Mozilla’s New Firefox: Firefox Quantum

Mozilla recently released a new version of their Firefox browser – Firefox Quantum. According to Mozilla, Firefox Quantum offers “A powerful, new engine that’s built for rapidfire performance” and “Better, faster page loading that uses less computer memory.” Mozilla also states Firefox Quantum is 2x faster, 30% lighter than Chrome (uses less memory) and offers smooth browsing with the new engine.

I’ve had the opportunity to test Firefox Quantum over the past few days and I’m pretty impressed with the improved performance and memory usage. While you should certainly see noticeable improvement over prior versions of Firefox, it’ll be quite noticeable if you’re running Firefox Quantum on older supported computers.

As a test, I streamed live radio using both Firefox and Firefox Quantum on a 7+ year old computer with an Intel Core i5 3.2GHz dual-core processor, 4GB RAM, SATA II hard drive, running Windows 7 Professional (32-bit). The computer streamed live radio over the course of a consecutive six-hour period (minimum) while other tasks were performed on the computer (ex: web browsing, sending/receiving e-mail, working in Word & Excel, etc.)

While streaming, I frequently noticed that Firefox would hang, crash, or become unresponsive after streaming for a period of time. After a crash, there would still be several Firefox processes running in the background consuming large amounts of memory. It was necessary to go into the Task Manager to end the processes. In addition, if I toggled to the Firefox page or tab that was running the streaming site, the page would frequently display a black page requiring several minutes to refresh. Sometimes the page would refresh and other times I might get a warning message that Firefox had become unresponsive, it would outright crash or I’d have to end the process in Task Manager. Launching another Firefox page or tab and going to a site with media content that would auto-play while simultaneously streaming would result in Firefox becoming unresponsive, crashing or require ending any Firefox processes running in Task Manager.

With Firefox Quantum under the same conditions, the performance was literally day and night. Firefox Quantum was speedier in terms of loading pages but it was also more memory efficient and the performance was quite impressive. I did not experience any Firefox Quantum crashes while streaming live radio. I was able to toggle to the page or tab running the streaming site and easily switch between different live stations. I was also able to close out of Firefox Quantum and confirm all Firefox background processes had ended in Task Manager. Opening other sites with media content that would auto-play while simultaneously streaming live radio worked flawlessly.

Now this does not mean that everyone who uses Firefox Quantum will necessarily experience similar results. Different hardware, software and operating conditions can impact the results. However, based on testing thus far, Firefox Quantum looks quite promising and shows noticeable improvement over its predecessor.

Firefox Quantum is currently available through Firefox Updates or can be downloaded from Mozilla’s website.

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Can’t get enough of the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival? Catch it again on the CW!

You’ll have another opportunity to catch the television broadcast of the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival this week. The CW will re-air the broadcast special featuring some of the biggest moments and performances from this year’s music festival on Wednesday, November 22nd and Friday, November 24th at 8pm ET / 7pm CT / 8pm PT.

The iHeartRadio Music Festival is a two-night annual music festival featuring some of the biggest names in music. The 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival took place back in September at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and featured artists including: Coldplay, The Weeknd, DJ Khaled, Miley Cyrus, Lorde, Kings of Leon, Big Sean, P!NK, Chris Stapleton, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Niall Horan, David Guetta, Thomas Rhett, Harry Styles and Kesha with featured Special Guest Collaborators: Macklemore, Khalid, Bleachers, Bebe Rexha and Louis Tomlinson.

To find your local CW station, click here.

Create Windows 10 Installation Media using the Media Creation Tool

Microsoft provides an easy-to-use Media Creation Tool to create Windows 10 installation media on a USB Flash Drive, DVD or ISO file. You may need to create Windows 10 installation media if you need to:

  • Re-install Windows 10 or perform a clean install of Windows 10 on a compatible computer
  • Install or upgrade Windows 10 on a computer with a slow Internet connection
  • Install or upgrade Windows 10 on multiple licensed Windows computers without the need to re-download the Windows 10 installation files for each installation

We’re going to go through the process of creating Windows 10 installation media on a USB Flash Drive; however, the process is similar when creating installation media on DVD or as an ISO file using the Media Creation Tool.

To create a Windows 10 USB Installer using the Media Creation Tool:

  • Go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
  • Under “Create Windows 10 Installation Media,” click “Download tool now” to download the Media Creation Tool
  • Save the “MediaCreationTool.exe” executable file to your Windows desktop
  • Locate the “MediaCreationTool.exe” executable file on your Windows desktop and double-click on it to run the executable file
  • A Windows 10 Setup window will appear. Review the “Applicable notices and license terms” then click “Accept” (Note: You must accept the license terms to proceed.)Windows 10 Setup License Terms
  • When prompted with the “What do you want to do?” screen, select “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC” then click “Next”Windows 10 Setup What Do You Want To Do
  • In the “Select language, architecture, and edition” screen, review the options listed, make any applicable changes then click “Next.” You’ll probably use the recommended settings; however, adjust the options according to your specific hardware requirements.Windows 10 Setup Select Language
  • In the “Choose which media to use” screen, select “USB flash drive.” You will need a USB Flash Drive with at least 8GB of storage available. Keep in mind the flash drive will be formatted (All data will be lost!) so make sure it does not contain anything you want to keep.Windows 10 Setup Choose Media
  • Connect the USB flash drive to a USB port on your computer then click “Next.”
  • In the “Select a USB flash drive” screen, select the appropriate drive letter for the USB Flash Drive that you connected in the previous step then click “Next.” If your USB Flash Drive does not appear under “Removable drives,” click “Refresh drive list”Windows 10 Setup Select USB Flash
  • The Media Creation Tool will download the latest version of Windows 10*, verify the download and then create the Windows 10 installation media on the USB Flash Drive. This process may take some time to complete depending on your computer and Internet connection speed.
  • The Media Creation Tool will prompt you once the installation media has been created. Click “Finish” to complete the creation of the installation media and close the Media Creation Tool.Windows 10 Setup Complete
  • Once the Windows 10 USB Installer has been created, test the USB Flash Drive to make sure it works properly. If you experience problems with your Windows 10 USB Installer, repeat the above steps to re-create your installation media and/or try using a different USB Flash Drive.

 

*At the time of this post, the current version of Windows 10 is the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709).

Apple releases iOS 11.1.2 update; addresses cold weather bug with iPhone X

If your iPhone X Super Retina screen has been unresponsive to touch or not registering your touch gestures while in cold weather, Apple provides a fix in their latest iOS software update – iOS 11.1.2.

Apple iOS 11.1.2 Update

According to the software update release notes, iOS 11.1.2:

  • Fixes an issue where the iPhone X screen becomes temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid temperature drop
  • Addresses an issue that could cause distortion in Live Photos and videos captured with iPhone X

iOS users can update to iOS 11.1.2 wirelessly on their iOS devices by going to Settings | General | Software Update then clicking on “Download and Install” or by connecting their iOS devices to their computer and downloading and installing the update through iTunes.

As a best practice, you should always perform a current backup of your iOS devices before installing iOS updates.

Cold weather may cause iPhone X Super Retina screen to become unresponsive

If you’ve noticed your iPhone X Super Retina screen acting up in cold weather; specifically, being unresponsive to touch or not registering your touch gestures while in cold weather, you are not alone!

Some Apple iPhone X users have experienced the same or similar issues. Apple has acknowledged this issue and indicated that the issue will be addressed in a future iOS update. According to a statement provided to The Loop, Apple says “We are aware of instances where the iPhone X screen will become temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid change to a cold environment. After several seconds the screen will become fully responsive again. This will be addressed in an upcoming software update.”

Fortunately, we’re not looking at some sort of hardware defect with the all-new Super Retina screen on the new iPhone X. For the time being, you’ll need to sit tight until Apple releases a software fix. You can also try to limit exposing your iPhone X to cold weather conditions, if at all possible or try locking your iPhone X by pressing the side button then unlocking it which may restore normal functionality.

Apple releases iOS 11.1.1 update; fixes auto-correct & “Hey Siri!” bugs

If you updated your iOS device(s) to iOS 11 or later, you may have noticed a peculiar auto-correct bug when trying to type the letter “i” in various iOS apps. iOS users quickly noticed this peculiar bug with social media posts on Twitter & Instagram. If an iOS user, who upgraded to iOS 11 or later, tried to type the letter “i,” it would auto-correct and be replaced with the letter “A” followed by a “?” contained within a box. The issue did not affect all iOS users running iOS 11 or later.

Earlier this week, Apple provided a temporary workaround while they investigated the bug and worked to develop a fix to be released in a future software update. The workaround involved using the keyboard “Text Replacement” feature to auto-correct and replace the letter “i” with the letter “I.”

Apple iOS 11.1.1 UpdateYesterday, Apple released a fix in the form of iOS 11.1.1 to correct the bug. According to the software update release notes, iOS 11.1.1 addresses two specific bugs:

  • Fixes an issue with keyboard auto-correct
  • Fixes an issue where Hey Siri stops working

iOS users can update to iOS 11.1.1 wirelessly on their iOS devices by going to Settings | General | Software Update then clicking on “Download and Install” or by connecting their iOS devices to their computer and downloading and installing the update through iTunes.

As a best practice, you should always perform a current backup of your iOS devices before installing iOS updates.

 

Got an iPhone X? Be careful and whatever you do, try not to damage it!

Apple’s iPhone X officially launched on Friday. If you were one of the lucky ones to get your iPhone X on launch day, you were probably ecstatic to unbox your brand new iPhone X and start using it right away.

Before you go wild with your new iPhone X, you’ll probably want to take extra care in keeping your device protected from potential damage. While Apple iPhones do carry a limited one-year hardware warranty, it’s what happens after that first year that you’ll want to keep in the back of your mind.

If you opt to pay the $199 (plus tax) for AppleCare+ coverage on your iPhone X, your warranty coverage will be extended for two (2) years from the date of original purchase. AppleCare+ includes 24/7 priority access to Apple support via chat/phone and two incidents of accidental damage coverage. You’ll still need to pay $29 (plus tax) per incident for screen damage and $99 (plus tax) per incident for any other damage.

If you opt-out of AppleCare+ coverage, out-of-warranty repair costs will jump to $279 (plus tax) for screen damage and $549 (plus tax) for any other damage. Keep in mind that screen damage only applies to the front screen. The iPhone X is an all-glass design and damage to the rear-side of the device will fall under “other damage.”

While out-of-warranty repair costs for other iPhone models aren’t quite as hefty as the repair costs for accidental damage to the iPhone X, you’ll probably want to use the same due care to protect any iPhone device.

Here’s a look at the current repair costs for screen and other damages to iPhone devices with and without AppleCare+ coverage.

Apple iPhone Screen Damage Repair Costs

iPhone Screen Repair Costs

Photo Credit/Source: Apple Website

Apple iPhone Other Damage Repair Costs

iPhone Other Repair Costs

Photo Credit/Source: Apple Website

For further information on Apple iPhone screen damage repair costs, click here.

For further information on Apple iPhone other damage repair costs, click here.