browser

Microsoft: Productivity Web apps improve with IE11

Now that Microsoft is back in the browser business, it devotes a lot of time showing off how well assorted games work in Internet Explorer. On Friday, though, the company tried to tout its browser's new abilities for word processing and other productivity chores.

With Internet Explorer 11, "Users can create rich content with automatic image paste, improved copy-and-paste of formatted lists, and natural undo," said IE program managers Jianfeng Lin and Ben Peters in a blog post.

Specifically, IE11 can recognize word-processors formatting for numbered or bulleted lists and convert that into the appropriate HTML coding; … Read more

Safari matches rivals with sandboxed Flash for better security

Catching Safari up to Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, Adobe Systems has put its Flash Player plug-in into a sandbox for better security protection on Apple's browser, too.

"With this week's release of Safari in OS X Mavericks, Flash Player will now be protected by an OS X App Sandbox," Adobe platform security strategist Peleus Uhley said Wednesday in a blog post.

Sandboxing restricts the privileges that software gets, for example prohibiting it from writing to a storage device or tampering with data in memory held by another program. Such limits make it harder for malware … Read more

With Snap.svg, Adobe gets animated SVG religion -- again

Eight years after Adobe Systems acquired Macromedia for $3.4 billion, in part for its Flash technology that vanquished the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format, the company has released an open-source project called Snap.svg designed to bring some Flash-like characteristics to the Web.

Flash is slowly being squeezed off the Web -- at least newer parts of it -- by the fact that it doesn't run on mobile devices and that browser developers are starting to banish plug-ins. Adobe has redirected a lot of its staffing accordingly to Web standards that work in browsers without plug-ins, and SVG … Read more

Chrome's parental controls step closer to adulthood

Google Chrome's rumored parental control feature moved into Chrome beta on Tuesday, and it stands to make Chrome and Chrome OS even more appealing to parents and teachers.

Chromebooks have done well in the United States, capturing around a quarter of the sub-$300 PC market in the past year. The low-price laptops also have gained attention from educators, in part because of their price, but also because they include keyboards, essential for teaching children typing skills.

Supervised Users would give Chrome OS a long-missing feature: multiple accounts that can be differentiated by privilege status. For now, a supervised … Read more

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

Safari more usable than other mobile browsers, says study

Safari pulled in the highest usability score among the top five mobile browsers, according to a new report from Fixya.

Apple's mobile browser took home a grade of 1.31, far outpacing the stock Android browser, Opera, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer. The scores were assigned based on the number of problems reported on Fixya, along with market share data from NetMarketShare. The fewer "problem impressions" given to each browser, the higher the score.

In Safari's favor were its simple interface, its Reading List feature, and its ability to let users perform multiple tasks from a … Read more

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

Review: Google Chrome 30

Chrome is the lightweight flagship browser that originated from an open-source project by Google called Chromium and Chromium OS. It is now one of the more widely-used browsers thanks to a vast ecosystem of extensions and add-ons, a robust Javascript engine, and a rapid-release development cycle that keeps it on the competitive end of the curve.

Chrome's installation process is both straightforward and self-sustaining. The installer will launch confirmations of system directories with a few click-throughs. Typical stuff. Google will also ask for your permission to anonymously collect usage stats, which you can opt out of. Once you install … Read more

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

Judge dismisses lawsuit over Google's browser tracking

A federal judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Google, finding that the Web giant's browser cookie-tracking practices had not caused them any harm.

The lawsuit, which was filed in February 2012 by users of Web browsers from Apple and Microsoft, accused Google and three other online advertising companies of having "tricked" the Web browsers into accepting cookies that enabled Google to serve the plaintiffs targeted advertising. The lawsuit was filed soon after it was revealed that Google used special code to get around users' privacy controls in Safari and Internet Explorer in order to track users … Read more