Archive for the ‘Browsers’ Category

IBM names Firefox its default browser

Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2010 by gareon in Browsers, Firefox, Open Source
“Firefox has become the default browser for nearly 400,000 IBM employees, a big coup for the open-source project during a time of increasing browser competition.
” ‘All IBM employees will be asked to use it as their default browser,’ Bob Sutor, vice president of open source and Linux at IBM’s Software Group, said in a blog post Thursday. ‘Firefox is enterprise-ready, and we’re ready to adopt it for our enterprise.’…”

July 1, 2010
Source: Deep Tech – CNET News

Norton produces false alarm after Firefox update

Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 by gareon in Browsers, Firefox, Fx 3.6

“…Several readers reported to heise Security that Norton Antivirus and Internet Security from Symantec both issued a security alert and pushed various files into quarantine after they installed the latest Firefox update which in turn caused Firefox to malfunction….”

The update is 3.6.6

28 June 2010

Source: The H Security: News and Features


A Look At Firefox 3.7a6pre (Minefield)

Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 by El Guru in Browsers, Firefox, Fx 3.7, Fx 4.0

Had a chance today to download, install and even crash (sort of) Firefox 3.7a6pre aka Minefield. When the final release comes out some time around year end it will be numbered as Firefox 4. The biggest change in Firefox 3.7/4.0 is the user interface (UI). The new UI reminds me a lot of Chrome and takes a little getting use to.

Click for full size image

This is the ‘default’ UI when you first load up Minefield. Here a few of the notable changes:

  1. The ‘Minefield’ Button – In the released version of Firefox 4 this will be labeled as Firefox. This is a compact version of the old Menu Toolbar and has most of the common menu sections. This is similar to the ‘Tools’ button in IE7 and the wrench button in Google Chrome.

    Click for full-size image

  2. Tabs on Top – The Tab Bar is now on top of the address/search bars. This is the default behaviour of both Chrome and Opera. A couple side notes about this change; 1. You can still have your tab bar below the address/search bars like previous versions of Firefox; 2. Mozilla’s Alex Faaborq video: Firefox 4 tabs on top explained.
  3. Bookmarks Button – On the far right is a ‘bookmarks’ button that acts like the old bookmarks menu.

    Click for full-size image

  4. No Menu Bar – As mentioned earlier the ‘Minefield’ (or ‘Firefox’) button has the most frequently selected items from the File, Edit, View, History, Bookmarks, Tools and Help menus. You can enable the menu bar again by clicking the ‘Minefield’ (or ‘Firefox’) button selecting the Customize menu then selecting Menu Bar. The menu bar can be displayed temporarily by pressing ALT.

    Click for full-size imag.

    You will also notice here you can disable the ‘tabs on top’ default setup to return the traditional Firefox UI with the tab bar on the bottom.

  5. Windows Aero Interface – For Windows Vista/7 Firefox incorporates the ‘Aero Interface” and does so horribly. I much preferred the old style incorporating Personas. In the screen shot below with the Menu Bar enabled you will notice with the Windows Aero Interface the Menu Bar text does not show well against my dark desktop background.

    Click for full-size imag

    The good news is you can still use Personas and it looks so much better with a Persona installed. Simply go to the Personas site find a Persona you like, mouse-over and click Wear It. Notice it the screen shot below the Menu Bar text is now visible.

    Click for full-size Image

  6. No Bookmarks Toolbar – By default the Bookmarks Toolbar is hidden. This can be turned on by going into ‘Minefield’ (or ‘Firefox’) button selecting the Customize menu then selecting Bookmarks Toolbar. Two comments about the ‘new’ Bookmarks Toolbar: 1. The opaque background is good; 2. The ‘Bookmarks Button’ is moved from the Navigation Bar on to the Bookmarks Toolbar, but a ‘Bookmarks’ label is added next to the button taking up extra space. There may be a tweak involved to get rid of the label.

    Click for full-size Image

  7. Add-ons Manager – Firefox 3.7/4.0 features a new (and needs major work) add-ons manager. Two complaints I have so far in the first few minutes in using Minefield: 1. The add-ons manager now opens in a tab instead of stand alone window. I suppose this is a nice improvement but in the situation that I described earlier in the There is a reason for that warning! post; 2. The navigation is now along the side instead of on top which makes it too wide to use the Add-Ons & Download Managers in Sidebar « The Firefox Extension Guru’s Blog tweak.

    Click for full-size image

Overall I like the UI changes as does allow for a bigger area for the content display. The Minefield/Firefox menu is going to take some getting use to for longtime Firefox users, but it grows on you. The Windows Aero Interface is just plain crappy, but at least you can still wear Personas.

The add-ons manager still needs major work but has improved greatly since the earlier Alpha builds. So much so there hasn’t been any discussion in the ‘bitch thread’ on Firefox Builds. It should be noted though that this new add-ons manager does not work with existing add-on manager related add-ons (Mr. Techs Toolkit or Nightly Tester Tools) or tweaks. Also there still a lot of debate about Drawing in Title Bar. Notice there is no title bar when the Menu Toolbar is turned off (and pressing ALT does not show the window controls). This makes it impossible to minimize or maximize the browser without going to the taskbar.

Haven’t really had much of a chance to see how the browser performs yet. Of course start ups are a lot quicker but I am using a clean profile with only a handful of my usual extensions. I should be able to start using it more frequently soon. Also judging by the fact this build is tagged as Firefox 3.7a6pre, there is going to be an Alpha 6 release (which would explain why the purposed Beta 1 release was scrapped earlier this week).

Chrome Conundrums Resolved

Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 by El Guru in Blogs, Browsers, Google, Other

Back in January I wrote about a couple Chrome Conundrums. They were how when I had Chrome window maximized I could not get to my hidden taskbar without pressing the Windows Key. Further if the Chrome was the active application (not in the background) my computer and/or monitor would not go into power save/sleep mode. A couple of months ago with one of the ‘silent updates’ of Chrome these issues were resolved. I can now have Chrome open maximized and placing the mouse at the bottom of the screen the Windows Taskbar shows up. Even better I can leave the computer unattended with Chrome as the active application and the computer will go to sleep after the preset amount of time.

WTF is HTML5 and why should we care

Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2010 by El Guru in Browsers, Firefox, Fx 3.6, Fx 4.0, IE, Microsoft, Other

For those unfamiliar with HTML5, it is going to be the next big update for the HTML coding standard. Some of the new elements in HTML5 include:

  • Canvas Element: allows rendering of graphics (including those used in games) on the fly. What is nice about Canvas is this is done without the need for troublesome plugins such as Flash. On a side note about Flash, Apple CEO Steve Jobs hates Flash and loves HTML5
  • Video Element: allows embedding of video without the need for clunky plugins such as the open source Adobe Flash and Apple’s QuickTime. HTML5 is going to be taking advantage of the H.264 and VP8 codecs.
  • Geolocaton: A more reliable way of pin-pointing a web users location. Instead of relying on the user’s IP address Geolocation in HTML5 will be able to pin-point a user’s location based on hits from Wi-Fi Towers (similar to way GPS in your smart phone works).
  • Offline Web Applications: allowing users to still interact with web applications even when they are connect to a network.

The below chart was designed to explain HTML5 and it is differences from Adobe Flash. However it also shows how ‘HTML5 Ready’ current and versions of IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari are.

Click For Larger Image

A couple things I found really interesting looking at the above chart is IE8 and even the future IE9 do not support many of the HTML5 features. I am very surprised to see Chrome currently is the most HTML5 ready browser. I suppose part of this has to do with Google having a vested interest in HTML by recently making the VP8 video codec open-source. On the flip side, when(ever) Firefox 4 is released (may be end of this year, may be early next year) it will be the most HTML5 ready browser.Source: The Microsoft Blog

Microsoft hides mystery Firefox extension

Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 by gareon in Add-ons, Browsers, Firefox, IE, Microsoft

Get one of these?

” As part of its regular Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released an update for its various toolbars, and this update came with more than just documented fixes. The update also installs an add-on for Internet Explorer and an extension for Mozilla Firefox, both without the user’s permission…It’s also not really clear what the installed extension actually does. “

Microsoft hides mystery Firefox extension in toolbar update

Source: Microsoft hides mystery Firefox extension in toolbar update
Rest of story


New kind of phishing attack

Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 by gareon in Browsers

The team behind the Firefox browser has warned users about a new kind of phishing attack.
new phishing attack replaces an inactive browser tab on the Firefox
browser with a malicious phishing page designed to steal user names and
passwords for e-mail and bank accounts from unsuspecting users.
Firefox creative team leader, Aza Raskin, stated that the attack, which only affects the latest version of Firefox, is easily avoidable if users are cautious and check that the URL in the browser address page is correct before proceeding to enter any details.
The new phishing attack affects an inactive tab on the browser by running malicious Javascript, replacing one page with a fake of another.
The attack relies on users thinking that they left the fake tab open without logging-in, prompting them to enter their username and password on the fake screen… “
More @ link

26 May, 2010

Source: Firefox Warns of New Phishing Scam –
Address :
NoScript update:

“Experimental protection against Aviv Raff’s scriptless
, by blocking refreshes triggered on unfocused untrusted tabs.”

Source: NoScript – JavaScript/Java/Flash blocker for a safer Firefox experience!
Address :

Below is part of an article Gareon had posted on Go Firefox!

Although I live in Windows, I avoid Internet Explorer – its the Defensive Computing thing to do. My approach is the same as Steve Gibson’s, we run IE once a month to install Microsoft patches, then ignore it until next month.

Not too long ago, on his Security Now! podcast, Gibson suggested further protection from IE by setting both the Internet and Intranet zones to “High” security levels. What the heck, I figured, an extra bit of safety can’t hurt. But it did hurt, and thus, this blog posting.

The advice isn’t new, of course, but I implemented it sometime early this year.
Unfortunately, I also upgraded my main XP machine to service pack 3 around the same time. Thus, when Firefox acted up, I first suspected the service pack. False lead.

The problem was that Firefox couldn’t download files. Rather than spend time researching it, I just ran Chrome the few times I needed to download a file from a website. Since the solution was so simple, the problem didn’t rate much time or effort. My email program, Thunderbird, had no problem saving attached files, so I made due.

The Problem:

Windows XP users (this problem does not occur with Windows Vista and 7) who have made changes to the default security Zone settings in IE (7 or 8), may find themselves unable to download .EXE files with Firefox. Changing the security settings from Medium-High to High for the Internet Zone within IE will cause Firefox not to download .EXE files. Which version of Firefox you are using determines what your options are for getting around this issue:

  • Firefox 3.5 – create a new about:config entry for

    1. In a new tab type about:config and press enter
    2. If you get a warning about voiding the warranty, click I’ll Be Careful, I Promise
    3. In the list right-click anywhere and select New
    4. Select Boolean
    5. A dialog box will pop-up asking for preference name, type
    6. In the next dialog box, select TRUE
    7. Close the tab and the changes will take effect immediately
  • Firefox 3.6 – currently the only options for Firefox 3.6 users are to either drop the security level in IE for the Internet Zone back down to Medium-High or to use another browser such as Chrome for downloading .EXE file
  • Firefox 3.7 – create a new about:config entry for

    1. In a new tab type about:config and press enter
    2. If you get a warning about voiding the warranty, click I’ll Be Careful, I Promise
    3. In the list right-click anywhere and select New
    4. Select Boolean
    5. A dialog box will pop-up asking for preference name, type
    6. In the next dialog box, select FALSE
    7. Close the tab and the changes will take effect immediately

Source: Computerworld Blogs

Access Blocked Stuff on The Web

Posted: Monday, April 19, 2010 by gareon in Add-ons, Browsers, Tips & Tweaks

“The web is a generally free place, but some sites and services want to
make it annoying to navigate and enjoy. Stream any video you’d like,
see the sites you need, and get at services you thought were down with
these tips.”
10. Skip Past Annoying User/Pass Requests
9. Read Articles That Rupert Murdoch Wants You Paying For
8. Change User Agents to Get Around Browser Blocks
7. Get to Gmail When It’s Down
6. Get Actually Usable BitTorrent Speeds
5. Get To Sites Taken Down by Traffic
4. Control Computers At Home
3. Download YouTube and Other Flash Videos
2. Access Country-Blocked Streaming TV
1. Roll Your Own Proxy to Access Blocked Sites

Source:  Lifehacker


As mentioned earlier today there is an Important JAVA Update available for all platforms, but more importantly for people using 32-bit versions of Windows. Now, Mozilla is blocking the JAVA Development Toolkit versions and older. The reason is due to a security voluntarily as described in Bug 558584. Firefox users with this version(s) of the plug-in installed with see a dialog box informing them the plug-in has been blocked and to restart the browser so it can be disabled.

Most Firefox users are not going to miss this plugin as it is used for developing JAVA Applications. As long as you have JAVA Version 6 Update 20 installed you can still use web based JAVA applications.

This is also a good time to remind folks that Mozilla has a Plug-in Checker. This browser side tool currently check these plug-ins (some users may have more) and provides a direct link to obtain an update (if needed):

  • Shockwave Director
  • QuickTime
  • JAVA
  • Shockwave Flash