Google islaunching add-ons for its Docs and Sheets today, according to a post on its official blog. Created mostly by third-party developers, these add-ons will insert features into a user’s document that were not previously possible. In order to see what is available, users will need to click on the Add-ons tab for any open document or spreadsheet and then click the Get add-ons option. From there, users will be directed to the Add-on store.
With Mozilla inking a new search referral agreement with Google and with one report pegging the three-year deal as high as $900 million, it has nothing to worry about as far as its financial security is concerned. This generous replenishment of its coffers couldn’t have come at a better time as financial uncertainty is not something Mozilla can afford at a time when its position in the browser market is under threat from Chrome. It can now use this added financial security to focus on making Firefox a better browser. One area it can improve in is the sync feature, which currently does not support syncing of add-ons.
Mozilla just can’t catch any slack; the new, memory-improved Firefox 7.0 is barely off the virtual printing presses and already some users are complaining that the thing is crash-tastic. Not so fast: Mozilla pays attention to those crash reports that users send back, you see, and the company noticed that McAfee’s ScriptScan add-on was the cause of a lot of those fatal errors. In fact, ScriptScan was creating such a high volume of crashes that Mozilla tossed the add-on in their blocklist yesterday.
If's there's one thing we hate, it's Brussels sprouts. If there's two things we hate, it's Brussels sprouts and sneaky programs that automatically install add-ons into our Internet browsers. Turns out we're not the only ones. Those pesky unapproved add-ons have been a thorn in the side of Mozilla, who shoulders the blame when the invaders cause crashes and browser lagging. When Firefox 8 rolls around, unauthorized add-ons will be a thing of the past: the browser won't allow installations without the express permission of users.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent Mozilla a request to remove a Firefox add-on that redirects web surfers from one domain to another. At issue is the MafiaaFire Redirect add-on, which redirects visitors from one domain to another, making it all too easy to sidestep the government's domain name seizures. Be that as it may, Mozilla is so far refusing to comply.
Skype is an awesome VoIP app. Firefox is still one of our favorite browsers. What happens when you put the two together? You get a buggy combination, Mozilla says.
"The current shipping version of the Skype Toolbar is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week," Mozilla stated in a blog post. "Additionally, depending on the version of the Skype Toolbar you're using, the methods it uses to detect and re-render phone numbers can make DOM manipulation up to 300 times slower, which drastically affects the page rendering times of a large percentage of Web content served today (plan English: to the user, it appears Firefox is slow loading Web pages)."
According to Mozilla, this constitutes a "major, user-facing issue" and meets the company's established criteria for blocking an add-on, which it's done. All versions of the Skype Toolbar, including beta releases, have been added to Firefox's blocklist.
Mozilla says this is a "soft block," meaning users are notified of what's happening and have the option of manually re-enabling the add-on. In the meantime, Mozilla said it's working with the Skype Toolbar team to "identify the issues that should be corrected, and will lift the soft block on future versions that address those issues."
Oh, Skype. We have you to thank for transforming thousands, of not hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people into cheapskates. I say that lovingly, for I, too, dream of a day when I can forever free myself from the confines of a monthly cell phone plan and run into the loving, warm embrace of no-monthly-cost, Skype-based chatting…
Okay, so maybe that’s a bit overdramatic. But it would be silly to think that Skype hasn’t radically transformed the way a lot of people go about their daily lives. In fact, some people do indeed subsist on this service, and this service alone, for all of their phone-based needs. And many more people use Skype to conduct business; to make podcasts; to call loved ones from afar, as is the case with Maximum PC dream date winner Magali and her French family.
In short, Skype is kind of a big deal. You know it, I know it, but… the one thing that you likely don’t know off the top of your head is all the different ways you can maximize your VoIP-chatting experience through the use of third-party Skype add-ons, software tweaks, and more! That’s what we’ll be covering in this comprehensive tips guide: Making Skype awesome.
The story of Xmarks is like a David and Goliath kind of a tale—only, instead of slinging rocks, users of the (seemingly) popular service all pledged to donate untold amounts of money to keep the cross-browser bookmark synchronization tool alive.
Well, I hope you didn’t throw yourself off a duomo at the sad September news that Xmarks was considering shutting its services, because it’s not. In a bit of news from the we-expected-this-would-happen-but-were-still-slightly-concerned department, the pledge slash publicity drive worked and Xmarks is back in business. Huzzah.
Here's my question though: Why haven't any of the "big three" browser makers thought about providing a cross-browser synchronization tool? And here's the real kicker: If Xmarks wasn't already going under, would you have really paid 'em a dime?
In the wake of the quasi-departure of Xmarks (seriously; is it alive? Gone? Going somewhere? Dead? Fading out? What?), it’s nice to see that other enterprising developers have taken the idea of cross-computer Firefox synchronization and really ran with it. I’m speaking, of course, of a particular add-on called Siphon. It’s currently beta-testing, but it unlocks a whole pie full of usefulness for anyone who’s as add-on addicted as those of us over at Maximum PC.
Sad news folks, the developers of the awesome (and free) Xmarks cross-browser bookmark syncing service have decided to pull the plug on the popular project in 90 days, ending a nearly five-year run. In a lengthy blog post detailing the rise and fall of Xmarks, Co-Founder and CTO Todd Agulnick says it just became too costly to maintain.
"For four years we have offered the synchronization service for no charge, predicated on the hypotheses that a business model would emerge to support the free service," Agulnick explains. "With that investment thesis thwarted, there is no way to pay expenses, primarily salary and hosting costs. Without the resources to keep the service going, we must shut it down."
The decision to kill the service came as a last resort after all other options had been exhausted.
"By Spring 2010, with money running tight and options fading, we started searching for potential buyers of the company," Agulnick said. "Over the past three months, we have been remarkably close to striking a deal, only to have the potential buyer get cold feet."
Agulnick also considered making Xmarks a premium service, but described the prospects as grim, saying "it's hard to see users paying for a service that they can now get for free," in reference to sync features built into Firefox and Chrome.
So that's it. Barring any changes in the next three months, on January 10, 2011, Xmarks will fade away, with no real alternative available for cross-browsing syncing. Bummer.