Posts Tagged ‘Firefox’

Firefox Blocking Skype Toolbar Due to Crashes

imageIf you’re a Skype user and Firefox is your web browser, you might have suddenly noticed that the Skype toolbar is no longer working.  As it turns out, the Skype toolbar is responsible for 40,000 reported Firefox crashes last week.  Mozilla (who makes Firefox) says it has been an ongoing problem and they felt they finally had to block the add-on due to the problems it has been causing.   This is what Mozilla calls a “soft-block”, meaning you can manually re-enable the toolbar if you really want to use it.  Here’s the link to the full Compuworld article: http://bit.ly/TekChic0273

Have You Found Any Easter Eggs Lately?

imageWhy am I writing about Easter eggs approaching the holiday season?  Because Easter eggs aren’t just the cheerfully colored chicken eggs hidden during the spring, Easter eggs are also fun little secrets that programmers sometimes insert into their programs, DVD’s and web sites.  Here are a few examples of Easter eggs you can see for yourself…

Google Maps: Go go Google Maps and click on “Get Directions”.  In “A” enter “Japan”, in “B” enter “China”.  Down below you’ll see step by step directions – scroll down and read step 43.

Windows XP: Open up Notepad.  Type “Bush hid the facts”.  Save the file with any name and close it.  Now re-open it and you’ll see it didn’t like what you typed.

Firefox: Open a blank page in Firefix.  In the address bar (where you would normally see http://www……) type just this: “about:robots” (without the quotes.)

DVD’s: There are lots of web sites that show how how to find hidden Easter eggs in DVD’s, try going to http://www.dvdeastereggs.com/, http://www.hiddendvdeastereggs.com/ and http://www.moviemistakes.com/eastereggs.  See if one of your DVD’s has an Easter egg in it.

Using No-Script with Mozilla Firefox

For a detailed explanation on WHY you should be using No-script with Firefox, click here to read my November, 2010 article on how to avoid viruses and malware.

If you don’t have the latest version of Firefox, go to Mozilla.com and download it from there.  If you haven’t used Firefox before, during installation it will let you import your Favorites (called Bookmarks) and give you the option of keeping your same home page or using Firefox’s Google home page.

imageOnce Firefox is installed, click on “Tools” in the top menu and select “Add-ons”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next click on “Get Add-ons”, type “noscript” into the box and hit enter.  You’ll see NoScript with the scary looking graphic, now click on “Add to Firefox” in the lower right corner of the box.

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Next you’ll see a box with “Install” counting down.  Click on it when it says “Install Now”

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After a few seconds it will finish and you’ll be prompted to restart Firefox.  Click on “Restart Firefox”

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After Firefox restarts, you’ll probably notice at the bottom of your browser window the “S” in the red circle with the line through it in the lower right corner and the yellow bar with the “Options” button.

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To finish your setup, click on “Option” and select the “Appearance” tab.  UNCHECK the box next to “Allow Scripts Globally (dangerous)”

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Next click on the “Notifications” tab and UNCHECK the box next to “Display the release notes on updates”.  Click on OK.

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Your setup is done!  Now, it’s not uncommon for a site to run several scripts, or even have a script call another script into play.  If you’re at a page you trust, then click on “Options” in the yellow bar at the bottom.  Start by just approving the sites main page.  If everything works fine on the page, don’t worry about the rest.  If buttons or features aren’t working on the page, go ahead and approve the other scripts until the page is working fully (remember – once you’ve done this, you won’t have to do it again for this site so it’s gets less obtrusive over time.)

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There you go – you’ve just put a HUGE roadblock between you and the bad guys.

XMarks Sync (formerly FoxMarks) to be Discontinued

My favorite bookmark (or “Favorites”) synchronizer, XMarks will be discontinued on January 10, 2011.  They had a great idea and it worked wonderfully, and what was best is that it didn’t matter what browser you used, it would synchronize al your bookmarks across different computers, different operating systems and different browsers.  It was SUCH a good idea that ALL the browser makers now have this feature built into their browsers (though it doesn’t work ACROSS different browsers), and as a result XMarks is shutting down in January.  If you use XMarks, you can continue using it.  They have a page dedicated to providing information about the shutdown, other browser alternative and privacy concerning your information at http://www.xmarks.com/about/shutdown.  If you wish you can immediately go there to permanently delete your user account and data (I’m marking my calendar and waiting until January.)

For you XMarks users, I’ll post a reminder in January before the deadline.  It’s a shame to see such a great product go, but alas, such is the way of the web.

UNSUBSCRIBE From Annoying Ads

Here’s a service you’ll definitely want to use.  It’s Unsubscribe.com.  What it does is make it EXTREMEMLY easy to unsubscribe from the mailing lists that you are on but don’t want to be.  Maybe you bought some clothes online one time, and now you find you’re getting 10 emails a week from various clothing sites – unsubscribe.com is the answer.  If you use Microsoft Outlook or Gmail (with Firefox) you get a simple button that you press and bingo, they take care of everything for you.

They have a free version that lets you unsubscribe from 5 mailings a month, or for $19/year you get unlimited unsubscribing.  Don’t expect to get off the list of the blatant spammers (you know, the Viagra, Canadian Pharmacy, etc.) but the stuff you perhaps “accidentally” subscribed to just got your name added because of an order, this is great.

In Outlook it installs in the icon bar:

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If you Firefox to access Gmail, it installs with the other buttons above your inbox:

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If you’d like to give it a try, go to unsubscribe.com, or just click on this link:  http://bit.ly/TekChic0181

Malware That Demands a Ransom

This isn’t really a new concept in the world of malware (malware is just a generic term for viruses, spyware, adware…. basically anything a bad guy tries to put on your computer), but it seems they’re getting more aggressive about separating you from your money.  The malware in this article specifically breaks everything on your computer except your browser, telling you that you can buy their software to fix your computer, which of course it doesn’t.  Read about it here: http://bit.ly/TekChic0167.  Remember – DON’T click links or attachments in email unless you’re expecting the message, and use Firefox as your browser with the NoScript plug-in.

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Make Your Browser Screen Bigger

An easy way to make the text larger in your web browser is to press the Ctrl key and the + key. To make is smaller use Ctrl and the – key. If you have a wide-screen monitor you probably have a lot of extra room to make your viewing easier. Try it right now!  Ctrl + and Ctrl –.  It’s a beautiful thing!

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