Pimp-up Your Girlfriend’s PC This New Year’s

Before running off into the arms of alcohol and disco-lights, give your girlfriend the gift that will make her year ROCK (or boyfriend, since this guide is written by a girl): a kick-ass machine for a kick-ass 2010 and without spending a single cent.

Foxy Does It

Firefox is the world's best browser

Firefox is the world's best browser

Download Firefox, and cut the stream of complaints to less than 5%. Fast, smart, and endlessly customizable, Firefox will probably change both your life and hers. To get her started with Firefox potential, go ahead and customize her Firefox installation by dressing it up, installing the coolest add-ons, and really nifty Greasemonkey scripts.

Thoughtpick’s recommended Firefox add-ons:

1) Get Greasemonkey, an extension that lets you add userscripts: change Facebook’s color, download YouTube videos, and remove ads in Gmail.
2) Get 1Password 3, a password rememberer.
3) Skin Firefox up with something pretty, like Glitter
4) Get Scrapbook, which saves blurbs from websites to your hard drive along with the originating websites, with options for organization and categorization.

Download Firefox

Chat Junkie Fix

How cute is the Pidgin logo?

How cute is the Pidgin logo?

With a gazillion chatting services that we all somehow end up signed-up to, Pidgin, a universal chat client, will make her life much easier. Not only does it support the regular lot like Google Talk, MSN, and Yahoo, but also supports Facebook, Skype, and MySpace (via third party plugins). It will make your girlfriend quite happy to have all those annoying services running together from one place, with a darn cute mascot logo as well.

Download Pidgin.

Mozilla Firefox and The Single-Sign-On Holy Grail

Mozilla Weave for Firefox

Mozilla Weave for Firefox

Ever since Microsoft introduced the idea of CardSpace, the holy grail of single login has been sought after by many. OpenID has been a player in the field of single login but the idea never really picked up the level of mainstream adoption needed.

With the recent growth of social media, and to leverage their reach and power, social networking sites started offering their authentication services to third party applications. Authentication systems, such as Facebook connect and Google Friend’s connect, offered users the ability to sign up using their already established ID’s and simplify the sign up process to new applications and sites.

Single-Sign-On (SSO) Woes

While that has been a great example of how social media sites are expanding into other areas of influence on the internet, it already raised quite of few alarms. Besides the single-sign-on tech wars amongst internet giants, the SSO system has facilitated phishing attacks on users. You are no longer supposed to only enter your account information on the sites that you registered on.

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