Archive for the ‘Open Source’ Category

Unlimited private repositories now available to free GitHub users

January 8th, 2019
Cartoon mascot of a cat in an octopus costume, maybe.

Octocat, the GitHub mascot. (credit: Github)

The significant change to GitHub announced today by CEO Nat Friedman might be the first major change since Microsoft bought the company last year: free accounts can now create private repositories.

GitHub has become the home for a huge number of open-source projects. Some of these are major, widely used projects such as the Node.js server-side JavaScript platform, but many of them are small, personal projects, half-written programs, and experiments. These projects are typically open-source not because their authors have any particular desire to share them with the world but because GitHub gave them no choice: free GitHub accounts could only create public repositories.

As such, GitHub represented a trade-off: you could use GitHub's services for free, but you had to share. If you didn't want to share, you had to pay.

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Posted in git, GitHub, microsoft, Open Source, Tech | Comments (0)

TIL: Firefox has a little-known feature to spare your blushes on the new-tab page

January 7th, 2019
That "Top Sites" section should never contain anything too embarrassing.

Enlarge / That "Top Sites" section should never contain anything too embarrassing.

For many of us, our browsers' new-tab pages are something of a liability. Whichever browser you use, they all follow a fairly similar style: a bunch of boxes linking to the sites that we use and visit regularly. This is great when your regular sites are Ars, Gmail, and Twitter. But all too often, sites of a less salubrious nature find their way onto our new-tab pages, disclosing to the world our dirty habits when nobody's watching. While we can, of course, clean up our new-tab pages by Xing out the buttons for the offending sites, a moment of inattention can all too easily expose our pornographic predilections to the world.

But one browser is working to protect our secrets: Firefox. A redditor spotted (via Techdows) that Firefox contains code to spare your blushes. The browser contains a hard-coded list of adult site domains, and if one of your most-visited sites is one of those domains, it will automatically be hidden from the new-tab page. As long as your porn viewing is reasonably mainstream, you never need to worry about Firefox spilling the beans.

It turns out that this isn't actually a new feature. Much like Chrome's advanced tab management capabilities, it's an old feature that's been newly spotted. Mozilla added the code to the browser about four years ago. It wasn't actually created to prevent potential new-tab page embarrassment; rather, it was to aid Firefox's commercialization efforts. Mozilla experimented with having sponsored content on the new-tab page, allowing companies to pay to have their sites promoted in those buttons. Many advertisers don't relish the thought of having their precious brands juxtaposed with Internet filth, so the Firefox developers added the blacklisting capability to try to prevent porn from appearing alongside sponsored content.

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Posted in browsers, Firefox, Open Source, Privacy, Tech | Comments (0)

Chrome’s getting a dark mode on Windows to match the one for macOS

January 3rd, 2019
Chrome's dark mode.

Enlarge / Chrome's dark mode.

Chrome 73 is going to include support for macOS 10.14's dark mode, with an alternative color scheme for its user interface that cuts the brightness. It's now clear that a Windows version of the same is in development, though it seems to trail the macOS version.

A bug report was spotted by Techdows, and preliminary work has been started to bring Windows its dark mode. Unlike its macOS counterpart, which should track the operating-system mode, the Windows dark mode currently has to be forcibly turned on with a command-line switch. Adding "--force-dark-mode" to the command line of current builds of Chrome 73 makes everything dark.

The dark theme is still unfinished, hence this menu with almost illegible black text on a dark grey background.

The dark theme is still unfinished, hence this menu with almost illegible black text on a dark grey background.

The macOS work has top priority (P1). The Windows work is only P2 (originally P3), surprisingly suggesting that it's less important, enough though Chrome has far more Windows 10 users than it does macOS users. Development of the Windows theme was at least, for a time, hindered by one of the developers not having a Windows laptop to use.

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Posted in browsers, chrome, dark mode, microsoft, Open Source, Tech, Windows | Comments (0)

Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to

December 17th, 2018
The word

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

With Microsoft's decision to end development of its own Web rendering engine and switch to Chromium, control over the Web has functionally been ceded to Google. That's a worrying turn of events, given the company's past behavior.

Chrome itself has about 72 percent of the desktop-browser market share. Edge has about 4 percent. Opera, based on Chromium, has another 2 percent. The abandoned, no-longer-updated Internet Explorer has 5 percent, and Safari—only available on macOS—about 5 percent. When Microsoft's transition is complete, we're looking at a world where Chrome and Chrome-derivatives take about 80 percent of the market, with only Firefox, at 9 percent, actively maintained and available cross-platform.

The mobile story has stronger representation from Safari, thanks to the iPhone, but overall tells a similar story. Chrome has 53 percent directly, plus another 6 percent from Samsung Internet, another 5 percent from Opera, and another 2 percent from Android browser. Safari has about 22 percent, with the Chinese UC Browser sitting at about 9 percent. That's two-thirds of the mobile market going to Chrome and Chrome derivatives.

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Posted in browsers, chrome, EDGE, Firefox, google, microsoft, Mozilla, Open Source, standards, Tech | Comments (0)

Post-mortem: Tying Edge to Windows 10 was a fatal error

December 6th, 2018
Post-mortem: Tying Edge to Windows 10 was a fatal error

Enlarge (credit: @AndreTelevise)

As reported earlier this week, Microsoft is going to use Google's Blink rendering engine and V8 JavaScript engine in its Edge browser, largely ending development of its own EdgeHTML rendering engine and Chakra JavaScript engine. This means that Microsoft will be using code from—and making contributions to—the Chromium open source project.

The company's browser will still be named Edge and should retain the current look and feel. The decision to switch was motivated primarily by compatibility problems: Web developers increasingly test their pages exclusively in Chrome, which has put Edge at a significant disadvantage. Microsoft's engineers have found that problematic pages could often be made Edge compatible with only very minor alterations, but because Web devs aren't using Edge at all, they don't even know that they need to change anything.

The story is, however, a little more complex. The initial version of Edge that shipped with the first version of Windows 10 was rudimentary, to say the least. It was the bare bones of a browser, but with extremely limited capabilities around things like tab management and password management, no extension model, and generally lacking in the creature comforts that represent the difference between a bare rendering engine and an actual usable browser. It also had stability issues; crashes and hangs were not uncommon.

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Posted in Blink, chrome, Chromium, development, EDGE, google, JavaScript, microsoft, Open Source, Tech, WebKit | Comments (0)

WhiteSource Bolt for GitHub: Free Open Source Vulnerability Management App for Developers

December 5th, 2018
Developers around the world depend on open source components to build their software products. According to industry estimates, open source components account for 60-80% of the code base in modern applications. Collaboration on open source projects throughout the community produces stronger code, squashing the bugs and catching the vulnerabilities that impact the security of organizations who

Posted in GitHub, GitHub Security, Open Source, Penetration testing tools, vulnerability assessment, vulnerability management, vulnerability testing tool | Comments (0)

Microsoft continues its quest to embrace every developer with Visual Studio 2019

December 4th, 2018
Visual Studio 2019 has a new icon; the left one for the release version, the right one for previews.

Enlarge / Visual Studio 2019 has a new icon; the left one for the release version, the right one for previews. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft today made a number of developer-oriented announcements that continue its theme of the last few years: the company wants its tools—and ultimately its platforms, especially Azure—to be the choice of every developer, no matter which languages and tools they use and no matter what platform they ultimately deploy on.

The centerpiece of Microsoft's developer tools remains Visual Studio, and a first preview of its 2019 edition is now available to download. It integrates the awesome Live Share feature first demonstrated last year and expands IntelliCode, a machine-learning-driven extension to the IntelliSense developer assistance that's been a part of Visual Studio for ages. IntelliCode examines source code repositories to build models of a range of different things, from code formatting preferences to library usage and development patterns.

Currently, IntelliCode works with C# in Visual Studio and Python in Visual Studio Code. It does so by using GitHub's open source repositories as its training data. Visual Studio 2019 expands this to enable analysis of private repositories. It also increases the language compatibility; Visual Studio will add C++ and XAML support, while Visual Studio Code will pick up JavaScript, TypeScript, and Java support.

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Posted in development, microsoft, Open Source, Tech, visual studio | Comments (0)

Chrome 71 will block any and all ads on sites with “abusive experiences”

November 5th, 2018
Chrome 71 will block any and all ads on sites with “abusive experiences”

Enlarge (credit: Isaac Bowen / Flickr)

Google is promising to punish sites that offer what the company calls "abusive experiences." Chrome 71, due for release in December, will blacklist sites that are repeat offenders and suppress all advertising on those sites.

The behaviors deemed abusive cover a range of user-hostile things, such as ads that masquerade as system error messages, ads with fake close boxes that actually activate an ad when clicked, phishing, and malware. In general, if an ad is particularly misleading, destructive, or intrusive, it runs the risk of being deemed abusive.

Chrome already takes some actions against certain undesirable website behaviors; it tries to block popups, it limits autoplay of video, and it blocks certain kinds of redirection. These measures have been insufficient to prevent misleading or dangerous ads, hence Google taking further steps to banish them from the Web.

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Posted in Advertising, chrome, Chromium, development, google, Open Source, Tech, the web | Comments (0)

GitHub is now officially a part of Microsoft

October 26th, 2018
GitHub is now officially a part of Microsoft

Enlarge

satyan@redmond:~/src$ git checkout -b microsoft-acquisitions
Switched to a new branch 'microsoft-acquisitions'

satyan@redmond:~/src$ scp satyan@github.com:/github .

satyan@redmond:~/src$ git add github

satyan@redmond:~/src$ git commit -m "Microsoft announced in June that it
> was buying the Git repository and collaboration platform GitHub for 
> $7.5 billion in stock. That acquisition has received all the necessary 
> regulatory approvals, and has now completed. Nat Friedman, formerly of
> Xamarin, will take the role as GitHub CEO on Monday.
>
> The news of the acquisition sent ripples around the open source world,
> as GitHub has become the home for a significant number of open source
> projects. We argued at the time that the sale was likely one of
> necessity, and that of all the possible suitors, Microsoft was the best
> one, due to common goals and shared interests. Friedman at the time
> sought to reassure concerned open source developers that the intent was
> to make GitHub even better at being GitHub, and that he would work to
> earn the trust of the GitHub community. Those views were reiterated
> today.
>
> Since then, Microsoft has joined the Open Invention Network, a patent
> cross-licensing group that promises royalty free licenses for any patents
> that apply to the Linux kernel or other essential open source packages.
> This was a bold move that largely precludes Redmond from asserting its
> patents against Android, and should mean that the company will no longer
> receive royalties from smartphone manufacturers.
>
> Sources close to the matter tell us that Microsoft's decision to join
> OIN was driven in no small part by the GitHub acquisition. GitHub is
> already a member of OIN, which left Microsoft with only a few options:
> withdraw GitHub from OIN, a move that would inevitably upset the open
> source world; acquire GitHub as some kind of arm's length subsidiary
> such that GitHub's OIN obligations could not possibly apply to
> Microsoft; or join OIN too, as the most straightforward approach that
> also bolstered the company's open source reputation. Microsoft took
> the third option."
[microsoft-acquisitions baadf00d] Microsoft announced...
1 file changed, billions of insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

satyan@redmond:~/src$ git checkout microsoft-corp
Switched to branch 'microsoft-corp'

satyan@redmond:~/src$ git merge microsoft-acquisitions
Updating cafef00d..baadf00d
Fast-forward
 billions-of-files | billions ++++++++++++

satyan@redmond:~/src$ git branch -d microsoft-acquisitions

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Posted in acquisitions, development, git, GitHub, microsoft, Open Source, Programming, Tech | Comments (0)

Critical RCE Flaw Found in OpenVPN that Escaped Two Recent Security Audits

June 22nd, 2017

A security researcher has found four vulnerabilities, including a critical remote code execution bug, in OpenVPN, those were not even caught in the two big security audits of the open source VPN software this year.

OpenVPN is one of the most popular and widely used open source VPN software solutions mostly used for various connectivity needs, but it is especially popular for anonymous and

Posted in free VPN, hacking news, hacking VPN network, Open Source, open source projects, Open Source tool, OpenVPN, secure vpn service, vpn download, VPN Software | Comments (0)