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Google: Under-the-hood change helps Web apps on Chrome

Google has taught Chrome how to walk and chew gum at the same time.

The newest Chrome beta version, 33, includes a feature called concurrent compilation that means the browser takes a smoother, faster trip to an optimized version of the Web page code it's running.

"Concurrent code compilation is another step towards reducing latency in Chrome," said Chrome programmer Yang Guo in a blog post Thursday.

JavaScript performance is crucial to browsers, which increasingly run Web-based apps written in JavaScript, not just load relatively static Web pages.

Concurrent compilation takes advantage of the fact that most … Read more

Judge again denies Samsung an Apple mistrial over 'racist' remarks

Despite Samsung's protestations over "racist" comments by an Apple attorney, the Korea-based gadget maker has been denied for a second time a mistrial in a patent-related case.

On Friday, Judge Lucy Koh again admonished Apple's legal team over remarks made last November during closing arguments in the case, which involved determining the damages Samsung should pay for patent infringement. But she ruled that the remarks didn't influence the jury's verdict and that the verdict would stand.

"Particularly in light of...the high-profile nature of this litigation, the Court expresses its disapproval and disappointment … Read more

Romantic apps for Valentine's Day

To those who don't celebrate Valentine's Day because they think it's more about consumerism than romance, I say that's why you're on your way to a lonely life at the convalescent home. Valentine's Day isn't just about gift-giving or an expensive night out. What matters most on February 14 is what these gestures represent: love and appreciation. With that in mind I've collected five Valentine's Day-themed apps to help you express affection without sacrificing any of your convictions or all of your money.

Be Mine

Even if you're not artistic, … Read more

US to push for mandatory car-to-car wireless communications

The US government will work to enable wireless communication links between cars, technology it expects will reduce accidents and, eventually, decrease fuel consumption and speed travel.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said Monday it's finalizing a report on the subject based on a 3,000-vehicle study of vehicle-to-vehicle communications that began in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2012. That report should be released in the coming weeks -- and then the Department of Transportation's push for using V2V technology in cars and light trucks will get serious.

"NHTSA will then begin working on a regulatory proposal that … Read more

PS4 software update adds support for Sony's wireless 7.1 virtual surround headsets

Late tonight PS4 owners can download a new system update (version 1.60) that delivers support for Pulse and Pulse Elite Edition wireless stereo headsets to the PS4. At the same time, Sony announced the imminent arrival of its new Gold Wireless Headset, which launches "early this month," and like the Pulse headsets, offers 7.1 virtual surround sound.

The new headset also includes developer-created custom audio modes for specific for PlayStation games (the free Headset Companion App hits PlayStation Store in February), a noise-cancelling microphone for voice chat, and customizable faceplates. Sony says the Gold Wireless Headset … Read more

Crave giveaway: Power Practical PowerPot V portable charger

Congrats to Barry J. of San Antonio, Texas, for winning part 2 of our CES swag giveaway last week. This week's prize is hot. Well, it will be after you place it on a gas or electric stove, or over a fire or other heat source.

The PowerPot V from Power Practical is a compact 12-ounce thermoelectric generator you can use to charge your devices. Just plug in the USB charging cable, add water, and place the aluminum pot over your heat source of choice. The PowerPot emits 5 watts of on-demand power. … Read more

10 must-see videos of the week

Get your weekly fix of the best on CNET in video, right here.

In the latest Apple Byte, host Brian Tong covers the week's juiciest news and rumors, including whether or not Iris scanning tech could play key role in Apple's future product lines. Plus: we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mac! That's right, the PC that started a revolution and really put Apple on the map was first introduced 30 years ago on January 24, 1984. Were some of you even born yet?

And to get you prepped for the big game next week, our … Read more

Ford enlists Stanford, MIT for driverless car research

Behind the wheel, your brain does a lot of processing you take for granted, such as calculating the paths and speeds of nearby vehicles so you can successfully make a lane merge. Ford is turning to Stanford and MIT researchers to come up with computer algorithms to mimic that processing of environmental data.

Last month, Ford showed off the Fusion Hybrid autonomous car research vehicle, fitted with four lidar sensors, it was using to develop future driverless systems. The company will implement new algorithms developed at the universities to test these driving behaviors in the cars.

MIT gets to take … Read more

GTA players turn virtual photographers to shoot in-game combat

My neighbors have been meeting regularly to discuss ways we can report and prevent crime in our area. I have a new idea -- get Grand Theft Auto V gamers on the case. They're doing a mighty thorough job documenting crime in Los Santos.

It's all thanks to photographer and filmmaker Christopher Murrie, who a few days back let Reddit know he's been playing GTA Online in passive mode as a "war correspondent" dressed in a helmet, camo pants, and a black jacket with "MEDIA" printed across the back. Passive mode makes it impossible to attack other players while you're on foot, and makes you impervious to attacks yourself. … Read more

Judge pares down Samsung patent claim against Apple

A federal judge issued a partial summary judgment late Tuesday that invalidated one Samsung patent and found the South Korean electronics giant in infringement of an Apple patent.

Judge Lucy Koh of the US District Court of Northern California found that Samsung's Android-based handsets infringe on Apple's US patent No. 8,074,172 for an autocomplete feature that automatically generates word suggestions based on what the user is typing. Koh also found invalid Samsung US patent No. 7,577,757, which covers multimedia synchronization, reducing the number of patents in Samsung's complaint from five to four.

Data … Read more