Lintalist is an open source snippet manager for Windows

Lintalist is an open source snippet manager for Windows. You can use it as a text expander to quickly add phrases in the document that you’re working with.

Lintalist is an open source snippet manager for Windows

The program is portable, when running it for the first time, it asks you whether you’d like it to auto-start with Windows. A quick start guide is displayed on start up but it only explains the basics.

Lintalist starts in the system tray. Bring it up quickly by using the Caps Lock key. It opens the search which it calls “Omni Search window”; use it view your snippets and search for them. The window opens at the location of the cursor.

Note: The program uses the Caps Lock key as the global shortcut. So in case you need to use it for typing in CAPS, or for some other program, you’ll either need to change the hotkey from Lintalist’s settings (StartOmniSearchHotKey) or exit the application.

Creating a Snippet

Click the Edit Menu or use the F7 key to add a new Snippet. A pop-up window should appear, this is the Snippet Editor Window. Use it to add new snippets or edit existing ones. Each snippet consists of three parts. Enter the text content that you want to use in Part one. For e.g. I entered “This is gHacks.net”.

Lintalist edit

The application supports Markdown text formatting, just the use normal markdown syntax and paste the snippet in an application that supports the format and it works. You can also use Lintalist for adding code snippets for HTML tags and CSS.

Lintalist markdown formatting

Pasting a Snippet

When you hit Caps Lock to bring up the search window and search for one of the words in the snippet (ghacks), it will filter the snippets to display the ones which contain the keyword. Hit the Enter key to paste the highlighted snippet in the current window (browser, text editor, email client, etc).

Say I am working in Microsoft Word, and want to paste the snippet from my previous example, I can search for “ghacks”, select the result and hit enter to paste the phrase.

lintalist test

Part two works similarly. The specialty of Lintalist is that each snippet can contain two different phrases. The content in part two can be pasted using Shift + Enter. Double clicking on a snippet will paste it to the active window.

The third part, is called “Script” which you can use to run a custom Script. The tray icon menu can be used to pause scripts.

Shorthand, and Hotkey

A hotkey can be assigned to every snippet for quick pasting to the active window. Similarly, you can optionally set a shorthand (abbreviation) for each snippet, which helps in searching for it quickly.

Let’s try these now. Open the Snippet Editor and create/edit a snippet. Click the field next to “Hotkey” and press the desired key. For e.g. Shift + Q. The program has to be restarted to apply the changes. The next time you use the key combo, it will paste the content in Part 1 of the snippet.

lintalist markdown test

Shorthand works similarly. Let’s assign ghx as the abbreviation for the snippet. So when you type the letters ghx, it will be replaced with the corresponding snippet. Hotkeys and Shorthands are global, i.e., you don’t need to have the Lintalist search window open for them to work (the program must be running in the background).

Bundles

A bundle is a group of snippets. Bundles are saved as plain text documents. You can create custom ones by using the bundles manager (F10). To switch to a different one, use the Bundle menu. You can move snippets from one bundle to another using the Edit menu.

Lintalist Bundle test

Lintalist Bundle test

There are four kinds of search options available in the top right corner of the interface. These are: Regular, Fuzzy, RegEX and Magic. Select the one you want, then use the search bar, and Lintalist will use the selected algorithm.

Regular is the normal text search with exact matches of the keyword. For e.g. ghacks will search only for “ghacks”. Fuzzy search is a flexible one that may not be an exact match, but is similar. RegEx stands for regular expression search patterns that can find matches based on partial keywords. Magic Search is an experimental one with no proper official description. From what I can tell it searches for the letters in the keyword. For e.g. I searched for cxt (context) and it found 2 results, one of which contained the word “context” while the other had “text”. It seemed to have matched the xt in cxt.

Double clicking the tray icon brings the search interface into view. The tray icon’s context menu isn’t that useful in my opinion because it doesn’t have options that you may use while writing, it is more of a snippet/bundle management menu. The keyboard shortcuts in Lintalist can be customized from the Configuration menu.

Plugins

The right-click context in the snippet editor  has various options like the current date and time, clipboard item, variable, etc. These are the Lintalist Plugins. You can add these to the snippet, when you paste it, the result will contain the data from the plugin.

Lintalist Plugins Menu

Lintalist is a script written for AutoHotKey, in fact the executable is AuToHotKey.exe renamed to Lintalist and a custom icon. Open the Windows Task Manager and you will see it running as “AutoHotKey Unicode”. The source code is available on GitHub.

That’s it for the basic usage, refer to the official documentation for the advanced options.

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About:config is blocked in Firefox Preview Stable and Beta

Mozilla is working on a new mobile browser for Google’s Android operating system. Called Firefox Preview currently, it is available as a preview version right now. As is the case with desktop Firefox, Firefox Preview for Android is available in different editions that differ in terms of stability and development progress.

Firefox Preview Stable is the main version that is comparable to Firefox Stable for desktop operating systems. There is also Firefox Preview Beta and Firefox Preview Nightly for Developers.

While there are not many major differences in regards to core functionality between the different editions usually, it appears that Mozilla decided to implement one in Firefox Preview that might irritate some users of Stable or Beta versions of the browser.

Firefox supported the internal about:config page for a long time; it provides an interface to make advanced configuration changes directly in the web browser. Firefox for the desktop and mobile supported it until now.

When you try to load about:config in Firefox Preview Stable or Firefox Preview Beta, you are greeted with a “cannot complete request” message instead.

The page states that “additional information about this problem or error is currently unavailable”, and there is a “try again” button to retry loading the page.

firefox about config cannot complete request

It is unclear at this point if the change is deliberate or if Mozilla plans to unblock the page before final release. As it stands, Firefox Preview Stable and Beta users cannot make use of about:config to make changes to Firefox’s configuration.

If you compare that to the current Firefox mobile browser for Android, which supports about:config, you have to wonder whether that is an intentional change or something that just has not been implemented yet.

It seems expected behavior judging from the post of a contributor on the official GitHub project website:

This is expected behavior from GeckoView. Fenix does not control access to it. When Fenix nightly is released it will have access to about:config for users that have that requirement.

Closing Words

It is probably not a good idea to release Firefox Stable or Beta versions for Android without support for about:config as users who used it in the past will certainly be disappointed that the feature is not available. It is also difficult to justify considering that the previous Firefox for Android supported it and desktop Firefox Stable supports it as well.

Now you: what is your take on this?

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O&O ShutUp10 updated with new privacy features

O&O, the developers behind the privacy tool O&O ShutUp10 for Windows 10, released a new version of the program yesterday.

O&O ShutUp10 1.7 introduces the new Activity History and Clipboard group to the program to provide its users with activity and clipboard privacy controls.

The application is a privacy tool for Windows 10 that users of the operating system may run to modify privacy-related features and functionality.

O&O ShutUp10 displays a long list of privacy options in its interface on start. The program does not need to be installed but requires elevated privileges.

oo shutup10

Options are sorted into categories such as app privacy, Microsoft Edge, or synchronization of Windows Settings.

Each setting may be expanded with a click to display its description; this description provides additional information about the feature and potential consequences if it is changed. Another useful feature of O&O ShutUp10 is that it displays recommendations for each setting.

Items with “yes” are usually safe to turn off whereas items that read “limited” or “no” may have consequences when they are disabled.

The program supports creating system restore points before changes are made to the system; it is highly recommended to create these restore points before changes are made.

O&O ShutUp10 1.7 introduces the new Activity History and Clipboard category. Microsoft introduces clipboard and activity sharing functionality in recent versions of Windows 10 and these controls manage the functionality.

The following options are provided:

  • Disable recordings of user activity.
  • Disable storing user’s activity history on this device.
  • Disable the submission of user activities to Microsoft.
  • Disable storage of clipboard history.
  • Disable the transfer of the clipboard to other devices via the cloud.

O&O recommends to turn these all off. Users who make use of the functionality should not turn these off whereas everyone else may want to do so immediately.

Note that many of the options that O&O ShutUp10 provides are also available elsewhere. If you search for Clipboard in the Settings app, you find options to turn the feature and its synchronization functionality off.

The two main benefits of the program are that it makes numerous settings available in a single interface, and that it makes options available that are not as easy to turn off (as they may require Registry editing).

O&O ShutUp10 1.7 fixes the display of menus on touchscreen devices and makes adjustments to High Contrast modes. Additionally, it is now available in several languages including English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Chinese Simplified.

Now You: Do you use privacy tools? If so which?

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PayPal acquires maker of shopping extension Honey for $4 Billion

PayPal announced the acquisition of Honey Science Corporation on November 20, 2019. The acquired company is best known for its shopping extension Honey.

Honey is one of the most popular extensions for Google Chrome; in fact, it is one of the few extensions that crossed the ten million user mark on the Chrome Web Store. The extension is also available for other web browsers including Firefox and the classic Microsoft Edge web browser.

Honey is a shopping extension that looks up items at other retailers to provide potential shoppers with coupons or better prices. The main idea behind the extension is to inform users if the item is available for a better price elsewhere or if coupons are available to reduce the price on the active site.

The technology that Honey uses tests coupons semi-automatically on the shopping site and may apply the best coupon that works to the checkout process automatically.

honey shopping

The service is also available as a mobile application — called Honey Smart Shopping Assistant — and there are also options to browse available coupons and promotions on the official website. Honey may furthermore track item prices for its users to inform them when the price of an item drops below a set threshold.

There is also a rewards program called Honey Gold which rewards members with a virtual currency that they may redeem for gift cards.

Honey earns money from affiliate commissions. Whenever users of the browser extension or site make purchases, Honey earns a percentage that is paid by the shopping site.

Honey claims that it saved its customers $1 billion in the past year alone, that it has 17 million active users per month, and it works across 30,000 online retailers.

According to Forbes, Honey made an estimated revenue of about $100 million US Dollars in 2018.

PayPal revealed that it paid “approximately $4 billion” US Dollars for the company and its products. The company wants to combine Honey with PayPal’s “two-sided network” to “transform the shopping experience for PayPal consumers” and to increase “sales and customer engagement” for PayPal merchants.

PayPal has not mentioned specifics in regards to integration of Honey in PayPal products or vice versa. It seems likely that Honey and PayPal will benefit from the deal in the long run.

Honey co-founder Ryan Hudson provided the following statement.

“Combining PayPal’s assets and reach with our technology, we can build powerful new online shopping experiences for consumers and merchants,” said Hudson. “We’ll have the ability to help millions of retailers efficiently reach consumers with offers that deliver more and more value to Honey members.”

Closing Words

Four billion is a huge sum of money for a browser extension and technology. It is too early to tell if the acquisition will have a negative impact as well.

Now You: Have you used Honey? What’s your take on the news?

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Privacy and anonymity focused Linux distro Tails 4.0 released

A new version of the privacy and anonymity focused Linux distribution Tails has been released this week; Tails 4.0 is a major update of the Linux distribution that improves performance and usability, upgrades included components, and fixes security issues.

The new version is already available for download on the official Tails project website. The Tails 4.0 ISO image has a size of 1.1 Gigabytes. It can be burned to disc or put on a USB stick to boot into the environment. Note that existing distributions cannot be upgraded to Tails 4.0; a manual upgrade is necessary.

Tails was designed specifically to be run from USB or optical discs to run independently of operating systems installed on computer systems. It comes with Tor built-in and features several other tools and components to improve security and privacy.

Tip: check out Mike’s first look at Tails for a general overview of the Linux distribution.

Tails 4.0

tails 4.0

Tails 4.0 is based on Debian 10. The release features impressive performance and usability improvements. The startup time of the distribution should be 20% faster according to the developers. Additionally, Tails 4.0 uses about 250 less Megabytes of computer memory  and is 47 Megabytes smaller than previous versions.

The new version supports devices that use Thunderbolt and USB tethering from Apple’s iPhone is supported as well in the new version.

As far as software is concerned, the team replaced the password manager KeePassX with KeePassXC stating that the latter is more actively developed. Both are based on KeePass, a popular password manager for desktop systems.

The integrated Tor Browser was updated to version 9.0 which was released recently, and OnionShare, a file sharing software designed to share files over the Tor network, was updated to a new version as well.

The metadata scrubber MAT has no user interface anymore; its functionality was integrated in the right-click menu. Just right-click on a file and select the remove metadata option to scrub the information from the file.

Components such as Linux, Electrum, Enigmail, GIMP, LibreOffice, or Tor were updated as well in Tails 4.0.

Additional information about the new release is available on the official project website.

Closing Words

Tails 4.0 is a big update that improves RAM usage and startup performance significantly. Since it also includes security fixes, it is recommended to replace existing Tails distributions with the new version as soon as possible.

Now you: Have you tried Tails? What is your take on the distro?

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