Why You Should Test Your Site in IE7 Right Now

Do you know how your site looks and functions in IE7? No? Better get testing: IEBlog : IE7 to be distributed via Automatic Updates!

To help our customers become more secure and up-to-date, we will distribute IE7 as a high-priority update via Automatic Updates (AU) shortly after the final version is released for Windows XP, planned for the fourth quarter of this year.

Emphasis added. Based on this, I would expect IE7 to be adopted pretty quickly even though users will have the option not to install it when it downloads via Automatic Updates.

(Via Gadgetopia.)

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JPEG Patent Woes?

Just saw this on Paul Bissex’s blog: Burn all JPEGs?:

Some recent news is giving me flashbacks to 1995, when Unisys sprung their GIF patent surprise on the young World Wide Web. We got quite angry and some enterprising people even built a replacement for the beloved GIF.

Are we going there again? Forgent, a Texas company that “develops and licenses intellectual property and makes scheduling software” (it makes me feel dirty just to type that) is suing 40 companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Yahoo, for infringing on JPEG-related patent No. 4,698,672.

Sounds like patent trolling to me. Hopefully this will not become an issue (I imagine it will unite a big chunk of silicon valley to fight it if it does).

Opera Web Browser Now Free

The Opera web browser is now available for free without embedded advertising. From the site:

Opera has removed the banners, found within our browser, and the licensing fee. Opera’s growth, due to tremendous worldwide customer support, has made today’s milestone an achievable goal.

Hey, how about that. An actually competitive browser market has returned with more than 2 free options. Welcome back to the mid-to-late-90s!

Nick Bradbury on Microsoft & RSS

You may have heard that Microsoft announced recently that they will be building in RSS support to a great extent in their next operating system. Nick Bradbury provides his perspective on the move. He talks about some interesting possible outcomes and how, as a newsreader developer, he isn’t worried about MS eating his lunch, something they have been known to do in the past.

s5 for Web Demo

I gave a demo of our intranet yesterday. I had a few slides of background material I wanted to cover first and then jump into the site for the rest of the presentation. So, I grabbed the S5 presentation template and created an HTML-based slideshow and linked to the intranet on the last slide. The beauty of this is that I didn’t have to do any awkward application switching between powerpoint and the browser. It really made the presentation much smoother by running the whole thing through the browser.

Netcraft: Will Firefox repeat Netscape's mistakes?

Netcraft: Will Firefox repeat Netscape’s mistakes?:

Against this background, the news that Mozilla will be working with Adobe, Apple, Macromedia and Sun to develop an open, scriptable plugin model is worrying. The logic behind this move seems to be that in order to capitalise on users’ increasing willingness to consider alternatives to Internet Explorer, Firefox needs to match it in all areas, including plugins. What is particularly ironic about this move is that it represents an eerily exact rerun of an earlier – failed – strategy.

This post argues that Firefox may be going down a somewhat proprietary path with this plugin approach and possibly creating security risks along the lines of ActiveX. I am not too worried about that for one reason: firefox remains open source. If the developers take it in a bad direction I’m confident that another group will pick up the source and go somewhere else with it. While competing forks of firefox is not ideal it is better than having no choice at all.

Can We Do Away with Pop-ups Now?

Vast majority of pop-up click-throughs are a mistake:

Rob Stevens, head of business behaviour at Bunnyfoot, said: “Achieving an over-inflated click-through rate might help brands to justify their spend, but they are only deceiving themselves. The brand, which we used in our research study, is not only wasting up to 90% of its budget by paying for unintentional click-throughs, it is also frustrating and deceiving users.”

When the august firm of Bunnyfoot Universality says it’s so, it must be. 🙂 Perhaps a few more studies will be done to confirm this and drive a wooden stake through the heart of pop-up advertising.