Man Lemmy is so much better than Reddit.

  • 2 Posts
Joined 1 year ago
Cake day: June 1st, 2023


  • I totally agree about the EU, some of the finest pieces of Star Wars fiction are still not considered canon, and that kills me 😅. To put a point on my thought about Lucas’s contributions, while he didn’t write the finest of Star Wars, he did create the fertile soil it could grow in. It was his strange mixture of Taoism and science fiction that intrigues me so much, and I think it created a rich environment for storytelling and a very visually engaging struggle between the light and dark of humanity. Plus, he would actively draw in EU content that he liked, which is actually where the idea planet of Coruscant came from. Not only does Disney actively restrain and manage star wars third party storytelling, it also (generally) has drained the soil of it’s imaginative and creative inspiration. I can’t imagine much fiction being inspired by the characters and plots of the sequels, but I actually haven’t actually looked, maybe I’m wrong there.

  • Me too, the mobile device landscape is definitely shaped by consumerist values. Divest has been intriguing me lately as well, I used to think it was a more flexible, less hardened alternative to Graphene, but it seems to have continued on down the road a ways past Graphene now. That wiki looks super interesting, I’m going to check it out. Just a quick look through what they have looks like high quality info.

  • Yes that’s the benefit of verified boot, and it is a helpful security feature. However, if you’ve used or are using Windows or Linux as an operating system, then you are comfortable with using a device that does not have verified boot (not sure about iOS and Mac, I’m not familiar with them). The risk you’re talking about with malicious code being injected in to an app you’ve chosen to trust is a threat to any device, verified boot or not. Modification of the kernel is an attack vector, but it certainly isn’t the only way for an app to cause mischief on your phone and devices are all relatively as vulnerable to developer or supply chain attacks.

    Using software someone else developed always comes down to trust, unless you are auditing the code for every app you use, which I don’t think either you or I are. Having features that increase security in some technical way feels good but may lull us a sense of security. For instance, here’s a quote from a security researcher that I ran across in the past. It’s regarding the reputation for security that iOS has:

    Erez Metula, founder of a a security and penetration testing firm called AppSec labs: “There’s a myth that iOS apps are more secure than Android. But the truth is, iOS apps are even worse in terms of security. When we do penetration testing for our customers, we’re often asked to test their Android and iOS versions of the same app. We have realized that since iOS developers incorrectly assume that iOS is ‘more secure,’ they allow themselves to make bad security decisions that open up vulnerabilities in their app.” He added, “Interestingly, since Android developers think that Android security is worse, it pressures them to follow better security practices.”

    The same is true for us users. Security features are important, but user education and awareness is the most important element of keeping ourselves from ‘making bad decisions and opening up security vulnerabilities’ in our device usage.

    Thankfully like you said, there are thousands of highly qualified individuals vetting the code of mainstream open source projects, which saves us regular users in the case we face an xz situation. A few principles that outway security features like verified boot in my book are:

    1. Use open source software whenever possible, and make sure that it is widely used and visible to others.
    2. Check the “issues” section of the documentation frequently. Even widely used software can be riddled with unpatched security holes (I’m looking at you Nginx Proxy Manager 😄)
    3. I may get some hate for this one, but use a trusted middleman like F-droid as your app vendor for apps that do not have wide circulation or visibility. They run basic checks of the code for safety before uploading to their repos, checks that regular users are not able to do.

    Unless you are being targeted by a stalker, a malicious state actor or are downloading disreputable software, the average user (with a little bit of knowledge) would be just fine on /e/ or lineageOS. Tens of thousands of people are right now without any problems.

  • Like you say, it is moderately de-googled, which is a fantastic improvement over stock android any way you spin it. I believe that was the point of the original commenter, as it is mine. However there are those blobs that do get left in (in every ROM, including even DivestOS which is the most aggresive in this regard). Install a firewall or network monitor on a device that’s only been somewhat deblobbed and you’ll find that they are not little black boxes sending all your data to Google, but instead are there to do things locally like software interaction with hardware in the phone that is from another company like Broadcom.

    Any ROM on a Samsung phone probably lags on security updates due to Samsung itself being slow to release them, though they do seem to be doing better lately. If the ROM itself is slow to push updates, the most you’ll wait is 2-3 months. That’s pretty much not a problem unless you’re being threatened by state level actors, and is the state that the majority of stock android users are in. In fact, stock android can often be years out of date because their manufacturer just doesn’t put them out.

    Regarding dependence on Google services (play store of otherwise), let’s be honest, GrapheneOS users almost always install sandboxed play services, work profile or not. I don’t blame them, it’s how I have Graphene installed on my phone. However, this not a privacy oriented thing to do, it releases a flood of information to Google, much more that a simple connectivity check or SUPL ping. It’s not as much as fully integrated play services though, which is good. MicroG may be theoretically less secure, but it is certainly more private. It simply asks for less information from you than play services do.

    The relockable bootloader subject is bit of a pet peeve of mine. Personally, I do choose to use a pixel so that I can have that added security, as it does have value. However, to say that without a lockable bootloader you are compromising your security and by extension privacy is what i would consider an overstatement that creates fear and uncertainty. Your security and privacy only become compromised if a thief steals your physical device then also has the know how to execute a sophisticated software based attack on the phone using adb. This just isn’t something that happens. In the many years I’ve been around the android ROM community, privacy/security focused or otherwise, I’ve not heard of this happening even once. To tie it back in to the OP, this scenario is actually a perfect use case for the app mentioned in this post, it offers you the ability to remotely wipe the device if it’s been stolen.

    It can be an issue from a software angle though too, but then you would have to download and install a piece of malicious software that is specifically targeting phones without verified boot. At that point there is a greater issue though, because you can download and install malicious software that is targeting phones that DO have verified boot active just as easily. All that’s necessary is to be well informed and have good security habits and behaviors, it’s how desktop competant windows and Linux users have gotten along just fine all these decades.

    It’s easy to get swept up in the security dogma of the android ROM community. In my opinion, some of it is helpful, but some is not practical or useful for every day users.

  • /e/ does quite a good job removing Google’s presence from Android. It’s been awhile since I watched it, but this techlore video does a good breakdown of it.

    Edit: actually that’s not the one I was thinking of, I’ll keep trying to find it, but it broke down the actually network connections that different degoogled ROMs were making and /e/ did very well.

    Edit 2: couldn’t find the video, it’s lost somewhere in my watch history from 2+ years ago. In any case, even jumping to lineage from stock android is a great move, and /e/ makes many improvements on Lineage in removing further dependence on google code. Better to use a phone you already have than to purchase a new device just to run software that has security features you likely don’t need. It makes me think of buying a car for it’s top speed of 160 mph when you’re only ever going to be driving the speed limit.

  • Tuta is where I’m at for now. They have stricter privacy than proton and are much more active in their app development. They have an Fdroid release for android and a desktop app for Linux which make life pretty nice.

    I have had some connectivity issues with their servers lately though, especially on desktop. I don’t know if it’s my DNS setup or if it is unreliability on the server end. In any case it hasnt been too bad.