Social Media Tech News

Facebook account not available

Facebook seems to have a hard time maintaining the infrastructure to support it’s more than 600 millions users. So in recent time people have started facing many irregularities with Facebook. Even I have experienced a few issues on my own. Issues like the online users section shown at the left side of Facebook showing multiple times or chat windows not opening when you click on  user name seems to be quite common. Moreover there are issues like messages disappearing from wall and Facebook group is a matter of concern.

I moderate 2 groups in Facebook and I have seen threads with a lot of response have suddenly disappeared from the

Facebook Groups. I inquired with other members about the issues and some of them told they are able to see and some reported as not available to them. So it seems to be issues related on per account basis.  Contacting Facebook for such things did not yield any result. So I was ignoring that thinking it will be a temporary issue and will be rectified soon. But today an extremely strange thing happened. I was chatting with the members of one of the group when I tried to post a comment to one of my friend’s status message. It did not get posted and I received an error saying not posted and try again. I tried again, but that also did not result in success. I tried refreshing my page and I was surprised to see the following message instead of my Facebook wall:

Your account is currently unavailable due to a site issue. We expect this to be resolved shortly. Please try again in a few minutes.

I tried refreshing my page numerous times but that did not work and I was greeted with same message. I was suddenly concerned and thought that Facebook has deleted my account or banned me. I tried to access it with another browser. I put my username and password and huh…instead of logging me in, I was greeted with a slightly different message with option to login with a  different user name and password.

Your account is temporarily unavailable due to site maintenance. It should be available again within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This message looked bit relaxing as I became sure by now that my account has not been banned or deleted. And seems like a Facebook issue.

Such incidents are not new to users and Facebook is aware of it. They told to CNET long back about some internal glitch in their server which is preventing users to access their account intermittently.  But as Facebook is growing like anything and many users and enterprise are heavily dependent on Facebook for their brand promotion and connecting with their customers, such downtime will definitely hamper their business. Facebook should take care of such issues by expanding their infrastructure more aggressively. Also they need to publish any anticipated downtime or issues in a publicly available location.

By the time I am writing this, I tried again refreshing browser and Alas I am inside my Facebook profile. So it was definitely a  temporary glitch. If you had a similar experience with Facebook recently, we would love to know about it. So please share it through comment.


Internet Explorer 9 features walkthrough

Year 2011 saw a web browser revolution as almost all the web browsers had a major release. Thanks to html5 and CSS3. As the web standard saw a big overhaul, it was necessary for the software houses like Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla to give facelift to their web browsers. And now as a result we have access to better browsers like Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4 and Opera 11. We have already covered the features of Firefox 4 on the release date and IE 9 though released few days earlier to it, we are covering the feature walk through of Internet Explorer 9 now. It shows our love for Firefox but I would like to say that Internet Explorer looks equally competitive in it’s new avatar as Internet Explorer 9. After I tested the features myself for this post, at the end of it I started loving Internet Explorer 9.

Internet Explorer 9 has seen major improvement in most of the aspects then the predecessors. Let’s have a look at the enormous amount of new features and improvement Internet Explorer 9 currently sports:


Microsoft claims Internet Explorer 9 to be the fastest browser. But not sure if it is fastest among all other versions of Internet Explorer or fastest among all the available browsers :). Whatever be it speed is definitely a noticeable improvement in IE 9. Internet Explorer 9 takes full advantage of both the operating system and hardware to fully accelerate rendering of web pages. IE 9 leverages the power of the GPU through the DirectX®, Direct2D® and DirectWrite® API’s to ensure that text is crisp, graphics and animations are smooth. New GPU powered HTML5 enables stunning HD video and audio content without the need for a plug-in.

IE 9 uses a brand new JavaScript engine called Chakra. It is optimized to take advantage of the multiple CPU cores running on Windows Vista and Windows 7 by compiling the JavaScript to highly efficient machine code in the background, while interpreting the JavaScript in the foreground. Once compilation is finished, Chakra switches to the compiled and significantly faster machine code optimized for that PC.   Internet Explorer 9 scores very well in popular JavaScript benchmarks like WebKit’s SunSpider.

HTML 5 canvas support:

Canvas is a way to program graphics on the web. Ths standard has been included with html5. The canvas tag is an “immediate mode” (drawing commands are immediately applied) two-dimensional drawing surface that web developers can use to deliver things like real-time graphs, animations, or interactive games without requiring a separate plug-in to be downloaded. IE 9 has full support for this canvas.

Better User Interface:

IE 9 sports a clean and clutter free user Interface. In Internet Explorer 9, the simplified yet enhanced user interface and user experience puts the focus on the content of each website. By default, only the controls essential for browsing are in the browser frame and less screen real estate is used compared to other current browsers, letting people browse and experience all that the sites have to offer.

Characteristics of each website are reflected throughout the experience, allowing users to focus on and be more immersed in the site’s content. Elements of each website are integrated into the browser. If a site is pinned to the task bar, when the site is launched, the navigational controls integrate the site’s icon and primary color.

New Tab page:

IE 9 uses Windows Direct User Interface (DUI) to create a graphical new tab page that loads quickly and features crisp graphics. When users create a new tab, their intent is to navigate. Internet Explorer 9 focuses on making this experience fast by visually suggesting the sites you visit frequently. Each site is represented by a tile with a large favicon and a title, and users can track their browsing habits with a meter on each tile. From the new tab page, users can also reopen closed tabs, reopen their last browsing session, and start an InPrivate Browsing session.

Optimized Navigation Controls:

IE 9 uses a simplified navigation control. As modern websites include much of the functionality that browsers had in the past, the new browser frame emphasizes the controls that are necessary for browsing, with customizations available to show more controls. The back button in IE 9 is made far larger then any other previous version, because, it is the most used item and it has been placed at the top left. The address bar and search box are combined into one and now called One Box, and the Tools menus are consolidated into a single drop-down menu. Only the functionality necessary for a modern browsing experience is shown.

Pinned Sites:

With Pinned Sites, a user’s favorite websites can be accessed directly from the Windows taskbar without opening the browser. IE 8 introduced Web slices in the Favorites Bar. Because users wanted their sites still more readily available, IE 9 introduced Pinned Sites. With pinned sites you can bring your favorite sites into the Windows taskbar to make access even more efficient. You can pin sites to the taskbar by dragging the thumb pin icon  from One Box to the taskbar. When a pinned site is launched from the taskbar, the browser frame and navigational controls integrate the site’s icon and primary color, emphasizing the site and providing an even more site-focused experience.

Tear off Tab:

If you drag a tab away from the page, the tab will open a new instant of Internet Explorer Window.

Jumplists and Thumbnail Preview:

Jump Lists take users right into the websites they use every day. They’re a quick and easy to way to visit frequently visited websites without first opening Internet Explorer. For example, a user may frequent a particular online bookstore and may always start with her wishlist.To open the Internet Explorer 9 Jump List, users can right-click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar. They’ll see their pinned websites, as well as the sites that they visit often. There’s also access to start InPrivate Browsing, open new tabs, or close a window.

Any website that’s pinned to the taskbar also has a Jump List. What’s seen in each of these Jump Lists depends on each website, but all of them include InPrivate Browsing, opening the site, unpinning the site, and closing the window.

Thumbnail preview controls available on the Windows 7 taskbar provide quick navigation to the sites that users want to visit. Some websites that are pinned to the taskbar have additional controls. When a user hovers over a thumbnail for a website in the taskbar, they may see things like playback controls, similar to the controls in Windows 7 for Windows Media Player.

Notification Bar:

Notification bar in IE 9 has been moved to bottom of the browser. Messages in the Notification Bar are clearer and do a better job explaining to the user what they need to know. For example, instead of receiving the message “Internet Explorer is not responding,” the user receives the message “The website is not responding”.

Download Manager:

IE 9 incorporates an integrated integrated Download Manager to provide hassle free downloading and great security for downloaded content. The new Download Manager replaces the Run, Save As, or Cancel box used in earlier versions of Internet Explorer. With the new user interface, users can easily view download progress, open content that they’ve downloaded, Pause and Resume file download or cancel a download that is in progress. A default folder is used for all downloaded content, so users can also change the default download destination folder. As a security measure, all downloads are now scanned for virus and downloads of executable are verified for reliable source using WinVerifyTrust.

Domain Highlighting:

When displaying the current URL in the One Box, IE 9 highlights the domain name in black, while the rest of the URL is shown in grey. This makes it easier to identify the actual identity of the sites that users visit and helps to alert users about deceptive websites with misleading addresses. This can reduce the chances of compromising personal information while browsing and definitely curb the phising sites.

The features mentioned above are some of the noticeable and much talked about features you will see in IE 9. We have prepared a Power Point Presentation IE 9 features explained with great screenshots and explanation of all features in more detail. You can download the IE 9 features presentation .

Internet Social Media Tech News

How to use Google +1 social recommendation feature

The Search Engine giant Google announced yesterday about  a new Social recommendation features called Google +1 which is inline with the Facebook’s like button. Google seems to be in a hurry in releasing new features to enhance the end users experience and provide the best search result. Some days back they released the feature to block unwanted search result and now this Google +1. Google claims that it is their endeavor to provide better result through human recommendation rather then completely relying on machine. With this new Google +1 feature you can now publicly recommend any search result or ads that appear in Google search result and it will be included with the search result. Google will show the number of recommendations for that search result when it will appear for any query.

Google +1 is now released as an Experimental feature and in order to be able to use this service you need to have a Google profile and join this experiment. In order to enjoy the Google +1 feature, please perform the following steps in the same order as they are given below:

1. If you do not have a Google profile create a Google profile and make it public. If you have a Google profile upgrade it to accommodate the new features.

2. Go to Google Labs experimental search page and click on Join this experiment button. (Thanks Vibin Reddy)

3. While logged in to your Google account search for something in Google and look for the search result. You will see the +1 button beside the search result now. Click on the +1 button near any relevant result to leave your recommendation for that page to the world.

4. For the first time when you click on the +1 button you will see a pop up window where you will need to confirm for the +1 to take effect.4. You can undo your action immediately by clicking on the button again.

While showing the recommendations to you or any one in the search result Google takes into account your social connections to determine. The social connection includes people from your Google contact, Google Buzz  and Google reader followers and Google chat contacts.

Managing the +1s

All the +1 recommendation you have done will be available in your Google profile +1’s tab. However you have the option to choose whether to make this tab publicly available or make it private by clicking on Edit Profile and un checking the option “Show this tab on my profile”. In order to manage the +1s:

1. Login to your Google profile and click on +1’s tab.(For me the +1 tab did not appear immediately but took almost 5 minutes after I did a recommendation)

2. You can delete any recommendations, you no longer want to share from this tab by clicking on the X mark towards the right of the +1 content.

+ 1 on non-Google sites: (This part is a direct copy from Google as the information is not clear)

The only time the +1 button will associate your identity with specific web content is when you choose to click the +1 button for something on the web. By clicking the +1 button, you’re explicitly signaling interest in displaying, sharing, or recommending specific online content, including ads. So if your friend chooses to +1 an ad, page, or search result, you might see that +1 on other websites. Google stores your +1’s to personalize the web, for example, by showing them to your social connections and others who may find it relevant. To change the +1 preference on non-Google sites:

1. Login to your Google account

2. Click on the Edit link near + 1 on non-Google sites

3. Select the appropriate option in the following window and click on save.

Google will utilize the +1 activity, Google profile and your social connection to tailor made the content for and ads for you. Though this is a nice move from Google to make their search result more social but it has lot of potential for exploitation. In order to promote the search result website owner will now hire people to recommend their website and gain higher recommendation for crappy results. But when this is used without any evil purpose this will definitely going to help web searcher to find good result for their queries. Please share your opinion on what you feel about this new Google +1 feature.

Internet Web App

7 best free Online Storage service

The Internet has clearly played a vital role in our life. Now our workplace is no longer limited to Office cubicle or our sweet home but has become a mobile office.  In some situations we also access different systems from time to time. In such cases we need our files and documents to be readily available to us whenever we wish.This is when an online storage or Cloud Storage comes as a rescue. Online Storage service helps us in accessing our files and folders from any computer over the Internet. They make it possible by syncing our files and documents from computers to a cloud storage. So with an Internet connection we can access the latest updated file from any where in the world. With a boom in cloud computing many Online Storage service providers have come up. We need to have a clear evaluation of those services before we sign up with them.

In this article we will have a brief overview of 5 of the best free Online Storage service currently available. Please make a note that we are not considering about the file hosting service like file serve or rapidshare, which are different than our topic of discussion. We have shortlisted the service providers based upon criteria like:

– Storage capacity

– Ease of use

– Speed of sync/upload/download

– Features of the service

– SugarSync

SugarSync is my first choice when it comes to Online Storage as it offers almost all functionalities that I need in a good Online Storage service. Sugar Sync is an online cloud storage service which gives option to backup, share and sync your files between any number of computers. IT also facilitates the access to files through mobile devices like iPhone and Android based phone. Some of the features of SugarSync includes:

1. The free plan provides a whopping 5GB space plus additional 500 MB space for each referral and 250MB space for completing the steps in getting started.

2. Provides Windows & MAC client (SugarSync manager) so you can use the Online drive as if it is a normal hard drive in your PC.

3. There is no limit to the number of PCs that can be synced.

4. Offers seamless collaboration among team members so you can share different files with different members.

5. Photos synced with SugarSync are automatically organized into photo albums.

6. The music files synced with SugarSync can be played over the internet using the SugarSync music player.

If you have iPhone or iPod Touch, you must download the free SugarSync App, it is amazing and I am quite satisfied with it.

You can Signup for SugarSync and enjoy 5GB of free Online storage. is another pretty good Online Storage service provider which offers some of the quite impressive specs. It has a pretty good user interface and offers syncing files to their cloud storage. clearly distinguish between free users and paid users and there by limit the features to free users. Some of the features of are:

– The free plan provides 5GB of storage with 25MB file size limit.

– Offers direct we blink to share files and folders.

– Unlike the SugarSync the desktop client is available only for business and enterprise users.

– The folders can be designated as a public webpage with a  vanity URL.

– It also provides mobile access through iPhone and Android apps or through a mobile site.

– Provides 256 bit encryption for business users.

– Dropbox

Dropbox is the simplest of the above two in terms of look as well as functionalities but offers a wide variety of features when you install the dropbox client. It offers other features like sync, backup, mobile access and desktop client for easier access. The free version of Dropbox only offers 2GB space and additional 250MB space for each referral when they signup and install dropbox client.The file upload size of Dropbox is just 300MB. All files stored on Dropbox enjoys the security of 256 bit SSL encryption.

– Windows Live Skydrive

Windows Live Skydrive is also one of my preferred Online Storage service provided by Microsoft. The primary reasons for popularity of SkyDrive are the 25GB free Online Storage and the ability to work with Microsoft Office document online without installing Microsoft Office. It also Provides Photoalbum, Access control based sharing so you have the power to decide who sees what. Another USP of SkyDrive is the SkyDrive synced storage available through Windows Live Mesh, which enables syncing of Photos and videos between your computer and SkyDrive. With so many features Windows Live SkyDrive online storage service is also a must have recommendation from us.

– Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive is the newest offering from Amazon and has been launched just a couple of days ago. It gives 5GB of free Online Storage to store your important files, documents, photos and music securely in the cloud. As of now there is no desktop or mobile client for syncing files, so need to upload the files manually. However it supports file upload size of 2GB which a great advantage. I seriously hope that Amazon will come up with a desktop client for file synchronization and also a mobile client for access to files on the go. This will make Amazon Cloud drive as one of the most preferred Online Storage solution.

If you are located in United States and wish to upgrade the Amazon Cloud Storage space to 20GB, you can do so by spending just $1. The normal price for 20GB space is $20 per year, however if you buy a mp3 song from Amazon music store, Amazon will upgrade the free user limit to 20GB. Amazon music store is only available to US customers. Thanks Amit from Digital Inspiration for the tip.

– FlipDrive

The FlipDrive has quite impressive functionalities however it has limited features for free users. It offers only 1GB storage for free users and the cheapest plan starts at $4.95 per year. It synchronizes and  backup your files, folders, photos, music, contacts and calendars. With so many features we definitely need some additional space for free users. Moreover they do not have any referral program by which we can increase the storage limit for free account. This also does not have a desktop client available at this moment. So the sync process is purely manual.


The only reason we put Adrive in the list is because of the amount of disk space it offers. Adrive offers 50GB of free online storage. Apart from the massive amount of storage nothing looks impressive for ADrive. It does not have mobile access or a desktop client for syncing but supports both file and folder upload through browser using Java applet. Ads appears in the user interface and the UI looks very clutter. Overall if you wish to store a lot of junk items Adrive can be your preferred choice of service.

These online storage services not only make our files available to us whenever and wherever we need those, but they also give us an extra layer of protection by keeping a backup copy of our most important files. I usually use Online Storage for syncing files between my work and home PC and keep a backup copy of my most important documents and photos so that I will never lose them even if my hard drive or the backup DVD is gone. Please let us know which Online Storage service you are using and for what purpose you primarily use.

Internet Social Media

Prevent the Facebook Virus “Get your Facebook Email”

It has been seen recently that Facebook has been the primary target for Scamsters like spammers and hackers. We have seen quite a lot of virus like ” Click here to see how I look like in 20 years” and “OMG I don’t believe this” spreading in Facebook now a days. The most recent one is the “Get your Facebook Email” These viruses are spreading in the form of Facebook Apps and advertise themselves through Facebook chat messages. Many people think these are legitimate messages from their friends and fall victim to it. So this way the virus spreads themselves exponentially in a very short period of time.

Today I received a message from one of my blogger friend which said Hey claim your @ fb email address b4 its 2 late! In a moment the suspicious me, found out that it is another hoax message. But I wanted to delve into it further. So I clicked on the link and found out that it is the work of a new App called ownuniqueemail. It seems I was among the first one to receive this message as at the time when I tried to access the app, it had only 2 fans. My suspicion grew stronger when I saw a message that the Application can not be accessed over https. (As I have enabled https in Facebook for better security). Within a couple of minutes I started receiving this hoax message from many friends. All saying the same thing in different variant and using different URL shortening service pointing to same app.

What does it do?

When you receive a message from your friend and you click on the link, the app will ask for your permission to integrate with your Facebook account. In the permission page it will also ask the permission to access Facebook Chat. Once you grant access that’s all. It will send a message to all your facebook friends which says “Get your Facebook Email” or “Hey claim your @ fb email address b4 its 2 late!” or some other variant of this message. In a very short span of time this App will spread virally. This has not been seen to cause any harm or steal/hack any account. This is just a self promoting application.

How to prevent “Get your Facebook Email” virus?

1. If you have enabled the https in Facebook account security section, you will see a message to switch to regular connection, when you click on the link to go to the apps page. So it will prevent you from direct access of the App. You can click on cancel on this page. Moreover this viral app can not be accessed over https. So you are somewhat safe.

2. Even if you have clicked on the link do not grant permission in the next page where it says “Request for permission”.  Just click on leave App and you are safe. As a contribution towards the community, you can instead click on Report App on the same page.

3. Ask your friends not to believe this message they received and refrain from sharing it. Also share this blog post with them and post about this post on FB wall. (I know this is a shameless promotion of my blog post, but at least it will help people in some ways.)

Please let us know if the post helped you and your friends by writing a few lines in the comment.

Internet Software

Convert Flash to HTML with Wallaby

Adobe has finally heard my plea and it’s a dream come true for me. I always wanted a way to convert the Flash (.fla) files to html for universal compatibility, and now I have an app that will help me to convert the .fla file to html5. The main benefit of converting the .fla to html is that we can view the product in any device that does not support flash run-time but supports html (which almost all the devices do). All this is possible with the help of an experimental technology developed by Adobe System called Wallaby currently available as a free download in Adobe labs. The biggest beneficiary of this will be the iOS users, like users of iPhone, iPad and iPod tocuh.


Wallaby converts Adobe Flash Professional (.fla) files into html5 format. Once converted into html5 version, this can be edited using any html editor and can be used with any device that supports html5. All standard web browsers now support html5. Just to add here, .fla is the raw file format for any flash application which is then converted (and compressed) to swf and is embedded on a web page. Wallaby does not have the ability to convert the .swf files to html5. So if you are thinking that you can now convert any embedded flash files to html5 and modify it according to your desire, you may be out of luck as there is no direct conversion possible. However you can use a swf decompiler tool to convert .swf to .fla and then use Wallaby to convert .fla to html5. Where wallaby is offered for free by Adobe, you might have to shell out a few buck to own a swf decompiler.

Wallaby offers immense possibility of usage of flash components in non-flash supported devices, as these can now leverage the power of html to have the same effects and functionality as flash. For example the flash based advertisement in mobile devices.

Things we must know before jumping to a conclusion:

1. It is only an early preview version, so offers very basic set of features. Many of the flash features are not supported under html5. The wallaby Release notes give a list of supported and unsupported features.

2. It is currently available as a 32 bit installer for Windows and Mac.

3. Wallaby can not convert .swf file to html5 directly. We need a 2 step process for that, which involves an application like swf decompiler.

4. At this time it uses Wekit css3 tags, so compatible with Webkit based browsers. This means the html5 output is not supported in Firefox or IE 9. As of now only supported browsers are Chrome(8.0 or later)  and Safari(5.0 or later).

If you are satisfied and want to give a try to Wallaby, you can download wallaby for free and see it in action, use it and submit any feature request and bugs.

My verdict is: Wallaby has immense potential to be a revolutionary product in future. Please share your opinion and experience with Wallaby & it’s future potential.

Internet Tips & tricks

How to type in your native language

Are you wondering, how your friends send you scrap in Hindi/Oriya/Tamil or how they update their Facebook status message in Hindi/Oriya/Tamil. If you use Orkut (seen in some other Google application like blogger, Gmail) you would have seen that there is an option to type in your native Indian languages like Hindi/Bengali/Tamil etc. This is all possible because of a technology called Transliteration. There are various Transliteration provider, but the one provided by Google is very accurate and offers lot of fucntionalities. Transliteration converts the typed English characters into a native language based upon how it is spoken. It is not same as translation. So with the help of Transliteration tools you can phonetically type a word in English using a roman keyboard and it will be converted to the desired native language. So when you type Mera Bharat Mahaan, it will be converted to मेरा भारत महान.

Google Transliteration tools are available in different formats like Transliteration Bookmarklet, Transliteration IME and a dedicated website.

The Goolge Transliteration website is a dedicated website by Google which can be used to type in 24 supported language like Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujrati, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya and Urdu. Using this website you can type whatever you want and then copy the transliterated version of the text and paste it wherever you wish. I selected Hindi from the drop down and typed my name in English using my normal keyboard and it got converted to अजय कुमार मेहेर.

Google Transliteration Bookmarklet is another way to use the transliteration service in any website with a text box to type. This bookmarklet is a simple piece of code which resides in the browser and provides you the option to chat, compose an email, update Facebook status or send scrap in your native language. Google Transliteration Bookmarklets are available in 19 different languages – Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya and Urdu. In order to use the Transliteration bookmarklet fature, you need to drag the appropriate bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmark toolbar.  For example to type in Hindi Drag the following bookmarklet to your Bookmark toolbar.

Type in Hindi

Transliteration IME offered by google is an Input Method Editor(IME) a very small program which allows to enter text in your native language using a standard Roman keyboard. Google Transliteration IME is available for 22 different languages – Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya and Urdu. The Google IME provides the most advanced features and lot of customization. We ned to install a separate IME for each language. Once installed, it will show a status window at the bottom right corner of desktop. It has options to change language as well as settings option. This page provides further information about the Google transliteration IME.

Browsers Internet Product release Tech News

Firefox 4 Release date and Features walkthrough

An Update to the post has been provided at the bottom. Mozilla took down the ftp download link.

Finally the wait is going to be over in a couple of hours when the much awaited Firefox 4.0 will be released on 22nd March 2011. All thanks to Microsoft for releasing IE 9. The war of the browser has intensified. As IE 9 has been released last week and people are quite gung-ho about the new Internet explorer, Mozilla could not have delayed the release of the final version of Firefox 4. So the decision came at the right time.

The Release Candidate (RC) version of a program can be regarded as the final version when functionality or design is concerned. So the final version of Firefox 4 will sport the same look and offer same functionality as the RC version. So let’s have a quick look at the features and improvements we are going to see in Firefox 4.

– User Interface

> Menu Bar

The menu bar is by default hidden in Windows Vista and Windows 7. This is to give it a more consistent look with the User Interface of the OS. Instead of the menu bar you can see a new Firefox button in orange color at the top left corner. (It mimics the Opera).

> Tabs

The tab position has been moved to the top of the Window. This is to give more visual priority to the tabs. But while switching to Firefox 4, you might feel it bit awkward especially if you are regular Firefox user. After I switched to Firefox 4, I have looked for the tabs in it’s old location because of the habit :).

Firefox Panorama is another improvements which organizes tabs into groups and lets you perform various operations on tab groups.

Switch to Tabs is another feature in Firefox 4 which lets you switch to an already opened tab when you type the same website name.

App Tab feature in Firefox 4 lets you keep the always open sites like Web Mail, Facebook etc a permanent position on the browser. So you do not need to have a separate tab for those. Just right click on the opened Tab and Select Make into App Tab and you are done.

> Stop/Refresh/Go button

The stop, Refresh and Go button has been combined into one and placed at the right of address bar. The buttons appearance changes dynamically depending upon the page status.

Overall the improvement is user Interface gives Firefox a much need look and removes lot of clutter present in older versions.

– Firefox Sync:

The Firefox Sync is an Add-on released for earlier version of Firefox. But With Firefox 4 this feature is built-in. Firefox Sync helps in  synchronizing bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, preferences  and last 25 opened tabs across multiple computers. The user data are synced to Mozilla seever and kept there in an encrypted format and it is synced to PCs you use.

– New Add-on Manager

Firefox 4 sports a brand new Add-on manager window. This new Add-on manager gives an easier way to manage Addons and personalizing the browsing. The new add-on manager has 4 categories viz. get Add-ons, Extensions, Appearance and Plugins.

Apart from the above visual changes, there are a lot of changes as given below in the core as well as security improvements in Firefox 4 which undoubtedly makes Firefox the best browser.

– Complete CSS3 and HTML 5 support

– Supports WebM video standard so you can watch HD quality video and 3D graphics support through Web GL.

– Integrate Multi Touch support for Windows 7.

– Support for different platform like Windows, mac and Linux.

– Improved security through HSTS (Http Strict Transport Security)

– Firefox 4 is the fastest browser in handling JavaScript, thanks to JagerMonkey JavaScript engine.


The Firefox RC download link is available at the Mozilla Firefox web page. However it says it is the RC 2 release and the file name is Firefox Setup 4.0 RC2.exe however the FTP location of Mozilla gives this file Firefox Setup 4.0.exe

When I installed the file from FTP location it still says Mozilla Firefox 4 like the RC version when you click on Help > About. It may happen that Mozilla has already kept the final version in the ftp as they are getting ready for the release.


After many bloggers published the news of the presence of final version of Firefox 4.0  in Mozilla FTP repository, they have taken down the download link and now the link says “Page Cannot be displayed”. I noticed this at IST 2.40AM.


The link has not actually been taken down, but gives a permission denied error when tryng to downlaod drectly. SO go to the following link and right click on Firefox Setup 4.0.exe and selct Save link as


You can block unwanted search result in Google search

Yes that’s true. Google is known for pioneering new things, and this time they have leveraged some power to end users to control how the search result appears to them. In other words now an individual searcher has the ability to let a website appear in his/her search result. That means if you are nagged by irrelevant websites appearing in your search result, you can just block those sites and from next time those sites will not appear in your search result for that keyword search as well as that domain is altogether blocked from your search result. This is obviously a welcome move from Google. And low quality sites will get blocked/hidden by many experienced searchers.

Overview of the feature

With the latest set of improvements in Google search, it is now possible to control the appearance of websites in the search result. So when you are searching for something in Google and you clicked on a result but found that the resulting website is irrelevant to your search, you can block that website and it will not appear in your future search result.

This feature is currently available for search result in in English for users with Chrome 9+, Firefox 3.5+ and Internet Explorer 8+. So if you are using an outdated browser then I am sorry, you will not have any luck.

How this works?

– Go to and not any other Google domains like

– Search for something and on the result page click on any search result, now go back to the search result page.

– You will see a new link (beside cached, similar) appearing near the search result where you clicked.

– Hover the mouse over the new link (block all results) and it will tell you Not helpful, you can block search result when you are signed in to search). Click on that block all results and t will vanish with a nice funky effect from your search result page. And it will give a notification saying we will not show you results from again with a Link to Manage Blocked sites and Undo the action.

– Now try to search for the same query again and you will see the particular website is no longer appearing in the search result. However at the bottom of the search page you will see an alert like you blocked X results from

The above mentioned things will work irrespective of you logged in to your Google account. However when you are signed in, then only the block for the website/domain will be confirmed and you will be able to manage the domain.

Note: In the year 2005 Google search introduced a feature called remove result but it was taken down before it was rolled out to every one. (Thanks Alex Chitu for this info). This feature has been announced by Google blog


The future of the SaaS (Software as a Service) market

SaaS has come a long way in the last few years – but it’s got a lot further to go.  It’s anybody’s guess what will happen in the future, but here are some of the possibilities:

Integration becomes the norm.

‘Joined-up’ software is better for the consumer, and vendors know it and hence why over recent years vendors have collaborated in an unprecedented way. SaaS systems lend themselves to integration – software working harmoniously increases acceptance by potential users, take-up rates and thus improves the bottom-line. Given that, it follows that the industry standard for SaaS will be integration.

Small businesses carry on innovating.

Smaller companies are the main SaaS innovators. Being smaller means being able to respond quickly to demand, and iteration is logistically more straightforward. The result will be flexible, dynamic software, built quickly in response to demand. A good example of this is, who have lead the way in SaaS CRM software, bringing innovative customer care with their system.

Big business gets in on the act

On the other hand, big software companies are already starting to offer many SaaS systems. The trend for them will be towards moving traditional offerings into the cloud. This is happening right now, with major companies releasing SaaS offerings.

Private clouds will emerge

‘Private’ clouds work in a similar way to the normal Cloud, but sit, closed-off, behind firewalls. They offer many of the advantages of SaaS but are more individual and, well, private. The principle of serving software from a central location over the internet applies, but access is restricted. Most importantly the SaaS business fails because there is no universality for the software.

This would be a threat to the SaaS vendors, but past experience says they will raise their game to meet it. The end result of this could be even better software.

Overall, there is a clear move towards SaaS and many people say it will become standard in the near future. This is the real prediction – most software will be SaaS in years to come.

Soon the word processor I’m writing this on will be held on a server somewhere else – I simply call it up when I need it, then save the document in the cloud, possibly in a completely different place to the software.   The software is available right now, it’s just not the norm yet. But it will be.

There is no way of knowing exactly how this will happen. All the above could happen – or none of them. One thing is certain, SaaS is not going away.

This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of web-based CRM software.