Tag Archives: internet

Life After Firefox

No, Firefox is not a new kind of genetically enhanced animal. It’s a free browser that lets you surf the internet in a completely new way. It’s sturdier, less sensitive to attacks by viruses and worms, it has tons of features, and it’s fast. Firefox has several basic advantages: first, it’s completely free. Firefox is a product in the Mozilla suite that has been developed as Open Source, a concept where people develop applications and enhancement and provide them free to individuals (organizations must pay a modest fee for its use). The Open Source concept developed as a reaction to monopolies such as Microsoft who not only imposed their own restrictions of what the product was and how to use it but also created an interdependence that is difficult to break from. Here’s what so neat about Firefox:

  1. It includes protection from active scams, viruses and worms; this browser is considered one of the most sturdy in existence, which means you seriously decrease your chances of attack.
  2. It completely eliminates pop-ups; my dad was going nearly insane with pop-ups he wasn’t able to eliminate with Internet Explorer. Since he’s using Firefox, he hasn’t had one pop-up — and he’s going to the same sites he used to.
  3. It takes less than five minutes to install and it’s free
  4. It has hundreds of additional tools and add-ons that change the functionality, usage and look of your browser.

What do I mean by tools and add-ons? These are features that lets you use your browser for more than surfing the internet. Let’s look at a few of the more popular ones (my favorites have a star beside them):

  • Firefox Companion for Kodak EasyShare Gallery: Organizing and sharing your pictures is easier than ever with Firefox Companion for Kodak EasyShare Gallery. Upload photos directly to your Kodak EasyShare Gallery, all within your browser. Drag, drop and arrange pictures adding photo titles, etc.
  • Firefox Companion for eBay 1.5:: Keep an eye on your eBay trading wherever you are on the web when you install the eBay Companion for Firefox. ItÒ€ℒs a free tool built with eBay users in mind that will help you get more out of your buying and selling.
  • Interclue 1.5.2: Interclue tooltip windows display content previews, useful extra information and relevant next actions for almost any link on the web. A truly user-centric design, “Clueview” tooltips show you only the most relevant content from linked pages, and can provide embedded viewing for images, mp3s and YouTube videos.
  • *PDF Download 1.0.1.: PDF Download relieves the pain experienced when encountering PDF files on the Web. Whenever you click on a PDF file, PDF Download lets you know before trying to open it, and then offers you choices such as downloading, opening, or converting it straight to HTML.
  • Download Statusbar: View and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar – without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing.
  • Piclens: *PicLens instantly transforms your browser into a full-screen 3D experience for viewing images across the web. Our new interactive “3D Wall” and built-in search function lets you effortlessly drag, click, zoom, and zip your way around a wall of pictures for an extraordinary viewing experience.
  • *Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer: If you use Firefox on more than one computer, you’ll want Foxmarks. Install Foxmarks on each computer, and it will work silently in the background to keep your bookmarks synchronized. You can also log in to my.foxmarks.com to manage your bookmarks from any computer.
  • *FireFTP: FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.
  • *Cooliris Previews: Cooliris Previews gives you the power to browse and share Web links and rich media faster. Just mouse over any link, and the Cooliris preview window immediately appears to show you the content. To email it, just click.
  • *ColorfulTabs: The most beautiful yet the simplest add-on that makes a strong colorful appeal. Colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the interface.
  • Delicious Bookmarks: The Official Delicious Add-on seamlessly integrates your browser with del.icio.us, the leading social bookmarking service on the Web.
  • Scribefire: ScribeFire (previously Performancing for Firefox) is a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to your blog.
  • *Dictionaries and Language Packs: From Afrikaans to Zulu, if you use your browser to write (emails, blogs, etc.) Firefox will highlight your spelling mistakes. You can install more than one language pack and switch between them, as well as add new words to each dictionary.

These are only a very few add-ons from the thousands you can choose from (all free!) to personalize or streamline your browsing experience. Firefox has add-ons in the following categories:

* Alerts & Updates
* Bookmarks
* Download Management
* Feeds, News & Blogging
* Language Support
* Photos, Music & Videos
* Privacy & Security
* Search Tools
* Social & Communication
* Tabs
* Themes & Appearance
* Toolbars
* Web Development

You can also change the look of your browser through the hundreds of themes (from cute to gloomy to businesslike).

The beauty of it? Any and all of these add-on and themes are one download click away (any download takes between two and ten seconds), they are all tested and work, and they are as easy to uninstall if you decide you don’t want them. Firefox is compatible for both Windows and Mac.

See the light. Switch to Firefox. Your Internet time will be greatly enhanced.

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Happy New Year!

For all those people who are reading this blog, I’d like to thank you first for dropping by occasionally or often, as would be the case. I wish every one of you a wonderful 2008, full of joy, discoveries, and adventures. If life doesn’t feel like it’s taking you on a ride, you’re not living. You’re existing.

It’s been a spotty 2007 for me, blogging-wise. I’ve had an incredibly hard time trying to figure out why gigabytes were leaching out of my server, most of it coming from my blog. I eventually figured out it was a combination of the theme I was using, the number of categories I had, and the size of the pictures in my posts. I can now understand why a lot of people use a blog service such as wordpress.com to blog. Although I have more flexibility with having my blog on my own server, it can be a pain to update the software and it can use up a lot of resources.

Nevertheless, I plan to continue on with this blog. I’ll be picking up the Techno-guide and talk about how you can improve your experience with your computer or your internet use. I’ll continue to find weird and/or wonderful things that, if I inserted them in my books, no one would believe. And I’ll also continue to talk about whatever takes my fancy.

So, hop on for the year, and we’ll see where it leads us.

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A brave new world of language

I can’t keep up with today’s languages. The internet and gaming languages, that is. I thought I could handle LOL, for instance; I thought it meant “Laugh out Loud” or “Lots of Laughs.” Now they’ve added an overusage meaning to it, which means “Lack of Laughter.” It’s a replacement for having nothing to contribute to a chat, for instance, or “Your statement lacks even the vaguest trace of humor but I’ll pretend I’m amused.”

A friend of M. D.’s keeps using W00T! in answer to some emails. That friend is also a writer so I figured she wasn’t illiterate or using it for the exclamation “What!”

Since I am a detective and I like to find things out, I went on the scent of the W00T! definition.

In the process I discovered a completely new language (well, if 1982 can be called new) that was developed in the early 80’s by computer geeks who didn’t want search engines to detect their websites. They invented l33t, or “Elite,” where letters are changed to numbers and symbols and are phonetically written. Gamers and chatters (aha! M. D.’s friend is a gamer) appropriated the language, sometimes as shortcuts, sometimes as a status of what they are. From what I could tell, there’s a fine line between use and overuse, and you can teeter between cool or a total idiot or nerd. In addition, the language evolves continuously with new acronyms and new usage. (How the heck are you supposed to keep up?)

W00T! has gaming origins and meant “We Owned the Other Team” or “Wonderful Loot” (Everquest gaming slang). Now it means a sign of agreement or excitement, or less commonly “Waste of our Time” or “Way out of Topic” in chat rooms (although this is less common).

Okay, here’s one:

ROFL!!!!1 u r teh FUNi!11 i lub u <3

It means, as far as I can tell, Roll on Floor Laughing!!! You are the funniest. I love you. (emoticon meaning heart).

Oh, yeah, because emoticons, groups of punctuation or/and letters, in a non-graphic environment, also translate into feelings. : – ) is the regular happy face (remove the spaces), ; – ) is a wink, : – D is LOL, and : – P is a raspberry. Here they are, translated graphically, courtesy of WordPress: πŸ™‚

πŸ˜‰

πŸ˜€

πŸ˜›

I suppose it’s like any language, you learn it as you use it, but there is potential for silliness. Tell me why the following l33tsp34k is easier than writing English:

EX) 1|= `/0|_| C4|| |234|) 7|-|15, `/0|_| |234|_|_`/ ||33|) 70 637 |_41|)

On the other hand, if you want to feel like you’re part of an l33t or that you can write an esoteric language only teh f3VV (the few) can understand, this is it.

Oh, and curious what the above means? Here it is:

For example if you can read this, you really need to get laid.

(LOL)

For more on the new urban language, consult the Urban Dictionary.

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