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Last month, Mozilla announced that they would be killing the 64-bit version of Firefox for Windows due to many bugs and insecurities in the version, coupled with the fact very few users actually used or needed the 64-bit version. Mozilla has now reversed that decision due to backlash from users of the 64-bit version.
Mozilla is still looking to transition the large majority of 64-bit users over to the 32-bit version, though they will continue to provide nightly builds of the 64-bit version. Users will be forced onto the 32-bit through an automatic update, but will be able to download the 64-bit nightly and reinstall.
"After I announced my decision to disable 64-bit Windows nightlies, there was significant negative feedback. After reviewing that feedback, and consulting with Release Engineering, I believe that we can keep a set of users happy by making a modification to the original plan," Smedberg said. "I do hope that the projects and developers who are interested in win64 will work together to maintain this build configuration. I am interested in hearing from volunteers who want to become the 64-bit build maintainer. I will also set up a discussion list specifically for win64 issues, if that would be valuable."
I've already said some great things about Google Now in my reviews of the OS itself, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, as well as the review of the Nexus 4 - it truly is an amazing addition to Android, and is becoming one of the standout features of it, too.
Well, it looks like the Google Chrome team have just added a "skeleton for Google Now for Chrome" to the browser, which is showing the early stages of seeing the alert system/personal assistant app within the Chrome browser.
Google have gone as far as confirming that they're working on Google Now integration into Chrome, apart from totally admitting it. Moving Google Now into Chrome would be the next logical step and would be a great addition to the already powerful and popular browser. It would also give Google Now much more information to aggregate and sort out for you.
Microsoft's latest ad for Internet Explorer is actually quite good, company says new IE "sucks... less"
When first watching this new advertisement from Microsoft about Internet Explorer, I really didn't know what to expect. But as the video rolls on, you see just where they're going with it.
Microsoft are not stating that they are the undeniable champion of the browser space, because, well, they know that Chrome and Firefox from Google and Mozilla, respectively, are hugely popular web browsers.
But, that hasn't stopped the software giant from releasing a new advertisement over it - involving a basement-living Internet troll who attacks IE on sites, forums and Twitter. Eventually, he sees that IE has evolved into something he can actually accept - rather than vehemently attack.
And just like that, Mozilla has ended nightly builds of Firefox 64-bit for Windows. The reasoning behind doing so is logical and was laid out by Engineering Manager Benjamin Smedberg. Only 5 days after his post on the mozilla.dev.planning discussion board, nightly builds were turned off.
- Many plugins are not available in 64-bit versions.
- The plugins that are available don't work correctly in Firefox because we haven't implemented things like windowproc hooking, which means that hangs are more common.
- Crashes submitted by 64-bit users are currently not high priority because we are working on other things.
- This is frustrating for users because they feel (and are!) second-class.
- It is also frustrating for stability team triage because crash-stats does not easily distinguish between 32-bit and 64-bit builds in the topcrash lists and other reports. We basically ignore a set of nightly "topcrashes" because they are 64-bit only. (See bug 811051).
Browsing through the discussions, it was clear that a large portion were against disabling the 64-bit version, however, some did agree with him. He then posted "Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread. Given the existing information, I have decided to proceed with disabling windows 64-bit nightly and hourly builds. Please let us consider this discussion closed unless there is critical new information which needs to be presented."
On the heels of yesterday's Firefox for Android update, Mozilla has released Firefox 17 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The popular browser has seen heightened competition as of late from Google's Chrome browser and the other browsers available, such as Opera and Internet Explorer 10.
The latest version comes just a month after Firefox 16, which was released back in October. Mozilla has increased the frequency of updates, likely to match that of Chrome, and Firefox is now rolling out updates, bug fixes, and improvements every six weeks or so, a similar schedule to that of Chrome.
Version 17 of Firefox removes support for Mac OS X 10.5. This could be a bit of a problem for some Mac users as nearly 10 percent of Macs are still running the old operating system. They'll still be stuck with the old version of the browser, but this isn't too big of a deal because version 16 is a solid Firefox version.
Head on over to Firefox.com and pick up the latest version of the browser, which should be showing up online sometime today. If you're already a user of Firefox, you'll get the update automatically.
Firefox for Android allows it to run on older devices, makes it accessible to 250 million more devices
Today, Mozilla has released a new version of Firefox for Android. The updated version now includes support for devices running an ARMv6 processor, which Mozilla claims is found in roughly 250 million devices. For comparison, there are roughly 500 million existing Android devices, so it opens it up to a large new group of users.
Previous iterations of the Firefox browser required devices to be running Android 2.2 or later and an ARMv7 processor. Users who have clung to their older Android device can now make use of the popular third-party web browser. The new browser also comes with many improvements for the visually impaired.
The accessibility improvements are now available in the mobile browser and will help visually impaired users navigate the web. If you'd like to pick up Firefox for Android for your older device, it's now available on the Google Play Store.
Google: Flash is now 'fully sandboxed' in Chrome on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS; everyone cheers
Three cheers for Chrome and the Chrome team. They have fully sandboxed Flash in Chrome for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Chrome OS, which should help make everyone's system safer and more stable. Flash has long been the cause of security flaws and browser crashes, so Google's sandboxing of Flash should stop at least the former of the two problems.
The latest Chrome release features a new version of flash, along with full Flash sandboxing. Google says that the new Flash sandboxing is as strong as Chrome's native sandbox, and "much more robust than anything else available." Between the two changes, Flash should remain safe for a few more weeks before someone finds a new compromise.
This will be especially good for Mac users as Flash has been a major problem for the platform as of late. They suffered the Flashback malware, and several other security breaches. Flash makes a great exploit tool because of its wide use and cross-platform support. It's doubtful anyone will stop trying to exploit it for a long time to come, so this step by Google is much appreciated.
Google is apparently quite proud of their six week release schedule for Chrome. They've taken to their blog to post about how every six weeks, Chrome gets faster. They liken the release schedule and speed increase to " a mechanic stopping by every six weeks to give your car a new engine."
As you can see in the chart above, Chrome, according to Google, has gotten 26.3 percent faster since version 15. The latest version, 24, is currently available in the Beta channel meaning it will be a little bit before you get it on your normal desktop. They measured performance using their Octane benchmark, so the numbers could be a bit biased.
They do bring up the interesting point of most users not realizing their browser is being upgraded. To the end user, they see the same window, day after day, even though it's updating the back-end to make the browser run quicker and feel snappier. Google strives for speed, so you can be assured that they will continue to tweak Chrome to get the best performance.
Opera's latest iteration of their browser is now available, which includes improved support for both Windows and OS X, as well as enhanced support for touch-enabled Windows 8-based devices. Apple users aren't left out in the dark, either.
Users running Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion get some new features, too, with alerts from Opera in the new Notifications Center and improved support for the Retina displays on the latest MacBooks and iMacs. The new Opera 12.10 also includes a button added to the address bar that uses Mountain Lion's integrated social sharing functionality. There are also some other great improvements:
- Support for the SPDY protocol to improve and secure connections. Gmail and Twitter have already started using SPDY to supplement HTTP.
- The WebSocket API is supported and turned on by default in Opera 12.10. Opera now also supports ICC color profiles and color management.
- Support for Flexbox and and @supports to give website developers more control of how their website appear in the end users' browsers.
Last year, Google released a plug-in for the wildly popular Google Chrome. Like all things Google, this plug-in started out as a beta. The plug-in was a utility that would allow users to remotely access other PCs through Chrome. Today, Google has upgraded this plug-in from beta status with additional features.
To move the plug-in out of beta, Google added some extra features, some of which are really sweet. For instance, you can now have a real time audio feed from Windows, which should allow you to stream your MP3 collection through the internet to wherever you may remote desktoping in from.
Google is really trying to sell the plug-in as part of the Chromebook experience. You can take your highly "portable and easy-to use Chromebook with you on the go" and still remote into your PC or Mac at home to listen to music, do work that isn't possible on a Chromebook, or to just check on things.
Google says that they are still working on even more features to make Chrome Remote Desktop even more powerful. You can grab the plug-in from the Chrome Web Store.