In this episode, we look at how to get a free smartphone operating system on the Fairphone 3 (and many other phones), thanks to a great free OS called /e/.
The LXCast episode #2 on the Fairphone 3 when it came out
Two solutions for a free OS:
1 lineage OS – free android with the Gapps removed
2 the /e/ project !! A „de-googled“ operating system – actually a fork of lineage OS – this is what I‘m going to talk about here.
An article about /e/ on ZDNet (2019)
The research paper on Google Data Collection by Professor Douglas C. Schmidt, Vanderbilt University (2018) – learn how and how often normal Android phones send your data to Google servers.
Another background article on tracking (in German) based on research from a Norwegian journalist
More about /e/
/e/ uses MicroG services, a replacement for Google’s libraries on /e/ with purely open-source implementations.
The man behind the /e/ project: Gael Duval, pioneer of Open Source, Mandrake, Ulteo…
Gael’s article outlining his vision for /e/
You can buy a FP3 and an FP3 + with /e/ pre-installed here
Installing /e/ on your phone
Over 110 devices supported: from Asus to Google, to Oneplus and Xiaomi
How to install it on the FP3
Privacy ratings of apps: https://exodus-privacy.eu
Alternative Android Launchers:
I recommended you add these apps:
Antennapod – podcast client
FairEmail or simple email
Newpipe for watching youtube without being tracked
Backup and Recovery
Backup via adb is apparently broken… Not the fault of /e/!!
You cannot simply flash a new recovery, such as TWRP, to flash images or backup, instead, you can use this method launching TWRP from your PC
How to support /e/ OS
Donate or become a member to keep the project going
That’s all for this episode, feel free to add any comments below!
Credits: Theme Music: Jazzhar, “Room with a View” CC-BY-SA, check him out on Jamendo and on Free Music Archive
Brave is a relatively new Web Browser that is available for Windows, Linux, Android and Mac. The developers of Brave are Brendan Eich, former CEO of Firefox, and his team. Their slogan is
“You deserve a better Internet – So we reimagined what a browser should be”.
Well, that is true to a certain extent, and in some aspects not quite.
Brave is based on Google Chrome (which IMHO does not respect the user’s privacy), and has made quite a few changes to make it more secure.
This is how Brave greets you.
Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons:
- HTTPS enforcing enabled by default
- Brave clear history, cookies etc. when you close it, but only if you configure it explicitly.
- its has an integrated Ad blocker and claims that pages load (3 to 6 times) faster due to this, this may be true, I didn’t check, it depends a lot on the number of ads on a given page.
- If you select a Private Window, it uses the Tor network to hide your IP address
- sites that do not work with Firefox, only with Chrome, will (usually) work in Brave
- customized Ads are Brave’s business model, but it seems paradoxical that a browser first blocks Ads and then presents you with its own, customized ads. Some are over the Moon about this system, while others remain skeptical.
- this may be a minor glitch, but it didn’t clear my history on exit although I had selected it
- is it faster than Firefox with an adblocker extension? not 3 to 6 times faster at least.
- if you register your Passwords in Brave, it does not propose to set a master password like Firefox does.
To be fair, with Firefox, you have to make more changes and add extensions to get a more secure browser. In Brave, most of these features are enabled by default.
Brave is definitely worth a try if you are looking for a (more) secure Web Browser!!
Keep your browser safe !
In these times of almost global Corona lockdown, we rely on the internet more than usual. So it’s a good time to check some of the tools we use every day, such as the browser. We at LxCast recommend Firefox, but its standard settings are more aimed at functionality than security. So let’s change that!
Safer Firefox settings
Click on the “Burger” Menu on the upper right-hand side of Firefox, select “Preferences”
an then “Privacy & Security”.
- The first thing is to select “Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed”.
- Then, storing passwords in your Firefox is handy. I recommend however that you only use it for less important passwords, for the rest, a separate password manager program is recommended. If you choose to store passwords in Firefox, be sure to set a Master Password (and write it down, in a Password Manager and/or on paper that you safely store somewhere!). Otherwise, everyone who has access to your computer (at the office for example) can see and steal your passwords!
Add some Browser Extensions
Click on the “Burger” Menu on the upper right-hand side of Firefox, select “Add-ons” in the menu, then “Extensions” and search for
Recommended extensions for Firefox
- https everywhere – forces sites to use a secure https connection
- uBlock – Blocks Ads
- Privacy badger or Ghostery – block trackers on websites
Now I am aware that Firefox has its own content blockers, but I prefer separate extensions like Pivacy badger or Ghostery, because you have more options to set them up, and disable them for certain sites if necessary.
Control your history
Many sites read your browsing history to track you and send you ads.To put an end to this, select “use custom settings for history” and tick the boxes like in the screenshot, especially “Clear history when Firefox closes”.
Disable PDF in the Browser
Last but not least, if you come across a PDF file on the web, by default Firefox and many other browsers will automatically open it in the browser, like a web page. However, (bad, evil) hackers can use this to infect your system with malware. You can change this setting in Firefox via Menu > Preferences > General > Applications as described here. The PDF document will then open in your local document viewer.