31 January, 2011

Greasemonkey and Salesforce.com

Updated March 7, 2011: I discovered you can also install the same scripts into Chrome. Chrome supports user scripting without the need for Greasemonkey.

I've been somewhat familiar with Greasemonkey, but I never thought I had a real need. Greasemonkey is a Firefox Add-in allows you to customize the way a web page displays or behaves with JavaScript. A common use is to add download options to YouTube videos, such as with YouTube Video Download.

Today I discovered 2 scripts for Salesforce.com that make administering Salesforce.com just a little easier. The first removes the click needed to display the menu that is displayed under your name. Most commonly used when you want to go to the Setup screen. With Salesforce.com Setup and Apps Hover Links, by just hovering over your name, the menu expands. It's simple, but quite nice.

The second script is quite powerful. Setup Enhancer for Salesforce will add a search box above the setup menu, making it considerably easier to find what you're looking for. It was this script that won me over, realizing there were benefits to be had using Greasemonkey.

There are many, many more scripts available at userscripts.org.

10 January, 2011

2011 Tech Predictions

If you've been following me, you know I've made predictions in 2009 and 2010. While my first years predictions were rather light, I made 5 predictions as well as included further discussion of issues with my 2010 prediction. My record for 2010 wasn't so good, but that's only in a pure hit or miss view. In fact the subject matters I addressed, I believe were quite good, but change just didn't happen as quick as I had thought. See my recap post for further details and analysis on my 2010 predictions.

Now that 2011 has started, I'll make another stab at what I believe will happen in the tech industry this year.
  1. This first one is rather easy... Facebook will release an email client, putting them in direct competition with Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo! mail. The current email within Facebook is limited in functionality, but in 2011 this will change as Facebook continues to look for ways to grow and grab more "eyeballs."
  2. Last year I predicted Internet Explorer market share as reported by MarketShare would drop below 50%. While they are still at 57%, I still believe this is going to happen, just a year later. Further though, I believe Chrome is going to pass Firefox as the #2 web browser. Why? Firefox's early adoption was done by tech enthusiasts, and we now see more and more of them adopting Chrome. Further the adoption of Android OS in the mobile and new tablet space puts Chrome in the hands of more users. This, combined with the popularity of Apple's Safari should be enough to drop Internet Explorer finally below 50%, while Chrome will move to the number 2 spot. Unfortunately for the Opera faithful, they'll stay in the number 5 position.
  3. I believe this is finally the year that Verizon gets the iPhone. With that in mind, it will have even further impact on Sprint and T-Mobile's businesses. To combat Verizon and AT&T, I believe Sprint and T-Mobile will come up with some type of partnership. While their 3G technologies are different, they're going to have to come up with a joint (true) 4G type solution. This may be a joint technology investment (more long-term) or selling handsets that work with both carriers (more immediate). One way or another, Sprint and T-Mobile need to find some creative solutions to compete with Verizon and AT &T.
  4. The net neutrality and network management issues will continue to be a problem in 2011. At a minimum, we're going to see the FCC rules established in Dec 2010 are not going to be enough to settle the ongoing issues. With this being a hot political issue and a lot of money being pumped into lobbyists coming from Comcast, AT&T, and the like, I think even the new FCC rules will be challenged, further risking net neutrality for the consumer.
Here are a few other nuggets to consider as we go into 2011. With the optimism for an improved economic situation in 2011 and the growth in mobile and tablet technology, I would expect to continue to see exciting growth in the technology field. In particular, green and 3D technologies will continue to improve as R&D budgets for these two fields will grow.

Unfortunately, it's not all optimistic for the consumer. Despite the lowering costs for wholesale bandwidth, I believe we (the U.S. consumer) will continue to have to pay more for our data access (home/broadband and mobile) than other places in the world. NetIndex.com has some great data that compares costs vs. service. For example, the U.S. ranks #15 in the world for relative cost per Megabit downloaded and actual cost puts us at #20.

That concludes my tech predictions for 2011. Share you own predictions and/or let me know where you think I'm right and wrong.

2010 Tech Predictions - Recap

At the beginning of 2010, I made some tech predictions as well as discussed some other technology issues. Here I will summarize how well I did with my predictions. In a nutshell, most did not come to pass, but the issues remain, so you could say I was just early.
  1. Amazon will adopt the ePub format for the Kindle. While Amazon has gotten a lot of pressure on the hardware side, their software version of the Kindle for other devices has kept them in the drivers seat for eReaders. With that position, they had no reason to add the ePub format.
  2. The iPhone will be on Verizon. This same prediction was made by many, and we still haven't seen it. Of course the rumors is alive that Verizon will get the iPhone this year. Look for my 2011 predictions to hear my position on this.
  3. Significant data loss/corruption on a Cloud platform. I couldn't find any evidence that this occurred. While in some cases there may have been a loss of service, it appears there were no data issues reported.
  4. Internet Explorer's market share will drop below 50%. MarketShare reports IE at 57.08% from 62.69%. Perhaps the many new Windows 7 PC sold in 2010 helped Microsoft stay above 50%.
  5. Microsoft will buy Palm. I was right that Palm would be purchased, but the buyer was not Microsoft, rather it was HP.
Some of the other issues I had discussed, included net neutrality and network management. In 2010 we saw this issue heat up further, with some rules passed in December by the FCC, though I still don't believe the general public knows about this or the implications. Interestinly enough, the sale of NBC/Universal to Comcast has also not gone through either, which is directly related to the conflict of interest and net neutrality created by data delivery owners being content owners too.

Also of ongoing debate and issue is the generic top-level-domain names (gTLD). While we have seen the adoption of a new gTLDs policy by ICANN, CAMDA (Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse) has sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), to review ICANNs gTLD policy. Among other arguments, CMADA's letter estimates, "...that defensive registrations in new generic TLDs alone will cost businesses upwards of $746 million. "

To conclude, other than HP buying Palm instead of Microsoft, I think the issues I predicted and discussed a year ago are still real and very likely to occur in some form.

03 January, 2011

Move Off Screen Window in Windows 7

Back in Windows XP, I found it easy to recover a window that the Title Bar was off the screen. When this occurred in Windows 7, I was surprised to find the same trick didn't work (right-click the icon in the Task bar, select Move, and use the arrow keys to grab and move the window).

In Windows 7, it's not difficult, just different.
  1. Select the program in the Task Bar.
  2. Hold the Windows key and press an arrow key.
  3. Repeat the arrow key movement as necessary.
The Windows key + arrow key offers other interesting options even with fully visible windows. Try Windows key + right or left arrow to get the window to take 1/2 of the screen. Use Windows key + up or down arrow to maximize or minimize, respectively, the window.