RockMelt rocks Facebook browsing Video
RockMelt rocks Facebook browsing Video Transcript
While rumors of a Facebook phone persist, one company has gone ahead and created an unofficial Facebook browser, RockMelt. Backed by Mosaic founder Marc Andreessen, among others, it's so tied to Facebook that at the time of the browser's release, you couldn't even get an invite to download it without having a Facebook account. RockMelt is more of a competitor for the social networking-friendly Flock Browser than anything else, but if that's what you're looking for, you're really going to like RockMelt. It takes the sidebar which, interestingly, made its Chromium debut in Flock 3, and mirrors it, creating dual narrow sidebars. The left sidebar, called the Friends Edge, is dedicated to your Facebook friends, showing who's online, filterable by favorites and a Show All Friends button. The right sidebar, the App Edge, is where you can toggle social networks, providing one-click access to your Facebook news feed, your Facebook profile, and your Twitter account. An indicator will tell you when you've got new updates. Chrome extensions that you install will also live here, although they don't always work. RockMelt has a few neat tricks up its sleeve. There's a share button at the right edge of the URL bar from which you can quickly share a link to Facebook or Twitter with a note. Also, when you land on a page with an RSS feed, RockMelt will auto-detect it and provide a one-click button for subscribing. Besides the sidebars--sorry, "edges," there are two design changes in RockMelt worth noting. The first is that the Unified Options menu has been shifted to the left of the browser, mimicking design seen in Opera and the upcoming Firefox 4. The edges can be toggled here in the Options menu or by hot key, but RockMelt also resurrects the dedicated search box. Since the location bar here possesses the same omni powers that it does in Chromium as well as Facebook Friend searching, it's not entirely clear why the browser has sacrificed the screen real estate. Note that it won't search your Twitter contacts. Given the premium that the sidebars force on open screen space, I can't say that this was a good idea. More importantly, RockMelt unabashedly forces you to log in to your Facebook account and share your friends list with it before you can use the browser. The company says that it doesn't share your data with anyone and I'm inclined to take them at face value, simply because these social networking features require a tradeoff. If you're not comfortable sacrificing that level of privacy, choose a different browser. At the time of its release in November 2010, RockMelt is also a security risk. Its built on version 6 of Chromium while the stable build of Chrome is already well into version 7 and is expected to hit version 8 before 2011. Given the hypersocial privacy busting behavior that RockMelt encourages, running without the most up-to-date security patches poses a massive potential security risk to users. RockMelt is an encouraging take on the social networking browser phenomenon, presenting an interesting alternative to Flock. It still has numerous kinks and bugs to be worked out but if you live and die by Facebook and Twitter, this might just be the browser for you. It's currently available on CNETdownload.com. With the first look at RockMelt, I'm Seth Rosenblatt.
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Happy Monday, everyone! On today's show, we're loving the new RockMelt browser, even though yes, we know, we could do the same thing with extensions. We just don't want to. Also, Apple doesn't care if you make it to work on time, they're not fixing that DST alarm bug. Maybe you're just waking up wring. Also, we go crazy for the Call of Duty: Black Ops ad and I launch the most unfair phone-return plan ever. --Molly
In titles we didn't use because they're not SEO-friendly, topics today include the fact that it's on like Brian Tong (tm), Jessica Simpson's tooth fur, gold does grow on trees, and tiny fists of rage. We interview RockMelt's CEO and ask him to explain that name, and we preview the latest TRON trailer MST3K style. Did we mention the tooth fur? Ew. --Molly
Amazon comes up with the best idea ever for converting terrible gifts to good gifts -- before they even get to your doorstep. Take that, Aunt Mildred! Also, RockMelt stands us up, so we demand 50 more invites (which seems counterintuitive, I know). Also, Glassgate hits case-makers, goodbye to Ask.com, and what social networks are doing with all those email addresses, anyway! --Molly
Video games, video games, video games on today's show, specifically about the new XBox 360 Project Natal, Halo sequels, new Metal Gear Solid, the Beatles: Rock Band, and even Facebook and Twitter!
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