A Guide to Technology Stacks

A Guide to Technology Stacks

Technologies, Software, and Tools

A technology stack or tech stack for short refers to a set of technologies, software, and tools that are used in the development and deployment of sites, apps, and other digital products.

For example, a classic technology stack is the LAMP stack. The LAMP stack is traditionally used for creating an environment for running PHP applications. The stack is made up of the following technologies: Linux (the environments OS), Apache (the HTTP server), MySQL (the database), and PHP (the server-side programming language).

The infographic below provides you with an exceptional introduction to technology stacks. It covers:

  • Web development stacks

  • Software stacks

  • A glimpse of the large-scale technology stacks of major tech companies like Airbnb and Stack Overflow

Technology Stack Infographic

Technology Stack Infographic
WPA3 – Wi-Fi is Getting an Upgrade

WPA3 Security

Wi-Fi is Getting an Upgrade

The WPA3 security standard is formally finished.

Wi-Fi Alliance, which developed the protocol, has announced that the WPA3 security standard is ready for introduction. The new follow-up to WPA and WPA2 is intended to replace them with a standard that, well, hasn’t been cracked yet. There’s more to say on the topic, but that’s what the announcement boils down to. WPA has been breached enough that it’s now considered generally insecure, and some high-profile attacks like KRACK and the ability to predict the Group Temporal Key have breached WPA2 as well. It’s time for a new, (temporarily) secure standard.

One of the major features of WPA3 is its resistance to offline dictionary attacks. With WPA2, if you can observe a single password exchange between a person signing on to a network and the router, you can take that data and attempt to brute-force it via an offline dictionary attack. But WPA3 no longer relies on the same Pre-Shared Key (PSK) that WPA2 used. (Note: This discussion only applies to WPA3 Personal, not WPA3 Enterprise, which didn’t rely on the same PSK algorithm in the first place).

As PCMag reports, the only way to crack into a WPA3 network should be if you’re already connected to it…which largely removes the benefit of hacking it in the first place. The Wi-Fi Alliance also notes that WPA3 includes protections that kick in “even when users choose passwords that fall short of typical complexity recommendations,” which appears to refer to this additional password obfuscation. WPA3 also remains interoperable with WPA2 networks, though this apparently means WPA2 devices can connect to routers using WPA3 without compromising the security of other connected devices. The WPA2 device, presumably, does not gain any benefit from WPA3 security changes or improvements while connected to a WPA3 router.



Alongside WPA3 in its personal and enterprise flavors, the Wi-Fi Alliance also announced Wi-Fi Certified Easy Connect, which aims to let you add an IoT device (typically one with a limited display, or without a display at all) to a Wi-Fi network using another device with an easier interface. An example would be scanning a product quick response (QR) code with your phone. Then there’s Wi-Fi Enhanced Open, which is intended to provide “improved data protections while maintaining the convenience and use of open networks.” Exactly how much protection will be provided is something we may not know until we see how shipping hardware handles the standard — there’s often a rather significant gap between how these standards are intended to be used and how they’re actually deployed.

It’s also not clear if we’ll see older devices patched to provide support for WPA3, or if that support will be particularly robust. Each time a new security standard is released, there’s an inevitable period of “well, I’ve got Product A and Product B and they’re both supposed to support this thing… but won’t connect to each other while using it.”

Firefox Quantum vs. Google Chrome

Firefox Quantum vs. Google Chrome

Which browser is faster?

Firefox Quantum is here.

Firefox’s new web browser is the most interesting thing to happen in the browsing space in a long time, and, yes, it will let you run all the tabs you want. But there’s one obstacle standing in Firefox’s way to greatness, and that’s Google’s browsing behemoth, Chrome.

Since its debut in 2008, Chrome has cemented itself as the web browser of choice for anyone who knows better than to use the default — a title that used to belong to Firefox. Over time, thanks to its speed and lack of bloat, Chrome made Firefox irrelevant.

Quantum aims to turn back the tide, partly by hitting Chrome where it hurts: speed. Firefox claims Quantum loads some popular websites twice as fast.

Each web browser was tested using default settings with no extensions or add-ons. Neither browser was enabled with an ad blocker or any functionality that didn’t come with the original download. Browsing history, cache, and cookies were cleared beforehand. Each test was performed three times.

Ares-6 test

Ares-6 measures how quickly a browser can run new Javascript functions, including a number of mathematical functions. You can read the nitty-gritty details here.

Better browsers get lower scores.

Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome Trial
Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome Ares-6

As you can see, when it comes to the speed of complex Javascript functions, Chrome absolutely destroys Firefox.

Winner: Google Chrome

JetStream

JetStream 1.1 tests a browser’s ability to run advanced web applications. It measures a number of tasks, including 3D cube rotation, integer math, and library parsing. You can see the full list here.

Better browsers get higher scores.

Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome Trial
Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome JetStream

This time, Firefox comes out on top, but not by much. This means it’s, according to JetStream, slightly better suited for “advanced workloads and programming techniques.”

Winner: Firefox Quantum

Speedometer

Speedometer simulates user actions on web applications (specifically, adding items to a to-do list) and measures the time they take. Check it out for yourself here.

Better browsers get higher scores.

Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome Trial
Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome Speedometer

When it comes to user interactions in web applications, Chrome takes the day.

Winner: Google Chrome

Chrome is still the boss

Unfortunately for Mozilla, Chrome looks like it’s keeping the top spot, at least for now. The only test that favors Quantum is JetStream, and that’s by a hair. And in Ares-6, Quantum gets eviscerated.

In reality, however, Quantum is no slug. It’s a capable, fast, and gorgeous browser with innovative bookmark functionality and a library full of creative add-ons. As Mozilla’s developers fine-tune Quantum in the coming months, it’s possible it could catch up to Chrome.

In the meantime, the differences in page-load time are slight at best; you probably won’t notice the difference.

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