Tagged With add-ons

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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The web is rife with annoyances. Pop-over ads when you visit a page that you have to dismiss, sites that auto-play audio even in background tabs, pages that reload and take all the text you entered with it, they all suck. Here are some browser add-ons that make the web a better place for everyone.

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Chrome: There are lots of ways to brighten up your new tab page, but Delight is one of the most inspiring (and beautiful) I've seen. It's functional too: It combines your most-visited pages, the weather, your Chrome apps, bookmarks, and history, with a gorgeous time-lapse that makes you just stop and stare.

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Building extensible software is a tricky business. On one hand, you want your platform to be as customisable as possible, while on the other you want the flexibility to update APIs to make them faster, more secure and feature-rich. These aims aren't always compatible, as we're now discovering with Mozilla and the fundamental changes it's making to Firefox's add-on infrastructure.

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Like Firefox, the open source media player Songbird is a pretty neat alternative to a big-name competitor on its own, but the ability to extend it through add-ons is what really makes it boss.

We considered the release candidate of the potential "iTunes killer"—Songbird a sloppy mess, then backed up a bit when it's 1.0 release was official. Now we're geeked to show you a few add-ons that make Songbird a great place to organize your MP3s, iTunes purchases, iPods and whatever else you listen to.

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Windows/Mac/Linux (Firefox): FfChrome, a free add-on for Firefox browsers, lets users who do a lot of link-grabbing, picture saving, and other right-click-type operations decide exactly what they should see when they right-click anything in their browser. Once the extension is installed, users can check or un-check particular context menu items, such as the "Email this" tools, to and create a trim right-click box with just the essentials. Hover over the "Show All" option, though, and everything rolls out. FfChrome doesn't appear to support right-click items brought in by other extensions, though, so hopefully the developer will work the add-on into those options. FfChrome is a free add-on, works wherever Firefox does. For those whose right-clicks are mainly for text, also check out the Auto Context add-on.

FfChrome

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The How-To Geek blog posts a truly helpful guide to figuring out what's causing Internet Explorer 7 to slow down, particularly on Windows Vista systems. Starting with running IE7 in safe mode, the guide is a boon for anyone not particularly tweak-savvy as it moves through disabling add-ons, confusing options boxes, and all the way to disabling auto-tuning, plus the ultimate fix—unplugging and re-plugging your router, of course. Regardless of skill level, it's a good forward for anyone you know who can't/won't install Firefox and is tired of browsing the Internet at slug-like speeds. (Original auto-tuning post)

Troubleshooting Internet Explorer on Vista Locking Up or Running Slowly

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Windows only: Get a find-as-you-type page search function in Internet Explorer that's almost identical to Firefox's long-touted feature with a free download from programmer Sven Groot. The IE add-on doesn't have much in the way of configuration options, but it adds an inline search bar in-between your address bar and tabs, jumping to words and phrases as you find them and turning red if it can't find the next letter. We've previously featured a similar add-on, but Groot's tool is updated for Vista support, as well as 64-bit downloaders. Find As You Type is a free download for Windows systems only.

Find As You Type for Internet Explorer