About two years ago, Google launched a browser plugin that allowed users to opt out of the company's ads tracking mechanism. By tracking your moves around the Internet, Google - and most other advertising companies - can ensure that you see relevant ads (read: ads you are likely to click) on the pages you visit. Today, just a few hours after Mozilla announced its plan to offer a do-not-track tool for Firefox, Google announced a new Chrome plugin that allows users to permanently opt-out of personalized ads and data tracking from not just Google, but a wide range of other online advertising companies as well.
The good folks over at ClickZ just posted a story with the following headline: "Google's Version of Groupon is Live: How it Works." Problem is, that is simply not true. The image in the article - reproduced below - is from the Google Places interface which has allowed vendors to offer coupons for a long time now (since around 2008, if I remember it right). This tab used to be called "Coupons" at one point in the past.
Usually, when we talk about plugins that crash our browsers, chances are that we are talking about Flash. Today, however, Mozilla announced that it is blocking the Skype Toolbar from its Firefox browser as it "is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week." The Skype toolbar examines every page you load for phone numbers and then re-renders these as clickable Skype buttons that enable users to initiate Skype calls right from their browser.
These days, you don't really have to ask kids to get off your lawn. Chances are, they have no interest in being on your lawn anyway and are playing computer games instead of wreaking havoc on your manicured lawn. According to a new study by Internet security firm AVG, today's kids are learning computer skills long before they are learning life skills.
OneNote is the unsung hero of Microsoft's Office suite. The note-taking application allows Windows users (there is no Mac version yet) to quickly take notes on their laptops, record audio, and compile images, videos and scanned documents into virtual binders. Starting today, OneNote is also available on the iPhone. The app marks the first time Microsoft has released an iPhone version of one of its Office products.
Drinking and driving is never a good idea, but if you to ensure that your DUI mugshot never goes viral, it'd be a good idea to stay especially sober while driving through the city of Huntington Beach, CA. According to the Associated Press, Huntington Beach's city council is currently considering a proposal that would allow the city's police department to post mugshots of everyone arrested for DUI on the city's Facebook page.
Earlier this morning, a disgruntled employee of Swiss bank Julius Baer handed over two CDs with the data of "2000 prominent people" to Wikileaks, which is currently vetting this information and will likely post it online within the next few weeks. The disks contain information about the financial transactions of "financial firms and wealthy individuals" from countries including the UK, U.S., and Germany.
Firefox 4 is running behind schedule, but today, Mozilla released the 9th beta version of its popular browser. This new version is mainly focused on improving speed and only features small interface enhancements. Thanks to a plethora of changes under the hood, Firefox now also starts significantly faster and complex animations will be smoother. Mozilla also notes that it has improved the bookmarks and history code, which should make bookmarking faster as well.
Very few developments in the tech world this week got as much attention as Google's announcement that it would slowly drop support for the H.264 video codec from its Chrome browser. Given how ubiquitous H.264 is - though it is also encumbered by patent and licensing issues - quite a few pundits shook their heads at this development. Today, Google published a more detailed explanation for this decision.
Apple released the first beta of iOS 4.3 to developers yesterday and today the Internet is swirling with rumors about not just what's in iOS 4.3 but also about what this means for the next generation of iPads.
Here is a brief summary of all the rumors we have encountered so far.
After yesterday's Verizon iPhone announcement, it was already becoming clear that Apple would bring personal hotspots - that is the ability to use the iPhone as a WiFi router for up to 5 devices - to other networks as well. Today, Apple released the first beta of iOS 4.3 for iPhone and iPad to developers and this version does indeed offer personal hotspots just like the Verizon iPhone pundits got to gaze at yesterday.
Only 8% of UK shoppers say that they would like to receive location-based mobile coupons while they are in the supermarket. According to a new study by U.K.-based Evolution Insights, the majority of shoppers (51%) said that they would rather receive their coupons before going to the store than when they are already in the supermarket.
I'm a jaded tech blogger, but Microsoft's HoloLens project is without doubt the most exciting project to come out of Redmond in years. After years of talk about augmented reality, this may be the first project that actually lives up to the hype.