Display Weather Reports in Your Web Browser with AniWeather

mostly-sunny The other day I went looking for a good weather reporting tool for the Chrome web browser. I remembered using an addon named AniWeather in Firefox and wondered if there was a similar extension for Chrome. I was amazed to find that AniWeather is now available in Google’s Chrome web browser.

Once you have AniWeather set up, you’ll be able to see the current outside temperature in a little icon next to the address bar.

aniweather-icon

Clicking on the icon displays a very nice looking animated weather report.

aniweather

You’ll discover that there are tons of options for the display of the weather and it even allows you to set multiple locations. The actual weather data is pulled from the famous weather.com website, and you can use links in the AniWeather report to see more information at weather.com.

You can find this cool extension in the Chrome Extensions Gallery or at the author’s website, AniWeather.com. The Firefox addon is available at the author’s website and the Firefox Addons gallery.

For those of you using Internet Explorer, the closest thing to this extension is the Weather Channel Toolbar. It’s good but not nearly as nice as the Firefox and Chrome addons.

weather-com-toolbar-ie

For Opera web browser, there are several widgets that display weather. I haven’t looked closely, but so far I haven’t seen any that display reports inside the browser.

Now you can check the weather while you are surfing the net. The problem you’ll have is pulling yourself away to take advantage of the sunny days.

Be sure to take a look at all of the other Chrome Extensions and Firefox Addons we’ve written about.

Compare Google Pagerank and Alexa Rank Of Webpages From Search Results

When we need to know the Google PageRank or Alexa Rank of a webpage, we have to use tools like Google Toolbar or Alexa toolbar. The toolbars are good but they reveal the Google PageRank or Alexa Rank only after you visit the website or page. What if we can see the ranks from the search engine result pages and then decide which one to visit and which one to skip? What if we can compare the ranks of some pages of a website directly from the SERP’s?

Enter Linkextend – a useful Firefox add-on which makes it dead easy to compare the Google PageRank and Alexa Rank of webpages from SERP’s (Search engine result pages). Currently this add-on works with Google and Yahoo searches, which is quite enough to get started.

During installation you can choose to show the following features:

  1. Enable the Linkextend toolbar
  2. Enable context menu, which shows ratings for every link you click.
  3. Enable “Safety Filter”, which shows whether a site is malicious or not.
  4. Enable “Kidsafe”, which determines whether a site contains adult content which may be not suitable for children.
  5. Enable Google PageRank and Alexa Rank

linkextend-installation

After the add-on is installed, go to Google and search for any keyword of your choice. You will see the Google PR, Alexa Rank and the thumbnail of the webpage as shown below

compare-google-pagerank-from-serp's

This is useful, because you can compare the Google PageRank of webpages who are ranked high for a particular term or phrase. Suppose you want to compare the Google PageRank and Alexa Rank of sites which rank high for the term “property deals”. A quick search reveals the following results

linkextend-example

Left click the “SiteTraffic” button and it will show detailed information about that particular page as shown below:

linkextend-example1

You can see the incoming links, related links, traffic details, compete rank and much more important stuff. Additionally, the add-on displays whether the site is suitable for kids or serve malicious content.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Linkextend is an all in one solution for bloggers and webmasters who compare the inside stats of websites regularly. The toolbar installation is optional and thus you can use this add-on without cluttering your browser. Nothing earth shaking, but consider it as a better replacement for the Google and Alexa Toolbar.

Techie Buzz rating: 3/5 (Good).

Import Gmail and Twitter Contacts in Firefox

Mozilla labs has just released an experimental add-on which let’s you import contacts and email addresses of your friends right inside Firefox. The contacts are listed in a “Contacts” panel and integrate with local and web based address books to concatenate all the contacts at one place. Right now, the add-on works with Gmail, Twitter, Google Apps and personal address books.

To get started, install the contacts add-on and restart Firefox. Click “Tools” from the Firefox menu and choose “Contacts”.

import-contacts-firefox

This will open a new browser tab and you will see options to import your Twitter and Gmail contacts as shown below

import-contacts-in-firefox Click the import buttons provided next to a service and all the contacts will be imported in the Firefox contact manager.Once the contacts are listed, you can click on the email links to launch a new compose message with your default email application – Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird or Gmail.

gmail-contacts

The good thing about the add-on is that you can import contacts from Gmail and Google Apps accounts and can view the email address even if you are offline. If you face problems importing the Twitter contacts, first try saving the username and password of your Twitter account in Firefox.

This add-on looks impressive and will be useful if you find yourself forgetting email addresses of people very often. Note that the native address book import is implemented for Os X only. More information about the add-on can be found on the project page.

Rock Your Firefox

On March 10th 2010, Mozilla announced the launch of Rock Your Firefox. Rock Your Firefox is a place where Firefox users can customize their web experience and learn about cool new add-ons.
rock-your-firefox
The release note says,

We are excited to launch Rock Your Firefox today as a place where Firefox users can learn how to customize their Web experience and discover cool new add-ons.

There are thousands of Firefox Add-ons to choose from and hundreds of millions of people worldwide have already downloaded nearly 2 billion add-ons.

At Rock Your Firefox, we can also find reviews and feedback from users who are using add-ons and this will provide us with different ways to customize our browsing experience. Seemingly new add-ons will be listed on the website every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The first add-on to make it to the site is Yoono.  It is featured on the homepage right now. Only one Monday has passed since the launch and a new add-on is expected this Wednesday. The site includes heavy details on the featured add-ons and on how to use them. This gives add-on developers a good exposure and users an insight into their favorite add-ons.

Rock Your Firefox is just another initiative from Mozilla to promote everything Firefox. With a concept this good, it is sure to be a hit.

Use Foobar to Combine Firefox Address and Search Boxes

Google Chrome has become one of the most widely used web browsers within a short span of time. One of its many user-friendly features is that the address box also doubles as a search box. For those of us who unfailingly type in a search command into the address bar of a browser by mistake, this feature is nothing short of a life-saver!   However, all the Firefox loyalists out there needn’t feel left out. With Foobar safely installed, you can now have the benefit of integrating Firefox’s address and search boxes, combining them into one functional box!

Once you install this add-on, every time you type in anything other than a valid URL, (an address having HTTP, FTP or ABOUT), your address bar functions like a search box and you are also given a list of possible choices to select from. Typing in a recognized address, on the other hand, takes you directly to that page. Very handy, right?

Moreover, when using the address box for searches, you also get to choose the search engine to be used. The featured search engines include Google, Yahoo, Amazon and Wikipedia among others. Thus, you experience great flexibility along with dual functionality!

Foobar has the capacity to easily become one of those extensions that you grow so used to that you take them for granted. It is simple, yet rather appealing in its effectiveness. I would highly recommend it to all Firefox users!

CRM Tool For Gmail

Contact relationship management (CRM) is a very important part of any business. Google does offer it’s own Contact interface for Gmail, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

However, a browser add-on called Rapportive is set to fill in that void of having a full-fledged CRM for Gmail users. Rapportive is somewhat similar to Xobni for Outlook, or you could also say the Social features built into .

Once you install the Rapportive extension, it will gel into the Gmail interface and display extensive information about a contact based on their email address and social networking profile.

Rapportive CRM for Gmail

Rapportive will will look up the sender’s email address and display information about them in the sidebar, including their image, profile and social networking stream. Users will have to provide access to Rapportive through the Google Data API, before they can begin seeing data.

Overall this looks like a pretty decent tool and will definitely add more value to Gmail. Also considering that Google is on a acquisition drive, Rapportive would definitely be a good choice to buy out, as it could give both Gmail and Google Apps a definitive edge over other webmail providers.

Rapportive is currently available for download as a and as a Firefox add-on.

Download Rapportive [via The Next Web]

Firefox Private Browsing Mode Is Broken

Firefox’s Private Browsing Mode enables users to browse the web privately. It empowers users to surf websites without storing browsing data (URLs, cookies, page content etc.). But, now Mozilla has discovered that Private Browsing Mode (PBM) in Firefox is partially broken, and browsing data get stored even if a user has enabled PBM.

According to a blog post on official Mozilla Add-ons blog, this flaw generates because of Firefox Add-ons:

Add-ons have the ability to obtain and store browsing data, and some of these add-ons may not be taking PBM into account. This is a breach of the user’s privacy expectations when using PBM, so we will be updating our policies shortly, requiring add-ons to respect PBM.

Private Browsing Mode In Firefox

Mozilla has announced to update user privacy policies soon. To overcome this problem, Mozilla has planned two different levelsof privacy support:

  • If an add-on stores browsing data in any way, it must support PBM. This support cannot be disabled in any way.
  • If an add-on stores some other type of personal data, support for PBM is optional.

In the referred blog post, Mozilla has suggested add-on developers to ensure PBM support for their add-ons. This is another issue discovered with Firefox add-ons recently. Few weeks ago, two experimental add-ons were found to be infected with trojans. Although, later Mozilla informed that these reports were false.

Moreover, Google Chrome disables all extensions in PBM (incognito mode).

Extension Manager Redesign Mockups for Firefox 3.7/4.0

The extension manager or add-on manager in Firefox has gone through some changes over the different versions of Firefox, however, it has not changed as much as people would have wanted it to. However, it looks like the next version of Firefox, which will be Firefox 4.0 instead of Firefox 3.7, will have a redesigned Extensions/add-ons Manager.

Firefox Add-ons/Extensions Manager Mockup

A new Wireframe for the extensions manager is being discussed at the Mozilla wiki. The new add-ons manager will have a sidebar which will provide easy access to installed add-ons, and also allow users to quickly search and browse other add-ons in the Mozilla repo.

Firefox Add-ons Manager Search Mockup

The new UI for the add-ons manager is definitely refreshing, and having something like this in the next version of Firefox would definitely be great. If you want to take a look at how the Wireframes and other design related changes in the new extension manager which is being planned, head over to this page at the Mozilla wiki.

Do let me know what you think about the new wireframes for the extension manager? Do you think it will improve your experience while dealing with add-ons in Firefox?

After the Deadline: Grammar, Spell Checker Addon for Mozilla Firefox

After the Deadline Spell Checker If you’re using Mozilla Firefox and you do any writing on the web then, here is an interesting and intelligent add-on for you.  After the Deadline, from Automattic,  is a fabulous add-on for Mozilla Firefox which brings smart, contextual spelling, style and grammar checking to the browser. It works on most text area’s used in HTML forms.

After the Deadline enables you to write better, tweet with correct grammar and spend less time editing. It can handle everything from common typos to misused punctuation, double negatives, redundancies and other grammatical errors.

Once you install this add-on, just click on the check icon displayed on text areas of web forms to check your grammar and spelling or right-click and select ‘Check Spelling and Grammar’ from the context menu of a text area.

You can set After the Deadline to run the proofreader automatically before submitting a form. Apart from the default grammar rules applied, some extra options like bias language, cliche, complex phrases, double negative etc., can be used to find patterns of poor writing style. You may add phrase(s) to the ignore list by typing it into the text field and clicking ‘Add’. Following is a screencast demonstrating some of the useful features of After the Deadline.

After the Deadline is also available as a plugin for WordPress, RoundCube, bbPress and PHPList.

Download After the Deadline for Firefox

You might also want to check out how After the Deadline tries to make spelling suggestions.

Facebook Toolbar Now Available For IE and Firefox in 16 Languages

If you are a Facebook addict and can’t imagine your life without it, Facebook toolbar is a must use tool. It can be used to quickly visit the common sections of your profile, share links, upload photos and much more.

To download Facebook Toolbar for Firefox and Internet explorer, go to the Facebook Toolbar page and hit the “Download Facebook Toolbar” button. Next, choose the version of your browser and restart it to activate.

facebook-toolbar

Features of Facebook Toolbar

Multilingual support: Facebook Toolbar originally launched in English and was available for Firefox only. But now the toolbar works for Internet explorer too and supports 16 languages. The languages supported are Arabic, Chinese (simple and traditional), Danish, Dutch, German, Spanish (Spain and international), French, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Swedish and Turkish.

Easier login: Just click the login button placed at the right corner of the browser and the toolbar will log you in automatically. You need not type the username and password, everytime you want to login to your Facebook account.

toolbar-login-logout-status-button

The last status message is shown at the far right end, just next to the log out button. To post a new status message, simply type in the status message field and hit the return key.

Pop up notifications: As soon as you log in to your Facebook account, the toolbar shows pop up notifications at the bottom right corner of the screen.

facebook-toolbar-notifications

You can click the links in the notification to see who posted a reply in your wall or whom did you befriended recently. In addition to that, you can view event notifications, group invitations, pokes and new friend requests from browser icon buttons.

facebook-toolbar-notifications2

Quick links: Clicking the “Quick Links” dropdown shows you common sections of your profile. Some of the important links include your profile, friend list, message inbox, account settings, photos, groups, videos etc.

facebook-toolbar-quick-links
Easier sharing and photo uploading:
Using the “Share” button you can quickly share a link, image or a video with your friends. The best addition is the photo uploader, which lets you add photos to existing albums or create a new album without having to open your Facebook profile.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Facebook Toolbar is a great browser enhancement and saves a lot of time. The only downside I found – you can not chat with your Facebook friends. Otherwise it’s a compact extension to carry on “Facebooking” all the time from the browser.

Techie Buzz rating: 3.5/5 (Very good).