Microsoft’s Response To Google’s Removal of H.264

Google’s removal of the H.264 codec in their browser, Chrome, has had some heated discussion online lately. Microsoft has responded to their goof in a humorous way, and in a very true way.

“We expect even more communication between people in the coming year and are therefore focusing our investments in languages that are created based on constructed language principles. To that end, we are changing the spoken and written language of this nation to make it consistent with the form of speech already supported by the Language Creation Society.

Specifically, we are supporting the Esperanto and Klingon languages, and will consider adding support for other high-quality constructed languages in the future. Though English plays an important role in speech today, as our goal is to enable open innovation, its further use as a form of communication in this country will be prohibited and our resources directed towards languages that are untainted by real-world usage.”

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Google Chome Adds Sandbox For Flash Apps

Google’s alternative, and fast, browser now includes a sandbox feature for Adobe Flash applications. Chrome has always been a nice browser, and less vulnerable to attacks, and this adds one more layer of protection. You can download Chrome here.

Since this past March, we’ve been working closely with Adobe to allow Flash Player to take advantage of new sandboxing technology in Chrome, extending the work we’ve already done with sandboxing for HTML rendering and JavaScript execution. This week, we’re excited to roll out the initial Flash Player sandbox for our dev channel users on Windows XP, Vista and 7.

This initial Flash Player sandbox is an important milestone in making Chrome even safer. In particular, users of Windows XP will see a major security benefit, as Chrome is currently the only browser on the XP platform that runs Flash Player in a sandbox. This first iteration of Chrome’s Flash Player sandbox for all Windows platforms uses a modified version of Chrome’s existing sandbox technology that protects certain sensitive resources from being accessed by malicious code, while allowing applications to use less sensitive ones. This implementation is a significant first step in further reducing the potential attack surface of the browser and protecting users against common malware.

While we’ve laid a tremendous amount of groundwork in this initial sandbox, there’s still more work to be done. We’re working to improve protection against additional attack vectors, and will be using this initial effort to provide fully sandboxed implementations of the Flash Player on all platforms.

We’ll be posting updates as we continue working with Adobe to add new security improvements to the Flash Player sandbox. For those of you on the dev channel for Windows, you’ll be automatically updated soon, and we look forward to your feedback as you test it out. If you prefer to disable this initial sandbox in your Chrome dev experience, add –disable-flash-sandbox to the command line.

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MIT Chrome Extension Using Kinect

The kids at MIT have come up with a gesture feature as part of a Chrome extention using the Kinect. This Kinect thing just hit the market a couple weeks ago, and we are already seeing some excellent applications for it. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with. Maybe a big part of Windows 8?

Hackers at the famous MIT Media Lab have built an open source Chrome browser extension that uses the Microsoft gesture-based controller Kinect to navigate around tabs and web pages. The group says the end result is like the movie Minority Report and that seems like a fair comparison.


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