SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Roger McNamee is a thoughtful and accomplished investor. He is also prone to hyperbole. As an investor in Palm, he famously said, "June 29, 2009, is the two-year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone. Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later." (The original Bloomberg story is now offline.) And today at the Always On Silicon Valley Innovation Summit, McNamee, an investor in Facebook, said to the audience of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists: "If everyone here hasn't been on Google+ today, it's doomed. They … Read more
Yesterday, we reported that Apple had finally cracked down on iOS e-reading apps, enforcing its new in-app subscription rules that require app developers to strip out any links to external mechanisms for purchasing digital books or subscriptions. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo all altered their apps to reflect the rules change, removing any links or mentions of their respective company Websites.
Now Kobo is first out of the gate to announce that it's prepping an HTML5 Web app that will be accessible through Safari on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, and will provide improved functionality even beyond … Read more
Mozilla programmers have achieved a goal to build a PDF reader out of Web programming technology, the "pixel-perfect" rendering of a particular file.
A new tool from Google Labs called Swiffy is taking aim at Flash files on the Web by converting them to HTML5 for use on devices without Flash capabilities.
Flash authors who come to Google with their SWF files can run it through the Swiffy converter, which splits it into a JSON file, then renders it with HTML, Scalable Vector Graphics, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). As a result of the process, Google says the converted files have rendering performance that's "quite good," with a file size that's "slightly larger" than the original.
Google'… Read more
Last week, Mozilla programmers and executives were jubilant when the release of Firefox 5 marked the successful transition to a more competitive rapid-release development cycle.
Now, with a backlash from corporations and others who aren't equipped to handle that pace of change, things aren't quite so sunny. The organization and its community of supporters have begun some soul-searching about how to reconcile the conflicting priorities--developing software quickly but not leaving users behind.
Mozilla has concluded that Firefox isn't for corporations whose Web use doesn't move at the speed of today's Web, though. That decision frees … Read more
PDF files have long been an awkward fit with the Web, but a new project from the developers of Firefox shows how online PDFs are changing for the better.
For years, the only way to view them was with viewer software from Adobe Systems, which created the Portable Document Format in the 1990s. Clicking a link to a PDF often meant a wait as the software loaded, followed by an alien interface, framed within the browser window, that meant actions like searching and printing were different. It's faster today, but PDFs still don't feel like native Web documents. … Read more
In a new phase of its attempt to grow beyond Flash, Adobe Systems has begun showing off a design tool called Edge that lets designers animate Web page elements using standard Web technology.
The tool gives a graphical user interface to Web design to automate programming that otherwise would require more technical knowledge of HTML5, the next-generation version of Hypertext Markup Language now under development, and CSS, the Cascading Style Sheets standard for formatting and now some animated transitions.
With it, designers can drop images or Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) elements onto a canvas that's connected to an animation … Read more
One of the big criticisms of Google's Chromebooks is that they're significantly less useful when you don't have an Internet connection or are paying by the megabyte for a wireless data plan. That drawback is particularly glaring when it comes to Google Docs.
And unfortunately for Google, the company missed the Chrome OS launch window with one important upgrade coming to Google Docs, the ability to use the word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software while not connected to the Net.
Offline Google Docs was slated to arrive early this year, but Google pushed it back. In May, … Read more
Apparently happy with its test drive effort to promote the combination of advanced Web programming and its new IE9 browser for Windows PCs, Microsoft is trying the same formula with its mobile browser.
The company unveiled its Mobile Test Drive site yesterday as a showcase for what can be done with mobile browsers.
"It's organized essentially the same way as the original, except laid out to be easily read and used on the mobile form factor," said Joe Marini, principal program manager for Internet Explorer on Windows Phone, in a blog post. "We've ported over … Read more