5 obligatory Firefox plugins

I’ve had to reinstall my system several times lately, which is one of the reasons for my recent silence. The first thing I do is generally to install my 5 obligatory browser plug-ins…

The main reason for not posting much of late is the recent server trouble we’ve been having here (as you may have noticed). Hopefully this will be resolved soon: I’ve got a lot to talk about!

1. Adblock Plus

Advertising is the pollution of the mind, and don’t think it doesn’t work!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVyMGrMcIeQ]

How do I justify robbing sites of their rightful income? Short answer, I don’t. Long answer, really all I’m doing is filtering out advertising  using a computer program rather than filtering it out using my brain. My brain is best kept for other things.

Besides, all these advertisers seem to want to sell me are dating-website subscriptions, web-games and camping gear. Clearly data-mining has a long way to go before we’re offering people the sort of products they’re even remotely likely to pay for…

2. Lazarus

When sessions expire or tabs are closed by accident (back in the day when there was no “text has been entered” warning) Lazarus is there to bring back your forms from the dead.

For instance, my server is playing up at the moment and crashed when I tried to save this post. Thanks to Lazurus I got it back instantly.

This kind of utility needs no justification: it’s just plain brilliant :)

3. HTTPS Everywhere

Given the choice between a secure connection and an insecure one, I’d take the secure connection any time. If the site doesn’t support encrypted communications… well, that’s too but, but nothing is lost. Sometimes this needs to be turned off though, to connect to public wireless networks for instance. Otherwise it doesn’t bother anyone and makes your communications that little bit safer :)

4. Do Not Track+

This is a very recent addition to my list of obligatory plugins: it basically serves to block adsense and google analytics, plus various other trackers, which is a pain in the asp for anyone trying to figure out how many people visit their site… like me.

That said, I believe that it is our right as internet trolls to go where we please without tabs being kept on us. Tabs will still be kept one way or another (there is nothing private or anonymous about the internet, not really), but a tool that makes it that much harder for companies to spy on you is no bad thing.

Ironically this will contribute to making the ads you see correspond even less to your tastes, but then you block ads so that’s no problem ;)

Those who want a good scare and a good reason to use DNT+ can also check out Collusion ;)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhjj5K28Rw4]

5. Dictionaries

I speak English, French and Italian, but I wouldn’t pretend to have perfect spelling in any of these languages. Thank goodness for spell-checkers: without them I could never hope to appear even remotely clever online ;)

I make a point of removing US-english too: while the spell used in Northern America makes better phonetic sense, it belies a great deal of historical and etymological richness that underlies the illogical British way of spelling words. You’re demolishing our cultural heritage in the hopes of being more efficient, just like China :P

My apologies to China: you are a great and noble country. When you’ve finished taking of the world I hope you’ll forgive me my occasional good-natured harmless insult ;)

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