Firesheep: Promoting privacy in a scary way

Often, software hackers are the activists that push software giants towards updating vulnerable applications. In todays example, [Eric Butler] is pushing Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and more all at the same time. By creating a user script-kiddie friendly extension for Firefox, he has allowed just about anyone to sniff unsecured connections on public Wi-Fi access points and log into these unprotected accounts.

Right now the extension is available for Windows and Mac, with a Linux port coming soon. Temporarily, the best way for a user to avoid getting taken advantage of would be to not use these social networking sites on a public connection, or to implement a secure proxy for these connections that would keep your data safe. Hopefully these websites will have a quick rebuttal that allows for security without workarounds. With all of the bad press they are recieving, they certainly have incentive to.

Are there any software or security buffs out there? We would love to see someone port this to an iPhone or Android app that could check and log open Wi-Fi points. We’ll leave the foot work to the experts out there, but do be sure to give us a heads up if anyone manages to make it happen, okay?

Digikey sort by price script

Does anyone else find it a little ironic the electronic retailer SparkFun is advocating scripts to help Digikey have a Sort By Price function? Regardless, to reiterate now Firefox (and we hear Google Chrome too) users with the Greasemonkey plugin can sort Digikey items. Personally, some of us here are just Mouser fans at heart.

[Thanks Charper and Mohonri and Satiagraha, image credit Make]

How to overlay images by using Greasemonkey

HaD_frame

Today we’re going to take a look at writing scripts for the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox. This add-on allows us to use JavaScript to make changes to the way webpages are displayed on our browser. These changes can only be seen by a copy of Firefox that is running a particular script. As an example, we’re going to write a script that adds a border to the banner image of each article on Hack a Day by overlaying the image you see above. Find out how it’s done after the break. Continue reading “How to overlay images by using Greasemonkey”

Custom shortcuts from Firefox address bar

firefox_bookmark

We picked up a great Firefox bookmark tip from [Colin]. He wanted an easier way to look up bug numbers on the launchpad bug tracker. Because the url is always the same with the bug number at the end of the address, he replaced the final portion of the url with %s. Now, when he types the keyword followed by the bug number in the address bar the bug page loads right up.

We don’t do all that many bug searches but it’s immediately obvious that this can be useful in a lot of ways. In the photo above you can see we’ve set up a shortcut to the tag pages for hackaday.com. Now we just type “hack” with the tag we want after it. Add this to your bookmarks and try typing “hack firefox” into the address bar.

Trim the fat from Gmail

minimal gmail

Google’s Gmail is a highly viable option for email. With numerous features and options like widgets, a task list, labels, and chat, Gmail has a slight tendency to get overwhelming and might force us to loose focus on what it is really all about: email.

What can make Gmail better? For starters, how about no ads; they are cluttering and distracting. What about getting rid of the widgets and unnecessary features like labels and chat that we think are supposed to make us more productive but really only make us lose our focus to send, read and reply to email? Nobody knows Zen better than [Leo] at Zen Habits. We weren’t surprised that he and his friends (with Firefox and Greasemonkey) have found a way to trim all the unnecessary elements from Gmail and make it into an email powerhouse that focuses on a basic productive email client. The minimalist inbox for Gmail consists of Greasemonkey scripts for:

  • Removing gadgets
  • Hiding labels, chat and footer
  • Removing ads
  • Removing stars
  • Getting rid of the Gmail logo and searchbar
  • Removing menu navigation bar
  • Cleaning up and removing unnecessary buttons

To get started focusing on email, and only email, head on over to ZenHabits for a list of associated scripts and what exactly they can do to help you on your road to the minimalist Gmail.

Build your own browser extensions for Google Chrome

google-chrome-logo

[Ryan] posted a writeup on developing extensions for Google Chrome. The extension system utilizes HTML with a JavaScript API which is still sparsely documented. After taking us through his twitter bar extension project, he concludes that the Chrome extensions are not nearly as versatile as what we’re used to seeing with Firefox. That being said, this is a move in the right direction for the young browser.

[related: Google Chrome roundup]