The name "Maxthon" likely evokes some memories for long-term Windows users. The browser, that was once known as MyIE 2, is among the oldest of its kind, having launched on Microsoft's OS more than a decade ago. It has never risen to the popularity of Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer, but it has been a perennial alternative ever since. To keep up with the changing computing landscape, the company behind Maxthon has also launched the browser on Android and iOS.
And, now, Maxthon arrives on Windows Phone 8 as well where, once again, its biggest rival is Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which the former has long struggled to surpass in market share. But, this time around, the balance can tip in Maxthon's favor as smartphone users are not as enamored with (or, better said, glued to) Internet Explorer as Windows PC users used to be. But there is one barrier to overcome: Maxthon has to clearly best Internet Explorer. And that may prove to be, once again, a difficult task.
It has served us well, but Windows XP is now considerably into old age; it's time to be put out to pasture. Microsoft is retiring the game-changing operating system on 8 April 2014 but this does not mean that people will not try to hang onto their beloved operating system for as long as possible.
One issue that XP diehards are going to face is support for apps. This is an old operating system, and it's not really reasonable to expect software manufacturers to keep pumping out new releases and updates. But just how long can you expect to receive updates and support? Google has nailed its colors to the mast in announcing that Chrome for XP will be supported for at least a year after Windows XP is retired.
Email encryption for Yahoo Mail may not seem like major news. In fact, Yahoo introduced the use of HTTPS as an option earlier in the year. This was not only several years after the likes of Gmail and Hotmail (and now Outlook.com), but also an optional security feature. But now security campaigners can breathe a sigh of relief; in just three short months, email encryption will be enabled by default in Yahoo Mail.
The news comes from Jeffrey Bonforte, SVP of Communication Products who says in a blog post that "at Yahoo, we take the security of our users very seriously". It will come as great news to not only Yahoo users, but also the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) who wrote a letter to Marissa Mayer back in November expressing their concerns about the (then) absent HTTPS option.
The internet is an amazing tool, especially for children looking to learn. It is essentially the world's biggest library available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But the web also has a darker side, and parents have to ask themselves the question "when is the right time to let my child go online?" Or, as Director of Online Safety at Microsoft, Kim Sanchez puts it "How old is too young to go online?".
This is a far more complicated problem than it used to be. It is not all that long ago that the average household had no more than one computer, which may not have been connected to the internet. Now, however, we live in a time when households could have multiple computers. There might still be one shared "family" computer, but it is also very common for children to have their own computer or laptop. There are also phones and tablets to think of. Pester power is an incredible thing, and it’s a strong parent who is able to resist giving into demands for a tablets when "all my friends have one".
Kaspersky has released updated installer versions of Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 and Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014. Both updates include the recently rolled out "Patch B", which adds support for Windows 8.1 and Firefox 23/24.
The update also fixes a number of bugs, but previously had to be installed separately after installing KIS 2014 or KAV 2014.
We all realize, or should do, that whatever we do online leaves a trail. Usually this is in the form of cookies or other information over which we have some control and which is subject to a degree of legal regulation, but what about other, more insidious, forms of tracking?
Opera Software has announced the release of Opera 17.0 FINAL, an interesting build which includes several small but worthwhile new features. Top of the list is a new "pinned" tab option.
If you have a few tabs which you need to stay open, just right-click them and select "Pin tab". The tabs will be reduced to the size of the page icon (handy if you are running short on space), and you will not be able to close them accidentally.
Adblock Plus is in its seventh year of clearing out advertisements from web pages, and is now for the first time sharing details about how its whitelisting system works. Known as Acceptable Ads, Adblock Plus recognizes the fact that advertising exists for a reason and is a cornerstone that keeps the internet running.
It's extremely irritating. You change your Facebook status and immediately notice that you've made a stupid spelling mistake. This could come as a result of a slip of the finger, or your phone's autocorrect might be to blame. You could, of course, simply delete the status update and recreate it without errors. But what about if you've already managed to amass dozens of comments that you don’t want to lose?
Now there's no need to fret because Facebook has made it possible to make edits to statuses. At least this is the case if you're using the Android app or the website -- iOS app users will have to wait a little longer for an update. This is great news! No more stupid typos! No more statuses that sound like they were written by someone with their eyes closed after an evening of heavy drinking! Or is it such great news?
There are only three weeks to go until the release of Windows 8.1 and Microsoft is laying the groundwork by highlighting some of the new features and apps that are to be found in the update. The latest app to be picked out is Reading List -- Microsoft's answer to the list of Pocket and ReadItLater. The app has been designed to make it easier to save online articles to read at a later time without the need to bookmark it.
Reading List differs from RSS readers such as Feedly in that articles are stored on an individual basis. And while it is well suited to "bookmarking" articles you find on websites that you would like to return to, it can also be used to bookmark content from other apps. Just like other "read it later" tools, the real advantage comes from the fact that content is synchronized between devices.
These days most browsers offer some form of basic protection against clicking a fake link and visiting phishing websites (facsimiles of genuine sites that attempt to trick users into giving up sensitive personal information like passwords and credit-card details). But they don’t offer much else protection against other dangerous sites.
This is where Web of Trust (WOT) comes in: it maintains a database of websites, rating them for safety, privacy and security and giving you a second opinion about whether or not a particular site is safe to shop at, share personal details with or even simply visit.
Microsoft is going on the offensive trying to demonstrate that Office 365 is better than Google Apps. A series of tweets sent out via the Why Microsoft Twitter account link to articles on the Why Microsoft website in which Office is compared to Google's offering in various scenarios. This latest campaign appears to be not just an exercise in advertising Office 365, but in actively putting down Google Apps.
A series of infographics draw comparisons between using the two tools in different professions. Things kicked off with a look at the life of a sales rep but there are other scenarios including the daily activities of a teacher and Microsoft is also keen to point out how different a company it is to IBM.
Chief among these is support for running Firefox in the Modern UI. This marks the first appearance of Mozilla’s Windows 8 touch-optimized app in an alpha build, it having previously only been available as a standalone pre-alpha release.
Apple stole the limelight from just about everyone else this week. The big news was, of course, the release of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. Just about as soon as online orders opened up, delays in shipping started to lengthen; Joe was somewhat skeptical about the limited supplies.
Before the new hardware hit the stores, iOS 7 was released to mixed reviews -- I hated it, Wayne loved it. A couple of security holes were found in the operating system including one that allowed for Siri to be used to post messages and access phone details even on locked handsets. There was also a new iOS 7 inspired look for iCloud and the addition of a bookmark syncing option.
Not content with its new logo, Yahoo is now pushing the personal homepage with the relaunch of My Yahoo. It's a blast from the past in many ways. The personalized portal is something that had virtually died off, but Yahoo is keen to dust it off, give it a polish and entice people back into using it.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to be able to access everything in one place, the resurrected My Yahoo just may well appeal. "Resurrected" might not be the right word. My Yahoo never really went away, it just faded into obscurity and everyone forgot about it. But now it's back with knobs on -- and quite a lot of purple.