[TAGGED: Free Software]
  1. My review of Pop!_OS 22.04 vs. MacOS and Windows

    TL;DR: Pop!_OS > Windows > MacOS

    I've been building and tinkering with computers since I was a small child. Originally I would salvage old computer parts that schools and businesses were throwing away, swapping broken parts for whatever working hardware I could find, in the process converting my parents' family room into a junkyard of resurrected IBM PS/2s and dot matrix printers, all of them beeping and clicking and running my childish attempt at an artificial general intelligence.

    Now that I'm grown up, my life is much the same, although instead of finding old junk, I've blown altogether way too much money buying computers and experimenting with new builds. This means I've never been a "PC guy" or a "Mac guy" or a "Linux nerd" or anything else. I'm intimately familiar with Windows, MacOS and many flavors of Linux and I appreciate all of them for what they are.

    But recently, I sold off my Windows and Mac setups and made 2023 my year of Linux on the desktop. And so far I am loving it, thanks in great part to Pop!_OS 22.04, the only Linux distro I've used that fits me like a glove. So in the following post, I will ramble on about Pop!_OS and why I took the plunge.

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    Posted 2023-08-05 23:11:00 CST by henriquez. Comments
  2. The JavaScript Black Hole

    A playbook for ethical engineering on the web.

    In the 25 years since JavaScript was first added to Netscape Navigator, the language has evolved from a cute little toy to an integral part of the Internet. JavaScript frameworks such as React and Angular have transformed the web, bringing us fully-fledged client side applications with functionality that could only be imagined just a decade ago. In the process, the web has become more powerful, but also much more dangerous. Malware and mass surveillance have become persistent threats, fueled by the ever-expanding amounts of user data exposed by new JavaScript features, and sucked into the black hole of omnipresent tracking networks. With real human costs, these threats have been worsened by the increasingly popular belief that "the web browser is an operating system, and everything is an app."

    This essay is written for web developers and people interested in the field. In it, I break down the problems mentioned above, demonstrate some commonly-used JavaScript practices that can expose users to harm, provide examples of actual harm being done, and ultimately propose some actionable alternatives that we, as developers, can adopt to prioritize ethical engineering and minimize harm for our users, while still building feature rich applications.

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    Posted 2020-04-04 11:40:00 CST by henriquez. 9 comments