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15 Jun 12 Chrome vs Firefox for Ubuntu


Jun 14, 2012, 23:00 (1 Talkback[s])


(Other stories by Anonymous)

According to the independent web analytics firm, StatCounter Chrome has excelled as the world most popular browser with the highest browser usage share for the month of May 2012. But does that apply to Linux platform too? Is Chrome the best browser for Linux? The post compares the widely popular Mozilla Firefox browser version 4 with relatively new Google’s Chrome version 16, distinctly for Ubuntu!

Mozilla Firefox comes by default on Linux based distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora etc. Naturally Ubuntu users opt for open source softwares. Technically, Opposed to Mozilla Firefox, Google’s Chrome is closed source; that makes Ubuntu users favour Firefox than Chrome, and that is understandable. Chromium, on the other hand is open source basis of Chrome. But unfortunately it lacks some key features like default PDF plug-in for viewing PDF files in the browser and Flash support. Ubuntu users, primarily supporters of open community also tend to have grudges towards Google, who is alleged to collect and aggregate data of Internet users that is later used by marketing agencies and by Google itself to increase the efficiency of its own marketing/advertising activities. Of course, many detest the fact of having their data sold for advertisement. But apart from that, Firefox outshines Chrome on Ubuntu machine for feature, stability and security. Now let’s investigate further, why Firefox remains dominant in the Ubuntu/ Linux sphere.

Complete Story

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Article source: http://www.linuxtoday.com/upload/chrome-vs-firefox-for-ubuntu-120613010457.html

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13 Jun 12 Android already offers more than iOS 6, but…


Android vs. iOS

Android vs. iOS

There’s no doubt about it. Android, especially Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), version 4.0, already offers more than what is coming in Apple’s forthcoming iOS 6. But, Android has its own flaws.

True, as Tom Henderson, principal researcher for ExtremeLabs and a colleague, told me, there’s a “Schwarzschild radius surrounding Apple. It’s not just a reality distortion field; it’s a whole new dimension. Inside, time slows and light never escapes– as time compresses to an amorphous mass.

“Coddled, stroked, and massaged,” Henderson continued, “Apple users start to sincerely believe the distortions regarding the economic life, the convenience, and the subtle beauties of their myriad products. Unknowingly, they sacrifice their time, their money, their privacy, and soon, their very souls. Comparing Apple with Android, the parallels to Syria and North Korea come to mind, despot-led personality cults.”

I wouldn’t go that far. While I prefer Android, I can enjoy using iOS devices as well. Besides, Android fans can be blind to its faults just as much as the most besotted Apple fan.

For example, it’s true that ICS has all the features that iOS 6 will eventually have, but you can only find ICS on 7.1 percent of all currently running Android devices. Talk to any serious Android user, and you’ll soon hear complaints about how they can’t update their systems.

You name an Android vendor-HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc. -and I can find you a customer who can’t update their smartphone or tablet to the latest and greatest version of the operating system. The techie Android fanboy response to this problem is just “ROOT IT.” It’s not that easy.

First, the vast majority of Android users are as about as able to root their smartphone as I am to run a marathon. Second, alternative Android device firmwares don’t always work with every device. Even the best of them, Cyanogen ICS, can have trouble with some devices.

Besides, while Cyanogen supports many smartphones and tablets, it doesn’t support all of them.
For example, there’s still no stable CyanogenMod 7 (Android 3.x) firmware for Barnes Noble’s Nook Tablet. Sometimes even when there is support, such as there is for the popular Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, there are driver troubles that keep the camera from working for many users.

Another issue is consistency. When you buy an iPhone or an iPad you know exactly what the interface is going to work and look like. With Android devices, you never know quite what you’re going to get. We talk about ICS as if it’s one thing-and it is from a developer’s viewpoint-but ICS on different phones such as the HTC One X doesn’t look or feel much like say the Samsung Galaxy S III.

A related issue is that the iOS interface is simply cleaner and more user-friendly than any Android interface I’d yet to see. One of Apple’s slogans is “It just works.” Well, actually sometimes it doesn’t work. ITunes, for example, has been annoying me for years now. But, when it comes to device interfaces, iOS does just work. Android implementations, far too often, doesn’t.

So, yes, Android does more today than Apple’s iOS promises to do tomorrow, but that’s only part of the story. The full story includes that iOS is very polished and very closed, while Android is somewhat messy and very open. To me, it’s that last bit-that Apple is purely proprietary while Android is largely open source-based-that insures that I’m going to continue to use Android devices.

Now, if only Google can get everyone on the same page with updates and the interface, I’ll be perfectly happy!

Related Stories:

Android ICS already offers more than what is coming in iOS 6

Apple vs. Google: Mobile divorce approaching

Intel: Android not ready for multi-core CPUs

Where does Linux fit into a BYOD world?

ASUS Transformer Prime revisited: Still best Android tablet

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/android-already-offers-more-than-ios-6-but/11207

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05 Jun 12 Run Android apps on Windows with BlueStacks


Want to run Android apps on Windows? BlueStacks has an app for that.

Want to run Android apps on Windows? BlueStacks has an app for that.

So you love Draw Something, Air Attack HD, or some other Android application? If you wanted to run that or any other Android app on your Windows PC, you were out of luck – until recently. BlueStacks now makes it possible to run Android applications on Windows systems.

While still in beta, the BlueStacks App Player delivers the goods. I’ve only tinkered with it myself, but everyone I know who uses it a lot think it’s great.

It’s not just we techies who like BlueStacks. What’s more telling is that PC-giant ASUS has signed a deal with BlueStacks to include its Android app player on the company’s next generation PCs, including the models running Windows 8,

Since Microsoft plans to make it difficult to dual-boot or root any other operating system on Windows 8 systems and to make it impossible to add or switch operating systems on Windows RT (Windows 8 on ARM) tablets and phones, BlueStacks likely will be the only way to run Android applications on Windows 8 PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

BlueStacks does this not by using a virtual machine (VM) as such but by running an emulation of the Android Davlik (also a VM) on top of Windows. While BlueStacks plans to patent some of the technology in its Android emulator, LayerCake, the technique dates back for decades.

The most well-known modern emulator is Wine. This popular open-source program, along with its commercial brother, CrossOver, enables Linux, Mac OS X, and other Unix users to run Windows applications. It does this by bridging the gap between the Windows program’s application programming interface (API) calls and the underlying operating system.

Like Wine, BlueStacks doesn’t emulate the actual hardware of a device. Instead, it emulates just enough of Android Davlik to server as a bridge between the application and Windows’ APIs. Besides leveraging the Windows device’s processor, be it x86 or ARM, BlueStacks can access the system’s graphics hardware to accelerate the program’s graphics processing. LayerCake also duplicates Android device’s accelerometer tilting in applications and games that utilize it with the mouse or arrow keys. Pinch-to-zoom is also supported on mouse trackpads.

BlueStacks also has a related application, Cloud Connect, which lets you sync Android apps from your phone or tablet to a PC running BlueStacks App Player.

While this sounds pretty spiffy—and indeed it is—I have to add that it raises security concerns. True, BlueStacks has its own App Store, but we all know that people find a way to install other applications. Indeed, Cloud Connect, while very useful, is also an easy road for malware. And, in case you haven’t been paying attention, there’s a lot of Android malware on the loose.

Still, if you’re careful with your Android downloads and you really like the idea of having your favorite Android apps on a Windows PC, BlueStacks can’t be beat. The company also plans to bring its technology to Mac OS X as well, though I wouldn’t count on seeing that anytime soon. BlueStacks will have its hands full getting ready for the launch of Windows 8.

Related Stories:

ASUS to preinstall BlueStacks on PCs: Android on Windows

CNET: Latest BlueStacks ARMs your PC

CNET: BlueStacks goes Metro with Windows 8

BlueStacks Android Player for Windows Alpha (review)

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/run-android-apps-on-windows-with-bluestacks/11122

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01 Jun 12 Facebook isn’t dumping Chrome for Opera


Facebook is not dumping Chrome for Opera.

Facebook is not dumping Chrome for Opera.

I think that Facebook buying the Opera Web browser would be a silly move. You know what would be an even dumber move though? Dropping the increasingly popular Google Chrome in favor of Opera as a recommended Web browser.

Never-the-less, that’s exactly what a story in Neowin claims. I quote, “It is beginning to look like Facebook’s management are changing their recommendations towards certain browsers. As of today, Facebook’s “unsupported web browsers” page has removed Google’s web browser, Chrome, and replaced it with Opera.”

Leaving aside the convoluted grammar, the story makes it clear that it’s claiming that Facebook has dropped Chrome as a most favored Web browser for Opera. There’s only one problem with this report. It’s not true.

The link in Neowin story resolved to Facebook’s main page for me with both my usual browsers–Chrome and Firefox. Thinking perhaps that this Web browser warning page might only show up if you used a browser you’d hadn’t used before for Facebook, I tried Facebook and the link again with Web, the latest version of GNOME’s Epiphany Web browser. I found that Web worked just fine with Facebook as well and I saw no sign of an error message.

I then checked on Facebook’s official list of supported Web browsers and guess what? Facebook still “officially” supports Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Opera? It didn’t make the list.

So, before you get too excited about Facebook buying Opera, you might want to look more closely at what Facebook is actually doing.

Personally, I think if Facebook really wants a Web browser, they don’t have to pay $800-million for Opera. They can just write their own for a hundredth of that price using the open-source WebKit. After all, that’s what both Apple and Google did with Safari and Chrome respectively.

Mind you, I wouldn’t be surprised if Zuckerberg bought Opera for a premium anyway. I mean this is the guy who bought Instagram for a billion bucks! But, Facebook isn’t dumping Chrome in favor of Opera along the way. Facebook’s leadership may make foolish decisions from time to time, but they’re not that dumb.

Related Stories

If Facebook wants Opera, the price just went up

Why a Facebook phone doesn’t stand a chance

Dumb ideas? Facebook to buy Opera? Build own smartphone?

Stick a fork in the Facebook IPO, it’s done

Don’t be a Facebook IPO idiot

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/facebook-isnt-dumping-chrome-for-opera/2433

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20 May 12 Five ways to avoid Windows 8


You don't have to get on Windows 8 s Metro ride.

You don’t have to get on Windows 8′s Metro ride.

Some people are still sure Windows 8 is going to be the cat’s meow. I’m sure Windows 8 and its Metro interface will be more like a cat’s yowl of pain. The more I look at Metro, the more I’m sure that Microsoft’s new desktop will flop as badly as the Facebook IPO.

It’s not just me. Business analysts, who could care less about technology but care a lot about what customers think, are saying things like “Windows 8 will prove to be a disappointment.

Windows users who were already unhappy about having to learn Metro, which doesn’t work or look a thing like Vista and Windows 7’s Aero interface never mind XP’s familiar appearance, are finding out there’s more trouble ahead for them. Windows 8 will cost more at launch to upgrade to from Windows 7. DVD playback and media-center functionality will now be an extra-price option.

Oh as for Metro-friendly applications, here’s what Matthew Baxter-Reynolds, an independent software development consultant, speaker, author, and trainer and all around Windows guru who’s writing the book “Programming Windows 8 Apps with C#” had to say: “does Metro actually work? In my opinion: No.”

I don’t care if your most prized possession is an autographed copy of Bill Gates’ The Road Ahead, you have got to be wary of moving to Windows 8. So what can you do to avoid, or at least delay, the day you have to start using it?

1. Stick with Windows XP

OK, so your PC is getting a little older, but it’s still working isn’t it? According to some estimates, most PC users are still using XP. Certainly hundreds of millions of users are still using it. If it’s not broke, why fix it?

Well, there is one reason: On April 8, 2014, Microsoft says it will officially end support for XP–and Office 2003 while they’re at it. Of course, Microsoft has extended XP’s life support before. Today, they swear they wouldn’t do it again. But, if say 20% of users still have XP running in their PCs in 2014… well let’s just say I won’t be surprised if Microsoft has a change of heart.

2. Stick with Windows 7 or move to it

So, let’s say its 2012’s holiday season and all the new PCs are coming out with Windows 8, what do you do? You don’t ask, you demand, Windows 7 instead.

Yes, I’m a Linux guy, but if you really want Windows, and I know most of you do, Windows 7 SP 1 is easily the best version of Windows to date. Yes, it’s not the same as XP. There is a learning curve. On the other hand, while it’s not as safe as Linux, Windows 7 is a lot more secure than XP. There are also plenty of useful, easy to-use tools to move your XP data and applications to Windows 7.

3. Move to a Linux or Mac Desktop

Since Microsoft wants to force a radical change on you, why not really make a change and move to Linux or a Mac? The Linux desktop is great for both power users and for users who just need a computer for the basics. Specifically, I think XP users will find Linux Mint with the Cinnamon interface to be inviting. And, Ubuntu 12.04’s Unity interface is much easier to use than Metro. Heck, my 80-year old mother-in-law is a successful Ubuntu user!

Macs, of course, are Macs. They’re pricy, you’re locked into Apple’s hardware and software in ways that Steve Ballmer can only dream about, and, and, gosh they’re pretty and easy to use. Well, easy to use so long as you do exactly what Apple thinks you should be doing anyway.

4. Move to the cloud with Google’s Chrome OS.

Chrome OS hasn’t really caught on yet, but I think Google’s Chrome OS is a real alternative to Windows for many users. It’s not so much Chrome OS itself, it’s the whole concept of being able to use a Web browser and the cloud for everything you need to do and that you want to do instead of a fat client desktop operating system.

Think about what you’re doing today. Web-browsing, e-mail, IM, VoIP, maybe using Google Docs, whatever, how much of that actually requires that you use a local application? If 99% of what you’re doing on your computer can be done on the Web, what more than you really need than the Chrome Web browser, or-and there’s the point–an operating system like Chrome OS, which is just the Chrome Web browser running on a barebones Linux structure?

5. Use an iPad or Android tablet instead.

Microsoft really wants people to switch to Windows 8, and its close cousin Windows RT smartphones and tablets. I’m not holding my breath. I actually think Windows 8/Metro on Intel actually makes sense–Windows RT, which doesn’t have Active Directory support, not so much. Metro looks and works better on a tablet than it ever will on a desktop. There’s just this one little problem: People love iPads and they’re getting fonder of the Android tablets with their lower price tags. If I were a Microsoft fan, I’d worry if there’s any room left in the market for a Windows 8 tablet.

At the same time, as Microsoft is painfully aware, tablets are becoming popular as desktop replacements. As ZDNet’s own James Kendrick points out, “It is now possible to get a full day’s work from almost anywhere, without compromise,” on a tablet.

So, come the day you go to a Best Buy and all you see is Windows 8 PCs from one end of the store to the other, just remember you do have other, better, options.

Related Stories:

No Windows 8 DVD playback will mean increased costs, and consumer confusion

Windows 8 will “disappoint”: Analysts cut price targets on HP, Dell

Windows 8 Pro upgrade for new PC buyers set at $14.99

Windows 8’s five biggest enemies

Five Reasons why Windows 8 will be dead on arrival

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/five-ways-to-avoid-windows-8/11007

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18 May 12 Chrome 19: The Best Web browser just keeps getting better


With Chrome 19 you can sync tabs between PCs and Android smartphones.

With Chrome 19 you can sync tabs between PCs and Android smartphones.

The Google Chrome Web browser just keeps getting better and better. The just released Chrome 19 is a perfect example of this.

Besides fixing a slew of security problems, Chrome 19’s niftiest new feature is tab syncing. Chrome has long given you the power to sync your bookmarks, apps, extensions, history, themes, and other settings. Now, you can sync your open tabs as well between computers, and if you’re lucky enough to have an Android smartphone with Ice Cream Sandwich, which supports the beta Chrome for Android, you can sync them with your phone as well.

Here’s how it works. When you’re signed in to Google, your open tabs are automatically synced across all your devices. To get to them, simply open a new tab on your browser and on the bottom left there’s an “Other devices” menu on the center-left of the bottom of the page. From it, you can see all your other Chrome sessions and their open tabs. Want to open one on tabs from say your work computer? Just click on it and you’re on way.

This is neat. This makes it easier than ever to never lose track of what you were doing in your various browsers.

It’s also just a wee-bit creepy. If you share your Google log-in with other people on other PCs, you’ll be able to see what they’re looking at on their Chrome sessions. Mind you, for security reasons you shouldn’t be doing that anyway, but it is something to keep in mind. Or, to flip it around, if you’re in the habit of leaving your work computer on and you left Chrome running while you were logged in, someone could come by your office desk and see what tabs you have open on Chrome on your home PC. In short, don’t be careless when you’re using this feature.

On the other hand, Chrome gives you many privacy-tweaking settings. To get to those, go to the Options menu, and from there, head to the Under the Hood tab. Once there, you can control what happens with cookies, including Flash cookies now; image displays; JavaScript; plug-ins; pop-ups, and location information. You can also turn on Chrome’s built-in Adobe Flash plug-in and PDF reader. Both of these are turned off by default.

If like me, you’re a little tired of the endless flood of Adobe security problems, you’ll welcome Chrome’s version of them. Even if they go wrong in Chrome, at least they’ll be stuck inside Chrome’s sandbox where they won’t be able to do mischief in the rest of your computer.

Some people have been having trouble with Chrome 18 on Windows 7 64-bits. Their problems seemed to show up most often when they were running lots of tabs at once with a heavy Adobe Flash use. So, I decided to see if I could duplicate their problems on my test PC.

My Web browser testing system is a Gateway DX4710 running Windows 7 SP1. This PC is powered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor and has 6GBs of RAM and an Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3100 for graphics. It’s hooked to the Internet via a Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switch, which, in turn, is hooked up to a 100Mbps (Megabit per second) cable Internet connection.

On it, I opened 40 plus tabs at once multiple times in the last 24-hours. Half of them, like YouTube, included a lot of active Flash content. I couldn’t get a single lock-up or crash from it. I then left them running for six hours, thinking perhaps a memory leak problem was to blame. Again, everything went fine afterwards.

I can’t say that you won’t have problems with this new version of Chrome. All I can say is that on my Windows 7 box, and on my various Linux and Mac boxes as well, Chrome 19 never faltered no matter how heavy a load I put on it.

As for the basics, Chrome 19 remains as easy to install and use on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows as ever. You simply download it from the site, run the program and in less than two minutes you’ll be up and running it.

Chrome’s interface is also as clean as ever. The Omnibox, the combined search and location box is still on top. Underneath it, you’ll find the tabs, on the right top you’ll find the bookmark icon and that’s about it. There are only a handful of control buttons. If you want to adjust the browser’s looks and behavior you’ll need to go to the wrench icon and look at the menus it hides.

Once there, you’ll discover there’s not a lot you can do with Chrome’s looks. If you want to give your Web browser a make-over to get it looking and working just they way you want Firefox is still the browser for you.

Chrome on the Benchmark Rank

Moving on to the benchmarks, Chrome gets a perfect score on the Acid 3 compatibility test, which checks how well a browser complies with various Web standards such as CSS, JavaScript, and Extensible Markup Language (XML). But, then all modern browsers score perfectly on this test these days. If your browser doesn’t get a perfect score-update it. Now.

On the HTML5 Test, which checks to see how compliant the Web browser is with the HTML5 Web page standard, Chrome 19 scored 402 out of a possible 500. The new Firefox 12 was way behind with 345 points. Internet Explorer 9? It scored a dismal 138 points.

For my first benchmark I used Google’sJavaScript V8 Benchmark Suite, where higher scores are better. As you might expect, Chrome crushed Firefox and IE with a score of 9,091. Firefox took a distant second with 5,505. IE was way behind the open-source browsers with a score of 2,112.

On the old, SunSpider 0.9.1, JavaScript test where lower results are better, Chrome did OK with a score of 256.9ms. IE nosed ahead though with a score of 252.7ms to take first place. Firefox came in last with 296.5ms.

On the Peacekeeper Web browser test suite, which looks at JavaScript performance and looks in on HTML5 compatibility, video codec support and other Web browser features, higher scores are better. On Peacekeeper, Chrome won once more. On this benchmark, where higher is better and Chrome took first with a score of 2,241. Firefox followed with a far slower 1,557 and IE was back in the rear with 1,347.

The bottom line is that Chrome is simply the fastest Web browser out there. It’s also, from where I sit, one of the most secure browsers and I really like its clean interface and its features. As far as I’m concerned, Chrome is still easily the best browser out there. As always, you don’t have to take my word for it. Try Chrome yourself. I think you’ll find, as hundreds of millions of other Chrome users have, that Chrome will become your first choice in Web browsers.

Related Stories:

Google Chrome 19 is out

Will the Google Chrome Web browser come to Apple’s iPads and iPhones?

Is Microsoft blocking Chrome and Firefox from native Windows RT a big deal?

Google joins Windows 8 browser war with plans for Metro Chrome

Do I have to leave Google Chrome behind?

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/chrome-19-the-best-web-browser-just-keeps-getting-better/2391

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17 May 12 Chrome 19: The Best Web browser just keeps getting better


With Chrome 19 you can sync tabs between PCs and Android smartphones.

With Chrome 19 you can sync tabs between PCs and Android smartphones.

The Google Chrome Web browser just keeps getting better and better. The just released Chrome 19 is a perfect example of this.

Besides fixing a slew of security problems, Chrome 19’s niftiest new feature is tab syncing. Chrome has long given you the power to sync your bookmarks, apps, extensions, history, themes, and other settings. Now, you can sync your open tabs as well between computers, and if you’re lucky enough to have an Android smartphone with Ice Cream Sandwich, which supports the beta Chrome for Android, you can sync them with your phone as well.

Here’s how it works. When you’re signed in to Google, your open tabs are automatically synced across all your devices. To get to them, simply open a new tab on your browser and on the bottom left there’s an “Other devices” menu on the center-left of the bottom of the page. From it, you can see all your other Chrome sessions and their open tabs. Want to open one on tabs from say your work computer? Just click on it and you’re on way.

This is neat. This makes it easier than ever to never lose track of what you were doing in your various browsers.

It’s also just a wee-bit creepy. If you share your Google log-in with other people on other PCs, you’ll be able to see what they’re looking at on their Chrome sessions. Mind you, for security reasons you shouldn’t be doing that anyway, but it is something to keep in mind. Or, to flip it around, if you’re in the habit of leaving your work computer on and you left Chrome running while you were logged in, someone could come by your office desk and see what tabs you have open on Chrome on your home PC. In short, don’t be careless when you’re using this feature.

On the other hand, Chrome gives you many privacy-tweaking settings. To get to those, go to the Options menu, and from there, head to the Under the Hood tab. Once there, you can control what happens with cookies, including Flash cookies now; image displays; JavaScript; plug-ins; pop-ups, and location information. You can also turn on Chrome’s built-in Adobe Flash plug-in and PDF reader. Both of these are turned off by default.

If like me, you’re a little tired of the endless flood of Adobe security problems, you’ll welcome Chrome’s version of them. Even if they go wrong in Chrome, at least they’ll be stuck inside Chrome’s sandbox where they won’t be able to do mischief in the rest of your computer.

Some people have been having trouble with Chrome 18 on Windows 7 64-bits. Their problems seemed to show up most often when they were running lots of tabs at once with a heavy Adobe Flash use. So, I decided to see if I could duplicate their problems on my test PC.

My Web browser testing system is a Gateway DX4710 running Windows 7 SP1. This PC is powered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor and has 6GBs of RAM and an Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3100 for graphics. It’s hooked to the Internet via a Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switch, which, in turn, is hooked up to a 100Mbps (Megabit per second) cable Internet connection.

On it, I opened 40 plus tabs at once multiple times in the last 24-hours. Half of them, like YouTube, included a lot of active Flash content. I couldn’t get a single lock-up or crash from it. I then left them running for six hours, thinking perhaps a memory leak problem was to blame. Again, everything went fine afterwards.

I can’t say that you won’t have problems with this new version of Chrome. All I can say is that on my Windows 7 box, and on my various Linux and Mac boxes as well, Chrome 19 never faltered no matter how heavy a load I put on it.

As for the basics, Chrome 19 remains as easy to install and use on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows as ever. You simply download it from the site, run the program and in less than two minutes you’ll be up and running it.

Chrome’s interface is also as clean as ever. The Omnibox, the combined search and location box is still on top. Underneath it, you’ll find the tabs, on the right top you’ll find the bookmark icon and that’s about it. There are only a handful of control buttons. If you want to adjust the browser’s looks and behavior you’ll need to go to the wrench icon and look at the menus it hides.

Once there, you’ll discover there’s not a lot you can do with Chrome’s looks. If you want to give your Web browser a make-over to get it looking and working just they way you want Firefox is still the browser for you.

Chrome on the Benchmark Rank

Moving on to the benchmarks, Chrome gets a perfect score on the Acid 3 compatibility test, which checks how well a browser complies with various Web standards such as CSS, JavaScript, and Extensible Markup Language (XML). But, then all modern browsers score perfectly on this test these days. If your browser doesn’t get a perfect score-update it. Now.

On the HTML5 Test, which checks to see how compliant the Web browser is with the HTML5 Web page standard, Chrome 19 scored 402 out of a possible 500. The new Firefox 12 was way behind with 345 points. Internet Explorer 9? It scored a dismal 138 points.

For my first benchmark I used Google’sJavaScript V8 Benchmark Suite, where higher scores are better. As you might expect, Chrome crushed Firefox and IE with a score of 9,091. Firefox took a distant second with 5,505. IE was way behind the open-source browsers with a score of 2,112.

On the old, SunSpider 0.9.1, JavaScript test where lower results are better, Chrome did OK with a score of 256.9ms. IE nosed ahead though with a score of 252.7ms to take first place. Firefox came in last with 296.5ms.

On the Peacekeeper Web browser test suite, which looks at JavaScript performance and looks in on HTML5 compatibility, video codec support and other Web browser features, higher scores are better. On Peacekeeper, Chrome won once more. On this benchmark, where higher is better and Chrome took first with a score of 2,241. Firefox followed with a far slower 1,557 and IE was back in the rear with 1,347.

The bottom line is that Chrome is simply the fastest Web browser out there. It’s also, from where I sit, one of the most secure browsers and I really like its clean interface and its features. As far as I’m concerned, Chrome is still easily the best browser out there. As always, you don’t have to take my word for it. Try Chrome yourself. I think you’ll find, as hundreds of millions of other Chrome users have, that Chrome will become your first choice in Web browsers.

Related Stories:

Google Chrome 19 is out

Will the Google Chrome Web browser come to Apple’s iPads and iPhones?

Is Microsoft blocking Chrome and Firefox from native Windows RT a big deal?

Google joins Windows 8 browser war with plans for Metro Chrome

Do I have to leave Google Chrome behind?

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/chrome-19-the-best-web-browser-just-keeps-getting-better/2391

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11 May 12 Is Microsoft blocking Chrome and Firefox from native Windows RT a big deal?


On Windows RT, your only real browser choice will be Internet Explorer 10.

On Windows RT, your only real browser choice will be Internet Explorer 10.

Mozilla and Google, makers of the Firefox and Chrome Web browsers, don’t have a problem with building new versions of their popular browsers for Windows 8’s Metro interface. Firefox for Metro is on its way and so is Chrome. What they both object to though is that Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer 10 and its successors will be the only browser that will run natively on Windows RT.

To catch up, Windows RT is the Windows 8 version for ARM-based tablets and, eventually, laptops. Windows RT has two user interfaces: Metro and very restricted Windows 7-style desktop that can only run Microsoft customized applications To be exact, Windows President Steven Sinofsky said that the Desktop experience on Windows on ARM, it will be limited to specially tailored “Office 15″ versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote; the Windows File Explorer; Internet Explorer 10 and some operating system tools/components.

No problem though right? You’d still be able to run the Metro style Firefox and Chrome on Windows RT’s Metro interface right? Well, not really, not well.

Windows 8 supports three kinds of applications: Metro, classic desktop, and Metro-style enabled desktop browsers (MEDB). Firefox and Chrome are coming out with MEDB versions of their applications for Windows 8. That means they’ll “have full access to Win32 APIs for rendering HTML5 (DOCX format), including the ability to use multiple background processes, Just in Time (JIT) compiling, and other distinctly browser-related functionality (like background downloading of files.” That’s vital because to get a full 21st century Web browser experience you need all that legacy code.

Windows RT, however, doesn’t support MEDB. There’s also no Win32 in Windows RT Metro for non-Microsoft applications. In Windows on ARM tablets, your choices are pure Metro applications, with limited functionality, or Microsoft’s own applications for the classic desktop, which can work with the Win32 application programming interfaces (API).

While Google, Mozilla or anyone else can write a pure Metro application for Windows on ARM they operate in a sandbox without access to the classic Win32 APIs. According to Asa Dotzler, Director of Firefox , “IE on ARM has access to win32 APIs–even when it’s running in Metro mode, but no other Metro browser has that same access. Without that access, no other browser has a prayer of being competitive with IE.”

He’s pretty much right. This really isn’t a surprise. If you’d been following Windows RT on ARM news you already knew it’s as closed a system as iOS on Apple iPads. There’s nothing remotely open about either one. Windows RT is also a limited subset of Windows. For example, Windows RT doesn’t support Active Directory (AD).

Mozilla and Google aren’t happy about this. They claim, with reason, that Microsoft is “restricting user choice and innovation.” Google, on the other hand, lets you run non-Google browsers on Android such as Firefox and Opera.

What Microsoft is doing is remindful of the way that Microsoft illegally crushed Netscape as other competition. Eventually the Department of Justice ended up giving a Microsoft slap on the wrist in 1998. By dodging being broken up into separate companies, Microsoft was able to continue its domination of the desktop until the present day.

That was then. This is now. While Microsoft has clearly made Windows on ARM a closed shop to all competitors, Microsoft has almost no presence worth speaking of in tablets. It owned the PC world when it slapped down Netscape and other competitors.

Dotzler worries that “ARM (and Windows RT with it) will be migrating to laptop PCs and all-in-one PCs very quickly.” ARM might very well become popular, I doubt Windows RT will grow in popularity with it though. Other operating systems, like Ubuntu and Fedora are already up and running on ARM-powered systems.

Windows RT and its restrictions? Sure, it’s unfair to Google, Mozilla, Opera, and independent software vendors (ISV)s? Sure it is. But, so what? This is just going to be another reason why Windows 8 Metro will fail. IPads and Android tablets own the marketplace and the ARM tablet and desktop markets are still open for anyone. Let Microsoft release Windows RT with its limited software choices and no support for the vast majority of Windows Win32 applications. Customers and developers will punish Microsoft far more than any judge will.

Related Stories:

Mozilla and Google accuse Microsoft of unfair browser competition

Mozilla shows off a Metro style Firefox prototype for Windows 8

Google joins Windows 8 browser war with plans for Metro Chrome

When is a version of Windows not Windows?

Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Windows 8: Five points of comparison

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/is-microsoft-blocking-chrome-and-firefox-from-native-windows-rt-a-big-deal/2375

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10 May 12 Is Microsoft blocking Chrome and Firefox from native Windows RT a big deal?


On Windows RT, your only real browser choice will be Internet Explorer 10.

On Windows RT, your only real browser choice will be Internet Explorer 10.

Mozilla and Google, makers of the Firefox and Chrome Web browsers, don’t have a problem with building new versions of their popular browsers for Windows 8’s Metro interface. Firefox for Metro is on its way and so is Chrome. What they both object to though is that Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer 10 and its successors will be the only browser that will run natively on Windows RT.

To catch up, Windows RT is the Windows 8 version for ARM-based tablets and, eventually, laptops. Windows RT has two user interfaces: Metro and very restricted Windows 7-style desktop that can only run Microsoft customized applications To be exact, Windows President Steven Sinofsky said that the Desktop experience on Windows on ARM, it will be limited to specially tailored “Office 15″ versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote; the Windows File Explorer; Internet Explorer 10 and some operating system tools/components.

No problem though right? You’d still be able to run the Metro style Firefox and Chrome on Windows RT’s Metro interface right? Well, not really, not well.

Windows 8 supports three kinds of applications: Metro, classic desktop, and Metro-style enabled desktop browsers (MEDB). Firefox and Chrome are coming out with MEDB versions of their applications for Windows 8. That means they’ll “have full access to Win32 APIs for rendering HTML5 (DOCX format), including the ability to use multiple background processes, Just in Time (JIT) compiling, and other distinctly browser-related functionality (like background downloading of files.” That’s vital because to get a full 21st century Web browser experience you need all that legacy code.

Windows RT, however, doesn’t support MEDB. There’s also no Win32 in Windows RT Metro for non-Microsoft applications. In Windows on ARM tablets, your choices are pure Metro applications, with limited functionality, or Microsoft’s own applications for the classic desktop, which can work with the Win32 application programming interfaces (API).

While Google, Mozilla or anyone else can write a pure Metro application for Windows on ARM they operate in a sandbox without access to the classic Win32 APIs. According to Asa Dotzler, Firefox’s community co-oridnator, “IE on ARM has access to win32 APIs–even when it’s running in Metro mode, but no other Metro browser has that same access. Without that access, no other browser has a prayer of being competitive with IE.”

He’s pretty much right. This really isn’t a surprise. If you’d been following Windows RT on ARM news you already knew it’s as closed a system as iOS on Apple iPads. There’s nothing remotely open about either one. Windows RT is also a limited subset of Windows. For example, Windows RT doesn’t support Active Directory (AD).

Mozilla and Google aren’t happy about this. They claim, with reason, that Microsoft is “restricting user choice and innovation.” Google, on the other hand, lets you run non-Google browsers on Android such as Firefox and Opera.

What Microsoft is doing is remindful of the way that Microsoft illegally crushed Netscape as other competition. Eventually the Department of Justice ended up giving a Microsoft slap on the wrist in 1998. By dodging being broken up into separate companies, Microsoft was able to continue its domination of the desktop until the present day.

That was then. This is now. While Microsoft has clearly made Windows on ARM a closed shop to all competitors, Microsoft has almost no presence worth speaking of in tablets. It owned the PC world when it slapped down Netscape and other competitors.

Doztler worries that “ARM (and Windows RT with it) will be migrating to laptop PCs and all-in-one PCs very quickly.” ARM might very well become popular, I doubt Windows RT will grow in popularity with it though. Other operating systems, like Ubuntu and Fedora are already up and running on ARM-powered systems.

Windows RT and its restrictions? Sure, it’s unfair to Google, Mozilla, Opera, and independent software vendors (ISV)s? Sure it is. But, so what? This is just going to be another reason why Windows 8 Metro will fail. IPads and Android tablets own the marketplace and the ARM tablet and desktop markets are still open for anyone. Let Microsoft release Windows RT with its limited software choices and no support for the vast majority of Windows Win32 applications. Customers and developers will punish Microsoft far more than any judge will.

Related Stories:

Mozilla and Google accuse Microsoft of unfair browser competition

Mozilla shows off a Metro style Firefox prototype for Windows 8

Google joins Windows 8 browser war with plans for Metro Chrome

When is a version of Windows not Windows?

Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Windows 8: Five points of comparison

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/is-microsoft-blocking-chrome-and-firefox-from-native-windows-rt-a-big-deal/2375

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05 May 12 Linus Torvalds likes the Google Chrome OS Linux desktop


Google s Linux-based Chrome OS Aura interface has a new friend: Linus Torvaslds.

Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS Aura interface has a new friend: Linus Torvalds.

Linus Torvalds, Linux’s primary creator, hasn’t been happy with the direction his formerly favorite Linux desktop interface, GNOME, has gone. In fact, Torvalds downright hates GNOME 3.x. He’ll get no argument from me. I hate GNOME 3.x too. Recently though, Torvalds has start toying with Google’s new Chrome operating system’s Aura interface and, guess what, he kind of likes it.

Torvalds wrote, “And I haven’t really played around with it all that much, but as a desktop it really doesn’t look that bad. I could name worse desktops (cough cough). [That would be GNOME.]

Torvalds continued, “It allows such radical notions as having easy mouse configurability for things like how to launch applications. Things gnome removed because those kinds of things were “too confusing”, and in the process made useless. And an auto-hide application dock at the bottom. Revolutionary, I know.”

Say hello to Google’s new, old Chrome OS (gallery)

He added, “It also seems to improve on the experience even in the non-laptop mode. Making the calendar start as a “window” instead of as a browser tab also means that when you use it in the single-use mode that we traditionally did, the app takes up the whole screen, without the browser buttons etc.”

“So the new Aura approach seems to work both as a traditional window manager and as a more limited “apps take up the whole screen”. Maybe this whole ‘browser as an app’ thing can really work,” Torvalds concluded.

In short, he found, as I have when I tested Chrome OS Aura, that Google has taken its hybrid Linux desktop/cloud-based and given it a really useful retro desktop look. Personally, I’ll take this kind of desktop, or the Linux distribution’s Mint new take on the GNOME 2 interface, Cinnamon over such new and improved desktop interfaces as GNOME 3.x or Windows 8 Metro any day of the week.

The current generation of Chromebooks though, which is where most people including Torvalds use Chrome OS, are another matter. Torvalds wrote, “The whole point of a laptop for me is that you can take it on the road and do your work. And that, to me, means “compile stuff and use git”. And no, “use ssh [Secure Shell] in a browser to compile on some other machine” does not count. The laptop is the only thing I have with me. So for it to count as a real laptop, I need to be able to do real work locally too. I like having lots of connected options, but they can’t be the only options.”

Of course you don’t need a Chromebook to run Chrome OS. You can run it on any PC. It’s just that it’s not packaged that way. In fact, I run Chrome OS in virtual machines all the time. Personally, though, my Samsung Series 5 Chromebook has become my grab and go laptop.

On the other hand, I just use Web applications like Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Voice on it. I don’t try to use git, never-mind compile anything on it! For those uses, it would be great if, as it appears might be the case, the next generation of Chromebooks will be built on Intel’s Ivy Bridge chips.

In the meantime though, as Torvalds said in a comment, “I was pleasantly surprised by the new interface – it seems to be going very much in the right direction. Give it a few years (and better hardware), and I can really see it happening. As it is, it’s clearly useful for some people, judging by the comments here. It’s not there for me now. But the new interface is better even just for the limited use I put the thing to.”

Related Stories:

Google’s new Chrome OS: Back to the future

New Chromebooks to get a much-needed Ivy Bridge speed boost?

Google wants you to buy a Chromebook: Should you? (Review)

How to install Google’s Chrome OS

Five Reasons why Google’s Linux Chromebook could be a Windows killer

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/linus-torvalds-likes-the-google-chrome-os-linux-desktop/10890

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