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Happy Firefox 8 Day! Yes, it’s been six weeks (give or take) already since the last full version of Firefox landed on our computers, which just goes to show you how fast time flies when you’re having fun. Of course, after several rapid-fire releases in a row this year, Firefox is kind of running out of gas when it comes to new features -- but that doesn’t mean there isn’t other interesting stuff happening around the interwebs to thrill and entertain us. Here’s the latest for Tuesday, November 8, 2011.
Most of us remember the back and forth “love it, hate it” affair that Consumer Reports had with the iPhone 4, which was first praised and later lambasted by the magazine over those “Antennagate” concerns. According to AllThingsD, Apple’s latest handset appears to get the “all clear” from Consumer Reports, with the iPhone 4S apparently free of the “same reception flaw” from last year’s model. But even though the iPhone 4S is now on the “recommended” list, the handset trails several recent Android offerings and iOS 5 battery life problems mean the magazine will be revisiting the device again when iOS 5.0.1 is released. Here we go again...
You’ve gotta hand it to AT&T: They love that App Store. The company this week introduced yet another free iPhone app, AT&T Call International, which promises to connect callers with the telco’s “lowest international calling rates” with “no monthly recurring charge, prepaid balance or commitment term required.” The app even allows for Wi-Fi calls while traveling internationally in select countries. So how does it work? Wish we could tell you, but the app refused two different Chase-branded Mastercards before we finally gave up and deleted it from our iPhone 4S. (Ironically, we had similar issues trying to buy the iPhone 4S from AT&T’s website, where the same cards otherwise work fine elsewhere.) Your mileage may vary!
Amazon has announced its picks for Best Books of 2011, part of an expansive annual feature of the Top 100 Editors’ Picks as well as separate Top 10 lists for more than two dozen categories. Coming in at number eight on the Top 10 Editors’ Picks for this year is a familiar title: “Steve Jobs,” the official biography by Walter Isaacson that many of us are still in the midst of reading. “Few in history have transformed their time like Steve Jobs has,” Amazon explains of the entry. “In this timely book, Isaacson paints a vivid, compelling portrait that pulls no punches -- the end result is satisfying, complete, and gives insight into a man who managed to turn his contradictions into potent strengths.”
If you were thinking this week feels like a new Firefox release week, you’d be right! Mozilla just announced the immediate availability of Firefox 8 for Mac, Windows and Linux as well as a new version of their mobile browser for Android as well. What makes 8 so great? There’s a new Twitter search option, and the browser is now faster at restoring windows with many tabs. Mozilla has also focused their laser sights on add-ons, making it easier to select and update them. Okay, so no Earth-shaking new features for Firefox 8, but hardcore ‘Fox junkies will want the latest and greatest anyway.
Could Apple be secretly working on a panorama mode for the built-in Camera app? According to MacRumors, not only are they working on it, but the code is hidden inside iOS 5. One iOS developer decided to go poking around and managed to enable a hidden panorama mode (shown above) simply by changing the setting “EnableFirebreak” to YES in com.apple.mobileslideshow.plist. Panorama mode allows users to take several successive photos of a landscape or other subject, which the software will then stitch together into one image. Developer chpwn has already submitted a Cydia app to enable panorama mode on jailbroken iPhones, but the real question is: Will Apple make this feature available in the near future for the rest of us?
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of MacRumors)