Firefox vs Chrome

This review for the upcoming new version of Firefox will make Chrome users take another look. Myself – I have my feet firmly planted in both camps.

Now is the time to switch back to Firefox, Jack Shofield, ZDNet (Apr 22)

Mark the passage about “Chrome’s heavy consumption of memory and other resources”. It leaves those tabs open forever.

Also – absolutely true — “Firefox is also better at using multiple search engines. You can still search from the address bar (Awesome Bar), as with Chrome, but Firefox also has a separate search box. This makes it easier to use different search providers, by picking them from the dropdown list. You can also add website-specific search engines. Amazon, eBay, Twitter and Wikipedia are defaults, but you can add many more: there are thousands. However, the default Google makes the search box a handy calculator.”

Browser protection

Here are 6 extensions to use with Firefox for hiding your identity and protecting you from bad things – and 5 of them work for Chrome also.

Use These 6 Extensions To Improve Privacy & Security On Firefox, Mihir Patkar, Make Use Of (April 2)

Adblock Plus is on the list because it will also block “worms, trojans and other types of malware.” Just a matter of subscribing to Malware Domains.

Disconnect Search is mentioned – search Google but without being tracked or recorded.

Chrome custom search

Use the Chrome address bar for running specialized searches by setting up own custom search engines. This goes beyond adding a favourite site to search such as IMdb. This article shows how to set up very specific tools such as Google Translate, Yahoo Finance, Facebook search, whois, and many more.

How To Create Custom Search Engines In Google Chrome To Boost Productivity by Mahesh Mohan, Minterest (Nov 7, 2013)

Going Incognito

For online privacy, you might try Disconnect for search; or Silo, which is a browser.

How to hide your online searches: We browse incognito with Disconnect and Silo, Mark Hachman, PCWorld (Mar 26)

Disconnect is also described in New app lets you search through Google without being tracked, Ben Zigterman (Mar 25)

Use Disconnect to search Google, Bing, Yahoo through the Disconnect proxy, thereby hiding your identity.

For more on the Silo “cloud browser”, see New Silo Web Browser Vanishes After Each Session by Lauren Goode, re/code (Mar 24)

The idea behind Silo is that it offers a cloud-based, secure browsing session that is running on Authentic8’s servers. It creates shortcuts to dozens of commerce, banking and health websites, and is supposed to make the login process easier and more secure.

Chrome’s incognito search

There are some features in the Chrome browser you’ll want to know about.

Google Chrome’s top 10 hidden features by Daniel Johnson, The Telegraph

“From the iPad interface to quick calculations, Daniel Johnson brings you 10 of Google Chrome’s best hidden features.”

Especially note incognito mode:

if you are concerned about privacy and the amount of information collected by Google when you are browsing, incognito mode stops Chrome from storing information about the websites you have visited. It still has your bookmarks but the sites you visit will not be stored in your browser history.

Use CTRL-Shift-N to open an incognito window.

Firefox adding ads to new tab

Someday soon when you click on new tab in Firefox you’ll see – ads – they are to be called directory tiles – and they are targeted at new users or new Firefox installs. They will gradually morph into items of more interest to you (guess how they know that!). Well – all that empty real estate – wonder that no one did this sooner.

Mozilla to sell New Tab page ads in Firefox, Seth Rosenblatt, CNet (Feb 11)

“Paid advertisements are on their way to Mozilla Firefox’s New Tab page in an attempt to show more sites to first-time browser users.”

Called Directory Tiles, the initiative will use a combination of sponsored sites, popular sites based on geographic location, and Mozilla ecosystem items to fill in blank New Tab pages. Currently, the nine empty boxes on a new New Tab page fill in over time with sites culled from the user’s browsing history, frequently visited sites, and bookmarks.

Firefox’s Australis Makeover

Brace yourself, Firefox users – Mozilla is rolling out an entirely new look and set of features for the Firefox browser it has code named Australis. The good news is that Firefox will go mobile.

Firefox’s new interface is almost here by Seth Rosenblatt,l CNet (Feb 7)

No orange ball in the corner:

In its place, Mozilla has created a more graphics-friendly interface that looks similar across all platforms. The main menu on Windows, Mac, and Linux is hidden behind an Android-style “three horizontal lines” icon, with Settings options given big, touch-friendly, and easily identifiable icons. The curve angles on desktop Firefox tabs look similar, if not identical, to the curve on Firefox for Android, further reinforcing the unified look.

Nice little video to introduce the new interface. Think I’ll have to give up the menu bar.

Google Now in Chrome – soon

Soon we’ll be able to get Google Now notifications in the Chrome browser.

Richer Google Now notification system arriving in Chrome by Stephen Shankland, CNet (Jan 31)

The function gets a computer’s location, makes a request to a Google server based on that location, then shows the resulting notification “cards.” That will give Chrome and Chrome OS Android’s capability to show personalized alerts about weather, upcoming appointments and travel, nearby restaurants, and whatever else Google adds to its Now technology