Tuesday, 27 January 2015

you can have everything the web has to offer but, you have to use a certain product [My Personal Browser Wars]

Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Chromium, which one do i use? 

every so often i have a change of heart and change my browser.

for a long time i used Opera, well, up to version 12 that is, after that they switched to using the Blink engine [Chromium] and for over a year the browser was a shadow of its former self; with new management came new ideas which didn't go down well with a lot of the old crowd and it seemed their simplified interface was more at home on tablets. because there was no syncing enabled i wasn't really a fan, so, i moved over to chrome and everything was synced up between devices, i loved it.... 

for a while. 

you see, i'm a massive tab whore and and where non-chromium based browsers excel is that most are single process. with twenty or so tabs running in chrome my low-end machines just run out of memory. so, 

over to Firefox then.

everything Firefox does is great; use can sync your settings, add-ons, history, cookies, its not very resource hungry on lower machines, pages load-up fast. all good. 

or, so it seemed. 

running Linux means flash is not being developed any more for the platform and and only way to get a fully updated version is to use chrome, so i disabled flash and everything plays in HTML5, you see i'm a big youtube user and i love my 1080p video playback, which is not available [at time of writing] in the stable release of Firefox, plus the playback is very choppy even in 720p.

guess what?
the best browser for youtube strangely enough is chrome, so, i bit the bullet and started using chrome again and the browser doesn't even use flash for their website its all in HTML5, all was ok then came 1080p60 which my computer doesn't run as it needs faster hardware and quite alot of my subscriptions on the site use it.

so, back to Firefox and a third party youtube player on linux.

then, i heard Netflix was finally streaming HTML5 content and is moving away from silverlight,

great stuff! 


the plugins are only available in chrome no other browser, so what we have now online is people using other browsers and being treated like second-class citizens: you can have everything the web has to offer but, you have to use a certain product. and with more people using that product more sites are going cater for it and before long we will have almost a one browser internet. to my limited knowledge we only have three engines right now. which doesn't seem nearly enough for the amount of users and with the massive power of google chrome will probably always stay on top for the casual user as all of google's great web apps like docs, drive, youtube, calendar and keep work best in chrome, just as i would of thought outlook.com works best in explorer, well, they would do wouldn't they :-)

then, just as i was reading about the latest opera release in the opera blog i find out there is a new guy in town; Vivaldi is made my the former CEO of opera [when it was good] and it came out today, lots of functions promised and i'm liking it, a lot. ok its chromium-based, but unlike others this one has lots of functions even in its first testing release, plus doesn't seem to use up to much resoures, shame its only 64bit right now [like opera]

we will see how i feel about this one in a few weeks time


on the Vivaldi forums someone mentioned the Maxthon browser from China based company Maxthon Ltd, i've now seemed to of found my perfect browser: yes its a chrome-clone, but, it plays HTML5 video far better than Vivaldi does at the moment and its available for 32bit systems. video play-back is noticeably better on slower machines as well. seems to use up a little less memory which is always good 

so i'll stick with this one for now..... well.... until Vivaldi gets a stable release

Monday, 5 January 2015

my short 2014 in review

well, according to my letterboxd.com profile i've only watched 219 films in 2014. which is lower than 2013 [242] and my aim last year was to watch more films than the year before! 

stand out highlights film wise for me have go to: X-Men: Days Of Future Past my most re-watched film. 'The Machine' a great UK low budget Scifi film, and, 'Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning'

i think this is mainly because of binge-watching TV shows more last year, although TV shows are not counted on the website

Music wise my Last.fm account says my top music artists of 2014 where: Nine Inch Nails with 475 plays and Orbital with 451 no surprises there then :-)

joint first place in single tracks most played go to Adam Freeland's 'Borderline' and Stakka & Skynet's Clockwork with 16
second place goes to Resonant Evil's 'Troubleshoot' with 15
joint third with 14 goes to Overseer's 'horndog (dylan rhymes remix)' and Burial's 'Rival Dealer'
i could listen to all of those songs forever. its strange though that my favourite song only got 9 plays last year [Orbital's P.E.T.R.O.L.] weirdness

this year i hope to find some new music, 'new' meaning different bands / DJ's to get into.

plus i would like to watch more films, this is becoming a problem as i might have to start re-watching more as i normally watch everything i'm into as soon as i can, maybe more documentarys like the terrifying one i watched a few months back about Wall Mart 
which has just reminded me i need to pop out after this a get a copy of 'Deliver Us From Evil' which is out today and looks stunning

Video game wise 'Resogun' has been my highlight of the year it might of come out in 2013 but i didn't have a PS4 then, the best arcade shooter i've played in quite a while, love streaming it on Twitch. now that its come to PS3 and PS-Vita on cross-buy i have another chance to play it again. great game