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Mozilla unimpressed with Google's Web photo standard

Mozilla unimpressed with Google's Web photo standard

Bad news for fans of Google's WebP: Mozilla has given it a resounding meh in a study comparing it and rival image formats.

The study compared JPEG to WebP, JPEG XR, and HEVC-MSP, a still-image format drawn from the new HEVC/H.265 video compression technology. Google has touted WebP as a way to reduce file sizes on the Web and therefore to speed up Web page loading and cut bandwidth costs.

Firefox developers initially decided against WebP, but the support of significant sites, including Facebook, encouraged Mozilla to reevaluate. The study doesn't seem to have carried the … Read more

f.lux gets major, much-anticipated update

f.lux gets major, much-anticipated update

One of our top picks for best desktop software, f.lux announced Tuesday that they have released a major update to their popular screen dimmer application. f.lux 3.9 now allows your screen to go even warmer, from a previous setting of 3400K down to 2700K or optionally to 1200K, if you prefer. So now you can simulate that working-by-candlelight experience on your HD display. Movie mode allows you to keep the warm setting but preserves details in picture quality such as shadows and skin tones. This mode also has a built-in timer, which allows you to watch most … Read more

Google paves over hole left by Chrome plug-in ban

Google paves over hole left by Chrome plug-in ban

Google has added a new feature to Chrome to help programmers who relied on soon-to-be-banished browser plug-ins to call upon the services of a third-party program.

The Native Messaging interface will let programmers do things like trigger a password management program, said Google programmer Sergey Ulanov in a blog post Tuesday.

The interface arrived with Chrome 29, Ulanov said, for Windows, Linux, and OS X.

Starting in January, Google is phasing out support for the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI), which lets third-party software augment a browser's built-in abilities.

Google will permit several top plug-ins that use NPAPI … Read more

Opera Software gets new staff, offices in Silicon Valley

Opera Software gets new staff, offices in Silicon Valley

Opera Software is becoming more of a Silicon Valley company.

It has expanded its US operations, tripling its office space to 60,000 square feet through a new office and its acquisition of Skyfire, the company said Thursday.

"Silicon Valley has become one of Opera's most strategic locations to do business and grow our talent base," said Opera Chief Executive Lars Boilesen in a statement. "We will continue our expansion in this region by hiring people in all areas and generating more revenue than ever."

The maker of the Opera browser is based in Oslo, … Read more

C-Wars brings classic Beat 'em up action to a Tower Defense game

C-Wars brings classic Beat 'em up action to a Tower Defense game

A Cyberpunk world, in a post apocalyptic wasteland being infested by a zombie army? C-Wars seems to hit all of the major buzzwords that would set off any gamer's alarm. Onipunks' brainchild might turn off many players who have been jaded by the promises of many so so and eh-inducing games released this year, the ones that seemed to be the products of some assembly-line design model created to separate us from our money. But after playing the Demo, it would be a lie to say I'm anything less than ecstatic that this game has been successfully funded … Read more

Tab overload slowing you down? Speed up your browsing with TGS for Chrome

Tab overload slowing you down? Speed up your browsing with TGS for Chrome

Tab browsing is an amazing tool for multitaskers and ADHD-prone Web surfers everywhere. But one of the most annoying things about using Google Chrome's tab feature is the massive amount of resources it sucks up. Even though we love the idea of multiple tabs, chances are we aren't looking at every one of them at the same time. And because Chrome opens every new tab as a separate process, your system is left with very little memory for anything else. The Great Suspender, a Chrome extension, aims to solve this problem by putting on hold the tabs you … Read more

No text? No problem for Chrome's search by image

No text? No problem for Chrome's search by image

Google Chrome updated on Tuesday with some new features that will make it easier to search on desktops and easier to use on Android.

The stable channel for Chrome on desktops, version 30, now comes with "search by image." Right-click on any image, and you'll see an option to search using the image as the subject of the query. This works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Other changes in desktop Chrome include new Chrome Web apps application programming interfaces (APIs), which will make the Web apps function more like native mobile apps with in-app payments, saving to … Read more

IE usage resurges in September, new stats report

IE usage resurges in September, new stats report

It's comeback time for Internet Explorer, the browser that languished for years but now is showing renewed vigor in the market as Microsoft revamps it.

Months ago, Net Applications statistics showed IE gaining some ground as measured by daily use among individuals. Now, new data released from StatCounter, which uses a different methodology emphasizing page views, is confirming that rebound.

Net Applications measured IE usage on personal computers growing from 57.6 percent in August to 57.8 percent in September -- not a dramatic change for what it deems the most-used browser. StatCounter's methods put IE in … Read more

Take three for better browser images on different screens

Take three for better browser images on different screens

Last week, it seemed like browser makers were about ready to settle on an idea called srcset to grapple with the tricky task of fetching the best images to show on today's wide variety of screen types.

This week, the issue is up in the air with the arrival of a new possibility called srcN. And it also handles another situation called "art direction," the idea of delivering a cropped image so people seeing it on small screens aren't saddled with inconveniently small details.

On Friday, Google engineers Tab Atkins and John Mellor proposed srcN, which … Read more

Smartphones will kill off Opera Mini? Well, not yet

Smartphones will kill off Opera Mini? Well, not yet

Feature phones may be doomed, but the Opera Mini browser that's commonly found on them is more than hanging on by a lot more than a thread.

Usage of the browser continues to grow steadily, statistics the Norwegian browser maker released Friday show -- both the number of users and how many pages they visit.

From August 2011 to August 2013, the number of Opera Mini users grew 88 percent from 129 million to 243 million, Opera Software said. And usage grew even faster: the number of pages that Opera transcoded into boiled-down form to be sent to Opera … Read more