Adblock will cache popular Javascript libraries, meaning adblocked pages will be faster and less janky

Years ago, big tech companies stumbled on a brilliant scheme for collecting data on web-users: they started providing incredibly useful free Javascript libraries to web publishers: whenever a web publisher embedded one of these libraries, it would serve as a tracking beacon for everyone who visited that publisher's site, all without having to get into the messy business of even serving ads. Read the rest

qutebrowser: a keyboard-based web browser for the no-clicks clique

It's almost impossible to use most modern apps without using a pointing device or sausage, but a new browser out today is focused entirely on surfing the web with keyboard only. Named qutebrowser, it doesn't just provide a full suite of keyboard shortcuts for the user interface, but generates them on the fly for every link on the page.

qutebrowser is a keyboard-focused browser with a minimal GUI. It’s based on Python and PyQt5 and free software, licensed under the GPL. It was inspired by other browsers/addons like dwb and Vimperator/Pentadactyl.

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Reasons to switch to Firefox

I keep saying I'm going to de-Google my digital life, quitting services such as Gmail and software such as Chrome. So Joel Lee's recent article, 9 Reasons to Switch From Chrome to Firefox, lights a bit of a fire under my feet. In précis: everything bad about Firefox from a few years back is fixed, and now it is Chrome that is bad.

1. Firefox Is Better for Battery Life 2. Firefox Is Better for Tab-Heavy Users 3. Firefox Knows It’s Just a Browser 4. Firefox Embraces the Open Source Mindset 5. Firefox Actually Cares About Privacy 6. Firefox Allows More Customization 7. Firefox Supports Chrome Extensions 8. Firefox Boasts Unique Extensions 9. Firefox Can Do What Chrome Can (Mostly)

To which I add 10: Fuck AMP.

The guide also points out where Chrome remains superior: the web inspector's better, it's more polished, complex web apps tend to work better in it because they're targeted at it, and of course it integrates well with Google's other services. Read the rest

Firefox tracking protection sped up web browsing up to 44% in test

Some websites have dozens and dozens of tracking bugs and libraries, slowing downloads and delaying rendering. If you block them in Firefox, researchers demonstrated, some pages load much faster.

The paper shows that with Tracking Protection enabled, not only did Chew and Kontaxis see a 67 percent reduction in cookies set in the Alexa Top 200 news sites, but page load times were reduced by a median 44 percent, and overall data usage was reduced by 39 percent. Even if you aren’t too concerned about privacy, that speed increase alone might be enough of a reason to enable the feature.

The speed boost comes from blocking requests to tracking domains, so it won’t speed up browsing across the board, but considering the amount of sites that use some sort of tracking, the benefit should be fairly noticeable. Currently, Tracking Protection isn’t turned on by default, as Mozilla is still gathering feedback about how the feature works, but it’s fairly easy to enable the feature.

Previously: Facebook told to stop tracking logged-out web users Read the rest