Tag Archives: addon

Research Web Pages Smarter with Scrible

If you’re a fan of Evernote, you’re going to love Scrible. This simple-to-use bookmarklet will make your research SO much easier. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to find something for school or work… Scrible will be able to help you mark what you need in a way that makes sense to you. It may only be in beta form right now, but I have yet to find any real “issues” with it after using the service for a few hours tonight.

There’s nothing to install or download, and you can choose to use it as either a bookmark right on your toolbar or as a browser extension. To use as a bookmarklet, simply drag it to your browser’s bookmark toolbar. To use Scrible as an addon, follow the steps provided for your browser of choice.

As you can see from my screenshot, you have several different options available to you once you click to open Scrible. Highlight text just as you would with those little yellow markers on a physical page. Click on the color changer, choose a color and highlight any words you want to change the color of. Underline, bold, italicize or even strike through any text you decide needs to stand out a little more. Click the little note button to add notes to the website – anywhere on the page – and even choose which color you want them to be. You can place tiny little sticky notes everywhere!

When you are finished marking up the page, you aren’t really finished. If you choose to sign up for a free account, you can now save your annotated web page to your Scrible account online, making it simple to retrieve later. Additionally, you can quickly send an email copy of what you’ve done to yourself or anyone else… right from the bookmarklet. Best of all, there’s no chance of losing your work accidentally. If you attempt to close or change the page before saving a copy, a nice warning box will pop up asking if you really want to navigate away without saving.

You won’t have to head to the website to sign in each time you use Scrible: click the login button on the left end of the toolbar. When you’re finished and want it out of your way, click the large X at the right side. And of course, you can drag and drop Scrible anywhere on the page at any point in time.

This, my friends, is web research done right. Grab Scrible for yourself and let me know in the comments what you think!

Use an Ad-Blocker Even if You Don't Want to Block Ads

Various ad-blocking extensions are darn handy – even if you don’t care to block actual ads. Not only can you block ads, rickrolls and things you really don’t have time to have to see, these browser addons can also warn you when a site contains malicious content.

When you first install most ad-block extensions, you won’t see the filters created to list domains used for spreading spyware and malware. This listing started out as a tool for DNS servers, but has been converted to a filter so people using ad blocking services can keep themselves that much safer when using Firefox or Chrome.

There may be a few ads on our software site but I can guarantee you there is no malicious content!

Firefox Beta 4.0 Annoyances

Jordan LeBlanc wrote an email to me recently, which appears below. He tried out the beta version of Firefox 4.0 for his Mac, and he wasn’t very happy with the results. He did the right thing in reporting the bug that annoyed him. I’m not sure, though, that I agree with uninstalling and ceasing to use a beta for that reason alone. The whole point of being a beta tester is to continue to update the builds, continue testing it and continue reporting any problems.

Hey Chris:

Just wondering if you have spent any time using Firefox 4.0 beta on the Mac, and if so, what are your thoughts on it?

I took it for a test drive today and I am sad to say that after 5 minutes, I uninstalled the darn thing. It showed promise — it was actually really fast – more so than Safari 5, and perhaps even slightly faster than Chrome. But — and this was the killer for me — it kept placing a 2nd icon on my dock for no apparent reason! At first I thought it was pop ups, but when you click on the icon… nothing happens. When you use dock expose on the Firefox app, it only shows one window. It is just some weird, random and useless icon that keeps appearing no matter how often you close it. After 5 minutes, I decided it was too much of an annoyance, and I uninstalled the beta – but not before I provided feedback about the issue via the “why Firefox made me sad” feedback menu.

It’s sort of sad, because Firefox used to be an amazing browser back in the day when it was designed to be fast, bloat free, and have a small footprint. If I remember correctly, that was the whole point to Firefox! If you wanted something slow and bloated you used IE or Mozilla’s full client. IMHO, Firefox started going downhill when they lost sight of that vision, and began adding all these crazy add-ons and themes. It has become the very thing it had been created to challenge.

Guess I’ll be sticking with Safari and Chrome for the foreseeable future. Firefox just isn’t what it used to be.

Have you tried out the beta version yet? What are your thoughts on it overall? Do you have any specifics praises or concerns that you want to share with the community?

Block Your Ex From the Internet

Sometimes, breaking up is hard to do. In the age of sharing our lives online, breaking up is even harder. Quite often, our ex is shoved in our faces via the computer screen every time we log into our favorite websites. If you were connected in several different places, it may be difficult (emotionally, as well as physically) to block or remove them from them all. With Ex-blocker, you don’t have to worry about it. You can simply block him or her for good with a few clicks.

Logging in to Facebook and having your ex’s face sitting on top of a message saying “Add as a friend!” might cause scars to rip right off of still-healing wounds. It’s painful to have to look at their name or face every time you click over to a new page, isn’t it? Ex-blocker will help. Fill in the information requested (such as name, Twitter handle and Facebook URL) and the application creates your own personal browser plugin. Right now, it only works on Firefox and Chrome, but we may see other browsers supported in the near future. You can create blockers for up to five ex-peeps at a time.

Many of you guys are likely scoffing and rolling your eyes right now. However, think of it this way: you’re too manly to cry, yes. But doesn’t it make your blood boil every time you see your ex girl hanging all over her new dude in a picture on Twitpic, Flickr or Facebook? Stop torturing yourself, dude. Just block her already and get on with your life. She wasn’t right for you anyway.

How Do You Define Bloatware?

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A caller the other night asked simply: “What is Bloatware?” That’s actually an easy one to answer! Bloatware is when you have a piece of software that should be a certain size. However, due to several unnecessary things being added in, the size of the software increases dramatically. Heck, sometimes companies add so much crap in that the original software ends up being buggy and laggy making it not work properly.

There are some types of software that you can turn off the unneeded services and installed applications. When installing a new piece of software, make sure you actually pay attention and read everything during installation. I recommend never just “clicking through” repeatedly. There are a lot of things that will get installed without your consent… all of which are enabled by default. For example, there are types of software that will automatically install various toolbars unless you tell it not to.

Some people claim that things such as Microsoft Office are bloatware due to the sheer number of features inside. You may want just a good text editor (Word), but instead you’re going to have to install a ton of other things just to get that.

My best advice is just to pay attention to what you’re installing. Make sure you are aware of what comes bundled with each piece of software when deciding what to buy, even. Choose something that works well for your needs and comes with the least amount of “extras.”

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It's Time to Use a Different Browser When…

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Over on Lockergnome.net, Michael asked people which web browser they prefer, and why. This is something I am asked constantly. It certainly seems as though everyone has a definite preference: there are over a thousand views on that question alone, and several pages’ worth of answers. I’ve been using Safari for quite awhile, but I think I’m on the cusp of switching to something different.

The one I’m thinking of using is another webkit browser – Google Chrome. To be more specific, I plan on using the browser on which Chrome is based – Chromium. It’s very powerful, and it’s only getting better. It’s exceedingly fast, and there are a lot of extensions already available. Heck, there’s already five extensions that have been made by our community members that each have something to do with what we do on a daily basis!

It’s a big deal for most people when you switch primary browsers. There’s usually a good reason that you decided to make the change. Let’s face it – we hate change most of the time, even when it comes to our browsers. I’ve used Safari for nearly three years now, so yeah – this is a big deal for me.

With Chromium, I get nightly update builds loaded right onto my computer. That’s important to me… I’m always on the bleeding edge with the latest they have to offer. When you spend as much time as I do surfing the Internet, having the best browser available is critical.

Which browser do YOU use, and why is it your favorite?

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What are Five Firefox Add-ons that Can Spice up Your Browser?

Geek!This is Curtis McGregor’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
As you may know, there are many Firefox Add-ons out there. I’ve come up with a list of five handy but simple Add-ons that are sure to make your Firefox experience more enjoyable. If you have suggestions for any other Add-ons that are top five worthy, leave a comment!

  • SmoothWheel – SmoothWheel is a nice little Add-on that changes the way you scroll. Are you tired of the way Firefox currently scrolls through pages? It can be a bother at times when you are reading something and you scroll down and lose your spot. This Add-on changes all that. Smoothwheel smoothly scrolls through documents and makes text easier to read as it doesn’t skip sections of the page as Firefox does by default. The only way I can actually describe it would be the same way they describe it on the download page: “Kind of like the credits at the end of a movie”.
  • Adblock Plus – Tired of advertising on websites? Adblock Plus is the Add-on for you. When you see a pesky ad that you want to get rid of, simply right click and there should be an option for you that says: “Adblock Image”. This is a very helpful Add-on that doesn’t only block ads, you can even block music playing on a website. Long story short, this Add-on can block pretty much anything that uses flash player.
  • FoxyTunes – This Add-on gives you full control of your media player right from your Firefox browser. It goes right on your Status Bar in Firefox and shows what you are listening to, information about the track, and even an album art thumbnail! It is compatible with mostly all the popular media players like iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp and VLC media player, plus many more! If you want to control your music from Firefox then this is the Add-on for you.
  • Download Statusbar – This Add-on does is opens a download bar down by your status bar instead of opening a separate download window like Firefox currently does. This Add-on is very much like the download bar in Google Chrome. It’s an all around good Add-on with a very nice GUI so it’s sure to please.
  • Tweak Network – Do you have a slow Internet connection and it is difficult for you to load pages quickly? This Add-on will speed up the loading of websites. Another feature of this Add-on is the ability to have more than four simultaneous downloads (which is the default). The ability to do this was previously in Firefox, but it was a hassle to do for most people who are not very good with computers but this Add-on should be easy enough for anyone to use. You may notice that you cannot access options from the Add-on window, to get into Tweak Network’s settings, all you have to do is go to “Tools” then you should see “Tweak Network Settings”.

That’s it! Leave a comment if you liked any of these Add-ons and tell us what you think so other people may be interested in using one of them. I hope that I have helped a few people with this top five list, and good luck to anyone else who entered the contest!

An Essential Firefox Add-on

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What page do you use in your default Web browser as your “start” page? Have you bothered to change it from the browser’s start page? As you know, Firefox 3 was officially released on the day this video is being posted. Now that you have it, what are you doing with it? Are you doing more than just browsing the Internet?

There’s a new application for Firefox 3 called Feedly. This is a plugin that integrates seamlessly with Firefox 3. It gives you the ultimate start page, but then again… it’s so much more than just a starting place. You can manage and DO so much with it. There’s a Twitter integrator, an Annotation tool, summaries of the most relevant content, and even a wall with an overview of articles recommended by your friends.

The welcome wizard can learn from your existing personalizations – bookmarks, My Yahoo!, Bloglines, Netvibes, Twitter, Yahoo Mail, Gmail and Friendfeed – and apply them to your feedly. feedly is an attempt to use everything which is good in cloud service, RSS and social connectivity to create a more social and magazine-like start page. Think MyYahoo meets Digg meets Wired.

You’re going to be able to browse and read your feeds right from within the Feedly interface. This will save you time, and get you more information faster. It’s a more social and magazine-like start page, made just for Firefox 3.

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