You're not supposed to know it, but Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Taboola have been paying the developers of Adblock Plus to stop blocking ads on their respective websites, according to a paywalled article in the Financial Times. The deals are confidential in nature, though FT says it was able to confirm that they do in fact exist. If true, it raises some questions about the transparency of one of the most popular browser extensions ever made.
The latest version of Android climbs to a 1.6 percent share
Google released Android 5.0 Lollipop to the public on November 3. 2014, but in the three months that have passed since then, it never registered a blip on the Android Developers Dashboard, until now. That's because Google doesn't list any versions with less than a 0.1 percent distribution. With the last few days, however, Android 5.0 has gone from virtually non-existent to a 1.6 percent share.
Looking back through the years, it's pretty easy to pick out certain forgettable versions of Windows. You know the ones -- Windows ME, Windows Vista (before the first Service Pack), and now Windows RT, the most recent of the bunch. Microsoft has reportedly stopped producing Surface 2 tablets, which also means that the future of Windows RT is nonexistent at this point. You'll have to excuse us for not weeping.
Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder and former CEO of Opera Software, is back in the browser game with a new startup. It's called Vivaldi Technologies, of which Tetzchner is also the co-founder and CEO of, and he's just made a technical preview of his Vivaldi browser available to the public. While still early in development, it's already fleshed out with features that may attract Opera fans, like mouse gestures and a speed dial interface for displaying your favorite tabs on the new tabs page.
Don't expect a patch for WebView in pre-KitKat Android devices
If you own an Android handset running a version of the open source operating system that predates Android 4.3 KitKat, you won't be the recipient of a patch for WebView, a component of Android that developers use to display web content in their apps. WebView is also the backbone of Android's built-in browser in all versions up to KitKat. Nevertheless, Google won't spend time plugging up any security holes for WebView in older Android devices because it's "no longer practical."
Fast and slow rings receive January build simultaneously
A couple of days after its much talked about “Windows 10: The Next Chapter” event and over two months after the last official preview release, Microsoft on Friday rolled out a new Windows 10 Technical Preview build to the Windows Insider Program. A lot has changed from the last build, with the January Technical Preview containing many new features and apps (including some that are a bit too incipient to be of any real use at this stage).
Having recently ruffled Microsoft’s feathers by (responsibly) disclosing three unpatched vulnerabilities in Windows to the general public, Google’s Project Zero team has now turned its attention to the other side of the PC-Mac divide. The outfit recently spilled the beans on three zero-day vulnerabilities in Apple’s OS X operating system.
There's a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding Windows 10 at the moment, which is understandable since Microsoft just finished revealing a bunch of extra details at a scheduled press event. However, if you direct your attention to Microsoft's Lumia Conversations blog, there's a bit of a buzz-kill for Windows Phone owners. Specifically, Microsoft said that not all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices will see an upgrade to Windows 10, even though it previously said they would.
UPDATE: We've updated the story to include more info on Microsoft's PC gaming initiative and talked more about the tweaks to Windows 10.
Microsoft held a Windows 10 press conference today and revealed a massive amount of details from the upcoming OS and much more. After many rumors, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 will be free to Windows 8, 7, and Windows Phone users...for the first year, at least. The company views it as an incentive for users to quickly jump on board to the Windows 10 platform. Beyond the year, however, Microsoft hasn’t revealed any pricing details for how much the OS will cost.
Stop whatever it is you're doing and make a fist. Make sure there isn't a living creature within arm's length, and when the coast is clear, pump your fist in the air in celebration. What are we celebrating? The fact that Microsoft today confirmed plans to make Windows 10 a free upgrade for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 users! This is exactly the type of announcement we were hoping for, but didn't really think would happen.