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WordPress announced that it is reconsidering its proposal to roll out automatic WebP image generation because of the passionate opposition received for the new feature. The announcement noted that they will formally research the suggestions put forth by the WordPress community in order to make a better decision for the next steps.Enabling WebP by Default
WordPress initially announced a proposal for adding a feature that would automatically generate multiple versions of every image used on a website as well as WebP versions of those images.
The purpose of the new feature was to make it easy for publishers to upload images to WordPress and allow WordPress to output optimized WebP versions. The new WebP format would help reduce file size and increase the performance of every WordPress website.
Concerns quickly arose about the new WebP feature because many determined that some sites would quickly run out of disk space for archiving as much as a million additional images.
Some in the WordPress ecosystem suggested that the feature not be shipped as an automatically turned on feature. They said it would be preferable for the feature to be turned off by default.Clash With WordPress Design Goals
The suggestion of shipping the new WebP feature in a default off state ran counter to the WordPress philosophy known as Decisions, not Options, which is a design goal of shipping product that works out of the box with minimal configuration.
WordPress outlines five major design goals in their formal philosophical statement
They are paraphrased below:
Functional Out of the Box
Designed for the Majority of Users
Decisions, Not Options (Developers Make Decisions on Behalf of Users)
WordPress Core Features Must be Needed by 80% of Users
Simplify All Tasks
The Decisions, Not Options philosophy was specifically cited by WordPress to justify making the WebP feature default to “on” and to not ship with a user interface for turning it off.
This is what that design philosophy states:
“When making decisions these are the users we consider first. A great example of this consideration is software options.
As developers we sometimes feel that providing options for everything is a good thing, you can never have too many choices, right? Ultimately these choices end up being technical ones, choices that the average end user has no interest in.
It’s our duty as developers to make smart design decisions and avoid putting the weight of technical choices on our end users.”
The prospect of shipping a disruptive feature with no easy way to turn it off set off alarm bells throughout the WordPress ecosystem.
Adam Silverstein, the Google software developer who works on WordPress is the one who cited the Decisions, Not Options goal for the new WebP functionality that was announced on March 28, 2023 (Enabling WebP by Default).
The tenet states that it’s better for the developers to make the decisions about options on behalf of users because creating a product with multiple options is burdensome.
That design goal fits into the overall philosophy of making every WordPress installation work out of the box and be functional for the majority of users.Opposition from the WordPress Community WordPress Announces it is Reassessing WebP Feature Deployment
In today’s announcement Adam Silverstein, the WordPress core developer, acknowledged the concerns of the WordPress community and pledged that the next step would be to reaasses the proposal and return with more agreeable options.
“The performance team has heard the feedback and takes the community’s concerns seriously.
With the help of the community, we will work on conducting additional data-driven research. Based on our findings, we will reassess our proposed approach to enabling WebP by default.”
The statement said that they would be researching the disk storage impact from creating additional WebP images and a separate concern regarding compatibility of WebP with other functions such as email clients, RSS readers and lazy loading.
The GitHub repository for researching the impact of the WebP feature on disk storage states:
“This issue is for research and analysis related to the concern about the new Enabling WebP by default feature creating too many files.
Many users were concerned about the proposed doubling of the number of image files resulting in increased hosting costs, running out of disk space (or “inodes”), or failed backup.”
After the above research is finished, WordPress pledged to reassess having the WebP feature on or off by default as well as to consider a user interface that will make it easy to turn the feature on or off.WordPress Community Response
“Thanks for the update @adamsilverstein, as always you’ve handled the feedback from the prior post most graciously and I look forward to what the Performance team learns in this additional testing and research and appreciate all the efforts to ensure WordPress is forward-thinking and competitive in the CMS space.”
Overall it looks like the WordPress ecosystem worked fantastically to reach a good decision to reassess the impact of the WebP proposal and to not rush hastily into a decision that might have had a detrimental impact on publishers.Citation Read the Official WordPress Announcement
Follow-up on WebP by Default Proposal
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In this post, we will show you how to create animated WebP images. An animated WebP image is similar to an animated GIF. You can create animated WebP from a video, animated GIF, or other images. This post has covered some easy animated WebP maker options. When the output is ready, you can open it in the Edge browser or any other WebP image viewer tools.How to create Animated WebP images
We have added two free animated WebP image maker services and two software in this post:
Animated WebP Maker
FFmpeg.1] Animated WebP Maker
Animated WebP Maker tool is a part of a popular service chúng tôi You can make animated WebP with up to 2000 images including HEIC, PNG, WebP, animated GIF, animated PNG, etc. The total size for all images is limited to 100 MB and the size of a single image must not be greater than 5 MB.
You can also set delay time for each image, copy an image to add it as another frame for output animated WebP and skip an image. Another thing is if input images are of different sizes, then you can resize them automatically to have the same height and width for the output.
To use this Animated WebP Maker, open its page using this link. Use Choose Files button to add images and then press Upload! button. Thumbnails of all images will be visible to you that will become the frames of animated WebP. For each image, you will see skip, copy, and delay time options. You can also change the position of an image by drag n drop.
Using the first tool, you can upload a video (FLV, AVI, MP4, 3GP, etc.), set start and end time, output image quality, frames per second, etc., and convert that video to animated WebP image. Using the second tool, you can add multiple animated GIF images from PC, set the quality level, and convert those GIF images to separate animated WebP images. Both the tools have a maximum size limit of 100 MB for input files.
You may also check our post that covers best animation software for Windows 10.3] Romeolight WebPconv
Romeolight WebPconv is free software and helps to create animated WebP images using GIF images. It can bulk convert animated GIF files to animated WebP images. For output images, you can also set options using the Settings of this software. You can use options such as set quality level (from 0 to 100), compression method (slow or fast), enable lossless compression, set width n height, etc.
You can also use this software to convert WebP images to GIF, BMP, TIFF, etc.4] FFmpeg
FFmpeg is a very popular open-source software that is widely used for audio and video conversions. Creating an animated WebP image from a video file is also supported. You can add some MP4, AVI, or any other format video and get an animated WebP file. You can do this with the command-line version of this software.
Download its zip file and extract it to access chúng tôi file. After that, open CMD (or Command Prompt) window using the search box of Windows. Just type cmd in the Windows search box and then use Enter key. After that, you need to run a command like:ffmpeg.exe -i “path of input video” -vcodec libwebp -lossless 1 -preset default -filter:v fps= fps=add number of frames -loop 2 -an -vsync 0 -s output file width n height “path of output file with webp extension”
Here, you should take care of following important things:
ffmpeg.exe is the path of the command-line EXE file of this tool.
-i for providing the input video.
-filter:v fps=fps is available to set number of frames (like 10, 20, etc.).
-loop helps to set the number of times the animated WebP image should be played. Set it to 0 for an endless loop.
-s for output image resolution like 600:400, 400:300, etc.
An example command is:ffmpeg.exe -i chúng tôi -vcodec libwebp -lossless 1 -preset default -filter:v fps=fps=30 -loop 2 -an -vsync 0 -s 300:250 outputfile.webp
Just carefully enter and execute the command and you can easily get an animated WebP image from that video file.
That’s all. Hope these tools will be helpful to make animated WebP images. Among these, Animated WebP Maker is probably the best.
Browsing in private mode, or ‘Incognito‘, as Google calls it, protects users from various web trackers that could potentially jeopardize your privacy. We have already covered how you can open your browser in incognito mode by default in Windows 10, irrespective of whether you use Chrome, Firefox or Edge. Today, we will show you how you can always open Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in incognito (private) mode by default on Android.Make Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Always Open in Incognito Mode on Android
The method of opening your browser in incognito mode by default is relatively similar for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. We are using Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox for the demo below, but you can use the same method for Microsoft Edge and most other prominent Android browsers that offer an incognito browsing option. So let’s check out how you can open Chrome, Firefox or Edge in incognito (private) mode by default on your Android smartphone.How to Open Incognito Tab in Google Chrome
You can easily open Google Chrome in incognito mode by default on your phone by following the tutorial below.
Fire up Google Chrome and tap on the menu button (three dots) on the top-right corner. Now select ‘New Incognito Tab’ from the slide-out menu.
That’s it, you can now browse in incognito mode in Google Chrome on your Android device.
In incognito mode, Chrome will not store any information about that browsing session. Which means, all the browsing history, cookies and trackers from that session will be cleared when you exit the browser.How to Open Private Tab in Mozilla Firefox
That’s it. You can now browse in private mode in Mozilla Firefox on your Android device. You can tap on the mask icon again to switch back to normal browsing.
Firefox will not store any information from private tabs. That means all the cookies and trackers collected during that session will be cleared when you exit the browser.Always Open Chrome or Firefox in Incognito (Private) Mode by Default
To always open your browser in incognito (private) mode by default, try the following trick:
Long press on the target browser icon until you see the options menu pop up. For Chrome, long press on the ‘New Incognito Tab’ option in this menu and drag it to the home screen. For Firefox, do the same with the ‘New Private Tab’ option.
That’s it! From now on, just select the new Incognito / Private Tab icon to open Chrome or Firefox every time.
Note: This method to open Chrome or Firefox in incognito or private mode by default requires Android 7.0 Nougat or higher. It works on most OEM ROMs and is also supported by most third-party launchers.Always Open Firefox in Private Mode by Default Using Built-in Option
While the method above works for most browsers in the newer versions of Android, Firefox also offers a built-in option to open private windows by default every time. It works on all versions of Android, but is especially helpful for folks running Android Marshmallow and older. Here’s how you do it:
The first time you switch to private browsing, Firefox will show you an option to add a shortcut to open private tabs from your Home screen. Tap on it to add it to your device.
You can also add the private browsing shortcut later manually. To do that, tap on the menu button (three dots) and select Settings.
Scroll down a little and tap on Private Browsing under Privacy and Security. Finally, hit Add private browsing shortcut.
Here’s how the shortcuts look when added to home screen.Surf the Web in Complete Privacy on Your Android Device
So you now know how to always browse using the incognito (private) mode by default on Android, using either Chrome, Firefox or Edge. While that’s one of the ways to maintain your online privacy, it is not the only thing you need to be mindful of. One of the best ways to ensure that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) doesn’t get to snoop on your connections is to change your DNS settings on your Android device. You can also try using a VPN on Android, if you want some extra privacy.
Meanwhile, if you use the regular browsing mode on Google Chrome, check out how you can disable and delete cookies in Chrome for Android. Also, if you’ve ever used Truecaller, check out how you can deactivate and unlist your phone number from the service. Finally, take care never to install these dangerous apps on your Android device to ensure your peace of mind.
Pay up, sucka! The U.S. Senate is rushing to vote on a bill that would mean you—yes, you—would have to start paying sales tax for your online purchases, but opponents warn that pushing the proposal through could create some severe side effects.
The legislation has been hustled to the Senate floor by its leadership to expedite action on the measure and send it to the House of Representatives.
Senate ramrods are so intent on passing the bill that they circumvented sending it to committee before floor action, as is the norm. (The fact that the legislation would have ended up in a committee chaired by a major opponent of the measure might have had something to do with the leadership’s move.)
If the measure makes it to President Obama’s desk as it’s written now, not only would consumers need to pay more out-of-pocket for online purchases, but opponents say the bill could open several other cans of worms, as well.
For example, some 10,000 jurisdictions collect sales taxes in the nation. Not only do those tax rates vary among the jurisdictions, but so does what products are subject to those taxes. For example, diapers might be taxed in one state, but not another.
The accounting burden for a mom-and-pop online shop would be onerous.
An exemption is included in the bill for online businesses making less than $1 million annually, but some say that exemption is too low. eBay, for instance, is pushing for the limits to be raised to $10 million in out-of-state revenue or an exemption be made for companies with less than 50 employees.
There are also consumer privacy issues that are ignored by the bill, according to one of its outspoken opponents, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who hails from one of four states in the union without a sales tax.
He argues that the law would allow taxing jurisdictions to peek into their citizens’ lives in a way that they’re unable to do now.
“[S]tate tax authorities would get troves of data about online purchases delivered into their state,” he said during a Senate session.
“The standard misuses apply,” he continued. “It might be transferred to other organs of government, legally or not, for investigation and examination. Curious state bureaucrats might look up the purchasing habits of ex-spouses, famous names, and political figures. The list goes on and on.”
Wyden also raised the issue that the bill may encourage more consumers to buy goods in foreign countries in order to avoid domestic sales taxes.
Brick-and-mortar retailers, though, say—as they’ve been saying for years—the legislation is needed to modernize sales tax collection so it can keep current with real-world change in the marketplace.
Many states rely on sales tax to fund basic government functions, and online sales are skyrocketing.
“This legislation will level the playing field for retailers, while protecting small businesses from complicated laws in other states with a healthy small business exemption,” National Retail Federation senior vice President David French said in a letter to Senate members last week.
“As the retail industry evolves and digital commerce becomes a more prominent portion of total retail sales, it is critical that the tax laws not discriminate between similar businesses based on how their products are distributed,” it added.
While French’s arguments are likely to sway the Senate this week, they may not be as persuasive in the House, where the bill is looked on with some degree of skepticism.
The jurisdictional quagmire surrounding sales tax collection is particularly bothersome to the chairman of the House committee that will be reviewing the bill after it clears the Senate.
“While it attempts to make tax collection simpler, it still has a long way to go,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told The Hill Sunday.
“There is still not uniformity on definitions and tax rates, so businesses would still be forced to wade through potentially hundreds of tax rates and a host of different tax codes and definitions,” he added.
Apple’s iOS platform has never really been “open.” Unlike Android, Apple has long controlled what apps can be used as the default apps. That changes with iOS 14, as Apple has taken a step in the right direction. Allowing its users to change default email and browser apps is something iOS users have been asking for for a long, long time.How to Change the Default Browser
It’s important to note that while Apple has enabled the ability to change the default browser, the new browser app has to support this feature. As of now, popular browsers like Chrome, Edge, Brave, Opera, etc., have made it possible. More apps are coming as developers continue to update and support the iOS 14 changes but know that not every browser works with this feature.
Follow the steps here to change the default browser in iOS.How to Change Default Email App
Changing the default email app can be done using the same set of steps as swapping your default browser. The same caveat applies here as well, as not all email apps have been updated to add support as a default app.
1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Continue scrolling until you find the email app you wish to set as your default.
3. Listed alongside the default mail app should be all other email apps that have been updated to support this feature. Select the email app of your choice and ensure the blue checkmark appears next to it.Reset Default Apps
If you ever want to go back to the default apps or set up another app as default, follow the same steps above for both your browser and email apps. Once you go into the “Default Browser App” or Default Email App” screen, go ahead and choose a different app or choose the default Mail or Safari options.
Now that you know how to change the default apps in iOS, we hope that the feature can extend to other apps like Music or Maps. For now, this is a great first step. Meanwhile, you can learn how to make good use of the App Library in iOS 14.
David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.
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Automattic, publishers of the WooCommerce plugin, announced the discovery and patch of a critical vulnerability in the WooCommerce Payments plugin.
The vulnerability allows an attacker to gain Administrator level credentials and perform a full site-takeover.
Administrator is the highest permission user role in WordPress, granting full access to a WordPress site with the ability to create more admin-level accounts as well as the ability to delete the entire website.
What makes this particular vulnerability of great concern is that it’s available to unauthenticated attackers, which means that they don’t first have to acquire another permission in order to manipulate the site and obtain admin-level user role.
WordPress security plugin maker Wordfence described this vulnerability:
“After reviewing the update we determined that it removed vulnerable code that could allow an unauthenticated attacker to impersonate an administrator and completely take over a website without any user interaction or social engineering required.”
The Sucuri Website security platform published a warning about the vulnerability that goes into further details.
Sucuri explains that the vulnerability appears to be in the following file:/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce-payments/includes/platform-checkout/class-platform-checkout-session.php
They also explained that the “fix” implemented by Automattic is to remove the file.
“According to the plugin change history it appears that the file and its functionality was simply removed altogether…”
“Because this vulnerability also had the potential to impact WooPay, a new payment checkout service in beta testing, we have temporarily disabled the beta program.”
The WooCommerce Payment Plugin vulnerability was discovered on March 22, 2023 by a third party security researcher who notified Automattic.
Automattic swiftly issued a patch.
That means any site that has not updated this plugin will become vulnerable.What Version of WooCommerce Payments Plugin is Vulnerable
WooCommerce updated the plugin to version 5.6.2. This is considered the most up to date and non-vulnerable version of the website.
Automattic has pushed a forced update however it’s possible that some sites may not have received it.
It is recommended that all users of the affected plugin check that their installations are updated to version WooCommerce Payments Plugin 5.6.2
Once the vulnerability is patched, WooCommerce recommends taking the following actions:
“Once you’re running a secure version, we recommend checking for any unexpected admin users or posts on your site. If you find any evidence of unexpected activity, we suggest:
Updating the passwords for any Admin users on your site, especially if they reuse the same passwords on multiple websites.
Rotating any Payment Gateway and WooCommerce API keys used on your site. Here’s how to update your WooCommerce API keys. For resetting other keys, please consult the documentation for those specific plugins or services.”Read the WooCommerce vulnerability explainer:
Critical Vulnerability Patched in WooCommerce Payments – What You Need to Know
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