Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

That Ain’t Right!

Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 by El Guru in Browsers, Firefox, Other

The other day I had a customer who’s site would not load in Internet Explorer. It would load in Firefox, but Internet Explorer would just choke and given an usual error saying it could not load the site. At first I thought may be it was a time-out issue as I could not duplicate on our internal network. Then the customer told me they tried to load their site at their local library and with Internet Explorer with the same results. I took a look at the site on the computer we have that is not connected to our internal network and has a pure connection the Internet. Internet Explorer started loading the site, but then gave up and popped up the error unable to load.

Okay, so this issue had to be something to do with the coding. I looked the page in Firefox, nothing real fancy: simple background, some images and text. However, one thing I noticed odd was the size of the HTML file on the server. For such a simple page, the file was sure big. So I did a view source…Oh my! Soon as I saw the source this ‘blooper’ sign below from Arizona Roads came to mind (the sign was mounted upside down).

For a divided highway to end, as this sign indicates, it has to be divided in the first place

I asked the famous question, “So, how did you build this page?”. The customer replied that someone else had built it for them. They also added they had gone in and attempted to add META tags for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purpose. Whoever built the page originally coded it rather poorly. The first issue was there was no DOCTYPE deceleration. Then I saw a closing HEAD tag, but NO opening head tag. A header is trying to be closed that hasn’t been opened in the first place. Getting past this I saw why the HTML file was so bloated. There were may be five lines of CSS declarations along with an opening BODY tag which were repeated at least twenty times (if not more). Well, no wonder Internet Explorer was having issues.

I wish I had still had Chrome installed on my machine at work, I would have loved to see how it would have handled this garbled mess of coding. Firefox ignores that bad coding and tries as best it can to still display the page. In this Firefox displayed the page perfectly, ignoring the redundant CSS declarations, missing DOCTYPE and even the improper header.

The caller also informed me that they knew just enough HTML to be dangerous (so true here) and admitted they probably made it worse when they went in to add the META Tags. Upon asking for suggestions I refereed them over to W3 Schools.

Recently there has been a fake Firefox update page (see below) has been floating around the web. This page not only tells the user they are running an out-dated version of Firefox, but that they need to update Adobe Flash Player as well. There is a link to “update” Adobe Flash Player but this is actually a malicious link:

The download starts automatically. Save and run it and you get a rogue antivirus product named “SecurityTool” which starts finding threats which aren’t there and demanding payment in order to remove them.

Fake Firefox Update Screen

With the recent increase in Firefox updates (especially for Firefox 3.6) it is easy for users to get mislead into thinking there is a new update. Some tips to protect yourself against fake update notices:

  • Update notifications are normally delivered via a pop-up window not a web page
  • Use the Check For Updates… feature under the Help Menu if you are unsure about an ‘update notice’. If there is an update available you will get the pop-up window as described above.
  • Mozilla has an official site where you can check to make sure your plugins (such as Flash Player) are up to date: The browser normally does not alert you to out-dated plugins.
  • Current release information is posted on the main site ( and is usually update within a few hours of the new releases. We always post a blog entry for any new releases (including the current developmental version). Also we publish a weekly Release Recap every Saturday morning.

Thanks to Gareon for posting this alert at Go Firefox!

Source: PC Magazine

Dell KACE Offers Free Secure Browser

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 by gareon in Browsers, Firefox, Other, Windows

This is FYI as I am on Linux.

“To help companies increase the safety of their Windows users’ web browsing from malicious code, including restricting direct and cross-site access to dangerous or inappropriate websites, Dell KACE has introduced the Dell KACE Secure Browser, available immediately as a free download.
The Dell KACE Secure Browser consists of a browser — currently, FireFox 3.6 — plus plug-ins — currently, Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader — plus proprietary Dell KACE “Virtual Kontainer” application virtualization technology developed as part of the company’s K1000, all packaged into one download that uses a standard Windows installer. … “

July 19, 2010
Source:  — Security — InformationWeek

We recently rounded up 15 Awesome Dropbox Tips and Tricks, which was accompanied by a giveaway. Entries required a comment with your favorite Dropbox tip, trick or hack you use. From that massive collection of entries we bring you 10 [more] killer Dropbox tips and tricks to make the most of this amazing app.

Source: 10 [More] Killer Dropbox Tips and Tricks | Web.AppStorm

Chrome Conundrums Resolved

Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 by El Guru in Blogs, Browsers, Google, Other

Back in January I wrote about a couple Chrome Conundrums. They were how when I had Chrome window maximized I could not get to my hidden taskbar without pressing the Windows Key. Further if the Chrome was the active application (not in the background) my computer and/or monitor would not go into power save/sleep mode. A couple of months ago with one of the ‘silent updates’ of Chrome these issues were resolved. I can now have Chrome open maximized and placing the mouse at the bottom of the screen the Windows Taskbar shows up. Even better I can leave the computer unattended with Chrome as the active application and the computer will go to sleep after the preset amount of time.

World Cup 2010 Live Feeder

Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 by El Guru in Add-ons, Blogs, Firefox, Fx 2.0, Fx 3.0, Fx 3.5, Fx 3.6, Fx 3.7, Other

For those of you who want an easy way to follow the 2010 World Cup scores, GoodReflex has developed a very simple World Cup 2010 Live Feeder extension. The extension adds a toolbar (GoodReflex) between your Bookmarks toolbar and the tab bar. Since this is a toolbar it is very easy to switch on or off (handy for work). Clicking the soccer ball on the left will take you to the GoodReflex Blog.

Note: This extension has not been reviewed by Mozilla so you will see a warning on the AMO page.You may still install the add-on. I have had it installed and have not had any issues with the browser.

Click For Larger Image

The GoodRelfex World Cup 2010 add-on is about 27 KB and works with Firefox 2.0 through Firefox 3.7a5pre. I am going to drop a note to the developer letting them know they need to bump their max version setting to Firefox 3.7a5.

Source: Ramy

We’re on Facebook and Twitter!

Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 by El Guru in Blog News, Other

The Firefox Extension Guru is now on Facebook and Twitter (#ffextensionguru). The majority of the posts on both are going to be the blog feed but we may add exclusive content on our Facebook page from time to time.

Follow ffextensionguru on TwitterFirefox Extension Guru

Pondering Linux

Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2010 by El Guru in Firefox, Open Source, Other, Ubuntu

Note: I am posting this both on my personal El Guru and Firefox Extension Guru’s Blogs to get as much feedback as I can on this.

As some my long time Firefox Blog readers may recall I had experimented a bit back in 2007 with Linux Ubuntu. Never really got a chance to do much with it as about six-months after I had installed Ubuntu I had to replace the computer. Given everything I do online, I could not be without a computer for a few days. Because of this I could not go my usual route and have one custom built for me. So the same day I ended purchasing an HP Pavilion off-the-shelf which came installed with Windows Vista. For an off-the-shelf machine this HP is not too bad, except for the Windows Vista part. I know my way around Vista and it does what I need it to do, just so slowly. Heck to even shut-down takes about 2-3 minutes and a restart takes another 3 minutes or so. I really need to do a clean install of Windows Vista again, but if I am going to go through all that trouble I may just as well switch over to Linux.

I recently took a look at what I running and discovered about 95% of the applications I use could run on Linux. A couple exceptions would be Quicken, WinAmp and WeatherBug. WinAmp would not be that big of a deal as I really liked Amarok over WinAmp. Checking on WeatherBug’s site they have a beta available for Debian Linux distribution (Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, etc), so that could work (beta software doesn’t bother me). Quicken is going to be an issue, but I suppose if I do go the dual-boot route I can boot into Windows for that (or find an Open Source equivalent or may be use Wine).

The big applications that I am always using are Firefox, Chrome (it handles Flash based games much better than Firefox) and Thunderbird. Firefox shouldn’t be too difficult to re-setup other then getting my extensions reinstalled (time to do some house keeping anyways) and importing my bookmarks (easy to do since I have to that about once a week at work). Last time I did Thunderbird, I had set it up so that it used my Windows profile. I won’t need to do that this time around as all four of email accounts I use in Thunderbird are setup IMAP so it should remain synced no matter which was I access my email. The only thing I will need to import is my contacts which should not be difficult. Chrome all I need to do with that is just install it (I am not even running any of the extensions).

For my web development work I use an old Open-Source application called NVU. Sadly this is not the most stable program in the world but it gets the job done. There is/was a Linux equivalent called KompoZer I would be interested in finding an Open Source HTML/WYSIWYG Editor. For FTP Client I use FileZilla and I know that is available for Linux.

Now, my two main concerns are installing Linux and some of the hardware I am using. I’ll address the hardware first as this relates to my install concerns. I am using a 24″ Acer Monitor set at a resolution of 1920×1080 in Windows. Back when I had Ubuntu with my 19″ running at 1440×900 I had quite the challenge being able to get Ubuntu to support that high of a resolution. Further I have a Western Digital My Book external USB hard drive. That shouldn’t be too difficult to get mounted within Linux. I use the drive primarily for back-up of my data.

When I ran Ubuntu in 2007 on my Windows XP machine I had installed on partition on a separate (from the drive with Windows XP) internal drive. This time around I don’t have this luxury, without going out and buying another (SATA) drive and trying to install it within this cramped case (hence the reason I bought the external). I have heard it is possible to re-partition the hard drive which Windows is installed on without damaging Windows. I have plenty of space (169 GB available) so should be plenty of room for Linux on the same drive.

So here are my concerns and questions in regards to trying do a dual-boot install of Linux:

  • Is it possible to have Linux and Windows both on the same drive but on different partitions without messing up my Windows Vista install? I should add I do have the recovery disks for my system so if something does go wrong I can reinstall Vista.
    • I might even consider wiping and installing Linux on another machine. As long I can get Linux to mount my external drive I should be able to access all my data from either machine. I just would need to invest in a KVM switch so I don’t have to keep disconnecting/reconnecting peripherals when I need to switch machines.
  • What would be a good distribution to use that would handle my hardware requirements relativity painlessly? About a year ago I do recall downloading and even burning to a CD an ISO for Mint, but never did anything with it.
    • If I go with the clean install on another machine method, I would imagine this would be an easier way to install Linux.

So any feedback, advise, suggestions, success./horror stories, etc would be appreciated. This is something I am looking to be doing in the next month or so.

WTF is HTML5 and why should we care

Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2010 by El Guru in Browsers, Firefox, Fx 3.6, Fx 4.0, IE, Microsoft, Other

For those unfamiliar with HTML5, it is going to be the next big update for the HTML coding standard. Some of the new elements in HTML5 include:

  • Canvas Element: allows rendering of graphics (including those used in games) on the fly. What is nice about Canvas is this is done without the need for troublesome plugins such as Flash. On a side note about Flash, Apple CEO Steve Jobs hates Flash and loves HTML5
  • Video Element: allows embedding of video without the need for clunky plugins such as the open source Adobe Flash and Apple’s QuickTime. HTML5 is going to be taking advantage of the H.264 and VP8 codecs.
  • Geolocaton: A more reliable way of pin-pointing a web users location. Instead of relying on the user’s IP address Geolocation in HTML5 will be able to pin-point a user’s location based on hits from Wi-Fi Towers (similar to way GPS in your smart phone works).
  • Offline Web Applications: allowing users to still interact with web applications even when they are connect to a network.

The below chart was designed to explain HTML5 and it is differences from Adobe Flash. However it also shows how ‘HTML5 Ready’ current and versions of IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari are.

Click For Larger Image

A couple things I found really interesting looking at the above chart is IE8 and even the future IE9 do not support many of the HTML5 features. I am very surprised to see Chrome currently is the most HTML5 ready browser. I suppose part of this has to do with Google having a vested interest in HTML by recently making the VP8 video codec open-source. On the flip side, when(ever) Firefox 4 is released (may be end of this year, may be early next year) it will be the most HTML5 ready browser.Source: The Microsoft Blog

Below is part of an article Gareon had posted on Go Firefox!

Although I live in Windows, I avoid Internet Explorer – its the Defensive Computing thing to do. My approach is the same as Steve Gibson’s, we run IE once a month to install Microsoft patches, then ignore it until next month.

Not too long ago, on his Security Now! podcast, Gibson suggested further protection from IE by setting both the Internet and Intranet zones to “High” security levels. What the heck, I figured, an extra bit of safety can’t hurt. But it did hurt, and thus, this blog posting.

The advice isn’t new, of course, but I implemented it sometime early this year.
Unfortunately, I also upgraded my main XP machine to service pack 3 around the same time. Thus, when Firefox acted up, I first suspected the service pack. False lead.

The problem was that Firefox couldn’t download files. Rather than spend time researching it, I just ran Chrome the few times I needed to download a file from a website. Since the solution was so simple, the problem didn’t rate much time or effort. My email program, Thunderbird, had no problem saving attached files, so I made due.

The Problem:

Windows XP users (this problem does not occur with Windows Vista and 7) who have made changes to the default security Zone settings in IE (7 or 8), may find themselves unable to download .EXE files with Firefox. Changing the security settings from Medium-High to High for the Internet Zone within IE will cause Firefox not to download .EXE files. Which version of Firefox you are using determines what your options are for getting around this issue:

  • Firefox 3.5 – create a new about:config entry for

    1. In a new tab type about:config and press enter
    2. If you get a warning about voiding the warranty, click I’ll Be Careful, I Promise
    3. In the list right-click anywhere and select New
    4. Select Boolean
    5. A dialog box will pop-up asking for preference name, type
    6. In the next dialog box, select TRUE
    7. Close the tab and the changes will take effect immediately
  • Firefox 3.6 – currently the only options for Firefox 3.6 users are to either drop the security level in IE for the Internet Zone back down to Medium-High or to use another browser such as Chrome for downloading .EXE file
  • Firefox 3.7 – create a new about:config entry for

    1. In a new tab type about:config and press enter
    2. If you get a warning about voiding the warranty, click I’ll Be Careful, I Promise
    3. In the list right-click anywhere and select New
    4. Select Boolean
    5. A dialog box will pop-up asking for preference name, type
    6. In the next dialog box, select FALSE
    7. Close the tab and the changes will take effect immediately

Source: Computerworld Blogs