So, are you down with

Of course there’s all those features I can’t live without, that I don’t know how I even bothered with the internet before these tools were at my fingertips. Tabbed Browsing. Smart Popup Blocking. RSS. Form submission and password remembering thingy. The real power, however, lies in a really great scrabble word, “extensibility.” If you’re still running Firefox stock… well, baby, you’re missing out!

The extension I just installed this week displays my Tmobile wireless plan usage in the status bar – and you thought the status bar was just for the status of computer-type things! The same developer also wrote one for Verizon. Slick! If you use Cingular, no extension for you, but you’ve got rollover minutes so you don’t care anyway. If you’re still using Sprint, you probably don’t even know what the internet is.

Google hackers like myself and internet nerds of all kinds will appreciate SearchStatus, another status-bar hanger-on that is basically the Hot-or-Not for search engine page rankings. Handy enough already, but it doesn’t just stop with telling you how much Google loves the site you’re currently viewing – it also lets you figure out why, giving you quick access to meta tags, indexed pages, and even reverse links. Don’t optimize your keyword targeting without it!

Discover what paranoid web surfers have known for years, with NoScript. This small wonder lets you selectively enable javascripts on each site, per domain, and remembers your selections for next time. You won’t believe how many different servers it takes to build your favorite site (and how much client-side scripting is involved) until you see all the entries in NoScript. I became enamoured with this extension one day when browsing a web forum whose webmaster had installed a no-right-clicking script. I’m not really sure what this is meant to help, especially when you’re trying to build a community of users and encourage return visits (end of soapbox) but it kept me from right-clicking and opening a window in a new tab – a Firefox principium – and i would have none of it. Enter NoScript. I disable scripting from their domain, and voila! I’m free to right-click just like the founding fathers envisioned.

No Firefox extension list is complete without my final entry, Adblock Plus. I’m not trying to advocate anything illicit here – i work in online advertising and in know how much of the internet is supported by those banners. But i also firmly believe that ads which are annoying, tasteless, or disruptive to a site’s content are completely unnecessary, and the data i work with every day tells me that advertising which doesn’t make viewers hate you performs better for your company in the long run. So go ahead and block that hideous animated pig in the clown makeup trying to sell you a mortgage refinance offer. More significantly though, use Adblock Plus to fix things that annoy you other than ads! Does someone on the web forum you haunt have a repulsive image in their sig line? Adblock it. Or that dolt who uploads images without scaling them, filling your display and breaking the page structure for you – Adblock them. You can wildcard your filters, but be careful when wielding this mighty power; if you block *.capitalone.com because their ads are gross, it’s going to be difficult to log into their site and pay your credit card bill. I think i adore this extension so much because it puts the power back in my hands, instead of feeling so powerless to deal with whatever garbage a web pages throws up at you and expects you to look at.

Okay, that’s my list. Download, configure, and enjoy. The internet is yours to manipulate as you please! Bwah ha ha ha!