03.02.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

The World Wide Web is a Dangerous Place — GNU/Linux Sites Included — Because of Misuse of JavaScript and Other Bloat

Posted in GNU/Linux, Site News at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

PIA hypocrisy

Summary: Too many Web sites have turned themselves into computer programs (with a lot of proprietary and sometimes malicious JavaScript) rather than pages to be rendered

Google Analytics is not new. I remember the day Google bought Urchin and turned it into a centralised, over-the-Web spying monster. I wrote quite a lot about it in USENET, as did others (at the time). USENET is now known to many as “Google Groups” (after Google bought yet another company) and the decentralised nature of the original Web is largely gone by now. Platforms like Pleroma, Mastodon, Diaspora and so on have attempted to tackle it, but is it too late? Maybe.

Nowadays when we visit a Web site we rarely end up accessing just one single site (or domain). It’s a bloated mess that is being justified poorly, owing to devices getting more powerful, browsers adding more features, and Webmasters forgetting to K.I.S.S. Techrights has behaved and has looked almost identical since 2006. We didn’t get seduced into sending special fonts for visitors to download and render at their end. Sites aren’t posters and it’s the substance that counts, not looks.

I am sad to say that nowadays I literally dread and thus hesitate to even enter (click a link to) certain GNU/Linux sites. Phoronix recently added spyware to all the pages (Michael told me that the parent company pressed for it), causing it to slow down and do all sorts of mysterious things to the browser of the visitors (it’s proprietary code, thus impossible to tell what’s going on). To Phoronix’s credit, unlike some other GNU/Linux sites it did not go over the top with various other scripts (sometimes connecting the visitors to dozens of different sites/spies).

Disappointingly enough, Linux Journal keeps bragging about privacy (to help its parent company, a VPN company) make more sales or add subscribers when both site — Linux Journal and the parent company (PIA) — put Google Analytics in all pages. How can they pretend to value privacy and preach to that effect when sending all the log data (and beyond) to Google?

Our main drawback here is that we don’t support encryption in page-serving (that would slow things down), but that mostly means that one’s ISP will be able to tell what pages, not just what site, get visited. Some time in the future we might adopt containers and with the migration we might also add HTTPS protocol. One sure thing is, such adoption can limit reach/compatibility, raise requirements at the user’s side, increase maintenance overhead, and even cause ‘downtime’ (expired certificates). In the interests of keeping the site light and easily accessible we will, for now, avoid JavaScript.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  2. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  3. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  4. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  5. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  6. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  8. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  9. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  10. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  11. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  12. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  13. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  15. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  17. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  18. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  19. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  20. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  21. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  22. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  23. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  24. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  25. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  26. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  28. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  30. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts