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Firefox Profile Manager soon to be removed

firefoxA unique feature of Mozilla Firefox and its Gecko-based browser cousins is the Profile Manager, which allows each user to have multiple Firefox profiles (where bookmarks, add-ons, and other user data are stored). This is very useful to developers and testers - they can use separate profiles to try new browser versions or add-ons without risk of corrupting their regular profile. A user can also have different profiles for different purposes - one set of bookmarks and/or add-ons for work and another for personal use, for instance.

Many users don't know about it, though - profiles are in a hidden directory by default, and the Profile Manager is also hidden, accessed by command line. Not without cause, either; serious data loss hazards exist for those who create profiles in the wrong location, then delete the files with the Profile Manager. Profile files are created directly in the folder specified, when not using the default location. Deleting the files removes everything in the folder. Some have even wiped their entire system partition! Aside from a strong warning in the profile creation dialog, though, it remains the same as it's been since before Firefox 1.0.

That's supposed to change soon. Mozilla is planning to remove the Profile Manager from Firefox, "after Firefox 4.0" (How long after is not clear). When this change is implemented it should speed up starting of Firefox - since it will no longer be loading the hidden Profile Manager at startup - as well as eliminating a data loss hazard. As a replacement, A couple of Mozilla developers have created a new external Profile Manager.

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Adobe, Skype and CCleaner top Hall of Shame list

Recently Ed Bott released his list of Foistware Hall of Shame programs. It's a bit hard to say what foistware is since there is no official definition for this term. But the basics of it is that it is software installers that also try to install potentially unwanted software onto the users computer. These are things like toolbars, browsers and other things that some users will think they have to install in order to install the application.

Sadly this sort of thing has been allowed to go on for a very long time. In fact, it's almost impossible to find quality software that does not want to install some kind of unwanted garbage. I've noticed that avast unfortunately wants to install Google Chrome and I've also heard numerous times that Apple's iTunes wants to install their Safari browser. In the near future I plan to start a project within the Lunarsoft Wiki that will list off many of these applications that are popular, well known and want to install toolbars and/or browsers. So keep with us to find out more.

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Why Firefox is my primary choice for a web browser

firefoxWhile there are many browsers available such as Chrome, Opera, and obviously Firefox and Internet Explorer; to me, few are really worth using. I've used every popular browser and despite them all having their strong points, Firefox has been my primary choice but I'll elaborate my reasons for this. Based on the W3CSchool's Usage Statistics I'm not alone in feeling this way.

Internet Explorer 9 is one I use as a fallback browser for when I need to quickly look something up. The fact that there's also the EasyPrivacy Tracking Protection List is a huge plus. It's also great to check any changes I'm making to Lunarsoft to see how they'd look to most visitors. Compatibility mode is a nice plus for the browser too. Pages render fast, very fast in fact which gives users a good feel of speed on pageloads.

Chrome was a nice browser overall but the big issues from the EULA back when Chrome was first released and stirred such a controversy is part of the reason I just don't feel comfortable using it. While it's true that Google did eventually remove that segment from their EULA after there was quite the public outcry, the idea that anyone entering information - be it for a blog post to a forum post - through the Chrome browser would allow Google to use it and claim it as their own without any dues to the original author is a major turnoff. Especially when you're an editor for a website or blog. But as I said, Google did remove this from the Chrome EULA; but not before some people question how trustworthy the Chrome browser is due to the past EULA issue.

I will admit that it's been years since I've tried Opera. I gave it a chance for close to a month but just never could really get into enjoying it. I didn't feel as though I could customize it to my liking and most of the things I loved to use in Firefox were unheard of in Opera. I spent plenty of time looking for the key features I loved about Firefox that would hopefully be in Opera or be easy to add to Opera. The few I did find had few options and of those options it was far too much to do to really make it worthwhile.

Yet, after using all of these browsers I continue to use Firefox. Not just because it has addons - or extensions - but because it fits my needs. I filter out advertisements using AdBlock Plus except for my favorite websites. But don't worry, you don't need AdBlock Plus on Lunarsoft because there are no advertisements - and you can thank all of our donators and those who continue to donate for that - and I hope to keep it that way. I also use Firebug to help fix and optimize this site and the forums. It's a very handle extension for those who do work on webpages often. DownThemAll! is a great extension for downloading files from anywhere on the Internet and to me is another must have extension. In addition, I use TabMixPlus to save my web browsing sessions in case the browser crashes because I run the nightly Firefox builds. I'm currently posting this from Firefox 6.0a1 x64 in fact. Since I've been using the Firefox 6.0 nightly build, I have yet to experience a single crash.

Customizations seem to be what everyone agrees on. Making little changes to the web browser to suit your own personal liking. To me, that will be Firefox first and foremost. It will definitely be interesting to see how Firefox will do in the browser races of the future.

YouTube founders save Delicious service

deliciousYouTube's co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen bought the popular social bookmarking site Delicious from Yahoo, saving the service from being shut down. It's said that this acquisition for the two entrepreneurs is because they are returning to tech under their new venture called AVOS.

In 2005 Yahoo acquired Delicious to integrate the service's social aspects into their own web offerings. Yahoo began to struggle from increasing competition and last December went through a mjaor restructuring. Unfortunately this meant that many services would be shut down. Altavista, Yahoo Bookmarks, Yahoo Picks, Yahoo Buzz, MyM, Alltheweb, and MyBlogLog are all set to be, or have already closed down. In fact, Altavista and Alltheweb are closed, and Buzz shut down on April 21. During the transition, Delicious will continue to operate normally.

In a statement issued by Yahoo, they said: "As we have said, part of our product strategy involves shifting our investment with off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation. We believe this is the right move for the service, our users and our shareholders."

A statement issued by Hurley said, "We see a tremendous opportunity to simplify the way users save and share content they discover anywhere on the web."

Firefox 4 passes 125 million downloads

firefoxWith just a quick look at the Firefox 4 download statistics page it shows that Firefox 4 has been downloaded over 125 million times and that number is still climbing quite rapidly. Within the first 24 hours, Firefox 4 had a total of more than six million downloads. Keep in mind that when Internet Explorer 9 launched a week earlier that there were just 2.35 million downloads according to Betanews. Though in all fairness, IE9 is not available on Windows XP whereas Firefox 4 still works.

Based on the download totals so far it will be interesting to see how Firefox does when they release version 5 and have to compete against the other popular browsers out there.

Windows 7 sales speed up in 2011

windows 7A year and a half after it's debut on the market Windows 7 has sold more than 350 million licenses. Microsoft has said that Windows 7 is the "fastest selling Operating System in history." Windows 7 had an amazing launch when it debuted in October of 2009. But the momentum has picked up here in 2011. According to analysts, Windows 7 launch sales were 234% higher than Windows Vista. Just short of one year from the initial launch, Windows 7 had already sold more than 175 million licenses.

Breaking that down, it took eleven months for the first 175 million licenses to sell and only seven months for the second 175 million. If you were to break that down to a per-day sale that would be approximately 297,600 more copies of Windows 7 being sold per day.

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Flock project comes to an end

Earlier today an announcement was posted on the Flock website stating that on April 26th, 2011 that the project and servers would be shutting down. There is no reason specified as to why the project is suddenly discontinuing. However, there is some speculation that it may be because of Zynga - makers of Farmville, Cityville and other browser Flash games - acquiring Flock Inc. in January of this year. Since the Flock project is coming to an end, they're recommending that their users back up their data. Sync and social networking features in Flock will no longer work on April 26th.

The project began April 11th, 2005 and shuts down on April 26th, 2011 - just six years later. Flock was a web browser that specialized in Web 2.0 and social networking interfaces that were integrated into the UI. Originally Flock was based on the Gecko HTML rendering engine by Mozilla, but at version three Flock changed to Chromium which is based on WebKit.

The Flock Team has recommended that their users switch over to Firefox or Chrome if they wish. While they will be able to continue using Flock, the key features will not be available after April 26th. Many former Flock users have said that they will be switching over to RockMelt as it has similar features.

Internet Explorer 9 released

internet explorerEarlier today, Microsoft released the next version of their web browser. Numerous improvements come with this release, along with a redesigned UI, support for HTML5, a new "Do Not track" feature and much more. After having used it since the release, I can say one thing for sure. You will definitely notice the pages loading faster and performing better. It's great to see that they have improved the browser overall. Another nice addition is the ability to import Tracking Protection lists. A recommended list is the EasyPrivacy from the people who continue to maintain the EasyList.

There are a lot of improvements to Internet Explorer 9, including pinned websites that integrate with the Windows 7 taskbar, jumplist support, a new tab layout page, a redesigned notification system to alert users of downloads and add-ons, a SmartScreen filter and more. With all these great fixes, updates and features, we strongly urge everyone on Windows Vista and Windows 7 to update to Internet Explorer 9. To help, we'll have the download links below.

Windows 7: x86 version | x64 version
Windows Vista: x86 version | x64 version

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