Finds of the Week: The Most Popular Browsers, Recover Data From Broken Mobile Phones, 17 Surprising Google Search Tips, Download Free NASA Mars Posters


Finds of the Week is a list of web sites I've come across lately that are interesting, fun, or useful (or all three). I hope you enjoy them. -Rhiannon

Which browser is most popular on each major operating system?
I've kept track of which browser is the most popular on Windows systems over the years, but here's some good data that rates the most popular browser on all major operating systems, including mobile devices. In related news, Google Chrome will begin blocking Flash in favor of HTML5 in the next version, due out September 2016. When you visit sites that use Flash, there will be an option to enable it, so you can still play those Flash based games. Or use another browser, maybe with a Flash block add-on. :) 

How to Recover Data from A Broken iPhone or Android Phone
I hope this never happens anyone, but if does, this article might save your phone data, depending on the kind of damage - Splash, Smash or something else.

17 surprising things you didn't know you could do with Google
There are many Google search tips and tricks out there, but this article lists a few I hadn't seen. If you're following the current summer Olympics you can get the Olympic medal tally by country. Get the scores and schedules for professional sports, check for cheap airfares, food calorie counts, a timer, and more.

Download Free Mars Recruiting Posters from NASA
NASA has created 8 Mars themed posters for you to download. From the site: Be A Martian! Mars needs YOU! In the future, Mars will need all kinds of explorers, farmers, surveyors, teachers . . . but most of all YOU! Join us on the Journey to Mars as we explore with robots and send humans there one day. Download a Mars poster that speaks to you. Be an explorer!"
The posters come in both JPG (small files) and TIF (large files). You can get them individually or download them all in one zip file.They are meant be printed, but they can be used as desktop backgrounds but you'll need to do some significant re-sizing and cropping.
(via PopSci)

You can find more Tech Treats here.

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At least with Slimjet when you alter settings to erase all clicked boxes on close browser, it actually does a good job of it (unlike Torch, Chrome, PaleMoon, & others) Most others leave a lot of files behind. It has a built in adblocker you can enable but otherwise is just another decent performing Chromium branch. Reasonably stable without CTODs.

Looks like the survey methodology confounds the various "dialects" of each browser. Chrome apparently is a super-name for all Chromium based browsers (like Chromium. SlimJet, Comodo Dragon, etc) and Firefox for the various forks of itself as you mention (like PaleMoon, WaterFox, Comodo Icedragon, etc).

As such, it is less informative than one might think.

What I'm curious about is if browser detection methods are able to differentiate between the "forks" or "dialects" of each browser code?
Can they differentiate between, for example, Firefox and Pale Moon, Waterfox or Cyberfox? Or between Google Chrome, UCBrowser, Vivaldi, or Comodo?


I think it is supposed to be difficult on purpose in some cases for privacy issues. In general I would think it was possible if the coders provide the proper hooks which is demonstrated at More info is provided here

Quite interesting, thanks for the information and the link. :)

Welcome. I always appreciate your posts, btw. Thanks for sticking around. You might be interested in the world of browser alternatives. Too much to learn:

I like SlimJet for speed & thorough cleanup after close (Chromium branch)

By the way, Firefox recently released a 64 bit version for Windows. :)

Thanks for the links. :) Alternative browsers are an interest of mine, I've installed, used and tested and uninstalled bunches over the years. I haven't tried SlimJet for few years, I'll have another look at it. At the moment I have Firefox, Waterfox, Opera, Vivaldi and UCBrowser installed. Vivaldi just released version seems faster than the previous version. It's a work in progress though.

Thank you also for your kind words. <g>

Like you, I have never been able to abandon Firefox because it has customization features far superior to anyone else. It has however become steadily worse for me over the past year. Isn't LInux considered an operating system? Why was it not mentioned at all in the article?


What exactly do you mean with "... It has however become steadily worse for me over the past year ..."?

I am certain that you could be helped, especially if you would create a thread about this in e.g. Windows Secrets Lounge

I'm not sure why Linux wasn't included - perhaps data for it is hard to come by, or, as the subtitle of the article says "...on the four most widely used desktop and mobile operating systems". You can contact Ed Bott (he's been friendly and responsive when I've been in touch) and ask why he didn't include might be as simple as there's no easy way to track the data, perhaps because there are so many versions of Linux that have differing code bases.

What do you mean when you say steadily worse? Are you running into performance issues or is it something to do with features, or lack thereof?
Firefox, like other browsers, is always changing - Martin over at ghacks keeps up with what's going on, and his recent Firefox road map is of interest.
I've found that if I do a clean install with new releases Firefox performs very well. If you use the FEBE add-on it's a relatively quick and easy task. I remove all traces of Firefox from the App Data and Programs folders after I uninstall.
If you have a 64 bit system you might try Waterfox. There's also Cyberfox and Pale Moon. They are leaner versions of Firefox and to me they seem faster, but they don't have some of the "bloat" that Firefox has.

I do the same as you Rhiannon. I do a clean install with every release. And I use FEBE too, excellent add-on.

FEBE  (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) is one of those add-ons that goes on first. :)

Thanks a big bunch for never tiring in finding and publishing intriguing suggestions, services and programs.

But "Most popular browser?" On Windows at least it definitely is not the one I would choose.

I for one am not interested in what is "most popular". I am interested in what helps most to keep a totally "computer illiterate" person relatively safe and secure when they browse the Internet. Even if I have to do a bit of tweaking, e.g. installing one or two extensions.

And that is definitely not the "most popular" browser; popularity is by no means an indicator of quality, nowadays it rather can be an indicator of better marketing.

Thanks for your kind words, comments like that are what have kept me doing this for these many years. :)

I agree popular is relative, and marketing plays a factor.....and then you have Microsoft's browser that's built in to Windows steadily losing market share over the years. They have a captive, built in user base. For them to lose market share, people have to take action - they have to download a different browser. I think that's an indicator of the quality of the product, and an indication that computer users as a whole are becoming more knowledgable.

I'm with you, whatever you use that works to keep you as safe and secure as possible is the thing to go with.

I'm a Firefox fan since it was in early beta, (oh boy, does that date me or what???) and it's still my favorite browser, I use it day in and day out. It's not the most popular but that's ok, it's still being actively developed. For me, Firefox's strength is in it's extensibility (add-ons - think NoScript, there's nothing even close to it for Chrome) and customization. I 'd hate to see that disappear.

I don't use Google Chrome even though it's a clear favorite with many. Likewise the popularity of Gmail (which I do use, but with an email client) escapes me. When I use Gmail via the browser interface I always end up muttering to myself about it feeling clunky and difficult. No right click to open an email in another browser tab? Seriously? And sorting email - what do you mean I have to type in a command for every parameter I want to use to sort email? That is so not workable for me) along with other basic tasks. But, that's me.

The great thing is that there are so many choices that most everyone can find something that works for them.