Amazon A9 & FirefoxPR
A9 is little site I discovered today. It is a beta project from Amazon (the Internet retailer), a very clever and very fast search engine, with enhanced features for those who have an Amazon account. I particularly like how a single search brings up matching web pages (powered by Google) and also an image thumbnail gallery. You can optionally toggle other types of search to be visible too (like books, or reference searches). The project looks very promising, and I’ve added it to my Firefox search bar. It’s currently my default search engine. One to watch, but at the moment still clearly a beta. Don’t expect it to behave perfectly
Mozilla’s Firefox has finally hit the 1.0 branch, though this release is actually a Preview Release of the 1.0 branch. Feature set is now very nearly final, and it’s a step up from the 0.9 version. I am particularly fond of the new ‘Live Bookmarks’ feature, which is simply RSS feed integration into the bookmarking system. There are a few other enhancements beyond the usual bug fixing and shrinking of download sizes. Another new feature I find useful is that the address bar goes solid orange when you’re using a site with a secure connection. Very simple, but very handy. No more filling in passwords and so forth on insecure sites.
While I’m talking about Firefox I should mention some Extensions for the browser that I am really loving:
- Web Developer 0.8
- Web Developer is becoming an essential tool for me. It has a huge number of extremely useful functions including the ability to highlight CSS style information, replace images with Alt attributes, show image dimensions, access keys, cookie information, response headers, speed reports, validate the page you’re viewing, see topographic information, resize the browser window, outline table cells and block level elements, and much more.
- Bug Me Not
- I get tired of websites asking me to register before they’ll let me at their content. A swift right click on the offending web page and Bug Me Not fills in a user name and password for you, and you’re in. I should add that Bug Me Not only supports websites offering free content (i.e. NewYorkTimes.com) and you’re not going to get free access to pay sites with this.
- Image Zoom 0.1.7
- Image Zoom allows you to magnify or shrink the size of images in the browser. A simple right click and swish of the mouse wheel will magnify any inline image you hover over in steps of any increment you want.
- Noticed how my spelling is a little better recently? This is an integrated spell checker, and a very good one too. It says it’s for Firefox 0.9, but it’s working fine in FirefoxPR too
- ReloadEvery 0.3.2
- ReloadEvery does as it suggests. If you’re a regular forum user you’ll find yourself continually refreshing pages to see who’s posted. This does it automatically, at a time interval you set
This one isn’t a Firefox extension, but it is really useful:
Mailinator is an email service with a difference. Sometimes you will have to provide an email address for something, but you don’t really want to give your own address. Trouble is you’ll need to because you have to read a verification email sent to the account. Step in mailinator. Completely insecure, but incredibly useful - a temporary email account you don’t have to set up and never have to check more than once.