I find myself in the uncommon position of having something good to say about Internet Explorer (IE). In this case, it’s IE10.
For a long time, Microsoft has had an inferior web browser. The only reason for its wide use is its inclusion with every Windows system. Being part of the desktop monopoly gave Internet Explorer a huge advantage. Ordinary people had no idea that there were far better browser choices. Many didn’t even know what a browser was and just thought the big e was the Internet. Many never recognized that they could download and install other browsers that were more secure, faster, and far more versatile than IE.
So for years Microsoft foisted a slow, inferior browser subject to ActiveX exploits upon the general public. IE was also very poor at supporting web standards and webmasters had to write separate code just for IE. Microsoft behaved like monopolies will and saw no need to do much to improve IE. However, the much better Firefox and Chrome browsers finally took enough market share that even Microsoft felt competitive pressure and slowly IE was improved a little. IE7 and IE8 were still not so great but finally IE9 that came with Windows 7 began to show some definite advances.
Now in Windows 8, we got IE10 (also now in Windows 7) and it is finally as fast as competing browsers. I have been using it in Windows 8 and it is speedy. It has better support for web standards and some improved security and privacy tools. However, IE10 remains far less flexible and configurable than Firefox or Chrome. There is nothing to match the very large assortment of add-ons and extensions available for other browsers. I still don’t use IE10 very much but the fact that I use it at all is a big change.
Microsoft says IE11 is coming in Windows 8.1 and it will be very interesting to see what gets changed or added.
- People Getting Dumber? Human Intelligence Has Declined Since Victorian Era, Research Suggests
Our technology may be getting smarter, but a provocative new study suggests human intelligence is on the decline. In fact, it indicates that Westerners have lost 14 I.Q. points on average since the Victorian Era.
What exactly explains this decline? Study co-author Dr. Jan te Nijenhuis, professor of work and organizational psychology at the University of Amsterdam, points to the fact that women of high intelligence tend to have fewer children than do women of lower intelligence. This negative association between I.Q. and fertility has been demonstrated time and again in research over the last century—Huffington Post
- The Fast-Approaching Future of Driverless Cars
Last month, on a freeway from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, I sat in the driver’s seat of an Audi A7 while software connected to a video camera on the windshield drove the car at speeds up to 65 miles an hour — making a singular statement about the rapid progress in the development of self-driving cars—John Markoff in the New York Times
- Intel’s Atom is on a collision course with Core—and everybody loses
PC World discusses how the proliferation of computer processor models is very confusing
- Why Google’s Chrome OS will be a success
ChromeOS isn’t a perfect Windows/Mac OS replacement that’s going to work for everyone, and many of you will have perfectly valid reasons why you don’t want to sign up; but it is a slick, streamlined platform that makes sense for a lot of users, and which deserves to find a wider audience—TechRadar
- The Politics of Security in a Democracy
Lots of unneeded and ineffective security measures are perpetrated by a government bureaucracy that is primarily concerned about the security of its members’ careers. They know the voters are more likely to punish them more if they fail to secure against a repetition of the last attack, and less if they fail to anticipate the next one—Security expert Bruce Schneier in his blog
Here’s a shocking fact I’ve learned from 25-plus years of security consulting: Most security projects fail to improve the safety of the organizations launching them. Security will be compromised as frequently after the project as before.
—Roger Grimes at InfoWorld
Source: Wall Street Journal
As we now know, the US government has been monitoring our phone calls. But the government is not alone. If you let them, Google will record everything you do on the Internet. In fact, companies everywhere are collecting as much of our personal data as they can get their hands on. There is now a multibillion-dollar industry devoted to collecting information about individuals. There are firms that are data brokers whose entire business is finding out as much as they can about you. They scour web searches, social networks, purchase histories and public records, such as birth records and motor vehicle reports to compile basic data about individuals. These data collecting and mining companies are basically unregulated and sell their information to anybody who wants it. The Financial Times has a story (log-in required) about how companies are scrambling to collect your personal data.
The Pew Internet project is out with its latest report on smartphone ownership in America. The latest data and trends for the last three years are shown below: