Archive | February, 2009

Add a Cloud to Yahoo or Google Searches

Is there much you can do to improve on the modern search engines?  They all do the same thing, so it comes down to who does it best – but is that the end of it?  Maybe not.  Inserting a cloud of search terms may help make even the best search engine out there even better.  Search Cloudlet inserts smart tag clouds into Google and Yahoo interface to help you search faster.

search-cloud

The way this add-on for Firefox works is that it contains the most relevant information about the search term in question.  The more important the word, the bigger it gets in the text link cloud.  Here is more about the add-on from the developers:

If you often use Google or Yahoo to search through news or blogs, then Search Cloudlet is exactly what you need. For News search there are Source Cloud and Location Cloud. These clouds can help you determine country, region or state of the found news and their publishers. For Blogs search there is also Author Cloud view. You can use these context-aware clouds to narrow your search the same way you would do it with tag clouds.

Overall, I found this extension very useful.  You can find out more about the project at GetCloudlet.com and pick up the extension via Firefox’s Add-on site.

Want a Slickerfox?

Are you searching for a unique theme that doesn’t go over the top?  Slickerfox might be your new favorite Firefox add-on then.  It promises to be slicker, simpler, smaller, flatter, fuller and foxier.  Can it live up to all that hype?

Slickerfox in Action

Here is a little more about Slickerfox from it’s creator:

There is a philosophy behind the shapes, colors and designs of all of the Slickerfox icons, which aspires to be user friendly as well as recall older Firefox designs. Simplicity and intuitive control is the overall goal of the theme. Slickerfox uses native OS Scheme settings just like the default Firefox theme, so it will follow the look of the rest of your OS.

Like what you see?  You can pick up the experimental theme, Slickerfox for Firefox from the Firefox Add-ons web site.

10 Great Money Saving Add-ons for Firefox

Firefox Add-ons to Save You Cash We can’t count on Uncle Sam to get us out of our economic woes, so who can we trust?  I say trust Firefox. It has never asked for a penny, and is always so reliable. With that said, what Firefox add-ons out there will help you save some money?  Here are my favorites:

RetailMeNot – Never miss a bargain again. Automatically informs you of sites that retailmenot.com users have shared discount coupon codes for.

Woot Watcher – Woot Watcher monitors the Woot! web site, and keeps you updated with the current item, price, and if it is sold out.

Price Protectr Toolbar – Price protect your purchases with a single click! Watch and target prices, find coupons, get retailer ratings, and improve your online shopping experience.

PriceDrop – An extension which helps you track Amazon product prices and get notifications when they drop.

PriceAdvance – Get price comparisons as you shop around the Web, so you can get the best deal.

Forex Currency Converter – Just click on any currency data on any web page to convert that amount across over 180 foreign exchange rates right on your screen.

KeepCash Coupon Notifier – Lightweight Firefox extension to notify you when online coupons exist for a site that you are shopping at.

Pronto Shopping Messenger – Instant price comparisons when you shop online via a small message window that alerts you of potential savings.

BuyBuddy – Locate products on those pages that are offered through Amazon and ‘tag’ them.

MoneyQuake – Moneyquake is a extension, which displays your real-time earning statistics from most popular advertisement systems (such as Google AdSense).

Know of another add-on that helps you keep a ‘bit more of the green stuff in your wallet?  If so, drop it into the comments.  We will just consider this an economic stimulus for us Firefox fans.

Easily Expand Shortened URLs

Expand Short URLs

Everybody loves to share links with the various URL shorteners out there, however – when you do click one of these links the problem is you have no clue where you are really going.  LongURL.org is looking to fix that problem and has two neat tools to help you get it done.

The LongURL Mobile Expander lets you expand those links no matter where you are at.  By default, you would paste the link into the LongURL.org web site to find out where you are going.  You can build this into your browser though if you pick up either the Firefox extension for it or the Greasemonkey script.  Both will give you the true URL when you hover over the shortened link.

Here is a list of the supported services: tinyurl.com, is.gd, ping.fm, ur1.ca, bit.ly, snipurl.com, tweetburner.com, metamark.net, url.ie, x.se, 6url.com, yep.it, piurl.com, and more! 

Now you will always know where those tiny URLs are taking you.

Get a Timeline with Your Online Videos

The people at VideoSurf have developed a really nice addition to Firefox, for all of you out there who are fans of watching Online video.  The VideoSurf Videos at a Glance add-on enhances your video playing experience with what they call video summaries. 

Videos at a Glance at Work

This comes in handy because it allows you to check out scenes from a video before you watch it.  It works with: YouTube Search, the YouTube Home Page, the YouTube Video Pages, and FriendFeed.

It also works for your search results too:

Even Works with Britney Spears!

A few other features included are:

  • Use the visual summary to jump in time while watching a video on YouTube’s video page
  • Discover more videos featuring the characters in the videos you click on, and learn more about them
  • Make all HD-compatible YouTube videos play in high quality (or HD) by default

If you want to give it a shot, go check out the VideoSurf Videos at a Glance page over on the Firefox Add-ons site or go lean more about VideoSurf on VideoSurf.com.

Remove the Resizer “Thingy” in Firefox

remove-grabber Why does Firefox have that little resizer corner thingy?  The one that rests in your status bar, on the far right side.  I am not even sure what to call it.  It has no point, because I can grab Firefox from all four corners to resize it to the size I want.  So the question remains – how do I remove it?

I now turn towards my favorite Firefox modification tool, Stylish to do the job for me.  Go check out ffox 3 no resize”thing” in the lower right corner and load that into Stylish (or Greasemonkey).  Now, you should have a little more status bar room.

As an extra bonus, if you want to make your status bar appear more flat, and remove the borders between things – copy and paste this into Stylish.

/* ::::: flat statusbar ::::: */
.db_downbar, statusbarpanel, .statusbarpanel-iconic,
  .statusbarpanel-iconic-text, .statusbarpanel-menu-iconic,
.progressmeter-statusbar, progressmeter {
  -moz-appearance: none !important;
  border: none !important;}

Credit for that tip goes to the mozillaZine forums.  Doing so should remove the junk and leave things with a cleaner look.

Organize and Clean Firefox’s Messiest Features

A clean browser is a happy browser, right?  I like to keep everything neat, trim and in it’s place when browsing the Web, so it should come to no surprise I have covered cleaning the clutter here plenty of times.  Here are six different ways you can clean up some of the feature in Firefox that tend to get a little messy over the years:

Get More Toolbar Space in Firefox

I think I have a pretty optimized Firefox setup. Personally I don’t think anybody needs more than two toolbars in Firefox at all times. How can you cut down on the clutter and keep everything accessible with just a few clicks here and there?

Clean Up Your Right-Click Menu

From the creator of Colorful Tabs, we have yet another handy and helpful Firefox extension.  FfChrome, for Firefox, is an add-on that trims and slims your context menus.  After installing too many add-ons, your right click menu might get a little cluttered.  FfChrome is here to clean things up.

Clear the Clutter from Your Status Bar

Messy status bars make for bad browsing. Ok, maybe that is not true. They do make for a temperamental and somewhat anal Firefox guru though. Mike wants to know if there is a better way to organize the status bar in Firefox.

Hide Your Menu Bar

Now when it comes to using a browser, some people like a lot of open space and others like to have a plethora of tool bars. Personally I find myself in the first camp – most of the time. That is why I was happy to see this new Hide Menubar extension roll my way.

Compact Your Menu Bar Even More in Firefox

One add-on I keep adding on is Tiny Menu, due to the fact that I like to have a minimalist browsing experience.  However, I have found one extension that does an even better job than Tiny Menu at compacting the standard menu bar down to one small popup menu, Compact Menu 2.

(Bonus) More Ways to Shrink Down Your Menu Bar

Is your menu bar taking up too much wasted space? Well you could hide it, shrink it, or just not use it. How can you get that done? Thankfully others have run into this same issue before and there are a slew of Firefox extensions to help you minimize your Firefox menus.

Have another method that works better for you?  Feel free to share in the comments!

Fast Forward to Other Popular Sites

Fast Forward for Firefox Want another way to find out what other people are looking at?  The Fast Forward add-on for Firefox is an interesting one.  It adds a fast forward button to the browser, so you can see what is the top page that most people look at after looking at the page you are on.  For example, if you were on FirefoxFacts.com, and hit the button – it might lead you to Mitchelaneous.com, because more people went to that web site next more so than any other web site online.

They describe it as Amazon recommendations for web pages.  Such as, “People who viewed this page also viewed this next page…”.  Why use FastForward compared to StumbleUpon?  Here are the reasons they give:

  • Page Relevance – We give relevant results based on the page you are on, it isn’t something random.
  • No Registration. We don’t ask for any personal information to use the service.
  • Only 1 button – We only add 1 small FastForward button, not a toolbar.

They boast having over 200,000 people contributing and over 40,000 websites in our system.  So, chances are you should find some good results (for at least popular web sites).  You can learn more at buzzbox.com or pick up the extension on Firefox’s add-on web site.

Midnight iPox is a Mashup of Twisterness

I have always been a big fan of TwisterMC’s work on Firefox themes, and apparently so are a lot of you.  One reader on TwisterMC’s blog even went as far as combining two of his themes (MidnightFox and iPox Aqua) to make this beauty, Midnight iPox.

Midnight iPox

You can pick the theme up at TwisterMC’s web site.  Just download it from there, then open Firefox, go to Tools > Add-ons and drag Midnight-iPox.jar into the left side of the Themes section.  Once it has been installed, restart Firefox to be able to use it.  Always love to see the openness and creativity of the Mozilla fan base – and this is a perfect example of that at its best.

Hide Firefox’s Find Bar After the Job is Done

1227892988 Firefox’s find bars (yes, there are two of them) are often classified as the good one that is hard to remember, and the not so good one that is easy to remember. 

The good one nobody remembers, is hitting the “/” key while browsing a page.  If you hit Ctrl+F you get the not so good one that is easy to remember.  This is the one that we all use most often.  The Hide Find Bar add-on for Firefox merges the greatness of these two searches into one.

How does it do that?  It is very simple.  It allows you to hide the find bar after a certain interval of inactivity has elapsed.  So, when activity in the find bar has been idle for a certain interval it will automatically disappear. 

You can try it out for yourself, all you need to do is download the Hide Find Bar extension from the Firefox Add-ons site.