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Firefox: Why You Shouldn't Upgrade, And Favorite Extensions

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Firefox: Why You Shouldn't Upgrade, And Favorite Extensions
2. Today's Top Story
    - Antivirus Vendors Struggle To Keep Up With Attacks
    - Cracked: Sober Worm Update Scheme
    - Forecast 2006: Hackers May Hit Mobile Devices, Cisco Routers, Microsoft Vista
    - Hacker Tries To Sell Excel Flaw On EBay
    - Microsoft To Fix Two Flaws Tuesday
3. Breaking News
    - Survey: Electronics Managers In China Earn $8,000 A Year
    - Average Xbox 360 Sale On eBay Tops $700
    - Throwable, Baseball-Sized Camera Helps Police In Dangerous Situations
    - NASA To Launch List Of Names Into Space
    - Q&A: SAP Exec Fields Database Queries, Zings Oracle
    - Are Your Printers A Drag On Your IT Budget?
    - Yahoo Tops Portal Market In Visitors, News
4. Grab Bag:
    - Yahoo Acquires Shared Bookmark Site Del.icio.us
    - New Kong Film Has Old Love Story, New Technology
    - Worker Privacy: You Have None
5. In Depth
    - Skip The Coffee Shop--There's Another Wireless Broadband Option
    - Verizon Wins In Court Against Cell-Phone Telemarketers
    - RIM, NTP In Patent Suit Settlement Talks
    - BBN Technologies To Develop Open-Source Radio Software
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Homeland Security Heavyweights Can't Explain Lack Of Data Sharing, Cybersecurity
7. White Papers
    - Use Gartner's Remote Control Decision Framework to Protect Your Perimeter Security
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"We're supposed to be perfect our first day on the job and then show constant improvement." -- Ed Vargo, major league baseball umpire


1. Editor's Note: Firefox: Why You Shouldn't Upgrade, And Favorite Extensions

My colleague Scot Finnie has a surprising recommendation about Firefox 1.5: Don't.

Or, rather, not yet.

He's recommending against upgrading to the latest version of Firefox, at least temporarily.

That's surprising because Scot is, like me, a huge Firefox advocate. He loves it, and so do I.

Another reason it's surprising is because, back last month, Scot recommended the opposite.

So what's changed? Stability, compatibility and performance. Somewhere between the release candidate that Scot evaluated last month and the final version of 1.5 released earlier two weeks ago, problems emerged. The new Firefox (he says) is slower and more prone to crashes than 1.0x versions. Moreover, there are more pages on the Web that are incompatible with the current version of Firefox than with 1.0x versions.

When I saw Scot's article, I sent him an E-mail. "I wish I'd seen your review before I upgraded last week. Thanks a lot, fella," I said.

But I was just giving Scot a hard time. My experience with Firefox is somewhat different from his. I'm finding 1.5 to be pretty stable. I haven't noticed any sites that are incompatible with Firefox 1.5 in the week I've been using it. As a matter of fact, there's one site I visit many times every day that never used to work with Firefox, and now does: the content-management system we use to run InformationWeek.com--although Scot says that parts of the CMS don't work with Firefox, and neither do some other applications on our company intranet that used to run just fine in Firefox.

As to stability: I have noticed that Firefox 1.5 crashes more often than previous versions, but it has only happened a couple of times during the week I've used it, so it's not important. Likewise, some pages seem to load slower in 1.5 than in previous versions, but not significantly slow.

So what's my recommendation on whether you should upgrade?

In the end, it's pretty much the same as Scot's: If you haven't upgraded to version 1.5 yet, then wait for the next minor update to do so. Version 1.51 (or whatever they decide to call it) will, hopefully, fix the problems we're seeing with 1.5.

On the other hand, if, like me, you have upgraded, then there's no reason to take the few minutes needed to uninstall the current version and reinstall the old one.

For more on Firefox, including a quick rundown of some of my favorite extensions for making the browser more powerful, read my entry in the InformationWeek Weblog.

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Antivirus Vendors Struggle To Keep Up With Attacks
Infections are coming faster, and there are more of them every day, leaving antivirus vendors scrambling.

Related Stories:

Cracked: Sober Worm Update Scheme
A security firm said it has cracked Sober and uncovered the URLs the long-running worm will use in January to update itself to a new variant.

Forecast 2006: Hackers May Hit Mobile Devices, Cisco Routers, Microsoft Vista
Malware has thrived on PCs and servers, but Symantec expects hackers to go after new types of devices, such as routers, switches, and backup systems, in the coming year.

Hacker Tries To Sell Excel Flaw On EBay
According to the since-yanked listing, the zero-day vulnerability in Excel had been reported to Microsoft on Dec. 6. "It can be assumed that no patch addressing this vulnerability will be available within the next few months," the seller wrote.

Microsoft To Fix Two Flaws Tuesday
It's expected that one of Tuesday's two patches will be for a critical bug in the Internet Explorer browser, which has been open to attack since late November through a flaw that requires users to only surf to a malicious site.


3. Breaking News

Survey: Electronics Managers In China Earn $8,000 A Year
Their desires sound like the hopes and dreams of managers everywhere. According to the survey, 43% would like to earn a higher salary, 42% want more career growth, and 32% want a position with more responsibility.

Average Xbox 360 Sale On eBay Tops $700
In the first week after its Nov. 22 launch, Xboxes were selling at a rate of one every 13 seconds during peak hours, according to one industry watcher. The total dollar value of Xbox 360s sold on eBay during that week exceeded $23 million.

Throwable, Baseball-Sized Camera Helps Police In Dangerous Situations
The EyeBall camera weighs less than a pound and is protected by a rugged rubber and polyurethane housing. That allows it to be thrown through windows or bounced off walls.

NASA To Launch List Of Names Into Space
More than 29,000 people signed up to have their names put on a microchip that will travel aboard a spaceship for the Dawn mission.

Q&A: SAP Exec Fields Database Queries, Zings Oracle
Shai Agassi, president of SAP's product and technology group, talks about databases, open source, coffee, and composite applications projects.

Are Your Printers A Drag On Your IT Budget?
Pennsylvania attorney general's Office will cut printer costs by 21% over three years after conducting a thorough review.

Yahoo Tops Portal Market In Visitors, News
Yahoo continues to lead in the number of unique visitors and is also the top destination for news, a market research firm says.

All our latest news
http://www.informationweek.com/news

Watch more news
http://www.thenewsshow.tv

In the current episode:
John Soat With 'Headline Psychic'
Intel forecasts healthy 4Q sales, Yahoo launches VoIP phone service, terrorists don't have capability to launch cyberattack. and more.

Eric Chabrow With 'What's In A (Domain) Name?'
GAO says more than 2 million domain names are registered with false contact info.

Bruce Boardman With 'Syntax Is Everything'
Results of Bruce's test of network-configuration software Cirrus by Solarwinds.

Peter Gorenstein With 'The Christmas Tree Business'
The Christmas tree business hasn't grown online ... yet.


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

A Week's Worth Of Dailies--All In One Place
Have you missed an issue or two of the InformationWeek Daily? Or want to check out some recent quotes of the day? Check out our Daily newsletter archive page and get caught up quickly.

Subscribe To Your Favorite Authors
Are you a fan of Fred Langa? Are there other InformationWeek authors that you view as must-reads? Then check out our all-new authors directory; each author has his or her own page and RSS feed.

Managing Content
Government and industry regulations are driving companies to evaluate how they manage and store content. Does your company have an enterprise content-management strategy? Learn how business-technology professionals are deploying ECM initiatives in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Enterprise Content Management.

-----------------------------------------


4. Grab Bag

Yahoo Acquires Shared Bookmark Site Del.icio.us (Reuters)
Yahoo, the world's largest Internet media site, has agreed to acquire Del.icio.us, a site that allows users to share their Web bookmarks, the site's founder said Friday.

New Kong Film Has Old Love Story, New Technology (Reuters)
A new version of "King Kong," the greatest "Beauty and the Beast" movie ever made, is about to frighten and inspire audiences--this time with modern special effects, a more realistic gorilla, and more loving glances between ape and girl than ever before.

Worker Privacy: You Have None (Wired News)
The vast majority of U.S. employers monitor workers' Internet use, a practice that goes almost completely unregulated. Here's a look at your privacy rights in the workplace.


5. In Depth

Skip The Coffee Shop--There's Another Wireless Broadband Option
Cingular, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless offer third-generation cellular data networks with speeds similar to DSL, and plan to keep improving them. But coverage isn't everywhere, and they'll require you to lock into a plan of at least $60 a month.

Verizon Wins In Court Against Cell-Phone Telemarketers
Verizon sued two companies, claiming they violated the law by using auto-dialing technology and recorded messages to sell products to cell-phone users.

RIM, NTP In Patent Suit Settlement Talks
A court-appointed mediator is helping the two parties communicate, although neither party is saying if a settlement is looking likely at this point.

BBN Technologies To Develop Open-Source Radio Software
The software will be used in software-defined radios, which are potentially much more flexible and get better reception than radios where the logic is frozen in hardware.


6. Voice Of Authority

Homeland Security Heavyweights Can't Explain Lack Of Data Sharing, Cybersecurity
Larry Greenemeier says: More than four years after 9/11, and nearly three years after the formation of the Homeland Security Department, we still haven't progressed past the problem of data sharing between the public and private sectors. Companies are worried that their closely held information could become public if citizens or the press file for disclosure under the federal Freedom of Information Act or state sunshine laws. But that's not enough of an excuse for the lack of progress made in data sharing when you consider that the private sector owns more than 80% of the country's critical infrastructure, including energy utilities, manufacturing and transportation facilities, telecommunication and data networks, and financial-services networks.


7. White Papers

Use Gartner's Remote Control Decision Framework to Protect Your Perimeter Security
This complimentary report explains that remote control of workstations and servers is becoming increasingly attractive to users, but personal remote control could dismantle a company's perimeter security. Use Gartner's two-part decision framework to determine what type of remote control is best for you.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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