Well that is what we are told! The press was gushing. Quite frankly I can’t see the excitement. “biggest upgrade since 2011” said one wag. Of course I avoided the upgrade like a dose of syphilis. But I was not immune. My laptop is as eccentric as I am. It decided that a quick power off was in order when I moved it from my inside office to the porch.

I hate being ‘improved’ by a reboot. Google Chrome tells me that it has been installed on an administrator account and I should click here to fix it (it never works). Dell insists that I need to know the time and temperature in Texas (Unfortunately I am not in Texas). Adobe always wants to update crappy flash (the updates don’t help, Flash continues to crash and burn in a regular basis), and even though I have auto update set for AVG it hates not nagging me to upgrade to the latest and greatest ‘for pay’ version. Life is complex enough with stinking Windows, every month Microsoft ‘improves’ me. I go to bed, wake up the next morning and discover that my computer has been rebooted. Unfortunately Redmond had skipped the minor courtesy of saving all the files I had open.

So what is the huge Firefox upgrade? OK, I am just a user, I am sure that there is something really neat in Firefox 29, I just have not found it yet. Rounded edges on tabs look nice, but who cares?

The ability to reconfigure the buttons and services, again nice, but who cares? I certainly do not.

What would be really useful from the vendors of browsers, Operating Systems, etc, and hardware vendors would be to leave it up to the owner of the computer to decide what he or she wants to do.

Why do these people find it necessary to annoy users at every possible juncture?

So a big YAY to Firefox for giving me rounded tabs, I will sleep better at night. Quite why I had to register a Firefox account to get these rounded tabs still eludes me. Seems like just another database of userids and passwords waiting to get hacked! And hacked it will be!

Note to software vendors, I have enough toolbars already, I really do not need any more. I would view it as great customer service if when you want to ‘improve’ me, default to ‘no’ and let me opt in rather than opt out.

Technology has become an arms race. Who can grab most screen real estate. Some lunatic will likely come up with a Firefox add on to insert a click-able field between the ‘rounded tabs’, well it is a shame to let this piece of real estate go to waste.

Simon Barrett

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