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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

Chrome Apps mosey on over to Macs

Google filled in a missing piece of its Chrome Apps puzzle on Wednesday when it announced it finally has added Mac support for its new app-ification of the Web.

Chrome Apps are Web apps that function even without an Internet connection, and they must be run in Chrome. They can display desktop notifications, they have access to Bluetooth and USB, and they can interact with digital cameras and other peripherals like native apps. But they also act like Web sites, with cross-platform syncing and in-app payments.

The ecosystem has faced criticism for "breaking the Web," an accusation that … Read more

Google eyes password-free authentication in Chrome OS

Google developers are proposing technology that would let Web apps unlock Chrome OS machines without requiring people to type in a password.

The chrome.screenlockPrivate feature would let an app wake up a Chromebook or Chromebox if it judges a person to be present based on trusted data from Bluetooth, NFC, or USB ports.

"A platform app may use the USB, NFC, and/or Bluetooth APIs to communicate with a secondary trusted device such as a phone, ring, watch, or badge, thereby allowing that trusted device to serve as an alternative form of authentication for the user," said … Read more

Dell joins the Chromebook club with the Dell Chromebook 11

Dell is officially announcing its first Chromebook on December 11. The system, to be called the Dell Chromebook 11 (HP also has a system called the Chromebook 11), won't be aimed at casual budget PC shoppers, but instead at schools.

The company says, "The Chromebook 11 was built specifically to meet the needs of schools and districts around the country looking to deploy affordable and comprehensive one-to-one computing initiatives."

No details about the system's components or features are available yet, but Dell says it plans to introduce other Chromebooks in the coming months, some aimed at … Read more

Mobile Chrome Apps closer than you think

Running Chrome apps on your smartphone isn't quite the app singularity that people want, where any app runs on any platform. But Google's about to take a big step toward that future in 2014 with Chrome apps for Android and iOS.

Google is working getting its Web-based Chrome Apps to run on smartphones and tablets with a new project called Mobile Chrome Apps. Google developer advocate Joe Marini told The Next Web that Google would like to have a beta version ready in January.

Erik Kay, Chrome's engineering director, told CNET when Chrome Apps launched in September … Read more

Big changes to little-known Chrome OS Camera app

Webcam support has not been one of Chrome OS's leading features, but that could change with a Camera app update due to make its way to the public in the coming week.

Chrome's official "happiness evangelist" François Beaufort, an open-source and developer advocate on the Chromium project, wrote on Google+ on Tuesday that an update to the Chrome OS Camera app will bring video recording, direct posting to YouTube and Google+, and automatic photo sync support across Chrome devices.

Chrome OS owners who don't want to wait for the automatic update that will … Read more

IE 11 use surges post-launch of Windows 7 version

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11 has a chunk of new users thanks to its debut on Windows 7.

IE 11's share of desktop browser traffic jumped to 3.27 percent last month, according to Web tracker Net Applications, a hefty rise from the 1.49 percent recorded in October. But the gain isn't surprising.

Internet Explorer 11 debuted as part of the Windows 8.1 preview launched in June. Microsoft unveiled a version for Windows 7 on November 7, opening the floodgates for a surge in additional adopters. IE 11 is also available as an "important" … Read more

Hobbits, trolls, and elves invade Google Chrome

Turn your Chrome browser into a fantasy portal complete with dwarves worthy of Bilbo Baggins. Journey through Middle-earth is an interactive Chrome browser experience inspired by the new movie "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and developed by North Kingdom.

Explore Hobbit locales such as Trollshaw Forest, Rivendell, and Dol Guldur. Other locations, such as Thranduil's Hall, Lake-Town, and Erebor, will be unlocked as the movie's December premiere gets closer.

In the wild upland woods of Trollshaw, the hunting place of Hill-trolls who terrorize unsuspecting travelers, we learn about its dangerous inhabitants and Bilbo's encounter with them. Run through a maze surrounded by Hill-trolls and hopefully escape without being snatched. … Read more

Chrome 32 Beta lets you try apps before you buy (or install)

Chrome 32 Beta has a useful feature that lets you launch apps from the Chrome App Launcher without first installing them.

If you are using Chrome 32 Beta and are running Windows or Chrome OS, you'll need to enable the experimental ephemeral apps flag to use this feature. To do so, head to this page:

chrome://flags/#enable-ephemeral-apps

The "Enable experimental ephemeral apps" line should be highlighted at the top of the page. Click the Enable link and restart Chrome.

Now, when you open the Chrome App Launcher, for any app that gets returned as a search … Read more

Chrome, Opera pass Epic Citadel demo's Web graphics test

Chrome and Opera have become the first browsers to match Mozilla Firefox's support for Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 and the Web-based Epic Citadel demo that's built on the 3D graphics technology. The demo's computing challenges include 3D graphics covered with 2D textures, rustling leaves, flowing water, reflective stone floors, lens flare, and shadows and other lighting effects.

Mozilla and Epic Games demonstrated the advanced Web programming in March using a combination of Mozilla technologies: Emscripten that converts C or C++ software into JavaScript, and asm.js that can run a specialized subset of JavaScript much faster. … Read more