Posts Tagged 'browser'

Privacy on Fast Track Back to User Control

Google and Mozilla announce browser privacy tools

Congress should require all advertising and tracking companies
to offer consumers the choice of whether they want to be
followed online to receive tailored ads, and make that option
easily chosen on every browser.

— The New York Times

In response to the FTC December privacy report which endorsed support for a national ‘Do Not Track’ policy, Mozilla and Google recently moved to put privacy controls back in the hands of users.

‘Do Not Track’ is a first step in putting users in control of the way their information is collected and used online.

Both browser makers, Mozilla and Google, recently took independent initiatives in advance of a national policy.

Mozilla, the Open Source web developers and makers of the popular Firefox web browser says it is seeking ways to give users better insight and control into the ways their personal information is collected, used, stored and shared. They recently announced the coming release of a ‘Do Not Track’ feature for the Firefox web browser.

Chrome, the web browser of the eponymous parent company Google, released a browser extension that offers a “one-step, persistent opt-out of personalized advertising and related data tracking.”

Get the Google Chrome web browser.  Or try Mozilla’s Firefox web browser.

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Will RockMelt be Facebook’s Giant Killer?

RockMelt Browser Social Network for Facebook

Kara Swisher of All Things Digital calls it “a big wet kiss to Facebook.”
CNET’s Seth Rosenblatt wonders if it will truly replace Flock.

What is all the talk about?

RockMelt – the new web browser built ground up “for the way people live and work today.” According to its founders, RockMelt was built to “address people’s three top browsing behaviors: interacting with friends, consume news and information, and searching.” Well, that is if you are a Facebookaholic or believe that Facebook will be the operating system of the future.

While RockMelt is definitely a plus, it more or less offers a browser interface that lays over your Facebook experience, allowing you to more easily mix your web browsing content into your Facebook news stream and share directly with friends. A small enhancement on both the Chromium open source browser and Facebook.

RockMelt works by drawing your data from Facebook and then posits it into the cloud. You log into RockMelt via a Facebook sign-on button from no matter where you are. Then RockMelt delivers your friend data, layout, updates, bookmarks, settings and browsing data from the cloud each time you login.

Visually it pulls your friends out of the browser and keeps them in view on the left side of the browser while you pursue the web. RockMelt puts your apps, Facebook news feed and profile, Twitter feed and RSS feeds on the right side of the browser, somewhat ala Yoono.

RockMelt sidebars makes key objects visible and edgy.

RockMelt brings your social experience topside with 2 sidebar columns (see top pic).

The left sidebar is your “Friends Edge,” displaying your Facebook friends. It can sort by Alpha , Who’s Online, Favorited or Show All Friends. It shows their online status in green (online), yellow (busy) or gray (offline). Selecting a friend open a smaller window displaying their updates, a chat tab, and a Wall link to write on their wall.

The right sidebar is the “App Edge.” Here it displays your Facebook Profile, pages, Twitter and RSS feeds, or recent pages visited for easily drop in to your social networks.

It also shows more of the news stories, so you can get more of a preview without opening another tab or clicking over to the page.

RockMelt Social Network Browser: Twitter Edge

RockMelt Downers

Choice and lack of privacy. Users must first “Accept” to let RockMelt share information with Facebook in order to download the browser and can only activate RockMelt browser by signing in to Facebook. So now, RockMelt will be gathering even more of your personal information at Facebook like your complete search and browsing habits, RSS feeds and extensions used. While this may make RockMelt a “killer” acquisition target for Facebook with the exclusive Facebook integration, it limits user choice to exercise options over what information they want to “share” or make accessible to anyone online.

RockMelt purportedly does not disclose information about data collection. According to its founders, RockMelt will “provide a new, highly social browsing experience in line with the web habits of today’s computer users.”

However, users’ web habits are their own. That’s why we have a privacy policies to protect both web service companies and users, right?

If it wants to build a credible user base, RockMelt should adopt a policy of transparency and disclose what it collects and to whom it provides access to (third parties) in the cloud. Especially since it has close links to Facebook. RockMelt is partly funded by Marc Andreessen, the browser titan of  both Mosaic and Netscape. He sits on Facebook’s Board and his venture group Andreessen Horowitz is a major backer of RockMelt. With the recent privacy lawsuits against Facebook, it might be good for RockMelt to fully disclose upfront.

RockMelt Social Network Browser: Facebook Edge

There are other places for improvement. The browser is built for laptop/desktop screen use and not for mobile, but that is sure to come later. The News Feed doesn’t allow you to select who you want to follow, it instead uses the Facebook algorithm which chooses for you whose news you get. And RockMelt doesn’t yet support real-time Twitter updates.

While Flock was the first and formerly only social network browser, RockMelt can make browsing and using Facebook so much easier and fluid. A big plus for hardcore Facebookers and for this new entry into the browser market.

But is RockMelt really an evolution of the web browser? Will it be the giant killer to take down Google Chrome, IE or Firefox? Meh. Though it is an improvement anyway.

Give it a whirl here.

Mozilla Blocks Java Plugin: Add-on not secure

mozilla

Mozilla, the open source makers of the Firefox web browser, recently added some popular browser extensions or add-ons to its Blocklist. Most notable on the list was the Java Deployment Toolkit (see below).

Mozilla issued the security fix to disable or remove the add-on from all Firefox of its products.

The more commonly known add-ons on Mozilla’s blocklist include:

  • Java Deployment Toolkit, versions 6.0.200.0 and older.
  • Apple QuickTime Plugin, v7.1.*, for all Firefox 3 versions on Windows.
  • AVG SafeSearch, versions older than 8.5, for all applications.
  • Skype extension, versions older than 3.3.0.3971, for all versions of Firefox.

But what’s an add-on? an add-on is a browser extension, a computer program that extends the functionality of a web browser in some way. There are some great extensions, add-ons that enable you to do many tasks and functions right from within your browser.

firefox logo Firefox is the popular open source web browser from Mozilla. It is second most popular web browser to Internet Explorer.

This security fix is the second part of an internal initiative, its Lorentz project, as Mozilla’s seeks to remodel its Firefox architecture to take better control of its plug-ins.

Mozilla’s Blocklist (aka: Blacklist)

The Blocklist is a list of add-ons identified by Mozilla that should no longer
be used with Mozilla products like Firefox due to security or instability issues.

See the full list of Mozilla add-ons on the blocklist, click here.

Learn more

Get the latest information about Mozilla and Firefox here.
You can also download the Firefox web browser here.

—-Update —-
Check your Firefox plugin status at http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/plugincheck/.
To learn how to disable a plugin go here http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/plugincheck/#firefox-helps
Learn about your Firefox Add-ons Security at http://blog.mozilla.com/addons/category/security/.
Get new addons at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/.

Google Public DNS to make web safer and faster

Google Public DNS

Google recently announced the release of their Public DNS on the internet.

This new service will enable a faster browsing experience, by enhancing DNS speed but also improve security and validity of results according to Prem Ramaswami, of Google’s Public DNS Team.

The setting changes for my own PCs were quick and easy to follow. Though they do come with a few technical caveats.

To learn more on Google’s Public DNS, read the full post here.

Amos White is a Social Media Marketing Evangelist and public speaker.
Follow Amos on Twitter @Mos42

Lifehacker’s Firefox Add-On Pack

For all the tweakers and browser buffs out there, lifehacker - lifehacker.com - lifehacker logo
Lifehacker
just released a treasure trove of Firefox extension add-ons as packages to download from the Firefox website.

Goodies include extensions they’ve deemed as Must-Have, for Google Chrome, Multimedia, Performance, Web Developers and more.

Firefox is the popular open source web browser from Mozilla with great extensibility for personalized web browsing.

Chrome is Google’s web browser for Windows operating systems.

Download Firefox’s browser here.
Download Google’s Chrome browser here.

Read the full article at Lifehacker – Lifehacker’s Firefox Add-On Packs – Lifehacker add-on packs.

Amos White is an Internet Marketing Evangelist and public speaker.
Follow Amos on Twitter @Mos42 and on his blog https://amoswhite3.wordpress.com.


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