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Mindat toolbar

Posted by Harold Moritz (2)  
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 12, 2011 11:43PM
Hello Harjo,

Thank you for the additional information. :) From what I've read, Firefox sounds like a good program. I just hope it's easy to download, install, and configure.

Best wishes,
Tim Blackwood
Cohasset, MN, USA
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 13, 2011 12:53AM
Firefox 5 is more of a marketing upgrade than a serious change to firefox so I am sure everything wolil work fine in it
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 13, 2011 01:41AM
Hi Jolyon,

Firefox 5 user here, and the mindat toolbar works just fine and looks pretty slick... it doesnt bother me one bit or byte!

avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 13, 2011 02:10AM
Thanks Jolyon. :) I was just curious, as I tend to be suspicious of software upgrades. But Firefox does look really good. Just have to download it and figure out how to configure it.

Best wishes,
Tim Blackwood
Cohasset, MN, USA
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 13, 2011 02:11AM
Thanks Jolyon. :) I was just curious, as I tend to be suspicious of software upgrades. But Firefox does look really good. Just have to download it and figure out how to configure it.

Best wishes,
Tim Blackwood
Cohasset, MN, USA
Re: Mindat toolbar
July 13, 2011 09:30AM

I fully agree with Branko and Paul.
The left part of the toolbar is redundant and the right part is waste.

avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 12:55AM
As creator and admin of two Mindat groups, on Facebook (where we have collected nearly 700 people...) and LinkedIn, I will obviously defend the social network buttons.
They lead directly to the sites and they are really helpful.

Frankly speaking, I find pretty much trendy to criticize the social networks just because...well, you tell me.
I use Facebook to stay in touch with my friends worldwide, share informations, experiences, quick free texting...and I do not feel an idiot in doing that.
After all, almost 700 million people should be idiots. Additionally, you should consider the fact that the two companies are in the stock market as well, which means that they have a certain degree of popularity.

Thanks to those social network I was able to attract A LOT of people to:
-2 Sainte Marie aux Mines edition (Mindat party hosted by Spirifer)
-1 Munich Mineralien Tage (Mindat party)

Also, I was able to get to know a lot of great mineral collectors, which I afterwards met in person (at main mineral shows, field, the actual Mindat conference, or simply a beer). Some of them are real friends, some others just 'contacts'.

A new way the world works? An open mentality? Simply a kiddish thought, even if I am 28? Maybe...
Personally, I do not care. Prejudice against something that is only superficially tested (if it was ever tested, by the way) is simply pointless.

The results achieved with the Facebook and LinkedIn groups are outstanding, basically, because we are able to connect also young people to this passion which many times does not feature a sufficient renewal. And for me this is a serious target I had in mind when I created the groups. As far as I could experience in this conference, it is possible to achieve such a target!

There is a bunch of things I would like to skip in my life. The advertisement at the bottom of this page, per instance. Or some crazy drivers on the highway. But I know it is not possible, therefore I do not complain (up to a certain extent) and I accept it.

People are reluctant to changes BY THE BOOK: usually, the first answer is "NO"; then it might change...
I cannot talk about the other features of the bar until I experience them myself after J's seminar. But I will defend the buttons leading to the social networks.

Like it or not, the world works in a certain way... and if you stay behind there is no second place or silver we better catch up and make up our minds.

Greets from a fantastic conference, maybe the best I have ever attended!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2011 07:15AM by Chris Mavris.
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 09:12AM
Hi Chris,

I believe that you are right and wrong at the same time.

You are right insofar as the times we are living in have changed and the so-called “Social Networks” have become an important part of some (mainly younger) people. If Mindat wants to stay relevant the site probably has to embrace this new trend, especially if it wants to attract new and young members.
Some comments in this thread have indicated that they do not want to have these so-called “Social Networks” at all, something that I did not claim and if you look at the mockup of a new ribbon-like menu bar,6,file=32040,filename=mockup.jpg you will see that I have included these. However I understand these sentiments, and I’ll give you some reasons for such dislike further down. But let’s face it: the so-called “Social networks” are here to stay.

Chris, you have chosen to join Facebook and LinkedIn, and I commend you for the work you are doing there. I think we all should join in in saying “Thank you!” for working for Mindat with such a passion and with such great success as you’ve indicated. But it was a matter of your personal choice to join these so-called “Social networks”. While you decided to take the plunge there are many (me included) who do not want to have anything to do with these trendy new web applications.

It is my main concern with the new toolbar that the personal choice has been taken from us. It is not the screen real estate that is occupied by the buttons which is a waste for me, but may well be used by others. But have you looked at the network activity generated by this new “features”? I have included a copy of a network capture generated by this very page (,6,229866,230169,page=2). As you can see there is network activity going on infinitely after the initial page load. Actually there is even more going on than captured by this recording, but some scripts are blocked by the tracking protection of IE9 (Google plusone, Google pageads) and because of that the resulting network traffic never occurs.
I have noted that the interval in which this additional network traffic occurs has been lengthened since yesterday (Thank you Jolyon!), but it is still there. I have already mentioned the monetary cost that this may cause, especially if you are on a mobile network, in my earlier post. This is simply a bad idea.

But let us also have a look at what this network traffic does in respect to privacy. I go to almost exclusively from two different computers: one at home and one at work. So basically I connect with two different IP addresses: (work) and (home). I have also included a WHOIS lookup for these two addresses. The information that can be gained from this is:
My real name, the town, district and street I am living in, the company I work for including the full address. I have not once in my life visited Facebook, but with the new setup on Mindat I am forced to “volunteer” this information to Facebook. Fortunately my employer does not allow access to Facebook and blocks all connections on the proxy server (that is why I get a 403 response code in the attached network capture), so I am not in danger here, and I am blocking Facebook and the other so-called “Social Networks” on the router level at home.

But what about all the other people that don’t have this privacy protection either because they don’t know about the issue and/or do not have the knowledge to implement protecting measures? So I urgently request that there is a means to turn off this reoccurring network traffic for the monetary reasons and the privacy reasons stated. I want to have my privacy options back and not have the choices taken out of my hands.

Chris, where you are definitely wrong is your assessment “almost 700 million people should be idiots”. I believe that the vast majority of the Facebook users simply are not aware of the privacy issues involved. That is why they have joined Facebook. Were they aware, I believe that a large percentage would have never joined.

open | download - Network capture.png (124.6 KB)
open | download - WHOIS lookup.pdf (6.1 KB)
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 09:42AM
Certainly there is some truth in what you say. I know of at least one mineral dealer who used to troll for customers here on Mindat and when the going got too hot for him here found a new happy hunting ground on Facebook to be more congenial to him than Mindat. So certainly Face book and also Twitter I imagine, seem to provide content that many find congenial. I find it difficult to understand the attraction, but I am an old stick in the mud and also can not understand a lot of the new wildly successful TV programs like "The Real Housewives of xxxxx" and Ghost hunters. My loss I guess. Good luck in your efforts.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2011 09:43AM by Rock Currier.
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 11:41AM

Thanks for explaining what's happening here. I'm something of an IT peasant I'm afraid, but I followed most of what you said (I think!).

I'm with you on this one. A few months ago I had a Facebook generated email inviting me to be a friend of someone or other, and suggesting a list of other people who I might also like to contact via Facebook. That list included a range of people from among my old school friends, university pals, mineral folk, and business contacts. The only way this list could possibly have been compiled was by some sort of monitoring of my email traffic - and that's disturbing.

So I'm with you! I want nothing to do with these social networks as I am in no doubt that they do threaten my privacy. My kids use them, and as a result I have banned the kids from the computer that I use for my own affairs.

Jolyon - I hate to be unsupportive - but I too feel very uncomfortable with linking this great site to these social networks. Looking around the various mineral societies that I've been associated with, a high proportion of members are of a vintage that makes me think many will share this concern, though I've no idea whether Mindat's member population is of a similar demographic.

Bottom line - I would strongly prefer that Mindat stays clear of these networking sites.

Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 11:44AM
My personal opinion is similar to that of Branko.

"... but with the new setup on Mindat I am forced to “volunteer” this information to Facebook."

How exactly? Only if one clicks on the Facebook button?
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 12:35PM
I honestly don't have the energy to write one of my brilliant narratives. I'm an active Facebook user and my objections to this feature have nothing to do with this.

I'll exercise lessons learned from Brevity 101. Everyday I wake up and hope that this feature will be gone from the middle of my page views. If it stayed out of site and out of mind, you wouldn't be reading anything from me.
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 01:12PM
David Bernstein Wrote:
> ...out of site and out of mind...

Good one!
Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 02:36PM
Want to remove it (just because you don't like it, and don't want the full mindat experience), then why not just add it to your popup blocker.
I myself like it and was glad to see it appear, but adding this: to your popup blocker should probably work. Don't know but you might just try it out if you feel for it. smileys with beer
Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 03:37PM
Hi all,

Is this only an illusion or a wrong perception, but... it seems the addition of the toolbar has slowed the download of pages and photos from Mindat. Am I alone to imagine this, or ?

Concerning the controversial Social Networks issue, I do have a Facebook account, through which I share family pictures and thoughts with family and a few friends, real friends. People that I have known for years, and that I trust.

And, I have not yet felt the need to open a minerals-oriented Facebook account for my collector friends. These I talk to over the phone or in person, or send an email with my field trip or specimen pictures, if truly worth sharing.

The privacy aspect, as quoted in a previous post, should effectively not be neglected. Posting on your FB account (or having a "friend" share this info with the community), that your wife and you are going to attend a three-day conference in Europe, after having posted pictures of your recently-found, highly valuable minerals, ain't a good idea ! Some of your FB "friends" might not be so friendly after all, and plan a visit to your premises while on your trip... Let's put it this way : would you post a sign in front of your house saying "Absent from Aug. 11th till Aug. 20th" ?

Computer-knowledgeable people will program their FB settings so that their information be shared with friends only, not with "friends of friends" or the public. And, accepting someone as a friend has to be the fruit of a certain reflection. A regular and interesting contributor of Mindat might look like a good candidate, but you don't know the person. Point. In real life (non-virtual), do you really feel an urge to be the friend of all the members of your local mineralogy club ? Some may seem very interesting, but a first eye contact will ring a "no-no" bell ! Some caution is always advisable.
Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 05:05PM
Jolyon, I know this site is your baby, but we all contribute to its body of work and ultimately a percentage of its success.

My feelings are that we should have a personal choice in the tool bar matter, not whether we like or use the Social Networks. I know they are here to stay, and that they are wildly successful throughout the world...just not my cup-of-tea.

This reminds me of when I was a kid staring at a spoonful of cod liver oil....and Mom saying "take it, it is good for you."


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2011 05:12PM by Lyla J. Tracy.
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 05:13PM
i find this toolbar frustrating if i want to view mindat on my phone and there i dont have the option to close it as i dont have a mouse pointer. and it obstructs the pictures i want to view.
im using a blackberry curve

my 2 cents
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 05:28PM
Same obstruction problem, toolbar on top of images, on my HTC Android phone, works OK on IE8 and IE9
avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 06:00PM
@ Uwe

“How exactly? Only if one clicks on the Facebook button?”

No, and this is the problem I am having with this new setup.

As you can see in the network capture I posted,6,file=32067,filename=Network_capture.png the page (any page on Mindat that has the new toolbar) loads the Facebook plugin and this alone gives Facebook the information of my IP address. A WhoIs lookup of this IP address reveals the information I posted here:,6,file=32068,filename=WHOIS_lookup.pdf which contains my real name, the town, district and street I am living in, the company I work for including its full street address. I have nothing more to do than to load a Mindat page to reveal all this information to Facebook.

Facebook can potentially do quite a lot of things with this information:
- As Mindat is not the only culprit of adding this Facebook plugin to its page they can potentially track you over literally millions of sites, getting to know your interests. (They don’t need the WhoIs lookup for that!)
- They can potentially track your movement from IP-address to IP-address thus creating a profile.
- They can potentially link the information gained from your IP address with other information already available on Facebook.
- They can potentially sell all the wealth of information to some third party or make this information available through APIs (like they have already done in the past!).

I am not saying that Facebook does all these things, but they potentially CAN do it. Do I trust Facebook? No! Do I want to have all this information in the hands of Facebook? No!

Thank god I am knowledgeable enough to prevent all the goodness that comes from these sites, but what can those do that are not? Maybe hoping that there will be a possibility to turn it off in the future.

@ Sigurd

Adding the subdirectory to your popup blocker will only get you an uglier toolbar, but will not change its behavior.

@ Jean-Yves

The new toolbar loads additional code into your browser. This takes time. Also the new toolbars adds a lot of new requests to the server, so the server is busier than it was before. I am not sure if that makes for slower loading of the pages in a perceptible way, but definitely does so as can be measured with advanced tooling (e.g.: Firebug, Developer Toolbar).

In regards to the Facebook account settings you are right to make sure to only share what you want to share and with whom you share. But the problem is that with the new setup you already share information with Facebook, even if you never had an account and never visited the site.

avatar Re: Mindat toolbar
July 14, 2011 06:51PM
In an earlier post I wrote:

“Just to give you an example read,106,223124,223160#msg-223160 and you will see what I mean (I have allowed Mindat to use this photo, but I have definitively not given permission to use it on Facebook).”

I have just received a PM from Darren, telling me that he never copied the picture to upload it on Facebook, but that he rather put a link to the respective Mindat page.

I misunderstood the wording of Darren’s post and believed he had copied the photo. I apologize for implying any wrongdoing and would like to ask all readers to disregard what I wrote (it is too late now to edit this sentence out of my initial posting).


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