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Original Article on Smashing Magazine

It’s 2015 and your choice of browser has proven to be as important as your choice of operating system. Dedicated apps may be competing against browsers on mobile devices, but that is hardly the case in the desktop environment. On the contrary, each year more desktop browsers appear, and some of them can change the way you browse the Internet for the better.

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera dominate the world’s desktop browser market. Whichever statistics you check (NetMarketshare, StatCounter’s GlobalStats or W3Counter), you’ll notice that they often contradict each other in declaring which browser is leading the race. However, no matter which method is used to determine usage share, all sources agree that those five browsers do not own 100% of the world’s desktop browser usage. They may be the most popular, but they are not the only options available for accessing the Internet. So, what about the remaining share?

Meet the “alternative browsers” — an unofficial term for all browsers other than the Big Five. These browsers, in most cases, follow the lead of Opera, which is based on the open-source Chromium project (as is Google Chrome). Anyone can take the Chromium code and build their own browser from it, adding and removing whatever functionality they wish. A similar case is Firefox, which is also an open-source project.


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Keep in mind how often the Chromium engine is updated. Chromium, like any other software, has bugs. The developers behind it strive to eliminate those bugs, introduce performance fixes and minimize security threats. This is why Google Chrome has a six-week update cycle. It’s also why other Chromium-based browsers should follow suit. Most browsers try to keep up with Chromium releases, but some fall behind by six or seven versions, which is damaging to the user’s online security and browser stability.

So, since alternative browsers are basically tweaked copies of bigger browsers, does that mean they are bad tools for productive web browsing? Absolutely not! Alternative browsers aim to deliver improved performance and extra features to enhance the user’s online experience. They are a quick way to get a tool with all of the functionality a user needs right after installation.

Below are 15 desktop browsers that are worth considering if you’re tired of the browser war champions. This list isn’t comprehensive — several hundred browsers are available online — but these are the ones that regularly receive updates and provide a new web surfing experience.

We won’t delve into the development aspects behind each browser. Instead, you’ll find a quick overview of the most interesting features and of functionality that isn’t available in the popular browsers by default or even with add-ons. We’ll also mention the rendering engine used in each browser to give you an idea of how you will experience the web in them: Blink (on which Chrome is based), Trident (Internet Explorer), Gecko (Firefox) and WebKit (Safari). Let’s start with those that have the most features and move towards more single-purpose browsers.

The Browsers Link

UC Browser Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Symbian, Java
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink
  • Key feature(s): most cross-platform, distinctive UI

UC Browser is the undeniable king of platform-compatibility — you can even make it work on an old Symbian device. This isn’t the only reason to check it out. The well-rounded design and smooth animation of all elements make UC Browser feel fresh and modern. An up-to-date Chromium engine contributes to browser’s security. To begin, you choose how a new tab will look: a bubble-like speed-dial UI or a more traditional layout. UC Browser offers a cloud account for all of your settings, bookmarks and extensions from the Chrome Web Store, a decent alternative to the whole Google ecosystem.


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Downloading files is another notable aspect of UC Browser. The downloads manager isn’t advanced (you can’t download torrents or online video), but it’s rather unique. It is the only browser that sorts downloads by category, helping you navigate gigabytes of files. The browser can even download files to the dedicated UC Cloud Storage. Although its capacity is small, 2 GB, this is a useful feature for mobile devices because you don’t have to wait for downloads to finish.


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UC Browser doesn’t focus only on security, file downloads and social networks. This browser aims to appeal to a wide audience, without dictating how it is to be used. Most Chromium browsers can be considered an improved version of Chrome somewhat, whereas UC Browser is more of a new Chrome.

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Educational Video Sites

RefSeek’s guide to the 25 best online resources for finding free educational videos. With the exception of BrainPOP and Cosmeo, all listed sites offer their extensive video libraries for free and without registration.

Academic Earth
Thousands of video lectures from the world’s top scholars.

Big Think
Video interviews with 600+ thought leaders in a range of fields.

Short-form online video lessons by professional educators. Free math lessons.

Aggregator of free, online video lessons and documentaries.

Lectures taught by world-class professors and reinforced through interactive exercises.

Courses designed specifically for interactive study via the web.

Futures Channel
High quality multimedia content ideal for use in the classroom.

Professional and user-generated how-to videos.

Internet Archive
Collection of more than two-hundred thousand free historical videos, many academic.

iTunes U
Free lectures, language lessons, audiobooks, and more accessible via Apple iTunes.
Apple iTunes – Apple iTunes Software

Khan Academy
Self-pased learning with extensive video library, interactive challenges, and assessments.
Professionally developed programming for K-12 classrooms.

Math TV
Professional video lessons in mathematics. Covers basic math through calculus.

MIT Open CourseWare
Lectures and course materials for students, teachers, and self-learners.  |  Also see: OpenCourseWare Finder

MIT Video
Guide to more than 11,000 interesting MIT videos and lectures.

Aggregator of high-quality educational videos from around the Web.

3,500 videos from distinguished researchers and scholars.

Free videos from your favorite PBS programs, including NOVA and Frontline.

Video sharing platform for schools featuring original content created by students.

Engaging, professional videos and practical resources for educator development.

Library of free, full-length documentary films.

Online aggregator of educational videos.

Fascinating presentations by the world’s leading thinkers and doers.

Collection of videos from professors, professionals, coaches, teachers, and consultants.

Comprehensive online directory of educational videos aggregated from across the Web.

Search engine and directory of free how-to videos.

Open Yale Courses
Free access to a selection of introductory Yale courses.

YouTube EDU
Free lectures from more than one hundred colleges and universities.  |  Also see: Talks@Google

Additional sites that are not free but offer outstanding content:

Provider of original, animated educational videos. Subscription required.

30,000 video segments from Discovery Education. Subscription required.  |  Also see: Discovery Education Streaming

general interest

Joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp. Features TV shows and movies.  |  Also see: PBS, National Geographic

Specializes in short-form original video content.

Upload, share, and explore user-generated videos.

Hosts millions of user-generated and professional videos.

The Environmental Impact Of Wasted Food

by daan on November 22, 2012

in Editorial, Science

The Environmental Impact Of Wasted Food

Think twice before you throw away those leftovers. This infographic illustrates how wasted food has an impact that ripples across the environment.

We wrote last week about our giant food waste problem. Here’s more fuel for the fire: an infographic from U.K. food industry magazine Next Generation Food that illustrates the environmental impact of wasted food.

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97 Percent owned – UK documentary about the economic and financial system.

97% owned present serious research and verifiable evidence on our economic and financial system. This is the first documentary to tackle this issue from a UK-perspective and explains the inner workings of Central Banks and the Money creation process.

When money drives almost all activity on the planet, it’s essential that we understand it. Yet simple questions often get overlooked, questions like; where does money come from? Who creates it? Who decides how it gets used? And what does this mean for the millions of ordinary people who suffer when the monetary, and financial system, breaks down?

Produced by Queuepolitely and featuring Ben Dyson of Positive Money, Josh Ryan-Collins of The New Economics Foundation, Ann Pettifor, the “HBOS Whistleblower” Paul Moore, Simon Dixon of Bank to the Future and Nick Dearden from the Jubliee Debt Campaign.

Review: Excellent description of the problems with and solutions to the current financial system…

“The issue of monetary reform has historically been a very sensitive issue, because of the incredible power, wealth and privileges it bestows. In an age where analytical thought and a scientific approach are held in such high esteem, there is no justifiable argument for keeping the mechanisms and implications of the monetary process such a taboo subject.

As democratic citizens we have the right to demand a monetary system which is both stable and beneficial to society…”

Learn how the global financial institutions are just like terrorists, holding the public hostage with threats of economic collapse – how they’re bailed out at the expense of the infrastructures we need to live as we’re told that they are simply too big to fail.

This film describes how the banks can fail, and we can all have the financial security we need to confidently take out loans, buy houses and live freer, happier lives, neither as slaves to the banks or restrained by the fear of losing everything.

Political philosopher John Gray, commented, “We’re not moving to a world in which crises will never happen or will happen less and less. We are in a world in which they happen several times during a given human lifetime and I think that will continue to be the case”
If you have decided that crisis as a result of the monetary system is not an event you want to keep revisiting in your life-time then this documentary will equip you with the knowledge you need, what you do with it is up to you.

Useful JavaScript Libraries and jQuery Plugins – 2 Part Article

By Copyright Smashing Magazine

JavaScript Library
Image credit: Yeoman

If you have a problem and need a solution for it, chances are high that a JavaScript library or jQuery plugin exists that was created to solve this very problem. Such libraries are always great to have in your bookmarks or in your local folders, especially if you aren’t a big fan of cross-browser debugging.

A JavaScript library isn’t always the best solution: it should never be a single point of failure for any website, and neither should a website rely on JavaScript making the content potentially inaccessible. Progressive enhancement is our friend; sometimes JavaScript won’t load properly, or won’t be supported — e.g. users of mobile devices might run into latency issues or performance issues with some JavaScript-libraries. Often large all-around JavaScript libraries such as jQuery might be an overkill, while tiny JavaScript micro-libraries could serve as good, “light” alternatives for a particular problem. We’ll present some of them today.

In this two-part overview, we feature some of the most useful JavaScript and jQuery libraries which could be just the right solutions for your common problems. You might know some of these libraries, but you probably don’t know all of them. In either case, we hope that this overview will help you find or rediscover some tools that you could use in your next projects.

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Top 10 Google AdSense Don’ts

This Blog of mine is without any ads! I think it’s fun to run this site, and part of me is proud it is not for making money. But it’s not fully by choice. Years ago I went experimenting with Google Adsense. This experimenting soon got me banned as I sometimes clicked my own ads?! Stupid!
After maybe a year I tried without any success to get Google to unban me. Recently I tried it again, but still no success!

So, if you are new to adsense or maybe you are about to get started, READ this guide! I know I should have done.

By , Guide

Want to make money with Google AdSense for content? Here’s a list of what not to do, unless you want to get banned. Google doesn’t play around when it comes to click fraud. Click fraud loses Google money, and it loses AdWordscustomers money.

If you don’t play by the rules, you may get a warning, you may get suspended, or you may just get banned.

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How to Make Money From Your Blog

This article is seriously long, but you’re sure to get your money’s worth.  I’ll even share some specifics.  If you don’t have time to read it now, feel free to bookmark it or print it out for later.

Do you actually want to monetize your blog?

Some people have strong personal feelings with respect to making money from their blogs.  If you think commercializing your blog is evil, immoral, unethical, uncool, lame, greedy, obnoxious, or anything along those lines, then don’t commercialize it.

If you have mixed feelings about monetizing your blog, then sort out those feelings first.  If you think monetizing your site is wonderful, fine.  If you think it’s evil, fine.  But make up your mind before you seriously consider starting down this path.  If you want to succeed, you must be congruent.  Generating income from your blog is challenging enough — you don’t want to be dealing with self-sabotage at the same time.  It should feel genuinely good to earn income from your blog — you should be driven by a healthy ambition to succeed.  If your blog provides genuine value, you fully deserve to earn income from it.  If, however, you find yourself full of doubts over whether this is the right path for you, you might find this article helpful:  How Selfish Are You?  It’s about balancing your needs with the needs of others.

If you do decide to generate income from your blog, then don’t be shy about it.  If you’re going to put up ads, then really put up ads.  Don’t just stick a puny little ad square in a remote corner somewhere.  If you’re going to request donations, then really request donations.  Don’t put up a barely visible “Donate” link and pray for the best.  If you’re going to sell products, then really sell them.  Create or acquire the best quality products you can, and give your visitors compelling reasons to buy.  If you’re going to do this, then fully commit to it.  Don’t take a half-assed approach.  Either be full-assed or no-assed.

You can reasonably expect that when you begin commercializing a free site, some people will complain, depending on how you do it.  I launched this site in October 2004, and I began putting Google Adsense ads on the site in February 2005.  There were some complaints, but I expected that — it was really no big deal.  Less than 1 in 5,000 visitors actually sent me negative feedback.  Most people who sent feedback were surprisingly supportive.  Most of the complaints died off within a few weeks, and the site began generating income almost immediately, although it was pretty low — a whopping $53 the first month.  If you’d like to see some month-by-month specifics, I posted my 2005 Adsense revenue figures earlier this year.  Adsense is still my single best source of revenue for this site, although it’s certainly not my only source.  More on that later…

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