Turn Up the Heat Under Firefox

Turn Up the Heat Under Firefox

To see application extensibility and APIs in action, install the Mozilla Firefox browser (free) and pile on the Web 2.0 add-ons at addons.mozilla.org. Here are some of our favorites—and how to get the most out of them.

 

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Photoshop for Free

 

Well, it’s not quite Photoshop, but Picture2Life goes way beyond the quickie photo uploading extensions that you can get for any of the popular photo-sharing sites (just browse the Firefox Extension page’s list of photo- and/or site-specific offerings, which is how we found Picture2Life). Picture2Life adds new options to the Firefox Contextual Menu, so when you have an image file that you think needs a little adjustment, drag it from your Finder into Firefox, then right-click (or Control-click) it and pick Edit Picture from the menu to pipe it directly into Picture2Life’s website, where you can adjust its colors, size, and other basics.

 

LinkedIn’s Firefox extension is basically just a list of bookmarks to the site, plus a handy job-hunt sidebar.

 

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Do Some Social Networking

 

LinkedIn is one of the few social networking sites that caters to the business-oriented crowd. When the bottom drops out of the Web 2.0 startup you work for, your LinkedIn pals can help you find a new gig. If you’ve ever had a hard-drive crash eat your Address Book, or been escorted out of the building without a chance to grab your Rolodex, you know how this extension could save your sausage. (Get it? Sausage comes in links.)

 

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Stumble Home Surf Drunk

 

We’d never drink and drive, but a few cocktails can pleasantly lubricate the Web experience. StumbleUpon divvies sites up into channels of interest, which are defined, in true Web 2.0 style, by user rankings. Install the StumbleUpon extension, and when you need a little passive entertainment, click its toolbar icon and visit a random site in one of the categories that interest you—or browse the categories for a slightly more orderly experience.

 

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Take Back the Web

 

Feeding the grassroots movement, CSNotifier might make you a better-informed consumer, or it might turn you into a paranoid conspiracy theorist. Visit any website, and if there’s enough flack surrounding the company, the CSNotifier box pops up. Click the little square icon to expand the box and see a list of the company’s subsidiaries and any complaints or praise the company has received from employees, bloggers, or the media. CSNotifier popped up the above alert at Fox.com, listing, among other flack, links to a story about Fox and MySpace (which is owned by Fox) censoring users. The same box appeared when we loaded MySpace.com.

 

It’s like Amazon user reviews on everything.

 

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Put Web 2.0 In Firefox’s Toolbar

 

If you thought that toolbar search was limited to the Google search engine, consider this a bonus two-for-one tip. Click the Google G at the edge of the search box and select Manage Search Engines from the pull-down menu, then select the Get More Search Engines link on the resulting sheet to go directly to Mozilla’s Firefox Add-ons: Search Engines page. The offerings include Web 2.0 powerhouses like Wikipedia, Technorati, and Flickr. Click any entry’s link to automagically add that site to your toolbar search box. Restart Firefox and try it out: Pick your poison from the selection menu, type in a term, and hit Return.

 

You can search for more Firefox add-ons—right from Firefox’s toolbar search engine.

 

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