The Best of MV Tech Blog: 2012 Edition

If you have WordPress Jetpack plugin installed you should have your 2012 Annual Report by now. Below is the summary.

\"MV

WordPress only reports the top 5 in the annual report so I used Google Analytics as well to get the top 10.

My top referring sites in 2012 are mostly social networks  – Twitter, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Youtube and  XDA Forums.

Also, according to WordPress some of my most popular posts were written before 2012 so my writing has staying power. Sounds awesome! Now, here\’s the list:

10. Windows 8 Consumer Preview VirtualBox Installation Step-by-Step: It seems that many people interested to test Windows 8 in virtual machine. VirtualBox is free so it\’s not surprising it is popular.

9. iGoogle Alternatives – Find a New Start Page Before Google Shutdowns iGoogle in 2013: After all, many people still use a start page. I\’m not sure if it was a good move for Google.

8. BlueStacks on Windows 8 to Run 400,000 Android Apps: BlueStacks is getting better and better and if they continue to make more Android apps run with 100% compatibility on Windows 8 it might become the best way to run Android on x86 machines.

7. Google Black Navigation Bar: Remove, Disable or Change It: People are still not stopping to make Google black navigation bar a facelift. Maybe Google should consider giving more options to people like how Microsoft gives more option to customize Windows start menu and Apple, OS X dock.

6. Windows 8 Release Preview VirtualBox Installation and Error Troubleshooting: This is a surprise because I have three Windows related blog posts in top 10.

5. 8 Blogging Lessons from Game of Thrones (Part 1): Game of Thrones is one of my favorite show this year and it will return on March 31, 2013 as  hinted in HBO teaser.

4. Browser Wars Illustrated: From #7, up to #4. I never thought browser wars is that popular.

3. Free Facebook Mobile Access (Philippines Promo): While the promo is not available anymore, some people are still looking for free Facebook access using their mobile phones. With the increasing availability of LTE phone I could see that it will stay on my top posts for quite a while.

2. Kindle Comparison Chart – Kindle Fire vs. Others: Same as last year, still in #2. I really think I should write more about gadgets.

1. How to Wisely Use DFA Passport Appointment System: Still my #1 post. I hope it still serves as a helpful guideline for many Filipinos who are confused on how to get the new Philippine e-passport.

I wrote a total of 83 posts this year and this is my most active year in blogging yet after my long hiatus in 2008.

I know I can do more next year so I am excited to start 2013 already. In just a few hours, it\’s already 2013. Happy New Year !

Read more

Firefox 11 Losing Market Share But Still Thriving

\"FirefoxI didn\’t notice that Firefox 11 was already out until yesterday so I immediately upgraded to Firefox 11.

Firefox 11 New Features

So what\’s new in Firefox 11? It can now migrate your bookmarks, history and cookies from Google Chrome. That\’s very helpful if you use Firefox and Chrome back to back but I cannot really imagine Chrome users migrating to Firefox. Firefox 11 can also sync add-ons across different computers where you enable Firefox Sync. Media controls for HTML 5 video was redesigned which looks better than Chrome. However, Firefox still do not support .mp4 (h.264 + AAC) out of the box. You just need to install a plugin for Firefox to support .mp4 so it\’s not really a problem.

Much of the additional features in Firefox 11 are developer features including the Syle Editor for editing CSS, HTML in XMLHttpRequest, 3D view of Web Page Structure and more.
You can see the 3D view in the demo below.

I think that the beta version \”Tilt\” is better because you have more options available. You can still install the add-on to test it out.

\"Firefox

Nowadays I seldom use Firefox as my primary browser because most of the extensions that I use are available in Chrome already, or it is only available in Chrome. That\’s the main challenge for Firefox to be on top of their game again. Before, Firefox is the only browser that offers add-ons which extends more features in the browser. Today, Chrome supports extensions and its extensions do not have compatibility problems regardless of the version you are using. Firefox is still in the process of converting all add-ons in using the new add-on SDK which means that its add-ons will be forward compatible with all the future versions of Firefox and the browser won\’t need to be restarted anymore.

Memory Leak, Chrome 17 vs. Firerox 11

If you are still thinking that Firefox is still a memory hog, think again. On this test, I tested Firefox 11 and Chrome 17 with about a dozen of add-ons or extensions installed.

I have opened 11 tabs and I calculated the total memory that Chrome used and I was surprised it was using almost 2 Gb of memory! I have 8 Gb of memory available but for other users with less RAM available in their computers, that would be too much. I opened the same 11 tabs in Firefox and spent the same time working on those tabs in Firefox 11 and it only took about 600 mb memory.

I will worry about Firefox 11 being more crash prone than Chrome as it crashed several times during my test.

Market Share

On the 2011 Q1, Internet Explorer share was 58.61%, Firefox23.06% and Chrome 11.56%.

In comparison on 2012 Q1, Internet Explorer market share shrunk to 52.32%, Firefox slide down to 22.10% and Google Chrome continued to eat the market share of both IE and Firefox. Now,  Chrome is around 18.43%. according to Net Applications desktop browser market share.

Firefox should be really alarmed by now due to continued popularity of Google Chrome. While I am still looking forward as more useful features come in the future versions, I am afraid that more and more users will turn away from the Firefox to Chrome if the most important problem such as frequent crashing and plugin compatibility is not addressed soon enough.

Read more

Firefox 10 Released, Includes New Developer Tools

Firefox 10 is now available. Boy, that was fast. It\’s less than 10 months since Mozilla formally announced the new rapid release cycle and since then we have seen 6 major Firefox releases starting Firefox 5.

\"Firefox

What\’s notable in Firefox 10 is the improved add-ons compatibility, Anti-Aliasing for WebGL, CSS3 3D-Transforms and developer tools such as Full Screen APIs, IndexedDB APIs and new inspect tool with content highlighting and new CSS Style Inspector.

See the video demo:

I  think it resembles Opera DragonFly style inspector in some degree.

There\’s also new element for bi-directional text isolation, along with supporting CSS properties. Also, the forward button is hidden (or grayed out?) until you hit the back button. See Firefox 10 release notes and the complete list of the bug fixes.

 

Read more

Internet Explorer 6 Countdown – The Champions So Far

IE6 Countdown

Here are the countries where Internet Explorer 6 usage shares are already below 1%. All the data details for each country came from CIA World Factbook while the source of the month they country reached 1% is from Net Applications.

The Champions

Norway reached the goal on Oct. 2010; Finland on February 2011; Denmark and Sweden on May 2011; Poland on September 2011, Austria on October 2011 and just recently last December 2011 – Mexico, Ukraine, Philippines, Portugal, Czech Republic and the USA.

\"IE6

 

\"IE6

It seems that there is a general trend here with European countries leading the move away from IE6. Norway is the first country to reach the goal. Not surprising as it is the country where Opera came from.

Countries with relatively high usage of Internet Explorer 6 are India, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, and China.

I\’m proud to say that the Philippines is the first Asian country in the list of champions and hopefully our neighboring countries will follow soon.

\"Philippines

If you\’re reading my blog since the beginning I am part of a community who anticipates the demise of Internet Explorer 6 not only because it is ugly but also because many web developers and designers spend so much time tweaking CSS and mark-up languages to make it look okay in IE6 even if IE6 is the one that needs fixing. Microsoft appears to be excited do get rid of this Jurassic-age web browser, but they are too late. Microsoft should have taken the initiative to kill the old and grumpy IE6 long time ago. Perhaps if they have done a little more effort Internet Explorer shouldn\’t be on a big decline since the inception of popular alternative browsers like Firefox and Chrome.

Goodbye to Internet Explorer 6

I will do the unthinkable and recommend PC users to upgrade IE6 to the latest Internet Explorer version — but after you download the latest Internet Explorer browser please download either Chrome, Firefox or Opera and experience the difference of a true modern browser. If you are using Mac, good for you because you already have Safari.

The ultimate goal here of Microsoft is to get rid of Internet Explorer 6 and push the IE upgrades to IE 6 users but instead of upgrading, would it be better to let users choose and adopt a new browser for a greater good?

Read more

Internet Browsers As Super Models

Internet Browsers As Super Models? Yes, that\’s right. We\’ve seen Google Chrome and Firefox fighting with Internet Explorer eating glue on a playground before. Now if internet browsers are super models this is how they would look like.

I have seen this image last month and it resurfaced in the internet again. However, this time around I am convinced to write a post about it because it is funny and seems to be more appropriate than the original.

 

\"Internet

You can view the full-size image here. Compare that with the original image. Many people complained that the face of IE in the original image is too ideal and it does not represent the browser at all.

You can see that the face of Internet Explorer model is now deformed and ugly. The other browsers are not changed.

Firefox is still foxy hot. I like the fur shawl but don\’t you think she should have more accessories (add-ons) ?

Opera is sexy. You would think that this image is made by an Opera user because the Opera model seems to be the most stunning of all.

Chrome looks young and unique with red hair and green shoes. I think that the model should be simpler.

Safari looks classy and elegant.  I\’m not sure if those are the best words to describe it but… whatever.

So what do you think? Do all models represent each browser well? What will you change?

Read more

Speed Dial and Beyond Opera 11.50

\"Opera\"What does Chrome\’s Most Visited Sites, Safari\’s Top Sites and Internet Explorer\’s Most Popular Sites have in common? They were all inspired by Opera\’s Speed Dial feature that Opera introduced in version 9.2. Speed Dial became an instant hit and it became available in Firefox as an add-on soon after. Other browsers basically copied Opera. One can argue that it is one of the most popular contribution of Opera in the browser market next to tabbed browsing that it popularized in the early 2000.

Opera just released version 11.50 (\”Swordfish\”) which pushes the boundaries of Speed Dial as it is now possible to use extensions on Speed Dial.

Opera 11.50 supports a new type of extension that lets you show live, real-time content right in your Speed Dial. This makes it easy to check the weather, see what\’s new on your favorite blogs or view the latest tweets—just by opening a new tab to look at your Speed Dial. Find useful and interesting examples of these extensions in our extensions catalog.

Swordfish also has improved user interface. The default theme is even lighter, brighter, and is more user-friendly. Of course you can always customize the look and feel if you don\’t like the default skin.

Opera now also offers synchronization of password using Opera Link similar to sync features of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Easy installation of missing plug-ins was also added as well as faster and better web standards support. The complete change log  is available for different OS.

In addition, Opera is now allowing testers to quickly test bleeding-edge version of Opera browser via Opera Next which is a separate product made for testing only. I believe this is the answer to increased speed of releases of web browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

With 200 million strong users and still growing, I am just amazed how Opera thrives amidst the browser wars. There are many browsers out there and Opera is probably one of the most underrated.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjYQRru46-I&w=590&h=349]

 

Read more

Browser Wars Illustrated

For someone who likes to watch the market share of internet browsers, I find this art compelling beyond words.

So Chrome is brawling with Firefox aggressively while the nonchalant Internet Explorer is eating glue? Hilarious and  it\’s so true. What more can I say. Thanks Shoze for making this cool illustration.

\"Browser

If you would caption this illustration, what would it be?

Read more