Extend Firefox Contest Winners

The grand prize winners of the Extend Firefox competition are in. One of them is the one I use on a daily basis. In fact it’s the biggest reason why I’m using Firefox as my main browser. Props to Chris! 🙂
But IMHO the Web Developer toolbar is only usefull for us web developers (and people who are affiliated to them). Anyway, here are the three winners:

Grand Prize Category Winners:

I’ve installed Reveal and am evaluating as of writing. Can’t say I like it. It’s … just bizarre. 🙂

Ask.com Maps & Directions

The latest addition to the online mapping frenzy comes from none other than ask.com (that search engine that fired its card-bored butler remember?).

At map.ask.com you can find maps and directions. A first glance may remind you of that other mapping solution. But … this one is aware of roads in the rest of the world, outside of the U.S.A. (& UK), as Tagzania found out before me. Kudos to them. 🙂

Playing around with it though, this one caught my eye. An obscure censoring of a piece of The Hague, The Netherlands.
Ask.com censored part of the Netherlands.

As far as I know there aren’t any military, civilian or government installations in that area. Why anyone wants to censor a normal residential area with a kindergarten inside? Beats me.
Google does show the contents BTW.

Come to think about it. Currently there’s a lot of construction work going on in that park that’s being obscured… ahemmm

Update (2006-04-24): It seems that the latest image update of Google (Maps & Earth) also censors this specific block. Albeit in a more gentle way. Nonetheless, it still baffles me why. Maybe it’s a trap street?

Google Page Creator (Beta of course)

Googe Page Creator BetaNormally I wouldn’t blog about yet another new Google product release. Now would I? 😉 Hey, I’m not the Googleblog you know.
But this time they’ve released a product that lets my mother create webpages in no-time, although I doubt if anyone’s waiting for another bridge-site. (Sorry mom. :-))

So what is it?

It’s an easy-to-use webpage publishing system. It’s easy as point & click to start creating pages, all with the familiar Google GUI as used in GMail/Base/Reader/etc. The site is currently coupled with your GMail account, meaning your mail username is also used to address the site. You’ll get a 100MB of space, so that should be enough to build a photoalbum or the likes. Uploads are handled beautifully by the way. And linking to other pages or sites is automatically checked, so it’s hard to make a mistake there.

Continue reading “Google Page Creator (Beta of course)”

What’s it gonna be?

I’ve been looking at this ‘Future Pagerank’ for some days now:

Future Pagerank ThinkLemon.com

❓ What’s it gonna be? A PR 6? Level off on a PR 5? Or a penalty on a PR 1? I can’t tell from all the datacenters dancing around.
Looks more exciting than an Olympic ice-dancing final. 😛

Anyway, Matt Cutts is awfully quiet. I hope he’s not too tangled up with card-board butlers.

Update: I think it’s settling on a pagerank 6. Yay! One point up. 🙂

Who’s using the Search Bar anyway?

While browsing to Yahoo! this bar on top struck me. Click to enlarge:

Firefox Search Bar promotion by Yahoo

Apparently Yahoo! is promoting the Search Bar, which is standard issue in Firefox. Guess they want us to change the default Google setting. 😉

This in turn made me think of the times I used that Search Bar. Probably once, the first time I installed Firefox.
Normally if I want to do a search I hit CTRL+T (new tab) and call up my homepage, which still is the Firefox branded Google homepage. (BTW, ALT+HOME gets you to the homepage.)
It’s an old habit. And you know what they say about old habits…

But thanks to Yahoo! who reminded that there was such a thing as the Search Bar. I’m wondering if and how I can remove it. 🙂

In other news:

Opera 9.0 Tech Preview 2

Logo OperaOpera Labs:

We’ve released a technology preview of Opera 9, codenamed Merlin, on Opera Labs. There are some very cool features we want you to try:  Widgets, BitTorrent, Customized Search, Content Blocker, Pop-up Blocker, Site Specific Preferences, Tab Thumbnail Preview.

Robert Accettura’s Fun With Wordage » Blog Archive » Opera 9.0 Tech Preview 2:

For those interested (if you’re into browsers, you should be): Opera 9.0 Tech Preview 2 is out. The widgets look rather good. Very Apple like in quality, I’ve only looked a the ones by Opera. I assume we’ll see more soon. I really hope XULRunner will be used for such a purpose soon. With the new Cairo backend, <canvas/> and SVG it would be very cool to see what people could come up with.

If you want to have a go at it, see the O9.0 Tech Preview 2 download site.

(I think I’m getting the hang of this ‘Deepest Sender’. Much like my own personal Furl/Del.ickio.us. 😉 And after a ‘bookmark’ you just dress up the post with a logo…)

Internet Explorer 7: Beta 2 Preview available

IE 7 LogoIt’s public! So if you want to have a go take a look at the Internet Explorer 7 website.

But before you do so, also take a look at the IEBlog:

Especially note:

Can I run the preview and IE6 at the same time?

No, the preview is a system upgrade that replaces IE6 on your computer with the preview code.

As Chris Wilson pointed out, “‘IE’ is actually a collection of system components – networking, browser hosting, core HTML rendering, printing, etc. When we install a new version of IE, we’re installing it for all applications that use these system components – including the tiny iexplore.exe itself.” Because of this, we do not support the various hacks that allow side by side running of IE6 and the IE7 Beta 2 Preview. Running with these could cause issues with the stability of a system.

But that quote from mr. Wilson did not end there. He made a remark that I, as a webdeveloper/-designer, found rather interesting:

… That’s why it’s hard to have multiple side-by-side IEs. We are working on a solution for just HTML rendering, but we can’t have multiple system components installed with the same name.

Now if MS made THAT tool available I would be happy. Hope they don’t forget to put in a IE 6 rendering engine and for old times sake a IE 5 engine… That would make testing/hacking a lot easier.

Note: I’ll refrain from installing as I don’t want to compromise my dev-system.

Google Earth for Mac, download now

Google Earth (no longer beta)It’s official! Google Earth for the Mac is here. While Google Earth for the PC was stripped off its beta status, they’ve also released the Mac version. You’ll need OS X 10.4 and up (see the requirements).

Get Google Earth for Mac (or PC)

Read the official anouncement and Stefan from Ogle Earth already has a review up.

Is it too soon to be asking for a ‘Pack for Mac‘? 😉

The Orange Icon, part 2

Feed Icon Microsoft has decided. The feed indicator in IE 7 is still orange!
Most surprisingly it’s the same one that Firefox has. Well, not so much of a surprise, because it was the Mozilla foundation who kindly ‘donated’ it:

Thanks again to the Mozilla team for making the icon available and helping us do the right thing for all browser users.

It’s a good thing there’s some in-browser ‘standardisation’ on the RSS/Atom/Feed front. But what about those orange XML/RSS/Atom chicklets everywhere? How about some standardisation there? Maybe in conjunction with the above mentioned icon? Like so? Feed Chicklet

Other december 9 surprises

Besides the release leakage of GE for Mac.

Del.icio.us take-over
Like Yahoo! taking hold of del.icio.us. Just as LookSmart did with Furl.
Update: The take-over sounds a little strange to me as Yahoo! was working on it’s own del.icio.us/Furl with their My Web 2.0 BETA. Which can save ‘personal’ pages and tag them. We’ll see where this goes…

Portable Firefox
Portable Firefox is ‘dead’, long live PortableApps.com. Great initiative John! 🙂
Now if you ever did care to walk around with your browser, office suite, media player, image editor, OS, *whatever you want*, on a USB Stick? take a look at this site. Most of it is *geek* stuff, but it’s an interesting development nonetheless.
BTW @John, did you ever have a chat with Bart Lagerweij? It seems to me you are both working in the same direction.