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BitTorrent’s Project Maelstrom web browser gets beta release

BitTorrent’s Project Maelstrom web browser gets beta release

In the game of desktop web browsers these days, you have to be different to hope to stand a chance against the big guys. And that's exactly what BitTorrent is attempting with their browser software, dubbed Project Maelstrom. What makes it different? Instead of getting data from centralized servers, websites can be delivered via peer-to-peer connections, just like how that new Hollywood movie gets passed around so quickly. While the browser was in alpha only a few months ago, a beta is now available to download for Windows PC users.

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Facebook launches standalone Messenger for the web

Facebook launches standalone Messenger for the web

You can chat with friends and family via Facebook Messenger on your phone or tablet, but to get to Messenger via the web, you have to navigate through Facebook’s website. At F8 this year, Facebook made sure we all knew Messenger would become more platform than app, so today’s announcement is really no surprise. If you head over to messenger.com, you’ll now be greeted with a standalone web version of Facebook Messenger, which exactly mimics the mobile version of the service platform.

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Microsoft drops Do Not Track browser default

Microsoft drops Do Not Track browser default

Microsoft has announced that it will be changing its Do Not Track default in future iterations of its browsers -- namely that it will no longer be enabled by default. The company points to industry standards and the refinement of such, with the latest draft saying that the "signal sent MUST reflect the user's preference", and, further into it, that "In the absence of user choice, there is no tracking preference expressed." Says Microsoft, given that latter portion, it has elected to change the Do Not Track default to avoid any "misunderstanding" regarding whether the chosen implementation follows the standard.

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Microsoft Sway now lets groups work on their next big idea

Microsoft Sway now lets groups work on their next big idea

PowerPoint, once the darling of business and school presentations, is slowly but surely giving way to a host of new technologies, particularly those leveraging the power of the Web and web browsers. Even Microsoft has such a product, which it revealed October last year as Sway, which seems like an odd name for a presentation tool. But a Web-based tool is inherently something that can be accessed by more than just one person. Sadly, Sway initially wasn't that. That all changes today with Microsoft announcing collaborative features for Sway.

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New Chrome extension throttles down webpage data usage

New Chrome extension throttles down webpage data usage

Sometimes, you just need to throttle down on your data consumption when browsing. Maybe you’re tethering a computer to your smartphone and don’t want to gobble up plan data, or are on a public WiFi network. Maybe the WiFi in your hotel is slow. Whatever the case, it’s sometimes best to use as little data as possible to get the job done. To that, Google has unveiled a beta Chrome extension that will compress webpage data for you.

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IE 11 will not be able to use Project Spartan engine

IE 11 will not be able to use Project Spartan engine

This probably comes as a shock to no one, but Microsoft is truly putting the infamous yet still widely used Internet Explorer to rest. We all expected that when Microsoft formally acknowledged the Project Spartan web browser, but now it is making that even more formal as well as technical. While Windows 10 will still ship with both the Spartan browser and Internet Explorer 11, it will draw a hard line between the two in terms of browser engines, with Spartan exclusively using the new "Edge" engine, leaving IE to become legacy.

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FREAK security hole: Passwords on Android and iOS apps at risk

FREAK security hole: Passwords on Android and iOS apps at risk

At first, we thought the FREAK security vulnerability was isolated to Internet browsers. Then, it became clear that Windows OS is vulnerable to FREAK attacks. The latest news is that this problem is now able to affect smartphones and mobile devices through apps on Android and iOS. The FREAK vulnerability is a security backdoor created by an old Clinton administration era government policy which required all exported software and hardware to have weak encryption keys. Obviously their policy was passed without much foresight. FREAK attacks cripple HTTPS security, allowing for sensitive data like passwords and credit card information to be snatched by hackers savvy to the susceptibility.

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Microsoft to end ‘Internet Explorer’ branding in Windows 10

Microsoft to end ‘Internet Explorer’ branding in Windows 10

Internet Explorer is dead. Microsoft’s legacy browser is soon to be relegated to the trash heap, at least in name. At Microsoft’s Convergence conference yesterday, marketing boss Chris Capossela said the company was working on a new brand identity for their browser initiatives. Currently known as Spartan (which we like), Microsoft has seemingly yet to finalize the name of their new explorer of the Internet. As previously noted at their press event, the new browser will be available in Windows 10.

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Opera Coast 4.1 comes with video boost to keep spinners away

Opera Coast 4.1 comes with video boost to keep spinners away

Next to the Spinning Pinwheel of Death, the next most dreaded rotating indicator is probably the ones that you see on YouTube and other video streaming sites. Yes, those spinners that indicate that your video has stopped and is still buffering, making you wait in anxiety and worry, especially when the connection suddenly crashes. Opera Software, who has been at the forefront of minimizing your Internet data usage, has a solution for that in the form of the latest version 4.1 of its Opera Coast browser for iOS, now with Video Boost technology.

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Google turns every new Chrome tab into an Art Project

Google turns every new Chrome tab into an Art Project

As self-proclaimed curators of the world's knowledge, Google has access to thousands of humanity's greatest works. The tech giant is, of course, kind enough to let users in on this collection, even or especially if they can't be travel to personally be awestruck by these timeless pieces. The Google Art Project is one such attempt that gives access to high resolution images of the world's greatest artworks. And now Google is making that even easier. All you need to do is open a new browser tab.

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Opera browser catches up, syncs bookmarks across devices

Opera browser catches up, syncs bookmarks across devices

Back in the days before smartphones, Opera was the household name when talking about web browsing on phones. The browser has since then been eclipsed by mainstream desktop names like Firefox and Chrome. The Norway-based company has seen its business change over the course of the years, including a data-saving service that goes beyond the its web browser. Now, however, its main product is starting to catch up. Opera, on both desktop and mobile, will now let you sync your bookmarks across all of those platforms.

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“Windows 93”: a psychedelic nightmare that could have been

“Windows 93”: a psychedelic nightmare that could have been

The decision to call the next Windows version Windows 10 and not Windows 9 has prompted a look back at the history of Windows version naming, particularly those that were released back in the 90s. It might have also prompted some musing of what could have been. For example, what if Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, after one too many rounds at the bar, decided to make an interim release before Windows 95? What would have been the design and what would have been the experience? Wonder no more, because Windows 93 has finally been released.

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