Reversing course, Google rejects Adobe Web publishing tech

It can be hard to say no to an idea with some merit -- especially after already saying yes.

But that's the position Google is in with an Adobe Systems technology for bringing more sophisticated, magazine-style layouts to Web publishing through a technology called CSS Regions. Google changed its mind after deciding that it was too complex and that it would hamper one of Google's top 2014 priorities, making Chrome faster on mobile devices, according to Google Chrome programmer Eric Seidel.

Adobe had been working on CSS Regions for years, developing the idea as part of its effort … Read more

Google aims for slicker Web graphics, but can it get there?

More than three years after it was introduced in a white paper, Google's Portable Native Client, or PNaCl, launched for developers on Tuesday.

Pronounced "pinnacle," PNaCl works by allowing developers to compile C and C++ software to Web apps. Potentially, it could be a huge boon for developers who want to get their audio and video decompression software, image editing tools, or the complex engines that power video games by simplifying the "translation" from native code to the Web.

In its blog post announcing that PNaCl is ready, Google summarized the technical aspects of PNaCl … Read more

Review: Observe differences in images with Blink

Despite its odd window size and interface, Blink for Mac works well and offers an interesting way to see small changes in two images. The program opens quickly and also downloads with a set of example images, which demonstrate its functionality well.

After starting, the program's initial window seems far too large. It is impossible to see the actual operating buttons along the bottom, and an option to change it to the full screen could not be located. After playing around for a while to figure out the window problem, hiding the Mac dock solved the issue, exposing the … Read more

Blink leaders reject animated WebP images in Chrome, for now

Google Chrome engineers have rained on the parade of Google engineers who want to promote the animated WebP graphics format as an alternative to animated GIF images.

Darin Fisher, engineering leader for the Google Chrome team, turned down a proposal to build animated WebP images into Chrome's Blink browser engine. In a mailing list message Tuesday night, he said skeptical Chrome engineers hadn't been convinced of the performance merits:

It's not clear that we are ready to ship Animated WebP.

For instance, it seems that Animated WebP is trying to be an improvement over Animated GIF, but...… Read more

Chrome starts staking out mobile-browsing turf

The Android version of Chrome has begun carving a niche for itself in the mobile browsing market.

In May, usage of the mobile version of Google's browser on smartphones and tablets accounted for an all-time high of 3.2 percent, according to Net Applications' usage statistics. That figure may not sound like a lot, but the browser only crossed the 1 percent threshold in November 2012, and it's now surpassed Microsoft's IE at 2 percent of mobile browser usage.

At the same time, Google's unbranded Android browser, which predates Chrome, appears to be waning. Its usage … Read more

Mozilla coder: Chrome violates Google's own Blink principles

With a project called Portable Native Client now making its way into Chrome and potentially onto the Web itself, Google is violating its own principles for its Blink browser engine, a Mozilla programmer said Friday.

Portable Native Client, or PNaCl, is a Google technology to let Web apps run specially created software at nearly the speed of the native apps that run on operating systems like Windows or iOS. It plugs into the browser with an interface called Pepper.

Mozilla representatives have been frosty toward Native Client for years, but one programmer, Robert O'Callahan, issued a new criticism Friday, … Read more

Netflix adds new plan for password sharers

CNET Update is streaming movies about Mars:

For those that share passwords with family and friends, Netflix will offer a new plan that allows four devices to stream at the same time.

If you don't care about Netflix and rather not live on this planet anymore, Mars One is looking for volunteers to join a colony on the Red Planet.

If you want to quickly buy a bunch of movies for the seven-month Mars trip, there's now the option to download later on iTunes.

And if you want to eat some good Earth food before dedicating yourself to … Read more

Glass may be controlled by winks, pinches

CNET Update is acting totally normal:

If it isn't not odd enough to be wearing a computer on your face, how about controlling it with nods, blinks and air pinching? Some interesting phrasing of code in the MyGlass companion app seems to indicate the Google Glass headset will have gesture controls.

Also in this tech news roundup:

- What's bright, yellow and has keys all over? Nokia's next smartphone.

- The end is near for TweetDeck's desktop program and mobile apps. After May 7, the only way to use TweetDeck will be from the browser. Time … Read more

Blink-WebKit split endangers some browser features

CSS Variables, a handy technology to ease Web page programming, could be one casualty in Safari with Google moving its resources to its browser engine, Blink.

Google engineers wanted to "fork" the WebKit browser engine project that underlies both Safari and Chrome so they could accelerate the pace of Chrome development and adopt changes too extensive to fit into a single open-source project. Even though splitting Blink away from WebKit may make each browser engine more nimble, it also means it's harder to cooperate.

That's because common features must be developed and maintained by duplicate teams … Read more

WebKit fracture puts a pinch on open-source browser efforts

The WebKit browser engine is becoming a less flexible foundation for open-source projects with the departure of Google from the project this week and Apple's consequent paring back of the project.

WebKit is a broad project that includes participation from many interested parties -- not just Apple and Google, but also BlackBerry, Samsung, Amazon, Oracle, Adobe Systems, and the programmers involved with the KDE and Gnome user interfaces for Linux. Indeed, the open-source project began as KDE's KHTML engine for the Konqueror browser before Apple got involved.

Google's Chrome team left WebKit this week, forking the open-source … Read more