Ubuntu Firefox’s Tattletale Search Query

Search SimplificationHave you ever noticed that when you type a search term into the search box in the top right of your Firefox browser, that a load of junk gets added to the search term. For example, you search for ‘banana’ and you get something like this:

http://www.google.com.ph/search?q=banana&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.ubuntu:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a

Well what you’re effectively doing is giving Google a lot of information for free. Which irritates me. All I really need is this,

http://www.google.com.ph/search?q=banana

and if they really want to know more about me, then they’re welcome to go digging through their logs.

OK its a minor irritation, but one that we can fix! I understand that Ubuntu does it as part of a deal with Google, but there’s no reason why we can’t take matters into our own hands and change the defaults.

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Strange SmartBro URL hijacking

I’m at a loss to explain this unless SmartBro’s DNS or proxy servers have been taken over. Here’s the deal. I’m surfing normally, and then suddenly I try to go to a normal site (economist.com, yahoo.com, facebook.com, google. com, iptools.com etc) and instead of getting the correct page, I get a weird spammy advertising page, even though the URL in the Address bar looks correct.

The image to the right is an example. Click on the image to get a full sized view. I have more examples saved if anyone is interested.

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