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Comment Re: This should have been obvious... (Score 5, Informative) 62

Pretty much every single smartphone is made in China. Regardless of brand, major or minor, "Western" (Apple, Microsoft/Nokia, rump-Nokia, Alcatel, or low-ends like Blu, etc.), "Developed World Asian"(Samsung, LG, HTC, etc.), or Chinese (Huawei, Oppo, OnePlus, etc.) as the "manufacturer".

Many by the same contract manufacturers in China. And no, that "Designed by Apple in California" or "Google Nexus" branding and supposed oversight does not guarantee that spying firmware and hardware can't get into some subset of phones.

It's pathetically hilarious when legislators or "patriotic citizen" low information types rant about evil Chinese companies making the products and demand only 'Murrican brands.

Comment Aurora / Development Edition is just as offtrack (Score 2) 126

I have no idea why you're praising "Aurora" as somehow better than "Firefox", when it is simply a rolling alpha test version of what will BE Firefox in 2 releases (12 weeks). Firefox Developer Edition, which is what the Aurora channel of Firefox is called for Windows, Mac, Linux, has the same dumbed-down UI, the same Pocket and Hello RTC, as Firefox. You still need Classic Theme Restorer and/or Status-4-Evar to make it a sensible and full-featured UI. I normally install both extensions.

If you are a developer, some of the dev tools are nice. The responsive view simulator is great. But otherwise it's the same damn thing, or what will be the same damn thing in a couple or so months.

The only real benefit otherwise is that you can still install unsigned extensions, if you set the proper about:config flag.

Yes, the manual or automatic updates are nice, but basically the same as Firefox release and beta, except daily. For Firefox Mobile Aurora, it is convenient that it's a non-appstore direct install and update. I had one old tablet that never supported Chrome decently and official Google Play Firefox Release and Beta refused to show as compatible. Installing Aurora manually both worked fine and kept it getting browser updates. But that's an edge case.

I do have Firefox Developer Edition installed and in use as my browser default on both of all my Windows and Linux systems. But that's because I do use some of the dev tools and a couple of unsigned extensions. Not because it's somehow better.

Posted from Mobile Firefox Aurora.

Comment Use Chocolatey for no-crapware installs (Score 1) 442

Look into Chocolatey for installing most Windows Open Source and many free-as-in-beer but not open-source software. Conceptually very much like apt-get.

Even for software still hosted on now-evil sourceforge like FileZilla, it bypasses all the crapware wrappers.

Once chocolatey is installed, you do everything through an elevated command prompt, much like "sudo apt-get install filezilla" but literally "choco install filezilla" and upgrade as "choco upgrade filezilla".

Not everything has a chocolatey package but you'd be surprised how many programs do.

https://chocolatey.org/

Comment Re: Happy so far with Pale Moon (Score 1) 78

Nope, haven't missed the point at all. I made it clear I like what Pale Moon was, and still is, but that Pale Moon's policies make it near-impossible for PM to thrive on its own.

I did so in a reply to someone saying they were switching to PM on all their PCs, as a warning to why that wasn't going to be a long-term successful strategy.

I agree there is a great browser still somewhere inside Mozilla-originated Firefox, even though that greatness is not within Mozilla itself anymore. But Pale Moon, as good a Firefox-variant as it is, maybe the best right now, has its own organizational and cultural fatal flaws.

Like I suggested, if core oldschool Firefox devs, not the ones who are ruining it, came over to Pale Moon the way OO.o devs did to The Document Foundation and made LibreOffice the real successor, that'd be great. But they might have to step on Moonchild's toes to do that.

Comment Re: Happy so far with Pale Moon (Score 1) 78

Until it diverges even further from Firefox, making it less accepted on the web, have fewer and fewer extensions, and die entirely in any practical sense.

I used to love Pale Moon. On a philosophical level I still do. But it's just Moonchild and a few others. The real heavy lifting has been the Firefox code base, with Moonchild et al just extending, tweaking, reverting, and removing some of it.

No, it's not just a clone of Firefox, but it's nowhere near the complete standalone project that PM fans seem to believe it is. Yes, he's now doing his own not-Gecko Gecko replacement Goanna, but seriously, do you think it's all new code? That a tiny team can keep up with new security fixes and HTML5 / CSS / ECMAscript features once they are so diverged from Firefox that they can't pull in that code?

Never mind the QA and multi-platform build issues. PM can barely keep their forked-away sync server running. I agree with the reason for that divergence (Mozilla stupidly and decreased security in order to hawk "Firefox Accounts") but PM has not adequately replaced that part of the ecosystem. Not for "normals" it hasn't. Nor is there anything on Mac, and only an essentially abandoned and rough-edged fork if Firefox for Android as PM Mobile.

With FF itself down to single digits, the idea that website owners, site developers, and extension developers are going to do anything special for working in PM, is ludicrous. That was enough of a challenge back in 2002 forward, trying to get sites to support slowly growing "Mozilla Suite" and then Firefox. A decade and a half later expecting even the simplest changes for a miniscule share spinoff of a rapidly dying browser is insane.

No matter how nice that would be.

Now, if Moonchild took the approach that PM would continue to be Gecko and continue to identify as the latest FF or at least the latest FF ESR, and build CTR into it the same way he did with Status-4-Evar, instead of "We're not Firefox, and if we are we're long-insecure FF 25, and we have our own GUID so tough luck extensions", then PM might have a future.

But in his own way, MC made decisions as dumb as did Mozilla.

Enjoy PM for now? Sure. Don't expect it to survive. Unless a whole crapload of Firefox devs jump ship to it, the way that LibreOffice got the disaffected OpenOffice.org device community. But Moonchild would need a wakeup call on opening his process more and being more true to Free/Libre software principles than he seems to be, as well. (Many non-open tools from him and major snits about who as BS where he allows his baby to be distributed.)

Comment Red Cross? (Score 1) 523

In what universe is the Red Cross still respected or respectable? At least, when considering the despicably greedy American Red Cross?

  (Do your own research, no I'm not providing links, but start with ProPublica or Hurricane Sandy as search terms to use with Red Cross.)

Block their ads. And give your donation dollars to groups that actually deliver services, not fundraising hype, empty promises, and bloated executive salaries.

Comment Re: We're left with "particularly troubling" (Score 1) 50

But yes, LifeLock should die in a fire.

(LifeLock the company, and a "virtual fire"; not advocating violence!)

As much as I hate the whole Credit Bureau system and concept, at least if you deal directly with TransUnion, Equifax, Experian, ChexSystems, you're dealing with the companies that actually hold and control your credit files. Why the hell would anyone pay a third party service and turn over so much person sensitive information control to an unnecessary service like LifeLock?

Rhetorical question. Answers are "Stupid Muricans" and "Ads on rightwing talk radio".

Comment Re: We're left with "particularly troubling" (Score 1) 50

You obviously don't know that there is no such thing as "Obamacare" in terms of it being either a policy you can buy or an entity (never mind not a monopoly) that sells it.

Or you do know and you're then obviously a deliberate liar.

The PP&ACA, AKA the ACA, AKA Obamacare, is a set of laws and regulations about privately-run non-government health insurance policies, with a requirement that most people have to purchase something from their choice of competing (mostly for-profit) companies.

There are lots of flaws, excessive regulations, and overly indirect carrots & sticks in the Affordable Care Act. Yes with a net improvement in the US systems of health care accessibility, but barely so considering the number of moving parts and degree of pandering to the existing inefficient private industry rent-seeking middleman companies that still have their private bureaucrats in between you and your doctor, and are perversely incented not to pay for what you need. It barely fixed things, except for a few people.

But a "monopoly"? GMAFB

Comment Prefer Firefox but stop the Chrome spies lies (Score 1) 188

That same seven year old page explains how every single one of those features can be disabled. Directly in the Chrome options or by using a non-Google search engine.

Hell, just create your own query string as your Google.com[.localcountry] and you can use Google for your default search while still not sending the RLZ string.

That's all before adding any privacy/content blockers.

So the question still stands, where's the proof that Chrome tracks you and reports what you do back to Google?

Rational people who don't have an agenda know it doesn't, if set up properly, even before adding extensions. As one of them, I'm not afraid that Chrome does secret "conspiracy theory" stuff. With uBlock Origin added using additional blacklists, Ghostery (yes, I know they're part of the advice industry, they're honest about it and their tracking is ethically opt-in), Referrer Control, and one of IxQuick, StartPage, or DuckDuckGo as my default search, I am quite satisfied that Chrome doesn't "track me around the web".

There are reasons I still prefer and use Firefox or Firefox-derived browsers as my "daily driver", a switch back to that browser family I made about 2 years ago after a half-decade of Chrome preferences. But some loony "Chrome spies on everything you do" conspiracy nonsense isn't any part of my reasons. And I still do use Chrome too, at least several times weekly, for certain things sites it does better.

Maybe when the crazed Mozillians finish screwing up FF beyond the ability of CTR and Status-4-Evar, I'll go back to Chrome, Chromium, ironically a Chromium-based non-sleazy (rules out Iron and Dragon/Chromodo) browser. By then, Moonchild may also have screwed up Pale Moon enough in his quixotic attempt to remove all Firefox compatibility, so that the Chrome family is the only viable choice.

But until then, while I'm using a Mozilla-based browser, I'm still not giving in to nor spreading the unsubstantiated nonsense that Chrome spies on everything you do.

By the way, out of the box, Firefox reports back all the same types of things as does Chrome without turning off its defaults. And neither browser is necessarily "being evil" - Many people like search suggestions, typo correction, Safe Search, predictive page load, and/or localized search.

I don't, many technologists and sophisticated users don't like and use them, but those are valuable services for the "typical web user". Which services obviously need "what is the user doing" data sent to the browser maker and/or partner service providers, in order to do such things.

Make the browser choice for reasons, not FUD.

Posted from Mobile Aurora (Android equivalent to Firefox Developer Edition).

Comment Re:Cross-platform (Score 2) 165

Are they stored on Google servers in an encrypted form that Google can't read or are you being data mined by Google?

If you set your own passphrase, then your Chrome bookmarks (and history and settings and if you sync them too, passwords) indeed are stored on Google servers in an encrypted form that Google can't read. That's been an option in the Chrome sync settings since nearly forever. Sign into a new instance of Chrome or Chromium-based Google-services browsers (Chromium, Dragon, etc.) and the browser will tell you that it can't access your synced data until you enter your private passphrase. Try to use the Google password management dashboard they recently added (or better surfaced) and you'll be told that you can't manage your passwords online because you're using a private passphrase. Data-mining thus not possible on that synced data.

Comment Re: Isn't this a no brainer? (Score 1) 474

You didn't read up very well. Ghostery is ethical in that their "GhostRank" feature, the usage data you're alluding to, is opt-IN. By default on a fresh installation, the option to share with Ghostery is unchecked. Unlike, for instance, the so-called "Acceptable Ads" feature of Adblock Plus and the same newly added to previously-unrelated AdBlock, which now is part of that initiative and may even be now under related ownership.

The only problem with Ghostery defaults is that it blocks nothing by default. But you can block everything with just a few clicks, or select specific categories or even specific sources not to block. Plus site whitelisting. And much better granularity of control than Disconnect.

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