Once the dominant Web browser, AOL has discontinued development and active support for the Netscape browser.
Development on the browser had recently devolved into a handful of engineers tasked with creating a skinned version of Firefox with a few extensions, AOL said.
An historic name in software will effectively pass into history in February as AOL discontinues development and active support for the Netscape browser, according to an official blog.
AOL will keep delivering security patches for the current version of Netscape until Feb. 1, 2008, after which it will no longer provide active support for any version of the software, according to a Friday entry on The Netscape Blog by Tom Drapeau, lead developer for Netscape.com. The Netscape.com Web site will remain as a general-purpose portal.
Netscape was the original mass-market Web browser and helped to popularize the Internet in the mid-1990s, but it has long taken a back seat to Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Firefox itself traces its roots back to Netscape software that was made into open source. The Mozilla Foundation was founded in 2003, with support from AOL, and has released successive versions of Firefox while AOL continued to develop Netscape on top of the same platform, Drapeau wrote.
Groups within AOL have tried and failed to revive Netscape Navigator and gain market share against Internet Explorer, according to the blog entry.
"AOL's focus on transitioning to an ad-supported Web business leaves little room for the size of investment needed to get the Netscape browser to a point many of its fans expect it to be," Drapeau wrote. "Given AOL's current business focus ... we feel it's the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reins fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox," Drapeau wrote.
The Mosaic Netscape browser was posted for downloading in 1994 by Mosaic Communications, which later changed its name to Netscape Communications. That company kicked off the dot-com boom with its hugely successful initial public offering in August 1995 and was acquired by AOL in 1999. But Internet Explorer, introduced in 1995, eventually dominated the browser market. Microsoft's bundling of its browser with Windows operating systems was a key issue in antitrust lawsuits filed against it in 1997.
As of this month, Netscape had only 0.6 percent of the browser market, which was still dominated by Internet Explorer with more than 77 percent, according to Web application and analytics firm Net Applications. Firefox was gaining, however, with market share just over 16 percent.
Users will still be able to download old versions of Netscape from an archive, currently located here, though they will not be supported by AOL, Drapeau wrote.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Mobile Metal Atoms: New class of lithium-rich solids with unusually high lithium mobility.
Mobile phones, notebook computers, iPods—the boom in portable computing and communications devices is dependent on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to deliver power.
These batteries offer the highest energy density, allow laptops to function for useful amounts of time, and do not display a memory effect when compared to other types of rechargeable batteries. However, modern rechargeable batteries are still not truly satisfactory.
Modern, efficient, rechargeable batteries and fuel cells require materials with an enhanced ability to conduct lithium ions. German researchers have now developed a new class of inorganic ionic conductor with a structure analogous to that of the mineral argyrodite.
A team led by Hans-Jörg Deiseroth in Siegen, Germany reports, in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the characterization of the most conductive representative of the man-made argyrodite minerals made of lithium, phosphorus, sulfur, and bromine atoms.
In ionic conductors, charge is not transported in the form of electrons as it is in metals; instead, the charge is transported in the form of charged particles—typically, lithium ions. This transport requires materials in which the lithium ions can move as freely as possible. The team from the University of Siegen, in cooperation with scientists at the University of Münster, started from a long-known mineral: argyrodite is a silver-, germanium-, and sulfur-containing mineral discovered near Freiberg, Germany in 1885 and the silver ions in this material are very mobile.
The individual components of argyrodite can be replaced by a number of other atoms without altering the typical structure of the mineral. The term argyrodite now refers to an entire class of compounds that have a specific arrangement of atoms and type of structure.
The team led by Deiseroth produced a version of the mineral in which silver is replaced by lithium, germanium by phosphorus, and some of the sulfur atoms by halides (chloride, bromide, or iodide), resulting in argyrodite-like structures that have a composition of Li6PS5X (X: Cl-, Br-, or I-).
In the crystal lattice the phosphorus, sulfur, and halide atoms adopt a dense tetrahedral packing arrangment in which the gaps are filled somewhat regularly with lithium ions. The lithium ions can “jump” from gap to gap. The freely moving ions indicate that the solid has a high ionic conductivity and the reported bromine-containing structure has the highest ionic conductivity of lithium ions known for any argyrodite to date.
The scientists have thoroughly examined the lithium argyrodites by single-crystal X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This analysis allowed precise characterization of the crystal structures of these compounds and provided fascinating insights into the dynamics of the mobile lithium ions.
Posted by SANJIDA AFROJ at 1:31 AM