IE 8 to get 'porn mode'?

IE 8 to get 'porn mode'?

Summary: No doubt, Microsoft has been holding back some features that will be added to the new IE 8 Beta 2 test build. Istartedsomething's Long Zheng blogged on August 20 about one such possibility: Private browsing, a k a "porn mode."

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TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft
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The countdown to Internet Explorer (IE) 8 Beta 2 is on. Microsoft said the consumer-focused IE 8 test release would be available in August. There are just 11 days left....

No doubt, Microsoft has been holding back some features that will be added to the new test build. Istartedsomething's Long Zheng blogged on August 20 about one such possibility: Private browsing, a k a "porn mode." Private browsing is a feature that the Mozilla team ended up pulling from Firefox 3 (and 3.1), but one that Safari has had since 2005.

Private browsing allows those browsing the Web to erase their online tracks in history, cache and personal information entered and shared by a user on a Web page.

I asked Microsoft whether Zheng was right, and all a spokeswoman would say is the company will have more to say about privacy as IE 8 evolves.

There have been a couple of IE Blog posts that offer hints that Microsoft may be going beyond the pure "private browsing" mode.

From a June 24, 2008 IE Blog post on trustworthy browsing:

"(T)there’s more to online privacy than cookies, as cookies are only one implementation of content that can disclose information to websites. In some discussions, people have also described IE7’s Phishing Filter as a privacy feature because it helps protect users from sharing information. The larger challenge here is notifying users clearly about what sites they’re disclosing information to and enabling them to control that disclosure if they choose. As we talk more about privacy, we will broaden the discussion to include additional protections from sharing information that the browser can offer users."

Some IE users have been saying for years that they want somthing more granular than the current browser option to delete all cookies or all temporary Internet files. From way back in 2006 in the comments on the IE Blog, poster Nick Davis said:

"I *hate* clearing my history, because lots of history is useful. What's that new supplier's site I went to last week and forgot to bookmark, etc. I hate losing all that info, just to cover up the fact that I, ahem, bought a gift for a loved one.

"Selective history. That's what we need. Or a way to selectively delete browsing history after the fact. I mean, we're only over 10 years into this whole web browser thing, and we have basically the same feature since v1."

Any guesses as to what Microsoft might deliver on the privacy front with the forthcoming IE 8 Beta 2 and/or final release (slated to be available before the end of 2008)?

Topics: Browser, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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104 comments
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  • Double-edged swords

    Several years ago, our company implemented very stringent usage rules on our IT assets, including Internet access. And the IT department installed "monitoring tools" aka spyware to keep an eye on the rank-and-file.

    The result? A number of employees got fired for surfing porn, trading files, and storing music on company computers. A few got warned for shopping online, playing games, or surfing sports scores. Most of the "senior" management were in fact seniors who did not use their PC's or the network for anything other than email.

    Fast-forward to 2007, when a lot of new "senior" managers came in, including a few VPs who were digitally literate and connected. In just six months, the IT group turned in evidence of rule-breaking (and some law-breaking) by three of our new VPs. The VPs weren't fired, but they found it advantageous to make fast career changes. And quess what? The IT team no longer has use of most of the "monitoring tools" and is no longer tasked with monitoring senior management IT assets. We still watch Internet traffic, but that's because our lawyers live in mortal fear of pirated music or kiddie porn ever appearing on our network ... probably with good reason that they don't bother to share with us ...
    terry flores
    • I was just about to say..

      This could be a VERY helpful tool but I think it will get a ton of people in trouble.
      storm14k
      • Tools don't get people in trouble...

        ...[b]people[/b] get people in trouble.
        fairportfan
        • don't want to be risque, but...

          MY tool has gotten me in trouble before...
          elt10@...
        • Tools don't get people in trouble...

          just like guns.... ...people get people in trouble.
          shaganasty
  • Not rocket science

    Every instance of IE (or TAB) should have a separate session cache and cookie folder.

    There should then be an option setting that allows:

    1) Automatically consolidate all user-session data (basically do what IE does now and act as though there is one giant cookie list and one big temporary file folder).

    2) Enable session data privacy. (basically session data gets wiped (and shredded) once the tab or IE instance ends).

    3) Automatically timeout temporary internet settings and Data (in days). (Let the user set timeouts ** per domain ** for cookies and temporary internet files. 0 - accept and silently discard, 9999 - accept permanently unless manually cleared).

    Not complicated. Sign me up for the beta.
    croberts
  • Firefox and SQL Lite

    Check out FireFox's SQL Lite. It stores all information such as cookies and sessions in this database. There is a SQL Lite Manager Add on that can be used to query all the information and delete whatever you want. It is also a RDBMS that can be used instead of Access. I think the implementation is neat, and IE should consider something like Access to store its info
    GoForTheBest
    • SQLite is Free...Access, to now, isn't...

      Which may be part of the problem though not insurmountable.

      If they can get Access to run with as small a footprint as SQLite and as quickly then I'd agree that they ought to do just that.

      (Usually that kind of statement in theatre terms is QUE: Axey!)

      ttfn

      John
      TtfnJohn
      • Access is the wrong comparison.

        Contrary to popular belief, Microsoft Access is [i]not[/i] a database. It’s a [i]front end[/i]. By default, it uses the Microsoft Jet file-based database engine, which stores data in .mdb files.

        Jet is responsible for the Tables, Queries, etc., while Access is responsible for Forms, Reports, Macros, etc.

        Access can also use the SQL Server database engine, which, unlike Jet, is a true server-based relational database engine. SQL Server has a free version called SQL Server 2005 Express (the SQL Server 2000 and '97 version was called MSDE, or MicroSoft Database Engine), which can be used on a single machine or small workgroup.

        To use Access as an SQL Server front end, you make an Access Data Project (.adp file). This stores the Forms, Reports, etc. which Access is responsible for, while the Tables (and their data), Views (basically named Select Queries), Stored Procedures (basically named Action Queries), Database Diagrams (like the Relationships Window but [i]much[/i] better), etc. are all stored in the SQL Server database.

        Unlike with Jet, SQL Server (even Express) does not require that the client program have access to the raw data files (.mdf in the case of SQL Server, .mdb in the case of Jet). All communications happen via SQL ccommands or various API calls such as Active Data Objects (ADO DB) or the obsolescent Data Access Objects (DAO), ODBC, etc.

        Example: let's say you have a Table with 10,000 records, and another that's related to it with 500,000 records. With Jet, unless you've set up your indices correctly, if you wanted to do a query that would return only 1000 rows (an average of 10 rows each from the child table, using criteria that only match 100 rows from the parent table), pretty much the entire contents of the tables would have to be read by the client's Jet database engine, which would then do the filtering and sorting. If this is on a network, the whole tables go across the wire, which is both slow and insecure.

        With SQL Server, the query is executed on the server (even if local, it's still a running process in the background), and it returns only the data that is actually needed.

        SQLite is, as I understand it, analogous to SQL Server 2005 Express.
        Joel R
  • RE: IE 8 to get 'porn mode'?

    Pornography victimizes not only women and children, but the men who are addicted to it as well. It is a sickness that is eroding the very foundations of Western civilization, and should be vigorously legislated out of existance. Microsoft would do well not to cater to the very lowest common denominator in society.
    rbrucecarter
    • What has it to do with you anyway?

      There is a disjointed logic here. If porn is so bad how come it is so popular. If it was intrinsically harmful surely we would have developed a physiological aversion, something like a pain reflex. It is easy to say it is degrading etc., and I agree that draconian deterrents are appropriate where children are involved. However, who judges what constitutes morality? If consenting adult men and women want to create and view porn then who the hell are you to say that they shouldn't? Don't forget that so-called porn is also used as a therapeutic tool by many medical practicioners.
      Our society is steadily veering towards a puritanical, intrusive and oppressive state. Anything that aids privacy and the right to be free from interfering busybodies is to be praised.
      robert@...
      • Your logic is also flawed

        "If porn is so bad how come it is so popular."<br><br>
        Anti-semitism was very popular in pre-WW II Germany, that didn't make it right. Since when has popularity been an indication of whether something is good or bad. Fad diets have been popular since I was a kid, but that doesn't make them harmless. I can also think of several different toxins like arsenic where small doses won't kill, but will remain and accumulate in your body till over time it will kill you. Your body won't develop a pain reflex or physiological aversion to it even though it's deadly. In fact some toxic substances like heroin create a physiological dependency rather than an aversion. If your depending on popularity or some physiological aversion to determine whether something is bad or harmful then your fooling yourself.
        alaniane@...
    • "eroding the very foundations of Western civilization"???

      Come on! Ha! What kind of over blow assessment is that? How much erosion can any one nation take? If porn was eroding western civilization the last pieces of shoreline would have dissolved into the oceans a few hundred years ago.

      Get real.
      Cayble
    • Clueless

      Pornography has always existed. It will always exist.
      You can no more legislate it away than you can legislate away alcohol, or laziness, or farting.
      bmerc
    • RE: IE 8 to get 'porn mode'?

      "Pornography victimizes not only women and children,"

      What you speak of here is something completely different.

      If two consenting adults decide to rent a video for the evening and then act upon it who are you to say that it is wrong?

      Most things done in moderation are healthy for us not detrimental! It releases tension and stress. People sleep better at night & function better during the daytime.

      For you it would seem to be everything or nothing at all.

      You are part of the problem not the solution. If an adult wishes to look at pictures of other adults on-line or maybe read a story on-line no one has been injured.

      Granted you will always find the extremes in everything and those are the ones that should be watched.

      I don't need the government placing a camera in my bedroom to make sure that I don't violate someone else's idea of morals!
      radar696@...
      • Pornography victimizes?

        I would say that given the Catholic Churches recent child molesting scandal that it is obvious that religion is more of a sexual danger to children that porn is!
        benwolfe54@...
    • I knew you'd get hammered

      As soon as I read your post I knew you were going to get hammered with responses.

      Porn seems to be the holy grail and God forbid there would be ANY restrictions on it whatsoever at no matter what the cost.
      t0mmyt@...
      • Holy Grail?

        Golden Goose more like (no pun intended). Biggest money spinner on the Internet, you all would be paying a lot more for yr bandwidth without it.
        robert@...
      • Holy Grail

        Porn isnt the Holy Grail. The First Amendment is.

        Pornography, as an art form, is one of those freedoms protected in the first amendment along with press, assembly, and -- oh yeah -- religion. When you use one protected form expression to motivate an attack on another, you weaken them [i]both[/i] and make this country a poorer place for it.
        Goblyn
    • Too bad most of history and government research doesn't agree with you ...

      And for the western civilization part, you should be aware of the long history of pornographic works in Japanese, Chinese, and Indian cultures. Just as long as in Western Civilization, which has "survived" with porn for its entire history. There have been several waves of anti-sex agitation over the millenia, and a number of scholars believe that the roots are actually based on fringe Islamic and Judaic elements as opposed to mainline Christian doctrine.

      The current campaign against sex and pornography is fairly recent (20th century), but owes something to the Puritan and other breakaway sects of the Protestant branch. The Catholic branch was fairly tolerant of sex in art and literature until it became convenient to associate sex practices with heresy during the Spanish Inquisition. Even now, the Vatican maintains one of the most extensive collections of literate and artistic pornography in the world.

      I will grant you this: most of the pornography produced today is trash, with no artistic or entertainment value. Why anybody would want to pay money for it is beyond me. As to its addictive quality, I couldn't say. I know someone who regularly blows his savings on custom car parts, and someone else who has ruined his life gambling on college sports. Addictive personalities are by nature self-destructive, whether it is porn, street-racing, gambling, or just overeating. Anything overindulged or practiced to an extreme is usually bad.

      Footnote: 3 in 4 "pornographers" today are women. Not performers, but photographers, producers, business owners, and sales agents. So to label it a "men exploiting women" issue is wrong; it is women exploiting themselves and one of their assets.
      terry flores