Julian is visually impaired and is frustrated by popups that he can't see when he's using his screen reader, because it takes forever to read them all. He needs a good ad blocker that can prevent them. Leo says that this is one case where ad blockers are a good ethical use. Leo recommends the FireFox extension UBlock Origin. It's also available on Google Chrome. Advertising is important, as it helps to pay the bills online.
Ron can watch TWiT on Internet Explorer with no problem. But when he gets on Firefox, he has trouble with popups of surveys. Leo says that's not his site, that's for sure. Leo suspects that it's an issue with Flash. Internet Explorer has Flash built in, as does Chrome. So it sounds like maybe there's an issue with no Flash being installed, and Firefox might have a browser hijacker object that's popping up.
You may find yourself in a sort of "catch-22" if the only browser on your system won't work. If the browser keeps crashing upon launch, you can't really do anything to fix it, and in order to get an alternative browser you'd need to download it -- using a browser. Here are a few things you can try to fix your current browser, and there's even an alternative way to obtain a different browser without using a browser:
Diane wants to be able to save her email messages from Yahoo Mail locally to her computer as a form of backup. Leo suggests using an email client, and he recommends Mozilla Thunderbird. This program stores email in a very standard mbx, or mailbox format, that other programs can also understand. That way, if Thunderbird were to go away, Diane would be able to easily be able to still look at her messages with any text reader.
Jay wants to know what browser Leo uses on the Mac. Leo says that Chrome is what he uses 90% of the time, although Safari is very good. Leo prefers Chrome because Flash is sandboxed within the tab, so it doesn't crash the browser when it goes down. He also says that since Chrome has Flash built in and Google updates it regularly so he doesn't have to install it separately. Sync is better in Chrome as well. Leo says Firefox is the third best, but he says it's gotten bloated over the last few years and has slowed down a lot.
Jeri isn't getting her text messages through her laptops, and her carrier is AT&T. Leo says that text messages are through the cell phone. Leo says that the first time she logs in, the bank will send her a text. She'll then input the code and the website will know that her browser activity is legit. But she shouldn't have to do it every time if she has the box checked to "trust this computer." Then it'll trust it every time and not worry about it.
Roy keeps getting requests to update Flash when listening to podcasts. And it always crashes. Leo says he hates Adobe Flash with a PASSION and everyone uses it, so he's stuck with it and all it's warts. That's why Leo recommends that if you have to use Flash, that you use it through Google's Chrome browser. What Google does in Chrome is build Flash into the browser and it's updated regularly by Google and it's isolated so it doesn't crash your browser if it crashes. It should work better for you.
If you want to get more information about a particular photo, you can actually use that picture as your Google search. Google calls this "Reverse Image Search," and it can turn up similar images, website addresses that contain the photo, information on who took the photo, and more. Of course, this will work best with photos of people or objects that are likely to show up elsewhere on the web.
Leo says that Firefox has bookmark syncing, so he should check in his settings to enable that. He can also save them to a USB key and Firefox will import them. Leo also says he should be careful not to copy all of his settings from his old computer. There is a transfer wizard that he could use to copy everything from his old machine, but Leo doesn't generally recommend that. If he plans to keep the old system for awhile, he should just copy over what he needs as he needs it. It's a good idea to start over.
Morris clicked on a link from an email that got sent to him, but Firefox won't let it open. Leo says that's a security feature designed to protect him from being taken over by hackers. Leo says that it's likely that Morris may have gotten lured by a bad email and Firefox saved him from it. Leo says it can be disabled, but it protects him and is for his own good.