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[liberationtech] Help test the new Tor Browser!

Bernard Tyers - ei8fdb ei8fdb at
Mon Jun 17 14:45:49 PDT 2013

Hash: SHA1

Congratulations Tor Project. Well done to Mike Perry and all the contributors.

I've tested it on Mac OS X 10.6.8 and Debian 6.0 Squeeze and I had no technical issues on either.

First launch (using clear Internet connection) took approx 40-50 seconds on each. (Debian was running as a VM on a Macbook Pro)

The biggest usability hurdle for Tor (IMO) was having the browser launching separately to the Tor application. I've tested with users and this was a huge confusion for them. It wasn't a browser as *they* understand one. Now it is.

First prong of the attack: this is how privacy enhancing software should behave - the exact same as all other software. Now Tor is even better.

Second prong of the attack. Run more exit nodes.

- From the quick run through I did, here are some(possibly minor) suggestions:

1. The installed application icon is as follows

However when the application is opened, the application icon is this

It may be confusing for someone who was not familiar with the different icons used by the TP.

2. The copy displayed during the initial install ("Before the Tor Browser Bundle tries to connect to the Tor network, you need to provide information about this computer's Internet connection) could possibly be reworded to give some context as to *why* it is being asked for. (Possibly reposition the copy to above the connection steps)

Alternatively, is it possible for the install to run these two tests and determine to correct outcome? Ie. 1. Run some "tests" to determine if the Internet connection is clear of obstacles, then 2. Run some "tests" to check if the Internet connection is censored/filtered. Based on the outcome of these tests, Tor could then configure the connection as necessary. 

I could see this step being confusing for users not familiar with their Internet connection.

3. It would be interesting to see the numbers of users who actually follow the "Test Tor Network Settings" link. 

Once the TBB has installed and displays the "Congratulations! This browser is configured to use Tor." page, are users guaranteed to be connected to the Tor network? 

If so is there any need for the Test Tor Network..." link? Is it possible to display that information on the startpage?

It is also very nice that the user preferences have been altered to be more privacy enhancing (History, etc).

Congratulations to all involved. It is great work.


On 17 Jun 2013, at 17:02, Michael Carbone wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Congratulations Tor devs! Serious kudos -- this is exactly the
> direction TBB needs to go.
> A couple minor things: the order of the addons in the toolbar seems
> arbitrary (particularly the location of the Tor button, NoScript, and
> HTTPS Everywhere). I'm sure it's not, but at minimum it might be good
> in the about:tor splash page to have an arrow pointing to the location
> of the TorButton in the toolbar if folks need to change settings.
> Also, the search button image in about:tor is pixelated.
> This is a huge step forward in UX, very exciting!
> Michael
> On 06/17/2013 09:45 AM, Jacob Appelbaum wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'm really excited to say that Tor Browser has had some really
>> important changes. Mike Perry has really outdone himself - from
>> deterministic builds that allow us to verify that he is honest to
>> actually having serious usability improvements. I really mean it -
>> the new TBB is actually awesome. It is blazing fast, it no longer
>> has the sometimes confusing Vidalia UI, it is now fast to start, it
>> now has a really nice splash screen, it has a setup wizard - you
>> name it - nearly everything that people found difficult has been
>> removed, replaced or improved. Hooray for Mike Perry and all that
>> helped him!
>> Here is Mike's email:
>> Here is the place to download it:
>> Please test it and please please tell us how we might improve it!

- --------------------------------------
Bernard / bluboxthief / ei8fdb

IO91XM /

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