Firefox 4 delayed: Is it ready for prime time?

Firefox 4 delayed: Is it ready for prime time?

By Scott M. Fulton, III, Net1News

It should have been a week of relatively good news for the Mozilla organization. The former senior vice president for mobility at enterprise database producer Sybase, Gary Kovacs, signed on to become Mozilla’s new CEO next month, replacing John Lilly and serving under Foundation chairperson Mitchell Baker. Having headed up Sybase’s mobility and integration efforts during that company’s buyout by European software giant SAP last summer, Kovacs is certain to inject a much-needed dose of corporate prestige and structure in to the organization.

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October 30, 2010

Fighting back with fire: Firefox 4 closes the gap, Chrome threatens Opera’s lead

Fighting back with fire: Firefox 4 closes the gap, Chrome threatens Opera's lead

By Scott M. Fulton, III, Net1News

The problem with the developers of any product releasing just a single public beta, without periodic updates, several months before its anticipated final release, is that it creates a fixed target for its competition. Microsoft spokespersons have indicated to me that scheduled updates for the Internet Explorer 9 public beta have not been planned, and even characterized intermediate updates for purposes other than vulnerability patching, to be unorthodox. (Last week, Microsoft issued another big security rollup for stable versions of IE, but not IE9 which didn’t need the patch.)

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October 19, 2010

Firefox 4 beta loses to IE9 beta in browser speed, efficiency tests


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By Scott M. Fulton, III, Net1News

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 logo ('e')The latest wave of upcoming changes to the world’s two most used Web browsers, jointly responsible for easily three-fourths of the Internet’s HTTP requests, has nearly everyone in the business rethinking the meaning of “quality” as it pertains to browser architecture. While their arguments start with the usual reminders that folks just want to see their pages load faster, before too long, they wander into dissertations about the methods architects use to achieve the appearance of loading faster. . . especially when they actually don’t.

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September 22, 2010

Mozilla opens up more on Firefox 4: Content Security, WebGL coming

Mozilla opens up more on Firefox 4: Content Security, WebGL coming

By Scott M. Fulton, III, Betanews

The keyword for the introduction of Mozilla Firefox 3.5 was speed. That helped start a whole new race in which Firefox led early, but fell soon behind Apple Safari, Google Chrome, and later even Opera. Now with even Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 looking to erase the speed gap, and then some, a newly published Mozilla developers’ page characterizes Firefox 4 — whose first public betas may be only a few weeks away — as feature-laden.

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May 28, 2010

International iPad debut paves Apple’s roadmap for even higher market cap

International iPad debut paves Apple's roadmap for even higher market cap

By Scott M. Fulton, III, Betanews

Whether the “Windows era” is genuinely over for PCs is a matter of some debate; but the last week in both US and international markets is making clear that the dominance of PCs as technology platforms is now fully challenged by mobile devices. Today is premiere day for Apple’s iPad in Europe and Asia, and though early sales numbers have yet to be tabulated, when China Daily touts the success of the premiere as an event, it looks pretty likely that sales will live up to expectations.

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May 28, 2010

Facebook CEO: ‘We are removing the connections privacy model’

Facebook CEO: 'We are removing the connections privacy model'

By Scott M. Fulton, III, Betanews

In a move that may end up drastically scaling back what Facebook had hoped last month would be a redefinition of the Web itself, the social service will soon begin rolling out simplified privacy controls, according to a blog post today from CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The new controls may make it easier for Facebook users to limit the extent to which the system shares their personal information with others, especially including other Web sites.

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May 27, 2010

After two high-profile Microsoft exits, is WP7 a device or a platform?

After two high-profile Microsoft exits, is WP7 a device or a platform?

By Scott M. Fulton, III, Betanews

Robbie BachWhen a massive Microsoft corporate reorganization on September 20, 2005 vaulted Robbie Bach into the role of President of the Entertainment & Devices division, the explanation at the time was to enable the company to focus on devices where the goal was to promote devices, and on platforms where the goal was to promote devices. Xbox was a device, whatever MP3 player the company would decide to produce was a device, and obviously cell phones are devices should Microsoft ever choose to enter that business in earnest.

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May 26, 2010

Zuckerberg: Facebook will respect the privacy of those who really prefer it


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By Scott M. Fulton, III, Betanews

If a user would rather that Facebook not share her personal information with other services unknowingly, then there should be a simple switch that turns off Facebook’s ability to do that. This was the message delivered by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in an op-ed piece published in Sunday’s Washington Post.

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May 24, 2010

AT&T to raise two-year termination fee by 86% on iPhones, smartphones


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By Scott M. Fulton, III, Betanews

In a cautiously worded notice to customers this afternoon, AT&T advised that it will be raising its early termination fee (ETF) for wireless service for smartphones and netbooks, evidently including Apple’s iPhone. Beginning June 1, the base rate for ETFs from two-year service agreements will be raised from 5 minus per month of tenure, to 5 minus per month.

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May 23, 2010

10 questions for MPEG LA on H.264


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By Scott M. Fulton, III, Betanews

Prior to Google’s announcement earlier today of its open sourcing the VP8 video codec, a spokesperson for MPEG LA — the licensing agent that manages the patent portfolio for multimedia technologies relating to the H.264 codec, among others — agreed to answer ten questions submitted to the agency in advance. Those questions regard how it licenses the codec that Microsoft and Apple consider the best solution for HTML 5, the next markup language for the Web.

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May 20, 2010