Tag Archives: web browser

Arr Matey! The Torch browser turns one

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

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

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

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.


  • 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

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

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

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.