How To Use Multi-touch in Firefox

Did you know you can switch tabs in Firefox by making a twisting motion with your fingers on a multi-touch surface? I did. Turns out I’ve been doing this for months – I thought I was late to the party and was too ashamed to mention it to anybody for fear of an epic internet ribbing. But no, apparently it was top secret and highly experimental. That was in the beta; it loks like the official version has reduced it to a hack. Fortunately, mastering this multi-touch-enabling technique will allow you to tweak your gestures, resulting in everlasting glory.

  • Open a new tab in Firefox… (I’ll wait)
  • Put “about:config” in the address bar, no quotes. It’ll ask you if you’re sure. Yes, you are.
  • Ready? Okay, now type “twist” into the search box.
  • Double-click on the twist right, and put “Browser:NextTab” into the box, without quotes.
  • Theeeen, in twist left, put “Browser:PrevTab” without the quotes.
  • You’re done! Now, I found the gesture (it applies immediately, try putting one finger down and rotating another around it) to be a bit slow to respond, so I changed that other setting, the threshold one, from its default (25) to 10. You can mess around and figure out what’s best for you.

See, tweaking is easy! If you’re afraid you’ve ruined something, just right-click on any box you’ve modified and hit reset.

Curiosity piqued? Type “gesture” into the search box and try modifying a few of those settings. I don’t particularly like the twist, so I’m about to set tab switching to three-fingered swipes. Aren’t we just having so much fun?

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Chrome Browser is Resource Intensive

There are a variety of reasons why people will pick a certain browser. For me, the major consideration is memory. Even with 2 GB of RAM, it is really not sufficient when working with large databases in Windows XP. Therefore, how the browser uses RAM is important:

“…In memory usage, Chrome still holds up the rear, using somewhat more RAM than Internet Explorer, and more than double what Firefox consumed in testing with the same set of ten content rich sites. In standards support, Opera is still the leader, garnering 85 out of 100 possible points on the Acid3 Browser Compatibility test from the Web Standards Project.”

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This may be an issue that will be corrected soon with Chrome. The Chrome browser has left the ‘beta’ phase just recently. However, on the memory use alone, it is enough to convince me to stay with Opera for the moment.

Songbird

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Songbird, the open-source, media focused web browser, has launched its 1.0 milestone release to the public. The browser, which we’ve covered extensively since it was first announced back in 2005, offers a number of features that make it an appealing alternative to music players like iTunes, including a feature called mashTape will automatically cull the internet for relevant content for each song you play, using sources like YouTube and Flickr. The app also includes integrated support for Last.fm, concert ticket purchases, and add-ons to further enhance the browser.

In practice the browser works well (not much of the interface seems to have changed since the .7 release). Since .7, most of the changes have been under the hood, enhancing music playback and performance along with a few minor tweaks (for example, users can now use keyboard shortcuts).

 

The experience may seem odd for first time users, as it presents a strange fusion of iTunes with Firefox (the two browsers share the same Mozilla engine). But after a few minutes the foreignness wears off and the benefits become clear, though I suspect that some people will never get over the hybrid nature of the feature-set.

The app does have some acknowledged shortcomings – you can’t rip albums using Songbird, and there’s no way to sync an iPhone to the app. These pitfalls would probably be enough to put off most casual users, but Songbird appeals to a more hardcore listening demographic that is more willing to embrace emerging software (90% of the app’s users are on Firefox, and 80% have music libraries over 10 gigs in size).

Best Mobile Browser

Opera‘s commitment to innovative, high-performance mini browsers carries into the mobile market with Opera Mini 4. Features are designed with the mobile user in mind and include keyboard shortcuts, landscape viewing, small screen rendering, one-click access to bookmarks and simple navigation tool. Additionally, Opera offers synchronization of bookmarks, favorites and browser settings between desktop and mobile devices through its free Opera Link service. Reviews conclude that Opera is once again ahead of the pack, offering today what other mobile browsers are hoping to deliver in a year.

Best Web Browser for Macs

Camino offers all the functionality and features of other Mac browser options, which none of the bloat and resouce hogging. Slim file size, seamless integration with Mac services, speedy page rendering and great customization options top critics’ praises. Unlike many Mac applications, Camino also integrates features usually found only on Windows machines, such as cursor-over tooltips (especially handy when navigation between multiple tabs). The attractive and intuitive user interface is pure Mac and the speed can’t be beat, with tests pulling up pages significantly faster than top competitors Firefox and Safari.

Fastest Web Browser

Reviews and tests are unanimous: Opera is the fastest, leanest and most efficient browser available. Despite its small following, Opera has most of the features of Firefox, plus a few more. It uses fewer resources and is nearly endlessly customizable. The latest version includes widgets, or small web applications that sit on users’ desktops, and support for BitTorrent, a popular file distribution technology. Opera can run on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and other operating systems. Security is not as robust as in Firefox or Internet Explorer, which keeps Opera from claiming “best browser” status. Previously, full versions of Opera required a licensing fee, but the browser is now completely free.

Web Browsers: The Most Secure

This evening I’m going to be talking about Web browsers. If you own a computer, there is a very strong possibility you use a web browser. Here is the safest and most secure web browser around:

Though reviewers generally prefer other Windows browsers, all agree that the current version of Internet Explorer is vastly more secure than its predecessors and a leader in that regard. Features include security management (including ActiveX opt-out), a URL parser to block malware and advanced anti-phishing technology. Internet Explorer is also the first and only browser to be billed as EV-ready, a high-level award regarding the browser’s ability to protect against phishing attacks, though the next generation of other browsers are also expected to have that capability