Opera Software has announced a slew of updates for its various mobile web browsers, including a new Opera Mini for the iPhone and Opera Mobile 12 for Android phones.
Contrary to what many may think, the real race in mobile web browsers is not between Mobile Safari and Android’s web browser, but between Mobile Safari and Opera Mobile/Mini. As we’ve mentioned before, actual mobile traffic data puts Opera just a touch ahead of Mobile Safari in the race for most-used mobile web browser.
The latest release of the iPhone variant of Opera Mini adds several useful new features, including support for more than nine items on the Speed Dial page, support for the iPhone’s native dictionary and improved traffic compression on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Other changes include fixing a bug that prevented session restore from working properly when your battery died. For full details on everything that’s new in Opera Mini 7 for iOS, check out the release notes.
There’s also a new preview version of Opera Mini available, with support for what Opera calls “Smart Page.” Smart Page takes the idea of Opera’s Speed Dial — the “new tab” screen with your favorite sites just a click away, which has since made its way into all the major desktop browsers — and applies it to the social web. Smart Page gives feature phone users one-click access to social networks and news sites like Twitter and Facebook. For now Smart Page is only available on the feature phone version of Opera Mini Next, though the company plans to eventually include it on other phones as well.
If you’d like to take Opera Mini Next for a spin on older feature phones, point your phone to m.opera.com/next. Keep in mind that this a preview release and there may be bugs.
In addition to Opera Mini and Opera Mini Next, Opera has also released Opera Mobile 12 for Android, Symbian and other mobile platforms. This release brings WebGL support to Opera Mobile 12 on Android, which means better support for 3D and other complex web graphics. Opera’s new HTML5 parser — which we looked at in our review of Opera 11.60 for the desktop — is also included in Opera Mobile 12.
Other new features include support for the Media Capture API, which means websites can access your phone’s camera, and more options for customizing the Speed Dial (including the same increased number of Speed Dial items found in the other releases).
Mozilla announced today that it has partnered with mobile network operator Telefónica to deliver a complete mobile operating system built around standards-based web technologies. They plan to bring the platform to market later this year on a prototype device that they are developing in collaboration with Qualcomm.
The new operating system, which is called the Open Web Devices (OWD) platform, is based on Mozilla’s Boot2Gecko project. Mozilla launched B2G last year with the aim of building a Linux-based mobile computing environment with an application stack that runs entirely in Gecko, the HTML rendering engine that is used in the Firefox web browser.
According to a statement from Mozilla, Telefónica was already evaluating the feasibility of creating its own web-centric mobile platform when the B2G project was first announced. Telefónica subsequently decided to bring its ideas to B2G and join Mozilla in a cooperative development effort.
Their initial target is to produce devices with smartphone-like capabilities that can be built inexpensively and sold at the price of a common feature phone. Telefónica believes that the unique advantages of a platform built around web technologies will potentially reduce development and production costs, enabling the company to make devices that are a good fit for regions where smartphones have historically been too expensive for widespread adoption.
“From our experience in Latin America we know that a huge part of the market is not being catered for by current smartphones,” said Telefónica Digital product development director Carlos Domingo in a statement. “With new open web devices we will be able to offer a smartphone experience at the right price point for these customers.”
Mozilla has been working with the W3C to turn its new APIs into open standards with the hope that the technology will be embraced by other browser vendors. In today’s announcement, Mozilla revealed that it plans to take this effort one step further by turning the whole OWD platform into an open standard.
“Because of this initiative’s commitment to openness, this reference implementation will be submitted for standardization to W3C,” Mozilla told us in an e-mail. “The objective is that there are no proprietary APIs within the device architecture, making phones developed using it the only truly open devices on the market.”
The initial OWD prototype device will be built around a Qualcomm chipset, but the exact specifications have not yet been disclosed. In light of the focus on low cost, it’s likely that the specs will be modest. Mozilla contends that OWD is lighter than some other mobile platforms because its simple HTML-on-Linux architecture eliminates the need for a lot of the intermediate layers that would otherwise be necessary.
It does seems clear, however, that the extensive use of HTML will help accelerate OWD development and vastly simplify the sort of customizations that mobile network operators typically make. Mozilla was able to get its B2G home screen interface up and running very quickly due to the strengths of HTML as an environment for creating interactive user experiences.
Another question that is left unanswered is which handset manufacturer will actually build the launch device for Telefónica. A number of rumors that have circulated over the past few days suggest that LG will be involved in building the first handset based on the B2G project. It’s possible that LG is involved, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.
This article originally appeared on Ars Technica, Wired’s sister site for in-depth technology news.
A newly proposed web standard could bring DRM to web video.
The Encrypted Media Extensions draft — which is backed by the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Netflix — defines a framework for bringing DRM, or “protected media content” as it’s called in the spec, to a web browser near you.
The proposed standard is controversial to say the least, and has already been dismissed as “unethical” by Ian Hickson, the WHATWG’s HTML spec editor. Hickson goes on to say that the proposal “does not provide robust content protection, so it would not address this use case even if it wasn’t unethical.”
The use case Hickson refers to is solving one of the biggest obstacles to the wider adoption of HTML5 video — it lacks the copy protection mechanisms that media companies are accustomed to having. Currently streaming media services like Netflix and Hulu rely on plugins like Adobe Flash to deliver protected content. While such services might like to abandon Flash in favor of HTML5 video, they are often contractually required to have copy protections in place first.
As it stands, the HTML5 video spec offers no means of adding such protection. The proposed Encrypted Media Extensions standard would not actually define any DRM schemes itself. Rather it would add a new set of API extensions for the HTMLMediaElement which would provide the necessary components for a DRM scheme. The actual content protection would be handled by “an appropriate user agent implementation.” That means technically the actual DRM would not be in the spec, though arguing that the Encrypted Media Extensions doesn’t bring DRM to HTML is roughly the same as saying you didn’t inhale.
An overview of how the proposed Encrypted Media Extensions would work. (Image from W3C)
But there’s a very serious problem with the proposal as it stands — open source browsers. As Mozilla’s Chris Pearce writes on the HTML mailing list, “since the decoded video frames are stored in memory (as are audio samples) so that they can participate in the HTML rendering pipeline, how do you guard against an open source web browser simply being patched to write the frames/samples to disk to enable (presumably illegal) redistribution of the protected content?”
The answer, according to Netflix’s Mark Watson, is that the decryption could be handled at the firmware or hardware level. “If my understanding is correct,” writes Watson, “it’s not unknown for open source products to make use of or even ship with closed source components, such as drivers, for access to platform or device capabilities.”
The Encrypted Media specification is currently a draft proposal, which means it’s a long way from becoming a W3C-blessed standard. It does enjoy the backing of some high-profile W3C members like Google and Microsoft, but with Hickson very adamantly against it and Mozilla unlikely to support it in its current form, it’s not likely to move beyond the draft stage without some serious revisions. That does not, however, mean that pressure to add some sort of DRM to HTML5 video is going to go away any time soon.
Mac OSX Lion seemed unpolished, and, worse, not innovative. When Mountain Lion dropped a couple weeks ago, we were pumped: It was a relatively rapid update, and we hoped it would address our concerns. Hrmph. More »
It is 2012- nothing’s changed from Yahoo & Hotmail’s supposed uber spam filtering services.
It is the same as it was say 5 years ago. We are still receiving tons of junk mails on a daily basis and most of it happen to arrive right in our inbox folders. Google’s Gmail isn’t perfect but it detects almost all of the spams!
Today, we received an email on Yahoo Mail in what looked like a letter from Google Adwords. It even managed to have the ‘from’ address set to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have an account with Adwords so we opened it. We immediately sensed it was a fake.
First of all, legitimate sites never address their users with a general: “Dear users” or “Dear members”- The mail will always address you with your full name or your username. Secondly, legitimate sites never send out a mail without addressing anybody! In this case, the mail just read:
Your account is about to expire.
In order to remain active, please click the link below and verify your account now.
Thank You, Google AdWords
Since scammers are very much alive on the internet, and fake emails arrive in great numbers, there must be a lot of people who still fall for it and become victims of virus, malware attacks or worse identity theft.
What to do? Can’t really do much other than NOT to fall for it!!! Do not go unrecognized websites! If you are curious, do a Google search on a company site before going directly to the questionable site.
Here are some ways to detect a FAKE email and ways to safeguard yourself on the net:
Do you recognize the sender? No? Then MARK it as SPAM or Junk and or delete.
In Doubt? Check the FULL HEADER to see where the mail originated. In this case it says the IP isn’t permitted by Google.com as sender.
Received-SPF: softfail (transitioning domain of google.com does not designate 126.96.36.199 as permitted sender)
Check for typos, misspellings, grammatical errors.
Legitimate websites pay a copy editor, a writer, and or a marketing guru to create their emails. They are experienced, highly educated people and are paid to make sure the emails or any reading materials that go out bearing the company brand is free from errors or dead links!
Hover on the link before clicking it!!
When you hover on a link (place your mouse pointer to the link), the URL of the link will show up at the bottom of your browser. If the email says it came from Paypal. The URL has to show the exact URL of Paypal such as: email@example.com and NOT firstname.lastname@example.org or any variation thereof of the URL.
You know it’s a scam, DO NOT CLICK ON IT THEN!
You get curious and you click on a link- sometimes that is enough to trigger an attack to your computer. By clicking, you just activated any spyware, malware or tracking beacons waiting to be unleashed on your machine! Some are harmless but annoying, monitoring your habits online so they can send you more junk stuff based on what you sites you visit. They snoop basically. Some are harmful that attacks your registry that upon reboot, your computer will no longer behave as it should and will redirect all your browsing to a set of spam websites.
If you get a malware or spyware…
Doing a “system restore” will restore your previous computer settings to where everything was working fine. Rather than just “cleaning,” system restore is most effective in clearing up everything to a state before your computer was messed up.
If you had set your machine to have regular restore points, then you can select to a date where you know things were normal and fine. It will not delete your old program installations, however, it will delete any NEW updates or programs created after your selected restore date- so choose your dates carefully. If you have the disc or copy of the new program, then it shouldn’t be an issue, just reinstall it after the system restore and create a new restore point.
TO FIND SYSTEM RESTORE ON YOUR PC, just go to your start menu and type “System Restore” on your search bar. The computer will find it for you. Click on that and start the process. Read and follow instructions.
If you are unable to boot your machine after an attack then you need a computer tech to repair your system.
Be smart. Do not be gullible. If it’s too good to be true then it is!! There is no such thing as ‘free lunch’. This goes way back, from the time our parents told us ‘never talk to strangers’ or ‘never accept candies from a stranger’– it is the same warning! If you don’t know the sender, don’t click on the links!! Simple as that.