Special search characters in Firefox

In Firefox, I use the InstantFox add-on to combine address bar and search bar into one item – like in Google Chrome.

But even without this add-on, Firefox allows you to restrict your search by adding a character in front of the search terms, like so:


Notice the * in front of the search term bugs. This restricts the search to bookmarks.

Here’s a list of the most important restrictions:

Character Restriction
* Bookmarks
^ History
% Open Tabs
+ Tags (in bookmarks)
# Search in titles only
@ Search in URLs only

All these shortcuts can be edited in about:config under browser.urlbar.

Bug of the Day: Backup running, ok/cancel?

Today’s bug is a GUI design bug in Windows Server Backup (2012). What do you think of this screenshot?


Why is there an “OK” and a “Cancel” button? What do they mean?

(“OK” means “Close” and “Cancel” means “Stop Backup”. When you start a backup, the button is actually labeled “Close” (instead of “OK”).)

Click to play for plugins (Flash, Java) in Firefox

In Google Chrome, there is an option to enable “Click to Play” for plugins, such as Flash, Java, or Silverlight. This makes the browser safer (especially after all the Java security vulnerability in the last time) and a little bit fast. Today, I found out that this option exists in Firefox too – although its a little bit hidden.

To enable “Click to Play” in Firefox…

  1. go to about:config and click on “I’ll be careful, I promise!”
  2. search for plugins.click_to_play and set it to true (by double-clicking the entry)


After that, when you get to a page that contains Flash (videos), Java, or any other plugin, you’ll get a “Click to Play” message for the plugin.


Plotting graphs with R

I recently stumbled over R, a programming language for data analysis. R is open-source and available on all major platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac).

This post is about how to display (draw) a mathematical function with R.

Side note: There’s a very nice and interactive tutorial for R available over at codeschool.com. It’s free and takes about 3 – 4 hours to complete.

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Zertifikate im Firefox 3.0

Jetzt ist der Firefox 3.0 nun schon seit einiger Zeit draußen und bis jetzt bin ich mit der neuen Version sehr zufrieden. Insbesondere die verbesserte Geschwindigkeit hat es mir angetan. Eine Sache gibt es jedoch, die mich etwas nervt: die Handhabung von unbekannten Zertifikaten.

Kurzer Einschub: Zertifikate sind im Web dafür da, die Verbindung zu einer Website zu verschlüsseln und gleichzeitig ein Mittel darzustellen, um zu prüfen, ob das Zertifikat auch wirklich gültig ist (und nicht von jemandem anderen kommt – siehe Man-In-The-Middle-Angriff).

Update: Ich bin auf das Addon “Perspectives” gestoßen, das das “Problem” behebt und sogar noch zusätzliche Sicherheit bietet. Es wurde an der Carnegie-Mellon University entwickelt.

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