Mozilla Lightbeam

Not related to radio, but interesting nonetheless. Mozilla, the designer of the Firefox web browser has come up with a cool way to see tracking data for any HTTP sessions. It is an add-on called Lightbeam. I tried a little experiment, after installing lightbeam, I surfed around a little bit then looked at the results. A screenshot of the graphical output is below:

Mozilla lightbeam graphical output
Mozilla Lightbeam graphical output

The round circles are the sites that I visited. The triangles are third party sites connected to the visited site. During the real Lightbeam session, a mouse over the icon will show the name or url. It is an interesting exercise. Visiting 27 web sites nets a total of 172 third party sites or approximately 6 third party sites per visited site. Commercial news sites like CNN and NBC seem to have the most connections to third party sites. In this case, it appears to be mostly innocuous advertizing. Even so, it is an enlightening experiment.

One thought on “Mozilla Lightbeam”

  1. Wanna have some more fun? Block yahoo.com in your router and then do some web surfing, especially places like ebay. It’s amazing how many things are coming from that one site, and how much cleaner web pages can be once you get rid of all that distracting stuff that pulls your eyes and brain off of what YOU want to see and over to stuff “they” want you to see.

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