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Hands on: Flock 2 steps up the social browser game

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Software

Flock is an intriguing new "social web browser" that is designed not just as a portal to the web, but to your friends' lives and the online communities where we share many of today's experiences. Launched with a 1.0 version based on Mozilla's Firefox code base in 2005, Flock has unveiled its first 2.0 beta that inherits all the performance and security enhancements in Firefox 3. Ars Technica goes hands-on with the Flock 2 beta to see what all the fuss is about.

In the beginning

Some browsers in recent years, like Opera, have incorporated other major functionality like e-mail clients. Firefox, on the other hand, made a name for itself by fostering, among other things, a healthy add-on community that can add, well... just about any feature you need.

Now, most of the major browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari all offer a fairly standard set of features. The address bar and bookmark systems are now accompanied by basic RSS readers and password managers. Out of the box, most browsers are fairly well-matched in the feature department.

Flock brings a new paradigm to interacting with the web.




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The GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) is one of the fundamental tools that allows a distributed group to have trust in its communications. Werner Koch, lead developer of GnuPG, spoke about it at Kernel Recipes: what's in the new 2.2 version, when older versions will reach their end of life, and how development will proceed going forward. He also spoke at some length on the issue of best-practice key management and how GnuPG is evolving to assist. It is less than three years since attention was focused on the perilous position of GnuPG; because of systematic failure of the community to fund its development, Koch was considering packing it all in. The Snowden revelations persuaded him to keep going a little longer, then in the wake of Heartbleed there was a resurgent interest in funding the things we all rely on. Heartbleed led to the founding of the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII). A grant from CII joined commitments from several companies and other organizations and an upsurge in community funding has put GnuPG on a more secure footing going forward. Read more

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