Privacy Matters: One step forward, two steps back

  • @Steffie
    yeah, naked. exactly how I feel too. worth every cent.

  • @6581 That's right. Plus... Netflix!! :-)

  • @BenyaminL
    So what's the alternative ? Chrome ? What do you think is their approach towards user privacy & security ?
    And by using Google's pseudo-opensource (which is actually closed) code, many sc. browser makers just add to the misery,

  • @Ayespy said in Privacy Matters: One step forward, two steps back:

    @Steffie: I take your point that you trust open source products because you trust those who get their internal workings. I, too, trust Vivaldi because I trust those who get its internal workings.

    The trouble here is that those who you trust are relying on closed code (read Chromium). Naturally Google would like people to believe it's open source, as it's perceived as some kind of guarantee, but in fact parts of Google's code is actually non-accessible therefore there is no guarantee that google doesn't get informed on every single move you make with a browser based on Chromium.

    You can choose your search engine as much as you wish in the browser and keep favorites on local machine alone, but every time you click a favorite (of some type) you are directed through Google.

    There's privacy for you ? Not

  • Moderator

    @privacyissues That's a trait of the bookmark, not the browser. It's coded right into the syntax of the bookmark address itself. And Chromium really is Open Source. There are not, as far as I'm able to find out, any modules that can't be read, decompiled, and/or edited by a qualified software engineer.

  • @Ayespy I have a question, please excuse my ignorance on the subject. Could you please explain, in layman's terms, what open source means. I mean, what is the difference between something that's open source as opposed to something which is not open sourced. I hear/read these phrases a lot, but their meaning still evades me. Thank you in advance for any input you could offer.

  • Moderator

    @payitfwd Open source implies two things: First, all the code is published for anyone who is competent in the relevant programming languages, to read. It is not encrypted, hidden, or otherwise locked away from public view by the publishers of the code. Second, it is allowed for ANYONE to not only use, but edit, issue their own versions, incorporate it whole-cloth into whatever they want to build, etc. It does not "belong" to the publisher. Often, open-source projects have a central group of people who accept suggestions concerning code changes from anyone/everyone, and incorporated them into the main body of the code as is considered practical. The most common "copyleft" rules for any body of open source code is that no matter what you do with it, you have to keep it transparent and allow anyone else who wants to see or use the changes you have made, to see them or change them. You can't take open-source code, alter it, and then keep the results to yourself. That's a violation of the conditions under which you were allowed access to the code.

    Now what Vivaldi has done, is take a bunch of open-source stuff, patch it to their liking, integrate it, and leave that code totally open to the world. On TOP of this, they have added the actual Browser User Interface layer, which is composed of code that, at least IN PART, they are keeping to themselves and licensing to no one (except you may download it, use it, and make any changes for your own personal use - but NOT distribution - that you like).

    That Makes Vivaldi "closed source" and makes it belong to Vivaldi Technologies ASA, and not to users. A user can't compile and sell their own version - they can't even take the disparate parts Vivaldi is using, and try to compile them on their own. It won't work. But insofar as possible, excepting the tricks of how the Vivaldi browser layer actually does its magic, all the code can be seen by anyone.

    But the main thing about "open source" is that no one person or company owns the code or has copyrighted it to themselves, and often multiple other people can chime in on the structure of the code - and if the person running the project likes these offerings, they can be included.

    Closed source means copyrighted to the company that produced it, and other persons are legally forbidden to install more copies than licensed, reverse-engineer, alter, appropriate to their own uses, or re-sell the code without the author's express permission.

  • @Ayespy
    Dont' forget also copy (not necessary install) for backup sometime actually forbidden.

  • @Ayespy Thank you for taking the time time to answer my query. Complicated stuff, but you managed to somehow make it click. I only wish my teachers could make things as clear as you do, were that the case, I'm certain my grades would be much better. Again, thanks.

  • Privacy, Security, Freedom & Customization is why I went 'Linux Only' with Fedora earlier this year. 8)

  • @640k
    In Linux or BSD, you could use any Distro as base and "Steal" ideas from all over the places.
    Of course, you really need to study what is what & is it good at all in your real life scenario.

  • When I was ditching W7; Linux Mint was my second choice if Fedora failed.

  • @640k
    50? Screen Savers?

    If it does, you're actually not need all of them. It's the packager decision. The Screen Saver modules are so small, most screen saver packager just package it in one. Even only the main engine is sufficient. It contain 1 screen saver, Blank.

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