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Favicons in bookmarks - How to get rid of them? (Firefox 3)

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Scarlettrunner20

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Post Posted June 10th, 2008, 3:12 am

Bluefang, I understand a lot more than you do about privacy and the internet. According to you, ALL users of CookieSafe have an abnormal paranoia about their privacy. Hmmm....that is a considerable number of folks and we all have Fx3 working properly now thanks to the hard working efforts of the developer whom you have just impunged (along with all users of CookieSafe) as having "obsessive paranoia" regarding privacy and the internet.

Why did you quote the Mozilla NEW Privacy Policy? You thought I didn't know about it I guess? Well think again and do no underestimate me. I block all Mozilla sites now in my Hosts file because of Mozilla's privacy policy changes and a lot of other users do also and many are very unhappy with what Mozilla has chosen to do. I do still use Addons because that site is not yet included in the rape of our privacy. But with the forcing of extension developers to put all the extensions there and not on their own sites where they should be, it appears that Mozilla is slowly moving to remove all privacy (it began with the privacy violations in Fx2 that were not in earlier versions) and what that holds for us who care about our privacy may mean that we will have to give up Fx if Addons is eventually added to the new Mozilla Privacy Policy as a site where you are tracked.

As for reporting broken sites, of course I don't do that. I just use another browser for the site if I really have to go to a site broken in Fx. I don't know anyone who submits data to Microsoft when Fx crashes, or any other application crashes, but I do submit (after I, of course, examine all the data that will be sent and sometimes I decline to submit based on the fact identifying data, data that is very personal, etc. is included in the report), and I am ridiculed for not saying no all the time to Microsoft submission for crashes at most security sites I frequent.

From your remarks, I see that you don't appear to care much about privacy so there is not realy any point in discussing the issue with you. I am not going to sit by and wait for the day when I wake up in a totalitarian society with Big Brother watching and George Orwell laughing. You may not care, but I will fight tooth and nail in every way possible and the internet is a major area of concern as far as privacy goes. If my ISP does a Phorm then it is probably all over as I have no other choice for broadband so I may be forced to give up the internet entirely in the not so distant future as most ISPs in the USA have implemented Phorm/NetBuAd already or are in talks with these sleazeballs. I already have Phorm extension for Fx and the latest version is now experimental also for NetBuAD which is what the USA ISPs are more likely to use than Phorm but it is a fig leaf to barely, minimally protect our privacy. So, it may come soon to all of us, as it already has in England, a stark choice...no privacy and the internet or no internet and some privacy. That is unless Congress acts to put a stop to this madness. There will be some, of course, who have choices in broadband providers and they can just switch to a provider who is not full of greed and pledges to not use Phorm but many of us have only one choice for broadband.

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Post Posted June 10th, 2008, 5:08 am

Scarlettrunner20 wrote: I may be forced to give up the internet entirely in the not so distant future


Happy days :)
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kliu0x52

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Post Posted June 10th, 2008, 5:45 am

Privacy in the way you describe it is impossible if you ever intend to interact with anything instead of being a holed-up recluse. Whether or not someone has knowledge of what you did is not important (for example, you don't care that the bouncer at the strip club knows that you frequent that establishment); what matters and what really defines privacy is what is done with that information (returning to that example, you would care if that bouncer then announced your patronage to your coworkers). Otherwise, the only way to prevent people from having any knowledge of what you did is to never interact with anyone and never connect to the Internet (which by its very nature as a 2-way communications medium, is not and was never privacy-oriented by your particular definition of privacy).

Unless you think that a website is doing something nefarious with that information, there is no privacy problem. In most cases, data like this is collected because it's important to have data on how your system is being used. Going back to the strip club example, the owner needs to know how many people visit (should he expand the building?), how many people make use of the bar (does he need more bartenders?), what sorts of entertainers people like (should he hire a blonde or a brunette next?), etc. If you were a patron, is any of that violating your privacy? This sort of stuff lets Mozilla know what parts of their site people have interest in and what parts they should focus their energy on. Do people usually click a link for more information or do they go straight to the download (if the former, then maybe that means that the landing page is too confusing and needs more info). Etc. If you are truly worried about that kind of data use, then maybe you really should disconnect from the Internet. And avoid going to strip clubs. And supermarkets. And mom-and-pop stores. And just avoid doing anything where another human being is involved, which is pretty much everything.

* And no, I've never visited such an establishment... :P
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RaiseMachine

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Post Posted June 10th, 2008, 10:05 am

Scarlettrunner20 wrote:I am not going to sit by and wait for the day when I wake up in a totalitarian society with Big Brother watching and George Orwell laughing.

You have no idea and no clue on how to get an idea. George is glad he's dead.
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Bluefang

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Post Posted June 10th, 2008, 12:31 pm

Why did you quote the Mozilla NEW Privacy Policy? You thought I didn't know about it I guess? Well think again and do no underestimate me. I block all Mozilla sites now in my Hosts file because of Mozilla's privacy policy changes and a lot of other users do also and many are very unhappy with what Mozilla has chosen to do. I do still use Addons because that site is not yet included in the rape of our privacy. But with the forcing of extension developers to put all the extensions there and not on their own sites where they should be, it appears that Mozilla is slowly moving to remove all privacy (it began with the privacy violations in Fx2 that were not in earlier versions) and what that holds for us who care about our privacy may mean that we will have to give up Fx if Addons is eventually added to the new Mozilla Privacy Policy as a site where you are tracked.

Well from the way you're talking, it is NOT apparent that you've actually read it. The only Mozilla site that has any 'privacy' concerns is the mozilla.com site. All of the mozilla.org sites to not do any kind of tracking (aside form server side request tracking, which I state again EVERY server does this).

Again, I also state that EVERY SINGLE FORUM SOFTWARE tracks it users for every post you make. An admin/mod on this very forum can go and view every IP/Host address you've ever posted from. I don't hear you squawking about that.

Extension authors DO NOT have to have their extension on AMO. If they don't have a HTTPS server, Mozilla provides tools for authors to be able to sign their extensions so they can be installed from a non-secure site.

From your remarks, I see that you don't appear to care much about privacy so there is not realy any point in discussing the issue with you. I am not going to sit by and wait for the day when I wake up in a totalitarian society with Big Brother watching and George Orwell laughing. You may not care, but I will fight tooth and nail in every way possible and the internet is a major area of concern as far as privacy goes. If my ISP does a Phorm then it is probably all over as I have no other choice for broadband so I may be forced to give up the internet entirely in the not so distant future as most ISPs in the USA have implemented Phorm/NetBuAd already or are in talks with these sleazeballs. I already have Phorm extension for Fx and the latest version is now experimental also for NetBuAD which is what the USA ISPs are more likely to use than Phorm but it is a fig leaf to barely, minimally protect our privacy. So, it may come soon to all of us, as it already has in England, a stark choice...no privacy and the internet or no internet and some privacy. That is unless Congress acts to put a stop to this madness. There will be some, of course, who have choices in broadband providers and they can just switch to a provider who is not full of greed and pledges to not use Phorm but many of us have only one choice for broadband.

You assume much in thinking that I do not care about privacy. I do, however I am not OCD about it and I will not go out of my way to do something about it, especially if it impacts my ability to use the internet. All I am being is a realist.

Give up the internet? Sorry, but good riddance. Your concepts of privacy are absolutely ridiculous. I also hope that you realize that pretty much EVERY telecommunication option has trackhing, recording, and statistical analysis. So you had better stop using the phone, TV, credit cards, etc... as well.

But this also brings up the question of what exactly are you doing that has to be absolutely so private? Reading news, comics, research? That large majority of non-illicit activity is so mundane that privacy means next to nothing because it is stuff that EVERYONE does. Sites that actually deal with private/personal/confidential data use secure connections which invalidate most privacy concerns on the spot.

the thing is that the large majority of the information collected is all statistical aggregate, and unless you are actively supplying these 'services' with information, there isn't much personal information that they can obtain. Yeah, that includes IP address, but the most that can do is give a general geographic demographic. If you ISP is giving away the information that associates you with that IP address, then you have a bigger problem.

If you're paranoid about being a statistic the yes, I would say that you are bordering on obsessive paranoia. To add to that, as I have said before, there are more players here than just You computer, your ISP, and the destination server. In a typical Internet request, your request bounces through probably a good 20 or 30 servers/ proxies, and other assorted routing equipment, all of them could potentially do something to violate your concept of privacy. Anonymizers generally do not work, so the only real way to currently combat this is to use encrypted communications. The only way to sniff encrypted data would be destructive to the communication, thus it would fail.

In IPv6 (the next version of the internet that is currently being deployed) there is a component called IPSec, which is a endpoint-to-endpoint encryption mechanism. This is like SSL except that it is done on the operating system/hardware level rather than the application level. There are free services not that let you tunnel in to the IPv6 internet backbone, and while it dosn't necessarily provicde end-to-end encryption, you would protect your data from your ISP.

As for reporting broken sites, of course I don't do that. I just use another browser for the site if I really have to go to a site broken in Fx. I don't know anyone who submits data to Microsoft when Fx crashes, or any other application crashes, but I do submit (after I, of course, examine all the data that will be sent and sometimes I decline to submit based on the fact identifying data, data that is very personal, etc. is included in the report), and I am ridiculed for not saying no all the time to Microsoft submission for crashes at most security sites I frequent.

That's absurd. Looking through crash dumps doesn't do anything for you, as the large majority of it is memory state, program register states, and stack traces. Aside from the fact that this data generally shouldn't contain personal data, unless you are intimately familiar with the internal working of all of the systems involved, that data would be meaningless you you.

That aside, I find it exceedingly amusing that you are comparing Firefox to Microsoft. First of all, submitting Firefox crash data to Microsoft would be exceedingly useless, which is why Firefox has it's own crash reporter to submit the relevant data to Mozilla. And to get an idea of the data submitted, just look at it
http://talkback-public.mozilla.org/search/start.jsp ( <= Firefox 2.x)
http://crash-stats.mozilla.com/ ( >= Firefox 3.x)
I don't think you'll find much personally identifying there.

And, on another point, not reporting broken web pages does nothing to help Firefox. Just using another browser does absolutely nothing to help Mozilla or the website owner to fix the problem, and if you're concerned about what amounts to a "Hey! This page is broken" message, well then I stand by my previous assessments of your mentality.
Last edited by Bluefang on June 10th, 2008, 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Posted June 10th, 2008, 12:35 pm

Hi there. Your friendly neighborhood moderator here. Let's mind the rules and play nice, shall we?

Please note that this advisory is not meant in any way to reflect on any individual's posts in this thread. It is just meant as a gentle reminder to all.

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Post Posted June 10th, 2008, 12:56 pm

Interestingly, Internet privacy concerns are nothing new. For example, the following good old pagebreaker picture, from a few years back, shows the reaction of one concerned user (the one in scarlett hosiery) upon the discovery that a tracking cookie had been found. Not on their PC obviously, as they hadn't yet been made then, but just 'found'.


Image



Incidentally, were George Orwell to be alive and laughing today, then not only would he be damn old, but his TB would have cleared up and be going around using the name Eric Blair or something. ;)
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Post Posted June 13th, 2008, 3:16 am

Scarlettrunner20 wrote:Thanks to the incredible efforts of the developer of CookieSafe who has made three new versions in the past few days due to requests (not from me originally although I added myself later) for a version that could block cross context third party cookies that Fx 3 leaks and could block favicon cookies, we now have a version that does these things! FANTASTIC. It hasn't been officially released yet but this new version of CookieSafe is probably going to make Fx3 the ONLY safe browser privacy wise (in regards to third party cookies) to use as long as you have CookieSafe. (This assumes the experimental code for GRC Cookie Forensics and Cookie Context test pages is working correctly as the developer has been testing his extension there as have those of us who asked for him to improve CookieSafe).
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Post Posted June 17th, 2008, 3:51 pm

alterna wrote:Try also

browser.chrome.image_icons.max_size modify to 0



Also, Tidy your tabbar:


/* hide all tab favicons 3.0 */
.tabbrowser-tab > .tab-icon-image { display: none !important; }

This doesn't work in FF3 Final, any suggestions?

fig

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Post Posted June 17th, 2008, 10:09 pm

Back on topic as per Scarlettrunner20's original question and also BrianFX's question.

I have FF3 final and cannot remove all favicons, as was done easily in previous versions of FF. I've succeeded in removing favicons in ONLY the tabs. I would prefer all bookmark favicons gone, too.

It was standard procedure in all previous versions of FireFox to toggle the following two about:config entries to 'false':

browser.chrome.favicons
and
browser.chrome.site_icons

I've also tried setting 'browser.chrome.load_toolbar_icons' to '0'.

I still have favicons and I don't want 'em, as do the other two posters I referenced.

The longer thread that Littlemutt mentioned, viewtopic.php?f=23&t=645479&st=0&sk=t&sd=a, doesn't apply. That original poster was wondering how to get homemade bookmark favicons transferred over to FF3. Had nothing to do with getting rid of all favicons.

The question is why isn't this expected behaviour (from all previous FF versions) now not working?
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Post Posted June 17th, 2008, 11:28 pm

Right on Fig. Try as I might, I can't get rid of my toolbar icons (I want to keep the standard "paper" icons and simply remove the site-specific icons). I've tried manually removing them from my bookmarks.html file, and FF3 still loads them (they must be cached somewhere else). I've tried dozens of userchrome.css configurations, they only allow me to remove my icons entirely (deleting the "paper" icons as well), which makes everything too squished.

This took 2 seconds to do in FF2, and is now taking hours to figure out in FF3....

alterna

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Post Posted June 18th, 2008, 2:51 am

see viewtopic.php?t=538462 for various bookmarklets to cleanse a bookmarks.html of favicon data.

In 3. you'll need to export bookmarks as html (copy toolbar folder to menu before, as only menu is exported), then file > open file, open in browser, run javascript, then "save whole" as htm. Rename html, import into browser, delete "uncleansed" bookmarks.

With the three favicon settings at false/0 no further favicon data will be stored/

@ bookmarks (and favicon data) is stored in places.sqlite, and as json backups.

Edit: Sorry: I just realized I'd already posted this viewtopic.php?p=3378671#p3378671 :)
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fig

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Post Posted June 18th, 2008, 5:38 am

Thanks for the references, alterna. I've bookmarked them for later use, if required.

First, we need to determine if this new behaviour is:

1. An intentional design change from previous FF versions - No bug report required. I'll use workaround methods.

or

2. A bug - Bug report required, ultimately to restore functionality to 'browser.chrome.favicons' and 'browser.chrome.site_icons'. In which case I'll live with the favicons (or not...depends on my mood LOL) until a proper fix is put in place.

As BrianFX just stated, it took all of two seconds in previous FF's to be done with all favicons. Current behaviour and jumping though hoops with code to replace expected behaviour is totally unsat.

It's possible that only my installation, BrianFX's, and a few others are the exceptions. I'd like to know if anyone else reading this can take a moment to verify. Set 'browser.chrome.favicons' and 'browser.chrome.site_icons' to 'false'. Restart FF. You should now see all bookmark, tab, and bookmark toolbar favicons gone (all replaced by a 'sheet of paper with a folded corner' icon.) This result was the normal behaviour in all previous versions of FF.

Please post results here.
Last edited by fig on June 19th, 2008, 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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fig

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Post Posted June 18th, 2008, 9:40 pm

Possible way to get rid of the bookmark favicons not involving adding code anywhere. It worked for me, I have no more icons. However, it could be time consuming if you have alot of bookmarks.

Also, I accidently discovered this because I had to wipe FF3 from my comp (deleted all Mozilla folders including profile, ran a mess of registry cleaners, etc, to rid everything 'Mozilla'...I do this as a matter of course when upgrading...I like pristine) before reinstalling FF3 again.

I found the difference between FF3 and previous versions in the way bookmarks are stored. In previous versions, they were simply saved in a bookmarks.html file in the user’s profile folder. FF3 uses a database driven design and bookmarks are now stored in the 'places.sqlite' file in the profile folder.

Anyway...with the new re-install up and running, the very FIRST thing I did was change 'browser.chrome.favicons' and 'browser.chrome.site_icons' to false. After that, I imported the bookmarks.html (had it saved on my desktop). Dang...I thought the favicons might be blocked, but there they were all over the place again.

Just trying different stuff, I found this to work:

-(double check that 'browser.chrome.favicons' and 'browser.chrome.site_icons' are set to false.)
-from your newly imported bookmarks, open up a page that has a favicon.
-then delete that bookmark.
-then clear the cache ("Clear Private Data")
-now just normally bookmark the open page.
-This resulted, for me, of the favicon not coming back.

I repeated that sequence for all favicon'd bookmarks and bookmark toolbar items. Yes, it took awhile and is definitely not the preferred way to do this, but, I don't have any favicons anymore. Holding good after numerous Firefox and computer restarts since then. Woohoo!! (You might be able to do this with many page open at once, saving some time...I didn't think of that 'til AFTER I finished LOL....duh....)

Ensure that all selections in the Tools>Options>Privacy>Settings are check marked. All of those items being checked is my preferred setup, but may not be yours and I'm not sure which one is critical for erasing the favicon info. I tried it without doing the 'Clear Private Data' step and the favicon always came back after the re-bookmarking step.

If it doesn't work for you, then I imagine the favicon info is already set in the new FF3 'places.sqlite' file. I avoided that because I had a new, pristine re-install before any favicon info got put in there. You'd probably have to wipe your FF3 install, including profile folder, to make this work. Or possibly just start a new profile, first ensuring 'browser.chrome.favicons' and 'browser.chrome.site_icons' are set to false before importing bookmarks into the new profile.

Hope this made sense, I'm very tired right now. Hope it works for someone.

However, this still leaves the original question as to why the original '2 second' method doesn't work anymore.
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Post Posted June 19th, 2008, 2:15 am

"Set 'browser.chrome.favicons' and 'browser.chrome.site_icons' to '0'. Restart FF. You should now see all bookmark, tab, and bookmark toolbar favicons gone (all replaced by a 'sheet of paper with a folded corner' icon.) This result was the normal behaviour in all previous versions of FF."

Nope.

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