The Certificate Authority model does not work for LAN devices

HTTPS is the future and the future is (finally) here. Secure HTTP requests that provide end-to-end encryption between the client making the request and the server providing it with the requested content is finally making some headway, with almost a third of the top one million sites on the internet serving content over SSL, as of August 2017:1

But what this chart doesn’t show is an important subsection of HTTP traffic that is unfortunately infamous for a general lack of security: IoT. The “internet of things,” as it is called, is famous for fiascoes that have allowed hackers to break into the privacy of homes, spying on consumers via internet-enabled nanny cams, gaining access to so-called “smart locks” to break into houses, obtaining sensitive information, and exposing private content and data thanks to insecurely designed consumer products and services that live on the local network.

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  1. Source: BuiltWith SSL trends 

Google Chrome Form QuickSubmit

As a long time user of Google Chrome (since the very first day of its release, as a matter of fact), I’ve quickly grown accustomed to some of the Chrome way of doing things. Before Google Chrome, I used Opera and before that Firefox and Firebird – and only before those, Internet Explorer.

While each of these fine web browsers has its own way doing things, ranging from keyboard shortcuts to tab management and process handling, they all more or less pull these off a bit nicer than Internet Explorer ever code. But the one Internet Explorer feature I can honestly say I miss when using Google Chrome is the ability to submit the form being currently modified/filled-in with a keyboard shortcut, especially if it works even if there are multiple forms on the screen.

Searching about for a cross-platform solution to this problem, perhaps a previously unknown keyboard shortcut or else some method of assigning a keyboard shortcut that would let Google Chrome intelligently submit the current form via a keyboard shortcut on both Mac and Windows, it became clear that this feature just doesn’t exist for Chrome. Well, as of yesterday, at any rate…

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Internet Explorer 8 Screenshots

As promised in our last post, we have some screenshots of Windows Internet Explorer 8 for those of you anxious to see where the latest iteration of Microsoft’s browser. While there are a couple of changes that stand out, most of the visual improvements are subtle and take some keen observation to notice.

The screenshots:

We’re still working on an in-depth review and analysis of what IE8 brings to the proverbial web browser table.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Download Links

Microsoft has just made Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 available to the public. The official site is currently not fully completed, so here are the links for those of you interested (each is approximately 11 MiB in size):

We’re working on screenshots and an early review, but in the meantime: Happy bug hunting!

Internet Explorer 7 “Updated” – But Not Really…

Steve Reynolds, program manager of the Microsoft [[MSFT]] Internet Explorer development team, has just announced an “update” of sorts to Internet Explorer 7 a year or so after its original release in 2006. Never mind the fact that we were promised regular updates and that “Internet Explorer 7 won’t be like IE6” with regards to lack of new features and updates, what’s up with the list of the things that have changed with this new version!? Have a look for yourself at the “changelog:”

  1. No need for WGA verification in order to get Internet Explorer 7
  2. The menu bar is now visible by default.
  3. The Internet Explorer 7 online tour has updated how-to’s. Also, the “first-run” experience includes a new overview.
  4. We’ve included a new MSI installer that simplifies deployment for IT administrators in enterprises. Learn more about it here.

Interesting… Here’s our take on these “updates” 

  1. It really shouldn’t have required WGA in the first place – Microsoft (for some odd reason) guarantees users of pirated versions of Windows “immediate” access to any security-related patches, upgrades, and hotfixes. Doesn’t Microsoft tout Internet Explorer 7 as a security-prioritized upgrade?
  2. Noooo! We love the hidden menu bar! It’s clean, it’s clutter-free, and it gives IE7 a great look. Obviously the reason they’ve put it back is that users had trouble getting the menu to show (hint: press `alt` to make it appear), but who actually uses the menu bar anyway?! At least make it a first-run option… please? Sure, you can make it hidden again by flicking a switch in the options panel, but that’s just so wrong on so many levels…
  3. Not exactly what we’d call an upgrade to Internet Explorer itself so much as it is an improvement to the external documentation. It’s just a file hosted on MS servers that users can opt to view.
  4. Nothing more than an upgrade to the packaging/deployment for Internet Explorer 7, albeit a most-welcome one for sysadmins and software integrators everywhere.

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Just How Big is Opera 9.5 (Kestrel) Going to Be?

Opera is an awesome company. If you were wondering where most “innovation” in the world of web browsers came from, you need look no further. Many of the features that other browsers like to claim as their own actually originated in Opera; from in-line search to tabbed Windows, Opera had all of these and many more way before Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox ever knew they existed.

Opera 9.20 introduced a really nifty feature that, having tried it, you’ll find impossible to go back. Simply put, the “blank” tab page is a group of 9 screenshots of your top-nine most-visited sites. It renders the concept of “favorites” obsolete – because most people have this-is-a-good-resource-if-i-ever-need-it favorites and i-visit-this-site-every-single-day favorites. It’s a waste of time to go through the favorites menu (even the cool, new IE7 favorites sidebar/widget/utility) to find that site you visit every other time you turn on your browser, and Opera addresses this issue by making those pages just a new tab away.

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CodePlex Downloads and Internet Explorer 7

It seems ridiculous, but if you’re interested in downloading source code from Microsoft’s “SourceForge” (aka CodePlex), you’re going to need to use Firefox.

You don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s the download link for Phalanger, Microsoft’s version of PHP for .NET. It’s (stupidly enough), a JavaScript download link, and in IE7, it doesn’t work. So Microsoft’s implementation of JavaScript is broken in Microsoft’s latest browser. Interesting. The JavaScript works just fine in Firefox and Opera, so that’s what you have to use. If you don’t have it, better get installing.

In their defense, Phalanger is a great compiled version of PHP with complete access to the CLR and .NET libraries – highly recommended for anyone on a Windows host!

Firefox 2.0 Recap

Besides the ugly new theme, the convoluted “too-cool” first-run website, and the myriad of half-baked features that Firefox 2.0 brings to the scene, there’s a couple of not-so-welcome policy changes in Firefox 2.0 that make us wonder what’s going on at Mozilla. Basically, these changes go against everything that the Firefox team has been doing for the past couple of years, and make it look like Firefox wasn’t run by an open-source community so much as a big corporation with nothing but money on its mind.

When Firefox 2.0 came out, we didn’t really care to review it – after all, there were plenty of reviews already out there from the Beta and RC stages. But now, a month into the RTM release of Firefox 2.0, we find a re-cap being called for.

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Internet Explorer 7 RTM Released

Internet Explorer 7 has gone gold! Microsoft has just made available the (long-rumored) RTM build 5730 of Internet Explorer 7, or else Yahoo! has got its hands on it some other way. According to our sources, Yahoo! has the latest (RTM) version of IE7 up on its website, complete in all its RTM glory – but with all that Yahoo! bloatware bundled along for the ride.

Curious. Microsoft makes available the latest version of its much-anticipated web browser – but only gives it Yahoo!, it’s direct competitor, for bundling with Yahoo! search and services… Just doesn’t seem right to us.

Maybe we’re not reading it the right way, but we don’t like this any more than you do, so we’ve taken the liberty of “depackaging” the bloatware: for our reader that are interested, here’re several download links to the actual Internet Explorer 7 RTM installer without the Yahoo! bloat:

Torrent (please have mercy on our bandwidth!)
Direct Download (only if you really have to!)

At the moment Internet Explorer 7.0.5730.11 is only available to users of Windows 2000, XP, MCE, and 2003. It is unclear whether or not it will be made available as a hotfix/update to Windows Vista RC1/RC2; but it is not possible to install this package on Vista — no matter how hard you try. This is the real deal, Internet Explorer 7 RTM is finally here, let the reviews pour forth!

[digg story]

Mystery Internet Explorer 7 Icon – Hopefully Not For Real!

When we first saw Internet Explorer’s new icon, we were impressed. It’s nice, it’s slick, it’s cool. It sums up all of Vista in one icon, and it looks great.

That’s why we were surprised when we came across a new and previously unseen icon out of the middle of nowhere. It’s labeled IE7, but it looks too close the cursed IE6 logo for comfort. It has none of the grace and fluidity present in the current IE7 logo, and it exudes evil all over the place.. A bit dramatic maybe, but for this logo? Definitely deserving.

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