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Web Browsers: More DRM and More Broken Web

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  • Bypass some paywalls and in-page pop-ups by forcing GNOME Web into Reader Mode.

    Some sites claim they aren’t compatible with a browser’s reader mode to prevent users from clicking on it and bypassing Admiral, paywalls, and other junk.

    Tip: putting ephy-reader: in the front of the URL in GNOME Web and hitting enter forces it into Reader Mode anyway, regardless of what the site wants.

  • EasyOS version 3.1.10 released

    As 3.1.10 has Firefox builtin, if you are going to do an update of an existing installation, get rid of any existing Firefox beforehand. It should be enough just to delete /mnt/wkg/sfs/esyos/oe/dunfell/firefox-*.sfs. At bootup of 3.1.10, the initrd will see that the SFS is no longer there, and will do a "cleanup" -- so there shouldn't be any "firefox" on the desktop after bootup.

    Firefox updating and hardware acceleration both caused trouble, so they have been permanently disabled in file /usr/lib/firefox/distribution/policies.json. To re-enable those features, delete the appropriate lines in that file.
    I was disappointed how slow FF was to startup on the Compaq Presario. SeaMonkey starts much faster. It was also a concern to see the Internet data activity lights continually green in the systray -- FF was only looking at a static page, so why is it transferring so much?
    Muted sound is easy to fix. Right-click on the audio systray icon, choose "Preferences" will run pavucontrol (Pulseaudio Volume Control) which has a mute/unmute button.

    MSCW, I need to work on that. It is functional, but the code is still very ALSA-oriented.

  • Vivaldi messes up their Debian repo and causes Apt sources errors. Mozilla Firefox continues falling apart. Moving my daily browsing to GNOME Web.

    This morning I got an error from Apt in Debian.

    It turned out that Vivaldi had misconfigured their Debian repo, and it was stopping the i386 multiarch repository from updating.

    So I got punchy and removed Vivaldi, its .config and .cache subfolders, their repos, and their two GPG keys.

    Is that an extreme reaction? No. If you can’t manage your Apt configuration responsibly, I remove you. You can mess up and create a hassle for a lot of people, so you should watch what you are doing.

    Mozilla’s subreddit shows the general state of the Firefox world.

    I got this error. “PR_END_OF_FILE_ERROR” instead of loading sites. It happened on Amazon and a few other sites. First, I thought it was something wrong with my connection, or the site. Nope. Another Firefox bug.

    GNOME Web has a few bugs, but nothing nearly so annoying as the degenerate state Firefox is in. So I’m just going to go full time GNOME Web 41 Flatpak…. and maybe keep Ungoogled Chromium or something around in case I have to log in to T-Mobile, in which case “We have our wires crossed. Ooops.” no matter how your Firefox is configured, when you try to log in. LibreWolf too, why not?

    Since Flatpak apps are self-contained, this will also hopefully prevent disaster from spilling over into my system all for want of a web browser.

    LibreWolf doesn’t just compile and patch out obnoxious junk that Firefox adds. It also removes minimally useful web platform crap that is a major attack surface through hardening of the user.js and prefs.js.

  • Mozilla Plays Matchmaker: Microsoft Store Now Offers Firefox for Windows 10 and 11 - FOSS Force

    The open source community hardly noticed this week when Microsoft opened its arms to its once arch rival in browser space, Firefox, the open source daughter of Netscape and for many years the only serious competition Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser faced, by making the open source browser available in the Microsoft Store.

    A dozen or so years ago Microsoft would never consider putting open source software of any kind in an online store it managed, even if it had had one back then, which it didn’t. This would’ve been doubly true of a browser, because of its fear that losing the browser market meant losing its lucrative operating system market, which was largely bankrolling its operations. Remember, this was at the height of Ballmer administration, which proclaimed Linux and open source to be a communist cancer, or something like that.

    It’s just as unlikely that Firefox would have accepted any offer from Microsoft to make it easy for Windows users to find and install Firefox through a Microsoft platform. At that time, a decade or more of dirty tricks and FUD originating from Redmond had made the open source community wary and openly belligerent when it came to Microsoft, and Mozilla was dependent on the open source community.

How Microsoft 'thanks' Mozilla

  • Microsoft Skype hangs out fake error message for Firefox users.

    Microsoft claims Skype for the Web doesn’t work in Firefox, however setting your user agent to a current Edge or Chrome on Windows UA removes the limitation and makes voice and video chat work.

    I previously reported Facebook doing something like this, but Mozilla left it unfixed for three years, and the only reason it got better was because Facebook backed out their fake error message, which suggested Chrome.

    I’d report this issue to Mozilla, except I wouldn’t want to be “unhelpful spam”. So they can keep letting Microsoft sabotage their browser, I guess.

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