Categories
Free software native webapps

Webapps over native programs in a privative of freedom environment.

In this post I am going to talk about why to choose as much as possible using a webapp based on privative of freedom software than to install their fancy native and privative also app to protect your privacy and what is more important, your digital freedom.

If you are using a browser you can tweak many configurations to protect your freedom, like using Noscript, Privacy Badger and ┬ÁBlock this allows you to protect somewhat your privacy at least over native apps which are difficult to tweak and also you would be probably breaking the EULA.

Also browsers can also do a thing or two to protect some of the four freedoms in the way you interact with this application.

Let’s put the example you have to consult the weather of your town and you lack libre software to do it, you can choose between using a native app with intrusive advertising or using a browser like Firefox to use the webapp also with this advertising, both featuring third party tracking and a bloated interface.

None would be the best option for someone with values his digital rights, but the webapp version gives us a unique oportunity to recover some of that freedoms.

Thanks to ┬Áblock we say good bye to the advertising and Privacy Bagder does his job with some of the tracking, but we can do more, browsers are sometimes inconvenient so we can investigate thanks to Firefox network inspector how the app retrieves the data and make a script using something like LWP::UserAgent and Perl to integrate that data in your desktop. This is something like https://peertubedl.freemyip.com does with Youtube and some other privative of both freedom and privacy websites.

This would be impossible or very difficult with native apps and a breakage of the EULA of those apps, but web give us greater flexibility to fight against the digital dystopia we are living in.

If you want to protect yourself further there are plently free software tools you can use to substitute the privative ones you are using today.

Debian GNU/Linux can be a great replacement to Windows or MacOS if you are looking for a more respectful with your freedom operative system, if you run into issues installing it drop me a message and I can help you to get over it.

Libreoffice is a great replacement to other privative ofimatical suites like Microsoft Office.

Nextcloud can help you to get your own cloud storage and office collaboration you can trust if you have the resources and the knowledge to install it. Pretty better than the GSuite and Microsoft alternatives if talking about privacy.

Fediverse social networks are much more respectful and inclusive with users both in digital rights and human rights than say Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Linkedin.

There are plenty libre software you can start using today to empower yourself.

Categories
Federation Free software Privacy

Keeping your privacy online is hard work.

You may find yourself happy online when you see the “we value your privacy” nearby to a link to the privacy statement of the webpage you are visiting or the app you just installed on your Android smartphone, but when you really read those privacy policies you will probably see they are very permissive about the information they are allowed to collect about you.

In order to achieve real privacy online you must study a lot and be very disciplinated.

For example Google Chrome is the most used web browser today it integrates tightly with Google services, company which has really bad reputation for collecting massive amounts of information about their users, you will probably need to choose other browser like Mozilla Firefox who cares more about your privacy.

Microsoft Windows also collects tons of data about their user base and encourages you a lot to get a Microsoft account, but what makes worse that operative system to your privacy is that it does not provide free as in freedom software repositories integrated with a free software package manager, encouraging you to download the programs you need from untrusted sites. This united to their choice to hide the extensions of downloaded files by default is a open door to malware and software which is not respectful with your privacy.

But it can get harder, if you do not understand how a webpage works you may miss concepts like cookies or the referrer header which some companies like Google and CDNs may use to know in what webpage have you been to show you advertising in the future or whatever they want.

Google is pretty permisive about the data an Android application may collect, for example many of them store the list of applications you have installed, as an alternative to Play Store I suggest the F-droid repository which only have free as in freedom Android Applications.

Gmail reads your mail to trace where you buy and send you personalized advertising so Tutanota or Posteo are better alternatives, although in my opinion is time for email based in SMTP and IMAP to pass away, since their federated nature have been destroyed by monopoly, antispam rules which disallow little actors to effectively setup a reputable instance since you are almost spam by default and the failure to provide widespread standard end to end encryption.

Many webpages encouraging (Sometimes by the force in order to use the webpage.) you to disable your adblocker are also getting benefits from the massive data mining because those ads are personalized to you, do not fell in the trick and search for an alternative webpage.

There are many things you can start doing today to improve your online privacy but long term solutions which can use everybody pass by free as in freedom software being the most used option by everybody, not only programmers, sysadmins and other tech guys and federated services which implement E2E encryption getting popular in the general public I recommend the usage of Matrix, XMPP or Briar as messaging apps and Mastodon, Pleroma and Peertube as federated social network which are also based on free software.

Categories
Bludit Free software Micro Pequenio

A story about Free Software, the history of Pequenio.

Months ago a friend with no programming knowledge showed me his personal blog using Bludit.

I found some CSS errors I was able to solve using the Inspect Element of Firefox on his web so I searched which theme he was using with the Network tool of Firefox and I discovered he was using Micro.

So I contacted with the developer and make multiple pull request with some fixes I though could be interesting for the software, the developer liked ones but not others so I suggested that friend making a fork.

That is how Pequenio born, thanks to theme being free software I was not only able to improve the web of my friend, but also distribute those changes so anyone can use those changes.

You can find the Pequenio theme at https://themes.bludit.com or https://gitea.sergiotarxz.freemyip.com/sergiotarxz/Pequenio