Firefox Browser

If you haven't seen it, here is an article questioning whether Firefox has a future?

Just look at how Chrome has taken over as a favored browser. Safari continues to muddle along at about 5% market share, and Microsoft's new Edge browser hasn't even made a blip on the screen yet.

I'm not sure why Chrome has taken over, and the article mentions all browsers nowadays do pretty much the same thing, with some slight differences. I use Chrome, and started a few years ago because at that time it was the only browser that sandboxed Flash, which I had to use when listening to music while on my computer. Once started, apparently I'm a creature of habit and continue to use Chrome. 

On my iPad and iPhone I use Safari, and find it is as good as Chrome, for all intents and purposes. But on my Macs and PCs I continue to use Chrome.

Jim Hamm

More on Comparing Browsers

        Jim Hamm has found more info to pass along here. "If deciding on which browser to use is important to you, here is an article comparing the various browsers. 
        "I tend to rotate among all the browsers (except Internet Explorer, which I don't use) and find that it doesn't matter much to me which I use. They all do a decent job, and are just different enough to make it interesting just to try a different browser from time to time. Vivaldi is a browser I've been recently trying, and it's fine, though perhaps a bit slower rendering web pages than the other browsers."
        Here's something to consider from Jim, "One item the article doesn't mention is Adobe's Flash Player, and which is declining in use on the web, due in part to malware vulnerabilities in past years. 
        "However, I do occasionally run across a website that requires Flash Player. Pandora Radio is one. 
        "The Chrome browser comes with Flash pre-installed, and sandboxed, which is good.  Sometimes it is difficult to get Flash installed in Safari, so switching to Chrome, for example, solves that problem."
        And Jim sums it up with, "If you'd enjoy the author's comments on browsers, then read on. If it doesn't matter, tap delete and get to something interesting...(grin)...Jim "

Compare OS and Browsers

        Here's an article from David Passell which compares worldwide use of Mac vs PC.  He notes, "Also compares different browsers."
        Two shakes later Jim Hamm sends this same link, heading it with "Six surprising facts abut who's winning the operating system and browser wars in the U.S."  His comment is, "Not that it will change what you use, but here are some interesting statistics . . . " 

Seen the New Web Browser?

        "Want to play around with a new browser? You might give Vivaldi a try," says Jim Hamm.  "I've been using it for awhile, and it seems OK. But nothing special, at least so far. Just something to try and play around with. 
        "Why Vivaldi? See here to find out."

FBI Tracking

        "In a recent email I mentioned three browsers which offered more security when browsing the internet. Tor was listed as the most secure browser. Here is an article describing how the FBI got into Tor to track people who were frequenting a child pornography network."

        Jim Hamm concludes his remarks with "I'm for keeping government from snooping in our lives, but I fully support the FBI doing something like this. The problem is where does the government draw the line between what is snooping and valid law enforcement? A tough question, and one I don't have a good answer to. What do you think?  Does the end justify the means?"

Comparing Three Browsers for Security

       "If browsing more safely on the internet is a concern for you, here is an article that compares three browsers that offer additional browsing security. As the article mentions, no browser offers complete protection," Jim Hamm informs us.  
        He goes on to explain, "After reading the article, I may try the Epic Browser just to see what it's all about.  I'm not paranoid about internet security, but I exercise reasonable caution and run a good anti-virus program."  
        Stay tuned for more info from Jim . . . 

Which Browser is Best?

        "Here is the most comprehensive review of browsers on a Mac that I've ever read. You — and I, for sure — probably won't understand or appreciate all the technical jargon used in the testing," Jim Hamm introduces us to this topic. 
        Read about these four: Safari 7.0.3, Firefox 28.0. Chrome 34.0.1847.116, and Opera in a 10-page report.

        Jim goes on to explain,  "It used to be the emphasis was on speed of the browser, but no longer is this considered so important. There are many factors involved in browsing the web, playing games, etc., as the author explains. 

        "Which browser is considered best on a Mac? Well, if this is important to you, read on to see what the testing says. But, realistically, the browser that suits your needs is the browser that's best for you.
        And Jim concludes, "It was interesting — to me, anyway — to read how the author went about the testing. Might be a bit too geeky for many folks, though."

Practical Privacy

    "Here is an interesting article on browser privacy mode," remarks David Passell.  "A use that really stood out for me was the way to circumvent the NY times 10 article/month limit. I will have to try that since I used to get a lot of news from NY Times site before they began charging. Now I use the freely available BBC news site."  Look here. 
       If you're using Safari and have clicked Block Cookies Always, and are continually aggravated at the number of Cookies noted, you might see if Private Browsing works for you.

Be Informed About Chrome Browser

        Here's important info from Jim Hamm,  "If you should use Chrome as a browser -- as I do occasionally -- and have guests at your house and they should want to use your computer a bit, you might take a look at this article. Chrome apparently saves your passwords whether you wanted them saved or not. You may not want your guests having access to your passwords saved in Chrome.

      "Out of curiosity, I took a look at which passwords were saved in Chrome on my computer -- a lot, but none of serious consequence. Just to see if Chrome asks me if I want to save a password or not, I tried logging into a couple of sites using a password. Chrome didn't ask me if I wanted to save the password or not -- presumably Chrome just saved it.
      "This is not good if, say, you're on Chrome and logging into your bank account. Keep this in mind if you use Chrome as your browser. Other browsers will ask you if you want a password saved." And here Jim signs off with his customary grin. 

Opera's Next Rendition is Available

        Here's Jim Hamm's report on Opera, following up on the earlier posting on June 3.  "I've been using, for a couple of days, Opera's next rendition of a browser entitled, appropriately enough, Opera Next 15. It is still undergoing development but is available for download for either a Mac or PC. I have it installed on both, and it has been working fine. Here is an article with a brief review of Opera Next. And here is a video of the browser.

        "One aspect of the browser that I particularly like is the small amount of memory the browser uses. When first opened it uses roughly 54 MB of memory, and only moves up to about 75 MB after extensive usage. The other browsers I use can get to hundreds of MB of memory consumed, and a restart of the browser is necessary to free up memory." 
         So, what does Jim suggest?  "If you like to explore a bit, you might give Opera Next a try. Here is the download website."

Opera for Mac

"If you like to try alternate browsers, just for a change of pace, you might give Opera a try," Jim Hamm gets our attention.  

        "Here is a brief review of Opera 15 (updated 11-22-15 by John Carter). I've been using it for just a short time and first impression: it's okay. As with any different browser, there is a learning curve, and Opera has its own nuances.
        "Some examples:  I imported all my Bookmarks from Safari, but you have to do a bit of searching to do this. In Opera: file > import > Finder > Applications > Safari > Bookmarks.plist; some items like History and Bookmarks are hidden. In the lower left corner of the window is where you click the icon for 'Panels' and a row of panels open up on the left side of the window to display History, Bookmarks and other items.
        "One difference in Opera is an aggravation which I don't like and may preclude me from using this browser so often is the way Opera handles Gmail. I use the web-based Gmail as my email client and when I compose an email a 'compose' box appears and overlays, partially, the Gmail main window.
        "Fine, and so far so good. I start typing in the box and want to get a link to something on a website — I go and copy the link and return to Gmail — the compose box is gone! Now where did it go?
        "Gmail saves a draft of a compose message every few seconds so I go to the Draft Inbox and there is my message I was composing. I click it but can't type in it. Frustrating, and what good is a draft if you can't use it? After some more head-scratching I minimized the open Opera window and there are my drafts, stacked on top of the other. I start typing again and need to go and get another link from a website. I've got to maximize the Opera window again, get the link, minimize Opera, then start typing in the compose box again. Not good.
        "All my other browsers keep the dialog box open right in the Gmail window. I'll do a bit or research to see if there isn't a way around this nuance.
        "As to speed, Opera is fine, and it has a feature called 'Turbo Boost', which is, in theory, supposed to speed up loading web pages even faster. I'll give it, and other features, a try as I play around with Opera some more."
        Jim wraps up his critique with this, "Any compelling reason to switch to Opera as your primary browser? In a word, no. But if you like to play around with a new program, you might give Opera a try."

About Firefox

It was a very short email from our travelin' man Jim Hamm, "If you use Firefox as a browser, you may want to take a look at this manual."          So, is this the best browser? we asked.  And Jim and Zee somewhere along the Mississippi River on a tour wrote back,  "No, Firefox not my favorite browser. I don't have a favorite. I rotate between FF, Safari, Maxthon and Chrome. They all work well. FF does probably have more extensions and add-ons than other browsers, and they are useful. I don't happen to have FF installed on my MacBook Air or I could share the add-ons I find helpful."  So, we'll probably hear more a little later.  

Try a New Browser?

Jim Hamm bravely steps forward to try a new browser and tell us about it.  He announces, "A few days ago I installed a new browser on my Mac: Maxthon. I tried it to see if it would use less memory than Safari does after spending time on the web. My initial impression is that it does. I like it fine, but can't say that I like it better, overall, than any other browser. I tend to switch browsers occasionally, and they all seem quite satisfactory to me, except I feel Safari tends to hog memory more than other browsers.        "Then, tonight, I read this review from Macworld about Maxthon for the Mac. Also, Maxthon is available for the PC as well. Click here. If interested, you might give Maxthon a try to see what you think."

        Keep us informed on how it goes. 

Author Mode, User Mode: Blog Views

To view a browser's text and images of a blog without colors was the challenge that David Passell recently experimented with, and he reports here.

"Both Firefox and Opera have a means of displaying the text and images of a blog without colors. I couldn't find an equivalent for Safari. Only Opera, though, provides something that could be printed in black/white.

"In Opera: on bar just above the main page there is a button titled 'Author Mode.' If you click it the button changes to 'User Mode.' All the formatting disappears and all information on the blog is displayed. Even things that are hidden show up. It can be printed as displayed. I prefer to print/save as a PDF first though."

He sends a screen shot of our blog from Opera Browser "User Mode." Double click to enlarge.

He says, "I know of no equivalent feature in Safari. The Firefox view 'No Style' Option doesn't come close and is not suitable for printout.

David concludes, "In the styled (Firefox) or author (Opera) the blog looks the same as Safari. It is the No Style or User Mode that looks different."

Trying Other Browsers

Do you use other browsers besides Safari? David Passell briefly shares some experience here. "I have been trying other browsers lately: Firefox 3 is now out; I don't like it too well because of the way 'manage bookmarks' is presented. Can't see them all at the same time so I can eliminate duplications (which in my case are many). See it here.

"Opera 10 so far is very good in that regard. See it here. It also has the total visibility of menu bar bookmarks and open tabs. Also, in addition to giving me a way to set up an address, Opera also picks up all mail from my ISP server and displays it as a menu item. It is a great all-in-one browser (a little like the old Netscape). I guess those long days and nights in Norway give the developers lots of time."

Earlier, David was writing about Cookies and Security Preferences. Now he comments, "The largest number of Tracking Cookies came when I first ran Safari.Before that I hadn't had any for a long time. If you eliminate the cookies as you describe it gets them all from Safari, but if you have other browsers they may be waiting if you use them."