Mozilla releases Firefox 1.5 on schedule – Computerworld

Mozilla releases Firefox 1.5 on schedule – Computerworld

Ask a question, find an answer: the delta for the new version of Firefox according to the IDG News Service:

"For Internet Explorer (IE) users who haven’t made the leap to Firefox, version 1.5 includes a wizard that allows users to report Web sites that don’t work in Mozilla’s browser so developers can ensure sites working in IE also work in Firefox. The new version also includes more descriptive error-message pages and a redesigned Options/Preferences window that increases the number of category icons and moves them from the left side of the window to the top. Other new features in the browser include an automatic software update mechanism, faster navigation using the "Back" and "Forward" tabs, and the ability for users to drag and drop browser tabs for reordering. Developers also have fortified Firefox 1.5 with new support for Web standards, adding support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), JavaScript 1.6 and new versions of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). SVG is a language based on XML (Extensible Markup Language) for writing sophisticated two-dimensional graphics, and JavaScript 1.6 is the latest version of the scripting language. CSS is a W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standard for adding style elements, such as fonts, colors and spacing, to Web documents In addition, the Firefox update adds better pop-up blocking and a host of security enhancements, according to Mozilla. Other new features include the addition of Answers.com to Firefox’s list of search engines and a Clear Private Data function that allows users to quickly remove personal data through a menu item or keyboard shortcut."

Firefox 1.5 — it’s new but is it nice?

I am such a lemming when it comes to software upgrades and just upgraded Firefox to 1.5, blowing away some useful extensions in the process such as GreaseMonkey, the hyper-useful Omniture ClickMap plug in, and fireFTP which was growing on me as the best FTP client I’ve used since SmartFTP. Sigh. Ten minutes into 1.5 Firefox and I can’t see any shiny new toys and pine for my extensions.

 

IntelliTXT Parent Gets VC – Dumb Money

venturewire exclusives

"In addition, Vibrant has had to deal with some negative feedback from journalists, who have said that connecting words in news articles to ads puts news and advertising too close together."

 

This is the dumbest play in online advertising — contextual ad words — the same system that was tried and dinged by Forbes. 

Eurekster Swicki test drive

Eurekster Swicki Home

Colin Crawford sent a pointer to Swicki — as best as I can determine a collaborative search engine. So I fired up an account and built a "swicki" on saltwater fly fishing. Not having write access to my Reel-Time Flog (where it belongs), I lit it up in the sidebar of this Blog.

Not quite sure of the functionality, but I will read the FAQ and report back. 

Fred Wilson on forecasting – VC Cliche of the Week

A VC: VC Cliche of the Week: If You Must Dorecast, Do It Often

"a couple years ago Matt Blumberg and Jack Sinclair, CEO and CFO (now COO) of Return Path came to the Board with an interesting proposal.  They suggested that they develop an annual budget and four quarterly budgets.  And they suggested that at the end of each quarter, they develop a new quarterly budget for the next quarter and beyond, which is essentially a reforecast based on what happened in the current quarter.  The net of this was that we went to a rolling budget processs where there was a big budgeting effort at year end and a shorter one at the end of each quarter.

If you must forecast, do it often."

 An excellent posting by Fred Wilson on the difficulties inherent in financial forecasting. Forecasts can crush a technology company — there have been some famous forecasting debacles when companies have completely misread the market and been woefully undersupplied in the cast of unexpectedly hot products, or overstocked with dogs.

When I was consulting to Gartner I had the pleasure to work with Gartner Fellow, Ken McGee on his book, Head’s Up, an excellent discussion of forecasting that comes to the critical judgment that it is impossible to forecast the future, only to "predict the present." McGee’s advice, similar to Wilson’s, is that frequent assessments are better than impossibly long-distance views over the horizon.

 

Best in Gym – New York Times

Best in Gym – New York Times

 "The rowing machine, which has plummeted in popularity in the last 15 years, ranked a surprising second in our survey, tied with the treadmill. Several panelists argued that rowing machines are highly underrated; when used properly they offer a thorough workout of the major muscle groups, including the back, hips, arms and legs. But despite its advantages, rowing machines demand an intensity of effort that many exercisers find too challenging."

The Times is SO wrong about this one. Having logged about 5,000,000 meters on a Concept2 ergometer, I know of what I speak. Nothing, absolutely nothing, will kick your butt faster than a rowing machine. Then again, with health club trainers making the selection, one can see why they would pick the machine favored by dillitantes, the asine elliptical trainer. Ergs are for masochists, pure and simple. Want the best bang-for-your-exercise-buck? Then erg. And learn how to use it the right way.  SportsGeezer agrees

 

Pew Internet & American Life Project Report: Search engine use

Pew Internet & American Life Project Report: Search engine use

"Search engine use shoots up in the past year and edges towards email as the primary internet application."

Thanks to Ulla McGee and Bruce McCurdy at PCWorld.com for the pointer. While there may be a bit of a "duh!" reaction to the insight that search engine usage is soaring — up 23% year to year — the takeaway is that email is no longer the vaunted "killer app."

Ross Mayfield’s Weblog: The End of Process

Ross Mayfield’s Weblog: The End of Process

A brilliant post on the pernicious P-word, Process, which yields the wonderful quote from Clay Shirky: "Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity."

I offer my own, cribbed from a column from the old Industry Standard, author unknown as the @#$^@$% archives are nowhere to be found and are probably moldering somewhere on a server, unspidered and lost. Anyway, that column had the line: "Process is for people who get out of the shower to take a piss." 

"A process is like a standard. It provides a common definition for others to build upon. This is generally a good thing. In technical systems it helps resolve complexity so higher order abstractions can keep things simple. But even in technical systems, efficiency comes at a cost of adaptation. In social systems, especially where not everyone helps design what they participate in, the constraints against adaptation are compounded."

Google Analytics — a blessing for the little guys

Over at Reel-Time we’ve long felt the pain of never having the scale or revenue to invest in the tools that big sites can afford. Most notably a decent traffic analysis package. Sure, there’s the usual freeware log-file analysis, but nothing approaching the sophistication of an Omniture Teamsite or Websidestory HitBox.

Last week Google introduced Google Analytics, granting access to AdSense publishers such as R-T. Our webmaster Mark Cahill performed the install by adding some footer code to the pages, and voila, a week later we have the first real stats for Reel-Time that we’ve had in ten years.

 And it cost nothing. Omniture and Hitbox which charge $0.09-$0.22 per thousand pages, are way out of the range of the little niche players.

 Needless to say, I am very happy, but in awe of Google’s ability to overnight put companies like Omniture and HitBox under the gun. 

 

 

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