Jun 27, 2008

Extensions in Mozilla

Mozbraille. "MozBraille is an extension to transform Mozilla or Firefox to a stand alone accessible Internet browser designed for blind or partially sighted users". It adds support for Braille Output, text-to-speach output, and a big characters view. - Spellchecker Extension. This extension allows you to use Mozilla's spellchecker for checking the spelling in textarea fields which are e.g. used for message boards. A very useful extension. - Companion for Mozilla. Companion for Mozilla is a clone of the Yahoo Companion Toolbar. Please note that this is not offered by Yahoo but rather a clone. - BBCode. Adds a context menu for easy access to BBCODE formating (e.g. font size, color, weight,...) in PHBB Forums (Firefox/Mozilla Suite/Netscape 7.x) - GMailCompose. Adds a context menu link for opening a GMail compose window when clicking on mailto: links and when marking plain text email addresses (Firefox/Mozilla Suite/Netscape 7.x) - Mozilla Amazon Browser (MAB). If you are an Amazon customer, this is a very useful add-on. The MAB is a tool for searching the Amazon catalogs and browsing their products. For the time being users can search in Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.jp. MAB lets users search for products (by keyword, ASIN/ISBN, UPC code, author/artist, and so on) and retrieve information about each product found, including its title, author/artist, and release date (the latter two for books/music), along with its suggested retail price, Amazon's price, and the price of a used copy sold through Amazon (if available). It also displays comments from other Amazon users about the product.

I especially like the print function, which creates an ordered list of your search results with pictures (if available).

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Jun 24, 2008

Extensions In Mozilla

Thunderbird Static Desktop Icon. "With these .reg files, you can add a Thunderbird icon to your desktop with extra abilities. Simply run Thunderbird-On.reg and refresh the desktop to enable the icon, and run Thunderbird-Off.reg to remove it."- Accessibar. "Accessibar is a toolbar extension for the Mozilla browser which aims at providing various accessibility features for users who could benefit from them. These features primarily focus on the dynamic manipulation of the visual display of the web page in addition to the integration of a text to speech reader which can read out loud the browser's user interface as well as web page content." - FoxyTunes. This has to be one of the coolest, if not the coolest extension for the Mozilla Suite, Firefox and Thunderbird. It allows you control a large variety of Media Players such as e.g. Winamp and Windows Media Player from within Mozilla by adding a set of controls to one of your Mozilla toolbars. Foxytunes is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. Note to Netscape 7.x users: I tested FoxyTunes 1.0 with Netscape 7.2 and it did not work properly (icons were not displayed). - Chromedit. This very useful extension is a user file editor that lets you customize your Mozilla application (Mozilla Suite, Firefox, Thunderbird). It allows you to easily edit your user.js, prefs.js, usercontent.css and userchrome.css files from within the browser. Computer Support and Technical Support will always be provided by Microsoft certified technicians 24x7 ..Live More on Mozilla>> Using Junk Mail Controls Mozilla’s spam filter Mozilla Bookmarks Extensions

Jun 19, 2008

Using Junk Mail Controls

Mozilla’s Junk Mail Controls feature can evaluate your incoming messages and identify possible junk (or unsolicited) messages. The feature uses the Bayesian classification method, which requires that you first train Mozilla by showing it a bunch of mail that is junk, and a bunch of mail that is not.Then, you let it auto-classify new mail for you. If Mozilla makes any mistakes, you can correct them.

Do not be alarmed if the feature appears to do nothing when you first use it; the system will become very accurate if you use it often enough.

To use Junk Mail Controls:

+First, train Mozilla to recognize Junk messages and Non-Junk messages. There are three ways to toggle junk status of the selected message(s):

+Open the Tools menu, and choose Mark Selected Messages or Mark Selected Messages as Not Junk.

+Click on the Junk toolbar button.

Click to toggle the Junk Status column in the message list. (If you do not see it, click the right-most button in the list header bar and select Junk Status from the pop-up menu.)

+When you toggle junk status, a trash-can icon will appear or disappear in the Junk status column to indicate the junk status of the selected message.

+Open the Tools menu and choose Junk Mail Controls.... Enable the feature for your mail account, and Mozilla will automatically classify incoming messages.

+If you have trained it on virus mail, consider disabling the white listing (many mail viruses send bulk messages to people in the address book of the infected computer). Watch it catch messages that might contain a virus (e.g. klez)

+Make sure to correct the Junk control when it incorrectly labels messages either as junk or not junk.

+To analyze existing messages, select messages, open the Tools menu and choose Run Junk Mail Controls.

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Mozilla's Spam filter perform better than Mail Shield's

Jun 16, 2008

Mozilla's Spam filter perform better than Mail Shield's

According to the review, Mail Shield uses a points-based filter where each word is assigned a point value. If a message exceeds a certain number of points, it is automatically classified as Spam. Mozilla's Spam filter, on the other hand weighs words, i.e. it analyzes, how often certain words or combinations of words appear in Spam and in "good" messages. This is why it is so important to train Mozilla with Spam as well as with messages that are not Spam. To do that, mark messages that are already in your inbox (Windows users: hold down the "Shift" key and select the first and last message to mark all messages in between) and select Message -> Mark -> As not Junk from Mozilla Mail's menu bar. Alternatively, you can right-click on a message and select Mark -> As not Junk.

In my opinion, having a "Junk" icon but no "Not Junk" icon in the toolbar is a great usability shortcoming of Mozilla. This way, many users only train the Spam filters with Spam but not with "good" messages, leading to results that are less good than those obtained with a properly trained Spam filter. Getting back to the summary: So where Mail Shield just counts individual words, Mozilla's Spam filter analyzes words in context. The disadvantage of Mail Shield's approach is the fact that if a Spammer e.g. writes "e.n.l.a.r.g.e" instead of "enlarge" Mail Shields's filter will not detect it, i.e. not accord it any points. Mozilla, on the other hand is not thrown off by unknown words since the rest of the message will most likely follow a Spam pattern. Hard Tecs 4U also observed that after a while Mail Shield's results actually got worse - it started identifying all messages as Spam. According to Hard Tecs 4U, the second big advantage of Mozilla's Spam filter vs. static filters is that it contiuously learns - if Spammers change individual words, Mozilla will learn to recognize them due to the context they are used in. In short, they think Mozilla's Spam filter works great and they highly recommend both Mozilla as a browser and a mail client. My personal results with Mozilla's Spam filter after training it properly are as follows: - False positives: Zero - Spam automatically recognized: on average 70-80% The important thing here is that no "good" message was falsely recognized as Spam. For me, Mozilla does not automatically recognize all Spam messages as such. This is due to the following reasons: - There is a trade-off between recognizing Spam and having false positive results. This means that a very agressive filter will probably recognize close to 100% of Spam messages, but also give you many false positives, i.e. you may accidentally lose important messages. I personally prefer Mozilla's slightly less agressive settings. - Sometimes, there are new variants that Mozilla's Spam filter does not (yet) recognize. Once it has learned their composition, they, too will be detected. - Some "Spoof" messages, like "update your account information" (never enter your password or follow links in those types of messages! are virtually indistinguishable from offical messages since the criminals who send them try their best to make these messages look like they originate from Ebay, Paypal, your bank,... In conclusion, I am very impressed by the capabilities of Mozilla's Spam filter, but it is important to note that it is not 100% bulletproof. Before the Spam problem has not been fixed on a regulatory level, you still need to be careful who you give your email address to, avoid posting it on the Internet (e.g. message boards) and be careful with attachments (virii), "Click here to opt-out" links in Spam and with entering personal information (Spoof messages).

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Jun 10, 2008

Mozilla’s spam filter

The German site "Hard Tecs 4U" has reviewed Mozilla's Spam filter and contrasted it with Mailshield. They give Mozilla's Spam filter the thumbs up and find Mozilla's filtering noticeably superior To Mail Shield's*. This is especially interesting since Mail Shield's desktop version costs $60 per license vs. $0 for Mozilla.

Mozilla's Mail fiter was trained with 300 Spam messages and 2700 "good" messages. Then, they let Mozilla automatically analyze 280 new Email messages. Here is a summary of their findings:

  • The analysis of the 2700 "good" training messages took about 1 Minute.
  • The subsequent automatic classification (Spam/not Spam) of the 280 new Email messages took only about 2-3 seconds
  • 107 messages were correctly identified as Spam and moved to the "Spam" folder. Most importantly, not a single "good" message was classified as Spam!
  • The remaining 173 messages were identified as not being Spam and moved to the Inbox. Of those, 30 messages (17 per cent) were Spam but not identified as it.

These results are already very encouraging, especially when considering that Mail Shield's initial error ratio was 50 per cent and even after manual tweaking, it was still at 25 per cent.

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Mozilla Bookmarks Extensions

Importing and Exporting Bookmarks