Security Firm Claims Google Is Conspiring To Kill Off Firefox

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Jeffredo

I don't care if it only has 2 or 3 percent share, I'll keep using Opera.

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Supermonkey

Not surprised.

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Svetty Parabols

Never trust a for-profit company that makes browsers.

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Zoandar

How can Chrome claim to be the most secure when they don't even have a master password? Total BS.

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ONaE

That's cool, if they cut off funding Mozilla can just ask for donations á la  wikipedia and I will have to pitch my pennies together to give what I can. Mozilla and Firefox will live on, they are big enough by now to stand on their own two feet. (Even if that means asking for some support every now and again)

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Markitzero

I use both FireFox and Chrome and I will continue using FireFox and Chrome.

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JBM425

Gee...prosecutors all around the world took Microsoft to court for this sort of thing (with some key differences).  And even if Google isn't doing anything illegal, then it's borderline immoral.  If Google wants to say SafeBrowsing is "theirs" and they are sharing data only as a courtesy to the rest of the industry after they have first dibs, fine, but say that up-front.  Google shouldn't pretend that they are being altruistic if they aren't.

I actually worked at MS as a contractor during the days of Windows 3.x.  When they released a Windows update (if I recall, it was Windows 3.12) that actually "broke" the ability of OS/2 to work with Windows, that was clearly dirty pool on MS's part (even though publicly they said "It broke OS/2?  We didn't mean to!") and they were quickly pressured to fix the fix--and rightly so. 

Fast forward to today.  The court actions over the failure of Windows to ship with competitor's browsers is somewhat similar to this Google/Firefox dust-up, but I see a major difference.  I felt MS was unfairly targeted...I didn't see how it was their obligation to include competing products with Windows, so long as MS gave developers fair access to APIs and such, and wasn't doing anything to "break" others products. 

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phoenixjc

What about that old saying I remember hearing from around the same time....

"The coding isn't done until Word Perfect won't run!"

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luusyphre

Google seems to be the only people innovating in the browser world.  Instead of just reacting to the current problems and gripes people are having, they're the only ones coming out with new ideas.  When Firefox came out, I remember everyone talking about how great tabbed browsing was; it was great, but that was pretty much the only innovation since browsers were created!  Then Chrome comes along with a compeltely different mimilaistic interface, improved error handling, better tab management, etc., and now everyone is copying them.  I'd say that Chrome is anticipating these possible future problems while the other companies are just waiting for things to bite them in the ass before they react.

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d3v

There have been lots of innovations "since the browser came about". GUI browsers are an innovation in and of themselves. Mosaic became famous for precisely that reason. Bookmarks, multiple windows, integrated search bar, scripting support, addon support etc. are all major innovations. And saying tha firefox hasn't innovated in recent times is also untrue. The panorama feature is a big innovation. It allows you to group tabs so that you don't clutter up the browser interface.

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Nimrod

Its funny, a decade ago when some one said that google was just a gigantic data harvesting farm people would call you a nut. Now days, it seems like a generally accepted fact.

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avenger48

I gave up a long time ago.  Google has my data.  If they want to do something with it, there's nothing I can really do to stop them.  I've accepted this, since I think of Google as more benevolent than, say, the U.S Government, who also has my data.

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abowlofsoda

I could care less whos "winning".  In my opinion Charlie Sheen is the only one doing any winning lately.  I could give 2 chits about what some of you MaximumPC "experts" use as a browser.

 

With that being said, Firefox is working on the plugin problem.  Check their Aurora releases for more info.

 

And I love that Google Chrome/Deathstar pic you got posted there!

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c8503

it always blows my mind how even the shade of competitve business tactics in the tech industry, while staples everywhere else, are considered the most heinous offenses. Even if every word of it was true Google is following good business. They can update the safe browsing API within a reasonable amount of time and they can load their malware innovations to chrome first and who cares.

The only thing NSS sucessfully observed is that the Mozilla contract is up.

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Carlidan

How is withholding update for safe browsing API good business practice? Witholding something doesn't sound something good to me, but maybe for you. I always thought being competitve is trying to one up against your oppenent, always striving to beat your oppenent.

But in a side note, it is Google's product, so if they release it later, so be it. 

 

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Morete

Google has way too much tracking and selling of information on each particular user.  I'll stick with Firefox.

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livebriand

Precisely my thoughts.

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wolfing

I think Firefox is killing Firefox. That stupid decision of having frequent major versions (that forces all addons to be recompiled or something) is well, stupid.  What will I have installed in 1 year, Firefox 22?

I use FF because of the addons (as a web developer they are a godsend), but if it wasn't for that, I would have switched to Chrome by now probably

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livebriand

And does the average user know what version they're running or care about the number? And why does the design break addon compatibility anyway? I use the addon compatibility reporter and only once have I run into something that truely didn't work (upgrade to v7 or something).

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praetor_alpha

By that same logic, Google is killing Chrome. Version 15 in 3 years?

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kevaskous

No it's not the same logic, Chrome addons do -NOT - have to be recompiled for -EVERY- version. So you are just spouting BS.

 

As I have all 3 major browsers installed, and do use FF the most, having said that, i don't think every one of my addons has had to be updated each time FF does...but that's most probably due to updating prior to the official launch of said versions, not sure there.

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Vano

Neither do FF addons anymore. As long as the developer tests it on latest stable and nightly builds, which are 3 version ahead, it will surely work within next 3 major FF versions. In addition even if addon's max version is lower then current FF, and it passes automatic compatibility test done by Mozilla, it will automatically get marked as compatible.

 

If you compare how FF handled extensions 1.5 year ago and now, it's near perfect now.

 

P.S.

I do agree that current major version changes every 3 month without any major new features is ridiculous.

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Trooper_One

Do No Evil?

Are Thou Naive?

Gotta remember that corporate entities, including Google, are here to look after its own interest and in a zero sum game, at the expense of others.

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Vano

So what you are saying is if one does donations for a long time and then stops them they automatically become evil? Is that how it goes?

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VraiChevalier

Google will do anything to dominate your web interaction.

It wouldn't be so bad if you could actually trust Google. I don't. That's a big part of why I use Firefox. Plus I want extensions/add-ons I can trust. SR Iron Ware isn't too bad but the trustworthy add-ons are lacking.

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Nimrod

The fact is that Google has been conducting anti competitive practices for years now. This doesnt need a tin foil hat it needs a court room interdiction.

The fact that google tracks everything you do and keeps it all on an indefinite detention data base is not exactly what i would call a "secure" practice either.

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Arlips

Hear, hear. Love how the author tells me to get my tin foil hat out in the very first sentence, priming my opinion on how I should approach the article. At this point, I wouldn't put it past Google to be using Apple tactics, injecting pro-Google opinions in articles all over the internet. They might be even more heavily into viral marketing and astroturfing than Apple itself, but since they've done a good job of making themselves appear as the good guy versus other companies, no one is willing to speak up about it unless they want to be told to put away their tin foil hat by outspoken proletariates. Being one of the largest web companies, Google is almost assuredly versed in the dark tactics of behind-closed-doors internet marketing.

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stradric

Chrome is beating out Firefox without any sabotage.  All they need to do is keep putting out a great product.  If they were to kill Firefox in any other way, Chrome would suffer in quality for lack of competition.  I ditched Firefox long ago, but I would hate to see it die.

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shommy2002

I gotta say I prefer Chrome over firefox... I can't stand them extentions... i just want a clean, crisp, safe, and fast browser that trys to hide itself... I just wanna see the webpages and forget that im even using a browser sorta of... If that makes sense...

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phoenixjc

Then pick any other browser and press the "F11" key on your keyboard.  More minimalist than chrome, and you probably will forget you are using a browser.

Why have people forgotten about this feature that has been around as long as I can remember?  Just another case of failure to RTFM.

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damicatz

Holly, the reason why Chrome extensions seem "watered down" is because Chrome's extension API is extremely limited compared to Firefox.  By design.  Firefox's design is more like that of a full-fledged application platform whereas Chrome is a browser with limited modification capability on the part of addons.

For example, all Chrome extension interfaces are written in HTML.  There are strict limits on what an extension can do to modify the interface of Chrome.  You can create buttons on the toolbar and in the URL bar.  Those buttons can either open a popup (another HTML page) or open a full screen web interface in another tab.  You can create popup notifications and you can add items to the right click menu. 

Firefox allows an extension to completetly replace a standard built-in GUI element (such as tabs) with it's own code.  Chrome does not.  Firefox allows for the creation of full fledged GUI interfaces with dialogs and all the assorted common controls.  Chrome does not.  Firefox allows extensions to do very low-level stuff such as opening network sockets (which is how there are FTP and Gopher client extensions for Firefox).  Chrome does not.

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kevaskous

This man speaks truth, and why I swapped FROM Chrome to Firefox when it went through the major UI overhaul. FF are simply better and more powerful, also more reliable tbh. But FF is mroe of a hog on the system but it is improving. However, Chrome is -definately- faster, as is Opera for that matter, Opera also runs the best on weaker machines, as it needs less to do what it does.

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Holly Golightly

I think it is real. It is in Google's interests to eliminate the competition, if they want to stay relevant. I still prefer FireFox over Chrome anytime, anywhere. Just can't beat those extensions. The ones Chrome has are watered down for some odd reason. Gosh, I would hate to see FireFox end. It is like NetScape all over again. Where Google Chrome has become the new Microsoft Internet Explorer. Popular and dominant for all the wrong reasons.

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stradric

Why the camel case in "FireFox" and "NetScape"?  Also, which extensions in particular are so good that they're locking you into Firefox?

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big_montana

It is not just extensions. It is the Print Preview feature that both FF and IE have, that Chrome still lacks. I cannot tell you how much paper I have wasted trying to print from Chrome, when a simple Print Preview will tell me if I need to make adjustments in page setup so the the web page I am reading will just print. FF is excellent for printing, much better than IE which is much better than Chrome.

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Vano

My printer's driver allow print preview on its own...are you sure yours doesn't?

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praetor_alpha

HTTPS Everywhere, for one. Tab Mix Plus, also. The general consensus is that Firebug beats the pants off Chrome's dev tools.

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