Yahoo! Axis: Yahoo! Enters the Browser World, Problems Ensue
Article by George Norman
On 24 May 2012
Microsoft has Internet Explorer, Apple has Safari, Mozilla has Firefox, and Google has Chrome – until yesterday Yahoo! had no browser of its own to boast about. There was a Yahoo!-optimized version of Firefox, but that doesn’t count. As of yesterday, March 23, Yahoo! can boast that it has its own web browser. That is certainly good news for all the Yahoo! users and fans out there.

On Wednesday, Yahoo! introduced Yahoo! Axis to the world, touting the fact that it redefines what it means to search and browse the web. As Yahoo! put it, what Axis does is it offers a faster, smarter search experience. As you type in a query into Yahoo! Axis, you are presented with instant answers and visual search previews. Axis basically blends together the searching and browsing experience.

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“Yahoo! Axis comes equipped with handy features that unify searching and browsing. For example, our one-step search lets you preview and interact with visual search results without ever leaving the page you’re on. It’s the end of the back button! And our instant answers show the information you want as you type common searches like finding movie times, sports scores, stock prices and more,” commented Yahoo!’s Regan Clark.

Regan Clark went on to explain that you will see your recently visited websites, your bookmarks, and the articles you plan on reading later on Axis’ personalized homepage. This homepage is meant to provide a centralized location for all the things that matter to you.

The Yahoo! Axis mobile browser is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch as a standalone app; you can grab it from Apple’s App Store here for free.

The Yahoo! Axis desktop plug-in is available for the major desktop browsers out there that support HTML5; that would be:
Soon after Yahoo! Axis was released, problems ensured. Here’s the quick explanation of what happened: Yahoo! mistakenly bundled its private key, the key it uses to sign extension packages, inside Axis for Google Chrome. If the bad guys were to get their hands on the key, they could sign a malicious extension with Yahoo!’s key, making it seem that Yahoo! released that extension. The one to uncover Yahoo!’s blunder is Nik Cubrilovic; he notified Yahoo! about the issue and made it public via Twitter. As a proof of concept, he used the key to sign a forged version of the Chrome extension. Yahoo! addressed the problem by releasing an update that removes the private key.

Additional information on Yahoo! Axis is available here.




Tags: Yahoo!, Yahoo! Axis, Apple, App Store, app, Google, Chrome, Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft, Internet Explorer, browser
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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