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Controversy With Chrome Ad Blocker: Google Increases The Maximum Limit

Controversy With Chrome Ad Blocker: Google Increases The Maximum Limit

You have probably read a lot about the upcoming Manifest V3 for Google Chrome extensions and the controversy surrounding changes affecting ad-blockers and other extensions on the platform.

A first draft of Manifest V3 for Chrome extensions was published to the public in January 2019. Criticism erupted in force because one of the changes would cripple ad-blocking functionality of Chrome extensions.

Without going into too many details: content blockers on Chrome use an API called webRequest API to block certain elements on visited web pages. Google’s plan back then was to make the API “read only” and move blocking functionality to a new API called declarativeNetRequest API.

One of the primary issues with this API was that it had a fixed rule limit of 30,000; famous ad-blocking filter lists like EasyList already have more than double the guidelines, making it difficult to load all the filters if Google introduced the fresh Manifest file. One of Google’s allegations was refuted that extensions using the ancient API had a negative impact on results.

Raymond Hill, the creator of uBlock Origin and uMatrix, pointed out that the shift would end its Google Chrome extensions, and other developers made comparable remarks.

By making slight changes to the API, Google attempted to tackle issues in May. The company added an option to use 5000 dynamic rules but the overall consensus was that the limitations were still to limiting.

Several companies that use Chromium as the core for their browsers, e.g. Brave or Vivaldi, were quick to note that they would find ways around the limit.

Google announced changes that it plans to make to the Declarative Net Request API that would raise the limit of the API to 150,000. Google noted as well that it is investigating options actively to include other methods that could help extension developers leverage the API better.

We are actively exploring other ways to expand this API, including adding methods to get feedback about matched rules, and support for richer redirects leveraging URL manipulation and regular expressions. Additionally, we are currently planning to change the rule limit from maximum of 30k rules per extension to a global maximum of 150k rules.

Google notes that the proposed changes were never designed to “prevent or weaken” ad blockers on the Chrome platform and that Google’s main motivation behind the change was to “give developers a way to create safer and more performant ad blockers”.

Another argument that Google brings forward to validate the API change is that the API has been abused in the past by malicious developers to access user “credentials, accounts, or personal information”.

The reasoning is puzzling given that Google earlier announced that when Manifest V3 launches, it will only remove the blocking portion of the webRequest API. It would appear that malicious developers of extensions can still use it by tracking applications to access user data.

Developers have expressed other concerns as only a rule-based strategy is focused on Google. Chrome extensions may not support any functionality that is not based on regulations if the modifications are launched in the present form.

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Krisp For Windows | Mute Background Noise During Calls

Krisp For Windows | Mute Background Noise During Calls

Krisp, an application that was originally published for Mac OS X to cancel background noise, is now also accessible for Windows devices.

The application attempts to tackle a issue that often brings with it calling on Windows or Mac devices: background noise and its impact on the quality of the call.

Krisp For Windows | Mute Background Noise During Calls

Krisp For Windows | Mute Background Noise During Calls

Background noise is mainly dependent on the noise itself and the impact it has on calls you create. If you need to create a call from a crowded location or in noisy settings, it can be quite distracting; not only are you influenced by this, but background noise can also affect the individuals you speak to.

Background noise from call participants can also be highly annoying, and Krisp promises to take care of both of these.

Krisp attempts to mute or mask background noise during calls, and other microphone activity. Installation and use is not as straightforward as one would expect though.

Krisp For Windows, sits idly in the system tray area upon installation, and the first thing that you will notice when you activate it is a prompt to sign in.

I’m not a huge fan of applications that require you to sign in before you can do anything with them. Apart from the bad user experience, it also raises privacy alarm bells right from the get-go. Krisp loads a login page in the default browser when you activate the login option. There you are asked to enter your email address and confirm it by entering a code that was sent to it.

The local application should pick up the sign-in state so that you can start using it; this was not the case on one of the devices I tested it on. The app seemed stuck on “Loading Krisp Please Wait” and the “try again” button would not resolve the issue.

You need to select Krisp as the speaker/microphone if you get past this. Just toggle the “mute noise” option afterward under microphone or speaker to reduce background noise while using the speakers or microphone.

Krisp is designed for calls but it can also be very useful if you use voice chat applications such as Discor, Teamspeak, or others.

How Good Is The Noise Cancelling?

You can check out a demo on the Krisp homepage that gives you answers for common scenarios such as coffee shop, conferencing, street, or screaming child. The developers also plan to release Krisp for Android, and iOS in the future as well.

Krisp is compatible with Windows 10 64-bit only. Download Krisp From Here!

Final Words

Krisp does a great job when it comes to cancelling background noise when you use the microphone on your computer or listen to others. I wish it would not enforce the sign-in as there is no need for that at all at this point in time.

Now You: Have you tried Krisp For Windows? What is your take?

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If You Lost All Your Passwords In Firefox, Then Here It Is How To Fix It?

If You Lost All Your Passwords In Firefox, Then Here It Is How To Fix It?

Reports are coming in by Firefox Users from all over the world that saved passwords are no longer available when they start the web browser.

Firefox, just like any other modern browser, supports the saving of authentication information to improve the sign-in process on websites. Instead of having to enter the passwords manually each time they are requested, Firefox would provide the password when needed.

Firefox saves the data in the File Logins.Json in the Firefox profile folder.

Reports suggest that Avast and AVG security applications cause the issue for Firefox users. It appears that the software programs somehow corrupt the login.json file so that Firefox cannot read it anymore.

It is possible that other security programs may cause the issue as well.

Good news is that the passwords are still there and that affected users should be able to recover them on their devices. Bad news is that this is only a temporary solution as the files will be corrupted again unless Avast updates its software programs to address the issue.

In other words: the issue is not caused by Firefox, it is caused by third-party software that corrupts the logins file of the Firefox web browser.

If You Lost All Your Passwords In Firefox, Then Here It Is How To Fix It?

Here It Ow To Fix The Lost Password Issue:

  1. Open the Firefox web browser.
  2. Load about:support.
  3. Click on the “open folder” link near the top of the page that opens; this opens the profile folder.
  4. Close Firefox.
  5. Check if you see a file called logins.json.corrupt.
  6. If you do, rename the file to logins.json to fix it.
  7. Start Firefox. The passwords should be available again.

The Fix Is A Temporary One As The Logins File Will Corrupt Again When You Restart The System.

One option to fix the issue on the user’s end would be to exclude Firefox or the file from scans. Other than that, you either have to wait for AVG/Avast to issue a patch that addresses the problem or remove the software from the system.

Some Firefox users fixed the issue by rolling back to Firefox 67.0.1; AVG/Avast software appears to play fine with that version of the browser.

The incident is not the first time that AVG or Avast Software caused issues in Firefox. When Firefox 61 was released in mid 2018, the browser suddenly threw Secure Connection Failed errors when attempting to connect to HTTPS sites. Then in February 2019, users would get Sec_Error_Unknown_Issuer when connecting to secure sites. Turned out that the issues were caused by the security software.

You Can Download Latest Firefox Here!

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How Do You Turn a Spare Internal Hard Drive into an External USB 3.0 Hard Drive?

These days, hard drives are dirt inexpensive compared to previous prices, particularly when you consider the huge drive sizes presently on the market.

That’s why a lot of individuals choose to upgrade their current computers ‘ hard disks instead of purchasing a whole fresh PC.

How Do You Turn a Spare Internal Hard Drive into an External USB 3.0 Hard Drive?

How Do You Turn a Spare Internal Hard Drive into an External USB 3.0 Hard Drive?

If you’re one of those who took the plunge and upgraded your computer’s hard drive, you might wonder what your ancient drive can do.

Well, you have a few choices, but my favorite is to convert the old drive to an internal USB hard drive. All you need to do is buy and plug your drive into an internal USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure. It’s that easy really!

External hard drive enclosures used to be costly, but no more. You can actually discover them for less than $10 on Amazon (click here to see their present range).

Note: Most recent hard drives have SATA connections so any SATA compatible external enclosure will work with them.

However, if your drive was abstracted from an older computer it would well have a different interface (IDE/ATA/PATA, etc.). If your drive uses one of those legacy interfaces you’ll need to purchase an external enclosure that fortifies that interface.

If you’re unsure about which interface type your drive has, feel in liberty to contact me I’ll avail you cull the right one. Simply send me a message containing the brand and model of either the hard drive itself or the computer it was abstracted from.

While your fresh external hard drive is unlikely to be nearly as spacious as one you can purchase off the shelf today, a backup set or two will probably be large enough to store.

Furthermore, most of us can always use an additional internal drive, right? And it’s quite a deal with about 10 dollars!

If you decide to transform your old internal hard drive to an external USB hard drive, here are a few things to consider:

  1. If your computer doesn’t have USB 3.0 ports, you can probably add some for about the cost of a good pizza.
  2. After installing the drive in the enclosure and plugging it into your PC, you’ll probably want to reformat it. Simply right-click on the the drive in Windows Explorer / File Explorer, and click Format.

Important! Make sure your new drive, and its Windows installation is working as it should, and That you’ve copied all of your files off the old drive before you format it!

 That’s All There Is To It! Good Luck!

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