Microsoft page says IE more secure than rival browsers

A new Web page that tests browser security has crowned Internet Explorer 9 the most secure among the five major players. The only catch is that the page itself comes from Microsoft.

Dubbed "Your Browser Matters," the new page checks a browser to determine how well it fares against phishing attacks and other types of socially engineered malware. The page then assigns the browser a score based on a scale of 0 to 4.

Looking at the major browsers, Internet Explorer 9 received a perfect 4 out 4, while IE8 earned a 3. The latest versions of Firefox (… Read more

Opera proposal brings a book look to the Web

OSLO, Norway--Opera Software is a browser company, but its chief technology officer believes the modern Web still could learn a thing or two from publishing technology that's hundreds of years old.

At the company's Up North Web press event here, CTO Haakon Wium Lie showed off a new standard he proposed that could give Web pages more of the feel of printed pages. A document too big for a single screen, instead of getting a scroll bar, would be split across several pages, and people can navigate among them with gestures--swiping left and right to go forward and … Read more

Opera Mobile 11.5, Mini 6.5 spotlight data savings

OSLO, Norway--Opera Software today released new versions of its mobile browsers, Opera Mini 6.5 and Opera Mobile 11.5, which show users exactly how much of a data-plan diet the software is enabling.

One of the top selling points of Opera Mobile and Mini is that when a person loads a Web page, Opera's servers fetch the data, boil it down, and send a smaller version to the mobile phones or tablets on which the browsers are running. That can save a lot of data, which is a big deal both for mobile operators whose networks are afflicted … Read more

Opera 12 to get graphics-hardware boost

OSLO--The next version of Opera Software's browser will get a major graphics-hardware boost, an approach that's been spreading to browsers keen to increase battery life, improve performance, and enable new features.

"Everything is accelerated," said Jan Standal, Opera's vice president of desktop products, in an interview today at the company's Up North Web press event here about Opera 12. "The whole user interface."

Specifically, that means hardware acceleration for Cascading Style Sheets transitions and animations, for Canvas 2D drawing, and for text, he said. And Opera 12 gets support for the WebGL … Read more

Amazon Silk: Weaving a new browser

Among Amazon's announcements today is that the retail and cloud services giant is stepping into the browser market with a new Web browser that ships in its upcoming Android-based tablet.

That new browser is called Silk, and it's the latest effort to make Web browsing faster, especially on portable devices where the hardware is typically slower than what a user might have on a desktop or notebook computer. It can also learn how you browse the Web, and extend battery life by putting some of the heavy lifting in the cloud, Amazon says.

The company is putting the weight of its massive cloud services infrastructure behind the browser to make up for potential hardware shortcomings. While the Kindle Fire tablet ships with a dual-core processor that's capable of running games and other applications, the company says that users have come to expect a certain amount of speed on the desktop that isn't always there on mobile devices.

Amazon's solution is what it calls a "split browser," a method that makes use of local processing for some things, while tapping into its Elastic Compute Cloud to process and serve up content faster than users might get it directly from the device. … Read more

Physics shocker! Neutrinos clocked faster than light

European physicists have measured tiny particles called neutrinos moving just faster than the speed of light--only a smidgen faster, but enough to raise a serious possibility that Einstein's physics need a major overhaul.

The scientists sent a beam of neutrinos from CERN, on the Swiss-French border near Geneva, to the INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) Gran Sasso Laboratory in central Italy, 730 kilometers (454 miles) away, in a research project called OPERA. The physicists had planned to study a rare event, the transformation of the muon variety of neutrinos into the tau variety. Instead, they found the extraordinary … Read more

HTML gurus modernize Acid3 browser test

Two browser experts have pared back Acid3, a test that browser standards fans held up to spotlight Internet Explorer's shortcomings, so the test won't hold back development of those standards.

Ian Hickson, editor of the HTML specification, and Håkon Wium Lie, chief technology officer of browser maker Opera, decided to make the change, and Hickson announced it on Google+ on Saturday.

"Håkon Wium Lie and I are announcing that we have updated the Acid3 test by commenting out the parts of the test that might get changed in the specs," Hickson said. &… Read more

Opera acquires Handster to tap into app stores

Browser maker Opera Software announced a new step in diversifying beyond browser-driven search ads today, the acquisition of Android app store specialist Handster.

Handster offers a white-label app store platform that others can use to sell apps and "the world's largest independent Android content library," Opera said today. It also offers developer tools, financial transaction abilities for setting payments, services for curating content--and customers.

Device manufacturers using its services include MTS, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, and LG Electronics, Opera said. The services will dovetail with the existing Opera Mobile Store, which already offers apps for "virtually every … Read more

Opera Solutions nabs $84M for 'big data' analytics

This week Opera Solutions, a provider of "big data" analytics tools, announced that the company has taken in an $84 million investment to expand its rapidly growing business. The investment round, the company's first, was led by Silver Lake Sumeru, with participation from Accel-KKR, Invus Financial Advisors, JGE Capital Management, and Tola Capital.

Founded in 2004, Opera has grown from 10 people to more than 600 staffers globally with development locations in New York, Shanghai, and New Delhi. The staff includes 180 scientists working to solve data-oriented challenges.

I spoke with CEO and founder Arnab Gupta today … Read more

Apple leads volatile mobile browser market

New statistics released today show a competitive volatility in the the mobile browser market absent from the slower-moving personal computer browser market.

Net Applications has long shown the total browser usage worldwide based on visits to a collection of Web sites using its analytics software. Now, though, it's separated PC browsing on desktops and laptops from mobile browsing on phones and tablets. With PCs, the story remains largely unchanged: Microsoft's Internet Explorer continues its gradual slide while Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari gradually rise.

But in the mobile market, there's a lot more jitter in … Read more