Integrate Facebook into Internet browsing with RockMelt for Mac

Integrating Facebook into other applications has been the focus of developers in recent years. RockMelt for Mac attempts to combine a Web browser with Facebook, but privacy concerns and poor functionality make this a problematic application.

Available as freeware, the program downloads quickly. Installation is another story, however. Initially, you are prompted to enter Facebook log-in information before the program begins. Once it's entered, the next setup dialog box presents troublesome privacy concerns. Essentially, RockMelt for Mac seeks authorization to control almost all of the user's Facebook features and permissions. This lack of user control is concerning for … Read more

Social media: Five predictions for 2013

When you think of social media these days, you probably think primarily of Facebook and Twitter, and perhaps Instagram. But while those services have massive -- and growing -- user bases, they're of course not the only games in town.

The world of social media is filled with other services, and millions of people get a daily fix without ever going near Facebook or Twitter. There are big general networks like Tagged, and plenty of smaller, purpose-built ones like Path or celebrity-focused ones like Lady Gaga's Little Monsters. There's even a revamped MySpace.

So what does 2013 … Read more

RockMelt for iPhone gracefully goes all thumbs

The alternative Web browser RockMelt continues its march on mobile devices by releasing a new iPhone-specific app. RockMelt for the iPhone (download) is not the same version as the iPad app, though. It's been redesigned so that it can be controlled almost entirely with your thumb, an intentional move to emphasize how people use the socially focused browser.

"People aren't reading the New York Times on RockMelt," said CEO and co-founder Eric Vishria in an interview at CNET's office in San Francisco earlier this week. "They're reading these long-tail stories, and that's … Read more

RockMelt social browser debuts an iPad app

RockMelt has redesigned its social browser to optimize it for the iPad.

It's been awhile since RockMelt has made the news, but that doesn't mean its stopped working on new items and features. It also launched an iPhone app earlier this year, according to Engadget.

For those who don't know about RockMelt, it's a browser that launched in 2010 and remains in beta. It was created by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria and one of its backers is the king of venture capital Marc Andreessen who co-founded Netscape.

Instead of being all inclusive like other browsers, … Read more

More with less: Why Bump, others kick features to the curb

More is not always better.

Bump Technologies said today it has radically overhauled its hit iPhone and Android apps, ditching little-loved tools that allowed users to trade music and app recommendations and concentrating Bump 3.0 entirely on enabling photo and contacts sharing.

When Bump launched three years ago, it took off immediately by making it dead easy for people to share contact information with others: simply bump iPhones with another user of the app and voila! Since then, the company added Android support, expanded its feature set, and racked up more than 75 million downloads.

Along the way though, … Read more

NASA mission calculates global ice melt and rising sea levels

From 2003 to 2010, NASA satellites systematically measured all of Earth's melting glacial ice--the results added up to 4.3 trillion tons of water and a global sea level rise of half an inch.

Put in perspective, that's enough ice to bury the entire U.S. 1.5-feet deep.

These calculations are detailed in a new study released today by a team of scientists at the University of Colorado. The scientists used satellite measurements from the NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), which launched in 2002 and focused on how melting ice from glaciers and ice caps … Read more

New RockMelt socializes Chrome's Omnibox, new tabs

While the big browser conflagration between Chrome and, oh, just about everybody else tends to suck the oxygen from a room, the Chromium-based RockMelt continues to keep its users warm and toasty with new features focusing on where social intersects the Web.

RockMelt beta 5 for Windows and Mac will be available around 8:30 a.m. PT Wednesday. Beta 4 is currently available for people who want to get a head start.

Facebook is already an integral part of the RockMelt experience, since an account is required to log in to the browser. RockMelt co-founder and CEO Eric Vishria … Read more

At RockMelt, engineers pound out features at light speed

day on the job MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--If you don't regularly hang out with coders at work, you may think it takes a long time to write a new feature. That's a quaint notion to Devon Rifkin.

Rifkin is a front-end engineer at RockMelt, the maker of a hot new browser that integrates many of the functions of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media directly into the browsing experience. I've come to RockMelt on a recent Tuesday to shadow Rifkin as part of my Day on the Job series, and now he's schooling me on just … Read more

The Melt update: Great logistics--and free bacon!

The mobile ordering site went live recently for The Melt's chain of grilled cheese restaurants. The best feature of the app (and The Melt in general): you can add bacon to any sandwich for free. Although since the grilled cheese sandwiches themselves are $5.75, "free" is a bit of a stretch. But still, hey, sort of free bacon!

In the interest of research (and lunch), I checked out the new mobile site and the in-store follow-through at a nearby Melt location. What I found was a bug in the system (presumably a temporary problem), but also … Read more

RockMelt: Does the world need another Web browser?

Once upon a time--actually, it was less than a decade ago--Microsoft's Internet Explorer dominated the Web browser business so utterly that it appeared that the market didn't have room for a second significant player. 

Then Mozilla's Firefox came along and became that strong second-place browser. And Apple's Safari, with its Webkit rendering engine, proved enormously influential. And Google's Chrome displaced Firefox as the favorite browser of Web nerds.

Today, breakdowns of browser usage vary, but they all show vibrant competition. Research firm Net Applications says that IE retains 51.8% of the market, Firefox … Read more