Monday 23 April 2018

Digital: Supercharge your web browser with extensions

Extensions turn your browser into a Swiss Army Knife
Extensions turn your browser into a Swiss Army Knife
Saints Row IV
Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Imagine driving your car only in first gear – all the time. That's how little you're exploiting the power of your web browser if you don't use extensions – free little plug-ins that turn the likes of Firefox and Chrome into a Swiss army knife.

Here's a list of my favourites on Google's free Chrome browser:

SCREEN CAPTURE: Need to grab a screenshot or just print a section of a webpage? This extension enables to choose any area or a whole page, then copy to the clipboard or save it as a file. Magic.

CURIYO: If you come across an unfamiliar name, thing or even just a word while browsing any webpage, just click on it and Curiyo will pop up a little window gathering its Wikipedia page plus live information such as tweets and videos about it.

HOLA UNBLOCKER: Many websites are unfairly choosy about where you're reading their site from. Hola disguises your location so that you appear to be in the UK, US or wherever. No more internet roadblocks.

POCKET: Like a bookmark on steroids, Pocket enables you to store the full text of webpages for reading later offline on your smartphone. If you spot something at work, you can be reading it easily on the train later – or vice-versa.

LASTPASS: Typing in passwords on websites is a chore, but not nearly as bad as remembering them all. Let LastPass do the work by securely storing your logins behind one master password.

GAMES

Saints Row IV

X360/PS3/PC

****

Oh the insanity. For a series that started as shameless duplicate of GTA, Saints Row has travelled far into the realms of madness. The fourth outing has a gleeful flavour of superhero style, a la Crackdown and Prototype, where almost nothing is impossible.

SRIV aims its gun at a broad range of targets, parodying everything from Fallout to Independence Day to GTA, via the storyline of a superpowered US President fighting an alien invasion. You learn to sprint up the side of buildings, throw cars and toss fireballs.

Such silliness becomes the whole point, teasing you with an endless stream of What If moments. But it's hard to overlook SRIV's technical shortcomings that sometimes reduce your superhero to a bystander.

Open Me

PS Vita download

*****

SUPERB use of augmented reality sets up a puzzle game with a twist.

To break into a series of locked boxes, you physically move around with the Vita to "see" their hidden sides and manipulate their levers and switches via the touchscreen.

Cleverly done and visually impressive,it forces you to think on your feet.

Castle of Illusion

X360/PS3/PC download

***

A SHORT and sweet platformer from the Disney stable, Castle of Illusion surprises mostly because it's bloody difficult, despite its sugary presentation and soothing narrator.

This is the game for you, if you possess old-school inch-perfect timing.

Irish Independent

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