You can't stop Facebook from tracking everything you do on the social network (unless you delete your account, of course), but there is a way to stop it from tracking where you go once you leave the company's walled garden. All you need is Mozilla's new Firefox browser extension: Facebook Container.
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Every time you watch a video, YouTube shows you a dozen more in the sidebar, most of them weirder and worse than what you're watching. They're obnoxious and distracting, they can lead kids to inappropriate videos, and according to a Wall Street Journal test, they tend to get more extreme the more you click. Here's how to hide them.
Windows/Mac/Linux (Firefox): The makers of the previously-posted PDF Download extension have released a 2.0 beta that adds some key features, including a full web-to-PDF converter that retains CSS styling, web links, and layout details. The extension has also beefed up its PDF-to-HTML rendering, and works in Firefox 2 & 3, Flock, and other Mozilla-based projects. The developers have made 10,000 beta sign-ups available, with more to come. Hit the link below for more details on what's new in PDF Download 2.0. PDF Download Beta 2.0
The newest version of Mozilla's experimental browser-syncing tool, Weave, just hit the net, and it's seen a few marked improvements since it was first available. Going beyond bookmarks, Weave can match up your Firefox 3 settings, cookies, browsing history, and even tabs between browsers, with experimental support for passwords and form data—in other words, just about everything except extensions, themes, and plug-ins. There's a lot more to come, and it's still a pretty rough around the edges—this is, after all, just version 0.2—but follow along after the jump to see some of what Weave can do, or at least one day will do, to keep your Firefox browsing consistent and convenient.
Fans of short messaging formats like Twitter, or people looking for more tab/bookmark management tools for Firefox, will like LinkBunch - an extension which lets you consolidate a bunch of links into one URL.Once you've downloaded and installed the extension (drag and drop it into an open Firefox window or tab to get the Add-on installation dialog) you just need to restart your browser and you'll see that Linkbunch has become an option in Firefox's Bookmarks menu.To bunch your current open tabs, open the Bookmarks menu and click
'Create a LinkBunch of tabs'. This will open a new tab displaying a page with the created LinkBunch. The page displays a list of all the links in the LinkBunch, and then there's my favourite link down the bottom - "Open entire bunch". As it says, if you hit that button it will open up each of the links in a new tab (after politely asking you if you *really* want to open them all).I can definitely see LinkBunch having a place in my browser alongside TinyURL, and active Twitter users will also be interested to know that LinkBunch is also being integrated into Twitter. The feature isn't active yet, but if you follow @linkbunch, you'll be able to send it a direct message with all the links you want to consolidate, and the bot will reply back with your bunch link. Nice.
Linux.com has put together a good overview of Firefox extensions that keep your browsing, searching, and emailing secure and private. A few of these, including Privoxy and SafeHistory, have been cited here before, but this list includes a few new ideas, like using the PetName extension to leave "reminder" notes on trusted websites to defeat phishing attempts. For more secure browsing tweaks, check out our Technophilia feature on protecting your web searches.
Collaborative web search tool StumbleUpon has always helped you avoid unnecessary trips to Google, but now the free browser plug-in can also improve your search results there—along with Wikipedia, Flickr, YouTube, and other sites as well. Starting today, StumbleUpon users should notice star ratings and speech balloons next to their results, indicating the number of thumbs up and overall popularity of the site, as well as the names of StumbleUpon friends who have voted the site up. Links to discussion pages are also provided on the search and results pages.
The new search features come as part of an upgrade package to the StumbleUpon browser add-on that includes a familiar feature to find friends through your e-mail account, Facebook login, and Outlook contacts. Those who want to keep their search results clean can easily disable the new features in the StumbleUpon preferences. For tips on better using StumbleUpon, check out Wendy's guide to getting the most out of your stumbles.