Mozilla bans the FVD Speed Dial extension and removes it from Firefox; but users are furious after losing their bookmarks

Ashwin
Nov 24, 2021
Firefox
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90

Mozilla has banned the popular new tab extension, FVD Speed Dial, from its Firefox add-ons repository. A discussion on Mozilla's Discourse portal sheds some light behind the drama.

Mozilla bans the FVD Speed Dial extension and removes it from existing Firefox installs

The full name of the add-on is Speed Dial [FVD] New Tab Page, 3D Start Page, Sync. The developer was Nimbus Web.

About a year ago, Mozilla discovered that the add-on was using a shady way to collect user data. FVD would intercept search queries made by users, and redirect these web requests to a third-party search engine.

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Having being caught red-handed, the extension's developer was told by Mozilla, to cease the practice. The developer disabled the feature, and FVD Speed Dial was allowed to be hosted on the AMO. Fast-forward to the present, and it appears someone didn't learn their lesson. The controversial feature was re-added in FVD Speed Dial. Since the developer had been warned earlier, this was a repeated offense, Mozilla decided that that was the last straw, and blocked the add-on.

If you had FVD Speed Dial installed in Firefox, you may find that it has automatically been removed. For those curious, here is the FVD Speed Dial listing on the AMO, which when visited shows an error that says the page cannot be found. This is the Web Archive version of the page, for reference.

Speed Dial [FVD] New Tab Page, 3D Start Page, Sync

Here's the message that is displayed on the add-on's page.

This add-on violates Mozilla's policies as search functionality provided or loaded by the add-on must not collect search terms or intercept searches that are going to a third-party search provider. The add-on has repeatedly violated these terms despite Mozilla explicitly pointing them out.

FVD Speed Dial users are furious after losing access to bookmarks

Now, while Mozilla banning the extension is good, it does pose some difficulties for users who relied on the add-on. Many users have lost access to all the bookmarks they had saved via FVD Speed dial. And now that the add-on has automatically been removed from the browser, and banned from the store, there is literally no way to install it again. This leaves the user in the lurch, as they have lost their priceless data. Some users are outraged, and are blaming Mozilla for blocking the add-on without warning. They believe that remote disabling of the add-on, is censorship, and that users should have been given the choice whether to use the extension or not.  To make matters worse, Mozilla has locked the discussion with a dry apology.

Mozilla statement about FVD Speed Dial

I'm all for security and privacy, and banning the add-on is the right call, but I empathize with the users who lost their data. Have you ever been locked out of accessing your data? Your office work, studies, hobby projects, etc., could be affected by this. I experienced a slightly similar issue when OneTab stopped working out of the blue, it was frustrating, but the developer was quick to fix the problem with an update.

Perhaps Mozilla could have handled this FVD Speed Dial ban in a better way. Maybe, by displaying a warning that educates the user about the malicious add-on, and prompt users to export their data, and then remind them to remove the extension manually. Well, it's too late for that, I suppose. But maybe this is something that they should look into for the future.

At the time of writing this post, FVD Speed Dial is still available on the Chrome Web store. If you were relying on the Firefox add-on, and want your data back, the next section may help you.

DISCLAIMER: I personally haven't tried this, but some users on reddit claim that they installed FVD Speed Dial on Edge/Chrome, and used it to export their speed dials to the clipboard. You can use this to import them into another add-on, such as Group Speed Dial. This, of course, will only work if you had synced your data to the cloud, using Eversync. If you desperately need to recover your data from FVD, this seems like a good idea, actually it maybe the only solution for the problem. Don't forget to remove the add-on when you're done with it.

If you read my article about the top 10 New Tab Extensions for Chrome, you may have noticed I had criticized FVD Speed Dial's privacy policy. Speaking of which, most of the add-ons that I recommend in that post are available for Firefox, so you may want to try one of those if you are looking for an alternative.

Were you an FVD Speed Dial user? How do you feel about the add-on being removed?

Summary
Mozilla has banned the FVD Speed Dial extension and removed it from Firefox
Article Name
Mozilla has banned the FVD Speed Dial extension and removed it from Firefox
Description
Mozilla has banned the FVD Speed Dial extension after it was found to violate its policies. But users aren't happy about it.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. mo santi said on November 24, 2021 at 2:02 pm
    Reply

    To restore bookmark in json format:

    1. (Optional) turn off internet connection if you don’t want to risk your info to be sent to third party before re-enabling Fast Dial FVD

    2. Go to about:config

    3. type extensions.blocklist.enabled and toggle value to false (Fast Dial FVD should be working now)

    4. Go to Fast Dial FVD option and find option to export bookmark in json format.

    5. (Optional) find replacement extension that can import bookmark from Fast Dial FVD, e.g. ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/groupspeeddial/?utm_content=addons-manager-reviews-link&utm_medium=firefox-browser&utm_source=firefox-browser)

    1. Martin said on November 24, 2021 at 4:52 pm
      Reply

      Thanks, you helped a lot!

    2. Pascal said on November 25, 2021 at 7:24 am
      Reply

      Many thanks, it works perfectly, I have been able to access and migrate some bookmarks that I had saved only inside Fast Dial FVD (it was not clever)

    3. Drood said on November 25, 2021 at 7:27 am
      Reply

      You are a legend. I was so mad, and 100% at the company, not Mozilla.

      You’ve just saved me a LOT of work. THANK YOU!

    4. mtfrank said on November 25, 2021 at 6:17 pm
      Reply

      Thank you SO much! When Firefox killed FVD SpeedDial without warning, I was soo livid, I was almost in tears. I had over 350 bookmarks that I lost. Fortunately, I also had FVD on Google Chrome with duplicate dials, so I was able to export them all into Group Speed Dial, but I am still angry that Firefox did this.

    5. PedroKV said on November 26, 2021 at 4:20 pm
      Reply

      Thank you. I disabled search on every FVD speed dial extensions I have ever installed, so this issue doesn’t affect me. And I’m used to this extensions, so I will continue to use it. Shame to Mozilla, that they did not create such speed dial feature or extension. Opera has it native in browser. Once again and it will be last drop, which moves me to Opera.

    6. Anonymous said on November 26, 2021 at 9:08 pm
      Reply

      Wow, I thought I would never restore my bookmarks. Many thanks

    7. tysomuch said on November 26, 2021 at 10:31 pm
      Reply

      you fucking legend!!

    8. Akstro said on November 30, 2021 at 7:25 pm
      Reply

      You saved me so much time dude! Thank you so much.

    9. Bob said on December 1, 2021 at 12:05 pm
      Reply

      Dear Mo,

      I also lost all my speed dials. I do not know what you mean with:
      “go to about:config”. etcetera.
      Can you please elaborate a bit more on how to get (the info about) my speed dials back on Apple iMac.

      Tx and much obliged.

      1. Bob said on December 1, 2021 at 3:13 pm
        Reply

        Solved it…..

    10. Dingus said on December 2, 2021 at 4:19 pm
      Reply

      You’re the best! Thank you!

  2. Sorryno said on November 24, 2021 at 2:19 pm
    Reply

    Mozilla did 100% the right thing here. Even if they had given warning, 90% of users would most likely not have seen that anyway. You should always keep a local copy of your improtant data.

    1. ulvis.net said on November 25, 2021 at 9:30 pm
      Reply

      I agree with you you and this bad addon

  3. Triple Standards said on November 24, 2021 at 2:57 pm
    Reply

    This is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!

    Unless it’s Microsoft or Google doing it, then it’s ok.

    1. beemeup5 said on November 25, 2021 at 7:25 pm
      Reply

      When have Microsoft or Google intentionally made users lose data without any forewarning?

  4. ULBoom said on November 24, 2021 at 3:28 pm
    Reply

    >Have you ever been locked out of accessing your data?<
    Yeah, Proton Mail.

    Guess I don't understand where Nimbus has gone, FVD stands for Flash Video Downloader, although it had little to do with Flash. Uses ffmpeg. Ver 16-2-7 is still out there to sideload, the last one that would download almost anything and why they got in trouble with Mozilla the first time.

    What this current thing does, IDK, seems redundant to features already in FF. Any add on I installed that looks like that would have been removed instantly. Glitz is suspicious.

  5. common sense computing said on November 24, 2021 at 3:53 pm
    Reply

    Still using the last XUL version of this extension (23.3.1) on Waterfox Classic.

    You’ll pry them from my cold, dead hands Mozilla.

    1. nope said on November 24, 2021 at 6:44 pm
      Reply

      why using a malicious extension and an insecure browser? i wanna vomit

      1. ULBoom said on November 25, 2021 at 6:17 pm
        Reply

        @nope

        Wow, doesn’t take much, get some fresh air.

        Browsers are free, use whichever you want. In fact, use whatever software you want in general. Worse that can happen is you explode your computer. (No.)

    2. Lional said on November 25, 2021 at 7:28 am
      Reply

      Why would you want some company deciding what you can and can’t do with your own computer?

      You guys obsessed about spyware most be really ashamed of the porn you view. Sickos.

    3. common sense computing said on November 25, 2021 at 6:39 pm
      Reply

      #1 The XUL version isn’t malicious and doesn’t phone home. It’s years old.
      #2 Waterfox Classic is secure with the right extensions, sandboxing, and security settings.

      With that said, I’m probably switching to group speed dial or swiftdial.

  6. Anonymous said on November 24, 2021 at 4:21 pm
    Reply

    “FVD would intercept search queries made by users, and redirect these web requests to a third-party search engine.”

    Not sure what exactly this means. Search queries made in Firefox search bars, in an add-on search engine, on search engine web sites (from the Chrome stor page it looks like it may be a search bar inside the add-on) ? Redirecting them to third-party engine with or without warning in the add-on description ? What do they mean with intercepting, is it just the redirection or is data sent or misused by other means too ?

    Difficult to judge if the ban was legitimate without knowing why, and the reddit thread is also curiously silent on that central question (and of course has been removed by the r/firefox Google nazis along with a few comments).

    It’s interesting that this behavior was called malware while we are insulted, censored or banned (even on privacy sites, that are often only surveillance capitalism fronts) when we dare to call out similar Mozilla Corp behavior, like recently wanting to collect for themselves and advertisers the search queries typed in the address bar:

    “Firefox sends Mozilla what you type into the search bar and Mozilla may share that data with its partners. ”
    “For the Suggestions you click, Firefox sends Mozilla the website URL, and Mozilla may share that data with its partners.”
    “Mozilla may share location information with our partners”

    https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/privacy/firefox/#searches

    “users should have been given the choice whether to use the extension or not.”

    Obviously, there is not good reason why Mozilla Corp would forbid the users to have the last word on the remote ban, we have complained enough about that power abuse for years, this is them recalling that they are nothing but a Google front. Even a non experienced user seeing a scary “This add-on is malicious and may eat your babies, please think twice before enabling it again !!!” is not going to enable it again without thinking twice, and experienced users may have good reasons to disagree with Mozilla Corp, so the user should have the last word, not Mozilla Corp.

    But when one sees that they already used that uncounterable ban system against non malicious add-ons to enforce broader policies (like here https://www.jeremiahlee.com/posts/page-translator-is-dead/ ), one understands that their motive is more about growingly abusive control than user security.

    At some point that was called an “armaggadon”, Firefox users had all their add-ons disabled by Mozilla Corp because of a certificate mistake, and because Mozilla Corp had decided that they should be the one with the last word, users couldn’t do anything locally to re-enable them:

    https://gizmodo.com/firefox-fixes-borked-extensions-for-everyone-but-legacy-1834548155

    Of course, Mozilla Corp being Mozilla Corp, the solution to that disaster was to ask everyone who had disabled the “studies” Mozilla Corp code backdoor in Firefox (which is default on by the way…), which was used previously to install data collection code on users who had explicitly opted out of it https://dustri.org/b/mozilla-is-still-screwing-around-with-privacy-in-firefox.html and to install opt-out adware code that modified browsed pages https://github.com/prism-break/prism-break/issues/1842 ) to enable it again to receive a patch instead of using only a browser update for that:

    https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2019/05/04/update-regarding-add-ons-in-firefox/

    And now there is that example of losing data.

    And that listed sequence is only a tiny sampling of Mozilla Corp’s shady history. To all those who like me are angry against them, please do not surrender when facing walls of denials and non sincere corporate apologies, censorship and harassment for voicing your legitimate anger. Mozilla Corp is backed by powerful surveillance capitalism adversaries who bribe and plant their shills everywhere, so instead of letting them intimidate and suppress you, learn to recognize them from their stance on Mozilla Corp.

    We have known for many years already that Mozilla Corp can no longer be saved. Time to use one of the more ethical forks. They may not remove all the malware parts but that’s better than nothing. And at least you get a chance to be heard above the voices of Google and advertisers.

  7. Anonymous said on November 24, 2021 at 4:48 pm
    Reply

    LOL
    so Mozilla/Firefox can send your data to 3rd parties but not extensions… got it. What a bunch of BS.

    The only answer, which I hope people follow is, “Chromium based Browser”

    I hope these people download and install a nice Chromium based browser, you can’t get anything worst than Firefox with Chromium, not even Chrome or Edge which are owned by evil companies.
    The only extenions that get deleted from Google are usually downloaders, but download videos is just so easy without any extensions, I wouldn’t cry about it, I wish developers would take advantage of Opera or Edge not deleting extensions because of it but they just re-upload their extensions from Google web store.

    Also the other ones that get deleted completely are the ones that have some malicious code, like happened with Nano Defender.
    So in other words, you get worst deal with Mozilla, slower, heavier in resources, yeah more customizable but customization at the cost of everything else is just dumb, there is Vivaldi, which lets you customize a lot, I don’t like it or the team behind it but it lets you do it.

    So uninstall any Geck Browser people, stop being stubburn and forcing yourself to use a worst browser that doesn’t care about yout anyway.
    Also this should be a notice how people have to literally sideload their extenions/addons so big companies won’t touch them remotely, can firefox remove a sideloaded extension? In Chromium, the sideloaded ID of the extenions is done by the path used for the extension so it will not be the same you install from Google.

    Go Chromium or get a similar but worst deal with Firefox.

    1. ULBoom said on November 25, 2021 at 6:26 pm
      Reply

      I’ve never had sideloaded extensions removed in firefox or android. In android particularly, most of my apps are sideloaded and the standard ones disabled since google stuff is data collection software, all of it, they say so.

      Learn about:config.

  8. Pavel said on November 24, 2021 at 5:11 pm
    Reply

    Attention to the author:
    Please add the Updated: section to your post with our official answer.

    Hi Everyone,
    FVD Speed Dial Team is here.
    We were falsely banned without any notification.
    We tried to create a topic on the Discussion board and they deleted it. Over a years all developers had a huge problem dealing with them that’s why you don’t see many new add-ons unlike in Chrome.

    We work on getting it back so you can recover your data. We urge you to use our product on Chrome because it has completely different review process.

    1. matthiew said on November 25, 2021 at 3:57 am
      Reply

      This response reeks of sour grapes.

  9. Anonymous said on November 24, 2021 at 5:16 pm
    Reply

    While we’re talking about Mozilla’s abuse of backdoors, for those using Arkenfox user.js (which does not qualify as on our side as per the suggested test above), beware that it just re-enabled the “system add-on update” code backdoor for the current Firefox 94 version.

    https://github.com/arkenfox/user.js/issues/1251#issuecomment-952380797
    https://github.com/arkenfox/user.js/issues/1277#issue-1060929930

    It does not really matter if the backdoor misuses mentioned previously (opt-out adware, data collection from those having explicitly opted out) were from one kind or another kind of experiments that are still disabled or not. We’re no longer at the point where we debate if a Mozilla backdoor may be misused, it was misused, several times, and it will be misused again. I should check if the commercial Cliqz spyware wasn’t by chance also stealthily sent to a subset of german users using that backdoor system, there may be more to remember.

    “And sure, they can get telemetry, but there’s nothing wrong with that – they make sure not to collect any PII, it’s just things like errors and hit rates etc)”

    That myth about Mozilla data collection being just things like errors and benign hit rates for technical reasons etc is a very repeated lie and he knows so very much.

    Mozilla (or even third-parties like Adjust, Adzerk, and ad lib…) receive some of the data purely for business purposes like interactions with ads, the default installed browser, referral data included in the personalized installer for marketing, Google advertising ID, content typed in search bar, clicked suggested sites, location…

    Sensitive data is also collected like DNS queries to Cloudflare, downloaded files to Google, non search urls typed in the address bar to Google, Mozilla and advertisers… Time spent on browsed pages to Cliqz, in the past.

    The “not being PII” is most often based only on trusting them to anonymize or pseudonymize it. In fact they even seem to store IP addresses for some time associated with the data, Mozilla/Google-style suspicious things are happening here that they are occasionally forced to talk about but that are not clearly stated in their privacy policy. And some collected data is openly PII, for example with Firefox Accounts. And anyway Mozilla has no moral right to put a sensor down our throats to collect gastric activity just because it’s legal as long as pseudonymized.

    There’s more, but that’s enough to expose the shilling lies.

    If Mozilla already does all that, there is no reason to expect that in the code backdoor sector they should be nicer.

    https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/privacy/firefox/

    “I believe everything must respect the master telemetry switch”

    The problem with the telemetry coverage experiment for example is precisely that it did not respect the telemetry switch. Oops. He can’t ignore that.

    “Some people like to remove all those system addon xpi’s, and you do get them back on updates from memory, and allowing them to update means they will come back every day you open Firefox.”

    Oh there is that too. If you endured the pain of manually deleting the worst system add-ons from the program folders after every minor browser update, now they will comeback at the next browser startup, and you will probably not even realize it, funny. Of course those who manually remove instead of disabling do so because they rightfully do not trust a Mozilla disabling switch.

    “The other thing that some people like is make Firefox have as few unsolicited outbound connections – which is a bit silly. You need them to check for updates: apps, certs/crlite, revocations, blocklists, safebrowsing local data, and so on – but we do nix a few where appropriate, just not security related ones.”

    And ads, and abusive data collection as discussed above that he dismissed as simply non existing even with data collection not disabled… System “apps” (Mozilla code backdoor) are already a problem as discussed previously too. But apparently having a problem with anything Mozilla did, some good examples listed here, is now a nazi plot. Which means that, probably to fight nazism, we should expect more malicious features enabled again in the future.

    1. fakebuster said on November 24, 2021 at 6:50 pm
      Reply

      i have never seen such amount of lies in a single post

    2. ZeteticPeacock101 said on November 24, 2021 at 8:50 pm
      Reply

      >While we’re talking about Mozilla’s abuse of backdoors

      Are we?

      Yeah, as usual, an excellent selection of evidence and facts, especially on-topic. And so serious references. Almost scientific paper. There is no doubt about the adequacy and competence of the writer. Thank you for opening our eyes, mysterious Anonymous!

      *Yawn*

      (Looks like after public exposure, the patient’s condition began to deteriorate…)

    3. ULBoom said on November 25, 2021 at 6:35 pm
      Reply

      That was very long. Also makes no sense whatsoever.

      Definitely not Thorenoakenpantsenarkenfox. Nor Zetetic who doesn’t even know where all the side references originated or theirs would have been appropriate?

      Whatever, browsers are free, use your favorite.

      1. norilana said on November 26, 2021 at 11:55 am
        Reply

        @Anonymous, thanks for linking me to arkenfox at https://github.com/arkenfox/user.js – this is fantastic. I did some checking and it’s recommended by Privacy Guides

      2. Iron Heart said on November 26, 2021 at 7:29 pm
        Reply

        @norilana

        Surprised? Privacy Guides also recommends other shit like ProtonMail a.k.a. Tesonet. So why not a Tor copycat effort instead of the real deal?

      3. norilana said on November 27, 2021 at 3:58 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        I just read these comments and confirmed them
        https://www.ghacks.net/2021/10/21/mozilla-firefox-microsoft-store-version/#comment-4506911
        https://www.ghacks.net/2021/10/21/mozilla-firefox-microsoft-store-version/#comment-4507037

        It is not a tor copy. I also read arkenfox’s documentation and they say

        > Use the Tor Browser if your threat model calls for it, or for accessing hidden services.

      4. Guest said on November 27, 2021 at 5:55 am
        Reply

        Tor copycat effort?
        “1. Consider using Tor Browser if it meets your needs or fits your threat model”
        this line is literally at the top of the user.js, nowhere did the dev ever claim the user.js is meant to copycat or subtitute Tor.

      5. Another Guest said on November 27, 2021 at 8:10 am
        Reply

        https://www.ghacks.net/2021/10/21/mozilla-firefox-microsoft-store-version/#comment-4507064

        > Anyone who repeatedly continues to say that [arkenfox] is a “tor copy”), in the face of the above posts and stats and proof on arkenfox vs Tor Browser, is clearly off their rocker and will not even believe in math, or space-time (since arkenfox adds prefs before Tor Browser even thinks about them)

  10. SCBright said on November 24, 2021 at 5:24 pm
    Reply

    I never trusted my favorites to any extension, keep a backup in three different locations and synchronized via Firefox account.

    I’ve never lost a favorite and I’ve always been able to recover them in case of reinstalling the system. In my opinion, Mozilla did certainly protect users against a malicious extension.

  11. foobaarmanica said on November 24, 2021 at 5:43 pm
    Reply

    Ghacks is like the Republicans – they pander now to their “base” commenting users, who are vociferous in their hatred for all things Mozilla, and love for all things Google. Such a pity. This comment won’t probably even be approved LOL, so much for an article that’s all about “CenSOrShiP”.

    1. Russ said on November 24, 2021 at 8:34 pm
      Reply

      Injecting irrelevant politics is fubar.

    2. ShintoPlasm said on November 25, 2021 at 1:08 pm
      Reply

      Why do Americans think the whole world and the entire internet operate according to their narrow-minded politics? This is a German website and most commenters here are NOT Americans!

      1. Anonymous said on November 25, 2021 at 6:15 pm
        Reply

        Dear ShintoPlasm: America is a continent of 35 countries, and not only one country. When you write “Americans”, the truth is that this word mean anyone who does live in any of these 35 countries. If you want to only talk / w5rite about Untied Statiens, and are too “tickled” to use this existing term, just write “US residents” or “the people from the United States”.

      2. Sylvie Groleau said on November 25, 2021 at 6:20 pm
        Reply

        Dear ShintoPlasm : America has always been a continent of 35 countries, and not only of one single country (the United States). When you write “Americans” it then means anyone who live in any of these 35 countries. if you only want to talk / write about United Statesians, and are too “tickled” to use this existing term (it is in many worldwide dictionnaries), just write “US residents” or “people from the United States”.

      3. Rex said on November 26, 2021 at 12:05 am
        Reply

        Dear Sylvie Pedant,
        No one in their right mind would think of Mexico, Canada, Bolivia or Paraguay when you refer to ‘America’ or ‘Americans’. When speaking of geography and people from specific locations, we very specifically refer to North, South, Central or Latin America/Americans. ‘America’ by itself has always referred to the USA. Thank you for coming to my TED talk on being Captain Obvious for people who refuse to accept the obvious.

      4. Tom Hawack said on November 27, 2021 at 10:20 am
        Reply

        @Rex, “‘America’ by itself has always referred to the USA.”. Factually, indeed. But shouldn’t. Some refer to ‘the Americas” to describe what “America” solely should. I agree with Sylvie Groleau’s comment.. This said, “United Statesian’ seems to be a free translation of the French “états-unien” which is often used is a pejorative way. Anti-American speech often uses it, such as that of Thierry Meyssan on his “Réseau Voltaire” Website, for whom may be interested and/or curious. This doesn’t mean such thoughts guided Sylvie’s comment, of course.

      5. OldFoxBetterBox said on December 5, 2021 at 12:05 am
        Reply

        There are two continents with America in the name, so when speaking of continents they are referred to as NORTH America and SOUTH America, and collectively as ‘THE AmericaS” (its called pluralization)

        People complaining about the USA being referred to as America need some basic lessons in speaking English. There is zero ambiguity in the nomenclature. Hence complaints about it are 100% wrong

      6. Tom Hawack said on December 5, 2021 at 9:48 am
        Reply

        @OldFoxBetterBox, interesting!

        America Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster [https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/America]

        America geographical name

        Definition of America

        1 either continent (North America or South America) of the western hemisphere
        2 or the Americas \ the lands of the western hemisphere including North, Central, and South America and the West Indies
        3 united states of america
        —————————————-
        How many countries are in North America? (Updated List 2021) [ https://flagsworld.org/countries-north-america.html ]

        There are 23 sovereign nations within it along with 9 dependent territories.
        —————————————-
        But, indeed, The acceptation of ‘America’ is often that of the ‘United States of America’, which I explained by a misuse of language until I dug into above mentioned Merriam-Webster’s definition.

        Searching for ‘America’ on Wikipedia opens ‘United Sates of America’ with a link to disambiguation.
        West Side Story’s ‘I want to live in America’ doesn’t refer to Canada nor to the Bahamas, indeed :=) But, academically speaking, America is broader than the only USA, need to say.

      7. ShintoPlasm said on November 26, 2021 at 12:49 pm
        Reply

        @Sylvie: you know exactly what I meant.

    3. ULBoom said on November 25, 2021 at 6:37 pm
      Reply

      Well, ShaunBot started it. Although that thing about Biden was so fucked up, I had no idea what was being said. Kinda like all ShaunBot stuff.

      No, politics DO NOT belong here.

  12. Anonymous said on November 24, 2021 at 5:49 pm
    Reply

    https://www.everhelper.me/synchronizer.php

    You can log in there to see your bookmarks if you synced them in FVD

  13. Tony said on November 24, 2021 at 6:00 pm
    Reply

    Evidently this is the same maker of Nimbus Notes, a quality note-taking app, but if the developer is shady, probably not a good idea to go with them.

  14. Anonymous said on November 24, 2021 at 6:15 pm
    Reply

    Well, I blame the users. It’s their fault storing their bookmarks to a 3rd party and expect the main program to basically become a hostage to the 3rd party because they decided to store their bookmarks to them.
    If you want to use your bookmarks to a speed dial because you like speed dials use a 3rd party that actually uses your browser’s bookmarks for that lke Nelitab.
    If you want to rely to a 3rd party, expect that it may be possible for whatever reason to stop having access to it, the developer of it may lose interest for further development or do something shady.

  15. VioletMoon said on November 24, 2021 at 6:42 pm
    Reply

    How about Nimbus Note:

    https://nimbusweb.me/

    I tried the add-on, but, at the time of the trial, the add-on was so slow, the futility of waiting resulted in discontinued usage.

    The Notes I did take are still available, so . . . .

    Wow! To lose all saved bookmarks to Mozilla and their pre-emptive strikes against developers–no notice to users.

    Ouch! That makes for a happy Thanksgiving.

  16. Anonymous said on November 24, 2021 at 8:29 pm
    Reply

    Vivaldi. Firefox getting awfully high handed. FVD works on it from chrome store.

    1. owl said on November 25, 2021 at 8:40 am
      Reply

      > Vivaldi.
      > FVD works on it from chrome store.

      LOL!
      Vivaldi,
      In the Idle Detection API case, though, irresponsible (shifting the responsibility to the end user) browser vendors who advocated “User first, just nominal” decided to take a wait-and-see attitude and caused user disappointment.
      How to block sites from requesting Idle Detection API permissions in Chrome | gHacks Tech News
      https://www.ghacks.net/2021/09/27/how-to-block-sites-from-requesting-idle-detection-api-permissions-in-chrome
      Eventually, though, the Vivaldi’s CEO understood the seriousness of the situation and “changed to an opt-in feature” two weeks later. Is such behavior really a decent value system?

      The state-of-the-art luxury liner Titanic has had a disastrous end, disregarding the existence of icebergs.

      In general, many people are unaware that they themselves may have a disease (such as cancer or other internal organ disease, or dementia or other brain disease). Even if a Medical checkup reveals a problem, they refuse to acknowledge the diagnosis. Then it becomes difficult to treat, and they die a hopeless death.

      Since Google has a close relationship with the “NSA” and wants to collect all kinds of unspecified personal information without limit, “FVD” redirecting to the Google search engine is convenient because you don’t have to face the brunt of criticism.
      With chromium, there would certainly be “no warning, and no blocking measure” would be taken.

      The browser is just a tool, but you will need a reasonable defense against anything that invites “risk” without your knowledge.

  17. Anonymous said on November 24, 2021 at 9:35 pm
    Reply

    Just when you thought the autocrats at mozilla couldn’t get any more heinous the bottom drops out. Fast Dial aside for a second, exactly how would these hypocrites know what you’ve installed in your browser anyway? What else do they know? What gives them the right to disable software on your computer? Who does your device belong to anyway?

    Mozilla, getting filthy rich off hating its users since 2010. It’s like some perverted experiment at this point, how much abuse will its remaining users take before abandoning this once glorious browser. Time will tell, stock up on popcorn. When firefox finally flames out its going to be spectacular.

    1. Anonymous said on November 25, 2021 at 7:34 am
      Reply

      Why would they need to know? The browser checks the store for blacklisted add-ons. It’s not like Mozilla is actively going and sending a message to every user that has it installed.

    2. ULBoom said on November 25, 2021 at 6:39 pm
      Reply

      Born yesterday?

  18. Roguezilla, Inc. said on November 24, 2021 at 10:19 pm
    Reply

    This is outrageous. I do not care what the motives are you have no right to remotely control a device without consent of the user.

    Be it for security or anything this is yet another scandal from Roguezilla.

    This addon blacklist is just like auto-updates are a massive backdoor system, and a massive data destruction system deployed by Mozilla that could delete data from your web browser at a whim of their mood swings.

    What they CAN do is make it enabled by default with ability to disable it that Mozilla cans automatically show a modal popup notification over the web browser window advising you to disable addons etc.

    Then you choose to ignore their warning or you listen to them.

    What they CANNOT do is remove data from your computer remotely like they did, automatically delete downloads they deem suspicious etc.

    Good job Mozilla what you did to the average people…

    The first thing I did with Firefox 43 at most which will never ever be updated was kill off extension blacklist, addon compatibility checking, addon signing requirement, telemetry, reporting, safebrowing etc.

    Even search engine auto updates!

    I killed off all the features that could ever be turned against me if Mozilla/Roguezilla ever becomes rogue and nefarious in the future.

    Also, auto-updates killed. Always.

    Same on my Android.

    Google Play Services = Firewalled. Cannot self update. (root + xposed)

    Google Play = Patched with disable self-updates mod.

    Nothing auto-updates, ever.
    All forms of remote control have been killed off.

    I also use the patch that prevents Google Play from removing applications on your phone, typically used by people who buy-and-refund to keep the app anyway. I have legitimate use for it.

    You can still uninstall apps as long as YOU click on Uninstall buttons in Gplay.

    Otherwise Google Play cans delete any application from your Android if Google tells it to do so.

    Android OS = Removed all system updaters, OMA/DM – GSM Alliance’s master reset application backdoors etc.

    Blocked Google apps from device administrators list.

    Disabled FRP (Factory Reset Protection – otherwise you ask Google for authorization to use your device after a reset – they can say no or suspend your Google account at any time).

    Windows 10 = Killed auto-updates by force. All applications I do not use with Internet are firewalled.

    *Listen to me: or regret it later.*

    Kill ALL auto-updates. Auto-updates are a BACKDOOR that allows developers to push new executable code automatically to millions of PCs without safety review and no asking first.

    Kill off / block ANYTHING that could even remotely ever be used against you if the developer becomes corrupt and rogue:

    You must think ‘IF the developer becomes crazy enraged against me what cans he do against me using this feature?’ for all online features.

    Disable addon blacklists, etc.
    ANYTHING that COULD be used to control your device without authorization first = Kill it.

    Use a whitelist with a firewall where only what YOU use has Internet. Nothing else.

    On mobile -if you have the skills:

    Disable FRP! VERY important.
    Unlock your bootloader (might erase all data prior to unlock).

    root the device and install a Firewall.
    Allow Internet only for YOUR used applications.

    Now use Titanium Backup and remove:

    System updaters
    Security Policy updaters

    * MIUI = DO NOT remove system updaters. Firewall them.
    Otherwise you get bootloop.

    * Do not also disable permissions or activities for system updaters on MIUI OS.

    ‘DM’ ‘MDM’ or ‘OMA’ device management apps.
    (they are backdoors of the Open Mobile Alliance that can reset a phone remotely using GSM commands dump contacts etc).

    KNOX (Samsung) – ALL the KNOX.

    Firewall or patch all apps that can update forcefully:

    Google Play – LP self-update patch.
    Google Play Services – firewall.

    In google play disable all auto updates.

    Before resetting your phone you must remove all screen locks.

    Otherwise you get Login to your Google account after Reset and you become at the mercy of Google to use your own device.

    Disable Play Protect.
    Disable verification of applications installed over ADB in developer settings.

    Tools:

    – Titanium Backup.
    – AFWall, X Firewall, LightningWall etc.
    – Lucky Patcher (use it only for what I tell you – the GPlay patches – be honest).
    – xposed if needed.

    There is more but you get the idea now. Good luck!

    * @Ashwin I know I mention some tools that sometimes are abused but I hope you approve my comment.

    * People need to know that there is a way to stop Google Play & Play Services updates etc.

    I also give advice for PC users.

    Remember, auto-updates means that I can do anything to your OS browser whatever remotely without your consent if I am the developer of a software you use.

    1. Anonymous said on November 25, 2021 at 7:37 am
      Reply

      “Remotely control a device” lmao. Do you also get mad when your browser updates an add-on or checks the certificate revocation list? That’s literally what this is, it downloads the blacklist from the add-on store and disables any found on it. Don’t be so melodramatic.

      1. PhoenixX said on November 25, 2021 at 8:00 am
        Reply

        @Anomymous. You read all of this? Wow, you are a hero.

    2. ULBoom said on November 25, 2021 at 6:42 pm
      Reply

      You failed the audition, next!

  19. Sol Shine said on November 24, 2021 at 10:24 pm
    Reply

    This is why I hate Windows, Apple OS and devices, and Android phones.
    You have to little control over these tools that you need to get things done.

    A browser that lets the browser maker remotely change important aspects of the browser without the consent of the user is a bad idea.
    It can be good for security, but if used in a agressive way as this articles shows, it can cause problems. It should include a warning to give users time, before making important changes, and ask for their consent.

    Like others have said, let this be a lesson to have a backup of your bookmarks. The stupid carefree behavior of most people always amazes me.

  20. vaportrail said on November 24, 2021 at 11:38 pm
    Reply

    Just open about:config type extensions.blocklist.enabled and toggle value to false restart and problem solved. I dont care if some third party get’s a look at my bookmarks they are just bookmarks to sites anyone can find in the damn search bar in my case.

    1. Iron Heart said on November 25, 2021 at 9:58 am
      Reply

      @vaportrail

      > Just open about:config type extensions.blocklist.enabled and toggle value to false restart and problem solved.

      This turns off the protection against ALL malicious extensions.

  21. vaportrail_1 said on November 24, 2021 at 11:40 pm
    Reply

    Just open about:config type extensions.blocklist.enabled and toggle value to false restart and problem solved. I dont care if some third party get’s a look at my bookmarks they are just bookmarks to sites anyone can find in the damn search bar in my case.

  22. Bobby Phoenix said on November 25, 2021 at 1:54 am
    Reply

    I use both the speed dial extension on Chrome and Firefox, but only use it for a select few sites I visit the most. I never used it to sync, or for bookmarks, or the search function, so none of that matters. I still have the top sites I had on speed dial bookmarked, so I lost nothing but convenience (for now as it will be back soon I’m sure) of quickly getting to sites from my home/new tab page.

  23. owl said on November 25, 2021 at 2:55 am
    Reply

    It is common sense to avoid (blocking measures) as soon as it is discovered that is expected to bring “unintended disadvantages” to users.
    As a result, it may be “acceptable” or “false positive”, but if it is a “serious threat”, it is the worst if it is delayed.
    “Risk management” should be assumed based on this idea.

    If you don’t like the forced blocking of extensions, you can just disable the policy (extensions.blocklist.enabled).

    If the impact is not limited to a few users, but affects the majority, the decision should be made from a “public interest perspective” and from a broad perspective, and I think Mozilla’s policy is appropriate.

    This case is similar to the countermeasures against infectious diseases such as COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).
    In both cases, The hard-core “Opponents” will Shouting Screams.

  24. Kevin said on November 25, 2021 at 3:27 am
    Reply

    Finally ditched Firefox for Chromium. Not because of this. I started getting ads for their VPN in my new tab page. But the thing is that I explicitly went out of my way to configure the browser to start with an empty page months ago. When I set some behavior in an application, I expect it to be honored by developers and to STAY THAT WAY. Because, I use the computer, the computer does not use me.

    But it wasn’t just the VPN thing, either. Like someone who leaves their spouse, it was a culmination of things, the VPN thing was just the final push that I needed. First there was the Mr. Robot thing, and then they announced they are going to start injecting ads into the address bar. They even adopted the misleading terminology that all the big boys use, like “sharing data with our trusted partners”. This is not a positive or productive path to be traveling down, and I know that it won’t stop here, because with marketing types, it never does.

    The whole situation just makes me feel icky. I expect better out of my Linux computer, otherwise I would be using that other operating system. So Firefox finally had to go.

  25. Harlan said on November 25, 2021 at 4:08 am
    Reply

    The Group Speed Dial developer gives a simple way to use an existing FVD backup file to recover all FVD dials into GSD. GSD can also import from several other similar older add-ons.

  26. Gostas said on November 25, 2021 at 5:24 am
    Reply

    It’s the users’ fault for using crappy extensions. Get rekt noobs and good job Mozilla.

    1. just saying said on November 25, 2021 at 2:42 pm
      Reply

      its mozilla fault letting them on amo in the first place lol…

    2. fanboi mad said on November 25, 2021 at 2:46 pm
      Reply

      had they really review the new version before it was publish, this would not happen.

  27. Yash said on November 25, 2021 at 6:14 am
    Reply

    That’s always the cost – Imagine WhatsApp getting banned because Facebook has already found ways to bypass encryption, then we would have furious users who have lost their data.

    I use Firefox account with 2FA on, and having different folders for bookmarks. Of course extensions will have their features – but for now because of this news – a big no.

  28. Torin Doyle said on November 25, 2021 at 10:59 am
    Reply

    I wonder where this leaves the ‘Flash Video Downloader’ addon/extension? I still use it do download the odd video – even though the link to download it is gone.

    1. ULBoom said on November 25, 2021 at 6:45 pm
      Reply

      See my post above, way above and get the real one to sideload. Search the version and you will find it. Don’t lose it.

      1. Torin Doyle said on November 28, 2021 at 7:40 am
        Reply

        Hi ULBoom. Thanks. Do you know if Flash Video Downloader is open-source?

  29. Anonymous said on November 25, 2021 at 12:04 pm
    Reply

    also Bookmark Speed dial

  30. Slana said on November 25, 2021 at 1:27 pm
    Reply

    Right time to go on Opera again .

  31. Mystique said on November 25, 2021 at 5:01 pm
    Reply

    “yet another speed dial” Might be another option in the future. It may not be as feature rich as FVD speed Dial but it appears to be clean, simple enough whilst getting the core job done.

    Not much to say really other than Google’s webstore is quite the cesspool too and often enough the addons that are blocked and removed have more to do with protecting their own intellectual property such as youtube downloaders and such.

    It used to be nice to visit cool sites like this and have some in depth reviews of the extensions/addons but these days we are far too busy identifying what one browser or another is up to since they all seem to be spying on you, gathering your data or just outright making the browsing experience worse under the false guise of simplicity or improvements.

    I yearn for the days when things were far simpler and their were clear lines of who the good guys were and who the bad guys were.

    Whatever browser you are using is a compromise of your ethics and morals. You simply just chose what was the more convenient option or what appeared to be the lesser of the scumbag in your mind at one point and ran with it.

    The Browser wars never ended the way it should have. Several fighters just threw their hands up in the air and gave up, then began following in the same footsteps as enemy or competitor thus becoming garbage themselves.

    1. ULBoom said on November 25, 2021 at 7:02 pm
      Reply

      Apple’s stores are even worse, the same repackaged extension over and over, most geared toward 6 year olds. Many that have no reason for it won’t work at all without location enabled. But, they are the leaders in surveillance and have the highest walled product garden. There would be a lot more noise about it if their users had a clue and apple had decent global market share.

      At least google allows you to see their (mostly junky) extensions. Sad state of things.

      Mozilla’s primary supporter has been google since almost the beginning. Apple exists arguably because MS bailed them out two decades ago. Both for pre-emptive anti-anti-trust action, cost both companies pocket change.

      Customers end up taking it on the chin for all the hijinks.

      1. ddk said on November 25, 2021 at 8:52 pm
        Reply

        @ULBoom. You aren’t kidding about Apple having such a garbage store, I’ve had to delete so much junk from there after installing. Mostly deceptive app descriptions such as “no ads” in the app itself just to be met with ads when I inadvertently clicked on something, really sketchy hidden elements that aren’t made apparent in their promos on the app store.

        On a side note, Brave has something that might be worth a read…https://brave.com/privacy-updates/12-sugarcoat/

        Yet another blocking type script for privacy, seems never ending as being open source, websites override this eventually.

      2. Mystique said on November 26, 2021 at 5:45 am
        Reply

        …pretty much

        Yeah, I have noticed a lot of terrible overlapping on the google webstore. One developer comes up with a concept and then some other clown creates a dup of it with another name that perhaps exists for dubious reasons which then gets abandoned soon after when they can’t be bothered to actually develop it themselves beyond gathering user data.

        The curation of many of these websites is extremely lacking and what annoys me most about both the google web store and the Mozilla repository is that searching the repositories always insists upon mixing results of themes also. I never gave a damn about themes in the past and still don’t now particularly ones that do no more than slap a terribly stretched anime image that looks ungodly awful too. If there is anything I know about the google web store is that there is junk, a lot of junk. A lot of the better extensions are on Github or exclusively there because… well you know… google and all that.

        I honestly feel like Google and Mozilla don’t really care much for the extensions side of things and if they did they’d at the very least do better to maintain their repositories and also not gimp the capabilities of the extensions system.
        I find Mozilla to be particularly offensive. They had a more powerful system then decided (probably under the guidance of google) to gimp their addons/extensions capabilities then suggest that the system will constantly be improved and eventually become just as powerful or more powerful as the former system.
        Mozilla has also aggressively ran a campaign suggesting that they are taking action to have much more control over extensions and quality and yet we find ourselves here discussing an extension that slipped through the gaps somehow only for them to be kicked out now.
        Credit to Mozilla if the developers of this extension were in fact doing the wrong thing by its users but it doesn’t really instill me with a great deal of confidence.

        Apple are scummy too but obviously so is Google and all the apps with analytics and telemetry coming out the wazoo.
        I don’t know when the penny is going to drop on that but I would say soon but when it does people will just be okay with it because garbage like this and that has been so normalized now that every company and their apes are doing it and there have been zero to no repercussions or push back on it.

        Yep. I recall when Microsoft bailed out Apple, it was a big deal back then.

  32. hammer 1800 said on November 26, 2021 at 10:53 am
    Reply

    i moved my speeddial to chrome all worked ok.no more firefox for me

    1. Flamman said on November 27, 2021 at 3:08 am
      Reply

      Install Group Speed ??Dial. It is practically the same as FVD Speed ??Dial and allows you to restore all the markers generated by FVD Speed ??Dial, among others.

  33. Peter Newton said on November 28, 2021 at 1:01 am
    Reply

    My God ! looks like a dodged a bullet here, Its fortunate that I visit here regularly otherwise I would not have known about this issue. Thankfully I had the foresight to set “extensions.blocklist.enabled” to false, a long time ago, which explains why, successive updates of the browser have not removed FVD Speedial.

    I didn’t like the idea of Mozilla’s switch to Web Extensions, and was hoping to find a way to retain all of my XUL plugins, which didn’t materialize, they also gave the user far too much freedom, and I suspect that was one of the reasons why, many of them were withdrawn, and many had to be re-designed, to retain their functionality. Many of the new generation Web Extensions, were a pale shadow of what they used to be, but I accept the argument that in many cases, access and function at the XUL interface WAS a security risk.

    When I first Installed the FVD Speedial add-on I had a suspicion that the inclusion of a search option in it, was a possible route to gathering stats on user browsing, disabling it after install was one of the first things I did.

    In a bid to retain some kind of exclusivity, Nimbus, also decided to introduce their own proprietary format for the file which stores the URL data, a .sd file. This was only transferable to other installs of the same add-on, making the updating process on other installs much less than convenient. There is however a method of capturing all the URL information to memory which can be stored in a text file, if I remember rightly, this becomes a cut and paste job, with a very long wait while all the transferred dials are updated with page captures. Its possible this might look to some, like a DDos attack or some nefarious activity. Nimbus offered a cloud storage option, but in view of all the hoops and hurdles a user has to negotiate, and now this revelation, it was never an option for me.

    So why did I use the extension at all ? .. simply because its the best speed-dial you can get, and even today there are not many alternatives which come up to scratch.

    Always be on the look-out for the methods through which data can be exfiltrated, and take measures to stop it or reduce it to a minimum.

    PN London UK

  34. Diana H. said on November 28, 2021 at 5:06 pm
    Reply

    I get why they made this call but they really messed up my life. I had six different groups of speed dials and now I don’t remember all of them. Some of them were saved for research on a novel I’m writing. Now I have to start over and try to remember all of my saved bookmarks. I have to figure out how to find the list now too. I wish they had given a warning first instead of just cutting it off. At least that way, if we had gotten a warning or something, we could have saved all of our work. This is so frustrating.

  35. GoodMeasure said on November 28, 2021 at 6:28 pm
    Reply

    This is the same company that produces Nimbus Screenshot. It is an browser add-on that works pretty well, but… yeah.

    Too bad…

    1. Mystique said on November 30, 2021 at 6:58 am
      Reply

      That’s something that is also extremely lacking these days. A good screenshot extension on any browser. They all struggle in one way or another not to mention the ridiculous trend of making elements on page fixed that follow you as you scroll, not only do they suck but they also make it near impossible to get a decent full page screenshot without floating bars all over it.

  36. Peter Newton said on November 30, 2021 at 11:05 pm
    Reply

    Thing is folks .. you should always make back ups, the article here shows you how to disable the Mozilla approval list, once you’ve done that, disable the search option in the add-on, next back up your dials locally in a .sd file and make another one in the “export” window of the add-on.

    These backups will only work with the FVD add-on ! .. Yeah ! I know, bloody frustrating right ?

    So .. as a result, you transfer all your “Dial” URLs to a bookmark folder called “FVD SD” for example, in whatever browser you use, I think, that from there you can drag and drop to FVD Speed dial.

    You see the reason for all of this fucking about right ? to get easy access to regularly used sites you have to make the stored URL information as compatible as possible so it can be transferred as easily as possible and try to avoid all these incompatible proprietary formats, and what ever you do, DO NOT use their cloud storage option, if you value your privacy, I know its the easiest option for the lazy, but please do your best to resist !

    I really feel for Diana who writes above, after doing all that research for her novel and now having to start all over again, I hope what I’ve outlined here can help her in the future.

    But hey .. Nimbus cares only about surfing stats that they can sell to market researchers, and Mozilla gives no thought to the inconvenience they create for all their users, so no-one cares, and this is a common attitude these days in practically every area.

    I Hope this helps and before I go, If you’re wondering .. YES I’M BLOODY ANGRY !

    PN London UK

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