per-tab close buttons as an option. So, you need to either right-click and close the tabs, or middle click on them. Which is a little annoying. First there was an extension called SeaTab to add close buttons, then it was abandoned, then forked into SeaTab-X, and then SeaTab-X-2.

What’s frustrating is that this extension was listed as incompatible with my version of SeaMonkey, but then I told it to install anyway, and it works as it’s supposed to.

As SeaMonkey is an Internet Suite and designed for power users, expect a lot of advanced preferences.

If you don’t like them, then this program is probably not for you.

One thing that greatly annoys me about GNU/Linux is that the traditional behavior of pressing the middle mouse button is to paste whatever is in the clipboard into the application. I have never been able to get used to this. You can change that behavior in “GNOME Tweaks”, which is good, because middle mouse paste is bizarre for a modern GUI. Actually, any GUI in my opinion. Maybe it’s because I started out as a DOS/Windows users years ago?

SeaMonkey/Gecko, however, ignore your system-wide preference. To stop that, and to change it so the middle mouse button “auto-scrolls” when you press it, you have to drop to about:config and look for “general.autoscroll” and double-click it to “true” and “middlemouse.paste” and double-click it to false.

To be fair, Chromium browsers (Chrome, etc.) don’t allow for auto-scrolling in GNU/Linux, it seems. I don’t use them much. I have ungoogled-chromium for emergencies when a site is being difficult, but I don’t open it much.

SeaMonkey has some potential security pitfalls even if they are properly backporting fixes for security issues.

For example, I noticed that TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are still allowed in SeaMonkey, even though you’re unlikely to run into a site that uses it and other browsers disabled them years ago.

If you leave them enabled, you could be the victim of a protocol downgrade attack if an attacker finds a vulnerability in them and uses it to intercept your communications with the “secure” Web site you are visiting.

This could allow them to record everything you’re doing, or to insert tampered pages or files into your connection.

ChatZilla has returned! With IRCv3 features!

The only other Web browser I’ve known about that had a built-in IRC client was Opera, before the Chromium version (which was widely panned by Classic Opera users).

With many younger people moving to Matrix or Discord, they may have never even heard of Internet Relay Chat. IRC still exists, and some networks are very popular.

Matrix.org has “bridged” some of these IRC servers in to pressure people to use Matrix.org. The unfortunate thing about “centralizing” something like this is you get to deal with arbitrary moderators.

Matrix.org banned me four times in the middle of the night, and with no explanation. They didn’t tell me why. It didn’t even say I was banned or who did it. Just BAM and my account “didn’t exist” on the server anymore. I’ve watched their “moderators” at work. They designed the protocol to just say “people log out” and “won’t be active anymore” when it happens. No hint that they were kicked, banned, anything. Being black-bagged anonymously is baked into the software.

Being taken out back and knifed caused a major upheaval for me. While I eventually created an account they haven’t banned, yet, I don’t trust Matrix.org to handle my chats anymore.

Especially not bridging them into IRC servers that also have their own moderation and policies. I only use IRC clients to handle IRC now so there is no middleman that can censor me and cause me to lose everything, even on other networks.

Many people are fleeing Matrix.org and causing the protocol to fragment, as servers that supposedly “decentralize and federate” mutually ban each other and the whole thing falls apart into an incoherent mess where you need to run multiple tabs of Element, each one consuming hundreds and hundreds of MB of RAM, to deal with the servers warring against each other. It’s completely stupid. Someone told me that Matrix.org is just another way to say “Reddit”, but it’s much worse.

IRC is a “social network” by definition, but the benefit of it being more “mature” is that the leftist hate groups don’t tend to hang out there and abuse their power to run people off the network. I mean, Libera Chat might, but the older established networks don’t. It also doesn’t demand gobs of system resources and use it to drive advertising and clickbait, like Facebook or Twitter, which are a waste of time.

Hopefully, some people that fell for the “Social Network” trap and get tired of the absolute parasitism that is unfolding there will re-discover IRC and allow the Reddits, the Matrix.orgs, the Discords, Facebooks, and Twitters to rot in Hell.

~20 years ago, I used ChatZilla to save system resources. Computers didn’t have much memory and ChatZilla was a way to free some up since you already had a Web browser running anyway. Today, resources don’t matter as much, but the relative simplicity is nice. For outright minimalism, you’d probably use ircii or something. Right now I have ChatZilla set up to do all of the things I have HexChat configured for. Maybe using ChatZilla makes me a hipster or something. I don’t know.

Probably so would using SeaMonkey, or not subscribing to a million streaming sites so I can play song files that I already possess.

Another positive thing to note about SeaMonkey is they don’t seem to even offer the user DRM (Widevine).

This is a plus. I hate the entire idea of Web DRM on so many levels. It’s dangerous (software that can be used by malware), it restricts what I can do with my own computer, and it’s proprietary. It was specified and dictated by entities that are hell bent on ruining the Interoperability of the Web.

When Tim Berners-Lee envisaged the Web, he specified document formats for the easy exchange of information. Formats that nearly anyone could learn to write and use. DRM is one prong of an attack on the Web, designed to turn it into some idiotic “content delivery pipe” for outfits like Disney and the other streaming disservices.

Since they have specified it, the only thing that seems to stop smaller video sites from deploying it is, ironically, that Apple specifies competing DRM for Safari.

For many years, YouTube has been resorting to nastier and nastier tricks to prevent people from getting at the videos and saving a copy. Microsoft has collaborated to knock projects like YouTube-DL off of “GitHub”.

I’m surprised YouTube hasn’t just pulled the trigger and gone DRM-only. Who would be left to fight them? Mozilla capitulated anyway with nothing but a “sorry/not sorry” letter about it.

The fact that SeaMonkey doesn’t support Widevine may be due to SeaMonkey being a separate organization from Mozilla (registered in Germany, since 2012) and being unable to obtain a license to Widevine, but I don’t care why it’s gone, I’m just glad that it is gone.

It’s always such a nuisance to have to turn off DRM and hide the prompts in Firefox browsers. It is actually something that requires dropping to about:config, because Mozilla doesn’t respect your choice to leave it off and stop asking.

While SeaMonkey is a browser that has quirks, doesn’t handle some “Web apps” particularly well, and needs some fine tuning to customize it for your use, I can’t say that I hate it.

As weird as it may sound, given some of the troubles I found with it, I found it overall surprisingly pleasant to browse in, most of the time.

For stubborn Web sites, GNOME has a browser called GNOME Web that is roughly comparable to Safari. So anyone with GNOME has a GAFAM-compatible browser engine anyway, all they have to do is install the user-interface shell.

Theoretically, SeaMonkey could just jump to a more recent release of Gecko and it would solve almost all of these rendering problems. I spoke with one of the developers on IRC, who told me that the reason they use “Gecko 60.8 plus backports” for now is because Mozilla keeps removing APIs that SeaMonkey developers don’t want to lose access to.

In fact, I already knew that Mozilla quit viewing Gecko as anything other than a Firefox component many years ago, and SeaMonkey is one of the few surviving independent organizations that is trying to make something useful out of it, and that’s commendable.

Mozilla has made numerous “breaking” changes to Gecko over the years, that many of their users disagree with. The end result has been Firefox turning into a badly performing clone of Google Chrome instead of having the vibrant third-party application ecosystem that it once did, which is Mozilla’s loss. More applications needing Gecko, using Gecko, would make Gecko more important. Instead, they have chosen to isolate themselves and die in silence. Bleeding users. Negotiating for Google stipends that get smaller and smaller. Pissing off users with advertising and spam every time Firefox opens.

While Firefox still has some clout and there was sort of a recovery in the number of browser extensions after “quantum” brought in Chrome-style and did away with XUL-based extensions, they aren’t as high quality as they used to be.

One of the reasons I used to recommend Firefox or Mozilla Suite to anyone who would listen to me is that the extensions were nothing short of revolutionary. If the browser or Suite could run on a platform, an extension could too. If the browser could do something, an extension could do it too. This opened up a world of opportunity that Mozilla threw in the trash by adopting Google Chrome’s vastly inferior extension model.

Gone are the days where Mozilla’s platform was an “operating system that runs on an operating system”, where entire applications could be developed and you could point people at them as long as they had a computer because the browser engine abstracted away differences between operating systems.

Some of the other browser vendors have tried to hash out a “public specification” of what a Google Chrome extension is, and Mozilla’s term for them is a “WebExtension”, but like Sun Microsystem’s effort to “standardize” Win32 (the Windows programming interface) in the 1990s, Google (as Microsoft) has absolutely no reason to want to help out and every reason to want to kill the standardization effort.

They dictate what a browser extension is, and everyone else just has to copy it and tell developers that this is what we have now. Nobody is adding APIs and removing limitations. They just copy Chrome.

One reason this system is so terrible is that Google is an advertising company. They’ve never allowed ad blockers in Chrome in Android, and they’ve released an update to “Manifest” (the specification for Chrome extensions) that will neuter ad blockers in much the same way that Safari’s Content Blocking scheme did.

Many of the people who made the best ad blockers for Safari gave up, quit, and left, because they couldn’t make it do what they wanted it to anymore.

Raymond Hill, maintainer of ublock-origin, responded to Google’s Manifest V3 by saying he’d rather quit developing ublock-origin than to make it “less than it is now”.

For years, Adblock Plus had been the only game in town, until Google and other major parasites started paying into a protection racket set up by Wladimir Palant.

Point is, unless something changes drastically, I’m just simply not sure where the future of the Web is going. Nowhere good, I’m sure.

You can already just barely get an ad blocker for SeaMonkey, and it’s because Raymond Hill still cares that there are users who find it useful.

(I guess you might be able to rig up a filtering local proxy like Privoxy.)

As for other extension developers, they don’t seem to be paying SeaMonkey any attention. If they did, they’d also have to keep a version of a Firefox “WebExtension” around that’s old enough to work in SeaMonkey, which would essentially mean checking how things are going in a browser with less users than Firefox.

It’s not like SeaMonkey got to retain its powerful “XUL” extensions. It gave that up when it brought in the “Firefox Quantum” version of Gecko. Yet, usually what will happen when you try to install a WebExtension meant for Firefox into SeaMonkey is it will not function at all, or will malfunction.

Again, aggravating, but entirely Mozilla’s fault.

While it is ironic that the browser that essentially invented extensions (Mozilla Suite) is the browser that only has a few left that you can use, in some ways it’s for the better.

Why? Many Firefox extensions are proprietary software. That means you don’t have unconditional rights to use them or improve or share them with others. Furthermore, since Mozilla doesn’t monitor most of them for code quality or to see if they have malicious software in them, they can destabilize the browser, or even spy on you, when you run them.

Firefox itself is spyware (telemetry+the Firefox Suggest keylogger) and has remote backdoors, such as Normandy, which allows Mozilla to run experiments without your consent, even if you’ve disabled the preference that allows them to install extensions behind your back!.

Adding extensions, many of which are from large corporations, is a guaranteed way of having your browser send off more data to be spied on by more people.

I keep getting Capital One badgering me to install an extension that applies coupons. What else is it collecting? Well, SeaMonkey can’t even run it. Same goes for all of those Avast! and AVG “anti-virus” extensions that flout their own alleged privacy policies.

Extensions aren’t necessarily always a good thing, and Mozilla doesn’t always make it obvious what license you’re even agreeing to when you run them.

Since probably all you’re installing into SeaMonkey is ublock-origin, which is under the GPLv3, and the most important browser extension anyway, you’re at less of a security risk than Firefox users.

While the LibreWolf developers have gutted Firefox of a lot of non-Free software, spyware, and the keylogger, and have done a lot of good work, you still need to be very very careful which extensions you install. The vast majority are “not monitored by Mozilla” and “you install them at your own risk”, says Mozilla’s own site.

The big problem SeaMonkey really has is that Firefox is an ongoing disaster with SeaMonkey in tow.

I can only imagine how the developers of SeaMonkey must feel about this. From the outside looking in, I’d compare it to being in the car with a drunk driver.

So, do I recommend SeaMonkey?

That’s a qualified yes. If you’re like me and you’re fond of the way Internet Suites used to work, it’s really your only option. Many people who stuck to Opera 12 ended up with an experience that degraded until it couldn’t render Web sites and couldn’t even connect securely to others over TLS. If you appreciated “real” Opera, SeaMonkey might be for you.

You’ll need to hack your way around some limitations, mainly due to the fact that “Web developers” are a bunch of idiots, being given too much to work with, by a captured W3C that’s at the beck and call of two advertising companies, who dictate what the “standards” are.

Long term, we need to overthrow the Web and go back to something with largely static content. Or developing small programs such as the NewsWaffle that take bloated Web sites and strip them down and feed them to our browsers. As Anthony Hopkins (as Dr. Ford) put it in WestWorld, “The Earth does not want to move. We will move it, regardless.”. It’s time to beat uncooperative sites into something more…..manageable…..more rational.

What’s really important with the Internet is what people choose to do with it, and what people want and what big corporations want are two entirely different animals.

Take news sites, for example. They set out like 10 KiloBytes of text and haul in 300 MegaBytes of garbage to read it. The news text is like the cheese in a mousetrap. What’s the garbage? Oh, don’t mind them. It’s just autoplay videos, scripts that spy on you that you’re not even supposed to know about. Crazy video streaming specifications that only exist to obfuscate how to download the video or to call DRM so you can’t save a copy even if you have an extension that could figure out where it’s at. Advertising. Formatting junk to “make it look pretty” (who cares?) often by pulling in Web Fonts that spy on you.

You know, “important stuff”. 😉

The focus away from Internet Suites like (Classic) Opera and SeaMonkey, mostly-static content, and local computing, towards badly-written Web applications that chow down on all of your system resources while controlling you was a hit job that Richard Stallman warned about repeatedly in various essays, ranging from “What Does That Server Really Serve?” to “The JavaScript Trap”.

You’re always better off running local applications on a computer that you control, and only backing up your data, which those local applications create in formats that are well understood, to storage that you control.

For starters, we know that every “Cloud Storage” site has a backdoor. Your files are accessible to governments. Maybe not even your government. Do they need a warrant? Probably not.

Just as bad, creeps, weirdos, and perverts that work at companies like Google can get into all of your files. This isn’t hypothetical. They had a child sex predator working there doing it to people, to stalk children.

If that wasn’t enough, they fired dozens of employees over the years for inappropriately accessing user data, leaked documents say. What did they do with the data? How many copies did they make?

In return for this, you’re supposed to pay them by the month to store your files.

How convenient is that? If one of their hard disks crashes, you can still lose data. If they have a security misconfiguration, you can’t fix it. You won’t even know about it. If there’s a data breach, they’ll hide it from you. If they can’t hide it and get sued, it’ll go to a class action and you’ll get a year’s worth of identity monitoring and coupons to Bennigan’s while the class attorney gets $500 million dollars. 🙂

Some people encrypt their laptop in case it gets stolen, then upload all of these files to OneDrive and Google Drive and Apple iCloud, where they are at much more risk.

When you really consider the situation as a whole, which is the only logical way to consider any situation in life, is SeaMonkey perhaps maybe not working too well with this shit really a loss?

If it pulls up your recipes, sends and receives e-mail, and lets you browse 99.9% of the Web, bank, and use IRC, it’s probably fine. Isn’t it?

I’m unaware of anything I’m doing that SeaMonkey can’t do. Buy some thumb drives for crying out loud. Use an office suite on your computer.

(When thumb drives were new, they held 32, 64, or 128 MB. I don’t remember what my ex paid for one when he was in college, but he was amazed by them, and it was a lot of money. Today you can get a 512 GB model for $45.)

People say Richard Stallman can be a bit abrasive. Can you blame the guy, sometimes? Look what he has to deal with.

He goes to give a speech and is surrounded by people who think that loading a word processor in a Web browser on someone else’s server, puts out files in secret undocumented formats that are not well specified (and change), which can change in ways they don’t like, or lock them out, charge an unlimited amount of money, crash, and any combination of these things…. is a good idea. Every time someone interviews him, they make the same mistakes the last interviewer did and you have to skip past minutes of the interview while they’re asking stupid and obvious questions like why they should care about local computing and use weak language like “open source”.

When you’re surrounded by these people, you probably get tired of it.

To Recap:

SeaMonkey, it’s a browser which has its roots in the before time, from the long long ago. Before everyone took leave of their sanity and stopped demanding to do their own computing.

If you’re a heavy user of “Web Apps” it’s probably not right for you, but if you use the Web like I do, it generally does work fine.

If you’re looking for a browser to handle “Clown” computing and lots of heavy “Web apps” with that wonderful Digital Restrictions Malware, go use Google Chrome. I hear you’ll like it much better. You’ll have nothing good to say about SeaMonkey once you’ve seen it. If you’re a “Web 3.0” basket case, just give into Chrome. You know you want it.

You can use Google Chrome or one of the “Also-Google Chromes”, like Vivaldi, Opera, and Edge.

Or you can go to Firefox, for whatever that’s worth, as Mitchell Baker turned the program into something that’s just a damned pest. It’s why they’re losing their users. At the same time, several years ago, Mitchell Baker attacked the entire concept of supporting other use cases involving Gecko, essentially accusing them of parasitism (“why should we pay a tax blah blah blah”). This is, of course, back before Mozilla itself stopped “dogfooding”, using their own technologies, conducting development in the open, where people could participate. A lot of the development now goes on in proprietary malicious platforms, like Discord (they shut down their IRC server) and GitHub (instead of NNTP newsgroups and BugZilla). They’ve been closing out what’s left of the community, firing people, and outsourcing to Microsoft and Google.

One more reason why SeaMonkey deserves consideration is because they conduct development and discussion openly. You can just open ChatZilla and point it to Libera Chat and join #SeaMonkey and you’re talking to the developers and community, and you don’t need to create some sort of Microsoft account and participate in this major fraud and parody of “open source” that Mozilla has created.

Baker also said they would be “laser focused” on Firefox. Instead, they fire engineers and keep “Diversity and Inclusion” people, and the Mozilla Foundation has turned into a political party calling for more Web censorship and Cancel Culture. So much “Free and Open Source” software today is endangered by letting in people who should have never been there in the first place. Mitchell Baker is “Exhibit A”.

What’s going wrong is that the far-left crowd, which is a hate group, has commandeered these communities, thrown in with the enemies like Microsoft and Google (who want FOSS to be in turmoil so that they can sit back, laugh, and watch us destroy each other), and the idea of people of good conscience being able to have disagreements isn’t tolerated. This is why Mozilla and Matrix.org are a match made in Hell and deserve each other.

20 years ago, FOSS was a different beast entirely. It was fun. It was novel. You could make tasteful jokes. In #techrights IRC yesterday, I pointed out that there is a program, now called GNOME Planner, that used to be called MrProject. The joke was that Microsoft had a MS Project. Today, this sort of thing is considered “inappropriate” and gets censored out as “offensive”. It’s offensive for some on the left that there are men and women, so they have to stop you from referencing that, even in a joke. It’s not offensive, so these people create “offense”, then they’re offended on behalf of other people. Then if you tell them to chill out, they’ll attack you by lashing out in bizarre ways. Using tactics like these, they’ve ran off, or tried to run off, people who are actually doing something important for the community. Such as how Matthew Garrett, who participated in Microsoft’s attacks on GNU/Linux (including Security Theater Boot, which he now hypocritically complains of as an anti-user lockout mechanism…duh), goes after Richard Stallman and Ted T’so using trumped up allegations which are bullshit.

Firefox isn’t fun anymore because Mozilla has gone to the dark side.

After the Firefox fork, Mozilla never cared much for the Suite continuing to exist, but there was enough interest to keep it around.

Eventually, they forced it to spin off into an unofficial program called SeaMonkey, which they never gave warm regards to. Then they forced SeaMonkey out of Mozilla completely.

But like Dick Van Dyke continuing to bring a little bit of decency into a new world mostly devoid of such, SeaMonkey is still there with us.

It reminds us of a more civilized time.

Facebook had to pay us about $800 because they violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Facebook had to pay us about $800 because they violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

I got a $397 check for my spouse last week and a $397 check for myself this week.

Facebook had been tagging us in our pictures and storing our facial patterns in their facial recognition programs. That turned out to be a big problem for them that cost them nearly $700 million in the resulting class action settlement.

Scumbag corporations have been losing big time due to the BIPA, and they want it repealed. There’s pending lawsuits against at least a dozen major companies, and lots of settlements too.

The only thing corporations understand is losing money. Facebook has already had a lot of fake stock value erased this year.

Facebook blamed the loss mostly on Apple’s alleged new “privacy” functions on the iPhone, even though Facebook already has patents pending on how to avoid those features and track people with iPhones anyway. As long as their apps are even on your phone, you’ve lost already whether you use an Android or an iPhone.

I use a Free and Open Source app called Frost from F-Droid that gives Facebook no significant access to my phone. It’s basically a blinged out webview that tricks Messenger into working. So it’s very likely that Facebook has less access to my Pixel 6 than anything Apple has done to box them in on an iPhone, where all you can use is Facebook’s apps.

Facebook’s financial problems have more to do with laws like the California and Illinois privacy statutes.

The only safe way to operate is to assume that anyone you track could be in Illinois or California, which is why although BIPA is an Illinois law, and Illinois is a state of 12.8 million people, Facebook disabled their tagging and facial recognition everywhere in the world after losing $700 million dollars.

Another source of Zuckerberg’s heartburn is the state of the economy in general. Major stocks of companies with real products are down 30 even 40%, and not even Walmart was spared.

Most of the ads I’ve seen go by on Facebook are from lawyers suing app companies.

Since the economy is so bad right now (Maybe call it the “Don’t Say Recession Recession”?), consumers have to tighten their wallets, and while that may or may not eventually break the hyperinflation (since most of this is due to Biden and Congress throwing around trillions of dollars we don’t have, that came at the expense of your bank account), it means the value of advertising is collapsing.

This is what set off the DotCom Bubble Collapse in the early 2000s.

Eventually, investors get sick of losing money, the hysteria wears off, and reality sets in.

Usually in an environment where the Fed loses its appetite for entertaining that round of mania.

Like what’s starting to unfold now.

The reason why Elon Musk wants Twitter isn’t because he has a plan to turn a profit. His Tesla company is down 41% YTD, you know.

It’s because he wants to be able to say whatever he wants without any censorship, and invite Trump back to scream and yell, but there will still be “content moderation” and spyware tracking the people foolish enough to have accounts there.

I’ve never really understood how a company that lets you post 140 characters from the toilet that disappear into the void quickly has managed to stay in business. Pretty much the only thing on Twitter are influencers, “brands”, and politicians. The 1% can say whatever they want unfiltered.

Do you even want to be on this thing?

I barely even have a presence on Facebook anymore. It’s not generally worth using. You hope other people will hate like your vacation or something and there’s a lot of stress to be fake popular on it.

I tried to tell Roy Schestowitz that he’d be a lot happier and lose nothing if he got off Twitter years ago, but the only reason he left was because they shoved him out the door for criticizing Bill Gates.

Merely criticizing the rich and powerful is enough to get you thrown out.

It is dangerous to have “social media” replace the Web, because then they can throw you out when they don’t like what you say, even if it’s not illegal to say that. And that’s why corporations and the governments want the Web to die. They can spy and censor better that way. It was much harder to do this in bulk when everyone who wanted a blog just got their own Web site.

Google even crawls my blog and I get readers. When you post to Facebook and Twitter, your thoughts just die immediately. It gives the illusion of having spoken, even though nobody is really listening.

I wonder if Elon Musk will let him back in. He is a “free speech absolutist”, or so he says. 😉

Firefox for Android no longer gives the user control over the browsing experience. Privacy Browser turns off JavaScript by default.

Firefox/Fennec for Android no longer give the user significant control over the browsing experience.

The browser that said it was on a mission to enable users to “take back the Web” has been falling from grace for years, starting with Digital Restrictions Malware module, Widevine, and then quickly moving to remove a lot of features and then relegating them to extensions, which were then neutered in order to make them easier to port over from Chrome.

But nothing has made me more upset than what has happened to Firefox (or Fennec, the Free and Open Source version) for Android.

Mozilla’s move to GeckoView rendered over 99% of all Firefox extensions incompatible with the mobile browser, including bypass paywalls, and there is no longer any way that I’m aware of to turn off JavaScript.

Major news Web sites like the New York Times are now unreadable in Firefox for Android because I can’t simply block their paywall like I can in my desktop browser, so I decided to try out Privacy Browser for Android, which is in the F-Droid store.

As the name implies, it disables many privacy invading Web technologies like JavaScript, by default, but you can turn them on again if you want to. In my experience, many news Web sites that load paywalls work in Privacy Browser because the JavaScript that enforces their paywall fails to execute. So now whenever I run into a paywall, I have to switch to a different browser.

Privacy Browser can work with the Tor network Orbot program, but it would be better to use Tor Browser itself if you need actual anonymity, as Privacy Browser relies on the Chromium WebView engine and that is proprietary and Google makes it very difficult to properly secure.

The Privacy Browser maintainers say that they plan on forking WebView into “Privacy WebView” and bundling it in version 4.0, which will definitely deserve another look.

Right now, I’m not using it expecting privacy. I’m using it because Mozilla is making Firefox impossible for the user to control at all, and in many cases I don’t want JavaScript on anyway.

Brave Browser is not a platform for extremists. The Southern Poverty Law Center is way off base. Libertarians are not evil.

Brave Browser is not a platform for extremists. The Southern Poverty Law Center is way off base.

When the SPLC listed the Brave Browser on its list of “applications that are used by extremists”, I nearly spit out my coffee.

It’s just a Web browser. It’s open source. (MPL 2 license, like Firefox, along with various others.) It does not promote a political ideology.

If anything, I think most of the people I’ve seen using it have a strong Libertarian bent.

Libertarians are not extremists, unless you mean extreme case of non-aggression.

Libertarians tend to view the world in a lens of non-interference and not manipulating others to go along with things by way of threats and perverse incentives.

Since the Republican and Democrat parties in the United States prefer to launch drone strikes all over the world and kill people, including our own citizens, and haven’t met a threat or free market manipulation/perversion they don’t like, it seems like they have to hurl accusations of “extremism” at Libertarians.

Nobody knows what the price of milk really is.

It’s subsidized, by you, no matter how much you actually consume.

Nobody knows what a Pfizer COVID shot really costs because the government negotiated to give several times as much of your money away to Pfizer as you would have paid if it was optional.

If you don’t take it, Biden wants you to lose your job. That’s a manipulation.

Few people know what the wars we enter into are about or how much it really costs their family, or how many Americans die pointlessly. The news is censored, and essentially an organ of state propaganda.

Libertarians don’t want the wars. Libertarians are “extreme”.

Libertarians generally don’t want there to be no government at all. We would like the government to have a low and flat rate of taxation that is fair, and less than what the average person pays now. We would like a system of policing, laws, and courts that protect people from violent crimes, rape, property damage, and uphold contracts. “Extreme!”

The whole point of big media and GAFAM/Big Tech is to spy on people and to mentally corrupt them and dumb them down so much that they are governable by the shitheads we have in DC and our state capitals and city halls. They operate by buying you off or clunking you over the head. That’s a “great” system. Anyone who opposes it must be “extreme”.

Libertarians don’t have to be “Climate Deniers”. There are market solutions to lower emissions. Quit subsidizing oil and stop making millions of people around Chicago get in their cars and drive for 20-30 minutes with the engine running to get their emissions sticker being just a couple. “Extreme!”

The far-left paints Libertarians as “far-right” to try to lump it in with the Republicans, who are also vicious psychopaths like the far-left, but Libertarians were the first party to support marriage equality in the United States, said all along that the drug war was ridiculous and the government was paying massive incarceration fees and losing tax revenue and destroying lives with little impact on crime, and says that people should be able to get all of the abortions they want with their own money. And we like immigrants who obey our laws and want to reduce the barriers to legal immigration, and protect them from violence. Clearly racist and horrible and extreme. In fact, I married one.

If people with an agenda want to attack Libertarians as extreme, don’t buy it! There’s nothing “extreme” about being a rational person. Well, I guess you could be extremely rational.

Anyway, I think that they get the idea that people who want to be left alone, and who say “to each their own” (the horrors), are very interested in Free and Open Source Software, encrypted messengers, Tor, and VPNs. They’re probably right.

The reason the fascist left and SJWs twitch so much about the idea of personal freedom is because it’s the last thing they want. To not be able to push you around and steal from you anymore. As such, anything that gives you personal freedom must be wiped off the face of the earth, like Free and Open Source Software and strong encryption.

Encryption is cheap (computationally).

I use several layers of it routinely (VPN, Tor, HTTPS, tox, E2E in Matrix, Secure IRC, etc…) on my Internet traffic just because I can. If it can confound even just some creepy ISP like Comcast or T-Mobile that wants to sell my browsing history, it’s worth something to me. If it prevents a security breach, it’s nice.

Who I talk to or what I talk about is only the business of me and my audience who I am speaking to.

I also think that SPLC may have an ax to grind with Brendan Eich personally over some money he donated to Prop 8 in California, which ultimately got struck down. That happened 13 years ago. People who live in the past and support Cancel Culture don’t impress me. Also, I’m gay. Not “extremely” gay. Just gay.

Let us also pay no mind to the fact that there are gay people working at Brave Software.

There may be some technical reasons to criticize Brave, but that’s outside the scope of this post.

And for the most part, I agree with what they’re trying to do. They’re taking a very bad platform, Chromium, and trying to defang it of APIs dumped in by Big Tech companies in order to spy on you, and they’re trying to put in features that protect you from surveillance capitalism.

Mozilla, on the other hand, is a party styling itself as “Social Justice Warriors” who have done nothing for your freedoms and online safety lately. They fell so hard, so far, and so fast in the last 7 years, that they’re all but unrecognizable at this point in those terms.

Free and Open Source Software should appeal to Libertarians. It’s not Communism, as Microsoft tried to frame it.

If anything, Microsoft is a Communist company. They get state bailouts and Five Year Government Plans to buy failed products like HoloLens. They bribe elected officials, and then Microsoft gets government contracts. The FBI got “hacked” the other day, and their email system was used to send scam emails out.

The US government is incompetent with cybersecurity, yet issues directives, even as the FBI can’t even protect its own networks because the government buys Microsoft products.

Free and Open Source Software is something that people are paid what they think is a fair amount of money to work on, and so they do it. Or they might be a hobbyist. Most are paid though.

Their employer makes money selling products or services based on it, and then we can benefit from it too. Debian is an organization that people voluntarily fund which produces a coherent GNU/Linux operating system based on FOSS.

Proprietary software tends to be unloved software. People who produce it keep it proprietary to avoid having to compete with others. They have a right to attempt this, it’s not illegal, but people should know that it almost always does something wrong to them.

Being proprietary by itself hides how the program works, and that helps obscure the further wrongs and harm it commits. For example, Windows Telemetry only gives you a vague idea of what it transmits to Microsoft. They use strong encryption to prevent you from seeing what’s really in those compressed archives. What’s in there?

Without even being able to know, people jump in and defend it. Think it’s sketchy? “EXTREMIST!” “PARANOID!”

What Microsoft _admits_ their Edge browser sends back to them is enough reason not to use it. What people have found it doing by digging a little deeper is even worse, but it too can hide the true extent of the snooping.

Aside from backdoors that proprietary software hides, the software also tends to be incredibly bloated. Windows has dozens of GB of crap in it that is mostly legacy junk, where security holes can lurk. The US government (among others) finds them and hoards them and then weaponizes them.

The Flame and Stuxnet malware were pieces of art. They evaded all antivirus solutions on the market for years, infested lots of systems, and then when Iran chose to run Windows in their uranium enrichment center, President Obama ordered a strike.

The United States didn’t need to send bombers. It just needed to push a button, and state malware for Windows, laying dormant, sleeping, for years, woke up, and spun the centrifuges too fast, and broke 94% of them beyond repair.

Many faults in the underlying OS end up propagating into the programs that run on it. Web browsers deal with Web sites. Web sites can run anything you’re not blocking. Almost every release of Firefox mentions some CVEs that only affect Windows. These are inherited from the OS, and since nobody but Microsoft can fix the OS, or sometimes it was designed wrong and can’t be fixed, the solution is usually a hack to hopefully block the exploit, but it only protects the program that was patched to avoid triggering the OS bug.

Content Blocking lists have to be updated frequently to keep up with new threats. It turns out that the US Intelligence Agencies run ad blockers to lower attack surface. Not just “malvertising”. Companies can gather data just by placing bids.

During the COVID lockdown, various government agencies in the United States monitored whether people were complying with it or not by bidding on and/or buying data collected by advertisers through Web sites and mobile ad networks.

I use Tracker Control on my Android phone. I went through disabling or uninstalling most of the crap I found from Samsung. They even include a Facebook “Service” you can’t remove which monitors the apps you sign into, even if you don’t have Facebook on your phone, and associates it with your Facebook profile. I deleted the data and disabled that. But that’s what lurks in your Android phone. Not all of the crapware can be turned off, but Tracker Control can block tracker libraries from phoning home, and I pulled the plug on Internet access from all apps I don’t use, and most apps I use are also from the F-Droid store.

The situation on iPhones is worse, because you can’t run Free and Open Source Software, and very nearly all apps in the App Store have Apple and Google trackers in them.

On top of this, Apple plans to add a scanner that goes looking through your phone and reporting in. They claim anyone who objects is probably a “pedophile”. Such a system can and will be used for other things. China will use it to hunt people down for having pro-democracy protests. Muslim states will behead gay people who Apple turned over for the right to keep selling products there.

The government also paid Facebook to help them locate undocumented immigrants. It has geolocation data. They collect it every time they damned well please if you have it on your phone. You’re walking around telling Facebook everywhere you are, even when it’s not open.

The government may or may not have legal grounds to get a warrant, but it hardly needs to. It’s spending your money to buy your data so you can help get yourself arrested, deported, ratted out for being outside during COVID “emergency” powers that Illinois Governor Pritzker keeps giving to himself.

If you want to avoid this, or even limit the harm, you’re an “extremist”.

So, really, the Southern Poverty Law Center needs to shut the hell up. They aren’t helping. There’s really not much of a way that “software” and platforms usually have an extremist agenda. Extremists might _use_ software and platforms. But extremists/terrorists, whatever those are, use Windows, Macs, Android Phones, iPhones….

Almost all of the government’s criminal cases involving January 6th rioters involved Facebook and Twitter somehow. We know that now. But at the time, they told us it was Parler’s fault for not taking the posts down, when actually it was almost all being coordinated on Facebook, which left the posts up.

The far-left pushed to have Parler taken down. They got it booted out of Big Tech app stores, Amazon Web Services deplatformed it… They had to end up being hosted by some company that hardly takes anything down, and then the agitators made hay about that!

And Parler was actually not even close to being the source of the problem, of course narratives get changed around and people are easy to mislead with Big Media on the side of the state and the billionaires.

To clarify, I am not on Parler and I am not planning to be. I don’t accept their Terms of Use. But this example shows what Big Tech and their state allies will go through to maintain hegemony for PRISM companies.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is very obviously some sort of Democrat think tank that would love for you to police your kids for them, unwittingly.

I’m not against parents trying to protect their children, but there are other dangers out there than Internet perverts. Proprietary software is an injustice and Social Control Media platforms that turn people into the product are big problems, indeed.

If you want to block something at the firewall level, block Facebook because FACEBOOK the company is evil.

Quit using Google search. Quit using Skype and Zoom. Replace applications and operating system software with Free and Open Source software.

Use social platforms that are really social, not open sewers.

Encryption, VPNs, and Tor are your friend. They’re tools to block surveillance.

There’s a saying that it’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools. I would go further and say it’s probably a poor parent who blames Brave, the Web browser.

Children are human beings too, and I think that what horrifies parents is that they won’t turn out carbon copies of themselves if their kids are exposed to a marketplace of ideas.

Most parents unfortunately succeed, and turn out children who are narcissistic, self-centered, one-dimensional, and materialistic mindless consumers. That serves….the state. It really does. They’re happy with things exactly like they are right now.

I think it’s pretty extreme to destroy the human experience to create more wards of the state, who keep toiling away in the fields, and get to enjoy very little in the way of reward for their own labors.

Paying taxes to a central government that’s thousands of miles away and does almost nothing to help them.

Most people under 50 barely know it, but those taxes include a Social Security program that’s got about 10 years left, maybe, before everyone on it gets a 23% benefit cut, and the folks who draw it in retirement now can’t even live off of it.

I think that they should be allowed to save and invest for themselves. They could even leave it to someone if they pass away. My Aunt paid into it for decades, died in a car accident, and they paid nothing.

The program’s “trust funds” which are actually imaginary promissory notes, earn 2-3% interest on “special” government bonds.

The stock market’s average return is over 10% per year.

Am I an “extremist”?

Maybe to some. I mean, the state, the rich, they want people broke all the time. They want people distracted with porn, booze, drugs, and fights with the neighbors. We live in a country that entertains itself by watching the police invade the wrong house and attack people.

I think that’s extreme.

And again, all the fault of the Brave Web browser. After all, the Southern Poverty Law Center produced a white-paper and briefed a bunch of Congress Critters who are all rich and don’t have to live in the world they create for us. Very compelling.

Microsoft Defender leads the user to assume Free and Open Source Software is malicious with scary red warnings.

Microsoft Defender leads the user to believe Free and Open Source Software is malicious.

Microsoft “Defender”, the questionable “free” antivirus software included with Windows, routinely flags Free and Open Source Software that I try to install as a potential virus.

So far, I’ve gotten warnings like these on LibreOffice installers, as well as PeaZip, HexChat, and QBitTorrent.

In fact, over on Reddit, some people even say Microsoft has been removing BitTorrent programs in general, without asking them first, even when there’s no malware at all in them. In fact, there’s so many complaints of Microsoft doing this, here’s an entire search result. Take your pick.

Windows itself meets the definition of spyware and adware set forth by the overall anti-spyware and anti-adware communities in the late 1990s, when the problem first emerged with the stuff piggybacking on software that claimed to be free of charge.

Windows “11” even had the entire OS crash and freeze on the dev and beta channels recently, because a lookup to a Microsoft ad server from the Start Menu failed to respond.

It’s impossible to turn it all off, and to discourage you from even trying to, Microsoft puts all of the knobs and dials on over a dozen and a half different screens and websites.

Microsoft defends itself and their own monopoly, but that RAT and the cryptojacker that came in on some dodgy software are usually “fine”.

Of course, if Defender was really that good, would there still be an antivirus software industry that seems to be as profitable as ever?

Techrights has been doing a Delete Github campaign. Perhaps someone needs to have a talk with the people who host on Microsoft GitHub and then have their software flagged as a virus by Windows?