Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Add-ons for Firefox 3

Firefox 3 came out about a week ago and I think it's put Mozilla back on top of the browser pile again. All of the memory leak problems that Firefox 2 was plagued with seem to have disappeared and page load times are significantly improved.

But that's not the topic of this post.

Most people know that Firefox's capabilities can be enhanced with add-ons. These small programs work inside Firefox to add functionality. There are a number of add-ons for Firefox that I find invaluable and a few others that are more for entertainment. My must-haves include:
  • Foxmarks - If you use more than one computer and want to have the same set of bookmarks across them all, then Foxmarks is the extension to use. Google Sync used to do this but that has been discontinued. Firefox has also introduced Weave as an alternative but the beta isn't quite there yet. Foxmarks just works.
  • Adblock Plus - Fed up with seeing all those ads plastered all over the place? Adblock Plus removes Adsense served advertisements from web sites.
  • Customize Google - A little bit belt and braces here as Customize Google also blocks ads but it does so much more including forcing gmail to a secure connection. Very useful.
  • Torbutton - Tor, in my experience, really slows down browsing but sometimes you need to ensure privacy. Torbutton will toggle on/off use of Tor for times when you need to prevent IP address leakage, cookie leakage, and general privacy attacks, etc.
Some of the other add-ons that I find entertaining include:
  • FireNES - Remember all of those great old Nintendo games from a decade or so ago? FireNES gives you access to thousands of old games that you can play directly in the browser. All for free.
  • StumbleUpon - So you've been to all your regular sites and you've got a little time to kill. StumbleUpon will take you to random web sites on topics that interest you.
  • PicLens - An innovative way of looking at images on the web (cover flow in 2-D). PicLens works great with FLICKR. It would be nice to see them develop compatibility with Blogger. That might move this from my gee wiz section to the must-have group.

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