Archive | July, 2007

Beatnik – Another Simple Newsreader

There have been a number of RSS feed extensions out there that turn Firefox into a syndication master. You can go from browser to RSS reader and back within the blink of an eye – and not have to worry about launch a new web site or a new program.

Beatnik for Firefox

One new extenion RSS feed reader that recently caught my eye was Beatnik. It promises to be a “simple but elegant news reader”. With a description like that whats not to love?

It is simple. If your looking for neat features and a “wiz bang” interface, this isn’t the extension for you. If you need a feed reader for a dozen feeds or so and you want it built into your browser, you might want to give Beatnik a shot.

Greasemonkey Security Issues

Greasemonkey Security Issues?Well, this is one of those security issues that everybody always knew was there – but the community usually did a good job at policing it themselves to where it did not become an issue. It looks like somebody has been creating and uploading Greasemonkey scripts that steal your cookies. Since your cookies store a lot of information about you – you can see this is a kind of big deal here.

Here is the post that got my attention on UserScripts.org:

Someone has been attempting to post scripts that steal cookies. Thanks to several alert us.o citizens (including davey, descriptor, loucypher, joel h, pogue) we have been able to note that the script is malicious and then delete them.

I’m putting up a banner to warn people that newly uploaded/updated scripts should be put under extra scrutiny.

I’ve also decreased the cache duration of rss feeds to 10 minutes, so if you keep an eye on http://userscripts.org/feeds/recent_scripts it will be a lot fresher than normal (it was cached for an hour)

So yes, everybody should be extra careful when downloading scripts like this – even if it is from a trusted source. I am happy to see the UserScripts.org team moved so quickly on this though. That makes me feel a lot better about my continued use of their Firefox extension.

Greasemonkey Help Need Help? Be sure to check out the Beginner’s Guide to Greasemonkey!

Aquatint Redone

Here’s a new theme for your favorite Firefox browser – Aquatint Redone!

Aquatint Redone

Here’s a little more information about the theme from the creator:

This is a remake of the original Aquabird by Elric Erekose. It is a very nice looking theme with glassy blue buttons. I have managed to retain most of the original look and feel with some changes which I feel improve the over quality of the theme. Please provide feedback with suggestions and support. Also, check out my remade version of Aquatint for Firefox.

I’d give it four out of five freaky Firefox thumbs up. Now all I need to do is to find three more thumbs to use…

Drag Tabs Between Windows

planet_mir-4.jpgHey, here is a cool new tip I just found out about. Say you have two Firefox Windows open with both having multiple tabs. You can drag a tab from one Firefox browser window to the next. Here is a better description of the cool tab tip from the source:

Users who have tabs open in multiple Firefox windows can drag and drop tabs across separate browser windows. Using this technique you can consolidate all of your tabs into a single window. Keeping all of your tabs will make Firefox (and the rest of your system slower) but also let you make the most of a the “restore session” feature.

Thanks to Lifehacker and Be Lazier for the information.

PicLens – Full Screen Photo Browsing

PicLensNeed a new way to view your photos? The folks behind the PicLens extension for Firefox hopes that you do. With this extension you can turn Firefox into a full screen picture browser.

Here are some of the currently supported web sites: Flickr, Facebook, Google Images, Yahoo Images, Friendster, Picasa Web Albums, and more!

Here is a little more about the extension from the developers:

the plug-in provides an immersive full-screen experience for viewing photos on the Web. PicLens Beta 1.5 can be used on Flickr, Facebook, and image search results from Google and Yahoo, and any page that supports Media RSS. To use the software, move your mouse over an image and click the PicLens button that fades in.

I have to say it will be interesting to watch PicLens (pun fully intended there) to see where it goes from here on out.

Firefox 3 Updates and News

Yes it is the big return of the Firefox Facts Most Wanted list. This time around, I got an e-mail from George who wanted to know:

Hi Mitch really like the firefoxfacts.com website. Do you know where I can get more information about firefox 3? I might want to test it our or want to read some stuff about it.

Well George, I have the perfect link for you. Go check out the official Mozilla Web site for the Firefox 3 project. At the Gran Paradiso Planning Center you can read all about what is in store and the development of Firefox 3.

Google Define Tool Set

DartI often use Google’s “define:” search tag to find definitions of things from various different sources. It is a good way to find several points of view and not just one dictionary definition. That is why I was happy to find the Define extension for Firefox.

Search the definition of the highlighted text at Google. If there is highlighted text, a new option is added to the context menu. This option search the definition of the highlighted text at Google (like searching “define:some_text”).

To use it, all you need to do is highlight a word in your browser, right-click on it and select Define “yourword”. That’s it. Sometimes the more simple extensions out there are my absolute favorite.

Homepage Randomizer

RandomizerThere are a lot of homepage choices out there. From iGoogle to My Yahoo! everybody has a favorite. What are you to do when you like more than one?

That is when you call in a professional extension to do the dirty work for you.

The Homepage Randomizer extension for Firefox randomizes your browser’s start page so you never know where your going to land when you launch your favorite browser. How does it work? It gives you the ability to pick a random homepage from a user defined list.

Homepage Randomizer is extremely lightweight and has a clean user interface. It adds a checkbox in the startup preferences section in Firefox (Tools -> Options -> Main). Simply add your multiple homepages as described above and enable the checkbox.

For random cool tools, this one has to take the proverbial cake.

Split Your Browser Window

Split Up Your BrowserFor the ten people out there that miss iframe designs, I have an extension that will remind you of the good ol’ times. Split Panel allows you to split your browser window up into tiny bite size.. umm, smaller windows?

Open panel to left, bottom or right (left,middle or right click) with current URL from Split on context menu (right click on page) of the tab’s page. Allows you to view see two pages simultaneously for comparison or copying info from one to the other. Can be resized by dragging the bar between the main browser and new panel.

I am sure there has to be a reason for this out there somewhere. I just can’t happen to think of any right now.. come on, where is the reason?!

Webmasters? Validate Everything!

Total ValidatorFinding yourself in a bind with your web site design? Maybe you just can’t get your CSS to level out with your HTML? If you find yourself in these shoes we talk about, you might need to pick up the Total Validator extension for Firefox.

Perform multiple validations and take screen shots in one go. This 5-in-1 validator works with external, internal, or local web pages using the Total Validator service or local copy of the Pro desktop tool… Provides true HTML validation (HTML 2.0 to XHTML 1.1) using the official DTDs, plus added attribute checking. So you no longer have to put up with the limitations of the W3C validator (no type checking) and tools like HTML Tidy which interpret the standards incorrectly (they don’t use the official DTDs).

For more information on and about the Total Validator make sure you check out and bookmark their web site TotalValidator.com.