Angry Birds – Now you can play it in a browser.

Y’know, it used to be that the only Angry Birds I ever knew was when I’d tread on their handbag dancing down Ritzy’s on a Saturday night. Although I’ll be honest, they were never that friendly even when I wasn’t stamping on their fake designer bag and I just tried talking to them.

But these days Angry Birds also equates to something else. Because with 300 million downloads on iPads, iPhones and other clever devices, there are a lot of people very familiar with an entirely different kind of Angry Birds, the game.

Me, I’m certainly well acquainted with it, because I’ve got an iPod Touch and for the 59p that I spent to download Angry Birds it is simultaneously the best value of anything I’ve ever purchased and positively the most costly, time robbing, counter-productive thing I ever, ever did.

Angry Birds LogoThe hours I’ve enjoyed/wasted catapulting little birds at green pigs, wooden planks, glass panels and stone slabs I wouldn’t like to calculate but it is the epitome of a ‘one more go game’. Only usually I’m saying those words to myself over and over again and still been bloody playing.

In fact I’ve deliberately allowed my iPod battery to drain down to nothing so I couldn’t have one more go.

Only now I can’t even rely on that fail-safe because they’ve only gone and made a version for the browser as well. And viciously they’ve even made it totally free, the bastards.

That’s right, now anyone has access to Angry Birds, although for this new browser based version they’d like you to think it’s available in only one particular browser, that being Google Chrome. Actually it plays exactly the same in Firefox 4 and above, Safari and IE 9, it just has the Chrome branding all over it still.

Where the Chrome exclusivity does kick however is that you can download it as an Chrome app (the fancy name for add-on these days) and then you can play it offline as well.

You have to hand it to Google, if a multi-million pound promotional campaign isn’t enough for people to adopt Chrome, hooking them in with the gaming equivalent of Crack is a credible Plan B.

Not that they really need it, already embraced by 20% of computer users in the UK, Chrome is an excellent browser, secure, stable, with thousands of cool add-ons but most crucially, it is very fast.

If you don’t have it yet, perhaps you should, you can download Google Chrome here.

But what of Angry Birds itself, and its hours of fun/frustration. Well to play it directly in Google Chrome, or the other browsers I mentioned, all you need to do is to click this link – Angry Birds for Chrome.

You’ll soon get the hang of the controls, zoom in and out with your mouse scroll wheel, or the up and down arrows of your keyboard, and use your cursor to pull back on the catapult. Don’t worry it will all make sense when you’re there.

Oh and look out for the Chrome logo in later levels to aim at and unlock some extra Chrome inspired levels (you can still play them on any browser though). To download the offline app for Chrome, you’ll see the link featured prominently anyway.

Whatever method you choose, if you’ve been curious to play Angry Birds but not had the right gadget before, this is your chance. At least it’s something different to playing Solitaire when you should be working.

But if you do start playing it, may I just say two things.

Enjoy it and I’m very, very sorry.

Invisible Hand – The money saver you’ll want to see.

Right then my friends, since we all like absolutely the best deal when shopping online, I shall now tell you about the easiest way of ensuring you get it.

And I am talking about yet another browser add-on but handily this one comes not just for Firefox but several other popular browser flavours as well, so even all you stubborn Internet Explorer diehards are in luck this time.

Of course, luck like that is similar to only winning a tenner on the lottery compared to the veritable jackpot of add-ons if you are an enlightened Firefox convert.

Anyway leaving all that aside for now, time to get back to the subject at hand, in this instance an Invisible Hand, the name of this terrific little money saving extra.

A curious name admittedly but I guess it’s because it acts as your unseen scout scouring most of the very biggest shopping sites comparing prices, then either confirming the site you’re on has the cheapest deal or pointing you towards the one that does.

So granted, at heart it’s a just a price comparison tool but what sets Invisible Hand apart is its ease and convenience, all YOU need to do is shop normally.

I’ll give you a scenario, say you’re on Amazon looking at the page of the latest shoot ’em up game for your XBox 360

Well, after a few seconds of contemplation, Invisible Hand will smoothly slide in from the top of your browser and tell you whether Amazon does indeed boast the best price for death and destruction on an apocalyptic scale, OR whether any of the other UK retailers it monitors has a better deal.

It will specify exactly how much the saving is and just for swank even provide a link directly to your item on that cheaper site. Now you’ll never pay more than necessary to blow shit up again!

Honestly, while Invisible Hand doesn’t cover all categories of items yet, getting it is a no-brainer. If you shop online at all you’d be mad to miss the potential savings for electronics, software, games, music, books and even girlie stuff like cosmetics from companies such as Boots, Asda, John Lewis, Argos, PC World, HMV and of course Amazon.

So I urge you, if you know what’s good for you, go to the Invisible Hand website now to download it.

It may be called Invisible Hand but for online shopping the savings it provides are obvious.

BasketBuster. Online shopping vouchers the easy way.

How would you like to be at the start of the the next big thing when it comes to saving money online?

To have immediate and easy access to voucher codes for hundreds of shopping websites, including many of the biggest like Amazon, all at the click of a button on your browser.

To be in fact, pioneers of an application that could soon be adopted by millions, but is still so brand new that I’m the first to write about it.

Well now’s your chance, but you won’t just be doing yourself a huge favour, you’ll be doing me one as well.

Because the reason I am the first to write about this hopefully soon to be ubiquitous application, a new browser add-on called BasketBuster, is that I’ve actually been involved in its development.

Only with some graphics and web design admittedly, not with the really clever background stuff but nevertheless I think it’s a great concept and it can’t fail to be a success.

But what makes BasketBuster so good then?

Well, it’s the easiest way to save money online with voucher codes yet.

That’s because you don’t have to go looking for those elusive codes yourself, with the BasketBuster browser add-on installed you can instantly see if a site has any special voucher offers thanks to a new colour coded icon right next to your address bar.

If it’s green then you’re in luck, there are voucher codes available…and it will even tell you of any competitor offers as well. If it’s amber the site you’re on doesn’t have any codes but BasketBuster will tell you of those other sites that do. And with a red icon, frankly you can forget about any offers, there are none.

But hey, at least you know you’re not losing out and you needn’t bother wasting time searching for non-existent voucher codes.

Although that’s just half of it, because if you do get a green or amber light you are clear just to click on the very same icon and a sidebar will now slide out to give you all of the available offers and those valuable codes.

It couldn’t really be any easier and how can BasketBuster not succeed when it’s free and it’s all about saving you money.

Although when I say you’d be pioneers of this new revolution of online saving I meant it because BasketBuster is actually yet to be officially launched.

Only a very select few have it so far and you need a username and password to download it.

But I can now exclusively reveal that the abracadbra to open those BasketBuster doors to easier online voucher codes than ever before is the username save and the password money.

So go to the official BasketBuster website, the one I’ve been having a hand in, and when it comes to downloading the browser add on, so far it’s only the Firefox version that is currently working. The Internet Explorer one will be coming soon.

It’s all safe to use however, totally spyware and malware free and if you only shop infrequently anyway, it just sits quietly and obediently in the background until you decide to activate it.

But if you still need a little convincing about BasketBuster, about how easily it could save you money and how cool it will be when it’s properly unleashed on the World, here is a little video created to explain it in just 1 minute 25 seconds.

Remember though, you read about it here first.

.

CoolPreviews. The best Firefox plug-in ever?

Ok then, how would you like to see what a webpage looks like behind a link BEFORE you click it?

Alright, you’ve probably never thought about it but hold onto your clicking finger folks because I’m about to explain how you can do exactly that and so turbo-charge your web surfing.

For the topic of my humble scribblings this time is a brilliant Firefox browser plug-in called CoolPreviews, a kind of picture in picture for your web surfing.

One that opens a new window within your present one simply by hovering over a website link, that’s ANY link on ANY page. And when you do open that window, it’s not just for a passive snapshot of a webpage, it’s to interact with that site just as you normally would.

And the point of that is :

  • On Google, no more going back and forth from all those search results, now you can preview each one while staying on Google.
  • On YouTube, no trawling to a new page, just hover over a thumbnail and watch any video in its own window.
  • On sites like Amazon, you can shop twice as fast by shopping in two windows, you could say it’s window in window shopping.
  • On News sites you could read about both sides of the story at once.
  • On any intriguing link in fact you can lazily preview it without leaving the site you’re on.
  • And if your feeling reluctant to click a potentially dodgy link, see where it would lead by safely hovering over it…and therefore not activating the nastiness it could harbour.

But there’s also more to it, too much to explain here but notably a handy bookmarking feature called Stacks, so this time I’m including a handy video explanation/tutorial for CoolPreviews by its makers, the same team behind Cooliris (the topic of my first ever post on here)

It showcases a slightly older version of CoolPreviews, but it does explain most of what you need to know, although make sure you check out the preferences options on your own should you download it.

Because I tell you, I’ve been using CoolPreviews for months and it’s revolutionized the way I’ve surfed the web and while I know I’ve eulogised about other Firefox plug-ins…and I’m sure I will about many more, if you ever only download one, make this it.

You can do so by CoolPreviews website.

CoolPreviews, your window to a brand new way of web surfing.

AutoPager. Whatever next, immediately.

Sorry Internet Explorer users, this is a Firefox only offering again.

I make no apologies, apart from that one above, for if you haven’t yet swapped web browsers to Firefox you should be blatantly confronted with your terrible error.

Because this time I’ll be explaining about making Google, admittedly available for several web browsers, even better if that browser is Firefox.

Actually I shall be telling you of a way of making the navigation of many sites easier on Firefox, although Google is the most obvious example.

Now then, while Google couldn’t be much simpler to use, the one thing that could definitely be improved upon is its basic navigation field.

It’s small, a bit fiddly and since you only get 10 results per page there’s a good chance you’ll be clicking on it back and forth several times per search.

autopager4Well not if you download a free add-on to Firefox called AutoPager, because now you’ll never need to click to the next page of Google again, it will automatically load for you!

That’s because with AutoPager the next page of Google will load right below the current page of Google almost simultaneously, stacking the pages one on top of the other, building an infinite scrolling content that you only need a mouse wheel or the browser scroll bar to whizz through page after page after page.

Trust me, it is so much faster using Google with Autopager you have to see it yourself to believe it. A process which AutoPager also applies by default with many other websites that utilise a Next button.

And you can even configure websites that aren’t automatically set up with AutoPager to act in the same manner, in fact whenever you see web pages with a Next button. Although I have to admit, while it’s not difficult to do when you know how, it’s not immediately obvious and is a bit too much to explain here.

Suffice to say that in the normal automatic detection mode, whenever a pop up message appears, just say ‘yes’ to allow AutoPager to work it’s magic and make sure it’s ‘enabled’ on your Navigational Toolbar via the AP icon that will conveniently appear there once you download it.

But getting any extra sites to work is just gravy on the main course that will keep feeding one page after another of continuous AutoPager goodness for sites like Google and Amazon.

So, hungry to sample AutoPager for yourself, just click this link to it’s Firefox add-ons page to do so.

Yet another good reason to turn the page on ever using Internet Explorer again as well.

From the Back Button, to the future.

Right then, previously I’ve been banging on about how you should abandon Internet Explorer as your web browser and instead embrace the far superior Firefox to your web surfing bosom.

And now my friends, if you have heeded my advice, it’s time to add some mighty implants to that bosom.

Because Firefox isn’t just better because it’s faster and more secure than Internet Explorer, it’s also better because of all the fantastic free add-ons that you can download to seamlessly plug into it.

Yes, I’m aware that Internet Explorer has add-ons of its own and that some like Cooliris are available for both. But there are so many more available for Firefox because as an open source browser anybody is free to create them and thankfully there are some very clever and generous developers out there.

To see all of these glorious chest puffing enhancements you can click this link to the Mozilla Firefox add-on centre.

And once there you will find myriad categories, lists of the most popular and user reviews for 1000’s of these add-ons, from those that further improve the security of your browsing, add increased functionality or that just give Firefox a funky makeover.

I’ve got about 12 of those add-ons installed into Firefox myself and you should simply see what appeals to you. (Later, to manage any ones you do download just go to the menu bar, select Tools and then Add-ons.)

However one that you may not find immediately, but definitely one of my favourites, is called FireGestures.

Because how often have you thought it’s such a laborious chore to move your cursor to the back button when you’ve wanted to return to a webpage.

Ok, probably never but you will do after trying FireGestures because you won’t ever need to use the Back Button again. What you will need is a mouse though, so if you’re on a laptop using only a touchpad you will be out of luck with this one.

But with a mouse all you need to perform actions using FireGestures is to hold the right button down and move the mouse. In the case of going back a page it’s holding the right button down and slightly flicking your mouse to the left or to go forward again, flicking it to the right.

And that’s all, but it makes going backwards and forwards in your web pages somehow gleefully satisfying not to mention a whole lot quicker.

Actually FireGestures has more than 70 built in actions to do all sorts of things within Firefox, like open a new tab, close tabs and increase text size but if you only keep it simple and just use the two I’ve mentioned you will still love its convenience.

Trust me on this, download FireGestures and you’ll back me up that you’ll never go back to going back to the Back Button again.

Cooliris – Do you want to see a lot more of Angelina Jolie!?!

We’ve all used Google to look up on the subjects we fancy and admit it folks, Google Images to look up the people we fancy too.

And by itself Google Images does the job but it’s downside is that you can only ogle the 21 pictures they can fit on the screen at once.

(Incidentally, Go ogle Images, coincidence, I think not, it’s practically an instruction)

But if you want to turbo-charge your image search and view more pictures of Angelina Jolie than you can shake a wotsit at, you need a fantastic browser plug-in called Cooliris.

It’s like Google Images on Speed dial…the druggy kind. coolirisa

But what a trip it is, because once you perform the simple download for Cooliris you’ll never search for images the same way again, and it’s dead easy to use.

Because you’ll be able to access Cooliris directly via an icon that sits in your browser or simply search for images on Google as you normally would.

Then once the usual array of thumbnails appear, click the bottom left of any one of them and be instantly transported to the Cooliris 3D Wonderwall of Images.

And now instead of laboriously clicking thru page after page of Angelina pictures, every single one of the 5,000,000 pictures…I know, I’ve done the research, is displayed in a huge floating 3D wall that you can grab with your cursor and fly seamlessly through in a single continuous display of perfect bone structure.

And inside the Cooliris application, just land on any of the images, hit the space bar and it enlarges before your very eyes.

Incidentally fellas, if you are looking at Angelina, just be mindful of what enlarges and what you use to hit the space bar.

Anyhoo, there are so many more features to Cooliris that I could mention but…oh ok, here’s just a few of them :-

  • You can use the integrated search bar for image hunts not just via Google, but also from Yahoo, Flickr and a whole lot more.
  • You can type in your search term and access YouTube videos directly.
  • You can navigate through the images just by using your keyboard arrow buttons.
  • You can go move straight to the webpage that corresponds with each image.
  • Or you can hit the Discover button and leap to random news stories, sports, tv shows, movie trailers and tons of other stuff, all displayed in Cooliris 3D panoramic glory.

Frankly, it is THE most eye catching browser plug in you can imagine.

But don’t just take my word for it, go to the Cooliris site http://www.cooliris.com and see it for yourself.

You don’t only have to use it for Angelina you know.