Do You Have a Globally Recognized Avatar?

Do you have a Gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatar)?

As a loyal fan of the WordPress software that runs each of my weblogs, I feel that it is important to support WordPress in any way that I can.   A couple of days ago I announced some big changes to the theme here at Kyle’s Cove, and probably the biggest change of them all was my switch from the MyAvatars plugin to displaying Gravatars with post comments.

You may remember that last October Automattic, the company behind WordPress, purchased Gravatar.   In the time since, they have revamped the infrastructure of Gravatar to drastically speed things up, integrated it into the WordPress.com platform, and then updated the Gravatar WordPress plugin.

Now that Automattic is supporting it, I think that over time Gravatars will continue to grow and the service will get better, so it is with that decision that I decided to make that switch over to using Gravatar images on this blog.

If you don’t already have one, I recommend you sign up with Gravatar for a free account and then upload the avatar you want to use.   Once done, you can leave a comment below to test it out and see if it works.   You’ll need to use the e-mail address used for your Gravatar in the e-mail address field of the comment form (all lower case).

Best of: Google Search Greasemonkey Scripts

Over the past five years Google has really branched out with the launch of several useful web-based products, but the core of their company is still in the world of internet search. Google’s results are the best and most accurate, but there is still some room for improvement in a few areas.

Many Greasemonkey users have taken the time to create scripts to improve Google’s search results page. Here are a few of my favorites:

Google Search Greasemonkey Scripts

  • GoogleEnlarge – Hover over a Google image to see an enlarged version of the image in a pop up.
  • Google AutoPager – Eliminates the “Next Page” button and automatically loads the next pages results at the bottom of your page. (Works with the Google Preview extension for Firefox)
  • Google Two Column – Displays search results in two columns (Ideal for people with wide screen monitors)
  • Google 100 – Shows the first 100 search results instead of the default 10. You can also show a different number of results by doing the following 4 steps:
    1. Visit Google.com.
    2. Go to Tools -> Greasemonkey -> User Script Commands.
    3. Choose “Set Google Results Per Page”.
    4. Enter a number between 1 and 100.

As always, you will need the Greasemonkey extension installed in your Firefox web browser in order for these to work.

Missed any extremely useful ones? Let me know in the comments below!

Technology Talk – 12/30/2007

As we continue to roll towards the New Year, the great content keeps on coming. Here are a few of the posts that I enjoyed from around the blogosphere this week:

  • ComputerWorld has posted 5 Things You’ll Love About Firefox 3.0. This post covers some of the stuff that many people aren’t talking about with the new version of Firefox 3.0.
  • Hack WordPress explains how to adjust the blogroll code to separate your categories. Most themes by default come with the old blogroll code that doesn’t give you much control over how your blogs are displayed.
  • Digital Inspiration explains why you should at least consider using FeedBlitz over Feedburner for managing your e-mail subscriptions.  I personally prefer the simplicity of Feedburner, but Amit makes some good points.
  • Social Media Trader has ranked 115 social news and bookmarking services.  Click over to see who came in at number 1.

Best of: Internet Explorer Add-ons

[Last Updated: June 2, 2008]

For a period of almost five years, Microsoft Windows users were stuck with Internet Explorer 6.0 for their web browsing needs. Their lack of support for the browser left an opening for competition, and out of those ashes rose a Phoenix which would eventually be known as Firefox.

The success of Firefox is often attributed to being open source, or for better handling of security issues, but I’ve always felt that it was the Firefox Add-ons that really made the browser appeal to web surfers.

Once Microsoft finally got around to developing Internet Explorer 7.0, they recognized the value of add-ons and built them into their next generation web browser. There are a large number of Internet Explorer Add-ons currently available, but they are rarely given much exposure, so I decided to collect the best of them here in this post, broken down into categories for easy reference.

Downloads

  • Star Downloader – Download manager and accelerator. Chooses the best mirror sites and splits up the downloads into multiple parts for faster downloads.

[Read more...]

Best of: Photobucket Greasemonkey Scripts

If you are looking for a place to host images, there are a variety of choices, but Photobucket is probably the most popular option that is available at no cost to the user.  It is especially popular with MySpace users since they purchased the company.

While the service Photobucket offers is pretty basic and easy to use, I was pleased to see that there are a few Greasemonkey scripts available to Photobucket users to improve their experience.  In order to use these scripts, you’ll first need to make sure you have the Greasemonkey extension installed.

Photobucket Greasemonkey Scripts

Hopefully this list will grow as more useful Greasemonkey scripts are created for Photobucket.

Collection of Internet Explorer Add-ons

With the release of Internet Explorer 7.0 came a host of new features to the browser, including the rarely talked about ability to use Add-ons.   I’ve talked a little bit about Add-ons in the past, but haven’t spent a lot of time covering the various add-ons available.   It looks like they’ve also released a few since the last time I looked.

I’m currently working on compiling a list of Internet Explorer Add-ons, but in the meantime, if you are a web developer or designer and use Internet Explorer, I recommend you check out this post by TechDune focusing on 20+ IE7 Add-ons for Web Developers and Designers.

MySpace Private Pictures Aren’t Exactly Private

It is always risky to upload your personal pictures on to someone else’s servers, but private pictures are exceptionally risky.  You are somewhat at the mercy of what that person or company does with the pictures.

For whatever reason, MySpace and Facebook users don’t seem to understand this, so they upload all sorts of pictures that are probably better left on their hard drive and out of the public eye.   My general rule is if you don’t want family and even potential employers seeing these pictures, then you probably shouldn’t upload them.

One service that proves it can be done is MySpace Private Profile.  Simply visit a MySpace page and grab their ID number, then punch it in on this site and you can view all of their private pictures.  I tried it twice before writing this post and it works flawlessly.  In the two private MySpace pages I visited I saw pictures of underage girls passed out holding alcohol and something else that I will leave up to the imagination.

Moral of the story?  Don’t upload anything that would embarrass you on to the internet.

[via CyberSurge]

Google Multi-User Account Login Script (Greasemonkey)

If you share a computer with someone else, you’ve probably been frustrated at times with having all your accounts with Google.  If a family member logs into their Gmail account, it logs me out of everything, include AdSense and my personalized homepage. 

While browsing the web today I found a solution to this problem.   The solution is the Google Account Multi-Login Greasemonkey script.   This script will actually replace the “Sign out” link on Google pages with a select box of accounts, making for an easy transition between Google accounts.  

The script is free and only requires the use of the Greasemonkey extension and the Firefox web browser.  Enjoy!

Transform Windows XP with the OS X Transformation Pack

Awhile ago we talked about the Vista Transformation pack, which allows Windows XP users to easily give their computer the look and feel of Windows Vista.  Well, now it looks like Apple fans that have Windows XP on one of their computers have an option as well, with the release of the MAC OS X Transformation Pack to give their computer a Leopard makeover.

The files included with the download:

– explorer.exe
– shell32.dll
– xpsp2res.dll
– mydocs.dll
– msgina.dll

Some screenshots provided by the author:

If you are interested, you can download the files you need here.

[via Brown Baron]

Best of: WordPress Greasemonkey Scripts

If you are a serious blogger, there is a good chance that you use the popular open source software known as WordPress as your blogging software of choice.   Others probably use WordPress.com to host their blog.

There is no doubt that their combination of WordPress themes and WordPress plugins gives WordPress.org users a variety of options, but WordPress.com does not give its users nearly as much functionality.  That is where Greasemonkey steps in, allowing users to control WordPress’ behavior locally within your web browser.  

Below you will find a list of what I consider to be the best and most useful WordPress Greasemonkey scripts.  Most are for WordPress.com users, but some work for both.  In order to use them, you will first need to install the Greasemonkey Extension in your Firefox Web Browser.

WordPress Greasemonkey Scripts

  • Akismet Auntie Spam – This script reskins the Akismet spambox page for WordPress admins. Download all spam at once, compress spam to make it more scanable and completely compresses obvious spam. Turns checking spam into a 10 minute per week activity.
  • Find Images That Are Wide – This script scans your blog for images that are to big in Firefox, IE6, and IE7.  Great for checking IE6 image compatibility and for blogs using fixed width templates.
  • WordPress.com: Add Technorati Tags – This is not for the self-hosted version of WordPress, but it is to good not to list!  This script adds a Tag button to allow users to easily add Technorati Tags to their posts.
  • WordPress.com Stats Pages – Adds the missing stats links to the WordPress.com edit pages admin panel.
  • WordPress Category Resizer – Ideal for people with 25+ categories on their blog.  This script moves the category checkbox list from the right sidebar to underneath the edit post windows and makes it three columns wide instead of one column wide. Works with any version of WordPress or WordPress Multi-User (including WordPress.com).
  • WordPress Comment Ninja – Respond to comments directly by post and/or email from inside your WordPress dashboard.
  • Yahoo Pipe Cleaner – Removes most of the HTML markup from Yahoo Pipe run output so that it can be cut-and-pasted into WordPress blogs.

Unfortunately, this list is a little shorter than most of my Greasemonkey lists due to the lack of scripts available.   If you know of some really useful ones I missed, please let me know in the comments below!