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Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta released

Mozilla Releases Faster Firefox 4 Beta

Browser speeds page loading and graphics and includes JagerMonkey compiler to boost JavaScript performance.

By Antone Gonsalves InformationWeek
November 11, 2010 04:19 PM
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Beta Revealed

Slideshow: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Beta Revealed

(click image for larger view and for full slideshow)

Mozilla released Wednesday a new version of Firefox 4 Beta that the company says runs web sites much faster than previous versions of the browser.

 

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Mark Lewis, President, Content Management & Archiving Division at EMC and Andrew Conry-Murray, editor at InformationWeek discuss EMCs content management strategy, new product rollouts, and the role of search in content management.

The new version provides a significant boost in running JavaScript and displaying graphics, Mozilla said. In addition, the add-on application programming interfaces for Firefox 4 are now stable, which means developers can start updating Firefox 3.6-compatible add-ons to support the upgrade.

The JavaScript performance boost stems from the addition of the JagerMonkey just-in-time compiler and more support for hardware-accelerated graphics, as well as hardware acceleration for Windows XP and Mac OS X. Mozilla says Firefox 4 Beta also includes support for WebGL, a standard technology for running 3D graphics in a browser without the use of a plug-in.

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Overall, the improvements mean “pages load faster, interactions with Websites are snappier,” Mozilla says in its blog. “For developers, this means you can build richer high-performance Web applications and explore the world of 3D graphics, inherent to the Web.”

The JagerMonkey JIT compiler has been added to the Firefox SpiderMonkey JavaScript engine, which also includes enhancements to the existing TraceMonkey JIT and SpiderMonkey’s interpreter. The improvements bring a faster startup time and better performance to Web apps and games, Mozilla says. Benchmark tests show the browser runs JavaScript from three to five times faster than Firefox 3.6.

In delivering hardware-accelerated graphics, Firefox 4 Beta takes advantage of DirectX technology in Windows and OpenGL in Mac OS X. However, not all graphics cards or video drivers support hardware acceleration, so the improvements could require an upgrade to work on a particular system.

Mozilla plans to release additional betas before the final version of Firefox 4. The company had planned to release the browser this month. However, development delays pushed back the release to early 2011.

Firefox is the second most used browser on the Web, behind Microsoft Internet Explorer. Microsoft released IE 9 in public beta in September. While the browser adds many needed improvements, IE9 is seen more as catching up with rivals than breaking new ground.

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Finally I’m doing a tech article I actually care about. In my opinion, I think Firefox 4 is going to change the way I browse the internet (and hopefully others) when the final version is released. This new version of Firefox promises to be faster than ever before, and looks compatible to almost any OS. Plus, the Javascript engine looks much better and faster than the current version (3.6). All in all, I’m impressed with the Mozilla corporation, and I only hope they keep getting better/growing stronger in the future.

Ethics Assignment

Ethics Assignment: Commandment #6 (and 4)

Free Music Download From LimeWire Illegal

October 27, 2010 5:06:58 AM by GD ( 1 comment )

By Gina Gomez,
Oct 27, (THAINDIAN NEWS) Music fans all over the world were shocked to hear that LimeWire, one of the world’s biggest file sharing and service provider for music downloads, tv shows and films has been closed down. LimeWire had existed like a thorn in the path of many music companies who could not tolerate the popularity of the site as it enabled users to download music for free. A case was filed against LimeWire by The Recording Industry Association of America that claimed its members were facing a huge loss in revenue due to the free service hosted by LimeWire.

To the dismay of millions around the world a US federal judge gave its decision against LimeWire, whose download service has been categorized as an illegal one. Founder Mark Gorton has been accused of enriching himself illegally through his piracy machine LimeWire, and the court will reportedly determine the compensation payable by LimeWire to its suer in January. Mark Gorton has acknowledged that his company has made millions with the pirated software that had become an easy ground for passing of pirated music on the web. LimeWire however, sees the court decision as a temporary setback and hopes to work with the music industry by implementing necessary changes in future.

A spokesperson for LimeWire said that LimeWire continues to exist but no longer operates as a file sharing service. The plans of the company are not clear right now and its prospects appear to be dim, concluded the spokesperson. The damages claimed by the Recording Industry Association of America could go well over $1 billion.

______________________________________________________________________________This story violates commandment number six and maybe even number four. It violates them because for number 6, you’re downloading music you haven’t even paid for. It’s basically like walking to a music store and stealing the disc /album yourself. In the end, the artists don’t get paid, and you probably could get arrested. And for commandment number 4, like I explained earlier, it’s completely stealing to just download it for free off Limewire, or any other illegal music site. I think this article is a great example to show what happens when you pirate/illegally download music from the internet. It (the site) was closed and sued, and the illegal music downloaded cost over a billion dollars. What I’m saying is, basically this site and its users have stolen and used proprietary software they haven’t even paid for.

Weekly Blog November 22

It’s been quite a long time since my last post, and I’m really bored right now. Though anyway, let’s get started. First off, I really didn’t like this debate we had on violent video games at all, since it’s forcing me to go against them which I hate. And secondly, this debate got too serious and I felt that if you’re stuck with a debate topic, other people will regard you actually liking that topic, which I do not want to get mixed up with. Also, in my opinion, I don’t care who won the debate {though everyone else would be going “no, I totally won and you suck”, or “you got owned because my topic is better/we have more evidence” (or something like that)}. I don’t care because both sides looked like they had very good (or bad) evidence, they were both very statistical/inspiring {or monotone/conspiring (no rhyme intended)}. In short, I think the result of the debate is a tie.

Now with that done, it’s that time of the blog again, my time. During the weekend, I went to the States again for the 1000th+ time, and let me tell you, this trip is definitely one of my less-than-awesome shopping trips there, because of that Friday blizzard/snowstorm. We were originally supposed to go home by late night, but the blizzard was so fierce that we had to stay at a rest area for the night (best trip ever, am I right?).

Now for the fox part, it’s time I tell you why I like Mozilla Firefox better than any other browser out there. First off, I dislike Google Chrome because it can’t block ads as good as Firefox (also, it isn’t open source), I hate Internet Explorer because you already know the answer, and Safari and Opera I really can’t hate, because no one in this class uses them (or maybe they do). Also as a side note I think Ubuntu would make a great OS for Firefox, and that’s why I don’t hate it.

I’m sorry if I made this like a tech article, I couldn’t resist showing this random Firefox video.

And that’s the end of this blog for the week.

Weekly Blog November 4

Well, it’s that time of the week again, another blog from that guy who likes foxes, Disney films (e.g. Robin Hood, The Fox and the Hound), Mozilla Firefox, Pokemon, canines, etc. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s begin. So anyways, this Powerpoint project that we’re doing in class promises to be fun, even though I’m not that good at presenting. Studying about computers and how they can be more green is quite fascinating. Computers in the past used to waste lots of energy, was made up of materials that probably don’t affect it when removed, were non-recyclable, and overheated a lot. Now the computer manufacturers got rid of those obvious faults, and are manufacturing  more green computers made up of green parts, and can save lots of energy.

Also with this week, that surprise quiz was well, a surprise. I hope that I didn’t mess up on the phishing and spoofing questions of it.  With that said, I think I should tell everyone about the long day I had today (I’m typing out this blog on Wednesday night, it was “Take Your Kids to Work Day” today. Anyways, I got paired up with my aunt, and she works at Accenture Services in Vancouver, at Dunsmuir and Granville. The company she works for is a business company, that has partnered with BC Hydro (or something like that). This company is based on invoices (an itemized bill containing goods/services  sold/provided the total charge, and all that good business stuff), and my aunt works there as an accountant. Like any accountant, she knows how to use Microsoft Excel really well (too bad I didn’t inherit that skill) for calculating company profits and for doing invoices herself. In the time I spent there: I used some of it for writing an essay for take your kids to work day, checking out the invoices my aunt was scanning, and the rest of it in the “oh so boring” mail room. Even though I was with another grade 9 while doing this, it was still boring (though I can’t blame my aunt for making me do this, because what else would a kid do in the office for eight hours). I had to sort mail, stamp it, organize it, and put them in the appropriate places. Even though this experience was boring, it sure gave me an example of what having a job is like, and plus, the staff were very friendly and helped me throughout the entire way, which completely makes up for the fact/stereotype that  business jobs are boring. In short, I had a great experience, and that the future is more promising than I thought it would be. And so ends another weekly blog, see you next week.

Computing Issues

Wow, my first blog for the uncategorized category. Here you go.

                          10/29/10                                     Computing Issues                                      Albrecht

  1. On how secure my browser is, It looks like it’s very secure. At home I use Mozilla Firefox and it is very sleek and fast. When I preformed a system check on Netteller, it said that this browser is safe and has security. Also, 128-bit encryption is a long password that protects your computer from hackers. Older computers have 64-bit encryption.
  2. The CIH virus attacks and destroys data. Since it’s a Windows 95 virus, all you need is a higher version of Windows to protect yourself.
  3. Sometimes, not going outside can get the best of us. Indoor air is much worse than outdoor air. Prolonged exposure to computers and other electronic devices can damage your eyesight. In order to fix this, you must go outside and exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes, or staying indoors too much can affect your health. Also with internet addiction, try doing what I mentioned above. Being addicted to the internet can be quite serious sometimes, like being online and skipping work/school. The most addicting website is most likely Facebook, but there are many more.

New T-Mobile Phone

T-Mobile myTouch 4G: Impressive and Speedy

myTouch 4G Review, by Ginny Mies October 28, 2010

The latest addition to the T-Mobile myTouch family, the myTouch 4G ($200 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile; price as of 10/28/2010), has the most impressive specs of the myTouch phones to date boasting a front-facing video camera, HSPA+ data speeds and HD video recording. HSPA+ coverage isn’t everywhere however–and might be spotty in cities that do support it.

High Quality Design

Like the other myTouch phones, the myTouch 4G comes in a handy case for storing all of your phone’s accessories. The first thing I noticed about the phone is its stylish, yet sturdy design. HTC-designed, the phone feels more high quality than the previous, plasticky myTouch models. The plastic is still there (on the face of the phone and on the hardware buttons), but the device is primarily metal and has the feel of a higher-end phone. The phone will come in four colors: white, black, plum or red.

The phone has a vibrant 3.8-inch WVGA display, which nicely showcases the phone’s user interface. Below the display, you’ll find four hardware buttons: Home, Menu, Back and Genius (more on that later). Measuring 4.8-by-2.4-by-0.43 inches, the myTouch 4G is a manageable size.

Custom Skin Over Android

Running Android 2.2, the myTouch 4G has a custom skin which is sort of a mash-up between HTC Sense and the myTouch skin we saw on the myTouch Slide. Like the Slide, you can customize your phone for your work life and for your personal life via widgets, homescreen apps, and wall papers.

As on HTC Sense, you get a dynamic weather app and a socially-aware address book (which aggregates your friends’ contact information from your social networks). You also get HTC’s Friend Stream which takes all of your friends’ status updates, links, and photos from your various social networks and displays them in a single feed.

Another unique, user-friendly feature is MyModes, which lets you customize your phone for your work life and for your personal life via widgets, homescreen apps, and wall papers. If you want to avoid work e-mail and appointments as much as possible over the weekend, you can simply set those applications to be hidden from your homescreen when you leave your office. You can program MyModes to switch by location (using GPS), or you can switch it manually.

The Genius button, which I mentioned in the Design portion of the review, is a useful tool for smartphone newbies. Press it and you jump to a simple voice command menu. From there, you can use commands to make calls, compose and send texts and e-mails, search the Web, and more. It worked fairly well in my hands-on tests, taking a few seconds to figure out what you said, but producing generally accurate results. The more you use the feature, the better it gets, too: It employs Nuance’s Dragon Dictation Software, which gradually learns your voice and thereby improves response time.

Remember T-Mobile MyFaves? T-Mobile’s cheap calling plan of yore (which permitted users to make unlimited calls to five people of their choice) is back–this time, in the form of a speed dialer application on the Slide. The app has a kind of 3D effect that you spin through to get quick access to your favorite friends’ contact information, pictures, and their social networking account links. You can add up to 20 friends as your “faves.” You can easily get to the MyFaves screen by hitting the dedicated hardware button on the phone’s face.

The myTouch has a new feature called Media Room, which organizes all of your music, video and Internet radio in one place. For media syncing, the myTouch comes with the excellent doubleTwist software onboard. You also get the dedicated YouTube app, of course, which also supports HQ videos. HQ versions of YouTube videos are leaps and bounds better in quality than the normal, fuzzy YouTube videos.

While I like that the myTouch skin provides customizability, I don’t really like what HTC and T-Mobile has done with the 4G’s camera interface. Rather than the stock Android 2.2 interface, which gives you access to white balance and exposure controls, the myTouch’s camera does all this automatically for you. It isn’t a big deal, but it is an example of how these skins can sometimes interfere with features found in stock Android. I honestly think that the myTouch would be slightly better–and perhaps even faster–if it ran the stock Android OS.

Superb Camera/Camcorder

Despite these gripes, I was really happy with how my photos taken with the myTouch’s 5-megapixel camera turned out. On a gloomy World Series day in San Francisco, my outdoor photos looked pretty good considering the low light. Photos taken indoors looked sharp and vibrant, but perhaps a bit overexposed (a common problem with smartphone cameras). The camera also has an LED flash, autofocus and face detection.

The HD camcorder captured pretty sharp video of a busy San Francisco street (all of those people in orange and black are headed toward the Giants’ stadium for the World Series Game 2). The sound isn’t the best however–especially if you’re in a windy area. See and hear the sample video below:

 

The myTouch also has a front-facing camera, which lets you make video calls with or without a Wi-Fi connection. I only briefly tested this feature over HSPA+ as I could only find a few spots where signal strengths were strong enough to make a good video call. In the café on Van Ness St, where we achieved our fastest data speeds, video chat looked really good. And of course, video chat worked fine over Wi-Fi.

You have two options for video chat: Qik or Yahoo Messenger. Both integrate nicely into your address book, too, alerting you which of your contacts have video chatting capabilities. Since I’ve used Qik a lot with other devices, I opted to use Yahoo Messenger’s video chatting app. It was really easy to set-up with my existing Yahoo account and it was simple to make calls directly from my list of contacts.

We are going to be testing this feature more in-depth over HSPA+ so stay tuned for a follow-up article.

HSPA+: How Fast Is It?

The myTouch 4G runs on T-Mobile’s 3G HSPA+ network, but the company defends the MyTouch 4G name by pointing out the connection speeds seen on the phone are on par with LTE and WiMAX.

And from what we’ve seen, T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network really is kicking out speeds comparable with existing 4G networks-in certain places. Sitting at in a café in San Francisco, where HSPA+ service is available (and strong), a T-Mobile rep achieved download speeds of 3.5 mbps and upload speeds of 0.66 mbps per second in one test, then 4.5 mbps down and 1.31 mbps up in a second test. The rep said he’d seen download speeds of 6 mbps earlier in the day.

Unfortunately, over at our offices on the other side of town, we didn’t achieve such high speeds. An average of three tests yielded download speeds of 28 kbps (or 0.03 mbps) and an average upload speed of 86 kbps (or 0.08 mbps) over the regular 3G network. At least in San Francisco, it really depends on where you are in the city to get the high HSPA+ speeds.

Unlike Sprint, which charges $10/month for 4G whether you have coverage or not, T-Mobile does not charge an extra fee for HSPA+.

Performance

Call quality was pretty good, but I did hear some strange static in the background of a few of my calls. Callers on the other end of the line were quite pleased with how my voice sounded. I made my test calls on a blustery, noisy World Series day (with multiple helicopters flying overhead), but my contacts said that they could barely hear the background noise.

Like a few of the older BlackBerry models on T-Mobile, you can make calls over Wi-Fi with the myTouch 4G. In fact, the myTouch 4G is the first phone on T-Mobile to have this option. My calls over Wi-Fi worked just fine, but be aware that if you leave that Wi-Fi hotspot, your call will be disconnected.

The myTouch 4G is powered by the second-generation Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 768MB of RAM. The phone is incredibly snappy, both in the browser (over Wi-Fi especially) and throughout the software. Native video playback was also quite impressive.

Conclusion

T-Mobile and HTC definitely have a real winner here with the myTouch 4G. The powerful processing speeds paired with HSPA+ data speeds is hard to beat when it comes to watching videos and browsing the Web. The camera is also quite good (though the camcorder’s microphones aren’t the best). If you don’t have HSPA+ available in your city however, you might want to hold off on buying a myTouch 4G until coverage is expanded. You won’t be able to make video calls over the network unless you have HSPA+ connectivity (you can still make them over Wi-Fi though). Even in a city where it is supported (like San Francisco), HSPA+ still has a ways to go for area coverage.

­Mark Sullivan also contributed to this review.

It looks like I’m featuring another phone for my tech article. Though in my opinion, this phone looks quite great, since it looks much better than any other T-Mobile phone. The camera, the accessories, the features, and its speed look great. T-Mobile should be proud. This phone looks like it would be used by many other people.

Weekly Blog October 28

This week has taken quite its toll on me, since my family went on an all-out shopping spree in the States that lasted TWO DAYS!  When I finally got back home on Sunday, I looked at the assignments I had to do and I was fuming. The amount of homework I had to do for this class only took me at least 4 hours (as I’ve said before, I’m not good at Microsoft Excel), and that was only folder one. When I looked at the other folders, I was speechless. Some of these Excel assignments had to be done over several internet tabs that had mostly nothing to do with Computer Studies. With songs/CD’s, a dozen headaches, Graphs that have almost nothing to do with this course, my other courses who want just as much attention as this one, plus a guy who has been doing nothing but shopping for two days with barely any sleep or nutrients (blame McDonald’s), I think it’s safe to say that I HATE THE MICROSOFT EXCEL PORTION OF THIS COURSE. In other terms, Mr. Fernandez, you’ve given me and the class too much homework/classwork that we can keep up with, because we all have other courses that give out homework as well. I know what you’re thinking, I should have done some of it in class, at home, or during my time in the States, other people have already done it, ask for help, or “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill Albrecht, these assignments are easy”. Sorry, but I did do some of it in class and at home, and I wouldn’t have the internet if I brought my computer in the States (we didn’t even stay at a hotel, my dad would just continue driving through the night, he drinks Red Bull). We bought a ton of food, supplies, and clothing. The reason this trip took so long is because our friends and relatives asked for supplies. Back to the point, I couldn’t ask for help because I couldn’t just copy off of others just to get information. In conclusion and as an insight, if you can just cut back on homework or make it more fitting to the course, I would highly appreciate it, because I had too much of it. I know I’m doing this for my parents, but when pressure like this piles on top of me, it’s impossible for me to complete anything on time.

I’m sorry if I offended anyone, or I was just tired and didn’t look at the Excel criteria lately. I typed the previous paragraph last night on monday, and I was just plain tired. I’m sorry if I hand in anything late Mr. Fernandez, but feel free to give me a zero on a missing assignment since the excuses that I have shown above are of no use to me now. Though I do wonder if the test is anything like the assignments we’ve done.

Now for the Thursday edition of the blog, I think I did bad on the test but oh well. Anyways, I did learn a lot of new things today about how to protect against internet hackers. I feel safe typing these letters on my keyboard knowing that I have a router with a password, which is my firewall. Unfortunately, I just lost my Norton 360 anti-virus subscription/protection today (I used a trial product). And because of that, I can’t find my product key anywhere on my PC (a product key renews a subscription, and I just hope that one  firewall is enough). Though even without Norton, I can probably rely on Firefox’s add-ons to protect me from those hackers. For the fox edition of this blog (you saw that coming, didn’t you?), I downloaded a Firefox add-on, ad block plus (it blocks all ads if you didn’t know). To me, it is very useful, since a lot of viruses come from ads and pop-ups. Yes, I just saw the article on Firesheep, a Firefox add-on, and I’m quite disappointed by it. This add-on that can hack Facebook and Twitter accounts is ruining Mozilla’s good name. I just hope the situation doesn’t get any worse, and/or that the add-on gets taken down or a hacking spree will ensue in the future.