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Weekend tech reading: Is it time to give Firefox another chance?

By Matthew ยท 14 replies
Oct 1, 2017
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  1. It’s time to give Firefox another chance If you’re like me, you switched your default browser over to Chrome years ago and never looked back. Chances are, before you made the switch, you used Firefox or — God forbid — Internet Explorer. What made Chrome stand out back then was its speed and simplicity, especially at a time when Firefox felt like it was getting slower and heavier with every update. But times have changed. It’s now time to give Firefox another chance. TechCrunch

    In context: Mozilla looks to challenge Chrome with Firefox Quantum
    Download: Firefox 56, Firefox 57 Beta 4

    A “right to repair” movement tools up As devices go, smartphones and tractors are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. And an owner of a chain of mobile-device repair shops and a farmer of corn and soyabeans do not usually have much in common. But Jason DeWater and Guy Mills are upset for the same reason. “Even we can no longer fix the home button of an iPhone,” says Mr DeWater, a former musician who has turned his hobby of tinkering into a business based in Omaha, Nebraska. The Economist

    The people who still compete in Super Mario Kart, 25 years later Here are three reasons Sami Cetin, 35, is still playing Nintendo's 1992 racer Super Mario Kart competitively. The lack of boost mushrooms in the solo Time Trial mode limits the number of game-breaking skips available on each course. The lack of blue shells in the GP mode means that a first place finish can’t be robbed by a inescapable heat-seeking missile from the poor soul in eighth. Polygon

    Five ways to get CRISPR into the body The gene-editing technology CRISPR has the potential to treat—and possibly cure—any number of diseases. But in order for the DNA editing to happen inside you, CRISPR needs to find its way to the right part of the body. That mostly means getting a DNA-cutting protein called Cas9, normally found in bacteria, to work in your cells. To do that, researchers are trying out some surprising delivery techniques. MIT (also, CRISPR gene editing can cause hundreds of unintended mutations)

    This interactive map visualizes the market value of every cryptocurrency Whether you think cryptocurrency is merely a passing fad or a phenomenon still maturing into mainstream legitimacy, keeping an eye out on the market is certainly an engaging activity. But it could be quite the hassle to keep up with every alternative out there – unless you use this tool. The Next Web

    This is the vintage technology some companies are using to store your data To stay up-to-date in the battle against hackers, some companies are turning to a 1950s technology. Storing data on tape seems impossibly inconvenient in an age of easy-access cloud computing. But that is the big security advantage of this vintage technology, since hackers have no way to get at the information. MarketWatch

    The electronics markets of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam When we think about world-famous electronics markets in Asia, usually Shenzhen, Tokyo’s Akihabara, or Shanghai’s Beijing Road come to mind. There’s another market that I’ve had my eye on for a few years: Nhật Tảo market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It might not be as large or accessible as the more well-known markets, but it’s very much worth a visit if you’re in the area. Hackaday

    Dumb things the camera companies are still doing As much as we talk about the lack of true innovation in the camera market, particularly when it comes to integration with the Internet and social media, every day I keep encountering cameras that have the same "hey this is the way it used to be" design philosophies underlying them. I call it "lazy engineering." DSLR Bodies

    Internet Explorer bug leaks whatever you type in the address bar There's a bug in the latest version of Internet Explorer that leaks the addresses, search terms, or any other text typed into the address bar. The bug allows any currently visited website to view any text entered into the address bar as soon as the user hits enter. The technique can expose sensitive information a user didn't intend to be viewed by remote websites... Ars Technica

    Bug-repair system learns from example Anyone who’s downloaded an update to a computer program or phone app knows that most commercial software has bugs and security holes that require regular “patching.” Often, those bugs are simple oversights. For example, the program tries to read data that have already been deleted. The patches, too, are often simple — such as a single line of code that verifies that a data object still exists. MIT

    Starfox 2: The SFX chip strikes back After completing Starfox 2, there was a strange moment. The credits began to roll and, because this is a Nintendo game from the 90s, the first name was the game's executive producer: Hiroshi Yamauchi. The title is honorific, really, because Yamauchi wasn't involved in the day-to-day development of Nintendo's software. But I can't tell you how many times I saw that job title combined with that name as a kid. Kotaku

    Fourth industrial revolution, a golden opportunity for Samsung Businesses around the world are facing a paradigm shift in electronics devices and information technology. And Samsung Electronics, whose operating profit is forecast to reach a record 15.5 trillion won ($13.6 billion) in the fourth quarter, has built its strategy around the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and automotive components, to maintain growth and its leading position in technology. Korea Herald

    A brain built from atomic switches can learn Brains, beyond their signature achievements in thinking and problem solving, are paragons of energy efficiency. The human brain’s power consumption resembles that of a 20-watt incandescent lightbulb. In contrast, one of the world’s largest and fastest supercomputers, the K computer in Kobe, Japan, consumes as much as 9.89 megawatts of energy... Quanta Magazine

    Tesla shifts to Intel from Nvidia for infotainment The giant information and entertainment screens in Tesla Inc.’s cars will be powered by new components from Intel Corp. after the automaker replaced chip supplier Nvidia Corp. for that function, according to people familiar with its plans. Bloomberg

    Permalink to story.

  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,450   +1,919

    I'll use Firefox only as a secondary browser. The add-ons are just too important.
    Uncle Al and p51d007 like this.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    Although I used to use it, I'd almost forgotten Firefox existed until I read about it earlier this week but I'd sooner use it long before than anything M$ offers. In fact no browser is better than IE and Edge. I'd take FF again for a spin again if it supported the add-on's I use. Although it's not perfect, Chrome is still the gold standard as far as browsers are concerned.
  4. MaXtor

    MaXtor TS Maniac Posts: 253   +191

    I've used Firefox as my main browser for years, and I continue to do so. While Chrome is the most used browser, it achieved so by forcing itself upon everyone for years (bundled with countless software and advertised on Google Search). Similar to Internet Explorer being bundled with Windows and used by default. Of course Chrome has kept its fame (unlike IE) by offering simplicity and speed. Firefox is a power-user's dream, and if version 57 offers Chrome like speed, then we'll have the best of both worlds. However I don't see Firefox dethroning Chrome, people tend to stick with what works, unless Mozilla takes a page from Google and Microsoft and begins ramming it down people's throats (which I don't see happening).
    TrexAverell likes this.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,899   +1,532

    Guess I'm the contrarian on this one; I've stuck with FF for years for my primary browser as I prefer the GUI controls. The only addon I've ever allowed is the antivirus plugin, so performance was never a problem.

    For full disclosure, my hosts file is loaded with tons of ads.$domainName.com$ entries to thwart those darn ads, so my browsers, {FF, Chrome, Opera, IE 11} never suffer delays due to advertisements.

    Yes, I run all those browsers to test webpage portability. I'm looking forward to a fully multi-threaded browser.
    TrexAverell and gcarter like this.
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,719   +2,517

    Well, I've got bad news for you..Mozilla has effectively signed Firefox's death certificate by turning it INTO Chrome. Current addons will no longer be supported after v56 - they would need to be rewritten entirely as Webextensions. But it gets worse because Chrome doesn't support addons that are anywhere near as powerful as FF's. In other words, the things that set FF apart from the competition - powerful addons, fine control over security and a high degree of customization - are being abandoned as FF becomes a literal clone of Chrome. Over half of the active FF addon devs have already announced their done with Mozilla. A lot of them have said that even if FF v57-on would support all the functions of their addons they wouldn't bother rewriting them. Mozilla has poisoned the well completely. Waterfox and Pale Moon will be the browers of choice for power users from now on.
    Godel likes this.
  7. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Just because people have to rewrite addons doesnt mean that you lose that level of customization and control over security. Its google that limits that afaik, not webexstensions.

    Also, I may only use 4 addons, but literally all of them had been written to be compatible with firefox 57 before I switched to the beta.

    I guess the term "power user" varies from person to person, but I cant imagine what plugins people need that arent somewhat popular or are greasemonkey scripts(or its already-firefox 57 compatible replacements like violentmonkey).

    Biggest thing though is privacy. Mozilla is a bit less carefree with that than google is. Google likes to know whats happening on your end.
    MaXtor likes this.
  8. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,967   +1,230

    I use chrome, because I have it locked down to knock out the auto play video/pop up/under and the rest of the garbage. I use FF, when a site won't display properly, rather than turn off everything in chrome.
  9. MarkHughes

    MarkHughes TS Addict Posts: 182   +94

    I use Chrome on my work machine and Firefox on my personal one, Both seem to work just fine, Honestly in day to day use I don't even notice the difference anymore.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,976   +4,010

    As a direct answer to the topic, I don't need to give Firefox "another chance", it's still on it's first one.

    I installed Opera a while ago, which I allow to "do it's thing", which in turn allows me to resurrect browser sessions, even after the machine has been turned off.

    Firefox, OTOH, I have locked down in privacy mode, along with running a script blocker. I use it to do my online banking and email.

    FWIW, and most of you are probably already aware of this, but Firefox in privacy does retains some tab data, as long as it's in an open window. But, closing a Window removes all reference to it and its tabs. IMO, very handy for online money stuff.

    Something worth mentioning, is that Firefox seems to cause my online machine's graphics to struggle, causing "black screens" whenever you hit YouTube too heavily, or have too many tabs open. (Under Win 7). Opera doesn't seem to suffer the affliction, or at least it doesn't present anywhere near as soon.

    Oddly, Firefox installed in XP, doesn't have the "plug in container" nonsense, and IMO does a lot more with a lot less system resources, than it does running under Windows 7.

    Mozilla sadly, is stopping support for XP in November (?). I'm praying that they'll let me keep the browser. Perhaps I should try and shutoff the auto update function now.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  11. David Belkin

    David Belkin TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +43

    I always used Firefox as my browser of choice, Windows, ubuntu and iOS. I love it, Chrome / Google, the behemoth wants to control every aspect of one's online experience, and its proven that it cannot be trusted.
    I'll continue using FF. Besides FF, I use Opera, I enjoy its built in VPN feature.
  12. TrexAverell

    TrexAverell TS Booster Posts: 53   +39

    Tried opera and vivaldi just to see
    even use IE sometimes for a reason
    a bit allergic to Google appleish style

    so I was and will be sticking with FF.
  13. LeroN

    LeroN TS Enthusiast Posts: 86   +28

    The very slow browser and is slower even than IE11. Another reason for switching to Chrome was web development features that outperformed very strange changes in FF some years ago.
  14. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,404   +3,799

    Well said! I do the same, particularly since every time they update it, the update wipes out my pre-set tabs and I have to go reload them over again. Frankly, it's the one thing that keeps me from using it as my primary browser ...
  15. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,924   +712

    Pretty much have been using Firefox since the beginning and have never felt the need to change away from it, every time I accidentally open Chrome I just spend too much time looking for things that I know I wouldn't need to look for if I was using Firefox.

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