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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

At long last, browser makers adapt to Retina-quality images

At long last, browser makers adapt to Retina-quality images

The days when a Web developer could count on a big screen with 72 to 96 pixels per inch are long over. Retina displays on laptops and tiny mobile phone screens for years have been complicated the job of delivering images best suited for different browsers.

But after years of sometimes contentious wrangling, it seems browser makers have settled on a solution: a tweak to the Web page programming that goes by the ungainly name of "srcset."

If it works out as planned, people using the Web should see high-resolution photos on Retina displays but not have to … Read more

Firefox to deactivate most plug-ins by default

Firefox to deactivate most plug-ins by default

Mozilla has dealt another blow to those who want to use plug-ins to extend the browser's capabilities. It's keeping all but Flash Player deactivated by default in a version of Firefox now under development.

With the click-to-run plug-in feature, announced in January, plug-ins such as Silverlight and QuickTime won't run unless the user authorizes it when a Web page using them loads. That feature now is built into the Aurora version of Firefox that will grow into the final release in coming weeks. The plug-in hurdle doesn't apply to Adobe Systems' Flash Player, by far the … Read more

Google's dilemma: A faster but fragmented Web?

Google's dilemma: A faster but fragmented Web?

Google wants a Web that looks very different from today's. Instead of more or less static sites, perhaps spiced up with a new comment popping up on your Facebook page, Google wants Web apps that are indistinguishable in performance and sophistication from native programs like high-end games or Photoshop.

But Google faces a tough choice: What's the best way to get to that future?

The promise of the route it's trying to take, a technology called Native Client, shines in the sophisticated online photo-editing tools for Google+ that launched this month. The problem is that Native Client … Read more

Google begins barring browser plug-ins from Chrome

Google begins barring browser plug-ins from Chrome

In case it wasn't clear before, a Google decision has shown the writing is on the wall for plug-ins such as Java and Silverlight that for years have been used to extend what browsers can do.

Starting in January 2014, Google will ban all but the most widely used browser plug-ins in favor of programming methods that use standards built directly into the Web, Chrome security engineer Justin Schuh announced in a blog post Monday. And those plug-ins will be barred "over the coming year," he said.

Most Chrome plug-ins (not to be confused with the lighter-weight … Read more

Mozilla: Help us test touch-optimized Firefox for Windows 8

Mozilla: Help us test touch-optimized Firefox for Windows 8

Mozilla has released a new "touch-friendly" test version of Firefox geared for the new interface of Windows 8, and it's hoping the public will help squash its bugs.

The new Firefox Aurora version 26, which later will become the beta and then final version of the open-source browser, includes a number of features geared for the newer version of Windows.

"It has a tile-based Firefox Start experience and supports Firefox Sync, Windows 8 touch and swipe gestures, Snapped and Fill views, and Windows Share integration all delivered with a streamlined, modern, and beautiful interface," Mozilla … Read more

Adobe launches Photoshop-Lightroom subscription

Adobe launches Photoshop-Lightroom subscription

Adobe Systems on Tuesday announced the availability of its $10-per-month subscription for Lightroom and Photoshop and released Lightroom 5.2, which expands and refines the software's photo-editing tools.

More details on Lightroom 5.2 are below, but here's how the new subscription works. It's called the Photoshop Photography Program, and it's available only to those who have a license to Photoshop CS3 or later. Unlike the discounted promotional price for its broader Creative Cloud subscription, which costs Creative Suite customers $30 per month for the first year and then $50 afterward, the Photoshop-Lightroom subscription price doesn'… Read more

Adobe exceeds 1M Creative Cloud subscriptions; stock rises

Adobe exceeds 1M Creative Cloud subscriptions; stock rises

With a net increase of 331,000 subscribers in its most recent quarter, Adobe attracted enough customers to its $50-per-month Creative Cloud subscription plan to bring the total past 1 million, the company announced Tuesday.

"We exceeded one million subscriptions during Q3, demonstrating that the transition to Creative Cloud is happening sooner than expected," Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen said in a statement.

Investors liked the news, which came along with Adobe's report of $995.1 million in revenue and earnings of 32 cents per share for the quarter ended August 30. The company's stock popped 5 … Read more

New Android Firefox simplifies mobile browser sharing

New Android Firefox simplifies mobile browser sharing

From features to speed, mobile browsing isn't quite what its desktop sibling is, but if Tuesday's Firefox 24 update is any indication, the gap between them is quickly shrinking.

The new, stable version of Firefox 24 for Android focuses on tying the mobile browser to several quick sharing tools.

Among the list of options in the Android menu button while using Firefox is now a "quickshare" button, based on your most commonly-used sharing tools. It lets you share with one tap and automatically picks up on your preferred sharing tools.

"Bump sharing" will also … Read more