Firefox 1.5 Extensions

FirefoxIn my previous post I should have mentioned that although most Firefox extensions have been updated for Firefox 1.5, there are some extensions that are not compatible with the new version. By default, after initial installation or upgrade, Firefox 1.5 reviews all of your extensions to determine compatibility and will automatically download available updates. In practice, I found that a few required manual updating, and in a couple of cases I found replacements for extensions that hadn’t been updated for some time.

Another issue is that GreaseMonkey isn’t working quite right in Firefox 1.5 yet. A compatible extension is available at Greaseblog, but the installer does not seem to automatically find it. Worse yet, upon installation most of my installed scripts don’t seem to work, which may require an “official” extension update or the original script authors to tweak their scripts. Quite annoying in the meantime…

Several weeks ago I came upon a particularly useful extension called InfoLister that allows you to generate a list of all installed extensions, plugins and themes via a Tools menu item or the about:info command. Demonstrating what that output looks like gives me a chance to show you what extensions and plugins I’m currently using:

Last updated: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 02:47:54 GMT

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8) Gecko/20051111 Firefox/1.5

Extensions (enabled: 36, disabled: 3):

Themes (1):

  • Firefox (default) 2.0 [selected]

Plugins (19):

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe SVG Viewer
  • Google VLC multimedia plugin 1.0
  • Java™ 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0
  • Microsoft┬« DRM
  • Mozilla ActiveX control and plugin support
  • Mozilla Default Plug-in
  • Nullsoft Winamp Plug-in for Gecko
  • PCMan’s IE Tab Plug-in for Mozilla/Firefox
  • PCMan’s IEView Plug-in for Mozilla/Firefox
  • PopCap Games Plugin
  • QuickTime Plug-in 7.0.3
  • RealJukebox NS Plugin
  • RealPlayer Version Plugin
  • RealPlayer™ G2 LiveConnect-Enabled Plug-In (32-bit)
  • Shockwave Flash
  • Shockwave for Director
  • VLC multimedia plugin
  • Windows Media Player Plug-in Dynamic Link Library

When I get a chance, I’ll add some commments to this post about some new or particularly useful extensions that I haven’t mentioned before.

Firefox 1.5

FirefoxMozilla has redesigned its official site to coincide with today’s release of Firefox 1.5. Improvements in this version include:

  • faster navigation back and forth in a browser session
  • improved software and extension updates
  • drag and drop support for tabs (previously available via extensions)
  • enhanced pop-up blocking
  • more customization controls
  • a bunch more I haven’t listed (full release notes here)

I’ve been using Release Candidate 3 for a week or so now, and it’s noticeably faster and very stable. I highly recommend downloading the new version.

However, there are some issues with extensions and Greasemonkey scripts that I should mention. My next post goes into more detail…

“Sylphs” vs. “Chemtrails”?!

If you thought that my post about “Weather Wars” was out there, wait until you read about the alleged battles between “sylphs” and “chemtrails” going in our atmosphere. The scary thing is, I don’t think that this is a joke; more comments are available in the MetaFilter thread where I found this farce. Oh, and the rest of that site is chock full o’ “batshit insane” conspiracy theories…

Earth Hacking?

An article in New Scientist claims that “Painting roofs white would reflect more sunlight and it might also compensate for global warming.”

The Global Rural Urban Mapping Project (GRUMP), undertaken by the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York, shows that roughly 3 per cent of the Earth’s land surface is covered with buildings.

The Earth has an albedo of 0.29, meaning that it reflects 29 per cent of the sunlight that falls upon it. With an albedo of 0.1, towns absorb more sunlight than the global average. Painting all roofs white could nudge the Earth’s albedo from 0.29 towards 0.30. According to a very simple “zero-dimensional” model of the Earth, this would lead to a drop in global temperature of up to 1 ┬░C, almost exactly cancelling out the global warming that has taken place since the start of the industrial revolution. A zero-dimensional model, however, excludes the atmosphere and, crucially, the role of clouds. It would be interesting to see if more sophisticated models predict a similar magnitude of cooling.

It’s an interesting idea, but I find it hard to believe that buildings comprise three percent of the Earth’s land surface area.