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Vivaldi web browser can directly control Philips Hue bulbs

Vivaldi web browser can directly control Philips Hue bulbs

There are tons of web browsers in the world today, not counting the big three or four. Each has their own unique aspect but most of them congregate towards offering simple and minimalist interfaces. Vivaldi, from Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzchner, is, in that sense, a breed apart. It is unabashedly marketed at power users and stacks feature upon feature that would probably overwhelm everyone else. And its latest is probably as strange as it gets. As of version 1.5, Vivaldi claims to be the first web browser to have built-in support for controlling color-changing Philips Hue bulbs.

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Chrome 53 on Windows promised to be 15% faster

Chrome 53 on Windows promised to be 15% faster

Web browsers have become more and more critical to modern computing that for many users, they have practically become the operating system, an idea that Google turned into practice with Chrome OS. As such, there is always a need to make web browsers more and more optimized, in performance as well as power usage. As one of the major web browser makers, Google is always looking for ways to improve its performance, which has borne fruit in the latest version 53 and 54 of Chrome for Windows.

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Firefox plays around with mini video, screenshot sharing features

Firefox plays around with mini video, screenshot sharing features

Web browsers have practically become operating systems and desktop environments. Just look at Chrome OS. While Firefox OS hasn’t exactly taken on a similar form, and is, in fact, practically dead, Mozilla isn’t stopping in giving its own web browser some extra power so that you won’t have to leave Firefox just for some menial tasks. Expanding its Test Pilot group of experimental features Mozilla is giving Firefox the ability to play videos in a smaller window at a corner of your screen or take and immediately share screenshots, all within Firefox, of course.

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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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