As more demands are placed on your hardware infrastructure you’ve got two choices: (1) increase your hardware infrastructure; or (2) make your hardware infrastructure more efficient. Google’s been grappling with the problem of late, and has decided that option (2) the the preferable way to go.
To reduce latency on videos, Google Labs has devised Feather, now in beta, which delivers YouTube pages without a lot of extras. The Feather edition of YouTube does away with search suggestions, comment posting, viewing all comments, video rating, and customization of the embedded player. The downside: not all videos will be available under the Feather option.
In an official blog post earlier this morning, the Opera team announced it has released its Opera Mobile 10 Beta 2 browser for both Symbian/S60 and Windows Mobile smartphones. According to the announcement, the use of a new cross-platform UI framework enabled the developers to port the same features and browsing experience to both platforms.
There are a bunch of new features in the latest browser release, including a more intuitive interface, faster browsing with page loads up to 50 percent snappier than with pervious versions, Speed Dial, which allows users to visit favorite websites with a single click, and tabbed browsing.
There are some known issues on both platforms to be aware of. Some of these include only partial IME (Input Method Editor) support (S60), persistent soft keyboard display even when the hard keyboard is out and in use (S60), no plug-in support (S60 and WinMo), certain HTC devices with TouchFLO will force opera back to portrait mode if visiting the home screen when Opera is in landscape (WinMo), and lack of support for non-touch devices (WinMo).
At first glance, you might think the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PC beta’s last-minute leap into early 2010 is just another example of PC gamers getting the shaft. After all, PS3 owners are taking the beta for a spin right now, so what’s the hold up on PC? Well, as it turns out, DICE is merely saving the best for last.
“With the huge success of the PS3 Beta we decided to drastically increase the PC Beta's capacity to insure as many people as possible could participate. Unfortunately this meant we had to delay the Beta to very early next year giving us more planning time to make it happen and implement more optimizations,” producer Gordon VanDyke wrote on the Battlefield blog.
Oh, he is so cruising for a boycot-- wait, what'd he just say?
VanDyke also emphasized that Bad Company 2’s PC iteration will come loaded with an increased multiplayer count, dedicated server support, extra graphical settings, and tons more. Basically, the whole thing’s a spicy love letter to PC gamers, peppered with all the fixings we like best. Is this what it feels like to be… acknowledged?
But will it be worth the effort? If it’s something you really, really got to do, then yes, it will be worth the effort. For the rest of us, with episodes of The Colbert Report to catch up on, maybe not. Our colleagues over at Engadget have tried it out and report Chrome OS is “really a browser with an OS attached rather than vice versa.”
Chrome OS is browser-like in its construction, and Internet oriented. There are minimal app launcher options. And the more interesting apps, says Engadget, required a Google.com account to access. Without one you will be stuck playing with Gmail and Calendar (which Engadget reports suffer from “significant lag and choppiness”).
For a lucky few the Office 2010 beta, along with Office Web Applications, are now ready for download from the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN) and Microsoft’s TechNet Plus. The rest of us lowly souls will have to wait until November 18th to get a crack at guinea pig status.
Redmond Pie reports the big changes in this third beta build to be “the new installation procedure for test versions of Office 2010 SKUs, Upload Center, modified version of Backstage view and new refreshed icons for all Office products.”
Office 2010 Beta will be offered in both 32 and 64-bit versions.
Mozilla this week released the second beta for its upcoming Firefox 3.6 browser. If you decide to ditch your stable build and jump on the pre-release browser, Mozilla says Firefox will update itself during the beta period and eventually to the final release.
The out-of-date plugin alerts might be the most interesting new feature of the bunch. Earlier this week, security vendor Ceznic noted that Firefox accounted for 44 percent of all browser vulnerabilities, 'beating' out every other browser by 9 percent or more. Ceznic noted that part of the reason Firefox led the pack is because of the large number of plugins, which accounted for a "fair amount of the vulnerabilities."
View the release notes and download a copy of the second beta build here.
Initially said to be making a nuclear strike on our free time in 2009, StarCraft II’s beta test has officially shoved off into the murky, fog-of-war shrouded depths of 2010.
StarCraft II producer Chris Sigaty made the announcement during a presentation at Russian games expo IgroMir, much to the chagrin of the year 2009, which – after providing chronological sanctuary for a global economic crisis and the tragic deaths of multiple beloved celebrities – needed some sort of positive highlight to keep it from going down in history as the worst year ever. When reached for comment, 2010 had only this to say: “Neener-neener-neener.”
For the time being, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is still set to launch in the Spring of 2010. Could another delay be just around the corner, though? We sure hope not – but even if Blizzard decides to take its sweet time putting the finishing touches on its space-faring sequel, it’s not like early 2010 is hurting for majorgamereleases.
Google's minimalistic Chrome browser continues to improve one feature at a time, and the latest release adds the ability to sync bookmarks across multiple machines. There's one caveat, however - it's a beta release, not a stable build.
If you're thinking to yourself that's not much of a caveat, then in your luck, because the new beta also purports to supercharge performance. According to the Chrome devs, you can expect the beta to run up to 30 percent faster than the current stable release, as measured by Mozilla's Dromeao DOM Core tests, and about 400 percent faster than the very first stable Chrome build.
But let's get back to the bookmark syncing, because that's going to be the realy draw for most users. This essentially the same implementation as was previously available through Google's dev channel, which is geared for developers and "can be very unstable at times." And just like before, there's nothing complicated about the feature in the beta build. Just mosey over to the Wrench icon, select 'Synchronize my bookmarks...' and sign in to your Google account. All of your bookmarks will then be uploaded. When you do the same on another PC with a different set of bookmarks, Chrome will offer to merge your bookmarks. Pretty slick.