If you want more control over your Twitter stream, check out the Proxlet Chrome extension. Proxlet lets you easily mute any user (temporarily or forever), block any Twitter app, or filter out any hashtag. The most obvious use for Proxlet is filtering out app spam from the likes of Foursquare and Paper.li, but it's also great if your friends are tweeting from a conference you don't like or they suddenly pick up a hashtag meme that doesn't interest you.
The really fantastic thing about Proxlet is that it also works with some desktop and mobile apps, including TweetDeck Desktop, Twidroyd and Twitter for iPhone. The idea is so slick that it might not be a bad idea for Twitter to look at acquiring Proxlet or implementing some of these filters themselves. Sure, Twitter is supposed to be simple, but new use cases -- like app spam -- need new user tools, and Proxlet is one of the best new tools you can add to your arsenal.
And as you can see in the screenshot, there's an extension that does a nice job of integrating the contents of your bookmarks bar. Install "Bookmark list in context menu" and you've got two-click access to your favorite sites. It's a nice alternative to the horizontal bookmark bar, especially on smaller screens where every pixel counts. As its author points out, it's also a handy way to open bookmarks in full screen mode -- when there are no toolbars to click on.
It works very similar to the voice input system that Google has built into Android. A microphone icon will show up in your browser's extensions area, as well as near any HTML5-powered search box on websites that it can be used for. To search for "kittens", the developer says, just click on the microphone and say "kittens". To search Google Images for kittens, say "google images kittens". To search Wikipedia, say "wikipedia" followed by your query.
Voice Search can search using the following sites by default: Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and Wolfram Alpha. However, you can also add other search engines that you like.
This is at a very experimental stage at the moment, and as such you may find that you need to start Chrome with the flag --enable-voice-input for the add-on to even work. Instructions on how to add the flag are available on the app's page in the Chrome Web Store, which is also where you can download Voice Search for Chrome for free.
Fans of Quora, the web's most useful and addictive question-and-answer site, now have a new way to get their fix: a Quora Chrome extension. Developer Andrew Brown recently posted his spiffy Chrome add-on in response to (what else?) a Quora question. It adds a Quora button to your toolbar, giving you one-click access to the Quora search field, as well as showing your current number of unread Quora notifications.
Brown says that he's working on an option to pop up your actual notifications when you click on the toolbar icon, and he's even posted a work-in-progress screenshot of what those notifications will look like. For now, you can install the extension or follow its development via a GitHub repo.
We told you it was coming soon, but we didn't know precisely how soon: Wadlimir Palant has already pushed the first beta version of Adblock Plus for Google Chrome. It was just four days ago that TechCrunch reported that Palant had changed his mind about never releasing a Chrome port -- citing reasons like not wanting to maintain two unrelated projects and the availability of capable alternatives like AdThwart.
That's all changed, however, and AdThwart has become the foundation of Adblock Plus for Chrome. The first release includes improved filters, updated code to bring the extension more inline with its Firefox cousin, and better XHTML support.
Those of you who already had AdThwart installed should be automatically updated, and new users can install ABP from the Chrome Extensions Gallery.
If you haven't played with Chrome OS yet, it has one fundamental niggle that harkens back to the DOS days of yore: windows don't exist, and it has no way of displaying multiple tabs on screen at the same time. This means if you want to refer to a document while you compose an email, you need to repetitively switch between tabs -- and I think we can all agree that tab-switching is one of the most important omissions from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Chrome OS does support one way of displaying multiple Web pages at the same time, however: panels. If you've looked through our Chromium OS galleries (or taken a quick look at the screenshot above) you'll notice some always-on-top panels across the bottom of the screen. Panels are handy things -- capable of being resized, or quickly popped down out of view. By default, the download manager, popped-out Gmail chat windows and the media player display in panels -- but, for some reason, there's no way to load custom websites in panels.
Which brings us onto our very first Chrome OS-specific extension: Panelize. With Panelize you can put anything into a panel, such as Gmail, Reader, or even Download Squad. In one fell swoop, having to switch between tabs is a thing of the past!
Firefox Friday, a weekly round-up: Beta 4, Beta 5, Panorama, breaking add-ons and our Private Browsing habits analyzed
This week has produced some fantastic Firefox news. That's a good thing, but because we covered it all on Download Squad in a timely fashion, it leaves me with a bit of a problem: there's no new news to share with you. I've been left with producing a round-up for this week's Firefox column. I've never done a round-up before, but I'm sure it'll be good.
I think I'm meant to take each nibble of news and provide a refreshing, opinionated point of view that throws it into a new light. Let's start with one that got a lot more interest than we anticipated:
I think I actually told Lee that this one wasn't worth posting..., how wrong I was!
"It's like one of those Google-search-box-grows-by-18-pixels stories." Personally, I hate Chrome's unified wrench menu, and I'm disheartened to see it make an appearance in Firefox.
Hello! I'm back [at the turn of the tide...] To celebrate, here's a very neat Chrome extension that mimics (albeit a bit clumsily) Firefox's live bookmarks: Foxish live RSS.
If you've never used Firefox's live bookmarks, you're missing out! They're just like normal website bookmarks, but using the magic of RSS they update every few minutes. For the vast majority of Web users, a dedicated RSS reader is overkill -- with live bookmarks you can have the latest news (or Download Squad stories!) right there on your browser, always just one click away.
Foxish live RSS isn't without its quirks. It can't auto-discover a site's RSS feed, so you have to obtain it (either by viewing the source, or installing Google's own RSS extension) and then add it manually by right clicking the odd-looking Foxish icon. Also, once you've added the feed, you have to go into your Bookmarks Manager and drag the new 'folder' onto your bookmarks bar.
So, it's clunky but it works. You have to wonder when Google will simply bite the bullet add native, live bookmark functionality. Firefox has surely borrowed enough Chrome features... now it's time to return the favor!
Firefox Friday Five: 4.0 news round-up, 2 billion add-on downloads, Thunderbird 3.1, and making text editing on websites easier
A beta version has been made available to the public and a wide range of new features have been added. DTA 2 supports global, per server, and per download speed limits. Audio and video downloading has been improved with HTML5.
It seems like there is a never ending fight to manage time. I am sure everyone chasing the golden calendar at the end of the rainbow has read an article or two stating how to manage time. In reality, you budget your availability and focus to work more efficiently. You can’t manipulate time.
Some people mono-task, others use tools and gadgets to help make the most of their time. I am in the latter group. I loooves nerd tools. A few I commonly use are my Blackberry 8530 with a few apps, my netbook with apps like Launchy, Windows Live Writer, Screenpresso, Dropbox and both Firefox and Google Chrome with an obscene amount of extensions.
Below are a few Google Chrome extensions I use to help me work a little more efficiently.
The way FastestChrome works is, when you are reading something on the web, you can highlight a portion of text. When you do this, you will see a small bubble pop up with four icons—Google, Wikipedia, Oneriot and Surf Canyon—to choose form. By clicking on the Oneriot icon, you can see the real-time search results for the text you highlighted. It functions almost like the Kwiclick extension for Firefox.
When I found this extension, I wasn’t sure if I would use it much. I was surprised how handy it is. Even if you only use it for Google searches, it will save you time copy and pasting or typing in the search term into the Google search bar.
This extension is a great way to see how long you have been unfocused and chatting with people on Twitter or any site. In the tab, you will see an elapsed time of your visit in hours and minutes.
I have no idea how long this extension will be around -- has the jury returned a verdict on whether ad-blockers are ethical? -- but for the casual user, minimal.digg is awesome. By removing the fluff, the crust, the non-essential verdigris, minimal.digg gets you to the content faster. In fact, unless you're deeply entrenched in the Digg community, I can't see why you wouldn't use this extension.
Digg has, for the longest time, been a great (if demagogic) link collator. In fact, if you've never visited Digg, install the extension and head on over! Most of the links that arrive via email or instant message were originally dug up by a Digger -- so why not get in at the start of an Internet meme?! Be contemporary!
I only just covered this bad boy in last week's Firefox Friday -- and now there's a Chrome version! RescueTime advertises itself as a 'Productivity Meter' but really it's just a cool way of seeing how you spend your time on the Internet.
All you have to do is install the extension and it'll do the rest. At any time you can click the menu button to see a quick breakdown of how distracted you are as well as how productive you are compared to other RescueTime users. If you visit sites like Facebook or Flickr, your distractedness rises; stick to work-related stuff and you're 'safe'. Talking of 'safe', no login is required to use this extension -- you are anonymous (for all intents and purposes)!
The proof is in the pudding, though: after a few hours or days, check out 'Detailed Stats'. Prepare to be shocked, awed, amazed and disgusted by the damning but beautiful graphs. The amount of data that the RescueTime team and its users have collated, and thus the accuracy of the reports, is quite stunning.
(Incidentally, if you're a manager of some kind, there's a 'pro' version which you could no doubt use to improve the efficiency of your team...)
You'd be lying if you said you'd never tried FarmVille. Well, theoretically you could claim to be one of the few that has yet to try FarmVille, but with over 80 million users you're probably lying.
True, most of those 80 million are middle-aged housewives that think an 'extension' is a way of increasing the range of the vacuum cleaner, but by my reckoning there must be some Download Squad readers that also play FarmVille. This post's for you, power users; power farmers. Why calculate your crop harvests in your head when a userscript can do it for you?! Or, indeed, why should you spend time adopting animals and accepting bonuses when there are peas and asparagus to plant?
Remember, Chrome 4 and above supports Userscripts -- though where Chrome Extension versions exist, I have included a link. Firefox users will have to install Greasemonkey.
The Web Developer add-on for Chrome tries to complement Chrome's already-excellent developer tools (Ctrl-Shift-I) with some in-page hints and tools. The garbled output you see above is the result of selecting Information > Display ID & Class Details. Not very graceful, obviously.
The add-on is missing a screen ruler (I'm sure the developer will add it later). Despite lacking a graceful way to show massive amounts of data, it can still come in handy every now and then. For example, you can disable CSS entirely, or just inline style, browser default styles, etc. That's pretty neat. It's still a fledgling add-on, so don't expect too much. But if you find Chrome's default tools are not enough for you, try giving it a shot.
Mozilla Firefox’s most wanted add-on FireBug is now available in google chrome.
Firebug Lite is not a substitute for Firebug, or Chrome Developer Tools. It is a tool to be used in conjunction with these tools. Firebug Lite provides the rich visual representation we are used to see in Firebug when it comes to HTML elements, DOM elements, and Box Model shading. It provides also some cool features like inspecting HTML elemements with your mouse, and live editing CSS properties. Firebug Lite 1.3.0 beta for Google Chrome is basically the same you’ll see when using the bookmarlet.
click here to install firebug for google chrome
The Google Chrome browser is making some great strides to take over the browser game. One of the areas where it lacks right out of the proverbial “box” is its inability to handle RSS. Until recently when Chrome users on Windows machines were given the ability to add extensions, you would have to (gulp) copy and paste the feed into your reader. Pretty archaic I know.
In the short time extensions have been available for the Chrome browser, quite a few add-ons have popped up to alleviate the RSS deficiencies. Below are 13 different extensions to ease your RSS withdrawal. Granted many of these do the same basic function, each can add something unique. By no means do you need every extension on the list, but its nice to have more than one option to try.
This extension does exactly what the name implies. When you visit a page with a feed, you will see a Google Reader icon in the Chrome browser address bar.