Project Google Chrome OS Promises Hardware Acceleration Plus Support For Linux, OS X & Windows

The folks over at the Google Chrome OS team are starting to rethink their approach to the OS and could be expanding into other platforms. The team is posed to start focusing on the approach they take when it comes to windowing. These changes may also apply to the Google Chrome browser and the proposed changes such as eliminating the URL bar that I have previously written about.

In addition, the Google Chrome OS team is considering hardware acceleration to support and also to consolidate the Chrome UI across different platforms including Windows, OS X, and Linux. Also mentioned on the Google Chrome Web site is support for OpenGL, Direct 3D, and Win 32 as well as other open source support.

Google has this chart showing its proposal and areas of support:

What will all of this mean for you and me? Currently on my Cr-48 laptop test computer, the Chrome OS is limited to just one single window open at a time. When Google finally implements the changes to its OS, users will be able to open multiple windows for multiple users all at once.

Google has also has scrapped the idea of completely supporting HTML only. The project team is indicating that it is looking into using JavaScript front end code.

I personal believe that this is an exciting project that may influence the way we all do our computing, whether in the cloud or not. Google seems to be gearing their fight towards both Microsoft and Apple, by not only offering changes to their Google Chrome OS, but also to its Google Chrome Web browser.

We may start seeing a blur between the difference of the Google Chrome OS and Google Chrome browser in the very near future.

This is a rumor, but Google may — just may — release the final version of the Google Chrome OS sometime mid-year.

Comments welcome.

Source – Google The Chromium Project

Hotmail Goes Interactive

If you’ve been around on the internet for any period of time the name Hotmail must have been brought up a couple times. This Microsoft free mail service has been lurking in the shadows and slowly updating its platform. Today though Hotmail goes interactive with JavaScript enabled e-mail.

This new interactivity allows developers to embed and run JavaScript programs from within e-mails. Furthering the evolution from HTML e-mails to new heights Hotmail is opening the doors for the evolution to take a huge step forward.

For the end-user this means that their incoming e-mails will be fully interactive and increasingly up-to-date with information that you want to see in your inbox.

If developers send an e-mail with Hotmail’s new changes, you’ll be able to interact with it and take actions within the e-mail itself. Basically, the new Hotmail e-mails will look, feel and behave like a web page.

This cool blingy update has potential to keep Hotmail competitive with Google’s Gmail. Going head to head with Google’s GMail is a tough thing, even when GMail has a slight upper hand, enabling previews from Flickr and YouTube within e-mails.

Check out this demo from Microsoft:

However, JavaScript in e-mails can be a big security hazard. Malicious code is a top risk with this new update from Hotmail. Windows Live Active Views is our answer. Microsoft has been pretty secretive with Windows Live Active Views workings but what we’ve found out is that e-mails will be able to run securely within Hotmail. We realize that is a pretty vague statement, but that is all we’ve been able to learn.

The pioneering companies to utilize this new technology will be Orbitz and Monster.com , with LinkedIn and Netflix coming soon.

If You Want To Use IE 9 You Will Not Need SP1 For Windows 7

Microsoft has released information for those who wish to use their new browser Internet Explorer 9 when it becomes available. The company stated that for Windows 7 users, they will not need to install SP1 first, prior to installing IE 9.

In addition Microsoft has provided additional information on their Internet Explorer 9 Beta FAQ For It Professionals:

Does Internet Explorer 9 Beta integrate with Window 7?

Yes. End users can pin business-critical applications and websites to the taskbar, and websites can add customer tasks to those Jump Lists. Additionally, developers can add controls to thumbnail previews, similar to the controls that Windows Media® Player adds to its thumbnail previews.

How does Internet Explorer 9 Beta improve the performance of webpages and applications?

Webpages and applications load noticeably faster and are incredibly more responsive because of the new document object model (DOM), a re-engineered layout, and Chakra (the new JavaScript engine). The new JavaScript engine takes advantage of multiple CPU cores through Windows to interpret, compile, and run code in parallel.

How does support for hardware acceleration affect Internet Explorer 9 Beta end users?

Hardware-accelerated video, graphics, and text allow end users’ websites and applications to perform like applications that they install directly on their PCs. High-definition videos play smoothly, graphics are clearer and more responsive, colors are truer, and websites can be more interactive.

Which security features are new or improved in Internet Explorer 9 Beta?

The industry-leading SmartScreen® Filter helps protect end users from malware and phishing attacks. Internet Explorer 9 Beta adds the SmartScreen download filter to block downloaded program files, based on their reputation. Internet Explorer 9 is the only major web browser that provides integrated download reputation to help end users make better choices when deciding whether to trust a downloaded program file. Both filters are turned on by default.

Does Internet Explorer 9 Beta support modern web standards such as HTML5?

Internet Explorer 9 Beta demonstrates our commitment to an interoperable web by supporting modern web standards. Doing so enables developers to use the same mark-up across web browsers, helping to reduce development and support costs. Modern web standards that Internet Explorer 9 Beta supports include HTML5, Cascading Style Sheets, Level 3 (CSS3), Document Object Model (DOM) Levels 2 and 3, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), and International Color Consortium (ICC) Color Profiles.

You can find more FAQs at the link below.

Comments welcome.

Source – Microsoft

Update. I corrected the original article I wrote since it appears that Microsoft revised the information on their web site. Information on the requirements for Vista had also been removed. :-)

Google Improves Search Plus 1 Billion Users A Week

Google has introduced a new improved way to search that makes it easy to find what you are looking for. In addition Google now claims that over 1 billion users use their search engine. Called Google Instant the company claims the following improvements:

Here are a few of the core features in Google Instant:

  • Dynamic Results – Google dynamically displays relevant search results as you type so you can quickly interact and click-through to the web content you need.
  • Predictions – One of the key technologies in Google Instant is that we predict the rest of your query (in light gray text) before you finish typing. See what you need? Stop typing, look down and find what you’re looking for.
  • Scroll to search – Scroll through predictions and see results instantly for each as you arrow down.

To bring Google Instant to life, we needed a host of new technologies including new caching systems, the ability to adaptively control the rate at which we show results pages and an optimization of page-rendering JavaScript to help web browsers keep up with the rest of the system. In the end, we needed to produce a system that was able to scale while searching as fast as people can type and think—all while maintaining the relevance and simplicity people expect from Google.

The user benefits of Google Instant are many—but the primary one is time saved. Our testing has shown that Google Instant saves the average searcher two to five seconds per search. That may not seem like a lot at first, but it adds up. With Google Instant, we estimate that we’ll save our users 11 hours with each passing second!

Sounds impressive. I gave the new feature a try to and searching is quick. But unless you are doing dozens upon dozen of searches ever hour, you may not see the benefits.

I also noticed that this is very similar to what Amazon has been doing for quite some time when you search the inventory on their site. Don’t get me wrong. Amazon has a minimal amount of data to sort compared to the Internet.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Google blog

Google Is Running Your Javascript

There should be an image here!I am all for Google keeping folks secure from malware related websites or sites that are pushing dangerous code. I totally get this, protect the end user, blah, blah. Understood.

But the idea of Google running code such as javascript on my own websites, well, it has me greatly confused. Isn’t this a bit overkill?

The real issue is we don’t know how Google sees javascript, if users of said scripts are penalized and whether or not it affects ranking. Google seems to keep this fairly secure and close to the internal parts of Google itself.

Google Wave Open To All

Last year at the Google’s I/O conference, it revealed Google Wave. This year the company is making the once invite-only beta communication tool available to everyone at wave.google.com.

When invites first started rolling out last September, Google followers were clamoring to get their Google Wave invite. Since first release, Google has made a number of changes to Google Wave including e-mail notifications, read-only wave access and undo/redo commands.

So now that Google Wave is open to all so we should see an increased interest in the product.

jQuery: Novice To Ninja

There should be an image here!jQuery: Novice to Ninja is a compilation of best-practice jQuery solutions to meet the most challenging JavaScript problems. In this question-and-answer book on jQuery, you’ll find a cookbook of ready-to-go solutions to help breathe life into your Web page.

Topics covered include:

  • Scrolling, Resizing and Animating Web page elements
  • Backgrounds, Slideshows, and Crossfaders
  • Menus, Tabs, and Panels
  • Buttons, Fields, and Controls
  • Lists, Trees, and Tables
  • Frames, Windows, and Dialogs
  • Adding interactivity with Ajax
  • Using the jQuery User Interface Themeroller
  • Writing your own jQuery plug-ins

All code used to create each solution in jQuery: Novice to Ninja is available for download and guaranteed to be simple, efficient and cross-browser compatible.

jQuery Cookbook

There should be an image here!Getting started with the jQuery library is easy, but it can take years to fully realize its breadth and depth; jQuery Cookbook shortens the learning curve considerably. You’ll learn patterns and practices from 19 leading developers who use jQuery for everything from integrating simple components into Web sites and applications to developing complex, high-performance user interfaces. The recipes start with the basics and then move into practical use cases with tested solutions to common Web development hurdles.

Ideal for newcomers and JavaScript veterans alike, jQuery Cookbook starts with the basics and then moves to practical use cases with tested solutions to common Web development hurdles. You also get recipes on advanced topics, such as methods for applying jQuery to large projects.

  • Solve problems involving events, effects, dimensions, forms, themes, and user interface elements
  • Learn how to enhance your forms, and how to position and reposition elements on a page
  • Make the most of jQuery’s event management system, including custom events and custom event data
  • Create UI elements-such as tabs, accordions, and modals-from scratch
  • Optimize your code to eliminate bottlenecks and ensure peak performance
  • Learn how to test your jQuery applications

The book’s contributors include:

  • Cody Lindley
  • James Padolsey
  • Ralph Whitbeck
  • Jonathan Sharp
  • Michael Geary and Scott González
  • Rebecca Murphey
  • Remy Sharp
  • Ariel Flesler
  • Brian Cherne
  • Jörn Zaefferer
  • Mike Hostetler
  • Nathan Smith
  • Richard D. Worth
  • Maggie Wachs, Scott Jehl, Todd Parker, and Patty Toland
  • Rob Burns

Learning PHP, MySQL, And JavaScript

There should be an image here!Learn how to create responsive, data-driven Web sites with PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript — whether or not you know how to program. This simple, streamlined guide explains how the powerful combination of PHP and MySQL provides a painless way to build modern Web sites with dynamic data and user interaction. You’ll then learn how to add JavaScript to create rich Internet Web sites and applications.

This book explains each technology separately, shows you how to combine them, and introduces valuable concepts in modern web programming, including objects, XHTML, and session management. Learning PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript by Robin Nixon will help you:

  • Understand the essentials of PHP and the basics of object-oriented programming
  • Master MySQL, from database structure to complex queries
  • Create interactive web pages with PHP and MySQL by integrating forms and other HTML features
  • Learn JavaScript from functions and event handling to accessing the Document Object Model
  • Use libraries and packages such as the Smarty web template system, The PEAR program repository, and the Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI)
  • Make Ajax calls and turn your Web site into a highly dynamic environment
  • Upload and manipulate files and images, validate user input, and secure your applications against being hacked

Programming tips and exercises in each chapter will help you practice what you’ve learned. If you have a graphics or Web design background and know your way around HTML, this book will have you building interactive Web sites quickly.

Regular Expressions Cookbook

There should be an image here!Every programmer can find uses for regular expressions, but their power doesn’t come worry-free. Even seasoned users often suffer from poor performance, false positives, false negatives, or perplexing bugs. Regular Expressions Cookbook offers step-by-step instructions for some of the most common tasks involving this tool, with recipes for C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and VB.NET.

Many books have been published to ride the wave of regular expression adoption. Most do a good job of explaining the regular expressions syntax along with some examples and a reference. But there aren’t any books that present solutions based on regular expressions to a wide range of real-world practical problems dealing with text on a computer and in a range of Internet applications. This cookbook provides more than 100 recipes to help you crunch data and manipulate text with regular expressions.

With the help of this book, you will:

  • Understand the basics of regular expressions through a concise tutorial
  • Use regular expressions effectively in several programming and scripting languages
  • Learn how to validate and format input
  • Manage words, lines, special characters, and numerical values
  • Find solutions for using regular expressions in URLs, paths, markup, and data exchange
  • Learn the nuances of more advanced regex features
  • Understand how regular expressions’ APIs, syntax, and behavior differ from language to language
  • Write better regular expressions for custom needs

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced user, Regular Expressions Cookbook will help deepen your knowledge of this unique and irreplaceable tool. You’ll learn powerful new tricks, avoid language-specific gotchas, and save valuable time with this huge library of proven solutions to difficult, real-world problems.

ClickTale

If you’re someone who is responsible for a Web site, then it’s important for you to know how your visitors are using your site. Your job is to better optimize the content and layout of your Web site so that your visitors will enjoy their visit to your online property. If you don’t do any research in this area and make changes based on blind assumptions, then you could be hurting yourself without even knowing it. The problem with most traditional Web statistics tools is that while they may tell you where your visitors are from and where they’re going within your site, they don’t always tell you how people are actually using your Web site. Since you can’t sit behind every single one of your visitors and watch how they interact with your content, their mouse cursor is the next best thing that you can track, and ClickTale will give you the lowdown on what it’s doing.

By simply adding a piece of JavaScript code to your site, ClickTale will begin to record the activity of your visitors and enable you to watch movies that replay exactly what they did while they were visiting, and the heat maps provide even more specific data. As you can imagine, this is extremely valuable information that can help you to make good decisions as you continue to fine-tune your Web site.

Clickdensity

Anyone who runs a Web site knows how important it is to stay informed about how your site is performing by using a statistics or Web analytics tool. Your content is built for your users, so why not take the time to understand how they navigate through your site so that you can improve the experience for them? There are a number of tools that Web developers can use to keep a close eye on this data, but far from being a generic statistics package, clickdensity is one of the most interesting and helpful tools for webmasters that I’ve seen in quite some time.

One of the beautiful things about this tool is that it’s so easy to get started with. As long as you can paste a little bit of JavaScript code on your site, then you’re good to go. Once that code is a part of your site, clickdensity will start collecting the real-time data from your users in regard to where they’re clicking and where their mouse has been. Instead of just reading about where your visitors are going, you can actually see it with the graphical heat maps that are included. This will help you to determine where the best place would be to position some of your content or even any advertisements that your site may have. Give the free trial a try and see what your visitors are doing.

[tags]Clickdensity, Web Site, Statistics, Web Analytics, Web Developers, Webmasters, JavaScript, Clicks, Visitors, Heat Map[/tags]

103bees

Those of us who run Web sites know that getting on the good side of search engines is always a good thing. When people search for the type of content that you provide, you obviously want to be front and center and command the attention of the person who entered the search query. Individuals may enter your Web address directly or get linked to it from another page, but a lot of your traffic is going to come from search engines, and this is why companies go above and beyond to try and optimize their content for these engines. In order to learn how you can best optimize your site, you’re going to need to analyze and improve on your current traffic data, and 103bees will help you to do this.

To use this free service, all you need to do is sign up and place a single line of invisible JavaScript code on the pages that you want to track. From now on, 103bees will be tracking the arrival of your visitors, and you’ll be able to find out about your latest search hits, top keywords, top landing pages, traffic statistics, and so much more. It’s amazing what one hundred and three bees can do these days.

[tags]103bees, Search Engines, Search Engine Traffic, SEO, Keywords, JavaScript[/tags]

Rivalry Between Media Web Sites Results In Netscape Being Hacked Via XSS Attack

Netscape.com, an online social media Web site, has been hacked through a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in their recently launched news service. It is reported that the attack was allegedly launched by fans of Digg.com, a competing social networking Web site. The hackers used the XSS vulnerability to inject their own JavaScript code into the homepage and other pages on the site.

The hack was discovered by Finnish security vendor (F-Secure), during their research work around cross-site scripting vulnerabilities on social networking sites. Digg fans used cross-site scripting attacks to display JavaScript pop-up alerts with “comical” messages aimed at redirecting visitors to their site. Fortunately no malicious code was injected. Netscape released a statement yesterday afternoon stating that the vulnerability had been patched and that visitors are once again safe.
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My Favourite Opera Features

Here is a list of my favourite features in Opera:

  1. UserJS.org offers User JavaScript files to improve Opera and give it more functionality.
  2. The Opera6.ini file is where settings are saved. It’s kind of like tweaking the Windows Registry since you can change hidden settings. Click Help / About Opera to find the path of your settings file. List of settings you can tweak.
  3. To save a group of tabs, click File / Sessions / Save this session… This is handy when your browsing is interrupted as you can resume later on.
  4. Pressing Control+H minimizes the window to system tray.
  5. Combining Shift+arrows allows you to navigate around a Web page from the keyboard.
  6. You’ll like the Fit-to-window feature if wide Web pages annoy you. View / Fit to window width or press Control+F11.
  7. If you get errors saying only MSIE is supported, click Tools / Quick preferences / Identify as Internet Explorer.
  8. For Webmasters: Validate sites by right-clicking Validate. You can also see how a Web site looks on other types of screens: View / Styles and View / Small screen.
  9. Opera has an option to kill all pop-up windows, so absolutely nothing can get by its blocker. Click Tools / Quick preferences / Block all pop-ups. Click the notification box to allow certain pop-ups.
  10. Its password manager, the Wand, remembers your information and enters it next time you’re required to fill a form.

Continue reading “My Favourite Opera Features”