Friday, October 14, 2005

Dickie's Quickies

Mozilla announced yesterday that the Firefox 1.5 Release Candidate will come out on October 28th. Thunderbird 1.5 Release Candidate will also be released on that day. This is right on schedule. As it turns out, I've been using Thunderbird 1.5 Beta 2 since it came out. The new webmail extensions are working fine as is the RSS feed reader. In fact, I'm coming to really like getting the RSS feeds in the one program. While Bloglines is a terrific online reader (and for some feeds, I prefer it since it blocks out ads), I like being able to open my email and read my news feeds in one app. One complaint about Bloglines: the lack of an exporting feature for the feeds so I can conveniently import them into Thunderbird *. Thunderbird does have such an export/import feature as does Google's new Blog reader. One thing I'm still waiting for in Thunderbird is the integrated calendar feature - having this will give me a reason to drop Outlook altogether.

This morning I took the plunge and installed Firefox 1.5 Beta 2. I had been putting this off because I use a lot more extensions for Firefox and many extensions have not yet been upgraded to be compatible with the new version (Greasemonkey, for instance). As we get closer to a release candidate, however, more extensions will become compatible. Earlier in the week I tried to install Beta 2, but it wouldn't run, so I went back and reinstalled 1.07. This morning I did a backup of all of my bookmarks and preferences using MozBackUp. Then I uninstalled FF1.07 and deleted the contents of the folder on my hard drive. Then I installed FF 1.5 Beta 2 and used MozBackUp to restore all of my bookmarks and preferences (and extensions) from my 1.07 profile. It worked. Many of the extensions are still not compatible but some of the ones I rely on most (Adblock Plus, No Script, Bloglines, Gmail Notifier, Forecast Firefox, et al) are available. Even Spellbound worked once I went back to the website and reinstalled it. This Beta version still hogs up memory, but I don't hear my hard drive fan kicking like it used to (and, as far as the memory goes, I've got 5 tabs open at the moment). So far, so good. I'm looking forward to getting my Theme (Pimpzilla) and remaining extensions back.

More conservatives complain about the Miers nomination. Choice comments (emphasis, my own):

The dissension has been particularly visible within the Federalist Society, a group of conservative lawyers that has provided many of the jurists who Mr. Bush has picked for the federal bench.
"I have found very few people who are pleased at all," said Mr. Smith, who is vice president of the New York City chapter and author of "The Official Handbook of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy." "The mood ranges from anger to depression."

...Miss Miers' record is so thin that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, said she needs "a crash course in constitutional law."
"That's like saying you need to bone up on your baseball techniques because we're putting you on the New York Yankees next week," Mr. Smith said.
Many conservatives also have been shocked by the administration's handling of the negative reaction from its longtime and ardent supporters. They have been called "elitist" and "sexist," and some Republican Senate Judiciary Committee staff lawyers say White House officials have stopped communicating with them.
They also have gone to great pains to tout Miss Miers as an evangelical Christian in an apparent effort to shore up that bloc of voters. The tactic is insulting, say conservatives -- especially conservative jurists who think religion and personal views have no place in the debate.
Anyway, Mr. Smith said, "Jimmy Carter was an evangelical Christian from Georgia, and what did that do for us?"
Ouch! Jimmy Carter, eh? Maybe we should support her. (kidding!)

It's been a while since I posted a link to what's been going on in New Orleans since Katrina. Of course, the release this week of a videotape of NO police beating a black man whom they claimed was drunk and disorderly has stirred up many emotions (and rightfully so!). According to reporter Jessica Azulay, it's not the only injustice in the wake of the hurricane. She describes forced labor, terrible prison conditions and more in this article.

*Update: A friend informs me that indeed Bloglines does have this capability, but it might need some tweaking for it to work in Thunderbird. I haven't played with it yet as I need to clean up my Bloglines subscriptions before I mess with this in Thunderbird. This same friend points out that there are calendar extensions for both Firefox and Thunderbird and, while that's true, I'm really waiting for some sort of more integrated solution. Another Firefox feature I'm liking: when I click a link in Thunderbird, Firefox opens in a small window and opens the link in a new tab.

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