Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Mozilla The Internet Upgrades

Fear of Porn URL Exposure Discourages Firefox 3 Upgrade 673

Posted by timothy
from the porn-mode-incomplete-until-it's-a-separate-browser dept.
Barence writes "Mozilla's Security team has disclosed a very interesting piece of research which suggests people refused to upgrade to Firefox 3 because they were afraid the browser would expose their porn collection. Mozilla's research found that the number one reason for not upgrading was the new location bar, and the fact that it delved into people's bookmark collections to suggest sites as they typed. 'When we expanded the capabilities of the location bar to search against all history and bookmarks in Firefox 3, a lot of people contacted us to say that they had certain bookmarks they didn't really want to have displayed,' Firefox's principal designer, Alex Faaborg, tactfully explains. 'In some cases users had intentionally hidden these bookmarks in deep hierarchies of folders, somewhat similar to how one might hide a physical object.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Fear of Porn URL Exposure Discourages Firefox 3 Upgrade

Comments Filter:
  • Umm .... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by krou (1027572) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:58PM (#29204933)
    Then making it a configurable option: Enable/disable. Or am I missing something?
  • Scary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:59PM (#29204949)
    It's a scary thing when what you think is gone and hidden can suddenly be dredged up by accident at inopportune times. Same goes for files recovered from harddrives after deletion. Already, google finds those embarrassing photos from university days you thought were behind you.

    As time goes on, will we learn to be more circumspect, or will society change to accept that people are not perfect?

  • by SOdhner (1619761) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:02PM (#29205001) Homepage Journal
    That would certainly be a problem, but I think for most people porn and work are kept separate and yet they still have those concerns:

    1. Maybe you don't want your wife and kids to have porn urls popping up on the browser

    2. Maybe you don't want slashdot popping up at work, thereby allowing them to realize that it's not blocked like every other site.
  • Here's a clue... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by R2.0 (532027) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:04PM (#29205031)

    What's the ranking of the question "How do I get rid of the Awsomebar" on various forums?

    Pretty high, I bet.

  • by evilkasper (1292798) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:04PM (#29205043)
    Or to a wife or Girlfriend....
  • Re:Umm .... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Svenne (117693) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:06PM (#29205091) Homepage

    And are those plugins proprietary closed source binary blobs?

  • Simple Answer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rehtonAesoohC (954490) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:07PM (#29205123) Journal
    Use different browsers for different purposes.

    For example, use Google Chrome for your porn browsing, and then Firefox for your legit browsing.

    In other words... Don't cross the streams!!
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:09PM (#29205145)

    When we expanded the capabilities of the location bar to search against all history and bookmarks in Firefox 3, a lot of people contacted us to say that they had certain bookmarks they didn't really want to have displayed,

    Translation: People who typed "en." to bring up the last few times they'd visited en.wikipedia.org, "fi" to bring up the last few times they'd visited "finance.google.com", or "fa" for either "fark.com" or "failblog.org", were sick and tired of having to deal with "English, ASCII, and Unicode", "How to manage a thousand Files of data", and "The Awfulbar is a Failure because it mixes URLs, "TITLE" fields in bookmarks and TITLE headers all into one giant mishmash of UI hell."

    It's got nothing to do with pr0n, it's got everything to do with the fact that some people want a URL bar to act as a Bar with URLs, and the Firefox Design Team wants the "Location" bar to deal with "everything you ever visited, ever, with ever-changing menus".

    What's the first thing experienced Windows users do when they sit down in front of a new machine? They turn off the "Disable infrequently-used menu options" option in the Start Menu, and again in all of the MS Office apps.

    Software that automatically changes menus or frequently-used options around as a "favor" to the user was bad UI practice five years ago in Windows and Office, and it's bad UI practice today in Firefox. Unfortunately, it's such a clever bad idea that it'll never go away.

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:10PM (#29205167) Homepage Journal

    10 years ago [...] Some said "I accidently
    hit this link".

    That was before pop-up blockers, IIRC, so I'd give them the benefit of the doubt there :)

  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:11PM (#29205175)

    Oh stop with the morals and ethics stuff. I should be able to do whatever I want to do, regardless of what I promised or said I'd do or what is good for my relationships with other people or what is good for other people. And, by the way, all this corporate and political corruption is really getting on my nerves, why can't they be good, ethical, moral, scientific, non-hypocritical promise-keeping citizens like me?

    [/sarcasm]

  • by Brigadier (12956) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:11PM (#29205181)

    forget porn, the last thing I need is my boss over my shoulder instructing me to type in a link and my prevalent searches of hot jobs, career builder and our competitor sites career section to pop up.

  • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:11PM (#29205183)
    Wrong. Maybe you just need a wife who is into porn as well. Having a healthy sex drive is not a fault.
  • by Facegarden (967477) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:15PM (#29205249)

    Maybe you don't want your wife and kids to have porn urls popping up on the browser

    Maybe if you're married & have children you shouldn't be looking at porn, then you wouldn't have that problem...

    Hah, are you kidding me!? I date girls that don't care if I look at porn because they like it too, and I'm not gonna marry anyone so prudish that she cares, because it's just porn! My only concern would be my kids finding it, but really I'd just have my own user account or my own computer so it wouldn't be a big deal.

    You seriously are ridiculous if you think that being married means you can't enjoy porn, with or without your wife.
    -Taylor

  • Re:Umm .... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) * on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:16PM (#29205273) Journal

    What you're missing is that the FF developers think they know better than you. Personally, I hate the "awesomebar" because it's slow. If I have to wait for an auto complete function to catch up with my typing, something is very wrong. Auto complete should always be faster than manual entry.

  • Re:Browse safely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alzheimers (467217) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:30PM (#29205503)

    Yeah, but Chrome doesn't even have Print Preview [google.com]

    At least IE has some nice page formatting options.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:31PM (#29205531)

    too bad companies large enough to fire for that sort of thing probably have a websense or other equiv appliance in place anyways, and have already put you on a list of dissenters.

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:33PM (#29205553)

    Is watching others have sex instead of having sex with your spouse healthy?

    I don't know about "healthy", but a bottle of wine and some porn can often lead to "sex with your spouse", quite the opposite of what you imply.

  • by coolsnowmen (695297) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:33PM (#29205565)

    Don't search for new jobs at work. Aside from the ethics, it is a good way to get fired.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:35PM (#29205607) Homepage

    Translation: People who typed "en." to bring up the last few times they'd visited en.wikipedia.org, "fi" to bring up the last few times they'd visited "finance.google.com", or "fa" for either "fark.com" or "failblog.org", were sick and tired of having to deal with "English, ASCII, and Unicode"

    I really don't understand this problem. The first time I typed in "en" to get to wikipedia, sure a ton of other stuff -- in my case all of it being other urls I'd visited that started with en -- comes up, but then I select the one I want, and from then on Firefox immediately goes to the one I wanted.

    So basically, restricting the search to urls like you want doesn't solve this "problem" unless you visit very few urls to begin with, and since the software learns what you want it isn't a problem after the first click anyawy. What, you only use url abbreviations once ever, but want firefox to still be able to predict what you wanted?

    However if what I wanted was my "English, ASCII, and Unicode" from my bookmarks, then I would have clicked that, and Firefox would have learned that is what I want. Sounds useful for people who work that way.

    Software that automatically changes menus or frequently-used options around as a "favor" to the user was bad UI practice five years ago in Windows

    It's not moving menu items around. The menu in question is a dynamic history with auto-complete. How could it not change unless you never did anything? And since one of the changes is to figure out what you meant when you type something, how is this a bad thing? What, you want an unsorted undynamic history pulldown? How does that make any sense?

  • by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdotNO@SPAMjawtheshark.com> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:37PM (#29205645) Homepage Journal

    My experience says that it's the female sex drive that ceases.

    Besides, I don't see an issue: I have my account on the computer, she has hers.... She doesn't know my password. I surf anything I want and she won't know.

    Every user on a computer should have their own account... no excuses...

  • by Facegarden (967477) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:39PM (#29205673)

    ...All I said is that if you don't want them seeing your porn collection, maybe you shouldn't look at porn...

    No, that's not what you said, even if you *intended* to say that. What you said was:

    "Maybe if you're married and have children you shouldn't be looking at porn..."

    Not "Maybe if you're married and *worried your spouse will see the links*..."

    Although you may have *thought* you were saying the second one, you didn't.

    For the sake of making an argument, it's important to be clear when you misspoke, not just go back and claim you said something else - that irritates people.
    -Taylor

  • by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdotNO@SPAMjawtheshark.com> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:39PM (#29205681) Homepage Journal

    Two words: "Guest Account"

    I do not get this, in the day and age of computers that are finally pretty much all multi-user capable... nobody uses it.

  • by ottothecow (600101) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:40PM (#29205689) Homepage
    where's the porn-block extension for autocomplete? Can we get a system that ties into one of those child protecting porn blockers but instead of blocking the content, it just hides it (no history, autocomplete, etc)? Who wants to switch to private browsing mode everytime a questionable link catches your eye and you think it might be time for a little R&R...lets put these content filters to work for us!
  • So? Fix it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ilgaz (86384) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:46PM (#29205817) Homepage

    Firefox'es success is mainly tied to their focus on filling end user needs, listening to end users for suggestions instead of replying .

    If this is a problem enough to make people stay on old version, it should be fixed somehow instead of blogging or joking about it. Think like they are your customers while you don't actually sell a product and treat them same way.

    Do you know how Cisco etc. survived in darkest days of dotcom crash? Who needed the best routers and servers to serve their customers?

  • Re:about:config (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ae1294 (1547521) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:48PM (#29205861) Journal

    You need to use about:config for 3.0, but in 3.5 they included the option to disable location bar searching in options... that's the whole point of this story, Mozilla took user feedback based on users who wouldn't upgrade to fix the issues they had with 3.0.

    Yes but it still is missing the option that everyone I know wants which is the ability to remember sites you manually type in and not go searching high and low for random crap to fill in...

  • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:48PM (#29205873) Homepage Journal

    It's got everything to do with the fact that some people want a URL bar to act as a Bar with URLs, and the Firefox Design Team wants the "Location" bar to deal with "everything you ever visited, ever, with ever-changing menus".

    Amen, brother.

    I didn't install Firefox 3 until there was a plugin to kill the Awesomebar. It really was a dealbreaker for me.

    I hate UIs that try to be helpful but end up distracting or otherwise messing up a clean interface.

    The old Google autocomplete was a great example of this - it'd type directly into the search bar while you typed in your search term, which means that if you typoed and needed to delete the last key entered, you'd delete the autocomplete instead, which broke, you know, typing. It was also distracting seeing text appear where you're typing, not only because it was constantly flashing words before your eyes, but also because if you're a touch typist you use the text up there to make sure you haven't typoed, and seeing an 'f' appear on the screen when you're about to type an 'm' triggers that correction reflex.

    The current design is much better, with the dropdown box at least off to the side while you type in your search term.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:49PM (#29205881) Homepage

    My wife and I are 41 and 43. That "old fart" stigma is not related to age but to how far a stick is up their rectum.

    Naked bodies are not "dirty" sex is not "dirty" Those that believe it is have a serious emotional problem or physiological disorder. and yes I know this goes against the grain of the Puritanical popular stance that has overtaken the United states.

    Who cares, My wife and I have sex with the windows open in the summer when it's a nice night out, and she is one hell of a screamer.

    I can watch a movie where someone gruesomely tortures people to death in a public theater, but god forbid should we watch two people love each other in a sexual moment.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:50PM (#29205895)

    That would certainly be a problem, but I think for most people porn and work are kept separate and yet they still have those concerns

    For the most part I'd agree. I know personally that though I surf a decent amount of porn, and I surf a lot of "non work related" sites at work (gotta break up the monotony somehow), I know very well not to touch porn sites with a 10 foot firewall when at work. It's just not something a smart person does. They'll forgive you for playing solitaire at work. They'll forgive you for Slashdot. They'll even forgive you for Myspace. You get caught surfing porn at work though and 99% of the time you're gone, no questions asked. Still, every so often we'll catch some idiot doing it, much to my amazement.

  • by gnick (1211984) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:52PM (#29205957) Homepage

    Yes, but unfortunately the message you're sending may be, "Despite the fact that I'm doing a fine job here, I'm actively searching the market for a new job. You may now consider me a short-timer that may bail out in the middle of my next project and cost the company a goodly amount of money to bring somebody else up to speed. Please move my name to the top of the RIF list."

  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:54PM (#29205989)
    Firefox has "helpful" feature where if it crashes it sticks up a "Well that was embarrassing" error which lists all the sites you were on when it went down and do you want to open them again. That's great except it completely pisses all over the privacy settings.

    I'm sure that if you fire up about:config you might be able to tweak this behaviour but really by default it should be disabled, or at least disabled if history is set to 0. It's a monumental oversight to leave it the way it is and I hope it is fixed.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:54PM (#29205995)

    Because the job search isn't always fruitful, and if they know you're looking to replace them, then they may well set in motion the plan to replace you when it's more convenient to their schedule, rather than whenever you decide to thrown down your 2 week notice. Better to keep that information to yourself - you owe them 2 weeks notice and that's it.

  • by weston (16146) <westonsd @ c a n n c entral.org> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:55PM (#29206011) Homepage

    Technically, it is configurable (about:config has a property that disables the bookmark searching), just not with a neat radio button.

    Sure. In fact, I've done this myself and it wasn't that hard.

    It's still annoying as hell that they made a totally major UI change... and they didn't also make an easy way to turn it off along with it.

  • Re:Browse safely (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:58PM (#29206087) Journal

    IE also has this nifty feature that lets something called "Virus Protector" sneak past its wall, install itself on my c: drive, and turn my entire desktop into a white banner that says, "You're infected. You're infected. You're infected," over and over and over.

    Thanks Mickeysoft.

    - "Uninstall Innerweb Exploder?"
    - "Absolutely positively most-whole-heartedly, I concur."
    -
    - "A simple 'yes' would have sufficed number one."
    - "I wanted to make sure there was no possibility for doubt."

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:02PM (#29206187) Journal

    I *am* a good person.

    Which is why it bothers me that my government assumes I'm not, and then bosses me around like a surrogate parent ("You WILL buy health insurance, You WILL serve in the national corps for two years, You WILL donate money to charity/welfare. Or else spend time in jail.")

  • Re:Umm .... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pjt33 (739471) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:20PM (#29206471)

    It's not only slow: it also takes up way too much screen space. A line of text per entry is all I want to see, and in a nice small font. I use a plugin called Old Location Bar which solves that problem, although it can't do much about the speed.

  • by KylePflug (898555) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:20PM (#29206475) Homepage

    Trust issues much? I haven't used a non-shared password on a home computer since I left a dorm. My wife knows every password I have, and so do some trusted friends.

    The old adage that social engineering is the best security hole in the world goes both ways; a little bit of trust is a hell of a lot better than a lifetime of looking over your shoulder. If you're afraid of your wife seeing things, maybe you should (a) not do those things, or (b) talk to your wife about why you think it shouldn't be a problem, or (c) remain single. Hiding shit is not a good long-term plan.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:27PM (#29206591)
    Of course not. It's because some invisible sky spirit told you it was wrong. That's much more sensible.
  • by qortra (591818) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:29PM (#29206621)
    Dear Mods:

    Are we now down-modding people as trolls for asking honest questions? I realize that he probably asked it rhetorically, but it is a legitimate question nonetheless. For all you people who would usually just take offense to his question, instead show him proof that pornography is not an unhealthy addition to a relationship. And, even if you ultimately find that it is provably healthy for a relationship, don't mod him down for asking the question.

    Also, "I like porn," "sex is good," and "I can do both!" are not clever or relevant responses (even if all are true).
  • Re:Umm .... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) * on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:34PM (#29206679) Journal

    Then making it a configurable option: Enable/disable. Or am I missing something?

    That was suggested when Firefox 3 and the awfulbar first came out, and the general response to "this sucks!" was "they'll learn to like it, or they can use something else."

    I just wish Chrome would get extension support already...

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:44PM (#29206847)

    Is that in the bible or something? Seriously, I get the prohibitions in Leviticus and the admonition not to covet your neighbor's wife (Presumably, their daughter is OK), but I don't recall any specific restrictions on watching sex acts on the internet. I'm guessing that their partners are not their wives.

    .
    Sorry. Christians are very confusing to me.

  • by booyabazooka (833351) <ch.martin@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:48PM (#29206889)

    And for another horrible decision, consider how they handle keywords.

    The Keyword functionality is a great idea in Firefox, but it feels like the devs hate it - they hide it away in the UI, it's underfeatured, and it doesn't work with Awful Bar. If I type "wp Sasquatch" to get to the wikipedia page for Sasquatch, that doesn't get saved in the history - and the Great Bar doesn't realize that what you're typing may be using a keyword. So when I again type "wp Sasq", odds are I just get no results at all from the Bar. Instead, Firefox locks up for a few seconds while churning away finding irrelevant pages I haven't been to in months.

  • by Wansu (846) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:49PM (#29206905)

    I saw quite a few complaints about this behavior early on. The response was essentially that's tough, take it or leave it. Apparently a number of users left it.

  • Re:HistoryBlock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eil (82413) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @03:21PM (#29207443) Homepage Journal

    History Block fixes this problem very nicely. It let's you setup a block list of urls that should not appear in the history.

    So if someone snoops around in your browser, they would see an addon called "HistoryBlock" which contains a list of all the sites you didn't want them to know you visit.

    Classic.

  • by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @03:54PM (#29207965)

    For all you people who would usually just take offense to his question, instead show him proof that pornography is not an unhealthy addition to a relationship.

    Is there any evidence that it is? Aside from the morality brigade, that is.

  • by Vexorian (959249) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @06:17PM (#29210021)
    Sorry, I was not able to read your post due to the high amounts of absurd BS you put on it. You begin by taking just 2 examples and generalize into the whole free software environment. Then you come with it scaring users again, sorry, but the awesome bar has so far scared just a couple of judgemental geeks that were turned off by the awesome bar after they tried it ONCE, they never bothered testing it for a week to see how it gets fed with your habits and becomes being INCREDIBLY useful...
  • Duh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RulerOf (975607) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @06:46PM (#29210287)

    So if someone snoops around in your browser, they would see an addon called "HistoryBlock" which contains a list of all the sites you didn't want them to know you visit.

    If you're worried about nosy people digging through your shit, you encrypt your files and lock your machine when you're not in front of it.

    If you're worried about everyone seeing a list of your favorite porn sites every single time you type a URL, then you use the addon.

    If someone's going to go out of his own way to embarrass you, then you're going to be embarrassed. When your web browser goes out of it's way to do that for him, whether he had the inclination to do it or not in the first place, then that's just fucking stupid.

    GP, thanks for the link, good sir!

  • by Koraq (912798) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @03:40AM (#29213561)

    But, the problem is that if it just ignored bookmarks and searching TITLE (something I really hate!) it was a nice feature to search in the history. Typing 'en' to go to wikipedia is handy.

  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @07:14AM (#29214941) Homepage Journal

    Marriage is an arrangement between two people that want to live together (in civilized places this is not even attached to the sex of the partners).

    Nowhere in that arrangement isn an implicit or explicit agreement to share absolutely everything about yourself with your partner.

    Such complete encroachment in your private life will only undermine a relationship, each person needs his own private space in which to express himself. For some that is pornography, that is their choice, frankly it is nobody's business to tell those people they have a problem just because they chose not to share this with their partners.

    Some people may, most people don't, so stop making these stupid generalizations about people's problems and projecting your own arrangements regarding personal privacy as some kind of universal golden rule.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.

Working...