I don’t think “nuisance breeds innovation” was ever a common phrase, but that is exactly how greasemonkey, the firefox extension, came into life. Greasemonkey lets users add their own scripts to web pages they visit. Yeah, I didn’t really jump out my seat when I heard that in January, but then I started to see people apply it. Sure there’s the standard “remove all advertising” hacks and the slightly more interesting “skip full ad pages”, but there is so much more you can do. You can beat stupidly designed web pages into submission: force Ain’t It Cool News headlines to use reasonable font sizes and turn off that stupid highlighting crap, clean up Slashdot’s ugly section colors, replace Pitchfork’s flash menu with text links. Greasemonkey can do so much more though. It can be used to combine the information of multiple sites like some sort of magical duct tape (not that duct tape isn’t already magical). Check out the screenshot of Book Burro above. You can also imbed information from IMDB into your Netflix pages or vice versa. Of course all of this rampant page modification hasn’t gone unnoticed. Greasemonkey and its scripts are really easy to install (falling down the stairs level of ease). So, there is no reason not to try it out. Check out the excellent free online book Dive Into Greasemonkey to get started.