Random Thoughts

IE Security Flaw – Again

OK, I’m not going to talk about that security flaw in IE here – I’ll leave that to others, such as The Register in ‘Critical’ IE bug threatens PC users. What I’ll mention briefly here is the wording I’ve seen elsewhere, too:

The other option is to choose an alternative browser, such as Firefox or Opera. However, even these browsers are not as safe from attack as they were once considered.

Firefox has been subject to a number of flaws over the past year, including one that could leave its users more vulnerable to phishing scams. Meanwhile, a report published in September by Symantec rated Internet Explorer as safer than Firefox. The report found some 25 flaws in Mozilla’s Firefox internet browser, almost double the number it discovered in IE.

Vulnerabilities in Opera is not mentioned – not here, not elsewhere – and I wonder: Why not? There are vulnerabilities to mention, right? Since it’s mentioned that it’s not as safe from attacks as once considered, I mean. Wouldn’t it be natural to mention at least one, serious vulnerability, like with Firefox?

Just wondered…

Opera – still for sale?

I have some searches going for Opera, and am updated regulary by web feeds (RSS/Atom) and by mail, from search engines and blog searches. The results are very mixed, and quite a bit of it is without interest.However, there are a few things that appear from time to time – one of those things are about paying for Opera.

True, you used to have to pay for a registered version of Opera to remove the ads, or to continue using it after the trial period before that. Obviously, there will be many search results that show this, but I’m not talking about that. What I have in mind, are new articles and reviews, that are written well after the browser went free.

In many such articles, reviews and browser comparisions, you read about how you have to pay for the registered version, how some features (kiosk mode) is available only in the registered version, how you have to put up with ads or get the registered version… How come people are still stuck in the past?

I can – in part – understand those who write general articles, as they may just rely on their memory of a browser they tried several months ago – a browser that did have ads, or needed to be registered for a fee. Understand – but still think it’s bad workmanship, not to check the current situation. After all, browser development happens fast.

Then there are those who have checked a bit. They do get the current browser version correct, but still manage to miss one important fact: That Opera is free. Gratis. I’ve even seen reviews of the browser, including the technical preview of Opera 9, where the reviewer manage to mention the ads, or the “registered version”. Hello? How did you do the review? I mean, just installing and trying the browser should tell you that there are no ads there. They’re gone. There are no registered and ad supported versions – there’s just one, free version.

I’ve tried to correct a few of these, but there are a couple of thoughts swirling around in my mind: Why doesn’t people check things more, to be sure they are correct? Especially reviewers. What are their motives? And if they can’t get such basic facts right – how can I trust their article? Are they negligent only when it comes to Opera, or is this how they treat all they write about?

It should be so easy to do things right in the first place – instead, I’m left with a bit distrust due to sloppy work.

DRM: The root of all evil?

Starforce logoDRM is needed. DRM is the only way to prevent everyone from making pirate copies of software. DRM is the only way to keep companies profitable. Not using DRM must be punished. Right?

At least, that seems to be what Starforce think, a company that makes DRM themselves, because as Stardock Systems released their game Galactic Civilizations II without DRM, Starforce responds by telling people on their own forum where you can get a pirate copy of the game.This doesn’t sound particulary nice, does it? Rather on the opposite end of the scale… Of course, they must feel the need to do this: If Stardock Systems show that DRM is not needed, what would become of Starforce?

Opera not in accordance with W3C standards

Well – not according to MSN, that is. At least, not enough.

There is a competition at MSN, where you can win MP3 players or an XBox 360 Core. It could be fun to try, I thought, and browsed over to the website to check it out. it looked nice – except for one box, where the technical specifications for being able to participate were listed up:

  1. Javascript – checked
  2. Flash 7 – checked
  3. Compatible browser *– failed
  4. Screen resolution 1024×768 – checked

The browser failed? Is Active-X required then? But no, the definition of a compatible browser was listed below: “You need a browser that are in accordance with W3C, for example Internet Explorer 5 or higher, Netscape 6.1 or higher, Firefox or Safari.”

Now – I’m really curious of where exactly Opera is not in accordance with W3C – because MSN doesn’t block Opera needlessly on purpose, do they? Though, it wouldn’t be the first time…