Posts Tagged ‘Review’

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my boyfriend had come home with the cinnamon candy I had asked for, and even more glad to see that there was a bit of novelty to these specific Hot Tamales.

As I examined the box I noticed the little description of each color from hot to hottest. This is sort of reminiscent of the Taco Bell hot sauce package colors which indicate how hot they are. I popped a yellow one in my mouth and it actually tasted a bit like what you’d expect something yellow to taste like. It was hot, but not painfully so. Definitely had that nice artificial cinnamon flavor that I’ve come to love. Next, I tried the orange-red one which looks just like the regular Hot Tamales, and unsurprisingly, it tasted just like a regular Hot Tamale. Next, I popped the dark red into my mouth and as soon as I began to chew I actually felt my mouth burn as if I had just chewed on a Jalapeño. I definitely experienced a pleasant burn which lingered a bit afterward.

Before trying these I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to tell the difference, but the level of hotness was pretty obvious. And just to make sure it wasn’t just all in my head, I did a blindfold test. I had my boyfriend give me one of each while I had my eyes closed and I have to say that even without looking at them it was very obvious which one was which. As soon as I started chewing on the first one I immediately suspected it was the orange-red one, but to make sure, I asked for a second one. As soon as I had the second one, which was milder, I was sure that the first one was the orange-red one and thus the second one was yellow. And finally he gave me the dark red one which was again, very obvious.

As I was looking inside the box I notice that a good majority of the candy pieces were dark red which luckily was my favorite color, but it would have been nicer to have something closer to an even amount of each just so you can keep it varied a bit. I am hoping though that other boxes are different. Either way, I definitely enjoyed these candies and hope that they continue producing this variety of Hot Tamales, or at the very least, release a box variety of just the dark red ones.

One of the main reasons I truly enjoyed these is because I like to buy cheap bags of cinnamon imperials where each candy seems to vary in its spiciness. I would really recommend these to anyone who loves cinnamon-flavored candy.



Have you ever been paranoid about your laptop (and even desktop) being stolen, lost or teleported away from the last place you thought you had it? Never fear! FireFound is here!

Click here to visit add-on page.

I was browsing the Firefox add-ons once again to see which ones worked with the new beta, and stumbled upon this one, so I took a closer look. I installed the add-on and proceeded to sign up (as soon as it restarts you will be prompted) for the service and then you can log in by following the directions given. Once you do so you can see your location by clicking on the location link, or if you’re signed up for the premium service ($1 a month) you can access the home locations feature which “are locations that you designate as safe for your computer to be in. If your location changes, but it is within range of a home location, you will not receive an e-mail alert about the change”. Under the data link you can activate data protection (which you should only use once you realize your computer has been stolen) which forces whoever is using the browser to enter a password within a time limit otherwise the data you specified will be erased. This is definitely useful if you allow your password manager to save your information (though you should never allow it to remember my bank log-ins etc…). You can download your location information of up to 30 days prior, erase that same location data, and if you upgrade, you can extend the location information log to a year. Beware that any account that hasn’t pinged the FireFound server in the past 30 days will be deleted.

Note: If the location page doesn’t display your information right away, restart the browser and it should update (courtesy of the developer Christopher Finke).

Since I’m running this program on a desktop computer, I won’t really have a chance to test it out further unless of course I somehow lose it or move. But all in all, this program sets out to do exactly what it is supposed to. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who either owns a laptop or even someone who owns a desktop and lives in a dorm. Of course you won’t be able to utilize these options unless the person who took your computer is connected in some way to the internet, but the point of this program is to protect your online data — the GPS feature seems to be just a nice plus. If you’re really worried about your computer being stolen or lost I would suggest looking into some sort of GPS device and some more comprehensive security software to install on your system. I may install this program on my laptop and wander around town a bit to to see how that works and if so I will update this post.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today we went to the convenience store to get some drinks since the UPS delivery guy failed to drop off our package of water filters (it’s disappointing to be waiting in the living room for that satisfying knock on the door knowing you just beat the line and prices at Wal-Mart by purchasing your filters on Amazon only to refresh your tracking page to find a most puzzling message — THE CUSTOMER WAS NOT AVAILABLE ON THE 1ST ATTEMPT. A 2ND ATTEMPT WILL BE MADE. Thanks UPS for shattering my dreams and hopes for a brighter, clearer water source. It is also pretty odd that the driver got off work a few hours early, which leads me to believe that either he had a really bad emergency and lied about attempting to drop off his package, or went to the wrong address, or just wanted to get off work early. I truly hope it was the first.) so we had to find alternative hydration sources as well as pick up a case of Flat Tire. I purposefully picked a couple of the newer-looking organic/all natural drinks, which were surprisingly abundant! It seems like the all-natural fad is one I will definitely embrace, considering that the ingredients on the back of these drinks are few and recognizable! I also was curious to try a couple of throwback products to at least get a reminder of what soda used to taste like back when I was a kid living in Italy.

Xing Green Tea with Mango

Xing Green Tea with Mango

Out of all of the drinks, this has to be one of my favorites. I just can’t stop sipping on this one! I can really taste the cane sugar (I used to love to chew on sugar canes when I could get a hold of them) and the mango flavor is pleasant even though I suspect that the fruit flavor is some sort of apple or pear juice, but either way, I really enjoy it. I also like the fact that in contains Ginseng, though it is probably not in the same amounts you would need to get the full health benefits (cue flashback to when I was living back in Japan and one of the girls from my exchange program would force-feed me a half glass of concentrated bitterly disgusting Ginseng extract to deal with my hangover) but it may be enough to instill a bit of extra energy in you. The can mentions that this is ‘All Natural’ which can definitely mean a lot of different things, but in this case I can tell that at least the ingredients are akin to those you can find in your household kitchen which is definitely something I look for these days. I can’t tell you how often I’ve had such terrible reactions to drinks containing HFCS, including embarrassing moments where I’ve had to radio in a coworker to get relief (ironic term) from my post to then rush down-stairs to reach the nearest bathroom in the airport. Definitely not something you want to have happen when you spend an hour at a time (and sometimes more) sitting at a kiosk without being allowed to leave unless someone was there to take your place. I guess someone was afraid that they would hack our RTGo Kiosk or something. Not that it wouldn’t have been pretty easy anyway considering they leave those things on unattended all night in an airport that never shuts down even when there is no personnel in it. Anyway, getting back to this drink, I definitely would have been happy to have had this back in those days. It would have saved me a lot of uncomfortable hours trying to use my Jedi mind powers to make me believe that Montezuma wasn’t trying to get revenge upon me. I definitely would recommend this drink to anyone who enjoys fruity teas and really detests the all too commonly abused HFCS.

You can purchase this for $1.45 or so at a convenience store, and maybe less at a grocery store, but probably not. Either way, the extra 45 cents is definitely worth it considering how much cleaner and refreshing this is than a same-sized can of AriZona original green tea.

Nutritional Information

Serv. Size 8 oz Serv. per container 3

Calories 60, Sodium 20mg, Total Carbs (From sugar) 16

Ingredients: Premium brewed green and black tea using filtered water, cane sugar, honey, citric acid, natural flavors, ginseng extract.

I will give this a 10 out of 10!

Calypso Kiwi Lemonade

Calypso Kiwi Lemonade

My boyfriend (being a good foot taller than I am) had noticed this drink which I would have definitely missed considering it was way above my eye-level. Good thing he saw it because this is definitely a drink you must try. After he took a sip he told me “You have to try this” which was definitely a response I hadn’t expected. He pointed out that it had an interesting after-taste, which at first struck me as a negative comment, but his tone seemed more pleased than anything, so I was excited to try it — and for good reason. If you like lemonade, and if you like real kiwi flavor, you will love this. You could definitely taste the lemonade (and it actually had lemon pulp in it which gave it a bit of authenticity) in this drink which was quickly followed by a pleasant yet tart kiwi punch to the face. I mean this in a good way though! Good kiwis are usually tart and sour yet deliciously sweet and this definitely brings back memories of enjoying a couple of those fuzzy balls. Unfortunately, my significant other claimed the rest for himself and by the time I had returned to the living room to join him, the bottle was mostly empty. I did like the fact that it contained 100% of your daily value of Vitamin C, which depending on what you read, is supposed to help boost your immune system and help fight off infections. Considering I haven’t gotten sick in 3 years (following winter after winter of irritating cases of pneumonia which really annoyed the daylights out of my instructors) I can’t really say if it works. A couple of things caught my eye as I read the bottle — it mentions that it contains 9% juice which is pretty amazing considering it’s just a bottled fruit drink, so I think that’s about normal for a lemonade considering that any more would make it overpoweringly sour. I wasn’t all too crazy about the soybean oil in this because I am not only lactose intolerant, but it seems like I’m really soybean intolerant as well, but I have yet to feel any effects from this ingredient (probably not enough of it in this drink). I would personally love to see the color removed. I don’t see any need to have the drink look like nuclear waste. I don’t find it appealing, and it definitely does not add to the enjoyment of the product. When I was growing up in Italy, all of our soft drinks had much more muted colors compared to their bright neon American counterparts, and though there was probably still some coloring in it, it was definitely better than having a drink that had brighter colors than your summer shirts. Take out the color and I will be more inclined to buy any drink! I definitely will be purchasing this in the future, though I’d rather see if the grocery store has a better deal, considering that this drink cost me 2 whole dollars. Anyway, you should definitely give it a try if you have a chance!

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size 8 fl. oz. Servings per Container 2.5

Calories 120, Sodium 2mg, Total Carbs 29g (28g from Sugars), 100% Vitamin C.


Tripple filtered water, pure cane sugar, lemon juice concentrate, kiwi concentrate, lemon fruit pulp, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate (soybean oil, ester gum, gum arabic, as color), yellow 5, blue 1, EDTA to preserve color.

I give this a nuclear 9 out of 10.

Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback

Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback.

I’ve been reading a lot of reviews about these throwback products, but never had a chance to try them myself. I figured they would be worth a try, and though I’m not much of a soda drinker, I wanted to see if they reminded me of the drinks I used to get as a kid at my school-mate’s birthday parties (though I never really socialized, I loved to go just to get get free delicious home-made party food that was always available — here are a couple of pictures to of the kind of food we got at these parties). I took a couple of sips of the Pepsi and it definitely had a lighter, cleaner flavor and since the sweetness was less pronounced, more of the Pepsi flavors came though which mostly reminded me a bit of licorice. That’s pretty much all I got from that drink which in the end is actually a good thing because it did make it a lot more refreshing than its HFCS counterpart. Recommending this one is a bit tricky though. Most Pepsi fans like Pepsi the way it is and usually scorn any sort of ‘variation’ from their favorite drink, so I would say this may be more for those who don’t have a favorite cola product or for anyone who is used to the taste of soda found in the rest of the world. After trying the Mountain Dew I was pleasantly surprised that it had a deliciously clean aftertaste. Though this drink does contain nuclear yellow food coloring, I definitely think that this could become my new favorite soda.

Nutrition Facts (per bottle) Pepsi/Mountain Dew

Calories 260, Sodium 65mg, Total Carbs (from sugars) 67g./Calories 280, Sodium 105gm, Carbs (from sugars) 73g.


Carbonated water, sugar, caramel color, phosphoric acid, caffeine, natural flavor./Carbonated water, sugar, orange juice concentrate, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium benzonate, caffeine, sodium citrate, gum arabic, erythorbic acid, calcium disodium EDTA, brominated vegetable oil, yellow 5.

I give these an 8 and 9 out of 10.

So here it is, my first video blog. Yes, the quality is terrible because I used a very old webcam in conjunction with my Rockband microphone (which is actually a pretty good microphone though my audio quality is still pretty bad) and not much of a set. Yes, I know that my background looks terrible but it was better than having my boyfriend at the computer behind me. I promise that next time the video quality won’t be so bad, I just need to find a place to put our HD digital camera so it doesn’t have to be held by someone. Also, sorry about the ridiculous voice over when the picture is shown — if I had known my recording program didn’t record voice when showing a picture, I would have manually inserted one during editing. Oh well! And sorry about the black box around the video. It won’t be there once I switch to wide-screen HQ video.

Note: The vitamin C was actually added to the beverage. There definitely isn’t enough juice in there to provide any nutritional value.

When I say safer, I mean that glass bottles aren’t supposed to leach chemicals into the drink. Since the glass bottle is wrapped in plastic, it should also not shatter all over the floor if you drop it, though it may crack.

Image of yumberries was borrowed by

Pomegranate Fruit Marvels

Whilst waiting in line at the cash register towards the end of my monthly grocery shopping  I spotted an interesting royal purple tin in the candy section. You know, the area that they place right in your face to make sure people spend a couple extra ‘harmless’ dollars on something they don’t need, and usually I don’t even look at it, but this candy made me a bit curious. They had two flavors available — pomegranate, which is the one I purchased, and tangerine, for about a dollar fifty.

The tin is actually pretty cool considering you can use it to store other things like buttons, sewing items, and round playing cards, so I figures that even if the candy sucked, I would have a neat little container (I also saved the Juicy Fruit plastic container because it works well to hold sugar and the nice little flap in the front makes it easy to pour it!). After opening it, I noticed that the outside had a rough, pink sugar coating. It smelled pretty fruity, but I didn’t really get much of a pomegranate aroma out of it (I used to often eat pomegranates as a kid so I’m very familiar with the smell, taste, and staining power). The first sugary layer did have a nice mixed berry taste and I enjoyed the rough texture, which quickly melted away and was followed by a smoother (but not as smooth as say the coating of a Gobstopper) middle shell which wasn’t really that sweet in comparison. It kind of reminded me somewhat of marzipan without the almond aftertaste. I usually don’t like to wait until hard shells have melted away (I usually chew Gobstoppers right from the beginning) so I bit into the rest of it and was pleasantly surprised to find a very flavorful berry-like gummy center. It was a bit bitter and the flavor didn’t taste synthetic (though it definitely didn’t taste like pomegranate) at all and the gummy texture was of the softer variety (unlike Haribo gummy bear, which I adore) which definitely worked well with the crunchy outer shell.

The container mentions that they contain 25% real fruit juice, which is more than most fruit juices, but it only matters when you’re taking flavor in consideration since these candies don’t have any real nutritional value other than fulfilling 15% of your daily value of carbohydrates (but that’s for the whole tin) and providing the gluttons with 39 g of sugar (comprised of sugar and corn syrup unfortunately). As for the fruit juice, it obviously wasn’t going to be pomegranate juice they were talking about, in fact, as usual, it’s pear. So in short, these candies are a good occasional treat, but I wouldn’t try to replace my daily fruit intake with a can of these. What bothers me though is that the front of the tin says that these are made with natural ingredients, and on the back they mention modified corn starch which I’m pretty sure doesn’t occur naturally. When they finally start making candy the old fashioned way, by using sugar and the actual juice of the fruit that the candy is supposed to taste like, then they can consider the candy to be made with natural ingredients. I’m not too fond of the fact that it contains carmine color either considering how it affects those who are allergic to it. I never understood the need to give candy bright colors. Would kids not want to eat the candy if it weren’t filled with food coloring? Do we really need kids to find candy more appealing?

I did enjoy this candy and for those who like to have an occasional treat, these are actually quite enjoyable. The contrast between crunchy and chewy has always interested me, and these candies have a nice tart chewy center that I actually like. I don’t care much about the ‘statements’ made on the front of the can, as if they were trying to convince people that candy can ever be healthy or that somehow the little bit of pear juice in it can replace your apple a day (of course they don’t say that straight up, but we know how marketing works) but as long as you’re treating these like candy, and not a vitamin supplement (considering it has no vitamins!), you will probably not be disappointed with this. And remember, you will always be left with a nice tin to store some of your odder items! Anyways, here are the nutritional facts.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Kylo's homepage menu.

Since I decided to move my computer to the corner of the living room, next to the big television instead of in front of it, I’ve been looking for tools to make my computer an easy to use media center. After installing JoytoKey which has the ability to allow users to turn their video game controllers into pointing devices, I needed a browser that was easier to see on the big screen. After a quick Google search I easily found Kylo. This browser is actually quite impressive, though still a bit green.

First of all, I want to mention that this browser looks really good on even a 1080p 48″ television. The buttons are big, and when you start the browser you’re taken to an awesomely designed page with a great list of web pages that mostly work well with Kylo, including my favorite, Netflix.

Zoom and font size features.

If you hover over any of these menu items, you get a brief description of the website. I’m not really sure why Farmville is listed on here, but I guess somehow it’s STILL that popular. Though I mostly use it to read the news and watch Netflix (an excellent alternative to watching it on my Xbox 360 considering now you can get HD programming through your browser as well), it is definitely good for general browsing such as checking email, playing games, and doing research for your term paper. In fact, in conjunction with JoytoKey and an Xbox 360 USB controller, a key board, and in my case two extension USB cables, I can sit back and relax on the couch without having to constantly get up and go over to my computer to watch my next show. After exploring this browser’s settings, I was pleasantly surprised to find out you can have the browser permanently zoomed in a certain amount so that you don’t have to squint while trying to read small text on a big TV. You can also manually zoom in and out from the bar at the bottom if needed.

There are a few customization options I really thought were useful. One of which was the ability to hide the on screen keyboard, and auto-hide the control bar. I usually like to free up as much room on the screen and leave it for browsing, and by selecting these two options you’re definitely left with a whole lot of browsing space. I myself wouldn’t recommend the “Zoom in on form fields when typing” option though because it tends to not work to well when chatting on Facebook.

Options found under the Control menu.

I was definitely glad to have found this browser and will probably stick with it but there are a few things that are a bit troubling you may want to be aware of.

First of all, there is no pop-up or ad-blocker at all which means that you’ll be subject to all kinds of annoying interruptions while browsing. When visiting a news site like or, you’ll come to find that reading the news can become a chore. At least 90% of the time, by just visiting the front page or clicking on an article I would end up being greeted by an ad that covered the entire screen forcing me to have to drag my cursor all the way to the top and click close. Not much fun especially when you don’t even remember what pop-ups look like. Some other pop-ups, like the ones on can be even more annoying. video not displaying properly in full screen.

I would often click on an article just to find that the page was slowly being taken over by the most annoying and loudest ad for Wheat Thins I’d ever seen. Not only did it make it impossible for me to read the article (and made me never want to eat Wheat Thins again), but it also slowed my computer down to a crawl, and my computer can run Dragon Age Origins and Hulu (which is known for taking up a lot of resources) seamlessly! Some ads would freeze my computer up for a good minute or so, something I haven’t experienced since I last logged onto my 6 year old piece of junk laptop. Another thing that was a bit bothering was the fact that certain website’s videos, such as those at, wouldn’t full screen properly and I would mostly end up having to watch them in their regular size. This isn’t much of an issue for me since I can always resort to using Firefox when needed anyway, but it would be nice to see this problem fixed in further versions of Kylo since pop-ups and ads can make a browser dangerously vulnerable to spyware and malaware. Another issue I’m a bit upset about, but in this case, it isn’t the browser’s fault, is that Hulu is blocking it. This means you may be able to watch up to 30 seconds or so of video but then you’re greeted with a message that claims that Hulu isn’t available for your platform. What this really means is that they don’t want you to use Kylo to watch their free programming. If you wish to read up on this more, here is the whole story. The fact is, Hulu recently implemented a premium paid service (although it seems to go against their initial statements which indicated that they would ‘never’ charge for Hulu services) which allows users to to view their shows on their iPad, and certain other devices, while still having to view all of the annoying ads. I don’t know that this premium service will allow people to view their shows on Kylo, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. Kylo developers tried to work around this issue, which worked for less than a day when Hulu managed to block Kylo once again.

Hulu message.

In all fairness, after contacting Kylo about some of the problems I’ve been having with the browser, they actually responded with a thorough email asking for further information on the problems I’ve been having. They have also stated on their website that they’re working on many other issues others have complained about. I am definitely willing to be patient and wait to see how they will address these problems in the future, but for now I’m pretty happy with the browser. It works great with Netflix, and that’s just about all I need. All in all, it is a great concept and it is highly functional. Anyone who is looking to set up their computer as a Media Center should really look into trying out this browser. The more popular this browser gets, the chances of these issues being fixed should increase– hopefully!

Rating: 4.2 out of 5

Note: If you’re interested on how to connect your HD TV to your computer and what combination of programs you can use to have your own all-purpose Media Center, stay tuned for I will be talking about JoytoKey in more depth and other programs programs such as UltraMon and Hulu Desktop!

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I have to admit, I had given up on finding a game that could keep my ADHD mind interested enough to play it for days on end. But thanks to my boyfriend who added Prototype to my Gamefly queue, I was able to waste a few hours of my life without regret.

The game starts you off as some guy in a hoodie and an abnormally Final Fantasy-ish leather jacket with godlike powers that’s being chased by the military. I thought to myself “Wow, this is pretty trippin’… I run up walls at top speed, jump higher than a mutated grasshopper, glide like a flying squirrel on steroids, and best of all, I can slice and dice anything (or anyone) in my path!”

And the only logical subsequent train of thought had to be “I wonder how long this is going to last…” and soon enough I had my answer. All right. So after the intro you end up playing Alex Mercer at the beginning of his adventure with a significant reduction in available powers. This is the usual “Here’s a taste of what you COULD have if you keep playing the game” but I have to honestly say that the start-up powers aren’t that bad. By forcing you to have to learn your powers slowly throughout the game you definitely tend to remember how to use the moves more thoroughly as opposed to being thrown in the game with a huge arsenal and having to remember them all at once. In fact, at the beginning I only managed to use three or four powers because I wasn’t aware of all of the other ones I could have used.

So, without spoiling the game for anyone that hasn’t played it, I am going to give you a little review.

One of the first things that kept me going was the awesome powers available and the horrible things you can do with them. I enjoyed slashing or absorbing random pedestrians, policemen and helicopter pilots. It was quite satisfying to grab someone by the neck and then drag them up to the top of a building to then fling them off from the highest point down to their doom. I really enjoyed going down after the body as it was flailing through the air to see if I could find it before it hit the ground. It was quite addicting to bash through cars, trucks and playgrounds in shield mode while watching people flying up into the air or dashing through the streets hopping from car to car and quickly running up a wall and then go from building to building. Ok, honestly, I mostly enjoyed terrorizing the city instead of completing missions but who hasn’t spent hours on GTA stealing cars, crashing them and trying to kill as many people as possible?

I did like to infiltrate the police stations and learn needed skills by absorbing those people with a DNA symbol above them. Once you absorb everyone you need to then you can proceed to kill everyone else and take down their defenses for a while. Hijacking vehicles such as helicopters and tanks is actually very useful and enjoyable especially when you have to take down other vehicles.

As for the missions, they weren’t too bad. A bit repetitive but were still pretty challenging. As long as you keep upgrading or getting new abilities you should be able to finish the missions pretty quickly — but be ready to have a very sore right index finger. I found myself having to dash almost all the time, if it wasn’t because I was being chased by the military, it was because I was being chased by a zombie mutant (or chasing them in some cases). I often had to switch to my middle finger while holding down the trigger because of sharp pains shooting through my finger joints but at least the game didn’t cause any kind of physical damage like the infamous Mario Party thumb stick palm blister.

One thing some people seem to complain about is that it is hard to stay incognito while walking around the streets especially farther into the game. Often times the task force is deployed which results in Alex having to interrupt what he was doing and hide. I have to say I never had any issues myself since I always wandered around in the form of a pedestrian. You can get away with a lot before the police notice you. Just make sure you don’t absorb, or kill or destroy anything around any authorities. You can safely dash through the street and even hop on cars and run up walls without inciting much suspicion. Even if you do end up with the task force after you, it isn’t that hard to get away from them as long as you climb up as high as you can and then quickly drop back down in a relatively enclosed area like an alley and quickly switch to another form as soon as the icon tells you to.  Another complaint that people seem to have is that the graphics aren’t that great. I am actually pretty impressed considering you have a lot of things to explore.

All and all, this game was fun and has some re-play value. The story line was the usual zombie/secret weapon plot and didn’t bring much to the table that hadn’t already been brought by other games such as Resident Evil but it was good enough to keep me engaged. I might not have been as critical of the game as IGN, but I honestly enjoyed this game and was happy to have found something that maintained my interest for that long. I’m still more of an old school gamer — I definitely enjoy the classics from the Megadrive (Genesis) and Nintendo/Super Nintendo a lot more than any pretty face the next generation consoles have to offer, but I just can’ t just use my Xbox for movies and TV shows only. It would be sort of a waste of a 47 inch 1080p HD television if I didn’t play any games on it, wouldn’t it?

I wouldn’t buy the game, but it is perfect to rent — and quite therapeutic.

Product: Prototype for the XBOX 360

Graphics: 7/10

Controls: 9/10

Playability: 10/10

Sound: 9/10

Replay Value: 8/10

Average: 8.6

I recently downloaded Iron after trying Chrome and not really liking the privacy issues. I have to admit it is a pretty neat browser for casual browsing but it lacks a lot of tools that would make it the best. Yes, it’s new, so I hope that it will eventually gain the functionality of Firefox.


1. It’s fast. Really fast. It boots up very quickly and pages load at lightning speed.

2. It maximizes the space used to view web pages with its minimalistic design. You can hide the bookmarks bar but I prefer to keep it there just for convenience sake.

3. You can drag downloaded items straight from the download bar at the bottom to anywhere you want.

4. You can use a version of AdBlock to block a good number of those pesky and often dangerous spam ads.

5. It is pretty simple and straight forward.

6. The omnibar. I really liked the idea of having one bar for both search and URL entry. I rarely enter URLs anyway so I get tired of tabbing to the search box.

7. Separate processes for each tab. That was a winner for me. My computer runs fast and it has no problem running each tab on its own. I have had times when a page would crash and the whole browser would go down. Fortunately with Iron I just had to shut down the tab’s process and continue on my merry way. This might be taxing on a slower system but worth it if your system can handle it.


1. The AdBlock feature you can install isn’t up to par with AdBlock plus by a long shot. You can’t change the options and it doesn’t block nearly as much. If the ad blocker were up to par I would definitely consider using Iron as my main browser.

2. There are no ad-ons. That means you can’t use very useful tools such as element hiding helper.

3. The back button is very messed up. With some pages (usually those that were re-directed) the back button ended up creating several copies of that page making it impossible to go back to the previous page without accessing the history by either right clicking or holding the back button and selecting the previous page. This got very annoying, very fast. That’s one thing that’s really keeping me from using Iron as my main browser.

4. For some reason my spell checker won’t work. I couldn’t find out how to fix it. I know there’s got to be a way because there are people out there without this problem but I  just can’t figure out how. It is just irritating that this feature has problems with some users.

A lot of bugs have been resolved since it was first released and I’m still pretty impressed with the product. But I did some research on how to speed up Firefox and researched add-ons that would simulate the best features in Chrome and managed to find them.

Yes, I know there are people out there who have figured this out already but I never thought of looking for a list myself so this is my method. You could also download a theme that simulates the look but it serves no purpose. There is a Chrome add-on but it doesn’t seem to work well on my computer.

1. Downloader Status bar

2. Hide Menubar

3. Omnibar

There are other things you could look for but this is good enough for me. Also, there are plenty of ways to speed up Firefox. Just look it up on Google and change the settings according to the instructions. Be very careful when changing these settings because you could screw things up. You need broadband to make use of these changes and to decrease loading time you should make sure you have a fast computer.

Here’s a very blurry screencap to show you what it looks like with these changes.


To do this just Google “How to speed up Firefox” and “How to make Firefox faster”. I would do some research and read all of the articles before making changes. Some are complicated, and some just require you to edit the shortcut’s target entry text. It is possible that some pages load a bit slower but for the most part you do get a general sense of increased page loading time.

Check out  this blog written by Maurice Cepeda, writing as Mauro Andrés, that gives you a comprehensive and relatively easy to follow set of instructions for improving the performance of your browser.

Le Blog de Maurice.

After tweaking Firefox I tested its speed with both a benchmark and some online testing sites and the difference was negligible. Sometimes Firefox was a couple milliseconds to a second slower and at times it was even faster than Iron. Until Iron has fixed the aforementioned problems, I will keep Firefox as my main browser. Yes, you can make changes to Iron with Greasemonkey, but it isn’t worth the trouble when Firefox has such a vast library of ad-ons. I love tweaking and optimizing as much as the next gal, but convenience will always win. I will probably mess around with Greasemonkey when I get bored enough but until then I don’t see any reason to use Iron as my main browser.

Functionality: 7/10

Speed: 10/10

Stability: 8.5/10

Visual Appeal: 10/10

Compatibility: 8.5/10

Innovation: 9.5/10

Average score: 8.9

Summary: In short, the browser is pretty cool to play with, but once the novelty wears off it just isn’t up to par with Firefox. But if you’re just a casual internet user and don’t care about all the bells and whistles then it’s just the thing you were looking for. It’s fast, pretty reliable, and it dumbs down browsing so even novices have an easier time finding what they want. It is a good browser — I just hope that they address the issues I covered and others that might come up, that I forgot, or that I’m not aware of.