Category Archives: Software

Memo to Self: How to Get Multi-Level Outlines in Word to Work Like I Expect

There are lots and lots of things about Word that drive this long-time WordPerfect user nuts. Turns out there’s a fix for one of them: Tab Key Does Not Change List Level in Microsoft Word.

The fix is buried deep inside the options page.  Really deep.  But toggle the right option and at least there’s one less annoyance.

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Firefox Borks Almost all Extensions, Fix Coming

Late yesterday something happened to Firefox that disabled almost all extensions. According to Mozilla, it was something about the certificate they used to sign extensions, they know about it and are fixing it:

Late on Friday May 3rd, we became aware of an issue with Firefox that prevented existing and new add-ons from running or being installed. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to people who use Firefox.

Our team has identified and rolled-out a fix for all Firefox Desktop users on Release, Beta and Nightly. The fix will be automatically applied in the background within the next few hours. No active steps need to be taken to make add-ons work again. In particular, please do not delete and/or re-install any add-ons as an attempt to fix the issue. Deleting an add-on removes any data associated with it, where disabling and re-enabling does not.

Please note: The fix does not apply to Firefox ESR or Firefox for Android. We’re working on releasing a fix for both, and will provide updates here and on social media.

They also describe a way to get the fix faster, but I tried it and it has yet to work for me….

Update: 5/5/19 – the fix, using the “studies” option is working for me today.

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‘Smart Referer’ Firefox Extension Blocks Google Two-Factor Authentication

The other day I echoed recommendations on Hardening Firefox that I got from an article by Keith Axline. Since then, however, I’ve learned two things.

First, Axline has changed his recommendations from HTTPS Everywhere to Smart HTTPS for the reasons given in this thread.

Second, I discovered that when I had Smart Referer on, I wasn’t able to use Google two-factor authentication.  Instead,  when google asked me to authenticate via my phone, I got timeouts instantly.

Disabling the Smart Referer extension temporarily (which is easy as it creates a button on the toolbar) allowed me to log in, and things seem to work fine if I re-enable Smart Referer immediately after I log in to my Gmail.  But that may be more annoyance than most people want, especially given that Google two factor authentication is more annoyance than most people want.

Posted in Software, Sufficiently Advanced Technology | 1 Comment

Memo to Self re: Hardening Firefox (Updated)

Make sure all of the following extensions are installed on all my computers

Also use 1.1.1.1 for DNS and change default search engine to Duck Duck Go or to Startpage. Full manual DNS settings are:

 1.1.1.1
 1.0.0.1 
 2606:4700:4700::1111 
 2606:4700:4700::1001

As per A Few Simple Steps to Vastly Increase Your Privacy Online.

Note that I already have a VPN, or I’d be suggesting that too.

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Firefox Hates On Its Users

Ok, maybe FF57 is faster, but it’s uglier and less functional. They finally pulled the trigger and killed off thousands of add-ons. My workflow just got noticeably worse.

I just lost about 30 enhancements and extensions. Admittedly, many were just frills. But I’ll particularly miss Tab Mix Plus, Autocopy, CoLT, Tab Mix Plus, Zoom Page and the beautiful and functional Nautipolis theme.

Oh, and did I mention I’m missing Tab Mix Plus?

With this revision and the disabling of key customizations, FireFox eliminates its #1 advantage over Chrome. After all these years, I may just switch.

Posted in Internet, Software | 4 Comments

Avira Does Not Play Nice With GCal Under IE11

avira-logoFor the record: under Win 7, IE 11, the Avira antivirus browser plugin causes Google’s calendar site, GCal, to freeze up and do other strange things. Using just Avira real-time protection, the main anti-virus program, does not cause the problem, just the browser add-on. The odd thing was that Gmail worked fine, but Gcal locked up, or got caught in a scripting error.

The fix is simple: disable the Avira add-on.

And, before you ask, no I don’t use IE much, but I do use it to access a 2nd gcal calendar that belongs to an organization without signing out of Google on my main browser or commingling the two identities in any way.

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