It’s always sad seeing a useful service shut down, especially when it’s one as good (and free) as Xmarks. The bookmark/password/history/tab synchronisation service has announced it is to end operations in January 2011. It appears a failure to turn Xmarks into a financially viable business is the cause, and a buyer for the service could not found.
I’ve used Xmarks since it first became publicly available as Foxmarks, and while the bookmark sync across firefox and safari on Mac and PC was great, the real killer feature was password synchronisation. I’ve recently moved password sync to LastPass for the mobile platform support, but will continue using Xmarks for bookmarks until Firefox sync goes mainstream. Farewell Xmarks, and thanks for the great service.
Monday mornings are not known for amusing news, but today is different. I fired up Firefox on my work Laptop and up poped a dialogue warning me that the Windows Presentation Foundation had been disabled.
The Windows Presentation Foundation plugin caused a stink earlier this year when it was installed into Firefox by a Microsoft update without the users consent or knowledge. Uninstalling the plugin proved initially difficult (later resolved with another update) and last week Microsoft announced it contained a critical security vulnerability.
The block came into effect late Friday, but since I’m a Macintosh user at home I do not (yet) suffer intrusive Microsoft updates that install components without my permission.
I first heard about this Firefox add-on in a recent GRC podcast. Steve Gibson was praising the software saying how much it improved and organised his browsing so I added it to Firefox through the Tools>Add-ons window (search in the get Add-ons tab). You can select where you want the tabs to appear, and also what appearance the tabs should use. The image above shows the metal appearance which looks great with the GrApple Delicious theme. It takes a bit of adjusting to but suits a widescreen monitor very well and allows a lot more visible tabs. The other themes allow even more tabs but us Mac users want a bit of style as well.
First look: Firefox 3.1 beta 1 officially released
Adobe begins shipping Creative Suite 4
Adobe’s very professional and very expensive suite is available in four packages ranging in price from ‘ouch’ to ‘how @*%£$&# much’
Flock 2.0 released today
Social web browser now based on Firefox 3
Adobe releases Flash Player 10
Just about everyone has it installed, hopefully the mac version will perform better that version 9
Apple updates iTunes to 8.0.1 and AppleTV to 2.2
Bug fixes for both updates and Genius feature added to the AppleTV.
Fab’s Autobackup for recovering data from unbootable windows installs
Software backs up settings and data, like the Migration Assistant but will work if Windows cannot start. Wish I had known about this two weeks ago when I spent hours retrieving data from a corrupt Windows install.
Undercover updated to V2.5
The Macintosh recovery software (as in recovery after theft) has dozens of improvements in the latest version, this is software I bought and use on my Macbook.
So who would have thought Google would launch a web browser? Just about everyone, and the puzzle is why it took so long. Now that Google’s Chrome is here I took a few minutes to reboot and have a play. It’s a Windows only experience for now, with the promise of Mac and Linux versions to follow.
Firefox has been updated to 3.0.1, a security and bugfix release. I’ve been using the Minefield optimised Intel build from beatnikpad which unfortunately doesn’t see any updates. The Intel and G5 versions of firefox 3.0.1 can be downloaded from here. Worth a download as it’s worked perfectly for me since I first started using the optimised builds, and as I have said before a bit more speed and less size is always good when it comes to software.
It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like the wait will be worth it. Firefox 3 final is released on Tuesday 17th June, and the Mozilla team are looking to set a new world record for the most downloads in a 24 hour period. More details and the current pledge number at SpreadFirefox.com. If you just want to know what all the fuss is about there’s a nice video at Cnet.
Update More about this release and plans for version 3.1 here