Tag Archive for ‘The Web’

Sites That Ban Linking to Them ➝

Malcolm Coles:

10+ years ago I created an annual list of websites that FORBADE you from linking to them, DEMANDED you write to ask for permission or LIMITED links to only their home page. Royal Mail even promised to post me a paper licence.

Now a decade has passed, let’s see who’s still doing it … And yes I’ve linked to your websites to prove this. Uh oh.

Some people don’t understand how the web works.

➝ Source: malcolmcoles.com

Google Domains Shutting Down, Assets Sold to Squarespace ➝

It’s unwise to rely on Google for anything. But that’s especially so for anything outside of their core services.

(Via John Spurlock.)

➝ Source: 9to5google.com

Relaunching #OpenWeb

When I first launched #OpenWeb a few years ago, it was a bit of an experiment. The idea was to aggregate headlines from independent publishers within the Apple enthusiast community. The method I used for publishing the headlines was pretty fragile, though, and eventually it just became too difficult to maintain.

It’s been in the back of my mind to refactor the project into something that was easier to manage and might be a bit more useful to, not just the Apple enthusiast community, but the open web in general. A couple of weeks ago, I started laying the groundwork and today I’m ready to share it.

Rather than aggregating headlines, #OpenWeb will simply showcase independent publishers within the more general tech and web enthusiast space. It’ll probably have still have a bend toward publishers that write about Apple products, but that will likely change as time goes on.

With the shift to being more of a showcase for writers, syndication might be a bit more useful, too. Instead of the RSS feed including headlines from all of the sites, it will only be updated when sites are added. My plan is to add one new source each weekday, but I imagine the pace will slow as I run out of the backlog of sites to add.

If you’d like to follow along with the newly added sites, you can do so with the its RSS feed, on Mastodon, or on Twitter. I might add an email newsletter option at some point, but there aren’t any immediate plans to. That’s not a method that I tend to use on other sites, so it’s not something I’m super motivated to add. However, if that’s something you’d like to see, please let me know and, depending on interest, it might get a higher priority.

Also, if you publish a weblog or know of one that you’d like to recommend, you can suggest a site to be included.

Firefox Removes Yandex and Mail.ru Search ➝

Rick Findlay, writing for Reclaim the Net:

Mozilla has pushed a new release of its Firefox browser with one notable change; it will no longer have Yandex, the Russian search engine, and Mail.ru as options.

That’s fine. If Mozilla decides to remove these as options for search within Firefox, they have every right to do so. But it gets worse.

From the release notes:

If you previously installed a customized version of Firefox with Yandex or Mail.ru, offered through partner distribution channels, this release removes those customizations, including add-ons and default bookmarks. Where applicable, your browser will revert back to default settings, as offered by Mozilla.

Again, removing the built-in option from the browser is fine. Users could always add it as a custom search engine, if they so choose. But for people who are already using Yandex or Mail.ru as their search engine, have these add-ons installed, or have the bookmarks they’re referring to — it’s more than a little over the line for them to just remove them with an update.

A much more gracefully way to handle this would have been to display a modal to the affected users the first time they launch the browser after upgrading, asking if they’d like to change their search engine, remove the add-ons, and/or bookmarks. But the user should have the option to decline this change.

I don’t use Yandex or Mail.ru and don’t have any of the unnamed add-ons or bookmarks in my browser — I don’t even use Firefox anymore — but I find it incredibly distasteful that a browser maker would just change defaults on users like this without their consent.

➝ Source: reclaimthenet.org

RSS Makes the Web Tolerable Again ➝

Jamie Adams:

Most people now get their news from social media but recent years have shown that this can be problematic: social media platforms are not neutral content providers. They manipulate how, when and what content is delivered to end users for their own ends and you have to sift through all the ads, outrage and general horror of social media to get to the content you want to see.

It’s not all bad news. In fact there is very good news: RSS never actually went away. Most websites, whether they advertise it or not, still provide an RSS feed and you can use it right now to take control of how content is delivered to you.

If you aren’t already using RSS, you should start using it.

➝ Source: jamieadams.click

Mozilla Works With Meta on ‘Privacy Preserving Attribution for Advertising’ ➝

Martin Thomson, writing on Mozilla’s weblog:

Attribution is how advertisers know if their advertising campaigns are working. Attribution generates metrics that allow advertisers to understand how their advertising campaigns are performing. Related measurement techniques also help publishers understand how they are helping advertisers. Though attribution is crucial to advertising, current attribution practices have terrible privacy properties.

For the last few months we have been working with a team from Meta (formerly Facebook) on a new proposal that aims to enable conversion measurement – or attribution – for advertising called Interoperable Private Attribution, or IPA.

I’m glad I switched to Brave. It just saddens me that it’s built on Chromium. I wish Mozilla was a better steward of privacy and freedom online, but that doesn’t appear to be who they are anymore. So, Brave it is.

➝ Source: blog.mozilla.org

Keep Using RSS ➝

Matt Birchler:

While I definitely agree that RSS seems less mainstream than it used to be (although how mainstream it ever was is unclear to me), but I don’t resonate with the feeling that it’s not possible to use RSS like we always have.

Yes, feed aggregators like Inoreader, Feedly, and many more have some tricks to get more sources into your reader, the fact is I can still easily follow almost everything I want in these apps.

RSS is still the best way to follow the news and whatever hobbies and interests you have. It’s supported by almost every site and works incredibly well.

If you’re already using RSS, keep it up. If you’re not, consider starting.

➝ Source: birchtree.me

We Can Do Better Than DuckDuckGo ➝

I agree with much of what is said in this piece, but this bit of misinformation jumped out at me:

DuckDuckGo is not a search engine. It’s more aptly described as a search engine frontend. They do handle features like bangs and instant answers internally, but their actual search results come from third-parties like Bing. They don’t operate a crawler for their search results, and are not independent.

I’ve seen this mentioned elsewhere as well, but it’s not entirely true. DuckDuckGo does operate a web crawler for their search results. They have partnered with third-parties like Bing, but my understanding is that this is to supplement the results they provide in searches.

➝ Source: drewdevault.com