Archive for the ‘browsers’ Category

Report: Microsoft is scrapping Edge, switching to just another Chrome clone

December 4th, 2018
Report: Microsoft is scrapping Edge, switching to just another Chrome clone

Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich)

Windows Central reports that Microsoft is planning to replace its Edge browser, which uses Microsoft's own EdgeHTML rendering engine and Chakra JavaScript engine, with a new browser built on Chromium, the open source counterpart to Google's Chrome. The new browser has the codename Anaheim.

The report is short on details. The easiest thing for Microsoft to do would be to use Chromium's code wholesale—the Blink rendering engine, the V8 JavaScript engine, and the Chrome user interface with the Google Account parts omitted—to produce something that looks, works, and feels almost identical to Chrome. Alternatively, Redmond could use Blink and V8 but wrap them in Edge's user interface (or some derivative thereof), to retain its own appearance. It might even be possible to do something weird, such as use Blink with the Chakra JavaScript engine. We'll have to wait and see.

Since its launch with Windows 10, Edge has failed to gain much market share. The first iterations of Edge were extremely barebones, offering little more than a basic tabbed browser—no extensions, little control over behavior. Early releases of Edge were also not as stable as one might have liked, making the browser hard to recommend. Three years later on and Edge is greatly—but unevenly—improved. The browser engine's stability seems to be much better than it was, and performance and compatibility remain solid (though with the exception of a few corner cases, these were never a real concern).

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in browsers, chrome, EDGE, microsoft, standards, Tech, Web, Windows | Comments (0)

Firefox 63 blocks tracking cookies, offers a VPN when you need one

October 23rd, 2018

Firefox 63, out today, includes the first iteration of what Mozilla is calling Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP), a feature to improve privacy and stop your activity across the Web from being tracked.

Tracking cookies store some kind of unique identifier that represents your browser. The cookie is tied to a third-party domain—the domain of the tracking company, rather than the site you're visiting. Each site you visit that embeds the tracking cookie will allow the tracking company to see the sites you visit and, using that unique identifier, cross-reference different visits to different sites to build a picture of your online behavior.

Firefox has long had the ability to block all third-party cookies, but this is a crude solution, and many sites will break if all third-party cookies are prohibited. The new EPT option works as a more selective block on tracking cookies; third-party cookies still work in general, but those that are known to belong to tracking companies are blocked. For the most part, sites will retain their full functionality, just without undermining privacy at the same time.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in browsers, cookies, Firefox, Mozilla, Privacy, Tech, tracking, Web | Comments (0)

Vivaldi 2.0 review: Meet your ideal browser—if you’re willing to invest time

October 19th, 2018

Vivaldi

The Web browser is likely the most important piece of software on your hardware, whatever that hardware may be. In fact, whenever a new bit of hardware arrives that somehow lacks a way to browse the Web, invariably one of the first things enthusiasts will do is figure out a way to run a browser on it.

Despite their ubiquity, though, there remains very little difference between common Web browsers. Most people seem to get by with whatever was installed by default, and no wonder. Modern browsers like Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera are largely indistinguishable both in appearance and features—why bother with one over the other?

Read 48 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in browsers, Features, Tech, vivaldi | Comments (0)

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla come together to end TLS 1.0

October 16th, 2018
A green exterior door is sealed with a padlock.

Enlarge (credit: Indigo girl / Flickr)

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla have announced a unified plan to deprecate the use of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 early in 2020.

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is used to secure connections on the Web. TLS is essential to the Web, providing the ability to form connections that are confidential, authenticated, and tamper-proof. This has made it a big focus of security research, and over the years, a number of bugs that had significant security implications have been found in the protocol. Revisions have been published to address these flaws.

The original TLS 1.0, heavily based on Netscape's SSL 3.0, was first published in January 1999. TLS 1.1 arrived in 2006, while TLS 1.2, in 2008, added new capabilities and fixed these security flaws. Irreparable security flaws in SSL 3.0 saw support for that protocol come to an end in 2014; the browser vendors now want to make a similar change for TLS 1.0 and 1.1.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in apple, browsers, chrome, EDGE, Firefox, google, microsoft, Mozilla, Safari, security, standards, Tech, TLS | Comments (0)

An ancient Chrome tab trick just blew my mind

August 15th, 2017

If your browser is a catastrophe of tabs as mine is—I currently have six Chrome windows across three monitors with more than 100 tabs open, because tabs are the new bookmarks—then this thing I just discovered may be life-changing. (Though it’s certainly not new.)

We all know that you can tear a tab off the tab bar to drag it into a new window (or drag it into a different tab bar to move it from window to window). What if I told you that you can use the standard selection modifiers—ctrl-click for multiple non-contiguous tabs, shift-click for multiple contiguous tabs—to tear off entire groups of related tabs in a single action?

Because believe it or not, you can.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in browsers, chrome, Tech, user interface | Comments (0)