Internet Connection Speed Tests with HTML5

August 26th, 2016

Here’s a quick overview and comparison of five different services that can be used to test HTML5 connection speed …

It makes sense at time to check the connection speed of an Internet connection. Maybe you just got a new line, upgraded an existing one, or are traveling. Maybe it is just for making sure that you get the advertised connection speed, or making sure that the hotel’s Internet connection is sufficient for pushing that Gigabyte video to YouTube or a company server. Most Internet speed tests up until now used Adobe Flash to power the tests. While that worked, it required Adobe Flash to work at all.

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Opera VPN Launches for Android

August 25th, 2016

Given the popularity of VPN services, this makes a lot of sense. Once Opera figures out a way to monetize this free service, I’d expect other software companies might pick up on it too.

Opera Software released its free VPN application for Android today after making it available to iOS devices earlier this year. The company’s journey as a VPN provider started with its acquisition of SurfEasy VPN. Opera Software promoted services of SurfEasy shortly thereafter in the Opera desktop browser, and launched a free browser proxy back in April 2016.

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Mozilla Plans to Add Webp Support to Firefox

August 24th, 2016

It’s probably too soon to tell if Webp will eventually replace popular image formats such as jpeg and png, but with both Mozilla and Google behind the idea, the odds in favor of Webp must be fairly good.

Mozilla, makers of Firefox and other things, is working on bringing support for the webp format to the Firefox web browser. WebP is an image format developed by Google (based on tech by a company Google acquired) that offers lossy and lossless compression. Google designed the format as an alternative to the aging jpeg image format promising smaller file sizes without reductions in image quality.

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OpenStreetView launches

August 23rd, 2016

This is an interesting idea, with the potential to provide a really unique mapping service, but it looks like it’s still got quite a ways to go when it comes to providing the level of coverage that Google Street View provides.

OpenStreetView is a free crowd-sourced service by OpenStreetMap that offers street imagery that users of the service push to it while using it. OpenStreetMap is an open source alternative to Google Maps, Bing Maps and other mapping services. The new OpenStreetView however works different than services like Google StreetView despite the naming similarities.

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Windows 10 Annoyance: Apps get Re-Installed After Updates

August 22nd, 2016

Getting used to a new operating system is seldom a fun experience … and problems like this definitely don’t help.

Windows 10 ships with a truckload of system applications that are installed by default. Most of those are created and maintained by Microsoft. Some replace functionality of legacy programs of previous versions of Windows, others are unique to Windows 10. If you go through the listing of installed system apps, you may notice one or the other that you don’t use. 3D Builder is probably a prime example of this. Not only is the app only of use if you work with 3D models and 3D printing, it is also one of the first apps listed in the new Windows 10 start menu.

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Iridium: Privacy-Focused Chromium-Based Browser

August 19th, 2016

Iridium has been around for a little while now, but its market share remains relatively small in spite of its useful, privacy-related features.

Iridium is a privacy-focused modification of the Chromium web browser by members of the Open Source Business Alliance. Chromium is the open source basis for Google Chrome and other browsers such as Opera or Vivaldi. While it ships with less things Google integrated in the browser than Google Chrome, there is still room for improvement privacy-wise.

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Free Up Windows 10 Disk Space with Compact OS

August 18th, 2016

If you’re running Windows 10 on an older PC and disk space is scarce or almost non-existent, this might help …

Compact OS is a new command line tool that Microsoft introduced in the Windows 10 operating system in an effort to reduce the system’s disk footprint. Probably the biggest change to previous versions of Windows in this regard is that Windows 10 does not need recovery images anymore, as the operating system will use existing files for that instead.

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Google Chrome to Block More Flash Content

August 12th, 2016

The handwriting is already on the wall, and this move by Google will most like help to hasten the Flash plug-in’s demise.

Flash is a dying technology in its plugin-form, and Google plans to push Flash a bit further to the graveyard by making two Flash-related changes in future versions of Chrome. The first change will block behind the scenes Flash content, which is usually used for page analytics and tracking.

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Attention – Some Fosshub Downloads Compromised

August 11th, 2016

It’s been quite a while since I’ve used Fosshub, but for those who do, it might be a good idea to avoid it for a while.

Some software programs on Fosshub, a free project hosting service, appear to be compromised and serve malware payloads. Fosshub is a popular file hosting service that software projects such as Classic Shell, qBittorrent, Audacity, MKVToolNix, and others use as their primary file download service.

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