Firefox 1.5 released

YES!!! The long awaited sequel is here. Get the official update of Firefox. It’s available on Windows, OS X, Linux and some 20 odd language versions. 20 times 3 makes 60, not? See all versions.

This release comes with a revamped preference panel, tabbed browsing enhancements, loads of bugfixes, faster back- and forward, … in short it just got better. How much, you’ll have to find out yourself.

BUT If you plan to upgrade, please make sure none of your critical extensions break. If they do, persuade the original extension creator to fix his/her extension ASAP. Or take a look at the Mozilla Quality post: “Some help testing Extensions for Firefox 1.5“.
Personally, the only extension that hasn’t been updated for me, are the Furl Tools.

And as of this release the new mozilla.com site is live as well. (As opposed to the former .org one)

On a sidenote: I expect the Portable Firefox version to be released very soon.

Go Get It!

Update: This final release seems to have the same timestamp of FF RC3. Which some of us have been running since November 11th. I must admit, I have not run into issues since. Some extensions reserved.
And it seems mozilla.com is favoured over mozilla.org. I see former links pointing to .org redirected to the .com.

Animated shorts

I love ’em! Especially the CGI kind. Having some experience with 3D apps, I know how time- and resource-consuming it is to make a perfect animation. Not to mention the skills needed.
(Allright, stop-animation with clay is harder. Sorry Gromit. But I hear … they’re also turning to computers to speed up the workflow. Heresy, I say! ;-))

Anyway, there is a wealth of demo-reels and animated shorts to be found on the web. So let’s start with a household name in computer generated images: Blur Studio. Here’s their animated short: Rockfish.

Rockfish Still by Blur

Synopsis: ‘Rex Hunt’ meets ‘Tremors’.
View the short: Large version / Small version (Quicktime required)

Firefox: “The choice of criminals”

If I may quote the ‘Alternative browsers pose challenge for cybersleuths‘ article by C|Net:

Internet Explorer hides nothing from police and other investigators who examine PCs to discover which sites the user has visited, according to a class held Wednesday at the annual training meeting of the High Tech Crime Investigation Association. Investigators know the location of the IE browser cache, cookie files and history, and they know how to read those files. Also, popular forensics tools can help out.

But that story changes when it comes to alternative Web browsers such as Firefox and Opera, instructor Glenn Lewis said at the well-attended session. These programs use different structures, files and naming conventions for the data that investigators are after. And files are in a different location on the hard drive, which can cause trouble for examiners. Furthermore, forensics software may not support the Web browsers, he said.

Where’s a :smilie_hitting_brick_wall: icon when you need one? 🙄

Yahoo! Local Maps Beta

Yahoo Maps Beta LogoYahoo! Maps is offering a Beta version which is based on Flash! – shock & horror – What were they thinking? 😉

I do like it. It’s snappy, looks good and simply works. (hearing that MS?) Go see the Yahoo! Maps Beta for yourself.
For instance check out the ubiquitous “Pizza in Redmond” sample. Hover & click to see more info. Nice. Although at the largest zoom-level you won’t find anything.

Another nice feature is Live Traffic with which you’ll get up-to-date traffic info like congestions and construction work details. Now all they need to do is add the rest of the world and of course satellite imagery. Take a look at the features overview.

How about an API you ask? Here are the Yahoo! Maps Developer APIs.

Also see TechCrunch’s story on the Yahoo! Maps Beta and WeBreakStuff’s first look .

On a sidenote: Is it the time of the year or what? It seems everyone is releasing stuff like crazy.

Google Personalised Homepage getting more personal

What live.com didn’t deliver is what Google is taking a step further already. A Google Personalised Homepage in your native language with ‘local’ information sources.

‘Aboot’ the announcement:

While Seattle’s pretty close, I’d prefer to have the actual weather for Victoria — and have it in Celsius. Now I can, because today we expanded the personalized homepage to 16 new regions: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and ahem, Canada.

BTW: wasn’t this formerly called Google Fusion?

Windows Live Beta. Don’t bother…

Windows Live Beta LogoAs the rest of the world is doing right now, I was going to drop my two cents on the new Windows Live Beta. But in this context Beta means Broken. Severely! It doesn’t work in Firefox, but worse, it also borks in IE.

If you ask me, it’s a rush job. Because the hotshots already had their little get-together planned. I can imagine a ‘Live Team’ developer’s first reaction: “They are going to do WHAT?!?!?!? %@^&%@$”. (Probably not far from the truth. ;-))

Just take a look at start.com and than at the all new launched live.com. See any familiarity?
That’s because they are, in fact, the same. Take a look at the page source… Hello Atlas. Looks like someone just did a ‘find & replace’.

So if I may roundup the current state:

  1. start.com = live.com = google fusion = my yahoo. A.k.a. a ‘portal solution’. I’m not up for this niche, but some might.
    Note the footer of start.com: this site is not an officially supported site. it is an incubation experiment and doesn’t represent any particular strategy or policy. Aha!
  2. As a plus you could, as a ‘customer’, build upon Windows Live with ‘gadgets‘.
  3. Scott doesn’t get it. As does Mark. But according to Robert this isn’t about just the portal. Its about search.msn.com, or how live.com is going to be the new Microsoft search. And a Microsoft ‘Adsense’. And webmail. And an online virusscanner. And …
    Someone found out that DNS changes aren’t accomplished ad-hoc and/or building a portal upon MSN Search with all the ‘Kahoona’ is not going to happen any time soon. (IMHO: overdemanding people who control the money and time… you cannot live without them… :-()
  4. There’s also an Office Live. More nothingness.
  5. There’s a new messenger. Windows Live Messenger. As if the confusion between Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger wasn’t enough.

IMHO: Rounding up the roundup. Live is the new XP. It’s a marketing word. Everyone keep their pants on. We won’t be seeing anymore of it this year. Maybe in 2006. My guess it’ll be all revealed at launch-time of Windows Vista.

So there you’ll have it. My two euro-cents… 🙂

Web Two Point Oh!

Here’s some easy money. Web Two Point Oh! creates a VC friendly Web 2.0 company just for you.
Too bad it doesn’t automatically register domain names and/or send out business plans to VC’s. Maybe version ‘two-point-oh’ will?

Just to let everyone know… Yahtix is mine and I’ll be doing tag-based collaborative document editing via instant messaging!
VC’s apply below. 😉

Google Earth: Impact Structures Continued

Impact IconIt has been over a month since I’ve released the first ‘impact structures’ network link for Google Earth, showing you the top 25 largest impact craters on earth. And it has been quite succesfull. (It’s in the top 3 most requested items off ThinkLemon.com)

So, after the release of ‘impact structures by continent‘ it’s now time for a fresh new release: impact structures by age. One for the most recent and one for the oldest…

If you don’t care about the rest of the story, here are the KML/KMZ downloads:

Continue reading “Google Earth: Impact Structures Continued”

Google Maps on your site. The easy way!

So you’re quite taken with all the mapping tools around. Everyone, and their mothers, has a nice ‘maplet’ on their blog. And now you want one too. (If not? Imagine that you want one too…)

Your option(s) untill now:
Choose an API like the Google Maps or Virtual Earth API, read up on the documentation, code, test, code, test, …, put a ‘maplet’ on your page. Hope for the best.

That was untill now, because the good people of Tagzania have made it as easy as copy-paste for the rest of us.

Just pick a spot on Tagzania, describe, tag and save. If you’re happy, just click the ‘Paste this map on your site’ button. Copy the generated code and paste it in your site.

Like so (no it’s not an image, click on a marker):

How simple is that? Go to Tagzania or read up on the Tagzania blog first.