Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Important New Privacy Development from the EFF

The EFF now has a privacy tool called HTTPS Everywhere available as a Firefox add-on at

This causes many pages that support https access to use https. Examples include Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon, as well as others I haven't tried, e.g., Twitter and Facebook. This seems a valiant attempt to make it harder to eavesdrop on traffic and simply like a good idea. It's in the spirit of "encrypt everything," the idea that all traffic should be encrypted simply because some people think encrypted traffic is likely to be more important, more likely to include incriminating informations, etc.

Related post:

Sound track: Depeche Mode, "Love In Itself"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Web Page Raspberry--Pass the Bromo-Seltzer

The Bromo-Seltzer Tower has been an icon in downtown Baltimore for almost a century. And they have their own web page, . This is all good. However, it is entirely impossible to navigate the site without flash. There is nothing I've seen at the site that requires flash, so this seems like a case of a web developer who likes flash and uses it whether appropriate or not. The site crashed my browser twice this morning.

Of course, flash is one of the larger technological threats to web security, and works much more slowly than static content or server-side scripts. And there doesn't appear to be any substantial content at the site that isn't static.

There are better alternatives, though:
The site itself is designed by folks at , which have a web site that's all flash and no usability themselves.

Soundtrack: The Church, Sometime Anywhere, Disk 2

Friday, July 9, 2010

Important Privacy Development from Google

This isn't new, but I just got around to reading an article recommended by a student a month or so ago: now provides encrypted connections for web search. This is excellent for wireless access from public places, probably effective a lot of places that filter Google searches (though they could now just block https access to, and just a good thing to use generally.

Soundtrack: Mellencamp, "Justice and Independence"