Here's something you Firefox folks can fool with: uniform fonts

One of the things i hate about many websites is that they override your personal font choices. Even here the CMS i'm using does this, but i'm going to look in to changing that.

I like UNIFORM fonts and font sizes across the board - i don't want websites forcing their crappy/ugly/too small/too large fonts on me and so i'm testing changing fonts globally with some CSS. The reason i started fooling with this is because i was going through the 'arkenfox' user.js again and came across this recently added warning...

/* 1401: disable websites choosing fonts (0=block, 1=allow)
 * This can limit most (but not all) JS font enumeration which is a high entropy fingerprinting vector
 * [WARNING] **DO NOT USE**: in FF80+ RFP covers this, and non-RFP users should use font vis (4618)
 * [SETTING] General>Language and Appearance>Fonts & Colors>Advanced>Allow pages to choose... ***/
   // user_pref("browser.display.use_document_fonts", 0);

So if we can't set the pref to '0', which is what i've been dong for years, we can (maybe) use CSS instead. The following is (at the moment) injected into all websites using Stylus, but you can also do this in userContent.css. Exceptions can be added where necessary. This is an early example that may need a lot of tweaking:

h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 {
    font-family: sans-serif !important;
}
a, p, aside {
    font-family: sans-serif !important;
    font-size: 1em;
}
code, kbd, tt, var, samp, pre {
    font-family: monospace !important;
    font-size: 1em;
}

Make sure browser.display.use_document_fonts is set to 1 in abut:config (if you're using my user-overrides.js, change it there too) and disable any add-ons that mess with font stuff.

I'd like to hear any feedback you might have.

12bytes.org Search add-on for Firefox

Now you can have the information from 12bytes.org at your fingertips wherever you go! I published a Firefox add-on which will add the search engine for this website to your list of search engines. I suppose i might publish the code somewhere, but there's hardly a need since the add-on only contains a manifest.json file and some icons, plus the obligatory signing stuff that Mozilla adds.

If you search from the address bar, which is the default for Firefox, you can either select the '12bytes.org Search' icon or prefix your search with '12b' to search this site, such as 12b firefox if you wanted to find all Firefox related content.

If you don't want to use the add-on, but still want to search this site without visiting it, you could use, for example, DuckDuckGo to do a site search: firefox site:12bytes.org . Of course the advantage with the add-on is that the search results will be up-to-date and accurate, and won't be subject to possible censorship by the Big Tech search engines.

Firefox got you down with all those BLOATED context menus?

I'm not sure why i like reinventing the wheel since there's probably hundreds of tutorials about how to hide Firefox's context menu items, but reinvent i did. One of the cooler things i haven't seen much of in the existing tutorials is how to get a list of all the CSS selectors for all of Firefox's context menus (all 476) by searching the source code. I also cover how to grab them the ol' fashioned way, with Firefox's Developer Tools. Have a read.

Save it locally because the internet will die says Corbett

James Corbet just posted another very good and instructional video addressing those of us who are new to figuring out how the world really works as opposed to how many of us think it works.

A portion of the video is dedicated to how James feels about the permanency of the internet or, more accurately, the information stored on the world wide web. He thinks much of it, meaning the content pumped out by us "conspiracy theorists", will be obliterated by the-powers-that-be-in order to control the narrative. Personally i'm not so sure about that, but i will concede that this is a possibility. In that light i would recommend, as James does, that we all store the important data which we discover on-line.

What James doesn't tell us, other than to do a search, is exactly HOW to grab the data we want to store and so i shall provide some brief suggestions in that regard, limited to my personal experience.

When you come across content you want to save, the most obvious solution is to press Ctrl+S and your browser will guide you through the process. You can save textual and imagery content this way, but not video. If you want to streamline the process, you can install a browser extension. For instance, the Firefox add-on repository (AMO) has several add-ons you can use to save content, one of them being SingleFile by gildas.

Saving video is another matter and while there a plethora of browser extensions that can accomplish the task, i would highly suggest avoiding all of them and using youtube-dl instead. youtube-dl can be installed on multiple platforms including Linux and Windows and it can save videos from many more video sharing websites than just YouTube. If you can find the link to the actual video however, such as a URL ending with .mp4, .avi, .mov, etc., then you don't need any extension because you can just press Ctrl+S or right-click the link to save it. For many video sharing websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc., it either isn't easy or is simply impossible to find a single source for a video and so youtube-dl is a wonderful tool in these cases because it goes way beyond what Ctrl+S can do.

I would also highly recommend archiving any content you want to save on an archive website. The best archive service i can recommend for textual and image content is archive.today. They don't obey robots.txt files (or at least not completely) and so once you archive something with them, it *should* be permanent. The next best service, and one that works for virtually all content including videos, PDFs, etc., is archive.org. While the WayBack Machine, as it's called, will not archive videos embedded in a page, one can use it to archive videos separately. If you create an account you can have your own archive library if you wish. Here's mine.

NordVPN: 7 common VPN myths debunked

I use NordVPN but i'm not super anxious to recommend them. There seems to be some controversy about who ultimately owns Nord, plus they are a huge player in the VPN arena and i figure that makes them a target for the "intelligence" communities. I will probably switch to Mullvad when my Nord subscription expires.

Nord has writers (or contributors perhaps) that write about various tech stuff and some of the articles are really crap, however their latest one, 7 common VPN myths debunked, is well worth a read. It starts off by debunking the myth that 'free' VPNs are just as good as those you pay for and they are absolutely correct. One should NEVER trust a 'free' VPN provider! Operating a VPN service costs a lot of money in hardware, bandwidth and support and i'm sure there are many other expenses as well. Any company that claims to provide a free service is making money somehow and that 'somehow' is likely through data harvesting and advertising. Such providers obviously couldn't care less about your privacy which is the whole point of using a VPN.

As the author, Anna Rasmussen, states in her article:

As VPN myths go, this one is particularly dangerous to the average user. What you must always remember is this: when a for-profit company provides you with a service for free, that’s because they are using you to make money. You are the product, not the customer.

Anna also correctly points out that paid VPNs are not necessarily trustworthy either and that doing your own research is crucial. You can find some resources in my article, Tor verses a VPN - Which is right for you?.

Being a Firefox user, it pains me to see the plethora of 'free' VPN extensions that exist for the browser on the AMO website. It is disgusting that many of these companies are even allowed to advertise on AMO, not to mention that apparently millions of gullible people people are using their services.

A 'free' VPN is like a 'free' email provider, or a 'free' social media platform; It's 'free' because YOU are the product.