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Show HN: Browser extension that spoofs your location data to match your VPN

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Show HN: Browser extension that spoofs your location data to match your VPN

Vytal

Get Vytal for Chromium

Spoof your location data and user agent

About

Vytal can spoof your timezone, locale, geolocation and user agent. This data can be used to track you or reveal your location.

Most extensions that provide anti-fingerprinting features rely on content scripts to inject script tags into webpages. There are many limitations to script tag injections which you can read about here: https://palant.info/2020/12/10/how-anti-fingerprinting-extensions-tend-to-make-fingerprinting-easier/

Vytal utilizes the chrome.debugger API to spoof this data. This allows the data to be spoofed in frames, web workers and during the initial loading of a website. It also makes the spoofing completely undetectable.

You can test and compare Vytal and other extensions on https://vytal.io

Vytal contains no ads and signup is not required.

Limitations

Tab initialization

There is a slight delay between when a new tab is opened and the debugger starts mocking the data. This allows for websites to get the original value of the data before it is changed. After the initial loading of a tab, this will no longer be an issue.

Debugging bar

While the chrome.debugger API is active, a bar under the address bar is displayed. Hiding the bar is only possible when the –silent-debugger-extension-api command-line switch is used.

FireFox

Unfortunately Vytal doesn’t work on Firefox since Firefox doesn’t support the debugger API for extensions. https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Add-ons/WebExtensions/manifest.json/permissions#browser_compatibility

Locale override does not mock language data

Unlike the Chrome devtools location sensor, overriding the locale does not change language data (such as navigator.language or navigator.languages). There is an open ticket about this here: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=1306254

Data Retrieval Methods

Top window

The top window is the topmost window in the hierarchy of window objects.

Initial load

Data spoofing methods can have slight delays between the loading of a webpage and the data being spoofed. Data can be retrieved at the very start of loading before the data can be spoofed.

Frame

A frame is a part of a web page which displays content independent of its container, with the ability to load content independently. The HTML or media elements shown in a frame may come from a different web site as the other elements of content on display.

Web worker

Web Workers are a simple means for web content to run scripts in background threads. The worker thread can perform tasks without interfering with the user interface. Once created, a worker can send messages to the JavaScript code that created it by posting messages to an event handler specified by that code (and vice versa). Extension content scripts cannot be injected into workers

Data Tampering

Data spoofed with Vytal can not be detected. Although other extensions which spoof data can be detected. https://vytal.io allows you to compare and test these various tools. A red x signifies that the scanner has detected tampered data. A green check means that no tampering has
been detected. Clicking on the table row of the tampered data will bring up a modal box showing the type of detected tampering.

Types of Tampering

Failed Date.prototype.setDate.toString()

if (!Date.prototype.setDate.toString().includes('[native code]')) {
  return true;
}
return false;

Failed Object.getPrototypeOf(Intl.DateTimeFormat.prototype).constructor.toString()

  if (
    !Object.getPrototypeOf(Intl.DateTimeFormat.prototype)
      .constructor.toString()
      .includes('Object')
  ) {
    return true;
  }
  return false;

Failed Intl.DateTimeFormat.prototype.resolvedOptions.toString()

  if (
    !Intl.DateTimeFormat.prototype.resolvedOptions
      .toString()
      .includes('[native code]')
  ) {
    return true;
  }
  return false;

Failed Object.getOwnPropertyDescriptor(navigator, key)

  if (Object.getOwnPropertyDescriptor(navigator, key) !== undefined) {
    return true;
  }
  return false;

Failed object.getOwnPropertyDescriptor(Navigator.prototype, key).value

  if (
    Object.getOwnPropertyDescriptor(Navigator.prototype, key).value !==
    undefined
  ) {
    return true;
  }
  return false;

Failed Failed Navigator.prototype[key]

  try {
    const check = Navigator.prototype[key];
    return true;
  } catch (err) {
    return false;
  }

Failed navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition.toString().includes(‘[native code]’)

  if (
    !navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition
      .toString()
      .includes('[native code]')
  ) {
    return true;
  }
  return false;

Screenshots

Screenshot of extension popup

Screenshot of extension popup and vytal.io

Dev

This application is built with Javascript and React.

Clone this repo and run these commands to start the development server.

Load the extension on Chrome:

  • Access chrome://extensions/
  • Check Developer mode
  • Click on Load unpacked extension
  • Select the build folder.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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