Tag Archives: browsing

Who’s Tracking Your Internet Browsing? – Find Out With Ghostery

imagePicture this – you’re at your favorite grocery store and you can’t help but notice – no matter which aisle you’re in, you’re actions are being observed surreptitiously by a herd of people.

Each one carries a clipboard, in order to keep track of everything you throw into your grocery cart. On top of that, every grocery product you look at is noted and written down. Sound a little farfetched?

Alright, then try this – you’re cruising on CNET’s (download.com) Windows home page, and your every action is being observed – every action you take, every motion you make,  is noted and written down. Sound a little farfetched?

While the first scenario is just my imagination in overdrive, the second  certainly isn’t.

If you had Ghostery, the Firefox and Chrome add-on (which is designed to protect your privacy, by identifying who’s tracking your browsing) installed, you’d have access to the following information.

Screen shot of the trackers on CNET’s Windows home page.

image

Screen shot of the CBS Interactive individual links.

image

I’m not focusing on CNET particularly – you can expect to encounter this type of tracking on virtually every Web site you visit. This intrusive behavior is common, and should be expected.

It shouldn’t be common, but with little resistance being offered by the “sheeple”,  and a failure by regulatory authorities to enact appropriate consumer protection laws, we can expect privacy intrusions , like this, to accelerate. How sad is that?

If you object to this type of intrusion into your privacy, then consider installing Ghostery, and give these intrusive jerks the heave-ho. It may not be a perfect solution but, it’s a step in the right direction.

Fast facts:

DETECT – Ghostery sees the “invisible” web, detecting trackers, web bugs, pixels, and beacons placed on web pages by Facebook, Google Analytics, and over 400 other ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers – all companies interested in your activity.

LEARN – After showing you who operates behind the scenes, Ghostery also gives you the opportunity to learn more about each company it identifies, including links to their privacy policy and opt-out options.

CONTROL – Ghostery allows you to block scripts from companies that you don’t trust, delete local shared objects, and even block images and iframes.

Download for Firefox at: Mozilla.

Download for Chrome at:Google.

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Filed under Browser add-ons, Browsers, Chrome, downloads, Firefox, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Privacy, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Surf Smarter – Take A Sneak Peek At Links With CoolPreviews Firefox Add-on

imageI carry a total of eighteen Firefox add-ons; some – including NoScript, Adblock Plus, WOT, and BitDefender QuickScan – beef up security. Others, such as DownloadHelper, WebMail Notifier, and Google Shortcuts, help me keep the productivity curve trending upward.

The security add-ons are an absolute necessity – interacting with the Internet without them would be akin to traipsing through a minefield – just waiting for the BOOM! The productivity add-ons are less critical – I could (if I had to), get along without them – except for one –  CoolPreviews.

I love CoolPreviews – a Picture-in-a-Picture free Browser add-on, that lets me preview links and rich media content, without clicking the link, or leaving my current page.

With CoolPreviews, I just place my mouse cursor over a link, or over the CoolPreviews icon, and a customizable preview window of the website that the link points to instantly appears with the content; page view, image view, or even video.

I can fully interact with the preview window; play the video, click on links, fill out forms, and more. In fact, I can interact with the preview just as if I had the full page open. If I need to, opening the full page is easy; a simple click on the CoolPreviews full page icon, and I’m there.

I find that by using CoolPreviews, I save time and reduce the drudgery involved in trying to determine which sites are worth investigating. CoolPreviews lets me take a quick look at each link to see if it’s worthwhile investigating further.

I use this tool every day to confirm that the links in my “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News” column, are live. The screen capture below illustrates how this works. Click on the graphic to expand to original (1157 x 490).

image

It takes me less than two minutes to check 20/25 links this way, as opposed to – open a link, close a link; open a link, close a link; open a link, close a link; ……. Well, you see the point.

A final example:

Every day, I visit each of the sites in my Blogroll (gotta see what my friends are up to!), and rather than click through to the site, I use CoolPreviews. If the content is a “need to read”, like my good buddy Paul Lubic’s most recent article is – clicking on the “open to Tab” button in CoolPreviews, does just that.

image

It’s no wonder Mozilla lists this neat little tool as a recommended Firefox add-on, and also includes it in its most popular list of browser add-ons. CoolPreviews definitely increases productivity; what a time saver!

Fast facts:

Preview links without clicking

Preview images and videos

CoolPreviews 3-D Wall or slideshow mode for Google Image Search

Works on Google, Yahoo!, MSN, YouTube, Flickr ……….

Works on just about any website, blog, forum

Stack temporarily bookmarks (this is a very cool feature)

Instantly email links

Zoom in/out functionality

Sub search any phrase by right-clicking

Customize preview activation method and themes

Enable/disable previewing on customizable choice of sites

Unfortunately, CoolPreviews is available only for Firefox. Previous support for IE, Safari, etc., has been discontinued.

Requirements: Firefox 3.6 – 4.0. Supports Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Download at: CoolPreviews or Mozilla.

Update: February 4, 2011. My good buddy Rick Robinette, whom I often refer to as the “Great Freeware Hunter”, has just posted on a similar add-on designed for Chrome. If you’re a Chrome user, then be sure sure to checkout Rick’s article over at What’s On My PC.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Browser add-ons, downloads, Firefox, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Linux, Mac, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Get Cooliris – You Don’t know What You’re Missing

If you don’t have Cooliris installed on your computer, you could be missing out on the best of what the web has to offer.

Web 2.0 has given us new and exciting ways to utilize the and interact with the Internet. I have to admit, when I stop to consider the benefits of Web 2.0, and the applications that got us here, one of the first applications that comes to mind is Cooliris.

Sure, we have Twitter and FaceBook, but in my view, these are just two of the social utilities that have been overhyped to the max, and which continue to be, along with many other social networking applications, natural gateways for cybercriminals.

Cooliris, on the other hand, is a wonderfully fluid and superbly crafted free add-on for Safari, FireFox, and Internet Explorer, which allows me to interact with the Internet in ways I never considered possible on a web browser.

Cooliris 5

Cooliris 9

What the developers have to say:

“It’s simply the fastest and most stunning way to browse photos and videos from the Web or your desktop. Effortlessly scroll an infinite “3D Wall” of your content without having to click page to page, whether you’re on Facebook, Google Images, YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, Kodak Gallery, or any supported site. Or channel surf the latest news, TV episodes, movies, and music videos – all from within Cooliris”.

Expand your own Internet horizons, download and install Cooliris, and while you’re at it, if you’re a FireFox user, download Cooliris Previews (almost 9,000,000 downloads to date). You’ll be glad you did.

Fast facts:

Search

It’s the fastest way to search Google Image Search, YouTube, Flickr, Hulu, online retailers, and other sites. Zip through search results on the 3D Wall with our search function. Switch engines effortlessly without having to re-enter the search term.

Cooliris 6

Works with hundreds of sites

Cooliris is built around the industry standard Media RSS format, and works on hundreds of sites across the Web.

Slideshows

Double clicking an image or pressing the toggle button brings you to full screen slideshow mode. There, you can play, pause, fast forward, and rewind at will.

Channels: News & Entertainment

Hulu, ESPN, BBC, SonyBMG, MSN, and more …Catch the latest news, sports, and entertainment. Even enjoy full-length movies and TV episodes.

Preferences

Customize the look and feel of Cooliris – modify the number of rows, background image, wall angle, slideshow speed and more!

Local File Support

Quickly find and view photos stored on your computer. Enjoy images from your Hard Drive, Desktop, iPhoto, and more.

Sharing

Share stuff with friends by dragging and dropping content from the 3D Wall. You can share as many items as you’d like, and even add a personal message.

3D Window Shopping

Window shop some of the world’s largest retailers by comparing products visually on the Cooliris 3D Wall. Highlight an item to learn the price or click the shopping cart icon to jump to the corresponding product page of the retailer.

Cooliris 4

Jump to Page

A picture tells a thousands words, but sometimes you just want to see the detailed story behind it all. Cooliris makes that easy. A click of a button lets you toggle between Cooliris and the corresponding web page of any item.

System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, OSX: Mac OS X: 10.5-10.6.x (operates in 32-bit browser mode), Linux: Ubuntu 8.04+, Fedora 10.0+, OpenSuse 11+

Download at: Cooliris

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

Comments Off on Get Cooliris – You Don’t know What You’re Missing

Filed under Browser add-ons, Cell Phone Apps, Digital Media, downloads, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Photo Tools, Safari add-ons, social networking, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Cooliris – A Cool to the Max Browser Add-on

If you don’t have Cooliris installed on your computer you’re missing out on the best of what the web has to offer.

Web 2.0 has given us new and exciting ways to utilize the and interact with the Internet. I have to admit, when I stop to consider the benefits of Web 2.0, and the applications that got us here, the first application that comes to my mind is Cooliris.

Not Twitter, and not FaceBook, which, in my view, are just two of the social utilities that have been overhyped to the max, and which continue to be, along with many other social networking applications, tremendous gateways for cybercriminals.

Cooliris, on the other hand is a wonderfully fluid and superbly crafted free add-on for Safari, FireFox, and Internet Explorer, which allows me to interact with the Internet in ways I never considered possible on a web browser.

Cooliris 5

The developers of this free Internet Browser add-on, as well as being the developers of Cooliris Previews, a tool I couldn’t function without, on the Web, are a very talented group of people with true insight into how to create and develop tools to expand our internet horizons.

Expand your own Internet horizons, download and install Cooliris, and while you’re at it, if you’re a FireFox user, download Cooliris Previews. You’ll be glad you did.

Fast facts: (from the Cooliris site)

Search

It’s the fastest way to search Google Image Search, YouTube, Flickr, Hulu, online retailers, and other sites. Zip through search results on the 3D Wall with our search function. Switch engines effortlessly without having to re-enter the search term.

Cooliris 6

Works with hundreds of sites

Cooliris is built around the industry standard Media RSS format, and works on hundreds of sites across the Web.

Slideshows

Double clicking an image or pressing the toggle button brings you to full screen slideshow mode. There, you can play, pause, fast forward, and rewind at will.

Channels: News & Entertainment

Hulu, ESPN, BBC, SonyBMG, MSN, and more …Catch the latest news, sports, and entertainment. Even enjoy full-length movies and TV episodes.*

Preferences

Customize the look and feel of Cooliris – modify the number of rows, background image, wall angle, slideshow speed and more!

Local File Support

Quickly find and view photos stored on your computer. Enjoy images from your Hard Drive, Desktop, iPhoto, and more.

Sharing

Share stuff with friends by dragging and dropping content from the 3D Wall. You can share as many items as you’d like, and even add a personal message.

3D Window Shopping

Window shop some of the world’s largest retailers by comparing products visually on the Cooliris 3D Wall. Highlight an item to learn the price or click the shopping cart icon to jump to the corresponding product page of the retailer.

Cooliris 4

Jump to Page

A picture tells a thousands words, but sometimes you just want to see the detailed story behind it all. Cooliris makes that easy. A click of a button lets you toggle between Cooliris and the corresponding web page of any item.

Favorites

Keep track of the best items in Cooliris by adding it to your own custom feed!

Maximize/Restore

Toggle between full screen and tabbed mode.

System Requirements: Cooliris currently supports FireFox (Windows XP/Vista and Mac), Internet Explorer, and Safari (Mac), iPhone

For a Cooliris video preview checkout YouTube

Download at: Cooliris

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Filed under Browser add-ons, Digital Media, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Graphic Software, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Mobile Applications, Multimedia Tools, Safari add-ons, social networking, Software, Website Previews, Windows Tips and Tools

CoolPreviews – Indispensable Browser Add-on?

Awesome Picture-in-a-Picture Web Surfing

Get Picture-in-a-Picture browsing with a cool free browser add-on that lets you preview links and rich media content without clicking the link, or leaving your current page.

With CoolPreviews place your mouse cursor over your link and a preview window instantly appears with the content.

cooliris

I use this add-on frequently as I build a web page, to insure my links are working. What a time saver!

Fully interactive on just about any website, including Google, Yahoo!, MSN, YouTube, Flickr. Try CoolPreviews on blogs, discussion forums, and news sites.

Fast facts:

  • Preview web links, images, and videos
  • Stack previewed items into temporary bookmarks
  • Instantly send links to friends and family with just a click.
  • Automatically sub search Google, Wikipedia, or just about any searchable website by right-clicking on any phrase
  • Customize CoolPreviews to control preview window activation

Firefox and Flock versions are the most robust and support Windows XP, Vista, OS X 10.4, and Linux. Firefox.

Download at: CoolPreviews

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Filed under Browser add-ons, Digital Media, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Cooliris Browser Add-on – Awesome Picture-in-a-Picture Web Surfing

Cooliris is a wonderfully fluid and superbly crafted free add-on for Safari, FireFox, and Internet Explorer, which will take you to places you never thought possible on a web browser.

If you want Picture-in-a-Picture browsing, with a cool free browser add-on that that gives you the power to preview links and rich media content without clicking the link, or leaving your current page, then Cooliris is for you.

(Click pic for larger)

With Cooliris, just place your mouse cursor over your link, or over the Cooliris icon, and a customizable preview window of the website that the link points to instantly appears with the content; page view, image view, or even video.

You can fully interact with the preview window; play the video, click on links, fill out forms, and more. In fact, you can interact with the preview just as if you had the full page open. Opening the full page is easy; just click the Cooliris full page icon and you’re there.

(Click pic for larger)

Using Cooliris is a great way to save time and reduce the drudgery involved in trying to determine which search results are worth investigating. Cooliris lets you take a quick look at each link to see if it’s worthwhile investigating further.

I use this add-on frequently as I build a web page, or when writing a Blog posting, to ensure that all included links are working. Cooliris definitely increases my productivity; what a time saver!

It’s no wonder Mozilla lists this neat little tool as a recommended FireFox add-on, and also includes it in its most popular list of browser add-ons.

Quick facts:

Preview web links, images, and videos without even clicking

View photos in full-screen mode

Drag, click, and zoom into a “3D Wall” interface

Search for web images

Play a slideshow of image search results and photo albums

Fly through 1000s of images in a split second

Instantly send links to friends and family with just a click.

Automatically search Google, Wikipedia, or virtually any searchable website by right-clicking on any phrase

Customize Cooliris to control preview window activation

iPhone compatible

(Click pic for larger)

Expand your own Internet horizons, download and install Cooliris. You’ll be glad you did.

System Requirements: Cooliris currently supports FireFox (Windows XP/Vista and Mac), Internet Explorer, and Safari (Mac).

For a Cooliris video preview checkout YouTube

Download at: Cooliris

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Filed under Browser add-ons, Browsers, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Mobile Applications, Portable Applications, Safari add-ons, Software, Timesaving Tips, Website Previews, Windows Tips and Tools

Cooliris Previews – The Best Browser Add-on? – Picture-in-a-Picture Web Surfing

Get Picture-in-a-Picture browsing with a cool free browser add-on that that gives you the power to preview links and rich media content without clicking the link, or leaving your current page.

cooliris.jpg

With Cooliris, just place your mouse cursor over your link, or over the Cooliris icon, and a customizable preview window of the website that the link points to instantly appears with the content; page view, image view, or even video.

You can fully interact with the preview window; play the video, click on links, fill out forms, and more. In fact, you can interact with the preview just as if you had the full page open. Opening the full page is easy; just click the Cooliris full page icon and you’re there.

Using Cooliris is a great way to save time and reduce the drudgery involved in trying to determine which search results are worth investigating.  Cooliris lets you take a quick look at each link to see if it’s worthwhile investigating further.

I use this add-on frequently as I build a web page, or when writing a Blog posting, to ensure that all included links are working. Cooliris definitely increases my productivity; what a time saver!

It’s no wonder Mozilla lists this neat little tool as a recommended Firefox add-on, and also includes it in its most popular list of browser add-ons.

Quick facts: 

  • Preview web links, images, and videos
  • Stack previewed items into temporary bookmarks
  • Instantly send links to friends and family with just a click.
  • Automatically sub search Google, Wikipedia, or just about any searchable website by right-clicking on any phrase
  • Customize Cooliris to control preview window activation

 

Supported Browsers: Firefox, Safari, IE, Flock

The Safari 2.0 version works only on Google, (Web, Images, News, Groups, Froogle), Yahoo!, AOL, Ask, Flickr, Newsvine, BBC News, CNN News, Craigslist, eBay, Del.icio.us and RSS feeds.

Safari 3.0 and Internet Explorer 7.0 are not yet supported.

For a Cooliris video preview checkout YouTube

Download at: Cooliris Previews

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Filed under Browser add-ons, Browsers, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Safari add-ons, Search Engines, Timesaving Tips, Website Previews, Windows Tips and Tools