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Ur/Web, A Simple and Powerful Language For Secure Web Applications

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A new programming language, called Ur/Web, lets developers write Web applications as self-contained programs. The language’s compiler – the program that turns high-level instructions into machine-executable code – then automatically generates the corresponding XML code and style-sheet specifications and embeds the JavaScript and database code in the right places.

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Ur/Web is described in a paper presented at the ACM Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages by MIT Professor of Software Technology Adam Chlipala. The paper describes the problem that the new programming framework is intended to solve as:

The World Wide Web has evolved gradually from a document delivery platform to an architecture for distributed programming. This largely unplanned evolution is apparent in the set of interconnected languages and protocols that any Web application must manage.

Simple, Secure, and Efficient Web Applications

UR/WebUr is a programming language in the tradition of ML and Haskell, but featuring a significantly richer type system. Ur is functional, pure, statically typed, and strict. Ur supports a powerful kind of metaprogramming based on row types. Ur/Web is Ur plus a special standard library and associated rules for parsing and optimization. Ur/Web supports construction of dynamic web applications backed by SQL databases. The signature of the standard library is such that well-typed Ur/Web programs “don’t go wrong” in a very broad sense.

Ur/Web is described as a domain-specific programming language with a much simpler model for programming modern Web applications. Ur/Web’s model is unified, where programs in a single programming language are compiled to other “Web standards” languages as needed, and supports novel kinds of encapsulation of Web-specific states.

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According to the developers, the main benefits of Ur/Web over competing tools are:

  • Ur/Web makes programmers more productive by providing abstraction and modularity features not found in any other language.
  • Ur/Web provides guaranteed security; certain kinds of security vulnerability are impossible. For example, modulo any compiler bugs, any Ur/Web application that the compiler accepts is free of code injection vulnerabilities.
  • Ur/Web provides much better run-time performance than any competing system. Server-side components are native code and don’t use garbage collection.

Chlipala founded Impredicative LLC, a company for consulting related to the Ur/Web programming language.

Ur and Ur/Web were considered as beta software by the developers until recently, but the new December 2014 release is considered as a candidate production version. On the Ur/Web website at impredicative.com the developers say:

It’s probably not crazy to give this release a try in building your next serious application.

A production web application developed with Ur/Web is the Bitcoin Merge Mining Pool, which allows users to merge mine for a number of different bitcoin-derived virtual currencies.

Images from Impredicative and Shutterstock.

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  1. Rick Mac Gillis

    December 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    No garbage collection? I can just see people complaining about memory leaks in the future… The server would crash and have to be restarted when it runs out of memory.

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Cybersecurity

5 Best VPN for Torrenting that Guarantee You True Anonymity

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Heard the news about several people across the globe getting legal notices from HBO over suspicions of downloading pirated version of Game of Thrones episodes? Well, this truly captures the essence of why people are looking for guaranteed anonymous VPN torrents services that help them use torrents and P2P networks for file sharing like it used to be back in 2010! Now, we’re not promoting the act of piracy in any way, and intend this guide to serve the readers as a list of dependable VPN options for remaining anonymous on the web. Apart from anonymity, these VPN services are known to enhance download speeds, which makes the user’s web browsing experience more fulfilling. On with the top 5 VPN tools for torrenting:

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Express VPN – The One Stop Shop for all Your Web Anonymity Requirements

Express VPN is among the most renowned names in the VPN market, with more than a hundred servers operating from more than 75 countries across the globe, offering coverage like no other VPN. It offers P2P support, supports multiple devices, is compatible with all major operating systems, and does a lot more than just maintaining complete anonymity as you use it to download all you can from torrent based download networks. Express VPN leverages PPTP, L2TP-IPSec, SSTP, and OpenVPN (UDP, TCP ports) protocols to deliver complete protection to users.

ExVPN

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Express VPN does not cap your maximum download speed, which makes it particularly useful for web users specifically looking for a VPN to help them with downloading. BitTorrent users can use this tool without any concerns as it’s optimized for the portal. Also, the zero activity logging policy of this tool means that your web browsing sessions, torrent downloading, and P2P file sharing – all remain 100% anonymous, in every sense. Express VPN is fully compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and other operating systems. Plus, it offers a 3—day money back guarantee if you feel dissatisfied with the experience.

PureVPN – A Wholesome Anonymous Torrenting Option

PureVPN is another VPN recommended for web users with dedicated requirement of torrent downloading and P2P networking. The service uses more than 500 VPN servers spread across 140+ countries – that’s mind blowing. With optimized torrent VPN servers and no restrictions on bandwidth and download speeds, Pure VPN is a ‘pure’ and no holds barred tool for web users. It supports VoIP, P2P, and secure file sharing, which makes it a multi utility, super secure, and fully anonymous web browsing option.

PureVPN

PureVPN offers anonymity by using protocols such as PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and IkeV2. It works on most devices and operating systems. It effectively bypasses all web surveillance and snooping, hides all your personal information and geo-location details, and cloaks your IP address as you experiment with different torrent servers and P2P file sharing networks.  Other noteworthy features include 5 multi logins, advanced data encryption for additional security, and responsive customer support.

VyprVPN – Amazing Reach, Whopping Number of Servers, and No Download Speed Restrictions

 VyprVPN has 700+ servers and more than 200,000 IP addresses to offer, more than any torrent user can ask for, to keep identities safe and secured from access by surveillance agencies and web snoopers. VyprVPN’s server reach encompasses 48 countries, across 5 continents, covering most of the globe. It bypasses all speed and bandwidth restrictions of P2P file sharing, and hence surfaces as a specialized VPN for torrent users. This tool uses protocols such as Chameleon, OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP to offer web anonymity to P2P network users.

Vypr

What makes VyprVPN a certain feature for any top 5 VPN list is the customer support it offers, in the form of 24×7 live chat and email. Zero activity logging means that even the service provider has no record of your web browsing activity. VyprVPN is compatible with iOS, Windows, Linux, and Android, apart from other mainstream operating systems.

NordVPN – No Holds-Barred P2P File Sharing and Torrent Downloads

NordVPN has made a name for itself because of the stellar download speeds (no-restrictions) it allows you to achieve during P2P file sharing. Its servers operate across 48 countries, delivering flexibility to torrent users. Using NordVPN, you can browse anonymously from 6 devices simultaneously. Also, you can use BitCoin to make payments to NordVPN, which effectively means that your identity also remains hidden from the service provider.

NordVPN

NordVPN uses Automatic Kill Switch, SSL 2048-bit encryption, and no activity logging policy, apart from advanced anonymity protocols to ensure that your personal details are not revealed to any website, web surveillance group, or web snooper, ever. You can reach out to customer support from NordVPN via 24×7 live chat, email, and their Facebook page. No wonders, has quickly gained reputation as a user centric and dependable VPN for torrenting and P2P file sharing.

Private Internet Access – A Niche Tool for Expert Torrent Users

We covered mainstream and well-renowned VPN services till now; we’ll close this list with a more nuanced option – Private Internet Access. This is a bare-bones, yet 100% reliable VPN to keep your torrent downloading and P2P file sharing sessions safe, secure, and anonymous. With a multitude of configuration options, Private Internet Access is what a seasoned web user requires to get the confidence that all his/her web activity is totally protected.

PIA

Options such as 256-bit encryption, kill switch, security tweaks, and dozens of customizations allow you to fully control the level and extent of anonymity you want to achieve as you browse the web. No bandwidth limits, no activity logging, DNS leak protection, IPv6 leak protection – all make Private Internet Access the expert torrent user’s VPN of choice.

In the wake of DMCA notices being served to several users across USA, UK, and Australia, the utility of world-class VPN software to help maintain one’s web anonymity while downloading torrents and accessing P2P file sharing networks is at a peak. We hope this list of 5 super reliable and well-designed VPN tools helps you keep safe and secure as you enjoy web browsing and networking with zero restrictions.

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Cybersecurity

The Department of Defense Is about to Enhance Its Deep Web Search Engine

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ISIS

A lot of people have never heard of Memex. Memex is a deep web search engine developed by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the agency that created the ARPANET, which served as a basis of the internet we use nowadays.

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Memex is a deep web search engine that doesn’t quite work like Google or Bing. DARPA sees Memex as a set of search tools intended for government use, unlike commercial search engines as the ones mentioned above. This deep web search engine powers domain-specific searches that then show sophisticated infographics as results. According to Tech Times, this new search engine can crawl 90 to 95% of the deep web.

The current goal is to battle human trafficking and slavery-related content. In the future, it’ll also be useful to take down drug traffickers, terrorists, and pedophiles. Per the International Labor Organization, almost 21 million people are victims of forced labor worldwide, leading to a private economy of $150 billion in profits a year.

Memex was already successfully used in the past. In 2014, a sex trafficker named Benjamin Gaston was sentenced to 50 years in prison after he was found guilty of several crimes. Among them were sex trafficking, kidnapping, sex abuse and rape.

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The deep web search engine is about to grow stronger

According to Venture Beat, the security and intelligence company IST Research has acquired Rescue Forensics. IST Research has worked with DARPA for years now, and the acquisition is going to help their efforts grow in effectiveness.

Rescue Forensics was acquired for an undisclosed amount, but is known their technology is to be used to improve the Department of Defense’s deep web search engine, Memex. It will be used alongside IST’s Pulse Platform.

Rescue Forensics works with the use of big data, analytics and computer forensics, in order to give law enforcement agencies intelligence they can act upon. They work with over 450 agencies throughout the world.

IST’s Pulse Platform is partly funded by the Department of Defense, and works by looking at phone addresses and emails as well as commonalities such as spacing, used in ads on the deep web and aggregation sites.

According to IST’s founder Ryan Paterson, so far the Pulse Platform has been focusing on extracting information from parts of the world where both security and accessibility aren’t great:

We’re interested in child soldiers, we’re doing work in central Africa right now with the Lord’s Resistance Army, fighting the LRA there, that Kony mission, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, what’s happening in Mosul, in Aleppo

Memex is currently crawling the deep web in search for a specific group of criminals, alongside other solutions such as TraffickCam and The Polaris Project. As the previously mentioned report from Sophos mentions, however, if it keeps on being successful, we might need to rename what is currently the deep web.

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Companies

Microsoft Joins Linux Foundation, Bets on Open Cloud Computing

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Only a few years ago the idea that Microsoft could actively promote Linux and join the Linux Foundation would have sounded like science fiction, but that’s exactly what happens now: Microsoft is joining the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member.

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