From Loren Nelson, NelsonEcom
Finding and Building Solutions for Your Internet Goals
Visual Design, Web Sites, Podcasts, Multimedia, & Usability Engineering

July 14, 2008 – Vol. XII, No. 20


NetBits is the weekly newsletter keeping your informed of various chatter and delicious tidbits of potential relevance.


In This Issue:

Item One: Browser Wars Escalate with New Firefox 3 and New Opera 9.5
Item Two: Study says global warming not worsening hurricanes
Item Three: Fitness Tip – Garlic Can Relieve Athlete’s Foot
Item Four: Word of the Week
Item Five: Google Catalogs
Do you know…

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1. Browser Wars Escalate with New Firefox 3 and New Opera 9.5

FF3 went from 0.96% global market share for the beta versions prior to D-Day, and in a matter of 13 hours, has already claimed 2.82% market share. With more and more Web 2.0 applications becoming available, the browser is becoming as important as the operating system. And, with the proliferation of mobile devices and the many new ways to access the Internet, the browser becomes ever more critical. Users are demanding more features, better security, complete site rendering compatibility (standards), and now rendering speed is becoming a differentiator.

While both FF3 and Opera 9.5 have improved security, and early tests have shown great rendering compatibility for both, the choice for users will probably come down to comfort level with the ‘other’ features.

FF3 may even help cross that threshold this month. FF3 also has an improved look and feel. Mozilla claims it’s significantly faster. Mozilla updates the location bar to intuitively suggest the site you’re seeking based on your browsing history and preferences. It’s a very nice addition, and worth the time to upgrade by itself.

Opera also made news by releasing it’s latest browser version. Opera 9.5, like Firefox seems much faster at rendering pages. Opera greatly improved the look of the browser, and includes several new features worth exploring.

The good: Firefox 3 touts faster rendering, vastly reduced use of system resources, clever new data-mining tools for your bookmarks and browser history, and more security features than any other browser.

The bad: Firefox 3 will no longer support Windows 95, 98, and Me; same with Mac OS X, versions 10.2 and earlier.

The bottom line: If only for the speed, lightness of being, and security alone, Firefox remains our Editors’ Choice for best Internet browser.

Read more at…

2. Study says global warming not worsening hurricanes

Global warming isn’t to blame for the recent jump in hurricanes in the Atlantic, concludes a study by a prominent federal scientist whose position has shifted on the subject.

Not only that, warmer temperatures will actually reduce the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic and those making landfall, research meteorologist Tom Knutson reported in a study released Sunday.

In the past, Knutson has raised concerns about the effects of climate change on storms. His new paper has the potential to heat up a simmering debate among meteorologists about current and future effects of global warming in the Atlantic.

Ever since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, hurricanes have often been seen as a symbol of global warming’s wrath. Many climate change experts have tied the rise of hurricanes in recent years to global warming and hotter waters that fuel them.

Another group of experts, those who study hurricanes and who are more often skeptical about global warming, say there is no link. They attribute the recent increase to a natural multi-decade cycle.

What makes this study different is Knutson, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fluid dynamics lab in Princeton, N.J.

Read more at…

3. Fitness Tip – Garlic Can Relieve Athlete’s Foot

Garlic kills all sorts of fungi-including the one that causes athlete’s foot. Drop a few freshly minced cloves of garlic into a cotton sock, and then wear the sock overnight. (Just be sure to wash your feet in the morning with something that has a more pleasant scent!) Repeat the treatment nightly until the fungus disappears, usually within 7 to 10 days. Garlic can also fight arterial plaque, improve the elasticity of arteries, and reduce blood clotting and slightly lower cholesterol, triglycerides and high blood pressure.

4. Word of the Week

indurate • \IN-duh-rut\ • adjective

: physically or morally hardened

Example Sentence:
The sculpture was so realistic that it seemed that at any moment the indurate marble form would shift position to stare back at the viewer.

Did you know?
"Indurate" is a hard word — in more than one way. Not only is it fairly uncommon in modern usage, but it also can be traced back to Latin "durare," meaning "to harden." ("Durare" can mean "to endure" as well, and appropriately "indurate" is a word that has lasted many years — it has been a part of the English language since the 14th century.) "Durare" is also the root of other durable English words, including "during," "endure," "duration," "durance" (an archaic word meaning "endurance"), and even "durable" itself. In addition, "indurate" can be a verb meaning "to make or grow hard," "to make unfeeling, stubborn, or obdurate," and "to establish firmly."

5. Google Catalogs

Google Catalogs helps you browse and search merchant-provided catalogs right on your computer. You can flip through any catalog to find what interests you, or simply type in what you’re looking for, and you’ll find every place that your search term appears in the catalog. If you’re not sure what catalog to look in, just search all of the catalogs in our index.

Read more at…

6. Do You Know…
On this day:

  • Football War Breaks Out in Honduras (1969)
    The Football War was a six-day war fought between El Salvador and Honduras. Though political tensions between Hondurans and Salvadorans were the main factors contributing to the war’s outbreak, hostility between the two countries was further inflamed by rioting during the second North American qualifying round for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Though short-lived, the war claimed thousands of lives and displaced approximately 100,000 people.


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