Firefox: back in the No. 2 seat once again

Katherine Noyes , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Katherine Noyes has been an ardent geek ever since she first conquered Pyramid of Doom on an ancient TRS-80. Today she covers business and tech in all its forms, with an emphasis on Linux and open source software.
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PCWorld's recent Web browser showdown may have crowned Chrome the ultimate winner, but new data suggests that Google's popular contender shouldn't rest on its laurels just yet.

In fact, after a similar market-share shift in August, Chrome fell further into third place in September, buoying Mozilla's Firefox firmly back into the second-place spot it occupied until relatively recently.

Net Applications
Desktop browser market share for September 2012 (Click image to enlarge.)
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Need to tune up your browser? Firefox Health Report can help

Katherine Noyes , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Katherine Noyes has been an ardent geek ever since she first conquered Pyramid of Doom on an ancient TRS-80. Today she covers business and tech in all its forms, with an emphasis on Linux and open source software.
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It's no secret that browser performance can vary dramatically across installations thanks to differences in configuration and customization, among numerous other factors.

Aiming to offer some new insight into the performance of its own popular browser, Mozilla recently announced a brand-new feature that will help users get the most out of Firefox while helping Mozilla itself keep tabs on performance on an aggregate level.


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Groupon introduces mobile payments system

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Sarah is a freelance writer and editor based in Silicon Valley. She has a love/hate relationship with social media and a bad habit of describing technology as "sexy."
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Online coupon broker Groupon debuted a new payments system on Wednesday meant to offer the "lowest rates in today's marketplace" to U.S. merchants who use its couponing service.

The new system is like other mobile payments systems; it features a Groupon-branded credit card reader, which attaches to an iPhone or an iPod Touch via the audio jack. Merchants can accept credit and debit cards by swiping them through the card reader, or they can key in the transactions on the device's touchscreen, though charged at a higher rate.

Groupon also offers a card-reading phone case, similar to what Apple uses in its retail stores. The audio jack card reader is free, but the phone case costs $100.

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In IT hiring, DevOps is a growing trend: Dice

Katherine Noyes , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Katherine Noyes has been an ardent geek ever since she first conquered Pyramid of Doom on an ancient TRS-80. Today she covers business and tech in all its forms, with an emphasis on Linux and open source software.
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The current economic recovery may be proceeding far more slowly than most would like, but when it comes to IT hiring, two trends appear to be going relatively strong.

First is that systems administrators--a position some have said would disappear in the near future--are holding their own in terms of demand from employers, according to a September report from IT careers site Dice.

“The system administrator role is one employers are still trying to fill,” said Alice Hill, managing director for Dice.com. “I don’t see this position going away in the foreseeable future. Changing, yes. Eliminated? No.”

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New JavaScript Tech Will Make Firefox 18 Faster

Things never stand still for long in the world of Web browsers, and Mozilla's popular Firefox contender is no exception.

firefox
Just a few weeks ago I was writing about Firefox 17 even as Firefox 15 was getting ready to debut, and now there's exciting news about the forthcoming Firefox 18 as well.

Specifically, new JavaScript technology in this upcoming release makes the open source browser as much as 26 percent faster than Firefox 17, promising a quicker, snappier experience for users.

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Apache Web servers will ignore IE10's 'Do Not Track' settings

There's already been a fair bit of controversy over Microsoft's decision to make the “Do Not Track” (DNT) setting turned on by default in Internet Explorer 10, and recently the brouhaha got even louder.

internet explorer 10
Specifically, in a move that came to light last week, developers of the widely used Apache Web server application have added a patch to their software that ignores the DNT header altogether when it is sent by Microsoft's forthcoming IE10 browser.

“The only reason DNT exists is to express a non-default option,” explained the patch's author, Roy Fielding, an Adobe employee who is also cofounder of Apache and a contributor to the DNT specification. “It does not protect anyone's privacy unless the recipients believe it was set by a real human being, with a real preference for privacy over personalization.”

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Get a sneak peek at Firefox OS in this new Mozilla video

It's been possible for some time already to watch the progress of Firefox OS through nightly desktop builds, but on Friday Mozilla posted a new video on YouTube that offers a fresh, up-to-date look at its forthcoming mobile operating system in action.

firefox os
Recorded last Thursday, the video--embedded below--demonstrates the latest build of Firefox OS running on a developer phone by Chinese manufacturer ZTE.

Visible in the demonstration are the open source operating system's dialing capabilities, contacts list, built-in Firefox browser, virtual keyboard, camera, photo gallery feature, and Marketplace app for finding and downloading additional software.

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