Microsoft hasn't even shipped its Internet Explorer 8 but already some Firefox developers say they have a better privacy solution.
Perspectives, hatched at Carnegie Mellon, thwarts so-called "Man in the Middle" attacks on SSH (secure) sites by creating a virtual notary that can check the validity of an unsigned security certificate.
I have already been burned by over-zealous security in trying to reach the site where I write these posts. The standard security warnings read like Windows error messages. The results from Perspectives promise to be more straightforward.
Versions for Windows, Linux, and OS X are already available.
The Explorer feature, dubbed "porn mode" by wags, burns your browsing trail, along with cookies and cache, with each session. Expect this to be a default at Internet cafes around the world.
The incident illustrates a key advantage of open source. Academic labs don't need permission to improve popular code -- they just offer it online as they finish the project.