Google Intros New Security Interface Version with Chrome 88

When Google’s next version of Chrome — Chrome 88 — debuts in mid-January, it will include the third version of Manifest, the company’s programming interface for privacy and security. The new version will limit some abilities of extensions used to customize the Chrome browser, and some developers are worried that it will hobble ad blockers. In fact, Manifest V3 limits the “rules” that extensions can be applied to a web page as it loads. Manifest V2 will continue to work for at least one year. Continue reading Google Intros New Security Interface Version with Chrome 88

Department of Justice Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google

As anticipated, the U.S. Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google, accusing the company of “unlawfully maintaining monopolies” involving its search and related advertising services. The DOJ is also questioning the terms of Google’s Android operating system, which the Department believes essentially forces phone makers to pre-load Google apps and set Google Search as a default feature. The concern is that the practice unfairly hinders competition and enables Google to generate significant revenue from its search-related advertising business. Continue reading Department of Justice Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google

Google Cast Technology Powers New Vizio TVs and Speakers

Vizio is launching a SmartCast TV set and several soundbars and speakers, all based on Google Cast, the same technology as that company’s Chromecast streaming stick. With the SmartCast TV, the user can control streaming services directly from his or her phone, without a remote control. Vizio just introduced a companion Android app on Google Play that will allow volume control and other basic functions as well as a movie/TV show guide. One partner in the launch is Walmart’s video service Vudu. Continue reading Google Cast Technology Powers New Vizio TVs and Speakers

Google and Vizio Partner for First Chromecast-Powered TV Set

According to multiple unnamed sources, Google and TV manufacturer Vizio are partnering on new TV sets with built-in Chromecast-like functionality. The new sets are reported to allow consumers to initiate streaming of online services like Netflix and Hulu from mobile devices. This move is a sharp contrast to Google’s previous model, which drew a line between Chromecast and its Android TV, a smart TV platform launched in 2014 that runs apps on the TV set with navigation via a remote control. Continue reading Google and Vizio Partner for First Chromecast-Powered TV Set

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

Microsoft Makes Opera Default Browser on Android Handset

Microsoft has unveiled its first Android smartphone, the mid-range Nokia X2 Dual SIM, and has made Opera the handset’s default Web browser. The $135 Linux-based device features a 4.3-inch WVGA display, 5-megapixel camera (with LED flash and autofocus), 1GB of RAM and a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. With a tiles-based home screen similar to Windows Phone, the X2 comes with preloaded services such as Skype, Outlook, OneDrive, HERE Maps and the ad-free MixRadio. Continue reading Microsoft Makes Opera Default Browser on Android Handset

Mobile: Amazon Turns to the Cloud for Streaming Flash Video

Amazon has been quietly testing what it hopes will be an improved means of viewing Flash video content on mobile devices. For the past six months, some Kindle Fire users have been provided with an “experimental streaming viewer” option when they attempt to access video clips on sites including CBS.com, Fox.com and NBC.com. The Silk browser for Kindle Fire enables the streaming by splitting the workload between the mobile devices and Amazon cloud servers. Continue reading Mobile: Amazon Turns to the Cloud for Streaming Flash Video

Aereo Launches in Boston Area, Streamlines Pricing Plans

Live TV streaming service Aereo launches in Boston today, with plans to launch in the Atlanta area next month. The controversial service, which started in New York City, is scheduled to expand to 22 markets by the end of this year. The Atlanta launch will reach 55 counties across Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. Additionally, Aereo has announced a simplified pricing structure that eliminates the previous $1 daily and $80 annual plans. Continue reading Aereo Launches in Boston Area, Streamlines Pricing Plans

Tweet Seats and Other Attempts at Audience Engagement

The Mobile Symphony Orchestra in Alabama introduced its “tweet seats” late last year during a performance of Beethoven’s Eroica symphony. The seats are located in the back row of the auditorium and are made available to those who wish to text or tweet during the performance. This type of move is representative of many arts organizations’ attempts to encourage audiences to engage technologically with performances. Continue reading Tweet Seats and Other Attempts at Audience Engagement

Browser Evaluation: Is Google Chrome Superior to Internet Explorer?

  • Although only 13 percent of Internet users have chosen Google Chrome thus far, Digital Trends makes a compelling argument why the browser may be a step above competitors such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera.
  • The author believes Chrome is a leader in speed, compatibility and Web page rendering — and credits the V8 JavaScript engine for the browser’s superior performance.
  • “Chrome remains the unchallenged performance leader. Peacekeeper browser benchmark scores for Chrome are much higher than they are for other browsers — in fact, when compared to IE9, the latest version can almost double Internet Explorer’s score.”
  • The post includes tips for installing Chrome, understanding the interface, helpful shortcuts, bookmarking and downloads, security and privacy settings and more.
  • “It’s an impressive suite, and generally better than what other browsers offer by default,” suggests Digital Trends. “But some of its biggest advantages — such as its speed — are only apparent after using the browser for a few minutes.”