How to Solve the Firefox 4 Sync Error

Sometime after upgrading to Firefox 4, the built in sync function stopped working, throwing up the “Firefox encountered an error while syncing…”
To solve this, login to the Mozilla Account services with your Sync username and password, then choose “Clear Your Sync Data” from the left hand menu. This will clear all your stored sync data on the Mozilla servers.
Now try syncing Firefox again by going to the main menu and choosing Synch Now. All should work well now.

How to copy Flash Video in Firefox 4

Earlier this week Mozilla finally released the long-awaited Firefox 4. With Firefox 3 on Ubuntu I used to be able to copy a flash video that was still open in a Firefox tab from cache using

cp /tmp/Flash ~/Videos/

To my surprise the same did not work with Firefox 4. It seems the problem is related to FlashPlayer 10.2. Apparently the cached file gets flagged as deleted:

lsof | grep deleted

plugin-co 4292 user 17u REG 8,6 18987840 3801105 /tmp/FlashXXJ3YUk0 (deleted)

The solution I ended up with is to use /proc, pid and fd like this:

cp /proc/4292/fd/17 ~/Videos/

It should work as long as the flashed tab is still open in Firefox.

You can install Firefox 4 by adding the ‘mozillateam’ ppa using:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable

and

sudo apt-get update

After this you can install Firefox 4 or simply upgrade if you already have Firefox 3 installed.

Say hello to the much awaited Firefox 3.6.

The Mozilla Foundation today announced the release of the much awaited Firefox 3.6. The most noteworthy improvement in this release is speed. According to Mozilla, Firefox 3.6 is “more than 20 percent faster than Firefox 3.5 and includes extensive under the hood work to improve performance for everyday Web tasks such as email, uploading photos, social networking, and more.”
Another new feature worth mentioning is Personas, which allows users to personalize their Firefox with new themes at the click of a mouse without restarting the browser.
Below are some of the features of Firefox 3.6 according to Mozilla
  • Open Video and Audio: With the world’s best implementation of HTML 5 audio and video support, now video can be displayed full screen and supports poster frames
  • Plugin Updater: To keep you safe from potential security vulnerabilities, Firefox will now detect out of date plugins
  • Stability improvements: Firefox 3.6 significantly decreased crashes caused by third party software – all without sacrificing our extensibility in any way
And for developers
  • Support for the latest HTML5 specification, including the File API for local file handling
  • Font Support: In addition to OpenType and TrueType fonts, 3.6 now supports the new Web Open Font Format (WOFF)
  • CSS gradients: Supports linear and radial CSS gradients which allow for a smoother transition between colors
  • Device orientation: Firefox 3.6 exposes the orientation of the laptop or device to Web pages
I have been having a really nasty experience with Firefox of late, notable among them being it crashing just too much. I hope as Mozilla says, this release addresses that issue together with the amount of memory it uses.
You can download (Windows) Firefox 3.6 from the official browser website. Ubuntu users can follow this tutorial to get it on their systems. You can also watch some videos of the new release

9 things you did not know about Mozilla SeaMonkey.

Anytime the name Mozilla is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is the awesome, super duper Firefox. No doubt that browser is the best in the world. However, Mozilla has another project that simply dwarfs Firefox. The cross platform Mozilla SeaMonkey is simply an all in one internet suite that is really worth having. The following are 9 great features of this suite that you may not know.
Compser
If you are a web designer or programmer, then all  you will need is the SeaMonkey composer. It is a powerful yet easy to use HTML editor that keeps getting better with dynamic image and table resizing, quick insert and deletion of table cells, improved CSS support, and support for positioned layers. For all your documents and website projects, Composer is all you need.
Feed Preview.
In addition to feed detection, SeaMonkey also has a built in feed preview that lets you view feed contents and choose a reader with which to subscribe to them – including an internal reader in the Mail & Newsgroups component of SeaMonkey.
Image Manager
This function simply lets you block images to remove offensive ones or speed up the rendering of web sites.
Tabbed Mail
This feature lets manage your mail and folders in parallel, without losing control of where you are at when reading, replying to and working with messages in more complex patterns.
Junk mail controls
Keep spam out with this feature that helps you take back control of your e-mail from spammers. SeaMonkey’s adaptive junk mail control gets smarter with use and is personalized to the e-mail that you receive.
Multiple Accounts
Support for multiple accounts helps you  manage all your email from one interface.
IRC Chat
It also has an IRC chat built right into it with a tabbed interface and support for multiple networks and channels.You can change the look and feel of the chat with motifs; choose from several built-in motifs, many more downloadable, or create your own with CSS.
DOM Inspector
This function enables you to dig into the document structure of web pages, add-ons or even the SeaMonkey “chrome” itself and inspect a huge number of properties of any element in that structure, including JavaScript objects and
CSS styles.
JavaScript Debugger (“Venkman”)
This debugger lets you debug JavaScript code on your websites, add-ons and even in SeaMonkey itself with a suite of powerful debugging tools.

All these and more are available in one simple application that is really a must have. You have a mail client that has all the functions you are used to and more, a powerful HTML editor, a Firefox twin, and IRC chat client and more. Mozilla SeaMonkey is definitely a great app that is worth having. You can download an installer file for your Windows, Linux or Mac OSX box and start right off with this awesome all in one app.

Mozilla’s Fennec- the mobile browser of the future

If you use Firefox browser on your computer, then you probably will be happy to know that Mozilla is now taking the rich FF experience to the smart phone market by developing the Fennec mobile browser. The 3rd alpha release is out and has a rich list of  features
  • Much improved panning/scrolling performance
  • Improved start-up time
  • Revised theme
  • Support for running in full screen
  • Numerous bug fixes
  • Improved painting performance
  • Improved UI polish
  • Support for touch sensitive directional pad on HTC devices
  • Improved kinetic panning with directional locking
  • Ability to scroll frames
  • Improved zooming support
  • Support for multiple screen sizes
You can run this alpha release on your  Windows Mobile device running Windows Mobile Professional 6.0 of greater. The release notes can be found here together with how to download it. Try it and take your rich Firefox experience with you on the go. Check out this video for more

WHAT IS FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE?

This is a question that I am asked time and again by my friends and colleagues both at home and in the office . So today I intend talking a little about what the concept of Free Software means. This is in no way an exhaustive post, neither am I an Open Source Expert. I am only sharing with you my knowledge and experience of FOSS and will provide appropriate links to relevant sites as much as possible.

So what does Free and Open Source Software mean?
The concept of Free and Open Source software refers to the right of the end user to modify a FOSS software however they want without any restriction provided the output will also be made available freely to other users.
So if you are Muslim, you can choose to modify an operating system like Ubuntu as the guys here have done. Christians can also check out what is here, also a derivative of Ubuntu. There are hundreds of softwares that are are available free of any restriction for you to use.

Free as in free beer or as in free speech?
Both. There are thousands of Foss softwares that are available both free as in free beer and free speech. From full fledged operating systems, office suites, graphics softwares , just name it. All you have to do is download them and use them. No licensing fees, no product keys, nothing. Just download and use. Simple as that.
Then there are those that are available as for free only as in free speech but have to be paid for to use them. So you would have to pay to use the software but can modify it as you wish.

Why should i use FOSS?
Simple. Aside from it being free, you can be assured of very quality and up to date products. This because almost anyone can contribute to the development of FOSS and thus people from all over the world help to develop any given software which enriches the diversity and flavor that go into it. Also, because open source softwares have their source code in the public eye, it makes it nigh impossible to add any malicious line of code without it being detected and eliminated quickly. This makes open source softwares more secure than their closed counterparts.

Do i need a particular OS in order to use FOSS?
No. There are FOSS softwares for almost all OS platforms around today. There are softwares for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Just search for the softaware relating to your OS.

So what makes FOSS unique from other softwares?
In my opinion, what makes FOSS unique is the massive, dedicated community that you can choose to become part of when you use FOSS. An OS like Ubuntu has a very loving, dedicated and superb community that is just willing to help you with every single problem you may encounter with the OS and there hundreds like the Ubuntu Forums that to me, make FOSS such a joy to use.

OK. I want to try some out. Where do i begin?
I will just make a small list of some great FOSS that you can try out for yourself. You will be happy you did.

Web browser try Firefox if you are not already using it.
Image editor try Gimp. Also a free alternative to Photoshop.
Multi media player, try VLC.
I also suggest you try Ubuntu, a free, powerful and fully customizable OS.
You can also visit OSALT for all the free softwares you can think of.

Check out the video below. Enjoy using FOSS and I hope to see you on one of the really great FOSS forums around. Let me know what you think about open source.