So I love Firefox’ quantum leap, huge improvement, but the way they’re plugging Pocket was bugging me. I ended up diving under the hood (as in about:config) and setting extensions.pocket.enabled to “false” seems to hide Pocket nicely. Now back to work!
So Peter-Paul Koch (Quirksmode) declares Firefox OS dead. I’m afraid he’s right. A pity really, as I loved the idea of an entirely open web-based mobile OS. Mozillians don’t agree, saying they’re just not going offer Firefox OS phones through carriers any more.
Or maybe It’s just resting?
Customer: I wish to complain about this here fox what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
Shopkeeper: Oh yes, uh, Firefox OS …What’s,uh…What’s wrong with it?
Customer: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. It’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!
Shopkeeper: No, no, ‘e’s uh,…it’s resting.
Customer: Look, matey, I know a dead fox when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.
Shopkeeper: No no it’s not dead, it’s restin’! Remarkable software, Firefox OS, idn’it, ay? Beautiful openness!
I’m not only into optimizing the speed of sites with for the benefit of their visitors, but also into speeding up all sites in my browser, to satisfy my own impatience. I already blocked Facebook, Twitter and Google+ widgets using NoScript’s ABE and now added this little snippet in ABE’s user ruleset to stop Google Fonts from being loaded;
# no google fonts
Just read an article on BBC News that starts of with the AdBlock Plus team winning another case in a German court (yeay) and ended with a report on how Firefox also has built-in tracking protection which -for now- is off by default and is somewhat hidden. To enable it, just open about:config and set privacy.trackingprotection.enabled to true. I disabled Ghostery for now, let’s see how how things go from here.
I had been happily auto-hiding the Firefox navigation bar on my small-screen netbook for a couple of years already, until that add-on (LessChromeHD from the Prospector series) stopped working after having upgraded to Firefox 35. So I started Firefox from the command-line and spotted this error:
addons.xpi WARN Error loading bootstrap.js for lessChrome.HD@prospector.labs.mozilla: TypeError: redeclaration of variable event (resource://gre/modules/addons/XPIProvider.jsm -> jar:file:///home/frank/.mozilla/firefox/jy6bws91.default/extensions/lessChrome.HD@prospector.labs.mozilla.xpi!/bootstrap.js:226:8)
A quick look at the source code confirmed “event” was declared twice, once on line 210 and a second time on line 226. The fix, obviously, is simple; on lines 226-228 replace all references to “event” with e.g. “shownEvent”;
let shownEvent = document.createEvent("Event");
shownEvent.initEvent("LessChromeShown", true, false);
You can do this yourself by unzipping “lessChrome.HD@prospector.labs.mozilla.xpi” in your extenstions-folder, editing boostrap.js and updating the xpi. Or you could wait for the Mozillians to update LessChromeHD.
So Google removed AdBlock Plus from the Google Play Android store. That is their prerogative, off course, but it does confirm they’re not the cool technology-centric search engine everyone once thought they were. It’s kind of ironic that in December 2011 AdBlock Plus by default enabled the display of “acceptable” ads, a move that seemed to be an attempt to appease (or please) Google.
But whatever way you look at this, Google’s core business (as is Facebook’s) is displaying ads. Sure they try to do that in an intelligent manner. And sure, they have some cool technologies (App Engine, Android, Chrome, …). But at the end of the day they want us to see and click on ads. That makes Google a media company. But whereas traditional media have -at least the notion- of a wall between their editorial and advertising departments, editorial independence does not seem to exist over at Google.
I don’t like particularly like ads, I don’t like widgets snooping on my web-whereabouts and I definitively don’t like Google’s advertising department dictating what applications the editorial team in charge of Google Play should remove. So today I installed AdBlock Plus on all my devices. Maybe you should too?