Google Chrome impressive! Download it now!

Google spread its wings into the browser market today with a pretty impressive and promising package – Chrome. The browser being truly fast, redefines speed. With a load of amazing features, it stands up give a tough fight to Firefox and Internet Explorer. Google released a comic strip to introduce the new browser and all its features: Read it here.

Here is the list of its features in a nutshell:

1. Impressively fast; beats Firefox!
2. The architecture looks promising! Read the comic to know more.
3. Flash, Java and JS applications loads very quickly!
4. Each tab runs on a process of its own, and the browser comes with a built-in process manager to view what website is using more system resources! -Truly innovative!
4. Enhances the Firefox-like location bar to suggest searches, URLs from bookmarks and also from top google searches.
5. By default, a new tab shows the top websites visited by the user and also, recent web searches and most-used web searches.
6. Web applications like GMail works quicker. Hotmail is yet to recognize the browser and shows up a warning saying that the browser may be incompatible and proceeds to the classic version – which seems pretty fast as well.

With Google’s entry into the browser market, the war is expected just to get bigger and the competition much more intense! Conclusively, whatever results from this, eventually benefits the consumer. 🙂

Moreover, Google uses Webkit framework for building Chrome and better yet, it is open source; making way for further rapid updates!

Like Ishwar just pointed out: “The days of ‘Google dominates earth’ is not far..” 🙂

Advertisements

Secure your browsing with Firefox

If you haven’t read the previous post of this series, I suggest you do. If you have done that, or you are already a Firefox fan, then read on to know more on securing your browsing on firefox.

One of the major aspects of firefox is its extensibility, which is possible by the use of addons. Addons are either themes, plugins, or extensions. While themes enhance the appearance of the browser, plugins enable viewing of certain types of content from within the browser, such as flash and videos. However, extensions improve the functionality of the browser. Choosing the right extensions can effectively improve your online browsing experience.

The top five must have firefox extensions:

1. NoScript

NoScript is the best security extension that firefox has got till date. It works by blocking all scripts from ‘unknown’ websites. Once the page is loaded, you can allow or permanently block scripts on that website. You can also allow scripts to run temporarily for the current firefox session. This extension also blocks Java applets, flash and silverlight objects on the page. With a wide range of options to configure from, this is a must-have extension for all firefox users.

2. Adblock Plus

As the name suggests, this versatile extension blocks all the annoying ads on the webpages. All kinds of ads such as textlinks, banners, rotating images and video ads are blocked. You can also add a subscription list which is updated with all new ad loaders. Thus, once installed, Adbock Plus saves you the distractions arising from the adverts.

*This extension must be taken with a pinch of salt. Though it sounds all pretty and nice, you may lose out on good deals, and links to better websites. I suggest using it selectively for different websites.

3. DownThemAll!

The ultimate download helper extension for firefox. It is the best because, it does all the work of a commercial download manager program and the best part is that it works from within firefox. It splits the files upto 10 chunks and downloads them simultaneously thereby increasing download speeds.

*Did I mention that it works for rapidshare.com links as well? 😉

4. Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer

Are you one among those who browse the internet at several places? Home, Office, Laptop, etc? Imagine having to maintain a separate list of bookmarks at each browser! Foxmarks helps to overcome this problem by synchronizing the bookmarks between the ones on your system with the ones on the server. All you need is sign-up for an account (or you could also use your own FTP server) and foxmarks maintains a global bookmarks list on the server which is updated every time you add a new bookmark. Hence wherever you log on to the internet from, your bookmark list will be intact.

*This extension has saved my bookmarks several times when there were browser crashes, and I have no need to make backups while I’m reinstalling my OS. 🙂

5. StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is an amazing extension that helps you ‘stumble upon’ webpages based upon your interests. This is one of the long standing extensions in the history of firefox and is awesome fun and very useful when you are searching for something specific.

*I have elaborated upon how to acquire StumbleUpon in one of my previous posts, take a look for complete instructions.

The next part of the series, will contain information on more utility addons which are particulary useful and help you browse the internet with ease.

Why Firefox?

Its been a while since the most-awaited Firefox 3 was released. Too much hype surrounded its release and also the world record ‘Download Day’. Was it all worth the hype? Is the record really worth some applause? Let’s see.

After building up huge hype, Mozilla Foundation must have prepared for it. The release itself was deferred by 45 minutes (approximately) and when it took place, the Firefox website choked with the amount of traffic it received. Unfortunately, there were no load balancing techniques employed to share the load between different servers, and surprisingly, there were no mirrors for download. Every Firefox package was downloaded from the same server. Of course, the download speed plunged downwards! Thankfully, the server did not breakdown. When the changes to the website were going on, the changes were made in real-time. I mean, I could see the logo of Firefox 3, but the version number at the download button was still 2.x. It was fixed quickly though, and the website was finally put together. It was almost one hour after the release that I managed to download a copy for myself.

Coming to the browser, the installation was simple (as always) and the loading time had decreased drastically, almost as much as Mozilla claimed. It takes far lesser memory now, and handles AJAX applications well – noticed how quickly GMail loads? Bookmarking was redefined, and organizing the bookmarks became easier and simple. The address bar, searches through your bookmark list as you type and lets you choose the site if you have bookmarked it earlier. A lighter side to this feature is that it promises keyboards with a better lifetime. I wont be going through the features anymore, if you are reading this, you are probably doing it on Firefox 3 and have experienced the features (or bugs perhaps) – you can even go to the site to check them out again if you feel like.

At first, I could not find a downside to the browser, but the crash occurred a couple of weeks later. All my addons started acting weird and the themes wont work! It was nightmarish. I had to create a new profile (using the profile manager) to fix it, and re-download all my addons and configure them again.

Now for the real deal: Firefox still is the best browser out there. And if you are using any other browser, its only a matter of time until you’ll change. Why?

1. Faster – This is the most controversial feature of firefox. Internet Explorer claims to load faster than Firefox. Of course it does; its running on Windows ain’t it? If you could, why not install IE on Linux and see the difference?

2. Addons – The biggest and celebrated feature of Firefox is its extensibility. There are numerous addons for a multitude of user proficiency – novices to experts.

3. Safer – Firefox is undoubtedly the safest browser. Install a few more addons (which I discuss later) and you’ll make it much safer!

Give a little more importance to the box you view the web through. 🙂

I’ll follow up with another post on how to make your firefox installation safer and how to troubleshoot problems and recover from crashes.

Firefox 3 is coming!

The latest and the much awaited version of the Firefox is all set to be released today! Of all the years I have known internet for, this is one software that people have been waiting for a long time, with huge expectations. I’m sure Mozilla will live up to them. The release is scheduled at 10.30 PM IST. (Click to know your local time)

Banking on the amazing hype that Firefox version 3 has created much before its release, Mozilla is hoping to set a new world record on the total downloads of a software in one day. To support this cause, click on the image below to pledge to download Firefox 3 within the 24 hours of its release.

Download Day - English

The restructured browser engine has been improved to work 250% faster and with it, brings a host of new features which only promises to makes the browser more hot! With 18% stake in the global browser market, Mozilla hopes to see that figure go up. One thing that the Firefox 3 is sure to do: Add fuel to the burning browser-war, and definitely stand up as a tough competition to other browsers. Microsoft’s Windows Internet Explorer, Apple’s Safari and Opera – Watch out!

Edit: 2.08 AM 18th June, 2008

Here is my certificate of download!
Download Day Certificate

Getting StumbleUpon

About StumbleUpon:

Quote:
StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of 3,686,922 other websurfers with interests similar to you. Rating these sites you like automatically shares them with like-minded people – and helps you discover great sites your friends recommend.

How Does it Work?

Quote:
StumbleUpon uses ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages which friends and like-minded ‘stumblers’ have recommended. This helps you discover great content you probably wouldn’t find using a search engine.

More: http://www.stumbleupon.com/about.html

I’ve been using StumbleUpon for almost 4 years now and it is an amazing tool to websurf the internet. It is a great tool which has really helped me discover a lot of interesting pages on the internet, which I wouldn’t find in search engines too.

For all those, oblivious to the existence of such a tool or for those who were thinking it a cumbersome task to install it, I thought I’d share some thoughts on how easy it is to actually install and use it.

<< Getting to the work >>
Step 1: StumbleUpon supports two well known and most-used browsers – Mozilla Firefox (FF) and the Windows Internet Explorer (IE – Yes, it is now called as Windows Internet Explorer , not any more as Microsoft Internet Explorer)

Step 2: Downloading the BHO (Browser Help Object – IE) or the Extension (FF) is easy. Click on “Download Now – Free” on the mainpage of the stumbleupon website (http://www.stumbleupon.com) and you’ll be taken to the page to download it based upon the browser you are using.

Step 3: Installing – Follow the steps required for your browser and you may also need to restart your browser.

Step 4: After the restart, you’ll see a new toolbar that says: “Start Stumbling..”. If you have an account click on Login and enter your credentials or else you will have to create an account at StumbleUpon. Just follow the steps (might take you 2-3 minutes) and you are good to go.

Keep clicking on the Stumble! button and you’ll see a random page from all the topics of interest you chose. If you like a page click on “I like it” to increase the quality of your future stumbles.