Mozilla: In 2014, all your hardware belongs to us

Soon, you'll be able to get your hands on a Firefox OS tablet -- but only if you promise to develop for the fledgling operating system.

Launched last year on three smartphone models in 14 countries on major carriers such as Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom, Mozilla has partnered with hardware maker Foxconn to build tablets for Firefox OS developers in 2014, the company announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday.

The unnamed developers' tablet is "not intended" for the average tablet owner, said Andreas Gal, Mozilla's vice president of mobile.

"The … Read more

Twitter gives SPDY a leg up on Apple hardware

Twitter has released open-source software that iOS and OS X programmers can use to build in Google's SPDY technology for faster Web connections.

The software, called CocoaSPDY, is a library of prewritten software that programmers can incorporate into their own apps, said Twitter programmer Mike Schore in a blog post Thursday.

SPDY is designed to speed up Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the standard that governs how Web browsers fetch pages from Web servers. Some SPDY ideas are being incorporated into HTTP 2.0, but meanwhile, Google and other allies continue to advance SPDY.

Twitter said its tests have shown … Read more

Nginx upgrade funded by fans of Google's SPDY Web protocol

SPDY, Google's technology for speeding up Web browsing, is set to advance a step next month with support for the latest version in widely used Web site software called Nginx.

Three companies that like Google's approach -- Automattic, MaxCDN, and CloudFlare -- are funding Nginx developers to update its SPDY support to version 3.1, CNET has learned. Under the deal, SPDY 3.1 should arrive in Nginx 1.5 in January, a source familiar with the partnership said.

Nginx declined to comment on the plans, but its software supports an earlier version of SPDY and an upgrade … Read more

Google kicks toolbars out of Chrome Web Store

Google is kicking toolbars and other "multipurpose extensions" out of the Chrome Web Store in an effort to keep its browser's interface uncluttered and to protect users from unpleasant surprises.

The change will be disruptive to many extension programmers, but Google is giving them until June 2014 for existing extensions. New ones must abide by the new rules immediately, said Chrome engineering director Erik Kay.

"Extensions in the Chrome Web Store must have a single purpose that is narrow and easy to understand," Kay said in a blog post on Thursday. "While this has … Read more

OctaneCloud AMI zooms past expectations, now free

That was fast.

An unexpected surge in interest in the "future of streaming" -- OTOY's new OctaneCloud app and game streaming service that launched last month -- led the company on Wednesday to extend its free trial indefinitely.

"We were expecting to get a few hundred customers in a year, and we got 500 in the first month," OTOY's CEO Jules Urbach said. "The last time [Amazon] launched one of these services they got 500 [customers] in a year."

Hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), OctaneCloud streams core Autodesk applications such as … Read more

Google Dart target: Chrome soon! Other browsers...someday

Minecraft is one of the most widely used games around these days. So it was notable when the programmer who wrote it, Markus "Notch" Persson, embraced Google's Dart programming language for Web apps.

"I love it," Persson tweeted in November, shortly after Google released Dart 1.0.

That's music to the ears of Google developers who created Dart to rewrite the rules of Web programming and, as they see it, to overcome shortcomings of the JavaScript language at the foundation of Web apps today. To fully succeed, though, Google will have to persuade a … Read more

Opera updates Coast browser for iOS with music and PDF options

Opera Software has finished a new version of its Coast browser, an attempt to get a better foothold on Apple's iOS, with new music and PDF controls.

When a Web page can play music, Coast will indicate that with a graphic-equalizer animation in the page's tab and let people control the music with a lock-screen control. Coast also now offers options for saving PDFs or opening them with other apps, the Norwegian browser company said.

The updated Coast also lets people set a home-screen image. Last, for moving among Web pages, Opera dumped its older buttons and moved … Read more

Google convinces standards group to take on Dart

Just a month after Google decided that its JavaScript replacement language Dart was ready to be used by developers, standards group ECMA announced Thursday that it had created a committee with the goal of publishing specifications for the language.

The task now is for the committee, TC52, to create standards for Dart that developers can all agree to. Google said in its blog post announcing the Dart evaluation committee that it would collaborate with the "broader Web community" on Dart standards via TC52.

Getting ECMA to take on Dart is nothing to sniff at. ECMA is the standards … Read more

First 3D game built in ASM.js hints at future of Web-based gaming

The new online game Monster Madness may look like many of its 3D competitors, but the fact that you can play it in any browser without a plugin makes it something of a gaming unicorn. Unlike that mythical animal, however, there are plans to ensure that Monster Madness is only the first of many.

Monster Madness (click to play), which debuted on Thursday as a pre-alpha for gaming enthusiasts from Trendy Entertainment, is the first game coded in C++ and then brought to the Web using the JavaScript language subset ASM.js, the JavaScript compiler Emscripten, and the Web port … Read more

Google emulates 1980s-era Amiga computer in Chrome

The Amiga 500 lives again -- in Google's browser.

Google developer Christian Stefansen on Thursday resurrected a version of the venerable computer system from the 1980s in the form of a Web app that runs in Chrome. Forty-year-olds who want to relive their childhoods or younger people who want to see just how hard their elders had it can visit the Amiga 500 emulator for Chrome online, boot the machine, and play some games.

Chrome emulates the old operating system by a Chrome-specific version of the Open Source Universal Amiga Emulator. Stefansen brought its 400,000 lines of code, … Read more