Mozilla's Firefox browser is a true community effort. Though Mozilla itself employs 45 full-time developers, there are an additional 1,000 community code contributors to the Firefox project with over 20,000 nightly testers and 500,000 beta testers to ensure the core developers can offload much of the test load so that they can spend more time on core development. With over 50 million daily users and 125 million total users, Firefox has a huge presence on the web.
With so many users Mozilla feels it has a huge responsibility as a guardian of the web for the 21st Century, suggested Chris Blizzard in a presentation he gave at the SCALE conference this week. Chris' slides are online and tell the story of an organization that takes its role as a community platform - with the aspiration to be an essential facility - very seriously.
PicLens, which we've covered before, is a browser plug-in that replaces the typical photo viewer you use on sites like Flickr. It's recently been updated, and if you haven't checked it out lately, now's the time. It's stunning.
The plug-in, which works in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Flock, and Safari (where it's a bit limited), lets you create a moving wall of images where you'd otherwise just see your Web app's more static display of pictures. Launching the viewer is just a matter of clicking a new "play" icon that appears … Read more
Over the weekend, security vendor iDefense reported three specific exploits affecting a fully patched version of Adobe Acrobat and Reader 8.1 running on Windows. In each of the cases, the attacker would need to have the users open a specially crafted PDF file delivered via an e-mail attachment or linked from a Web site. In response, Adobe has released a security update, Adobe Acrobat and Reader 8.1.2.
Do you find Windows Media Center's blue, remote controlled fa?ade easier to navigate than the cold red, white, and yellow world of Netflix? Then check out Andrew Park's new plug-in for the Vista version of Windows Media Center called MyNetflix. The plug-in lets users link to their Netflix account, search for movies, and make changes to their queue without leaving the couch.
Users navigating from their computers can also partake in Netflix's streaming service, letting them watch movies without having to wait discs to come in the mail. Because of the reliance on software, users enjoying … Read more
What's faster than opening a new browser tab and typing in the URL? Opening a Web page with Launchy, of course.
Last week we showed you how to open all your media files, documents, and programs using the quick-start application (if you missed it, we've included it below). In this quick tip video, CNET editor Tom Merritt demonstrates, as only he can, how to open Web sites, start an online search, and create search commands with this must-have freeware.
Miss last week's quick tip? After the first video, stick around for a second to learn how to … Read more
Turner's team didn't scrap the toolbar entirely, but based on user feedback, they did make it much less intrusive. Why look at the buttons when users really want the Web, they reasoned. Letting the toolbars dissolve away when they're at rest is one method for making the most of the screen. Tapping a translucent icon (shown solid here) could bring the command buttons back.… Read more
Mozilla has published a new version of Firefox to address lingering security concerns. The most noticeable problem that Version 188.8.131.52 (for Windows and Mac) hopes to fix are program crashes and corruption of stored passwords.
Other remedies include sealing up a variety of security holes, including browser history and navigation stealing, holes related to multiple file inputs, and URL token stealing.
Opera should be bracing for impact.
Like Opera's cell phone browser, Opera Mini (video), both newcomers are free. However, Opera Mobile, which serves Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 phones, is a commercial product that smartphone users may not want to pay for when handed alternatives gratis.
How does Opera plan to keep current customers and attract new ones when consumers face a choice between paying $24 and $0? I asked the Opera folks if they would consider making Opera Mobile free in anticipation of or in response to oncoming competition.
"The mobile Web is blossoming, and we are strongly positioned to take advantage of its growth," Tatsuki Tomita, Opera's senior vice president of consumer products, responded. "While we watch the industry closely, we have not yet determined the end-user model for Opera Mobile."
What a nicely toned, safely vague statement! It's one any company would be expected to make when challenged on two fronts by a competitive freeware surge. Yet with actual working, marketable products for a range of devices and a business plan that reaches into corporate pockets, Opera is well-positioned. For now.… Read more