Liked Three years after the W3C approved a DRM standard, it’s no longer possible to make a functional indie browser (Boing Boing)

The W3C’s mission is to create an Open Web Platform” so that “everyone has the right to implement a software component of the Web without requiring any approvals or waiving license fees.” When EME was approved, we warned that they were effectively ending the Open Web era by putting every future browser developer at the mercy of three giant incumbent browser developers.

And here we are.

Bookmarked Firefox at 15: its rise, fall, and privacy-first renaissance (Fast Company)

Mozilla and Firefox were conceived to expand people’s access to information and each other, not to make a company rich. The browser’s initial burst of popularity in 2004 didn’t just help Mozilla. It helped the entire internet by challenging the incumbents to improve and inspiring new competitors to join in. Fifteen years later, Firefox may appear small next to Chrome and Safari. But it’s still pushing new technologies for openness and security that can help everyone who goes online.

Reflecting on fifteen years of Firefox, Sean Captain discusses its rise and fall, as well as its resurgence as a privacy focused option.
Bookmarked Incognito mode won’t keep your browsing private. Do this instead (Fast Company)

Browser compartmentalization can help you escape the clutches of the data gathering machine.

In a story a part of The Privacy Divide series, Michael Grothaus explains why incognito browsing is not as private as we sometimes assume.

Just because you are using incognito mode, that doesn’t mean your ISP and sites like Google, Facebook, and Amazon can’t track your activity.

This is especially true if you’re logged into any of these sites in your browser, no matter if it’s before or after you’re in an incognito window–the companies can still see everything you do. And it’s the same for any other site you need to log in to. So remember that if you’re logged in to a website, no matter if you are using incognito mode, or even a VPN, the website’s owners can see exactly what you are doing.

In response, Grothaus suggests using different browsers for different purposes, something called browser compartmentalization.

The reason browser compartmentalization works is because web browsers are, for the most part, walled gardens. They don’t share cookies between them, nor other identifiable items like browser history or bookmarks. Thus, when Google or Facebook places a cookie tracker on your “accounts” browser when you log in to their sites so they can track you around the web, this cookie they’ve put on your computer is only accessible through that browser, not any other browser on your computer.

This involves having one browser used for ‘accounts’ and another for ‘browsing’. In regards to browsing, I am reminded of Doug Belshaw’s guide to making a Chromebook more secure.

Liked Goodbye, EdgeHTML (

Microsoft is officially giving up on an independent shared platform for the internet. By adopting Chromium, Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google.
This may sound melodramatic, but it’s not. The “browser engines” — Chromium from Google and Gecko Quantum from Mozil…

I liked Colin Devroe’s response to this:

From one point-of-view this move by Microsoft might seem to make total sense. They spin this as “it will be easier for web developers to target one less browser engine”. However, this is exactly what web standards are supposed to afford – developers target the same set of standards and the browser engines, however many there are, target the same set of standards. In theory, having multiple engines shouldn’t make it too much more difficult for developers. In practice, however, it has. But most developers would agree that to avoid a monopoly in the browser market we’d take on the added complexity we’ve had for years. In fact, having multiple browser engines has made browsing on the web better since the competition has led to faster load times, less battery drain, and less computer memory usage … Beard’s call-to-action is to use Firefox. I think you should too. But I would simply say use anything but Chrome for a while just to swing the market in more directions.