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Online advertising continues to grow by leaps and bounds, but that doesn't mean that life is easy for players in the digital ad ecosystem. In fact, the thriving online ad economy is increasingly complicated.
Unfortunately, things are only going to get more complicated. Need evidence? Look no further than last week's announcement that one of the most popular browser makers, Mozilla, will begin blocking cookies from third-party ad networks by default in Firefox 22.
In the next couple of years, firing up a phone call or video chat with a friend on the opposite side of the world may not require you to launch Skype, Google Chat or one of the many programs that let individuals connect over the internet. Instead, you'll be able to communicate with voice and video using nothing more than your web browser.
If and when that day comes, you'll thank technologies WebRTC, which enable real-time communication between browsers. Originally developed by Google and currently supported only in development builds of Google's Chrome browser, companies like VOIP provider Voxeo are demonstrating WebRTC's nifty capabilities and providing a preview of what the future might look like for web-based communication.
It's certainly hard to label it an 'important' part of a website, and in many cases, it's not even noticed, but for some, there's a special place in the heart for the favicon.
Proving this point, there is no shortage of websites that offer up favicons for download, or which allow users to turn their own graphics into favicons. And if you're a web designer, chances are a client has asked you to create one from scratch.
The past year hasn't exactly been easy for Mozilla.
The organization's popular web browser, Firefox, has become a bit less popular thanks in large part to the rise of Google's Chrome web browser. Once a solid number two in the browser market, Chrome, according to some sources, has surpassed Firefox in usage.
Mozilla, the organisation behind the Firefox web browser, counts Google as its biggest source of revenue.
In fact, last year, the search giant was responsible for the vast majority (84%) of Mozilla's $123m in revenue.
The relationship between the two high-profile technology outfits is simple; Mozilla makes Google the default search engine in Firefox, and in return, Google shares revenue generated by Firefox-driven searches.
Thanks to a new three year agreement announced yesterday, this relationship will remain in place under financial terms that are undisclosed.
Earlier this year, Mozilla added a new feature to Firefox: do not track (DNT) functionality.
When enabled, the Firefox browser includes an HTTP header intended for advertisers and publishers that indicates the user does not want to be tracked.
Many, myself included, were skeptical about the potential efficacy of DNT, but how's it doing thus far?
On mobile devices, the battle between native and web apps is still going strong. Native is clearly winning if you look at the numbers, but that doesn't mean that many aren't betting big on the web.
Not surprisingly, the battle between native apps and the web has extended to the tablet market, even though tablets are far more capable web browsing devices than their mobile phone counterparts.
Will the future of mobile apps be controlled by native apps, or web apps? Or will both share the spotlight?
Today, there's little doubt that native apps are winning the hearts and minds of consumers and developers alike. And for good reason: if you want a great experience that takes full advantage of the capabilities of today's most advanced mobile phones, you need a native app.
Mozilla Firefox is still the second most popular web browser in the world, trailing Microsoft's Internet Explorer by a still-hefty margin. But Firefox might lose its number two spot in the battle of the browsers to Google Chrome by year end.
What can Mozilla do to keep that from happening? One possible answer: a faster release cycle.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission doesn't think advertisers are doing enough to respect the privacy of consumers online, so it recently proposed the creation of a Do Not Track system for the web that would give consumers the ability to opt out of ad tracking.
There's just one big challenge: making that happen technically.
HTML5 is the future of the internet. At least that's the impression you might get from those who believe HTML5 will solve major challenges associated with everything from building cross-platform RIAs to mobile multimedia delivery.
But is HTML5 destined to be dead on arrival?
Mozilla, the non-profit foundation behind the popular Firefox browser, is putting its weight behind the development of an open, royalty-free video codec for the internet.
While popular video formats such as MPEG4 are quite robust, most are proprietary, covered by patents and require some sort of licensing on the part of software vendors.