RockMelt browser builds in social tools

With Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and others all duking it out for browser market share—as well as control of Web standards and users’ desktops—some might think the world doesn’tneed another Web browser. However, a group of developers led by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria now taken the wraps off RockMelt, a new Web browser built on Chromium that builds on the notion of a social Web by building Facebook and Twitter directly into the browser, along with integrated sharing tools and an enhanced way to scoot through Google search results via keyboard to find exactly what you want. And if you happen to be using a public computer or some one else’s system, no problem: RockMelt is the first browser to be “full backed by the cloud.” Just run RockMelt, and your personalized browsing experience is waiting for you.

“RockMelt does more than just navigate Web pages,” RockMelt wrote on their just-launched company blog. “It makes it easy for you to do the things you do every single day on the Web: share and keep up with your friends, stay up-to-date on news and information, and search.”

rockmelt browser builds in social tools  windows nov 2010

RockMelt is built on Google’s open-source Chromium project (which, in turn, includes technologies from Apple’s WebKit HTML engine, the Mozilla project, and other open source projects), and also builds in direct support for open APIs from Facebook and Twitter. RockMelt sports much of Chrome’s minimalist interface, but users can set up RockMelt to tap directly into their Facebook and Twitter accounts—to protect privacy, users have to log in to RockMelt—and the browser takes care of keeping track what your friends are saying, sharing, and complaining about. No need to keep a series of browser tabs open to monitor your social network, or use dedicated clients or browser add-ons.

RockMelt also keeps track of users favorite sites, informing users of new posts or updates automatically so users don’t have to constantly check for new posts. Taking it one step further, RockMelt proactively fetches that content so users don’t have to wait for it to download once they notice it’s available. RockMelt also integrates a sharing tool to make it easy to share a page or a link with friends: clicking a Share button next to the browser’s URL field automatically shares the link with Facebook or Twitter, no muss no fuss. RockMelt also claims to be the first browser “backed by the cloud,” meaning that users can run RockMelt from anywhere—remember, you have to log in—and tap directly into their personalized Web experience. RockMelt also aims to make searching easier my enabling users to flip through Google search results from the keyboard like flipping through a magazine.

RockMelt is available for Mac and Windows (no Linux support) by invitation only—and, for the moment, interested users can only get an invitation via Facebook. The initial RockMelt release could be generously described as a beta and has many rough spots, but the developers seem eager for feedback and thoughts on how to enhance the browser. Folks who spend a good portion of their online time using Facebook and Twitter then sharing interesting items with their friends may find a lot to like in RockMelt. If RockMelt’s features resonate with social Internet users, expect mainstream browsers to quickly take notice…or maybe RockMelt could become a mainstream browser itself.

RockMelt is backed by venture capital firm Andreeson Horowitz, which just launched a second $650 million fund to invest in technology startups. RockMelt, Kno, Proferi, and Zynga are among the new fund’s investments. RockMelt might have a special place in the heart of Marc Andreesen: he was one of the developers of the original MCSA Mosaic Web browser, and left it behind to found Netscape. Remember Netscape? At one point, it was the browser that turned the Web on its head.

Computing

Google Chrome now shows browser notifications in Windows 10 Action Center

Google's switch to displaying Chrome notifications inside Windows 10's Action Center gives users more control. Now, Windows 10's Focus Assist, a do not disturb function, can also be applied to Chrome notifications.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, each suited for a different occasion.
Mobile

Find your way around Google Maps with these handy tips and tricks

How good are your navigation skills? We've got a delectable menu of Google Maps tips and tricks for you right here, to take the pain out of your trips. Go from newbie to mapping master and learn how to use Google Maps.
Computing

Lenovo’s new mobile workstations pack a punch with Xeon CPUs, Quadro graphics

Lenovo has two new mobile workstations arriving at the end of August based on eighth-gen Intel Core and Xeon processors. The ThinkPad P1 is the thinnest of the two at 0.7 inches while the bigger ThinkPad P72 measures 1 inch.
Computing

At Def Con, children show how easy it can be to hack an election

How hard is it to hack a voting machine or government website? Well, it turns out that it is literally child's play. Def Con tasked a group of children with hacking replica government websites, and many proved successful.
Product Review

5 generations later, Microsoft's Surface Pro is still the best 2-in-1 out there

At first glance, the 2017 Surface Pro looks like an incremental update to the Surface Pro 4, which was already our favorite detachable tablet. But does the newest version earn its own place at the top of the 2-in-1 heap?
Smart Home

Samsung SmartThings adds A.I.-based Wi-Fi for faster, smarter home networking

Samsung introduced the SmartThings Wifi, an A.I.-based multifunction mesh networking router with an integrated smart home hub. The device intelligently allocates network speed and bandwidth based on device and application needs.
Computing

Intel’s ninth-generation CPUs could launch on October 1

New rumors point to an October 1 release date for Intels' next-generation CPUs. The 9900K, 9700K, and 9600K could all debut in just a few weeks time, offering higher clocks and increased core counts.
Computing

AMD’s new 32-core Ryzen Threadripper chip is out, and you can get one for free

AMD’s 32-core Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX CPU is now available for $1,800. It’s compatible with motherboards packing the TR4 socket and the X399 chipset. The only other new Threadripper chip arriving this month will be the 2950X.
Computing

Google may launch two Pixelbook 2 laptops in October

Google may have a new Pixelbook design to show off in just a few weeks, with a new rumor suggesting two variations on the new laptop will be showcased at the start of October with new Intel hardware under the hood.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Computing

Apple preps production of updated MacBook Air for a 2018 launch

To reach its rumored launch timeline of later this year for its low-cost notebook, Apple is expected to begin production of its updated MacBook Air soon. The sub-$1,000 laptop could launch as early as September or October.
Smart Home

White-hat Chinese hackers turn Alexa into a spy, briefly

A team of Chinese researchers revealed this week that they were able to use a cracked Amazon Echo to exploit a series of Alexa interface flaws to take control over an unteuched Echo running on the same network.