Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gnome users are revolting

There are claims that Gnome 3 is too dumbed down for Linux users. I have to admit I'm a little frustrated at not being able to test Gnome 3 properly, because my CD drive is failing, causing my Fedora 15 beta live Gnome 3 session to crash regularly.
One of the main objections to Gnome 3 seems to be the lack of minimise and maximise buttons on windows. However, I have been able to try out the way Gnome 3 handles windows, and it seems intuitive and more efficient in a minimalist way than the previous method. "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,"* said Einstein, and to my mind the Gnome team have done this: "Made of easy" indeed.
Of course there is no bottom panel to minimise windows to. Grabbing a window and bumping it up to the top panel will automatically maximise the window; grabbing it again and pulling it down will minimise it to the desktop.
Simple. And elegant.

* Apparently actually a paraphrase (for understandable reasons) of: "It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Revoke fraudulent Comodo digital certificates

Fraudulent digital certificates were issued by the Comodo Certificate Authority, for sites such as Microsoft Live, googlemail, skype and Mozilla addons. Potentially, visitors to fake sites with these fraudulent certificates could have been deceived into thinking they were the real site. Apparently the fraud was detected before this could happen. The Fraudulent certificates have been revoked, and browsers with certificate revocation checking enabled will identify the certificates as invalid. Some browsers have automatic revocation; in others it has to be enabled. It's also possible (in Firefox at least- I haven't tried it in other browsers) to manually import a revocation list. Details here at nakedsecurity.

Tracking cookies

F-Secure has a good write up on tracking cookies. Ed Bott tells how to eliminate them. The only problem with this method is the rare occasion when an action on a website requires a third-party cookie. (Logging into WordPress seems to do so.) I've looked at a couple of Firefox extension that block tracking cookies while still allowing third-party cookies. They are Ghostery and the Easy Privacy list for Adblock Plus. Both seem to work well.

Gnome 3 is finished- when can I use it?

Gnome 3 seems to be finished. It looks great. When can I use it on an installed Linux distribution? In May, on Fedora, and in October, in Ubuntu. On Debian Stable, I'll have to wait a couple of years. I'd be tempted to install Fedora, but my CD drive is failing.

Update: Status of Gnome 3 in Debian.
Dark green means Gnome 3 packages are up to date in Debian Testing. As you can see, there isn't much dark green.

Update: apt-get install debian-wizard has a good post on installing Gnome 3 in Debian: in summary, as a comment points out, Gnome 3 may be "made of easy", but installing it on Debian Squeeze isn't: it's for Linux experts only, requiring Debian Testing plus Experimental repositories. The blog does hint at what may be the best compromise for Debian Squeeze users eager to try Gnome 3: install Testing and wait for Gnome 3 to "land" there. The status site linked to above shows that Testing is making progress towards Gnome 2- but no ETA yet!