Meebo released its Firefox extension earlier this morning. It lets you chat with people on six different popular chat clients, or sign in to all at once with your Meebo ID using a sidebar in your browser. The 64k extension is aimed at solving the problem of providing active notifications for friends and conversation activity--one of the most widely requested features from Meebo users, and the hardest to implement without something that has deeper access to your browser. If you've ever used Meebo before and have been annoyed that you can't tell a whole lot about what's … Read more
BadBuster gives a quick glimpse of "green" ratings of businesses you run across while reading searching, or shopping online.
BadBuster took a few quick minutes for me to download and set up, although it stalled on one of two Windows XP machines. Once installed, BadBuster underlines on Web pages the names of brands and goods it has ranked, with colors indicating the level or lack of "greenness." For example, green underscores the BP oil company, known for its "Beyond Petroleum" campaign, while glaring red marks notorious polluter Exxon. Yellow is the middle rating.
Roll … Read more
iMooch, an online community where users can sell and pay for content using a concept called "mooches," launched a new public beta version of its today. Most importantly, iMooch is temporarily letting users post content for free and make real money from it.
Usually, iMooch lets you create a mooch for $6. One dollar pays for posting your content, and then you are required to use the rest of your funds to give $1 to five other mooches within 30 days. As I mentioned, however, to build a larger community the site is letting users post free for a limited time.… Read more
Hooeey is a new bookmarking and tracking service for your browsing habits. You install a small toolbar in your browser, and it will quietly keep tabs on all your tabs, including which sites you're going to, how long you're staying at each one, and when you're doing it. At the same time, Hooeey adds a social networking layer, letting you share specific sites with others, both on the Hooeey network, and other, larger social bookmarking services like Del.icio.us and Reddit. The goal is to let you centralize your favorites, and make them easier to share … Read more
Mozilla's WebRunner is a single-serving version of Firefox that strips away all the bells and whistles. There's no Web surfing to be done with this lightweight tool. Menus, extensions, themes, toolbars, and navigation have all been excised, like a sculptor cutting away excess marble.
What you're left with is a Site Specific Browser for Windows, Mac, or Linux that uses bookmark files with the WEBAPP extension. The installer configures these files to open in WebRunner, but there's no "launch program" icon or option. You just double-click on a WEBAPP file you've downloaded or created, and off you go, ready to get to work without getting distracted by the temptation to surf anywhere else.
If you're tired of waiting for Google to make some much-needed improvements to Gmail, Better Gmail has been adding useful functionality to the e-mail client since earlier this year. An update earlier this month finally gave Gmail what users have been clamoring for: integration with Google Reader.
Written by Lifehacker editor Gina Trapani, the extension is basically a collection of her favorite Greasemonkey scripts. It does more than just slap your feeds onto the bottom of your in-box, though. It adds a Collapse/Expand Gmail link to the top-left nav, just under the Compose link. This hides your e-mail and pulls the Reader up to the top, and swtiches to Expand when the in-box is hidden. It also adds a control panel to central left nav for managing your feeds, a neat work-around so that you can collapse the Reader's built-in navigation. The Reader pane is collapsible, too, so you can hide the perpetual distraction of feeds from the perpetual distraction of e-mail.
Yesterday an update rolled out from the folks at Opera, bringing the highly popular Wii Internet channel into the 20th century with full support for USB keyboards, widgets, and link sharing. Normally this news would not excite me, but as a Wii owner, having struggled to actually type an e-mail, or enter anything more than a URL or login using a Wiimote on the onscreen keyboard, believe me when I say this is big.
In addition to the keyboard news, Opera is now supporting two very interesting Web features. The first is a new "Widget View" mode, letting … Read more
I just got a chance to try out a Webware PC: a computer built around the new P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP motherboard from Asus. What makes this motherboard be hardware for Webware is that it has a Firefox Web browser (running on an embedded Linux operating system) burned into ROM. It also has Skype. You turn it on, and in fifteen seconds (I timed it), you can be in Firefox and surfing the Web.
You can also boot it into Windows, or whatever OS you have installed on the hard disk. Boring.
This built-in browser has a lot of great things but some drawbacks too.
In the plus category: This alternate operating system, provided by DeviceVM to Asus, is fast and convenient. There's no giant OS to boot before you get into your browser, which is a slimmed-down version of Firefox, not some weird, quasibrowser that doesn't do what you want. There's a Flash plug-in installed so most modern sites render properly. Flash videos play just fine. The system saves all your settings (including bookmarks) in memory, so you don't have to start from scratch every time you fire it up.
The P5E3 motherboard has nearly everything built in that you'll need. Connecting to a network--wired or WiFi--is fast and easy. Skype has access to the board's audio in and out ports.
Because the DeviceVM platform doesn't have access to the hard disks connected to the motherboard, the system is very secure. So if, say, guests wants to use your PC to check their Web mail, you can boot them into the ExpressGate environment (that's what Asus calls it) and not worry about them junking up your PC. You might want to clear your private data from the Firefox cache first, though.
And this motherboard is "green," at least in theory. Many people leave their PCs on all the time, because launching a browser from a cold PC can take several minutes. With this setup, you can turn off the PC when you're done browsing, and when you need to get back online, you can be there in seconds.
Should you get one of these motherboards just for its ExpressGate feature, though?
Another star is coming into alignment in the mobile Linux galaxy: Firefox.
Mozilla has set up a group to develop the Firefox Web browser for mobile devices, hiring new staff and elevating the priority of the work to the same level as desktop computers. Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, announced the mobile Firefox move on his blog Tuesday evening.
"We are serious about bringing the Firefox experience and technology to mobile devices," he said. "Bringing Firefox add-ons, the Mozilla platform, open source, and a large and passionate community to the closed and fragmented mobile … Read more
"You may be an Olympic-level jumper when it comes to leaping from reading your RSS feeds to reading your e-mail, but two Web sites now offer a way to eliminate the wasted time switching from one app to the other. RssFwdand R-Mail drive your feeds directly into your email, simplifying the need to have two separate programs open, or at least two tabs with Gmail and Google Reader." Trying to reduce the differences between reading e-mail and reading RSS feeds is a big but important task for those of us who jump from one to the other--in the way it's important for a jackrabbit to avoid a mountain lion. RssFwd and R-Mail are two Web-based solutions that drive your feeds directly into your e-mail, eliminating the need to have two separate programs open (or two tabs, in the case of Gmail and Google Reader).