Articles about Browsers

Chrome Remote Desktop comes to Android, iOS 'later this year'

remote access laptop hacker security

In late-2012, Google released Chrome Remote Desktop, allowing users of the popular browser to provide and receive remote assistance. The feature has been especially useful to those who rely on Chromebooks, which have a much more limited app selection compared to traditional PCs where many tools, like TeamViewer, are available for such tasks.

Now, Google brings Chrome Remote Desktop to Android. Unlike on PCs where the feature can be added to the browser, this tool is a standalone app, designed for both phones and tablets.

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New CEO ahoy! Mozilla grows a Beard… will balls follow?

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Emerging from what it describes as an "unexpected leadership transition", Mozilla announces its new CEO, albeit an interim replacement. The vacancy opened up a couple of weeks ago after the departure of Bendan Eich following outrage from developers that someone opposed to gay marriage should be placed at the head of a company. The pitchfork wielding and flaming torch brandishing mob, got their way as Eich "stepped down".

It's not really clear whether he jumped or whether he was pushed -- what is publicly announced is not necessarily representative of what has taken place behind boardroom doors -- but there's now a new man at the top. Announced with the Mozilla Blog, Chris Beard's appointment is apparently something that had been under consideration for some time: "we began exploring the idea of Chris joining the Board of Directors some months ago." Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker described Beard as someone who has "been actively involved with Mozilla since before we shipped Firefox 1.0, he’s guided and directed many of our innovative projects, and his vision and sense of Mozilla is equal to anyone’s".

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Chrome 34 supports responsive images, extends password manager

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Google has released Chrome 34 FINAL for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

The headline addition is support for srcset, a new HTML attribute which allows web developers to specify multiple copies of a single image, with a range of resolutions. The idea is that the client device then requests the most appropriate version, so you might see a high-res image on your desktop, but a smaller, more bandwidth-friendly copy on your phone.

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The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week: March 30 -- April 5

April 2014

It's difficult to deny Microsoft at least some of the limelight this week as the Build developer conference generated some interesting news. Bringing Windows version numbers in line with each other, Windows Phone 8.1 was finally revealed, complete with a notification center and Siri-like Cortana. The highly anticipated Windows 8.1 Update (which you may have heard something about) was official unveiled and given a launch date of April 8. Wayne, for one, liked what he saw.

Microsoft came over all open source, making the Roslyn compiler as well as WinJS freely available. Brian was pleased with the tech giant's latest moves, proclaiming Microsoft is now back. Build also gave us a sneaky glimpse of an upcoming, but as yet unnamed, version of Windows that features the return of the Start menu -- all of this chopping and changing is getting confusing. Maybe next on the list of things to do with Windows will be getting rid of those apps and features that should have been killed some time ago.

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LinkedIn 'hacking' tool Sell Hack no longer exposes user email addresses

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One of the great things about social networks is that it is possible to connect with people without the need to share email addresses. This means that you can remain "friends" with someone on Facebook, but not get to the point where you're handing out your email address and worrying about checking your inbox. The same is true of LinkedIn, but the difference with this "professional network" is that you're probably connecting with a larger number of people you would rather didn’t have your personal contact details. This comforting level of security was wiped out by Sell Hack.

This free browser extension -- available for Firefox, Chrome and Safari -- could be used to expose the email address associated with any LinkedIn account, regardless of whether you are connected to the person you are, essentially, spying on. Perhaps understandably, this caused a degree of upset and resulted in LinkedIn sending a cease and desist notice to the extension's developers. Sell Hack adds a "Hack In" button to social network pages which, when clicked, reveals the email address used by the account owner to create their page.

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Internet Explorer leads the way in guarding against social engineering attacks

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Deceiving the user into downloading and installing malicious software is one of the most common ways of attacking endpoint systems.

A good web browser can be an effective aid in blocking these social engineering attempts and the latest research from NSS Labs looks at the leading contenders plus three browsers from China to see how good they are at keeping you safe.

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The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week March 23 -- 29

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Microsoft has flirted with Apple's iPad on a couple of occasions this week. Early on in the week there was the case of a 12-year-old girl who wanted nothing more than an iPad Mini. Microsoft stepped in and managed to convince her that the Surface 2 was the way ahead. Way to spin! But this was not the big Microsoft-iPad news. In a move that many saw as almost sacrilegious -- but one that was welcomed by just about the same number -- Microsoft Office, finally, made its way onto iPad. This wasn't the only release from Microsoft this week -- the source code for early versions of MS-DOS and Word for Windows was made publicly available. Having faced criticism for the way it approached a recent investigation, Microsoft pledged that it would no longer read customer emails during the course of an investigation without getting law enforcement involved.

Windows XP may be in its death throes, but this isn't going to stop people from using it. To help keep these hardy fellows safe, Malwarebytes announced that it would keep its users protected for life. It's not just XP that Microsoft is lowering into the grave, Office 2003 also finds itself six feet under. As the door on XP closes, another one opens -- or closes, depending on how you look at it. The purchase of Nokia's Devices and Services division is due to close in April after initially facing some delays.

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The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week March 16 -- 22

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Not a good week for Microsoft this week. Things kicked off as Mozilla shunned the Windows Store by opting to stop development of a modern version of Firefox and then things got a little awkward following the investigation of an employee involved in leaking information about Windows. The company then came under fire for accessing the email account of an individual, despite its claims that "Outlook and Hotmail email are and should be private".

There was better news as an LTE version of Surface 2 went on sale opening up a new income stream for the company and new mobile computing opportunities for customers. More good news for users came when OneNote was not only released for Mac, but also made free for all platforms. Mihaita wasn't overly impressed with the Mac version, though.

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Firefox 29 Beta debuts Australis UI, improved sync function

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After another underwhelming update in the form of the disappointing Firefox 28.0 FINAL, Mozilla looks likely to have something to shout about with the release of Firefox 29.0 Beta 1.

Although not due to be officially unveiled until tomorrow, we’ve installed the latest version and checked it out to see what new features could be making their debut in the next stable build, and the early signs suggest Firefox 29 could be a landmark release.

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Cloud storage price wars! First blood to Google!

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And so it begins. The price war in the cloud. There are few tech companies that would not like you to store all of your files in the cloud, and there are several big names vying for attention. The obvious contenders for the crown are Microsoft with SkyDrive (sorry, OneDrive), Dropbox and Google Drive -- of course there are plenty of others, but these are the names that trip readily off the tongue. As computer users we have become increasingly comfortable with the idea of storing files online; in fact we almost demand it. If an app or service does not offer cloud storage, there are instant complaints about the lack of between device syncing.

But cloud storage does come at a cost. On the face of it, online storage is available free of charge. All of the big names -- and many of the smaller ones -- provide gigabytes, in varying quantities, of space gratis. But for cloud storage to be truly useful, everything needs to be stored there. The 5GB of free space from one provider is not to be sniffed at, but 5GB disappears very quickly. Opt to store all of your photos online, for instance, and the gigabytes will very quickly be eaten up.

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Icon History shows which sites you're addicted to

Addict

We all have multiple favorite websites we visit on a regular basis -- Google, Facebook, BetaNews, and so on. But if you've ever wondered how often, and when, you visit them, a new Chrome browser extension can show you.

Install Iconic History and it will scan your browser history, create a favicon for each URL you visited, and then layout the favicons in a sequence based on access time. You can scroll through time (Chrome stores up to four months’ worth of history) and hovering over a favicon will tell you the site name, and access time. Clicking on a favicon will open that site in a new tab.

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Firefox 28 launches, but lacks notable features after Mozilla drops Metro version at 11th hour

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Mozilla has unveiled Firefox 28.0 FINAL for desktop, with Firefox for Android 28.0 also due for release shortly.

The most notable feature in version 28 is a missing one, with Mozilla pulling the planned Firefox for Metro release for Windows 8/RT shortly before shipping. The end result is an underwhelming desktop update overshadowed by the new Android release.

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Mozilla's Metro move shows that modern apps belong in the mortuary

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Just a few days ago, Mozilla announced that it would not bother releasing a modern version of Firefox for Windows 8.x -- this in spite of the fact that a team of developers have been working on it for over a year. It seems that the company behind the famous foxy browser regards the modern interface with just about as much disdain as everyone else. So much contempt, in fact, that it can't even bring itself to use the proper terminology: "I know [Metro is] not what Microsoft calls it anymore, but it remains how we talk about it in Mozilla", sneers Johnathan Nightingale, Vice President of Firefox.

Despite acknowledging that Mozilla is no longer "tiny" (far from it, really), Nightingale says that the company needs to focus its attention on those projects that will have the most impact. According to StatCounter, Firefox still manages to grab over 20 percent of the desktop browser market, dropping very slightly to just over 19 percent once tablets are factored in. But moving forward, there will simply be no more work carried out on the modern version of the browser. It is being abandoned like the runt of a litter.

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How to assign custom address bar keyword for Google Search query, function

Google Search page March 14 2014

If you repeatedly use Google Search for a certain query, like "breaking news", you have to type in the same thing, every time, in the browser's address bar to get the results. It can quickly get irritating. Luckily, there is a more efficient way to do it -- you can assign a custom keyword.

To give you an example, you can set the combination "bn" to substitute "breaking news". You can then use the keyword instead, to see the respective results. This trick works with various functions Google Search offers, like isolated site queries (triggered by "site:", followed by what you are looking for). It is incredibly useful in day to day usage.

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Opera Developer 21 updated, promises improved start-up times

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Opera has updated the alpha version of its web browser with the release of Opera Developer 21.0.1432.5 for Windows and Mac. The new build fixes a few regressions, plus implements new tab-related tweaks to improve start-up times.

Version 21.0 opens with a number of important fixes, restoring Adblock to full working order and promising an end to the "Harlem Shake" when hovering over tabs on the Mac platform. It also fixes a number of unspecified crashes.

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