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Opera makes its VPN service totally free on its desktop browser

Opera makes its VPN service totally free on its desktop browser

Once the darling of mobile browsing, back when our mobile phones were still far from being smart, Opera seems to be making up for lost time and market and hitting both the web browser and mobile markets in new ways. Just last month, the company announced the arrival of its free VPN app on Android and now it’s making a slightly similar move on the desktop. No, it’s not announcing a VPN app per se. Instead, it is building VPN functionality right into the heart of its Opera desktop browsers and, better yet, making it completely free to use.

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LinkNYC disables web browsing in kiosk tablets due to abuse

LinkNYC disables web browsing in kiosk tablets due to abuse

Let’s face it. Humans are adept at turning situations to their benefit, but not all of them for the better. So it isn’t exactly surprising that 8 months after it launched, LinkNYC’s free gigabit Wi-Fi in New York is undergoing a rather major change. No, the Wi-Fi is still free and you can still connect to it with whatever device you have. However, the startup is now turning off the ability to browse the Web using the LinkNYC kiosk’s tablet following reports of abuse, some of them mildly amusing.

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Chrome promised to now use less battery, mobile payments added

Chrome promised to now use less battery, mobile payments added

Google has finally broken its silence and has put out its own “play video until computer dies” timelapse to show just how long its browsers last. But unlike tests from Microsoft or Opera, Google only pitted its Chrome against another Chrome, one from a year in the past. Unsurprisingly, the results do show how much the Chrome browser has improved, adding a little over two hours to “identiical laptops” battery lives. When watching videos on sites like Vimeo at least.

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Chrome now has Cast built-in, can share tabs in Hangouts

Chrome now has Cast built-in, can share tabs in Hangouts

Google Cast has definitely come a long way, from an odd but category-defining HDMI dongle to something that almost every new connected device, from speakers to TVs, supports. Almost ironically, it has also made “Cast” more invisible, like a feature that you expect to be just there, no setup required. That is definitely the thinking behind Google’s new big feature for its Chrome, which bakes Cast functionality right into the browser. And just to prove that Hangouts isn’t really dead, that functionality extends to Google’s now more business-minded communication service as well.

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Google Chrome puts Flash to pasture starting next month

Google Chrome puts Flash to pasture starting next month

There really is no stopping Flash's demise. Not when all the major browsers have ganged up on it. The latest to pull the plug is Google's Chrome, which is kickstarting the process to Flash's exit from the Web scene starting in September. Of course, that doesn't mean that annoying ads, especially video ones, will be going away forever, though some will undoubtedly see some downtime on Chrome browsers. It just means that, eventually, they will be taking on a more resource efficient, standards compliant form.

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Chrome for Android now loads videos faster and uses less energy

Chrome for Android now loads videos faster and uses less energy

Chrome for Android is now up to version 52, and with it comes a handful of benefits, not the least of which is demonstrably faster video load speeds. Per a demonstration video Google posted, the browser now loads a YouTube video five times faster than before, and the playback is smoother than it was in the previous version. As well, video playback is now more energy efficient, meaning you won’t see your phone or tablet’s battery die so quickly.

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Browser power test shows Microsoft Edge only marginally better

Browser power test shows Microsoft Edge only marginally better

Microsoft took the gloves off when it claimed that its Edge web browser outperformed the competition in terms of power efficiency. While Google and Mozilla have yet to make official counterclaims, Opera published a post showing that, at least with Power Saving enabled, its browser actually tops the rest. So which one is telling the truth? PCWorld conducts its own test and discovers that, while Microsoft did have an edge over the others, its results arent's as dramatic as either claim them to be.

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Chrome bug aids in pirating Netflix, Amazon videos

Chrome bug aids in pirating Netflix, Amazon videos

DRM, or Digital Rights Management (some call it Digital Restrictions Management), is a class of technologies and software aimed to protect copyrighted material from unauthorized access, a.k.a. piracy. But what if that DRM itself is guilty of helping pirates do exactly that? That is somewhat the position Google is finding itself in when the DRM technology it uses in its Chrome browser has been found to have a bug that actually makes it easier to lift encrypted videos streamed from the likes of Netflix or Amazon Prime and spread them around illegally.

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Vysor can now wirelessly mirror you Android in Chrome

Vysor can now wirelessly mirror you Android in Chrome

Koushik "Koush" Dutta is renowned in the Android community as the creator of the ClockworkMod recovery tool or CWM. Of course, he has grown out of that role some time ago and has released a good number of apps that push the boundaries of Android. One of those is Vysor, which lets you mirror and control your Android screen inside the Chrome web browser. Now that handy tool has also grown up, listing wireless connectivity as its latest feature to let users control their Android devices from their Chrome browser, no cables needed.

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Opera challenges Microsoft Edge’s battery saving claims

Opera challenges Microsoft Edge’s battery saving claims

When you just recently released a product or feature that promised to significantly save users some laptop battery life, you would naturally be unsettled when, out of nowhere, someone suddenly claims to have an even better "regular" product. That is probably what browser maker Opera felt when Microsoft surprisingly published a blog post that extolled its own Edge browser's battery efficiency. Now Opera is refuting Microsoft's claims by presenting its own hard evidence of how Opera's new power saving feature trumps them all.

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Microsoft boasts Edge saves battery most, Chrome the worst

Microsoft boasts Edge saves battery most, Chrome the worst

Once upon a time, web browsers competed on the basis of rendering performance and quality. Then they moved on to extensions and add-ons. Now it seems that the next arena will be in power consumption. As users become more battery conscious, thanks to a slowdown in battery tech innovation, they will start looking to programs that eat up more battery than they should. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft boasts that its Edge web browser is the most efficient at power management. And in the same breath, points to Google Chrome as the worst.

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Firefox Containers are an experiment in multiple identities

Firefox Containers are an experiment in multiple identities

Web browsing is no longer a one browser per person activity. And that's not just about a family sharing a single computer or tablet. Even a single user sometimes needs to use the web as different persons. And no, this isn't a case of schizophrenia. In order to support the not so unusual use case of a single person having different accounts, personas, and habits when browsing the web, the Firefox team is playing around with "Containers" that separate those virtual users, and their data, from each other.

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