Comparatively Speaking...

Monday July 1st, 2002

Linux Online recently compared the major Linux browsers, including the Mozilla-based trio of Mozilla 1.0, Netscape 6.2 and Galeon. Reviewer Michael J Jordan praises Mozilla's stability, tabbed browsing, rendering and customisation.

As mentioned by fondacio on our forums, the International Herald and Tribune took a look at Mozilla, Opera and NeoPlanet (note that the site doesn't seem to work in some builds of Mozilla). Reviewer Lee Dembart says that "Mozilla is impressive and has it all over Opera." He especially likes the ability to block pop-ups, tabbed browsing and pipelining.

UPDATE! tuxracer writes: "I've put up a browser comparison list, comparing various features that affect usability and W3C standards compliance. It compares Mozilla 1.0, Netcaptor 7.01, Internet Explorer 6.0 (Windows), and Internet Explorer 5.x (Mac)."

#21 Re: Re: Re: Got that right!

by asa <>

Friday July 5th, 2002 1:45 PM

You are replying to this message

Kristin, care to point us to a credible source for that claim? Are you counting virus infections as being compromised?

Even if your numbers are anything resembling reality that doesn't change the basic issue that while the risk may be low the consequences are very, very high. It also doesn't change the fact that there are fairly easy ways to dramatically reduce the chances that you will face those extreme consequences and failing to take those easy steps is both irresponsible and ultimately self-destructive.

Let's use your car wreck analogy. There were about 42,000 deaths in car wrecks last year <…_facts/state_by_state.pdf> and more than three million injuries <…CSA/Content/Assess2K.html> . That's about 1 in 4000 drivers killed each year and about 1 in 55 injured. More than 40% of the deaths were the result of an alcohol related accident <…pt/Alc00Chap2.htm#_VPID_8> . Doing something as simple as removing alcohol could prevent nearly 17,000 deaths and nearly one million injuries every year. Additionally, people not wearing seatbelts fair much worse in automobile accidents than those who do wear a restraint <…CSA/Content/Assess2K.html> . "NHTSA research has shown that driver or a passenger cuts his or her risk of dying in a crash almost in half by buckling up" <…CSA/Content/Assess2K.html> . So doing these two simple things, avoiding drunk driving and wearing a seatbelt, you can dramatically reduce the chances that you'll be killed or injured. With consequences that extreme I think it's a good idea to take the extra steps of not drinking and buclking up. So do the federal, state, and local governments.

While it's not death, having your personal, credit, banking, ert. data stolen or having your computer compromised by virii are grave consequences even if the chances of being victimized are slim. There are a couple of simple things that you can do to dramatically reduce your risk to these consequences. You can avoid insecure software like IE and Outlook and you can encrypt and otherwise secure as much of your data as possible. Doing these things are likely to have a dramatic effect in lowering your overall liklihood of being a victim <> <> and do not require serious inconvenience (I'd argue that they are worth it even if they do cause serious inconvenience. Taking a taxi home or dealing with an uncomforatable seatbelt can be very inconvenient but most people recognize that they are worth it).

Telling people that they shouldn't download security updates because of the the low probability of their being attacked, compromised or exploited is irresponsible. It's not that different from telling folks that driving drunk and not wearing a seatbelt is OK because the change that it will cause death is not very high.