While it used to be the leading alternative to Internet Explorer (and others), Firefox has seen its market share erode steadily since the 2008 debut of Google Chrome. The Mozilla Foundation has made several oft-controversial bids at relevancy, including native video chat, Pocket integration, a mobile browser (and OS), a UI overhaul, and a rapid release schedule that's reached version 40 (and counting). But the latest proposal -- part of a reboot of the stalled Electrolysis multiprocessing project -- will prove the most daunting. Although it will modernize the browser's architecture, it also deprecates the longtime XUL framework in favor of more limited and Chrome-like "web extensions" -- requiring Firefox's vast catalog of powerful add-ons to be rewritten from scratch or cease functioning. While developers will have until 2017 to fully adapt, opinion is divided -- NoScript's Giorgio Maone reassures doubters, while the DownThemAll! team says "it feels like I just learned my dear old friend Firefox is going to die." [more inside]
Many people are familiar with computer case modifications, thanks to the photogenic nature of mods. On the software side, most operating systems feature some potential for customization, though this is often limited to tweaking the colors and sounds. For some, this isn't enough. Enter "skinning," the casual term for interface customization. To a degree, the history of the media player Winamp (YT, 7:03; transcript with pictures) mirrors the history of skinning. From a version 0.2, a visually dull app in June 1997, to easy user customization in version 2 in September 1998, and the complexly customizable Winamp3 in August 2002. Wired captured something of the excitement at its peak in an article from 2000, before computing began shifting to more closed devices. Now approaching a post-WIMP (windows, icons, menus and a pointer) era, where skinning is done with alternative launchers. But for those still using traditional computers of one sort or another, it's not too late to modify your interface. [more inside]
GrifBall! Red Vs. Blue's Sarge and Caboose introduce the rules. A sample match: Bungie Vs. RvB. Context: Since the release of online multiplayer first-person shooter Halo 3, Bungie have allowed players to customise maps with the placement of objects, weapons, spawn points etc. using the Forge feature. Combined with customisable rule sets, unusually innovative custom games are possible. [more inside]
Google Earth: Zero Hour +1 If Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was responsible for a productivity loss of $600 million (for people playing hooky), then the release of Google Earth has to be responsible for at least $100m. So the next question is...what's next? When you think about all the Google Maps hacks, from craigslist, to GasBuddy (offline), Chicago Crimestats and Transit Maps, London Traffic Cams, various sight seeing sites, NYC Subway Stops, plus integration with BlogWise, Terraserver, Host-IP (broken?), Yahoo Traffic, and the US Census, you might wonder what else could be integrated into gEarth? Things I'm hoping for? How about integrating historical markers, daytrip resources, factory tours, social demographics (like Nationmaster), politics (fundraising, election results, registration, polling place location, election irregularities), mapped to do lists, real-time weather and traffic, things that aren't there anymore, custom atlas creation, IMDB movie location shoots, tighter integration with topographical maps, WiFi access Points, a News Attention Index, shipwrecks, Job Searches, and tighter integration with the USGS. As shown in the gEarth interface (left hand side, first one in "Layers"), their online community is already working on using, improving, and customizing gEarth's new features, including some updates (Caution, requires the integration of *.kml file, *.eta, or *.kmz files.)
The MySiteTM feature at RichInStyle.com is really cool. It's also free. Customize away.
MySite is a trademark of RichInStyle.com
MySite is a trademark of RichInStyle.com