Time and browser updates wait for no one. Even though Firefox 7’s reign as the latest stable release of the browser is just two days old, the countdown to version 8 has already begun. Firefox 8 is now available in the beta channel for testing on Windows, Mac, Linux and Android.
For years, the browser race was a one-horse affair: it was Internet Explorer’s way or the highway. Then Firefox crawled out of the Netscape wreckage and established itself as a viable, free alternative to Microsoft’s bundled software. Google’s Chrome may be the feisty new kid on the block, but a new report says it very well may unseat Firefox by the end of the year for the worldwide number two slot in the cut-throat browser wars.
While still news, the release of a new browser version of Firefox - or even Chrome for that matter - is not the kind of earth-shattering event it used to be before Mozilla adopted a rapid release schedule. But the latest stable release of the Firefox is noteworthy as it is said to address an issue that has rankled users for many years now. Yes, we are talking about the notorious memory leak problem.
Conventional thinking says that it would take a beast of a program to break through the encryption spit out by the SSL/TLS protocol – that’s why it’s found in so many websites and browsers these days. Unfortunately, a pair of researchers say they’ve whipped up just such a program in the form of BEAST, or “Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS,” and they plan on showing it off this Friday at the Ekoparty security conference. At least one company’s taking the threat seriously; Google plans on rolling out a Chrome update designed to confuse the BEAST and defend against its threat.
It took mankind well over six years to go from Firefox 1.0 to Firefox 4.0, but less than five months to proceed to version 6.0 from there. Not to mention that the next version is due out in late September. But some Mozilla developers aren’t satisfied with the current rapid release schedule the open-source outfit adopted earlier this year. Mozilla engineering manager Josh Aas recently put forth a proposal to further expedite the release process.
The Maximum PC Podcast keeps BS to a minimum while simultaneously supplying maxed-out levels of hijinks and information, but for you media-addicted types out there, one podcast a week might not fulfill your quota for listening pleasure. We understand if you turn to the excellent lineup of broadcasts put together by Leo Laporte and the awesome TWiT.tv team to catch up on your tech news, too, but you might want to pass on your regular visit to the TWiT.tv site this week; hackers have managed to slip some malicious code onto the site.
Even though Steve Jobs retired, his mammoth, forward-looking hit-or-miss vision is still leaving its fingerprints all over the tech industry. Case in point: Adobe Flash. By now, everyone knows that Apple refused to allow Flash to run on iOS systems. For the Metro (read: mobile) version of IE10 in Windows 8, Microsoft’s not only blocking Flash functionality, it's jumping whole hog on the HTML5 bandwagon and restricting plug-ins entirely.
If you’ve invested heavily in Steam’s growing portfolio of games, you’ll know that aside from offering a large enough selection of PC games to make GameStop blush in shame, the service also has a slick Graphic User Interface that makes keeping track of your downloaded titles a breeze. With very little effort, you can leverage Steam’s awesome library interface to keep track of and open all of your favorite web browser-bound games in exactly the same way.
From the get-go, the Steam client is designed to allow users to add executable files to their game list, but isn’t too keen on command line switches. That means that if you want to, you could add Google’s Chrome browser to your Steam library, but not a particular website or Chrome web application like Angry Birds. In order to do that, you’ll need to build your own executable file. Doing so is a lot easier than you might think.
Three years ago it was tough to imagine that Google's Chrome browser would snag a significant share of the Web surfing market. It was minimalistic before minimalistic was cool, and without support for extensions, few people took Chrome seriously. Fast forward to today and Chrome, now a hyper toddler at 3 years old, represents 15.5 percent of the browser market.
Firefox’s new rapid release schedule has stolen some of the limelight away from Chrome and dumped it back in Mozilla’s lap, but the attention hasn’t all been good. The quick-fire pace of new launches caused enterprise sysadmins to metaphorically grab their torches and storm the castle, while a rumor that Firefox would ditch version numbers entirely led to even more consumer angst. Two key Mozilla employees tried pouring water on the flames of discontent this week.