Tech Talk #70 – Feb. 3, 2018

Switch from Chrome to Firefox

I’ve been a fan of Google’s Chrome browser for years. When it first launched, it was fast and very configurable. The sync feature made it easy to have the same bookmarks on both my desktop and my laptop, and there were lots of extensions that made it better and safer than browsing without them.


Lately, though, Chrome has started helping itself to more and more of my system’s RAM. Because Chrome is currently the most used browser worldwide, websites are starting to show up that are ‘optimized’ for Google Chrome. That sort of optimization wasn’t good for the web when Microsoft did it with Internet Explorer when it was number one, and it’s not good now.


And honestly, my computer just runs better without Chrome.


The latest version of Firefox is just as fast as Chrome. Even faster, depending on who’s running the tests.


My must-have extensions for web-browsing (HTTPS Everywhere, Disconnect, and UBlockOrigin) are all available for Firefox. UBlockOrigin is even built-in to Firefox, so that’s one less extension for the browser to run.


Firefox blocks tracking requests as a default setting, which protects your browsing data from being recorded by third parties looking to sell targeted ads; pages load faster without that tracking going on.


Screenshots of the web page I’m looking at are easy with Firefox’s Screenshots. Click a button, and I can save part or all of a web page to file.


Give Firefox a try if you’re having any issues with Chrome.


How to turn off browser notifications

Sure, websites are useful, but they’re getting annoying, asking for your location or permission to send you notifications.


Maybe, at some point, notifications from websites were a good idea. But why get a notification from your PC about new content or a new Facebook post when your phone is giving you the same notification? If you don’t want websites bugging you about your location or sending you notifications here’s how to turn ‘em off.



Hit the menu icon and select Options, then select Privacy & Security. Scroll down to the Permissions section and select Notifications Settings icon. There you can revoke notification permissions from sites either individually or all at once.


If you want to disable notifications entirely; in your address bar, enter “about:config” and search for “dom.webnotifications.enabled.” Right-click the entry and toggle the value to “false.”



Use the Menu icon (the three vertical dots) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom and open Advanced. Scroll down and select the Content Settings tab in the Privacy and Security section. Select Notifications and toggle the “Ask before sending” setting to “off.”


Microsoft Edge

If you follow my Windows 10 privacy settings recommendations, then you’re not being bothered by browser notifications. If not, to remove sites that already have access to notifications in Microsoft Edge, hit the menu icon in the top right and select Settings. Scroll down to Advanced Settings, then select Website permissions. Toggle off permissions for all sites listed here, including notifications.


To disable notifications completely in Edge, hit the Start menu and select the Settings icon. Select System, then “Notifications & actions” where you can edit which apps will show up in your action center. Just scroll down to Microsoft Edge and toggle it off.



Apple made it easy to disable notifications in Safari. Select Safari in your Mac’s menu bar, then select Preferences. Click the Notifications tab and deselect the “Allow websites to ask for permission to send push notifications” box.



Read the manual

All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.”

— IBM Manual, 1925 (not a misprint, 1925)


Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at

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