Advertisements are important to finance the free distribution of high-quality content on the internet. However, some websites are loaded with annoying banners and intrusive popups, so surfing the internet has become quite annoying on these sites. Adblocking extensions for Google Chrome therefore are becoming increasingly popular.
Which is the best adblocker?
The two most popular extensions in the Chrome Webstore currently are “AdBlock” and “Adblock Plus”. Both extensions promise to do the same thing: Block all ads on every website. But what is the difference between the two, and which one is the better adblocker?
AdBlock was originally created for Google Chrome. It is the older one of the two and still has more users. Adblock Plus was only recently ported to Google Chrome, but the numbers of users are growing quickly. In no time, it has become the second most popular of all Chrome extensions. It is the equivalent to Adblock Plus for Firefox, with more than 120 million downloads, and is the most popular browser addon in the world. Chrome Adblock Plus is based on the same code as the Firefox version which has been developed for years as an open-source project by an international community of voluntary helpers.
When comparing the two extensions, it is noticeable that Adblock Plus has a much more sophisticated code base. While both adblockers have the same effectiveness in blocking ads, Adblock Plus is more stable and doesn’t cause the browser to slow down. Also, on video websites such as youtube.com, the normal blocking mechanism doesn’t work for ads embedded in the video. Adblock Plus has implemented a workaround so that blocking those ads becomes possible. So while both extensions do a great job, Adblock Plus works a bit faster and more reliably.
Setting up Adblock Plus
You can download Adblock Plus from the Chrome Webstore or the official Chrome Adblock Plus website. Setup takes only a few seconds, once installed, all ads are gone automatically. During setup you will receive a warning that extensions can access private data, such as your browsing history – this is a standard warning in Chrome for all extensions that modify webpages. Adblock Plus does not actually infringe on the user’s privacy.
After the installation, Adblock Plus does its job quietly in the background and no actions from the user are required. However, if you want to support a website such as techie-buzz.com you can easily disable Adblock Plus from blocking ads on this particular domain. Just click on the ABP logo in the right corner of the address bar and uncheck the “Enabled for this site” tickbox. This way, creators of great content don’t miss out on advertising revenues, while all ads on other websites are still blocked.
Add additional filter lists
Adblock Plus itself doesn’t block anything – the elements that are blocked are determined by filter rules. Advanced users can add filters themselves. Users without the time or knowledge to create filter rules can subscribe to one or more of many free filter lists. In the default setting, the “EasyList” is enabled, which blocks all ads on websites. If a user wants to block additional elements, such as malware domains, advertiser tracking or social bookmark buttons, the respective filter list needs to be added manually. Many free filter subscriptions can be found here.
To add a filter lists, it’s URL needs to be inserted into the Adblock Plus interface using copy & paste. After having copied a filter list’s URL, the user needs to right-click on the ABP icon and choose “Options” and the “Filter lists” tab. There you will find a field to add the filter list’s URL. By pasting the URL and clicking the “Add URL” button, the user has subscribed to the filter list.
For example, if you want to get rid of all Facebook like-buttons, you just need to add the Antisocial list by adding the following URL to your filter lists:
The next time you visit a website such as techie-buzz.com, all social bookmarking buttons will be gone. This is especially useful for users who never bookmark anything or are concerned about their privacy, because Facebook is well known to track and store user data from visits to websites which have the like-button implemented.
Trustware's BufferZone was an early entrant into the desktop sandboxing arena. Sandboxing, of course, is the security-by-isolation system which has since been built into apps like Google Chrome and Adobe Reader X. Recently, Trustware launched a promotion and gave away BufferZone Pro for free -- and now the company is making the discount permanent. From now on, BufferZone Pro will be freeware.
But, wait -- BufferZone still doesn't support x64, and maybe you're thinking that there will be a paid version once a 64-bit Windows version arrives. Not so, Trustware's Efrat Schneider told me in an email: "The product will continue to be free," he replied.
If you're looking for a free way to tighten up security on your Windows system, BufferZone is an excellent app for the job. We'll let you know when the 64-bit version becomes available.
Do you want to try the newest operating system for PCs? Ubuntu 10.10 has recently been released. Although many people would enjoy trying it, the need to make permanent changes to their computers may be stopping them.
There is a way to install Ubuntu 10.10 inside of Windows using the Wubi installer. If you decide you have no use for it, it can always be easily uninstalled later. Below, I’ll show you the details of a typical Wubi/Ubuntu installation.
First, you’ll need to download the correct Wubi file. The current Wubi at Ubuntu.com hasn’t been updated yet, so you’ll need to grab the file from a mirror location.
As many of you have learned by now, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, “free” means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.com. Here are the most recent additions to the site.
Quite recently, I got a new laptop and wanted to move data from the old one to the new one. Just like Firefox and Google Chrome, Opera does have a Sync service called as "Opera Link" which will allow you to sync your Bookmarks, Personal Bar, Typed History, Speed Dial, Notes and Search Engines to another computer.
I enjoy using Google’s Chrome Canary build so that I can try out the latest features of Google Chrome. Today, Canary’s update included the Chrome Labs page. This feature has been available for a few days, but only in the Chromium code base. To bring up the Labs page, you have to open a new tab and type: “about:labs” (without the quotes).
Google may say that it’s “Some crazy experimental stuff”, but so far, it’s not that crazy. The only experiment available right now is “Side Tabs”. Once enabled, you can right click on any tab to enable or disable it. Here are two screenshots below to show you what it looks like.
As you can see, the Side Tabs really change the look of the browser. I miss the rounded tabs and I’m guessing that I won’t use this new feature often. The reduction in screen width isn’t worth the ease of navigation unless you have lots and lots of tabs open.
While I’m not excited about the Side Tabs lab experiment, I am happy to see the Labs page in Chrome Canary. At least I can hope they’ll stop using those stupid command line switches now.
Labs Extension: If you don’t like having to type “about:labs” in a new tab, there’s a Labs Chrome Extension that let’s you click on a Labs icon to bring up the Labs page.
One of the most recent builds of the Chromium web browser is drawing some criticism. As you may know, Chromium is the open source browser project that Google’s Chrome web browser is based on. In the Chromium version 5.0.375.3, something new showed up. The address bar was not displaying the normal “http://” in front of addresses. It was reported in the issues at Chromium’s code site as a possible bug.
However, it turns out that this is an intentional move, and it’s started a fairly heated debate there. Some of the people posting there do not want to have the http prefix removed. Some people argue that it’s a feature that everyone will eventually want.
Apparently, if you need to copy and paste the address from the Chromium address bar, it will automatically add the “http” prefix, even though you don’t see it. This will need to happen in order to use copied URLs in other applications.
In my opinion, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem as long as the feature works as they say it will. I sometimes wonder why we even need to type the “www” in the address. It’s a waste of time and I’ll be happy if it goes away for good.