Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Google's on a spree…

The news is floating around. Google* has acquired JotSpot, which is more known for building corporate and application wikis. This major acquisition comes right after Google* has bought out ‘writely’ as well as ‘youtube’. No doubt! Google* is on a spree.

Better get your Google* Id as soon as possible. The time when you are asked Google* id as identity proof is not too far. :))

* - Google is mentioned with the first letter capital, since it has a godly presence nowadays.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Browser Wars: Firefox 2 flies in!

There's been a serious lag in the technology updates in my brain. It’s almost dead. Then I had a dream about coinciding the launch of my tech update blog with the launch of the much-awaited Mozilla Firefox 2.0

From the time when IE windows used to come up automatically, powered by the task effective adwares, I was always wary of the security holes in IE. Firefox came right on time with a much better security tackling features coupled with some much needed usability engineering add-ons that were nothing short of ‘blasting’. It was with a hurry that I installed Firefox 2.0 into my machine. The 5.6 MB Firefox installation got over in a flash. You can install the free Firefox 2.0 from here.

Some really appealing features of Firefox 2.0 are:

  • Interactive and beautiful UI design
  • The main feature at which Mozilla is throwing flowers at, is the phishing protection. The phishing protection features checks each website browsed against a list of blacklisted phisher sites. The phisher list would be updated continuously.
  • Some simple UI usability features like bringing in a close button to each tab opened, as against a single tab close button in previous Firefox, really adds a lot of value to the usability of Firefox. But for some traditional Firefox users, this might not be a feature altogether.
  • Undo close tab is again, a very helpful browser feature. Many times we tend to close the wrong tab, and then start all over again. The restore session feature for the browser also is integrated into this version.
  • Better handling of RSS feeds.
  • Some small and beautiful features like search suggestions, spell checking, live titles etc adds on to the ‘value’ package of Firefox.

Irrespective of so many features, the main question that might be asked by most people would be – Does this new version of Firefox keep up with the old version’s performance ? Answer would be ‘Almost!’, considering the extended UI components.

But taking things in a whole, Firefox 2.0, is not much different from its 1.5 version – Some of the ‘new’ features have been available as add-ons already. About the strategy of throwing bouquets at the browser ‘Phishing Resistant’ is not a very clever one, as the phishers are bound to find a way, and the browsers would keep updating it for resistance evolution. The cycle would continue.

I am in the process of transitioning to Firefox 2.0. And I hope it would be a worthy daily use browser, as its parent was. Well - I have a bit more than a year to use this one, until the next version of Firefox comes in – and that one should be a blast as its already named in alpha as ‘MineField’.


  • IE 7 has released couple of weeks ahead of Firefox 2.0. Security experts has already found out one glaring security weakness in IE 7, that too a phishing vulnerability, which the browser was specifically designed to avoid. It seems IE 7 may allow a web-site to bring out a popup that may contain a spoofed web address, which would basically allow phishers to give the users a ‘trusted’ web-site feel while they are unholy waters. To be fair to IE, this issue has been termed as ‘less critical’ by security experts. Has IE improved on its security features? Only time can tell!
  • There are also reports about 2 security bugs in Firefox 2.0, which the Mozilla security chief has categorically denied. Has the security experts broken down Mozilla? Yet to be confirmed – Lets hope not! :))
  • I am yet to use IE 7.0, but rumors are that, IE 7.0 might make its release bigger than Firefox 2.0. To be frank, IE 7 was the release that had more to lose when its gambling with it complete overhaul from the version 6 – but they haven’t done any bad till this moment. Although I have always been a fan of Mozilla, I think we need to give the due credit to MS for this performance till now. Well, lets wait for some more time before we say that, right? For the time being, ‘CNet Crave’ review has rated it as a draw in the battle between the browsers.
As the war between browsers goes on, I will keep using Firefox 2.0. Some obsessions never die.