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Opera Unite Turns Your Computer into a Web Server. But Will You Want It?

The little browser that could … was how the Opera browser was often referred to around 1996-98.  The best browser packed with innovative features that Internet Explorer and Firefox were forced to copy: tabbed browsing, popup-blockers, saved sessions, zooming, mouse gestures to name a few.  But it never really took off,  continuing to hover around 2% market-share forever.

Today Opera proves again they are innovators: they claim to “reinvent the web” with the launch of Opera Unite.

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R.I.P. Netscape

Mike @ TechCrunch gets sentimental over the death of Netscape Navigator, the first real browser that opened up the Internet to all of us.

Oh, well, shed no tears for Netscape; after all, it’s not really dead. In fact it’s very much alive…it’s just called FireFox now.Firefox 2

(Photo Credit: Opera Watch)

Update: Of course this is now the story du jour on TechMeme, especially on a slow day like this. Good Morning Silicon Valley has an interesting angle:

The younger and colder-eyed among you might say good riddance or about time, but for those whose first experiences with the Web took place inside a Netscape window, who eagerly jumped to download (on dial-up) each new point release, the passing still evokes some fond nostalgia for those early, heady days.

Hm… my first online experience was Compuserve, via a dumb blank screen, where you had to type in commands a’la DOS. Somehow I am not longing to get it back. Netscape was great at a time.. but for now, I think TechDirt’s title says it all: Wait… AOL Was Still Making A Netscape Browser? Or perhaps this Digg commenter: AOL is still around?smile_sarcastic

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Firefox Gone Mad

Firefox has gone completely mad on one of my PC’s. The pic shows the lower left area: the status line has become a thick, dead area, I can’t reduce/resize it, and there is a funny little red ^ sign in the corner. At the same time all my book marks are gone.

My plugins appear to be working. Reinstalling Firefox did not help – any advice?

Thanks.

Update: I can find writeups of the same problem, but no solution… here, here, here… oh, there’s a whole lot of them, no conclusive answer.

Update #2: Wow, I can’t believe how fast help came! Thanks, Craig and Paul. :-) In the meantime I also suspected plugins, so disabled them all, and the problem was gone. Then it was a matter of playing around with restoring them one by one and in different order. The culprit appears to be the Diigo plugin. It’s a cool tool, but for now I had to kill it. They are a good team, I bet they’ll be here soon ;-)

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FireFox Flocked: Feature Glut vs. Performance

Mozilla has released the scoop on Coop (sorry, couldn’t resist), a product that will incorporate social networking right into the FireFox browser.

This cannot be good news to social browser Flock (originally built on Mozilla) says TechCrunch. (Flock is another story on it’s own right: pre-release over-hype, underwhelming early beta, still waiting for a 1.0 product). Not everyone thinks Flock is .. well, *flocked*, for example Matthew Ingram and Mark Evans think the more competition the better.

But there is a bigger story here. The initial reaction on TechCrunch is almost unanimously negative – and it’s not the typical Arrington-bashing pile-on.

  • “I hope they offer a version without. I want a browser, not a social network.”
  • “I’d rather see them address the resource-hogging issues in Firefox. If social-networking features cause it to use any more system resources, I’ll need a freakin’ dedicated server just to browse the web.”
  • “It does sound exciting but why does Mozilla want to add further memory hogging features in firefox.”
  • “I don’t want anything more in Firefox until they stop it consuming 98% of my CPU cycles.”
  • “Firefox is still a resource hog. I’d rather see that fixed before it becomes a social browser.”

Clearly, users want their browsers to work reliably, fast, without becoming a resource-hog. I’ve said before, performance is a feature, and apparently it’s becoming feature #1 for many – yours truly included. I must be getting old, not getting this social “networking 24×7″ – heck, I don’t even watch Justin.tv smile_omg

Now, to be real, I’m sure (?) Coop will be an optional add-on, so those who don’t want it can continue with a more lightweight browser. But this mini-revolt at TechCrunch is a good reminder that the memory-hog issue has been present and largely unaddressed by Mozilla for years. I think it also offers a lesson to any software company: even your most religious fans/users can easily jump ship if either something better comes along, or you “flock” up badly.

Related posts: Startup Meme, Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim, Infocult, Techscape, mathewingram.com/work, Mashable!, Mark Evans, Compiler, franticindustries, 901am, CenterNetworks, Between the Lines, The Social Web and more …