Brave now part of the Decentralized Web

On January 19, 2021, the Brave browser released version 1.19.86. A MAJOR feature was added:

IPFS support

Now, if you enter an IPFS URL, such as:


It will resolve the reference and deliver to you the file.

The method in which it resolves this depends on your local settings and whether or not you’re running a local IPFS node, the IPFS browser plugin, or neither. In all 3 cases, it will still resolve the URL and find and deliver the file.

In addition to that, it will give you the option of running an IPFS node on your PC. I highly recommend doing that, IF you’re not low on resources. All it takes is a single button click.

Then YOUR PC becomes part of the global InterPlanetary File System network, increasing the geographical distribution of files and speeding up the global performance of the entire network, in addition to speeding up YOUR use of it. Any file, DAPP (distributed application), or decentralized website (which is just a DAPP, BTW), will load for you much faster the second time you access it AND it’ll be available to you even when you’re offline!

IPFS is a critical part of the infrastructure of the new world wide web, which is being built out as fully decentralized and censorship resistant. Unlike centralized websites that get bogged down and slow down when more people use them, DAPPs actually get FASTER as more people use them!

This is a BIG deal that IPFS is now fully supported in a browser.

Go get the Brave browser here. It’s build from the Chromium source code, so it looks and feels similar to Chrome and all Chrome extensions work in it. It also strips out all the Google spyware and has an ad blocker built in, so browsing is faster without all the page loading delays caused by the ridiculous amount of ads loaded in most web pages these days.

Cryptotab browser is a total SCAM!

What IS CryptoTab Browser?

It’s a custom and closed source web browser that has a built in BitCoin miner.  That means it’ll run high intensity calculations on your CPU, burning electricity with the intent of creating new BitCoin.  By closed source, that means they’re not open source.  They do NOT make their source code available for inspection.

What it CLAIMS

It claims to make you money by mining BitCoin on your computer while you browse.  But this is misleading.

What it ACTUALLY does

In reality, when you create your account, likely from having clicked someone’s referral link, you’re software is now a slave to the person who owns the referral link.  While your computer burns through electricity that YOU are paying for, it’s giving a large portion of the tiny amount of BitCoin that your computer generates to the other person, not producing any profit for you at all.  Even if you got to keep all of the BitCoin that you mined, you’d STILL be losing way more money than you make.

It’s IMPOSSIBLE to be profitable mining BitCoin on a PC or a mobile device

A very, very long time ago, the complexity of BitCoin became too powerful for PCs to mine it and be profitable.  For years, the only way to make a profit mining BitCoin is to buy specialized hardware that can’t do anything other than mine BitCoin.  Those hardware devices cast at least $1,300 (USD) on the low end, run very loudly and hot.  And you’ll have to run one for about 6 months before you generate enough BitCoin to break even on the cost of the hardware.  There is NO PATH to mining profitably on a PC (unless you get your electricity for free!)

If you mine on ANYTHING else, you’re GOING TO LOSE MONEY! Why? Because the amount of electricity you burn will cost you MORE than ANY infinitesimal amount of bitcoin you mine. Even if your electricity were free, the amount you can mine on a PC is virtually nothing. It also slows down your PC for everything else.

But wait! There’s MORE!  To make matters even WORSE, when you start mining with this browser, you don’t even get to keep all of the minimal amount of coin you mine. Even if you did, you’d already be at a loss, but it’s worse. Whoever’s link you clicked on to get the browser gets a portion of YOUR earnings! Earnings that are ALREADY in LOSS territory.

A Classic Ponzi Scheme

The ONLY way to “make money” with this is NOT by mining BitCoin, but by having LOTS of people sign up through your referral link.  THEY LOSE money by mining and lose even MORE by giving you the minuscule BitCoin THEY mine.

Stay away from CryptoTab Browser.

Stick it to the NSA: How to Encrypt your WebMail

If you access your email from your desktop web browser, then follow these instructions to get email encryption working.  This is an initial draft.  I’ll expand some of the steps very soon.

  1. Install the Google Chrome  or Firefox browser if you haven’t already and install the extension named “Mailvelope” from
  2. Once installed, there’ll be a new lock icon on the top right of your browser.  Click it and a menu opens.  Choose “options”.
  3. If you haven’t, at some time in the past, already created a private and public key pair, you’ll need to do that now.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you haven’t and you’ll need to do it now.  Click “Generate Key”.
  4. Once generated, it’s critical that you back up your private key, encrypted, to a place that no one can get it and that will last longer than your current hard drive and PC.  If you lose it, you’ll NEVER be able to read ANYTHING you’ve encrypted with your keys!  Install, create a secret note, and put your private key in there for long term, encrypted, safe storage.  Mark the note as “must reprompt for password”.  NEVER, EVER give anyone your private key.  NEVER send it unencrypted over the internet.  NEVER email it in an unencrypted e-mail message!  NEVER send it unencrypted over a wireless network, especially an open or public one.
  5. No one can send you encrypted e-mail unless they have your PUBLIC key.  Publish your PUBLIC key to a key server.  DO NOT PUBLISH YOUR PRIVATE KEY!!!!!!!! EVER!!!

Now, when you use GMail or most any of the other popular, free e-mail services in a  desktop browser, you can send and receive encrypted e-mail.  NOTE!  Just because you have the ability to send and receive encrypted e-mail does NOT mean that all your e-mail will be encrypted.  You MUST understand the following:

  1. Nothing you did here encrypted any of your old email.
  2. New email that comes in will usually be in clear text (NOT encrypted).
  3. When you start a new email message, Mailvelope will recognize this and provide you an icon, overlayed in your new email window.  Click it to write your email, then click “encrypt” to encrypt the email.
  4. You CANNOT send encrypted email to people that aren’t already set up, like you are, to send and receive encrypted email.
  5. You can’t send encrypted e-mail to anyone from whom you’ve not acquired their public key.
  6. You acquire public keys by searching on a key server.  MIT’s key server is here:.
  7. Use the Mailvelope menu to import the public key of each individual with whom you wish to send encrypted email to.  You’ll find that most people have NOT registered a public key, so  you cannot participate in encrypted email with them.
  8. Once you encrypt and send an email message, you won’t be able to read it from your sent box.  It’ll be there, but encrypted with THEIR public key.  Only THEIR private key can decrypt it.  So, send it to both them AND yourself, THEN you can read it.
  9. Encrypted email is unreadable even by Google’s servers, which means you CANNOT use the Google email search feature for words in encrypted mail.
  10. ONLY the BODY of the email is encrypted, not the subject line, not the TO address, not your FROM address, not any part of the headers.

Things to note about HOW the keys work:

  1. When you generate keys, you only do it once, unless you have multiple email addresses.  In which case, generate a key pair for each of your email addresses you wish to send and receive encrypted email for.
  2. Keys are  created in pairs:  One is public.  The other is private.
  3. Feel free to give away your public key to ANYONE, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.  Shout it from the mountain tops.
  4. Protect your private key with your life.  Well, don’t die for it, but it’s critical you protect it!  If anyone EVER acquires it, they can read EVERYTHING you’ve ever encrypted with your public key!
  5. Your public and private keys are intimately, mathematically connected.  Anything encrypted with your public key can ONLY be decrypted with your private key and  vice versa.
  6. Nothing is safe if you encrypt it with your private key, because everyone has your public key and can easily decrypt it.  A side benefit is you can do this to prove YOU are the one that created the message.  This is called “digitally signing” your document.
  7. If you want to encrypt something that ONLY YOU can decrypt, encrypt it with your PUBLIC key.  Decrypt it with your PRIVATE key.

Is your ISP hijacking YOUR browser search preferences?

Many Internet Service Providers are overriding your choice of search engine on your own computer so they can show their OWN search page and advertisements, regardless of what you chose for your search provider.  Yes, this is slimy and unethical, but what can you do about it?

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First, you need to test to see if your ISP has actually hijacked your browser’s search settings.

Do this:  In your browser, set your preferred search engine:

  • Chrome:  Open the wrench menu, choose “Options”, in “Search” section, pick a search provider, any one of them.
  • FireFox:  [Alt]+[D], type about:config in the address bar, then [Enter].  find and set it to Google or Yahoo or Bing.
  • Inter Explorer:  Stop using this browser and use Chrome or FireFox.

Now, in your address bar, type a search term like, stop sopa then hit [Enter].  Did your search results show up in your selected search engine?  If not, your ISP has hijacked your personal preferences.  What do you think about that?  You like it?  You like that someone else has decided they know better?  Of course you don’t.  Now, call your ISP and bitch.  Bitch like it’s going out of style.  What right do they have to do that to you?  Then, read below to find out how to override their hijacking.

Did you search come up in your chosen search provider?  Still doesn’t mean your ISP didn’t hijack it.  It just may be that the search provider you chose is the same one your ISP chose.  Now, go back up to the bullet list and change your search provider to something else and repeat your search.  Did it come up in the new search provider?  Then you’re golden.  Your ISP has NOT overridden your choice.  But what if they do in the future?  How can you prevent it from happening in the first place?

How to tell your ISP to go to hell and tack control back of your search preferences:

You need to change your computer’s DNS settings.  Don’t be intimidated.  It’s easy.  Here’s how in Windows 7:

  1. Open your start menu and type “network and sharing center”, then click the name of your network as in the section below below:
    1. image
    2. image
  2. Click the “Properties” button.
    1. image
  3. Then select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCPIPv4)” and click “Properties”.
  4. In the “Inter Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties” dialog box, in the lower half for DNS server addresses, WRITE DOWN WHAT’S THERE IN CASE YOU NEED TO CHANGE IT BACK!!!!!  Then enter the values shown below:
    1. image
  5. Click OK, OK, then close.

Go back up to the top to verify your search provider preferences are now respected.

So, what did we actually do?

When you type in a domain name like, your computer doesn’t know how to get to the server that hosts that web site.  Your computer has to get to web sites via their IP addresses.  So, the structure of the internet has servers that will convert the domain name you provide into a current IP address for that site.  These servers are called Domain Name Servers (DNS).  There are thousands and thousands of Domain Name Servers, but you only use 1 or 2.  Your ISP has their own DNS servers and most likely, your computer is using THEIR DNS servers.

Now, here’s what normally happens when you enter an invalid domain name:  Your bad domain name is sent to the DNS servers, which don’t find it and return an error that your browser then displays, unless you have a default search provider set up in your browser.  In that case, instead of displaying an error, your browser then submits that text to your preferred search engine and then displays the results.

So, here’s what your ISP did to hijack your preferences:  When you enter an invalid domain name, instead of your ISP’s DNS servers returning an error to your browser, they instead do NOT return an error and will do their OWN search with a search company they’ve partnered with to get a percentage of the advertising revenue.  So, your browser will NEVER receive an error from your ISP’s DNS servers, hence your search preferences in your browser are never used.  You’ve now been hijacked.

What we did with the instructions above was told your computer to NOT use your ISPs DNS servers, but instead use some free DNS servers whose IP addresses happen to be and  These aren’t the only ones out there that you can choose from.  Google hosts some.  Their IP addresses are and

Now, if your ISP did, in fact, hijack your search settings.  Call them up and let them know what you think about it.  I highly recommend switching to one of their local competitors and let your old ISP know why you’re switching.

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