IE10 Preview: HTML5 First Look

Internet Explorer 10 logo

Over the last year we’ve been putting every new major mobile platform through a battery of tests to assess how they stack up as an HTML5 application platform. So far, it’s been thumbs up on Apple, RIM and HP tablets and thumbs down on Android tablets. But we’re still crossing our fingers that the Ice Cream Sandwich release of Android will make the grade.

To date, we haven’t spent time on Windows phones, mostly because the Windows Phone 7 browser was so poor that it wasn’t worth evaluating. However, at the Windows Build conference last week we got our hands on a developer preview tablet running Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10. We wanted to share our first impression of the HTML5 experience. Simply put, (and with the caveat that we were running on the notably overpowered developer preview hardware) the IE10 HTML5 experience is one of the best we’ve seen on any platform to date. After a decade of web neglect, Microsoft is back with a vengeance.

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Facebook explains why it tracks you even when you’re logged out

Cookies have been a feature of the web for as long as I can remember. In many cases they are a useful feature to have as they remember your preferences and limit the amount of times you need to login to a service you have signed up for. But there is a dark side to cookie use in the form of themtracking where you go.

The advice to anyone concerned about tracking through cookies is to use a good cookie clean-up utility and log out of sites you believe to be tracking you around the web. But in the case ofFacebook it turns out that logging out of your account is not enough–Facebook continues to track you.

This is possible because when you log out of Facebook the associated cookies are not deleted off your machine. So, any site you visit that has a connection to Facebook e.g. the Like button that is now so common, will proceed to check if you have a Facebook cookie. If you do, it can pick up the information and know you’ve visited that site. Continue reading

Google Drive: Is the Dropbox Party Over?

Google Drive

On Saturday afternoon, a rumor leaked that is likely to have the Dropbox team feeling hung over as they report to work this morning. According to a TechCrunch report, the Google Drive is real, currently being used by the Google team, and poised for a launch prior to the end of this year. Google Drive will allow users to store files on the cloud and seamlessly transfer those files between devices. Continue reading

HTC to offer 5GB free Dropbox storage with Android smartphones

HTC is clearly on the lookout for ways to add extra value and features to its Android smartphones. Only last month the mobile manufacturer took a controlling stake in Beats Electronics ensuring all future handsets have the option of superior Beats by Dr. Dre audio solutions.

Now HTC has found a way to compete with both Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage services. A new partnership with Dropbox, a company focused entirely on cloud storage solutions, will see future HTC Android smartphones ship with access to a 5GB Dropbox account completely free of charge. At the moment, Dropbox only offers users 2GB of free storage.

The first smartphone to ship with the free storage looks likely to be the HTC Rhyme, and should then be available with all future handsets that ship with Android and Sense 3.5.

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Intel’s latest graphics driver boasts 37 percent 3D gaming performance gain

If you own a high-end graphics card then you know that applying the latest graphics driver update is probably going to give your games a bit of a performance boost as well as sort out a few bugs. What kind of performance gain you see depends on the games and the age of the card, but a single-digit percentage gain is most likely.

Intel also has to release graphics driver updates for the chips it sells that include an integrated graphics solution. For example, the latest Sandy Bridge Core processors with Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated. What we didn’t expect to see is the latest version of Intel’s drivers boasting as much as 37 percent 3D gaming performance gain in a certain Blizzard-developed title.

That’s exactly what Intel is claiming though, with the release notes accompanying driver versions 15.22.50.2509 and 15.22.50.64.2590 listing substantial performance gains for six popular titles. Here’s the games and claimed frames-per-second gain you should experience:

  • Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty – Devil’s Playground – 37% gain
  • Dawn of War: Chaos Rising – 29% gain
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – 28% gain
  • Supreme Commander 2 – 16% gain
  • DIRT 2 – 12% gain
  • Resident Evil 5 (Benchmark) – 10% gain

The reference machine used to log those gains was an Intel Core-i7-2677M running at 1.8GHz on an Intel 6 Series Chipset coupled with 4GB RAM and Hitachi 320 hard drive. The Intel graphics and Media Control Panel Power Plan was set to “Plugged In, Balance” and the games were all running on low settings.

The new drivers also fix an issue with HDMI monitor connections crashing machines intermittently, and rendering artifacts have been resolved in a long list of titles. Any games using OpenGL should also see some performance improvements due to a new extension, performance optimizations, and a few fixes.

One thing is clear, if you run a version of Intel’s HD Graphics solution then it’s definitely worth updating your drivers if you use your laptop for gaming or anything involving 3D rendering.

Read more at the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver page and associated release notes (PDF), via Hot Hardware

Facebook has 800 million users, adding 50 million every two months

Yesterday’s f8 Facebook developer conference unveiled some interesting developments. Facebook’s getting a whole new profile layout called Timeline, and there’s also some pretty cool things happening with media integration. During Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote, the Facebook CEO happened to mention a little tidbit that we’ve been waiting to hear for the past few months.

Saturday Night Live’s Andy Sandberg started the f8 keynote by pretending to be  Zuckerberg. He spewed out a lot of false information, for comedy’s sake, but one thing he did say, that is actually true, is that Facebook now has 800 million active users. Though Zuck didn’t actually confirm this during his keynote speech, a Facebook spokesperson did confirm the number with ZDNet. It was only back in June, we reported that Facebook had over 750 million users.

As we reported last month, according to Google, Facebook is racking up 1 trillion page views a month. Google’s stats also state that the site actually has 870 million users. With all those page views, it’s safe to say that the site has more than 800 million users. Zuckerberg said that Facebook saw half a billion users log on to the site on Wednesday within 24 hours. That high number may be attributed to the fact that Facebook made a few changes, and users could have logged on just to see what was up.

Facebook confirmed 750 million users in July, so if the site is able to get 50 million users every two months, it’s only a matter of time (8 months if that’s a constant) before the 1 billion total is reached.

via ZDNet

How to use Facebook’s new Timeline profile to see who has unfriended you

There was probably a time when the number of Facebook friends you had was reasonably small, like 40 or 50. Over the social networking site’s six-year-long life span most of us have added a great deal more friends and few people know their exact number of Facebookers we’ve connected with. In the days when we knew our friend number, it was not only easy to tell if someone unfriended us, but also who that person was.

Nowadays you’ll most likely never realize if someone unfriends you; and if you do, it’s unlikely that you’ll figure out who it was. However the new Facebook Timeline, which is designed to act as a scrapbook of your life, is capable of unveiling the people who have unfriended you.

As we mentioned earlier, the Timeline is only available for developers right now, but we did show you step-by-step how to set up a developers account and enable Timeline. For those of you who did that, you can follow the steps below to see who has unfriended you over the years.

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