jlelse's Blog

Thoughts, stories and ideas

Firefox

A successful day

in πŸ’­ Thoughts

Today (or already yesterday at the time of publication of this article) was a quite successful day. πŸ’ͺ I managed to convert my girlfriend to a Firefox and Bitwarden user. Since her computer was acting crazy and marked all downloaded files as viruses, we not only removed the McAfee antivirus program and activated Windows Defender instead, but also installed Firefox (even with uBlock Origin!). Now she can finally download and view PDF files again without any problems.

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"Nitter Redirect" add-on to redirect Twitter to Nitter

in πŸ”— Links

It’s not that uncommon to come across a link to Twitter. But when opening the link in the browser, I am often told that the tweet has failed to load. This may be due to my Firefox settings, uBlock Origin or something else, but it was so annoying to have to click on “try again” that I installed an add-on that automatically redirects me from Twitter to Nitter. (See all my installed add-ons here.

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Testing uMatrix

in πŸ’¬ Micro

I’m now trying to get used to the browser extension uMatrix. It’s a bit more advanced than uBlock Origin by the same developer and it let’s me select on which domains to allow or block cookies, css, scripts etc. I enabled the setting to block JavaScript by default, because I noticed that especially news sites sometimes load much faster (or at all) with JavaScript disabled and of course this reduces the amount of tracking a lot.

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Skip reCAPTCHA challenges with the Buster Add-On

in πŸ”— Links

If you aren’t using Chrome but another browser like Firefox with turned-on privacy settings and an add-on like uBlock Origin, it can happen that you come across reCAPTCHA challenges quite often (because Google thinks, you’re a bot). They are pretty annoying to solve manually, so there is an add-on named Buster that solves the audio challenge by using speech recognition. I just recently installed it, but so far it worked pretty well, even without the optional client app (which requires to turn off fingerprinting prevention).

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Firefox is getting client-side translations

in πŸ’­ Thoughts

According to some sources, Bergamot, a project focused on providing private client-side machine translations in a web browser - and got funding from the EU -, is making a great progress on getting integrated into Firefox. Kelly Davis from Mozilla published two (1, 2) demo videos on YouTube. I really look forward to this! Google Chrome has translations, but they don’t work offline and send everything to the cloud instead. Currently whenever I need to translate something, I use DeepL.

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Did you ditch Chrome yet? Don't switch to Brave though.

in ✍️ Posts

There is some discussion recently about another evil move by Google. Google plans to deprecate (and remove) an API in it’s webbrowser Chrome, that is used by many ad-blocking addons. Of course they are ignoring voices from the community! Only enterprise customers will be able to use this API for custom development. Is it a surprise at all, that Google wants to do that? Google (Alphabet) is one of the biggest (ad) companies.

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Dark Mode for the web

I generally prefer dark user interfaces wherever possible. My phone is set to a dark mode (as far as there is a dark mode in Android Pie), apps like Telegram are set to dark mode and on the desktop I prefer dark modes too. But the most important software I use everyday is a web browser. And most websites don’t support a dark mode yet (because there was no native browser feature for that until recently).

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For the Paranoids: Install Your Own Firefox Sync Server

Many people use Google Chrome, because they like it’s fancy syncing feature. You know, open a tab on your PC and just continue on your phone. Or because of the nice built-in password manager. Just save that damn password and it’s securely stored in your Google account and available everywhere. But what about privacy? You can forget it when you use Chrome. You have no privacy there. Google can read all of your browser history, passwords and bookmarks.

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Jan-Lukas Else