Feed on

i was chatting with a friend today about the things that make firefox really useful (for me at least). in fact, if not for the following two tools, i’d have long ago ditched firefox for something that uses much less memory + cpu cycles, like safari.

1) sage – an rss feed reader. it takes rss feeds (compressed versions of news / articles / postings) from sites you bookmark and displays them in a simple, uncluttered interface. i think i can honestly say this piece of software has changed how i use the internet; using it makes me feel like i’m directly consuming information, instead of being distracted by all the blinky lights of the web.

2) adblock – this extension enables you to block not only popups, but the banners and ads displayed on webpages. it even understands regular expressions. besides reducing the “blinkiness” of the internet, adblock makes pages load slightly faster, since your browser doesn’t have to download all those pictures.

by the way, it’s interesting to think about the implications of adblock. some webfolk think that if adblock goes mainstream, the internet as we know it will collapse. the idea is that if you block flashy ads, advertisers will stop funding websites and all that free content on the web will disappear. of course, this kind of commentary seems to conveniently forget that the most popular site on the ‘net relies only on simple text-based ads for virtually all of their revenue.

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