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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Repent your evil Explorer ways, bow down to Firefox

The light of good has shone on my eyes and washed away my previous sins. I hereby recant my previously evil ways and vow to convert those who live in the darkness.

Internet Explorer is evil. Firefox is my redeemer.

The Mozilla browser recently released Firefox 1.0 as a smart alternative to PC users plagued with problems suffered through Microsoft’s behemoth browser, Internet Explorer.

While IE is prominent on all the PC’s at BG, the on-campus computers are well protected by network administrators. Your home computer is not that safe, you heathen.


Internet Explorer implements a program called ActiveX, which conveniently downloads software onto your computer for the purposes of playing Internet games, for example.

Unfortunately, spammers and spyware engineers are using that ActiveX technology to place their goodies onto your hard drive, enervating your precious memory. Windows XP’s Service Pack 2 helps remedy this problem somewhat, but not everyone uses XP (most Windows users have older versions).

Advantage: spyware. And the devil.

Spyware is the hot topic of computer health. Viruses, while dangerous, are well protected by all walks of software. (Heck, even the Amish laugh at people whose computers catch viruses or worms.)

Spyware is the most feared and undesired cyber-pest. It installs itself on your computer, which not only deteriorates the speed of your computer, but is a pain to find, delete and keep off a computer.

Chances are your computer ailments stem from using a substandard browser. In fact, IE’s security problems will make you scream “IE” in a spastic Spanglish fashion. (“IEEEE!”)

Microsoft’s security and management product manager Ben English claims that IE is just as susceptible to bad men as Firefox, despite the commonality of IE. (Since 1999, 95 percent of all Web surfers used IE.) “I don’t think that Internet Explorer is any less secure than any other browser out there,” English told CNet News.

With such a stranglehold on the market, spam harvesters and spyware developers are smart enough to know that targeting Explorer is more profitable than targeting Mozilla, based solely on sheer numbers.

Most other Web browsers — including the saviors of the market (Firefox and Opera) — don’t use ActiveX. Opera’s chief technology officer Hakon Wium Lie, told USA Today, “We’ve been anti-ActiveX since day one. It is very hard to limit some really nasty things, while keeping the good things.”

Lawdy lawdy, praise Hakon.

Most acclaimed technology magazines will report on how Internet Explorer is inferior to newer browsers. Macintosh users can use an Apple-made browser called Safari, but it is not available for PC usage. This is why the option of Firefox or Opera will be a breath of fresh air for the techno-savvy prodigal son.

The masses are beginning to see the same light I experienced. WebSideStory, a company that analyzes the Web, has noticed a slight decline in IE usage for five straight months — this humble section editor being one of the latest converts.

And how glorious the change is. Hallelujah!

Several keyboard shortcuts of IE and Firefox are the same. Users can import their bookmarked Web pages.

One of the spiffiest features of Mozilla and Firefox is tabbed browsing. Instead of opening a page in a new window, which all browsers handle, Firefox allows you to open a page in a new tab. All tabs are aligned at the top of the browser, and it’s not only a geek’s wildest dream, but a handy-dandy feature for casual users.

Simply said, the transition from Internet Explorer to Mozilla is simpler than figuring out why you shouldn’t watch “Nanny 911.”

Its lack of ActiveX is just one of many awe-inspiring facets of being heralded as a secure browser. (To speak of them would require you to date a computer science major to understand the jargon, and I won’t put you through such hell.)

As a former IE sinner, I was wandering in the desert being stuck with BonziBuddies and other decadent spyware on my precious computer. I had strange toolbars appear in my browser. I was exposed to advertisements promising erotic chat with young girls. My computer was choking to death on its own bytes. One night, down on my luck and unable to keep the pop-ups down, I shouted out, “IEEEEEE!”

And my voice was heard by Mozilla.

Oh, Firefox, please mend my shameful ways. Can I get an amen?

E-mail Matt with comments at [email protected].

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