Chrome/Firefox/Internet Explorer: Facebook Chat now includes a feature that lets you know when a friend has read your message—or when you've read theirs. If you'd prefer to keep that information under wraps, Chat Undetected will do it for you. More »
With each update, Facebook has gotten incrementally more cluttered, perplexing, and ornery—and I'm not even talking about all your annoying acquaintances flooding it with inane status updates. Yet, at the same time, it's become a tool few of us can live without. If Facebook has you on your last nerve, here's how to fix some of its biggest annoyances in a matter of minutes—and with only one new addition to your browser. More »
Firefox/Chrome/Safari/Mailplane: Rapportive, a plugin which we've previously mentioned for its Gmail-enhancing powers, has recently added Twitter capabilities. So now you can follow, reply to, and retweet your contacts—all without leaving Gmail. More »
The internet is wonderful, but it's also a landfill for many annoying things.
Chrome: Facebook has gotten seriously cluttered over the years, and if you'd like to tone it down by removing, say, the Groups button, the Messages dropdown, or the ads, Minimalist for Facebook will let you tweak it to your liking. More »
Windows/Mac: RockMelt, the new Chromium-based social networking browser, updated today to add improved Facebook chat, real-time Twitter updates, a bookmark-and-read-later function, and support for Chromium 10. More »
RockMelt, the Chromium-based social Web browser has reached a new milestone today. Following its first public beta that was released in early March, RockMelt Beta 2 has started being pushed to the browser's users. The new version brings many new features, alongside the usual bug fixes, performance enhancements, and a new base for the browser -- Chromium 10, which also powers Google Chrome's stable channel releases at the moment. The previous RockMelt beta was based on Chromium 9, and it's nice to see it kept up-to-date.
Perhaps the most intriguing new feature in RockMelt Beta 2 is the new bookmarking system, intuitively called View Later. RockMelt's developers have come to the conclusion that, in a modern browser that offers address auto-complete and makes the most visited sites accessible on the new tab page, people don't use bookmarks anymore -- at least not the way they used to back in the day. These days apparently, bookmarking is mostly about saving interesting pages for future reference. Which is where View Later comes in. You just click on the new clock icon at the far right of the address bar (where Chrome's star icon is), and you've added the page you're viewing to your View Later queue. You can even add individual posts from Facebook or Twitter. Your View Later contents are synced using RockMelt's general sync mechanism.
RockMelt Beta 2 also packs a new Twitter app, which now lets you edit retweets, view direct messages, reply to all, and easily use Twitter search. It uses Twitter's new real-time API, so you get the tweets exactly at the moment they're published.
The Chat bar has been redesigned, making it easier to keep track of multiple conversations, since chats are now docked in the Chat bar along the bottom of the browser, where they even stay visible while you browse the Web. Incoming chat messages will trigger notifications, and the ability to drag individual chat sessions out of the bar and into separate windows is still there.
All in all a solid update, that has started rolling out today and will reach all of the browser's users in a week's time. What remains to be seen is how many people are willing to switch from any of the 'big guys' to RockMelt for its added features.
If you're a social networking butterfly, or if you have the malevolent aspirations of one day becoming a 'social media expert,' you almost certainly spend a vast amount of time surfing the Web. You probably use a modern browser like Firefox or Chrome, and you almost certainly have a ton of tabs open at the same time.
It can be hard work, keeping track of multiple websites. Hitting F5 is a pain in the ass -- and waiting those few seconds for a page to reload can be mighty frustrating. Then there's the matter of remembering all of your login names and passwords (because you don't use the same password on more than one site, right?)
Wouldn't it be great if there were some add-ons and extensions that could make light work of your surprisingly busy social networking lifestyle? Even if you only use Facebook or Twitter, there are still plenty of annoyances that could be offloaded to add-ons.
Those of you who spend a lot of time online discovering and listening to music may want to check out Like.fm, a new app which is designed to automatically track and share what you play. It's a sort of 'discovery aggregator,' pulling in tunes from services like YouTube, Pandora, Rdio, and Grooveshark -- which already offer their own discovery tools.
Like.fm aims to provide one-stop shopping, so you and your friends don't have to remember to follow each other on a dozen different services. By aggregating data from a wide variety of sources, Like.fm hopes to make itself the place to get your new music recommendations. Facebook Connect support is also built-in, making it easy to find and follow your friends as you build out your Like.fm profile.
Chrome: If you're a heavy commenter on other web sites, it can get hard keeping track of it all. Chrome extension Comment Save logs each comment you make around the web so you can check up on them. More »
Chrome: If you've ever been on a site and wanted a more immediate form of communication than, say, comments can offer, Chrome extension Talkita lets you live chat with users that are currently viewing the same web site. More »
TweetDeck, the AIR-based desktop and smartphone twitter power app has finally joined its biggest competitor, Seesmic, on the Web. The new TweetDeck app for Google's fledgling Chrome Web Store brings the best of what people loved about the desktop AIR-app to the Web, in what Iain Dodsworth, CEO of TweetDeck calls: "definitely our best version of a desktop TweetDeck so far." The Chrome app supports TweetDeck accounts for syncing of read tweets, filters and search columns, and has support for almost everything social. Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, and even Google Buzz, are present and accounted for, with Gmail support on the way.
TweetDeck for Chrome is aiming to be faster and lighter than its AIR-based cousin, which is good news for anyone who's wanted to use TweetDeck on the desktop but has been put off by the relatively large footprint the AIR app takes. It's also currently silent, but TweetDeck is looking to implement a new 'social soundscape' across all its TweetDeck products in an effort to unify the notification system -- great for knowing what's happened without having to look at your screen.
The TweetDeck Chrome app can be found in the Chrome Web Store and installed directly into your up-to-date Chrome browser.
Facebook has become a major hot-button topic recently, what with the endless privacy issues and bug reports floating around and all, so you may be thinking about leaving the social network. Unfortunately, kicking the habit may not be so easily done.
Maybe you want to deactivate your account, and let it sit while you think things over. Maybe you're afraid of outright deleting your account out of fear that you may become an elusive Internet hermit. Maybe keeping the account active is the only way your Mom will get off your case about not calling home often enough. Or perhaps you just don't want to abandon all your friends, who don't even use email or chat services anymore because of Facebook dependency. Sure, you've tried explaining it to them, but they still don't understand why you would want to leave such a fantabulous, wonderfully free social network. It's the greatest thing since sliced bread -- don't you know?
Maybe you find yourself stuck in a loathsome, controlling relationship with Mark Zuckerberg, and you just can't force yourself away from his buggy social clutches. Maybe you feel like you need some help.
Sadly, Dr. Drew Pinsky doesn't take cases like this for cheap, but you can still get the help you need to kick the Facebook habit right in the face, once and for all -- and you can do it with a userscript.
The script, called No Facebook, can be installed in any browser running Greasemonkey/Greasekit or in Chrome as an extension. Basically, when you have the script enabled and try to visit Facebook, you get directed to a page with nothing but the friendly reminder pictured above.
Now, whether you've decided to deactivate, delete, or simply leave your account open, you can at least exercise some control over your junkie self. Just remember -- you're not alone.
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.
If you ever thought previously mentioned Xobni looked cool, but you prefer Gmail to Outlook, free Gmail plug-in Etacts adds many of the same features. You get social information, conversation history, and advanced sending preferences right in your Gmail sidebars.
The Etacts plug-in automatically adds detailed contact information to the sidebar of messages, as shown above, similar to previously mentioned Rapportive, but Etacts takes it one step further. Not only do you get links to any social networks that contact is a part of, and some of the information contained therein (such as their occupation and location), but you also get a detailed summary of your mailing history with them, complete with nice little graphs and charts. All this information is also available in compose mode as well, so you know exactly who you're sending it to.