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[ISN] Re: Browzar Bashing: Is It Warranted?
Forwarded from: security curmudgeon <jericho (at) attrition.org>
: Browzar Bashing: Is It Warranted?
: By Mark Joseph Edwards
: Lots of people have been bashing the tool based on its claim to be a
: privacy enhancer. A lot of the bashers simply do not like advertising at
: all while others fail to comprehend that Browzar is in beta development
: and like any software is prone to have bugs.
A lot of the bashers are tired of snake-oil marketing promising us one
thing and delivery another.
: I was surprised to see Bruce Schneier align with those who think Browzar
: can be considered adware simply because of ads in search results. If you
: haven't used the tool yet, it has a little search box at the top left
: similar to Firefox. If you use that box then your query is sent to a
: Browzar-operated search engine which delivers a lot of sponsored
: results. So what? Google and Yahoo do the same thing and we don't hear
: people yelling from rooftops about them.
Duh, nice try at slight-of-hand here Mark. When I use Firefox, I tell it
what my home page is. If I use the box at the top right, I know it is
Google.. and if I don't like that, I can easily change it so the box
searches something else. How about Browzar .. can I do that? No. I have to
use their search page since it is hard coded into the program.
Further, Google and Yahoo don't "do the same thing" as Browzar's search
page. Google clearly marks what is a sponsored advertisement, puts one or
two at the top off the search results, then it lists the other 3,978,733
results that i can browse through without fear of sponsored advertising.
Does Browzar do that?
: Others bash the tool because it doesn't always remove all traces of Web
: usage history. This is to be expected. After all, it's in beta
: development. If it's released out of beta and still doesn't remove all
: traces, as it is claimed to be able to do, THEN complain, but to do so
: now is just plain aggression for no reasonable cause.
You sound like a Microsoft apologist.
Browzar is a gimmick. Its a very small wrapper to the bloated MSIE engine.
The ** ONLY ** redeeming quality of this "browser" is that is promises us
privacy. When it fails to do the ONE thing it is supposedly good at, then
yes, people are pissed. That's like Microsoft selling us Windows (plural)
and delivering a program that could only have one Window (singular) up at
a time. You'd be pissed, right?
: Still others point out that even when Browzar deletes historic Web use
: records the related files can be recovered using file recovery tools. In
: other words Browzar doesn't contain any kind of disk wiping technology.
Err, wait. Doesn't it advertise that it doesn't cache that information? If
it isn't writing to a disk cache, then how is it being dug out of files
residing on the disk? If it is writing to a file on the disk, how is this
good for shared computers, one of the justifications / selling points of
: information. There's no surprise here and Browzar never claimed to be
: able to prevent history recovery using specialized tools. So why all the
With Browzar you can search and surf the web without leaving any visible
trace on the computer you are using. [..]
# No browsing history, stored files, or cookies
# No embarrassing search auto-complete
# No installation. Just click run and go
# No registration required
Ok Mark, what's that first bullet there? No "stored files" .. yet it is
storing browsing history/information in a file?
: I think the usefulness of Browzar is pointed out clearly on the tool's
: Web page: It makes browsing safer when using public or shared computers.
Unless the next person is curious and happens to look in the overly
documented index.dat file that contains potentially sensitive information,
that your new favorite Browzar writes to.
: It's not an anonymity tool, and it's not meant to 100% effective in all
: circumstances. Proper perspective seems to severely lacking in Browzar's
Just as proper advertising seems to be severely lacking in Browzar's
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