Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

1. Desktop

desktop firefox addon

Until Mozilla makes their functional New Tab Page final in Firefox 3.5, anyone who wants something more than a blank background or a home page on their new tabs has do a little DIY configuration. Desktop lets you do exactly that, adding web page thumbnails, search boxes right from your installed search bar plug-ins, or even file links and previews from your own desktop. Everything's either a "widget," a "search," or a "folder," but it seems open-ended enough to inspire some pretty geeky new tab designs. From our rudimentary tests, it also seems to load pretty quickly, even with sites like Gmail thumbnailed. Don't take our word (alone) for it, though—check out the DemoGirl blog's screencast of setting up a Desktop new tab page:

2. WebReview


Along the same lines of Desktop, WebReview gives you a start page that's a lot more functional than white nothingness, but this one's a lot more automated. Tracking your browsing habits and site history (without reporting anything back over the net), WebReview gives you four categories of links on every new tab page: Recently Closed, Most Visited, Visited Daily, and Proposals for Today. The first three are kind of self-explanatory (and Visited Daily is a neat little psychological hack), but Proposals for Today is the neatest one. It looks at your browsing history across weekdays, weekends, and other date data, and figures out that if you, for instance, only head over to BoingBoing on weekends, well, it's Saturday, so here's a link. WebReview also offers actual charts, graphs, and organizational charts showing how you usually get from one page to another. If you've ever wanted to know way more about how you spend your time online, this here's the extension for you.