Archive for August, 2011

Ad-Aware 9.5 drops, and Mozilla defends itself

August 30th, 2011

This week, we got a first look at the newest version of popular antispyware and antivirus program Ad-Aware. According to the program’s developer, Lavasoft, both Ad-Aware 9.5 Free Internet Security and Ad-Aware 9.5 Pro Internet Security ought to be four to eight times faster than they were in the last release. But, while the program did feel notably smoother in our tests, we’re not so sure it lived up to all of the developer’s claims. You can read our take here.

In other news, Mozilla, maker of the popular Firefox browser, found itself in the unfavorable position of having to defend its rapid-release program. With the new six-week release schedule causing some corporate indigestion, Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker issued a statement on why she believes the pros outweigh the cons. You can read her argument here. What do you think? Are you a fan of the new release cycle?

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Mozilla puts mobile Firefox on the front burner

August 29th, 2011

Mozilla is expanding development of Firefox for Android with new efforts to improve its performance, lower its power consumption, adapt it for tablets–and keep the browser maker relevant in the hottest area of computing.

Firefox is the second-most widely used browser on computers, but things are different in the mobile arena. There, Firefox is at a serious disadvantage compared to mobile browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Google’s unbranded Android browser that are built into the operating systems.

Mozilla, by comparison, must convince people or phone makers to install Firefox, and even then restrictions keep it off several mobile operating systems.

But Mozilla clearly has recognized that mobile computing is rapidly expanding beyond the niche of technophiles and wealthy folks who want a high-status phone. Firefox won’t have an easy time carving a place for itself on new mobile devices, but Mozilla is doing its darndest to build a browser that will attract users.

One illustration: When Mozilla programmer Dave Mandelin began an active discussion about what Firefox needs to run better on ARM processors, which dominate the phone and tablet market, a broad, active discussion took off. Mandelin wasn’t very gentle.

“If you have a powerful device, Firefox performance is in many ways pretty good. But UI [user interface] responsiveness and memor… [Read more]

Tetris Free officially comes to Android

August 29th, 2011

(Credit:
EA Mobile)

To the delight of veteran gamers and newcomers alike, EA Mobile has today released a free version of Tetris (download) for the Android platform. Already one of the most popular franchises in mobile gaming history, this just-released free version of Tetris comes with new and improved visuals, smooth touch-screen controls, and, of course, that world-famous soundtrack. But, as with other free downloads, Tetris Free is ad-supported, so if you get easily annoyed by either interstitial or leaderboard-style ads, prepare to grit your teeth because this game features both.

Tetris Free is available now in the Android Market. It joins the recently launched Scrabble Free (download) as EA’s second free offering on the Android platform.

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Gojee: Even the Web can be delicious

August 29th, 2011

Gojee takes the ingredients you already have as well as your cravings, likes and dislikes to create a personalized collection of recipes.

(Credit:
Screenshot by CNET)

There’s something about cookbooks that has always amazed me ever since I was a child. Cookbooks have a story-telling quality where the pictures hold as much influence as their complementary textual directions. Have you ever caught yourself staring at a photogenic plate, struggling to imagine what it might taste like or if it was something in your realm of cooking skills? Like a great children’s story, visual cookbooks capture the imagination of taste and encourages us recreate what the cook/artist shares before us, without information overload. 

Gojee is a Web app that sets out to accomplish two objectives: to make us drool and to personalize the recipe experience to your cravings. 

Gojee manages to strike an attractive balance in presentation, direction, and interaction with the user. Its latest design leaves us hungry, curiously motivated to try something new, and feeds us just the right amount of information to make cooking within reach.
Gojee’s layout is best showcased on large screens; it’s the plate of food that take… [Read more]

Wallflower stops sites from socializing

August 29th, 2011

As social networking has gone mainstream, so have the flock of buttons embedded in Web pages to get you to promote a story on the multitude of social-networking services you use. One Web developer has written a quick-and-dirty add-on that hides two of those gnat-like buttons from view. Dietrich Ayala, a developer for Mozilla based in Portland, Ore., wrote a new add-on called Wallflower to cut down on the memory use of buttons that he found superfluous.

The top half of this image is a CNET blog post without the Wallflower extension. Wallflower removes Facebook Like and Google+ buttons, as seen in the lower half of the image.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

Wallflower is a restartless add-on for Firefox, which means you won’t have to restart your browser after installing it, and it performs the simple task of knocking out the Facebook “Like,” Facebook “Connect,” and Google+ “+1″ buttons. In their place remains empty space filled by the site’s background color or pattern.

“The add-on took about 10 minutes to write,” Ayala said in an e-mail to CNET and mentioned in a comment on his blog announcing the add-on that i… [Read more]

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