There are dozens of feed readers that suck down RSS files and display the information in a variety of ways. Feedly for Firefox integrates with Google Reader and many other feed sources to gather the latest information and organize it in tabs. Brief provides a simple means for interacting with RSS feeds, and StumbleUpon takes you somewhere random to help you find something new to like on the Web.
You can almost literally bringing the world inside the browser by adding one of the several weather plug-ins that tell you what you're missing in your heated/air-conditioned cubicle. WeatherBug has dozens of options for plug-ins and integration with the desktop and your phone. AniWeather provides animation to make all the weather you're missing seem that much more realistic.
Step 6 to a better Web browser: Beware the limits of trust
When it comes to hacking the browser, anyone leaning on the work of others should tread carefully. Each browser manufacturer warns its users to be careful loading extensions -- with good reason. Sophisticated plug-ins can poke around your system and read documents you don't want to share. Some will even install malware. Some are malware themselves.
The warning is hard to put into practice because there's no easy way to read the code for these plug-ins. The major directories are fairly good at keeping out malicious plug-ins, but they aren't a guarantee. And remember, fly-by-night operations are often good at getting high rankings on search engines -- and not always with the best of intentions.
Some plug-ins aim to help secure our browsing experience. The Web of Trust add-on displays the rankings for other websites compiled from the information provided by community members like you. Are these community members honest and forthright? Most of the time they probably are.
Dozens of other tools help manage the tracks we leave on the Internet. BetterPrivacy, for instance, deletes some of the so-called supercookies buried by the Flash plug-in. Torbutton securely enables or disables your browser's use of Tor, helping to prevent IP address leakage, cookie leakage, and privacy attacks.
Step 7 to a better Web browser: Reward meaningful improvements to the Web
Among the more controversial plug-ins are those that delete advertisements from Web pages. Some argue that Flash videos crash their machines or slow them to a crawl. Others employ ad-blocker plug-ins simply to "stick it to the man." Others (myself included) argue that the fate of the free Web depends on whether advertisements continue to pay the cost of producing and distributing content for gratis on the Internet.
Although it's a bit of an exaggeration to suggest that any plug-in you install will transform the Web, ad blockers could play a role in ensuring that more information retreats behind pay walls. So before you download Wladimir Palant's Adblock Plus or Michael Gundlach's AdBlock for Chrome, which includes a feature that gives Google ads special unblocking treatment, consider how you expect those who provide meaningful content to the Web will get paid for doing so.