The Onion Router, otherwise known as Tor, is a free browser that can help you defend against traffic analysis and network surveillance which threatens personal freedom and privacy. It gives you anonymity by bouncing communication around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world. It prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and prevent sites that you visit from learning your physical location.
Is it bulletproof? No. There are some nodes that collect data as reported by ExtremeTech.
Reasearches have reported that 110 live nodes in Tor are “misbehaving” by collecting data on the connections that pass through it. The purpose of this collection is unclear, and there seems to be some variation in what the nodes are collecting. Some are much more sophisticated and are pulling in data that could be used to identify users. Others seem to just be tracking statistics. The most likely scenario is that some computer science researchers are running studies on Tor, which involve collecting some data. At the same time, law enforcement is running similar nodes that are trying to unmask users of illegal “hidden services” that are hosted in Tor. The Silk Road was one such hidden service.
Google Chrome has now reached 51% use according ComputerWorld.
According to U.S. analytics vendor Net Applications, Chrome’s user share grew by more than 2 percentage points in July, the fourth time in the last six months that its gains were of that size, to end the month at 51%. In the last 12 months, Chrome has added 23.1 percentage points to its user share, starting that stretch with less than 30% and ending by owning a majority of the worldwide desktop browser market. Only two browsers have controlled more than half of the global browser share this century: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), which held a majority until December 2015, and now Chrome.
Are you ready for a faster browser? Chrome 45 delivers. There are a ton of improvements and it uses less power as well.
The new Chrome does more than just browse the Internet, though. It now detects if your computer is running low on resources, and automatically stops restoring tabs in an effort to save memory. Just click to refresh later, if necessary.
Google has also trained Chrome to identify when a webpage isn’t busy, and use that free time to clean up unused memory.
“In practice we found that this reduced website memory usage by 10 percent on average, but the effect is even more dramatic on complex Web apps,” product manager Ryan Schoen wrote in a blog post.
Read the rest of the article.
The makers of the Opera browser is considering selling the company due to interest from several companies. The Opera browser, while innovative at times, they were the first one to implement tabs, have never been able to get a large share of the market. It’s currently standing fifth behind the more popular browsers on the personal computers market, and a shrinking share on the mobile market as well. Read the rest of the article.
Mozilla plans to sell sponsored content, just a fancy word for advertising, in its new Tab pages. The New Tab pages will have some Mozilla-specific content, some popular websites, as well as some hand-picked sponsored content. Mozilla receives about $300 million per year from Google for making Google the default search engine for its Firefox browser. The deal is due up in December. Could it be that Mozilla is just trying to diversify its income stream just in case Google changes its mind.
This post will show you how to install the latest Firefox release on your Ubuntu desktop. Firefox has been cranking up its release schedule this past year. To keep up with the latest and greatest Firefox releases, this is what you need to do on your Ubuntu desktop.
The best way, and perhaps the easiest way, in terms of installing and updating software in Ubuntu, is to use PPA. It’s stands for Personal Package Archive. PPAs are collection of repositories that were not included in the original Ubuntu distribution.
When you add PPA repositories to our Ubuntu desktop, it allows you to update to the latest package releases, maintained by its owners. In our case, we will install the latest Firefox-stable PPA repository maintained by the Mozilla team.
To install the PPA, we simply run the following command from the Terminal. We do this only once.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
Once you have the PPA in your list of repositories, you just run the upgrade and update commands every time there’s a new release.
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
The Mozilla team is usually pretty good with updates. It may take a day or two after the official Mozilla Firefox release, but nevertheless you will get the latest Firefox release update within reasonable time.
If you set Firefox for automatic updates, one way you can tell if Firefox has been updated is, it always require that you restart your browser. Firefox 10 was updated over the weekend to version 10.0.1 to fix a critical bug that can potentially be exploited by attackers. The bug also affects Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release), Thunderbird and SeaMonkey.
The security hole is within nsXBLDocumentInfo::ReadPrototypeBindings.
Mozilla developers Andrew McCreight and Olli Pettay found that ReadPrototypeBindings will leave a XBL binding in a hash table even when the function fails. If this occurs, when the cycle collector reads this hash table and attempts to do a virtual method on this binding a crash will occur. This crash may be potentially exploitable.
You can force Firefox to update or just wait until you’re prompted. Since it’s critical, it’s probably a good idea to force an update. You can usually find it on About > Apply Upgrade.
In addition, there’s an interesting article speaking of Firefox’s impending demise. Personally, I wouldn’t call Firefox dead. It’s just that Chrome and others are making it the browser war very competitive. It’s a good thing. A little competition between browsers is good for everyone.