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. Do you have experience with uMatrix and any tips on how to make the most use out of it?

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). If you click on “I’m not a robot”, there’s another symbol next to the headphones icon. Click on that, click on “Play” and it will probably solve the challenge. If it doesn’t work on the first try, just try a second time. It’s probably still faster than choosing the correct images.

Give it a go to save time!

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.
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.
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).
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.
Jan-Lukas Else
20 years old student who writes about everything he cares about.