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Last week I reported on Opera dumping Presto as it's rendering engine and adoption the more developer friendly, open source Webkit. The news kept flowing when the company managed to pick up Skyfire for a reported $155 million shortly after the Webkit announcement.
It looks like Opera will blanket headlines today as well, as the reports coming in from the Norwegian publication digi.no. They have announced that the company is letting some of its long time devs go from its core technology developer team. The publication said that as many as 90 of the 100 man team were terminated.
A large percentage of those who lost their jobs actually took a large severance package before Christmas. Some higher ranking developers were shuffled around to new projects within the company. Opera HR Director Tove Selnes is quoted: "This reorganization has been resolved in cooperation with the individual. We've come to terms with about 90 people, both in development and not development-related departments."
Opera, the little web browser that could, has decided to ditch the Presto rendering engine in favor of the more developer friendly and open source Webkit. This announcement comes hot on the heels of reports that put its user base around the 300 million monthly user mark.
Switching to Webkit will be greatly beneficial to the open source project, web developers, and the Chromium project. Hakon Wium Lie, CTO of Opera Software said, it "makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium, rather than developing our own rendering engine further."
The switch to Webkit will not be an instant one though as Opera plans on rolling the change out to iOS, Android and PCs over the next year. CEO Lars Boilesen said that he hopes that the change will help the browser "claim a bigger piece of the pie in the smartphone market".
The latest Windows build of Google's Chrome browser seems to be alluding that big things are on the horizon. Google appears to be readying a new "Notification Center" for its popular browser.
When reading over the latest release's code, Francois Beaufor spotted what appears to be templated notifications which can be enabled by toggling a flag in Chrome's settings. This will allow users to create personalized notifications from within a Chrome extension.
Speculation is that the new Notification Center may be the hub for Google Now support in Chrome OS as a recent code revision in Chromium hints at Google Now support. Chrome OS has always supported notifications, but bringing Google Now to the OS could help it become the next big player in the OS market.
Microsoft is looking to bring back users by toying with their emotions in this latest appeal:
The video clearly plays upon the current generation's nostalgia for the '90s. I've seen plenty of posts from my friends on Facebook saying "Like this if you're a '90s kid" and the like, so I have a feeling this appeal may actually work well for Microsoft. What are your thoughts on the ad? Will it bring you back to Internet Explorer?
Microsoft announced the ad on their blog:
Last year was a pretty great one for Internet Explorer. From hitting a year high on worldwide share to making some new friends like Officer Cupcake and Eugene Filon, we poked some fun at our past while helping the skeptics learn about the latest version of IE. Performance tests continued to show Internet Explorer 10 as the fastest browser on Windows 8 and security reports showed it was also the best browser to protect users from malware.
Which is why we thought it was time to invite those of you who haven't thought about Internet Explorer in a while to take a trip down memory lane. Internet Explorer is a child of the '90s, but we have done some serious growing up. Maybe IE was your first browser, but you haven't used it in a while. We aren't sure if Pogs or trolls will make a comeback as well, but we do know a lot has changed with Internet Explorer.
Dolphin Browser, one of the most popular mobile browsers just made a huge leap into the future by building in Evernote's Web Clipper. This makes it the first such browser to let us save, annotate, and tag webpages on the spot and see the changes pop up across all of our Evernote Synced devices.
Also included in the update is a single-step sharing process that simplifies sharing to social media sites and email. Users can even share content between browsers if they are on the same local network.
Developers also upgraded Dolphin Connect, to better sync bookmarks, passwords, and history between devices such as PC using extensions and add-on's to popular browsers.
Google unveiled Chrome 25 beta today, with some notable improvements, such as voice search. Other changes include the disabling of silent extension installs, the inclusion of Web Speech API, and a new tab page that includes a search box.
You can pick up the latest Chrome beta on Google's website.
Google has released version 24 of its popular operating browser, Chrome. The update hit the streets today with little word of anything from the search giant.
Google released a short and sweet blog post announcing the update. "With today's Chrome Stable release, you'll be booting up a faster browser. Feel free to kick back after the holidays and enjoy Chrome's new year freshness through automatic updates", said Dharani Govindan, Technical Program Manager for Chrome, in the blog post.
The update fixes several bugs, some Flash updates, and support for MathML. Bookmarks are now searchable via the Omnibox, and that is about it.
Reddit has certainly been a smash hit since its inception, but just how big was it in 2012? Well, according to the numbers released by the site, they received a massive 37 billion page views. An incredible number that is even more impressive when you add that those page view numbers were generated by 400 million unique users.
The site also saw 30 million posts, which gained 4 billion votes. Averaged out, it works out to be roughly 133 votes per post. Reddit's AMA with Obama is the record post, bringing in 5.5 million page views.
Reddit has released a post with the top posts of 2012 and the Best of 2012 Awards.
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.