GMail Labs adds browser bar tweaks

There’s a new feature for GMail users, something that some of us may have already been using for a while. They moved the title around a bit so that it’s easier for you to see if you have new unread email when the browser window is minimized, or you’re working in another tab.

This is what it looks like:


There is a small issue with that. This is what it looks like in the taskbar on my screen:


And like this in the browser tabs:


Not really perfect, right…? Now let’s compare it to another way. Browser tabs:


And the taskbar:


A lot better, isn’t it?

How do you get that, I hear you asking? Easy: it’s Lifehacker’s Better GMail 2 Firefox Extension.

Sorry if you’re on IE, there’s nothing I can do for you then. But then again, you have enough problems already ;)

Add some privacy to Firefox: switch off link-prefetching

Don’t want your IP address to appear on sites you visited?

By default, firefox will do something called link-prefetching:

Link prefetching is a browser mechanism, which utilizes browser idle time to download or prefetch documents that the user might visit in the near future. A web page provides a set of prefetching hints to the browser, and after the browser is finished loading the page, it begins silently prefetching specified documents and stores them in its cache. When the user visits one of the prefetched documents, it can be served up quickly out of the browser’s cache.

If you do not want it to do that (think about all the sites that pages refer to that you may never visit but will have your IP address in their access logs):

  • type “about:config” into your URL bar and press ENTER
  • search for “network.prefetch-next” and double-click to de-activate


Windows Update Disables Firefox as Default Browser

(Via Zoli)

“After this week’s Windows Update, Firefox is no longer the default browser. Now, this is so stupid, and most users will obviously reset it in minutes, that I don’t really believe it’s an intentional attack on Firefox. It’s just careless, ignorant. Classic Microsoft.”

If you can’t beat ’em, disable ’em, I guess…. Scoble, what’s your take?

UPDATE 2007-04-04: Zoli says the issue has been resolved with Microsoft’s help. Seems it has its origins in the way Firefox checks if it’s the default broser.

IE7 breaks commercial apps

Dennis says IE7 breaks Sage’s home page.

As bad as this is, think about companies that distribute IE7 to several thousand users automatically, only to realize their web based internal ERP systems don’t quite work as they used to.

It seems we finally reached the point where we need to realise a browser is no longer just a procrastination app, but the center of our daily work life. This may actually be an opportunity for the Firefox guys to beat Microsoft in their own domain. Can’t have business apps break, can we?

Time for a browser we can rely on. I found mine already. And it’s not IE7.

Firefox Master Password Security

I’m using Firefox Portable almost exclusively nowadays. I’m even using it on my employer’s Citrix Site, running from a shared drive in our department.

This of course makes security an issue – basically anybody with access to my drive (which means a lot of people…) could also run the browser from there, accessing my cookies, stored passwords and other stuff.

Please spare me the talk of how I should never save confidential stuff anywhere, I’m well aware of the trade-off of security vs. convenience here.

Now, what are my options? I have set a master password, but will this prevent somebody from copying files from the directory to his installation? There’s a new set of issues around using portable apps from public drives. This is something that needs more investigation…

To be continued.