Article update: Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs

Some slight changes were made to the Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs. Nothing important, i just removed my Mozilla rant and gave it a dedicated page. Also i added the NoCoin adblock list to uBlock Origin which is a cryptomining blocking filter which you can add to uBlock simply by clicking the link in the description for that repository.

Speaking of cyrptomining, Firefox 67, released today, includes two new options in its ‘Privacy & Security’ settings; one to block fingerprinting and one to block cryptominers. To my knowledge both of these rely on 3rd party filter lists which are likely pretty rudimentary and therefore i don’t recommend enabling these options at this time since the filters used by uBlock are probably much more comprehensive. I need to dig into this deeper to verify how these options work however. It would be great to not have to use Canvas Blocker if the native anti-fingerprinting stuff in Firefox could eventually address all of the important stuff in Canvas Blocker. If anyone has any feedback in this area, please leave a comment.

Update: I think i’ve confirmed that both of the new fingerprinting and cryptomining prefs in FF v67 rely on lists. If we look at browser.safebrowsing.provider.mozilla.lists in about:config, here’s the value of that preference:

base-track-digest256,mozstd-trackwhite-digest256,content-track-digest256,mozplugin-block-digest256,mozplugin2-block-digest256,block-flash-digest256,except-flash-digest256,allow-flashallow-digest256,except-flashallow-digest256,block-flashsubdoc-digest256,except-flashsubdoc-digest256,ads-track-digest256,social-track-digest256,analytics-track-digest256,base-fingerprinting-track-digest256,content-fingerprinting-track-digest256,base-cryptomining-track-digest256,content-cryptomining-track-digest256,fanboyannoyance-ads-digest256,fanboysocial-ads-digest256,easylist-ads-digest256,easyprivacy-ads-digest256,adguard-ads-digest256

In there we see base-fingerprinting-track-digest256, content-fingerprinting-track-digest256, base-cryptomining-track-digest256 and content-cryptomining-track-digest256.

I don’t know what lists Firefox is using, but given that Mozilla tries to not break a lot of websites with these privacy options, they are probably rudimentary as i said earlier and so, again, i do not recommend enabling those two options if you’re using uBlock. The same goes for all of the Content Blocking options with the exception of cookies and how that should be set depends on how uMatrix is set up and whether you’re using the Site Bleacher add-on.

New article: The Mozilla Monster

I have little (and not so little) rants about Firefox and Mozilla tucked into the crevices of several articles and posts and so i decided to consolidate. The Mozilla Monster is now my official watering hole for everything i hate about the Mozilla Foundation… or at least strongly dislike… or question. Don’t get me wrong, i still use and recommend Firefox, but i think it’s days are numbered.

Article update: Firefox Extensions – My Picks

I added Smart RSS Reader to the article, Firefox Extensions – My Picks.

Ever since Mozilla moved to the WebExtension API my once favorite news feed reader, Newsfox, became obsolete and apparently the developer had no plans to port his extension. I’ve been looking for a suitable replacement since then and in the process i have tested many feed reader add-ons for Firefox, none of which i really liked. Feedbro is currently the most popular, feature rich and capable, but i don’t like the developers ethics. For starters he uses an ‘All Rights Reserved’ license and refuses to publish the code on a suitable platform, such as GitLab. Also the only support option he offers is email. Lastly, the last Feedbro update was a total disaster in that the reader became the equivalent of an image; in other words, nothing worked and nothing could be clicked. I run a hardened Firefox with a lot of privacy and security enhancements and i have to wonder what this developer is doing that conflicts with my security/privacy settings.

Smart RSS Reader by ‘zakius’ is a newcomer that was first released on AMO in February, 2019, but it it works fairly well as a basic 3-pane feed reader and the developer is friendly, open to suggestions and very active in its development with over 800 commits. If you’re looking for a decent feed reader, check it out. It’s getting better by the day and the code is on GitHub.