Tag: firefox

Ubuntu 7.10 DNS issue

Ubuntu 7.10 (aka Gutsy Gibbon) has a DNS-related bug.

I referred to it when I posted about having upgraded to 7.10 last week but since then I have found how to get around it.

First the problem –
After the upgrade, browsers, mail clients and other Internet-related applications run very slowly. Loading pages in Firefox can take 30+ seconds and sending/receiving emails seems interminable too.

On inspection, the Network settings seems to forget any custom settings (I had pointed it at the OpenDNS servers). Adding the OpenDNS servers to the router’s settings didn’t help. Re-adding the DNS servers to the Network Settings helped for about five minutes when it would once again lose the configuration and slow down.

Checking the Ubuntu forums I discovered that this appears to be related to IPv6.

I tried the following suggestion and it fixed the problem for me straightaway:

  1. IPv6 is supported by default in Ubuntu and can sometimes cause problems
  2. To disable it, open a Terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and type the command: gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/aliases
  3. Find the line alias net-pf-10 ipv6 and change it to read alias net-pf-10 off
  4. Reboot Ubuntu

Everything is zinging along happily on my laptop once more!

Firefox's marketshare now 27.8% in Europe?

Tom’s on holidays, I’ll be your host for today. My name’s Frank P, you might remember me from such blogs as “BifSniff.com”,” FestivalShirts.net/blog” and “Aonach.com/chatter”.

Damien asks us what our site stats for Firefox are after reading the results of a survey by XiTi monitor which shows Firefox having 38.6% marketshare in Ireland.

You can read more about the survey and it’s findings on itWire.com

A study of nearly 96,000 websites carried out during the week of July 2 to July 8 found that FF had 27.8% market share across Eastern and Western Europe

With regard to Damien’s question: For BifSniff.com Google Analytics puts Firefox at 39.54% for the month of June – that’s for all traffic not just European traffic (Northern Europe accounts for 50.48% of that traffic with Ireland accounting for 18.59%).

Does Silverlight kill Internet connectivity on Macs?

I had a problem with my MacBookPro the other day. It lost Internet connectivity. It couldn’t get an IP address from the DSL router. Restarting the router didn’t help. Nor did stopping and starting Airport or using a wired connection.

At first I figured the router was fried. But then, I restarted the Mac and lo! connectivity came back.

I wrote it off as a once off and didn’t think any more of it.

Then over the next few days I had problems with Firefox freezing. Uninstalling plugins didn’t help. What did fix it was closing all the tabs which contained Silverlight content.

Then the problem with the Mac losing Internet connectivity recurred. Several times. Both at the home office and outside of it.

I finally had an Aha! moment. I searched the hard drive for all occurrences of Silverlight, found the Silverlight plugin, deleted it and re-started the Mac.

I haven’t lost Internet connectivity since!

Has anyone else had this happen to them?

Richard MacManus' predictions for 2007

Richard MacManus, over on Read/WriteWeb has an extremely comprehensive must read post on his forecast for what will be hot in 2007.

His predictions for 2007:
RSS will go mainstream
Structured data will be a big trend
Widgets will continue rising in 2007
Web Office will continue to ramp up
The consumerization of the enterprise trend will start to infiltrate corporate IT
Rich Internet Apps will be a major force
Google in particular will continue to push the boundaries of browser-based apps
Semantic Web products will come of age
Expect more big things from Amazon
Expect some shakeups in the online advertising market
Watch out for developments in 2007 along the lines of a better, more robust online ad model
2007 will be about Search 2.0 and the rise of the vertical search engines
Microsoft’s Windows Live services will gain real momentum next year
Google may come out with some form of GoogleOS
Open Source Desktops will continue to gain momentum in ’07
Expect the competition between IE7 and FireFox (plus Flock, Opera and Maxthon) to be intense
Expect Safari compatibility to rise sharply in 2007
Internet-based TV will ramp up in 2007
2007 will undoubtedly be a good year for P2P
SecondLife will become an important platform for marketing, promotion, and of course social networking
Virtual Money: Paypal showed the way, and we’re seeing more of it now – SecondLife LindeX, Microsoft points etc.
The online real estate market will grow rapidly in ’07
The search for disruptive business models will continue!
Social networks will probably also become more open – and data portability will start to occur
International Web will finally start to get its due in mainstream media
One Laptop Per Child will create good buzz and may increase the adoption of thin-client like computers
Broadband continues to grow
VoIP space will really hot up
Mobile Web may be the big story of 2007
Mobile will be a bigger development and advertising platform in ’07
watch for an emerging Webphone market – for example Apple’s rumored iPhone and a GooglePhone.

Check out Richard’s post for an explanation of each of these predictions.

How to advertise to me

Advertising any product to me is becoming more and more difficult. It is not just me, there is a growing number of people who are discovering ways to skip ads almost completely in their daily lives.

In my own case, I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a newspaper but it would be years ago. I prefer to get all my news online.

I use the Firefox plugin Adblock to ensure I don’t see most ads online (see below)

This is the ENN site viewed without the Adblock plugin
Site viewed without Adblock

This is the same ENN site viewed using the Adblock plugin
Site viewed with Adblock

I used to listen to quite a bit of radio when I was on the road. Now however, I fill my iPod with podcasts before setting off on any journey and listen to those instead. This means that I am listening to content of my selection, relevant to my work, and I am not at the whim of whatever presenter happens to be on the radio.

I watch a decreasing amount of television. The TV I do watch tends to be DVDs or movie channels with no ads. I’d potentially watch a little more TV if I had Sky+ (similar to Tivo) but it is waaaaaaay too expensive.

And yes, before anyone says it, I do see the irony of posting this on a site who’s hosting is being paid for by Google ads!

So if you were an advertiser, trying to get your brand/message through to me (and people like me), how would you go about it?

Your top Web 2.0 apps?

If we ignore the fact that the term Web 2.0 is controversial for all kinds of reasons and concentrate on the applications themselves, which Web 2.0 apps (using the broadest possible definition) do you use most?

I use:

  1. my blog and podcast software all the time (they are run out of WordPress)
  2. my Flickr account regularly to post photos
  3. Google’s Docs and Spreadsheets frequently for collaboration or sharing of documents
  4. Google’s Calendar to synch with my laptop and mobile phone calendars
  5. Technorati, PubSub and Google’s Blogsearch to subscribe to RSS searches
  6. Flock as my main browser of choice (primarily because of the Flickr and Del.icio.us integration) – I also use Firefox, Camino, Safari and IE7
  7. Feedburner to burn and track my feeds
  8. NetNewsWire, Google Reader and iTunes to consume my feed list
  9. TechMeme, Megite and TailRank for keeping up with tech news
  10. Del.icio.us very occasionally to store URLs for items I have found interesting

What cool Web 2.0 apps am I not using that I should be using? What are your favourite Web 2.0 apps?

Running Windows on OS X

Actually Sprinting Windows on OS X might be a more accurate post title or Screaming Windows, or…

Parallels is virtualisation software which allows you to run other OS’s on your Mac. I splashed out recently and bought myself a new 15″ MacBook Pro (2.16ghz intel core duo, 2gb ram, 120gb hd).

Now that I have an Intel based Mac, I decided to purchase a copy of Parallels and try out Windows XP on OS X.

Parallels installs easily enough but getting it to install Windows is not trivial (yup, I had to read the Help file to figure it out!).

Having said that, that is the only quibble I had with parallels – once Windows (XP Pro) installed, it ran very smoothly.

Windows XP on Mac

It also works perfectly in full-screen mode (but then the screenshot wouldn’t be as interesting!!!).

I downloaded IE 7 beta and Office 2007 beta to try them on XP on the Mac and they work flawlessly. In the image above you can see IE 7 in the foreground and Word 2007 in the background.

What is most impressive though is the speed of XP on the MacBook.I only assigned it 512mb ram but everything is completely instant. Click on the Word icon and it is open, same with any of the Office apps, or Firefox, or Flock. IE 7 is a little slower but only because I have a multiple tabbed window as my home page. It runs faster than I have seen XP run on any PC.

Between that and the fact that the latest desktop Macs are coming out $500 cheaper than equivalently specced Dells, you now have no reason not to consider a Mac as your next PC!

Firefox 2 Beta 1 review

Mozilla announced yesterday the release of the latest beta version of Firefox – Firefox 2 Beta 1.

I downloaded a copy to try it out. As always on the Mac, install was the extremely straightforward drag and drop.

On launching, Firefox checked my extensions and disabled almost all of them (except Adblock – phew!). It then checked for updates to my extensions (found none) and promptly crashed!

Firefox 2 Beta 1 crashing on launch

Not very confidence inspiring.

I launched it again and this time it stayed running!

According to the launch notes, this version of Firefox 2 Beta 1 is supposed to have:

  • Built in Phishing Protection
  • Search suggestions now appear with search history in the search box for Google, Yahoo! and Answers.com
  • Changes to tabbed browsing behavior
  • Ability to re-open accidentally closed tabs
  • Better support for previewing and subscribing to web feeds
  • Inline spell checking in text boxes
  • Search plugin manager for removing and re-ordering search engines
  • New microsummaries feature for bookmarks
  • Automatic restoration of your browsing session if there is a crash
  • New combined and improved Add-Ons manager for extensions and themes
  • New Windows installer based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
  • Support for JavaScript 1.7
  • Support for client-side session and persistent storage
  • Extended search plugin format
  • Updates to the extension system to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions
  • Support for SVG text using svg:textPath

Amongst my favourite features in this list are the the ability to re-open an accidentally closed tab and the built-in spell check. The ability to re-open tabs is accessible by right-clicking on any tab or by choosing the Recently Closed Tabs command under the History menu.

The built-in spell check means I now have no excuse for all the mis-spellings in my blog posts!

Firefox' built-in spell check

As well as checking words, you can add words to the dictionary so they won’t be flagged as mis-spellings in future and in time it will be possible to change the language away from the default US-English. If you attempt to change languages currently it tells you that this command hasn’t been hooked up yet but that alternative dictionaries can be downloaded from the Thunderbird Localised Dictionaries site. While these dictionaries can indeed be downloaded, they are not available for selection after being installed, even after a re-start. More work needs to be done here I think.

Overall, the beta version seems to perform quite well despite the few glitches mentioned above. It even seems marginally faster than Firefox 1.5 but this could simply be because most of the extensions are disabled!

Microsoft to start supporting Firefox?

I write posts here with boring regularity on Microsoft’s latest releases. They all follow a similar pattern – “I have just heard that Microsoft have just released [insert product name here] unfortunately it doesn’t work in Firefox/Mac”.

Now, however, I have acquired an unlikely ally in Robert Scoble – Microsoft’s chief blogger! Robert said in a post yesterday

if you want the most passionate people in society to use your stuff, you must support Firefox…. I won’t link (or say anything nice) to any Windows Live service that doesn’t support Firefox.

If the Microsoft development teams take note and start to release products with Firefox support, this will mean far better products, reviews and PR for Microsoft.

What will I have to complain about though!

UPDATE:
I see Damien and Dennis Howlett have responded to Robert’s post as well.

Cool new Firefox plug-in

Hyperwords was released yesterday and it is a very cool extension for Firefox and Flock. It has been developed by Liquid-Information an interesting company with an advisory board that reads like a who’s who in IT (Doug Engelbart, Vint Cerf, Ted Nelson, Bruce Horn, Dave Farber, Joi Ito, etc.

What does it do? Well, the default behaviour is that, when you select text in your browser, a drop-down menu appears, giving you instantly available options of what to do with the text –
Hyperwords drop-down menu

This is quite cool and allows quick and easy access to functionality you might otherwise have to go to other pages to get. The Preferences settings for the plug-in allows you to select whether the data you select opens in a new tab, or a new page, in the foreground or background. Also, all the menu options are available from the keyboard – so for the example above, I can simply type s s g and a Google Search for the highlighted term will open in a new tab (in the background in my case)!

It is also possible to turn off the menu (operate in invisible mode) and still have access to the keyboard options.

Two minor gripes I have with the extension are:

  1. The blog this with option only goes to Blogger and WordPress.com – it needs to allow blogging to other blog platforms like WordPress, Typepad etc.
  2. The drop-down menu doesn’t give a View Selection Source option – I sometimes like to view the source of a small portion of a page. In Firefox, I select that portion, right-click and select View Selection Source – this should also be possible in Hyperwords

Other than that I think this is a great plug-in.

The CEO of Hyperwords is called Frode Hegland (Frode is pronounced to rhyme with road). I interviewed Frode about this new extension and will publish that interview on PodLeaders.com as a podcast tomorrow. Frode gave me some fascinating insights into how he came up with Hyperwords and how he landed such an amazing Advisory Board!