11.17.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Totally Legit Gemini Search (TLGS), a Search Provider Just Announced for Gemini Space, Will Help Move More of Us Off the World Wide Web

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 11:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7eb4b3a6838dfa20f824d31556da50be

Summary: The state of the Internet isn’t great, but it’s a lot worse when it comes to the Web; it became a hub of spying and malicious activity, so in this video I explain why we’re moving away from Firefox and, where possible, embrace gemini:// as well

THE World Wide Web is not in a healthy state. The committee which controls the World Wide Web is stacked by monopolies. It has gone on for about a decade already and years ago they added DRM (EME) on top of it. Mozilla too went along with that agenda…

In the video above I mostly discuss why I’m giving up on Mozilla; the ‘last straw’ or the breaking point was some time this month and it isn’t limited to Mozilla’s latest controversial ambition. It’s trying to relay (or grab) people’s mail (links [1-3] at the bottom). So at the start of the week both Ryan and I started documenting some essential facts and more of us in IRC started moving from Firefox to something else. We don’t typically use Firefox as a primary Web browser regardless, but why ever use it if Firefox is controlled by surveillance ogres?

For that matter, I am truly concerned about Thunderbird, as the video above explains. It’s being gutted. There are no forks of it, so Mozilla still controls (or harms) millions of existing Thunderbird users (along with extension developers). Mozilla’s CEO, the Chef and Baker, didn’t think too highly of Thunderbird. She actually dismissed if not blasted Thunderbird about a decade back. She insinuated that people moving to Gmail is OK (spoiler: Google’s money pays her over 3 million dollars a year). She attacked the very concept of decentralised E-mail. Gmail is antithetical to it. She does not (or does not wish to) understand Thunderbird users.

The way I see it, today’s Mozilla milks the “goodwill ambassador” status of Firefox (which the community advocated, free of charge, for the benefit of Mozilla Corporation) in the same way frauds and charlatans who run the Linux Foundation milk "Linux" (which they do not even use!!!) to death…

Why would you trust Mozilla with your E-mail? Of with your passwords? Of your browsing history? It handles bugs (by taking data from users), sure, but that’s for the technical staff, not the sales executives at Mozilla. They hired from companies like Facebook and the Board includes Microsoft (no wonder Mozilla increasingly acts like Microsoft’s slave [1, 2, 3]). The company is circling down the drain and now it (mis)uses Firefox as a brand to entice you to give them DNS queries (through partners), Internet traffic (VPN), and even your emails (Mozilla is spying on people; don’t be misled by the PR). I’ve had enough!

“One noteworthy downside is that by default LibreWolf is very strict — even too strict by “Libre” standards — to the point of being unusable for most people.”Both my wife and I have migrated our data from Firefox to LibreWolf. Earlier today I nearly completed the migration and Ryan posted some tips last night [4]; applicable only for newer versions of Firefox, i.e. not the ESR in Debian (it lacks export option for passwords, for instance). One noteworthy downside is that by default LibreWolf is very strict — even too strict by “Libre” standards — to the point of being unusable for most people. And it defaults to a Microsoft 'proxy' for search. Maybe we’ll do a HowTo related to this one day. Moreover, LibreWolf pretends to be “FirefoxDesktop on Windows” (or something to that effect) even when you use it on GNU/Linux, which means that Web statistics will inevitably give a false impression of Microsoft Windows being bigger than it actually is (not a new problem).

I get to the main point of the video only in the last 5 minutes or so (the sound quality will improve as we adapt to a new workflow). One hour before recording the video we found another new encouraging development in Gemini Space (or Geminispace).

“After some testing by my friends and talking to René,” said the announcement around 1PM, “I’m excited to share my new search provider for the Gemini protocol, TLGS” (already quite good and accessible at gemini://tlgs.one).

So far, based on some tests (e.g. searches about Techrights and Mozilla in the video above), the TLGS capsule/search engine works better than the other (existing) ones…

Based on this page, TLGS Search has indexed (for search) 80,000 pages so far

it’s a great start!

“‘Fixing’ the World Wide Web is too ambitious an aspiration because once something enters the formal specifications/standards it’s very difficult to undo.”That’s quite a lot and it doesn’t include much cruft.

We hope that a bunch of notable scandals, both large and small, will encourage people to reassess their choice of Web browsers and maybe explore a move to Gemini. There’s already a lot of good material there. No spying, no advertising, no affiliate marketing in links. Totally Legit Gemini Search (TLGS), as per its site, “is an experimental search engine for contents served over the Gemini Protocol. It crawls and indexes textual contents that it encounters in the Geminispace. And provides a [sic] interface for people to look for what they need. The interface is heavly [sic] inspired by GUS and geminispace.info.”

The World Wide Web was great in the 1990s. Then it was abused by Microsoft, it sort of recovered for a while (owing largely to Firefox), but now it seems beyond redemption. ‘Fixing’ the World Wide Web is too ambitious an aspiration because once something enters the formal specifications/standards it’s very difficult to undo. Tim Berners-Lee had a chance to say “No!” to DRM and other nasty stuff. But he missed that chance, wilfully

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Firefox Relay is Now Out of Beta & Adds New Premium Plan to Help Protect Your Real Email Address – It’s FOSS News

    Firefox Relay aims to help you protect your real email address by providing email aliases.

    While good options like Simplelogin, and AnonAddy already exists, Mozilla’s Firefox Relay can encourage more users to use email aliases.

    For a while, it was in the beta phase with limited access to features. Now, as per the official announcement, it is available for all users, out of beta, and introduces a premium plan to unlock all features.

  2. Support.Mozilla.Org: Introducing Firefox Relay Premium

    If you’re a fan of Firefox Relay, you may have been waiting for the day when you can add more aliases. After a long wait, you can now celebrate because we’re launching Firefox Relay Premium today.

    As a refresher, Firefox Relay is a free service available at relay.firefox.com where you’ll get five email aliases to use whenever you sign-up for an online account. Today, Firefox Relay is launching as a premium subscription where you can unlock unlimited aliases and additional features.

  3. The Mozilla Blog: Firefox Relay now available with more email aliases with Premium service, protecting your identity and email addresses from spammers

    Today, Firefox Relay, a privacy-first and free product that hides your real email address to help protect your identity, is available with a new paid Premium service offering. The release comes just in time for the holiday season to help spare your inbox from being inundated with emails from e-commerce sites, especially those sites where you may shop or visit a few times a year.

    In real life you have a phone number where family and friends can call and reach out to you directly. You likely have it memorized by heart and it’s something you’ve had for years. In your online life your email address is like your phone number, it’s a personal and unique identifier. Your email address has become the way we login and access almost every website, app, newsletter, and hundreds of other interactions we have online every single day. That means your email address is in the hands of hundreds, if not thousands, of third parties. As you think more about your email address and the places it’s being used, Firefox Relay can help protect and limit where it’s being shared.

    Firefox Relay is a free service available at relay.firefox.com where you’ll get five email aliases to use whenever you sign-up for an online account. Over the last year, the team has been experimenting with Firefox Relay, a smart, easy solution that can preserve the privacy of your email address. Firefox Relay was initially rolled out to a beta phase for early adopters who like to test new products. We heard back from beta testers who provided feedback where we improved the free service and added a new paid Premium service that we’re introducing today.

  4. How to backup your passwords from Firefox and import them into a fresh copy, or LibreWolf, without Firefox Sync.

    Mozilla implemented support for importing CSV-formatted password lists generated by Firefox or other Web browsers, but it’s hiding by default.

    It’s fairly clear that Mozilla wants everyone to be pressured to create an account to use their Web browser. That way all of your browsing data is stored on a server you have no control over, and Mozilla may not either.

    (We don’t know if they farm this out to Clown Computing partners like Microsoft or Amazon.)

    To enable password import in Firefox or LibreWolf, type about:config into the address bar and hit enter, agree that you’ll be careful.

    Search for this entry:

    browser.bookmarks.addedImportButton

    Double click to make it True.

    Now you are able to import passwords in CSV format. You should be able to export passwords from another browser and into Firefox or LibreWolf (where there is no Firefox Sync, due to privacy reasons), without needing any pesky Sync servers.

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