Opera Next 16 hints at new features

Norwegian browser developer Opera Software has confirmed the switch of its browser development to a rapid release cycle with the launch of Opera Next 16. The new version number comes less than a month after Opera 15 FINAL was released, which saw Opera switch from its own proprietary Presto web engine to the Blink engine used by Google Chrome.

As with all rapid release cycle updates, there are no major overhauls to be found in Opera Next 16, although a number of interesting new features have been showcased as the next iteration starts its journey towards final release.

Opera 16 — which is based on Chromium 29, the engine that powers Chrome 29 (currently in beta) — comes with support for the W3C Geolocation API, a form auto-filler tool and opera:flags, a shortcut to settings that allows adventurous users to play with experimental features.

Users will also find a new setting under Browser > Start Page called “Preload Discover contents”, which allows users to switch this feature off.

Platform-specific updates include support for Jump Lists in Windows 7 and 8, plus the addition of Presentation mode to the Mac platform.

In addition to these existing features, Opera has revealed the next set of features it’s working on, with the promise that early versions of these will be rolled out into the Opera Next build over the next few weeks. These include proper bookmarks support, synchronization via Opera Link, improved tab handling and themes.

Opera Next 16 is considered “alpha” software, which is why — like Firefox Aurora — it’s designed to run alongside an existing stable build of Opera, allowing users to experiment with new features without affecting their day-to-day browsing. Updates are frequent as bugs are discovered and fixed, but users should not attempt to rely on Opera Next as their primary browser, hence the separate installation.

Google Selects HE-AAC Multichannel From Fraunhofer IIS For Google Play Movies in Surround Sound

Google and Fraunhofer IIS deliver the first movies with a true 5.1 channel surround sound experience from Google Play. The immersive sound quality consumers have come to expect from TV, Blu-ray disc or DVD is now available with movies streamed or downloaded from Google Play directly to their Android devices running 4.1 or later. Google chose HE-AAC Multichannel as Android’s only surround sound codec due to its open-standard nature and excellent bit-rate efficiency.

When connected to a surround sound system and TV with an HDMI cable, Android users will be able to play high quality audio and video from their smartphones and tablets in surround. On the go, Android devices will play movies in great stereo quality and selected Nexus products will also include the Fraunhofer Cingo virtual surround rendering technology, which will play movies in realistic surround sound on earphones or tablet stereo speakers.

Android’s HE-AAC Multichannel implementation includes full support for loudness and downmix metadata commonly known from the broadcast TV world, as well as other features that allow the sound to be tailored for an optimum user experience in any listening mode and environment.

“Google Play movies in 5.1 HE-AAC Multichannel sound are the first realization of our vision of bringing true theatrical surround sound to mobile devices,” said Robert Bleidt, Division General Manager at Fraunhofer USA Digital Media Technologies. “The Google and Fraunhofer partnership creates a tremendous value for consumers by offering one format that delivers a high quality experience both in-home and while mobile. Consumers may experience surround sound over headphones while on their way home from work, and finish the movie in true, exciting surround in their living room,” he added.

HE-AAC Multichannel is part of the Fraunhofer FDK AAC codec library for Android since version 4.1 and a required feature of all Android-compatible devices. This software makes open-source Fraunhofer implementations of the MPEG audio codecs AAC, HE-AAC, HE-AACv2, and AAC-ELD available to the Android community.

HE-AAC is today’s most efficient high-quality surround and stereo audio codec deployed in over 5 billion devices and used in TV, radio, and streaming services worldwide. The codec is natively integrated into most operating systems, streaming platforms and consumer electronics devices. In addition to its unique coding efficiency, HE-AAC has the dynamic ability to change audio bit-rates seamlessly in order to adapt to changing network conditions as consumers stream content to a variety of devices. It can be used with any adaptive streaming technology including MPEG-DASH, Apple HLS, Adobe HDS and Microsoft Smooth Streaming.

Yahoo Acquires AdMovate To Increase Mobile Advertising

News about the acquisition of Yahoo is still a lot to buy the company from a small start-up like Summly to large and are known as Tumblr. Today Yahoo has officially announced that it has acquired AdMovate, a private company. AdMovate focus to the world of advertising on mobile devices, they develop a solution that will bring mobile advertising to the target behavior. AdMovate itself also has confirmed this news, but both Yahoo and AdMovate not want to inform the amount of the approved agreement.
Now a team of technicians will AdMovate integrated with Yahoo advertising display team, based in Silicon Valley. Yahoo said that the acquisition is part of their move to invest more in technology advertising platform, so it will be easier for agencies and advertisers purchase. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has even said many times that the company they represent the future of the mobile world so fair they are trying hard to improve their mobile services.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Pushes Beyond Second Screen To Companion Web

“We’re at a tipping point with connected devices,” a recent blog post from Microsoft Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer team reads. “Every day, 3.6 million mobile devices and tablets are activated worldwide. That’s over five times more than the number of babies born each day!” They’ve got a point, but it is a sad irony for Microsoft that so few of those mobile devices run their software.

But Microsoft has sold more than 70 million Xbox 360s and has a very TV-centric followup, the Xbox One, coming in November. As Forbes.com contributor Tristan Louis points out in today’s post on Smarter TVs, ”the upcoming battle for the living room is a chance to redeem itself and turn its fortune around.” The parody video that Louis refers to shows all of the instances of the words “TV,” “television,” “sports” and “Call of Duty” in the launch announcement. Although the announcement raised the ire of hard core gamers, the emphasis on TV (and perhaps the two things TVs are most used for, watching sports and playing Call of Duty) must have been highly intentional.

Games have been Microsoft’s route into the living room, but that strong association is now an impediment to its more generalized assault of the living room. Non-gamers are probably thinking more about the future AppleApple TV than about the Xbox as their upgrade path to interactive TV. In response to this perception, Microsoft has launched a new program called “Companion Web.” The idea is to facilitate real time interactions between different devices. And because Microsoft has no footprint to speak of in the world of mobile, they are now trying to emerge as a unifying force between iOS and Android.

The problem Microsoft is trying to solve (other than the risk of their own irrelevance) is that “the majority of sites on the web are built for only one device at a time.” The user can search for related information to what they are watching on their TV, for instance, but real time it ain’t. And content owners can make second screen experiences, but they have tended to be operating system (and sometimes even device) specific. Microsoft is after a more generalized solution that does not impose an unmanageable burden on developers.

“Regardless of who makes the device or software that powers the device, the Companion Web enables the internet to bridge the gap between these devices,” the IE blog post reads. “For developers, Companion Web represents an opportunity to reuse code that works across multiple scenarios, enabling greater reach and ways to engage an audience. For consumers, Companion Web means you’ll seamlessly move from one device to the next, interacting with your photos, videos, music, movies, television shows, files, and more.”

Companion Web would seem to be a more generalized version of the Xbox SmartGlass, which also allowed you to interact with your TV via Windows devices and select iOS and Android devices, but only on very specific games and content. The promise of the Companion Web is of a much broader range of experiences that the user could have between devices.

So far, Microsoft has released three such “Companion Web experiences” working with outside developers. I became aware of the program through Luke Wroblewski who has created a version of his Polar app that works in this companion manner with Internet Explorer. As you can see in the video below, Polar uses IE’s snap mode to assign a “sidebar” portion of the screen (in this case a Surface tablet acts a s a proxy for a Windows 8/Xbox One enabled TV) to itself while the user uses the balance of the screen to watch Futurama.

Wroblewski demonstrates the ways that you can find polls with Polar about Futurama and watch the results update in real time while you are watching the show. You can imagine something like this being a lot of fun for big live TV events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl, where the amount of real time activity would be high and seeing how other people are reacting becomes part of the entertainment. Similarly, you can make up your own hashtags for polls in Polar so that the reactions you are monitoring are only a select group of people. Either way, mass or niche, the real time linkage with the content on the big screen really extends the idea of the Polar app by making these interactions available to a room full of people—each potentially interacting with their own mobile devices.

And, important to note (since this is IE, after all, that we are talking about) that this all uses standard open web technology. Specifically, Wroblewski tells me, Companion Web uses web sockets to create the real time connections between devices. He says, “you can make a connection between pretty much any two ‘modern’ Web browsers regardless of device.” One of the other really interesting things about the Polar demonstration is that, as I described in a recent post, it uses a multi-device web page that enables all kinds of input (touch, mouse and keyboard) depending on device. And in the Companion Web experience, all all of these inputs can be used to control the connected screen.

What the other “modern” browsers don’t have that Internet Explorer 10 has is this snap mode. If there was one thing that iOS 7 should have copied from Windows (instead of all that flatness stuff) it would have been snap mode. So these Companion Web experiences will work across virtually all devices (because they use standard web tech) but the Xbox One will retain an advantage of being the only way to uses these “companions” on the screen simultaneously with other activities. And Polar, I think, has shown how this could become a really powerful feature.

The other two Companion Web experiments released so far do not make use of this snap mode feature. DailyBurn, see video below, uses a smartphone or tablet to get real time data related to workouts you view on your TV. This app is clearly trying to appeal to users who may need some constructive excuse to get an Xbox One.

Mix Party, introduced in the (purposely?) obnoxious video below, allows people at a party to create real time, collaborative playlists with their phones. As with Polar, the real time aspect of this is part of the entertainment value. I’m not sure if DailyBurn is intended as a solo experience or if multiple people could monitor their own individual performance of a shared video workout or not, but Mix Party and Polar clearly have real time, fact to face interactions in mind.

What is interesting to me about this strategy is that there are some extra capabilities that Microsoft has built into IE 10/Xbox One (and likely will build more) that will give it an advantage as an app enabled web TV platform, but the apps developers write will also work well on all devices. This strategy of “progressive enhancement” is a comfortable one to developers because it keeps their options open. Allowing for these entropic possibilities is a smart way to get developers on board, which, in turn, could be the means to Microsoft’s resurgence through the big screen.

Microsoft Denies Spying Issues Skype

CALIFORNIA – Microsoft has denied allegations that the government says it gave the United States (U.S.) direct access to a number of Microsoft products, including SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype, for the U.S. government (U.S.).

Reported by Read Write, Tuesday (16/07/2013), the software giant’s rebuttal to respond to a report in The Guardian, which has channeled suspect Skype user data into the monitoring program PRISM National Security Agency (NSA) since 2011.

Microsoft confirmed the company has clear principles in responding to government demands for user information related to law enforcement and national security issues. Perusahana consumers insist only provide data in response to legal process and only permitaan adhere to certain accounts or identification.

“We appreciate our commitment to the user and in accordance with applicable law very seriously, so we provide only to respond to consumer data due process. To be clear, Microsoft does not give the government direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype, or Microsoft products the other, “explains Microsoft.

In the end, Microsoft said, when companies update product liability law, may in some circumstances have to retain the ability to provide information in response to requests by law enforcement or national security.

“That’s why, we argue that additional transparency will help everyone understand and debate the important issues,” said Microsoft.

Google releases Chrome 28 with Blink browser engine

Google on Tuesday released Chrome 28, the first polished version of the browser to use the company’s home-grown “Blink” rendering engine. On Windows, the upgrade also sported Google’s new notification service that lets developers of Chrome apps and add-ons display messages and alerts outside the browser window.

The upgrade was the first since May 21, when Google shipped Chrome 27 and touted some minor performance improvements.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Bug bounty programs provide strong value for Google, Mozilla. | Get your websites up to speed with HTML5 today using the techniques in InfoWorld’s HTML5 Deep DivePDF how-to report. | Learn how to secure your Web browsers in InfoWorld’s “Web Browser Security Deep Dive” PDF guide. ]

Google announced in April that it was dropping the open-source WebKit browser engine — at the time also used only by Apple’s Safari — and was instead launching Blink, a WebKit variant, to power Chrome. Since then, Opera Software’s Opera has also adopted WebKit as an interim step before it eventually moves to Blink.

Google cited difficulties in adapting WebKit to Chrome, and in the first weeks after the announcement, stripped copious amounts of unnecessary-for-Chrome code from the fork that became Blink. Previously, only the rougher “Dev” and “Beta” builds of Chrome relied on the Blink engine. Users can verify that Blink is present by typing chrome://version/ in the Chrome address-search bar, dubbed the “Omnibox.”

Also included in Chrome 28 is new support for more sophisticated notifications that appear outside the browser pane and display even when the browser’s not running. “Packaged apps” — ber-Web apps that look and behave like “native” code written specifically for the underlying OS — and add-ons can push brief messages and alerts to Chrome users after their developers have enabled the feature.

Only the Windows version of Chrome 28 currently supports these next-generation notifications, but Google promised that the feature would soon make its way to OS X and Linux. On a Mac, Chrome notifications are not integrated with OS X Mountain Lion’s Notification Center.

Along with the debut of Blink and notifications, Chrome 28 contained patches for 15 security vulnerabilities, one of them rated “critical,” Google’s most serious threat ranking. According to Google’s terse security advisory, that flaw was a memory management bug — dubbed a “use-after-free” vulnerability — in the browser’s network sockets code.

But while Colin Payne, who reported the bug, received an impressive reward of $6,267.40, another researcher was handed triple that. Andrey Labunets was paid a record $21,500 for filing several vulnerability reports, including two in the Google synchronization service and an unknown number of others that Google said were “…since-fixed server-side bugs.”

That last phrase and the amount paid were clues that Labunets discovered one or more flaws in a core Google service. In April, Google boosted bounties for vulnerability reports in its core websites, services and online apps, resetting the top reward to $20,000 for remote code executable bugs, those that attackers could use to slip malicious code onto a server or into an app or site.

Labunets is no stranger to large bug bounties. Earlier this year, after reporting a string of weaknesses in Facebook’s authentication protocol, Labunets was awarded $9,500 by the social networking giant.

Altogether, Google this week paid bounties totaling $34,901 to six researchers, including Payne and Labunets, for reporting eight different bugs. Through Tuesday, the Mountain View, Calif., company has awarded nearly $250,000 thus far this year in bounties or hacking contest prizes.

Users can download Chrome 28 from Google’s website. Active users can simply let the automatic updater retrieve the new version.

Google Nexus Ready to Use Android 4.3

California – Google announced the Android 4.3 operating system in a Google event in San Francisco on July 24, 2013. Android 4.3 will be used on the Google Nexus 7 new and old.
Since the announcement of Android 4.3, the operating system on a tablet computer Google Nexus 7, 10 and Nexus smartphone Google Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus will be upgraded to Android 4.3, said Hugo Barra, vice president of product manjemen Android.
While the mobile operating system of the Samsung Galaxy S4 edition of Google Play and HTC will also be enhanced, Barra stated.
Barra did not say when the other Android devices can get Android 4.3. At the operating system is not much change. There is only a little extra on the software. For example, the profile Multi-User Restricted, Smart Bluetooth technology and the higher graphics capabilities thanks to Open GLES 3.0.
Officially, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is still in version. In accordance with the changes only slightly. This means, the fans still have to wait for Google’s Android operating system Key Lime Pie.

MySpace users threaten to sue after years of blogs deleted

MySpace has been accused of deleting years worth of users’ personal blogs and histories after the site underwent a $20 million relaunch last month.

The move was a bid to shed the site’s outdated image and attract a new teenage fanbase, after millions of users migrated to Facebook as their primary social networking site in the late 2000s.

Purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in 2005 for $580m, a decision Murdoch has since called a “huge mistake”, MySpace’s focus on music and entertainment over social interaction has been credited as one of the reasons behind its decline.

At its peak, the site boasted 125m users and more webpage visits than Google. It now has around 25m users.

In 2011 Specific Media Group and pop heartthrob Justin Timberlake jointly purchased the company for $35m, and have since attempted to rebrand the site for the teenage generation through campaigns with rapper Pharrell.

This sleek new makeover has resulted in the deletion of blogs, videos, private messages, posts and comments without prior warning, much to the fury of its remaining loyal users.

Distraught fans created a thread entitled ‘I want my blogs and classic myspace back’ to vent their frustration at the move one user called “crass arrogance”.

They continued: “You have stolen 6 years of blogs and something that is priceless to me and cannot be replaced.”

Another lamented the deletion of her blogs, writing: “Openly and freely I shared intimate moments that can not be relived or retold for they where experienced. I would revisit myspace religiously because of my blogs… Myspace did an ultimate back stab.” [sic]

MySpace responded to concerns with the soothing message that the information had not been lost forever.

It said: “Change isn’t easy and there has been a lot going on lately. We understand that this information is very important to you. Please understand that your blogs have not been deleted. Your content is safe and we have been discussing the best ways possible to provide you your blogs.”

This is the realization Stud Google, Moto X

Google not only successfully make the Android operating system, but apparently Google is also competing in the smartphone market plunge in collaboration with Motorola. This time I will make sure to introduce smartphone champion, Moto X on 1 August.
Various leak is scattered, including what kind of form. A leaked disseminated @ evleaks, the usual Twitter account posted the leaked gadget show looks Moto X.
Reporting from VentureBeat, Moto X design looks interesting, where the device has a 4.5 inch screen, while the kitchen spur MSM8960T of embedded processor Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core with 1.7 GHz technology. The RAM capacity of 2 GB.
As for the power of the battery, Moto X is said to rely on the battery capacity of 1500 mAh, which is powered by a battery cover with Kevlar material which is safe on the back. While Android 4.2.2 Jelly bean in trust Google and Motorola as its OS.
Plus always on listening features allow users to do voice commands without having to touch the Moto X. To run this feature, the user must activate the pass setting. Like Siri – that should say Hi Siri password first, the first command to be spoken is Ok Google Now, however, without having to press any buttons.

Google Open Streaming TV Service

California: Google is rumored to be opening for Google TV streaming service. The tech giant is said to be developing a streaming service similar to cable TV services, such as Hulu or Netflix.
Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, according to sources who declined to be named. The source revealed that Google has approached several media companies to discuss licensing and television program content. Google wants to provide more services to Google TV via channels such as television package, but by using a broadband connection.
Google TV audience of streaming content will not require registration and subscription requirements as well as cable television service. Google TV so users will not be charged monthly. Google TV is not much different from the Apple TV. But the Apple TV first implement streaming TV service.
Google seems to need to fight hard to make it happen because just like the Apple TV earlier, the problem of security issues and also the reluctance of media companies to cooperate with Web TV newcomers a big challenge.