Multi-Process Plugins and Tabs in Firefox Nightly Builds

and IE8 have had multiple processes for tabs and extensions for quite sometime, however, Firefox has not yet come close enough to rolling this feature into the browser.

Multi Process Firefox Windows/Tabs

According to a blog post by Mozilla developer Benjamin Smedberg, the latest nightly builds of Firefox have support for Out-of-process plugins (OOPP). This means that Firefox will now load plugins like Flash and Windows media player as separate processes along with creating separate processes for tabs and windows.


This is definitely good news as if Firefox hangs while watching a video you can simply kill the mozilla-runtime.exe process to recover the browser, without having to kill the entire browser. In my tests, the browser did hang a few times, and killing the mozilla-runtime process allowed me to access it again. However, the nightly version is still a bit buggy as some weird problems cropped up during my tests.

However, this is definitely good progress and hopefully a stable build with Multi-process plugins and tabs should be available in next few weeks. If you are looking to try out and help testing the new Multi-process feature in Firefox, you can download nightly builds at The multi-process feature is not available for Mac users.

Please note that the nightly build should only be used for testing, do not replace it as your main browser.

Filter Items In Google Reader

As you know, Apple has announced its much hyped tablet computer, iPad, and this news has turned almost everyone crazy. This is a totally disgusting situation for some of us (like me) who are not interested in iPad and want to focus on other things. My RSS reader is overloaded with articles covering the Apple tablet, and I hope this situation will remain the same for next few days.

If you are looking for any solution to reduce the RSS load in Google Reader, thankfully here is a Greasemonkey script which filters unwanted content based on keywords. This greasemonkey script, Google Reader Filter, helps you to focus on interesting topics by filtering blogposts with provided keywords.

How to use Google Reader Filter?

Install the userscript from here and reload the Google Reader page. Now, a link named Filter Settingswill appear on top right corner of the page.

Filter items in Google Reader

Click this link and provide keywords and regex to exclude. All RSS items that match the provided keywords will be displayed with dull gray text, so that they don’t attract much of attention.


Another interesting feature of this script is its ability to highlight entries with selected keywords. It increases the visibility of those items. For example, if you have added a keyword JavaScript to the Highlights column blogposts with the keyword JavaScript will be highlighted with a lime background.


So the next time you face a situation like this, use this userscript to increase your productivity. Google Reader Filter requires the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox and works wherever Firefox does.

Yahoo! will be Firefox’s Default Search engine on Ubuntu

Rick Spencer is Engineering Manager at canonical. This recent email from Rick Spencer says that there are two new improvements in Ubuntu Lucid Lynx and the developers have been asked to arm Lucid with these changes as it nears its release date.

Although these changes are sure to appear by default, the user will also have an option to switch back to the previous option in case they liked them better. The reason for this change, as told by Rick Spencer is,

I am pursuing this change because Canonical has negotiated a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo! and this revenue will help Canonical to provide developers and resources to continue the open development of Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Platform. This change will help provide these resources as well as continuing to respect our user’s default search across Firefox.

The two changes mentioned in this letter are:

  • The default search homepage will change to the Yahoo! search homepage if we change the default search engine preference to Yahoo!. If we do not change the default search preference to Yahoo!, the current Google search page will remain intact as the homepage. This change currently applies to Yahoo! and Google only.
  • The default search provider in Firefox will be changed to Yahoo!. This setting can be changed by the above mentioned method.

This change brings up many questions like “Why Yahoo!?”, “Did Google disagree to continue with the deal with Mozilla?” and “Did Yahoo! promise better revenues than Google, so well known for its love of Open Source”?

WordPress Personas for Firefox

To mark the release of the Mozilla Firefox 3.6, WordPress has created two brand new personas  for Firefox.  In case you haven’t checked out personas yet, they are like themes for your Mozilla Firefox browser. You can switch between personas to quickly change the look and feel of your browser.

The two personas released by WordPress are Vintage Press and InkWell.

Vintage Press

vintage wordpress persona

This persona is inspired by the style of the old-time printing presses.

Get Vintage Press persona


inkwell wordpress persona

This persona portrays a well-used piece of paper decorated with splashes of color. It’s got some nice colors and, musical notes to add a new flavor to the design.

Get InkWell persona

You might also want to check out a couple of other interesting WordPress personas available for Firefox –  WordPress and WordPress Clean.

Internet Explorer Vulnerability Causes Downloads of Firefox and Opera to Surge in Germany

One of the many vectors used by the Chinese hackers in the infamous Google Hack Attack was a previously unknown vulnerability in Internet Explorer. This prompted the BSI (German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology) to advise against using Internet Explorer till a patch is released. Latest data from major alternate browser manufacturers suggest that German users are indeed paying heed to their Government’s advice.

The advisory resulted in a significant increase in the number of downloads of Firefox as well as Opera. While Opera didn’t divulge the exact figures, Choose Opera reported that the number of Opera downloads in Germany during doubled over the weekend.

On the other hand, Firefox experienced 300,000 downloads during the recent Friday-Monday period. The red area in the graph denotes the incremental impact, i.e. the number of downloads above and beyond what is expected.

Firefox Downloads

The exploit in question affects all versions of Internet Explorer since IE 6 and can be seen in action over here. Microsoft is expected to release a patch later today to fix the vulnerability.

TOCMonkey Adds A Table Of Contents At Any Web page

TOCMonkey is a Greasemonkey script for Firefox users, which creates a table of contents at any web page. This enhances page navigation, and users can find information easily on any website.

How to use TOCMonkey?

To use TOCMonkey, you need to install the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox first. Once you have this add-on, install TOCMonkey from developer Zoran’s site. After installing TOCMonkey, you can use it on any web page to generate a table of contents. You need to run the User Script command to generate the table of contents.

Run user script command to generate TOC

To execute the command, right click on the monkey icon at status bar and select User Script Commands > TOCMonkey: Add Table Of Contents from the menu (see above screenshot). Now, you will notice a small semi-transparent button at the top-right corner of the page with label TOC.   Hover the mouse over the button and a Wikipedia style table of contents will appear.

TOC at Techie Buzz homepage

Techie Buzz Verdict

Certainly, TOCMonkey increase readability of web pages but it is not the perfect solution yet. It uses heading tags (h1, h2 etc.) to generate TOC, hence it may not perform well on some pages.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2/5

Link: TOCMonkey

Firefox 3.6 Coming Tomorrow, Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.6 Tour Video

Firefox 3.6 is finally going to be released tomorrow, however, the RC1 and RC2 have already been around for sometime now. The new browser has considerable changes over Firefox 3.5. You can read our earlier Firefox 3.6 review to know more about it.

Mozilla links has posted a video where Director of Firefox Development, Mike Beltzner, gives a tour or Firefox 3.6, touted by them as “the world’s best web browser”. Does anyone disagree with that? :-).

Enjoy the video. You can also see it on this page.

Mozilla Reveals Popular Firefox Add-ons Categories

Several Firefox add-ons have gone out be really very popular, few I can think of include Greasemonkey and Firebug. However, what are the popular Firefox add-on categories?


A new blog post from a Mozilla Add-ons Product Manager, Justin Scott, has reveled the most popular add-ons categories which are browsed at Firefox add-ons site. The data available is for January 5th 2010. The most popular categories browsed are Themes, bookmarking, plugins, appearance, search tools and download management.

According to Justin, most of the category pages see a high bounce rate, which is a bit concerning for them. However, these stats do not include the individual add-on pages. Do you visit the Firefox add-on gallery frequently? How many categories do you browse on a regular basis?

LimitedSurf : User Controlling Add-on For Firefox

LimitedSurf is a handy Firefox add-on to control user activities. It is very useful specially when you have to administer public computers in college labs, offices, libraries, cybercafes etc. Parents can also use LimitedSurf to block certain websites and make the internet safer for their kids. It gives you full control over Firefox settings and accessibility.

How to use LimitedSurf?

First time setup

Install the LimitedSurf from the Mozilla Add-on site and restart Firefox. Now, move to the option panel in the add-on manager (Tools>Add-ons). You will be asked for the Admin password, which is 123by default. Once you have entered this password, you enter into   Admin Mode, where you can manage the LimitedSurf settings.

LimitedSurf Admin Settings

In Admin Mode, you can set the following   configurations:

  • Change admin password.
  • Enable/Disable timeslot. This restricts browser usage to a certain time period.
  • Enable/Disable Blocking websites and keywords. Using this setting, Administrator can block certain websites and keywords. Non-admin users can’t open these sites.
  • Enable/Disable timelimit. This restricts browser usage to the provided duration.
  • Enable/Disable Admin mode. Disable it when transferring system control to users.

After configuring the above settings, restart the browser to apply them.

What is Admin Mode?

When Firefox runs in this mode, user have all control and functionality. To disable Admin mode, un-check the related check-box in options panel and restart the browser.

When Admin mode is disabled, i.e., you want to restrict user control, a user can’t:

  • Access Tools menu.
  • visit blocked websites (or sites with block keywords).
  • Change LimitedSurf settings.
  • Change Firefox’s settings or preferences.

To re-enable Admin mode, press CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + S keys altogether, and enter the admin password.

Enable Admin Mode

Techie Buzz Verdict

LimitedSurf is a nice extension to Firefox’s features. It makes Firefox a perfect browser for public computers. But, LimitedSurf (or any other utility) can’t stop users from accessing restricted websites. Users always have the option to create another Firefox profile, and hence they can bypass all restrictions. Still, we appreciate this effort.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5

LimitedSurf is an experimental add-on, which can be installed from here.

CometBird – Mozilla Based Powerful Browser


CometBird is a lightweight, yet powerful browser,   developed using the source codes of Mozilla Firefox, the open source browser. Hence, it comes with all amazing features of Firefox. Moreover, all the Firefox add-ons and extensions are compatible with CometBird.

CometBird has some advance utilities and functionality which make it a fantastic browser. Here are some of the cool features in CometBird:

  • CometBird comes with a pre-installed add-on BitComet Video downloader. Users can download media files (video/audio/flash) from any site with this utility.

Built-in Media Downloader

  • CometBird has an integrated bookmark synchronization tool: CometMarks. It works exactly as the Xmarks and Chrome’s sync feature. Users need to signup for a CometMarks account to use this service. CometMarks also works with Internet Explorer and Firefox. Moreover, users can easily import their bookmarks from Google Bookmarks.
  • All Firefox add-ons, extensions and Personas work smoothly with CometBird.

Firefox add-ons are compatible with CometBird

  • Easy import wizard for importing browser options, cookies, history and favorites from Internet Explorer.
  • CometBird has an integrated note taking tool and translator. Translator uses Google translate’s technology.
  • Undo Close Tabbutton to re-open recently closed tabs, adjacent to Home button on navigation toolbar.
  • Supports AwesomeBar, pop-up blocker, one-click clearing private data, anti-malware and customized security settings etc., similar to Firefox.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Hence, CometBird is a really cool browser. If you love using Firefox, you will also love CometBird. CometBird is the best alternative of Firefox, and you can choose it as your secondary browser.

Techie Buzz Rating : 5/5

Link: CometBird