Tag Archives: firefox

Firefox Weave Sync Add-On Now Available

Mozilla announced yesterday that the much-antipiacted Weave Sync is finally ready for the general market. Using it will allow you to sync your Mozilla experience across all of your supported devices, including your desktop, your laptop and your mobile phone.

Any pages open within Firefox on your desktop will automagically open in the mobile version. At the end of your workday, you can walk away from your desk, and continue right where you left off from your phone. All of the information is encrypted and sent through the Cloud between your desktop and your phone. This could potentially increase productivity, allowing you to finish up last-minute details and projects while riding home on the bus or train – but not while driving!

This is excellent news for many Firefox fans, and I was very happy to read this news today. There have also been many excellent things posted in our community. I’ve gathered together some of the best, in the hopes you don’t miss out on anything!

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Does Internet Explorer Suck?

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We all must browse the web. Unfortunately, the Lynx browser is no longer cutting it. If you don’t remember it, then you are not old like I am. PC PitStop community member James asks if Internet Explorer is safe yet. He’s been waiting to use the newest version, because he’s heard that it has a lot of problems. What are your thoughts on this? Is IE solid, and safe?

The consensus in the chat room was that Internet Explorer is just not there yet. However, the answer is both yes and no. Every browser has its own set of issues. Every browser is as safe as every other web browser… and as safe as the user. There’s really no way to guage if it’s safe enough of not.

Every browser is going to have bugs, and security flaws. If you connect to the Internet, then you have security risks on your hands. If you’ve heard that people have had issues, then by all means, wait if you aren’t ready to upgrade. However, I’ve been using the newest version and haven’t had issues.

You could also use IEs Compatibility Mode, or choose a different browser. You can use any one that you wish, you know. Just because you have that little icon on your desktop doesn’t necessarily mean that you are required to use it. That’s the beauty of the Internet!

My recommendation is always to upgrade to the latest version of any browser. If you arent happy with it, then simply try something else!

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Rent Movies from YouTube

You read the title correctly, yes. Beginning Friday, you can rent movies on YouTube. The Google-owned YouTube has partnered with the Sundance Film Festival to offer five independent movies for rental. In addition, Google is looking for other independent artists and companies to work with in order to bring you even more titles in upcoming weeks.

YouTube is also inviting a number of its partners to participate in the new rental service, allowing those it selects to keep their rights, decide where they want their content to be available, the price of their video and the rental duration. One day, YouTube will offer even more services where movies are concerned, even going so far as to bring movies to platforms other than the website, including Apple TV, Boxee, Wii and PS3.

Is this something that will potentially interest you? Would you pay a flat rate (or perhaps subscription fee?) to rent movies on YouTube? What types of films are you hoping to see there in the future?

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No New Firefox Before the End of the Year

Mozilla had long been promising version Firefox 3.6 by the end of this year. According to their website, that goal has now been pushed back to early 2010. Also, version 4.0, which promises to be a major update, has been pushed back to late 2010 or early 2011. This is leaving some Mozilla fans with a case of the grumpies. However, they need to remember that all good things are worth waiting for.

Didn’t we learn any lessons from Windows Vista? Didn’t we all witness first-hand what happens when a company rushes a product out the door before it’s truly ready to be on the market? If the folks at Mozilla feel they need more time to deliver a solid product, then I say we give it to them and stop griping about it!

The big new feature in version 3.6 is incorporation of the Personas plug-in that lets people easily customize the browser’s appearance, though behind the scenes there’s also been work to speed up the browser’s launch time, improve security, and make some other changes. There have already been five beta versions released, but we’ve yet to see the release candidate. An RC signals to the masses that a final version is nearly ready.

There is a lot of competition in the browser wars these days, and releasing newer and better versions is always under a time-crunch. However, I repeat again that I’d rather wait a little longer for a high-quality product. I don’t want to see the Firefox team lose credibility by releasing something that won’t go over well.

What browser do you use, and why? What makes it better than others in your mind? If you’re a Firefox fan, are you happy to wait a bit longer for the new versions?

How to Change the Skins in Firefox (Personas!)

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Yes, I’ve recorded thousands of videos for YouTube over the years. I’m considering changing some things up soon, including wearing a Fez hat! The Fez is just so cool. Maybe I’ll add an 8-bit tie or some LED suspenders. I could always don a grunge tee and sweatpants. I enjoy changing up the way things look at times, don’t you? But, I digress. This video is about making things look different in your web browser – specifically Firefox!

Firefox Personas asks: What will your browser wear today?. Personas are lightweight, easy-to-install and easy-to-change “skins” for your Firefox web browser. You can easily switch between Personas with just a few clicks. There are hundreds of Personas to choose from, with more added every day. You can even create your own and share it with other people all over the world. How cool would it be to know that hundreds of Firefox users wanted to dress just like you? Okay – perhaps that’s a tad creepy. But still… it’s kind of cool. Right?

Personas is simple to use, and free! It takes less than 60 seconds to make your browsing experience something completely new and different! Once you install the plugin, just click the tiny fox icon at the bottom left of your browser screen and get started! Presto! Your browser now looks as slick and sexy as you only wish you could.

You change your clothes and look every day – why not change your browser’s, as well?

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I Know What You Did Last Summer

Ok, maybe I don’t know what you did last summer, or even this summer. Now that we’re closing in on back-to-school and Fall, it’s time to start thinking of warmer clothes and holidays already. Yes – some people are already doing their holiday shopping. Stores are putting out winter coats. Before you know it, there will be Halloween decorations and costumes on the shelves.

So… what have you done this summer? Did you even go outside at all? Even the Great Indoorsman headed out a few times, enjoying the sunshine and scenery. Why not share with all of us what you’ve been up to. Did you travel anywhere cool? Did you visit some local outdoor attractions? Surely there is something!!

When you do spend time at home and indoors, hopefully you are spending at least part of that time reading what everyone else has been up to in our community.

Could all of Life’s Conveniences be Killing Us?

Reading this blog post on Geeks earlier stopped me dead in my tracks. I saw myself in what the author wrote, as I’m sure many of you will. He talks of how we have so many gadgets and gizmos to make our lives easier… and then wonders if it’s in fact making things more difficult:

People around the world are moving so fast, trying to do so much, that humanity as a whole is slowly choking itself with its own progress. We’re trying to cram so much into a day, so much into our minds that we don’t know how to do anything else. What we need to learn how to do, more than anything else, is to slow down. If you’re worried about progress, think about this, the best way to gain a clear perspective is to back away and let everything focus. People are supposed to smell the flowers that they plant. Just take some time to enjoy what mankind has done, rather than waste your time coming up with the next best thing that no one will take the time to enjoy.

All the ‘conveniences’ that we use and abuse only serve to get you to the next minute faster. Every inch of the way is packed with time savers that allow you to use more time savers. Just slow down, take a breath, get to know people, go to new places. Enjoy life before it passes you by, just to get to the next generation.

Wow. I’ve been pondering something very similar to this in my own life lately. That is why you’ve seen me out of the office more – trying to take time to relax and have fun. We tend to get so caught up in the daily grind of life that we often forget to live.

When is the last time you took a day completely “off”? I don’t just mean off of work… I mean OFF. OF. EVERYTHING. When did you put away all of your gadgets, your phone, your laptop and even your iPod and just chilled out? Can you even remember when it was, or what you might have done?

If you can’t bear to part with your computer, maybe you can take time out from working yourself into the ground, and enjoy what others are hard at work doing. They are writing excellent articles, like the one mentioned here, every day. They are sharing their thoughts with the world, and I sincerely hope you will consider doing the same. There’s something to be said for being able to write out what’s in your mind and heart, and it takes a very special type of person to be able to do so. The next time you’re stressing over the little things, and everything yet to do on your list, why not just let it all go and write? We’d love to have you join us on Geeks or Lockergnome.

How Do You Enlarge Web Site Fonts for Printing?

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Yes, I’m addicted to fonts. I’ve admitted it for years. I like looking at cool fonts, and enjoy finding new ones. Someone from the PCPitStop community recently asked how he can enlarge fonts on a web page, to make it easier for him to read. You don’t need a new printer, don’t worry! The answer lies within your browser itself!

My recommendation for a browser is Firefox, Safari or even Chrome. No matter what browser you’re using, you should be able to change the font sizes on the page before you read it or even print it. You can check the associated help file in order to learn how to change these settings.

  • In Firefox, you can change your font sizes by simply holding down your CTRL button, and clicking the + button/sign as many times as needed to increase your font size on the page.
  • In Internet Explorer, click on View, and then hover your mouse over Text Size. Choose large or larger in order to increase the font to something you can easily read.
  • If you use Opera, you can click on View and then hover the mouse over Zoom at the bottom of the View menu. From there, you can increase the percentage to make the text manageable for your needs.
  • With Safari, you will again go to the View menu. Once there, click on “Make Text Larger”, and adjust the percentages accordingly.

Hopefully this answers the question properly. Thankfully, all browsers have ways that you can easily change your settings on everything from font size to the colors that display… in order to maximize the browsing experience for everyone. Don’t let bad eyesight keep you from enjoying everything the web has to offer!

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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!

How Does Your Web Browser Handle JavaScript?

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Google Chrome has been officially in beta for about a month now. Many of you are using it for your default browser already at this point. I wrote about Google Chrome this month for my CPU Magazine article. I want to discuss one of those points with all of you now.

As you visit websites, you may seem to be slowed down due to the amount of script that is running on the page. It’s all potentially tied into JavaScript performance. This is going to get interesting in a couple of months. Google has said they will be using the V8 JavaScript engine. This, of course, is now a part of WebKit. Just last week, WebKit came out and said they have SquirrelFish Extreme, which is a register-based, direct-threaded, high-level bytecode engine, with a sliding register window calling convention. It lazily generates bytecodes from a syntax tree, using a simple one-pass compiler with built-in copy propagation. This increases JavaScript performance even more, even compared to V8.

We’re about to enter a browser war, specifically in the area of JavaScript performance. Google releases a beta browser, with a good JavaScript engine. Let’s face it, a lot of your favorite sites are probably running JavaScript right now. And, Chrome is handling it much more efficiently. Here we have a Beta browser who is running a better JavaScript engine than what any of the current leading browsers have. This is raising the bar in a very big way for everyone else.

I went searching the web to help me find something that can help me download the nightly build of the WebKit. I found NightShift for use on Mac OS X. NightShift automatically downloads and updates WebKit, the Safari HTML rendering engine, to the latest nightly version for Safari. No user intervention is required, everything is fully automated. The developer has a few other cool tools, as well.

For Windows users, check out Chrome Plugins. This site is full of Plugins, Themes, Add-ons and information for the Google Chrome Web Browser! This isn’t an “official” Chrome blog, but the people who are working officially on Chrome are a part of this community, as well. You can learn pretty much everything you need to know about Chrome, and then some!

What are your thoughts? Where do you think browsers are heading?


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