Sunday, February 24, 2008

10 Free Tips To Maximize Your Firefox Experience.

With over 465 million downloads to date, open-source Firefox is the next most popular browser after Internet Explorer. Packed with nifty features, Firefox received a string of accolades like Best Software Application from the Usability Professional's Association, Forbes Best of the Web, Softpedia's Users' Choice Award and PC Magazine's Best of the Year Award.

An easy to use browser, Firefox is not only faster than Internet Explorer but is also much safer as it comes with security features like phishing protection to guard against malicious and fake websites, and prevention against malware from installing or executing programs without your say-so.

Famed for its tabbed browsing, which organizes multiple sites into a single window for clutter-free surfing, Firefox is also highly customizable with thousands of tiny software called add-ons to ramp up its functionality. Be it speed, security or functionality, Firefox is fast becoming the browser of choice. And to further enhance your Firefox experience, here are 10 free tips to get the most out of Firefox :
1. Ramp Up Functionality
To get the most out of Firefox, soup it up with thousands of add-ons or extensions like controlling your favourite media player to downloading videos from video-sharing sites to suggesting new websites to visit based on your interests, and even tracking prices on Installation of extensions is simple and you can browse the many categories at :

2. Customize Your Firefox
Just like changing the skins on your gadgets, fit your Firefox with new clothes or Themes. There's a theme to suit every taste - from designs to please the cat lover or Harley Davidson rider to emulation of Mac OS X and Internet Explorer. Personalisations are a one-click installation affair.

3. Populate With Your Favorite Search Engines
For convenience, populate the search bar on the upper-right corner of the Firefox browser with your favorite search engines like BBC,, eBay to YouTube and many more. Install them simply by clicking on the link of the search engine listed.

4. Use Tabbed Browsing To Enhance Your Surfing Experience
Instead of opening a separate window for each website you visit, Firefox tabbed browsing feature, which organizes multiple sites into a single window for clutter-free surfing, is a delight to use. Use Ctr-T to open a new tab and Ctr-Tab to cycle through the tabs. Shift and click on a link to open it in a new tab in the background or press Shift, Ctrl and click to bring the new tab into the foreground.

5. Skip Typing Whole Domain Names
Tired of typing whole domain names with the "www." prefix and ".com" suffix into the address bar when you surf? You can save time and keystrokes by just typing the bits in-between, for example, enter "yahoo", then hit Ctrl+Enter. The complete "" address will be formed and loaded automatically. For websites with the suffix ".net", use Shift+Enter.

6. Speed Up Site Navigation
Instead of clicking on the Forward or Back buttons, navigate web pages by holding Shift and turn the scroll wheel of your mouse forward or backward.

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7. Assign Keywords To Bookmarks
Assign keywords to your bookmarked sites by right-clicking on the bookmark and click properties. You can load the keyworded bookmark quickly by entering the keyword in the address bar.

8. Search Faster For Text On Web Pages
Skip the usual way, Ctrl-F, for searching for text on a web page by using this shortcut : Under Firefox 's Tools : Options, select Advanced : General, then check "Search for text when I start typing". When you type a string of text, Firefox will automatically look for it on-the-fly.

9. Search Smarter With Smart Keywords.
If you regularly visit certain websites, for example, you can configure Smart Keywords, which lets you search the websites from the address bar. Go to the webpage with the search field, right-click the search field and then choose "Add a Keyword for this Search." The Add Bookmark dialog will pop up. Give the bookmark a name, for instance, "Amazon Search" and a keyword, for example "am" and save the bookmark. The next time you want to search for a book on, just enter "am (name of book)" into the address bar of Firefox and hit Enter.

10. Protect Your Passwords.
If you let Firefox remember your passwords, make them safer by configuring a master password. Select Tools : Options, then Security. Under the Passwords section, check "Use a master password". Ensure that you are using a master password that cannot be easily guessed by other people.

*Related posts :
- Free Web Browsers.
- Flock - The Social Web Browser.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tech News - Microsoft Buys Fast Search And Transfer.

Here is this week's round-up of the latest tech news and what is hot in the Web :

1. Microsoft Buys Fast Search and Transfer.
With all the recent buzz over Microsoft bid to buy Yahoo, its purchase of Fast Search and Transfer, a Norwegian search engine company, for US$1.2 billion went largely unnoticed.

With the purchase, Microsoft is hoping to improve its enterprise search capability and have indicated that Fast's search capabilities will integrate well with its Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. Unlike Google and Yahoo, enterprise search engines are usually customised to search for information within corporations, and with companies digitizing their information like documents and drawings, search is the fastest way to get and share corporate data.
With Fast, Microsoft wants to help workers within businesses quickly locate information that are kept in different types of files and databases. Using the Fast software, businesses can build customised applications like industry-specific search engines or websites that provide content in real time.

Together with its bid for Yahoo, Microsoft's purchase of Fast indicates that the software giant is stepping up its efforts in increasing its search capabilities and presence in a Web that is currently dominated by Google.

2. Google Partners Panasonic.
TV manufacturer Panasonic is working with Google to build television sets that comes with access to YouTube and Picasa, allowing users to watch videos and photos directly from their televisions sets.

Expected to be launch in the US by the middle of this year, the Panasonic Veira PZ850 allows for direct downloading of content from YouTube and Picasa with just a simple click on the remote controller. The tv is likely to be connected to an Ethernet port or comes with Wi-Fi capababilty.

For Google, the partnership is a chance to experiment with new services and acknowledges changes in consumers' habits as user-generated content becomes increasingly popular.

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3. Summize That Review
Always got confused by the many conflicting reviews of a particular movie, book or product? Then try Summize, a free web service that goes through the thousands of blogs and review sites, analyses their opinions and aggregates the results into an useful colour-coded chart. One look and you will be able to tell how reviewers feel about a particular book, movie and gadget.

Simply type in the name of the product you want to find out about, and the search engine will help you organise all the reviews, with star ratings, making it especially easy for you.

4. Lenovo's Facial Recognition Idea PCs.
Instead of typing in long alphanumeric passwords, Lenovo's new range of IdeaPad notebooks and the IdeaCentre desktop PCs comes with facial recognition capabilities, allowing you to just smile to log in.

For notebooks, there are the 15.4-inch IdeaPad Y510 notebook PC and the 11-inch IdeaPad U110, both powered by Intel Centrino processors. The desktops - K200 and Q200 - both comes with anti-bacterial keyboards and one-touch data recovery.

*Related Tech News :
- Apple Launches MacBook Air
- Google Challenges Wikipedia With "knol"

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Numbr - Get A Free Disposable Phone Number.

Always value your privacy and do not want to give out your phone number when you are selling or buying online? Then grab an anonymous and disposable phone number from Numbr, all for free.

Numbr, available in 23 cities in the US, lets you create free, anonymous and disposable numbers that can forward all incoming calls to any landline or mobile number of your choosing. It is an ideal way to protect your privacy when advertising your services, buying online or when networking online.
Besides forwarding all your calls to your home or cellphone, Numbr also comes with the following features :

- Record your messages through voice-mail which are then sent to your e-mail.
- Allows call screening and you can choose to accept or reject the call.
- Built in filters to block off nuisance marketeers, spammers or anyone else.
- Complete access to your call records at all times.
- Available round-the-clock with 24x7 reachability.
- Set your number to expire in an hour, day, week or months.
- Embed your message in your blog or site through the iNumbr widget.
- Parental controls to protect your kids privacy.

Especially useful when listing in personals or classifieds, Numbr basic package is free and is the ideal way to conduct your business without sacrificing your privacy.

*Related posts :
- Create Your Own Ringtones For Free.
- WatZatSong & Other Free Quirky Online Tools.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Download Accelerator Plus - A Free Download Manager For Increasing Download Speed.

Have you ever wish that your downloading of media or data files can speed up just a little bit faster? Download Accelerator Plus, a free download manager, promises to do just that - increase your download speed.

Developed by SpeedBit, the 7.6 MB utility can improve download speed by up to 300 per cent and is particularly useful when you are downloading multiple files. It accelerates download speed by first searching for mirror sites and the most responsive servers using a proximity test, then dividing the downloads into several segments and finally downloading them simultaneously from the fastest servers it can find, resulting in optimal utilization of your dial-up or broadband connections.
Through its AlwaysResume feature, Download Accelerator Plus also has the ability to recover and resume a download which has been interrupted by a broken connection, an extremely useful feature for those who have experienced the frustration of starting a download all over again due to a broken connection. It also provides users with the ability to see previews of their downloads while the downloading is in progress.

Besides increasing downloading speed, Download Accelerator Plus is also a full-featured download manager that can help you organize your file downloads. It keeps track of all your downloads and provides a handy history of what you have downloaded and when. Password Manager, scheduled downloads, auto-Internet disconnection and shutting down of your PC upon download completion, are some of the other nifty features that comes with Download Accelerator Plus.

And through its integration with the anti-virus software in your Operating System, it comes with automatic anti-virus scanning of downloaded content and a file security check, provided by ZoneAlarm, will also alert you that you are about to download or run a potentially dangerous file.

With a user-friendly interface and about 150 million users worldwide, Download Accelerator Plus is compatible with most Windows platforms and Mac, and supports browsers like Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera. It is also multi-lingual and is available in 10 languages including German, French, Italian and Chinese.

* Related posts :
- Free Specialised Software For Your Desktop.
- Free Desktop Utilities & Applications.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tech News - Apple Launches MacBook Air.

Here is a round-up of this week's tech news and what's hot in the Web :

1. Apple Launches MacBook Air.
Apple unveiled a new super-slim laptop at the recent Macworld trade show. Dubbed the MacBook Air, it measures 0.4cm at its thinnest and 1.9cm at its beefiest and is being hailed as the world's thinnest notebook computer. There are two models : A US$1,799 1.6Ghz version with an 80GB hard drive and a 1.8Ghz 64GB version with a flash-based solid state drive for US$3,098. The laptop, however, does not comes with an optical drive for reading CDs and DVDs, a feature that Apple says will unlikely be missed as movies and music can be downloaded over the Internet and optical drives can be access from other PCs.
The MacBook Air thinness and light weight of about 1.5kg have upped the cool factor for notebook design and is causing ripples among notebook makers such as Dell, Sony and Lenova as design is how these companies differentiate themselves. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the pack will come up with if they want to capture consumers' dollars.

2. Facebook Sues Over Alleged Hacking.
The popular social networking site is taking Istra Holdings, a Canadian operator of pornography websites, to court for allegedly trying to steal its users' personal information. Facebook claims that Istra tried to hack into its servers 200,00 times in June last year.

Being repositories of personal data ranging from e-mail addresses, dates of birth to users' preferences, social networking sites are attractive targets for data thieves and this case echoes what security experts have been harping on - that publishing to much information on social networks is dangerous. And with 55 million members, Facebook is the perfect mining ground for spammers, hoping to compile e-mail lists, and criminals seeking to steal identity.

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3. Sony Dumps Copy Protection.
Good news for music lovers. Sony BMG has announced that its entire catalogue of music will be available for download - without DRM - at Amazon's digital music store by the end of January. The record label had all along resisted selling tunes without DRM which prevents songs from being copied and is the last of the big four major music studios to finally give up copy protection.

The tie-up makes Amazon the only online music store to offer protection-free downloads for all its tracks from the big four music labels and makes them a much stronger competitor to Apple's iTunes store who has cornered 70 per cent of the digital music download market. With music downloaded from Amazon playable on all types of music players - unlike iTunes music downloads which are playable only on iPods - together with the limited selection of tracks from iTunes that are sold without DRM, the tie-up sets the scene for a battle for music lovers' dollars.

*More Tech News :
- Google's "Knol" Challenges Wikipedia.
- Members Blast Facebook.
- Google Opens Up Orkut.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Flock - A Versatile Social Web Browser.

Everyone is familiar with web browsers like the ever-present Internet Explorer, popular FireFox and others like Safari and Opera but here is a little known, but fast gaining in popularity browser called Flock.

Called a "Social Browser" by its creators, due to its ability to interact and share content with popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and various blogging and news aggregation services, Flock is a web browser based on fast, secure and open-source Mozilla technologies.
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Even though Flock was actually released about two years ago, the latest version is decisively different and increasingly relevant, considering the heavy social bent that is evident in today"s Web. Flock makes it very easy to share content, publish to your blogs and connect with your friends at the same time. Here are some of the cool features that makes Flock a strikingly different browser from Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari :

1. YouTube, Flickr and Photobucket Integration.
With the in-built Photo Uploader, you can edit and upload up to 1,000 photos at any one time to Flickr and Photobucket and through the Media Minibar, instantly find, stream and view photos and videos from YouTube, Photobucket and Flickr, and also get informed when your friends post new media content. Built-in quick links allows you to embed images in blogs and bookmark content streams that you like so that you can return to them in the Media MiniBar without having to go to Flickr.

2. Facebook Integration.
For fans of Facebook, Flock's superb integration features with the popular social networking site allows you to keep tabs on your Facebook life without ever having to go to Facebook. A left sidebar list all your Facebook friends, allows you to browse their photos, your invites, messages and other Facebook stuff. Updated profiles and any change in information from your friends can be easily seen at a glance.

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3. Superior Bookmarking Feature.
Flock's Favorites, with the ability to add tags and descriptions, has to be the best bookmarking feature among all the browsers. In addition to being able to save offline, it has a built-in ability to
save your favorite sites to ma.gnolia. or, enabling you to access them from any browser on any PC. The favorites manager also comes integrated with a favorites and history section.

4. Flock's My World.
Keep up-to-date when your friends post new photos and videos or content from your favorite sites with Flock's custom homepage, "My World". It comes with a Yahoo search box and allows quick access to all the favorite sites you have visited recently together with your favorite feeds.

5. Easy Blog Publishing.
Flock's Blog Editor makes blog publishing easy. Draft online or offline or drag items from the Web Clipboard to put them in your posts and post them directly to blogs on Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, Wordpress and many other blogging platforms.

6. Web clipboard.
This feature allows you grab your favorite images, text and links from the Web and save them in the sidebar for later use.

Besides the nifty features, most Firefox extensions like Google Toolbar and Greasemonkey work well in Flock and it is available for Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems. It is truly a social browser and essential for those who participate in multiple social networks.

*Related posts :
- Free Web Browsers
- Free Media Players
- Alternatives To YouTube
- Free Specialised Software For Your Desktop

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Protect Your PC For Free With WinPatrol And Avast Anti-Virus Software

If you are tired of paying through your nose for security suites that are expensive, RAM-hungry and requires new subscription fees every year, there are plenty of free and tested anti-virus and anti-spyware tools in the web that do the same, if not better, job at protecting your PC as compared to paid versions. Besides well-known free security software like AVG, Spybot and Ad-Aware, here are two more free security tools that protects your PC while saving you money at the same time :

1. WinPatrol
Voted Tool of The Month by PCWorld for June 2007, WinPatrol's Scotty the Watch Dog monitors and alerts you whenever an unwelcome program tries to add itself to the set of applications that start up automatically whenever Windows boots. It detects, blocks and allows you to remove spyware and malware that make changes to your registry without your permission and helps to keep your system tray free of clutter.

The intuitive program comes with a cookie remover and through the Startup Programs function, provides a detailed list of each program that your PC launches at system startup. A smart feature, The Delayed Start, lets you delay the launch of non-essential programs for up to an hour after the system boots, enabling Windows to load faster. WinPatrol increases your PC speed and system performance, and by letting you know what programs are and should be running at all times, puts control of your computer back into your own hands.

2. Avast! Anti-Virus Software
A complete anti-virus package, Avast! Anti-Virus Home Edition is free for home users and has everything you need in an anti-virus tool. Providing real-time protection against nasty viruses and malware, Avast! also comes with an e-mail scanner for detecting web-mail borne viruses and through the P2P Shield, protects against virus attacks spread through peer-to-peer file sharing networks like Kazaa.

Additional features includes automatic updating of the virus database and the Network Shield, an intrusion detection system, which provides protection against known Internet attacks and worms by analysing all network traffic and scans it for malicious contents. Easy to use and highly customizable, Avast! comes with two interfaces - simple for novices and advanced for experienced users - and is compatible with all Windows operating systems.

*Related posts :
- Free utilities for computer security
- Free desktop utilities & applications

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Top 10 Freebie Posts For 2007

Looking back, it had been a remarkable journey since the launched of this blog in July 2007. With the original intention of searching for open-source and free software and web services, and sharing it with readers, I was amazed at the amount of free software and web tools that I have been able to unearth in the short six months of this blog existence. From free security suites, free desktop utilities and productivity tools to free web services and even home entertainment freebies like free music, videos and games, the journey has been an extremely fun and fruitful one.
Besides the obvious savings in turning to open-source and free software for my computer needs plus the benefits of not being tied down to unwanted and costly updates of propriety software, this blog have also expanded my horizon and opened my eyes to the many innovations available in the Web, and I hope that readers found the content in this blog as useful to them as it was to me.

And as an indication of this blog popularity, it is in fact the fastest growing in terms of traffic among the three hobby blogs that I have launched in 2007 and also has the unwanted distinction of having its content stolen and reproduced, thrice, at other sites by unscrupulous content thieves.

In thanking loyal readers and closing what had been a most rewarding year and hoping for a equally fruitful 2008, here is a recap of the top 10 posts, in terms of traffic, for 2007 :

1 - Linus - A Free Alternative To Windows.
2 - Free Specialised Software for Your Desktop.
3 - Google's Suite Of Free Utilities & Web Services.
4 - WatZatSong & Other Free Online Quirky Tools.
5 - Tips For Downloading Freebies - When "Free" Isn't Really Free.
6 - Free Keywords Suggestion Tools.
7 - Free Graphics Software.
8 - Free Utilities For Computer Security.
9 - Tech News - Google Challenges Wikipedia With "Knol".
10 - Free Online Nostalgic Games.

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