Samsung Rolls Out Ad Blocking, Google Boots Ad Blocker Apps

After Samsung launched ad-blocking support for the Samsung Internet Browser on its mobile devices, third-party ad blocking apps shot up to the top of the Google Play app store. Google pulled them from the store soon after because the tech giant does not want to distribute apps that conflict with its own advertising business. Although Google is removing ad blocking apps, it has not taken any action to remove mobile browser apps that feature ad blocking already built-in. Continue reading Samsung Rolls Out Ad Blocking, Google Boots Ad Blocker Apps

Brave Browser Aims to Reinvent Online Advertising Paradigm

Brendan Eich created JavaScript, the world’s most widely used programming language and co-founded Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox browser that has become one of the most popular ways to navigate the Web. Now he’s back with Brave Software, a startup developing an open source browser for desktop and mobile that carves a middle path between excessive online advertising and antagonistic ad blockers. In his paradigm, advertisers, browser companies, websites and users stand to win. Continue reading Brave Browser Aims to Reinvent Online Advertising Paradigm

Facebook and Yahoo Attempt to Expand Search Capabilities

Facebook and Yahoo just made strategic deals with regard to search. Facebook, which unsuccessfully attempted search with its Graph Search feature in 2013, states it has now indexed more than two trillion posts, promoting it as a way to follow news discussions in real time. Yahoo just inked a non-exclusive deal with Google to provide search results and ads; antitrust regulators struck down a similar deal in 2008. Yahoo renegotiated an exclusive deal with Microsoft’s Bing to make this latest deal. Continue reading Facebook and Yahoo Attempt to Expand Search Capabilities

New ‘Do Not Track’ Standard Aims to Bolster Internet Privacy

DNT (Do Not Track) has been an Internet standard that consumers can activate to prevent sites from secretly following and recording their online activities. But, despite DNT, many unprincipled advertisers continue to clandestinely track and record users’ Internet activity. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), privacy company Disconnect and a group of Internet companies decided it was time to combine their resources to develop a stronger DNT setting. Continue reading New ‘Do Not Track’ Standard Aims to Bolster Internet Privacy

New Emergency Patches for Flash Steps Up Calls for Its Demise

To patch two critical zero-day vulnerabilities, Adobe Systems issued an emergency update for its Flash media player. That’s in addition to a previously unknown vulnerability discovered over a week ago in a 400-gigabyte data dump published after hackers rooted the servers of Hacking Team. That bug allowed hackers to covertly install malware on end-user computers. Mozilla now blocks the hacker-susceptible Flash, and several industry leaders are calling for Adobe to pull the plug on the bug-infested media player. Continue reading New Emergency Patches for Flash Steps Up Calls for Its Demise

YouTube Supports Live Streams at 60fps and HTML5 Playback

YouTube is looking to take on game-streaming services such as Amazon’s Twitch by allowing live video streams that run at 60 frames per second (double its previous limit). Higher frame rates are vital for fast-moving games including racers and first-person shooters, and attracting gamers will be important if YouTube hopes to remain competitive in the growing eSports market. To address growing interest in gamers sharing their sessions, YouTube has been upgrading playback quality, adding support for HD, 4K, and most recently, browsers that use HTML5. Continue reading YouTube Supports Live Streams at 60fps and HTML5 Playback

Matchstick Delays Shipping; Opts for Hardware, DRM Updates

Matchstick, the first HDMI streaming media stick based on the Firefox OS, announced that its originally planned February shipment date has now been pushed to August. The company says it has “decided to release the product when it is ready.” The decision to delay is the result of updating the hardware to a faster quad core chipset, improving the antenna to avoid the Wi-Fi connectivity issues experienced by similar products, and developing DRM support in order to attract more premium video apps such as Netflix. Continue reading Matchstick Delays Shipping; Opts for Hardware, DRM Updates

YouTube Stops Using Adobe Flash by Default, Opts for HTML5

YouTube announced it is now defaulting to HTML5 rather than Adobe Flash. A change that has been in development since 2010, the popular video site now uses its HTML5 player by default in the following browsers: Apple’s Safari 8, Google Chrome, Microsoft IE11, and beta versions of Mozilla’s Firefox. The company points to adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming, the VP9 codec, encrypted media extensions, Web real-time communication (WebRTC), and fullscreen APIs as five key technologies that made the change possible. Continue reading YouTube Stops Using Adobe Flash by Default, Opts for HTML5

Mozilla Launches First of its Kind Native VR Web Experience

This past year, Mozilla announced plans to develop a website that could support virtual reality. In June, it released an update with an experimental design for Firefox and the Oculus Rift. And earlier this week, to help celebrate Firefox’s 10th anniversary, Mozilla launched MozVR.com, a site featuring virtual demos, website blueprints, source code and guided tutorials to propel the growth of VR online. For now, the experience is only possible with the support of Firefox’s VR-enabled feature and an Oculus Rift headset. Continue reading Mozilla Launches First of its Kind Native VR Web Experience

Matchstick Developing Open-Source Streaming Media Dongle

San Jose-based startup Matchstick, in cooperation with Mozilla, is creating what is essentially an “open Chromecast.” The startup is taking orders for its first open-source media streaming dongle, which will range in price from $12 to $25. Matchstick hopes to encourage developers to create apps for its Firefox OS-based device before it starts shipping in January. Mozilla is helping the Matchstick team draw more content partners, so that the startup will be able to offer premium content. Continue reading Matchstick Developing Open-Source Streaming Media Dongle

Mozilla to Take On Chromecast with Firefox Streaming Stick

Mozilla has been quietly working with a partner on a Firefox OS-powered streaming media dongle that could compete with Google’s Chromecast. While the device does not yet have a name, it has been shared with a small group of developers, and photos have leaked via Twitter. GigaOM obtained a prototype that it says works similarly to Chromecast, even running some of its apps. And since Firefox OS is an open platform, the device may not have some of the same restrictions as Chromecast. Continue reading Mozilla to Take On Chromecast with Firefox Streaming Stick

New Initiative Gets Companies to Fund Open Source Projects

More than a dozen companies have joined the Core Infrastructure Initiative to provide funding to open source projects, starting with OpenSSL. The Linux Foundation, Amazon, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NetApp, Rackspace, Qualcomm, and VMWare have each pledged $100,000 over the next three years to pay for full-time developers, security audits, computing and testing infrastructure, and more to help financially strapped open source projects. Continue reading New Initiative Gets Companies to Fund Open Source Projects

Phone Makers Target Emerging Markets with Low-End Devices

Although high-end smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung usually get the most press, other established companies are attempting to tap into emerging markets by focusing on inexpensive, low-tech versions of their phones. At the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, companies including Nokia, Google and BlackBerry displayed phones priced between $100-$200. Other companies are aiming to go even lower, below $100, including China’s ZTE Corp. Continue reading Phone Makers Target Emerging Markets with Low-End Devices

NYT Launches HTML5-Based Web App with Print-Like Design

The New York Times has launched a responsive Web app for its daily print edition, designed for tablets and computers. “Today’s Paper,” built with HTML5, offers the content of the daily edition in a layout that is similar to the paper’s iPad app in Newsstand. It is delivered on a regular daily schedule and structured similarly to the print version, for those frustrated by segmented apps and digital offerings. Interaction on a tablet offers swiping and gestures rather than clicking and scrolling. Continue reading NYT Launches HTML5-Based Web App with Print-Like Design

Capture and Share 3D Images with the Seene App for iPhone

A new app from London-based Obvious Engineering allows iPhone users to easily capture and share 3D images. Seene is compatible with Apple’s iPhone 4S and higher, and browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari that support WebGL for 3D. It works by aiming your phone at a subject and moving around to record different angles. The progress is then overlaid on top of a video feed, resulting in a “seene” that builds automatically, which can be shared via social tools. Continue reading Capture and Share 3D Images with the Seene App for iPhone