Articles about Browsers

A digital bill of rights is essential to the future of democracy


If there was ever anyone more qualified to talk about the web than Tim Berners-Lee, I would like to meet them. The man responsible for inventing the World Wide Web (a heavy burden for anyone to carry, I'm sure) joins us today in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the web.

But the big news isn't that Berners-Lee has been able to watch his baby grow up, go through a difficult teenage stage and flourish into adulthood, bringing us up to the quarter century the web has been with us. The real news is the inventor of the web calling for a "digital bill of rights".

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Google adds new monetization options for Chrome apps, extensions, and themes

cloud money dollars

Google has announced new monetization options for Chrome Web Store apps, extensions, and themes, giving developers a better chance of generating decent revenue from their offerings. The search giant has also introduced new tools and services that are meant to make it easier to automate the publishing process.

The new available monetization options depend on the type of Chrome software. In the case of themes, developers can only list them as paid. Meanwhile, extensions can also get a free trial, subscription and in-app payments. On top of upfront payments and subscriptions, packaged apps now offer a free trial and in-app payments, in the latest change to the Chrome Web Store.

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Discover the answer to life, the universe and everything 30 years on


Gamers of yore will remember the delight that could come from playing a text-based computer game. Forget pushing polygons around the screen as fast as a GPU's legs can pump, these were games where words were king. Back in 1984, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game took the gaming world by storm and now, thirty years later the BBC has resurrected the classic title in an exclusive online version that's free for anyone to play.

This accessible and hilarious sci-fi classic translated well into a game, and whether you missed it the first time around or you like the idea of reliving the mid-80s, warm up your keyboard and prepare to type your way to victory -- and immense frustration. This is not the first time the game has been revived, but this time around there is an HTML5 version to enjoy and there are some comedic touches right from the start. The game developers decided to replace the $, % and ^ symbols with symbols for the Altarian Dollar, Flanian Pobble Bead and the Triganic Pu, "not because they are needed in the game, but just because we felt like it."

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Getty Images makes its pictures available for free -- but what’s the real price?


You can't argue with free can you? The absence of a price tag makes just about anything seem more attractive, and the latest company to join the freebie party is none other than Getty Images, that bastion of photos whose pictures you cannot fail to have seen in newspapers, magazines and on websites. Previously only available to those willing to cough up the cash, Getty Images' new Embed Images tool can now be used by any to... well... embed images into web pages and blog posts. And there are literally millions to choose from.

Sounds great, right? You must have found yourself struggling to find a royalty free image to use in a blog post, ultimately settling for working with something less than ideal -- after all, you wouldn’t just "borrow" an image from another site, would you? Now you can simply head over to the Getty Images site and, assuming you're not going to use pictures for commercial purposes, start browsing for and using whatever photos take your fancy. Hoorary!

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Chrome 34 Beta introduces hands-free Voice Search


After the underwhelming release of Google Chrome 33 FINAL last week, Google has unveiled a much more interesting update to its beta channel with the arrival of Google Chrome 34 Beta.

Chrome 34 comes with the promise of hands-free voice search, plus makes it possible for users to import "supervised" user profiles on to multiple devices. Also added are responsive images, and an unprefixed version of the Web Audio API.

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Mark Zuckerberg addresses MWC 2014 -- looks to get the world online


Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the Mobile World Congress today, saying that there needs to be some "pretty dramatic changes" to help to get more people online, pointing out that most people in the world simply do not have access to the internet. The Facebook founder has already launched with a view to getting more people online around the globe and this is referred to as an "an on-ramp to the internet" -- he wants to get a billion people online in the next five years.

Zukerberg's goal is fairly simple. He feels that there are a number of basic services -- he mentions weather and messaging specifically -- that everyone should have access to, and this is what provides. He admits that Facebook is not able to connect everyone without help, and suggested the possibility of working with more partners in the future. It seems as though this is a venture that Zuckerberg has taken a broad view with. At the moment it is a venture that is losing money, but this is not an example of martyrdom: "If we do something good for the world, eventually we'll find a way to benefit from it".

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Google Chrome 33 released, tightens security


Google has updated its cross-platform browser with the release of Google Chrome 33 FINAL. The new release proves controversial as Google tightens control over the browser to the anger of some users.

In terms of new features, version 33 is rather disappointing -- despite debuting in the beta channel a few weeks ago, Google Now notifications have yet to make their way across to the stable channel. In fact, version 33 is little more than a bug-fix release, with 28 security fixes the only notable highlight.

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YouTube now adapts layout to larger displays

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 12.23.19

Like Google+, YouTube had a love affair with white space. This quirkiness was only noticeable to those who have large displays. On my 23-inch screen this meant the video-sharing site had only taken roughly half of it to show me relevant content. To get around this behavior, I had to resort to Google Chrome extensions which could center the page.

I said "had" because, thankfully, YouTube is now smart enough to figure out that when we are using large screens it should adapt its look accordingly. It now centers, yes. And, to my eyes, YouTube now looks more like Google+. That is not a bad thing, really, as, from my point of view, there is nothing wrong with the latter's layout.

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Back up all your browser profiles with Hekasoft Backup and Restore

Hekasoft Backup and Restore

Bookmarks, history, cookies, settings -- browsers store a great deal of valuable data, and backing this up occasionally could be a very good idea. But it’s not easy, as most browsers don’t provide any tools to help.

Hekasoft Backup and Restore provides a simple answer. It’s a straightforward free tool which makes it easy to back up and restore user profiles for all the main browsers, most of the minor ones, and a few other packages as well.

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The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week: February 9 -- February 15


It is usually Bill Gates who is heralded for his philanthropy, but according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, it is Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg who is currently the most generous. In another change from the norm, malware threats to OS X, Linux and Android have increased, showing it is not just Windows that is prone to attack. As if to prove this, Mac malware has been discovered that has been designed to steal Bitcoins from victims. Factor in all of Apple's devices and the company managed to sell more units than Windows PCs are sold, although this revelation caused quite some debate.

Twitter found itself in the headlines after the James Dean estate tried to gain control of a fan's James Dean-related account. Twitter has already spoken out about the shackles binding companies from being open about government data requests -- companies are practically falling over themselves to add their names to the list -- and Dropbox is in agreement. The European Commission has expressed a desire to wrestle some control of the internet from US hands voicing fears that too much influence was being exerted,

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Firefox Beta and Aurora channels updated, Australis UI makes first appearance


Hot on the heels of the underwhelming appearance of Firefox 27.0 FINAL, Mozilla has released Firefox 28.0 Beta 1 and Firefox Aurora 29.0a2, both of which come with the promise of significant new features and changes.

First up is the debut of Firefox for Windows 8 touch, which has migrated across to the beta channel for the first time, while Aurora ships with a brand new user interface (Australis) and revamped tool for syncing settings between multiple computers and devices.

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Light is a fast-loading, stripped down Firefox fork


If you’re not happy with the performance of Firefox on your PC then you could try tuning the browser manually. This isn’t difficult, but could take a while, as there are many possibilities to consider.

If you’re in a hurry, then, you might prefer to grab a copy of Light, a Firefox fork where many components (developer tools, less common APIs) have been "slimmed down" or removed entirely to improve its speed.

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Firefox 27 extends SocialAPI, now handles multiple providers simultaneously


Mozilla has released the latest version of its open-source, cross-platform web browser with the launch of Firefox 27 FINAL for Windows, Mac and Linux, with Firefox for Android 27.0 due to follow.

There’s only one major new feature of note in this latest release -- the SocialAPI, which allows providers to provide social networking updates directly from within the browser, can now handle multiple providers simultaneously.

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How to enable the hidden, experimental, center-aligned version of YouTube

Youtube television

YouTube, like many other websites, undergoes changes, and it has taken on a number of guises over the years. Some looks have lasted for a long time, while others have been shorter lived. There are also experimental looks, not all of which end up being released, but even when a redesign is rolled out, it can take a while to make its way around the world. Currently in the experimental stage is a center-aligned layout which includes a cleaned up interface a new menu and a few other tweaks.

In the new design, a top navigation bar is now locked to the top of the screen, remaining in place while the rest of the page scrolls. There is a customizable carousel and a new Upload button encourages visitors into sharing. It's not yet clear quite when this new interface will be officially released to a waiting world, but it's something you can enable now; all it takes is a quick cookie tweak.

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Jobs site offers Internet Explorer 7 users new computers with 'a modern browser' for free


When a site decides it will no longer support outdated versions of a certain browser, usually an announcement of some sort follows, explaining that affected users should upgrade to a newer iteration, or switch to an alternative offering, in order to avoid a subpar experience. For the most part, the targets are Internet Explorer 7 and its predecessor, both of which belong to the annals of browsers, even in Microsoft's opinion.

But, has decided to take a different route. In a blog post titled "IE7 users, we need to talk...", the jobs site has announced that it has stopped supporting the said browser version (that is now more than seven years old), but in order to keep affected users happy it will give them "a new computer with a modern browser" for free.

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