Monday, August 1, 2011

Internet Explorer (is) for Dummies

Color me skeptical:

A comprehensive study of web users has determined that the dumber you are, the more likely you are to use Microsoft Internet Explorer.

After measuring the IQs of exactly 101,326 users and correlating their scores with the browser they had used to access the test, "There was a clear indication ... that the subjects using any version of Internet Explorer ranked significantly lower on an average than others," concludes the study, conducted by the Vancouver, Canada, psychometric-assessment firm, AptiQuant.
Riddle me this, Psychometric Man: What is the difference between users of Internet Explorer and other browsers?  Anyone?  Bueller?

They're using the default browser that came with their Operating System.  So did AptiQuant control for people who made a decision to change browsers vs. people who didn't?  Did they study Apple users who use the default browser (Safari) vs. Apple users of other browsers?


Junk science.  You find it everywhere, and it's always found through attention-grabbing headlines.  The probability that the scientific content is junk increases with the number of views that the Press Release gets, p > 0.95.

And I say this as someone who's not a big Internet Explorer fan.  Even with the newer version (8.0+, which is much, much improved) you're stuck with ActiveX.  ActiveX is a sewer of security vulnerabilities:

Citrix's Access Gateway solution provides an SSL based VPN via the Web browser. This is accomplished through the use of an ActiveX control. The control itself is provided by the server upon connecting. Access Gateway functionality is provided by several models of Access Gateway Appliances. For more information, visit the URL referenced below.

Remote exploitation of an arbitrary library loading vulnerability in Citrix Systems, Inc.'s Access Gateway Client ActiveX control allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code.
Microsoft's architecture is so broken here that they take the hit for another company's security vulnerabilities, because their architecture lets that company's buggy code get delivered via the web and run as Administrator.  Gah.

But the idea the people who use IE are dumber than other people is just dumb.  And boring.  I'd like a higher caliber drivel, please.


greg said...

And to think, until you debunked everything, I was feeling superior because I was reading what you wrote on firefox...thanks for bringing me back to Earth.

GuardDuck said...

Anyone who thinks that study is real science obviously uses internet explorer.....

Anonymous said...

I is usin Operah that makes meh a jeneeus.