It's still Trident, though

Microsoft working on new, lightweight web browser for Windows 10




Windows-10-logo-wmskill.com_

The ever reliable Mary Jo Foley of All About Microsoft on ZDNet is reporting that, despite expectations that Microsoft is working on developing Internet Explorer 12, Microsoft is in fact working on an entirely new web browser developed from the ground up using the existing Trident core. The new web browser, which is expected to ship alongside Windows 10 and is codenamed Spartan, sticking with Microsoft’s Halo inspired codenames for the next version of Windows, will feature versions both native to the “Modern” tablet experience as well as the desktop.

Microsoft will reportedly ship Windows 10 with both the new Spartan web browser alongside the existing version of Internet Explorer 11 found on Windows 8.1 devices for backwards compatibility purposes. According to Jo’s sources, “Spartan” will feature a brand new, streamlined, user experience that more closely resembles other modern web browsers, including Google’s Chrome and newer versions of Mozilla Firefox.

Despite the new name and the new look, “Spartan” will still very much remain a traditional Microsoft web browser. Microsoft is reportedly using an updated version of the Trident core that has been found in every version of Internet Explorer since its inception, and it will continue to use the impressive Chakra JavaScript engine for fast performance. As a bonus for both users and developers, Spartan will also include a new Extensions engine similar to those found in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Microsoft may not be on track to ship a beta version of “Spartan” in time for the official Windows 10 Consumer Preview in January, however it will likely ship with a future build pushed to Windows Insiders not long after.

Source: All About Microsoft


Side stepping into the future

Haverzine October 2014 Status Report




Welcome to Haverzine

It’s been a while since I’ve drafted a status report, and I think given the current state of both the site as well as our coverage, we’re long overdue for one. A cursory look at our homepage will reveal that we haven’t published stories on a daily basis for quite some time. This is something I’ve long been meaning to address. Frankly, I have no excuses; Haverzine should absolutely be doing a better job of delivering on our mission, which remains unchanged. We want to inform you, no matter you are, of the most important stories in tech.

We haven’t been doing a great job at that lately. Unfortunately, Haverzine is something I do on the side; it generates absolutely no profits for me, and the little revenue we do get from the little advertisement we do have (which is currently suspended due to our Breast Cancer Awareness campaign) has always gone right back into improving Haverzine in various ways, usually through advertising and getting the word out. Since launching Haverzine in April 2012, I’ve worked numerous – and mostly full time – positions, nearly completed undergraduate – and completed a total of two internships. On top of all this, I am now writing a thesis as well completing a third and final internship with full time hours. All of this, of course, applies to Sean Ellis as well, our volunteer writer who graciously donated dozens of hours of time writing incredibly thoughtful pieces for us over the last couple of years. My thanks for having had him around is sincere.

You can see how finding the time for much else is difficult, especially when you add “maintaining a personal life” into the mix.

On January 1st, 2015, many of these hindrances will be gone. I hope to be be starting a new, full-time position at an employer that I hopefully feel comfortable working for; I will have completed my undergraduate degree and taking my first real break from education since 1996, and I will be able to commit more time doing the things I’ve always wanted to do. Or, that’s the plan, anyways. The truth of the matter is I’m at a transition point in my life, and I really no idea what curveballs will be thrown at me, and as such, it’s difficult to say for any degree of certainty what my schedule will look like next week, forget about January.

So all of that said, where does that leave Haverzine? There will be no changes. The site will remain, and I will continue writing as often as I can about as much as I can that I believe is important and relevant to the conversation. This isn’t a promise that I will bring back daily coverage – though I wish it were. This is merely an acknowledgment that situations have – and will continue to – changed, and that I will do do my best to work around those changing situations. For the last 6 months or so I have drawn out detailed plans for what I’ve been calling Haverzine 2.0, plans which I hope to realize someday – and hopefully some day sooner rather than later. I have roadmaps laid out for miles. Those roadmaps have not, and will not, change.

To conclude, I’d like to sincerely thank each and every person who has ever read any of our posts for their time and consideration. When I started Haverzine, I had little experience with writing long form, absolutely no journalism experience, and virtually no experience with publishing and advertising. Haverzine thus far has represented my desire to learn the tools of this trade and my determination to figure things out as I go. I’m committed to keep doing that.


Bigger than better?

A slightly belated iPhone 6 Plus review




iphone6-plus-1

The iPhone 6 Plus is a jumbo, comically huge smartphone. If Apple’s product portfolio were a clown outfit, the iPhone 6 Plus would be the bright red, obnoxious oversized shoes. It doesn’t fit in some front pockets, it sticks out of nearly everyone’s back pockets, and people will notice it and it will illicit reactions, at least while it’s still new and kind of foreign looking.

In fact, I would say that the iPhone 6 Plus is larger than I expected. I’m even one of those guys who went ahead and made scale paper cutouts of each size iPhone 6. It’s certainly a larger smartphone than I ever expected to own, and the size did come as a bit of a shock at first. But once you get past the sheer largeness of the 6 Plus, you can begin to evaluate it on better merits- ones not impeded by the initial “oh my God this is ridiculously large”. After a couple of weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus, I think I have enough familiarity to say some things with certainty. This is the official Haverzine iPhone 6 Plus review.

Read more to hear my take on Apple’s ginormous, huge iPhone 6 Plus.


Calling it Windows 7.5 isn't that far off

A first look at the Windows 10 Technical Preview




win10-2

Using the Windows 10 Technical Previews feels a little bit like going home. It’s as if I had just spent the last three years in some sort of bizzare-o world filled with buggy, nearly useless full screen applications; like I’m enjoying a swim in a refreshing, crisp, blue pool after spending an eternity in the fiery depths of Hell.In this scenario, Hell is, of course, a stand in for Windows 8 – and I think the sooner we admit the similarities, the sooner we can all recover from its abuses.

The Windows 10 Technical Preview is kind of like the anti-Windows 8 – indeed, some have taken to calling it Windows 7.5, and I don’t think that’s too far off. If you’ve not seen it in action yet, picture this – all the Desktop improvements that shipped with Windows 8 minus all of the horrible Start Screen garbage. Oh, and the Start Menu is back, so that’s pretty nice.

Microsoft is saying that this represents only a tiny fraction of the features, design, and functionality we’ll find in the final version of Windows 10 – due sometime late 2015 – and I believe it. Essentially, there’s only a couple of things worth getting really excited about here thus far, if you appreciate the fact that Microsoft is reverting back to the “classic” Windows 7 way of doing things.

Read more to hear our early impressions of the Windows 10 Technical Preview build.


Unveiling at 10 AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern

Windows 9 is coming – here’s what to realistically expect at today’s event




startmenu-windows81featured-better

Windows 9 is coming. Sure, Microsoft may not call it that – not today, and perhaps not ever – but whatever Microsoft announces at their “future of Windows” event today, it is the next major release of Windows, one that will stand just as tall as the Windows 8’s, 7’s, Vista’s, and XP’s before it. Despite remaining relatively secretive about the future of Windows beyond what little of a next generation Start Menu that was revealed at BUILD 2014, we know a surprising number of details about what the future of Windows will look like and how it’ll work. Let’s get started.

What to realistically expect…” is a series of posts which we use to temper expectations concerning upcoming industry events. All entries thus far have focused on Apple events, however a big new version of Windows doesn’t come along every day, so we think it’s important to take an in-depth look.


The 9 isn't the only new kid on the block

This is the Nexus 6, made by Motorola and Google




shamufinal22

The Nexus 5, Google’s flagship Android device, is coming up on a year old – almost an eternity in the mobile space. That’s why it should come as no surprise that Google is already hard at work figuring out its successor, and today thanks to 9to5Google we got our first real look at both the design and the technical specifications of Google’s upcoming Nexus 6, designed and manufactured by – wait for it – not LG (like the Nexus 5), not Samsung (like the Nexus 10), not even HTC (like the rumored Nexus 9)… but by Motorola.

As you can see in the leaked shots above, the Nexus 6 (which isn’t yet an official name, by the way) bares more than just a passing resemblance to Motorola’s latest lineup of smartphones, the Moto X and Moto G series. In fact, it looks almost exactly like a stretched out second generation Moto X, complete with the top / bottom speaker grille on the front, and the aluminum chassis around the sides.

What has changed, however, is the size – the Nexus 6 is simply massive with its whopping 5.92-inch display. Featuring a resolution of 2560 x 1440, the Nexus 6’s display evens out at a cool 498 PPI, making it higher resolution than Apple’s big screen device, the iPhone 6 Plus (401 PPI) but lower resolution than Samsung’s next generation phablet, the Note 4 (550 DPI).

Driving this big screen is said to be a Snapdragon 805 processor, one of the fastest out there, a huge 3,200 mAh battery, and 3GB of RAM (compared to a measly 1GB on the iPhone 6 series). Though that sounds impressive, all that extra oomph will presumably be needed to power the Nexus 6’s ginormous high resolution display at acceptable levels of performance for this tier of device, meaning you shouldn’t necessarily expect next generation graphics or 48 hour battery life.

No word yet on pricing and availability, though 9to5Mac speculates on a late October launch, but with both the Nexus 9 and Android 5.0 “L” seemingly just around the corner, I wouldn’t really be surprised to see this thing hit stores sooner rather than later. And given Motorola’s excellent track record at developing and manufacturing beautiful, high powered devices at an amazingly low cost, it sounds like it’s going to be worth the wait – as long as you think you can stomach that extra huge screen.

Source: 9to5Google


The rumors are true... probably

HTC and Google to launch the Nexus 9 sometime soon




nexus10-back

We’ve been speculating about a HTC-made Nexus tablet for sometime now, but it looks like the rumors are about to come to fruition. According to sources available to the Wall Street Journal, HTC and Google are hard at work on a next-generation large screen Android tablet to be part of the Nexus series. Speculated to be dubbed the “Nexus 9”, the companies’ new tablet would be the successor for the much ignored Samsung made Nexus 10, which hasn’t seen an update for nearly two years now.

The Nexus 9 is expected to launch with Nvidia’s next generation Tegra K1 SoC, which will offer performance significantly greater than that found in either the Nexus 10 or the most up to date Nexus 7. The Nexus 9 will also have the distinction of being the first tablet made by HTC since the launch (and failure) of the HTC Flyer, the first Nexus device made by HTC since the launch of the original Nexus One, and potentially even the last Nexus branded device before the launch of Google’s much rumored Android Silver initiative.

Source: The Wall Street Journal


Microsoft has their building blocks

Mojang goes to Microsoft for a whopping $2.5 billion




minecraft

Mojang isn’t a big studio, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from paying a big price for it. While the Swedish indie studio is home to less than 50 employees, these guys are hard at work on one of the biggest games the gaming industry has seen in some time – Minecraft, the multiplatform wonder that has captured the heart of hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of gamers across potentially even more devices. And now, for a cool $2.5 billion, it belongs to Microsoft. Or it will as soon as the deal closes, rather.

While it’s not inherently clear as to what Microsoft plans on doing with Mojang, you can bet that Minecraft won’t see any neglect going forward. Minecraft is essentially the singular big product the company has ever put out, which means that Microsoft’s interest in the company has to be directly relating to Minecraft. More than likely, the company is planning on using the studio to build up the in-house studio support of their Xbox (and likely Windows, including Windows Phone) gaming platforms.

While that may sound like it makes sense, and also pretty exciting – Microsoft is a massive company with enough clout and money to improve all the ways Minecraft has lagged behind some expectations in recent years -it should also kind of scare you. Minecraft is famously available on just about every platform known to man (as long as that platform doesn’t happen to be made by Nintendo – sorry, fellow Wii U and 3DS fans), and Microsoft likely has very little interest in becoming an enthusiastic PlayStation or Android developer. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that Minecraft will ever become an Xbox and Windows exclusive, it does mean that we know where their priorities lie; indeed, Microsoft promises that Minecraft will “remain available” on all available platforms.

Mojang leader Markus “Notch” Persson has taken this opportunity to leave the company he helped build, explaining his feelings towards both the sale of his company to Microsoft as well as his personal feelings towards his relationship with his fans and game development in general in a new note posted on his personal website (and mirrored here) entitled, appropriately, “I’m leaving Mojang.” Notch claims that the deal, to him, isn’t about the money – but rather his sanity.

Source: PCWorld


Two iPhones, an iWatch, and a USB cable walk into a bar...

What to realistically expect at Apple’s September 9th, 2014 special event




iphone_5s_6_grass

It’s almost here. Tomorrow, Apple is holding its first big special event of the year (excluding WWDC) – and we’re expecting it to be quite the doozy. Apple is certainly going to be using the event to launch its upcoming iPhone lineup, but what else could be in the pipeline? Last year around this time Apple announced not one, but two new iPhones alongside the announcement of the final build of iOS 7, and we’re expecting an equally – if not more – impressive showing this time around. So without further ado, this is what you can realistically expect at Apple’s special event tomorrow. No bullshit, just the good stuff.

What to realistically expect…” is a series of posts which we use to temper expectations concerning upcoming Apple events. We’ve got a pretty good track record here, with only one small miss with our iPhone 5s/5c event predictions. Read on to hear today’s expectations.


iCloud lacked brute force detection

Apple begins investigating nude celebrity photos leak, iCloud may be the cause




icloud-650x456-11hjqv3

By now, you probably know that a number of celebrities have been the target of a nude photo leak that has said to have lead to the leak of potentially hundreds of photos and videos. Of course, this vehement violation of human privacy is a despicable act in and of itself – the thought that there are individuals out there who would go to any length to obtain such photos and violate women (and men) is nauseating. But where there’s a will, there’s a way – and unfortunately, Apple seems to be at the center of that way.

According to new reports, the leak stem from a security issue that was previously present in Apple’s iCloud cloud storage system. iCloud automatically backs up a user’s photos (among other data) into the cloud, which can then be downloaded to any authorized computer capable of logging into the iCloud account. Hackers claim that Apple had failed to implement any sort of brute force detection software into iCloud’s login authorization, a loophole that enterprising hackers worked around using software called iBrute, which “guessed” at password combinations at a dizzying speed.

Essentially, in layman’s terms, that means that anybody with the knowledge of a celebrity’s iCloud email address would be able to keep guessing at their password until they hit on the correct password by chance, forever. A simple loophole, which Apple has reportedly now implemented, stops users from trying passwords after a couple of incorrect guesses. The new protection is similar to how Apple’s iOS software locks users out of devices after a number of incorrect passcode guesses.

While there’s yet to be any confirmation from either Apple or the supposed hacker that this method was the one used to illegally obtain the celebrity’s passwords, Apple has confirmed that they are investigating their role in the issue, if any. Still, the fact that this loophole existed and had been easily exploitable up until just today indirectly implies it could have been the root cause.

Source: Re/code


iPhone 6, iWatch, oh my

Apple’s September 9th Special Event begins to take shape with new iWatch rumors




Apple-iwatch-Render-3

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and there sure is a lot of smoke to wade through while talking about Apple’s still-yet-to-be-confirmed September 9th Special Event. Re/code was the first to peg that date as the long awaited iPhone 6 reveal event, but as the days have gotten shorter and the calendar has gotten closer, we’ve been learning more and more about what it is Apple will actually be announcing. Yes, of course the iPhone 6 is still happening, but that’s just the beginning of the story.

For one, Re/code today has another breaking exclusive claiming that Apple will use their September 9th event not only as the iPhone 6’s coming out party, but also as the long awaited “iWatch” reveal. According to Re/code, Apple had originally planned to announce the device – which is not expected to hit stores until early 2015, narrowly missing the holiday rush – during the company’s rumored October Special Event, however decided to bump up the schedule for reasons uncited. Apple is reportedly still planning on holding a Special Event in October, where the company may reveal the sixth generation iPad, the third generation iPad mini, and a new 12″ MacBook with a Retina Display.

According to today’s new iWatch report – which, while unconfirmed, come from some rock solid sources – Apple’s wearable will be all about health and automation. The iWatch will act as a fitness tracker, syncing information about today’s activity and general health data with your iPhone and iPad using iOS 8’s new built in HealthKit framework. HomeKit, Apple’s automation functionality, will also be put to good use. Early reports indicate that the iWatch could be used to – say – automatically unlock your frontdoor when you step within a couple of feet of it while wearing your iWatch, or automatically turn on the lights when you enter a room.

iphone_5s_6_grass

Separately, we expect the iPhone 6 to be revealed in two sizes – one with a 4.7″ screen, and another larger model with a 5.5″. We expect both iPhone 6 sizes to be available simultaneously, however with the 4.7″ model available in much larger quantities in initial shipments. The game plan could be set up similarly to how Apple dealt with the rollout of the 5s and 5c models last year; the 4.7″ iPhone, like the 5c, will be available for pre-order immediately while the 5.5″ iPhone, like the 5s did, will launch on a first come, first serve basis without a reservation program in place. Apple did this last year to give everyone a fair shot at nabbing an iPhone 5s on launch day, which was similarly restrained.

As far as pricing, a good guess is that the base configuration 4.7″ iPhone 6 to sell for $199 with 16GB of included storage. The 5.5″ iPhone 6, meanwhile, could launch with 16GB of storage for $299. Apple will continue to offer both the iPhone 5s as well as the iPhone 5c, with the iPhone 5s selling for $99 with 16GB of storage and the iPhone 5c selling for free with 8GB of storage. However, it is important to note that these plans are far from confirmed at this time.

Source: Re/code


That would be the Note 4, of course

Samsung announces the Galaxy Alpha, and no, it’s not to take on the next iPhone




galaxy_alpha

Samsung has announced the Galaxy Alpha. I mean, I guess that’s news – the device was only rumored up until this point, and it marks the first smartphone to feature Samsung’s new all-aluminum design that the company says will trickle down and up to other products in the company’s portfolio – including, more than likely, next year’s flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S6. It’s an okay, decidedly midrange phone – just like we reported the other day – with a modest dual-core (or quad-core, if you’re in very certain markets) processor, 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel camera, and a 720p 4.7″ display. It comes in Black, White, Gold, and Blue. All fine.

But really, can we stop pretending that this is Samsung’s answer to the next iPhone? I know it’s not, and – yes, I’m talking to you, mainstream media outlets – you know it’s not. The next iPhone will be a high end device with Apple’s fastest A8 processor, their best camera; it’ll be the model with the most RAM, the highest quality displays. It’ll be Apple’s flagship. And the Galaxy Alpha? This isn’t Samsung’s flagship. Not even close.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not wrong to say Samsung’s got a competitor up their sleeves slate for release soon. They totally do – it’s called the Galaxy Note 4, and it’s rumored to be coming soon; probably next month. It’ll have Samsung’s fastest processor, their best (and biggest) display, and all the RAM and storage and processing power you could want.

But let’s not compare Apples to Alphas, okay?