What, you browse the web the old-fashioned way? How do you find cool
new sites? Stumble-Upon takes the guess-work out of exploring for
something new - it goes well beyond social bookmarking because it
boasts the hippest, savviest users on the Internet, and whenever one of
them finds a cool site, they up-vote it and it goes into the
Stumble-upon database for you to find - under the category of site you
selected. A toolbar is added to Firefox, where you can set all kinds
of preferences - mainly picking categories is the feature here. You
use it either by clicking "Stumble" to find a new site within all of
your categories, or select a specific category to stumble within. I
cannot surf without it.
Where I live in Iowa, the weather is a constant source of drama and
intrigue. We get to see the full spectrum. (yesterday, we had not snow
nor rain nor sleet nor even hail. We had slush falling from the
sky. Stand outside and throw a Slurpee into the air and let it fall on
you. Subtract the sugar flavoring syrup. That's what our weather was
like yesterday.) This cool little applet hangs out in the bottom right
corner of my Firefox window and shows little icons of weather data - I
can tell current conditions, today's and tomorrow's forecast plus
whether there is an alert or advisory at a glance. Hovering the mouse
gives you more detailed information, and clicking on it takes you to
the weather site itself. I especially like the little radar map that
springs up on hover, giving me a thumb-nailed view of the precipitation
radar for a whole third of the country as well as Iowa. A must-have,
if you live where weather is a real topic and not just small talk.
Both a practical utility and a fun toy. Encode or decode |3375p34k,
rotation-13 code, base 64, hex, binary, URL, Morse, Dvorak keyboard
layout, and upper and lower casing. |3375p34k may have been put
down as the marker of clueless B1FFs in previous generations, but
has now come to stand alongside rot13 as a handy sorta-encryption
that can be widely recognized by everything but over-zealous web
filters. When somebody on Slashdot flames me about my grammar and
spelling, I always use this to write them back in |337.
Think of it as "assertive browsing". Kill those
annoying Flash animations (it works by clicking *just* next to the
Flash window), hyperactive dancing banner ads, flashing garbage,
bad page formatting, bandwidth-hogging images, and any thing else
you don't like looking at that gets around your other filters. Just
right-click and pick it off the menu, and it's as surely gone as
you wish you could make the author.
Once you've tasted tabbed browsing, you'll never want to go
back. And this simple plug-in gives you the option from the
right-click menu of "cloning" the link you click on - complete with
it's history (so the back button works). Useful when you need to go
somewhere else (to fact-check your blog post, for instance!) and
you're on a page with a form with half the content filled in that
you don't want to lose. Humble yet essential.
For some reason not listed in the Mozilla/Firefox
extension site. This is the web developer's tool-bar, adding a whole
layer of it's own menus to interactively edit every aspect of a
as HTML. Test out your new site design before committing it to
file! Also a great way to learn about CSS and other web design
languages, by seeing an interactive demonstration of what the
Your own pet web crawler lives in this curious little toy. When you
don't know where to go next, activate this bot by clicking on it
and it will follow random links, pausing at each page for a time
you specify to let you see it. When you're done taking your little
joyride, click on the button again and it will stop. Explore!
A performance enhancer for Firefox, which optimizes the browsing
functionality with such tricks as pre-caching all the links on the
page so they will be partially loaded when you click them. Comes
with a load-time meter that shows how long the page took to load -
useful in benchmarking your own site.
How they ever first conceived of a web browser that doesn't have
it's own theming is beyond me. Your whole time spent on the
Internet is done in this little framed window - why not control how
it looks? The themes on the site have been covering the full range
of styles for every possible taste. Just one more reason your
desktop is the envy of h4(k3r5 the world over.
10. And of course, the Google searchbox! It comes standard with Firefox.
And it is far too famous already for me to add much more hype than
it's already deserved. But I could add that you can get much more
than Google with it: mine has Yahoo and Dictionary.com, amongst others.
No more having to load a separate page just to perform a search or
look up a word.
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