The Amazon MP3 Store may have the lowest prices on DRM free music, but for some people 79 cents for a song is just too much, especially when [john] and the folks at pirates-of-the-amazon.com can help you get that song for free. Pirates of the Amazon is a slick Firefox addon that inserts a “download 4 free” button next to the “add to cart” button in the Amazon MP3 Store. After clicking on the button, the addon refers users to a thepiratebay.org search page with bittorrent download links for the song or album. While there is no question that this makes getting your music easier, by using this addon you do run the risk of violating copyright laws, depending on which country you live in.
There isn’t much here that hasn’t been thrown into Greasemonkey scripts in the past and we wonder if they’re marketing this to anyone at all. People who absolutely love using Amazon but hate buying stuff perhaps? They cite a couple interesting projects in their about section: Amazon Noir robotically abused the “Search Inside” feature to reconstruct entire books. OU Library searches your local library to see if it has the Amazon book you’re looking for.
A coworker approached us today wondering if they could get a performance boost using Samsung’s newly announced 256GB SSD. Most of their work is done in browser, so we said “no”. They’d only see benefit if they were reading/writing large files. Their system has plenty of RAM, and we decided to take a different approach. By creating a filesystem in RAM, you can read and write files much faster than on a typical hard drive. We decided to put the browser’s file cache into RAM. Continue reading “Faster browsing with RAM disks”
During the last day the web has been abuzz about Mozilla Labs’ Ubiquity. It’s an addon for Firefox that can help you streamline how you get things done on the web. In the example above, they show constructing an email with a map and reviews using mostly keyboard driven input. The addon is quick to install and we think you’ll find it saving you a lot of time on tasks you’d normally hit the search box for. In the popup, you can do quick Wikipedia lookups, define words, translate, perform calculations, and many other operations. You can email a page to someone by just typing three words. The best part is: anyone can write a command that will expand Ubiquity’s function. Greasemonkey helped fix broken websites and we think Ubiquity will help make interactions between sites much easier. We can’t wait to see what clever uses people come up with.
IBM’s X-Force security team has released a mid-year report(PDF) stating that the number of zero-day exploits is growing at an alarming rate. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a zero-day exploit is a program that is created and implemented within 24 hours of the disclosure of a security flaw. These exploits usually affect users before they even know the vulnerability exists and long before a patch is made available. The researchers also found that many of these exploits were targeted at browser plug-ins, which most users utilize on a daily basis.
[Kris Lamb], X-Force operations manager, is blaming the problem on a lack of a unified process for disclosing vulnerabilities. He also claims that the long-held practice of publishing example code of vulnerabilities should be frowned upon.
We generally try to limit the number of extensions we install for security, performance, and because we use a lot of different systems. That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of interesting addons out there and Mozilla has recently announced the winners of their Extend Firefox 3 Contest. Lifehacker has a full rundown of each of the winners. Nothing really stands out in our eyes (although we might try Last.fm’s toolbar).
The three extensions we always end up installing are Firebug, Greasemonkey, and Flashblock. What are yours?