Latest Chrome 'experiment' goes to Oz

Google's newest interactive browser "experiment" transports you from your desk to Oz, highlighting cutting-edge browser tech along the way.

Created in conjunction with Disney and the production company Unit9 to help promote the upcoming movie, "Oz the Great and Powerful," the experiment leverages the latest in Web standards to create a browser-based experiment that previously could have been completed only with Adobe Flash.

In the experiment, called Find Your Way to Oz, you can compose music, goof around with a photo booth, and make a short movie with a zoetrope. If you survive the tornado … Read more

Zoom around the vast Milky Way in a browser

In the grand scheme of things, it's fair to say our solar system is very tiny.

You might especially agree with that statement after viewing 100,000 Stars, a Google Chrome Experiment Web page that gives anyone the chance surf around the our slice of the universe from the comfort of their Internet browser. Spacesuit and oxygen supply optional. … Read more

Behind the curtain at Google's Cirque du Soleil show

Google Chrome and Cirque du Soleil have partnered to show off the potential of the modern Web with an all-HTML5 Cirque performance that's unique to the Web, called Movi.Kanti.Revo.

The name comes from the Esperanto terms for moving, singing, and dreaming, according to the official Movi.Kanti.Revo Google announcement, and the experience does go to great lengths to create a dreamlike world on the Web. During different scenes of Movi .Kanti.Revo (pronounced MOOV-ee CANT-ee REEV-oh), you can interact with the site by moving your body or speaking to your computer. If that sounds a lot … Read more

Amazon: Time to start programming your e-books

The dividing line between writing books and writing programs just got a big step blurrier.

That's because Amazon has now released tools for creating books using Web technologies. Those tools include Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), used to describe Web pages, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), used for formatting.

"Through the use of HTML5 and CSS3, KF8 allows publishers to create great-looking books in all categories, particularly those that require rich formatting and design, such as technical & engineering books and cookbooks," Amazon announced. Other features are well suited to graphic novels, comics, and kids' books, Amazon said. … Read more

Adobe brings programmable 3D pizazz to the Web

Now that the Web-standards bug has bitten Adobe Systems, the company is starting to produce some very interesting new technology.

The newest example, revealed at the Adobe Max show this week, are CSS shaders.

This newly proposed standard, developed in cooperation with CSS pioneers Opera and Apple, brings a common 3D graphics ability to the Cascading Style Sheets technology for controlling Web page formatting.

Shaders are small programs run by computers' graphics chips for games and other graphics-intensive applications. Shaders come in two varieties: vertex shaders, which control the geometry of the vertices used to construct the 3D surface meshes, … Read more

Adobe: Flash will flourish despite Windows 8

Microsoft just declared that browser plug-ins' best days are behind them, but Adobe is working hard to disprove the notion with its Flash Player.

Flash, the most widely used browser plug-in, will be barred from the new "Metro" version of Internet Explorer 10 that will ship with Windows 8, IE team leader Dean Hachamovitch announced last night during the company's Build conference. In response, Adobe pointed out that Flash will still work with the more traditional "desktop" interface--but also that the company has other plans for staying relevant.

"If you look a year out, … Read more

CSS 2.1 emerges as official Web standard

Much of the Web world has moved on to CSS 3, but today the World Wide Web Consortium has declared the CSS 2.1 standard for Web page formatting to be done.

In W3C standards lingo, CSS 2.1 has reached "recommendation" stage. Phillipe Le Hegaret, leader of the HTML working at the W3C group, announced the milestone on Twitter today.

Browser makers, even longtime laggard Microsoft, have turned much of their attention to CSS 3, which offers glamorous new features such as animating the transition from one page to another, endowing boxes with rounded corners, and if … Read more

Adobe's Web design work lands in WebKit browser

Adobe has begun putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to improving Web page design.

Today, the first bit of Adobe-written code landed in the WebKit browser engine project, an early step to try to bring magazine-style layouts to Web pages using an extension to today's CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) technology. Adobe calls the technology CSS Regions.

The move begins fulfilling a plan Adobe announced in May to build the technology into WebKit and--if the company can persuade others to embrace it--furthers Adobe's ambition to standardize the advanced CSS layout mechanism.

WebKit is the browser … Read more

Apple launches tool for creating iAd mobile ads

Apple has rolled out a new tool for developers looking to create ads for iAd, the company's mobile-ad platform.

Launched yesterday, the new iAd Producer is designed to help developers create, test, and launch mobile-ad campaigns to run under iAd. Freely available to any paid member of Apple's iOS Developer Program, iAd Producer runs under Mac OS X 10. (No word from Apple on a possible Windows version.)

The software presents a visual design layout in which developers can specify the device they wish to design for and then see how their ad would flow from page to … Read more

Tabs get tweaked in Firefox 4 beta 2

Mozilla's second Firefox 4 beta debuted on Tuesday, with interface and feature improvements for Windows and Mac users, and under-the-hood changes that include faster browser launch times. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Firefox 4 beta 2 doesn't make any radical visual changes to the browser, but it does introduce a couple of new features and support for new developer tools.

The only interface change made this time around was to give Mac users the tabs on top look by default. Windows users received that feature in the first beta. This can still be reverted under Preferences. Linux … Read more