Archive for the 'Internets' Category


Google Chrome won this round.

Google Chrome Icon

Image via Wikipedia

I seem to be a creature of habit. At least to some extent, especially with the tools I am used to working with, and I happen to consider a web browser a tool. The Chrome vs Firefox thing has been on my mind for quite a long time and so far I’ve written two posts about it. The first one being almost three years ago, followed by another one last year. Now, a year later, I come back to the subject. The time between these three posts, proves my initial sentence. I don’t really like to switch tools unless I have to, or unless a new tool is much better than the old one.

The story: My Intel Classmate, after many OS installations, now runs on Mint 11. I know that those of you who follow me regularly do not believe that Mint will be staying for long, but I intend to keep it, really! Mint 11 comes with Firefox 5, a really nice version in my opinion. It has all the improvements 4 did plus the app tabs feature (among others) that I found really really useful. One thing however the guys and gals at Mozilla have not been able to control, is memory usage. At work, I use a 4 core machine with 4 GB RAM, so spending a couple of GB on Firefox, is no big deal. My dual core with 4 GB RAM at home, also running Mint 11, does not seem to mind much either. But the poor little Classmate was having a pretty rough time. At any time, I have Gmail, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter open, while browsing other sites and that proved to be too much for little Chiby. But I want my No Script, remember? I don’t think I can use the web without it…

And then came NotScripts. It does basically what No Script for Firefox does. Blocks java script, plug ins and i-frames. It has white and black lists and allows you to temporarily allow scripts too.

My Classmate is happier than ever. And for the record, I also installed Chrome on the eeePC (that runs Mint 10) with NotScripts and the results there were amazing. I am starting to feel I am owned by Google, but hey, that’s not that bad 😛

PS: I’ve said it before and I will say it again here, I know that there are other browsers as well. I had been a Firefox fan for many years and I would not switch now if it weren’t for memory usage and speed.


Firefox 4.0 RC “Save and Quit” Feature missing (and how to restore it)

As you probably guessed, I am testing the RC version of Firefox 4. I have installed it on both my work and my home PC, but I haven’t yet tested the synchronization. Do not worry, when I do, I will surely report any problems with it. So far, I am really satisfied with the new version. Apart from the eye candy, which is always welcome but not the one thing that will make me change my mind, there are significant improvements to speed and stability, which I am sure you can read in much better detail elsewhere.

The one thing that I immediately noticed and did not like, was that whenever I had multiple tabs open, there would be an option to save my session upon exit. In the new version however, while there is a warning that multiple tabs are open, it will not give you the option to save your session. When you restart Firefox, if your home page is set to “about:home” (or you open that page yourself), you will see a restore session button, similar to what you might have seen after a crash.

It seems that this is something that other people besides me are concerned about, as a quick search on MozillaZine showed. It also seems that the solution is much simpler than I anticipated:

Open a new tab, type “about:config” in the address bar and after you promise to be careful, search for an option called “browser.showQuitWarning“. When you set it to true, everything will return to how you’re used to.

For more information, be sure to read Paul O’Shannessy’s blog post.


Seesmic Customer Support!

For quite some time now, I’ve been searching for a Twitter client. The reasons? Many. The web interface is OK, but nothing more than that. Mainly I am interested in being able to create lists and following different kinds of  information easily.

I know there are a ton of programs out there, each one with it’s own pros and cons, trust me I’ve my homework on that. One of the most popular clients is Seesmic. I had used it for some time, but I really don’t like Adobe Air, so I uninstalled it. Recently, I found out that they’ve released a Windows version and thought I could give it a go. I downloaded and installed it, entered my account details and at lightning speed (compared to Air version) I could see my time line.

However, when I tried to post an update, it would give me an error message, informing me that the update failed. Between you and me, I had no desire to look into it, thought it might have something to do with Vista, access rights and whatnot, and uninstalled it. Then I decided to twitt about this:

Seesmic 4 Windows was a disaster… Sticking to web for now…

And that with no intention of blaming the program or anything, I just meant that it didn’t work for me. A few minutes later I receive a mention, from Seesmic, asking me what went wrong and if I could supply them with more info, so they could help me solve the problem! All these years, this is the first time I get customer support without even asking for it! I am beyond impressed I must tell you. They asked me to send them an email, explaining what the problem was and so forth, which I did and the response was almost instant. They also asked me to try out the new Silverlight version of Seesmic and although so far I was avoiding Silverlight, I accepted and I am now testing Seesmic Desktop 2.

I will post my thoughts in a few days. Stay tuned till then.

PS: I am in no way associated with Seesmic or any of the people working there.


Video Games might be more helpful than you think

These days, I don’t really feel like testing new programs, installing new OSes, or fixing computer problems (hence yesterday’s post). There are quite a few things that I read while browsing the internets and I would like to share with all of you here.

Today for example, I want to tell you about a very brave little boy from Norway, that rescued his sister when she was attacked by a moose. That’s right, little Hans, 12 years old, fearlessly (not true but I have to be poetic here, bear with it), threw himself in front of the huge beast and…

…paused for a moment, most likely reflected upon the possibility of his termination, and effectively used all the skills he had acquired from World of Warcraft, to defeat his foe. No, dear reader, I am neither drunk nor pulling tricks on you. What you just read is true (although a bit stretched).

Hans Jørgen Olsen used taunt at first, to draw the attention of the moose and after the moose started to chase him he used feign death, another skill that appears in WoW (amongst other games). The moose lost interest in the boy and wandered off, so Hans returned home a hero, with a perfect weapon against his mother, when she would tell him to quit playing and go to bed.

The incident has been flying around the webs, posted and re-posted and I’ve been reading all sorts of comments.

Between you and me, I find it a bit stretched as I said above. I mean, people attacked by bears, lions, rattlesnakes, Chuck Norris, have been feigning death (or playing dead as it is more commonly known) for hundreds of years. It’s not really that big of a deal. The act it self  is not something great. Don’t get me wrong, if it were me, you would have probably smelled ti, cause I would have shit my pants, but a lot of people do things like it, even at Hans’ age.

What I find important here, is the fact that the boy *remembered* certain tactics he used while playing a video game and used the same tactics in real life. Can anyone argue that this hobby of his, a hobby mind you that a lot of people are against, proved to be useful? See, when you talk about the educational value of a video game, you usually refer to titles designed to be educational, but now, we have a case that a game designed only to entertain the user (and make Blizzard rich in the process), offered a piece of knowledge, a skill if you prefer, that was used under real life conditions.

It will be very interesting, to see whether following this case, there will be new studies, trying to relate gaming skills to real life skills and maybe people will start to dim video games as less useless (at least some of them).

PS: Yes, it’s Lumpy from Happy Tree Friends 😛

(Via : Next Nature)

Switching to Chrome?

Almost two years ago, I wrote an article, explaining why I would not use Google Chrome. I added a “yet” to the title, because I was sure I would someday reconsider. The time came dear reader, and before you move any further, know this: I still haven’t reached a definite conclusion “yet”!

What I did, was using Chrome while at work and Firefox at home. That way I could easily compare the two on various tasks. My work PC, is kind of old (a plain P4 @ 2,8 – not dual core), perfect for most of the tasks I have to do there, but it started showing it’s age with Firefox and that was the main reason why I started thinking of trying out Chrome.

So, I installed the latest version of Chrome, not the beta, and I have to admit I was impressed. At the download page, Chrome promises these things:

Fast start-up
Google Chrome launches in a snap.

Fast loading
Google Chrome loads web pages quickly.

Fast search
Search the web right from the address bar.

And these things it does. Lighting fast start up, even with multiple (ie, more than ten) tags to restore, fast page load, especially the Google stuff and one place, fast search. No need to type into the little box at the corner. There’s the address bar for everything: Typing web addresses, searching Google (obviously) and searching your history.

But these things, are not new. Chrome was supposed to be fast and secure right from the start, that’s what we had been told back then. If you remember, or if you just clicked the link to my previous post and read it, my biggest problem with Chrome was the lack of extensions and more specifically the lack of No Script. Now, Chrome supports add-ons, so you can safely assume that the first thing I did was to search for No Script for Chrome. Unfortunately, although No Script’s developer is thinking to port it to Chrome and has in fact been contacted by Chrome’s development team,  it is nothing more than a plan for the time being.

To many users out there, this does not seem to be a concern since you can still block annoying adds with AdBlock in Chrome and as for the rest of what No Script does, they seem to be pretty sure that Chrome is more secure than Firefox, so no need to panic over a few java scripts here and there. I am not a browser security expert, so I have no opinion on that matter, but I can tell you that No Script is damn convenient when browsing sites with a ton of scripts and adds and whatnot. Still, for the purpose of my tests, I decided to overlook that and stay with Ad Block.

Another problem I had to tackle, was my bookmarks. I could easily import them to Chrome from Firefox, I knew that already but I wanted to be able to sync my bookmarks between work and home. When there’s only one browser involved, that is no biggie. In fact there are quite a few options to accomplish that. I chose to use Xmarks, a nice Firefox add-on that also has an option to sync your passwords between different computers (though I do not use that feature).  Well, “fortunately”, there’s Xmarks for Chrome, so I installed it and all of my bookmarks appeared just fine. What didn’t work as expected though, was the syncing part. I added a new bookmark on Chrome, but it was nowhere to be found later on Firefox. Since Xmarks is still in beta for Chrome, minor glitches are to be expected, and I believe this will be fixed pretty soon (if not already). For the record, should anyone use Chrome exclusively, there’s built in bookmark syncing, using your Google Account, but I’ve never tested it, so you’re on your own on that one.

Lastly, another (kind of) useful add-on that I’ve started playing around with, is Read It Later. It creates a list of web pages you save to read at a later time and I mostly use it to keep close at hand post material and ideas. One could achieve something similar with a separate bookmark folder I guess, but still, Read It Later also exists on Chrome and works just fine. Oh, mind you, that I do not use the syncing feature that R.I.L. provides, since I need to keep my lists separate.

So, all my major requirements were covered, right? So, the speed tests over at Life Hacker show that Chrome is indeed faster than Firefox, right? So, that means that I can switch, right? Wrong… Unfortunately, wrong…

You see, there’s a bug in Chrome (or at least I think it’s a bug) that made my daily routine unbearable. For some reason, it cannot work well with WordPress. Apart from the fact that posting and moving around in dashboard is slow as hell, when I tried to upload images, they would not show at all in the post preview. When I published a post, all was the way it supposed  to be, but you understand that, writing something without actually knowing how it will look like, is major. I don’t know if that’s relevant, but Sun does not officially support Chrome yet.

Well, maybe, at a later time I will return with a third post on the subject, but for now I’ll stick (once more) with the Fox 😉

PS: Keep what I said about bookmark syncing, there’s an idea that I want to try, and I will get back on the matter…


The Popular Science of Robbery

If you’ve been following the new iPad craze, then I’m sure you already know that magazines have begun to offer digital versions for purchase. Since printed press is heavily affected by the economic crisis, this is what I would call a smart move, and sales figures probably agree with me. I do not own an iPad (or iPhone/iPod – or any apple product save from a version of iTunes*) and this post is not about iPad! I know there are arguments for and against iPad, but I do not want to go there, at all.

While reading on of my favorite sites (Technabob), I stumbled upon this post, where Shane complains about the price one has to pay for a digital version of Popular Science.

The printed version and the digital version cost exactly the same amount of money! $4.99 per issue! At first I wanted to search a bit more, maybe find a statement from a P.S.’s representative, that would try to explain this, but then I got too angry. And between you and me, I don’t give a flying crap.

What could have been a brilliant move and would have helped with the crisis they’re going through, seems nothing more than plain robbery.



In Yo Face Dave Lombardo!

I was browsing through my RSS Feeds the other day, and I happened to read the facebook status of a young and inspired drummer who boldly stated that he

fucked another pair of drumsticks.

From my experience, that could only mean something towards death, black, thrash, which by no means is bad. In fact I happened to watch a Combichrist concert during which the drummer fucked more than a dozen pair of drumsticks. Although I do not mean to dis-encourage young musicians, breaking a couple of drumsticks doesn’t mean shit. If by any chance you happen to stumble upon my humble blog, dear young drummer, take a look at this

You do feel the shame, don’t you?

*Oh, if you happen not to know who Dave is…

April 2019
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Yeah, I got one o’ those…