Google Chrome update on Friday arrived with Google Voice extension version 2.0 service in Mac or Linux version of Chrome. The voice extension allow calls to phone numbers directly from the browser. Users of Mac version, however, will need to install the latest Chromium build to gain the functionality.
The extension upon installation enables the Voice icon on the right of Chrome’s URL bar to access a few commonly used Google Voice features. It lets user quickly place calls and choose the number from which to do so.
It also has the streamlining functionality - clickable links, eliminating the need to cut and paste phone numbers across windows. However, voicemail playback from the extension pop-up is still in the works, according to Google.
New search innovations were unveiled on Friday by Google Search with two improvements based on Google Squared and Rich Snippets, two approaches to improve search by better understanding the web - announced at the second Searchology event. Google has been working to address the deficiency that search results fails to go far enough to present users with the answers they're seeking by providing more structured information for certain types of queries.
These latest search improvements applies the research behind Google Squared to add a new 'answer-highlighting' feature to search, and expands Rich Snippets to include events. It automatically identify and extract structured data from across the Internet, and thereby afford highlighting helps to get information more quickly by seeking out and bolding the likely answer to your question right in search results.
The features are meant for search queries with factual answers, instance given - 'what is the political party of president Ford?' The the search snippet will more often include the relevant text and bold it for easy reference, if the pages returned simple answers.
The Rich Snippets format improves search results by including links to specific event names, dates and locations. And events markup is based off of the hCalendar microformat - hCalendar is an open, distributed calendaring and events format suitable for embedding in HTML, XHTML, Atom, RSS, and arbitrary XML.
Marking up content is not guaranteed that Rich Snippets will show for all sites with event listings, however, a gradual approach is being taken by Google to incorporating the new event snippets to ensure a great user experience with more developments in Rich Snippets throughout the year.
The official Mozilla Developer Center Blog post on sunday announced an update on Firefox 3.6 Release Candidate - a release candidate of the next feature release of the Firefox web browser, which according to the release notes may update itself periodically and will eventually be identical to the final release.
Mozilla's effort to increase the frequency with which the open-source browser is developed, as contained in the release notes - a process which identified the new software as a 'security and stability update,' which has been under development for several months and contains many improvements for web developers.
This version has been optimized to run on smaller devices, such as handheld computers - 'Internet Tablet OS.' It is also faster and more responsive than previous versions, states the release notes.
It's unique features includes: changes on how third party software integrates with Firefox in order to prevent crashes, native video can now be displayed full screen, and supports poster frames, ability to run scripts asynchronously to speed up page load times.
Also more than 70 fixes have been made from the last beta to improve performance, stability, security and features. With the first release slated for first quarter as Firefox 3.6.5, code-named, Lorentz.
Microsoft issued a security advisory on Thursday following a critical and unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE), which paved way for the attack that hit Google and 33 other companies in December leveraged a zero-day flaw in Internet Explorer. Google acknowledged that the attack had resulted in the theft of some of its intellectual property in a blog post on Tuesday.
The advisory in-part stated that the vulnerability exists as an invalid pointer reference within Internet Explorer, and that in a specially-crafted attack, Internet Explorer can be caused to allow remote code execution, in attempting to access a freed object.
The following versions of Internet Explorer: IE 6 Service Pack 1 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, and Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8 on supported editions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 are affected. Whereas, Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 4 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 is not affected.
However, protected Mode in Internet Explorer on Windows Vista and later Windows operating systems limits the impact of the vulnerability, according to the report.
Microsoft on its part have disclosed plans to providing a solution through their monthly security update release process, or an out-of-cycle security update, with the next scheduled Microsoft Patch Tuesday billed for 9th February.
Authenticity: I expect to see more users turn to third-party authentication services instead of direct log-in, services like Facebook Connect, Open ID, and Google Friend Connect will be more popular. However, in the three favorites authentication services listed above, we are ticking Google friend Connect to rule.
TV Streaming: YouTube is well placed to be a network TV streaming powerhouse - given Google's dominance on the internet technology sphere.
Aggregating Technology: Enhanced real-time news aggregations - Twitter and FriendFeed and possibly, more attention given to location-based references. And as Google's obsession with real-time search is heightened, we expect more Apps to support the services from the 'web technology leader'.
Networking: Social networks will extend more frontiers - Twitter and Facebook tipped to continue the lead in innovative features and harnessing the power of local information.
Let us know your predictions on internet trends for 2010 in the comments...