Saturday, December 31, 2011

Preferences Cleaner

Preferences Cleaner allows you to automatically track installation or uninstallation of Firefox extensions. When uninstalling an extension, you can automatically remove all its preferences. Alternatively, you may opt to remove them later manually.


rikaichan is a Japanese to English/German/French/Russian dictionary. Just hover the mouse pointer over a word, and a popup with both the reading and the meaning appears. The add-on automatically de-inflects verbs and adjectives and has a detailed kanji view. For Dictionaries see

Perapera Chinese Popup Dictionary

Perapera Chinese Popup Dictionary allows you to look up the pronounciation and meaning of any Chinese word that occurs on a webpage by just hovering the mouse pointer over it. Dictionaries for English (built-in), German, and French are available, it supports Pinyin and Zhuyin as well as simplified and traditional characters.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Copy Link URL

Copy Link URL copies the URLs of selected links to the clipboard.

Extended Statusbar

Extended Statusbar provides a Statusbar with speed, percentage, time and loaded size (similar to Opera's one)

Multi Links

Multi Links lets you open, copy or bookmark multiple links at the same time rather than having to do them all individually.


HashColouredTabs+ improves tab identification by providing a small colored icon for any site which doesn't have its own favicon.

Is It Compatible?

Is It Compatible? displays Firefox or Thunderbird compatibility versions for each addon in the addons window

Load Tabs Progressively

Load Tabs Progressively limits the number of concurrent loading tabs and/or unread loaded tabs. A good idea if you have many open tabs and/or tend to open many tabs at once.

Print Edit

Print Edit allows editing of the web page content while in Print Preview mode. Editing the web page prior to printing can compact the layout and remove unwanted content such as adverts, sidebars and blank pages. Any element can be formatted, hidden or deleted.

Secure Or Not

Secure Or Not allows you to identify which links on a page are secure and which are not, where “secure” means an encrypted connection, nothing more, nothing less.

Hide Find Bar

Hide Find Bar hides the Find Bar after a certain interval of inactivity has elapsed.

Hide Tabbar

Hide Tabbar allows you to hide/unhide the tabbar by just pressing a key.

Open Image In New Tab

Open Image In New Tab adds a context menu item for opening images in new tabs.


UnloadTab unloads inactive tabs in order to save resources. An unloaded tab is restored back to its original state when you need it again. Features include automatic and manual unloading of tabs, control over tab loading at Firefox start-up, and exclusion of tabs from unloading.

User Agent Switcher

User Agent Switcher adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of a browser. Especially helpful for those “intelligent” sites that do not display due to a User Agent string their creators were not aware of.

Downloads in Tab

Downloads in Tab opens the "Downloads" manager in a tab rather than in a window of its own.

Extension Options Menu

Extension Options Menu adds extension options dialogs to the Tools or Titlebar menu; it also includes toolbar icon. Very handy if you have lots of add-ons.

Link Alert

Link Alert displays an icon in the tooltip or next to the cursor indicating the target of a link.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Open in Browser

Open in Browser offers the possibility to display documents in browser window.

Tile Tabs

Tile Tabs displays tabs in tiles within Firefox. Tiles can be arranged horizontally, vertically or in a grid. Tiles can be re-sized by dragging splitter bars. Links can be dragged to open in other tiles. Allows synchronized scrolling. Works with tab groups.


OptimizeGoogle enhances Google search results and removes ads and spam.

Tab Mix Plus

Tab Mix Plus enhances Firefox's tab browsing capabilities. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. It also includes a full-featured session manager.


FireGestures is a customizable mouse gestures extension which enables to execute various commands and user scripts with five types of gestures.

LEOs Dictionaries

LEOs Dictionaries is the official add-on for easier access to LEOs Online Dictionaries. Simply select any word or phrase, right-click on the selection and translate from (to) English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Russian to (from) German

You may also like to take a look at Translation.

OPML Support

OPML Support adds OPML import/export functionality to the Firefox Bookmarks manager.

View as Text

View as Text is a simple context-menu plugin to facilitate opening an arbitrary resource as plain text (text/plain).


ColorfulTabs colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the interface.

Textarea Cache

Textarea Cache is an add-on that automatically saves the content of a textarea or WYSIWYG editor and allows you to recover the saved text, thereby avoiding data loss if the tab or the window is accidentally being closed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Seven Blunders

Mahatma Gandhi has identified seven sins of modern society:
  • wealth without work
  • politics without principles
  • pleasure without conscience
  • knowledge without character
  • commerce without morality
  • science without humanity
  • worship without sacrifice
If you ponder on them, you will soon notice that these seven sins are responsible for most of the issues the world is currently facing – especially the most pressing ones that are nevertheless left unaddressed.

lolifox - Fierr MOD

lolifox - Fierr MOD replaces the error page with a lolifox appearance with additional features.

Lolifox screenshot

Video DownloadHelper

Video DownloadHelper makes downloading videos, audio and pictures an easy task. It supports hundreds of sites.


Scriptish is user script engine on the Internet (a fork of Greasemonkey). One very nice use of it is displaying video ratings on Youtube (see Youtube: Show Ratings)

Space Next

Space Next allows you to press the "Space" key at the end of a page to load the next page; I removed nextpage in favor of this add-on.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP/SFTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP/SFTP servers.


Stylish is a user styles manger that allows you to restyle the web. Stylish lets you easily install themes and skins for Google, Facebook, YouTube, Orkut, and many, many other sites. You can even customize Firefox and other programs themselves.

To give you an example of how to use Stylish allow me to use Google Reader. I cannot stand bright white backgrounds, reading text on them hurts my eyes. For this reason I use Stylish to change the look of Google Reader.

More precisely I essentially use Google Reader – Custom Color and Google Reader – Change the interface (which belong together). “Essentially” because I modified the colors used

rgb(223, 234, 248)#bbb
rgb(234, 248, 248)#bbb
rgb(233, 0, 0)#009

Download Statusbar

Download Statusbar allows you to view and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar – without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing.

Vertical Toolbar

Vertical Toolbar adds a vertical toolbar at the (left or right) edge of the window which either is visible at any time or hides automatically when it is not needed.


Screenshoter is a pretty simple and cute screen capturing tool for websites.

GReader Panel

GReader Panel displays mobile Google Reader in a panel. Quite useful if you just want to take a quick look at the most recent news.

No restart required.


GoogleReaderPlus adds useful tools to your Google reader.

Google Documents Viewer

Google Documents Viewer allows you to open documents in Google Docs Viewer with a simple right click. View PDF, DOCX, XLSX and much more online with Google Docs Viewer. Supported Document Types are:
  • Microsoft Word (.DOC and .DOCX)
  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.PPT and .PPTX)
  • Adobe Portable Document Format (.PDF)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Tagged Image File Format (.TIFF)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • TrueType (.TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)
  • Archive file types (.ZIP and .RAR)
No restart required.


Flagfox displays a country flag depicting the location of the current website's server and provides a multitude of tools such as site safety checks, whois, translation, similar sites, validation, URL shortening, and more…


FireSSH is a free, cross-platform SSH terminal client for Mozilla Firefox. Written entirely in Javascript!


FireSoup allows posting to the tumblelogging platform. It behaves similar to the official bookmarklet and even opens up the same service page, but the actual opening of the post window (including the communication of necessary page information) happens by means of chrome instead of Javascript injected into the current page, the latter which does not work if you happen to have JavaScript blocked on the current page (e.g. by the means of NoScript or similar addons).

Easy App Tabs

Easy App Tabs allows you to double-click a tab to convert it to/from an App Tab.

No restart required.

Discreet Tab Badge

Discreet Tab Badge adds a discreet counter badge to your tabs - great for Gmail, Facebook or Twitter notifications. Derived from the original Tab Badge by Geoff Lankow.

No restart required.

CuteButtons - Crystal SVG

CuteButtons - Crystal SVG adds icons to buttons, menus, etc. It may sound like just adding some visual sugar but icons allow for a faster identification of menu entries than just using plain text.

Copy ShortURL

Copy ShortURL lets you instantly create a short URL for web pages that you visit, so you can easily share links. If possible it uses a short URL provided by the site itself rather than a short URL service (like shortening to

No restart required.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Padlock brings back the padlock icon which will be shown when connecting successfully to a site using the https protocol. I find this tool useful because while I can understand the reasoning behind it, I find the new color-encoded information not too helpful.

Popup ALT Attribute

Popup ALT Attribute is an add-on that displays alternate texts (i.e. the value of the ALT attribute) of images and other content in the same manner that a title (i.e. the value of the TITLE attribute) would be displayed. If both an ALT and a TITLE attribute are present only the latter is shown.

No restart required.

NetVideoHunter Video Downloader

NetVideoHunter Video Downloader is a very nice download helper tool that lets you easily collect and download videos and music from sites like Youtube, Facebook, Metacafe, Dailymotion, Break, VKontakte, DivShare and from many other sites…

Saturday, December 24, 2011


nextpage allows you to use the space bar to go to the next page. The add-on rebinds SPC key so that it scrolls down the page as long as you are not at the button but then follows a link to the next page (provided there is one). You can also press n key anytime which will get you to the next page without first having to scroll to the bottom of the current page.

I now use Space Next instead.

XHTML Mobile Profile

XHTML Mobile Profile adds support for the application/vnd.wap.xhtml+xml mime-type to Firefox, a possible mime-type for XHTML Mobile Profile that is not natively supported.

QuickFolders (Tabbed Folders)

QuickFolders (Tabbed Folders) allows you to cut through the clutter of the folders sidebar with your favorite folders as tabs. Open folders and sub folders, move mails without scrolling around or searching.


CompactHeader add a symbol to the header plane that allows you to switch between compact and expanded view.

Automatic dictionary

Automatic dictionary is an extension that remembers the language of the email when composing, something very useful if you write emails in different languages.

Cert Viewer Plus

Cert Viewer Plus is a Thunderbird add-on that extends the certificate viewer dialog with additional options: an X.509 certificate can be displayed in PEM format (opens in a new window) or saved to a file (PEM/DER/PKCS#7). On the "General" tab, Cert Viewer Plus will also show any e-mail addresses included in the certificate, and make the fingerprint values copyable. On the "Details" tab, the trust configuration (SSL/Mail/Code) is shown for each certificate, and can be edited in newer releases of Firefox/Thunderbird/Seamonkey. Furthermore, an entry for direct access to the certificate manager dialog is added to the Tools menu, together with a keyboard shortcut.

This add-on is also available for Firefox.

Certificate Patrol

Certificate Patrol is a Thunderbird add-on that reveals when certificates are updated, so you can ensure it was a legitimate change. Note that your browser trusts many certification authorities and intermediate sub-authorities quietly, every time you enter an HTTPS web site.

It is also available for Firefox.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Color Folders

Color Folders allows you to color your Folder Treeview Icons. You can for example use different colors to indicate folders of different importance or urgency.

Maximize Message Pane

Maximize Message Pane allows you to maximize the message pane by collapsing the thread pane. You can read a message in larger area without opening a new message window.

In addition to this functionality, the following functionalities are provided:
  • hide the folder pane,
  • change folder selection from the toolbar button or the context menus (it is useful when the folder pane is hidden),
  • hide the message pane by the toolbar button,
  • save visibility of the folder pane and the last selected message.
  • change message selection by the navigation bar when the message pane is maximized
Note that this add-on does not work properly if you use the Wide Thread View or Stacked View provided by MoreLayouts.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus

Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus is a Thunderbird add-on that simplifies the creation of element hiding rules. You simply select the element you want to be hidden and then choose which attributes of this element should be taken into account when hiding it in future. The element hiding rule is generated and added automatically.

This add-on is also available for Firefox.

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is an add-on for Thunderbird that blocks advertisements. It allows you to regain control of the Internet and view the web the way you want to. The add-on is supported by over forty filter subscriptions in dozens of languages which automatically configure it for purposes ranging from removing online advertising to blocking all known malware domains. Adblock Plus also allows you to customize your filters with the assistance of a variety of useful features, including a context option for images, a block tab for Flash and Java objects, and a list of blockable items to remove scripts and stylesheets.

This add-on also is available for Firefox.


CookieFast provides fast toolbar button access to cookie management in a very small package. If you use Thunderbrowse having cookie management is a must.

Polar Sea Ice Coverage

I added a page illustrating the current polar (i.e. Arctic and Antarctic) sea ice overage to my blog. It was originally located elsewhere. The information is provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The diagrams show the ice concentration in the polar regions, the regions covered by polar sea ice and how the area with an ice density of 15 percent or higher varies.


LightningButton provides toolbar buttons for Lightning, namely Calendar, Tasks, New Event, New Task, Convert to Event, Convert to Task, and Messages.

Tag Toolbar

Tag Toolbar adds a new toolbar and display the tags you have created as toggle buttons. You can attach/remove tags to/from the selected messages. The tag buttons' states are changed automatically, so you can easily know what tags are attached to the message. Moreover, you can filter the tags to be displayed by categorizing tags. You can create and change category from the listbox on Tag Bar.

Some UTF-8 Settings for Thunderbird

It is beyond me why Thunderbird still sticks to outdated ISO 8859-1 as default setting for displaying and sending news. Fortunately it is easy to fix this and use UTF-8 instead:

Preference NameDefaultNew

Google Contacts

Google Contacts is a Thunderbird add-on which allows you to access your Google contacts and synchronize them with Thunderbird address books. It detects gmail accounts which have already set up and creates address books for each of them.

Cards in the address books are synchronized with Google contacts; they represent the current Google contacts contents and Google contacts will be modified when you modify the cards. TB's mailing lists and Google's contacts groups are synchronized in the same manner.

Gather the senders !

Gather the senders ! allows you to select all the mails in a directory sent by the selected authors. This add-on has a number of applications, the most obvious one is discarding messages by a certain sender (spammer).

Shrunked Image Resizer

Shrunked Image Resizer is an add-on for both Thunderbird (available here) and Firefox (available here) that makes your photos smaller, so they don’t take forever to email or send to websites.


MoreLayouts adds additional Wide Thread and Stacked views to Thunderbird. Plus Fullscreen F11 and configurable Message Pane F8 toggle.

Search Results Sort By Date Not Relevance

Search Results Sort By Date Not Relevance changes the default sorting of search results from “relevance” to date.

Normally, when doing a standard CTRL-K (aka “faceted”) search, the results are sorted by  ”relevance”. If you are usually searching for the most recent message on a topic it is very annoying that you always have to change the sort order to “date” because neither does Thunderbird keep the setting nor is there an easy way to change the default. Enters Search Results Sort By Date Not Relevance. Translation Translation translates words and phrases via from within any web site.

You may also like to take a look at LEOs Dictionaries.

Hide Menubar

Hide Menubar can automatcally hide the Menu Bar, just press ALT or hover the mouse over the title bar to make it visible; also available for Firefox.


Xpunge empties the Trash folder and compacts folders in multiple Thunderbird accounts.


 ThunderBrowse adds browsing functions to Thunderbird, allowing you to be able to view websites without having to open another application. You can easily save time, space, and memory usage by opening up the website within Thunderbird. ThunderBrowse is easy to use and unobtrusive. In my opinion it is especially handy if someone sends you a link to a youtube video.

Clean Subject

Clean Subject cleans the subject from multiple occurrences of subject prefixes such as ("Re: Re-2: Re:") and postfixes that are inserted by other clients. Words like "[SPAM]" can be cleaned as well. These prefixes can be defined in the preferences.

CuteButtons - Crystal SVG

CuteButtons - Crystal SVG adds icons to buttons, menus, etc. It may sound like just adding some visual sugar but icons allow for a faster identification of menu entries than just using plain text.

Advanced Unread Folders

Advanced Unread Folders adds a folder view showing unread folders, including their hierarchy. This is helpful if you have a lot of folders to make sure you don't miss an email, or if you are not happy with the existing unread folders view.

Auto Compress File

Auto Compress File is a compressor for attachment files that supports Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Disable Ctrl-Q Shortcut

Disable Ctrl-Q Shortcut prevents you from closing the browser by accidentally using the ctrl-q shortcut.

It may sound like a solution to a non-problem but this actually happens to me on a regular basis – when I intend to press ctrl-w. I use touch typing and if you ask me, modern keyboards are not very touch typing friendly because they are quite strait.

Add-on Update Checker

Add-on Update Checker is an add-on for both Firefox and Thunderbird that adds a Tools menu item to check for add-on updates and provides a toolbar icon to do this as well.

The add-on is for those who do not want Firefox to update add-ons without their knowledge (and therefore turn off automatic add-on updates) but I still wanted to be notified of new versions.

Show Fixed-width Temporarily

Show Fixed-width Temporarily shows the current plain text message in fixed-width text.

This extension is useful if you normally view plain-text messages with a variable-width font (which is easier to read than a fixed-width font) but wish to view one in a fixed-width font temporarily. Such emails might be text arranged in columns, such as log files, where a variable-width font misaligns the text.

A button is added to the Toolbar (right-click on Toolbar and Customize…). Clicking on it shows the current plain text message in a fixed-width font. The effect only lasts for the current message and automatically reverts back to the default setting (as set in Options) for the next message. You don't have to click on the button again to revert back to the default state.

Provider for Google Calendar

Provider for Google Calendar allows Sunbird and Lightning to read and write events to a Google Calendar. You may also wish to take a look at my earlier Google Calendar with Thunderbird or Seamonkey post.


Lightning enables you to organize your schedule and life's important events in a calendar that's fully integrated with your Thunderbird email. Manage multiple calendars, create your daily to do list, invite friends to events, and subscribe to public calendars.


Enigmail adds OpenPGP message encryption and authentication to your email client. It features automatic encryption, decryption and integrated key management functionality. Enigmail requires GnuPG ( for the cryptographic functions (which is not part of the installation).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Manually sort folders

Manually sort folders allows you to manually sort (order) your folders in the folder pane of Thunderbird or automatically sort them, but in a better way. This extension also allows you to re-order accounts in the folder pane.


Nostalgy is a Thunderbird add-on that provides keyboard shortcuts to change folder, move/copy messages, with folder name auto-completion. I love this add-on because I so much more efficient using a keyboard than using a clumsy pointing device.

Change, please!

Do you recall Obama’s Change campaign? Here is a friendly reminder from two men who would like some of the promised change.

Change, please!

The original photo has no known copyright restrictions.

Element Properties

Element Properties returns the Properties menu item that was removed in Firefox 3.6 to the context menu.

Restartless Restart

Restartless Restart is a 12KB restartless add-on that adds a File→Restart menu item and a hotkey to restart FIrefox. I replaced Restart Firefox by this add-on.

No restart required (and no, the irony of this did not escape me).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Over 100 Posts

Yay! I just noted that the number of posts has already hit the 100 mark ☺

Movable Firefox Button

Movable Firefox Button allows you to move the Firefox Button to anywhere you want, and make it also available in Full Screen mode, or when the Menu Bar is showing. I use it for the simple purpose of moving the button away from my notoriously crowded tab bar.

URL Flipper

URL Flipper allows you to quickly and easily increment and decrement numbers and strings in URLs for navigating through URL sequences.

Tools > Options… for Linux

Tools > Options… for Linux makes the menus look a little more like those in Windows by adding Tools→Options… and (optionally) hiding Edit→Preferences. Possible reasons include making screenshots and screencasts targeted at Windows users (maybe in conjunction with a Windows-like theme), or just because you like the Windows convention better.

I use it because the removal of Edit→Preferences enables me to remove the Edit menu from the menu bar so that the only remaining entries are File, View and Tools.

Tab Counter

Tab Counter is a simple extension that counts the number of open tabs per window and displays the count in the toolbar. It keeps me from opening too many (as in more than two dozen or so).

Session Manager

Session Manager saves and restores the state of all windows - either when you want it or automatically at startup and after crashes. It can also automatically save the state of open windows individually.

Bookmark Highlighter

Bookmark Highlighter highlights links to any URLs that are bookmarked. Text links are highlighted with a blue background, and image links are highlighted with a dotted blue outline. This is a simple and effective way to see what's bookmarked among a sea of links.

No restart required.


SiteLauncher is an add-on for Firefox that gives you a super-quick way to to open your favorite websites using only your keyboard. One special hotkey brings up the 'Launcher', followed by a unique key to launch a site.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


FlashGot allows you to download all the links, movies and audio clips of a page at the maximum speed with a single click, using the most popular, lightweight and reliable external download managers.

This add-on is especially useful for videos that require more bandwidth to be watched as a stream than you actually have.

Google Shortcuts - All Google Services at a glance

Google Shortcuts - All Google Services at a glance allows you to display all Google services as buttons or as a space-saving dropdown menu next to your address bar. Reach services like Google+, Gmail, Google reader, Google maps, Google calendar, and many more in a single click from your browser.


CopyTitle adds a new entry to the Firefox context menu that allows you to copy the title and url of the current document, frame or iframe.


ToggleDocumentColors_ adds a toolbar button and keyboard shortcut to switch between the default page colors and user-defined colors. I use it because pages with a bright (e.g. white) background considerably stress my eyes.

Bookmark Autohider

Bookmark Autohider hides the bookmark toolbar until you move the mouse above it.

Hide Menubar

Hide Menubar automatically hides the menu bar, you can press ALT or F10 to show it temporarily. You can also configure it to display the menu bar if mouse pointer hovers over the window's title bar, also available for Thunderbird.

Text Link

Text Link allows you to open plain text URIs by double-clicking them.


CheckPlaces checks whether your bookmarks are valid and the pages still exist, checks for duplicates and for empty folders and can restore missing favicons. It also checks and compacts (vacuums) your Places database.

Find To Center

Find To Center displays a found search string near the center of the screen (unless it occurs near the top or bottom of the page that is). This removes the annoyance of search strings that (while occurring somewhere in the middle of the page) are displayed at the top or bottom the page – which means that you have to scroll up or down to be able to see the full context.

Restart Firefox

Restart Firefox is a Firefox add-on that adds a “Restart” item to the “File” menu as well as a toolbar button for easy restarting.

Update (2012-12-20): Use Restartless Restart instead.

CS Lite Mod

CS Lite allows you to set the permission of the cookie every domain from toolbar.

Cert Viewer Plus

Cert Viewer Plus extends the certificate viewer dialog with additional options: an X.509 certificate can be displayed in PEM format (opens in a new window) or saved to a file (PEM/DER/PKCS#7). On the "General" tab, Cert Viewer Plus will also show any e-mail addresses included in the certificate, and make the fingerprint values copyable. On the "Details" tab, the trust configuration (SSL/Mail/Code) is shown for each certificate, and can be edited in newer releases of Firefox/Thunderbird/Seamonkey. Furthermore, an entry for direct access to the certificate manager dialog is added to the Tools menu, together with a keyboard shortcut.

This add-on is also available for Thunderbird.

Certificate Patrol

Certificate Patrol is a Firefox add-on that reveals when certificates are updated, so you can ensure it was a legitimate change. Note that your browser trusts many certification authorities and intermediate sub-authorities quietly, every time you enter an HTTPS web site.

This add-on is also available for Thunderbird.


ProxTube unblocks youtube videos. It is useful because in some countries like Germany YouTube videos are blocked for rather questionable reasons. Please do not abuse it for accessing videos of which you know that they are violating your local penal code.

Two questionable reasons for why videos are blocked in Germany:
  1. The copyright holder possibly (in contrast to actually) does not allow the content to be  online.
  2. The video contains symbols of unconstitutional organizations.
The latter is very annoying. In general, German laws outlaw the use of symbols of unconstitutional organization but not if they serve to further civil enlightenment, to avert unconstitutional aims, to promote art or science, research or teaching, reporting about current historical events or similar purposes.

However, I repeatedly had to circumvent youtube's blocking to watch videos that use original footage from the NS era to illustrate the terrible crimes committed by Nazi Germany. They were blocked due to the ubiquitous swastikas, not due to their message that simply put was: We must never let this happen again.


AutoPager automatically loads following pages when you reach the end of a page. It supports a large number of sites including Google and Yahoo. It works well with most other add-ons including adblock plus and most greasemonkey scripts.

Fasterfox Lite

Fasterfox Lite allows you to easily tweak many network and rendering settings such as simultaneous connections, pipelining, cache and initial paint delay. Unique to this Lite version are included options for SSL Pipelining, timer-based content reflows, UI Responsiveness, Link Prefetching, IPv6 DNS lookups, and by default the Page Load Timer is disabled. If you want to manually change the "about:config" settings, then the Fasterfox Lite preset must first be saved to the "Custom" setting. This is to prevent the configurations from being different from a selected preset's settings.

The Lite in the add-on's name is a reference to the removal of the obtrusive Enhanced Prefetching ability in Fasterfox. Enhanced Prefetching was removed for this Lite version because it wastes a lot of server bandwidth and causes unnecessary server load.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon

Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon extends the blocking functionality of Adblock Plus to those annoying pop-up windows that are being opened on mouse clicks or other user actions.


BetterPrivacy is a Firefox add-on that is able to delete a special kind of cookies: Local Shared Objects in short LSO's (usually known as Flash-cookies) are placed on your computer by a Flash plug-in. LSOs are harmfull because
  • they never expire
  • they by default offer a storage of 100 KB (ordinary cookies: 4 KB)
  • browsers are not fully aware of LSOs, LSO's often cannot be displayed or managed by browsers
  • via Flash they can access and store highly specific personal and technical information (system, user name,…)
  • of the ability to send the stored information to the appropriate server, without user's permission
  • Flash applications do not need to be visible to the user
  • there is no easy way to tell which LSO sites are tracking you
  • shared folders allow cross-browser tracking, all browsers use the same LSO folder
  • the company doesn't provide a user-friendly way to manage LSO's, in fact it's incredible cumbersome
  • many domains and tracking companies make extensive use of LSOs
  • LSOs are used to re-create data of deleted traditional cookies


ChatZilla is a Firefox add-on that provides all the usual IRC client features: multiple servers, a built-in list of standard networks, easy searching and sorting of available channels, logging, and DCC chat and file transfers, plus easy customization with JavaScript plug-ins and CSS styling.

A Flood of Add-Ons?

You may have noticed that I have been writing quite a number of posts featuring Firefox add-ons. The reason is two-fold:

Firstly I have changed my primary browser from Seamonkey to Firefox because Seamonkey no longer properly works with youtube videos since they have made their switch from flv to webm. Nothing a youtube addict like me can live with.I decided that it makes sense to write posts about useful add-ons while I install them as this blog has recently been quite inactive.

Secondly I want to collect a list of useful add-ons in case that I need it gain. I therefore not only write posts about the individual add-ons but also collect their text on a page as static part of this blog.


RequestPolicy improves the privacy and security of your browsing by giving you control over when cross-site requests are allowed. Cross-site request means that a website makes your browser access a completely different site.

Though usually legitimate requests, they often result in advertising companies and other websites knowing your browsing habits, including specific pages you view throughout the day. Among the attacks that cross-site requests are used in, they are particularly dangerous with Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks where your browser is told to make a request to another website and that other website thinks you (the person) meant to make the request.

With RequestPolicy, the default for any cross-site request is to deny it. Users are notified when requests on the current page have been blocked (the status bar flag icon at the bottom right of your browser turns red). Clicking on this status bar flag icon gives you a menu where you can view and modify which requests are blocked and allowed. You can whitelist requests you approve of by origin site, destination site, or specific origin-to-destination.

Redirect Cleaner

Redirect Cleaner removes redirects from links. The following table illustrates how it works:

Original Cleaned**


NoScript allows active content to run only from sites you trust, and protects you against XSS and Clickjacking attacks.


NoRedirect lets you take control of HTTP redirects. It can be used to interdict an ISP's DNS search redirection hijacks, preview/screen "shortened" URLs (e.g., TinyURL), stop the annoying redirection of "smart" error pages, etc.


Ghostery protects your privacy, shows you who's tracking your web browsing and blocks them.
  • Detect. Ghostery sees the "invisible" web, detecting trackers, web bugs, pixels, and beacons placed on web pages by Facebook, Google Analytics, and over 600 other ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers - all companies interested in your activity.
  • Learn. After showing you who operates behind the scenes, Ghostery also gives you the opportunity to learn more about each company it identifies, including links to their privacy policy and opt-out options.
  • Control. Ghostery allows you to block scripts from companies that you don't trust, delete local shared objects, and even block images and iframes.
  • Collaborate. Ghostery also includes the optional, opt-in feature called GhostRank, which sends Ghostery servers anonymous information about the trackers you encounter and where you encounter them.
  • Protect your privacy. Ghostery is built and maintained for users that care about their online privacy, and is engineered with privacy as a primary goal. Ghostery use is anonymous. No registrations or sign-ups are required. The Ghostery plug-in does not place cookies into your browser. Neither the Ghostery application nor Evidon receives any data from Ghostery users unless the user opts-in to participate in GhostRank. GhostRank data itself is anonymous, is never used for advertising targeting purposes, and is only shared in aggregated, non-personal, statistical form.

Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus

Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus is a Firefox add-on that simplifies the creation of element hiding rules. You simply select the element you want to be hidden and then choose which attributes of this element should be taken into account when hiding it in future. The element hiding rule is generated and added automatically.

This add-on is also available for Thunderbird.

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is an add-on for Mozilla Firefox that blocks advertisements. It allows you to regain control of the Internet and view the web the way you want to. The add-on is supported by over forty filter subscriptions in dozens of languages which automatically configure it for purposes ranging from removing online advertising to blocking all known malware domains. Adblock Plus also allows you to customize your filters with the assistance of a variety of useful features, including a context option for images, a block tab for Flash and Java objects, and a list of blockable items to remove scripts and stylesheets.

This add-on is also available for Thunderbird.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shrinking PNG images using pngcrush

pngcrush is a free, open source command-line utility for optimizing PNG image files. It reduces the size of the file losslessly – that is, the resulting "crushed" image will have the same quality as the source image… more on Wikipedia

Allow me to show you what pngcrush can and cannot do by illustrating it using Wikipe-tan, the moe anthropomorphism of Wikipedia (click on the images to see them at full size).

Here is the original Wikipe-tan image (well, actually a PNG rendering of the original SVG vector graphics):

Original Wikipe-tan
152,005 bytes

Applied to this particular image, pngcrush can generate a file that is 20 percent smaller – without any loss of image information.

Wikipe-tan after pngcrush
121,412 bytes

While pngcrush reduces the image size considerably, it cannot free you from optimizing the image, for example by deciding whether reducing the amount of data in a lossy manner is acceptable.

Wikipe-tan, 256 colors
42,658 bytes

For the last image it made no difference whether I use pngcrush or not, GIMP already created the optimally compressed version that is 72% smaller than the original. Whether the loss in quality is acceptable for this image or not depends on the background; on an unstructured background it may not be the best choice but if the background has some structure it works quite well. As always: It pays to know what you are doing ☺

As far as running pngcrush there is not much to say. Here is a normal run of the program:


And here is a run with the -brute option that tries each and any possible way of compressing.

pngcrush -brute

Note that while it sometimes yields better results, using -brute usually is just waste of time.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Google Calendar with Thunderbird or Seamonkey

Regardless whether you are using Thunderbird or SeaMonkey, chances are you want to integrate a Google calendar.

Mozilla Thunderbird 5.0 on GNU/Linux
screen shot from Wikipedia

SeaMonkey 2.5 on GNU/Linux
own screen shot, mail client window

The integration is quite simple. The first step is obtaining and installing Lightning, available for both Thunderbird (from this location, shown left) and SeaMonkey (from this location, shown right).

Obtaining lightning

For how to install Add-Ons in Thunderbird see this page; adding them to SeaMonkey is easier, here you just click on them.

While plain Lightning already is a nice calendar it ships with no support for Google Calendar. For this you also need Provider for Google Calendar, again available for both Thunderbird (from this location, shown left) and SeaMonkey (from this location, shown right).

Obtaining provider for Google Calendar
For an explanation on how to configure Lightning to access your Google Calendar, allow me to point you to make use of's “How To: Integrate Google Calendar Into Thunderbird”. Note that while the article explicitly mentions Thunderbird it also applies to SeaMonkey.

Some like it hot

The current prediction for climate change by 2100 is that we are heading for an increase in temperature of 6 Kelvin (6 degrees Celsius or 11 degrees Fahrenheit). And here are some short National Geographics videos outlining an increase in temperature of 1 through 6 Kelvin

Could Just One Degree Change the World?

2 Degrees Warmer: Ocean Life in Danger

3 Degrees Warmer: Heat Wave Fatalities

4 Degrees Warmer: Great Cities Wash Away

5 Degrees Warmer: Civilization Collapses

6 Degrees Warmer: Mass Extinction?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hit the Road Jack

A 50 year old song that still sounds great: pARTyzanT plays Hit the Road Jack, a song written by Percy Mayfield and recorded by Ray Charles that 50 years ago was a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

Hit the road Jack!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Totoro main theme on acoustic guitar

lonlonjp playing the “My Neighbor Totoro” theme on an acoustic guitar. For more from this musicians visit his youtube channel.

“M” My Neighbor Totoro Main Theme となりのトトロ 主題歌

The History of English in 10 Minutes

The video contains ten short chapters, namely:
  1. Anglo-Saxon or whatever happened to the Jutes?
  2. The Norman conquest or excuse my English
  3. Shakespeare or a plaque on both his houses
  4. The King James Bible or let there be light reading 
  5. The English of science or how to speak with gravity 
  6. English & Empire or the sun never sets on the English language
  7. The age of the dictionary or the definition of a hopeless task
  8. American English or not English but somewhere in the ballpark
  9. Internet English or language reverts to type
  10. Global English or whose language is it anyway?
Add caption

The deadly touch of the ice stalactite

An ice stalactite or brinicle (brine icicle) is the undersea equivalent of a stalactite or icicle. They form beneath sea ice when a flow of extremely cold, saline water is introduced to an area of ocean water.

BBC Nature: ‘Brinicle’ ice finger of death filmed in Antarctic

The video is the first ever recording of the formation of an ice stalactite and not only shows its beauty but also its deadly power. More at the BBC’s site.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Spanish Vocaloids

After presenting to you some demo songs for the Korean vocaloid SeeU I would now like to introduce you to two Spanish voices, namely Bruno and Clara.

Bruno - Amor, amor, amor [VOCALOID3]

Clara - Tres Cosas (Salud, Dinero y Amor) [VOCALOID3]

Bruno - El Makoki [VOCALOID3]

Bruno & Clara - Juntos Tú y Yo [VOCALOID3]

Clara - Por Una Rosa [VOCALOID3]

Bruno - El manisero [VOCALOID3]

Bruno & Clara - El Trenecito [VOCALOID3]

Korean Vocaloid SeeU

The Vocaloid singing synthesizier has been around for almost 8 years now but until now there only have been voices for English and Japanese. Now you can also obtain voices for Korean and Spanish. Support for Chinese has been announced as well but to my knowledge is not yet available. In this post you find a couple of official demo videos.

Note that there are two versions of the fourth demo song that differ in the absence or presence of the breathing effect which makes the singing sound more natural.

If I am honest I must admit that I better like the version without it breathing effect. If you have a software that can sing without the need to breathe interfering with the performance, what is the point in crippling it down to sound more human when in previous centuries boys have been castrated to come closer to this ideal? If you want to know how a castrato sounds just scroll to the bottom of this post.

[Korean Vocaloid] SV01 SeeU 1st Demo-song M/V

[Korean Vocaloid] SV01 SeeU 2nd Demo-song M/V

[Korean Vocaloid] SV01 SeeU 3rd Demo-song M/V

[Korean Vocaloid] SV01 SeeU 4th Demo-song M/V
(without breathing effect)

[Korean Vocaloid] SV01 SeeU 4th+ Demo-song M/V
(with breathing effect)

[Korean Vocaloid] SV01 SeeU 5th Demo-song M/V

In case that you are curious, here is one of the very few audio recordings of a castrato performance:

Alessandro Moreschi singing “Ave Maria” (1904 recording)

I’ll Occupy song

As “I will survive” and “I’ll occupy” sound quite similar it should not come as a surprise that someone wrote “occupy” lyrics for this widely known song.

“I’ll Occupy” Song:
The 99 is Pissed and We Will Not Be Dismissed!

If you want to sing the song, here are the lyrics:

I’ll Occupy

I first was pepper sprayed
Just standing on the side
But it took me being blinded
to open up up my eyes
Cause I’d read the daily news,
and not responded actively
and I realized then and there
this revolution needed me

So here I am,
camped in a tent
Which is really so convenient
cause I can’t afford my rent
But they came with shields and mace
In the night while it was dark
A NYPD army
Sent to clear Zuccotti Park

We’ll protest on, with catchy phases
We’re going global
From London to Uc Davis
If you think that your batons are going to get us to go home
GO on and hit me, I’ll just upload it from my phone.

Until I die,
I’ll occupy
As long I know how to sit
And hold this heavy sign
cause the 99 is pissed
and we will not BE dismissed
|: I’ll occupy :|
hell yeah

Call us “hippies” call us “homeless,”
yeah we’re fed it.
And we “don’t know what we want,”
to our discredit.
But if you’re reading all the news, funded by the corporations
Its no mystery
How you’ve missed our declaration

We’re armed too
Yeah, we’ve got twitter
We’re a techno savvy nation
And we’re bitter
There’s no Marie Antoinette
We’re dragging to the Guillotine
Got non-violence, you bet!
Cause we aim to keep this clean

We will not go! Bring on the snow!
Got your faceless cooperate body
One peaceful badass foe
We’re awake, we saw Wall-e, and you know we’re organized
Did you think we’d crumble?
Did you think we’d lay down and not try?

Until I die,
I’ll occupy
As long I know how to sit
And hold this heavy sign
cause the 99 is pissed
and we will not be dismissed
|: I’ll occupy :|
|: HELL yeah :|

We’re off our Meds, we’re watching Ted
And we’re into Zombie culture,
But we’re not the walking dead
If you want to fight for justice join the masses, we are strong
And it wouldn’t hurt to take a
minute to repost this song!

Until we die,
We’ll occupy
As long we know how to sit
And hold these heavy sign
cause the 99 is pissed
and we will not be dismissed
|: We’ll occupy :|
HELL yeah

And just in case you really do not know the original “I will survive” song by Gloria Gaynor (which I’d call an abyss in education) here it is:

“I’ll Occupy” Song:
Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive (Live 1979)