Firefox 19 betas: Built-in PDF viewing, broader Android reach

Adobe Systems' Flash Player plug-in has been under attack in Web development circles for years, but now Adobe's Reader software is becoming more of a target in the war against plug-ins.

Mozilla released the with its own built-in PDF reader, called PDF.js, which uses the browser's own JavaScript engine to decode the Adobe-created but industry-standard document format.

The Portable Document Format for years was an awkward part of the Web, often ambushing the unwary with long page-load times as the Adobe Reader plug-in loaded. But PDFs have become more common, exposed in Google search results and used … Read more

Synology launches DSM 4.2 beta at CES 2013

LAS VEGAS--When it comes to network attached storage (NAS), Synology's DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system has been as good as it gets. Well, it's about to get even better.

At CES 2013 today, Synology announced and demonstrated the public beta of DSM 4.2.

This is a major upgrade from DSM 4.1 that brings improvements for both home and business users at no additional cost. Since DSM has a vast amount of features, the list of improvements is accordingly long. However, some of the major new or improved features include the following:

The Quick Connect features now … Read more

Blast your music with Bass Booster - Beta

As smartphones replace portable media players, it only makes sense that their sound quality improves. Since phone manufacturers haven't stepped up to put awesome audio quality in every phone, Bass Booster - Beta app will be able to help. It gives your phone a powerful blast of bass and great equalizers, but it's best used by serious audiophiles. It's so strong that it could do serious damage to a rookie user's phone.

Finding the happy medium with this software isn't easy. Audiophiles who know what they're doing will be able to perfect their sound … Read more

Use your phone as a Wi-Fi hot spot with Android-Wifi-Tether

The task of tethering devices to your phone has never been easier. Operating efficiently and quickly, Android-Wifi-Tether takes all the guesswork out of setting up a portable network.

Setup for Android-Wifi-Tether is very easy. The overall layout of this app is very good, too. It is easy to read and simple to use. After a quick browse through the main setup menu you are able to select the proper phone from a list of compatible devices. Click on a large Wi-Fi icon and you'll be up and running. Tablets and PCs should have no problem seeing your new Android … Read more

Redbox Instant launches private beta for video streaming

Redbox Instant -- Verizon's stab at a video-streaming service to compete with Netflix -- was rolled out into private beta today. For the first time, users can sign up for the service and see what it has to offer.

The service will give new users, who sign up to try it in beta, unlimited streaming and four DVD credits for free for one month, according to the Web site. Once the month-long trial ends, the service will cost $8 per month.

Redbox Instant is a joint venture announced in February between Verizon and Coinstar -- the company that owns … Read more

iOS 6.1 beta 4 given to developers ahead of release

For those anticipating another iOS update before the end of 2012, there's a good sign -- Apple's given developers the fourth beta of the iOS 6.1 this morning.

The software, which Apple says simply "contains bug fixes and improvements," went out to registered developers today for testing on their applications and to work out any kinks.

All four beta versions have been light on new features. Apple typically saves such additions for major releases, but has historically added some new features along the way. So far, the list for iOS 6.1 includes new boarding … Read more

Apple doles out third beta of iOS 6.1

Apple's first big iOS 6 update is one step closer to a public release.

Today the company quietly released the third beta version of iOS 6.1 to developers, another step on the way to sending it out as an update to the general public.

Today's update, which includes "bug fixes and other improvements," comes 21 days after the last beta.

All three beta versions, made available to developers for testing ahead of a public release, have been light on major new additions to the software. Apple typically saves such additions for major releases, but has … Read more

IonMonkey, Retina support hit Firefox Beta

A JavaScript engine called IonMonkey, Mac Retina compatibility, and better touch support move into the new Firefox Beta, released today.

Firefox 18 Beta (download for Windows, Mac, and Linux) arrives with a new "just-in-time" JavaScript compiler called "IonMonkey" for faster site load times. While it doesn't appear to have been independently tested yet, Mozilla's own IonMonkey benchmarks from September indicate that it will make the stable version of Firefox 18 about 25 percent faster than the current Firefox 17. The features are expected to reach the Firefox stable channel around the first week of January. … Read more

All the features of RealPlayer with a few touch-screen twists

Your smartphone media usage could take a hit, but that would be the only complaint about RealPlayer beta, the Android version of the popular multimedia player that handles images, videos, and music.

The sleek, intuitive interface of RealPlayer is divided into three media types, music, photos, and videos, with a few subcategories for the first, such as Artists, Songs, and Playlists. If you choose Songs, Videos, or Photos, a list of available files is shown and you just have to select one to run or view it. As promised, you can easily create playlists, so you don't have to … Read more

Apple releases second beta of iOS 6.1 to developers

Registered Apple developers can now grab the second beta of iOS 6.1.

Released yesterday, Beta 2 comes about two weeks after the first and offers the usual bug fixes along with some improvements.

The new build lets app developers take advantage of Apple's maps service, so that users can search for specific places based on a simple term. As one example, cited by AppleInsider, people could search for the word "coffee" to find names, locations, and other details of local coffee bars.

iOS 6.1 will include a better explanation of Passbook for users who don'… Read more