HTTPS Everywhere: Force Open Secure Connection in Firefox and Chrome

It is a well-known fact that unprotected HTTP protocol is prone to hijacks, HTTPS provides better security.  However, while some web sites support HTTPS protocol, only HTTP is set as default.  Some web sites provides HTTPS protocol support but the pages also contain links to unprotected HTTP pages.

Today’s featured browser extension is HTTPS Everywhere, one that forces your Firefox and Chrome web browser to use HTTPS protocol on supported web sites.

 

HTTPS Everywhere: Auto-rewrite of Requests to HTTPS

HTTPS Everywhere - Electronic Frontier Foundation

HTTPS Everywhere has a Firefox add-on as well as a Chrome extension.  What it does is to automatically re-write all requests to unsecured HTTP pages to HTTPS, if HTTPS is supported.  Currently over 1400 web sites are supported, on these web sites this tool knows where to enable HTTPS on all supported parts of the site.  In other words, HTTPS Everywhere does not create the security features, it only enables them when available, so that you don’t have to find the link to secured log-in or the option to enable HTTPS protocol.

The new Chrome extension is currently in beta version.  The Firefox version has one particularly useful feature that is yet to appear in Chrome, Decentralized SSL Observatory.  This function, once enabled, detects encryption weaknesses and tells you when you browse a web site with a security vulnerability.  In other words, it points out security issued as you surf.  This is useful to web surfers as well as web designers who could quickly identify potential security holes.

 

Official Site: https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere

Citebite: Link Directly to Specific Quotes in Web Pages

I have introduced some link shorteners and simplifiers before.  They allow you to shorten long URLs and make web pages easier to read.  Citebite, the web app I’m going to introduce, works in a similar way but produce different results.  Instead of an easy to remember URL, it generates a new URL with a (seemingly) random string of characters.  It probably does not make URLs easier to remember or enter, but it helps you to quote a specific part of a web page for sharing and sending to friends.  It is very useful when you want to share a web site to others but want to highlight only a specific part of it.

 

Citebite: Link Directly to Specific Quotes in Web Pages

Citebite is very easy to use.  Just copy the URL of the site and the text you want to highlight, paste into Citebite, it will generate an URL for sharing.  I used a blog post in this blog as an example.

Citebite - Link directly to specific quotes in web pages

 

If your friends follow this link, they will see the web site with the specific part highlighted.  I found this very useful for sharing long web pages.

Citebite - Specific Quote Created

By default, Delicious, StumbleUpon and Digg icons are provided for fast sharing to these sites.  You can also manually copy the link and attach to email, tweets and updates in Google+ and Facebook.

Citebite has a Firefox extension (sorry, not for Chrome).  Users of other web browsers could use a bookmarklet instead.  Both of them are provided on the official site.

 

Official Site: http://www.citebite.com/

Firefox Extension: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2567

Bookmarklet (see inside for how to use): http://www.citebite.com/bookmarklet

Firefox 9 Officially Released, 30% Faster Javascript, Finger Swipe Support for Mac

Firefox 9 is officially released!  This new version brings Type Inference to enhance Javascript performance by 20% to 30%.  Mac users can enjoy theme integration and two-finger swipe navigation (on Mac OS X Lion).  A summary changes is here, according to Mozilla:

Browsing Javascript intensive web sites, such as Google+, Gmail and Facebook, should now be faster in Firefox.  You can find a full (and long) list of changes here.

Firefox 9 released, faster Javascript and Mac integration

Grab the new Firefox from the official site: http://www.mozilla.org/firefox/new/

[Google Chrome Tutorial] How to Import Browser Data in Chrome

I’m a Chrome advocate who always recommends Google Chrome to friends.  While most of them are attracted by the clean and easy-to-use user interface, fast speed and vast variety of Chrome extensions, some of them are still reluctant to try.  The major reason is that they don’t want the hassle to migrate their existing data such as bookmarks from one browser to a new one.

In this article, I’ll show you how easy it is to switch from other browsers to Chrome.  It is very easy that takes a few minutes only.

 

Exporting Bookmarks and Settings from Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox

In Chrome browser, click the wrench icon and choose “Bookmarks”.  Select “Import Bookmarks and Settings”.

Google Chrome Tutorial - Import Bookmarks and Settings

You will be brought to a pop up window asking you from which browser in your computer you want to import and what to import.  Depending on the browser you used, you can import browsing history, bookmarks, saved passwords and search engines.

Google Chrome Tutorial - Import Data from Browser

Import Bookmarks from Other Browsers

What if I do not use any of the above browsers?  Well, you can still export bookmarks and import to Chrome.

Usually browsers have a function to export bookmarks.  Run this to export your bookmarks into a HTML file.  Then, go to Chrome, click the wrench icon, choose “Bookmarks” and then “Bookmark Manager”.

In Bookmark Manager, click “Organize” and choose “Import Bookmarks from HTML file…”.  Open your saved HTML file.  Done!

Google Chrome Tutorial - Import Bookmarks from HTML File

Similarly, you can export your bookmarks in Google Chrome to a HTML file and import in other browsers.  How about transferring bookmarks among Chrome browsers on different computers?  Well, you don’t have to.  Simply choose to sync your data and every Chrome you use would have exactly the same bookmarks and settings!  You can find this option by clicking the wrench icon > “Preference” (or Settings, Options… depending on the operation system your computer runs) > “Personal Stuff” > “Set Up Sync”.

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