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Can I disable ALL sounds in Firefox?

 
 
John Thompson
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      12-14-2006
On 2006-12-13, Janice P <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On Tue, 12 Dec 2006 20:31:42 -0600, John Thompson <(E-Mail Removed)2.dhs.org>
> posted:
>
>>On 2006-12-12, Janice P <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>> I'd like to set Firefox to absolutely ignore any and all embedded sounds
>>>

>>Turn down the volume on your speakers?

>
> Of course! I should have thought of that! Why should I listen to music I
> love on my $200 sound card when I could simply turn off the speakers and
> never have to hear my music interrupted by unwelcome and unexpected spam
> ever again!
>
> Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful advice!


It wasn't meant to be sarcastic at all; in fact it is exactly what I do.

Don't dismiss the obvious out-of-hand.

--

John ((E-Mail Removed))
 
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John Thompson
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      12-14-2006
On 2006-12-13, FoxWolfie Galen <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> > On Tue, 12 Dec 2006 20:31:42 -0600, John Thompson <(E-Mail Removed)2.dhs.org>
>> > posted:
>> >
>> >> Turn down the volume on your speakers?


> That's not really an effective solution, unless you plan on taping the
> volume control to the zero setting. Forget to turn it down just one time
> and you end up regretting it at the most annoying and inconvenient times.
> Taping the button in place sort of defeats the purpose of owning speakers
> for their many legitimate uses.


Most linux distributions these days seem to have a panel button to mute
the speakers; my laptop (ancient Thinkpad-240) has a function key
combination to do this. I wouldn't be surprised if Windows hd a similar
option someplace. When I get a noise I don't want, it is no great burden
to click the mute button or keypress.

> Have you ever been browsing quietly in the
> middle of the night while everyone in the house was asleep, only to have
> something start blasting away at high volume, waking everyone in the house
> and nearly causing a heart attack due to it's unexpected suddenness.


No. When browsing quitely in the middle of the night I generally take
care to enable the mute function from the start. Or plug in headphones.

--

John ((E-Mail Removed))
 
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FoxWolfie Galen
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      12-14-2006
On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 17:24:55 -0700, Janice P. <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 17:50:33 -0500, FoxWolfie Galen <(E-Mail Removed)>
> posted:
>
> >Have you ever been browsing quietly in the
> >middle of the night while everyone in the
> >house was asleep, only to have
> >something start blasting away at high volume

>
> Yes, all the time. Or I might be listening to some music or watching a
> movie and have it interrupted by some jerk's idea of a funny sound from
> his web page. As I said in an earlier post, embedded sounds are almost
> always annoying and almost never meaningful. I have never yet come across
> a single embedded sound that mattered, that was important, that helped
> fulfill why I came to that website, never in all these years, not one.


That's probably why they're embedded. The content is rarely something that
a user would purposely click on, so site owners think they must force it on
people. This is totally different than sites with videos or music links
that require the user to select them. In those cases, the user selects them
because they are desirable.

> >Nothing is more annoying than browsing eBay and having a dozen tabs
> >open to different listings, when one of them starts a high volume sales
> >pitch.

>
> I've written to eBay many times to try and convince them to ban embedded
> sounds, but they just ignore me.


I've had a couple sellers try to argue with me and say that the embedded
sounds and flash animations on their eBay pages attract many more buyers.
The odd thing is that I've talked with many eBay buyers, and excessive
animations and sounds are one of their biggest turn-offs to a seller's
page. Many user's simply won't bother to buy from sellers if their pages
are annoying to use. I solved the flash and animated gif problem on eBay by
putting

*ebay.com/*.swf

in my AdBlock filters. That alone kills 99.9 percent of the flash
animations on eBay. They are almost always from sellers forcing people to
view their other items - whether they want to or not. I know where the
"view sellers other items" link is, if I want to use it. This also blocks
the flash animations that talk and play music or other sounds. Another good
thing is that I don't end up with 20 different flash files running in
different tabs, which often brings Firefox to a crawl. For gif animations,
I just set the about:config entry for image.animation_mode to once. That
way, gifs cycle through an animation just once then stop. It speeds up
Firefox on pages where there are dozens of animated images. You can set
that to none, once, or normal.

> >Firefox could use a new option right under the "automatically load
> >images" option. It would be "automatically play sounds." Better yet
> >would be that option with a whitelist for acceptable sites. That way,
> >going to a news site to play a video would allow the sound to be heard,
> >but all other non-approved sounds would be forever silenced.

>
> Bingo. We get an option to block images, when they're almost always
> useful, but not to block sounds, when they're almost always annoying.


It seems that forced sounds are rarely content, and almost always spammy in
nature. The same seems to apply to most animated images, and flash files
that auto play. Most actual useful content has to be clicked on and
initiated by the user. If something is already moving or making sounds when
you arrive on a page, and prior to any user activity, it is almost
guaranteed to be either spam, or an ad.

If only the web could once again be as spam-free and fast as it was ten
years ago. I started browsing with Netscape 1.1N back at the beginning of
1994. Mosaic was the only other choice that actually worked on most sites
at the time. Even on a 56k modem, the web was quite fast. There were no ads
and no spam. Sites didn't make sounds, even though Netscape could play
midi, au, and wave with a plugin. There were almost no commercial sites on
the web, which have become some of the worst around. Porn sites back then
didn't even have spam! They were totally free with no advertising.
Everything was personal stuff from other users with a genuine interest in
their little piece of the web. Search engines found actual content almost
instantly, and on the first page, rather than making users wade through
pages of unwanted junk. It's so sad to realize that even with broadband,
pages come up much slower now than they did with a dialup modem ten years
ago. So much for progress. It probably helped that when I first used a
browser, there were only something like 4,000 total websites in existence
in the world! Within months, that number passed 40,000 and just kept
accelerating.

Currently, Firefox is the closest browser we have to allowing users to
browse the way they want, without the ads, spam, popups, etc, that plague
the web. It even allows for killing most of the sounds and other
annoyances, but they don't make it very easy for beginners to adjust some
of these things. I have mine set up mostly as I want, but it took lots of
google searching, looking through these groups and the mozilla site, and a
few accumulated years, just to get Firefox the way I preferred. Starting to
learn some css has been helpful too. Of course, most users are not going to
make the efforts to learn so much. If they can't make it work the way they
like from within the program's interface, they will simply try with other
browsers, like IE or Opera. The main problem I see for beginners is a lack
of easy to change options in the browser's interface. Firefox is infinitely
customizable, but the average user simply won't venture outside the
built-in interface for changing anything. They are forced to use it in ways
that are not always suitable for their needs. The new tabs is a good
example. How many new people have had to be told how to remove the close
buttons using about:config, or how to kill the tab drop down box by editing
css files. How many had to have special instructions for removing the go
buttons, or to enable spell-checking in single-line text boxes? All of
those are basic options that should be made available via checkboxes on the
option screens. Firefox is such a wonderful and capable browser, but it's
true power is hidden from most average users who often want to make simple
ergonomic changes so it can be easier for them to use. Having a kill
embedded sounds option would definitely benefit many people I know. Maybe
it could kill any sound that was not initiated by a direct mouse click or
press of the enter key.
--
FoxWolfie
 
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FoxWolfie Galen
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      12-14-2006
On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 22:10:07 -0600, John Thompson <(E-Mail Removed)2.dhs.org>
wrote:

> On 2006-12-13, FoxWolfie Galen <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >> > On Tue, 12 Dec 2006 20:31:42 -0600, John Thompson <(E-Mail Removed)2.dhs.org>
> >> > posted:
> >> >
> >> >> Turn down the volume on your speakers?

>
> > That's not really an effective solution, unless you plan on taping the
> > volume control to the zero setting. Forget to turn it down just one time
> > and you end up regretting it at the most annoying and inconvenient times.
> > Taping the button in place sort of defeats the purpose of owning speakers
> > for their many legitimate uses.

>
> Most linux distributions these days seem to have a panel button to mute
> the speakers; my laptop (ancient Thinkpad-240) has a function key
> combination to do this. I wouldn't be surprised if Windows hd a similar
> option someplace. When I get a noise I don't want, it is no great burden
> to click the mute button or keypress.


Windows does have a task tray icon for muting or changing the volume. That
would not solve the problem for the OP who stated that he might be
purposely listening to music, and he does not want the browser making
sounds over that music. If I am playing an mp3 file, and the browser
happens to make sound of it's own, those sounds will often be louder than
the music that is playing, and quite annoying. In my case, I sometimes have
a TV channel playing through my computer speakers. If I get a sudden loud
talking ad in Firefox, it masks the dialog from the TV show I was listening
to. Not everyone wants to block all flash movies and remove their midi and
wave plugins just to keep the browser silent while listening to other
material.

> > Have you ever been browsing quietly in the
> > middle of the night while everyone in the house was asleep, only to have
> > something start blasting away at high volume, waking everyone in the house
> > and nearly causing a heart attack due to it's unexpected suddenness.

>
> No. When browsing quitely in the middle of the night I generally take
> care to enable the mute function from the start. Or plug in headphones.


That blocks all sound, even those that are desired. I often like to have
quiet music playing, but without the browser walking over it at max volume.
It seems that many sites that embed sound also know how to crank it out at
50 times the volume of whatever else is currently playing at the time. That
is partly why it is so darned annoying. Going into the mixer settings can
sometimes reduce the sound of the browser compared to what else is playing,
but finding the mixer device that a particular embedded file is using is
not always reproducible. One time they pipe it across the wave device,
Another time it comes through on aux, midi, fm, etc. I really don't like to
adjust the individual sound devices relative to each other, as they are
currently set so that anything I do intentionally is of a similar volume.
In other words, I like to leave it set so that when I play a CD, an mp3, a
midi, or a game with FM sound, they are all at about the same level. This
is especially useful if I should decide to record something. I can know
that the volumes are at least close regardless of the source, even if I'm
in a hurry. Having to turn some down or off for the browser has negative
side effects when I want to play a sound later on in some other
application. Worse yet, sometimes the browser sound will come across the
same mixer channel that is already playing my own music, but at a much
higher volume. If I turn that down, my music naturally goes down with it.

The only solution is to kill the sounds from within Firefox. Right now,
adblock filters take care of 99.9 percent of the unwanted sounds, but some
still sneak through on certain occasions. I know I can pull all the default
sound plugins from the browser. That would break things for when I wanted
to play something though. Perhaps I might want to listen to a sample track
from a CD that I'm wanting to buy from Amazon or something. I want the
sounds then, because I am purposely clicking on them. I do not want any
embedded sounds or anything that could potentially auto play. I only want
to hear sounds or to play videos as the result of a purposeful mouse click
on my part. I *never* want such material pushed or forced to play on me
simply as a result of loading a page. We can control our fonts, colors,
cookies, javascript, images, plugins, etc. Why can't we have the same level
of control over forced embedded sounds? Filters work most of the time, but
they fail often enough to be a problem, especially when people discover new
ways to get around the common filters. Sound pushers are no better than
spam pushers. Their drugs are not wanted here!
--
FoxWolfie
 
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FoxWolfie Galen
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      12-14-2006
On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 17:24:54 -0700, Janice P. <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 17:54:42 -0500, FoxWolfie Galen <(E-Mail Removed)>
> posted:
>
> >The proper behavior, in my
> >opinion, would be to paint menu backgrounds and any table cell
> >backgrounds in the user's specified background color.

>
> Zackly.
>
> >I also have an issue with large areas with
> >bright backgrounds due to photo-sensitivity in my eyes.

>
> And here I thought I was the only person on Earth sitting here in the
> dark, surfing the web, wearing sunglasses.


I personally know several people with various visual disabilities. Most
require larger than normal text in order to read easily. It's another area
where you really have to fight with Firefox over. Unlike other browsers,
Firefox doesn't seem to cope well with larger than average fonts. It often
display test across images and beyond table boundaries. Often the only
solution is to go to the view menu and set the page style to none. This
often renders pages that rely heavily on styles unusable. Try to read and
of the many TV or satellite listing sites with styles turned off. They are
simple no useable that way. With the style set to the default basic style,
large text overflows table cells and overwrites other text so badly that
Firefox simply can't be used on those sights by people who require large
text. Users naturally try IE or Opera, which displays them without a
problem. The only solution in Firefox is to Ctrl- until the fonts are too
small to read, then use a magnifying lens to read the screen. Needless to
say, Firefox is not always the browser of choice for some people with
vision problems. Luckily for me, I only need my text to be slightly larger
than average, so it doesn't break as many pages.

The transparent menu and table problems don't occur in IE if you choose
your own colors. I have not tried in Opera though, as I never could get it
to run for more than 20 minutes on any system without crashing, so I don't
have it installed at the moment. One thing Firefox has got in it's favor is
that I can't recall it ever crashing on any system I've tried it on -
except when repeatedly trying different themes, one after the other. I
blamed that on bad themes at the time though, since Firefox is so perfectly
stable at all other times.

Even with it's faults, Firefox has been my preferred browser since it was
called Phoenix. Then it became FireBird, then FireFox. I think I started
around version 0.4. Prior to that, I used Netscape 4.8. Firefox 0.9x had a
weird stalling issue that acted as if it would hang for about 15 seconds at
the start of most webpages. That's when I discovered that my copy of
Netscape 4.8 was no longer good to use. It started crashing on half the
javascript sites I tried. They'd updated javascript in that time. I was
stuck with Firefox, as I hated IE in most every way. Luckily, Firefox was
being update something like every few weeks and when I downloaded the
release candidate for 1.0, the hanging problem vanished. Generally,
everything's been improving with Firefox since then - except for some
disagreeable ergonomic changes with the tabs in 2.0. Those problems were
quickly resolved though.

The only real weaknesses I currently see in Firefox are some rendering
issues for people with large text and the lack of an ability to use your
own colors with some pages with pull-down menus or certain table
configurations, as it fails to paint the user's chosen background color in
the menus and tables, but uses transparent instead. Then there's the lack
of easy to access customization features for the ergonomic use of the
browser from within the options interface - the tab appearance and close
button being the main issue. Just as some people are right handed or left
handed, some are geared towards multiple close buttons and others toward
just one at a fixed location on the tab bar. Simple ergonomic choices like
that should always be available as an easy to find option. Things like this
can only help to keep Firefox far ahead of other browsers.
--
FoxWolfie
 
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Ed Mullen
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      12-15-2006
Janice P. wrote:
> On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 14:15:54 -0500, Ed Mullen <(E-Mail Removed)> posted:
>
>> Small wave and mp3 tests are there now.

>
> Wonderful! I'm delighted to report that midi, wav, and mp3 all remain
> silent with that little extension installed
>
>> On your examples what's happening is that the images used for the menus
>> are not being loaded because you've over-ridden them with your
>> preferences. No idea why at this point. Perhaps one of the CSS gurus
>> will step in and suggest a fix using CSS in Firefox.

>
> I know nothing at all about style sheets, but it does seem to me that if
> you're able to recognize and define an area to use or ignore a background
> jpeg, you should also be able to define that area as a solid color.


Anything is possible ... for a price. It's a no-cost option to imagine
what /could/ be possibly done and another to realize it into existence.
Not arguing against there being faults in CSS, HTML, W3C and browser
standards, just reacting to the implication that /doing/ what you say is
easy. My mention of CSS (style sheets) was because it is a way that
Mozilla-based browsers allow the user to control the presentation of
things in the browser. It takes a lot of learning and some skill to
employ but the facility is there to take advantage of.

>> Another (obvious) possibility is for me (and other sites) to provide
>> alternative style sheets from which the user can choose.

>
> I can see the occasional friendly individual doing such a thing, but never
> the corporate monolith. Their attitude has always been and apparently
> always will be "Tough. March in step or go away."
>
>> I could do one
>> that darkens the background image to suit users who find it too bright.
>> If I get the time I'll certainly consider that. Shouldn't be too
>> hard, I just need the time.

>
> Indeed. If you were to do such a thing, I would personally love to see the
> opposite extreme: As dark as possible. Black with primarily light green
> text. I miss the days of the greenscreen! In the old days all of the
> bulletin board software defaulted to a black background. Dos started black
> and it's still black. When did this cruel shift to white creep in?


When displays became capable of producing a wide enough contrast ratio
to mimic paper, which is, after all, the original that computers try to
reproduce.


> People lean back from their computers and rub their tired eyes and say "My eyes are
> burning so bad! I've been at the computer for hours!" ... well DUH! Their
> eyes would also be burning if they stared directly into several hundred
> watts of bright white light bulbs, which is about the same as several
> hundred watts of bright white monitor screen. But a black screen with
> moderately colored text is gentle on the eyes! I can be at the computer
> sixteen hours straight and not be frazzled at all, while the whitescreen
> user is squirting Visine into his eyes after two hours.



Well, your preferences are interesting. I'm 56 and wear glasses,
separate ones for computing, "regular" ones for all else. I frequently
have to increase text size on Web sites but I do not share your contrast
sensitivity. Nor do I share your affinity for green screens, despite
having been raised on them (computing wise). <g> I prefer black text on
white background, like a book. And neither my LCD panels nor my CRTs
produce anywhere near the amount of light even a 60 watt light bulb
does! This may be representative of the situation for you but I can't
help but take exception to the characterization on a logical basis. And
I sit in front of this screen on an average of (I'm guessing) 10 hours a
day. And I've been doing that for ... uh ... sheesh, 20+ years.

But the interesting thing, to me, about this is the question of: Where
would a Web site designer start to create alternative style sheets? I
mean, you like low-contrast, black background, light green text. Others
might like the paper analogy, as I do. Still others might prefer the
reverse: White text on a black background. I'm sure I could find
others who would better like a myriad of other combinations. While I'd
love to accommodate everyone, it's a hobby for me and there are only so
many hours in the day. Not to mention that it's a losing proposition;
to borrow from Abe Lincoln:

/You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people
all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time./

--
Ed Mullen
http://edmullen.net
http://mozilla.edmullen.net
http://abington.edmullen.net
Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day in my
underwear. Instead, I will move my computer into the bedroom.
 
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Janice P.
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      12-15-2006
On Thu, 14 Dec 2006 21:47:23 -0500, Ed Mullen <(E-Mail Removed)> posted:

>> and it's still black. When did this cruel shift to white creep in?

>
>When displays became capable of producing a wide enough contrast ratio
>to mimic paper, which is, after all, the original that computers try to
>reproduce.


Indeed.

>I prefer black text on white background, like a book.


I have heard the book analogy before. My reply is that a book is reflected
light, while a monitor is transmitted light. With a monitor, you're looking
directly into the source. There is a great deal of difference!

>And neither my LCD panels nor my CRTs
>produce anywhere near the amount of light even a 60 watt light bulb
>does!


In a darkened room with a black screen, when a white background suddenly
comes up it's like looking into an airplane landing light.

>Where would a Web site designer start to create alternative style sheets?


Tough call. I know nothing about how they work, but my first guess is to
ask once then plant a cookie, then look to that cookie for guidance next
time I visit.

>/You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people
>all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time./


I know I'll never see a solution in my lifetime, so long as the rest of the
world likes lime green on purple

At the very least, though, it would be nice for the Firefox programmers to
deal with this problem of transparency.

J.

 
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Janice P.
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      12-15-2006
On Thu, 14 Dec 2006 08:55:54 -0500, FoxWolfie Galen <(E-Mail Removed)>
posted:

>I personally know several people with various visual disabilities. Most
>require larger than normal text in order to read easily. It's another area
>where you really have to fight with Firefox over.


And Windows, too. It's easy to enlarge text that never changes, like the
text in the title bar of a window, and even in many other areas, but there's
no way to enlarge the smallest text, for example in the Explorer status bar.
Gates set that system font size back in the 640 x 480 days and lacked the
foresight to allow for ever making it any bigger as resolutions got higher,
and now it's too late. Thousands of apps use it and depend on it and if you
do manage to override it with a larger font, those apps simply display the
part of the text that fits and truncate the rest. So Gates now throws in a
free magnifying glass that is guaranteed to induce motion sickness when used
extensively.

>The transparent menu and table problems don't occur in IE if you choose
>your own colors.


Wow. Impressive. But still not enough to send me to IE, which I have never
used regularly and never will. I'd leave the Internet first. But thanks to
Firefox I don't think that will have to happen

 
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Janice P.
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      12-15-2006
On Thu, 14 Dec 2006 08:02:42 -0500, FoxWolfie Galen <(E-Mail Removed)>
posted:

>On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 22:10:07 -0600, John Thompson <(E-Mail Removed)2.dhs.org>
>wrote:


>> When I get a noise I don't want, it is no great burden
>> to click the mute button or keypress.


Wow. I guess you really are serious. What an unthinkable solution.
Killing the unwanted sound also kills all of the wanted sounds. I find it
staggering that an intelligent person could seriously offer this sniveling,
subservient behavior as a legitimate solution. Not to mention that by the
time the blast has happened and the mute button is reached, the damage is
already done. Oh, wait, maybe I should just surf in silence for the rest of
my life. I keep forgetting which of the two unthinkable "solutions" is
preferred.

>In my case, I sometimes have
>a TV channel playing through my computer speakers.


Exactly. Or a CD playing in my computer drive. Or a friend or family
member talking to me! Good grief.

>If I get a sudden loud
>talking ad in Firefox, it masks the
>dialog from the TV show I was listening to.


>> No. When browsing quitely in the middle of the night I generally take
>> care to enable the mute function from the start.


How sad that you sit there in total silence rather than enjoy a movie or
some music or a streaming news report. Sadder still is that you would
inflict this behavior on others.

>Or plug in headphones.


Now I really do pity you. Those of us with families in the house do not
care to isolate ourselves from them by wearing headphones, nor set such an
example for our children.

>That blocks all sound, even those that are desired.


Exactly my point from the start. We're going in circles with this guy.

>I know I can pull all the default
>sound plugins from the browser.


I'd be willing to do that. How?

>Perhaps I might want to listen to a sample track
>from a CD that I'm wanting to buy from Amazon or something.


Perhaps. I'd be willing to download and launch them manually. I don't even
want my browser doing that for me.

>I only want
>to hear sounds or to play videos as the result of a purposeful mouse click
>on my part. I *never* want such material pushed or forced to play on me
>simply as a result of loading a page.


Hear hear. Firefox programmers, can you hear?

>Sound pushers are no better than
>spam pushers. Their drugs are not wanted here!


Well said.

J.

 
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Janice P.
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      12-15-2006
On Thu, 14 Dec 2006 07:22:39 -0500, FoxWolfie Galen <(E-Mail Removed)>
posted:

>That alone kills 99.9 percent of the flash
>animations on eBay.


Well, I personally don't have Flash installed in my Firefox, and never will.
When I just absolutely have to enable Flash to get past some jerk
programmer, I use Netscape 7, and then jump back to Firefox as soon as
possible.

>For gif animations,
>I just set the about:config entry for image.animation_mode to once.


That worked! You are my hero of the day!

>If only the web could once again be as spam-free and fast as it was ten
>years ago.


If only. But that's like asking television to go back to the days of only
three minutes of commercials per hour, instead of the twenty minutes
inflicted now. It's simply not going to happen.

>when I first used a
>browser, there were only something like 4,000 total websites in existence
>in the world!


How about before that, in the BBS days? Those were the days. I had (and
still have) what I think is the fastest modem ever made for the Commodore
64, a 2400 baud. I remember feeling faint when the new Amiga allowed an
optional 9600 baud modem!

>Currently, Firefox is the closest browser we have to allowing users to
>browse the way they want


I agree, and I hope they keep improving it.

>The main problem I see for beginners is a lack
>of easy to change options in the browser's interface.


That's my very problem. I'm new to this and learning all of this tweaking
takes a great deal of time.

>Maybe it could kill any sound that was not initiated by a
>direct mouse click or press of the enter key.


Maybe. That would sure be nice.

J.

 
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Sounds from my laptop like water gurgling - strange comp sounds.wma (0/1) joevan Computer Support 16 06-29-2010 04:30 PM
Re: Can't turn sounds on in Vista..... can someone help? #2 wisdomkiller & pain Computer Support 0 09-10-2008 03:19 PM
Re: Can't turn sounds on in Vista..... can someone help? Darlington Computer Support 0 09-10-2008 07:22 AM
disable Windows login and logout sounds DL Computer Support 6 12-19-2006 01:14 AM



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