TechVirtuoso

TweetDeck sold to UberMedia, who now controls how one-quarter of the world accesses Twitter

February 12th, 2011 at 4:47 PM  2 Comments

TweetDeck is the undisputed king of all Twitter clients. Originally launching on the desktop in mid-2008, it became an instant hit with everyone from regular social media addicts to corporate social media managers. After versions for iOS, Android and now “ChromeDeck” came out, TweetDeck has consistently been the go-to client and their products are now responsible for over 20% of the world’s tweets.

TechCrunch is now reporting that UberMedia has purchased TweetDeck for somewhere in the range of $25-$30m dollars.

(more…)

Google stripping support for H.264 video out of Chrome

January 11th, 2011 at 6:31 PM  4 Comments

In a surprise announcement on the Chromium Blog today, Google announced that they would be phasing out H.264 support from the Google Chrome web browser, in favor of the open sourced WebM standard. The announcement further muddies the waters of HTML5 video support.

To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

What is unclear is how Google can on one hand say that their goal is to enable open innovation, and yet still justify bundling the proprietary Adobe Flash plugin with Chrome.

The biggest supporter of H.264 in HTML5 video comes from Apple, which uses it in Safari, specifically on the iPhone, iPad and other iOS platform devices. Because Steve Jobs doesn’t like to run Flash unless he’s had a few drinks first, and even then only with protection, there is no Flash support on any iOS device. If WebM were to take off, Apple would need to act to incorporate support or leave millions of iOS users unable to load most web video sites.

However, the chances of a clear winner emerging from all of this is unlikely.

Prior to this announcement, Chrome had the unique distinction of being the only major browser to support both technologies. Firefox has never supported H.264 and will not in the next version, but Internet Explorer 9 which will be released sometime in 2011, does. Currently the only other mainstream browser that supports WebM is Opera, but Firefox 4 will enable support for that technology after it is released. Safari provides no support for WebM, nor does any current or future version of Internet Explorer.

Factor in Ogg Theora, and you have a codec that is almost universally supported by Firefox, Chrome and Opera… just not Internet Explorer or Safari.

Confused? Yeah, us too.

The reasoning for all of this comes down to licensing, something most end users don’t care about. We’re generally just happy when technology works as advertised. But Google doesn’t want to pay anyone for anything they don’t have to, and supporting WebM means not paying as much money or being bound to a restrictive license agreement.

Chrome used to be the browser that would play any of the three major HTML 5 video formats. Going forward from today, it has voluntarily neutered itself.

Get the most out of Evernote

December 8th, 2010 at 2:09 PM  5 Comments

I’m a huge fan of Evernote. It ranks right up there with Gmail in terms of applications I live my life in. When people sit down with it for a while and begin to use it, or have someone explain all the interesting ways it can enhance their productivity, it doesn’t surprise me that they become as hooked to it as I am.

I first became exposed to it when I got an iPhone 3G in 2008. It had existed as a platform a couple years before that and was popular with the Windows Mobile & Tablet PC crowd, but wasn’t really on my radar. At the time, I dismissed it as nothing more than a note taking app for the iPhone. The only reason I started using it was because I wanted something that would sync the notes on my iPhone to another system, since iTunes didn’t do it at the time. Not really something I’d adjust my workflow around.

Sure I’d used it off and on, but it hasn’t been until the last few months that I’ve come to realize all the ways it can be used. It’s more than just a simple mobile app, it exists on nearly every platform and helps sync your documents, notes, images and throughts between computers and between mobile devices. Their cloud keeps all your clients linked together and helps put the data and knowledge you keep in their service ready for use at any time.

I’ve decided to share some of the exciting ways I use (or have seen it used) to make myself more organized, more productive and less scatter brained.

Evernote has begun to replace my normal Windows file system for keeping track of data. Now obviously, when I say everything I don’t mean put your iTunes library in Evernote, or your Adobe Lightroom catalog. No, I’m talking about all your text files, PDFs and screenshots. The stuff that the normal system administrator has scattered all around their hard drives, but would greatly benefit from a centralize repository.

(more…)

Google releases Chrome 8

December 3rd, 2010 at 2:01 PM  4 Comments

Google has released the latest major (stable) version of their Chrome browser to the public, version 8.0.552.215. Along with 800+ bug fixes, Chrome now also includes a PDF viewer built into the browser inside a sandbox. One less reason to install Adobe Reader!

The version 9 (dev) branch of Chrome now also includes Adobe Flash running inside a browser sandbox. It was released on Wednesday and also includes improvements to the GPU acceleration features, and fixes some problems with Google Instant search.

You can download Google Chrome from their servers, or if you want to live on the edge adjust your update settings to get access to the beta or dev channels here.

Firefox 4 beta 7 released, crushes previous versions in benchmarks

November 11th, 2010 at 10:18 AM  5 Comments

Mozilla has released the latest beta of Firefox 4, and it crushes the previous versions in terms of performance.

This release boosts performance in some important ways: it adds the JägerMonkey just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compiler; adds more support for hardware-accelerated graphics, as well as hardware acceleration for Windows XP and Mac OS X; and enables 3D capabilities, without the need for plug-ins, with WebGL.

It remains to be seen how this release stands up to current reigning speed champion, Google Chrome.

via The Mozilla Blog

Internet Explorer 9 tops HTML5 benchmarks

November 1st, 2010 at 8:13 PM  No Comments

The W3C recently ran a comparison benchmark of HTML5 conformance among the beta’s of the 5 major browser engines, and (somewhat) shockingly, Internet Explorer has managed to come out on top.

Chrome 7 beta came in a pretty close second, followed by Firefox 4 beta. Opera and Safari trailed in last place. Pretty amazing to see Microsoft leading Google and Mozilla in standards compliance. It should be noted though that CSS3 functionality and compliance was not tested, nor was JavaScript, and that it’s the combination of those three pieces that continue to make up the modern web.

Still, nice to see Microsoft making some headway, even if it’ll probably only last for a little while.

via Neowin

Google Chrome to include Adobe Flash player

March 30th, 2010 at 2:27 PM  No Comments

In a move that is sure to anger those who like total control over the software on their computers, Google has teamed up with Adobe to bundle Flash player with their Chrome browser. From the announcement on the Chromium Blog:

Today, we’re making available an initial integration of Flash Player with Chrome in the developer channel. We plan to bring this functionality to all Chrome users as quickly as we can.

We believe this initiative will help our users in the following ways:

  • When users download Chrome, they will also receive the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. There will be no need to install Flash Player separately.
  • Users will automatically receive updates related to Flash Player using Google Chrome’s auto-update mechanism. This eliminates the need to manually download separate updates and reduces the security risk of using outdated versions.
  • With Adobe’s help, we plan to further protect users by extending Chrome’s “sandbox” to web pages with Flash content.

Improving the traditional browser plug-in model will make it possible for plug-ins to be just as fast, stable, and secure as the browser’s HTML and JavaScript engines. Over time this will enable HTML, Flash, and other plug-ins to be used together more seamlessly in rendering and scripting.

Those who were hoping to see HTML5 deal a killshot to Flash, should be very disappointed.