Firefox is one of the towering achievements of the open-source movement, accounting for almost a quarter of all Web site visits just five years after its launch. One of the reasons for its enormous popularity is that it can be easily customised with a range of add-ons -- from download accelerators to funky themes, they make your browsing experience faster, slicker or just better looking. The official Mozilla Firefox add-ons site now lists over 10,000 extensions for download.
But along with the really useful stuff, there's also plenty of total dross in there. Some have sprung up to mediate the crassness of the Web -- ruefully saving you from the idiocy out there -- while others are just plain stupid. Either way, we thought it was time to check out the dumbest add-ons on offer.
Raed This! takes the Web and scrambles it so it looks like the Grauniad's sub-editors have run amok. Or if you're under the age of 16 and have been edumacated in the UK, it just translates the Web into a language you're more familiar with.
Are you the son of a bishop, over 50 and bang into all things hip hop? If so, this is the Big Dawg pimpin' browser skin you've laid in bed at night in the vicarage dreaming of. As the makers of PimpZilla say, there's no better way to express your wealth and importance in such a garish and extravagant way. That's big, baby.
Bork Bork Bork!
Bork Bork Bork instantly translates any page on the Interweb into Swedish, as spoken by the Swedish chef from The Muppets -- yuoo knoo, zee oone-a thet speeks leeke-a these. We're not completely sure it's really Swedish, as it doesn't come flat-packed with one crucial bolt missing.
Consciousness Bell is designed to be a soothing extension that randomly plays the relaxing sound of Tibetan chimes. Unfortunately, the chimes are hugely annoying and the randomness makes it feel as though you're being stalked by a sexual deviant who's ready to spring from the bushes and aurally violate your ears when you're least expecting it.
Believe it or not, MySpace was once cool. Funky bands used to post their music for free, rather than losers who are too talentless to get signed, and Cheryl Cole. AmIOnMySpace performs the admirable public service of never letting you visit the Croydon of the Internet again -- should you accidentally find yourself there, a prominent warning is displayed and you can safely navigate back to safer waters.
Ever wondered what it would be like to press the stop button in Firefox and have MC Hammer repeat his famous catchphrase? No, we didn't either, but someone else obviously did, because they've gone as far as creating the Stop! Hammertime! Firefox plug-in. We're guessing their mum reckons they should get out a bit more, joins some clubs and start interacting with, like, girls and stuff.
Do you know what you are? You're a Jackass. There, we've said it, we're not proud of it, but if you enjoy a spot of masochistic self-loathing, install the JackassBar because that's its sole function -- to call you a jackass over and over again.
Leet Key takes normal human speech and translates it into a language only teenagers who spend too much time alone in their bedroom with their PC and their pr0n collection can understand. If you're not one of them, you're a n00b and teh suxx0r, so you won't understand it.
YouTube Comment Snob
Does bad spelling hurt your eyes? Are you alarmed by potty-mouthed 12-year-olds? If so, YouTube Comment Snob is for you -- it'll scan YouTube comments and hide those with bad spelling, profanity and excessive punctuation. If only they could make a grown up version to remove right-wing ranting from the Daily Mail's Web site.
Brisby adds a tiny mouse to the bottom corner of Firefox. Run the cursor over it and 'Squeak' pops up in a speech bubble. Like Windows Mobile 6.1, it's intentionally designed to be useless. Sadly there isn't an equivalent mouse-trap extension to exterminate the little fella.