Cosmos Browser uses SMS to provide web access without Wi-Fi or mobile broadband


In regions without mobile broadband, or where it’s still too expensive to have a data plan, other ways to connect to the web are always welcome. Say hello to Cosmos Browser, which provides web access using SMS so that you can view web pages without using Wi-Fi or even a lowly 2G network. Using Cosmos on Android, you enter a web address which is sent to back-end servers through a text message. The servers strip out CSS and JavaScript from the content at that URL, compress the information and sends it back via SMS. The host app then decompresses the site info and renders the HTML. Clever!

View original post


Supercharge your browser: 20 essential add-ons for Chrome, Firefox and IE

Essential add-ons for Chrome, Firefox and IE

There are so many plugins, add-ons, extensions and toolbars available for the major browsers that it can be tempting to simply ignore them all in favour of a easy, uncluttered life.

Yet many of these add-ons can be incredibly useful, providing better integration with your favourite web services and plugging gaps in your browser’s functionality.

To save you the chore of wading through the Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer extension galleries, we’ve picked out 20 of the very best utilities you can get your hands on, and they’re all free to use. If you have any plugins of your own to recommend, do let us know in the comments.

1. Buffer

BufferBuffer’s primary purpose is to pad out your social media sharing across the day, letting you queue up tweets and Facebook posts. It also makes sharing across multiple networks easy and includes built-in analytics too.

2. LastPass

With browsers now remembering your passwords automatically, you don’t need a separate extension… or do you? LastPass offers a huge number of features, including cross-platform compatibility and enhanced security.

3. Google Dictionary

Google DictionaryOn today’s modern web, spelling checks and word definitions are never far away, but the Google Dictionary extension for Chrome makes life as easy as possible. Simply double-click on a word to see a definition window pop up.

4. Greasemonkey

Greasemonkey is a website tweaker for Firefox that allows you to use small bits of Javascript to customise your Internet experience. Change YouTube video sizes, hide Facebook chat, block tracking tools and much more.

5. Wikipedia Visual Search

Wikipedia Visual SearchThis extension adds another option to your list of search providers in Internet Explorer. Wikipedia Visual Search lets you see at a glance the encyclopaedia entries that match your search terms, including a thumbnail picture for easy reference.

6. Pocket

PocketSupercharge your browser: 20 essential add-ons for Chrome, Firefox and IE is a place to save everything you want to look, but don’t have time for right now. Using the browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and the bookmarklet for IE, you can save articles, images, videos and more.

7. Instapaper

InstapaperIf Pocket is a little too loud and flashy for your tastes, try Instapaper. Instapaper converts any online article into a cleanly rendered, minimal page. There’s an extension for Chrome, and a bookmarklet for other browsers.

8. Rapportive

Give your Gmail contacts a social media boost with Rapportive, which pulls in details from Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, Twitter and more to add extra information to the right-hand pane. Firefox and Chrome compatible.

9. RSS Subscription Extension

RSS Subscription ExtensionGoogle Reader may be gone, but the company’s RSS Subscription Extension lives on. Install this utility in Chrome to instantly access all of the available feeds on a page, without having to hunt around to find the relevant links.

10. Share on Facebook

Found something you just can’t wait to tell friends and family about on Facebook? Share on Facebook is an Internet Explorer Accelerator (a fancy name for an extension), which allows you to share a link or picture from the browser’s right-click menu.

11. Click & Clean

Tidy up after yourself with Click & Clean, a browsing history eraser for Chrome orFirefox. Anything that the websites you’ve been visiting store locally (whether your login details or cached images) is deleted on demand.

12. Lazarus

As you may have gathered from the name, Lazarus brings your work back from the dead. If you’re filling out a long form or document and your browser crashes, Lazarus can retrieve your data. Lazarus is available for Firefox and Chrome.

13. Disconnect

DisconnectAlmost every website out there is trying to track your activity and collect data on you. Disconnect (for Chrome and Firefox) shines some light on this murky practice, giving you more control and speeding up your browsing too.

14. InvisibleHand

Shopping online can be just as much of a chore as trailing down the high street, but InvisibleHand is here to help. It instantly compares prices across 600+ retailers, so you can always get the best price. For Firefox and Chrome.

15. DownThemAll

DownThemAllDownThemAll is the essential tool for downloading everything at once from a particular page on the web. This Firefox add-on will scoop up links, images and other types of content. You can pick and choose what to save, or get it all with one click.

16. The Great Suspender

If you’re something of a tab hoarder you can quickly end up with dozens of websites open, and that slows your browser down. The Great Suspenderextension can temporarily suspend tabs until you need them and free up memory space.

17. Chrome To Phone

Chrome To PhoneSend links, pictures, text and just about anything else from your web browser to your Android phone with the Chrome To Phone extension. You’ll need to install the Chrome To Phone app on your Android device as well.

18. Shareaholic

Shareaholic lets you instantly share anything you find on the web with your followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and many other networks. The extension is available for all the major browsers.

19. Save To Google Drive

Save To Google DriveMany of you who use Chrome will also use Google’s storage platform. The Save to Google Drive add-on lets you save text and images straight to Google Drive from your browser (you would never have guessed with a name like that). HTML pages can be saved as images or in a Google Drive format.

20. PanicButton

If the boss, your other half, your kids or your parents catch you looking at something you shouldn’t be, PanicButton hides all of your open Chrome tabs in a flash. There is a Firefox equivalent available from a different developer.



Happy Birthday: World Wide Web to Turn 25

In 1989, Bart Simpson made his television debut, Danielle Radcliffe was born and Sir Tim Berners-Lee proposed an “information management” system that would allow people to access pages hosted on computers across the globe.

Yes, Harry Potter is (almost) the same age as the World Wide Web, which turns 25 years old on March 12. (Radcliffe turns 25 in July). Before Berners-Lee and the release of Mosaic, the first popular Web browser, the Internet was a very different place.

“If you weren’t technologically sophisticated, you couldn’t really use it, because you had to use all of these arcane tools and commands,” Donna Hoffman, co-director of the Center for the Connected Consumerat George Washington University, told NBC News.

The Web and Mosaic, she said, “opened up the world of the Internet to anybody who had a browser and a mouse.”

To be clear, the Internet existed before 1989. In-the-know people might connect through a bulletin board system (BBS) or, later, through an email or forum with a service like CompuServe, but the idea of pulling up a website was foreign.

Berners-Lee, who received a knighthood for his work, changed that. He released his code to the world for free in 1990, turning the “Internet from a geeky data-transfer system embraced by specialists and a small number of enthusiasts into a mass-adopted technology,” according to the Pew Research Center’s “The Web at 25” report, released on Thursday.

In 1993, Mosaic, the first popular Web browser, was born. Hoffman, then a business professor at Vanderbilt University, loaded it on her Unix-based workstation and immediately thought, “My God, this is going to change the world.”

“I turned my entire research career around to focus on it,” she said. “At the time, people thought I was insane.”

She was, of course, right to get excited about the impact that the Web would have. Over the next two decades, the Internet grew at an amazing pace.


Fun fact: In 1995, 42 percent of Americans had never heard of the Internet. Of the 14 percent of Americans who had Internet access, only 2 percent were using the top-of-line modems that reached the then-blazing speeds of 28.8 bytes per second.

It would be hard for an 18-to-29-year-old to grasp that idea today, especially considering that 97 percent of them use the Internet. It turns out that most people think that the rise of the Internet has been a positive development.

People like the InternetPEW RESEARCH CENTER

In fact, today more Americans think it would be “hard or impossible” to give up the Internet (46 percent) than television (35 percent).

Back in the mid-to-early ‘90s, Hoffman said, most big companies did not see this coming. They thought about the Internet as another avenue they could control to reach consumers, she said, like television or radio. They had no idea it would completely change how business in America was conducted.

The same thing, Hoffman said, is happening now with “smart” devices like watches and refrigerators that talk to each other and the cloud.

“I have that same tingling sense now about the ‘Internet of things’ that I did in the mid-90s about the Web,” she said. “It’s going to be revolutionary.”


Microsoft releases security patch for Internet Explorer

Microsoft released an emergency software fix for Internet Explorer on Tuesday after hackers exploited a security flaw in the popular Web browser to attack an unknown number of users.


The software maker said on its website it released the software, known as a “Fix It,” as an emergency measure to protect customers after learning about “extremely limited, targeted attacks” that made use of the newly discovered bug.


For More-Visit


How to Disable Annoying Autoplay Media in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer

When you’re at work or in class, there’s nothing more annoying than sites that automatically play media. One minute you’re happily distracting yourself, and the next, you’re scrambling to hit pause while everyone stares at you. Not to mention now your boss knows you’re slacking off.The good news is that there’s a way to turn off autoplay and avoid blowing your cover ever again. Here’s how to do it in all four major browsers.


In Firefox, you can enable a feature called Click To Play that replaces Flash content with a static image that you have to click on before the media will load.

To enable it, type about:config into your URL bar, which should bring up a warning. After dismissing it, type plugins.click_to_play into the search bar, then right-click on it and select Toggle. After restarting Firefox, you should see the image above in place of videos.


To do the same thing in Chrome, type chrome://chrome/settings/contentinto your address bar and find the Plug-ins section.

Now, all you have to do is select Click to play. You can also set permissions for specific plug-ins by clicking Manage exceptions.


In Safari, you can download a few extensions to disable autoplay.ClickToPlugin disables all plug-ins from launching content without your permission, and it can replace a lot of media players with HTML5. If you only care about Flash content, you’ll want ClickToFlash instead.

Internet Explorer

According to Microsoft’s support page, you can use ActiveX filtering to prevent autoplay in IE. Just go to the Tools menu and select Safety, then enable ActiveX Filtering. Now, when you visit a site with ActiveX content, you’ll see a little blue icon in your address bar to let you know it’s being blocked.

To play the blocked media, click on the icon. A menu will pop up, where you can turn off the filter for that site. Once you’re done watching, you can turn it back on by clicking the icon again.