Vivaldi is my browser of choice for all my computers, Linux and Mac. (Sorry, I don’t have Windows, but I would use it on Win too.) It’s free.

Straight up, if you love minimalist browsers, Vivaldi might not be for you.  It’s a power users browser, it contains all the standard controls right onboard.  You can customize Vivaldi just about any way you want without addons.

Not surprising since Vivaldi was started by one of the same men that founded the original Opera browser.  Opera had the same feature rich philosophy until new owners went all minimalist and gutted Opera.

Stuff I like:

  • Vivaldi uses Chromium, the open source version of the Chrome rendering engine. So basically you get Chrome without all the Google spyware.
  • Most Chrome extensions work with Vivaldi just fine.  It gives you a big library of extensions to chose from.
  • You can do so many things with tabs you really need to try it to believe it.  You can have a heck of a lot of tabs open at once with tab stacking.
  • Lots of installed search engines to chose from. You can set two defaults: one search engine for regular browsing and a different one for private browsing windows if you want.  There are three privacy search engines available out of the box.
  • Easy screenshots built right in so I don’t have to remember the command.
  • A Start Page, these guys invented it when they did Opera and Vivaldi has it.

The feature list goes on but I don’t use a lot of the options.

Extras:  Vivaldi has an active community.  Forums to request features, discuss uses. You can get a free basic blog, and you can get your own webmail account which integrates with the browser.  A word on the webmail: Vivaldi’s servers and headquarters are located in Iceland which has some of best laws to protect both privacy and free speech.  That is not by accident.  They don’t have to do this, but it’s a nice touch.

But, you say, Vivaldi is not open source!  Strictly speaking that is true.  But Vivaldi is assembled from mostly open source parts: Chromium rendering engine is open source, the UI is HTML 5, and there is a boatload of other open source stuff Vivaldi lists. Google’s Chrome, and Apple’s Safari aren’t open source either.

Privacy: 1. Vivaldi contains no spyware, no ads. 2. Vivaldi does send anonymized crash reports back to Vivaldi but nobody can match them to you.  3. Vivaldi says they don’t track you nor do they give info to third parties. 4. Remember they are in Iceland, US Secret Warrants have no weight there, no US based company can say that.

I won’t use Google’s Chrome because of the privacy issues.  On Mac I chafe against Apple’s walled garden.  So, especially if you are a Google Chrome user, you should try Vivaldi.  It’s free and you have nothing to lose.  Even on the Mac where I like Safari, I still prefer Vivaldi.

 

Also on:

I’ll be the first to admit I know almost nothing about the EU’s GDPR.  But after adding some remotely hosted tracking analytics it seemed like I should look into it even though I’m not selling anything, not advertising, have no presence in the EU.

I did look into it and the law as written is impossible to comply with. Nobody is really sure they are in or out of compliance, at best they only have some lawyer’s opinion about compliance and lawyer’s are not webmasters or server admins.

I think the EU bureaucrats meant well but the GDPR is so daft I think everybody is going to spend way to much money and time on something that cannot work.

My plan: Step 1 Make it look like i’m complying.  Step 2 try to comply as best I can.  Step 3 if some dink really wants detailed information about opting out, send them to the World’s Longest Privacy Policy Page (TM) and make their eyes glaze over in agonizing boredom. Step 4 If all else fails, flares, chaff, zig-zag.

So what is everybody doing to comply with GDPR on your blog or are you going to ignore it?

Also on:

 

Like: It takes work to keep your data private online. These apps can help – CNET

Also on:

We know the Facebook app tracks where you go via GPS.  Ithink it is safe to assume the Twitter app does the same.  There have been many rumors that the Facebook app (and others) might be listening into our conversations via our phones.  The article below offers confirmation.

There is a simple solution: uninstall the Facebook app from your phone.  Then login to your account via your phone’s web browser.  Bookmark that.  The web interface for Facebook (Twitter too) is very good and should provide more privacy from your microphone.  The downside (if it is a downside) is you won’t get those notifications on your phone when somebody responds to your posts.

I uninstalled both the Twitter and Facebook apps on my phone and use only the browser web access.  Works great and I do not miss being bothered by all those notifications.  Try it.

Here’s how I got to bottom of the ads-coinciding-with-conversations mystery.

Source: Your Phone Is Listening and it’s Not Paranoia – VICE

Also on: