Why I Don’t Use the Chrome Browser

The Chrome browser from Google is incredibly popular. Now it’s available for the iPad. Here’s why I’m not planning to use it.

First and foremost, I must admit, Apple is being fairly obnoxious about not allowing the iPad user to select a default browser of choice. It’s a fact that we can’t avoid, but I’ll give Apple the benefit of the doubt that it’s for the sake of security.

Allergic?For example, if I click on a link in an email, it will take me to Safari. No choice there. So investing in another browser, even if it seems a little fresher and cooler looking and has some nice features, is a waste of my time on an iPad.

Second, I distinguish between browsers that are written with the users in mind first and those written to, in addition, advance a corporate agenda. That’s why I use Firefox on my Macs and in Windows and Linux in Parallels Desktop. Mozilla is highly focused on the user, even though Mozilla, the last time I checked, gets funding from Google for making Google the default search in the toolbar.

Despite the “incognito” mode of Chrome, described in this review by Jacqui Cheng, I am not yet convinced that Google is really looking out for me on the search side. I want to learn more about how that’s going to work on the iPad, over and above those early, “Golly, this is cool,” types of first day reviews. In time, someone always digs under the hood and finds things that aren’t obvious at first. Also there are some speed issues because Chrome for the iPad doesn’t have access to Apple’s Nitro JavaScript engine.

The bottom line is that I’m staying with Safari on the iPad until I am convinced that another browser is easier to launch and use, faster, more secure and protects my privacy better than Safari.

And that just happens to fit in with the first item in this week’s technical news debris.

Tech News Debris

This week, I was reminded of technological warfare by customers. That’s when customers, in a highly technological era, have the means to fight back, perhaps even punish a company.

This wasn’t always so. In the grocery business, the best we could ever do was avoid those products that try to fool us or doctor food items in a way that’s harmful. In the past, when it came consumer products, we’d buy a toaster or a car, and if it turned out to be defective, we’d take it back to the dealer and raise a fuss. But the company that made it remained insulated.

In 2012, customers have more insidious options. They can steal music in an attempt to harm the labels, but that also harms the artist. They can launch attacks against a website. Or they can try to penetrate a company’s website, deface it, or even steal money. Of course, these are criminal acts, Along more socially acceptable lines, customers can fan the flames of resistance on Twitter or in blogs.

This power is something new to customers in an era when companies are finding it easier and easier to strongarm customers with contracts, terms and conditions, and hidden gotchas that extract information from us. Companies seize control, get persnickety, and customers try to get even. Few technology sites explore the responsibilities of each side. The good news is that those companies that seem to be going out of their way to please us by giving us what we want are going to do very well indeed. And those companies that seem to be going against our interests, with those acts identified and flames fanned by social media, will suffer.

All that, in turn, brings up the concept of ethical behavior by customers, and nowhere is that subject more prevalent than in the music industry. And with that preamble, here are some additional thoughts. “To save the music industry, give the people what they want.

The just announced Microsoft Surface tablet uses magnesium in the case. In fact, that may have been a forced decision, driven by guess who? Apple. “How Apple’s Decision To Buy Aluminum From Australia Forced Microsoft To Build Its Own Tablet.

Have you ever wondered what’s going on with the inscrutable Windows Registry? This terrific article will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about that technology that has driven so many customers and columnists to the brink of madness. And how other OSes have sidestepped it. “The Windows Registry – It seemed like a good idea at the time.

How can you turn a Kindle Fire into a Mac Plus or even a Newton Message Pad? Steve Sande tells all. “Kindle Fire transforms into a Mac Plus and Newton MessagePad.

Kindle Fire & Newton

Image Credit: TUAW

Rich Mogul, a security expert, has written a excellent article explaining everything you need to know about sandboxing and Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper. Good stuff. “Answering Questions about Sandboxing, Gatekeeper, and the Mac App Store.

Every once in awhile, Apple quietly posts a document on its website, and another alert website finds it. I this case, it was Cult of Mac and Ryan Faas. The title of the article tells all. “Apple Quietly Releases Mountain Lion Server Guide, Previews The Future Of Mac Management.”

This is for the security geek in you. There is casual browsing, with some awareness of modest concessions to security. And then there are stories that reveal what’s going on behind the scenes, enough to scare the bejesus out of you. Even so, it’s always better to be deeply informed than to be oblivious, even if the threat isn’t all pervasive. You’ll see what I mean here, but gird your loins first. “Does two-factor authentication need to be fixed?

Finally, here’s a cool story by Ina Fried at AllThingsD about how Andy Rubin at Google and Jonney Shih at Asus cooked up the Nexus 7 tablet so quickly. Fun reading.

I’ll be on vacation next week, so Particle Debris will return on July 13.


Allergy image credit: Shutterstock.