Monday, February 28, 2005

Taking the web back...

I have been using Firefox for a few months and I highly recommend it. In addition to its neat and simple interface and the vindictive, spitting-in-the-face-of-the-giants feeling everytime it opens with that "unrecognizable to windows" icon in the corner, it has also changed the way that I use the internet.

First, the tabbed browsing feature is beyond nifty (if you've been using netscape you already know that) BUT it is also highly customizable. I've built a .torrent file search engine (which I believe was actually written by Smash aka Ben Guild) right into the search bar at the top. That's kind of neat. The best though, is the Adblock plugin.

I read the NYtimes online sometimes, but often open the news stories in print format because the ads right in the middle of the story text are so distracting. Additionally, I live in Leverett, which, as a town, voted against getting a cable infrastructure. So, excluding my housemates, I am one of I think five people in the world who have satellite internet. Satellite internet is great as long as it is not cloudy, raining or snowing (at least on the south-facing side of the house) and no one else in your room, your home, or the hemisphere happens to be using the internet at the same time as you.

If all of those conditions are not met, then its almost maddeningly slow, even, beyond sluggish. It is sloth.

So, I don't want to spend an extra 20 minutes waiting for content which I don't even want to see to load - namely, ads. This would be true on a fast computer as well. Because ads are just plain annoying.

Enter the magical Adblock. It erases advertisements right off of webpages. Sometimes it leaves a blank gap, but often the space is just filled in with page content as if the ad never existed! What a neat trick!

There's a neat tutorial on how to use Adblock here.
I first heard about this on the great news site, Digg.



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