Former Mozilla CTO: 'Chrome Won'

Slashdot - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 3:20pm
Responding to Firefox marketing head Eric Petitt's blog post from earlier this week, Andreas Gal, former chief technology officer of Mozilla (who spent seven years at the company) offers his insights. Citing latest market share figures, Gal says "it's safe to say that Chrome is eating the browser market, and everyone else except Safari is getting obliterated." From his blog post (edited and condensed for length): With a CEO transition about 3 years ago there was a major strategic shift at Mozilla to re-focus efforts on Firefox and thus the Desktop. Prior to 2014 Mozilla heavily invested in building a Mobile OS to compete with Android: Firefox OS. I started the Firefox OS project and brought it to scale. While we made quite a splash and sold several million devices, in the end we were a bit too late and we didn't manage to catch up with Android's explosive growth. Mozilla's strategic rationale for building Firefox OS was often misunderstood. Mozilla's founding mission was to build the Web by building a browser. [...] Browsers are a commodity product. They all pretty much look the same and feel the same. All browsers work pretty well, and being slightly faster or using slightly less memory is unlikely to sway users. If even Eric -- who heads Mozilla's marketing team -- uses Chrome every day as he mentioned in the first sentence, it's not surprising that almost 65% of desktop users are doing the same. [...] I don't think there will be a new browser war where Firefox or some other competitor re-captures market share from Chrome. It's like launching a new and improved horse in the year 2017. We all drive cars now. Some people still use horses, and there is value to horses, but technology has moved on when it comes to transportation. Does this mean Google owns the Web if they own Chrome? No. Absolutely not. Browsers are what the Web looked like in the first decades of the Internet. Mobile disrupted the Web, but the Web embraced mobile and at the heart of most apps beats a lot of JavaScript and HTTPS and REST these days. The future Web will look yet again completely different. Much will survive, and some parts of it will get disrupted.

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Categories: Science

Obesity Surgery May Work by Remaking Your Gut Microbiome

Wired News - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 3:00pm
A mounting body of evidence suggests that it may be possible to get all the weight-dropping effects of obesity surgery without going under the knife. The post Obesity Surgery May Work by Remaking Your Gut Microbiome appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Space Webcasts: NASA Previews Science on June 1 SpaceX Launch

Space.com - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 3:00pm
NASA will hold a teleconference at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) today, May 26, to preview the big science riding on the next SpaceX Dragon cargo ship launching to the International Space Station. Listen live here!
Categories: Science

The Cosmic Scales: Spot Libra Constellation in the Night Sky

Space.com - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 2:42pm
Here's the story behind the zodiac constellation Libra, the Scales, and how to spot it in the night sky.
Categories: Science

Opera Abandons iOS Platform

Slashdot - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 2:40pm
Reader BrianFagioli writes: After searching for Opera in the Apple App Store, I noticed something odd -- none of the company's iOS browsers (Opera Mini and Opera Coast) had been updated in 2017. Since we are almost halfway through the year, I decided to ask Opera what was up. Shockingly, the company told me that it no longer has a team working on iOS. An Opera employee by the name of 'Rosi' sent me a tweet this morning, making the revelation. While the desktop version of the browser is still in development, the company has chosen to abandon its efforts on iOS. To show just how bad it is, the Opera Mini browser hasn't been updated in almost a year. Opera Coast was updated in December of 2016, however -- almost six months ago.

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Categories: Science

Mark Zuckerberg Calls for Universal Basic Income in His Harvard Commencement Speech

Slashdot - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 2:00pm
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has become the latest major tech figure to call for universal basic income as a solution for inequality, joining a growing chorus from Silicon Valley. From a report: "Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it's time for our generation to define a new social contract," Zuckerberg said during his commencement speech at Harvard University. "We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things," he said. Zuckerberg told the class of 2017 that he was able to pursue his passion in Facebook because he knew he had a safety net to fall back on.

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Categories: Science

Messenger App Kik Debuts Its Own Digital Currency

Slashdot - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 1:00pm
The messaging app Kik Interactive has decided to create its own digital currency. Kik's plans are for an "initial coin offering," a process by which it sells tokens that can be used to buy services on its platform. "The idea is that as more and more people use Kik, the value of those tokens, called 'Kin,' will rise in value," reports TechCrunch. From the report: Kik, which has raised about $120 million (in real money) from investors including Tencent Holdings Ltd., could serve to add a new layer of legitimacy to the process. "Kik will be the largest install base of cryptocurrency users in the world," Chief Executive Officer Ted Livingston said. "Kin, on day one will be the most-used cryptocurrency in the world." The move comes as Kik finally reveals how many people actually use its app regularly each month: 15 million. That's a far-cry from the 300 million total registered users number it was sharing around this time last year. Kik plans to gift a certain amount of Kin to each user. They'll be able use the new currency to buy games, live video streams and other digital products. The company's goal is to attract new merchants to sell on the platform, creating a snowball effect where Kin becomes more valuable and more sellers pile onto Kik, increasing its popularity.

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Categories: Science

Bioelectricity new weapon to fight dangerous infection

Science Daily - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:45pm
Changing natural electrical signaling in non-neural cells improves innate immune response to bacterial infections and injury. Tadpoles that received therapeutics, including those used in humans for other purposes, which depolarized their cells had higher survival rates when infected with E. coli than controls. The research has applications for treatment of emerging diseases and traumatic injury in humans.
Categories: Science

New cellular target may put the brakes on cancer's ability to spread

Science Daily - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:45pm
Researchers have discovered a biochemical signaling process that causes densely packed cancer cells to break away from a tumor and spread the disease elsewhere in the body.
Categories: Science

Sweetening connection between cancer and sugar

Science Daily - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:45pm
Scientists have found that some types of cancers have more of a sweet tooth than others.
Categories: Science

Century-old drug as potential new approach to autism

Science Daily - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:45pm
In a small, randomized Phase I/II clinical trial (SAT1), researchers say a 100-year-old drug called suramin, originally developed to treat African sleeping sickness, was safely administered to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who subsequently displayed measurable, but transient, improvement in core symptoms of autism.
Categories: Science

Diesel pollution linked to heart damage

Science Daily - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:45pm
Diesel pollution is linked with heart damage, according to research presented today at EuroCMR 2017.
Categories: Science

DNA ladders: Inexpensive molecular rulers for DNA research

Science Daily - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:45pm
New license-free tools will allow researchers to estimate the size of DNA fragments for a fraction of the cost of currently available methods. The tools, called a DNA ladders, can gauge DNA fragments ranging from about 50 to 5,000 base pairs in length.
Categories: Science

Knowledge gap on the origin of sex

Science Daily - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:45pm
There are significant gaps in our knowledge on the evolution of sex, according to a research review on sex chromosomes. Even after more than a century of study, researchers do not know enough about the evolution of sex chromosomes to understand how males and females emerge.
Categories: Science

Isolated Greek villages reveal genetic secrets that protect against heart disease

Science Daily - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:45pm
A genetic variant that protects the heart against cardiovascular disease has been discovered. The cardioprotective variant was found in an isolated Greek population, who are known to live long and healthy lives despite having a diet rich in animal fat.
Categories: Science

9 Essential Summer Reads—From Sci-Fi to Philosophical Superheroes

Wired News - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:30pm
Summer is nigh. These are the books to keep on-hand while prepping for your next vacation. The post 9 Essential Summer Reads—From Sci-Fi to Philosophical Superheroes appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

More Jupiter Weirdness: Giant Planet May Have Huge, 'Fuzzy' Core

Space.com - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:01pm
Jupiter's deep interior appears to be as strange and otherworldly as the gas giant's exterior, new observations by NASA's Juno spacecraft suggest.
Categories: Science

Eerie Photos Capture Fear and Paranoia in Washington DC

Wired News - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:00pm
Government leaks, Russian hacks, and white vans on street corners. Everyone's on edge. The post Eerie Photos Capture Fear and Paranoia in Washington DC appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Jupiter's Rings from the Inside! First-Ever View Captured by Juno

Space.com - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 11:45am
During its initial data-collecting dive over Jupiter's poles on Aug. 27, 2016, Juno captured the first-ever photo of the giant planet's faint ring system from the inside, mission team members revealed Thursday (May 25).
Categories: Science