Archive for the 'Firefox' Category

Zemanta: Making Blogging Easier

While having a quick look around the Mozilla add-ons site the other day, i stumbled across a new a very useful little extension for Firefox that is helping me write this very blog post just a little bit easier.

Zemanta gives you suggestions for tags, links photos etc. for your blog post from right inside your blog dashboard. Currently im using it within the WordPress dashboard.

zemanta

This is exactly the kind of integration that i love. It’s feature rich, displaying related articles down the side, links that are auto inserted with just the click of a mouse into my post, tags auto generated and related images appearing next to my post editor. In fact the related images are filtered to take out any copyrighted images (very useful).

This saves plenty of time previously wasted on searching through Google for all that i wanted. Another good thing is that it auto-inserts a “Re-Blog” icon into the bottom of posts to allow fellow readers to blog articles to there own blog.

Zemanta also provides an API for developers to intergrate there service into there own projects.

You can get Zemanta here.

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4 Tools For Big Internet Releases

So, there’s a big program release coming up and you want to be first in on the action? You want to try and beat the rest to get to the file before the servers get clogged and you get the infamous “Server to busy”. Well here is my suggestion of tools and tips to get you through.

Update Scanner (Firefox Extension)

First off there are quite a few extensions for Firefox in this article so if you don’t have Firefox I’d suggest you get it because its one of the best browsers out there.

Update scanner is a a Firefox extension that allows you to monitor web pages while browsing the web for any changes that might occur. You can set the scanner to check for updates for a time bracket anywhere between 5 minutes and 1 hour. You can also select how big of a change you want to monitor, from very minor changes (just a few words) to very large changes (a whole paragraph).

This is one of my favorite Firefox extensions as its very flexible in its uses. When I used to use Digg a lot a while back I used this to keep me up to date with high priority sites like cracked.com. My most recent use though was to help catch my copy of Windows 7 beta a week or so back. Its pretty simple but very functional, a real essential.

Update scanner is available for install here.

Reload Every (Firefox Extension)

Again another extension for Firefox is reload every. Basically it adds a bit more functionality to your refresh button. You can set it reload the page you looking at at intervals of 5 seconds to up to 15 minutes, with the ability to add custom intervals.

This tool is great for reloading pages which are a bit swamped on the servers or as a alternative to update scanner. It’s also very useful elsewhere, like eBay for the final few minutes of a auction.

Reload every is available to install here

Tweet Scan

As a wrote in an earlier post, some of the most up to date information on what is happening in the world can be found by monitoring twitter. Just look at the Hudson incident last week and how news spread across the internet is about 10 minutes of the plane going down.

tweetscan

Now how about harnessing the awesome power of twitter to help you in your hour of need when servers are crashing around you and all routes seem blocked? Tweet Scan does exactly that. Just type in the keyword that you want to monitor tweets for and it gives you a real time display of what people are tweeting about your keyword.

This is such as useful tools as information on the quality of the servers, to direct file links, and to useful articles being published across the net. Never underestimate the power of twitter.

Visit Tweet Scan here.

Google Reader

Google reader is another one of my essential tools for use of monitoring blogs across the internet in one place for an sign of what I’m after. Blogs are the best place to find the some real informative information, but there are sometimes a little late in the day as it takes time to write a post. The information is a lot more reliable than that of the twitter community so blogs are still worth monitoring, and Google reader is one of the best online readers I’ve found, but there are many more. I personally prefer Google reader because of some of the many Greasemonkey extensions that are available for it which make life just a little bit easier.

Here are some here scripts for Google reader

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Diigo: the new Delicious?

Ever since I started using Firefox as my main web browser i had constantly used Delicious bookmarks add-on for keeping track of my important pages.

That was until a few weeks ago when I read about Diigo. Diigo in many respects is very much like Delicious, boasting many of the same features of “social bookmarking”. I have, however, come to realise that there is much more to Diigo than Delicious.

Firstly, and may be being superficial here, but i prefer the websites user interface much better than delicious. That may just be my opinion, but i just feel that the interface is a lot smoother and more easy on the eye that Delicious.

The next thing i like about Diigo over Delicious is the integration into Firefox is much better than. Numerous times have i loaded up Firefox to find that i have to sign-in to Delicious, when it should be auto-saved. But i have never had any problems of this kind with Diigo.

I also like the tool bar a lot better than Delicious. With Diigo you get a proper tool bar to work with rather than just three little buttons. With this tool bar you get most of the functionality that you would expect (ie. bookmark, visit the site, sidebar bookmark search, friends bookmarks etc.) but you also get a lot more.

There are options when you bookmark a page to “read later”, there’s an option to “Send to” where you can post to a blog, twitter and Facebook as well as regular e-mail. Another feature that i particularly love is the two folders names “Unread” and “Recent” which allow quick access to my latest bookmarks. Something which saves an awful lot of time instead of rummaging through the sidebar.

Finally, one of my favorite features as a student is that Diigo includes the functionality to highlight contents of a web page and add annotations to content, a life saver when doing research.

I was once a big fan of Delicious but i am now fully turned to Diigo by the shear multitude of features and the way it still manages to remain simple and easy to use. If your a Delicious user i would certainly recommend trying Diigo instead.


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