Today’s ops: set up disposable profiles for Firefox. Chromium has better support for them out-of-the-box (--temp-profile), but I found Firefox’s profile management still comes to me straight from muscle memory despite using Chromium exclusively for years now. I didn’t even try to figure out if Chromium’s default configuration is adjustable, and for practical disposability it would have to be, because the temp profile clumsily always opens two slightly buggy tabs (sometimes the address bar eats the first thing entered into it).

The nice customizability of Firefox instead even lent itself to multiple levels of security: for the default profile I kept most bells and whistles from default configuration, whereas for the second one I installed NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger. And beyond those there’s still Tor Browser.

On the negative side, Firefox is still noticeably slower to start than Chromium. It was one of the main reasons for my switch all those years back and they obviously still haven’t caught up, which is a bummer. I was aware of this beforehand though, and the delay isn’t too bad, at least on my i7-3770 and SSD.

Also, as mentioned, ditched flash, finally, and for good, hopefully. Lately I’ve only been putting it off because I still have to support it at my parents’, but since I already upgraded out of the LTS they’re using, I may as well use a VM for reproducing any issues they may still encounter before I upgrade them to the next LTS next summer.

Replacing Google with Scroogle using Firefox and Greasemonkey

First, grab this userscript to use GET over SSL when Scroogling. I can’t claim to fully understand what it does but it sure does sound secure. (Isn’t that comforting? Hey, at least I’m not giving you a false sense of security by claiming to know better than I really do.)

Next, pick up Scroogle With, an extension I hacked to replace Google with Scroogle when using the context menu’s Search With option. I don’t know if installing Scroogle as Firefox’s search engine would do the same, but my extension has the added feature of working with text boxes. I don’t use the built-in search box that Firefox has. If you do, you might want to install Scroogle there too.

Finally, install this userscript to skip between languages in Scroogle results pages. This isn’t really necessary, it’s just a convenience for us who’d like Google results in languages other than English from time to time.

So you see, the path to security here is through installing a bunch of software from unknown sources! (Just kidding of course. Since the code is out in the open, you’re free to audit it personally any time you like.)

Firefox 3 wrongly associates logins with password-containing forms without login fields

They’ve rehauled the Password Manager in Firefox 3, and as a result the pre-filling of forms no longer acts smart when it comes to forms without a login associated with the password field. I’m getting my previous logins to other sites under my domain, as suggestions to fill the input field immediately preceding the password field, on my Wikieditish-powered Blosxom blogs. I was forced to resort to inserting a pseudo-login field into the forms to make Firefox remember which data is associated with the other fields. Now I just have to learn to skip it on my way to the password field, when posting links.

Firefox, updated extensions, and "Continue"

I wish they’d do away with the completely useless Continue prompt after an extension update has taken place in Firefox.

It’s good to prompt me before updating (in case I want to skip it), and obviously I’d like to be notified in case installing the update fails for some reason, but what is the purpose of prompting me to “continue starting Firefox, something which I’ve already requested, and for which there’s no longer anything requiring my intervention”? It’s just plain stupid.

Sadly, I don’t see this change in Firefox 3’s changelog.

[Solved] Netvibes Ginger: can’t add content to Universe

I just sent this support request through Netvibes’ feedback page. Looks like I forgot to mention that I’ve tried clearing Firefox’s cache as well.

Update: I’ve tracked down the cause: disabling AdBlock Plus from Firefox’s extensions restores the Add content panel’s contents. There’s nothing related to in my filters list so I have yet to find out which exactly is it that’s blocking the panel when AdBlock is in use. I’ve heard nothing from Netvibes support, so I’m not bothering to report this to them either.

After migrating to Ginger, since the beginning of this week I’ve been unable to add content directly to my Netvibes Universe page at

The problem is that the upper portion of the screen, where adding new content normally takes place, is blank when I bring it up with the ‘Add content’ (which is ‘Lisää sisältöä’ in my localized view) button at the top of the screen. To clarify what I mean by this I’ve created a couple of snapshots of the Universe page with the Add content panel showing (or rather, not showing):

At first [1] even the closing button [×] is missing. When I select ‘Add content’ from the top of the screen a second time, the closing button now appears [2], but the actual content adding widgets are still missing. A third cli[c]k on ‘Add content’ closes the (still empty) adding panel.

Contrast this with the content adding widgets being present, as they should, on my private page, when I click ‘Add content’ there:

Due to this issue I’ve had to resort to a bit of juggling: when I want to add something to my Universe page, I go to my private page and ‘Add content’ there. When the new widget (for example, a subsciption to a feed) appears on my private page, I then use the ‘Send’ item on its top frame to send the widget over to my Universe page. Finally I delete the widget from my private page.

I’m using Firefox in Ubuntu (Gutsy Gibbon). Before submitting this report, I clicked on the ‘clear cache’ link on the feedback form page, tried adding content again and found that the issue remains.

I’ll be happy to provide you with any additional data you might need in order to solve this. Apart from this issue I’ve been very satisfied with Netvibes, and am particularly happy with Ginger.