If Imitation is the Best Form of Flattery…

This article was written on September 13, 2007 by CyberNet.

As the saying goes "imitation is the best form of flattery." If there’s any truth to that I would have to say that Opera’s ego has got to be growing quickly. Why’s that? Back in April Opera 9.2 introduced a new feature called Speed Dial. It gives users 9 shortcuts that are aligned in a grid-like fashion for quick access. As it turns out there were a lot of people who found it to be useful…even those who were using other browsers.

Weeks after the launch of Opera 9.2 came a Firefox extension designed with Speed Dial in mind, but without some of the functionality Opera’s creation offered. Then came along Exalead which was a web-based search engine that also offered a Speed Dial-like feature for the homepage. What about Internet Explorer users? Well, IE7Pro made sure they weren’t left out and created their own copycat called "Easy Homepage."

HYPERiGO Homepage And now the time comes for a dedicated personal homepage to appear, and it’s called HYPERiGO. After registering with the site you can create your own customize page with all the sites you want on it. You can have it show small thumbnails of each site or large ones, and you can sort them in various ways including by the most visited.

By default your tab(s) are all public so you may want to be careful what you put in there (here’s my homepage). The privacy setting is one of the few things you can change, and there are a handful of different themes available for you to choose from.

I can’t honestly say that I’m all that impressed with the service though. I added our site to the bookmarks, and then I had to play the waiting game as the screenshot got queued. This also makes me wonder what the update period is on the existing screenshots?

As far as the interface goes I would say that it is nicely laid out. However, the site is painfully slow to load even when doing a simple thing such as adding a bookmark or switching a tab. Reordering the entries also needs some work, because I would expect it to use some AJAXy drag-and-drop effects which it doesn’t. Not only that but every reorder operation you do causes the entire page to refresh. Ouch!

So before you go taking the time to signup like me I suggest you at least browse around to see if you’ll be able to withstand the loading times. So Opera can once again be flattered by this Speed Dial-like service…you just can’t beat the speed of having the feature integrated into the browser when compared to a web-based version.

HYPERiGO [via Download Squad]
Thanks for the tip "s"!

Copyright © 2011 CyberNetNews.com

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CyberNotes: Browser Stats

This article was written on March 19, 2008 by CyberNet.

Web Browser Wednesday

We realized that we’ve never really done an article diving deep into the history of browser stats even though we have shown you screenshots of browsers from long ago. Thanks to Net Applications we have about a year and a half worth of data to look at, and it is interesting to see the rise and fall of the different browsers.

We had aggregated so much information that even the most severe stataholics would probably start to feel queasy. Below we’ve got an overview of all the browsers wrapped up into one, and then we dive even deeper by breaking the stats down into the popular versions of each browser. To try and ease the nauseous feeling we decided to hide the actual numbers that were used to generate the graphs, but they are still available by clicking on the Details link located at the beginning of each section.

We’ll start by comparing the market share of each major browser, and then we’ll break it down into Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Netscape usage.

Note: The timeline for each graph is the exact same, but the market share percentages are scaled differently for each chart to make it easier to read. You can click the Details link to see what percentages make up each graph.

–All Browsers (Details)–

From this graph you can see that Internet Explorer still owns a huge chunk of the browser market share, but over the duration of the graph it has changed quite significantly. In the next month or two it will likely hit a 10% drop since August 2006, and about 5% of that has occurred in the last 6-months.

 browser stats - all

–Internet Explorer (Details)–

It wasn’t until December of 2007 that Internet Explorer 7 actually took over Internet Explorer 6 in usage, which is rather surprising. Maybe it is because so many people are sticking with Windows XP and not making the upgrade to IE7, but it looks like things are finally starting to pickup for IE7:

browser stats - ie 

–Firefox (Details)–

When Firefox 2 came out in October 2006 it didn’t take long for users to make the jump from Firefox 1.5, and ever since then it has been rocking the house.

browser stats - firefox 

–Safari (Details)–

This obviously proves that Safari users enjoy playing with Beta versions of the browser, but don’t really adopt it until the stable version is available. In June 2007 Safari 3.0 Beta was made available by Apple, and in October it shipped with the OS X Leopard operating system. While in Beta it didn’t really affect the usage of other versions, but people made the upgrade rather rapidly once it was released. It’s been a hit ever since.

browser stats - safari 

–Opera (Details)–

The Opera 9.x browser was first introduced in June 2006 shortly before these stats started to be collected. You can see from the chart that Opera 9.x usage has been increasing quite steadily even though the market share is still small. Considering the fact that until September 2005 you had to pay for Opera (or suffer with a built-in ad banner) I would say that they are doing pretty good.

browser stats - opera 

–Netscape (Details)–

Late last year Netscape announced that they would no longer be developing the Netscape 9.0 version of their browser. Well, this might give us some indication as to why that is. The service we got our stats from didn’t even have anything on Netscape 9.0 presumably because the market share was so low. While Netscape 6.0 is currently the champ of all the versions available.

browser stats - netscape 


Hopefully you’ve enjoyed taking a look at all of the charts to see how your favorite browser has progressed over the last year and a half. If you haven’t gotten enough be sure to checkout our history of web browsers where we provide screenshots of browsers over the last 10+ years.

Copyright © 2011 CyberNetNews.com

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Google Reader Gets Search Box!

This article was written on September 06, 2007 by CyberNet.

It was always ironic to me that Google specializes in search, yet they didn’t offer a search option in Google Reader. The ability to search through  feeds was one of those things that many Google Reader users said was needed, and now finally it’s there. If you know you read an article about how to speed up file transfers and you wanted to reference it again, now you can just use the search feature to find it instead of manually going through all of your feeds.

When you’re searching, there are a few different options to narrow your search. A drop-down menu will list all of the options for you. One option is to enter your search query and search through "all items."  If you knew that you read that article about speeding up file transfers at a certain site, you could select that you want to search for example, only the "CyberNet News" subscription.  Aside from searching through all items, or a specific subscription, you can search through starred items as well as shared items.

google reader search

Besides the addition of a search box, Google Reader has now learned to count to 1,000! That’s right, your unread feeds will go all the way up to 1,000 now. Another change you’ll notice is that you’re able to hide the side navigation bar.  All you have to do is click in the area between the navigation bar and your content (the separator), and it will disappear.  To get the navigation bar back, just move your mouse to the left of the content where the navigation bar would be placed, and click the separator once again.

The only major complaint I’ve heard so far and experienced is that as of last night, Google Reader won’t work in Opera. There’s already a discussion going on in the Google Reader Help Group regarding the problem. If you’re using Opera, you’ll notice that it will only display the logo and the toolbar at the top. Hopefully this is something that will be fixed soon…

Thanks for the tip Curtiss and XPGeek!

Copyright © 2011 CyberNetNews.com

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Opera Dragonfly Developer Tools

This article was written on May 06, 2008 by CyberNet.

opera dragonfly developer tools-1.png

Opera Dragonfly is here, and as expected it is a new set of tools to help developers create functional websites. It’s obvious that the Opera team wanted to develop something to draw developers to their browser, much like how Firebug has become an irreplaceable tool for the developers that use Firefox. The real question is whether Dragonfly is the tool we’ve been longing for?

I was pretty pumped when I went to try it out in the latest snapshot build of Opera 9.5, and didn’t know quite what to expect. It turns out that Dragonfly (currently Alpha) is pretty much written entirely in JavaScript, and so the performance wasn’t the greatest. This also means that you must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to even start Dragonfly.

To get started with Dragonfly go to Tools -> Advanced -> Developer Tools and a new window should popup. The first time you load the tools it might take a little while since it has to download the necessary files onto your machine, but each subsequent launch should be much faster. Well, that is until you clear your browser’s cache which will also wipe out Dragonfly, and the files will once again be downloaded the next time you launch the developer tools.

In terms of functionality Dragonfly is decent, but doesn’t quite stack up to what Firebug can deliver. In Dragonfly you can do things like set breakpoints that make debugging JavaScript code a lot easier, but since it all operates in another window I found it to be a pain to use. Firebug, on the other hand, will display itself immediately below the website you’re trying to debug. From what I gather support for something like this is coming in a future version of Dragonfly.

Here is the documentation on using the JavaScript debugger, DOM/CSS inspector, and more in Dragonfly. I’m interested in hearing what everyone thinks of it, but I don’t see it pulling me away from Firebug anytime soon. I guess this is an Alpha release, and maybe they have some tricks up their sleeve?

Copyright © 2011 CyberNetNews.com

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Both Opera and Firefox Benefit from Mozilla’s jsfunfuzz

This article was written on August 03, 2007 by CyberNet.

Black HatAt the Black Hat conference this week Mozilla announced a new tool called jsfunfuzz that was developed by their very own Jesse Ruderman. This is something developers can use to test the JavaScript engine for both stability and vulnerabilities. Here’s what Mozilla had to say about it:

The responsible sharing of security tools is an important way to contribute to the overall health of the web. We worked with Microsoft, Apple, and Opera to reduce the possibility that this tool might adversely affect users of those browsers. All of these browser vendors reviewed the tool and let us know that they were okay with the release.

The great news is that Mozilla isn’t the only one benefiting from it! Opera posted version 9.23 Beta today that fixes four bugs that caused crashes, and one that could have compromised the security of the browser. All five of those problems were found using the jsfunfuzz tool that Mozilla announced and released to the public.

Of course the tool was developed by Mozilla, and so you would expect it to help them the most…and it has. Using it they’ve found 280 bugs in Firefox’s JavaScript engine with about two-dozen of those that could have been exploitable. More than two-thirds of those bugs have already been fixed, and their working on nailing down the rest.

So even if you aren’t using a Mozilla-based browser, I think we all owe Mozilla a big thanks for making this tool available to the public!

Copyright © 2011 CyberNetNews.com

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CyberNotes: Bookmarklets that make Subscribing to Feeds Easier

This article was written on April 04, 2007 by CyberNet.

Web Browser Wednesday

I subscribe to feeds all the time, but many of the browsers are different in the way they handle feeds. Firefox has a pretty nice interface for choosing an external application as the default subscription handler while Internet Explorer (IE) and Opera are both a little more tricky. IE and Opera are setup to handle feeds from within the browser itself so they don’t offer many options for subscribing to feeds using external applications.

When you install an external application to handle your feeds on your computer, such as FeedDemon or RSS Bandit, it registers the “feed://” protocol with the operating system much the same way that your browser registers the “http://” protocol. This means that anytime a URL begins with feed:// it will actually try to launch your external feed program.

This bookmarklet doesn’t work for Firefox (at least I don’t think it does), but that doesn’t really matter because in the options you can choose a default program to handle the feeds. So if your using Internet Explorer or Opera the first thing you need to do is drag this bookmarklet into your bookmarks:

Now anytime you click on the bookmarklet it will take you directly to your external RSS feed application so that you can add the feed in there, instead of in the browser. The first time you will probably see some sort of warning like this one giving you a heads up that the browser is trying to pass a URL onto your default feed program, but you can just check the box to permanently allow this action:

Approve Feed

Don’t worry, if a site has more than one feed available the bookmarklet is designed to ask you which one you want to use before sending it to your feed program:

Select Feed

All you have to do is enter in the corresponding number of the feed you want to subscribe to and press OK.

Then I thought to myself that there had to be a better way to subscribe to the feeds…and I remembered Chris R. telling me about AddThis. It is a service that I could setup much the same way I setup the bookmarklet above, but for some people it is a little nicer. It will display a website that lists all of the feed URL’s associated with a specific site instead of having to use a popup window to select which one you want. With the way I had the bookmarklet setup it was easy to modify it to work with AddThis.

Internet Explorer and Firefox users just drag this link into your bookmarks:


Opera users can click on this link if they want to create an orange RSS button to add to any toolbar:


I tested it in Firefox, IE, and Opera and it works in all of them from what I can tell. If you create an account with AddThis.com you can set it up so that you’re never asked for your feed subscriber preference again, although it can be changed later on should you decide to switch what program/service you’re using.

One quick thing that I wanted to mention is that in Firefox if you use the “Google Reader” option for subscribing to feeds you’ll be presented with an option to add the feed to your Google Personalized Homepage or to Google Reader. Most of you probably use one or the other and you can configure Firefox to automatically bypass that screen and go to your favorite service by following these instructions that Chad posted in our forum.

So that’s it…the first of the bookmarklets that I actually made myself and they came because I had received a few questions about changing how Opera handles feeds by default. If you have any ideas on how I can make it better or another service you would like it to work with just let me know, and I’ll do my best to fulfill your requests! :)

Copyright © 2011 CyberNetNews.com

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Gears Comes to Opera Desktop and Opera Mobile 9.5

This article was written on May 30, 2008 by CyberNet.

google gears logo.pngGoogle Gears, now known as simply “Gears,” entered the browser scene last year about this time. One of their goals was to provide a way for web applications to interact naturally with the desktop, and provide a way for web applications to come offline. It’s done well over the last year and many people have embraced it. Up until now, those using the Opera web browser were unable to embrace it because support wasn’t offered for it. The good news today coming from Opera is that not only will they support Gears for their desktop browser, they will also be supporting Gears for their mobile browser.

For Opera users, this is pretty big news because previously you had to be using Firefox or Internet Explorer 6 and above to take advantage of Gears. And of course not only will this be available for desktop users, but mobile users as well which is huge. In the official Press Release from Opera, CEO Jon von Tetzchner says,

The forthcoming Opera Mobile 9.5 with Gears will usher in a new era for the Web on mobile devices. Together, these products will create new ways to bring applications to life on mobile devices. Developers will be able to use this along with Opera Dragonfly to develop and debug compelling applications for any connected environment.

As someone who is a fan of Opera, it’s great to see that they are looking for opportunities to extend the browser. People love Opera Mobile in particular, because it’s stable and works great. When you pair the two together (Opera Mobile with Gears), it makes for a great combination, but when you pair both Opera Mobile and the Opera Desktop version together with Gears, it makes for an even better combination.

Copyright © 2011 CyberNetNews.com

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CyberNotes: Switch Between Multiple Site Logins

This article was written on January 23, 2008 by CyberNet.

Web Browser Wednesday

There was a lot of excitement when we wrote about the Greasemonkey script that could be used to switch between multiple Gmail accounts. At that time Thilak commented about a Firefox extension that basically accomplished the same task. With it you create user profiles that you can switch between, and it uses a different set of cookies for each of the profiles.

Since most sites store session information in cookies this is a good method for switching between multiple accounts, whether it be for email, shopping, or just about anything. That’s when it hit me that you can manipulate cookies using JavaScript as well, and I figured there had to be a way to create a bookmarklet to do almost the same thing as the extension.

Before we dive into the bookmarklet lets take a look at the Firefox extension more in depth:

–Firefox Extension–

CookieSwap The extension is called CookieSwap, and once installed you can create multiple profiles that can be used to manage different identities from around the web. They are all controlled from the Status Bar where you can select which identity you want to use.

This is great for switching between multiple email accounts without needing to login to each one, as well as making it easier for several different people to all use the same browser. For example, each person in your family could have their own profile, and then each of them wouldn’t have to constantly bother with logging in and out of websites.

The good news is that all of your information is stored in a cookie, which ensures that no one can see your password in plaintext. Well, that’s at least the case for sites that are designed properly.

One downside that I’ve found to using this is that there’s no way to restrict the cookie swapping to a particular site. The first time you create a new profile you’ll start with a blank slate, and you’ll need to go login to all the sites you want enabled for that particular profile. So it may not be the optimum solution if all you want to do is switch between several different accounts on one particular site.


Huh?: A bookmarklet is a small JavaScript program that can be stored as a URL within a bookmark in most popular web browsers, or within hyperlinks on a web page.

We figured there had to be a way to create a bookmarklet to swap between cookies as well, but on a per site basis. As always we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel if we didn’t have to, so we searched around to see what we could find. Jesse Ruderman came to the rescue with a bookmarklet that he wrote to transfer cookies from one browser to another. We took that bookmarklet, modified it a bit, and created something that we think you’ll enjoy.

Here’s how it works. First you’ll need to drag this link into your bookmarks, or right-click on it and select the bookmark option:

Backup Cookies

Now head on over to the site you want to “backup” the cookies for. Click on the bookmarklet you just created, and you should see something like this:

Bookmarklet Swap Cookies

Bookmarking that will store your existing cookies for that site in the form of a bookmarklet. To restore the particular cookies for the site just run that bookmarklet.

Important: You must be on the site corresponding to the bookmarklet before running it. Otherwise your the cookies will not be updated. For example, if you backed up your Yahoo! cookies make sure you are on the Yahoo! website before running the bookmarklet.

In the example pictured above I was logged into Yahoo!, I ran the “Backup Cookies” bookmarklet to save my existing cookies. I was then able to logout of Yahoo! and run the new bookmarklet to restore all of my login credentials. It’s really that simple.

It’s pretty cool how something as simple as cookies can be used to restore your login status, but it’s something you also want to be careful with. Doing this would also mean that if the information ended up in the wrong hands that it could do some severe damage. For security reasons I recommend that you be especially cautious if you synchronize your bookmarks with a third-party online service.

Hat tip to Thilak for pointing out the Firefox Extension!

Copyright © 2011 CyberNetNews.com

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Firefox & Opera Users are the Most Apt to Update

This article was written on July 03, 2008 by CyberNet.

firefox opera glasses.pngWeb browsers are probably among the most updated applications because of how important they are in our daily lives, and also because of how vulnerable they can make us to outside attacks. For example, Firefox 2 has had about 15 different versions since its release in October 2006, and all but three addressed security issues. I calculated out the average duration between new releases, and it works out to one every 39 days, or almost one every month.

I’m happy that these browsers are frequently getting updates because that means they are keeping up with any vulnerabilities and bugs that might arise. The bad news is that over 637 million users out there are surfing the net with an outdated browser. To break it down even further here are the percentage of users using the most current version on a per-browser basis:

  • Internet Explorer 7: 52.5% are up-to-date
  • Safari 3: 70.2% are up-to-date
  • Opera 9: 90.1% are up-to-date
  • Firefox 2: 92.2% are up-to-date

Just barely half of all Internet Explorer 7 users are running the latest release, which means many of them could be vulnerable to outside attacks. Firefox and Opera, on the other hand, are almost always updated to the latest release.

Naturally you would think that this is because Firefox and Opera users are more likely to follow when the companies release new versions of their browsers, but is that really the case? Half of the problem is that Internet Explorer gets updated through Windows Update, and so users aren’t notified of patches from within the browser like they are with Opera and Firefox. For that reason you’d be hard pressed to find someone who could tell you exactly what version of Internet Explorer they’re running, but a good chunk of Opera and Firefox users probably know the version number off the top of their heads.

You can read more about how the stats were collected, but overall I would say that all of this information is on-par to what I would expect. This makes me wonder how many people out there have expired antivirus subscriptions as well?

Understand the Web Browser Threat [via CNet]

Copyright © 2011 CyberNetNews.com

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Remember those faster-than-light neutrinos? Great, now forget ’em

A week ago the world went wild over CERN’s tentative claim that it could make neutrinos travel faster than light. Suddenly, intergalactic tourism and day trips to the real Jurassic Park were back on the menu, despite everything Einstein said. Now, however, a team of scientists at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands reckons it’s come up with a more plausible (and disappointing) explanation of what happened: the GPS satellites used to measure the departure and arrival times of the racing neutrinos were themselves subject to Einsteinian effects, because they were in motion relative to the experiment. This relative motion wasn’t properly taken into account, but it would have decreased the neutrinos’ apparent journey time. The Dutch scientists calculated the error and came up with the 64 nanoseconds. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s almost exactly the margin by which CERN’s neutrinos were supposed to have beaten light. So, it’s Monday morning, Alpha Centauri and medieval jousting tournaments remain as out of reach as ever, and we just thought we’d let you know.

Remember those faster-than-light neutrinos? Great, now forget ’em originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 12:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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