Mozilla Releases An Update For Firefox – Stops Plugin Crashes

Mozilla has released a new update for their popular Firefox browser to version 3.6.4. The folks at Mozilla state that the new release will help stop crashes caused by third party plugins. Over on their blog site Mozilla folks stated:

Mozilla recognizes that third-party plugins provide important functionality in many of today’s websites. At the same time, plugins can lead to problems for users as they browse. With the ability to automatically alert users when they have out of date plugins, and now crash protection, Firefox 3.6.4 allows users to experience all the content they love without any of the hassles.

At this time Firefox offers crash protection for Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Silverlight on Windows and Linux computers. Support for other plugins and operating systems will become available in a future Firefox release.

To get the updates go to Help – Check For Updates.

I would recommend you get the update ASAP.

Comments welcome.

Source – Mozilla Blog

Adobe Warns Of Flash Exploit – Maybe Steve Jobs Is Right

Adobe is warning users of not only their Flash player, but also of their other products, that hackers have once again exploited their software. In a security advisory the software company warned that Adobe Reader and Acrobat are both vulnerable as well. On their web site Adobe also stated that they believed that Adobe Flash Player 10.1 release candidate #7 did not appear to be vulnerable. Adobe also stated that this exploit included their software for Windows, Linux, Solaris and Macintosh for some of their versions.

Adobe also states that:

Adobe Flash Player
The Flash Player 10.1 Release Candidate available at does not appear to be vulnerable.

Adobe Reader and Acrobat
Deleting, renaming, or removing access to the authplay.dll file that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x mitigates the threat for those products, but users will experience a non-exploitable crash or error message when opening a PDF file that contains SWF content.

The authplay.dll that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for Windows is typically located at C:Program FilesAdobeReader 9.0Readerauthplay.dll for Adobe Reader or C:Program FilesAdobeAcrobat 9.0Acrobatauthplay.dll for Acrobat.

Severity rating

Adobe categorizes this as a critical issue.

I believe this is a good time to dump Adobe reader for another product. I chose Foxit for myself.

Comments welcome.

Source – Adobe

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Second IE9 Platform Preview, Developer Edition, Available – Give It A Try

Microsoft is making available the second platform preview of its new Internet Explorer 9 edition for developers. But if you want to see what Microsoft has in store for us with its latest edition of IE, you can take the preview for a spin to see what you think. Microsoft states that this new edition will improve performance and  have better support for standards and improved hardware acceleration of HTML5. You may be aware that both Apple and Microsoft no longer wish to support Flash from Adobe.

In addition, on its IE9 blog site, Microsoft states:

With the second Platform Preview we continue to improve IE9’s performance and maintain our focus on real-world sites and hardware acceleration. We examined the patterns in use across many websites and frameworks to identify which changes in the browser make actual sites faster.

You’ll notice that the performance difference between IE9 and other browsers on this benchmark is in the range of an eye-blink. As we continue to make IE9’s script engine faster for real world sites, IE will continue to become faster at this particular benchmark as well. To date we’ve done very little specific tuning for Webkit Sunspider. As with most benchmarks, depending on your machine, the differences may vary.

Performance and speed is now the name of the game as Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla compete in the speed arena. Each are claiming, week by week, that one or the other is now the fastest browser on the block.

You can download a copy of IE9 2nd preview from here.


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Microsoft Sides With Apple, Says The Future Of The Web Is HTML5 – Bye, Bye Flash

In what some are calling an unusual move, Microsoft is siding with Apple stating the HTML5 is the future of the Web. Microsoft has also indicated that it is deeply involved with the W3C in the process of setting standards. Microsoft goes on to state that it supports H.264, which IE9 will use for video playback.

On its blog, the company also states:

Adobe Flash
Image via Wikipedia

Other codecs often come up in these discussions. The distinction between the availability of source code and the ownership of the intellectual property in that available source code is critical. Today, intellectual property rights for H.264 are broadly available through a well-defined program managed by MPEG LA.   The rights to other codecs are often less clear, as has been described in the press.  Of course, developers can rely on the H.264 codec and hardware acceleration support of the underlying operating system, like Windows 7, without paying any additional royalty.

Today, video on the web is predominantly Flash-based. While video may be available in other formats, the ease of accessing video using just a browser on a particular website without using Flash is a challenge for typical consumers. Flash does have some issues, particularly around reliability, security, and performance. We work closely with engineers at Adobe, sharing information about the issues we know of in ongoing technical discussions. Despite these issues, Flash remains an important part of delivering a good consumer experience on today’s web.

This seems like a nice way of saying that Adobe because of reliability, security, and performance issues is going the way of the dodo. IMHO.

What do you think? With Microsoft and Apple being down on Flash, or so it seems, will Flash be going away?

Comments welcome.

Microsoft blog entry

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