Whenever you go to Amazon, the site shows you some of the last items you looked at. The idea is that if you see that shirt, frying pan, or epic novel again, you might decide to bite the bullet and make a purchase. It's an OK idea in theory, but when the last item you looked at happens to be a gift you're researching for a loved one or something else you'd prefer to not broadcast to the world that you were looking at on the site, the tracking feature can be a bit problematic.
Tagged With web browsing
Chrome: If you do all your work in a browser, you can end up with dozens of tabs in one window. You could open new windows for different projects and shove tabs around, or develop the monk-like discipline to stop opening tabs. Or you could manage them practically by treating your browser like an operating system.
The Chrome extension Workona organises your tabs into named windows, which you can easily switch between and save for later. It’s like a sophisticated version of Chrome’s bookmark and tab-sorting features. And it rescues you from tab overload without punishing you for it.
You’re probably used to bookmarking your favourite sites for easy access, but the web goes much deeper than the top domains you’re familiar with. From your social networks to your email box, having the right URL to hand can enable you to jump right into the page, feature, setting, or search you need. Here are 10 of the most useful ones.
Since its debut, Chrome has grown in popularity, though its once-stellar reputation has taken a bit of a hit as of late. Examples of Chrome-only sites are more and more common, reminiscent of the days when Microsoft's Internet Explorer dominated the web browser market. It's been shown to be a massive memory hog as well, slowing down machines as users create more and more tabs.
If you like just a little distraction when you start up your browser, if you find Twitter and news sites too in-your-face, but a blank page too mundane, try Wikipedia. Yeah that's right, we just linked to Wikipedia, like it's some obscure site we found. Because if you only end up there through Google results, you might have never noticed their elegant, calming home page.
Email can be a magnet for mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes are trivial: You add an extra letter to a proper noun somewhere in your message; you accidentally bold part of a word; you use a semicolon instead of a comma. All forgivable offences.
And sometimes, you look at the bar that separates the defensible from the absurd and think, "I can jump a lot higher than that."
You hate it as much as I do: that little box that appears whenever you visit a news site or blog, asking for permission to bug you with notification boxes for stuff you don't care about. Instead of throwing up your hands in defeat and learning to live with the annoyance, you can stop sites from bothering you altogether. Here's how.
If you're not taking screenshots of your computer screen much, remembering which key combos to hit might be more confusing than convenient. If you hate keyboard shortcuts, Mozilla's new Firefox Quantum browser makes it incredibly easy to capture what's on your screen thanks to its built in Firefox Screenshots service. It syncs wherever you use the new browser, and is smart enough to help you figure out what you're actually trying to capture.
At some point, publishers at a lot of the sites I frequent decided that it would be a good idea to start using autoplay videos. While I think their thought is that when the video starts playing I'll somehow be drawn in by their captivating host and majestic background music, the result is often me getting frightened by the sudden blast of sound, fumbling around to figure out how to stop the video, and then cursing the site creator and vowing to never come to their site again.
That is until the next day when I repeat the process.
Apps opening automatically from Chrome is supposed to be a convenience - but sometimes it's just annoying. Dealing with an intrusive iTunes window when you just wanted to see an app screenshot can be irksome, especially since iTunes doesn't even handle apps any more. Sometimes you just want to copy an email address, or download that torrent file instead of running it in Transmission. When apps open based on the links you hit, you can thank your browser's "protocol handlers". They're helpful, to a point, but you can get rid of the more annoying ones by following a few steps (or deleting some cookies).
Certain users of the privacy-minded Tor web browser should download the app's latest update, which adds a temporary fix to prevent the browser from leaking identifying information, namely IP addresses. The TorMoil bug, as named by the security research company that discovered the vulnerability, We Are Segment, can take advantage of a flaw in the browser to uncover a user's real IP address, outing anonymous browsers should they click on a particular type of link.
Sure, you need to finish that PowerPoint presentation for next week, but it won't hurt to just check Facebook real quick and see if Mark posted pictures from the party last weekend. And then make a quick online order. And you really should like a few photos in that gallery... It's easy to waste a few minutes (or a few hours) on the web without realising it.
Web: Firefox users bouncing between work and personal accounts on a daily basis are probably tired of logging in and out, or switching accounts. Thanks to the new (and overdue) Mozilla-made Multi-Account Container extension, you won't have to worry about remembering which account you're logged into. If you're unconcerned about separating work and personal accounts, you can still take advantage of multi-account browsing to preserve your privacy or discourage bad habits.
Your favourite technology company, Google, is working on an upcoming feature that could put the kibosh on autoplaying videos for good. Soon you'll be able to silence the worst offenders permanently, saving you the headache of searching for a mute button over and over again.
Sites are constantly changing, updating with stories and even new layouts, making it a challenge to find something you read or saw years ago. If your online writing is on a third-party site, anything they do could spell the end of your work online. In today's political climate, keeping a record of political promises or missteps is more important than ever. If you're not using Archive.org's Wayback Machine to dig up (or save) old pages, tweets about your former employer, or images, you should get in the habit.
In a press release on the company's blog, Pinboard, the world's best social bookmarking site for introverts, announced it has acquired Delicious, the unwanted step-child of bookmarking platforms, from Delicious Media, the company that acquired Delicious from Science in 2016, the company that bought it from AVOS in 2014, the company that bought it from Yahoo in 2011, the company that purchased Delicious in 2005. Which means you're gonna have to move those bookmarks about learning how to bake a pie, shoot a wedding, or whatever you think you'll click on eventually.