Microsoft bans Firefox on ARM-based Windows, Mozilla says

Posted by Harshad

Microsoft bans Firefox on ARM-based Windows, Mozilla says

Microsoft bans Firefox on ARM-based Windows, Mozilla says

Posted: 09 May 2012 06:00 PM PDT

IE10: the only browser allowed on Windows for ARM-based devices?

(Credit: Microsoft)

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Microsoft muscles aside other browsers and cements the dominance of Internet Explorer. The browser market, deprived of competition, stagnates.

That, of course, is what happened during the first browser war of the 1990s and beyond, on personal computers. Today, Mozilla's top lawyer warned that Microsoft's behavior threatens a repeat of history, because it's telling Mozilla that it's barring Firefox from forthcoming Windows 8 machines that use ARM processors.

"They're trying to make a new version of their operating system which denies their users choice, competition, and innovation," said Harvey Anderson, Mozilla's general counsel. "Making IE the only browser on that platform is a complete return to the digital dark ages when there was only one browser on the Windows platform."

Anderson has been discussing the matter with his counterparts at Microsoft, but the company hasn't budged.

Microsoft declined to comment for this story.

Microsoft's position raises the prospect not only of refighting the browser wars of more than a decade ago, but also of reviving the grindingly slow antitrust litigation from the U.S. Justice Department, 20 U.S. states, and the European Commission. The U.... [Read more]

iPhone apps that can help in an emergency

Posted: 09 May 2012 05:54 PM PDT

(Credit: Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET)

Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. It might be a tornado that's bearing down on your location, a finger that gets burned on a hot stove, or even just a fender bender in a parking lot.

To paraphrase the Boy Scout motto: be prepared -- with apps!

The iTunes App Store is home to countless apps that can help you in an emergency. I've rounded up six to get you started. Most of them are free, so you've got nothing to lose -- and a lot to gain -- by finding a home for them on your iPhone.

Check out my list, then hit the comments if you've found other apps that can help save the day, and perhaps even save a life.

Six iPhone apps that can help you in an emergency

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Apple releases Safari 5.1.7, Snow Leopard updates, and more.

Posted: 09 May 2012 04:43 PM PDT

Accompanying today's updates for OS X Lion client and server, Apple has released a number of other updates for its supported operating systems and OS X software.

The first is a security update for Snow Leopard, which applies similar security updates for its components that were applied to Lion in the OS X 10.7.4 update. Apple has a knowledgebase page on the security details of this update, but as of this writing the page is not loading from the Apple support site.

In addition to the Operating System updates, Apple has made available updates to its popular software packages. The most notable of these is its Safari Web browser, which received a small version bump to 5.1.7 to tackle a few bugs and address some security vulnerabilities in its WebKit rendering engine. According to the updater's Web page, the following features are key changes to the browser:

  • Improve the browser's responsiveness when the system is low on memory
  • Fix an issue that could prevent Web pages from responding after using a pinch to zoom gesture
  • Fix an issue that could affect Web sites using forms to authenticate users
  • Disable versions of Adobe Flash Player that do not in... [Read more]

Google Maps 6.7 for Android adds Offers, more

Posted: 09 May 2012 02:43 PM PDT

(Credit: Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET)

Google Maps version 6.7 for Android has just dropped, and the big news is that it comes loaded with Google Offers. Now, while you're viewing a map, you can pull up a list of offers nearby or see them plotted directly on your map. What's nice is that the integration includes both instant-use offers (digital coupons, basically) and advanced purchase offers (similar to Groupons). If you like, you can even save offers for later and pull them up from the My Offers screen under the main menu. Unfortunately, for now Google Offers are only viewable to Maps users in the U.S.

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Another big addition to version 6.7 is indoor walking directions. As you may remember, in November of last year, ... [Read more]

Hands-on Boot to Gecko: Interesting, but far from baked

Posted: 09 May 2012 02:18 PM PDT

Hands-on Mozilla's Firefox OS - Boot to Gecko

NEW ORLEANS--Mozilla may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to mobile technology, but that may change early next year. Its mobile operating system code-named Boot to Gecko is developing rapidly, but it will face challenges both technical and tech cultural.

Judging from my colleague Stephen Shankland's take on how Boot to Gecko performed at its public unveiling in February, Mozilla has definitely made progress with the phone. The build I used was installed on a Samsung Galaxy S II.

A demonstration of B2G (Boot to Gecko) at Mobile World Congress shows that Mozilla's browser-based mobile OS can send and receive text messages. It also can send and receive calls, play games, and be used to read e-books.

(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET)

The interface appears to be a mix of traditional iOS-style app icons, and Windows Phone-style interactive tiles. Flipping through the pages of apps, some of which were real while others were built as place-holders, was an impressively zippy experience. That may have a lot to do with the Samsung's powerful hardware, but the Mozilla phone uses hardware acceleration HTML5 APIs to leverage the graphics processor. This is a necessity, of course: nobody's... [Read more]

Apple pushes out OS X 10.7.4 with new Safari in tow

Posted: 09 May 2012 02:02 PM PDT

Apple today released 10.7.4, the fourth minor update to Lion, and one that squashes a number of bugs and patches a security hole.

Among the fixes is one for Apple's FileVault data encryption technology, which cropped up in an earlier update. That issue kept user passwords in a log file that was stored in plain text if a user had upgraded from past versions of OS X.

Other notable changes include a new version of Safari (version 5.1.6), which Apple says is more stable. Once users install the OS X update, they can get Safari 5.1.7, which has a new security feature that checks to see if a user has an outdated version of Adobe Flash installed. That would be versions of Flash prior to 10.1 which added an auto-update feature that brings security patches and other goodies. If an older version of Flash is found, it's disabled, and the user is pointed to Adobe's site to get the latest.

As usual, the new build can be found in Software Update.

Full change log below:

  • Resolve an issue in which the "Reopen windows when logging back in" setting is always enabled.
  • Improve compatibility with certain British third-party USB keyboards.
  • Addresses permission issues ... [Read more]
  • Google+ for iPhone gets first big visual overhaul

    Posted: 09 May 2012 01:18 PM PDT

    Google's latest Google+ update.

    (Credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET)

    If there's one thing to be said about Google+ for the iPhone (iTunes), it's that it hasn't looked as good as its Web counterpart. With an update today, Google is hoping to change people's opinions on that.

    In a new version of the software that went out to Google+ users for iPhone today, the company has overhauled the look and feel of the app, making text bigger and adding a kinetic feel as photos float into view as users scroll down.

    In a blog post about the update, Google Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra called it "a mobile app with sense and soul."

    "We're embracing the sensor-rich smartphone (with its touchable screen and high-density display), and transforming Google+ into something more intimate, and more expressive," Gundotra said.

    The update comes on the heels of Google more deeply integrating Google+ inside of its Gmail Web e-mail service. Yesterday the company rolled out a way for users to view and respond to a Google+ comment thread, as well as +1 posts that are sent to th... [Read more]

    AVG to pre-scan Livewire's Android market

    Posted: 09 May 2012 11:47 AM PDT

    NEW ORLEANS--Security suite maker AVG has teamed with independent Android marketplace and mobile content provider Livewire to scan all the apps it hosts for malware before they are made available to the public, the companies announced today at CTIA. The deal will also install AVG's free Android security app Mobilation (download) on devices to scan apps after they update.

    Jon Lobb, vice president of Global Business Development for mobile at AVG, said that the partnership would keep phones safe from before an app is installed through the app's updates. "It's a belt-to-bracers approach," said Lobb.

    The move is not unlike the verified safe e-mail scanning service that AVG provides, which became a widely trusted method in the middle of the 2000s to mark e-mails as free of spam and phishing attempts.

    Livewire isn't new to content distribution -- it specializes in selling digital apps, games, music, books, and video -- but it is new to the competitive world of Android marketplaces. "The solution we have put together with AVG provides an innovative 'clean' service for consumers," said Livewire Mobile COO David Moreau in a prepared statement.

    AVG is talking to other content providers and app marketplaces about verifying app safety for them, including Vodafone, said Lobb.

    [Read more]

    WordPress 2.1 for Android kills bugs, adds Autosave

    Posted: 09 May 2012 11:45 AM PDT

    (Credit: Automattic)

    The newest version of WordPress for Android (download) has just dropped, and in addition to all the bug fixes and performance tweaks, it brings with it a few big features that should please longtime users.

    With WordPress 2.1, users can now edit comments. Thanks to a new Edit button that brings up fields for changing name, e-mail, URL, comment text, and status, the process is just as easy as on the full WordPress site.

    Next, the app is finally offering an autosave feature. This means if you close the app or your phone shuts down unexpectedly in the middle of a post, you can be confident that you won't have to start over from scratch.

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    You also can now set the width of linked images from the app. Previously, you could link only to full-size images in posts, but now under the Set... [Read more]

    How to get Flipboard on any Android device right now

    Posted: 09 May 2012 11:37 AM PDT

    (Credit: Jason Cipriani/CNET)

    When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S III last week, one piece of the announcement was that Flipboard for Android would be exclusive to the device for a little bit after launch. But, thanks to an XDA Developer Forum member, the APK is out and available for download right now.

    Installing the APK on your Android device is easy. Head on over to this XDA Forum post and download the APK. You can then either e-mail it to yourself, or add it to a Dropbox folder (or Google Drive, Box, etc.) to access it on your device. Once you have downloaded it to your device, tap on it and it will install.

    If you run into any issues, make sure you have allowed the installation of apps from unknown sources located in Settings > Security on your device. As with any "leak," the app may not run properly on all devices, so be sure to let us know your experiences in the comments below.

    For those unfamiliar with Flipboard, which up until now has been an iOS exclusive, make sure you ... [Read more]

    PayAnywhere is like Square, but more so

    Posted: 08 May 2012 09:55 PM PDT

    PayAnywhere has some slick-looking management apps and a steady swipe mechanism that stays put.

    (Credit: Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

    NEW ORLEANS--If a new player in mobile payment has its way, PayAnywhere will soon be everywhere.

    If you've heard of Square, then you pretty much already know everything you need to about PayAnywhere's point-of-sale product for mobile devices, which I saw for the first time at CTIA. The service consists of three parts: a credit card reader you can attach to a mobile device, a mobile app interface for customers and for merchants to manage, and a processing platform to tie it all together and offer analytics.

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