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Google speeds WebP image format, brings animation support to Chrome

Google speeds WebP image format, brings animation support to Chrome

Google has built a new version of its WebP software into Chrome to let browsers display its image format 25 percent faster, the company said Friday.

The better performance new libwebp 0.4.0 is part of Google's general effort to speed up the Web, and the new software also uses less memory and fixes an issue that had blocked Google from supporting animated WebP images. The updated WebP support is built into the version of Chrome that's currently in beta.

Animated GIF images, popular on sites such as Tumblr and Imgur, are the last remaining holdout for … Read more

Use Link Bubble to open links in the background on Android

Use Link Bubble to open links in the background on Android

While many apps are starting to display in-line media (showing content of a link without opening a new window), this capability isn't omnipresent across Android. Instead, when catching up on one of your feeds, like Twitter, you have to click the link, and then wait for it to load in Chrome. Link Bubble is an app that seeks to bridge the gap between your apps and the Web by letting you queue up a link to read when you're finished catching up on social media or RSS feeds. It's similar to when you open tabs in the … Read more

Papers, Please dominates IGF Awards at GDC 2014

Papers, Please dominates IGF Awards at GDC 2014

Many great indie games and AAA titles featured at GDC 2014 were collaborative efforts from highly talented individuals. But Papers, Please proves that there is still room in the gamers' hearts for lone-wolf developers. With an usual narrative, Papers, Please captures the emotional toll of working as an immigration officer in a fictional dystopian country. Using detective skills and powers of observation, players can allow or deny refuge for immigrants trying to get into the nation of Arstotzka.

Lucas Pope drew from personal experience as an American living abroad and applied the skills he acquired at Naughty Dog working on … Read more

Video Interview: Peter Molyneux

Video Interview: Peter Molyneux

The Game Developers Conference is running full throttle this week in San Francisco. We spoke there with Peter Molyneux, creator of Fable and Godus, now available on Steam. Molyneux talked about the 22Cans studio's Kickstarter campaign for Godus, teaching players how to be a god in the game, how video games have enriched his relationship with his son, and his verdict on the XBox One and PlayStation 4.

Sony kicks off Android 4.4 KitKat rollout across Xperia line

Sony kicks off Android 4.4 KitKat rollout across Xperia line

Sony has started rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat across its Xperia line.

The company on Wednesday announced that the Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Z1 Compact are getting KitKat updates starting on Wednesday, though timing and availability vary by market and carrier. Sony said the KitKat upgrade includes the standard interface improvements baked into the mobile OS, along with the company's "tweaked" Status Bar and Quick Settings features. Sony's KitKat installation also includes PlayStation 4-like user interface elements.

Like most mobile vendors, Sony customizes the standard version of Google's Android to … Read more

Khronos finishes WebCL 1.0 to let Web apps tap into GPU

Khronos finishes WebCL 1.0 to let Web apps tap into GPU

WebGL has been a strong success, bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser. Now the standards group behind it hopes to let Web apps get even more use out of the graphics chip by releasing version 1.0 of an interface called WebCL.

At this week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the Khronos Group standards body announced the ratification and release of WebCL 1.0. WebCL lets programmers run general-purpose tasks on a device's graphics processing unit (GPU) or on a multicore central processing unit (CPU), the main brain in computers and mobile devices.

Just as WebGL … Read more

Steve Jobs quote app rejected by Apple, report says

Steve Jobs quote app rejected by Apple, report says

A new app has surfaced that features Steve Jobs quotes. But it turns out Apple wasn't impressed, according to a new report.

Quoth Steve has cropped up on the Web as a mobile app that users can run in the browser. The app provides daily Steve Jobs quotes that can be saved, shared via social networks, or synched to different devices. The app was initially planned for Apple's App Store, but according to co-creator John Gill, who coincidentally works as a developer at Amazon, Apple denied its entry into its marketplace.

Speaking to Recode in an interview published … Read more

3 Spritz-like speed-reading apps for Android

3 Spritz-like speed-reading apps for Android

When the Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced, details emerged about Spritz -- a speed-reading feature that comes built-in to some apps on the phone. Spritz uses rapid serial visual presentation, or RSVP, to display words one after another using a single focal point. The company calls this point the optimal recognition point, or ORP.

The technology isn't exactly new -- it dates back to the 1970s -- and it was even used in software for last decade's phones. In 2005 CNET covered a demo version of BuddyBuzz, mobile software that could display one word at a time on … Read more

Mozilla scraps Metro version of Firefox, citing low interest

Mozilla scraps Metro version of Firefox, citing low interest

After more than two years of work, Mozilla has scrapped its effort to build a Metro-specific version of Firefox for Windows 8, saying that users have shown almost no interest.

Microsoft designed what it previously called the Metro interface for touch-screen devices like tablets and introduced it with Windows 8 along with a version of Internet Explorer designed to run on it. Two years ago, after winning a debate with Microsoft over whether it even could be possible to bring a modern third-party browser to Metro, Mozilla embarked on its Firefox for Metro journey.

But it's over for now, … Read more