Everyone uses a web browser, on their Mac and their iOS device. But there are many web browsers, and some are better designed to protect your privacy. We take a deep dive into web browsers and discuss the pros and cons of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and a number of alternatives.
You’ve certainly heard the term cookie; not the kind that’s crunchy and sweet, but the kind that your web browser uses. Cookies can be useful, because they save information about you. When you revisit a website, you won’t have to log in again, because your Mac or iOS device has stored information about your session using cookies. Browser cookies can, however, be nefarious when used in certain ways.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn about browser cookies and how to manage them in every major browser on Mac and iOS. I’ll also explain what it means to delete your cookies–and why it might be a good idea to do so.
“Color profile support has long been a tough technical challenge — and doubly so, it would seem, in the world (wide web) of browsers. There have been several advances that have made the team at 500px re-evaluate how we handle color profiles on the site.
In the past, to be the most consistent, the most widely supported, and the most space efficient, we did two things:
1. Convert any image not using an sRGB color profile to sRGB
2. Strip the color profile from the image
Why did we do these things?
The first step is fairly obvious. Until recently, most screens were sRGB calibrated, or weren’t calibrated, but were close enough to sRGB for most purposes. This meant people with wide gamut displays wouldn’t get to see the images uploaded in wide gamut profiles (Adobe RGB, ProPhoto RGB, Display-P3, etc) in their full glory, but it also meant the most people would see something close to what the photographer intended.
The second step is a little more subtle. The default sRGB color profile is about 3KB when attached to an image (we’ve also seen non-standard profiles take 20KB). For a 5KB thumbnail, that needlessly increases the file size by more than 50%. The W3C consortium states that an image without a color profile should be assumed to be sRGB, so all should be good when an sRGB image is stripped of its profile. Stripping the color profile from the image turned out to be a pretty big deal, as it saved 25-30% in data transferred, which translated into tens of thousands of dollars in bandwidth savings per month and — most importantly — drastically sped up image downloads (especially the thumbnails). Life was good but as we know, it’s rarely easy.”
Fascinating stuff about color profiles and how they are supported (or not) in different browsers and on different platforms. I knew this stuff was confusing, but this article does make a lot of it more understandable.
Auto-play videos suck. They use bandwidth, and their annoying sounds get in the way when you’re listening to music and open a web page. I happen to write for a website that uses them, and it annoys me to no end. (My editors have no control over those auto-play videos, alas.)
But you can stop auto-play videos from playing on a Mac. If you use Chrome or Firefox, it’s pretty simple, and the plugins below work both on macOS and Windows; if you use Safari, it’s a bit more complex, but it’s not that hard.
For Safari, there used to be an excellent plugin called ClickToPlugin, but it is no longer being updated. So to turn off autoplay videos, you need to first work in Terminal. Quit Safari, then open Terminal (it’s in /Applications/Utilities). Paste this command into the window:
Quit Terminal, then launch Safari again. You’ll see a new menu called Debug. To turn off autoplay videos, choose Debug > Media Flags > Disallow Inline Video. (Some people are reporting that choosing this option causes problems playing videos on YouTube. Try Video Needs User Action, if you have this issue. It seems to do more or less the same thing.)
I’m not sure if this still works to enable the Debug menu for Safari on Windows.
With all of these tools, you can still play video or audio; you just need to click the play buttons to do so. But you will no longer be annoyed by autoplay media.
If you want to hide the Safari Debug menu, just quit Safari, then run this command in Terminal: