Category Archives: Internet Browsers

News and Information about Internet Browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Flock, Safari. Extensions, Add-ons, User Scripts, Tips and Tricks for all the Internet Browsers available today.

Epic: A Web Browser Made For India, By India

While it’s hard for a new browser to make an international impact, one can argue that there are still untapped opportunities on a regional level. For example, Maxthon is hugely popular in China, yet it remains largely unknown internationally. Bangalore based startup Hidden Reflex certainly believes that it can gain sufficient traction by offering a distinctive Indian flavor.

Epic-Home

Epic, which is based on Mozilla Firefox, cleverly taps into several already available services to serve content tailored for Indian users. Among other things, it uses Google Indic Transliteration tool to enable typing in Indian languages like Hindi, Bengali and Tamil. The custom sidebar also offers one-click access to regional and national news including live video streams (served by NDTV), cricket match scores, share market updates and music charts. Epic also provides box file backup (through Gmail), mail (Yahoo and Gmail) and social networking (Facebook, Twitter and Orkut) apps. Additional security is provided through ESET NOD32 and WOT. If you want more you can always install more apps from Epic’s online gallery, which currently houses more than 1,500 applications. Additionally, since Epic is based on Firefox, it also supports standard Firefox extensions.

Epic-Indian-News

Techie Buzz Verdic

EpicOn the whole, Epic impressed me with its features as well as overall execution. It’s a lot more than just another Firefox port, which is what I had initially expected it to be. The fact that it is built on top of Firefox, which is already fairly popular, should come to its advantage. Casual users are notorious for sticking to what they are already familiar with. In spite of being packed to the brim with features, Epic does well to keep them neatly tucked away in a separate corner. The additional features doesn’t get in your way. Epic still very much feels and behaves like Firefox. At the same time, the default persona is a bit gaudy and Epic would do well to adopt the new minimalistic theme Mozilla is embracing.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)
[ Download Epic ]

Hacker Pwnes Google Chrome’s Security Brags with a Plugin

Google has made every attempt to keep Chrome secure and safe from hackers. However, it was only a question of days before someone outsmarted their annoying sandbox and today is the day.

Google Chrome has been hacked by a browser plugin! The plugin checks for login account details on Gmail, Twitter and Facebook and runs with the help of JQuery. Once again, this is a proof of concept hack and will not leak any information retrieved in the process.

The hack has exploited the access to DOM, which the plugins are allowed. The hack can also be used to steal cookies and hijack sessions as reported by the hacker Andreas Grech on his blog.

He writes,

The Google Chrome browser allows the installation of third-party extensions that are used to extend the browser to add new features. The extensions are written in JavaScript and HTML and allow manipulation of the DOM, amongst other features.

By allowing access to the DOM, an attacker can thus read form fields…including username and password fields. This is what sparked my idea of creating this PoC.

The extension I present here is very simple. Whenever a user submits a form, it tries to capture the username and password fields, sends me an email via an Ajax call to a script with these login details along with the URL and then proceeds to submit the form normally as to avoid detection.

Google Chrome’s sandbox for plugins just got pwned.

(Source)

Firefox 4 "Heads Up Display" Web Console Adds Debugging Console To The Browser

which was released yesterday has several new and interesting features for developers. One of the features I found interesting was the "Heads Up Display" Web console feature which allows you to debug any website and see errors, info and warnings along with network connections being made by a website.

Firefox 4 Heads Up Display Web Console

To enable the Heads Up Display web console debugger, just press Alt + T and select Heads up Display or you can also use the Ctrl + Shift + K hotkey to activate it.

This is definitely a very interesting features and I would like it to be more advanced in the future versions. Being a developer I use tools like Tamper Data and Firebug to help me out with debugging websites and requests they make. An inbuilt debugger is just an icing on the cake.

Download Firefox 4 Beta Portable

Firefox 4 Beta 1 was released yesterday. I ran the browser through some tests and did a review of Firefox 4 beta too. However, if you are a bit scared of installing the browser on your system, you might try it out as a . The good part about using it as a portable software is that it won’t change your system settings or add data to the registry and you can safely delete the browser if you are not happy with it.

Firefox 4 Beta 1 Portable

You can download Firefox 4 as a portable software and then unzip the contents to any folder to run it. To delete the browser from your system, you will just have to delete the unzipped folder. Nothing gets easier than that. Excited to try the Firefox 4 beta on your system? Check for the download links below.

Please note, Firefox 4 is still in beta, so there will be a lot of bugs. If you are not comfortable with unfinished software you are recommended to stay away from using Firefox 4 Beta.

Download Firefox 4 Beta Portable (via DSQ)

Firefox 4 Beta 1 Review

Firefox 4 Beta 1 was released earlier today. The newer version of Firefox from Mozilla is definitely better than Firefox 3.6 and is definitely worth trying out. Firefox 4 runs on the Gecko 2.0 web platform. Earlier today I downloaded Firefox 4 and put it through some drills, here is a review of Firefox 4 Beta 1 where you can find the new features and also the how Firefox 4 fares against other browsers in web browser benchmarks.

New User Interface

Firefox 4 New User Interface

Firefox 4 sports a completely different interface, some of which are from and . Firefox 4 has some new buttons and also a unified menu which is similar to the one Opera 10.6 has. In addition to that the tabs also default to the top which is similar to Google Chrome.

However, the menu bar is initially hidden and users can unhide it to go back to the older navigation found in Firefox 3.6 and below.

Firefox 4 Bookmarks menu

Firefox 4 also has a new bookmark button giving users easy access to their bookmarks with one click. You can find and navigate through all your bookmarks and folders using the bookmark button next to the search box.

New Add-ons Manager

firefox_4_addons_manager

Firefox 4 sports a new add-ons manager which integrates into the browser. However, the interface is still under construction and you cannot use the add-ons manager to browse and install add-ons yet. However, it is definitely much better than the earlier version and also has some new developer tools.

Mozilla also says that the add-ons manager UI will be changed before the final release, so don’t start falling in love with it yet.

Search and Switch to Open Tabs

firefox_4_switch_to_tab

Firefox 4 also has a hidden gem in the smart location bar, which will allow you to switch to an open URL by typing in the URL or searching for the title of the page. The feature is very handy if you have several open tabs and want to switch to it without navigating through all the tabs.

When you want to switch to an open tab, just start typing the URL or the title of the page and you will be shown an option to Switch to that open tab. Pretty neat.

Windows 7 Integration

firefox_4_windows_7_integration firefox_4_windows_7_jumplists

Firefox 4 tightly integrates into by having tab previews and Jumplists. Using the tab previews you can easily preview all open tabs. In addition to that the jumplists allows you to quickly perform tasks and open frequently opened URLs.

Native HTML5 WebM Videos Support

firefox_4_html5_video

Firefox 4 has native support for WebM videos. WebM is an open source royalty free codec for HTML5 videos which is an alternative to H.264 and Theora codes (Learn more about WebM). In my tests HTML5 videos works pretty good on .

Speed and Other Benchmarks

firefox_4_peacekeeper_benchmark

Firefox 4 is definitely much more lighter and faster than Firefox 3.6 and it uses much less memory than the earlier versions. However, Firefox 4 is not yet the fastest browser and it was beaten by both Google Chrome 6 (dev) and Opera 10.60 in the Peacekeeper benchmarks I ran.

firefox_4_acid_3

Firefox also failed the Acid 3 test, but the results were far better than Firefox 3.6. This shows a lot of improvements being done under the hood. Firefox 4 was also slower than in the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark  and way too slow in the V8 benchmarks I ran (screenshots coming shortly).

Other Features

Firefox 4 also has Crash protection for Flash, QuickTime and other plugins, however, this was introduced in Firefox 3.6. Firefox 4 also has a HTML5 parser which allows you to run the latest apps, support for WebSockets for real-time online interactions like chatting and gaming and IndexedDB which will allow users to use offline storage.

If you have not yet downloaded Firefox 4 Beta 1, you can do it from here or visit this blog post on Mozilla to find out all the latest features available in Firefox 4.

Firefox 4 Beta 1 Available for Downloads

Mozilla has just announced the availability of Firefox 4 Beta 1 for downloads. The Firefox 4 Beta 1 gives a glimpse of the future of Firefox and the upcoming Firefox 4 release. The new features in Firefox 4 are pretty exciting and I am trying them out as we speak so keep an eye on the review for Firefox 4.

firefox_4_screenshot

Firefox 4 Beta 1 has several new features which include:

New Add-Ons Manager: gives you more space to manage your Add-Ons, Themes and Plugins. Customizing your browser has never been easier!

HD Video: Watch hardware-accelerated, super-smooth, HD-quality HTML5 video on YouTube using the new WebM format.

Privacy improvements: Mozilla always puts privacy first, and this latest beta fixes flaws in some Web standards that could expose your browser history.

Crash Protection: Experience uninterrupted browsing (now available on all platforms) when a plugin crashes or freezes, you can resume browsing by simply refreshing the page.

Performance: We know that performance is important. In this version, we focused on improving responsiveness at start-up and during page loads. This is just the beginning for performance improvements in Firefox 4.

Firefox 4 Beta 1 fully integrates including videos and offline storage. The beta also sports a new look which Mozilla has been working on for a long time. If you are interested you can download the Firefox 4 Beta 1 from here. A full review of Firefox 4 beta 1 will be posted shortly, so stay tuned.

Firefox Completes 2 Billion Firefox Add-on Downloads

have been one of the biggest reason I and I believe several other users have still stuck with the browser. Firefox extensions or add-ons as they are known spice up the browser adding features which make it more useful and better.

firefox_addon_2_billion

Today, Firefox completed a huge milestone with over 2 billion downloads of various add-ons and . Firefox has reached the milestone with 2 billion downloads over a period of over 3 years from addons.mozilla.org. The below chart shows the downloads on a year to year basis.

firefox_addons_total_downloads

Firefox had completed 1 billion downloads back in November 2008, the second million took over 19 months. The Firefox add-ons boasts of over 150 million add-ons in use every day. Mozilla has also created a special collection of add-ons called Best of 2 Billion Firefox add-ons which contains about 25 add-ons, you can view the list and download it from here. For more information on this milestone visit the Rock Your Firefox announcement.

Google Chrome Will Block Out-of-Date Plugins in Future

Google has introduced a feature for automatic updates in its latest Chrome browser but that does not seem to be enough to Google. Therefore, it has gone a step further to add a technology that blocks out of date plugins in Google Chrome, forcing users to upgrade them if they wish to continue using these plugins.

Google has not announced any official time for the release of this feature but it is expected sometime in the next few months. According to this feature, the browser will also show warnings to inform users of lesser-used plugins.

Google Chrome already provides support for an Adobe PDF and Flash by default. Now, Google has taken a step towards security by issuing these updates automatically, which makes Chrome a safer browser. There are some other security features in store for Google Chrome, about which Google says,

There are more ways we are attacking the problem:
Integrated, sandboxed PDF viewing: We have announced an integrated PDF viewer plug-in running inside Google Chrome’s sandbox. This will make it harder for PDF-based vulnerabilities to result in the persistent installation of malware.
Protection from out-of-date plug-ins: Medium-term, Google Chrome will start refusing to run certain out-of-date plug-ins (and help the user update).
Warning before running infrequently used plug-ins: Some plug-ins are widely installed but typically not required for today’s Internet experience. For most users, any attempt to instantiate such a plug-in is suspicious and Google Chrome will warn on this condition.
A next generation plug-in API: Peppermakes it easier to sandbox plug-ins.

Currently, this level of security is offered only by Firefox, which shows update notifications and will auto-update plugins in future.

(Source)

Firefox 3.6.6 Released To Fix Crash Protection On Old Computers

A few days ago Mozilla released Firefox 3.6.4 with Crash protection against plugins, however, it looks like they had to fix a few bugs with the release and have had to release Firefox 3.6.6.

According to the an update on the Mozilla blog, Mozilla has released the Firefox 3.6.6 update where they increase the amount of time for a plugin to remain frozen before they terminate it.

As part of Mozilla’s ongoing stability and security update process, Firefox 3.6.6 is now available as a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux from http://www.firefox.com. This release makes a small change to the crash protection feature introduced in Firefox 3.6.4, increasing the amount of time that Firefox will allow a plugin to remain frozen before terminating it. For more information, see the Mozilla Blog announcement about the release.

You can always update the browser by going to help and using the Check for Updates option.

Firefox 3.6.4 Released With “Crash” Protection

The biggest bane I have had with Firefox over the past year is that it is too bloated, crashes at will and freezes the system, all this even if a single tab you have open has some problem. on the other hand has a feature which will not crash the browser if there is a problem with a single tab, thanks to it using a different processes for each tab.

Firefox Crash Protection

However, it looks like Mozilla has set out to do something about the problems users have been having with the introduction of Firefox 3.6.4, which has a feature called "Crash Protection".

Crash Protection in Firefox 3.6.4 will reduce the number of crashes that users encounter while watching videos or playing games using Flash. With the new update, Firefox will run plugins as different instances through Out-of-process plugins or OOPP.

This is definitely a good move forward and hopefully Mozilla will also move towards making Firefox more memory efficient and lightweight in future builds.

Firefox 3.6.4 offers crash protection for Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Silverlight on Windows and Linux computers. Users can upgrade to Firefox 3.6.4 by choosing the "Check for Updates" option available under the Help menu.

Learn more about Firefox 3.6.4