Google Data Collection Embeded in Firefox 2

84 comments

I'm not sure which I find more offensive, the Governments attempts to regulate people's morals by making online gaming illegal or Google gathering browsing history under the guise of protecting you against phishing.

From Mozilla Firefox 2 Page

Firefox 2's Phishing Protection feature was developed from the Google Safe Browsing feature of the Google Toolbar for Firefox using code donated by the search giant. By default, the Phishing Protection feature checks every page you visit against a local blacklist of known phishing sites and displays a warning if the site is fraudulent. This list is periodically updated by Firefox while the feature is enabled.

For more real-time protection, users can choose (from the Security panel of the Options/Preferences window) to send details of every site they visit to a remote service for checking (currently Google is the only service provider, though other phishing data providers can be supported). With this feature enabled, the URL of every page visited is sent to Google for checking over a secure connection. In addition, details of how users respond to phishing warnings are also sent. While real-time checking can offer greater protection, there are obvious privacy implications, which is why only the local list is enabled by default.

(text emphasized by editor)

Perhaps Firefox should change it's slogon to Taking Back the Internet Again ... And sending all of your data to Google. Sure I can hear the google huggers now "well you know the feature isn't on by default". Well what do you think is going to be something that's mentioned in every Firefox 2 story that makes it's way onto digg or in every other article? I mean really who in their right mind would say "hmm protecting myself against credit card and identity theft nope not for me" or "Gee I'd rather check against an old outdated list rather than something current". In fact Firefox thinks it's so important it's the #2 feature on the download firefox page.

Comments

Snore

This will save less savvy people from identity theft.

Just disable it in your copy and forget about it.

boo friggin hoo

who cares? we've heard the same story with gmail, google desktop, google search history, google desktop sync across machines and recently google browser sync.

google already owns all of your data... and privacy doesn't exist on the internet... at least with this new feature you get a cool service which may help some poor unsuspecting internet user some day not become the punchline of the local newspaper

I say hooray for Google, keep up the good work guys. you can harvest my data any time you want.

yawn

users can choose

get over it.

hehe Graywolf

These tinfoil hat threads always get a flaming.

Not a default setting

This isn't Firefox's default setting. If you try to switch it on, you get the following warning:

If you choose to check with Google about each site you visit, Google will receive the URLs of pages you visit for evaluation. When you click to accept, reject, or close the warning message that Phishing Protection gives you about a suspicious page, Google will log your action and the URL of the page. Google will receive standard log information, including a cookie, as part of this process. Google will not associate the information that Phishing Protection logs with other personal information about you. However, it is possible that a URL sent to Google may itself contain personal information. Please see the Google Privacy Policy for more information.

Even then, the selected radio button is:

I do NOT accept the Phishing Protection terms of service

If you do switch it on, it isn't as if you weren't warned.

User Data in the Algo

So am I the only one who thinks this user data plays a role in the ranking algo? From my testing, stories which go viral and gets lots of traffic and not necessarily a lot of links seem to do much better as a result of having their URL pass through all those toolbar enabled browsers ...

Tracking URLS

And what about tracking URLs in the SERPS? Do you think Google bothers to collect all this data (and provides all these free goodies) without some sort of benefit to themselves?

They don't need to track every single user. If a statistically valid sample use a feature with embedded tracking, Google gets the data they want.

The Company Goes Non Evil

The key to understanding this is remembering that Matt Cutts used to work for the National Security Agency (or so I read on some tinfoil hat site somewhere, along with a list of all the other supposed spook types at the big G).

Google knows more about you than Santa Claus. They know what you are searching for. They know where you have been. They might have scanned the contents of very file on every drive in your home network. They even have technology that picks up the sounds from your PC microphone so they can play ads related to the TV show you are watching (and perhaps very special ads if the TV show is Al Jazeera).

This obviously is technology that spooks would want, and that's why some say Google has been an outpost of the guys in McLean from day one. What you have to realize is that if that is true it's a good thing - instead of using all that wonderful technology just to serve ads and make money, they are using it to keep us all safe.

What a great world we live in.

"Google knows more about you than Santa Claus"

"Google knows more about you than Santa Claus."

LOL. I'm keeping that one.

Checking that list.

Yes, sometimes they know exactly what you want.

Someday, other management will sell that data to Santa Claus and I'll finally get that train set.

question answered

No one thinks it's a bad thing for Google to do this. If the government was doing it there would be near 100% condemnation.

graywolf, as jetboy points

graywolf, as jetboy points out,
- this is off by default (default is to periodically download a blacklist)
- very clear disclosure is given, and
- even then you have to deliberately opt-in.

raycam, take off your tin foil hat. Just because I interned somewhere in college doesn't make me the key to the Miltary-Industrial-Santa Complex. Geez.

Conspiracy mongering++ means TW-- again.

Well, you get a bit of

Quote:
If the government was doing it there would be near 100% condemnation.

Well, you get a bit of convenience from Google in exchange for the data. If it was the government doing this, all you could expect to get is a free trip to a special resort in Syria for a couple of years.

Kill the conspiracy theorists

Hey Matt,

You can shut down the conspiracy theorists real easy - just publicly note that Google does not use or retain information collected from users of Firefox.

If Google's not going to state that we're all going to assume Google is collecting the information and using it.

What's just as bad is Firefox providing this level of information to a commercial entity, from what is commonly seen as an opensource initiative. It's a real hijack IMO.

The tinfoil hat

is an important part of my fashion statement. I just wouldn't look the same without it.

Besides, I was just having some fun. The site where I saw the info (I don't remember where it was, but I bet you could find it using Yahoo) are the folks with the full strength aluminum colanders on their heads.

I Wonder

I wonder what the response to this would be if Microsoft did the same exact thing.

>So am I the only one

>So am I the only one who thinks this user data plays a role in the ranking algo?

No. If not already in place, it will be.

Who Wouldn't Opt In

I agree it's all off by default, but there are very, very compelling reasons to opt in, and from John Q. Public's point they clearly outweigh the reasons not to. So how could this affect you which do you think Google is going to reward

a site that gains 50,000 links but only has "user data" from 50 people

or

a site that gains 50,000 links and has user data from 500,000 people

And if Google's "not interested" in the data they would say they aren't collecting it or are destroying it after 30 days. Oh but wait according to the program and a little diversionary explaination "In addition, details of how users respond to phishing warnings are also sent." it seems they are interested in keeping that data

re: graywolf 'Who wouldn't opt in'

so you're saying Mozilla is evil for providing a feature roughly the same number of people that bother going through FF options to enable it would download/install as a 3rd party extension anyway?

or are we looking at Mozilla being evil for allowing such a service to be offered in the first place?

uncool

I don't think this is cool... honestly think about it.. it's spyware.. period..

spyware

Silly boy, spyware doesn't tell you it's spying and this is full opt-in.

Google is Evil

I'm saying Google is evil for providing the service to gather data under the pretense of protecting against phishing. I have no doubt that the service will do what it claims and probably do an excellent job at it. My beef is with the keeping the data and using it for their own commercial purposes. Yeah yeah yeah it's all disclosed in the yada yada yada but do real people read that or care about it? Nope they proceed happily through clicking to the destination, you know it I know it and Google knows it. They can hide behind the claim of you had to turn it on and we told what we were doing, but trap plain and simple to lure you in and get a direct tap into your clickstream.

graywolf, it's a highly

graywolf, it's a highly useful feature with extremely clear disclosure that requires deliberate opt-in. Firefox users are extremely savvy, and I think that they can understand what they're doing. How would you prefer that phishing protection be done in a browser?

NAILED 'IM!!

>Hey Matt,

>You can shut down the conspiracy theorists real easy - just publicly note that
>Google does not use or retain information collected from users of Firefox.

Silence is deafening!

Graywolf:

This is maybe the second time ever I've disagreed with you ;-) -- I don't see URLs passing through the toolbar doing too much for your rankings -- a *bit, maybe, but doesn't seem to be a huge factor...

And the winner will be?

In the near corner wearing the red trunks we have Mozilla/Google and in the far corner wearing blue trunks we have Microsoft/Verisign...the bitch-slapping mud slinging pissing match to begin in earnest when beauteous Vista sashays onto the web...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/25/verisign_extended_validation/

Phishing Protection

I've got no problem with the phishing protection. I like it think it's a great idea and I'm very confident Google will do an excellent job at keeping it up to date.

My beef is with the data collection. Yep the top tier of firefox users don't need and won't enable it, we both know that. But with firefox gaining more popularity and usage more and more people who are less technologically savvy will use it. They won't care about giving up that little bit of privacy to keep their identity safe from the "bad people".

IMHO the data should only be pushed to the browsers periodically.

User Data

>but doesn't seem to be a huge factor

I agree it's not huge, but it is a factor, and IMHO used to corroborate other "signals of quality"

Conspiracy mongering++ means TW-- again.

YEah, we oughtta just trust Google. For-profit entities have a near spotless record with this kinda thing ;-)

I actually gotta give TW ++ for this.

Matt, you may be a "good guy", but the fact is the company you work for has more private data on humans than any other private entity in history. (Hell, the Pentagon envies the info you have, and if they aren't raiding it already, I'm sure they will soon.)

In light of all of the above, it's IMPOSSIBLE to be too paranoid about Google. It's such a gigantic responsibility, I'm not sure any of us fully grok the power and danger... including your employer.

Trying to hide

Trying to hide the fact that you really spend 80% of your online time viewing porn is what this is really about. The people whinning here simply don't want their porn trails to be logged. Ya Pervs! (:

2001 a Thread Odyssey

It just doesn't get any better than watching the same bone weidling neanderthals beating on the big Google obelisk on the same topics over and over and over...

There's always something comforting in consistency.

boy when you guys gang up

boy when you guys gang up it's like a festival, eh? poor graywolf... going up against a tag team of matt cutts and incredibill.

This is the problem when you

This is the problem when you don't write your own browser (not saying that I could); you don't know what data is going where.

And we're only -- what? -- a month out from AOL's userbase data getting exposed on the Internet.

(And, no, Eric Itzkowitz, I don't spend 80% of my time online viewing porn. To be honest, I spend zero time viewing porn, online or otherwise.)

2001

Well the data mining privacy invading google borg was wrong in 2001 and it's still wrong in 2006.

There's something discomforting about some companies consistency.

Consistency

Quote:
There's always something comforting in consistency.

The wheeling out of cliched phrases like "tinfoil hat" is something that tends to characterise these debates. Come on, who's going to be the first to make a "jumping the shark" analogy?

Any takers?

Well, the use of terms like

Well, the use of terms like "tinfoil hat" and "conspiracy theorist" are simply a method of denigrating what may be legitimate concerns (and the person voicing them). ;)

Added: it's not as if nothing bad has ever happened, that nothing anywhere need be of concern, or that anyone with such a concern is somehow crazy. Please.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

"The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Google is legendary for building a trust brand in a record period of time. "Do no evil" is a loaded statement, it really depends on your definition of evil, in addition to the fact that the corporation itself dictates their actions and ethics.

The value of GOOG stock is the primary motivator of company policy, the danger is the amount and depth of information which Google holds. It's an open door for abuse, maybe not now but in the future without a doubt.

I don't care how many multicolored letters they have in their name or how many cute cartoons they add to their banner. This is a larger question than simply "Google would never".

Kudos to building the most powerful trust brand in the history of modern marketing. The amount of power and information being freely given to one company and the cooperation being given to them is staggering.

We do after all live in the Information Age.

Well, the use of terms like

Quote:
Well, the use of terms like "tinfoil hat" and "conspiracy theorist" are simply a method of denigrating what may be legitimate concerns (and the person voicing them)

Tinfoil does not work anyway, you really need to use lead...

Well, some conspiracy theorists ARE a bit on the odd side

If you've ever had a job where you had to rub shoulders with people who have inordinate levels of interest in conspiracies (for me, it was a bit of journalism, a bit of politics), you might come to the conclusion that at least some conspiracy theorists are, indeed, a little bit outside the normal bell curve in terms of mental fitness.

Then there are those conspiracy buffs trying to make sense of a senseless world, proving Umberto Eco's dictum that if you quit believing God runs the universe all that's left to is to believe that some conspiracy is controlling things.

None of which is to deny that Google is being reckless in the way it collects data. If such data exists, sooner or later it will escape its Google cage and get into the hands of people who may not have a problem really being evil.

> None of which is to deny

> None of which is to deny ...

Well, exactly. That is the point.

Privacy issues aside...

What I find interesting is what G is going to do with this data. Having surfer data on such a large level is bound to influence the algo. This achieves what DirectrHit could only dream of in the 90s. Perhaps this is the beginning of the end of the link-pop dominated algo?

end of link pop

I don't think it's the end of link pop it's the beginning of verifiable link pop. A surge in link pop without a corresponding surge in traffic would not be an "indicator of quality"

How do you figure?

Hilltop which is the foundation of 'link pop' doesn't refer to traffic driven through a citation as an indicator of document quality.

A citation is a citation regardless if it drives actual traffic or not. Now the qulity and relevance of the citation source is important that is context, content, document quality, site quality etc.

You can't easily make that assumption at the end of your post, the logic is flawed.

re: indicator of quality

Yeah, possible, but if you have broad surfer data why would linkpop matter?

re: indicator of quality 2

Well, thinking about it, I am sure link pop will still play some role. For instance, there are lots of quality links referenced in articles of interest which may not coincide with traffic numbers. I guess it will end up being some mixture of both.

The Google Patent

The big google patent have several sections mentioning using user gathered data

Data Mining

If you don't install their toolbar, don't use their phishing protection, don't use their search engine, they don't know anything about you except the sites you hit with AdSense that tracks referrers from your last visit to Speculum World.

Am I missing something?

Food for Thought

Epic 2015 definitley food for thought.

Think about it :)

so in theory...

Most internet users trust big poppy G for information. Interneck Marketing peeps try to manipulate the results so poppy G develop algorithms to thwart SEO's (SEO's that are not "doing no evil", excuse the double neg).

So as we get to a stage wehere big G has a database of useful information, would you say they are close to monopolizing the market for search? If so, is there any danger of them changing the website and page returned from a search query so for someone asks them to do so? Just a few thoughts, also if a Google rep went on record and said that they weren't storing the data that would be interesting.

FWIW...

I register at the grocery store and BevMo for a frequent shopper card under both my name and my neighbors names and when I buy cases of beer and condoms I use the card in my neighbors names so the feds will haul him out in the street when they start rounding up alcoholic sex maniacs.

RE : FWIW

Great idea!!!

FWIW...

Register me, not your neighbor - damn you. I need the bonus points before it all comes crashing down.

I'm on the fast track already, might as well get the rewards, bonus points and free trips before I'm picking up soap in the group shower.

I'm with graywolf.

How would you prefer that phishing protection be done in a browser?

Like in an antivirus - put the database online and make Firefox to check for updates every hour or so, and download any new blacklisted sites if needed. Seriously Matt, does Google not have enough data already?

All will be Assimilated!!

I see good points on both sides of this debate.

Google – You need to confront possible future scenarios when government will use “terrorism”, “nuclear threat” and “sex crime” to legally gain access to your data.

Graywolf type people – It is good there are people like you who question all motives even if it bores incredibill. :)

Tin Foil Statements – Be careful in denying the existence of the boogie man, just look around, there are all kinds of monsters running loose. This is why we must gain legal access to Google’s data in the name of keeping the children safe.

All will be assimilated. ;)

Re Data mining

Perhaps I haven't been clear I have two problems. The first is the obvious privacy concerns of Google having all this data and the eventuality it will fall into the wrong hands. Secondly because they now have the data it will be used in the ranking algo. So even if you don't give them data they get enough of it from other people to make decisions that won't favor your sites since you aren't giving the data to them.

Teaching

I taught my gray haired momma not to click on shit that goes to a different domain name, maybe if you all taught your gray hairs too they wouldn't sign up for this Anti-Stupid, um Anti-Phishing feature in the first place!

and what if..

the redirect goes via google domain? :PPP

the eventuality it will fall into the wrong hands

Don't you think it's fallen into the wrong hands already?

Why this perpetual assertion that "with Google alone it's ok, but wait till the administration's goons get hold of it"? It merely underlines how utterly naive this whole discussion is bound to get if you don't bother to question the very tenets of it all.

So c'mon guys, surely you can do better than that!

Any repeat ANY concentration of personal data gathered without the concerned parties' explicit consent (based on their full and unequivocal understanding of what consequences such gathering and storage and their subsequent processing and usage has and may yet have) isn't merely a time bomb waiting to explode - it's a weapon and an instrument of crowd control of historically unprecedented power and magnitude.

There's some very good reasons why more or less stringent data and privacy protection laws were put in place across most present day civilizations, even though every administration under the sun is doing its damned best to backpedal on their implementation and enforcement.

While the point's been put in this thread already, it wasn't IMV addressed as it should have been: What would everyone's reaction be if "Google" were replaced in this scenario by "Microsoft"? Or, haha, by "AOL"? Or by "Walmart"? Or by "the U.S. goverment"? Or by "CIA/NSA etc."?

After all, there's fundamental systemic issues to consider here, not who may or may not be currently in charge of spawning and fortifying them. The identifiable baddies in this particular sordid game are quite interchangeable and immaterial - it's the monster of a totally transparent Internet life hardly anyone can do hardly anything about that's the primary concern. Or should be ...

It is ALIVE

The monster is alive and well. We have been giving data away for so long that it hardly seems to matter to many these days. In college it was a SSN for a student ID. Even my health insurance tried to use it until they realized that requiring someone togive up a SSN as an ID was illegal. I had to get an unlisted number and not tell my wife becuase everytime she goes to a store and they ask for zip code or phone number she gives it to them. Her logic is that its all out there anyways so what difference does it make.

This horse left the barn so long ago that they have had plenty of time to imbed tracking devices into all the tinfoil anyways.

"I'm saying Google is evil

"I'm saying Google is evil for providing the service to gather data under the pretense of protecting against phishing. I have no doubt that the service will do what it claims and probably do an excellent job at it. My beef is with the keeping the data and using it for their own commercial purposes."

Normally I'd agree that the data collection for commercial purposes is not welcome, and potentially an abuse of privacy.

Unfortunately I don't see what Google are doing as being much different from general corporate digital data collection practices.

Microsoft, Yahoo!, AOL, Amazon - plus the telco server monitoring providing user behviour data to marketing companies - it's rampant everywhere.

I can't honestly see any other company providing the same service while not collecting the data. At least this time it's an explicit opt-in.
Overall, I think it's a wider issue of online privacy that still isn't being addressed.

2c.

I can't honestly see any

Quote:
I can't honestly see any other company providing the same service while not collecting the data. At least this time it's an explicit opt-in.
Overall, I think it's a wider issue of online privacy that still isn't being addressed.

I think we're off track here. The "company" is Google, not Firefox, yet the software is Firefox. The same Firefox that is the benevolent Open Source project. The same one that has avocated for users, been supported by users, and which includes on that very same downloads page all sorts of references to "keeps you safe from spyware, hackers, scammers and spammers, using the power of a vigilant and passionate community to protect you 24/7" and "helping to safeguard your financial information and protect you from identity theft" and "Our openness and active community of experts helps to ensure our products are more secure" and "Firefox will not allow a Web site to download, install, or run programs on your computer without your explicit agreement. Period. You will be notified whenever downloading or installing software, and Firefox will always tell you what’s happening so that you can stay in control of your computer."

In other words, the public face is one of advocacy and protection, using terms like "spyware" and "spammers" and "scammers", yet it is now a tool for what is arguably the largest data aggregating/mining corporation on the planet. The same corporation that has branded as "spammers" people who do nothing worse than advocate for their clients in the SERPs (SERPs which are used competitvely by that same corporation).

Re-reading Brian's comment:

Quote:
I can't honestly see any other company providing the same service while not collecting the data.

should it be such a stretch for Firefox to do this sans Google, if it is such an important issue? Using that extensive open source community, which doesn't have the competing commercial interests?

Perhaps the track Graywolf started is not that "Google is evil" but that perhaps Firefox is not as trustworthy as the brand we all helped establish just a year or two ago. Can anyone argue with that?

re: John Andrews

should it be such a stretch for Firefox to do this sans Google, if it is such an important issue? Using that extensive open source community, which doesn't have the competing commercial interests?

I'd rather let Google know my every move than some undefined open-source-lets-all-hold-hands-for-the-better-of-mankind project

Firefox users are extremely

Quote:
Firefox users are extremely savvy

Innappropriate use of superlatives!

You can't prove that and I doubt its true.

While its true that savvy web types probably do use FF, the user base is probably more skewed towards those who had problems keeping IE running. I know I've installed FF for at least 10 neophytes that trashed their windoze machines due to inept surfing, not because of savviness.

Please try again.

raycam, take off your tin

Quote:
raycam, take off your tin foil hat. Just because I interned somewhere in college doesn't make me the key to the Miltary-Industrial-Santa Complex. Geez.

Conspiracy mongering++ means TW-- again.

> Monitor webmaster issues (in various online forums, conferences, internal questions, etc.).

Who's responsible for the web spooks?

Popcorn for Breakfast

Is it ok to cook popcorn for breakfast?

;-o

I'd rather let Google know

Quote:
I'd rather let Google know my every move than some undefined open-source-lets-all-hold-hands-for-the-better-of-mankind project

Who's to say they won't ever sell your information? I don't trust anyone. Not even myself. Popcorn for breakfast, mmmmmmmm.

It's conditioning

This is obviously just step one. It's getting you used to the idea of a central system to regulate net traffic. I am glad at least firefox is open source so there is a limit to their ability to force such a system on us through this medium. But what if the ISP's started a similar service in the name of protecting us against phishing and viruses... and political descent.

re: carlo

Who's to say they won't ever sell your information? I don't trust anyone. Not even myself. Popcorn for breakfast, mmmmmmmm.

that is a valid point, but I was replying to the statement that sounded like the author would much rather there was some open-source community-like effort that did the same thing instead of google... my point was that, if given the choice, I'd much rather give all my data to google than anyone else...

on the planet.

Wow.

I'd much rather give all my data to google than anyone else...

That might well be one of the most misguided statements ever.

re: dannomatic

I'd much rather give all my data to google than anyone else...

Wow. That might well be one of the most misguided statements ever.

I'm pretty sure there's at least one soul on this planet that's more misguided than me.

but please do elaborate on your statement.

nice research

How many comments on this thread were there? And did any of you learn how the thing actually works?

there you go - simple explanation.

It's not nearly as bad as (most of) you have made it out. In fact, it's not even close.

The word for that is "jackass".

Seems like we've found some

Seems like we've found some the most charismatic Firefox users on the net.

Anything but a journalist!

Brian, being called "chickenshit" sucks, but Asa's calling you a "journalist" too! You can't let that slide dude. ;)

Does anyone remember hopeseekr's fabulous post from when this was first mentioned on TW in May?

MoFo, the apt abbreviation for the Mozilla Foundation, has been thoroughly bought out even before Firefox became the "standard."

Back in the day, Firefox was merely supposed to be a GUI shell with "extensions" around Mozilla and would eventually be co-opted back in to the main browser. Thunderbird started as a complete rewrite of Mozilla Mail which it really needed, but nothing was ever wrong w/ the Mozilla browser in itself.

Then the main developer of Firefox got greedy. Not only was he being paid by MoFo to dev firefox full time, he put an affiliate GOOG link on the browser and heralded it "quick search bar". Unbeknownest to the rest of us plebians, even in the developer community (such as myself), this freak was earning upwards of 30 to 50% commission every time some one clicked on an advert using this browser.

The news hit the other MoFo coders like a ton of bricks: You mean, we did all that code for all those years for free while this guy scams people by secretly colluding with Google?!

The idea -- and official plans -- were for Firebird and Thunderbird to remerge with Mozilla as 99% of the code people *REALLY* care about is the Gecko (X)HTML rendering engine, and that is what required the most skill. But these firefox coders, all three of them, they were rank amateurs. First thing they did was snub their noses as the Mozilla's developer heirarchy system and then at their code testing processes. The result? I had to go out and buy 1 GB of RAM just for Firefox. As have millions of others, probably. Firefox's GUI is *not* the most complicated part, that is Gecko, and they don't touch gecko, they just use it like a parasite.

Well, all the MoFo devs got pissed off and said, we're going to implement the features of Firefox in a clear consistent way, but GOOG shouted NOOOOOOOOO. So, MoFo denies these devs the right and forces their hand by officially ending the Mozilla browser, about a year ago. No bother, these devs start out and create the project SeaMonkey, which I am using now.

Firefox has technically forked two times; flock is the new bastard child. They're technically just as bad imho because they side with Yahoo. But MoFo started going bad when GOOG money started pouring into their coffers. That GOOG money is worth $170 million a year; now wouldn't you welcome your new GOOG overlords at that price?

Download firefox; go ahead, grab that carrot; you might not like the dark little box you find yourself trapped in when GOOG becomes the explicit capstone of the Panopticon.

Full thread here:
http://www.threadwatch.org/node/6756#comment-40066

>SeaMonkey Thanks for

>SeaMonkey

Thanks for that.

It was a breathe of fresh air to change the internet search preferences and watch GOOG disappear completely.

I feel like a new surfer!

SeaMonkey

seamonkey?

Okay, but call it seamonkey? Really. It's one thing to be anti-establishment but quite another to be anti-success. Seamonkey. Seamonkey. Seamonkey. Say it three time sand still hate it.

That and "flurl", a word that half of the world's population can't pronounce, in one day on TW. Too much for me.

It's not nearly as bad as

Quote:
It's not nearly as bad as (most of) you have made it out. In fact, it's not even close.
The word for that is "jackass".

Nah. But I have to agree that it must really suck to have lost the trust of the user base, eh? It's almost as if every time you change the code base in collaboration with Google, you practically have to explain it to everybody. Geesh. What a pain.

re: John Andrews

it must really suck to have lost the trust of the user base

yeah, cause nothing screams 'users jumping ship' like the latest google financial report

users. love. google.
users. love. firefox.

firefox + google = awesomeness

I wish they'd find a way to upload my entire profile to google including configuration, extensions, host permissions for popups/cookies too... keeping those in sync while GBS does half the work is a real pain.

I don't love Firefox. FF is

I don't love Firefox.

FF is slow as a pig, and the Adobe PDF plug in crashes FF almost every time (even if it takes 20 minutes to actually come down). Sure, blame it on a third party extension, but I don't consider PDF an optional extension for web surfing. Also FF has memory leaks, which can be easily observed through task manager.

As for the latest Google financials, I say heh heh. Sell on news.

re: John Andrews

the Adobe PDF plug in crashes FF almost every time

adobe is the bloatware superheavy world champion. next time I install my system, adobe's not getting *ANY* access... foxit reader for viewing PDFs *rules*

and PDFs loading inside the browser should be illegal. and webmasters posting PDFs as a way of 'getting around all that web design nonsense' should be shot.

"Getting around all that web

"Getting around all that web design nonsense" is not the only reason one might include .pdfs on a site. Such things as reports and forms that can be downloaded to the user's computer for future use or as references are useful.

As well, just as it's good practice to ensure that websites display correctly in all modern browsers whether one likes them all or not, it's also important to ensure that items such as .pdfs open correctly without having to coach visitors to download and install an alternative .pdf reader. In my opinion, a browser that experiences problems with something as elementary as opening .pdfs is problematic.

In my case, .pdfs accessed via browser open in Acrobat (the program, not the free Acrobat Reader), but people generally aren't going to be buying the program.

re: DianeV

Such things as reports and forms that can be downloaded to the user's computer for future use or as references are useful.

*downloaded*, not *displayed*

adobe is great at making bloatware. such bloatware does NOT belong inside a web browser.

but that said, I wouldn't want word or excel files to open inside my browser either

and yes, there are rare instances when PDF is justified... but, like flash, people abuse it just because they can.

I've got to admit, I'm

I've got to admit, I'm really surprised - and somewhat bewildered - by some of the criticisms at Platinax and Mozillazine about privacy concerns.

What's probably most sad about the issue is that so far as internet privacy concerns go, I wouldn't even have placed Mozilla high on list compared to the major ISPs.

True enough. But you could

True enough. But you could always right-click them and save them to your desktop, or not click them at all; just a matter of knowing your browser.

I guess I don't have a problem because I've got an awful lot of RAM.

it's not a matter of RAM

I could... but I don't want to... I don't want to check every link I click for possible a possible ".pdf", just to go around an annoying 'feature'

that's why I use PDFDownload http://www.pdfdownload.org/ where adobe is installed

PDF (and Flash, to a minor degree) don't follow standard web behaviour, they break compatibility and user experience and they don't belong inside a browser without an explicit opt-in... if browsers could implement something like PDFDownload (which prompts you, when you click on a PDF, if you want to view it inside a browser, or save to disk, or open externally), that'd be just fine... but this level of integration is just yuck..

anyway, this is getting way off topic and since it's basically a matter of personal preference and not something you can objectively mark right or wrong, I suggest we drop this conversation fork and (maybe?) return to the original topic... or are we done with that too?

With friends like these...

...who needs enemies?

Talk about Google censorship in China, submission of full search data banks to US Congress (under the guise of pedophilia hunt). Google doesn't work for the government(s) - no freaking way. NOT EVER!

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