This is my stats from the uBlock Origin browser extension. For those who don’t use it, it is a content blocker that blocks ads, trackers, malware sites, etc and is the single most important add-on you can download.
It has blocked a total of 2.337 Million network requests in the last 3 years for me. That is an astonishing no. of ads and trackers. The 21% here means that for every 5 network requests made on a webpage I opened, roughly one of them was for an ad or a tracker. 1 in 5!!!
I cannot imagine using the web without this extension. I feel so perplexed whenever I see someone browsing without it. This is the reason why I rarely use the web browser on my phone and also the reason why I don’t want to buy an iPad. You can’t use this extension on these platforms.
uBlock is open-source and its developer, gorhill, aggressively refuses to take any donation from anyone. He doesn’t want the risk of money coming in from someone that could influence the decisions of the project. Imagine this guy selflessly making the experience of the web better for millions of users and it’s unlikely anyone even knows him. It shouldn’t be like this, but here we are. Forget the Bezos and Musks of the world, we should be putting more respect on the names of these unsung heroes of the free and open web.
One of the very useful features of this extension is you can block any element on a webpage and create your own filter lists. I have tons of filters added to this list. If you’re not using this feature yet, you should check it out, it will improve your browsing experience immensely.
To give you some examples, I have blocked all recommended/related videos section from youtube, promoted tweets and trending topics on twitter, and dozens of spammy websites from appearing on google search results.
Unique google search terms
This guy from Google recently tweeted this:
I find this so hard to comprehend. In the comments, he goes on to mention that the 15% figure is actually by total search volume, which is even more incredible.
This tweet also reminded me of this ancient google game called ‘GoogleWhack’:
A Googlewhack is a contest to find a Google search query that returns a single result. A Googlewhack must consist of two words (without quotes) found in a dictionary and is only considered legitimate if both of the search terms appear in the result. The term googlewhack, coined by Gary Stock, first appeared on the web at Blinking on 8 January 2002
I googled a few obscure word pairs but could not find any that returned exactly 1 search result. So I went to @NYT_first_said twitter account. It’s a bot that tweets words when they appear in the New York Times for the first time ever. I tried a few English-sounding word pairs from this list but no luck. Then I found a pair that returned zero results:
Not sure if they are dictionary words but if it’s good enough for NYT to publish, it’s good enough for me.
Noncrease: resistant to creasing
You know what, I can see a future possibility of these two words being used together. I’ll start:
“I love the noncrease joysperation of buying a new pair of skinny fit hard pants from Forever 21.”
I am hoping that after this newsletter is published, it will become the only search result for this search term. Also, I wish that the sentence quoted above will appear in the result text. I am endlessly excited for this to happen. Dear google crawler, if you are reading this, please make it happen.
Maybe I should mention the words together one more time just in case: noncrease joysperation
I read the news of Shane Warne passing away yesterday. Grew up watching and admiring this genius play. I still can’t believe it. I have a song in my playlist that I frequently listen to called ‘Jiggery Pockery’. It is about that fateful delivery from Shane Warne - also called the Ball of the Century. It’s a wonderful and hilarious song. Here is the link, do watch:
At the end of the song, the singer who is English shouts in a resigned tone but also endearingly, ‘I hate Shane Warne’ - and this he speaks for all of us who have seen Warne destroy the teams we supported. Always a dear enemy. #RIPKing
Thank you for reading. You can also follow me on Twitter where I share many more links. Also, one or two occasional unhinged and sassy takes. When in Rome…