Category adblock plus

  • Emscripten allows compiling C++ code to JavaScript. It is an interesting approach allowing porting large applications (games) and libraries (crypto) to the web relatively easily. It also promises better performance and memory usage for some scenarios (something we are currently looking into for Adblock Plus core). These beneficial effects largely stem from the fact that the “memory” Emscripten-compiled applications work with is a large uniform typed array. The side-effect is that buffer overflows, use-after-free bugs and similar memory corruption mistakes are introduced to JavaScript that was previously safe from them. But are these really security-relevant?

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  • This announcement by the Princeton University is making its rounds in the media right now. What the media seems to be most interested in is their promise of ad blocking that websites cannot possibly detect, because the website can only access a fake copy of the page structures where all ads appear to be visible. The browser on the other hand would work with the real page structures where ads are hidden. This isn’t something the Princeton researchers implemented yet, but they could have, right?

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  • Note: This is explicitly posted in my private blog rather than the Adblock Plus blog. This post represents my own opinion only. It is likely unwise to rant about a competing project but I just don’t want to keep my findings to myself.

    On Chrome, two popular ad blockers are currently available: AdBlock and Adblock Plus. Despite the confusingly similar names, they are completely unrelated projects. I am in charge of the latter, yet people will occasionally ask me whether I would recommend AdBlock or Adblock Plus to them. There is certainly lots of room for improvement in Adblock Plus for Chrome, so my answer typically goes along the lines of: “These projects have different approaches but the resulting products are roughly comparable.” Recently, I looked over to the AdBlock for Chrome project and was shocked to discover that things changed, a lot actually. So next time somebody asks me about AdBlock and the difference to Adblock Plus, I can point them to this blog post.

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  • For a while, I have been occasionally misusing the Adblock Plus project blog for articles that had no relation to Adblock Plus whatsoever. I posted various articles on security, Mozilla and XULRunner there, general extension development advise, occasionally some private stuff. With the project growing and more people joining I am no longer the only person posting to the Adblock Plus blog, treating it as my private blog isn’t appropriate. So a while ago I decided to set up a separate private blog for myself and now I finally found the time to implement this. My off-topic blog posts have been migrated to the new location. Now you can read my blog if you are interested in the random stuff I post there, or you can keep reading the Adblock Plus blog if all you are interested in is Adblock Plus.

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  • Note: This article is not about extensions based on the Add-on SDK (Jetpack). You don’t have to use the SDK to create a restartless extension. Just wanted to point this out explicitly to avoid confusion.

    An extension that will install without requiring a Firefox restart? This was a nightmare to develop not too long ago. Fortunately, things changed and the last showstopper bug was fixed in Firefox 8. Effort to create a restartless (or bootstrapped as it is called officially) extension is acceptable now. In fact, I have converted all my extensions and removed support for classic non-restartless extensions from my build tools — I am certain that I am not going back.

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  • After doing two merges in Mercurial when I couldn’t push my changes due to totally unrelated changes in the remote repository, I noticed that mq works great but having a fully automated solution instead of running several commands manually would be desirable.

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  • I had a lengthy discussion with Giorgio Maone (author of the NoScript extension) about what is a security solution and what isn’t. Starting point was my statement that, while being excellent for getting rid of annoyances, neither Adblock Plus nor NoScript are really security solutions. Both have the potential, so why not?

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