CyberNotes
Web Browser Wednesday




Firefox extensions are often lauded for the additional features and functionality that they bring to the browser. Some of them can save you crazy amounts of time, while others are more about beautifying Firefox. Here at CyberNet we typically try to focus on those extensions that can make you more productive, but today we’re going to flaunt what the developers have given us. That’s right, it’s time to tell your friends that your browser is better than theirs. ;)

The top 10 extensions that we’re going to show off today have been downloaded thousands, or even millions of times by Firefox users like yourself. One thing that they all have in common: they are all rather impressive to those that have never seen them before. Well, maybe only impressive to the nerdy tech-savvy crowd.

Lets get the show on the road… in no particular order here are the top 10 extensions that you should show off to your friends.

1. PicLens (Homepage)

Anyone that hasn’t seen PicLens before is sure to be left in awe. It’s a nifty image browser for sites like Flickr, Google Images, Photobucket, and more. It brings an astonishing 3D realm for navigating photos to the browser. Transitions are smooth, effects are amazing, and there aren’t really enough words that can describe how awesome the experience is. We’ve gotta throw a YouTube video out there because a screenshot wouldn’t even do it justice:


Seeing that you and all of your friends are probably YouTube junkies it’s best that we forewarn you about PicLens supporting YouTube videos. Yes, you can search and browse through YouTube videos just like you can with images. That’s a good enough reason not to install the extension, because the last thing we need is a reason to spend a few more hours each day on YouTube.

2. Scrapbook (Homepage)

WIth Scrapbook you can actually capture and save any website to your computer. That way you can access a cached version of the page anytime you would like, and what’s even better is that you can mark it up all you want. Highlight a word here, throw a note there… you’re friends will never realize that you can grab a site and morph it into whatever you want.

scrapbook.jpg

3. Gspace (Homepage)

Do you feel bad about having an outrageous amount of storage in Gmail and letting it all go to waste? With this simple extension you can put your Gmail account to work as a file storage solution. It comes equipped with a spiffy FTP-like interface that couldn’t make transferring files any easier with your Gmail account. Heck, it can even interact with multiple Gmail accounts so that you can create one for documents, another for images, and so on!

Gspace File Storage
Click to Enlarge

4. Tab Effect (Homepage)

tab effect.jpgI can’t say that this extension serves a valuable purpose, but it will sure catch the attention of your friends just as it did with our readers. You’ll see the extension in all it’s glory when you go to switch from one tab to another. That’s when the cube-like rotation effect will kick in, and you can watch as your friends’ jaws drop to the floor.

5. Repagination (Homepage)

This is an extension that your friends may not be impressed with right away, but they will definitely be looking for the download if you use it with one of their favorite sites.

Repagination is a powerful tool that can continuously grab whatever page the “Next” button links to, and it will be concatenated onto the current page. One example of this is being able to grab hundreds of search results pages, and scroll through them all as if they were a single site. It works pretty much anywhere there are page numbers or a next button. It’s especially handy when you’re navigating through pages of photos, such as those on Flickr.

What’s going on in the screenshot below is I scrolled down to the bottom of the Google search results page and right-clicked on the number “2?, which represents the next page in the order. Then I went to Re-Pagination->All and it concatenated 26 more Google search results pages onto the one that I was already viewing. I darkened the concatenated portion in the screenshot below so that you can distinguish where the original results page ends and where the other one begins, but when using the extension it looks like one fluid page. You can also limit how many pages are concatenated which might be a good idea so that it doesn’t add so many.

Repagination

6. Tab Scope (Homepage)

Tab Scope Firefox ExtensionI know I know, seeing a thumbnail when you hover over a tab is nothing knew. Opera does it out-of-the-box, and to the untrained eye this is really nothing different. Don’t be deceived… this is not just a preview.

With Tab Scope you can fully navigate the small thumbnail that is shown when you hover over a tab. Go forward or back, refresh the page, scroll, or even click on links. It’s way more than just a preview, and it deserves all the attention it gets.

7. Update Scanner (Homepage)

I’m sure your friends would love to be notified when the content of websites change. Just think, they could take MySpace stalking to a whole new level. With Update Scanner it is a no-brainer.

Just point it to the URL you want to check for updates, specify the interval at which it should check the page, and tell it roughly how much of the content needs to change before it notifies you. Update Scanner will do all the work in the background, and will popup with a notification whenever a change has been detected.

8. Interclue (Homepage)

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a better idea of what a hyperlink points to? That’s where Interclue comes into play. When you hover over a link it is capable of showing a crazy amount of data about that specific page. Maybe the number of words the it contains, how many links there are, Digg count, and much more. If the link points to a YouTube video you can even watch it right from the Interclue popup window.

Interclue

9. Firefox Universal Uploader (Homepage)

Take the pain out of uploading files to Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, Box.net, Facebook, and more by using this uploader tool. It is complete with an FTP-like interface, but you’ll use it to upload/download images and other files to your favorite sharing sites. This is also a great way to retrieve images in bulk that you’ve uploaded to a supported online service, but accidentally deleted from your own computer.

Firefox Universal Uploader

10. ThumbStrips (Homepage)

The last thing you’ll need to show your friends is how you can navigate your browser’s history in style. Remembering names of the websites you visit is so 2005. With ThumbStrips you can just flip through thumbnails of the sites you recently visited:

thumbstrips-1.jpg

If you show your friends all of these things it will surely leave them in awe. Most browsers aren’t capable of doing most (if any) of the things listed here, and if they’re not using Firefox the odds are probably pretty good that they had no idea it was capable of doing such amazing things thanks to the extensions.

Let us know in the comments below if there are any extensions you think could really impress people.