Apache Web software overrides IE10 do-not-track setting

Apache, the most commonly used software to house Web sites, will ignore Microsoft's decision to disable ad-tracking technology by default in Internet Explorer 10.

Microsoft set IE10 and Windows 8 so that, by default, Web sites that observe the Do Not Track (DNT) standard won't track people's behavior. The move was made to "better protect user privacy," the company said.

But protecting user privacy turns out to be a thorny matter in practice -- at least when a standard has to be palatable to advertisers as well as browser makers and people surfing the Web. … Read more

Ethernet's future: How fast is fast enough?

Slow network speeds got you down? On Monday, computing experts will announce they're tackling the next speed bump for the venerable Ethernet standard.

But don't expect to find the new speed option on your next computer's feature list. The standard, to be produced by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), will likely reach data-transfer speeds between 400 gigabits per second and 1 terabit per second. For comparison, that latter speed would be enough to copy two-and-a-half full-length Blu-ray movies in a second.

In contrast, your laptop today probably maxes out at a mere 100 megabits … Read more

How corporate bickering hobbled better Web audio

For more than three years, Skype has worked to improve online audio through involvement in a project now called Opus. But perversely, Skype's new owner, Microsoft, is undermining Opus just as a Web standards effort is poised to carry it into the mainstream.

Opus is an audio "codec" -- technology to encode and decode media streams for efficient transmission over the Internet or storage on computing equipment. Opus backers besides Microsoft's Skype division include Google, Opera, and Mozilla.

Opus has a lot of potential to improve online audio, something that's increasingly important as more communications … Read more

Nokia sinks deeper into junk status with new S&P downgrade

The bad news just keeps coming for Nokia.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today announced that it has downgraded Nokia's long-term corporate credit rating from BB+ to BB-. Although both ratings are considered "junk status," BB- is a lower rating, indicating that the company "faces major ongoing uncertainties to adverse business, financial, and economic conditions." S&P has affirmed an even worse B rating on Nokia's short-term credit.

"The rating actions reflect a downward revision of our estimates of revenues and profitability for Nokia's smartphone operations in 2012 and 2013,&… Read more

OAuth 2.0 leader resigns, says standard is 'bad'

OAuth 2.0 promised to improve authentication on the Net, but its author has resigned from the project after concluding the standard "is a bad protocol."

"When compared with OAuth 1.0, the 2.0 specification is more complex, less interoperable, less useful, more incomplete, and most importantly, less secure," Eran Hammer-Lahav said in a blog post yesterday. "I resigned my role as lead author and editor, [withdrew] my name from the specification, and left the working group...Deciding to move on from an effort I have led for over five years was agonizing." … Read more

Google's SPDY wins new allies in plan to rebuild Web plumbing

SPDY, a Google project to try to speed up the Web, is gaining new allies interested in using it as a basis for rebuilding a fundamental Internet technolog that's remained largely unchanged since 1999.

SPDY reworks HTTP, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol by which Web browsers request Web pages and by which Web servers deliver those pages over the Internet. Every time you load a Web page, you use HTTP or its securely encrypted sibling, HTTPS. An upgrade would bring improvements to a vast number of people -- but on the flip side, making changes to something so basic and … Read more

Apple reverses course, re-ups with EPEAT green standard

Apple is once again a part of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool group, which rates electronics for their greenness.

Last month Apple quietly ended its participation with EPEAT. In a statement earlier this week, Apple said its products were still made to meet the Energy Star 5.2 guidelines and that it posts extensive information about its environmental efforts on its Web site.

In a new letter, Apple's soon to be outgoing hardware engineering chief, Bob Mansfield, said the company will once again have its products rated by the organization:

We've recently heard from many loyal Apple … Read more

Mozilla's browser OS gets partners and a name: Firefox OS

Mozilla's browser-based smartphone operating system has grown up a notch, winning over partners such as Sprint and ZTE and picking up the marketing-friendly name of Firefox OS.

In addition, Mozilla has announced several partners, a necessity for making a bunch of software into something people actually use: only a very small number of people have the skills and interest to install a mobile-phone OS.

Carrier Telefonica and chipmaker Qualcomm already were partners that emerged when Mozilla announced B2G at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. They'd said to expect phones by the end of 2012 then, but now … Read more

Adobe: Web standards match 80 percent of Flash features

SAN FRANCISCO--Adobe Systems, retooling as fast as it can for a future of Web publishing and Web apps, sees the technology as mostly caught up to the Flash technology that Adobe previously preferred.

"I think it's close to 80 percent," Arno Gourdol, Adobe's senior director of Web platform and authoring, said in an interview during the Google I/O show here.

Gourdol, who leads Adobe work to embrace Web standards, has a lot on the line as the company tries to make a difficult transition away from the widely used but fading Flash. He's eager … Read more

Adobe ships CS6 software; Creative Cloud imminent

Adobe Systems today began selling Creative Suite 6, its mammoth but expensive collection of software for designers, artists, photographers, videographers, publishers, and others in the "content creation" business.

The software is available in the $2,599 Master Collection, the smaller $1,899 Design and Web Premium or Production Premium collections, or the yet-smaller $1,299 Design Standard collection. About three quarters of Adobe's unit shipments today are in these collections, but individual packages are available, too, such as Photoshop CS6 for $699 in its standard version or Illustrator CS6 for $599.

With CS6, Adobe tried to mix … Read more