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Add speed reading to Chrome, Firefox

Speed reading is about to have another popularity spike -- one likely fueled by the recent announced of Spritz on the Galaxy S5. The speed reading feature will come included with some apps, and uses a single focal point in words, along with rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP for short) to display words one-by-one at speeds up to 1000 words per minute.

This technology is not only useful on smartphones or tablets, it's also great for tackling longer written works online in less time. If you search for what the average reading speed is, you'll come up with … Read more

Improve Firefox tab behavior with Tab Deque

Firefox's new tab behavior is a bit inconsistent. Right-click on a link and choose Open Link in New Tab and the new tab opens directly to the right of your current tab. In contrast, if you open a new tab, it opens to the right of all of your open tabs.

Firefox add-on Tab Deque changes this behavior. After installing the add-on and restarting Firefox, new tabs will open next to your current tab. This change alone will keep me using Tab Deque, but it boasts another useful feature that makes it easy to toggle between two tabs. If … Read more

Google kicks toolbars out of Chrome Web Store

Google is kicking toolbars and other "multipurpose extensions" out of the Chrome Web Store in an effort to keep its browser's interface uncluttered and to protect users from unpleasant surprises.

The change will be disruptive to many extension programmers, but Google is giving them until June 2014 for existing extensions. New ones must abide by the new rules immediately, said Chrome engineering director Erik Kay.

"Extensions in the Chrome Web Store must have a single purpose that is narrow and easy to understand," Kay said in a blog post on Thursday. "While this has … Read more

Stop Firefox pages from loading indefinitely with KillSpinners

I use both Chrome and Firefox on my Mac, but Firefox is a much larger resource hog than its Google counterpart. I have found that a few Web sites in particular are incredibly, frustratingly slow to load on Firefox, with their pages spinning and spinning and slowing down my entire operation. Meanwhile, other sites appear to load correctly only to start back up and spin continuously if left to their own devices. Hence, I am quite excited for the prospect of KillSpinners, a Firefox add-on that promises to eradicate this problem.

You neither need to launch KillSpinners nor restart Firefox … Read more

Enter Australis: Mozilla streamlines Firefox's look

Mozilla took a major step Monday to launch a significantly revamped look for Firefox Monday, a project months in the making called Australis that will unify the browser's look across personal computers, tablets, and phones.

Australis brings a new look to the frame around the Web page: curvy tabs, more emphasis for the tab you're using and less for the one you're not, and graphical menu that looks more like a grid of apps than a list of options.

At Australis landed in the nightly version of Firefox for browser testers on Monday, taking its first step … Read more

Review: Browse safely with WOT for Firefox

Like Angie's List and other reputation services, WOT is powered by individuals with real-world experiences to share. WOT for Firefox places WOT's trust meter between Firefox's address bar and search bar for instantaneous feedback about the Web sites you visit. It turns from green to yellow to red as the danger increases and displays site ratings when you click it. You can also share your experiences and views through your free WOT account and social media options.

WOT for Firefox runs not only in Firefox but also Firefox-based browsers; even 64-bit Cyberfox. During the setup process, we … Read more

Review: Add Web of Trust protection to Internet Explorer with WOT for iE

WOT for IE applies the Web of Trust's user-based ratings systems to Internet Explorer. When you browse to a questionable site, WOT for IE's toolbar icon changes from green to yellow to red, based on the site's reputation. That reputation is based on feedback by actual visitors and shared through the Web of Trust, a free, community-based online rating service. It does for Web sites what Angie's List does for plumbers; sort the trustworthy from the unreliable, the incompetent, and the scammers. WOT's social features let you read feedback shared by other users and contribute … Read more

Google to ban external sources for Windows Chrome extensions

For Google, it's not enough to warn you when an extension attempts to install from outside the Chrome Web Store. Starting in January, Windows users will be able to install extensions only from the official store, as Google blocks all other extension sources.

Erik Kay, Chrome's engineering director, wrote in a blog post that the current security mechanism isn't enough. It asks users if they want to install the extension when it comes from outside the Chrome Web Store, but "bad actors" have figured out how to bypass it.

The malicious extensions that get installed … Read more

Chrome 29 adds a reset button

On Tuesday, Google announced a new update to the Chrome browser, adding improved omnibox suggestions based on the most recently visited Web pages. The update also brings a fresh reset feature, similar to Firefox's own browser reset button. This is helpful for eliminating all those unwanted extensions and unintended add-ons that you may have accumulated over the years inside your Chrome extensions. Your themes, bookmarks, and Chrome apps should still remain intact.

Mac users also get rich notifications support for in-app- and extension updates.

Grab the Chrome updates here: Windows Mac

Bring back the grid layout to YouTube's My subscriptions page

YouTube changed the look of its subscriptions page a few years ago, moving from a grid layout to a single-column view that requires a great deal more scrolling to view its wares. If you've been pining for the good ol' days of the My subscriptions grid view, there is an easy fix for Chrome and Firefox.

For Firefox, install the YouTube Subscriptions Grid add-on. After installing it and refreshing your subscriptions page, you'll see a grid layout with a lot less wasted space. On my 13-inch MacBook Pro, which features a 1,280x800-pixel screen resolution, the grid goes … Read more