June 05, 2006

Random Crap I found on the internet... thing... continued

     So, I'm up way to late tonight, but it's a byproduct of accidentally waking up at three in the afternoon. I ended up not accomplishing anything today. Over the course of the past few days though, I managed to add two new games scuzzstuff. I can't believe that I actually managed to find frozen bubble in applet form! God, I love that game so much. It's one of the ultimate time wasters on my Mandrake Linux boxes (before anyone makes fun of me for that I now use Fedora Core on my server, and I'm looking into Ubuntu and Gentoo. But my god Gentoo takes forever to compile after determining dependencies on my old, crappy computers...). Anyway, I also found an applet version of Risk, the classic board game. Not moving around those tiny little game pieces kind of takes away from the fun of it, but it's still a lot of fun. What's also fun is to set up the computers to just battle it out. If you actually watch it, it's wild how often the tables turn back and forth. The cards do certainly make the game a lot more unpredictable. Anyway, that's it for news on the kit front. Here's some random crap:

Firefox myths:
     So while I was looking at the Firefox forums (I can't really remember if I had a specific reason or if I was just browsing), I looked at a random thread labeled "Let's get rid of firefox myth sites!". I was curious what Firefox myth sites were, so I checked out the thread and found this. It made for a rather interesting read. I think it's way more interesting that all of the firefox people are writing about others who "tear him apart," but after looking into them, most of them don't really say anything.
     Now unfortunately, as is listed on his front page: Legal Notice - Reproduction of this page in whole or in part is strictly forbidden. This guide and ALL versions thereof are protected by copyright under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Feel free to link to this Guide. So I won't be putting my usual backup on the site, but It doesn't really matter. The site is largely inconsequential anyway. Here are the interesting bits:
"Firefox has lower System Requirements than Internet Explorer"-
     Just as he says, I also find that firefox has significantly higher requirements. OS integration seems to make some parts of IE less demanding.
Firefox faster?
     No. Quite clearly. I was rather surprised at how much slower it was. But this leads up to one of my complaints about the Firefox myths later on...
Firefox Security
     The aggravating thing about this guy is his sources on security. Almost all of the security vulnerability websites he cites list 100+ security vulnerabilities for all of the versions of Firefox since version 1.0. This is, by all accounts unfair. If you are going to say that it has that many vulnerabilities than you'd have to look at every version of any browser ever, and few can claim so few (save for Opera, which I'll get to in a minute).
     The solution to spyware in the kicker though. The author puts in a "myth" that Firefox is the solution to spyware. Basically, his rebuttal is that if you've already got spyware your computer will still suck... profound. The truth of the matter is that when people say that Firefox is the solution to spyware they mean that if you've got a clean computer Firefox will keep it clean if used exclusively. He goes on to note a slight exception which is, of course, a IE-infecting piece of malware coming from a suspicious site. Someone looking for song lyrics stumbled upon a website that offered to "install" some software in order to continue which he strangely accepted. This isn't really a vulnerability, so much as a stupid person. The difference that I see is in websites that can automatically (as in without asking you) download files that Norton screams at. This has, thankfully, been fixed in both firefox and later versions of IE. So why advocate for firefox? Because it's the only really officially released product that has it down properly. Oh certainly IE 7 has it down pretty good to, but it's still in beta. This leads me to my complaints about his Opera praising.
     Opera is indeed a better browser in many ways. The first and most significant of which is that its speeds blow away all competition. But why then, do I not use it? Well, the first, and most obvious reason, is that it doesn't quite have the mainstream extension database that Firefox has. Certainly, it has a lot of built in features, but what about bizarre ones that do things like give me Japanese kanji tranlation? Color grabbing? Nuke Anything? These are nice little quirky extensions that Opera doesn't have and won't have in the foreseeable future. Also, it's not open source! Why does this matter? Frankly, for me, the only thing that makes open source better, is that if there's something that I'd like to know about interaction with the server, with me, with pretty much anything, I can find out. If there's a problem, and you happen to know enough, you can fix it yourself. It also just implies a certain level of trust. I'm just too damn paranoid about companies that aren't willing to share their inner workings. At this point, if it's free software already it's almost the equivalent of saying "I'm doing something behind your back that I don't want you to know about." But mainly, it's just that most of the stuff that the guy from the Firefox myths site says about the awesomeness of Opera comes from the still BETA version 9 product.
     So basically I've said something that a lot of people have taken the wrong way: Opera is better for normal people, end of story. Well actually, I neglected to say something about a major difference between open source versus closed source in my incredibly tired state: closed source is a way of saying that they plan to take a project commercial. Opera used to be a great example of this, mainly in its ad-system that existed until 2001. The problem with a closed source project is that they have the ability to grab the project out from under your nose. They could start forcing banners back into the system and you would have no choice: the project is closed source, and the ads are required. It does make for a commercially viable project (as you can see Opera is offered for devices and will soon come out for the Nintendo DS), often making it a more profitable decision, but I like to support products through my goodwill, not because I had to in order to make some horrible flashing banner go away. This is the difference between open and closed source that matters for you. And it's why I'll always support projects like Firefox over Opera, despite having a mildly worse statistics.

     Anyway, that's all I'm going to say on the subject for now (mainly because it's fallen totally off-topic and I'm tired of the subject). Besides that if you look into "repairing" stuff like the memory leaks in Firefox, as explained earlier here, it's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be.

Posted by Kickmyassman at June 5, 2006 01:55 AM

You're probably in Japan by now, I hope you can read this. I never gave you my friend's AC friend code for Japan.

Name: Lafonda
Town: Shalonda
Friend Code: 5197-6338-9930

Embarassingly enough, I once again lost your friend code. (I know, I'll get GAim). Can you post it, or if you're uncomfortable doing that, Email it to me?

Also, if you can, tell me what time of day you'll try to log on, so I can see if we can do a visit/chat during the day.

Posted by: Andrew at June 14, 2006 11:56 PM
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