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Instagram Direct Messages may still be coming to the desktop after all

Instagram Direct Messages may still be coming to the desktop after all

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks on the planet but, for all its fame, it remains oddly tied to phones. Never mind the fact that its web-based desktop experience is a few steps from being deplorable, the mobile app seems frozen in a world where people use smartphones in just one and only one way. The Facebook-owned network is very slowly changing, like the standalone Windows desktop app that finally lets you fully upload photos barely two years ago. Its next trick, it seems, is to finally let IG users chat with each other not on their phone but on their desktop web browser.

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Opera desktop web browser adds tracker blocker to privacy features

Opera desktop web browser adds tracker blocker to privacy features

The Web may be filled with information, some of which we may have wished never came to light, but it has also become a scarier place as well. Never mind the "dark web" and hackers and spies, even companies seem to be out to get you, or at least your information. Web browser makers like Google and Mozilla are stepping up in this game of cat and mouse, blocking ads and cookies that don't play nice. Opera is joining the chorus with an addition to its arsenal of privacy tools which it is only too happy to remind users comes built into the desktop browser and, better yet, available for free.

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Russian hackers modify Chrome, Firefox installers to fingerprint users

Russian hackers modify Chrome, Firefox installers to fingerprint users

Browser makers are implementing features that prevent sites from tracking users through various technologies, particularly encryption in HTTPS and TLS. Hackers of the dark kind, however, love to play this game of cat and mouse with security experts and software developers. A particularly notorious group hailing from Russia is proving that by turning the tables on browser makers. They are using the very same technologies Chrome and Firefox use for secure browsing, these hackers are modifying these web browsers on the fly to keep tabs on users and circumvent those privacy features.

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Google Chrome will soon block insecure content in HTTPS pages

Google Chrome will soon block insecure content in HTTPS pages

As the company with the biggest presence and influence on the Internet, Google has taken it upon itself to make the Web a safer place. From misbehaving ads to insecure pages, Google has used its Chrome web browser to steer developers and administrators towards more industey best practices. Google boasts that Chrome users spend 90% of their time on secure HTTPS pages but soon it will be tightening the noose on remaining insecure content by blocking them completely starting next year.

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Google Chrome introduces new features to reorder tab clutter

Google Chrome introduces new features to reorder tab clutter

Many people live in their browsers to the point that having 30 or more tabs open at the same time, some of them might even be days old. And that's on just one device, with some people these days owning at least a phone in addition to a computer. In other words, managing browser tabs can be quite the mess and Google is finally giving Chrome users a bit of help with new features that won't exactly reduce the number of tabs you open but at least make them more manageable.

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Vivaldi beta brings a feature-filled web browser to Android

Vivaldi beta brings a feature-filled web browser to Android

A common trend among web browsers on the desktop is to simplify their UI and features, itself spun off a minimalist trend going on in the software and design industry. When it launched more than four years ago, Vivaldi challenged not just the big players in the market but also the status quo by actually filling the browser with built-in features others would relegate to third-party extensions. Now Vivaldi is bringing that same philosophy and those same features to mobile, at least on Android, while aiming to keep things simple for mobile use.

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Firefox tracking and cryptomining protection now enabled by default

Firefox tracking and cryptomining protection now enabled by default

Mozilla previously put third-party and cross-site tracking on notice and now it is finally flipping the switch. Starting with today's release, Firefox will have its Enhanced Tracking Protection turned on by default. Additionally, it will also be blocking cryptominers by default so that hackers won't be able to make money off your CPU cycles and battery life. Ironically, it won't yet do the same for sites that try to track your computer based on certain "fingerprints".

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Microsoft explains how its big browser Flash-oust will work

Microsoft explains how its big browser Flash-oust will work

Microsoft's plan to oust Adobe Flash from its browsers is on track, the company has reconfirmed today, detailing just what users of Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge can expect next. Announced back in 2017, the plan to divorce the two browsers from Adobe's little-loved product is expected to see Flash removed completely by 2020.

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Flash videos and games are resurrected by Ruffles emulator

Flash videos and games are resurrected by Ruffles emulator

Once the darling of the young Web, Flash eventually became a liability because of its gaping security holes and heavy resource usage. But for all the flack it has received, it's hard to deny the amount of legitimate and noteworthy content produced using flash, particularly 2D animations and games. To make sure those are never lost forever, one developer has taken upon the rather grueling task of creating Ruffles, the open source WebAssembly Flash emulator.

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Microsoft Edge gets a Beta channel as launch looms closer

Microsoft Edge gets a Beta channel as launch looms closer

Software giant Microsoft has practically admitted that, after decades, it can no longer really compete in the browser market on its own. Ironically, adopting a Google Chrome base may have, in fact, renewed interest and trust in the Microsoft Edge name. At least enough to gain 1 million downloads of the preview version alone. Microsoft is probably hoping that the final launch will be just as warmly received but, in the meantime, it's launching a new beta version and beta channel fans can use to get the latest but somewhat stable features.

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Chrome will soon prevent sites from detecting Incognito Mode

Chrome will soon prevent sites from detecting Incognito Mode

Almost all the major browsers these days have an incognito or private browsing mode. This offers users some peace of mind to go anywhere they like without fear of web sites tracking them to serve them ads. At least that's the theory but in practice, there might be other ways sites and even ISPs from knowing your activities. It turns out, there might even be ways for sites to know whether you're browsing Incognito or not and Google is putting an end to that in Chrome.

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Firefox will deliver an ad-free Internet for a subscription fee

Firefox will deliver an ad-free Internet for a subscription fee

Firefox is one of the biggest and most popular web browsers around, second or equal to Google Chrome and, for Apple users, Safari. What few people probably know is that the Mozilla Foundation that owns and develops the browsers, among other things, is a non-profit organization that doesn't profit from the massive use of Firefox. As such, it has always been looking for revenue sources, some of which ended up in failure. Its latest attempt will probably be just as controversial, practically asking users how much they will be willing to pay for an ad-free Internet experience and a bit more.

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