Browse the Web Using Mouse Gestures on Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the most widely used web browser. Google is taking every possible step to increase Chrome’s growth rate. Recently, we saw Google introducing Angry Birds on the Chrome Web Store. This has definitely got a huge number of people to switch over to Chrome. However, one of the primary reasons why many people use Chrome is because of its speed and the availability of a number of extensions. One such extension that I highly recommend is Smooth Gestures, which will speed up many tasks that you usually use to navigate through the web.

Smooth Gestures is a free extension for Google Chrome that allows you to browse the Internet by using mouse gestures. The extension helps you browse the web quickly and easily, by allowing you to execute commands without having to use the keyboard, menus or toolbars.

Also Read:  Google Chrome Extensions List

The extension comes with pre-defined mouse gestures. It also allows you to set your own gestures, according to your feasibility. It enables you to use gestures to perform usual tasks like opening and closing tabs, go forward and back in history, view source code, list all stored cookies, reloading a page, and so on. It also has gestures for less used tasks like undoing closed tab, merge tabs, pin tabs, etc.

However, the extension does not work on the extension website, or other built-in chrome pages due to security restrictions (including new tabs and Speed Dial). But it does work on almost all http:// and https:// pages.

Learn How to: Install Google Chrome Extensions in Firefox with Google Chrome Extensions Manager

To begin with, install the extension on your Chrome browser. Once done, hold your right mouse button down and do the gesture shown below. It would open up the Options page for Smooth Gestures.

Smooth Gestures - Option page

The Options page is pretty self-explanatory. It shows how you gestures work and how to use them. As you scroll down the Options page, you would see several pre-defined gestures that you can use right away. If you scroll down further, you will find some difficult gestures to perform, however to start with, you can get used to the easy ones.

Creating Your Own Gestures

Although there are common gestures that are already pre-defined, you can still create your own custom gestures. Here’s an example of how I created a gesture to load Techie Buzz.

Click on the + Add Custom Actionto define an action. Click save after you have filled in the details.

Smooth Gesture - Techie Buzz

Click the “+” button to create a gesture. A pop-up window will open where you need to hold the  right  mouse button and draw a shape (gesture). In my case, I drew the letter Twhich was then auto reshaped to a properly curved design. Once you are satisfied with the shape, you can save it.

Smooth Gestures - Techie Buzz

You can see that I have added a gesture to load Google as well. The shape resembles the letter “G”. Now, if I have to open Techie Buzz or Google, all I have to do is draw a Tor “G” anywhere within the browser’s  work space or display window. Simple!

Go on, play around with it. I’m sure you will love it.

If you want to uninstall Smooth Gestures, then right click on the logo in the address bar and uninstall it.

Smooth Gestures - Uninstall

Let us know how useful the extension is to you by adding your feedback in the comments section below.

Google Chrome Profiles Get Cheekier – Add Icons and More Functionality

A few months ago, I had spoken about few new features in . One of the new feature was Multiple Profiles in Chrome. The Google Chrome Profile switcher allowed users to create multiple profiles using different Google accounts. While that feature was in it’s infancy earlier on, it has grown to a full fledged profile manager in the latest development and canary builds of Google Chrome.

Google Chrome Profiles

One of the new additions to Google Chrome profile manager is the ability to choose different icons for different profiles you create as seen in the screenshot above. This is similar to what you would see in an operating system like , Ubuntu, Mac OS X and now too.

The newer profile switcher now resides in the left-hand corner of the browser and provides options to switch icons for your profile, customize it, delete it and also create new Google Chrome profiles.

Google Chrome Profiles Canary

However, this is not just it. Both the Development and Canary versions of Google Chrome now contain a better profile which allows you to easily create new profiles. The Canary build also contains newer icons which are not seen in the development build. This is similar to what I have seen in and Windows 7. However, I would also like to see an option to specify custom images for different profiles in the upcoming builds.


As I told you earlier, Google Chrome dev and canary versions also have a revamped version for the profile manager which looks and feels like a regular operating system. However, one thing I found problematic with the new profile creator is that users have to use the "Customize your profile" option to add a Google account for synching data manually. It would have been better if Google implemented a wizard where they would allow users to create as well as customize the entire Google Chrome profile in one go.

Another good thing about the new feature is that switching between multiple profiles is instant and very fast. This can be very helpful when you want to quickly switch between your home and work profiles without delay. Think of it as a "Boss Key" Winking smile.

Overall, I found that the new Google Chrome profiles are cheekier than before and have been simplified. There is still more work to be done. I will wait and watch how it eventually pans out.

Google+Facebook: Get Going with Facebook Without Leaving Google Plus

google-plus-facebook-iconUPDATE: This plugin has been reported as spam and the links are disabled till further updates. Refer the comments section for more details.

ight from the launch of the new social network, there has been huge buzz around Google Plus. Now that Google has opened doors to everyone, it would be worth watching the public response. With Google Plus giving Facebook a run for their money, here is something that can make things even worse for the latter. Here is a browser extension that will let you access Facebook from within Google+. So you won’t have to miss out on your already over-burdened social-life (thanks Facebook) while being on Google Plus.

1. Head over to the Google+Facebook download page and get the extension for your browser. Use the Google+Facebook button.


2. Allow the download to start if your browser (most likely Firefox) blocks it. Install it as you do for other add-ons or extensions.

3. Now log into your Google Plus account and you will notice a Facebook button to the left of the Home button in the top navigation. Click on it.


4. You will now need to use the fConnect button to connect your Facebook account.

5. Once prompted, allow the request for permission to access your Facebook data.


Voila! you will now be able to check your Facebook wall feed from right within Google Plus. You can also update Facebook using this added functionality.


The extension is available for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

Users of both the service will naturally love the added usability of Google Plus. However there are limitations to the extension currently. You cannot comment or like any of your friend’s activities or updates the Facebook way unlike any other popular apps. Well that would mean I’m too demanding. Whatsoever, it definitely is a good attempt to bring things together specially when socializing is the word of the day.

NOTE: You can also try and get a Facebook lookalike Google Plus and vice versa with a little help.

Firefox 6 Beta is Available for Downloads

Mozilla has pushed out the 6 beta to the beta channel. The new version contains new security related changes along with several other enhancements to Firefox 5 (Read: Firefox 5 Review).

Firefox 6 Beta

One of the visual changes included in this version is that, Firefox now highlights the domain name of the website you are visiting while graying out the rest of the URL. This can come in handy to users to quickly find a domain name and avoid phishing attacks.

Firefox 6 Highlighted Domain

Firefox 6 Grayed Subdomain

When you visit a site, it will highlight just the domain name and now the subdomain. So if someone is claiming to be Citibank, it will be easy to spot it out by just looking at the highlighted domain name (see screenshots above). In addition to that, they have also streamlined the site identity block.

There are several other new features which have been included in Firefox 6.0 Beta which include:

  • The address bar now highlights the domain of the website you’re visiting
  • Streamlined the look of the site identity block
  • Added support for the latest draft version of WebSockets with a prefixed API
  • Added support for EventSource / server-sent events
  • Added support for window.matchMedia
  • Added Scratchpad, an interactive JavaScript prototyping environment
  • Added a new Web Developer menu item and moved development-related items into it
  • Improved usability of the Web Console
  • Improved the discoverability of Firefox Sync
  • Reduced browser startup time when using Panorama

I will be doing a full review of this new beta in the next few days. In the meantime, you can download the latest Firefox 6 Beta from here.

Easily Pin Your Websites in Internet Explorer 9

If you are on Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9 allows you to pin a website to the Windows taskbar, and access the website pages directly without having to open Internet Explorer first. The unmatched visibility on users’ desktops results in increased traffic for a website. This also gives an app-like feel to the website or web app.

To pin a website, just grab the tab and drag it down to your taskbar. Apart from the one-click access, a pinned site also allows you to right-click on the icon to get a list that directs you to particular content on the site. Some pinned sites can also notify you that content has changed on the site. While pinned Facebook alerts you of the Facebook notifications for your account, pinned Hotmail notifies with a number corresponding to the new email in your inbox.


Microsoft has now launched a new service Pin My Website to encourage website owners to add the pinned site functionality to their websites. The site provides an online wizard to guide you to few steps that would give you a code snippet that you can use on your website to take advantage of this function. Microsoft claims that pinned sites gain traffic, and these steps take an average of only 36 seconds to complete!

In the first of a total of four steps, all you need to provide is your contact details and basic site information like site’s name and URL. You will also need to provide an icon for your main site.

PinMyWebsite - Basic Site information

Jump List items act as entry points into the website even when the browser is not running. The next step requires you to list the commonly used destinations and tasks that apply to the whole site.

PinMyWebsite - Jump list tasks

A dynamic Jump List can contain items that will automatically change over time, to give access to periodically updated information like news updates. To use this feature, your site must expose an RSS feed with the items that you want to show on the Jump List.

PinMyWebsite - Jump List tasks and Notifications

The last optional step enables you to add a pinning notification bar on the  top of your webpages. This bar prompts IE9 users to pin your site.

PinMyWebsite - Drag-and-drop site pinning bar

Once you complete the four steps, you can generate the code to use on your site and allow IE9 users on Windows 7 to pin your site to their taskbar.

Google Chrome Now Blocks Insecure Scripts on HTTPS

JavaScript is a scripting language which is used to provide a lot of functionalities to users without them noticing it. It also powers some of the best known web services out there including and more. However, that a faulty or rogue JavaScript can also cause havoc on your system?

Well, how would you know that unless your browser told it? However, not all browsers tell you when a JavaScript is insecure, but you can count as your friend in this case (at-least the dev version on HTTPS), because it has started to block Insecure scripts while you are browsing a website on a HTTPS connection.

Chrome Blocks Insecure Scripts

As you can see from the above screenshot, Google Chrome now shows you a message saying that it has blocked an insecure script from running on the browser, whilst proving you an option to "Load Anyway". This is done to protect users from running harmful scripts on their system.

This behavior in Google Chrome is similar to them blocking users from accessing harmful websites that they have in their database an will be useful in protecting users.

The help page on this topic shows what Google is doing exactly:

When a website is secured via HTTPS, the web site designer must also ensure that all of the scripts used by the page will be delivered in the same secure manner as the main page itself. The same requirements also apply to the plugins and external CSS stylesheets used by the page, as these have the same considerations as javascript.

When this is not the case (sometimes called a mixed scriptsituation), visitors to the site run the risk that attackers can interfere with the website and change the script so as to serve their own purposes.

Traditionally, browsers have run the mixed script, genuine or not, and notified you after-the-fact by a broken lock icon, a dialog box, or a red https:// in the location bar (in the case of Google Chrome). The problem with this approach is that by the time the script has run, it is already too late, because the script has had access to all of the data on the page.

Google Chrome now protects you by refusing up-front to run any script on a secure page unless it is also being delivered over HTTPS. Data on the page remains secure even in the presence of an attacker, but the downside is that this may cause pages to display improperly. You may wish to let the website owner know that their site is not properly secured. (Note that a poorly-written extension can also sometimes cause this).

You can bypass this protection by clicking Allow Anyway, in which case Google Chrome will refresh the page and load the insecure content. You will then see an https:// displayed in red in the location bar indicating that the page could not be secured.

The above description says that Chrome is only blocking scripts which are served through non-HTTPS on a HTTPS connection. Hopefully, the will improve this behavior and also display the same message on the browser when a known rogue script is running on a website.

Will Firefox Lose its Enterprise Love for this Rapid Roadmap?

On one hand when the end user is ready to adapt to the latest version of browsers, there is another well-established user base that just won’t move to a newer version of browsers. These are numerous Enterprise, which make it very clear that their internal forums are going to work only on older unsupported versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox.


Firefox is on a crash course and apparently, it is not that easy for an Enterprise to switch to new browsers as and when they release. The reason? Well, you can spot it easily. Their internal networks are not created with web-standards in mind. This leaves them more compatible with older versions of browsers and takes a toll on their uses as well. What makes matters worse is when these enterprise solutions develop specifically for older versions of web-browsers (blame IE6).

Until now, Firefox has been a parallel browser of choice for Enterprise works and the reason is quite obvious. Their development was moving at a considerably  slow pace. Now, when Firefox wants to gather pace and reach a competitive position in the browser market, it runs a huge risk of losing Enterprise usage.

Read through this blog post and tell me why these lines sounds wrong.

For corporate customers, we’ll support each version of Internet Explorer as long as the latest version of Windows that it runs on is supported. For example, Windows 7 Enterprise is supported through January 2020. Internet Explorer 9 will therefore also be supported through January 2020.

It is exactly this attitude that will kill the web as we know it. What use is all the advancement in web technologies if your browser cannot leverage its power? Likewise, your app is not good enough either, if it is not agnostic to new browsers.

Clearly, Mozilla has done the math here. The number of Enterprise users using Firefox out of compulsion might be far less than the number of users it can gain from this move. The browser space has become extremely competitive and this was a right step towards a brighter future for Firefox.

Firefox 5 Review

Mozilla-Firefox-5After Firefox 4 was plagued by innumerable delays, Mozilla did some course-correction and decided to switch from a traditional release cycle to the quick release cycle used by Google Chrome. As a result, Firefox 5 arrived in record time. However, how good is Firefox 5? Let’s have a look.

At first glance, Firefox 5 looks and feels identical to Firefox 4. In fact, even after using it for a couple of days, I couldn’t tell the difference between Firefox 4 and 5. A quick look at the changelog confirmed that Firefox 5 has barely any new features of note. Yeah, it fixes close to a thousand bugs, and takes care of some serious security issues; however, it has very few new goodies to offer.

The biggest feature in Firefox 5 is that the “Do Not Track” feature, which we have discussed in a fair amount of detail in the past, is now more accessible. It is now available under the Privacytab, instead of being buried under Advancedoptions. Yep, the biggest user-perceivable change in Firefox 5 is a minor interface tweak.


Other than this, Firefox 5 adds supports for CSS animations, improves canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance, and improves standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas. As mentioned earlier, it also fixes some extremely critical security issues. Five of the vulnerabilities patched were rated as critical, and a couple were rated as high risk by Mozilla. Two of these issues dealt with WebGL, which has making headlines of late due to Microsoft’s allegation that it will become an on-going source of hard to fix vulnerabilities.

To be honest, Firefox 5 doesn’t merit being called anything other than Firefox 4.02. However, Google has been doing the same thing for quite some time, and has been getting away with it. Mozilla has announced that it doesn’t plan on maintaining the Firefox 4.x trunk, so users have no choice but to jump aboard Firefox 5 in order to stay secure. Firefox 5 is a great browser, because Firefox was already a great browser. However, Firefox 5 brings very little to the table other than improved security, and the additional headache of incompatible extensions.

Solutions For Firefox 5 Crashes – Firefox 5 Crashes After Install

Firefox 5 was released before schedule with far less fanfare than Firefox 5 is now also available for Ubuntu. If you have already upgraded to 5, you might be able to enjoy all the latest features it has. However, a lot of users are complaining about Firefox 5 crashing after installation among other problems.

Firefox 5

Though there is no specific reason for Firefox 5 crashes, you could try out one of the several solutions listed below to see if it helps to solve your problem.

Bad Installation

One of the main reasons behind Firefox crashing could be a bad installation. This could be caused due to several reasons. One of the solutions would be to backup your Firefox data and then completely uninstall it from your system.

Once you have done that, download Firefox 5 again and do a clean install. This should more likely than not stop FF5 from crashing.

Disable All Extensions and Themes

When Firefox is updated, some outdated extensions could cause problems which might lead to crashes. Firefox add-on manager provides you an easy way to disable out-dated extensions. Make use of the add-on manager to disable those extensions and restart Firefox to see if that solves your problem.

Use Different Profile

If you are not keen on uninstalling and installing Firefox or cannot disable the , you could try creating a fresh new profile in Firefox. You will instructions on creating and managing new Firefox profiles in this Mozilla support article.   

Debug Crashes

Now you might not be a programmer, but you can run some basic crash debugging by going through the points listed in the Mozilla support topic. You can submit your crash reports to Mozilla or contact them to see if there is a solution to your problem.

If none of these work, try downloading an older version of Firefox and installing it to see if it solves those crashes. If not, you could switch to a temporary browser like , or Internet Explorer 9 till an update is available from Firefox.

Next Pit Stop for Google Chrome- Taking Communication Real Time

Google Chrome has come a long way from being the newbie in the browser market to being a major and decisive player today, with a say on how all things Google are served to the people. I still remember the first time Google talked of Chrome and announced a web browser saying,

All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends — all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build.

You can still read the legendary announcement here and read the Google Chrome comic here for a walk down memory lane.
Three years have passed since then and Google has brought awesome web-services and things are looking good on the user-level as well (clean and effective). The browser (not just Google Chrome but web browsers in general) is getting stronger day by day and Google Chrome is the first choice for those obsessed with speed.

The next step by Google is to provide a rich social experience inside the browser. I am not talking about Twitter or Facebook here. Think of contemporary communication mediums, ones that are still enjoyed by people. Spot on. Google is planning to bring audio and video chat into the browser as an inherent feature. This will eliminate the need for a third party web-app and a third party desktop application alike.

How is Google Chrome Planning on Being a Skype Killer?

WebRTC is an open source project to take things real time inside a browser. This is achieved using JavaScript APIs and HTML5. However, the backbone for the chat will be a service called GIPS, which is another one of Google’s acquisitions. GIPS specializes in Internet telephony and videoconferencing. Google already has the Google Voice card in place and this feature will bring Google as a major player in the VOIP market.

Once live, the technology can be used with anything Google provides or with any third party service that someone creates leveraging these technologies. The possibilities are endless here. This will most likely be Google’s next big  announcement  about Chrome.

Some further technical details are available here . Also, check this chromium mailing list for clarification.