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Google Chrome Spinoff 'Iron' For Privacy Fanatics 165

Sonnet_XVIII writes "According to DownloadSquad, A German company SRWare has developed a Google Chrome Spin off called Iron aimed at people who are concerned or have questions about Google's policies for collecting usage data."
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Google Chrome Spinoff 'Iron' For Privacy Fanatics

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  • Since when (Score:5, Interesting)

    by szo ( 7842 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @11:30AM (#25152117)

    we started to call forks a "spin off"?

    • Re:Since when (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bryansix ( 761547 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @11:32AM (#25152161) Homepage
      Somebody confused their Television terms with their Technical terms.
    • by MrNaz ( 730548 )

      Since companies like Google started using open source and dumped all their absurd management terms into our lexicon.

    • Well, I'm rather certain the spoon came first, right? So calling a fork a spin off isn't too far from the truth...

      • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

        I figured the single-tined fork (aka pointed stick) came first. Next was the knife (singled tined fork sharpened for cutting).


    • Not Forked Up (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fm6 ( 162816 )

      Not at all. If you RTFCB [] you'll know that a major goal of Chrome is to get its technologies and ideas incorporated into other Open Source projects. Actually, that seems to be pretty much the idea, at least at this stage in the product's lifecycle. The product itself is too limited and glitchy for any other purpose. It's not like a lot of people are going to adopt it as their day-to-day browser, not with its minimal feature set and rendering issues.

      I suspect the Chrome team is actually quite pleased to see t

      • by Ed Avis ( 5917 )

        I'm curious, what are these 'glitches' and 'rendering issues' you talk of? I've used Chrome for a while and not noticed it misrendering anything (while I am affected by a rendering bug in Firefox). Nor any glitches or crashes.

        • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

          I've seen some pages that have issues under Chrome. They aren't on any exposed sites, so I can't send a link, but it's basically dynamic content that returns as XSLT formatted XML. Also, some pages with some unrecognized JavaScript. There were a couple of other pages that I've submitted back to Google, but I don't have the links handy, nor do I remember where they were.


        • by fm6 ( 162816 )

          I've seen some problems interpreting CSS correctly, both on internal company sites I've worked and on public sites like Netflix. The public site glitches might be from bad standards compliance, but I know mine weren't.

          I've also had issues with text input boxes, where Chrome seems to have trouble keeping up with my typing.

          Chrome has a bug reporting feature that includes the ability to send the developers a screen shot. Obviously they anticipated exactly this kind of problem.

  • Translation (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stooshie ( 993666 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @11:31AM (#25152149) Journal

    I only speak a little German. So here is a bery bad translation via babelfish:

    SRWare Iron: The browser of the future - based on the free source text " Chromium" - without doubts with the data protection and security Googles Web browser chrome inspires with an extremely fast structure of web page, a slim Design and imaginative functions. The data-security commissioners practice however also criticism, approximately because of the production of a clear user ID or the transmission from inputs google for the generation of search proposals. SRWare Iron is a genuine alternative. The browser basedly on the Chromium source text and offers so the same basic functions as chrome - however without the criticized points, which concern the data protection. We could provide from there a browser, with which you can use immediately the innovative features, without having to think about the keeping of your privacy. We would like to leave and place our users at our work sharings the browser free of charge to the download under the name " SRWare Iron" in the net. What makes Iron concretely differently than chrome? Read here.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Funny how German though babelfish reads a lot like corporate marketing speak.

      Add the word leverage somewhere and you could have fooled me.

    • by Patik ( 584959 )

      I only speak a little German.

      I know a little German. He's sitting right over there [].

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @11:33AM (#25152181) Homepage
    That alone makes it far superior to Chrome.
    • by sH4RD ( 749216 )
      Actually you can just use Chromium (the open source project for Chrome), as far as I can tell by using it for a few minutes there seem to be no unique user id's transmitted.
    • Could you elaborate on that?

      Did I understand that correctly: Chrome generates a UUID for each instalation or for each user on the system who runs Chrome?

  • Better name (Score:5, Funny)

    by bennybertow ( 903069 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @11:33AM (#25152185)
    They should have called it "Tinfoil" instead...
  • I promise not to make "dupe" comments.

  • Language (Score:4, Informative)

    by craigavonite ( 918331 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @11:36AM (#25152235)
    The SRWare site and the installer are in German, but the browser itself (menu's, etc.) is in English, just for anyone thinking you're going to have to hunt out an EnUs addon or something
  • Tin Hat?


    Oh Well, Bad Karma and all . . .
  • by Anonymous Coward

    aimed at people who are concerned or have questions about Google's policies for collecting usage data.

    So if I have questions, it answers them? Cool. I can never decode those EULAs.

  • So, um, thanks for giving no actual information about this new revision, with the only real reference a German website with a download link. I guess this could be an incentive to learn Deutsch, but for the average /. reader, this is just an advertisement.

    Anyway, here's a Babelfish translated link: []

    • Translated FAQ (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rie Beam ( 632299 )

      What is Iron?

      Iron is an Internet Browser, like Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Opera. It is based off of the free online source code of "Chromium".

      I read that there are tools which attempt to make Chrome anonymous. Why shouldn't I simply use these?

      There are worthwhile Freeware tools which offer similar functionality. However, these do not work from source and offer only limited control. Functions like the URL tracker cannot be switched off. This only offers variable security.

      Iron is free -- how do you financ

  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @11:58AM (#25152555) Homepage

    But you are expected to trust some obscure German software company. Right.

    The sad thing is, some of you will (but then, you already use Windows...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      But you are expected to trust some obscure German software company. Right.)

      You don't have to. You the source code is available for download. (And you could obviously monitor your traffic see if the browser phones home)

    • But you are expected to trust some obscure German software company. Right.

      The sad thing is, some of you will (but then, you already use Windows...)

      Hey, you! That's not nice. Some of us don't have a choice in our workplace OS.

      You insensitive clod.

    • Yah, but this is Germany we're talking about. Nobody from there could be evil.
  • by thisfred ( 643716 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @11:58AM (#25152557) Homepage
    So they take the open source code, and redistribute it as an executable only. Of course completely legal under the BSD license, but wouldn't a privacy nut wonder why they give away the application for free but not the source code?
  • The differences (Score:5, Informative)

    by nephridium ( 928664 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:26PM (#25152983)
    According to the German webpage [] there are several significant improvements:

    * unlike the current Chrome beta it uses the newest Webkit version of the current Chromium build

    * it does not generate a unique ID of every client for use by Google

    * no installation timestamp ill be generated for google

    * no "suggest feature" that phones home to google (for help) what you type into the address bar

    * will not phone home to google in case you mistyped a URL

    * no phoning home for error reporting

    * does not send RLZ tracking info to google, e.g. about when and where Chrome was downloaded

    * NO frickin updater that installs itself as a startup app to run in the background

    * does not load google homepage in background when the browser is loaded

    Of course they provide the source code for your own tinkering as well, just don't hammer the poor fellas (more than they already get hammered right now ;)) as according to their page their current revenue only comes from the ads on the page and hopefully some donations by people showing their appreciation of their work.

  • IRC log from Iron (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:54PM (#25153421)

    It's unfortunate that this guy decided to fork rather than submit bug fixes (or even file bugs). Several of the issues he identified are bugs, not intentional behavior in Chromium. It's supposed to be the case that anything that talks to a third-party server is controllable via preferences and options. He ran into a few that slipped through and decided to do a fork for self-publicity and $$ rather than trying to help the project. I see no problem with having forks in general, but this one seems unnecessary at this point.

    Here's an excerpt from an IRC log on chromium-dev from a week ago when people asked him why he wasn't filing bugs or patches:

    Iron: because a fork will bring a lot of publicity to my person and my homepage
    Iron: that means: a lot of money too ;)
    Iron: i dont take money for my fork
    Iron: but i have adsense on my page ;)
    Iron: a lot of visitor -> a lot of clicka > a lot of money ;)
    Iron: we are here in germany
    Iron: the press will love my fork
    Iron: i talked to much journalists already
    Iron: to remove all things in source talking to google ;)
    Iron: nobody here trusts google
    Iron: the german people say: google is very evil

    • by Nate Fox ( 1271 )
      please mod parent up. a friend of mine works on chrome @ google and said the exact same thing: this guy merely wants to make money via adsense
    • > It's supposed to be the case that anything that talks to a third-party server is controllable via preferences and options. He ran into a few that slipped through

      If every element of functionality that could relay data to a third-party is to be controllable then there is no reason on this Earth why this was not caught at design, code review, unit testing or assembly testing.

      If the requirements state that ``all such functionality must be controllable'' then nothing ships until that is the case.


    • by bmcage ( 785177 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:09PM (#25154571)
      link please! I can make up your statement in 1..2..3, why would I believe this?
    • by Lord Bitman ( 95493 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:38PM (#25155007) Homepage

      Chrome's been out for nearly a month now and I don't see any new release any time "soon".
      With such a poor release, I expected new versions to come out the same day yet here we are, weeks later, and no sign that the problems are even on Google's radar.

      If I pushed a product to millions of users by linking to it from the front page of the world's most popular website, saying it was "uncrashable", and then it turned out within minutes of real-world uses that no, it's just as easy to crash as any other browser (I've yet to see a "sad tab"), or any of the other major problems, etc- I'd work towards fixing them ASAP. Where is the new release? Where is the new alpha?

      Google fucked up. Forking might wake them up. All good forks get merged in the end, anyway.

  • So, questions, #1 "source code available" - what license? #2: Does it need a friking installer or can I just unzip it and run (aka it doesn't mess with the registry) If it is still FLOSS and doesn't touch the registry, it would be a great choice.

He: Let's end it all, bequeathin' our brains to science. She: What?!? Science got enough trouble with their OWN brains. -- Walt Kelly