Technology

Lynne Teaches Tech: Why did everyone’s Firefox add-ons get disabled around May 4th?

Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, have implemented a number of security checks in their browser related to extensions. One such check is a digital certificate that all add-ons must be signed with. This certificate is like a HTTPS certificate – the thing that gives you a green padlock in your browser’s URL bar.

You’ve probably seen a HTTPS error before. This happens when a site’s certificate is invalid for one reason or another. One such reason is that the certificate has expired.

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Discord and Spotify for Linux and xdg-mime

The bug

I’ve noticed that Discord for Linux takes a very, very long time to start up – sometimes in the order of hours. During this time, my laptop gets very hot. I eventually decided to look into this and found that several instances of xdg-mime were taking up 100% CPU. Killing them caused Discord to open instantly.

Apparently this issue is present with Spotify too. This fix will work for both of them.

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Configuring Searx

Searx is a free and open source metasearch engine. It can be self-hosted (like I do!) or accessed at searx.me. Metasearch engine? A metasearch engine is a search engines that uses other search engines to get its results. For example, when you search metasearch engine A for “cat”, it would… Read More »Configuring Searx

Lynne Teaches Tech: Why does Windows install to drive C by default? Why not A?

CP/M, a very old operating system for very old computers, used drive letters to distinguish between each drive on a computer. the first drive would be drive A, then drive B, and so on. CP/M computers typically had two floppy disk drives (drive A and B). when a CP/M machine… Read More »Lynne Teaches Tech: Why does Windows install to drive C by default? Why not A?

Lynne Teaches Tech: Why does text on a webpage stay sharp when you zoom in, even though images get blurry?

images like PNG and JPEG files get blurry when zoomed in beyond 100% of their size. this is true of video files, too, and many other methods of representing graphics. this is because these files contain an exact description of what to show. they tell the computer what colour each… Read More »Lynne Teaches Tech: Why does text on a webpage stay sharp when you zoom in, even though images get blurry?

Lynne Teaches Tech: Why do people say GNU/Linux or GNU+Linux?

paraphrased Wikipedia quote:In 1991, the Linux kernel appeared. Combined with the operating system utilities developed by the GNU project, it allowed for the first operating system that was free software, commonly known as Linux. in other words, the linux kernel and GNU utilities work together to form the linux operating… Read More »Lynne Teaches Tech: Why do people say GNU/Linux or GNU+Linux?

Lynne Teaches Tech: Why does compressing a JPEG make it look worse, even though putting in a ZIP file makes it look the same?

there are many different methods of file compression. one of the simplest methods is run length encoding (RLE). the idea is simple: say you have a file like this:aaabbbbaaaaayou could store it as:a3b4a5to represent that there are 3 a’s, 4 b’s, etc. you would then simply need a program to… Read More »Lynne Teaches Tech: Why does compressing a JPEG make it look worse, even though putting in a ZIP file makes it look the same?