Monday, September 27, 2010

Xmarks Sync is Sunk

I, along with millions of other people, am a fan of Xmarks. But today's Xmarks blog post by Todd stated that this wonderful tool will be shutting down. They just weren't able to make a profitable model out of it. The new Firefox Sync definitely doesn't help matters. While I'm a big fan of Xmarks, I consider baking Sync into Firefox to be bloat.

I first started using Foxmarks to synchronize my bookmarks across my home and work computers. As time went on, I found a few other aspects very useful and unfortunately Sync lacks them. The first item is the ability to separate my bookmarks into groups. At work I'll bookmark intranet sites, but I can't use them at home. At home I have bookmarks that I'll never visit while I'm at work.

The next feature was syncing between IE and Firefox. While I use IE Tab Plus to embed IE into my Firefox, sometimes I need to actually open IE. Xmarks has it so that the very same bookmarks are there.

My current mobile phone is just a phone. When I travel, I like to have the ability to log onto Xmarks and have access to my bookmarks from any computer.

I think the name Firefox Sync was poorly chosen. It is a very limiting name and has the connotation that it will never work with anything other than Firefox.

The Xmarks team was clearly able to overcome these items, so I hope that Mozilla will as well. My 30 seconds of searching didn't bring me to a list of enhancement requests in Bugzilla for either Firefox Sync (or Weave), but I'm sure someone will read this and quickly let me know where to go.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reminder: You can get Flash without that download manager

Here's a thread on MozillaZine for downloading Flash directly. Just going to the Adobe website prompts you to use that download manager. Why? Why? Why? Don't answer that. So here is a friendly reminder that you don't have to go through that goofy process. Download. Close your browser. Install. Enjoy your hardware accelerated Flash pr0n.

Update: Oh yeah, they fixed a lot of security bugs, too.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

How I block ads

Previously I posted about why I block ads: namely that I'm not interested in them. But I didn't mention how I do my blocking. I have two methods: NoScript and CSS. I've had that CSS for years without having to update it. It does display:none based on some patterns and has served me well. I have broadband and I'm not worried about the ads being downloaded. So if the website is getting paid per display, they should still get their money, right?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Why do I block ads?

I just came across another series of posts about blocking ads in Firefox. I block ads and I'll tell you why: They do nothing for me. The only ads that ever make me take notice are food ads on tv. Yes, I'll suddenly get a craving for a cheeseburger because I've seen one on tv. But I have never seen an ad on tv for a car, electronic gizmo, bank, or anything else that made me say "oooooooooo." The same goes with the interweb. If I want something, I'll go find it. Advertising is more about creating demand. I don't feel guilty because I wasn't going to click the ad in the first place. Instead, my browsing experience just has fewer distractions. And that's the way I likes it.