We all lis­ten to our music using var­i­ous ways, appli­ca­tions, and tools. Vari­ety is the spice of Life after all. So what’s another way to do so…

Exten­sionFM, or “Ex.fm”, is quite use­ful if you use Google Chrome as your pri­mary browser. Add on to that your insa­tiable hunger to surf dif­fer­ent music blogs or sites like: Sound­Cloud, Last.fm, Beat­port, etc… this exten­sion becomes a must-install for users like you.

Con­tinue reading →

Use Google.com Search Instead of Country Redirect Version

For those trav­el­ling with their lap­tops and have used Google search, you may have noticed that it does a coun­try redi­rect based on your IP address. For exam­ple, I vis­ited the Philip­pines this past month and instead of the usual google.com, it redi­rected and used google.com.ph. After get­ting back to the US, my searches would still redi­rect to using the .ph ver­sion. I even checked that the Search Engines set­tings (in this case in Chrome/OSX) didn’t have it.

Any­ways, in case you run into the same sit­u­a­tion, do the following:

  1. Open up Terminal
  2. Go to ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome
  3. Open the file “Local State” either w/ vi or a text editor
  4. Search for the strings “last_known_google_url” and “last_prompted_google_url” and replace their val­ues to your pre­ferred Google base URL. In my case, “http://www.google.com/”.
  5. Save the file and exit
  6. Restart Chrome.

That should do the trick. For Win­dows and other sys­tems, you may check out this page for the steps. Almost the same, just dif­fer­ent paths.

Hope that helps.

vBulletin and Internet Explorer 8 Compatibility

If you are expe­ri­enc­ing some dis­play issues in IE8 with your vBulletin-based forums (and/or gen­eral sites), you might want to try adding the fol­low­ing meta-tag in your HEAD section:

    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7"/>

You may get more info about this meta-tag and issues that might be con­nected with IE8’s strict­ness at the IEBlog, and/or via this Microsoft Sup­port arti­cle.

Google Chrome’s Logo Inspiration from Pokemon?

As I was try­ing to con­firm my hunch about Chrome and the Poke­mon ball look­ing the same, I ran into a search result in Flickr which led me to Cole Hen­ley’s image above. Awe­some. I am not alone1.

  1. Although, I don’t know about the Simon Says part but it wouldn’t hurt. []

Google Chrome Open Source Web Browser Released

As announced in their blog yes­ter­day, Google released its open source web browser today at 12pm PDT. It is called Google Chrome (Beta). It was built with the help of com­po­nents from Apple’s WebKit and Mozilla’s Fire­fox, and some oth­ers. It is only cur­rently avail­able on Win­dows; though they are work­ing on the Linux and Mac ver­sions supposedly.

I took it for a quick test run ear­lier and I can say its fast and “min­i­mal” as to what they say. Although most of the key fea­tures are already in Fire­fox, I do like the “crash con­trol”. Here are the ones that have been highlighted:

  • One box for every­thing — Web search. Web his­tory. Address bar. Sug­ges­tions as you type. One uni­fied box serves all your brows­ing needs.
  • New tab page — Every time you open a new tab, you’ll see a visual sam­pling of your most vis­ited sites, most used search engines, and recently book­marked pages and closed tabs.
  • Appli­ca­tion short­cuts — Use web apps with­out open­ing your browser. Appli­ca­tion short­cuts can directly load your favorite online apps.
  • Dynamic tabs — You can drag tabs out of the browser to cre­ate new win­dows, gather mul­ti­ple tabs into one win­dow or arrange your tabs how­ever you wish — quickly and easily.
  • Crash con­trol — Every tab you’re using is run inde­pen­dently in the browser, so if one app crashes it won’t take any­thing else down.
  • Incog­nito mode — Don’t want pages you visit to show up in your web his­tory? Choose incog­nito mode for pri­vate browsing.
  • Safe brows­ing — Google Chrome warns you if you’re about to visit a sus­pected phish­ing, mal­ware or oth­er­wise unsafe website.
  • Instant book­marks — Want to book­mark a web page? Just click the star icon at the left edge of the address bar and you’re done.
  • Import­ing set­tings — When you switch to Google Chrome, you can pick up where you left off with all the book­marks and pass­words from your exist­ing browser.
  • Sim­pler down­loads — No intru­sive down­load man­ager; you see your download’s sta­tus at the bot­tom of your cur­rent window.

So after giv­ing it a spin, would I use it in my daily work­flow? Not quite yet. As noted, it is still in Beta and only avail­able to the Windows-user demo­graphic. It will be inter­est­ing to see where it goes for sure, or how peo­ple react to it as it approaches more and more to main­stream. That, and how Google would mar­ket it with their other appli­ca­tions and ser­vices.

That being said, I over­heard through the grapevine that Google’s inten­tion for releas­ing this is due the fact that Mozilla Fire­fox makes 85% of its rev­enue through Google Search. It does makes sense though. Whether that is totally true or only par­tial, its still a good idea if that’s the case. Why make some­one else money when you keep that money for yourself—right?

Another ques­tion that came to mind was: is it bad for every­one else, the every­day users? Not quite… yet. Unless every­one has been fol­low­ing Google’s blog, or are tech­ni­cally savvy and keep track of Tech news, the reach of Google Chrome’s release would most likely be by word of mouth between those in the Tech indus­try (for now). But when it does make its stake in the browser mar­ket share, it can be bad and good at the same time. Bad, that there will be another browser to add to the list to sup­port and care for by web­sites. And good, that it can be the one true browser to rule them all1.

Kevin Purdy of Lifehacker.com recently released some Beta Browser Speed Tests ear­lier today com­par­ing IE 8b2, Fire­fox 3.1b and Google Chrome 0.2. There are 3 impor­tant find­ings from his tests:

  1. In terms of startup time, Chrome wins. On a cold start2, Fire­fox leads the pack. How­ever, on a warm start where the browser has just been closed and reloaded, Chrome sur­pris­ingly takes the deci­sive lead.
  2. In load­ing JavaScript & CSS, both Fire­fox and Chrome are near half of that of IE’s.
  3. Last but not least, with regards to mem­ory use, Fire­fox is undoubt­edly the win­ner. But this might be arguable as can be noted in Chrome’s fea­ture set. That is, its abil­ity of “crash con­trol” which makes each tab load its own process, rather than a sole Chrome process like that of IE and Firefox.
  1. Will there ever be one? I really don’t think so. That’s what’s good and bad about Tech­nol­ogy, there’s always improve­ment to be done and it is widely open for every­one to inno­vate. []
  2. Refer­ring to a com­puter that just has been turned on or restarted. []