RIP HexChat – LWDW 413

AI is headed to Firefox, HexChat reaches EOL, FreeBSD announces end of support for 32-bit platforms, and malware in a Snap!


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00:00 Intro
05:11 Firefox AI
08:41 RIP HexChat
11:33 FreeBSD sunsets 32-bit support
15:01 Malware in a Snap

Mozilla updates (RTheren)

    • Mozilla, makers of our favorite open source web browser, Firefox, has just announced layoffs.
    • They are scaling back development on many projects, and 5% of its workforce are losing their jobs, which is 60 employees.
    • Some of the projects being cut back are:  Mozilla VPN, Rely, and other privacy products, including its latest project, the Online Footprint Scrubber, which was a paid for feature.
    • These layoffs are happening on the heels of Mozilla announcing its return to focusing development on the Firefox web browser.
    • And that is good news, and as a result of this return to focusing on what Mozilla does best, the Firefox web browser, there is a new release, Firefox 123.0.
    • And one of my favorite new features, and I quote from the Mozilla Firefox Release Notes blog:
  • “Having any issues with a website on Firefox, yet the site seems to be working as expected on another browser? You can now let us know via the Web Compatibility Reporting Tool! By filing a web compatibility issue, you’re directly helping us detect, target, and fix the most impacted sites to make your browsing experience on Firefox smoother.” 
    • Now that is the attention to the Firefox web browsing experience I like to hear!
  • Killing off their 3D virtual world and dialing back VPN service make plenty of sense. 
  • If they had more than two people maintaining the Mastodon instance, well, I have questions. 
  • Their new strat is to shove AI into Firefox because that’s the latest buzzword. 
    • Your remaining 3.3% market share consists of privacy focused individuals. 
    • You’re about to drive them away. 
  • The teams behind Pocket will be working on that, good luck. 
  • Mozilla layed off 250 employees (Servo Devs and Security Response Teams) in 2020 before doing whatever they have been doing the past three years.  
  • But fear not ladies and gents because FireFox is not going anywhere for a long long time. 
  • Google will continue providing 80% of Mozilla’s revenue to keep around some “competition”.  


The Last Hex

    • On 6 July 2012 Patrick released the first version of his IRC client, HexChat. 
    • In 2024 TingPing (current maintainer) is dropping the final release, 2.16.2.
    • Couple of small bug fixes, nothing major. 
  • “This will be the last release I make of HexChat. The project has largely been unmaintained for years now and nobody else stepped up to do that work.”
  • He started working on HexChat as a teenager but has decided to move on. 
  • All of the data will be moved to GitHub so it can live on until the end of Microsoft. 
  • The last update was in 2021 when Ping was letting everyone know it was mostly unmaintained. 
  • I was so sad to hear this, especially since HexChat was the original client I used to chat on LinuxGameCast many years ago!
  • And it is always good to hear that forks of the project are welcome.
  • In fact, HexChat itself is a fork of XChat!


FreeBSD ends 32-bit

  • This is an announcement I was surprised about, but I understand while they are doing it.
  • The open source and Unix-like FreeBSD operating system will stop support for 32-bit platforms in future major releases.
  • Armv6, i386, and powerpc platforms will not be included in the FreeBSD 15.0 release.
  • And FreeBSD 16.0 will not include armv7.
  • But, good news, 32-bit binaries on 64-bit kernels will still be maintained through the stable 16 branch to enable an easier transition to the 64-bit versions.
  • Just like what is happening with Linux, FreeBSD is realizing there are not as many 32-bit systems still in use, and focusing development to support them takes up a lot of resources and hinders new features.
  • Going forward, 32-bit support may be extended if needed for certain platforms.
  • My greatest concern about this change is all the old Internet of Things devices, like modems and routers, that won’t be getting updates anymore.
  • But, that is also a good thing because it forces companies to upgrade their hardware to 64-bit!


Crypto Snaps

  • Oh, those wacky Snap hackers are back again. 
  • If you don’t know already, the Snap store is littered with crypto wallets. 
  • A handful of them are scams. 
  • A fake wallet yoinked about $490K worth of coin from someone recently. 
  • This is not a repeat from 2018, or 2023. When the other fake apps did similar things. 
  • Pope has a one shot command to remove all of the known hacked Snaps. 
  • Pope proposes that Canonical try at bold and innovative approach to preventing this from happening in the future. 
  • Mandate and verify published applications are officially published by the upstream developers. 
  • If that sounds familiar it’s because that’s what everyone has been saying since this first happened. 
  • It’s a solid point because let’s be real, this is the Snap store, not Steam. 
  • You’re talking about a 1 (two at most) person job here. 
  • Until then I suggest a simpler solution that you can drop i your terminal. 
  • sudo apt purge snap*