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 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!