Find out who is tracking you Online : Collusion Add On for Firefox

Some websites track users behaviors online for providing relevant information to the user or may be for some other good reasons so it’s ok, as long as the user knows that they’re getting tracked, it seems acceptable, but in most of the cases the users are totally unaware of the fact that they’re getting tracked. That’s evil! But it’s not going to continue for long – due to a cool add-on – that will help you in tracking (and controlling ) the online trackers (so basically, it’s a meta tracker :)).

collusion-snapshot

Collusion : Firefox Add-on to discover your online trackers in Real Time

Mozilla Foundation (along with Ford Foundation) has launched an add-on for Firefox web browser named – Collusion which will allow you to discover the sites which is tracking your online activity and not only that – it will also provide you some options to control it i.e you can turn off their tracking if you want. So we are moving towards a more transparent web, now take a look at how you are going to visualize the data (of trackers and how they’re linked) – Here is a snapshot taken on my browser. Using Collusion you can visualize the tracking data/activity in real time – right from your browser – in one click.

collusion-add-on-firefox

Download/Install Collusion add-on in Mozilla Firefox

Go to plugin page and download/install it. That set, you won’t have to even restart the browser. You will notice an icon of Collusion at top-bottom corner. Click on the icon and continue your browsing. Now, come back to Collusion tab and visualize/control how you’re getting tracked and by whom – see the icons of website in the little round circles (nodes).

How to setup Google Public DNS on Ubuntu (11.10/12.04)

DNS i.e Domain Name System is a Naming System responsible for translating the human friendly domain names to I.P address. In most of the cases, by default – you would be using your ISP’s DNS server which may be slow or some geographical restrictions might be there. In such cases, it’s often recommended to use DNS service provided by third party such as OpenDNS (refer to article about setting up OpenDNS in Ubuntu, basically the process are same – only the I.P address of the servers are different) or the Google Public DNS, did I forget to mention that both DNS service are Free! (in general). it supports IPv4 as well as IPv6.

So, if you are not sure where to use ISP DNS server or Google Public DNS then you must know about some additional benefits of using Google Public DNS –

  • Faster DNS Lookup
  • Improved Security (Protection from phishing sites/domans)
  • No redirection (additionally, you can also access the sites blocked from ISP DNS Provider)

Change your Internet Settings to use Google Public DNS

Although the tutorial is primarily targeted for Ubuntu users but it should also work well on similar GNU/Linux distributions such as Debian, Linux Mint, OpenSuse etc. Just follow the simple steps and enjoy faster web surfing with Google Public DNS.

network-applet-ubuntu

#1. Go to Network -> Edit Network Connections

edit-network-connections

#2. Select your Network connection, you want to setup with Google Public DNS and click Edit. Then go to IPv4 Settings tab and select “Automatic (DHCP) addresses only ” in the Method section.

google public dns

#3. Now, specify the IP address in DNS Servers field and click on SAVE. Then restart your Router to start using Google Public DNS servers.

8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4

Recommended Reading(s) and Reference(s)

Best FTP/sFTP Client for Ubuntu (11.10/12.04)

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client is a must have software for most of the web developers or webmaster. Web Masters using GNU/Linux based operating systems such as Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora etc often manages their web servers without any graphical or C-panel like interface, rather they use SSH (Secure Shell). FTP comes in handy in both of the cases – it doesn’t only upload files to remote servers but can do a lot of other things such as Deleting a File, Changing File Permission, editing/saving file directly, in an easy way.

FileZilla – The Best FTP Client for Ubuntu

filezilla-snapshot

Filezilla is the most popular cross-platform FTP Client. It is a sophisticated FTP Client with simple and easy to use GUI. The program has been written in C++. The most useful features are –

  • supports FTP, FTPS (FTP over TLS/SSL) and SSH (SFTP)
  • IPv6 support
  • available in 20+ language
  • Drag and Drop
  • Site Manager and Bookmarks
  • Supports large files (4GB+) with resume option
  • Multiple connections tabbed in one window
  • Remote File editing

Refer to official site for all features.

How to install FileZilla on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04 LTS

Open a terminal and type (or you could search in Software Center) –

sudo apt-get install filezilla

Now, you can open the FileZilla and you will get a window like this –

filezilla-ftp-client

Adding a New Site/Host in FileZilla

add-site-filezilla

Click on Site Manager Icon (Top Left corner) -> New site and add the FTP/SSH account details such as host name, port (leave it default/empty if you are not sure), FTP or sFTP (Recommended, because it is more secure, but it may be little slower).

VLC 2.0 for Ubuntu 11.10

VLC Media Player version 2.0 (Twoflower) is out, with a bunch of cool features and changes. It’s one of the major release, after a long time. Now, VLC can decode videos more faster, it supports more open formats and Higher quality videos – some interfaces (Web and Mac) has been written from scratch.

According to Ubuntu Release plan – you won’t get the latest version of VLC Media player i.e vlc 2.0 by default on older/current stable version of Ubuntu i.e in 11.10/10.10 etc (Although in 12.04 LTS, it will be there in the official package repository). So if you want to try VLC 2.0 then either install from source which may be very annoying due to some weird dependencies or use a PPA (that’s what you’re going to do).

vlc-player-v2.0

Install VLC 2.0 on Ubuntu 11.10

Fire up a terminal (hit Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute the following commands –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:n-muench/vlc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vlc

That’s All, Enjoy :) watching cool videos with the ‘All in One’ player – VLC vs 2.0.

How to install KDE on ubuntu 11.10

KDE Desktop is one of the most popular and widely used – cool desktop for GNU/Linux based operating systems such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, Debian, OpenSuse (it uses KDE as the default desktop) etc. In fact, it is second most popular Desktop – after GNOME (KDE is more popular than Unity, source : Gnome vs Unity vs KDE Poll, where Gnome scored 714, KDE 458 and Unity was at third position with 239 votes). Ubuntu uses Unity desktop by default but KDE edition of Ubuntu i.e Kubuntu comes along with the each new release of Ubuntu.

kde-desktop on Ubuntu 11.10
Ubuntu 11.10 + KDE Plasma

In Ubuntu 11.10, if you don’t like Unity or Gnome shell then KDE is the best option available for you. KDE desktop is very eye pleasant and easy to use environment (specially for those coming from Windows * (xp, 7..) world) , and it has improved in a consistent manner (unlike Gnome 3). Cool KDE icons, wallpapers and eye catching widgets will make you a fan of it.

KDE Plasma Desktop has not only charming look but also a bundle of cool applications such as Konqueror (Web browser like Firefox, Google Chrome; but Konqueror is very simple and easy to use), Dolphin (File Browsing program like Nautilus, Marlin, Thunar), Kmail (Email client like Thunderbird or Evolution), K3b (CD/DVD burning application), Kate (Text Editor like gedit) etc.

Install KDE Desktop in Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)

Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute the command –

sudo  apt-get install kde-standard

During installation, you may get an option to configure login manager such as kdm or lightdm (default), so select lightdm if you don’t want to change that.

Now, if you want to try the KDE desktop then first log out from the current session and choose KDE Plasma Desktop at login prompt. Here are few more screenshot – from Ubuntu 11.10 running KDE Plasma Desktop –

konqueror-browser

Browsing with Konqueror

dolphin-file-browser

Dolphin File Browser – Looks GREAT, Right?

Enjoy The Kool Desktop Environment i.e KDE :)