Saturday, March 29, 2008

Google Turns the Lights Off

Google has made their homepage black today to heighten awareness to Earth Hour. Earth Hour is a worldwide energy conservation effort that Google has partnered with recently. The idea is that today from 8pm to 9pm local time to turn out your lights. It is nice to see some companies looking out for the environment. Even though they use a ton of power, they are one of the leaders in renewable energy usage also. They already have a huge solar panel farm on the roof of the Googleplex and it is said to only get bigger in the future.

I turned the lights out on my blog a while ago in efforts to save electricity. It turns out that on most CRT monitors this is true, but on LCD monitors the opposite applies in most cases. Google had a few links to other studies from within the turn the lights out link on their homepage. One of those reports stated that around 75% of computer users today run LCD monitors, so I might have to rethink my layout. I use a CRT, so it works for me, but it will only work if it helps save electric for most.

I can say that most of the lights in my house were off except for the room I was in. I did make sure that all other lights in the house were off and I use those nice low wattage florescent bulbs which all of the bulbs used in my house only add up to 1 - 60W incandescent bulb. I should have probably made this post earlier in the day, but I was out enjoying some of the nice weather we had today.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Firefox 3 Review - Looks Promising

After reading an article over at Ars Technica, I decided to give the new Firefox 3 beta a try. According to their article the speed gains and memory usage benchmarks were very impressive, so obviously I wanted to give it a try.

Before installing I wanted to make sure that the install would not overwrite my current install. Just in case I hated it or something, I wanted to make sure I could still run my old Firefox. Once the precautions were made and I made sure it was installing to a totally different directory, I made the install.

I would have to say that out of the box, so to speak, I was pleased to see that it kept my current Firefox bookmarks and I did not have to import them. I was even more pleased to see that some of my Firefox add-ons still worked and as they were imported also. As I started to browse the web I noticed that pages that normally loaded in a second or so, were almost instant. Many of the sites that I tried out were big sites that were generated by code like PHP, MYSQL queries, and some Java. It seems like they have made some major improvements in code parsing for pages and they load much faster than IE7. I have not tested it against Opera or Safari myself, but I plan to soon and run a follow up report.

Overall, I would have to say that Firefox 3 is looking to be a powerhouse browser with security and speed in mind. I did not even have time to check out the security features before wanting to write this post, but they are said to be just as robust as in the past. I will probably run another follow up on the latest security features as well. Ars Technica had focused on the fact that the new browser uses so much less memory than other new browsers, so maybe that is part of its overall new blazing speed. I am impressed and look forward to the final release.

Below is a picture from the Ars Technica article. Read their full article here.