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Tag: web browser

Arr Matey! The Torch browser turns one

Posted by Alan at 12:20 PM on June 26, 2013

To be fair, Torch is an excellent browser that is based on Google’s Chrome platform. With that said, the web browser does come with built-in BitTorrent client, though that is far from its only feature. There are excellent media features included with the software, allowing the user to explore the latest music.

Now Torch Media announces the celebration of its one year anniversary. “Torch just celebrated its first birthday. We did a lot over the last year to make sure our users are getting the most out of the web and are looking forward to the future with our new improvements”.

The software maker tells us that is has accumulated 10 million users over its short life, plus touts other milestones and plans, as it is “hard at work making sure everyone can use this awesome browser, it is now available for Mac.  When you make the switch to Torch you don’t have to lose any of the add-ons you are used to, now that all Chrome add-ons are compatible with Torch Browser”.

torch birthday

“Torch recently released an update to help users download faster. So you have to wait less time to watch that movie you have been dying to see and you don’t have to compromise on the quality, because your browser can handle the larger HD files”. Nope…no piracy here. Move along, nothing to see.

As I said earlier, the browser is excellent. It is fast and brings many features to the table. Unfortunately, there is that whole stigma that continues to hang over it.

Firefox adds new “health” feature

Posted by Alan at 10:07 AM on May 14, 2013

logoNo, Mozilla is not going to diagnose your sinus infection, but it plans to help with the health of your Firefox web browser. It is not currently in the stable build, but the company is testing this new feature for future builds.

The Firefox Health Report is a new system Mozilla has built to log basic health information about your browser (time to start up, total running time, number of crashes, etc.). The company claims “the initial report is pretty simple, but it will evolve and grow in the coming months. You’ll be able to use it as a window into many aspects of your browser’s performance and health, both in absolute terms, as well as in comparison to the global Firefox user base”.

The health report is enabled by default in Firefox but, if you don’t want your browser health information added to the pool then you can disable data sending either from the report itself, or from the Firefox preferences window.

The browser already blocks insecure and unstable plugins, restores tabs and content after crashes and detects phishing and malware sites before they can attack. This new feature just takes the service to the next level.

The Maxthon Cloud Browser

Posted by Alan at 6:46 AM on February 23, 2013

maxthon logoAt the moment you may not realize it, but there is a difference between a cloud browser and a web browser, despite the general feeling that the internet itself exists in the cloud. Maxthon stopped by TPN in Las Vegas to explain.

The Maxthon Cloud Browser attempts to provide and experience that spans multiple platforms, from computer to tablet to smartphone. The browser not only syncs, as both Firefox and Chrome can do, but CEO Jeff Chen claims that it allows the browsers on different platforms to “talk to one another”. Users can push information between devices in multiple ways, depending on what they choose.

The technology is available free across Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. To learn more, you can check out the video posted below.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net and Daniel J Lewis of  Audacity to Podcast

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Firefox 18 beta launches, faster JavaScript and Retina support

Posted by Alan at 2:11 PM on November 26, 2012

Mozilla may be suffering a bit lately thanks to the growth of the Chrome web browser, but they are still a popular choice for many computer users. They have also begun updating the browser at a much faster pace in order to keep pace with the competition. Those frequent updates don’t always result in cool new features, but the release today of the version 18 beta does bring some welcome new features.

Whenever a company updates their software I always tend to go first to the changelog so I can find out exactly what I am looking for. In this case I was surprised to find a couple of nice updates.

The first was a major inprovement to JavaScript by implementing the much anticipated IonMonkey engine. This should improve the display of web apps, games, and other JavaScript-heavy sites and services. The second was new support for Apple’s Retina displays. Beyond these two important changes, there are several other things that are notable.

Changelog

  • CHANGED: Performance improvements around tab switching.
  • DEVELOPER: CSS3 Flexbox implemented.
  • DEVELOPER: Support for new DOM property window.devicePixelRatio.
  • DEVELOPER: Support for @supports added.
  • DEVELOPER: Improvement in startup time through smart handling of signed extension certificates.
  • HTML5: Support for W3C touch events impemented, taking the place of MozTouch events.
  • FIXED: Disable insecure content loading on HTTPS pages (62178).
  • FIXED: Improved responsiveness for users on proxies (769764).

If you are already using the beta version of Firefox then you should receive this update automatically. If not, then head over to the Mozilla Beta Channel to make the switch. The final version will be released in January.

Mozilla Pushes 16.01 Update for Firefox

Posted by Alan at 2:00 PM on October 11, 2012

Yesterday Mozilla took the unprecedented step of pulling down a version of Firefox and warning those who had already installed it to stop using the browser.  The move came after a rather bad security flaw was found in the software that would allow a malicious site to potentially be able to determine which websites users had visited and obtain access to the URL or URL parameters.

The company quickly pushed a fix for the Android version of the web browser, but took until today to issue a similar patch for the Windows version of Firefox.  Mozilla has now made Firefox version 16.01 available for download and those who have the browser installed should receive an automatic update upon the next launch.

While it was perhaps a bit of an embarrassing escapade, the company did work fast to fix the issue.  The flaw was less of an actual security threat and more of a privacy concern, but it was an issue that still needed to be addressed quickly.  You can head over to Mozilla to grab the update if you didn’t receive it automatically.

Google Releases Chrome Beta 15

Posted by Alan at 5:56 PM on September 23, 2011

Google has released the latest beta version of their popular web browser, Chrome.  Number 15 (for those keeping count) has some real changes – much more than some new versions, which have been simply bug fixes.  This comes within days of Chrome 14 hitting the stable channel.

Of course, the changes have become fewer because the browser has matured.  Over time, though, we have seen it take shape as more of an operating system in a window, as opposed to just a web browser.  That makes sense because of the development of Chrome OS and the introduction of the first “Chromebook” computers.  And, if Android is an indicator, then we better watch out for when the Chrome OS really gets going.

The biggest change in Chrome 15 is the New Tab page.  It’s been completely redesigned to better allow users to optimize their tabs and launch multiple pages.  According to the official Google announcement, “Your apps, bookmarks, and most visited sites now appear in three different sections on the page. You can flip between these different sections by clicking the section labels at the bottom of the page or the arrows at the side of the page. Chrome will remember the last section you flipped to and return to it when you open a new tab.”

The second big change will probably benefit users the most.  Previously, when a new version of an app was available for installation, it would direct the user back to the Chrome Web App Store to download and install it.  Now, “trusted partners” can allow users to install updates on-the-fly with no redirects.

These changes could be tempting for many users, and many potential Chromebook buyers.  They are certainly making my eye wonder from my trusty Firefox browser.  I have Chrome installed, but I can’t tear myself away from Firefox just yet…  However, that Asus Chromebook I have been eying is looking a little bit more tempting today…

You can get the Chrome 15 Beta here.

Microsoft Wants to Kill Off Internet Explorer

Posted by Andrew at 5:10 PM on March 14, 2011

Internet Explorer 6, that is. In 2011, IE6 will be 10 years old and to celebrate, Microsoft has decided to kill it off.  Not before time frankly.

Surprisingly, IE6 still has a worldwide market share of 12%, though this fell in the last year from 21%, so Microsoft’s target is to get IE6′s share down to 1% or less. And to publicise this, Microsoft has setup  an Internet Explorer 6 Countdown website which monitors use and provides some interesting facts and figures about the use of IE6 round the world.

For example, the IE6′s share of the browser market in China is 34.5% with South Korea at 24.8%. China’s use represents nearly half (5.9%) of the global use on its own. At the other end, usage in Finland and Norway is down to 0.9% and 0.7% respectively, which is where Microsoft wants it to be. The USA and UK are at 2.9% and 3.5%. Looking back at the peak of its popularity in 2002 and 2003, IE6 accounted for 90% of the browser market.

Microsoft is encouraging organisations to put a banner on their website that’s only visible to IE6 users and to stop supporting the browser. There are few big names on the list such as msn and CNET.

If you know anyone who is still using IE6, encourage them to upgrade to something more modern. Both they and the web will thank you for it.

Opera Shows Tablet Browser at CES

Posted by Andrew at 2:31 PM on January 4, 2011

Opera Software has announced that it will be demonstrating its new web browser for Android-based tablets and netbooks at CES.  Opera is calling it the “first public preview” but there’s no hint of when it will be publicly available, in beta form or otherwise.

“In 2011, tablets are a new must-have. Opera is creating waves with the first public preview of Opera for tablets,” said Christen Krogh, Chief Development Officer, Opera Software. “Opera for tablets brings the same trusted Internet experience to tablets and netbook PCs as users have come to love on their mobile phones and desktops.”

Opera has posted a YouTube video of the Opera browser running on what appears to be  a Samsung Galaxy Tab.  It looks pretty smooth.

Firefox 4 Beta 4

Posted by Alan at 8:10 AM on September 1, 2010

Recently Mozilla released the Beta 4 version of Firefox 4.0.  Like all Firefox Betas in the past it will break your add-ons, but it also adds some REALLY cool new eye-candy.  The biggest additions are Panorama and Sync, but there’s also a slick new interface.

The first thing you’ll notice is the interface – specifically the toolbars.  It’s not vastly different and you won’t be lost, but it’s definitely different.  It’s cleaner and more modern and the tabs are in a different place.  It has a very “Windows 7-ish” type of interface.  I found the tabs being moved to a different location to be the toughest part to get used to.  At the far right of the tabs bar you will will find options to group your tabs and also to list all of your tabs.  If you work with lots of tabs, like I do, this is a great new feature.  The other toolbars are all there, just as you know them, but the icons are different and fewer.  That part will not slow anyone down and it really does look better.

(click picture to view full size)

The next thing you will notice is what Mozilla is calling “Panorama”.  It’s essentially a Window’s 7 type view that shows all of your opens tabs when you hover over the Firefox icon in your Window’s toolbar.  It sounds simple, and it is, but it is also very useful.  Once you hover over the icon then you will have to choose which tab you want to click on.

(click picture to view full size)

The last big feature in version 4 is called Sync.  You can actually download a Sync add-on for Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 here.  It allows you to encrypt and save your settings, bookmarks, passwords, and other cuntomizations so that you can not only restore them if you change computers, but also keep them the same across multiple PC’s and mobile devices.  You can set it up by clicking Tools and then Set Up Sync.

And that brings me to the add-ons.  As I said, Firefox betas frequently break these, but they are normally fixed quickly.  Sync is an obvious swipe at my favorite Firefox add-on, Xmarks, which has done all of this (except customizations) for a while now.  I set it up, but for now I consider it a backup solution in case Xmarks has a problem.  Until it’s been tested and retested I don’t want to trust my settings to it.  It’s an interesting feature though, and building it in to the browser puts Mozilla at the forefront, once again, in the browser battle.

As of this writing the Firefox add-on, Xmarks, has been updated to be compatible with 4.0, but most are still not there.

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Despite the lack of support for add-ons, which, as I said, is common in Firefox betas, this latest version is worth checking out.  And, add-ons are coming quickly.  The interface, with its aero-glass look, plays nicely in Windows 7.  Sync is cool and Panorama makes it especially worth the download.  You may not want to put it on your production machine quite yet – not because of stability issues because there aren’t any that I can see – but, because of the add-ons that you may need.  If you don’t rely on those, though, then go for it.

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Microsoft Corp. is urging Windows XP users to uninstall the new Netscape 8 webbrowser because it can conflict with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Not surprisingly, Microsoft is claiming that the problem is with Netscape, rather than their own browser that invades the operating system like kudzu.

Update: [blogs.msdn.com/ie/] Their are 2 solutions given but #1 on the list is to uninstall Netscape

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