Archive for the 'Browser Stuff' Category

Jul 30 2012

Say “Night, Night” to Long Installation Sessions with Ninite

A new computer is a popular high school graduation gift, and a great one at that! However, getting all your favorite applications and software isn’t as exciting, and can be a very time-consuming process. Luckily, Patrick Swieskowski and Sascha Kuzins–two awesome people at Secure by Design, Inc–have created a way to streamline that process for us!

Click here to visit Ninite, a website with a long list of popular software that you can download in a single bundle.

Ninite Software Options

What would you like to download?

Check the software you want on your machine–Ninite (which takes suggestions of what apps to include) offers a multitude of selections in categories such as browsers, imaging, media, developer, and documents.

This is great if you are (as we hope you are) a devout user of Firefox and Chrome, because your average Windows machine, for instance, comes only with Internet Explorer. How about another free favorite of ours, the imaging app Gimp? Yup! It’s there too.

Ninite's Installer

Easy to download the bundle!

After you’ve made your selections, download the installer and treat it like a dot exe file–execute it! All the programs you want will quickly download. It’s as easy as that!

One response so far

Nov 22 2011

Screw the masses

Published by under Browser Stuff

This one goes out to everyone who’s ever been frustrated (or beyond frustrated) with the comments on Web Service X. Does it seem to you like everyone on YouTube has a chip on his shoulder? (I say his because let’s face it, it’s probably a 13-year-old boy or a 40-year-old man living with his mother.) Is the signal-to-noise ratio on Slashdot too low for you? Does your blood pressure spike every time you happen to glance down just beneath the article?

And has it been that way for as long as you can remember? I have two solutions for you: the pinpoint option and the scorched-earth option. (I went with the scorched-earth option.)

Like the unmanned aerial drone strikes protecting your freedom overseas (hahahahahahahaha), YouTube Comment Snob (also available for Chrome) lets you filter out comments by a number of spelling mistakes that you set, all caps, no caps, excessive punctuation, excessive capitalization and profanity. I don’t have any idea just how arbitrary this guy’s metrics are – I haven’t tested this add-on at all. Apparently (according to the greater Firefox community) this plugin is pretty okay, because it averages 4 stars out of 5 based on 78 reviews. If you try it out, please let us know by posting a – wait for it – comment. I won’t filter you out. It’d show up in my email anyway.

Next up, here’s the plugin I actually use: like a cop using pepper spray on a nonviolent group of students, CommentBlocker indiscriminately disregards everything in its path.

I'm pretty sure it was just like this.

You have two options with CommentBlocker. Allow all sites and blacklist individual ones, or the inverse: disallow all sites and whitelist certain ones. I’ve gone with the latter option and I’m now safe inside my little cocoon of NO STUPID COMMENTS.

Try em out, let us know what you think!
(I’m gonna go on record here and say there’s nothing funny about what happened at UC Davis. I think the DTLT crew summed it up best when they said that the absurdity of these memes mirror the absurdity of just how commonplace this stuff really is. The more people confronted with this image, the more outrage. The more outrage – the more change.)

Comments Off on Screw the masses

Nov 18 2011

A Little Glitch in a Giant’s World

Published by under Browser Stuff,Fun Stuff

Glitch is a game that’s most recently captivated my attention.

Glitch Game Official LogoFor those of us who enjoy playing free, cute and inventive games with friends, Glitch succeeds at including all of the above.

You’re play a sprite existing in the imaginations of eleven giants, and its your job to run around squeezing chickens, milking butterflies and generally interact with the world. Yup, living inside the thoughts of god-giants (or giant-gods, as you please) is a strange place, but worry not–your journeys are watched over by a witty, wise rock who takes it upon itself to learn important skills for you (like Animal Kinship or Alchemy) and provide you with quests. You won’t ever get bored.

Even cooler, Glitch is a very new MMO–it debuted in September of this year–and if there’s one thing I love most, it’s watching the way a game grows. So, get in on it now while you can, and see Glitch from its inception.

Tiny Speck created Glitch (and are looking for employees, my lovely computer science and art major readers), and they are obviously sporting a fresh take on the gaming world. I, for one, will be following what they do with interest.

Why else is Glitch cool? When you go to learn skills, they work in real time and even when you’re not playing. Right now I’m learning a skill that will take about 20 hours–but that’s not 20 game hours. My rock buddy studies around the clock just for my little glitch self.  As it is, Tiny Speck’s servers can handle such a task, but I predict big things for this game (at least a devoted cult following, if nothing else), so we’ll see if they are able to keep that up.

Glitch also has a global following. Today I chatted with a player from Russia; we used online translators to transfer what we wanted to say and then copy/pasted the text into the chat room. It was a very surreal, very Internet experience.

Did I mention that you can have your own house, grown crops, and oh, right, squeeze chickens?

Go. Join. Live the glitch life.

Comments Off on A Little Glitch in a Giant’s World

Nov 17 2011

Lest we forget

Do you remember this post by Martha? Of course you don’t. It was just about three years ago. If you’re a freshman here at UMW, you might have been 15 years old and probably not reading this blog – and let’s face it, who wades through the archives of blogs running back at least three years? The answer is: not me, and probably not you.

So we here at SfSS would just like to reaffirm everything Martha said about Mozilla Firefox back in 2008:

  1. Add-ons, Add-ons, Add-ons: Firefox was the first browser to support extensions (or add-ons – the terms are interchangeable) and to date it still has the largest library. If you’ve never tried extensions before, think of them as apps for your browser. They let you do something that you weren’t able to do before, just like an app. I know you go on YouTube a lot. So do I. Are you sick of ads before videos? Install AdBlock Plus and they’re history. It’s only on Firefox. (They try and tell you it’s on Chrome, but it’s never, ever worked for me.)
  2. Standards: Mozilla is all about the open web – where you have the freedom to do anything that you want or need to do without some government or corporation standing in your way and telling you what to do. Sometimes governments do this with misguided laws (see also: SOPA), and sometimes corporations do this with proprietary technology (see also: Apple, Microsoft, Google and on and on and on). Mozilla stands firmly in the way of that, and they do it with open technology: HTML 5, CSS, JavaScript and other open technologies that adhere to the recommended standards.
  3. Security: Okay, here’s the thing. Firefox is open source. That means that the code that defines how Firefox works and runs is freely available for anyone and everyone to look at, tweak and fix, and thousands and thousands of eyes are looking at every single change to the code. So not only are security holes patched as soon as they’re spotted, but if someone tries to add malicious code it gets kicked out immediately.
  4. 100% Organic: This ties in to what I said earlier about Firefox being open source. That means there’s no one at the top controlling everything. Firefox is built from the ground up by people just like you who are passionate about what they do. And they do it so that you can have the freest, best web experience at no cost.

If you’re not running Firefox – if you’ve lost faith – it’s time to jump back in. Mozilla needs you. The web needs you. And you owe it to yourself to give yourself the best browsing experience out there.

 

One response so far

Oct 20 2011

Play In Mines

Minecraft.

Creeper

The Face of Minecraft

I feel guilty posting about a game that costs money to purchase (though there is a free version), but the hours you put into playing it will make it feel like you got a deal. Also, this isn’t a typical video game, in that it doesn’t cost $300+ for the console and $60+ for the actual game.  If you are reading this post, you can play this game. It’s available in Pocket Edition, playable on your Android, for $6.99  as well as its original format on the PC for $21.99 (Windows, Mac & Linux).  If don’t mind missing out on the fancier features, you can always play it for free in your browser!

What makes Minecraft great? Well, while the game itself is fun and frankly addictive, the community that has sprung up around the game is fun and impressive.  Even the de facto official Wiki is run by volunteers.  There are also thriving forums all over the internet full of active members who create their own mods for the game and share them with others.  You can get everything from a mini-map to new skins for your world and yourself.

However, what I feel makes Minecraft truly fun is its multi-player aspect.  There are many open servers available to the public (though care must be taken to avoid griefers and unsuitable mining mates), though I’ve found it far more rewarding to play on a  private server with friends.  In fact, my favorite place to mine is on a server that a summer class put together.

Besides, who doesn’t get a sense of satisfaction out of building something like this:

Minecraft Creation: Falling Water

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater

Or this:

NES Sprites

NES Sprites

Comments Off on Play In Mines

Jun 16 2010

Get Some Chrome For Your Internet Ride

Google Chrome RideA long long time ago, in a blog post far far away we discussed the virtues of the Firefox browsing experience. We still stand by Firefox as a great browser (especially when put up against something like Internet Explorer) but recently Firefox has come against some good competition from Google Chrome. Chrome is fairly similar to Firefox in terms of features it provides. It has add-ons for extending the capabilities of your browser and while it may not have as many as Firefox, the library of add-ons is growing at an increasing rate and many of the popular ones can easily be found. Right now Chrome’s claim to fame (besides looking pretty slick) is that it is fast and from my intensive research (read: me using Chrome) I have found that it does move quicker than Firefox for most things. YouTube seems to load faster but, of course Google does own YouTube so who knows what crazy tricks they can pull.

For some people what browser they are using doesn’t matter much but, if you are open to the possibility that there may be something better out there then Google Chrome may be your answer. Test it, try it, love it (?) and let us know about your experience if you give Google Chrome a go!

4 responses so far

Feb 12 2010

You Are What You Annotate

Now that the semester is moving forward you are probably trying to focus on being a productive student. So you came here to find some help in, right? Of course right. If you spend a lot of time researching on the internet there is a site called Diigo that you should check out.

To put it briefly Diigo is a highlighting, bookmarking and site sharing tool.

One of the reasons I started using Diigo was, it gave me the ability to highlight and place sticky notes on webpages. When I have to read a long online text for class a tool like Diigo gives me the option to directly annotate (take notes) on those pieces. So instead of printing out a bunch of pages I just bring my laptop to class and read my (searchable) notes. Plus, I am saving the environment, right? The notations have different setting: private, public, or shared with group. So depending on your need there are different settings. A fun little bonus to using Diigo is if anyone else has it installed on their computer and they place a sticky note on a webpage and make it a public note then anyone else who also has diigo can see it too.

Another great feature of Diigo is the ability to archive webpages in html and image formats. This is more than just being able to bookmark a page for later use, it gives you the ability to capture a site at a moment in time. This can come in handy for websites that have an ever changing face, like Wikipedia. Once you have saved a page in this format through Diigo they become searchable within your personal archive. So, if you can’t remember what words you used to tag a bookmark (or didn’t tag at all, shame on you!) you can find the page by remembering words that appeared on the page itself.

Whether it is strictly for your own personal use or for building a list of resources in a community, Diigo is a powerful way to organize and annotate the content on the web.

Comments Off on You Are What You Annotate

Aug 19 2009

Help Is On The Way

Like we stated many many months ago when Stuff for Starving Students was first kicking off, we are huge fans of Firefox. One of the best features of Firefox is that ability to use add-ons to extend the functionality of your browser. We have discussed a couple of add-ons in the past, like Zotero, Delicious and Aviary. Today we present another add-on to decorate your browser – Video DownloadHelper.

Video DownloadHelper Icon
cc licensed flickr photo shared by umwdtlt

Video DownloadHelper is capable of searching a site you are on for videos and allows you to download the video off the site so that you can repurpose them in ways you need. Nothing illegal going on here (unless you choose to use the content you download illegally of course) it just gives you easier access to content that your browser is downloading anyway. Wondering how you might use this neat add-on? New Media Specialist Andy Rush has a post on embedding YouTube videos in PowerPoint presentations offline using the DownloadHelper add-on.

After enabling the add-on in Firefox whenever you see the DownloadHelper icon (it looks like a molecule) light up and rotate you will know that there are videos on that site available to download. YouTube is just one of the many sites that this add-on supports. So if you find that perfect video for your next project you no longer need to worry about the internet working in your classroom that day if you have already downloaded it.

There are many more possibilities with this add-on and we are curious to know how you use it in your travels, so leave a comment!

Comments Off on Help Is On The Way

Aug 12 2009

Zotero-iffic Redux

As a dedicated Stuff for Starving Students reader I’m sure that you remember the post we did a few months ago on the Firefox add-on Zotero. So I am assuming you know the basics and have been using that add-on for many months now. If not, I would definitely take a look at the post then come right back here for the latest update to one of the sweetest Firefox add-ons.

When we first talked about Zotero it could only live on one computer but the upgrade that everyone has been waiting for has occurred. Now, Zotero allows you to access your library from any computer so you no longer have to worry about being at your computer to access your research information. Even better is you can now collaborate with other users through group libraries, so sharing the information you have come across in your research is even easier.

Zotero Groups Screenshot
cc licensed flickr photo shared by umwdtlt

Now with the access to your library anywhere and collaborative group libraries you have no reason not to use this add-on for your research. I know you are probably so used to doing things a certain way but, try it for at least one paper or project and I am sure you will see what all of us at Stuff for Starving Students love so much about Zotero. If you are not satisfied we have a money-back guarantee so what are you waiting for? 😉

Comments Off on Zotero-iffic Redux

Jul 01 2009

Forget Photoshop

Here on Stuff for Starving Students we have talked about cool stuff for starving artists before. There is yet another tool that I have played with for some time now (back when it was still in private beta) and while I don’t have ton of use for it as a boring old history major this has to be one of the most powerful online creation tools out there.

Addiction by mpeutz on AviaryAddiction by mpeutz on Aviary.

The above image was created on Aviary a web based tool that is an image editor, image markup, effects editor, swatch editor, and vector editor. Each of these tools has their own clever bird inspired name, e.g. Peacock, Phoenix, Toucan and a few others. What you create in one can easily be brought into another editor, making the process of creating a visually amazing image simple. There are many great tutorials and documentation available for those of you who don’t know where to begin or need a little help getting some stuff done. I wish I could talk more extensively about the image editor, Peacock, but not often needing such a powerful editor I have not used it. I’m willing to bet that many of the tools on Aviary would impress those artists who understand color swatches, vectors, and other artsy terms. As I mentioned before though I am a boring history major, so why am I bringing up Aviary anyway?

Recently Aviary released a new editor called Falcon that works alongside a Firefox extension called Talon. As a long time PC user (no comments about that please) I have never really impressed by Windows screen capture options or MS paint. In fact I don’t think MS paint has changed as long as I can remember that application, that is besides the point though. This simple add-on that so innocently sits right next to the Delicious add-on (you did install it like we told you to right?) has already made my life so much easier. With Talon you can easily capture just a portion of the screen, the visible portion of the page, or the page in its entirety. After you have taken the screen shot you have several options. You could save it to your desktop and call it a day. Or if you are feeling more adventurous open it up in Falcon which is similar to MS Paint but doesn’t look so ugly and also gives you the option to go to a more advanced editor which totally kicks MS Paint butt. Even more than that you could open the image in the other editors we mentioned earlier in this post and do more fancy stuff!

And would you believe all this editing stuff is free? So instead of shelling out big money to use Photoshop, and lets face it you won’t even use half the features in Photoshop if you are anything like me, get a FREE account at Aviary. Even if you want to upgrade to a premium account the cost won’t make you cry yourself to sleep at night and eat ramen noodles for the rest of the semester. For the awesome screen capturing goodness alone this is worth it but, as long as you are going to sign up for account might as well play around, right?

Keep on doodling you starving students!

One response so far

Next »

css.php