The new Firefox

The new Mozilla Firefox received 4 1/2 stars from PC Magazine.

Mozilla Firefox, Michael Muchmore, PC Magazine (Nov 4)

BOTTOM LINE: With plenty of new features, including tracking protection in Private Browsing mode, integrated video calling, and even an app store, Firefox reigns as our favorite Web browser.

Some of the features to look for:

  • Offers tracking protection in private browsing – maybe we should be using that
  • Has built-in video chatting
  • Has reading mode – that means it makes those hideously cultered pages readable! “When you land on an article page, a book icon appears at the right of the address box; turning on reading mode is a simple matter of clicking on this.”
  • Supports tab groups
  • And so much more

And it was found to be as efficient as Chrome.

Firefox private browsing

Firefox has added new privacy protection, anti-tracking tools.

Firefox keeps your browsing truly private with new Tracking Protection feature, PCWorld (Nov 3)

The new feature is an enhancement to Firefox’s Private Browsing mode, which deleted users’ browsing history and cookies after they closed a private window. Tracking Protection adds an extra layer of privacy to that by blocking code embedded in websites that tracks the way people behave around the Web. That means it will block a lot of ads, along with analytics tools and some social sharing buttons in order to help users keep their browsing habits more closely under wraps.

Best browser today

Browsers are not all the same. This PCWorld article puts current browsers (Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Chrome, Firefox, Opera) through tests for speed, resource usage, and function.

The best web browser of 2015: Firefox, Chrome, Edge, IE, and Opera compared, Mark Hachman (Aug 21)

A key difference is in consumption of memory and CPU. Both usage figures go up as more tabs are added. Chrome is noted for “sucking up” memory. Having Flash enabled can worsen usage, especially in Firefox. Opera was the most efficient. All browsers pass the benchmark tests. The To note – Flash will slow down a browser. Hope more sites convert to HTML5. All provide ample function for viewing web pages, but Firefox has the lead in number of plugins available.

Of interest: “Firefox includes a Firefox-to-Firefox videoconferencing service called Firefox Hello that works right in your browser, and you can save webpages to a Pocket service for later reading. And this is where Edge shines—its digital assistant, Cortana, is built right in, and there are Reading View options and a service to mark up webpages, called Web Notes. Cortana does an excellent job supplying context, and it’s certainly one of the reasons to give Edge a try.”

Check article to learn which browser was considered best.

Managing search history

Do you want to keep your search history or not?

If you want to remove all or part of the search history Google kept follow instructions at How To Delete Google’s Search History (from Ubergizmo)

To track what you visit you could use the new app Fetching ( . Use the tool to search and tag your saved pages.

Fetching is fully automatic via a browser plug-in that runs in the background. Just like your browser history — only better. You don’t need to do anything to keep track of everything. Safari, Chrome and Firefox are all supported.

Xmarks Bookmark Addon

Nice description and endorsement in The Scout Report (Vol 21 No 15) of Xmarks for managing and syncing your bookmarks.

Often considered the number one bookmarks add-on on the market, Xmarks is built to be compatible with Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer. The program can be downloaded in seconds. From there readers may begin backing up and synchronizing bookmarks in an intuitive and friendly template. In addition, Xmarks will sync bookmarks across computers, and, if desired, across different web browsers. While Xmarks is free for personal computer use, a premium version ($1 per month) is necessary for readers who want to sync with their iPhones, Blackberries, and Androids. Xmarks is the most popular bookmark sync add-on for a reason: it’s easy to use and convenient. [CNH]

Privacy Check Tool

Here’s a quick check to do before clicking on “I agree”  to those long, dense user agreements. This tool converts the legalize  to understandable English.

PrivacyCheck Offers Free Tool to Analyze Privacy Policies, University of Texas (May 5)

The Center for Identity, a research organization at The University of Texas at Austin, today released PrivacyCheck, a free browser extension that scans privacy policies online and illustrates the risk of sharing personal data with any given company. Currently available for Chrome users, PrivacyCheck gives users a simple, fast way to make informed decisions about privacy.

Internet Explorer Browser News

No – it’s not April Fool’s. Microsoft has announced it will phase out its Internet Explorer browser. It’s desktop market share had fallen to 53%, and perhaps Microsoft saw this as writing on the wall. According to the Motley Fool, it will continue work on a new browser, code named Project Spartan to be used with Windows 10.

R.I.P. Internet Explorer: Microsoft Corporation Kills Off One of Its Signature Products, Eric Volkman, The Motley Fool (Apr 6)

Meantime, Microsoft is also removing from its browser the automatic “do not track” that prevented browsing data from going to advertisers: Users will have to find the option and turn it on themselves.

Microsoft Removes Do Not Track Default, Don’t Push The Button, & More… [Tech News Digest], Dave Barrack, Make Use Of (Mar 31)