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Any opinions expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of my employer (I'm self-employed).

Dec 16, 2011

IE auto-upgrades, plugins next?

Last week the IE team announced that they'll soon start to automatically upgrade IE across Windows 7, XP, and Vista through Windows Update. A follow up from Microsoft's IT pro team details that IE 6 and IE 7 will be upgraded to IE 8 on Windows XP, while Vista and Windows 7 users will get IE 9. With Microsoft joining the herd of auto-upgraders the final pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place, now "everybody" does it. Other major browser manufacturers (Opera, Chrome, and Firefox) have been auto-upgrading their installations for some time already. Apple's Safari now stands out in the crowd and it will be interesting to see whether they'll stick to their current update regime.

For Microsoft, this is yet another important step to kill of IE 6 which still has a considerable user base. Up til now they have been running campaigns urging users to upgrade their browsers. They actually have a website dedicated to kill of the browser, www.ie6countdown.com (I have to point out that Norway is leading the pack, with only 0.2% IE 6 users). Hopefully the automatic upgrades will have a notable impact on the remaining IE 6 installations.

In two earlier posts (one and two) I've advocated silent auto-upgrades as an important strategy to keep Internet users safe by providing them with timely security patches. Recently I came across an interesting study on the effectiveness of different Web browsers update mechanisms. It's definitely worth a read. (*Surprise*, it aligns just fine with my views so I can safely link to it).

Dec 13, 2011

See pics of women, free

Just now on Facebook I got the following advertisement:
I didn't quite react at the first glance, since every once in a while you get served the ads for "Russian ladies looking for love" etc. (hope I'm not the only one getting those). Then I realized that this ad was for Match.com! That's amazing. I clicked on it, and yes, it led me to: no.match.com.

The title of the ad suggests that it leads to one of the more sleazy sites on the Internet. If you do a Google search for free pics of women, you'll get the idea. Warning: NSFW!

I'm not convinced that this is how girls looking for a relationship would want their profiles advertised on the Internet. And it is yet an example of how a social website might try to capitalize on the personal information you've shared — in a way that would make you uncomfortable if you were made aware about it.

Shame on you Match.com! This is not how a responsible and respectable dating site would treat their users.

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