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The Life of P

Tag: mozilla

Techie Tab-Closing

With exams still dominating my life (for another 48 hours or so) I’m just closing some slightly techie tabs in this post:

Firefox colour comparison

Those who use Firefox (which incidentally is now over 60% of you) and also browse a large number of photos on the web may be interested in the “color profile support” feature in Firefox 3 which is switched off by default. Activating it, the result is vibrant colours, more similar to how they appear in Photoshop than the washed out appearance in web browsers. There are drawbacks with its current implementation, including a 10-15% performance hit, but if you have a decent machine and view a lot of photos you may find it worthwhile. Meanwhile the downside for web designers is the issue of colour matching if some images are treated differently from other elements like CSS colours or embedded flash (yuck!).

I previously mentioned the launch of the Adobe AIR platform for web-orientated applications. Although only a limited number were available to begin with, there is now a wide variety and Lifehacker has picked out their grammatically questionable Top 10 apps worth installing Adobe AIR for.

I was already quite keen on Battlefield: Bad Company for its characters and destructible structures, but even so the Snake Eyes trailer would have won me over almost on its own, making light of the fact the game’s release has it going up against the PS3 behemoth Metal Gear Solid 4.

Dancing Doctors

Fast Dial for Firefox

The problem with attempting a world record for software downloads is that when inadequately prepared your servers go out and get trashed for several hours before staggering back in, announcing they are “absholutely frine”, and collapsing in a heap in the corner. Which is precisely (inevitably?) what happened to Mozilla. Nevertheless they managed an undeniably impressive haul with over 8 million downloads in the 24 hours. My build is much the same as before, although I have just added Fast Dial which mimics Opera’s speed dial feature, but with the option to use site logos instead of a thumbnail of the page itself.

Captain Jack

Kirsten and I have reached the first set of Doctor Who episodes that Adam highlighted for us, and I have to concur with his recommendation. The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances form a two part story set in London during the blitz. I was able to work out the ending but it was one of those satisfying experiences rather than feeling cheated, since it still unfolds neatly. The real draw, however, is the introduction of Captain Jack (Harkness, not the infamous pirate โ€” although actually there seems to be a distinct correlation between the moniker and flamboyant scoundrels). Doing things in typically nonsensical fashion, I have watched the first season of Torchwood (the second just looked to have gone too far, a strange sublimation process from bizarrely camp to just plain silly) so it was interesting to see the character’s original introduction in Doctor Who. My feeling was that his personality bounces better off the Doctor than the characters of Torchwood.

The following episode, Boom Town, took a slower pace, revisiting the aftermath of an earlier story and forcing the Doctor to consider the consequences of his actions in returning someone to a planet where they would be executed. The discussion of the issues didn’t have the depth it might, but the change in pace and tone was welcome before the climactic final two episodes. I have seen the first (featuring some fantastic television parodies) which convinces me the series really found its footing about halfway through and is going to close very strongly. Unfortunately Kirsten has jetted of Grenada so it’ll be a week or so before we can finish it offโ€ฆ

“Browser, Browser on the Screen…”

Mozilla apparently have a Guiness World Record in their sights with the Firefox 3 launch tomorrow, specfically most software downloads in a single day. So if you fancy helping them out, tomorrow is the day to grab it. They have also published a handy field guide which details of all the updated features in this release. It’s only fair to also mention the recently released update to the Opera browser. While Firefox’s level of customisation makes it my number one, Opera is a better browser straight out of the box with features like mouse gestures included as standard. Its page rendering is lightning fast and it is certainly a great replacement for Internet Explorer. I try out new releases from time to time but I’ve grown reliant on my Firefox build (particularly since I can take it with me anywhere) so I’ve never stayed with Opera for long. I do, however, highly recommend Opera Mini for mobile phone web browsing.

To round out the browser discussion (no, I’m not mentioning Safari because on Windows it’s just rubbish โ€” there’s simply no reason to use it), Microsoft has actually been urging web designers to start testing their sites in early builds of IE8, warning that its stronger standards compliance may cause issues. They are clearly tweaking the rendering engine substantially and if it results in greater standards compliance that is to be commended. Let’s just hope that is the cause for their concern…

Meanwhile I’m just closing some tabs with things I’ve been meaning to mention:

  • c-net have compiled the 20 greatest slow-motion videos.
  • Big Buck Bunny is an “open movie” released under creative commons, so you can download the whole animated flick, in HD, for free. You can stream it on YouTube or Vimeo but I think the achievement becomes far less impressive.
  • BMW have debuted their GINA concept car which uses a smooth, skin-like covering that allows the car to change shape as the metal structure beneath moves.

"Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has."

(CC) BY-NC 2004-2024 Priyan Meewella

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