April 26, 2014

Epic Observations

I've been using  the Epic web broswer for 20 days and have gotten a feel for it. 

One of its features is a little pop up window that tells what trackers it is blocking. 

To the right is the NY Daily News. Interestingly 4-chan of all places had only one, and that’s only on certain boards. I probably need to stay away from those boards anyway...I already wear glasses.

Of course the browser’s extreme focus on privacy comes with a few quirks, with a lack of spewlchek being the most keenly felt. Since it carries no cache data it is a bit slower to load. Occasionally one finds a site that reacts badly to anything that doesn't let it track its viewers and demands that you its their cookies like some rabid girl scout. I haven’t been blocked from any site however.

Aside from the slightly slower loading, the only functionality quirks I’ve found so far are as follows. Occasionally embedded videos on some Wordpress blogs do not show up. There are a few quirks with the Dashboard in Minx (The Mee’n You blog engine) but said quirks are present in Safari and Opera as well. 

On the plus side, it seems to have the amazing ability to disable only the bad pop-up windows.

Let me explain.

ODU’s website opens certain features in pop-up windows and pop up blockers (like the ones ion the ODU learning commons computers…) generally disable that functionality. However, they work fine in Epic. On the other hand, I have not seen a pop-up AD since I started using the browser. I have had no issues with Paypal, which surprised me. I understand that Epic allows people to view HULU from outside the US and while I cannot confirm that, I can say that I was able to access one Japanese site that normally blocks US  access…and I was thoroughly scarred by the experience.

One's mileage may vary, but I think the slightly slow loading is a small price to pay for the added privacy.

This of course is assuming that the whole thing isn’t an NSA honey pot to snare us paranoids .



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April 12, 2014

STOP THE PRESSES

 I've been working on this post for hours. It is a scandal that exemplifies the terrifying abuses of power many of us have come to fear. The fact that it has not been getting a lot of coverage is in and of itself disturbing. 


After considerable digging, here's what we know....


"It originated with an Info-Wars link."

Oh...

Well then...

It has been a beautiful day here in Virginia. I'm going to go back outside and partake of it. 

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April 09, 2014

Hiatus

Yeah, there hasn't been much going on here lately.
I am swamped, with three tests looming later this week, a dreadful cold that has resulted in a fever of 101, and that kidney stone fragment that was left by last years surgery has started to move. 

In lieu of actual content, I was going to post some cheesecake. Regrettably, I could only find crumpets, crackers and fondue.


Art by Tobusa

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April 06, 2014

A Bother

So, the day revolved around trying alternatives to Firefox...I have tentatively settled on Epic, which is basically Chrome without the Google. It's extreme privacy philosophy adds some annoying quirks (like a lack of spewllchek) but it is otherwise very nice and as a happy coincidence, the dashboard at Mee.nu is slightly more functional with it (I assume that holds true for Chrome, though I've never blogged with Chrome). All in all it's nice and the privacy features, imperfect as they likely are, have a special appeal now.


For background on why I was motivated to go through this bother, there are some thoughtful disquisitions over at The AnchoressGay PatriotAndrew Sulivan(!), someone named Yitz Jordan that everyone is linking to, Instapundit, and in an interview with Tammy Bruce.
***
UPDATE: Professor Jacobson makes an important point about thisRichard Fernandez brings together why this one firing is but a thread in a darker and more troubling tapestry than it might at first appear and Neo explains why Mozilla does not grok that.
***
While appalled, I had not initially intended to dump Firefox, indeed when the notion first came up I thought it silly. To do so is a rather impotent gesture and giving up an admittedly  splendid browser is a contender for the most comically gimp, first-world example of self flagellation there can be. Furthermore, I detest the hyperpolitization of everything and I loathe the purity police of any political stripe even more. 

However, those despicable trends of modern life are at the core of the Firefox scandal where they are intertwined with the moral cowardice that facilitates them. 
more...

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