GrofLuigi

What's the deal with browsers recently?

38 posts in this topic

I've noticed a trend that's too widespread to be random. While on one hand they include "private browsing" feature, on the other hand they make the defaults VERY VERY intrusive on the user's privacy and CAN NOT BE DISABLED EASILY OR AT ALL. And these are all good-standing companies that are in no need of immediate money as far as I can see to have to resort to spyware. Because that's what this is - DATA MINING (done on the server side where they can easily connect all the dots). It's disguised as 'making life easier for everyday (read stupid) user', but it's obviuos that on this scale, it cannot be true. I guess human greed knows no limits...

Let me list some of them:

1. Firefox 3.5 (no extensions) - I went through EVERY about:config entry and I counted AT LEAST 30 locations it connects to Internet regardless of the user's wish or knowledge - geolocation feature, "safe browsing" (who will police the police?), updates, updates to extensions, updates to search engines... See for yourself: filter "http://" entries. And of course, the greatest annoyances: the blue RECENT * everywhere that cannot be deleted. They recreate on next start. Believe me, I've searched high and low and edited userchrome.css till I got blue in the face and nothing.

2. Opera - I haven't tried the 10, but from what I read it sets up Opera's servers as proxies (Turbo feature) - all your traffic goes through them? And 9 is no angel either - it bluescreened my old laptop frequently by UPDATING ITS HISTORY DATABASE WITH EVERY KEYSTROKE IN THE ADDRESS BAR. It also connects to many places by default - checks for updates, updates its compatibility list, 'safe' browsing, checks extended certificates... (again, who will police the police? Comodo and Verisign have sold their souls to the devil in the past).

3. Safari - just installed 4.02 on Windows - Top Sites will not go away (and it fetches them from Internet). Not to mention Apple Software Update and Bonjour... 'nuff said.

4. Chrome - haven't ever installed it, but I hear it generates more traffic to google.com than to whereever you're browsing... ;)

5. IE - haven't used it a long time. Hope others will chime in.

I don't have any questions, just needed to get this out of my chest. I guess I'll return to browsing OffByOne or Mosaic. :)

Also, I'm sure I've got some things wrong (or have fallen prey to rumors), but on the other hand I've left out many minor annoyances that would make this post too long (as if it isn't already :whistle: ). So please don't flame me, maybe you can just state your 'favorite' annoyance with your browser instead?

GL

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1. Firefox 3.5 (no extensions) - geolocation feature, "safe browsing" (who will police the police?), updates, updates to extensions, updates to search engines... See for yourself: filter "http://" entries. And of course, the greatest annoyances: the blue RECENT * everywhere that cannot be deleted.

Not sure about geolocation but safe browsing and updates can be disabled in options. About recent, do you mean like recently bookmarked?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
About recent, do you mean like recently bookmarked?

Yeah, blue folders in bookmarks - Recent Bookmarks and Recent Tags (I got rid of another one after lot of searching). Finally I understand why they call some bloggers "firefox evangelists" - they only praise the new features, not a speck of criticsm there. Or they copy/paste press releases for AdSense rating, whatever.

I also think the whole Tags idea stands on shaky ground. What is it useful for when folders can be made in bookmarks? And who will use it? I guess near 100 % of users will try it, but 1 % will remain to use it regularly for whatever reason. Meanwhile, it's forced into our throats and it can't be switched off (Tags can, but Recent Tags can't?!?!) OK, maybe it's just a bug (I hope), but, as I said, too many coincidences...

Geolocation is "disablable", but it's enabled by default (and how many users will bother to find it?) And it's one of many.

GL

* Edit: typo

Edited by GrofLuigi
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A safe browsing list is a database that is locally stored and checked against; updates are downloaded on a regular interval. Program updates, should really only be a comparision of the installed version and current released version. Neither of these are really an invasion of privacy IMO, just a convenience and maintenance feature.

Opera's proxy however is an obvious privacy issue, I think AOL has been doing the same for years.

BTW there is a 3rd party build of Chrome called Iron that is supposedly "more" private:

http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_i...ome_vs_iron.php

Keep in mind your ISP probably (is required) to keep a log of all your activity. They normally handle your DNS lookups and can easily see all HTTP traffic.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
About recent, do you mean like recently bookmarked?

Finally I understand why they call some bloggers "firefox evangelists" - they only praise the new features, not a speck of criticsm there. Or they copy/paste press releases for AdSense rating, whatever.

Was that directed at me? :unsure:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
About recent, do you mean like recently bookmarked?

Finally I understand why they call some bloggers "firefox evangelists" - they only praise the new features, not a speck of criticsm there. Or they copy/paste press releases for AdSense rating, whatever.

Was that directed at me? :unsure:

No, why would it be? I was just continuing my comment from above (some parts missing) - I searched on how to remove those new features and I found only ways to readd them, nobody even considered that some people would like to live without them.

GL

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
About recent, do you mean like recently bookmarked?

Finally I understand why they call some bloggers "firefox evangelists" - they only praise the new features, not a speck of criticsm there. Or they copy/paste press releases for AdSense rating, whatever.

Was that directed at me? :unsure:

No, why would it be? I was just continuing my comment from above (some parts missing)

Just checking. It was in the same paragraph in which you answered my question.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i think you might be a little overly paranoid here.

Two separate unique IDs to track you (along with Google's usual cookie), plus the RLZ parameter, and logging every keystroke in the omnibar and so on? Of course, that goes along with the logging everything you've searched for ever. It's over the top for sure. Or did I miss an invisible sarcasm tag?

At the risk of sounding like an apologist...

AT LEAST 30 locations it connects to Internet regardless of the user's wish or knowledge

I don't really see many problematic things in about:config. An URL being in there doesn't mean much by itself. Show me some HTTP traffic logs of what's problematic, then I'll feel more concerned.

Geolocation? It's using Google's service (not mozilla logging your infos), and can be disabled fairly easily. Also, Mozilla's site says "If you say that you do not consent, Firefox will not do anything." so it's not much of an issue in the first place.

Safe browsing? You're asked if you want of it or not (just like IE does) on first run. Also using Google's service. That's somewhat useful though (for the n00bs who don't notice the obvious phishing sites and the like -- non-n00bs just have not to opt-in at install time).

"updates, updates to extensions, updates to search engines"

That's paranoid alright, and can be disabled using the built-in checkboxes under options > advanced > updates.

IE8 doesn't really have privacy issues. It has a opt-in phishing filter just like Firefox. It gets updates as well (if you're really worried about those)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GrofLuigi

It's been a long time since I tried FireFox or Opera so I can't comment on the behavior you mention. I didn't like the direction FF was going and got rid of it a long time ago. I run SeaMonkey 1.1.x and K-Meleon. Except for the update check, which can be easily disabled, I haven't noticed the behaviors you describe with them. I can't say with certainty that my forcing them to connect through Proxomitron might be preventing some of those behaviors. You might give them a try. They're both available as zip files if you want to avoid installers.

As far as the Google browser is concerned, I have no desire whatsoever to try it. Google's data collecting activities alone made that decision for me.

Rick

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer 8 all installed.

I like Internet Explorer 8's new address bar feature. Type in a few letters of a URL you've visited before and then press Shift+Enter to go to it. Even better than pressing the down button on the keyboard and then pressing return.

The private browsing feature is one that's been in Safari for years, and other browsers are now just ripping off.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ geek: I didn't mean Chrome OS (but I don't have anything to say about Chrome browser firsthand anyway).

@ CoffeeFiend: I might just set up a packet sniffer (in the distant future, when I have a lot of free time and energy ;) ) cause I'm very interested in what those browsers communicate to "home". I remember when I tried Firefox 2, Kerio 2.15 went bezerk. (I don't have it any more). BTW it was feeds updates - I forgot those. :rolleyes:

@ herbalist: thank you, I know about them, but I'm a little tired of searching and trying...

And to continue my general rant, ever Firefox 2 didn't bring anything new for me - I don't use spellcheck and feeds. I didn't notice much difference about the improvements in rendering engine - I guess I don't go heavy sites often?

And obviously I don't have anything against a healthy dose of paranoia. :P ( Edit: to avoid misunderstanding, this line was about me ).

GL

Edited by GrofLuigi
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@ herbalist: thank you, I know about them, but I'm a little tired of searching and trying...

Looking for the right software can get old after a while, but I'd think it would be preferable to using something that you don't like.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looking for the right software can get old after a while, but I'd think it would be preferable to using something that you don't like.

Currently my primary browser is Opera 9.XX with some opera servers blocked in hosts file.

I would gladly support ads for a valuable program or website, but this sneakiness (of all of them) really pi**e* me off.

And I don't want programs to do any services (favors) for me, just as I don't want Windows to. :angel

GL

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.