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Today, Mozilla announced that it will soon begin selling ads within Firefox, its internet browser. This announcement serves as a followup on an earlier announcement made by the company last year when it said that its browser would begin blocking third-party advertising software automatically by default, something that sent the online advertising industry ablaze with chatter on the topic.
Mozilla says that the ads will appear within Firefox's "New Tabs Page," and will feature both locally targeted as well as mass market ads via a new initiative called "Directory Tiles." Mozilla unveiled a beta version of the Directory Tile system last year for users who opted in to receiving tailored content delivered to them based on their browsing history, and the company says that from its testing, it now sees more than 100 billion "tile impressions" annually. This opens up a big advertising niche that Mozilla hopes to capitalize on.
"Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla's pursuit of our mission," Mozilla said in a blog post. "The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy." A spokes person for Mozilla followed up by saying: "We are looking to partner with like-minded content owners and creators, such as leading publishers and curators as well as innovative advertising agencies."
Today, Google announced that its engineers working on the company's Chrome Browser have built-in a new feature that automatically warns users of changes made to browsing settings by malicious software. The announcement came via a blog post from Linus Upson, Google's vice president of Engineering.
"Despite this, settings hijacking remains our number one user complaint. To make sure the reset option reaches everyone who might need it, Chrome will be prompting Windows users whose settings appear to have been changed if they'd like to restore their browser settings back to factory default," said Upson. "If you've been affected by settings hijacking and would like to restore your settings, just click "Reset" on the prompt below when it appears."
The blog post went on to say that resetting everything back to original defaults will disable all user-installed extensions, apps and themes, and that users will need to re enable them if they wish to continue using them. Google made no mention on how this new feature will affect extensions and apps that inject ad-ware such as popups and audio onto the users screen, but we sincerely hope that it marks them as malware as well.
Microsoft Internet Explorer is still the No. 1 Internet browser based on overall market share, but continues to battle heavily against critics. Since the launch of Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has worked diligently, listening to user input and making drastic changes to overhaul the browser.
As part of the company's "Rethink" campaign, Microsoft wants to show Internet users the benefits of 3D graphics rendering and an innovative touch-based user experience. In addition, the company is opening up to web developers hoping to optimize code for modern Internet browsing that continually changes.
"What if Internet Explorer could show you a web that did things you didn't think were possible?" Microsoft noted on the Rethink website. "From gaming to entertainment, we are helping to create entirely new experiences on the Web that are fast, beautiful and perfect for touch. See for yourself..."
Microsoft continues to fight back against Firefox, Chrome and other competitors, capturing 57.91 percent of the market. Firefox is No. 2 with 18.35 percent and Chrome has 16.22 percent of the market, as Microsoft continues to ask for feedback from users.
Google has pushed out an update to its popular web browser, Chrome, bringing it up to version 32. Chrome 32 includes tab indicators, a new look for Windows 8 Metro mode, and an automatic blocking of malware downloads.
The tab indicators function is the stand out feature here, where Chrome will now indicate which tab among your sea of tabs, is producing sound. This is great if there's a video ad playing on one of your tabs, but you don't know where. Now you just have to look for a speaker icon on your tab, and you can shut it down. Not only that, but Chrome 32 will display which tab is using your webcam, or casing your TV through Chromecast.
If you're a Windows 8 user, Chrome now looks much better on Microsoft's latest OS. It looks exactly like Chrome OS within Windows 8, which is a little sneaky of the Mountain View-based search giant. But, this is a feature that might push me to testing out a Windows 8.1-based machine, because I'm so intertwined into Google's countless services.
Today Google announced that it has began cracking down on multifunction extensions for its Chrome web browser. These type of browsers typically slow down a users machine by consuming massive amounts of system resources even while at idle.
A new Chrome Web Store policy has been put into place that states that all extensions must be designed with a single purpose, and extensions that do not fit the bill will be removed from the Web Store. Single-purpose design for extensions has "always been the intent of the Chrome extension system," Google's, Erik Kay, writes in a blog post. "These multi-purpose extensions can crowd your browser UI and slow down your web browsing - sometimes significantly. We're making this policy change to fix these problems and give users more control over their browsing experience,"
I'm a big fan of the 'OK Google' movement on my Nexus 5, and I can't wait to get my hands on Glass, but now there's a Chrome extension that gives you the same voice command ability with Google Search.
If you have a microphone hooked up to your computer, or alternatively if you're using a notebook/Ultrabook with one built-in, all you have to do is say "OK Google" and a question, and it will look it up for you. The best questions, I've found, are asking it about the weather, or time, or a crazy math question.
You can get this all from the Chrome Store, by downloading the extension and trying it out. Do let us know how your travels are with the extension!
If you're an IT guy, you would know the pain of all the bits and pieces Chrome can do - extensions, themes, and much more. Well, Google has just revealed a new function that acts like a factory reset button for Chrome.
The new "Reset browser settings" button will revert Chrome back to its default search engine, removing any saved searches to their original settings, homepage button and any pinned tabs get removed, startup and new tab tabs cleared, cookies, site data, and content settings all get wiped, and finally, extensions and themes disabled.
Google is also pushing a new malware download blocking feature soon, which should help increase its browser's security.
Earlier this morning, Google began pushing out the latest version of Google Chrome, and it is expected to take several days for the process to completely populate to all those who have auto updating turned on in Chrome. The update brings forth a new search by image option for the desktop version of Chrome, while the Android version receives a handful of new touch-based gestures.
On the Android version of Chrome 30, users will now have the ability to horizontally swipe across the top bar to quickly jump from one tab to another. Additionally, dragging down will reveal the entire tab switcher screen. I love this new feature as it allows me to very quickly access all of my tabs at once and makes searching through multiple tabs quick and easy. Users are also able to drag down the settings menu for quick and easy access.
The new "search by image" feature on the desktop version of Chrome 30 is pretty awesome as well. Now users can search for larger sized images simply by right clicking on a web-based image and selecting the new "Search Google for this image" option in the context menu. For those who use Google image search for wallpapers or for content, this feature greatly speeds up the image hunting process.
Following Google's lead, Mozilla has decided to deactivate most of the browser plug-ins used in Firefox. In the latest version of Firefox Aurora, almost all of the plug-ins have been disabled with the exception of Adobe Flash. Unlike Chrome's plan to ban plug-ins all together, FireFox will let its users choose which plug-ins they would like to activate.
Firefox says that the decision to disable most plug-ins would not only help speed up the browser, but it will provide a safer environment and remove many of the security vulnerabilities that modern browsers face. At one time, plug-ins were an important tool for development as well as implementing cutting-edge features such as video and animation, but over time web technologies advanced and everything can now be done using new technologies such as WebGL, WebSockets, WebRTC, and asm.js.
The move to disable plug-ins is also driven by the fact that most mobile devices no longer support many of them. Disabling plug-ins by default will help push development into a more mobile-friendly workflow and will allow developers to take the Internet to the next level.
Earlier this afternoon, Google announced that it has began rolling out a newly refreshed "new tabs page" that greatly speeds up searching from within the Chrome browser. The new tab page still features little windows to your most visited sites, but now features the Google search bar front and center.
Google says that at the moment only those who use the "stable channel of Chrome" will have access to the new tab page, and those users must additionally have Google set as the default search engine. Google is not limiting this new tab page to just Google search, and has opened the API to allow any search engine to be integrated into the new tab page.
A statement on Google's Chrome blog said:
When you're searching for information, speed matters. We're always thinking about how to shave milliseconds from every search you do, throughout our products. Last year, we started testing a feature in Chrome to make searching from a new tab faster and simpler. If you use Chrome's Developer or Beta installs, you may have already seen this in action. Many thanks for your feedback, which has helped us continue to hone the look and feel, and improve average time from query to answer - meaning you can find what you're looking for even more quickly than before.