Archive for the ‘web’ Category

Must have extensions for Firefox

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

My brother recently turned me on to two fantastic extensions for Firefox.

“Firefox extensions are small add-ons that add new functionality to Firefox. They can add anything from a toolbar button to a completely new feature. They allow the browser to be customized to fit the personal needs of each user if they need additional features, while keeping Firefox small to download.” (Taken from the Firefox extension website)

There are two extensions that I have found to be very nice:

1) AdBlock

2) FlashBlock

These two extensions have helped me rid pages of banner ads and flash-based ads. It’s simple! When you encounter a banner ad on a website, right-click on the ad and choose “AdBlock”.

It will present you with the URI for the ad. It will look something like this:

That long string above is where the particular ad is originating. You can block this particular ad, or what I do is the following. I replace the long string above with something like this:*

Then I click “Block” after making this change. What this does is that it blocks any ad coming from that cnn classifieds site. After a few days of doing this your web browsing will start to become vacant of ads! This is because there are only a handful of major advertising servers out there. Blocking them will block most of the ads you run into online.

Flashblock, on the otherhand, will replace those eye-grabbing animated flash ads (you’ve seen them….they are the shoot the duck/badger/santa/bug to win a car/ipod/bike/cellphone/giftcard advertisements) with a blank square with a “Flash’ icon. You click the flash icon to activate the flash component. It’s very nice.

I suggest these to everyone who uses Firefox.

HCI Bibliography

Monday, March 21st, 2005

My work involves website layout and design. This type of work falls under HCI, or human-computer interaction.

Today in class, a group presented on the HCI Bibliography website. This website holds abstracts of publications writen on human-computer interaction.

Wow. What’s ironic is that this website, which is one that attempts to promote better human-computer interaction, is actually one of the worst webpages I’ve used.

The search feature is horrid. Even the director of this program comments on the poor search engine. The search only searches abstracts of records. There is no way to search the site itself.

For an example of how not to design a website, check it out. However, in all fairness, they may not have the resources to improve the interface. I’ll assume they are doing the best they can with what they have.