Firefox 5 Plans Revealed; Tech Enthusiasts Rip It Off

Disclosure: I use Google Chrome as my primary browser, Opera as secondary and Firefox as my third browser. I use IE9 too and have used various other browsers. In fact, when Netscape was around I used it pretty often (since Netscape 2) and have also been an early adopter of Firefox because of tabs and continued to use it pretty often until Google came out with Chrome.

A technology site Conceivably Tech came out with a new outlook that Mozilla has planned. According to them, it includes an inbuilt PDF viewer, a new Home Tab (ala and ), social sharing and more.

Mozilla Firefox

For the record, these are new features which 5 intends to build, but these are not new features at all and are already available in other browsers today. As I had posted earlier, Firefox 5 did want to add site specific features like Internet Explorer 9 has right now. All in all Mozilla is shunning innovation and does not have it’s mind in the right place and I frankly think that Firefox and Mozilla have seriously lost it.

Since Chrome came out in late 2008, each and every browser has just tried to mimic it, but most have failed miserably. This could be in my eyes only, but many browsers including Firefox have been doing nothing but mimicking the look and feel of Chrome and I have hardly found a compelling reason to switch from Chrome and go to another browser. I really don’t count the “new tab related features” Firefox 4 built in, because I know that several users including me don’t even care about it.

Chrome is fast, is fast, IE9 is fast, Opera 11 is fast. However, the fact remains that all these years you (Mozilla) promised to provide users with a alternative to Internet Explorer, which was a pain in the posterior and sucked. But somehow Microsoft took away the momentum from Firefox with IE, if not Chrome, and introduced a new feature in Internet Explorer 9, which Mozilla will be now calling “Social sharing” in Firefox 5.

Also Firefox is thinking about an inbuilt PDF viewer after Chrome already did it, and a new home tab that is similar to Google Chrome and Opera? Mozilla,  where is the innovation that kept you apart?

What happened to you Mozilla? Weren’t you the leader in browser innovation? Why did you slack off? Why did you create Firefox 3.0 all through 3.6 which hung my PC more often than any other software ever did? Why does Firefox eat so much memory that I find my 6GB rig an ancient model from 1980s?

I am not the only one to pan the next beauty from Mozilla. You might want to check out the comments on Slashdot and it is really not looking good. I will just post a apfew of the comments here and you shall get the general perception about Firefox:

Facebook? Twitter? Since when did Mozilla integrate commercial websites into their browser? Since integrating the Google search engine? Since AOL? This is why Netscape and Mozilla were originally kept separate. To keep the commercial bloat in the Netscape browser and allow the community to use Mozilla.

We need a security and functionality oriented fork ASAP. Performance matters also.

Nobody asked for changes to the interface. The interface to Firefox was never broken and nobody complained about it.

Nobody asked for the “awesome bar” or whatever the hell that is. If it improves productivity then fine, tabs make sense, but the majority of this shit is just gimmicks. Integrating the cloud makes sense but not when it’s specifically “facebook” and “twitter”, but to allow anyone to select anything and make it completely transparent and open. They are going commercial in a really bad sell out kind of way, and you can tell the developers I said it.

Why not just take the Chromium tree and figure out how to run Firefox extensions on there and just call that Firefox? Would save time and have much better memory use and performance. Firefox is basically converging on a Chrome clone with slightly worse performance and some dumb UI hacks that will end up largely unused/abandoned (like Panorama). Isn’t all this what the extension ecosystem is for? Why would a team that already is overwhelmed by the task of testing its product incorporate MORE features to test? My main issue with Firefox right now is not a lack of Facebook integration (-_-) but the obvious memory leakage in the released FF 4 with AdBlock/NoScript, which was present through the entire last half of the beta cycle. Mozilla has really wandered off the reservation here. I want a solid, fast browser that supports the great extensions that Mozilla didn’t write, and continues to support developments in the core web standards space. If I want Chrome or Flock, I’ll just download those, seriously.

For more on such beauties visit Slashdot. I am really disappointed with you Mozilla/Firefox. This does not make it any better.

Local Player – Plays Your MP3 Collection in Chrome Browser

I’m sure you all have your favorite music players. Why would you even need to play your MP3 collection using a web browser? I found one good reason. Recently, I was testing Splashtop, an operating system (similar to Browser Linux) that doesn’t have a music player installed. All I had was the Chrome browser. I was inspired to take a look in the Chrome Web Store for a solution, and that’s how I found Local Player.

Here are the main features:

  • A music player in your browser for LOCAL FILES.
  • Drag mp3/ogg files from file browser into the window.
  • You can also add files from a file dialog, which appears when you click the ‘+’ button.
  • You’ll find the file names show up, and the player will automatically start playing.
  • If you double-click a file name in the file list, it’ll play that file.
  • Supported file types – mp3, ogg, aac, and m4a

Once installed, you’ll find the app shown by it’s icon in Chrome’s New Tab page.


The player controls are easy to figure out. Everything you need is there, including Forward, Back, Pause/Play, Progress, Volume, Random Play, Repeat and Color Themes. I chose the dark theme, as you can see in the image below.

Open Links In Text Only Mode in Google Chrome

On my recent trip to CTIA 2011, I carried along the Cr-48 netbook from Google. On my way there I had to use the Verizon Wireless 3G service to read up news and other content.

Open Links In Text Mode

Now a 3G connection is not cheap, so I resorted to using mobile mode on most websites. This meant that I used as little bandwidth as I could. Now, there will be several other cases where you need to consume less bandwidth, and not all websites have an mobile interface so what do you do then?

If you use , there is an handy called Open links in text only mode created by Shankar Ganesh which will allow you to open webpages without any flash videos or ads.

The extension makes use of the site to strip down non-textual content from webpages and displays a clean version of it. It works on any link on a webpage through a right click menu option.

So if you have been wanting something to view webpages in plain text, head over to install the Open links in text only mode extension.

Google Chrome 12 Released to Dev Channel; Adds Experimental New Tab Page, Multi-Tab Select

Google Chrome 12 (v12.0.712.0) has made it to the development channel from the Canary Build. The new version adds a few new features to the browser and contains more behind the scenes updates and code refactoring.

One of the new features in 12 is called multi-tab select (Windows only). This feature allows you to select multiple tabs using the Ctrl button and perform actions on them like reloading all webpages or closing tabs among other things. I tried working with this feature but could not use it very well.


Another new feature available in this build is an experimental new tab page (through about:flags). The new experimental tab page adds a paged navigation for apps which will allow users to scroll through all the installed apps. It looks like it is more geared towards touch interfaces. However, this experimental new tab page is in its infancy stage and does not do much as of now.

Chrome 12 also has a new experimental feature called FPS counter which will display a page’s actual frame rate (FPS) when hardware acceleration is active. Other than that, the V8 engine has been updated to in all versions of the browser.

Update: Google Chrome 12 also reverts back the new logo that was introduced earlier and switches back to the older one.

Google Looks to Curb Chrome’s Ballooning Installer Size, Constitutes Task Force to Reverse the Bloat

Three years ago, Google shook up the browser world by announcing Chrome. Since then, it has gone on to redefine what we expect from a modern web browser. Even if you are not a Chrome user, you are probably reaping the benefits of the innovations introduced by Google. Almost all browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari, have adopted the minimalistic appearance introduced by Chrome.

Chrome, which started off as a bare-bones browser, has added a significant number of features to its repertoire over the past few years. However, the new features have come at a cost. As pointed out by Shankland, it has gone from being approximately 9 MB in version 1.0 to more than 26 MB in version 10.0.

Google Chrome Installer Size (Chart by Shankland)

Chrome is currently smaller than Safari, which is a 34 MB download, but is doing a lot worse than Firefox and Opera. Firefox 4 is a 12 MB download, while Opera 11.10 Beta measures in at just 9 MB.

The increase in broadband penetration around the world means that download size is less of an issue than it was three years back. However, it’s still an issue. Opera recently changed its installer, and stopped bundling Unite extensions to reduce the download size. The chief disadvantages of having a large binary size pointed out by Chrome Developer Ian Fette are:

1. We do distribution deals with Chrome, where we bundle Chrome with other products. These get difficult when our binary grows.
2. We see increased download failures / install dropoffs as the binary grows, especially in countries with poor bandwidth like India. India also happens to be a very good market for Chrome (we have good market share there and growing), so that’s also very problematic.

One way to tackle the problem of failed installations would be to provide an offline installer, instead of the web-installer that Google currently serves by default. The other way is, of course, to reduce the download size. Google has decided to take the second route. It has launched a new task force that will aggressively look at options to reduce the installation size. While the Windows edition of Chrome is the primary focus of attention, Chrome for other platforms should also benefit from this move.

It would be irresponsible to dub Chrome as a bloat. Nevertheless, it’s true that the installer is larger than I would have preferred. It’s heartening to see that Google jumping in before the ballooning binary size became a serious issue. What is your thought on Chrome? Has it become too bloated? Don’t forget to let us know.

Get Back Old Facebook Comment Button – Fix Enter to Comment On Facebook

recently rolled out a new change to their user interface where they got rid of the Comment button and allowed users to comment by hitting the Enter key. However, this was a bit annoying to users who did not know about it and innocently hit enter to add a new line to their comment. When they did this, the comment was automatically posted. (Hint: use Shift + Enter to add a new line)

Facebook Comment Button

If you are someone who has been annoyed by this problem, there is a quick and easy fix to get back the old comment button on Facebook through a script.

To get the old comment button back in Facebook, head over to and click on the FixSillyFacebook.user.js to install the Greasemonkey script in and (you will need the Greasemonkey add-on). If you are using or Internet Explorer or Safari follow our earlier post on Installing Greasemonkey scripts in Opera, IE and Safari.

P.S. The above script was a modification of another script created by Daniel Wood because it lacked the ability to work on the www subdomain in Facebook.

Enable Firefox’s Open Existing Tab Feature in Google Chrome

has a lot of new features (Read Firefox 4 Beta Review | Read Firefox 4 RC Review) which are pretty good. One of the feature which improves tab management in 4 is the ability to switch to open tabs from the Awesome bar.


This feature allows you to type a URL or title of the page and jump to an open tab instead of opening a new tab. does not have this feature in the current stable version. However, if you are using the development version of Google Chrome or Canary Build of Chrome, you can enable this feature in the browser.

To enable the Open Existing Tab feature in development or Canary build version of Chrome, open a new tab and type about:flags and hit Enter. Now scroll down to the bottom of the page and Enable the feature Focus existing tab on open.

Once you have enabled this feature, Chrome will take you to an existing open tab instead of opening a new tab. This is definitely handy when you have several tabs open and don’t want to search for the tab you are looking for or open another unnecessary tab. Kudos to Mozilla for thinking of this feature.

Google Chrome Gets A New Logo

Looks like Google is rebranding the logo for to look a little bit different in the latest development build. As you can see from the screenshot below which is from the latest development version, Chrome sports a new logo as compare to earlier versions.

New Google Chrome Logo

The screenshot below is from an earlier version of Google Chrome


The newer logo is more flatter than the earlier one and does not have any spaces between the different colors and the ball in the middle. The grey delimiter has been replaced except for a circle around the blue ball.

I am not sure when this design change came through, but I would definitely prefer to see the older logo. What do you think? Which Chrome logo do you like among these two?

Download Internet Explorer 9 Final

Microsoft has just made the final release of Internet Explorer 9 available for download. The beta of IE 9 has been downloaded over 40 million times already. The final version was supposed to launch on March 14, at 9 am PM PST, and it has.

Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer has been one of the most abused browsers of all time, especially IE 6. With IE 9, Microsoft has promised to make good with web developers and has embraced most open web standards.

Internet Explorer 8 was quite well received, and even though I use Opera as my primary browser, I still use IE 8 for sites which just don’t work with Opera. I will now be upgrading that with Internet Explorer 9.

To download Internet Explorer 9, just go to this link – Internet Explorer 9 Download

Select the version of IE9 (32-bit or 64-bit) and click on Download Now.

IE 9 offers a much better browsing experience than previous versions, and is also much faster. Here’s a list of the new features IE 9 brings to the table.

Update: Here are some direct download links (Courtesy Win Rumors)

Windows Phone 7, Android, Chrome, and Firefox Survive Pwn2Own

Earlier in the week, we reported that Internet Explorer (running on Windows 7) and Safari (running on Snow Leopard) had been hacked almost instantaneously on the first day of pwn2own, an annual hackfest. Google’s Chrome browser made it through as the sole participant who had registered to take a crack at Chrome failed to turn up.

pwn2ownThe following days of the competition witnessed Firefox web browser, and Android and Windows Phone 7 mobile operating systems survive pwn2own 2011 in a similar manner as contestants either failed to turn up or withdrew.

On the other hand, Apple’s poor show in the competition continued with the legendary Charlie Miller succeeding in bypassing iPhone’s defense by exploiting a bug present in Mobile Safari.

RIM’s Blackberry OS, which was tested next, also fell quite easily. Once again, a flaw in its Webkit based browser was the culprit. The team made up of Vincenzo Iozzo, Willem Pinckaers, and Ralf Philipp Weinmann targeted the browser as unlike RIM’s operating system, WebKit is well documented and well known.

Meanwhile, after examining the vulnerabilities exploited by Stephen Fewer to hack Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft has stated that they have already fixed the concerned vulnerability in Internet Explorer 9. It didn’t however explain why older versions of internet explorer were yet to be patched, and when, if at all, they will be patched. All the exploits used in the competition are properties of TippingPoint ZDI, which passes them on to the concerned vendors, and provides them six months to fix the issue.