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Weekend tech reading: Mozilla's plan to win back Chrome users, alkaline battery breakthrough

By Matthew ยท 7 replies
Aug 6, 2017
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  1. Firefox fights back Hundreds of Mozilla employees met a very different version of the Firefox mascot this June as they packed into a Hilton conference room in San Francisco for an all-hands meeting. Gone was the blazing-orange fox snuggling a blue globe, the image that’s represented Mozilla’s scrappy browser since 2003. Instead, Firefox Senior Vice President Mark Mayo opened the event with a drawing of a fox in menacing mecha armor, named Mark 57 — the same way ever-improving Iron Man suits are named. Cnet

    A better, safer battery could be coming to a laptop near you A start-up company is trying to turbocharge a type of battery that has been a mainstay for simple devices like flashlights and toys, but until now has been ignored as an energy source for computers and electric cars. Executives at Ionic Materials, in Woburn, Mass., plan to announce on Thursday a design breakthrough that could make solid-state alkaline batteries a viable alternative to lithium-ion and other high-energy storage technologies. The NY Times

    Someone turned a Wii U into a PC that emulates Wii U Today in taking the long way around: Gaming modder Banjo Kazooie stuffed a Windows 10 OS into a Wii U, and used it to emulate the Wii U. Kazooie posted the full list of build materials and specs on Sudomod, a message board for mod enthusiasts. It features a LCD screen with full touch screen support, and Intel m5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 64GB SSD. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, battery monitoring software and light-up LED joysticks are thrown in because why the hell not. The battery lasts for about two hours. Motherboard.Vice

    Retail staff reports high levels of mining performance on AMD's RX Vega A member of Overclockers UK staff, Gibbo, has reported that AMD's Vega series cards offer some insane levels of mining performance with hash rates of "between 70 and 100" per card. To put this into perspective RX 580 GPUs can achieve hashrates of around 26-29. If this is true AMD's RX Vega series GPUs are mining beasts, with the potential to offer a greater hastrate per watt than AMD's existing RX 500/400 series GPU lineup. OC3D

    The Internet is built for advertisers Have you ever wondered how many successive dump trucks it would take to run over your laptop until it was ground into a fine dust? I clicked on a link last week and three different autoplay videos blared at once. I panicked and closed my computer. The internet has been awash in ads for decades, but in the past few years, a shift has taken place. The internet isn’t for people anymore. It is for advertisements. The Ringer

    MegaBots is finally going to take on Japan in the world’s first giant robot duel After over two years of robot-building and excessive YouTubing of the process—and a year after MegaBots originally said they would fight—the two teams are nearly ready to engage. Two summers ago, a group of American roboticists formed a company called Megabots, and released a video challenging a Japanese collective to a giant robot fight. About a week later, the Japanese group, Suidobashi Heavy Industry, agreed to clash robots. Quartz.com

    Freewheeling Valve churns out big video-game bucks despite some growing pains On Monday morning, the first two five-person teams will file into soundproof boxes, take a seat in front of custom-built computers, and test their reflexes and strategy in a quest for a cut of a $23 million prize pool. In a darkened KeyArena around that stage, thousands of mostly young fans will follow the action broadcast to the video screen above, with the fantasy-movie sounds of in-game clashes and live commentary blaring through the arena. Seattle Times

    Google is working on a rival to one of Snap's main moneymaking features Google is talking to several publishers about a technology that's similar to Snapchat's Discover, according to a Friday report in The Wall Street Journal. The technology, dubbed "Stamp," could be revealed as soon as next week and contain content from Vox Media, CNN, Mic, The Washington Post and Time, the Journal reported. CNBC

    Calling all speakers! A hardware button to toggle display mirroring I’ve been really frustrated that my favourite keyboard shortcut to toggle display mirroring doesn’t work on TouchBar MacBooksso I’ve made a button that can emulate it! Of course since I’ve got this working I’ve discovered there’s a weird work-around to get it working on the TouchBar, but it’s still quite a fun device, and you could use it to emulate any key (missing that Escape key, anyone?) What you need... Seb.ly

    Here are over 100 games enhanced for Xbox One X Over the past few weeks we’ve seen countless lists been posted on the internet which feature Xbox One X Enhanced games. Unfortunately, the ones we’ve come across are incomplete. During E3 2017 Microsoft revealed a sizzle reel of Xbox One X Enhanced games and since then many developers have come out and stated that their games will either support Xbox One X or run at 4K on the console. MS Power User

    NSA collects MS Windows error information Back in 2013, Der Spiegel reported that the NSA intercepts and collects Windows bug reports. The article talks about the (limited) value of this information with regard to specific target computers, but I have another question: how valuable would this database be for finding new zero-day Windows vulnerabilities to exploit? Schneier on Security

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  2. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,179   +3,788

    "Firefox fights back"

    I only use Chrome because it works the best for me, anyone comes out with something better and I'll switch. I'd much rather go Firefox anyways and at least that way my data isn't all in the hands of one company.
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    yea, most of the reaosns people I know switched (and I *almost* did) was firefox having severe issues with memory, webpages not even loading properly, and some wierd cookie stuff (I lost front-row tickets because firefox was having severe issues with ticketmaster saying "no tickets available", switched to chrome and get the next best immediately).

    Most of my issues seem to have been fixed in recent months, but it was a mess for a while. CPU usage is insane without adblocker though - im on a "new" laptop, and without adblocker I was getting 40-50 percent CPU usage on 2-3 tabs, now im almost always under 10. these are normal sites too - I even think techspot (before I signed in) was one of them.
    Lurker101, Reehahs and mcborge like this.
  4. MaXtor

    MaXtor TS Maniac Posts: 272   +221

    Oddly enough it is Chrome tabs which tend to crash for me. I use Firefox as my main browser, but I keep Chrome for Chromecasting to my TV.
  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,179   +3,788

    That's good to know. It would be awesome if Firefox made a comeback.
  6. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,893   +712

    I could be working on a battery that could be the one that lasts 18 hours and it could be the size of a postage stamp and it could be made from recycled cardboard
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
    USAvenger likes this.
  7. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,825   +2,672

    First it was Firefox's terrible performance that drove users away. They responded by adding tons of bloat. Then they modified their extension framework just because..or perhaps to celebrate their fascist politics. Now their trying to be a clone of Chrome and alienating the last of their hard-core fans. The next step (aka the final nail): driving away their remaining extension developers by trashing their entire addon framework to they can support the less capable and less diverse catalog of Chrome addons. Break for lunch, everyone!
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,115   +1,593

    Over the years, I have found that ALL browsers are about the same

    The only thing I do allow is the plugin for my antivirus.
    SamuraiSamson likes this.

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