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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Monica at Mozilla: Tracking Protection for Firefox at Web 2.0 Securit...

Search for 'Tracking' turned up this video on Vimeo, which is much more interesting than a bunch of power point slides, which is all I got for 'Tracking Protection'.

From the Monica-At-Mozilla blog, via Detroit Steve:
My paper with Georgios Kontaxis got best paper award at the Web 2.0 Security and Privacy workshop today! Georgios re-ran the performance evaluations on top news sites and the decrease in page load time with tracking protection enabled is even higher (44%!) than in our Air Mozilla talk last August, due to prevalence of embedded third party content on news sites. You can read the paper here.
This paper is the last artifact of my work at Mozilla, since I left employment there at the beginning of April. I believe that Mozilla can make progress in privacy, but leadership needs to recognize that current advertising practices that enable "free" content are in direct conflict with security, privacy, stability, and performance concerns -- and that Firefox is first and foremost a user-agent, not an industry-agent.
Advertising does not make content free. It merely externalizes the costs in a way that incentivizes malicious or incompetent players to build things like Superfish, infect 1 in 20 machines with ad injection malware, and create sites that require unsafe plugins and take twice as many resources to load, quite expensive in terms of bandwidth, power, and stability.
It will take a major force to disrupt this ecosystem and motivate alternative revenue models. I hope that Mozilla can be that force.
I use the Chrome browser on a Chromebook and a Linux Mint system. I have managed to dispense with Windows entirely. Okay, I still have a Windows machine, but I haven't turned it on for a month.

The Chrome browser runs a noticeably slower on the Linux system. I use it because I think Google carries some stuff around with their browser, stuff that means things work pretty much the same on either the Chromebook or the Linux box. I'm not even sure what it is, I just know that I tried Firefox a couple of times and something didn't work as expected, so fine, I can wait the extra two seconds for Chrome to load.

There is one class of websites that is absolutely horrible in terms of load time, sometimes they never finish. It's just one autostart video after another pageload of crap. I kill them, I don't care what their content is. Usually the content is pretty worthless, celebrity gossip and that kind of thing, so no big loss.

I still don't have a good way of dealing with pictures. I was using Picasa, which was pretty good, but Google changed the way it works when they started Google+. I tried Google+ once a few years ago, didn't like the way Picasa worked, so I switched back and Blogger lost a few hundred of my images, images that I had gone to a lot of trouble to steal all fair and square off of the internet.

I recently decided to go all in with Google, I was just going to have to find a different way of dealing with pictures. But then Military Photos dot net died, and I lost my biggest source of pictures and my biggest time sucker. It was fun while it lasted.

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