links for 2009-07-02
Mozilla Firefox 3.5 is the culmination of nearly a year-long quest to build a browser for the next version of the web. And while it’s not perfect, it comes very, very close. The open-source browser is now available for download for Windows, Mac and Linux. Originally envisioned as a quick follow-up to 2008’s release of Firefox 3.0, Mozilla ended up packing in quite a few extra features into its flagship browser and spent months making sure that Firefox 3.5 was the fastest, most powerful Firefox yet.
Last fall, executives from Oriental Trading Co. read a product review from a woman planning her autumn wedding complaining that her order of fall leaves didn’t look anything like the picture on the website. The execs went straight to the warehouse, pulled the product and compared for themselves. She was right — it didn’t look the same. The explanation: The company had recently switched vendors for that particular product, and the new vendor’s version wasn’t up to snuff. So the company pulled it.
Google is giving Android developers more ways to create applications for the Android Market, as it has released a native development kit for Android 1.5. Currently, Android apps run in the Dalvik virtual machine, but some developers may find this somewhat limited. With the new native development kit (NDK), content creators will have a few more option to create mobile programs.
Browsing and comparing products before adding them to an online shopping cart takes time and effort, but leaving those products is as easy as “click.” And that’s a problem for online retailers. According to an e-tailing group survey, nearly 60% of US online retailers survey are seeing cart abandonment rates of over 20% this year.
Palm has issued another firmware update for the Palm Pre. The latest version, 1.0.4, offers some minor security improvements and one unwelcome change: some homemade apps no longer work. Despite the complete lack a widely-available software development kit (SDK) for the Palm Pre, enterprising folks have figured out how to make some apps for it. Engadget reported last week, “Apparently utilizing a loophole in the operating system which allows unsigned apps to be sideloaded through email, homebrewers have taken to the interwebs with small utilities like the tip calculator (pictured above)… so obviously Pre hacking is moving along at a healthy clip.”