3/24/2010

Microsoft Confirms IE9 Won’t Come to XP

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

When we previewed Internet Explorer’s new rendering engine this week we noted that the same features that made IE9’s hardware-acceleration possible probably aren’t compatible with Windows XP. Microsoft initially dodged giving a straight answer to the question of XP support but has since admitted that the new browser won’t be XP-compatible when it launches.

This has created a small tempest of protest from those users still using XP, but this is less of an arbitrary decision than some appear to think. It’s literally impossible to port Windows Vista/Win 7-style hardware acceleration backwards into XP. Microsoft would have to either develop a workaround from scratch or create a CPU-driven “software mode.” Using such a mode could easily max out a CPU and negatively impact system speed and battery life.

Mozilla Labs builds add-on to bring address book to Firefox

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mozilla has announced the availability of an experimental new add-on for Firefox that is designed to import information about the user’s contacts from a variety of Web services and other sources. The add-on makes contact details easily accessible to the user and can also selectively supply it to remote Web applications. The initial implementation can import data from Gmail, Twitter, and the local system address book on OS X. It can optionally use the Gravatar service to find contact avatars.

After the add-on has imported and indexed the user’s contact data, it becomes available to the user through an integrated contact management tool that functions like an address book. There are a number of ways that the contact information could potentially be useful in the browser itself. One of Mozilla’s first experiments is an autocompletion feature that allows users to select a contact when they are typing an e-mail address into a Web form.

Quantum film threatens to replace CMOS image chips

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Just as photographic film was mostly replaced by silicon image chips, now quantum film threats to replace the conventional CMOS image sensors in digital cameras.

Made from materials similar to conventional film—a polymer with embedded particles—instead of silver grains like photographic film the embedded particles are quantum dots. Quantum films can image scenes with more pixel resolution, according to their inventors, InVisage Inc., offering four-times better sensitivity for ultra-high resolution sensors that are cheaper to manufacture.

China Hits Back At Google

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

After Google yesterday started redirecting google.cn users to their uncensored Hong Kong-tbased google.com.hk servers, the Chinese government has now hit back at Google by restricting access to Google’s Hong Kong servers.

‘On Tuesday mainland China users could not see uncensored Hong Kong-based content after the government either disabled certain searches or blocked links to results.’

China Mobile, the largest wireless carrier in the country, has also been approached by the Chinese government to cancel a contract with Google about having google.cn on their mobile home page for search. China Unicom, the second largest carrier in China, has also either postponed or killed the launch of Android-based mobile phones in the country.

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