Al

About me

Developer Information
Name Al
User since March 5, 2007
Number of add-ons developed 0 add-ons
Average rating of developer's add-ons Not yet rated

My Reviews

Dark Orange Fox

Works on Firefox versions up to and including 26.0, and another concern Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Ardiva, you can change the theme without first having to disable or remove this one. Just enable the new theme you want to use, and this one will be disabled until you choose to enable it again at a later date.

It should be noted that this theme also works without a hitch on Firefox versions up to and including Firefox 26.0.

I like the orange on black. As another reviewer wrote, it's easy on the eyes.

Thanks for this theme.

TrashMail.com for Mozilla Firefox®

What's the point? (WTP?) Rated 2 out of 5 stars

What's the point, anyway? Why have a fake e-mail address when it just redirects spam and all to your real address until the fake e-mail address expires? I don't see what's being accomplished. Maybe someone can explain the benefits of a program like this.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (2.0.4). 

WeatherBug

Rated 2 out of 5 stars

Oops! I already have it on my desktop task bar. Unless you buy the "Pro" version, it's adware, and you have to choose a sponsor (the kind of ads you want to receive) every so often, or it stops working. My anti-virus goes off now and then when Weatherbug downloads a tracking cookie; so I'm thinking about uninstalling it altogether because of that.

There was a time when Mozilla would not condone the use of adware add-ons because of privacy issues. I guess they've sold out like everyone else.

Why have it in my browser, anyway? If my browser is open, then it's a simple matter to go to the local TV station's Web site and click on their weather link--or better still, since my home page is a page I created on my hard drive, why not just put a direct link to my local TV's weather page on my home page so all I have to do is click the link to get all the weather info I need--including advisories, amber alerts, and the local news if I want it?

Stick with something useful, like the Hebrew Calendar that lives on the task bar.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (2.0.0.7). 

Privacy +

Why Privacy+ and BetterPrivacy Don't Delete All LSOs Rated 5 out of 5 stars

What most people, even those writing these add-ons, do not know--or in BetterPrivacy developer's case, refuse to believe--is that there are two locations (for each user profile on the computer) where Web sites store Flash cookies (LSOs). By default, most LSO removers only check the "#SharedObject" subfolder in Macromedia's "Flash Player" folderWhichever. There is another location in the "Flash Player" folder, "macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sys", where LSOs are also stored. This also happens to be the location where the Global Settings LSO resides, which was created when you went to Macromedia's Settings page. When someone running Firefox with either BetterPrivacy or Privacy+ visits a site that sets an LSO, the LSO is placed in the folder that BetterPrivacy or Privacy+ are NOT monitoring. BetterPrivacy is set by default to monitor the "#SharedObjects" folder, and I assume that Privacy+ is written to check the same folder. If the preferences are changed to check the #SharedObjects folder, then the LSOs will be placed in the "sys" folder. If it is set to check the "sys" folder, then LSOs will be set in the #SharedObjects folder.

The only way to circumvent that trick is to set BetterPrivacy to monitor the entire Macromedia folder. The problem is that when BetterPrivacy deletes the LSOs, it will also delete the Global Settings LSO placed in the "sys" folder. Also, every Web site that you go to will overwrite your Global Settings LSO and replace it with the settings that the site owner wants you to have. The solution to both problems is simple. Right click the "settings.sol" LSO immediately after configuring your Global Settings on Macromedia's Web page. Click Properties, and then tick the "Read Only" option, making the LSO a Read Only file. That will prevent another Web site from replacing it with their own settings. However, you might find afterward that the site has written a "settings.sxx" file in the "sys" folder or created a subfolder and put its own "settings.sol" file in that subfolder. If you use BetterPrivacy and protect the "sys" folder where the Global Settings LSO is stored, it will also protect any files that a Web site places in that folder. For some strange reason, the developer of BetterPrivacy provided the option to protect the folder instead of the individual file. The result is that the user still has to delete some LSOs by hand. Even unchecking the option "Do not delete Flash player default cookie" does nothing. Even with that option unchecked, BetterPrivacy will still delete the default (Global Settings) LSO. "Protecting" the entire folder combined with making the file "Read Only" is the only solution that actually keeps the Global Settings LSO from being deleted or overwritten.

That's why Privacy+ fails to delete so many LSOs.

BetterPrivacy

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

RE: NettiCat's 24 January 2010 Developer Reply: BetterPrivacy checks all relevant locations, with no exception

I do like the add-on BetterPrivacy and its author. However, his response to my review begs a response.

So, NettiCat, with all due respect,
in response to your reply, I offer the following rebuttal:

>>The default LSO, located at \macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sys\ is not deleted with BetterPrivacy's standard configuration, but you can change this setting if desired (see FAQ on details).>Note that all other locations are effectively irrelevant since those are ignored by Flash applications.... >Anyway, there is no capability for a Firefox addon -nor for Firefox itself- to prevent an independent process (flash is a plug-in, thus NOT under the Hood of Firefox !!) from doing anything. Note that any plug-in (not addon) is a potentially very dangerous implementation.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.47). 

BetterPrivacy

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

The author made the following statement in the above article:
"------------------------- IMPORTANT -------------------------
IF YOU PERMIT DELETION OF LSO's,
THEN COOKIE-STORED INFORMATION LIKE
GAME SETTINGS OR LOGIN DATA (YAHOO SEAL)
MIGHT BE LOST! MAKE SURE THAT YOU EXCLUDED
IMPORTANT COOKIES FROM DELETION (SEE FAQ)"

When playing Flash games online, he is correct, the settings for that session are stored in the LSO files. However, on sites other than gaming sites, this is not an issue, and neither is staying logged in on sites where log-in is necessary. Log-in info is the job of session cookies, and not Flash cookies (LSOs). In a previous comment, I detailed an experiment I did with LSO deletion. What I neglected to mention was that I went to several sites where log-in was required (Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Blogspot, etc. to name a few), and I had no problem logging in or remaining logged in after the LSOs were deleted. It was only when I deleted the session cookies for a particular site that problems arose. Deleting the session cookies for a blog site, for instance, immediately logs the user off the site and makes it necessary to log in again. Deleting the Flash cookie, or LSO, does not affect the ability to remain logged in, and it doesn't affect one's ability to navigate the site. The short answer, then, is that the author's statement is only true on game sites.

Also, I wish to modify my earlier statement about searching one's computer for the locations of LSO files to include the following statement:

If the user has any games installed on his or her hard drive, the directories containing the game will contain dozens of LSOs. That is normal. They are not LSOs that have been downloaded by Web sites. The LSOs in game directories are placed there by the DVD or CD that contained the game. Those LSOs do not, as far as I know, send any information to any online location unless you are playing the game online. In that case, additional LSOs will be installed that facilitate the playing of the game. The LSOs that were created by the installation CD or DVD are for the purpose of storing session information, info about where the gamer left off at the end of the previous session, scores, etc. As far as I have been able to determine, those particular LSOs are not a threat to the user's privacy and can be ignored. Any LSOs downloaded during online gaming, however, should be deleted after the gaming session, unless the gamer plans to return to the site in the near future to continue a session, challenge someone else, etc.

The truth is, LSOs have too much potential for misuse. They are, after all, for all intents and purposes, Trojan Horses of a different colour. That's where the real danger lies with cookies, especially Flash cookies with the ability to store and "phone home" huge amounts of data about the user.

The biggest difference between the functions of Trojan Horses and those of Flash cookies is that Flash cookies raise no alerts from anti-virus or even malware/spyware detectors. That gives them an extremely dangerous potential on several levels; and those dangers should be addressed and dealt with by anti-virus and other security software developers. In fact, it would be a good project for Mozilla developers or the person who created BetterPrivacy. Such detection and prevention capability could and should be included in the next release of Firefox and Thunderbird. Microsoft won't bother, because they are, after all, now in bed with government agencies that seek to ignore and eliminate our rights to privacy; so a BHO add-on for IE would have to be developed by a "third party" for those who insist upon using IE as their primary browser or for those who use IE to visit Web sites that do not display correctly in Firefox--an Active X control, perhaps.

Are you listening, Mozilla?

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.47). 

BetterPrivacy

Great Add-on, With Reservations Rated 5 out of 5 stars

This is a great little add-on. I use it religiously now. I have it set so it will delete the LSOs 1 second after they're installed on my machine. That allows the site to THINK it has a cookie on my machine when it, in fact, does not. That works like a charm. No sooner does the Web site install the LSOs (some sites load as many as 11 LSOs per page) than they are deleted.

I also turned on the "Notify if new LSO is stored..." feature and visited a few sites, some of which have NO flash ads, no Flash videos, and no flash games. Almost every site that I visited with no Flash apps on the page still downloaded LSOs onto my machine; so it isn't just video pages, games, or pages with Flash ads that use LSOs to gather info without your permission. Some sites install as many as 11 LSOs per page

I also did an experiment. Using YouTube's pages as the subject, I did a search for videos of a certain song and went to several of the resulting links to test my BetterPrivacy settings and to test the effects of deleting the cookies before, during, and after the playing of a video. I found that deleting the LSOs had no adverse effects whatsoever on downloading or playback of the videos, and had did not affect the functionality of the embedded player.

In seeking out the locations where LSOs are stored, I discovered seven (7) locations, as follows:
Where Flash LSO (*.SOL) Files Are Found in Windows XP:

Not checked by BetterPrivacy by default:
*C:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sys\filename.sol
*C:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\[alpha-numeric folder name]\filename.sol

*C:\Documents and Settings\NetworkService\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sys\filename.sol
*C:\Documents and Settings\NetworkService\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\[alpha-numeric folder name]\filename.sol

*C:\Documents and Settings\Owner.[Your_Owner_Name]\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sys\filename.sol
*C:\Documents and Settings\Owner.[Your_Owner_Name]\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\[alpha-numeric folder name]\filename.sol

* C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\[folder_name-ALL_CAPS]\filename.sol

Checked by BetterPrivacy and Objection (default):
* C:\Documents and Settings\Owner.[Your_Owner_Name]\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\filename.sol

The file extension for LSOs is ".sol". The files can be deleted manually, and I recommend that users check the directories not checked by default by BetterPrivacy, either by using Windows Explorer to go to those locations, or by copying the file path into the "Flash-Data Directory:" field of BetterPrivacy.

To determine which directory contains the global settings for your Adobe Flash Player, I recommend the following:

Go to Adobe's Web site settings and global settings pages. Delete all LSOs from your computer. Set your global and Web site settings. Search for files with the .sol file extension either by using BetterPrivacy or by navigating to Start>Search>For Files or Folders...>All files and folders> then search C:\ drive for files *.sol (asterisk-dot-sol). Since all other LSO files were deleted before adjusting your global/site settings, the LSO that stores that info should be the only LSO file found. Make a note of the file details (name, location, etc.) and save it into a text file or commit it to memory for future reference. That will help prevent you from having to constantly reset your global/site settings.

Simply opting out or setting the permitted hard drive space to zero will not stop Adobe or other sites from placing LSOs onto your hard drive.

Selecting the "Delete Flash cookies by timer" and "Not if modified within time interval", then setting the "Time interval:" to "1" will allow the cookie to be set, but will almost immediately delete it before any data can be phoned home.

Selecting the "Notify if new LSO is stored" will allow you to count the number of LSOs placed on your machine by any site you visit. For good insight into which sites place LSOs on your machine and how many are placed per page, count the number of warnings that pop up (narrow yellow banner that opens just below the tab bar). Deselecting the "Notify" option will stop the annoying yellow warning banner from opening, but BetterPrivacy will still delete all LSOs as they are placed on your machine.

All-in-all, I really like BetterPrivacy, but I think it should have a feature that allows the user to list several locations to check for LSOs. I also would like to see the option of blocking LSOs from being written to the user's hard drive at all.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.47). 

Torbutton

Rated 3 out of 5 stars

Given the problems associated with the Tor button for Firefox, I suggest that those who want to use Tor and Firefox go to the following Web site and download the "Tor Browser Bundle for Windows or the Installation Bundle for Apple OS X:
https://www.torproject.org/easy-download.html.en

The Browser Bundle for Windows is designed to install on a Flash (Thumb) drive, is completely portable, and leaves no traces on your hard drive. It is set for Privacy Browsing by default. Launching the program starts the Tor panel, connects to Tor, then opens the browser automatically after connection is established. Even though the browser is separate from the hard drive, downloads can be directed to the desired directory and downloaded. I haven't tried to apply any themes, but everything else seems to run without a hitch.

This ia one viable alternative to adding the Tor button onto your current hard drive Firefox installation and will prevent any data loss, disappearing bookmarks, and other problems mentioned in these reviews.

The version of Firefox that is currently used in the Tor application is 3.5.x

This is just a suggested solution..

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.2.4).