Mozilla has released a first experimental version of the Firefox Internet Dashboard extension. First mentioned back in August 2014 it analyzes the browsing history to display information about it to the user.
After you have installed the extension and loaded its local page for the first time you are informed that it may take a couple of moments to generate the report.
The speed in which this is processed depends on the size of the browsing history first and foremost, as it is analyzed by the extension. You may also receive a notification at the top stating that the extension requires 30 days of browsing data for improved accuracy.
Once done it displays various information about your browsing habits including the following information:
You can display results for a particular category that you are interested in, for instance to list the websites that the add-on associated with the category.
Firefox displays subcategories, for instance television and film under arts & entertainment, site titles, urls and when the sites were visited in the browser.
The categorization uses keyword text analysis and site identifications. A site like ESPN is associated with the sports category for example.
All data is handled locally according to Mozilla. No information are transferred to Mozilla or third-party servers in the process.
So what can this be used for right now?
Not a lot to be perfectly honest. While you can use it to analyze your surfing habits over time, or re-open websites that you have visited in the past, the information are not really that useful apart from analyzing browsing habits for scientific purposes or individually.
One thing that you can use it for is to check if the data deletion routines that you run regularly do their job properly or not.
I did not notice for example that Firefox seems to keep information about how often I have visited sites even though I tend to delete the browsing history regularly in the program.
If you have an idea why the count is still shown on my system let me know in the comment section below please.
So, it may be useful as some sort of check that you perform after you clean the browsing history either natively or by running a third-party program such as CCleaner to make sure that all the information got deleted.
The extension lacks features that Mozilla mentioned back in August. There is for instance no option yet to add a site listed in the dashboard to the bookmarks or to remove it from the listing.
Recommendations are also not included yet. This is probably the most interesting aspect if it works correctly. The main idea is to list sites as recommendations that match a user's interests.
Now You: Is that something that you would install? Why or why not?
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