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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

By Lisa Hoover on December 31, 2007 (9:00:00 AM)

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The Firefox Web browser community has created thousands of wonderful extensions that make surfing and working with the Internet fun and productive. While many extensions are homes runs, here are a few that just don't make it out of the ballpark.

 The object of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is to write a 50,000-word novel in a mere 30 days. That's stressful enough without being constantly reminded of how far you're falling behind, yet that's just what the Nanowrimo Meter does. Most writers won't want a reminder of their cumulative lack of progress. Unless, of course, you're the type of writer that can churn out 11,554 cogent words in two days. If that's the case, we should talk.

As someone who has used Leet-speak more than once to transmit messages to my geekiest of friends (let's keep that between us), I can completely understand the attraction of the Leet Key extension. The idea of being able to automatically type in Leet is nifty, but the extension is so over-the-top geeky that it's probably best to not even download it. Or at least not tell anyone if you do. \/\/0u|dn'7 y0u 46r33?

Emurse.com is a Web site that helps job-seekers create the perfect résumé. There's an extension available that lets Emurse users send their résumés to prospective employers any time the mood strikes by simply right-clicking on any email link and choosing "Send Resume via Emurse.com." There are so many things that could go wrong with this process that it's hard to know where to begin. Emurse might send the résumé in a format the employer doesn't want; it may contain header and footer ads; and of course, it adds the potential for technical glitches or mishaps as your résumé wings its way to the human resources department. You certainly don't want to get on a job recruiter's radar because your résumé was accidentally sent 17 times. While the résumé service itself is likely a good one, the extension is better left in the toolbox.

Unless you don't browse the Internet until Mercury is in retrograde, you can probably skip AstroligicNet.com's extension that helps you identify your daily tarot and fortune cookie. On the other hand, if you use other kinds of data input to plan your day, maybe you'll find the US Department of Homeland Insecurity Idiocy Level useful.

I tried to think of a use for the Homepage Randomizer extension, and I have to admit, I'm stumped. Isn't the whole purpose of a home page to be a predictable location to return to as a starting point at the beginning or end of a browsing session? Isn't a static home page like Netvibes or iGoogle what people choose when they want a parking place for all the information they're busy collecting all day? I, for one, want to know that clicking on my homepage will take me right where I'm expecting. Maybe that's just me.

While I'm all about customizing the look and feel of the browsing experience, there is such a thing as taking the idea too far. Google Icon? Just how long are you looking at a Google search results page if you need to dress up each result with its own icon?

Grocery List Generator helps you list and track your shopping list so you always remember just what you need when you get to the store. Although it seems like this extension should have a ton of features to make it a more practical tool than other options, it really doesn't. It has space for listing food items, and it prints your list. Think I'll stick to the old-fashioned method.

Fans of comedian Tom Green might like the extension that tracks the status of his Web site, TomGreen.com. Are his fans so rabid that they need up-to-the-second information on his every movement? I don't know, since I couldn't find anyone to ask. If you're a fan then, um, enjoy this extension I found. If you're Tom Green, forget I said anything.

Every Monday we highlight a different extension, plugin, or add-on. Write an article of less than 1,000 words telling us about one that you use and how it makes your work easier, along with tips for getting the most out of it. If we publish it, we'll pay you $100. (Send us a query first to be sure we haven't already published a story on your chosen topic recently or have one in hand.)

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on Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.78.16.235] on December 31, 2007 12:34 PM
Only eight? Seriously, I can easily find hundreds that you don't need.

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.147.253.12] on January 01, 2008 12:23 AM
I hoped this article would mention some otherwise useful extension that are no longer needed.
For instance Flashblock, since Ad Block can also block Flash while having javascript turned of.

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 207.112.100.66] on January 01, 2008 01:59 AM
Woot! xkcd is a good homepage to have!
Personally, I use a webpage I own that just got a bunch of links I use often.
That replaces bookmarks for me and doesn't require syncing...

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.44.88.59] on January 01, 2008 11:55 AM
sorry author, but it's a useless article about useless things. I would rather hear about some original and useful extensions for firefox.

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.50.164.74] on January 02, 2008 04:20 PM
ahh lisa... just because you do not use some of those extensions.. it means they are useless. Have u ever contributed to the open source community with something positive? perhaps you just woke up in the bad mood :)

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Leetspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.13.8.97] on January 02, 2008 05:11 PM
Geeks use leetspeak? I thought leetspeak was for script kiddies and other wannabes.


BTW. What's up with requiring java script to post comments. And multiple captchas for a single post. Has this website no respect for its readers? And how to you start a bloody new parargraph? Sheesh!

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.70.239.4] on January 02, 2008 06:36 PM
I have a randomized homepage. I use javascript to redirect to one of seven or so sites, not that extension, but still, it's useful. I really like news, so my homepage takes me to one of the New York Times, my local paper, the International Herald Tribune, BBC news and a few more. That way, I get a lot more news and more perspectives, without wasting my time to close 8 tabs every time I open firefox.

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 189.27.215.3] on January 05, 2008 05:49 PM
I haven't used a homepage for a long time. My Firefox is set to save my session when I close it; I read news with Google Reader; if I need to search something, I open a new tab and use the Google search box next to the address bar...

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.142.146.49] on January 06, 2008 11:12 PM
Eight is a start, but have you looked at some of the plug-ins? There are a lot more than eight that are completely useless. Good article though! <a href="http://www.javasigns.com/lettering">Wall Lettering</a>

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 99.141.207.77] on January 10, 2008 11:47 AM
Thanks for the tip: the home page randomizer is just what I'm looking for!

I'm putting all my friends' blogs in it. Each time I start, I catch up with a different friend!

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.84.100.72] on January 25, 2008 11:12 PM
how do i get rid of the tabs -- i hate that they appear everytime i open firefox.

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Eight Firefox extensions you don't need

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 203.220.96.9] on February 27, 2008 12:47 AM
My home page is...
about:blank
:P

Makes the browser open soooo much quicker!

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