Browsers and broadband
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
Is Firefox safe again?
I mentioned that Mozilla was working on fixes for the flaws
reported in Firefox
(Web page, 18 February). The most serious one could make “phishing” scams
easier. Phishing attacks try to fool consumers into handing over sensitive
information by creating legitimate-looking websites and email messages. They
have become a major security concern.
Version 1.0.1 of Firefox is now available, and all Windows, MacOS X, and
Linux users should get the upgrade immediately from
www.mozilla.org. As a
bonus, the software is now available in British English: if that page does not
display the “English (British)” version, then go to
www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/all.html to get it.
Should I stick with Internet Explorer now that IE7 has been
Microsoft was going to wait for its next Windows release (not
expected until 2006) before issuing a new version of Internet Explorer. It has
now said that it will release a beta version of IE7 “this
summer”. No firm date has yet been given for a proper new release. Meanwhile,
more than 25 million copies of Firefox have now been downloaded — and the
number is increasing by 250,000 every day. Why wait?
Is a product like Onspeed a good buy?
Not in my opinion, which is based on economics rather than
technology. This product (see
details) costs £25 per year, and provides some degree of speed-up for ordinary
web browsing. However, it is of little benefit for those really big downloads
of already compressed files, for example, Windows updates. Where it can really
be useful is in conjunction with mobile phones, where bandwidth is even more
limited than on dial-up.
But the product is caught in the ever narrowing price gap between dial-up
and broadband. I recommend anybody who is already paying £10 or more a month
for a dial-up service to switch to broadband, which is available at about £15 a
month. Even with some volume-usage limitations, the latter is better value. If
you have a very low-cost dial-up account (for instance, a daytime-only one at
about £5 a month), then this additional expense might be worth while.
What about those of us who still live beyond the reach of DSL or
BT is working on that. See the article “WiMax may reach rural
areas first” linked from
Is the UK now leader of the broadband world?
No, that honour belongs to South Korea. But the UK does lead the
G7 countries in terms of availability, and comes third in competitiveness: 91
per cent of the population has the opportunity, and more than six million users
are connected via some 150 service-providers. France, however, has the lowest
pricing. See the Ovum
report for details.
Simon Sarmiento is UK/Europe editor of Anglicans Online.