A gift from Zappos

I heart Zappos.comWhile browsing through Larry’s photos, I stumbled across one that had a Zappos shotglass in it. I asked Larry where he got it from, and he told me it was a giveaway at SXSW he had picked up.

So, I did the most logical thing and sent Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh (@zappos) a tweet inquiring about how someone might be able to get a Zappos shotglass. He wrote back shortly thereafter asking for my address; that he’d send me some. And so I did.

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Firefox 3 add-ons I can’t live without.

Today Mozilla officially released Firefox 3. If you haven’t grabbed it yet, what are you waiting for? These are some of the extensions that I now use:

  • AnyColor – Currently available for the Windows version of Firefox 3 only, this add-on lets you shift the color/appearance of your current theme on the fly. It works really well with the default theme for Firefox 3 on Windows XP. I’m currently using the Dark preset.
  • Better Gmail 2 – An excellent extension that allows users to get more out of Gmail. (Updated the link!)
  • Color Management 0.4 – Though Firefox 3 has some support for color profiles out of the box, this add-on gives it the ability to read ICC color profiles embedded in images. (This hopefully translates to better and more consistent color fidelity in images on the web.)
  • ColorZilla 1.9 – With the ability to sample colors from anything on a webpage, and the ability to grab color palettes from those sites, this is an invaluable add-on to have.
  • Facebook Toolbar – If you use Facebook and Firefox, this toolbar is worth having. It notifies you when your friends post anything new, allows you to search contacts, see status updates and more all without visiting facebook.com.
  • FaviconizeTab – I just recently started using this add-on, and I can’t see how I worked without it. If you’re like me, and keep several tabs open all day long, this extension allows you to right-click on tabs and turn them into just the favicon only. Not only does this save valuable screen real estate, it allows you some degree of privacy in that people looking over your shoulder won’t necessarily be able to see what’s in all of your open tabs.
  • Firebug 1.2.0b3 – If you’re doing any sort of web design or development, you need to have this add-on installed. It’s an invaluable tool for debugging CSS/HTML, Javascript, and much, much more.
  • Google Gears – Gears enables you to use compatible sites offline. Google Documents, Remember the Milk and many more sites support Gears, and I’d imagine more sites in the future will work with it as well.
  • IE Tab – Another must have add-on for web designers/developers. Quickly toggle between Firefox and Internet Explorer rendering engines with Firefox itself.
  • MeasureIt 0.3.8 – This ruler comes in handy when wanting to measure elements on a site, specific images and more.
  • PicLens – PicLens lets you browse through photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube and more through an immersive 3D experience. The latest version has integrated Amazon “window shopping”, videos from MSNBC, ESPN and movie trailers and more…
  • Prism for Firefox 0.2 – This add-on allows you to create stand-alone applications of websites you commonly use. I used it to create stand-alone versions of Basecamp, Gmail and gCalendar.
  • ReloadEvery 3.0.0 – This simple add-on allows you to configure pages to be refreshed on a schedule you set. For example: If you use the web version of Twitter, you could set this extension to reload the page every 5 minutes.
  • Web Developer 1.1.6 – Honestly, I don’t use this add-on all that often, but when I do – I’m glad I had it. Simple things like being able to disable all styles and resizing the browser window makes this add-on worth keeping around for me.

What add-ons/extensions are you using with Firefox 3 that you can’t live without? I’d love to know!


Michael Montgomery suggested these extensions:

Disqus

I disabled Disqus commenting on my site. As it stands now, it just doesn’t integrate fully enough into WordPress for me to be happy with it. I’ll see if I can migrate the handful of comments over to be on my site within the next day or so. I think Disqus has a lot of potential, but I just can’t get used to having it here.

Update: I’ve re-enabled Disqus for the time being. Having trackbacks is a welcome addition.

Scraped

Derek Powazek’s article “It’s 2008. I can’t believe we haven’t figured this out.” spoke loudly to me. I’m tired of content scrapers. I’ve had articles stolen, simply because they covered popular subjects I’m still offering full text in my feed, but for Derek, that’s no longer an option. The problem with splogs and spam in general is that as long as there are people stupid enough to click on links on their site on it their emails, they empower their creators more and more.

This has got to stop. Just because someone offers an RSS/Atom feed, doesn’t mean others have the right to repurpose that content any way they see fit. It’s one thing for someone to read a feed through Google Reader or some other feedreader, it’s another to take syndicated feeds, repurpose them and monetize off of content THEY DIDN’T CREATE.

There is a plugin called AntiLeech available for WordPress that ought to help curb some of the theft from occuring. Maybe it’ll help, but it won’t eliminate the problem.

Disqus integration

DisqusI’ve been toiling over the idea of integrating DISQUS into my site to provide a better way to allow site visitors to comment. I’m not sure how it’s going to work out, so consider this an experiment for now.

The idea behind Disqus is that commenting becomes more interactive for readers of this site and others. By using Disqus I’m attempting to make this site more a conversation as opposed to the usual: I post something, you read, you think about posting a comment and then talk yourself out of it. That’s not to say it won’t still be that way, but I digress.

Older posts won’t be affected. If comments exist on an older post, and the discussion is still open, those comments will still use the standard WordPress commenting system. New posts and those with no comments, where commenting is still open, will utilize Disqus.

If you hate the new system, let me know. It’s not going to hurt my feelings one bit. But if you dig it, I encourage you to sign-up for Disqus as well. You can friend me on Disqus by going to: disqus.com/people/cdharrison.

Now, let’s get this conversation started, shall we?

Minor Tweaks

I made some minor changes to the site this morning. Notably, the site is no longer 640px wide. I opted to increase the overall width to 960px so that I could add a sidebar. As I develop this iteration out further, the reason I added the sidebar will be more apparent. I have done no browser testing as of yet. I would be surprised if the site wasn’t broken, but don’t fret… change is coming. I appreciate your patience.

Internet Addiction

A recent editorial in the latest issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry entitled “Issues for DSM-V: Internet Addiction” posits that Internet Addiction should be treated as a Mental Disorder. I’m inclined to agree.

Internet addiction appears to be a common disorder that merits inclusion in DSM-V. Conceptually, the diagnosis is a compulsive-impulsive spectrum disorder that involves online and/or offline computer usage (1, 2) and consists of at least three subtypes: excessive gaming, sexual preoccupations, and e-mail/text messaging (3). All of the variants share the following four components: 1) excessive use, often associated with a loss of sense of time or a neglect of basic drives, 2) withdrawal, including feelings of anger, tension, and/or depression when the computer is inaccessible, 3) tolerance, including the need for better computer equipment, more software, or more hours of use, and 4) negative repercussions, including arguments, lying, poor achievement, social isolation, and fatigue (3, 4).

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