Category Archives: News/Releases

News about new stuff, new program releases and my new tools, tweaks or fixes…

Firefox Tweaker 2.4.2 released for Firefox 78

With preparation for Firefox 78 release landing really soon, I’ve prepared updated version of Firefox Tweaker that uses new “ui.prefersReducedMotion” parameter to turn off the moronic oversized URL bar introduced with Firefox 75.

This means all the old parameters used till this point are now obsolete. I’ve also removed CSS method from Firefox Tweaker 2.4.2 in favor of this reduced motion thing. Unfortunate downside of Mozilla dicking around so much with this thing is that bunch of tweaks need to be left behind inside prefs.js because it complicates things removing them correctly as means of cleanup. I believe performance penalty for leaving them there is immeasurable. As people are reinstalling systems or Firefox browser and new versions of Firefox Tweaker (after version 2.4) won’t be inserting them anymore, it’ll eventually get purged from systems on its own.

You can clean things up yourself deleting/reverting the following entries in about:config:

  • browser.urlbar.update1
  • toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets

Deleting custom user CSS style sheet:

Use “Open Firefox profile folder” function in the Firefox Tweaker and delete the “chrome” folder which contains “userChrome.css” file

Visit Firefox Tweaker micro page for more details and download:

https://rejzor.wordpress.com/firefox-tweaker/

Firefox Tweaker and dealing with Firefox 77 URL bar

Mozilla annoyed all of us with introduction of idiotic new oversized URL bar in Firefox 75 browser. But we found a “browser.urlbar.update1” switch for it in about:config and while stupid, it was a matter of flipping a switch and puff, that dumb shit was gone. I even made Firefox Tweaker for this very purpose so even most clueless users who just want browser work their way can do it easily. Fast forward to Firefox 77 release and Mozilla in all their wisdom (or lack of it) decided to kill the “browser.urlbar.update1” switch and now we are stuck with that oversized, twitching annoying fuckery of an URL bar they introduced. Guess what’s the new method of disabling that annoying URL bar? You need to learn to code fucking CSS. And flip ANOTHER switch in about:config because custom userChrome.css are disabled by default. This is the kind of shit that made me stop donating to Mozilla months ago. I’m not gonna support an organization that keeps on throwing such fuck you shit at users without giving us simple and clear way of controlling it through god damn settings. No one asked for this dumbass new URL bar, they cooked it in their dumb thick skulls because all they fucking do is sit in front of telemetry stats like absolute morons and cook up shit based on that. And results are dumb shit like this new URL bar. I’ve seen their MO long ago how they literally don’t give a shit what users say or complain about and it’s yet again obvious if you look at the Firefox subreddit. Bunch of fanboys extinguishing the rage of annoyed users. Telemetry is Mozilla’s holy grail and they’ll do everything based on that.

And even if I’d somehow believe an oversized URL bar is a must, because it somehow brings attention to users (I don’t know, I’m already clicking on it, I don’t need fucking more attention from it), do it fucking properly at least. Instead of doing cheap increase in size, how about keeping the size we had before and use GLOW effect around the URL bar. You know, a fucking soft, semi transparent glow that doesn’t just cover other elements and looks like someone who just started coding threw it in. The glow would look professional and pleasant to the eyes. It could also be displayed gradually instead of instant popup in size like current URL bar does. Or just make the edge double the thickness in a shade of blue and leave it at fucking that, not adding 8 fucking pixels on every side of it. Not to mention getting rid of fucking oversized URL bar can only be done now by clicking into webpage area of the browser. Clicking anywhere on tabs, empty tabs section, toolbar or bookmarks bar doesn’t get rid of it.

It’s literally like they put zero fucking thought into it and just smacked it into a fucking stable channel and 2 versions later enforced it by hardcoding it to a point you need to write a fucking custom CSS to override it. And then I’m the annoying one for complaining over it. Do your fucking job properly and no one will be angry and shit you implement will actually function and look nice. Not be this butt ugly half ass implementation that looks like something I’d only dare to release as “prototype”. Yet it’s here in a stable final version.

Deep inhale. I’ve released Firefox Tweaker 2.4 today which now has to fucking shuffle userChrome.css around in order to override this god damn new URL bar. It’s a hack and it will suck if you’re already using tweaks in userChrome.css, but at least I managed to hack this shit so you can turn off the damn thing with just ONE checkbox. Just imagine if Mozilla gave users that one fucking checkbox to control it in settings. Instead, some fucking randoms on interwebs have to make hacks to fix their fuckups. Year 2020 really is a fucking gem and we’re only half way into it…

Go to Firefox Tweaker micropage to grab version 2.4:

https://rejzor.wordpress.com/firefox-tweaker/

Major Firefox Tweaker update released!

Today, I’ve updated Firefox Tweaker to version 2.2, bringing several big features worthy of extra post about it.

  • Totally redesigned the prefs.js auto detection mechanism and added GUI driven manual selection or override for situations where prefs.js cannot be detected in default location or when multiple profiles are detected.
  • Added name of the exact parameter used for any given tweak under HELP button. Helpful so you know what exactly is being modified and if I’m interpreting some tweak wrong.
  • Added “Enable HTTPS green padlock” (Interface Tweaks)
  • Added “Disable Beacon API” (Privacy Tweaks)
  • Added “Browser Components” category
  • Added “Disable Firefox Accounts” (Browser Components)
  • Added “Disable Pocket” (Browser Components)
  • Added “Disable Screenshots Tool” (Browser Components)

Micro page for more details:

https://rejzor.wordpress.com/firefox-tweaker/

NextDNS is officially launching their private and secure DNS service

NextDNS Inc has announced today they are soft launching their private and secure DNS service globally. What is so special about NextDNS is that it’s not an ordinary DNS service. Sure, at its very core, it’s the same thing as Cloudflare DNS or OpenDNS. What separates it from the rest is their Anycast array of their own servers that are in charge for routing of traffic to nearest location, making them about as fast as Cloudflare.

What separates NextDNS from the rest

What really sets NextDNS apart is their extensive security and privacy feature set. When using NextDNS as public resolver, it logs nothing. It’s just a domain name resolver and that’s that. However, if you create an account, you can also make NextDNS filter traffic for you on multiple fronts, from security where it blocks phishing and malware to more privacy oriented wide selection of popular block lists like EasyList and EasyPrivacy for ads and trackers to manual block and whitelists to blocking of services, blocking of native trackers in common devices and operating systems, extensive configurable logs, statistics page as well as security/privacy settings where you can actually define where you want your DNS account logs stored when you opt for having logs. For now it can be USA, EU or Switzerland specifically. And if you want to keep logs, you can specify for how long and you can also filter things on a deeper level by only hiding IP’s in the DNS queries or even domains.

Wide support on various types of devices

Another amazing thing about NextDNS is native support for almost any type of device. Be it Android or iOS smartphone, Windows PC, Linux, Mac, browsers or even routers. Yeah, you can install NextDNS client directly on a supported router like ASUSWRT-Merlin powered routers and it’ll filter EVERYTHING that connects through that router. It’s freaking amazing service. I’ve been using it since quite early BETA and it has been amazing. It’s really not just a DNS service, it’s a full security suite where you can exactly control your privacy and security of all devices from mobile device to desktop PC or Android TV media device. Of course within limitations of DNS service. For more precise filtering you still need to use something like uBlock which actually combs through webpage code and filters out tracking junk, but it’s still doing pretty damn good job.

Pricing

As far as pricing goes, regular DNS or DNS with DoT/DoH is entirely free and costs nothing to use just like any other public DNS. However, running extensive block/filter lists is only free for 300.000 queries and then it switches back to regular DNS without filtering if you get past this limit. If you want to use it for unlimited amount of queries, it’ll cost you 1.99€ a month or 19.90€ a year, giving you some discount.

Homepage: https://nextdns.io

Changelog: https://headwayapp.co/nextdns-changelog

RSS: https://headwayapp.co/nextdns-changelog/rss

NextDNS on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/nextdns

My verdict on NextDNS

I’ve been using NextDNS for several months and even though there were few tiny issues, it was rock solid and reliable even during BETA. And what I like NextDNS the most is tracking protection. The amount of garbage devices want to send around that can and most probably does compromise your privacy, NextDNS blocks it at the “entry” point. Almost all communication outside of direct IP communication uses DNS resolving to convert fancy names into ugly numbers. And with their filter lists, you can keep a hand over excessive communication. An if none of the lists block what you want to block, you can do it manually. I run it on all my devices and it’s doing amazing job filtering all the garbage. There are bunch of apps for smartphones that cost as much as NextDNS for a single device. Here, you can basically control traffic of ALL your devices for 20€ a year. I think it’s quite worth it. Give it a try. It’s free for 300.000 queries a month which is quite a lot so in most cases even free plan should be enough to get through the month for most users.

As far as filter lists go, I highly recommend only using the following:

  • All 3 “Disconnect” lists (very lite, only block most common trackers)
  • LightSwitch05 (super extensive filter list that makes use of other lists pretty much obsolete)

I was really amazed by the performance of Lightswitch05 list. It blocks huge amounts of internet manure while causing pretty much no false positives. And its maintainer is really cool too, adding or fixing things really fast. There are tons of lists, but I wasn’t impressed by them, especially not by default NextDNS Recommended list. Just too many problems with a lot of lists where above ones work pretty much flawlessly.

Firefox Tweaker 2.0 released!

I’ve released a huge new update for Firefox Tweaker with new interface, bunch of new tweaks and settings and added some convenience to it. It now also has explanation of every tweak inside the app and an all new icon 🙂

Visit Firefox Tweaker micropage for more details:

https://rejzor.wordpress.com/firefox-tweaker/

Firefox Tweaker released!

FirefoxTweakerMainPanel

Because Mozilla just can’t stop with their endless fuckups when it comes to browser design, I wrote this tool to quickly and effortlessly revert or change their stupid “features” that are either endlessly annoying, ugly or totally not functional or helpful and I was sick and tired of dealing with incredibly time consuming and clumsy about:config page.

Firefox Tweaker allows you to change few super important (but hidden) settings in just few clicks through an easy to use interface. There is also a safeguard in place which backups settings file on first run so there shouldn’t be any problems.

For any questions, problems or bug reports contact me via e-mail or through micro-page comment section.

Visit Firefox Tweaker micro page for more details:

https://rejzor.wordpress.com/firefox-tweaker/

AVIRA Antivirus 2020 got new interface

I’ve been lurking around MalwareTips forums when I noticed someone posted about AVIRA getting new interface in their paid Internet Security package. Turns out, AVIRA Free also got a facelift. So I gave it a spin…

Main reason I did so was because AVIRA literally had the worst interface of all antiviruses in existence for literally decades. It was cumbersome, clumsy, fat, outdated and just plain terrible. It was so bad I avoided AVIRA like plague despite constantly scoring highly in tests. New interface looked promising, but I still had doubts knowing AVIRA and their almost legendarily terrible interface designs. Well, here are the findings in regards of new interface facelift.

What’s new?

Biggest change is ditching of weird “modular” launcher AVIRA insisted on for so long. The main interface now looks more like latest versions of AVG or avast!, even in color scheme. Which is not necessarily bad. It actually looks pretty ok and is quite logically organized. On the left there are categories and when you select them you have options on the right side.

What isn’t so new…

What isn’t so new are some of the old interface elements that got carried over from old interface dating as far as 15 years back in time. Yeah, I’m not kidding here and AVIRA seriously needs to step up the game now they finally done the main interface right. Luke Filewalker scanner is still around, old settings panel is still around and detection popup all look exactly the same as they have back when Windows XP was released and “Luna” theme design was a thing. Yeah, it has Windows XP vibe all over the place and it just feels wrong almost 20 years later.

Screenshots

AVIRA_Main.png
Main interface panel
AVIRA_Security.png
Security panel
AVIRA_Scan.png
Protection options panel
AVIRA_Settings.png
The “new” old settings panel
AVIRA_LukeFilewalker.png
Good very old Luke Filewalker…
AVIRA_Detection.png
“New” detection popup with Luna style close and Details buttons…

Additional info

Manual removal of some components in Programs and Features is required to get rid of things that are annoying and you don’t need, but get installed automatically. Like AVIRA Software Updater, AVIRA VPN and AVIRA Cleanup tools. They are all paid features that won’t have any purpose except eating resources and space as some dig into Explorer context menus and run constantly and eat absurd amounts of memory. Software Updater component for example was eating 450MB of RAM. I have 32GB of RAM, but it’s still absurd and serves absolutely no purpose as it’s paid only feature.

Verdict

New AVIRA interface is certainly a step in the right direction. It’s still not perfect, but it’s at least bearable now. And they need to seriously work on modernizing and integrating old panels and settings into new interface and make it a complete, consistent looking package. If they do this, AVIRA will become a serious competition with good detection and good looks. It’s already half way there and I can finally recommend it as an option.

Give it a try and let me know how you like it. Or just comment on screenshots. Do you like the new design or not?

Some explanation of avast! data selling drama

I want to explain some things in regards to this thing. People seem to be freaking out like it’s end of the world and I have a feeling 3/4 of them don’t even understand what’s going on, they are just jumping on the rage bandwagon. For TLRD, scroll down and skip the next two paragraphs.

I do have to admit this is pretty bad fuckup on avast!’s end and it was just a question of when it’s going to happen. I’ve been long time avast! supporter since it’s quite early days when it was still a relatively small company. It felt like family run company, team was super invested into actually listening to users and while it had some issues like unusual fancy interface and detection that wasn’t the best of the best, everything felt genuine and their top priority was product quality and user satisfaction. Fast forward to now and all their company seems to care is profits, profits, profits and again profits. I guess that’s what always happens when you get investors from outside, all they care is money and they always do it in most desperate ways. Selling user data is one of them…

As evident from investigation by PCMag and Motherboard. avast! of course responded with their official response and blog post, but I don’t think this will fix much. Damage has been done and to my surprise, they don’t seem to understand or care how quickly you ruin your reputation that took decades to build up. Coz if they cared, it wouldn’t even cross their mind to do it like this. Or have a whole freaking subsidiary that deals with data selling.

TLDR

So, yes, they were selling user data and although they say it was anonymized, it was a dick move. But there is no need to be totally freaking out and uninstalling avast! like it’s end of the world. After all, avast! does have a very good detection and that’s what we use antiviruses for.

  • If you were/are only using avast! Antivirus without any browser extensions, you are NOT affected.
  • If you were/ are using avast! browser extensions, but you have disabled Data Sharing in extension settings, you are NOT affected.

So, chances are, some users who weren’t using their browser extensions or had data sharing disabled, it’s like nothing happened. It’s a black mark in their rap sheet, but I’d still consider their antivirus. One coz they can’t afford another such fuckup and second, because it’s good and if you opt out from data sharing like I’ve always done, it’s still a good option. I never understood or liked sharing of data beyond protection one in antiviruses. Be it avast!, Kaspersky, Bitdefender or any other.

But ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to stay in this “relationship” or use something else…

EDIT 2020-1-30:

I got some extra info from a Reddit user that data collecting was also involved with antivirus alone through Web Shield component (at least per their EULA which I haven’t analyzed to such depth). Which means users not even using browser extensions could be affected unless data sharing was also disabled in antivirus itself. Which is what I’ve always done right away after installing avast!, but I can imagine millions of casual users not doing that.

EDIT: 2020-2-14

I just got a reply from avast! employee on their forums that Web Shield in desktop versions of avast! was not involved in data collection. Data collection only affected mobile version of avast! Web Shield assuming you had data sharing enabled. If you didn’t, then you weren’t affected either.

CryEngine real-time ray tracing tech demo capable of running on any graphic card!

CryTek recently shocked gaming community with a jaw dropping tech demo showcasing real-time ray tracing running on mid range AMD Vega 56 graphic card, but they say it can run on any graphic card from AMD or NVIDIA without any need for dedicated ray tracing hardware. Yes, CryTek is saying that for their ray tracing, you don’t need GeForce RTX graphic card.

If you think I’m exaggerating when I say it’s jaw dropping, have a look for yourself…

I really wish we had an executable tech demo that we could run ourselves on graphic cards we already have, but if CryTek is not fooling us in any way and this was indeed running in real-time using AMD Vega 56 graphic card and all the reflections, lighting and shadowing is in fact ray traced method, then NVIDIA is in for a shock. And so is almost entire gaming industry. Just imagine what a huge breakthrough this is for the graphics, we are talking Pixel Shader level of shock that happened back in 2001 with DirectX 8 that brought programmable shader effects including beautiful simulated reflections that were basically impossible with earlier DirectX versions. Realistic reflections that can be used on any graphic card without having to drop almost 1000€ for a graphic card and you still get playable framerate. It’s insane. We could finally see use of reflections as a game mechanic. Just imagine multiplayer games where using reflections to have an advantage. For example looking at windows or reflective objects to see if someone is hiding in the room, or using reflections to create more scary environment. Or even just to boost immersion. I always loved games that render player’s own shadow, because it gives a feeling that your player character physically exists in the game and it’s not just floating hands and gun, but a real person that casts a shadow of its own. Now imagine also seeing real reflections of yourself in everything that is reflective.

I don’t know what kind of witchcraft CryTek is doing, but it seems to be working and I really hope developers will jump on it. CryEngine has always been visually amazing, but always stumbling in the shadow of Unreal Engine. I hope this will help them out. Crysis 4 maybe? I sure hope and with ray tracing please. 🙂

Dissenter, a comment section for the entire internet

Recent trend is to shut down comment sections on webpages to avoid people actually discussing what they really think about the news article or the content so the authors can further push certain agendas or narratives without any resistance from people who aren’t just sheep, but they actually think about things or discuss it with others. Because articles and news without comment sections are pretty much propaganda material.

As a response to that, Gab, the free speech social network recently launched service called Dissenter. Essentially, Dissenter is a commenting system, almost like Disqus, but doesn’t require integration into webpage itself. You can download extension for it for all major browsers (links will be down below) and read what others are saying about certain content under an URL. If you want to comment, you have to create Gab account, but reading is fully open as is. Good thing about it is that you can browse the webpages as before and when opening Dissenter, you get a popup on top, so you can read webpage and the comments at the same time without leaving one or the other.

In a nutshell, we already had something similar, it was called “WOT” or “Web Of Trust”, until it was discovered they were selling user data to 3rd parties without user consent. It’s when I and many others ditched it. Which is a shame because the design and usability of the service was pretty good and super useful.

If webpages have comment sections, but they are censored or disabled, you can still comment on it and anyone using Dissenter, can see them under same URL. Even if webpages don’t have comment sections at all by default, you can still comment and others can still read that.

Dissent always comments under the specific URL you’re currently located, so if you want to comment on their webpage in general, you need to visit their root webpage or home page. This can be seen in Dissenter popup, so make sure you are on correct address depending on what you want to comment on, specific article or subpage or home page itself.

Idiots are already making wild claims how Dissenter is a neonazi propaganda tool, that needs to be banned and shutdown from everywhere (the same they’ve been doing with Gab platform itself), but I see a lot of value in it. Just like WOT, this can be used for anything, be it just a comment on a CNN news article without comment section, Youtube video that has comments disabled or a rating of an online store that you had negative (or positive) experience with, but there is very hard to warn others if there are no comments on the webpage itself. With Dissent, you can do that too. And no one can stop you from commenting, because it’s outside of webpage’s control. An ultimate free speech tool, as you can talk about anything, anywhere. Sure trolls and spammers will eventually start abusing it, but reading different opinions and having doubt about things is what makes you a more rational person. You don’t just read things and blindly believe them to be the truth, you read comments and research things before forming an opinion. And that’s the point of Dissent. Grab it and check out what people really think about things online.

Download Dissent browser extension (and source code):

https://dissenter.com/download

Gab

https://gab.com