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Firefox latest news

21 May

Firefox 4 the lowdown

Mozilla hopes to release the anticipated Firefox 4 in October or November, a new version that has speed among the main goals of this latest release.

“Performance is a huge, huge, huge thing for us,” said Mike Beltzner, vice president of engineering for Mozilla Firefox, in an announcement about future plans for the browser. “We created the performance story, and we’ve got to keep at it.”

Among other features scheduled for Firefox 4 and Mozilla emphatically cautions that plans can change are support for high-speed graphics and text through Direct2D on Windows, a tidier user interface with more prominent and powerful tabs, support for several newer Web technologies; 64-bit versions; and compatibility with multi-touch interfaces.

Performance means a great deal in a browser. Among them the time it takes to load a Web page or even to load the program, the responsiveness of the user interface to commands such as opening new tabs, and the speed with which Web-based JavaScript programs execute. Firefox programmers also will work on more perceptual speed improvements, Beltzner said, such as changing the order that Web page elements appear on the screen and the appearance of the page-loading progress bar.

Update

Mozilla’s latest release Firefox 4 beta (version 9) continues to improve. Most notably, beta 9 which was released on January 14 offers a faster start-up time, bookmarking and overall performance gains. That, combined with the Panorama feature and full HTML5 support, gives Firefox the firepower it needs to go head to head against Google’s rival and, of course, the latest version of IE (IE9).

The first beta debuted in June. There have been nine beta releases and it is not clear if there is one or two more updates coming in the near future.

Update

It’s been a long wait, but Firefox 4 has finally reached the conclusion of their beta testing period. Mozilla has released Firefox 4 beta 12, which, is rumour to be the last beta release.

But with this new it doesn’t mean Firefox 4 is done yet. Although Firefox 4 is already some months past its original release date, there will still be at least one release candidate before Firefox 4 is declared final later this year.

Beta 12 is primarily a bug fix release and clears most of the major remaining bugs that were blocking the release of Firefox 4.

Stay in tune for more news

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New Ipod

18 May

Jobs also unveiled a new, compact Apple TV set-top box, little bigger than a drinks coaster, which can “stream” content, such as music, films and television shows, from the internet directly to a television.

Jobs, who had previously dismissed the Apple TV as “a hobby”, admitted that while people loved the device, it had only sold in modest numbers,

He said the company had listened to user feedback about exactly what they wanted from a set-top box, and had overhauled the device to meet those needs.

“They want on-demand access to Hollywood movies and TV shows, they don’t want amateur stuff,” he said. “They want their movies and TV shows in high-definition, and want to pay less for this content.

“And they don’t want a computer on their television – though this is a hard one for people in the computer industry to understand. And they don’t want to manage the storage of downloaded movies and programmes.”

The new Apple TV will allow users to “rent” films and television shows for a modest fee, with high-definition movies available on the day of DVD release for $4.99, and television programmes for 99c. The device itself will cost $99 ( about £61)– around $200 less than its predecessor – although Apple has not yet released details of UK pricing.

Jobs also used Apple’s annual September press conference to show off new-look iPods, including a smaller, squarer iPod shuffle with buttons, and a tiny iPod nano controlled via a touch-screen. Apple also unveiled a new iPod touch with the same pin-sharp retina display as the iPhone 4, as well as dual cameras for shooting high-definition footage, and for making video calls using Apple’s FaceTime application.

“The iPod touch has become the most popular iPod for us,” said Jobs. “It’s also the number one portable games console in the world, outselling the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable combined.’

Apple’s were excited to met with them.

“The new Apple TV is to television what iPhones were to phones three years ago. The stage is set for mass market adoption.”

“Apple TV is a great story,” said Michael Gartenberg, a senior analyst with Altimeter Group. “It helps Apple maintain its lead in music, and drives new innovation in the living room.