kill-9.xyz’s “harmful software” List

In the same vein as the post Privacy-Respecting Alternatives to Popular Services, qorg11, author of the tech blog kill-9.xyz, has a long list of what he considers “harmful software,” i.e. terrible at privacy, malware-attracting, or just broken. You all may find this funny, but one of the things on the list is, of course, WordPress! The alternatives that he lists are werc and cleg. To be honest, there are a number of good alternatives to WordPress, and I have been moving some posts onto write.as, but that takes time.

kill-9.xyz’s “harmful software” List png base64 iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAEAAAABAQMAAAAl21bKAAAAA1BMVEUAAP KeNJXAAAAAXRSTlMAQObYZgAAAAlwSFlzAAAOxAAADsQBlSsOGwAAAApJREFUCNdjYAAAAAIAAeIhvDMAAAAASUVORK5CYII
  1. Html5
  2. Http
  3. ICANN
  4. Gemini
  5. IPFS
  6. Java
  7. JavaScript
  8. Linux
  9. Pacman
  10. Perl
  11. Php

One entertaining and accurate example is harmful – software – Certificate Authority, which really is an outdated, and insecure, system, yet it’s still used all across the web. You may have seen a warning like this, for example:

kill-9.xyz’s “harmful software” List png base64 iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAEAAAABAQMAAAAl21bKAAAAA1BMVEUAAP KeNJXAAAAAXRSTlMAQObYZgAAAAlwSFlzAAAOxAAADsQBlSsOGwAAAApJREFUCNdjYAAAAAIAAeIhvDMAAAAASUVORK5CYII

All this means is that the certificate wasn’t signed by an “official” certificate authority, like VeriSign, or more likely that its subscription has expired. qorg11 makes that point that with a self-signed certificate, this wouldn’t happen; essentially, security certificates are a scam, or a monopoly, or whatever you’d like to call them.

Another company on the list is, of course, YouTube. Confession: while I have posted links to YouTube before, the platform certainly has its fair share of problems, not the least of which is being owned by Google. To some, any proprietary software is bad, and you could certainly make an argument for that! His other major complaints are that the site runs primarily on JavaScript, including the player, and it won’t load without JavaScript. Try loading it in the Tor Browser with the security slider on “high,” and this is obvious.

kill-9.xyz’s “harmful software” List png base64 iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAEAAAABAQMAAAAl21bKAAAAA1BMVEUAAP KeNJXAAAAAXRSTlMAQObYZgAAAAlwSFlzAAAOxAAADsQBlSsOGwAAAApJREFUCNdjYAAAAAIAAeIhvDMAAAAASUVORK5CYII

Alternatives that he recommends are PeerTube, MediaGoblin, or simply uploading webm videos to your website. PeerTube, like Mastodon, is part of the fediverse, and you have the option of creating and running your own instance. If it’s following your favorite creators from the original site that concerns you, there are YouTube front ends like Invidious and NewPipe, which feature the same videos without the ads, etc.

kill-9.xyz’s “harmful software” List png base64 iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAEAAAABAQMAAAAl21bKAAAAA1BMVEUAAP KeNJXAAAAAXRSTlMAQObYZgAAAAlwSFlzAAAOxAAADsQBlSsOGwAAAApJREFUCNdjYAAAAAIAAeIhvDMAAAAASUVORK5CYII

Security and memory issues aside, what software is “best” is very subjective, based on UI/UX and such. It seems that many people just use operating systems like Windows and Mac/iOS because that’s what they’re accustomed to, and if you’ve used them for years, it can be challenging to switch. It’s for similar reasons that people may use the same passwords over and over (they’re easy to remember and type in).

Still, if you are looking for alternatives to software or operating systems that you’re tired of, kill-9’s list can be helpful and informative. AlternativeTo and Alternative.me also offer lists of substitutes to popular software with reviews and ratings from others, albeit without the snarky humor.

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