Skip to main content

Read any website at 950 words per minute with this Squirt bookmarklet

squirt bookmarklet lets read webpage 950 words per minute header

“Good artists copy; great artists steal,” Pablo Picasso (and Steve Jobs) once said. And with his creation of Squirt, a speed-reading bookmarklet that brings the concept of the Spritz app for Android to any webpage, it seems clear that developer Cameron Boehmer falls into the latter category.

And by that I mean Squirt is virtually identical to the functionality of Spritz, using the same “Optimal Recognition Point,” or ORP, technique that keeps your eye focused on a single spot on words, allowing text to buzz into your brain at up to 950 words per minute. (Spritz goes up to 1,000 wpm.) At that rate, you could read the entire U.S. Constitution, including signatures, in less than five minutes.

Related Videos

Squirt also incorporates aspects of Readbility, whose open-source technology Boehmer added into the mix.

To use Squirt, simply install the Squirt bookmarlet by dragging it into your Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browser bookmark bar. Next, visit a webpage you want to read (this one, perhaps?), and click the Squirt bookmarklet. You’ll then be shown an overlay of Squirt, which will display the words using ORP at anywhere between 200 and 950 wpm.

At least, that’s how it should work. The Web app is still a bit wonky. It sometimes displays HTML code of a webpage rather than the words of that page’s article. You can “fix” this sometimes by scrolling down further in the article (that worked for me, anyway). It also seems to get hung up when it runs into in-copy images, and will cut out before the end of an article. Again, simply scrolling down seems to work out this kink.

Squirt is far from the only speed-reading browser app out there. The Spree Chrome add-on, for example, uses the same ORP as Spirtz and Squirt. Then there’s BeeLine Reader, another browser plugin, which colorizes text to help you zip through the end.

Regardless of which speed-reading app you use, there’s really no excuse for slogging your way through Web articles the old fashioned way.

Internet guerrillas: Inside the DIY broadband revolution with NYC Mesh
nyc mesh guerrilla internet network screen shot 2022 02 20 at 5 53 39 am

Toby Bloch doesn’t look like your average internet installation technician. Instead of a uniform with a corporate logo embroidered on it, he wears worn-in jeans and a thick canvas jacket. Instead of a van, he drives a Subaru -- the back of which is stuffed to the gills with a disorganized pile of hand tools, cables, and odd electronic devices with antennas sticking out of them. And unlike most technicians, he isn’t going to earn a dime for the appointment he’s headed to in Brooklyn.

But oddly enough, that’s precisely the point. Bloch doesn’t operate like a normal internet install tech because he isn’t one. He doesn’t work for Comcast or Spectrum or Verizon or any other large internet service provider (ISP). He’s a volunteer at NYC Mesh: A guerrilla internet provider that helps residents get online without paying a monthly fee to the aforementioned telecom companies.

Read more
How Big Jet TV won the internet
A plane landing during Storm Eunice in the UK in February 2022.

As millions of people hunkered down at home on Friday during the U.K.'s worst storm in 32 years, aviation enthusiast Jerry Dyer jumped in his van and drove to London’s Heathrow Airport to livestream passenger jets coming in to land in the challenging conditions.

Within a few hours of Dyer launching his Big Jet TV livestream from the top of his vehicle at the end of Heathrow’s runway 27L, social media started to take notice, with shares and retweets pushing his audience to as high as 200,000 people during the eight-hour livestream.

Read more
Skype now supports 911 calls in the U.S.
iPhone with the Skype mobile app loading screen.

Skype has updated its mobile and desktop apps to allow emergency calling in the U.S. for the first time in its 18-year history. Calls to 911 are also possible via Skype’s web-based service, notes for the recently released Skype 8.80 showed.

Emergency calling from Skype could come in handy if you find yourself in a tricky situation without a phone but have a computer close by, or if phone lines are down but you can get online.

Read more