Opera Launches First Preview Of Its Chromium-Based Desktop Browser, Spins Off Email Client

TechCrunch

Opera today launched the first preview version of its Chromium-based desktop browser for Windows and Mac since the company announced the switch from its own browser engine to Google’s in February. This switch has allowed Opera to add new features like support for Google’s SPDY protocol into its browser, but Opera Next includes quite a few more new features than just a new engine.

Opera, for example, has revamped its Speed Dial new tab page, which allows you to easily filter your shortcuts and sort them into folders. The browser now also finally features just a single bar for URLs and search queries, just like Chrome. It’s also been given a full user interface redesign, which now gives the browser a markedly more modern look.

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The team also developed a new customizable news discovery feature that “allows you to lean back and get fed with new articles from your country…

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How to clear your browsing history using BlackBerry 10

Inside BlackBerry Help Blog

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Last night while visiting with a friend, they asked me how to clear their BlackBerry 10 browser history. Long story short, he had been visiting some jewelry websites and since his significant other uses his device from time to time, he didn’t want her to stumble across a surprise she’d be receiving shortly. Without further ado, here’s how to clear your browsing history.

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The Best Places to Find Free Music Online

Tech

You can find almost any song you can think of online and download it for free. If you want to do it legally, it’s a little tougher – but not impossible (in many cases). We rounded up a list of places to look if you want to score a free song but don’t want to break the law.

Before we get too far, we should mention that free doesn’t usually mean the latest popular songs. But there are plenty of opportunities to find older songs, newer songs from independent artists and a few surprises along the way.

Look for deals on iTunes and Amazon

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iTunes and Amazon aren’t exactly where you’d think to look for free music, since they’re the most popular purveyors of paid online downloads. But as long as you’re not looking for a specific song, you can find some really interesting new tunes on these big…

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Vodafone Wants European Devs To Build Apps That Do Good, Puts €200K Up For Grabs

TechCrunch

Here’s an opportunity for European app developers to work on a project aimed first and foremost at helping others, rather than on the off-chance it will catch Yahoo!’s eye and lead to insane riches. Carrier Vodafone’s philanthropic arm, the Vodafone Foundation, has kicked off its first Mobile for Good Europe Awards app competition, seeking iOS and Android apps that are “designed to improve people’s lives and deliver substantial public benefit”.

The competition is open to developers 18 and older who are legally resident in Europe (excluding Italy). The prize money isn’t anywhere near Summly acquisition levels, so the emphasis here is definitely on the doing good bit — and the taking part — but the Foundation is stumping up a total prize fund of €200,000 to be shared by winners across the four competition categories and used for developing their app further.

First prize winners will snag €30,000 apiece…

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Backlift, The YC-Backed Back-End Service For Front-End Developers, Launches A/B Testing Service

TechCrunch

Backlift, a Y Combinator-backed startup that bills itself as a back-end service for front-end developers, launched its first product today. Airfoil, which is obviously based on Backlift, is an A/B testing service for landing pages that’s aimed at designers and marketers who want the flexibility of working with their code directly and an easy to use dashboard to track their stats, but don’t want to use complicated testing services either.

Just like Backlift, which helps front-end developers get to work without having to deal with setting up a server, Airfoil uses Dropbox as its synchronization layer and signing up for Airfoil also creates a Backlift account. Users simply authorize their accounts through Dropbox and the service automatically creates a new folder for you with all of the baseline templates for both a barebones landing page and your admin interface (so you can customize that, too).

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From there…

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The Same Tech That Makes Your Bose Headphones So Quiet Could Give Net Speeds A Big Boost

TechCrunch

New research suggests that noise canceling tech isn’t just for blocking out the screaming baby or chatty couple sitting next to you on that transatlantic flight – it could also greatly improve the quality, reliability and speed of our Internet connections, according to new research published by Nature Photonics and spotted by VentureBeat. By eliminating background noise, noise-canceling technology could result in a cleaner signal across a fiber optic cable, increasing speed and quality of connection.

The use of light beam transmissions designed to cancel out the noise associated with the main signal travelling over long-distance fiber optic networks could boost speeds by as much as 400 percent, according to Xiang Liu and his research team from Bell Laboratories, who published the study. That would mean 400 gigabits per second transfer rates over cables that span 12,800 km (cyclist Ryan Stotland covered seven countries across South America spanning less than that distance…

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This DIY Super Laser Can Cut Through A Ping Pong Ball

TechCrunch

There are few things as satisfying – and dangerous – as burning through stuff with a laser. Drake Anthony AKA Styropyro is a young man who enjoys making DIY lasers out of things, and he recently completed a 3000mW laser made from the diode of an old DLP projector that can blow out a beam so hot that it burns paper, plastic, and electric tape in seconds.

Considering the most powerful handheld laser you can buy clocks in at 1,400mW, Anthony’s laser is pretty powerful. He has an entire YouTube channel dedicated to his potentially-damaging efforts, although this light-saber-esque laser is probably his most impressive feat yet.

Considering he makes is enclosures and the electronics himself and he’s still in his teens, it looks like Styropyro has a long career ahead of him training his laser cannons on enemy attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.

via…

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The Value of Twitter

Tech

Every morning, I get up, get my coffee, sit down at the breakfast table and open Twitter on my iPad. I have a list set up of all the major tech publications and individuals who regularly say or share relevant technology news, analysis, or other insights I’m interested in. Thanks to Twitter, within a few minutes I am up to speed on any major news or key happenings within the tech realm. For me, Twitter has replaced the morning paper.

In regular discussions I have with industry folks, it seems as though the value of Twitter is still largely misunderstood. I hear often the theory that we are just creating a society of narcissists who feel the need to share every little detail about themselves. There may certainly be some cases where this is true, but the key to understanding Twitter is that it’s not what you post, but what…

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Clever Siri-like Everything.me Android Content Search App Launches In UK And Spain

TechCrunch

Everything.me is a clever app that lets users search for specific content across both native and mobile apps. The app, available in beta, is a replacement app launcher and home screen for Android devices. It simply makes apps appear that are relevant to your request. From there you can download the relevant content or apps. It’s launching its app in the UK and Spain tomorrow.

The company also announced that the platform has reached 350,000 downloads in just over a month of availability on the Google Play store. Not astounding, but clearly showing traction.

Last year, Everything.me pulled in $25 million in a round led by Telefonica Digital, with participation from Mozilla, Singtel and existing investors, which include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, BRM Group and Horizon Ventures. The company has now raised $37 million to date. Telefonica and Mozilla will implement Everything.me into their mobile services.

The app’s integration with Firefox…

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Kickfolio Becomes App.io, Raises $1 Million+ To Bring Mobile Apps To The Browser And, Now, The Facebook News Feed, Too

TechCrunch

Kickfolio, a company offering tools that allow iOS applications to run in the browser using HTML5 technology, is today announcing both a name change, just over $1 million in seed funding and Facebook integration. The startup will now go by “App.io” — a name that CEO Edward Dowling says better matches what the company is doing now and where it’s headed.

The new round was led by Quest Venture Partners, with follow-on investment by 500 Startups and PALgenesis, and saw participation from a number of angels, including Ankur Pansari (formerly with Facebook), Maneesh Arora (Zynga, Google, MightyText) and others. Maarten ‘t Hooft, who previously worked on Android under Andy Rubin, has joined the board.

As that board appointment indicates, App.io is preparing to support Android, in addition to other platforms, in the near future. The funding will also be used to increase headcount, says Dowling. Since the round’s close, the…

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