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New Browser Time

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Gaear, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    I searched this board for topics involving browsers and didn't come up with anything more recent than 2008, so ... new thread.

    I've recently been (nearly) convinced by a well-informed sounding guy that I should dump Internet Explorer, so can anybody tell me why I should switch to Chrome or Firefox? You can make a case for the others too if you want but I gather that Chrome and Firefox are the leaders now.

    Any input you can give is much appreciated. :)

    p.s. - I know how these threads often go so if we could avoid the "you are the stupidest person on the earth if you use Chrome" / "no you are an utter and complete idiot for using Firefox" stuff, that would be great too. In other words, don't worry about convincing anybody that they're wrong and just focus on why you're right. ;)
     
  2. SlickRCBD Gems: 25/31
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    I haven't played around with IE9 much, but the biggest advantages I've had for Firefox are the plugins that let you do things I can't figure out how to do in IE. Adblock Plus blocks lots of ads, Greasemonkey and Stylish can modify lots of websites to either reduce ads or give better color schemes among other things, YesScript blocks annoying and dangerous scripts (as does NoScript, but it's a choice of a blacklist or a whitelist), RightToClick allows you to override the sites that prevent you from copying and pasting text or right-clicking on an image to access the context menu. Re-agination lets you load sites that insist on breaking tings up into small chunks to display more ads all at once. Then there is "NoSquint" which ties into the biggest advantage of Firefox and Chrome. The ability to easily set font sizes. Firefox gives you a "minimum font size" that while a bit buggy (Chrome is based on the same code and works identically) and makes it easy to select what size font you want on the screen without distorting the site. IE only gives you "smallest, small, normal, bigger, biggest", but Firefox lets you specify exactly what you want as well as a MINIMUM size. NoSquint also helps work around the sites that insist on smaller text and lets you easily zoom the sites and remembers the setting for each site, so you don't have to constantly adjust the size as you surf. IE only lets you zoom the whole page, which also inflates the graphics and makes you scroll horizontally. Firefox can change just the text size and will automatically reflow the text so you don't have to do horizontal scrolling.

    As for Firefox vs Chrome, Firefox has more features and is more customizable. Chrome is more for the "unwashed masses" who never use anything but the defaults and want something very simple to use. Also more plugins are available for Firefox than Chrome. That said, Chrome is probably easier to use because it's a stripped-down version of Firefox. It is based on the same Firefox code base, as is Netscape these days. In fact, many plugins will work with all of them.
     
  3. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Chrome is the fastest browser by an absolute mile. Go for that.
     
  4. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    My vote's for Firefox as I've been using it since I've switched from IE and have no problems with it... it does exactly what I want and need so I really see no reason to bother with Chrome. Especially if you're concerned with privacy - and I know you are - you should stay a mile away from anything with Google's tag on it.

    For the record, I find AdBlock and its ilk abhorrent because they're shoved down the throat of pretty much every Firefox user as something they can't live without. Plugins of that sort are unfortunately made by people who are convinced that websites and servers run on fairy money and that an actual person/company doesn't actually have to foot the bill for the costs of running them every month. That kind of leech "it is my right to see the Internet without ads and someone else can pay the bill" mentality is unfortunately more and more prevalent. And sadly, the majority of the users of those kinds of plugins are completely ignorant of the consequences that their use of them has on the websites that they frequent. Every page loaded and file downloaded requires server and human resources that need to be paid for at the end of the month. Ads are the primary means of covering those expenses on almost every website on the Internet, so if you take that away, it means that your use of any website is an incurred cost with no means of return for the website providing you with the content that you seek. Today we're already at the point where 30-50+% of people on average are blocking all ads and it's only getting worse.

    It's the same story as with online piracy - sure, the big publishers can offset even such huge losses and still make a tidy profit. But relatively small, independent websites with low-paying advertising like Sorcerer's Place, for instance, feel the impact of every visitor who only uses up website resources and doesn't give anything back. And before long we'll probably have to look at what options we have to exclude ad-blocking visitors unless they whitelist SP in their ad blockers as the visitors who don't block ads can only offset so much of every website's users who block ads.

    (And yea, sorry for the OT, but I think it's my responsibility to set the record straight when the subject of AdBlock comes up. It's not just a magic wand to make the ads go away that has no consequences. Various ads do pay just for being viewed, so "I don't click ads." is a non-argument.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  5. Erod Gems: 14/31
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    Any of the major browsers should be good enough nowadays for normal use. So it is more down to personal preference. Try them out and see which you like best. Just remember to keep it updated no matter which you use. Personally I use Opera for the majority of browsing and Internet Explorer on Windows or Firefox on Linux for a select few sites. Also, Chromium is Chrome with the Google part removed if you are worried about that.
     
  6. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    There we go. You've managed to convert at least one person. Adblocker has now been deactivated. I would love it if it could be set just to block pop up and noisy adds (not that these tend to be a problem with SP particularly).
     
  7. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


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    To continue with the off-topic. I agree. I'm even dumb enough that I never click the "skip this ad now" button on Youtube videos as if you skip the ad the content maker doesn't get his cut from Youtube.

    My only exception to that is the stupid Ron Paul ads that are 11 and 17 minutes. Who on God's Green earth is willing to sit though a 17 minute ad to watch a 3 minute video?

    Back on topic. I still use IE9. My reasons are simple. I'm lazy and see no real reason to update. Every website I go to (except the boards and their silly mood things) never seems to have a problem with it. I always crack up when people tell me how fast Chrome is. I have never had to leave my computer and get a sandwich while waiting for a page to load.
     
  8. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Rotku, you already get the ability to disable ads with your SPS account so you're exempt (on SP, anyway). ;) But yea, for the websites that you like I'd encourage everyone to either go with their supporter subscription that disables ads (this is available on most websites today) or at the least just let the ads load. It doesn't cost you anything to let them load and since everyone is on broadband today speed isn't really an issue any more either. I think pretty much all browsers have in-built pop-up blockers today though (I know Firefox does), but as pops are a legitimate means of advertising as well I don't block them either. It's not like seeing one two or three times a day is a big deal.
     
  9. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Thanks for all the input thus far. I have indeed installed both (Chrome and Firefox) and done some comparisons ... I seem to like Chrome better initially, though Firefox for me seems marginally faster. (Makes me wonder how much speed really varies depending on systems.) Firefox lost points for saying that it would port over my old bookmarks but not doing that (unless they're hidden in the cludgy bookmarks section somehwere, but then I don't really want to spend lots of time hunting for bookmarks, I just want to click them, so bad Firefox) and doing some weird thing where if you press that tabs button you can't go back (in any readily apparent fashion) and have to quit and relaunch the browser. That's probably not really so but the point is I don't want to have to figure that kind of crap out, lol. Browsers should be simple.

    @Tal - what are the privacy dangers with Chrome specifically? I'm not logged on to Google or anything. Are they secretly monitoring my browsing activity and sending reports to the Feds? ;)

    @Snook - I thought that too but I'm told IE carries a heavy payload along with it, resulting in slower load times and generally more sluggish performance. After comparing all three I can see a significant difference ... IE sometimes wouldn't launch for me until after as much as 8 or 9 seconds had passed (though this could vary dramatically, which itself is kind of irritating), while Chrome will go in maybe 4 and Firefox in maybe 3. 4 or 5 seconds isn't going to make a big difference in your life ... until you multiply it by 365 x however many times you launch a browser in a day. Regular page loads (clicking links, etc.) are faster too.
     
  10. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Just give it a try for a while, 2 weeks or so maybe, then try and go back to your usual browser. You will see what they mean.
     
  11. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    You can import bookmarks manually and it's a pretty straightforward process... shouldn't take you more than a few minutes. As for speed, you need to keep in mind that every bare bones, no bookmarks, no plug-ins browser will be much faster than one that's already laden with all that stuff. Same as a new OS install vs. one you've been using for a while. So direct comparisons of newly installed browsers can be very deceiving.

    You don't need to be logged on to Google for it to track information about you... having a static IP is more than enough, possibly even just allowing it to set cookies. There are pages upon pages of details on that online if you bother to search but here's one, and another. Also check out this recent CNN article - Google knows too much about you.
     
  12. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Interesting ... I read each of those and it still looks like being logged on is the main threat. e.g. -

    I get that much (and I'm not a Google member), but how can an IP address translate into a specific identity if you haven't identified yourself? It would seem that the best it could do is say "this computer," and more likely something less threatening like "this range of IP addresses for this provider located in this city."

    In other words, anyone could be operating any given computer, so if I search for "spanking lesbians" in Google at 2:00 a.m. while not logged on or sex talk my married girlfriend on Yahoo Messenger at 2:45, how will the Google know it's me? (Assuming I stick with the code name "honeybunny" and don't call her Rachel Drosworski.) ;)
     
  13. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    It doesn't translate into a specific identity, Google simply starts tailoring results and suggestions based on previous searches. It's not really that big a deal unless it gets abused at some point and there are ways around it but paranoid users might not be satisfied with that. It really all boils down to whether you prefer convenience over privacy. Taking Facebook into consideration, what 95% of the Internet values more should be readily apparent.
     
  14. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I use Safari on my iPad and iMac.
     
  15. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Thanks. I agree that Google knowing what my IP address is doing doesn't bother me that much. ;)
     
  16. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

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    Chrome screws your search results and ads displayed, including banner ads, depending on your searches ... recently I had Chrome display only travel website ads after I did a search for flights ... this continued till I restarted my PC. Else I don't care.

    Chrome is basically a fast to use browser.
    You don't have to worry about updates as it auto-updates. And I have not heard of any horror stories like the Firefox 3.6 to 4.0 debacle.
    And no suddenly finding that your extension or app stopped working after an update because the creator could not get his head around the 4 versions at the same time within a 6 week time-frame craziness that is Firefox right now.
    The fact that each tab, extension and app loads as a separate process makes killing individual items lots easier in Chrome.

    Firefox I basically use for any online transactions etc as the extensions I have loaded on that provide better security. I simply decided not to load these extensions on Chrome.

    If you are using a Mac OS device, don't bother with anything other than Safari. Other browsers work kinda nerfed on a Mac. Also Safari is great if it is critical for you in that after any accidental closure (PC restart) all tabs will reopen perfectly. Found it a but weird and slow tho.
     
  17. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Firefox updates are automatic as well, so that's quite convenient. But the versioning is beyond ridiculous - every minor new release is now its own version. It's gone from 4 to the current 10.0.1 in a matter of months. But it's Chrome that's started this versioning lunacy - it's just sad that Firefox is following suit.
     
  18. Topken

    Topken Elven-dragon wizard

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    I much prefer the old look of Firefox compared to the new minimum look that all the browsers are striving for so I have a theme and I have firefox v10 set tup with the old look which makes accessing everything a lot easier for me compared to the dang minimum look look they throw down your throat. I have Menu bar, navigation bar, addon bar selected and tabs on top unselected in the right click menu in the bar space.
     
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