Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Favorite Ad Blockers and Browser Extensions to Protect Privacy

Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind

 - George Orwell

JOHN FUND:  When will someone hold human-rights hearings on Australia?

And then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what's inside is good or bad. Because it's both. Everything is always both. But you have to open it to find that out.

 - Author: M.R. Carey

FACEBOOK LEARNS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO GET SHUT OUT OF FACEBOOK: Facebook Is Having a Very, VERY Bad Day (Cue World’s Tiniest Violin).

UPDATE (From Ed): This Facebook outage is huge — It’s their worst since 2008, when they only had 80M users!And speaking of getting shut out of Facebook, “Was just on the phone with someone who works for FB who described employees unable to enter buildings this morning to begin to evaluate extent of outage because their badges weren’t working to access doors,” Sheera Frenkel of the New York Times tweeted earlier today.

Meanwhile, at America’s Newspaper of Record: Hackers Warn That If Demands Aren’t Met They Will Reactivate Facebook.

UPDATE (From Ed, 5:55 PM EDT): It was too good to last — Facebook is currently back online.

One lucky Australian is set to win $1 million simply for being vaccinated against COVID-19.

That’s thanks to the Million Dollar Vax campaign, which is focused on accelerating Australia’s vaccination program in October.

 6 Sites to Search for Images Shared on Twitter - Make Use Of: “By now, we all know the power of Twitter and its users to send out information in real-time. Sure, tweets are great and all, but what about the pictures? Fortunately, there’s plenty of websites that allow anyone to search the Twitter universe for images. Here are some of the best websites to search through Twitter images. Keep reading to learn more…”

 China’s PCR Test Orders Soared Months Before First Reported COVID Case.

The report casts further doubt on China’s official line about the origins of the virus, a topic that has fueled tensions between Beijing and Washington.

PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, tests are used to detect the presence of a particular genetic sequence in a sample, and they have applications beyond COVID-19 testing. But the report alleges the unusual uptick likely signals awareness of a new disease spreading in and around Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province.

Orders doubled from universities, jumped fivefold from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and surged tenfold from animal testing bureaus. Purchases from hospitals declined by more than 10%.

Monthly procurement data shows a spike in orders in May, especially from CDC buyers and the People’s Liberation Army.

“We believe the increased spending in May suggests this as the earliest start date for possible infection,” the report said.

Earlier: Where the Covid Origin Inquiry Goes Now.

Massive California oil spill was reported Friday. But nobody told the millions who went to the beaches.USA Today

Large firing operations underway on KNP Complex of fires Wildfire Today

Can Nuclear Fusion Put the Brakes on Climate Change? The New Yorker

The CIA plot to kidnap or kill Julian Assange in London is a story that is being mistakenly ignored Independent. Patrick Cockburn.


What the Yahoo! Assange Report Got WrongConsortium News


Will the United States Officially Acknowledge That It Had a Secret Torture Site in Poland? ProPublica

Our Favorite Ad Blockers and Browser Extensions to Protect Privacy

Wirecutter: “Everything you do online—from browsing to shopping to using social networks—is tracked, typically as behavioral or advertising data. But browser extensions are simple, generally free add-ons that you can use to slow down or break this type of data collection, without completely ruining your experience of using the internet. Privacy almost always comes at the cost of usability. Sometimes a browser extension might cause a website to display text strangely, prevent embedded images or tweets from loading on a page, or remove the little social media buttons that make it easy to share an article. But in exchange for the occasional slight headache, companies will have a harder time tracking what you do online. Not all browsers offer the exact same extensions, but Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are the two most popular browsers, and the ones I focus on here. (Most Chrome extensions will also work with Microsoft EdgeBraveOpera, and Vivaldi, though we haven’t fully tested them.) Of the two, I recommend Firefox if you prioritize privacy, as it’s much more focused on privacy out of the box compared with Chrome. Regardless of which browser you use, a pack of extensions can increase your privacy by decreasing your exposure to trackers, as well as have the welcome side effect of boosting your security. I’ve included links for both Chrome and Firefox, along with alternatives to our favorites, if they exist. As for other browsers, Apple’s Safari isn’t bad when it comes to privacy, but it lacks wide support for popular browser extensions. Edge is based on Chromium and will work with the bulk of the Chrome extensions in this article, we haven’t tested it thoroughly. Brave is one of the more popular privacy-first browsers, but even it isn’t free of privacy-related controversies. The Tor Browser is the go-to for anonymity, especially in censored countries, but it’s unusable for most people as a daily browser. Dozens of other lower-profile browsers exist, but few get the security updates and support that most of us need in the software we use all day..”