Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Beware of Posting Pics Online via Your Phone

Watch this video --- it's potentially that important. You have no idea how vulnerable you or your family and friends can be by posting photos taken by a cell phone and posted on social media websites. Can you say G-P-S!

[Video Link]

compliments of
Boogie Jack's Newsletters

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Browser Wars: Chrome vs. IE9 vs. Firefox

Web browsers are converging. Since the arrival of Google Chrome nearly three years ago, all browsers have come under its influence, and they've all moved in the same three-pronged directions—speedier page loading, cleaner user interfaces, and greater support for new Web standards. All of the major browsers—Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera—have made significant strides in each of these three dimensions. The first two qualities are pretty much universally desirable, but the "standards" support piece, while also desirable, gets sticky: Each browser seems to support a different subset of the many features that fall under the label HTML5. All you have to do is check out each browser's HTML5 demo site. Apple's HTML5 demos, for example, flat out won't function unless you're browsing with Safari. So much for "standards."

The Speed of the Web
Along with new standard support, all browsers have posted massive improvements in page-rendering and script execution speed. You just have to look at the often-cited SunSpider JavaScript benchmarks to see this. Even Chrome, already described as "lightning fast" in December of 2008, has sped up on the test from a time of 881ms to 267ms in version 12 on my 2.6GHz dual-core laptop—that's less than a third of the time! The rest of the browsers have followed suit, clustering around the same level of performance. Mozilla and Google have built their own Javascript speed tests, Kraken and V8, respectively. When these first came out,
the maker's own browsers widely outpaced competitors, but results on these tests are also evening out.

A summary of the latest speed test results are:

Google V8 (v.6) Test: #1=Chrome 12, #2 = FireFox 5, #3 = Opera 11.50
Mozilla Krakan 1.7 Test: #1=Chrome 12, #2 = FireFox 5, #3 = Opera 11.50
SunSpider 0.9.1 Test: #1=Internet Explorer 9, #2 = Chrome 12, #3 = FireFox 5

The next frontier in browser performance is about graphics hardware acceleration. In this area, Internet Explorer and Firefox are ahead of Google Chrome, Opera, and Safari. Microsoft was the first browser maker to make an issue of hardware acceleration in the buildup to its releasing IE9. The company's site for its browser, called IETestdrive.com, sports a slew of demonstrations that show off hardware acceleration, which you can try running in any browser. On these, you can clearly see IE and Firefox's lead in hardware acceleration.

On the FishIE demo, which uses Canvas and Javascript to display swimming tropical fish, Chrome delivered 40 frames per second with 20 fish and 5 FPS with 500 fish. Since both Firefox 4 and IE9 use hardware acceleration for more than just future 3D content, they score the maximum 60 FPS with 20 fish, but IE still beats Firefox with 500 fish. Chrome was, however, better than Opera, which only mustered 20FPS and 3FPS.

Another IE9 demo, Psychedelic Browsing, spins a color wheel and plays spacy sounds, reporting RPM as a result. Surprisingly, Firefox beats Microsoft at its own game here by a tad, though it doesn't play the required sound. Chrome, however, plays the test's required sound, but fares far worse in the revolutions per minute result.

One final test of hardware acceleration comes from Mozilla, its Hardware Acceleration Stress test, which spins a spiral of photos in the browser window and reports a score in frames per second.

A summary of the latest hardware acceleration test results are:

FishIE (w/20 fish) Test: #1 = Internet Explorer 9, #2 = FireFox 4, #3 = Chrome 12
Psychedelic Browser Test: #1 = FireFox 4, #2 = Internet Explorer 9, #3 = Chrome 12
Mozilla HW Accel Stress Test: #1 = FireFox 4, #2 = Internet Explorer 9, #3 = Chrome 12

Additional information about browser HTML 5 Standards support, Privacy and Security, and Extras and Goodies (extensions) are discussed in the PC magazine article by Michael Muchmore upon which this blog content is based and that can be found @ http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2389249,00.asp

In the end, I will continue to develop websites that firstly conform to Internet Explorer (IE) standards. This is because IE continues to be the browser used buy the majority of people accessing the Internet. The increasing popularity and growth in usage of Chrome and FireFox can not be ignored and I will make every effort to insure the best possible compatibility with these browsers as well.