Google is gradually building-up its new social network, Google Plus, to appeal to users, as the company on Wednesday announced several enhancements to the service, including the availability of the most unique feature of the social network, Hangout, on the mobile platform.

Google Hangout, a group video chat feature on Google Plus (Google+), has been the rallying-point for the new social network, making it possible for group of persons to engage in a live video conference on the social network. The availability of the feature on Mobile is indeed a plus to the success of the new social platform, given the need for ease mobility and the current sway the mobile web holds.

And coupled with the fact that the Hangout feature is absolutely free, Google is sure armed with a killer-tool to take-on the Facebook advances.

The mobile Hangout beta includes recording and the ability to add phone calls to a handout. But, Google strongly emphasized on the innovation of face-to-face conversation as above any other considerations, 'as email can't match looking someone directly in the eyes', stated Vic Gundotra (Google's senior VP social products).

Google is set to bring the Hangout feature to Google+ Messenger app on Android in few days time according to the release note, while its availability on iOS will follow afterwards.

Developers are not left-out, as Google has made available the Google+ API, a new way for developers to interact with Hangouts. The API will allow developers to create apps utilizing Google's face recognition technology to place, through the added media effects.

Hangout On Mobile

The pool of people have given the social networks business-wing, but how to extend that reach to the mobile front has been a great challenge. Facebooks latest move, according to a report monitored on Friday night, the acquisition of Gowalla - mobile location-sharing app developer, points to location apps as the way to capturing the mobile web.

Indeed, location-based applications are the 'Holy Grail' of mobile marketing, and the prove is not far-fetched, as even Google has turned on that direction with the purported launch of Autonomous Search. Reports has it that Facebook plans to employ the location-based service on its newest profile feature Timeline and possibly extend same in its quest to positioning the social network to be profitable on the mobile platform.

Again, the issue of tracking users activities cannot be ignored at this point., as any location-based app tracks users surfing patterns and actions to decide their likes. And such information are now made available to businesses for marketing purposes.

The growing privacy agitation by Facebook users has to be critically analyzed against the current trend, and necessary measures put in place to check excessive exploit.

However, location-based mobile applications definitely has its advantages as regards local businesses, user recommended services and  preferences. But the exploitations of users against their wish for mere business purposes certainly must be condemned.

Social Networking And Location Apps

Google hurriedly introduced business/brand pages feature into its latest social networking platform Google Plus (Google+) on Monday, to serve the equivalent of the ever popular Facebook Pages. It intends to serve as a means of promoting businesses and brands, whereas such feat is only attainable with great pool of users on hand.

Google failed to consider the fact that the new platform is seriously begging for more user engaging functionality, as has been proven that availability of such functions keep users coming, rather than the platform itself or the brand behind it.

The geek world unanimously supported the Google social platform debut, making up the pool of early reviewers, driven by the open source connection. But, subsequently, those that remained failed to find a really convincing feature to stick, likewise those referred by them.

Without doubts, Google is never in want of highly talented developers to spearhead the needed app push to enhance the user friendliness and functionality of Google Plus. So, what had gone wrong?

Google must first feast users with credible functional reason to stick or equal the ace social network, Facebook, cos surpassing it seems highly illusive, before businesses will find reasons to join the party. Definitely, users must be paid their due, that Google Plus may not end up in the "Buzz Fate."

Google+ Pages: Good Step, Wrong Timing

The Tuesday New Game Conference may well be described as a marriage of convenience between the two internet technology super-powers, as Google and Microsoft spearheaded its sponsorship. The two-day event which took place in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts focused on exploring the fundamental skills in creating cutting edge HTML5 games.

The emerging web standard, HTML5, has enjoyed tremendous support and perhaps the open web ecosystem has contributed to the overall success.

The technology vendors Mozilla and Google had always advocated the web in preference to native app development, with Google working through its Chrome Web Store and also its Native Client Project to making web-based gaming experience a better one. While Mozilla, on the other hand, had been pushing for APIs to support browser based games.

According to a notable remark at the conference, about 50% of installed browsers are able to play the HTML5 version of Angry Birds.

However, the extensive cutting-edge coding required in HTML5 execution remains an impediment to a broader adoption of the technology. And with the flood of new tools coming, the next version of WebGL specification, which allows JavaScript code to access a graphic processing unit, are all in the effort to break entry barriers.

The less vantage position of the emerging standard stems from the fact that it can reach only a small segment of the technology world, given that the old conventional technologies still hold sway on major devices. But, that not withstanding, the future is indeed open web standard.

HTML5: Online Game Development

Microsoft's patch Tuesday exposed critical vulnerability issues with the XAML Browser Application (XBAPs). XBAP is a new Windows technology employed in creating Rich Interactive Applications for the web. It combines the features of web application and rich-client application. XBAP applications are specifically run in sandbox to prevent unauthorized applications from controlling local system resources.

Security vulnerabilities in Microsoft .NET Framework and Silverlight could allow a remote code execution on a client system when a user views specifically crafted web-pages on a browser running XAML Browser application or Silverlight application.

The vulnerability could also allow a remote code execution on a server system running IIS (Internet Information Server), if the server allows processing ASP.NET pages and an attacker succeeds in uploading a specific crafted ASP.NET page to the server and then executes the page, as could be the case in a web hosting scenario.

This security vulnerability, albeit, labelled private has now been resolved in the latest Microsoft security update, MS11-078. The vulnerability was resolved by correcting the manner in which .NET restricts inheritance within classes.

Microsoft recommended that as majority of its customers have enabled automatic update, they will not need to take any action as the security update will be downloaded and installed automatically. However, customers who have not enabled automatic update will still need to manually download and install the latest security fixes.

The configuration information for automatic update has been made available, Microsoft advised that customers apply the update immediately using the update management software, or by checking for updates using the Microsoft Update service.

XBAPs Security Considerations

Google over the weekend unveiled the beta version of its Chrome Remote Desktop, a Chrome extension enabling users to remotely access another computer across a network through the Chrome browser. It's a web cum browser-based equivalent of the conventional  remote desktop software.

The Chrome Remote Desktop beta is fully cross-platform compliant, according to the release note, and can connect any two computers running any of these operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux and Chromebook) with Chrome browser.

The beta release version allows access to another machine by providing a one-time authentication code. And access is given only to the specific person the user identifies for just one time. The information sharing section is fully secured through SSL connection.

A given user-case been as employed in IT helpdesk, in which instance the helpdesk can use the Chrome Remote Desktop to help another user. And conversely, a user can also receive help by setting up a sharing section without leaving the desk.

The goal of this beta release is to demonstrate the core Chrome Remote Technology, according to Google. So, users feedback are thereby requested as future updates are expected.

Review: Chrome Remote Desktop

The recently announced Facebook new profile, Timeline has presented another twist in Facebook privacy concerns. Facebook has termed it 'frictionless sharing', a chronological archiving of a users life story right on the profile page. It aims to allow users to easily access the history of their activities on the social network.

Facebook Timeline is built on information from the most memorable events of your life recorded online through its algorithm, in other words, it accesses passed information, perhaps buried in your imagination, but still tucked-up in its archive. The Timeline changes the default profile from a list of recent updates to a users activities summary.

Timeline, also is built to work with third-party apps, thereby making such information available for their usage. The extent to which users can control the availability of these information remains shrouded in advanced settings, which an average Facebook user will find rather complicated.

Timeline has again iterated the level of contempt in which the social network holds its users, albeit, the social sphere is now saturated with great new prospects like: Google+ and Diaspora.

Critics claims that the Facebook Timeline seeks to capture more users data to make its service to advertisers more targeted. Whilst other privacy concerns includes the new features ability to surface hidden information about a user without collateral consent.

More than ever before, Facebook must get its bearing right as against the increasing agitation on its privacy stance. And make available an easy to understand settings to opt-in or out of such services as users deem necessary.

Facebook: Timeline And Privacy

Google has finally responded to the challenge on the online flight search technology introduced by Microsoft Bing late last year with the launch of Google Flights. Also know as natural language search, the technology applies to booking of flights online, and eliminates the need of manually selecting airports, destinations and fares, as the booking requirements are automatically included on search.

The new feature was made possible by Google's acquisition of ITA Software, developer of flight fare and traveling price system used by major airlines, a deal that nearly went sore, but later reconsidered to Google's favor.

An early view of Google Flight Search feature among other things promise to enhance users experience in booking of flights online, as the flight selection are not necessarily controlled by any paid relationship. The booking links point to airline websites, and preference is given to the best available information.

The overall advantage of the technology points to speed and accurate information as regards destination and flights schedule. It helps you to figure out most convenient time to travel, see most relevant flights and consider your destination options. The flight search shows you an easy-to-scan list to help you get to your destination quickly and inexpensively.

The Flight Search feature started roll-out Tuesday as a takeoff and will gradually be extended to every user. At the moment, U.S. cities alone are covered and only results for round-trip economy-class flights are shown.

Google Flights: Natural Language Search

The nature of the next generation web remains an intense debate amongst the tech world geeks, as to the former version fad web 2.0 continuum. And there is a varied controversy as to the actual programming elements to be involved in building the next web. The evolving aspect of the web, albeit, pointing to semantics and personalization, calls to bear on the need for more automatic availability of information tailored to individual needs.

The next generation web will be characterized by structured information: this critical concept, increasingly forms the basic mode of presentation of information on the web today. The key drivers of structured information are basically APIs, as it makes it easy to fetch information. And most APIs emit information as XML, which conforms to structured information.

Google's foray into structured programming in its purported new programming language, Dart, billed for launch at the GOTO developers conference in October, is a pointer to the trend. 

There are indications that the web of the future will include several technologies, however, all the technologies will remix through the evolution drivers into structured web. The future indeed is structured information, and many of the semantic tools will be able to take advantage of the structured information on computers.

Regardless of what the next generation web will be called, one thing is definitely obvious, information will be more automatic and tailored to individual needs.

Next Web: Structured Programming?

OpenDNS, an alternative provider of DNS and internet security services, announced earlier in the week a partnership deal with Google and leading Content Delivery networks (CDNs) to collaborate in bringing about a faster internet. A project it calls Global Internet Speedup Initiative, is aimed above all, to enhancing a more effective communication within the Domain Name System. 

DNS plays a key role in enabling web users get to their target resources, as often times, popular resources exist in different locations. It serves like a phone book for the internet, thereby converts readable domain names into an IP address that PCs can connect to. For instance, when a user tries to connect to a resources that exits in 50 different locations across the world, definitely you want prompt response and fastest or least congested location automatically.

But, until now, figuring out the location that is nearest to you is not possible with DNS alone. However, now using OpenDNS or Google Public DNS, and using a service provided by one of the participating networks (CDNs) in the Global Internet Speedup Initiative a truncated version of your IP address will be added into the DNS request. And the internet service will use this truncated IP address to make a more informed decision to connect you to the most optimal server.

This intelligent routing will ensure among other things that users have a better internet experience with lesser latency and faster speed.

Google's interest into positioning web apps to effectively take-on desktop apps has indeed found a resting place, albeit perhaps, making the internet faster will invariably benefit all web users alike.

DNS: Key To Faster Internet?

Microsoft's revolutionary positioning of Windows functionality continues with the introduction of native support for ISO and VHD Files in Windows 8. According to the 'Building Windows 8' blog, the next version of the OS billed for launch 2012 will let users open and view ISO and VHD files without the need for  third-party ISO utilities, which prior versions of Windows had required users to burn an ISO file to a CD or DVD before the program stored in that file format can be installed.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) file is a disc image composed of the data contents of the written sector of an optical disc. ISO image includes all the files contained on the archived CD, DVD or Blu-ray Disc. While, VHD files are virtual hard disk files used to store applications or an entire operating system.

These important storage formats (ISO and VHD) makes it relatively easy to store the ever increasing amount of data without the fear running out of capacity. While, the general usage is mostly in media, they are also useful as files within a file system. The facilities are especially handy for portability of system settings or to play back snapshot of a system.

The next version of Microsoft's OS, Windows 8, will allow users to read the contents by automatically creating a virtual disk drive of the file. It works as follows: Simply select 'mount' from the enhanced Explorer ribbon or double click on the file, a new drive is created, indicating that the contents are now readily accessible. And contents can be installed directly by clicking on the drive in Windows Explorer.

The ISO 'mount' feature definitely comes in handy for mobile device users, as data storage remains a critical requirement for tablets and other mobile devices.

Native Support For ISO And VHD Files

Tracking users online activities has taken a new dimension with the latest web tracking technologies, albeit, evading browser privacy add-on. The recent report on 'SuperCookies', extensively employed on MSN homepage to track users activities, had again brought to the fore the incessant concern on online privacy.

Microsoft admittedly employs ETag cookies to track the online behavior of visitors on its homepage; activities especially beneficial to its ads serving campaigns.

A group of researchers had earlier made available a white paper on their findings in relation to the above lines: whereby, many popular websites were circumventing users privacy settings by deliberately restoring previously deleted HTTP cookies using local storage outside the control of the browser.

The findings in part, iterated the porousness of most browser privacy settings, allowing persistent tracking of users, even when such users had taken steps to avoid web profiling.

The tracking vectors assessed in the report included the following: Flash cookies, HTML 5 local storage and Cache Cookies via ETags.

ETags, according to the report, represent tokens by a users browser to a remote web server in order to determine whether a given resource had changed since its last profiling. The Cache cookie method used ETags, and is still capable of unique tracking, even when all cookies are blocked by user and 'Private Browsing Mode' is enabled.

The safe web initiative must above-all call to respect the 'do not track' status of users, and necessary legislation put in place to check its default.

Web Tracking: Next On The Watch List

The Mozilla browser, Firefox, is perhaps notable for extensive add-on features which have greatly enhanced the open-source browser. However, malware programs have taken advantage of the feature to self-install on users PC thereby infiltrating such systems.

Mozilla in response to security threats posed by aggressive add-on that find there way into the browser without  users permission have scheduled two new features for launch in Firefox 8. The new features will serve basically two functions: The first been automatic disabling of add-on added to Firefox by other programs. And secondly, it kicks in at the initial Firefox run after upgrading to Firefox 8, and goes through programs installed and sort them into two categories: Self-installed add-on and user installed. While, on initial Firefox start after an add-on has been installed, a notification window prompts users to either activate or ignore such add-on.

The feature, additionally, will offer a confirmation lists of add-on you have ignored as another level of security. While, all third party add-on will be automatically de-activated unless you choose otherwise.

According to Mozilla blog post, about one and half million add-ons are downloaded daily, whilst some may booster performance and others, on the other hand hampers same.

Mozilla Firefox 8 is currently running on the Firefox nightly channel, but reports has it that its billed to move to the Aurora developer's build next week. And all things been equal, Firefox 8 may reach the stable channel around late September.

Firefox Add-On To Be Checked

The much expected search innovation, Instant Pages, announced by Google mid June is now live on the latest stable version of  Chrome 13, according to the Chrome Blog.  The Instant Search feature in Chrome renders top search results pages on Google even before a user clicks.

Chrome search page-rendering element begins from the top search results, where a user will likely click-on, its predictive-input, albeit not 100% accurate, definitely makes a top choice. The pages under the 'Instant Page' feature appears to load faster than without it, invariably meaning sacrificing accuracy for speed.

But, how much faster? Google had made available a video comparison of Chrome with and without the Instant Page feature on YouTube.

However, users that are worried about bandwidth cost can disable the feature by navigating to the tab settings/advanced and uncheck the 'predict network actions to improve page load performance' box.

Chrome's Omnibox, a combination of search box and address bar feature, is now even more smarter in the latest version. It now allows easier back and forth movement on pages visited.

The fact that Google is highly obsessed with speed remains visible in this search innovation. Also, following on the heels of its recently announced war against slow websites.

Chrome 13 Arrives With Instant Pages

The Facebook's Skype deal may perhaps have triggered a new trend in video calling consumptions on the web, coupled with the current Google's Project, Google Plus (Google+). Bringing the social experience to the fore, Facebook within the week, announced its Video Calling Feature, and also a new chat interface enabling Group Chat option.

Facebook Video calling was made possible by a Skype plug-in, which is downloadable on-demand with a single permission, allowing a user to launch a video chat session with another user in just 2 clicks. The recipient, however, can answer without having the Skype software installed.

Although, the much hyped Google Plus has promised a group video calling capability, comprising a maximum of 10 people, Facebook's new Video Calling feature maintains one-on-one calling for now. However, the likelihood of upgrading to a conference calling capability much later was declared possible according to report credited to Mark Zuckerberg.

The Group Chat feature, on the other hand, makes it possible for group assembly and interaction on the social network.

The current trends have pointed to apps as the driving force in the social networking innovations, which means that users experience and satisfaction will invariably depend on what is built on the platform, rather than the platform itself.

Next Trends: Group Chat And Video Calling

The latest project on Google's portfolio, Google+, has promised a more connected and realtime social experience, invariably intensifying its footprint on the social circle. Albeit, some early reviewers have termed it, a take-on on Facebook, its rather more a collaborative platform, intending to bring realtime sharing across the social networking platforms.

Google Plus is designed along what it calls plus circles, a realtime social interaction circle, that will allow users to selectively share information with specific groups, rather than all social connections. It also features a web conferencing option, in which up to 10 people can join.

It will incorporate web content on various topics, allowing users to subscribe through a feature known as Spark. And users can create custom categories, also share contents with friends.

Google Plus, 'Huddle' feature will automatically turn conversations into group chat. Amidst the cluster of information, however, will be the Cloud storage facility available for users photos and group chats, with an instant upload capability.

Google definitely is not a newcomer in the social circle, as its Buzz service has been briskly successful. But, how it will implement this new platform, against the ever increasing privacy issues remains to be seen. The company have commenced a total revamp on its page looks and feel, which will continue over the next few months, as it introduce a 'What Do You Love?' (www.wdyl.com) page.

Google Plus (Google+): Realtime Social?

Microsoft's radical shift in Windows 8 programming foundation has perhaps heralded the much awaited next generation of web applications development, albeit, presenting a credible challenge to the Google initiated WebGL project, an open-source cross-platform API intended to provide support for hardware graphics acceleration on the web.

Chrome requires hardware graphics acceleration to compete effectively with Internet Explorer, which introduced same in IE9 through Windows DirectX Graphics API.

The introduction of WebGL in Google Chrome 9 enabled the experience of high quality 3D direct on the browser. Microsoft dismissed the new technology citing its open vulnerability to attacks, given instance being the report posted on its Security Research & Defense Blog.

The next-gen Windows will allow developers build native apps with the same technologies employed for web application development, a possibility Microsoft has termed, 'Tailored Apps'. The Windows 8 'tailored apps' will employ: HTML (for describing web pages), CSS (for formatting) and JavaScript (for executing programs), all browser interfaces that run web programming.

Tailored Apps, unlike desktop apps, will make use of browser engines - higher level interface, possible reason for the change is to make room for the mobile web convergence as the new Windows code best support processor independence. However, the immediate challenge will be on how developers falls into the plan, how programmer can quickly churn-out tailored apps.

Next-Gen Apps: Windows 8 Challenge

Internet search technology invariably means instant information, hence the search giant, Google has enabled 'Instant' on all its search products: Instant Search, Instant Pages, Instant Image Search and Instant Availability in 32 languages. The latest addition being the introduction of Instant Pages, whose announcement follows at the Google Inside Search Event holding today in San Francisco.

Instant pages, automates query to open results nearly instantly, allowing a pop up to the given search page. The average time taken normally to launch a page under Google search is 5 seconds, whereas, the new feature takes only 3.2 seconds at most.

Google Instant has also been extended to Image Search, enabling instant change of images as your enter search queries.  

Google's lead in the search technology front is one that can never be questioned, with incessant churning of search innovations. Albeit, that Microsoft and Yahoo have combined their search technologies to challenge the Google advances, no tangible headway has been achieved.

The new features will be available starting this week on the Chrome beta, however, Mobile search version will follow soon.

Instant Search Everywhere - Google

The fact that Microsoft has shifted its tent in favor of the new coding tool, HTML5 is no longer news.The evidence even now more pronounce as it demos the next version of its operating system Windows 8 at the recent D9 conference, signaling its intent to switching Windows coding to HTML5 and JavaScript.

The signal observed through an app in Windows 8 written exclusively with the new developer standard HTML5, pin-points to the trend. Windows 8 will run a new API, that will not require writing web-pages to use.Given an instance in which Windows developers, already used to the traditional programming tools of Visual basic, .Net, among others, will have to employ HTML5 and JavaScript, portends a horrid reaction from such turn.

Albeit, that the specification of the emerging coding tool, HTML5 are still awaiting finalization. How developers would embrace tools termed less capable, renouncing their current platforms, may well put Windows developers at lurch.

Microsoft, earlier made available the F12 HTML tools in Internet Explorer, but until generally accepted a tooling for HTML5 on that platform, the traditional tools remains indispensable.

Definitely, Microsoft's ultimate aim of weaning developers off traditional Windows tools, perhaps will have to wait, at least for now. Microsoft's support for Silverlight will continue, and not just as a browser plug-in, among other things.

Traditional Programming Tools Exit?

The technology trends positioning web apps to compete effectively with desktop apps is one that has engaged the better parts of the developer communities efforts. Google, definitely is at the forefront of the current innovation, with its Chrome browser, working out the speed requirements - SSL False Start (TLS Implementation), a client-side only change to reduce the overall SSL connection setup time.

Transport Layer Security (TLS), dubbed SSL False Start, has undergone a benchmark performance test by Google software engineer team, according to the Chromium blog. The result yielded significant reduction in overall SSL connection setup time, the latency to the SSL handshake was reduced by 30%.

The performance test was implemented in Chrome 9, with the results relatively stunning, even as more content providers embraces SSL for secure connection to the web.

Google compiled a list of all known https websites from its index, and the False Start test was carried out on all the listed websites. However, implementing SSL False Start was backward compatibility, there was no easy way to know whether it will work on all websites. The result of the tests were as follows: 94.6% succeeded, 5% timed-out, while 0.4% failed.

How the data would be interpreted by other browser vendors and the model effectively adopted into the mainstream of server-side security using SSL/TLS protocol remains to be seen.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) Application

The technology convergence bringing the web and mobile platforms together, and how businesses can leverage the emerging technology platforms, are questions that had been on the table of technology analysts since the advent of the mobile web. Technology trends as it relates to businesses, innovations that cut across online video, instant messaging and voice communication are the collaboration platforms of modern enterprises.

Microsoft has distinguished its products with special preference for business usage, an arsenal of collaboration tools, and now have concluded a deal for the acquisition of Skype, the voice and video communication provider. Also, cloud-based services have been on Microsoft's drawing board, which will greatly enhance its Exchange email and SharePoint platforms.

Skype acquisition has been seen as Microsoft's answer to Google Voice, and the FaceTime service from Apple, apps which have had more mobile applications than its web usage. Application development is a continuum that must embrace the novel idea of merging the mobile and web software.

As internet access becomes ubiquitous, less identification of applications as mobile or web apps will perhaps be the greatest challenge to the developer communities.

However, the major challenge to the actualization of a mobile web convergence may perhaps rest on the implementation of a true open web system. The open web system will afford a freedom to publish code and implement the standards that content/apps will depend.

Collaboration: Mobile Web Convergence

Now, you can take your Google Docs everywhere you go, courtesy of an Android app that was recently announced by Google. Google Docs, which is fast becoming a viable alternative to the ever popular Microsoft Office now spots an all important element in the availability of the service on the mobile platform.

The Cloud storage facility, earlier added to the service, making the availability of users data on Google Docs accessible everywhere there is an internet connection, a feature that has endeared it to the heart of the busy executives, who are always on the go, remains strategic to the success of the service.

The new Google Docs app for Android, makes it easy to access, edit and share documents on the go. You can filter and search for your contents across all Google accounts right from within the app.

The uniqueness of the app, however, stems from the fact that it appears to be native to the Android OS and seems to rather load the web-based Google Docs service, allowing quick access to your cloud-based documents. You can also toggle between documents and shared items in your account, in addition, also upload content from your mobile device and open documents direct from Gmail.

The interface allows you to add widget, for easy access to core services which includes: jumping to starred documents, taking a photo to upload, and creating a new document with a single tap of the button. The new technology of optical character recognition (OCR) is also called to bear, using the app and your phone camera, you can turn photos with text into editable Google documents.

The Google Docs app for Android is currently available in English and supports Android 2.1 and above. It can be downloaded free from the Android Market Place.

Google Docs On The Go

RockMelt, a social web browser that made debut late last year with lots of fanfare, has extended its reach to the mobile app market. The social browser is now available for download as an iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad app on the iTunes Market place, and the core experience still is centered on social web and information sharing, now even more possible everywhere.

The outstanding feature of the social browser, Cloud Storage Facility, is perhaps more applicable to the mobile web, as your favorite bookmarks and many more website preferences are automatically sync in the Cloud. Quick access to frequently visited sites are synced with RockMelt for Mac and PC.

Again, RockMelt is the first and only browser that require user login access, thereby ensuring high security for user information and stress-free online experience. It incorporates Twitter and Facebook streams in one place, as well as web search bar and RSS feeds from your favorite websites.

It syncs direct with the desktop browser, so you can save web links and posts to read later when you have more time. 

Definitely, you would agree that this doesn't sound like a mere mobile browser, and you are right. Its more than just a browser, it reflects the next generation, and perhaps the mobile web is the future.

The Social Browser Goes Mobile

The emerging technology platform, HTML5, is home virtually in all vendors front, including the supposed competitor, Adobe. Microsoft now claims the HTML5 native experience on its Windows 7 running on Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), as pronounced by Dean Hachamovitch, VP for Internet Explorer, at the opening keynote of MIX 11 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

HTML5 native experience implies that Internet Explorer 9 was built with the platform in mind, and for Windows to deliver the most native HTML5 experience on the web.

The progressive step in delivering the most native HTML5 experience as supposed is in the support expected on IE10 platform preview, now available for download. Internet Explorer 10 directly trails the path of IE9, using Windows features devoid of abstractions, layers and libraries that slow down web experience.

'Native HTML5' is far more than hardware acceleration, as it incorporates general performance, and not just embracing HTML5 as a way of building native Windows applications. What differentiates Native apps from  web apps? Browser-based applications is the basic differentiation, and you don't expect to double-click a document and have it launched on a browser to render the file on a website.

How Microsoft intends to implement such features are yet unknown, nor what the various types of applications needed to translate and feel like a native app. However, web developers will have a handful to offer, and as it sounds, may perhaps herald good tidings for the new standards, HTML5 and CSS3.

HTML5: Native Experience Hype

Google is notorious for disruptive technologies, and such is expected from its new operating system that is purported to make debut  mid 2011. Chrome OS is a Linux based operating system designed to work exclusively with web apps, which according to early buzz will incorporate media player and browser only.

The line of contention, however, falls on the relationship that will exist between its erstwhile mobile operating system, Android, and the new beast in the making.

Chrome OS comes packed with outstanding features, most notable ones being, sophisticated and secure sandbox technology, and cloud-based storage facility. The differentiators being the way the two operating systems run applications, Android platform requires download and installation of apps, while on Chrome OS, Chrome web store will be the main directory for software.

Google's obsessions for speed is again brought to the fore, as Chrome OS loads in seconds rather than minutes.

Those whose interests cut across web applications running efficiently on tablet devices will definitely need to wait for the Chrome OS.

Chrome OS: What To Expect?

Firefox Mobile which made debut on October 2010 has now extended full support to the open web standard HTML5, excluding the incumbent platform, Flash, completely from its support. Mozilla announced the release of Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo devices in a post on the company blog Tuesday.

Mozilla's stance on the open web platform has never been in doubt, albeit that Android is currently romancing Adobe to incorporating its Flash to work effectively on mobile devices, had gone all the way to excluding the platform from its present support list.

Firefox for mobile, however, is built on the same technology platform as the web version, with the emerging technology standards like HTML5 and CSS, developers can build rich, interactive applications.

The outstanding features on the Firefox Mobile for Android and Maemo includes: Streamlined Interface, Private and Secure Synchronization, and Customization. The cutting edge web development tools which comprises of CSS, Canvas and SVG supported by Firefox will ensure the effective utilization of the platform in developing exciting web applications.

Additionally, HTML5 support on Firefox Mobile for Android and Maemo includes location-based browsing technologies, device orientation, accelerometer, and desktop notification among others.

Firefox for Mobile is now offered in more than 10 languages and available for download on the Android Market place and on Maemo devices.

Firefox Mobile Embraces HTML5

Search innovation has perhaps taken a center stage on the web and internet marketing in particular, suffix it to mean that the future of internet marketing rests on the implementation of robust search technology. The internet search giant, Google, indeed occupies the center stage in the present scheme of the latest innovations coming to internet search services.

The entrant of Google Instant, is now been adopted into the mainstream of general search experience as Yahoo have already followed on the heel of Google as it introduces what it called 'Search Direct'.

However, Google's obsession for instant information may perhaps require a more robust predictive and accurate search input for prompt promotional preference - a quest to make information available even without search, given an enabling environment and circumstance.

Autonomous Search, invariably contextual discovery, is a search technology whereby search engines suggest search results such as cinemas and restaurants based on users preference indicated from their search history. It involves bringing internet search to the mainstream of the mobile web, albeit, requiring a smart device and incorporates Near Field Communication (NFC) and Geolocation technologies.

Google is working towards making the search innovation a reality. However, privacy concerns again is brought to the fore, as to what level of users data will be involved in the search service. What privacy measures will Google provide?

Autonomous Search: What Is Involved?

MHTML vulnerability disclosed in January 2011, a public security threat that affects Internet Explorer has now taken an apparently motivated attack against users of Social Networking sites and Google services. The report posted on Google online security blog indicates an active exploitation of the vulnerability in highly targeted attacks against its users browsing with Internet Explorer browser.

MHTML is a simple container format that combines several documents in a single file (MIME encapsulation), albeit not commonly used on the web, employed by Microsoft IE to save downloaded pages to disk, also embraced by a hand-full of third-party applications to deliver HTML-based documentations.

Google has recommended that concerned users should consider deploying Microsoft's temporary Fix it Script to block this attack, however, Google's security team have partnered with Microsoft to arrive at a permanent fix soon.

In addition, Google has employed several server-side defenses  to make the MHTML vulnerability more difficult to exploit.

This leveraging vulnerability is unique been a web-level exploit, as opposed to exploitations directly compromising users systems. And it represents a new level vulnerabilities to interact with web services, of which perfectly blocking the offending input patterns is highly unlikely, until the problem is addressed by the vendor through Windows Update.

MHTML: Web-Level Exploitation

The emerging web development technology, HTML5, may perhaps have scored a great point in the fact that Adobe has refocused its technologies into embracing rather than competing with it. The latest enabling entrant being the introduction of  'Wallaby' - a technology that converts the artwork and animation contained in Adobe Flash Professional (FLA) files into HTML.

Coupled with a ton of other HTML5 initiatives from Adobe, Wallaby, is tended as a tool to help convert the rich animated graphical contents of Flash into a form that can be easily imported into other web pages in development with web design tools like Dreamweaver. And only WebKit-based browsers (Safari and Chrome) are supported for now.

Some limitations, however, have been attributed to the new conversion tool, notably: Dynamic masks, 3D transforms, filters and blend mode are not supported. Also, ActionScript code is not converted to JavaScript, while animations are translated using CSS instead of JavaScript or similar cross-browser framework. Additional limitation is that graphics are translated into SVG vectors or JPEG bitmaps, instead of Canvas (an SVG alternative supported by Google and Mozilla for HTML5 games).

Adobe critics have stressed the move as an effort to slow HTML5 standards adoption and probably reposition Flash in the mainstream which the new open web platform is encroaching.

However, Adobe has given reasons for the omission of Canvas in favor of SVG for slowness, stating that it slows the readability of HTML.

The overall development, however, is certainly a welcome one, with tons of  legacy Flash contents that are begging for conversion into HTML5, and perhaps these leveraging of Flash animation transitions to run anywhere may well position the incumbent in the platform wars.

Flash-To-HTML5 Conversion

The term platform as it applies to the web, is taken to mean the current technology trends that allow software to run on the web. It includes application frameworks and XML web services, also the technologies that makes it possible: SOAP and AJAX, which has virtually turned the web into a ready-made framework of application building block.

Web as a development platform gets a boost as web-based applications are improving on the functionality of their desktop equivalents.

Game development has found a new haven in leveraging this new technology trend, and as the earliest adopter, are instrumental in shaping the technical specifications. Game developers, since the advent of the personal computer had enjoyed strong support from the most successful platforms.

Game development popularity has perhaps attracted the attention of the internet giant, Google, as it announced the Google Game Development center, a web-based resource specifically designed to promote its new web application technologies and infrastructures: WebGL, Native Client, and HTML5 amongst others.

The uniqueness of this technology trend is that both the major players and smaller ones are leveraging the 'web as a box of blocks', which demonstrates the popularity of this new use of the web. The web as a development platform can be leveraged to do more than just the diverse content creation, obtainable at present. However, the right skills coupled with complex interaction between web building blocks is needed to result in new real innovations and functionality.

Games: Web As Platform

Google commenced the repositioning of its Chrome browser as a tool for web reform late last year and that transition is still on-going, with a couple of tweaks and new technology enhancements - now it seems that the era of browser address bar is nearing an end; as the next generation of Chrome may perhaps present an intuitive browser address bar rather than the conventional.

The Chrome browser will undergo an overhaul of it's user interface (UI) and possibly extended to the Chrome OS, which however is postulated for next year. The report credited to Jeff Chang (Google Chrome Engineer) stated thus: 'A number of UI / frontend efforts under way' for Chrome, was posted on the Chromium developer Google Group.

Arguments on how users will adapt in a case whereby the browser URL bar is eliminated has already begun, and given Google's disruptive technology nature is one worthwhile. One school of thought sees it as an aid to the search market and the uninformed individual users, who invariably most often types in a wrong URL. The other calls it freaking-out, imagining how a great number of potential users will get use to the absent of a feature they have become accustomed.

In conclusion, which ever school of thought you may belong, the overriding fact remains that change is inevitable, and the present technology trends will sure characterize the next generation. However, I do not see a feasible end to the browser address bar, rather a more intuitive URL bar / search box combination.

Intuitive Browser Address Bar

Native Client, an open-source technology for running native code in web applications, undertaken by Google has finally landed on Chrome 10, according to an official post on the Chromium blog. The technology enables developers to build web applications that seamlessly and safely execute natively compiled code inside the browser, with the goal of maintaining browser neutrality and OS portability.

Google released Chrome 10 beta with the first version of the software code-named 'Arctic Sea' in-built, with the aim of getting developers involved in building Native Client modules for Chrome applications.

Native Client (NaCl) is a step to enabling the convenience experienced in running programs natively on a PC, as against running same over the web. As web applications today greatly depends on JavaScript, which invariably limits the program's performance.

NaCl, on the other hand, will enable downloads directly from a web server with specific security mechanisms to keep-off malicious codes, and the browser ensures that the software executes safe operations, as the software is confined within the Chrome 'sandbox'.

Additionally, code libraries written in the C programming language can be relatively adapted for browser-based applications through the NaCl, making it easy, for instance, to build into web applications the codecs Skype uses for compressing and decompressing video and audio.

Google's stance as a great proponent of Cloud Computing technology also calls to bear on the implementation of the Native client in information storage and retrieval over a central server on the internet.

However, the extent to which this new technology can be applied outside the Chrome environment remains to be seen, nonetheless developers will need to play a very dominant role.

Native Client Debut On Chrome

The debate on the possible replacement of Desktop applications is one that has already been decided. As the Next generation internet trends points to social collaboration and realtime access to information, which invariably means that web applications are the future rave.

The development of software applications is perhaps the greatest enabler to a more efficient computing experience, notably the word processors and media players capabilities, which comprised the earlier desktop apps. But given the advent of the internet and the need for more portability cum mobility, the possibility of gaining access to this applications from anywhere there is an internet connection rather than the case of desktop applications which are installed on a given computer.

This usability constraint associated with desktop applications, however, necessitated the need for a better and more accessible alternative, leading to the development of the web versions of such apps.

Now, the web apps vs. desktop apps debate-line is one that spells a generation change and as such definitely falls on the side of web applications.

Desktop apps proponents have stressed the area of data security as their yardstick to sticking with desktop applications, however, the data encryption technologies finding a more popular application on the internet stands to correct such notions.

The area of the cost of installing and running such apps on desktop is another factor against, as most web applications are basically open-source and royalty-free, for instance: Google Docs.

Also, the issue of data storage mechanism for web applications have found a solution in the Cloud. Hence the greet buzz that heralded the entrant of the Cloud Computing innovations. The internet trends that had accorded such level of importance to web application will certainly sustain the dominance of the emerging technology, as it forms the hub on which the Social Web hinges.

Web Apps: Next-Gen Application

The Social Web is all about communities and relationships sharing on the internet, more so, when people tends to interact with one another following a special day like this - Valentine's Day. How the social tool can be utilized to foster more open relationship in the real-world cannot be over emphasized, as messaging and gift exchanges are more virtual when communicated on the web.

These social engagements are possible via channels known as social networking sites, notable amongst them are: Facebook and Twitter.  The two power-hubs of the social web with ever growing popularity and usage, now accounting for about 30% of online users time worldwide, have completely changed the conventional perception of the internet.

Now, refocuses on social interaction, collective intelligence can be harnessed (the phenomenon of internet users getting together) to fight for a common goal as is witnessed in the on-going case of the WikiLeaks controversy, and the Egyptian political revolution.

Lets not forget, the topic remain as the social web applies to Valentine's Day celebration, as truly love is found and shared on the social web phenomenon. The social web tools emphasize on some combination of the following attributes: Identity, Presence, Relationship, Conversation and Sharing. In variably, all of the above attributes represent the focal points of growing love and likeness.

The Social Web is indeed the network of the future, and perhaps may grow a bond to humanity evermore in a conspiracy of love whose end will be the emancipation of mankind. Wishing all our readers and followers a Happy Valentine's Day.

Social Web: Valentine's Day Treat

The heated debate over Google's accusation that Microsoft (Bing) is copying its search algorithm in presenting its search results may have been rather assuaged by a recent analytics report by an online competitive intelligence service, Hitwise.

The intelligence analysis reported that Bing search engine provides more accurate searches than Google search, whereby a little more than 81 percent searches on Bing leads to a visit to a  website, while Google search recorded only about 65 percent success.

However, it's pertinent to note that the result is obtained by the Bing and Yahoo Search partnership, which invariably means improvement in users engagement - Microsoft and Yahoo search technology and traffic exchange partnership.

Google, nonetheless still retains lead in overall search traffic, mostly from the U.S. with about 67.95 percent searches conducted in the four weeks ending 29th January, 2011. While Bing powered searches accounts for 27.44 percent of searches for the month.

Microsoft share of the search engine market has also improved, with Bing search share up by 6 percent, while Google search went down 2 percent from the previous month.

Indeed, the recent investments made by Microsoft in its Bing search service has already started yielding favorable results, and perhaps if the Hitwise analysis data is anything, given accuracy search trends counts, could mean Microsoft winning back internet search users. Suffice it to mean that another Bing vs. Google battle-line has just been drawn.

Internet Search Accuracy

Google unveiled Chrome 9 on Thursday with the introduction of a new feature, WebGL, a new technology designed on the HTML5 canvas element. The hardware acceleration technology, brings with it the 3D experience direct on browser without the need of a desktop application.

WebGL is royalty-free web standard for 3D graphics API, albeit still in the low level application based on the HTML5 canvas element as DOM (Document Object Model) interfaces. It brings plug-in free 3D experience to the web direct on the browser. The WebGL working group comprises of the following major browser vendors: Google (Chrome), Mozilla (Firefox), Apple (Safari) and Opera (Opera).

The announcement of the feature was made available on the Chrome blog by Google Software engineers, Erik Kay and Aaron Boodman, stating categorically, that with WebGL on Chrome, users will experience rich 3D graphics right inside the browser with no need for additional software.

Also, other additional feature on Chrome 9 is the incorporating of the Google Instant search capability on the browser's combined address bar and search bar.

This latest technology barrier breaking initiative, hopefully will position Google Chrome better on the browser market share. Chrome already has distinct advantage regards upgrade decision process that presents alternative choices.

Microsoft billed IE9 news announcement within the week,  perhaps may spark up another browser wars, however, the incumbent browser popularity has been on the declining lately and may remain so for a very long time.

3D Direct On Browser - Chrome

Google's crave for location based search experience has again received a boost as the search giant unveils Hotpot on the main search portal. Google Hotpot allow users to rate local places of interest on the search service, and add friends whose opinions they trust. The local places rated by users and friends are then served up by Google as personalized search list next time the user searches for such information.

Hotpot was first introduced in November 2010,  as a local recommendation engine to be powered by users. It aims to afford local business information, and list places based on users tastes and recommendations from friends.

Google officially announced the availability of the service on the company blog Tuesday, stressing the growth and changes the service has undergone within the past months.

To use the search rating service: Go to Google search portal and search for any local information, e.g Cinemas. And if a friend has rated a particular Cinema , you will see their ratings and what they said about it. However, users must be logged into their Google account before they can be able to rate or see recommendations made by their friends.

The service is available in 38 languages, allowing people to share their favorite places in their native tongue. It can be accessed directly on www.google.com/hotpot or using Google Maps, also available on mobile through Google Maps for Android and the iPhone App.

Local businesses have been called upon to avail themselves of this great marketing opportunity to make their services more visible by bringing them online.

Local Search Recommendation

The clarion call for the implementation of online security best practices have been heeded by Facebook, as it introduces HTTPS as an all-the-time option according to an official announcement on the company blog. The importance of users having control over their personal information can not be overemphasized, hence the necessity of the systems that operate behind the scene to protect users.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a combination of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol with the SSL/TLS Protocol to enable data encryption and secure identification of the given server. Facebook on Wednesday provided an option to users whereby the feature can be made available as the default connection for everything done on Facebook, as against the former usage only when an account is accessed outside Facebook through Facebook Connect.

The feature is especially useful when a user is uncertain about the security of a network or computer, that is to say that access to the internet is gained on a public Wi-Fi hotspot or a public computer. The key part of gaining control over ones personal information has always been to protect it from hackers, malwares and viruses.

A secure connection, however is indicated when the small 'lock' icon on the browser address bar turns green, which indicate that your browser is using a secure connection (HTTPS) to communicate with the website.

Application developers on the other hand, are required to use a secure canvas URL, so that the apps can also be accessed over HTTPS. Further information on the guidelines for developers wishing to incorporate HTTPS to their applications are available through this link.

However, the option exists as an advanced security feature, and therefore requires to be activated by user before it is implemented. The activation option can be found in the 'Account Security' section of the 'Account Settings' page.

HTTPS Everywhere

If you have ever heard about the terminology: The Semantic Web? Then you must have also learnt that the mode in which data is presented on the internet may soon change, and probably all of the big internet brands as we have them today may be displaced.

Well, lets go to the basics of the Semantic Web ideology as conceived by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web (The Internet as we have it today), now director, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). First, the term 'Semantic Web' tends to describe a model and technologies as proposed by W3C, these technologies which includes RDF (Resource Description Framework) are intended to provide a formal description of concepts in relationship to a given knowledge domain.

The rationale for such system, however, is on the fact that data as presented on the internet presently is hidden away in HTML files, and its often not useful in some contexts. And again, majority of data as published today are difficult to use on a large scale, owing to unavailability of a global system of publishing data that can be easily accessed by anyone.

Tim Berners-Lee defined it 'as a web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines'. The application in context determines the meaning of the given data and then creates connection for the user, whereby the automated agents would enable a more intelligent access to the information.

Although many of the technologies listed by W3C for the Semantic Web are already in use on various web projects, the global application of the vision remains elusive. And there seems to be little consensus about the likely direction and characteristics of the earlier proposal.

Now, whether a global project of such a magnitude of effect as envisaged by critics as capable of dismantling the present scheme of things on the internet will be allowed a chance remains to be answered.

The Hyped Semantic Web

Google's announcement earlier in the week about a change in HTML video support in Chrome has heated up intense debate on the future of the royalty-supported codec, H.264 video codec. While many critics have openly condemned the move, Google has maintained that the future of web video is definitely the open standard, which otherwise will spell hostage for the world wide web.

The fact that Google is a staunch advocate of the open web is again brought to the fore, albeit that H.264 has broader support by the publisher and developer community and hardware manufacturers, had gone ahead to changing Chrome's HTML video support.

While Microsoft and Apple had thrown their weight behind H.264 codec as the preferred technology for video tag; WebM advocates, Mozilla and Opera, now having Google on the line, still take a stand on the assumption that core web technologies need to be open and community developed for rapid evolution and adoption. However, developer and publisher community on the other hand, have stressed their concern on maintaining two different video standards.

But, given the fact that majority of H.264 videos on the web today are viewed on browser plug-ins, like Flash and Silverlight, may as well raise the valuation of plug-ins against the overriding purpose of video tags, enabling publishers move beyond the limiting nature of plug-in.

Many analysts, however, have viewed the move as an effort by Google to control the web video format, while Google in defense stated that it's effort only intends to make HTML video tag a first-class video format. While HTML video platform offers great promise, its impact may not be immediate, as only few websites have implemented it.

Codec Wars: WebM Vs H.264

The application of video on the internet will ever remain a killer app; Google Docs users have been availed the benefit of  accessing 2010 video memories uploaded via the document service directly in their browser, according to an official release on the company blog.

The memories from 2010 that users uploaded to their documents list can be viewed directly in the browser, as against the erstwhile application system whereby the Google Docs video player opens up in a new page requiring Flash installation. This latest feature comes as a New Year gift to users, and perhaps help stress the current position of video applications and real-time access capability of open web standards.

However, some newly uploaded videos may take a little more time before they are processed for viewing, also those uploaded earlier last year might not have been processed. Google has also made available the video formats that are supported by the new feature.

The procedure for watching videos through the new feature is simply thus: click a video file uploaded in your documents list and press play. We are still wishing all our readers and followers happy memories this New Year!

Video Playback: Direct On Browser

The New Year is finally here, we at Questechie are taking this time out to thank our numerous readers and followers for their loyalty to the blog, wishing all of you the best of the New Year. Also in this post we intend to explore the possible technology surprises that the major internet giants may spring up this season.

The first quarter of the New Year may perhaps prove many tech analysts wrong as regards who rules the internet. The Facebook and Twitter phenomena as disruptive as they have proved, may become the juggernaut the three internet giants: Microsoft, Google and Yahoo will require to steer off the competition - a possible acquisition is eminent as the year runs.

Google's interest in ITA Software, a flight data aggregation company, which have met several resistance and opposition from antitrust regulators, may finally get a go ahead; thereby giving the search giant a clear dominance.

Lets not forget, the Net Neutrality War is far from over. Thought that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) battled net neutrality rules 2010 is conclusive? Then, you will need to think again.

How successful will the Chrome OS project prove? Given the OS Trek, the next-generation of Mac OS X, and also Microsoft Windows 8 billed for possible unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show this January.

On the deathwatch, MySpace has finally given up on the social networking sphere, and Ask.com has given up on search. How many of such services are on the brink of extinction?

The WikiLeaks controversy have definitely carried on into 2011, many more controversies like the Google Comcast acquisition, patent lawsuits are also on the row.

This post, apart from information sake, tends to raise technical questions rather that answers; a measure to keep your internet technology quest alive. As the year rolls by we intend to unveil the answers as they are made available. Hoping you will have a very memorable and prosperous New Year.

Happy New Year: The Tech Way!