Get online videos onto your iPod

Check out Flvix, a new online service that lets you convert any video from Google Video or YouTube into the .MP4 format – so you can watch it on your iPod.

[ Update: Jan 2nd, 2009 ] – Google video and YouTube are the same now, and flvix has become a porno site. Things change.

To convert videos as described above, try out If it’s turned adult by the time you click on this link, good luck!

Run, G.I. Joe, run!

This article by David Swanson on desertion in the US army is a must read. Excerpt:

As long as there has been a U.S. military, people have been leaving it. That choice has never been more appropriate than today. Individuals who signed up to defend the United States are engaged in a war that was sold on the basis of lies, was entirely unnecessary, is making us less safe, has nothing to do with defending anyone, and which involves the horror of slaughtering men, women, and children by the hundreds of thousands. The majority of Americans want the war to end and just voted accordingly in the Congressional elections. The majority of Iraqis want the war to end. The majority of American service men and women in Iraq want the war to end. And taking part in this war is illegal, whether you are ordered to do so or not.

Approximately 6,000 Americans have refused to report for duty or deserted in order to avoid taking part in this war, or to avoid taking further part in it. Many have objected to the stop loss program that requires them to serve longer than they had agreed to. Others have objected to the rationale behind the war and the horrors that are part of it.

Interestingly, the same article on Alternet says 8,000 Americans deserted instead of the 6,000 mentioned in the original article posted just 2 days earlier.

Yahoo hates Google

Do a search for the term Google using Yahoo! Search and you’ll see a special search box on top of the results labelled “Search the Web with Yahoo!”. They’re singling out Google for this treatment, as a search for MSN or Altavista will show you.

Google hasn’t returned the favor, which I’m sure they won’t.

[ Edit – The special search box has been removed. Guess they’re friends now. ]

Essential Firefox extensions

If you use Firefox (which you really should!) you would know about the plethora of extensions available for it. Here’s a list of extensions I use with Firefox, and why:

Web Developer
That’s what I am, so this is an obvious extension for me! It add loads of useful web developer tools to Firefox. Every time I see something on the web that makes me think “hmm… wonder how that’s done?”, this toolbar gets me the answer much faster that looking through the source code!

Control your music player straight from the browser. Especially useful on slower PCs, when switching from the browser to maximize iTunes or Windows Media Player takes a good few seconds more than you can stand. Also has an alarm clock for your favourite morning song!

IE Tab
Some older websites (and newer ones designed by strange web developers) are designed only for Internet Explorer (Air Deccan, for instance). This lets you quickly switch a web page to use IE’s rendering engine.

Displays the local weather forecast in the status bar. Not very useful for me, but I like the pretty satellite images. 🙂

Download manager. If you’ve got the bandwidth, this can increase the speed of a download by upto 400%. Supports resuming.

Google Toolbar for FireFox
Pop-up blocker, and all-in-one search tool. If you use Google extensively, this is a must-have.

Wizz RSS News Reader
Self-explanatory. Read my earlier post on why I prefer this over other news readers.

Gmail space
This lets you use your 2.5GB (and counting) Gmail space to store large files, without having to attach them and send them to yourself. It has a nice FTP-style interface.

This one from Mcafee helps to keep your PC spyware free by warning you about dangerous websites. Integrates with Google search results.

Tells you how many pages you have surfed so far, and other information. Mine tells me that I’ve surfed 58414 pages since September 22nd 2006, at 768 pages per day. I really do need to get out more.

This list is by no means exhaustive – they are only the extensions I have come to find useful. You can download hundreds of extensions from the Firefox Add-ons site. Also see what and PC Magazine have to say about it. Remember that installing too many extensions can slow your system down, depending on it’s configuration. This dude installed 100 firefox extensions at the same time just to see what would happen. Wonder what he was tripping on!

What’s the extension you cannot do without?