Google gooses Apple's Safari with Gears beta

As promised in May, Google has brought the open-source Gears technology to Apple's Safari, augmenting some browser abilities such as using Gears-tailored Web sites while offline.

The company announced a beta version of Gears for Safari (DMG file download link) on the Gears users mailing list Monday.

"We would love for you to install it and test it and file bug reports so we can polish it and find all the corner cases," said Google's Jeremy Moskovich.

Gears extends a browser so, for example, some Google Docs can be edited or viewed while the user isn'… Read more

Mozilla Ubiquity, Microsoft IE8, and the fracturing of Web pages

Mozilla on Tuesday released a public prototype of Ubiquity, a curious command-based interface to locating information on the Web and creating compilations of information from various sources. See: Mozilla offers do-it-yourself mashups for all.

At the moment, it's most capable as a command-line browser. You press the hot key, ctrl-space, and you can just start typing lookup commands, like "imdb Blade Runner." Or, if text is already selected in the browser, your command will act on them. Mouse over a restaurant page in Yahoo Mail, press the hotkey, and type "yelp" for a review, for … Read more

Mozilla offers do-it-yourself mashups for all

Mozilla released an experimental browser plug-in Tuesday that aims to connect the Web with language to help users perform common Web tasks more quickly and easily.

Ubiquity, created by Aza Raskin--son of Apple Mac pioneer Jef Raskin--is a command-line interface that enables users to use plain language to manipulate Web tasks, such as mapping, translation, shopping, or retrieving entries from Wikipedia, Yelp, or Twitter.

The free Firefox plug-in enables the creation of "user-generated mashups with existing open Web APIs," according to a post on Mozilla's site Tuesday. "In other words, allowing everyone--not just Web developers--to … Read more

First Look video: Cooliris for Firefox (Mac)

Cooliris for Firefox (formerly PicLens) is an add-on for Firefox that makes viewing images much more elegant and fun. Once installed, you can simply perform a search for images at a Cooliris-enabled site--like Google, Flikr, or Amazon--to bring up a full-screen 3D wall of results. Grab the bar at the bottom to watch your wall of results scroll by smoothly on your screen. When you find an image or movie you like, click on it to get a larger view. Cooliris also lets you search from within the interface by category or by site with its Discovery tools.

For more … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 796: Is that an HTC Dream in your pocket?

In today's show, we're introduced to the concept of the "banana phone" (complete with drawings), China tells GoDaddy to Go Away, a Scottish bank sends a computer into the eBay abyss full of customer data, and Apple's latest iPhone firmware shuts down copy-and-paste. As expected, Molly blows her stack. Like, a couple times. It's crazy. Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 796

Apple event for September 9

Network notary system thwarts man-in-the-middle attacks more

IE 8 to include private browsing feature

As CNET News first reported last week, Internet Explorer 8 will include a way to surf somewhat anonymously, allowing the user to suspend browsing history, cookies, and other identifying information. Mozilla had considered such a feature for its Firefox 3 release, but dropped it for technical reasons. Apple Safari also includes a similar feature.

Known as InPrivate, Microsoft is touting the feature as one of several security enhancements within its next major browser release. The scenarios for using InPrivate include when you're using someone else's computer, when you need to buy a gift for a loved one without … Read more

New Firefox extension makes YouTube a more pleasant place

Today I downloaded my very first Firefox extension, YouTube Comment Snob 1.2. While I love Firefox for the most part (I still have problems with Flash movies, though) I've never found the need to use extensions with it, until now.

Chris Finke's YouTube Comment Snob filters out unwanted YouTube comments based on your criteria. With it, you'll be able to filter by the following attributes:

The number of spelling mistakes, which is customizable and uses Firefox's built-in spell checker All capital letters No capital letters Doesn't start with a capital letter Excessive punctuation (!!!!! ?????) Excessive … Read more

After speed boost, Firefox a developer default?

Firefox is already plenty fast. In one test, it comes in just behind Safari in speed, but in this case, "slightly slower" still means "blazingly fast."

Thanks to Mozilla's pioneering work with TraceMonkey, however, Firefox is about to become even faster. Think massive performance boost.

CNET's Stephen Shankland has already covered the story in detail, so I won't belabor it here, but this promises to be an impressive breakthrough for browser performance--and especially for Firefox. As Mike Shaver, Mozilla's interim vice president of engineering and former chief evangelist, declares:

The goal of … Read more

Mozilla: Web apps faster with Firefox 3.1

Updated at 2:40 p.m. PDT with more details about Firefox 3.1 features.

Firefox 3.1 will run many Web-based applications such as Gmail faster through incorporation of a feature called TraceMonkey that dramatically speeds up programs written in JavaScript, Mozilla said Friday.

JavaScript has been very broadly used to add pizzazz or flexibility to Web pages over the years, but in recent years, it's also become the plumbing for many rich Internet applications. However, because JavaScript has been hobbled by pokey performance, Web-based applications often struggled to work as responsively as "native" software running … Read more

Don't lose what you've found: WebMynd

WebMynd (download) is a Firefox extension its developers hope solves a common Web problem: finding again that which what you've already found. WebMynd adds two very useful functions to your browsing: site-by-site recording of where you've been, and integrating your history (plus Delicious bookmarks) into specific Google searches.

The site-by-site recording creates a timeline view of your browsing and a photo browser-like display. Want the site you found Friday after lunch? Rewind using the Reel view. Looking for the site with the purple logo thing? The Grid view is good for your visual memory. Since you might not … Read more