2048 starts easy; gets hard. Here's how to make it easy again

Like the popular iOS and Android puzzler Threes, from which it borrows its core concept, 2048 is a game as much about numbers as it is about space.

You have a limited number of free squares, and each move introduces another tile into the mix. But combine like numbers into their sum and you've opened up the board for the new tile and simultaneously progressed a little further toward your goal of making a magic 2048 tile, a feat accomplished by combining two 128s into a 256 and two 256s into a 512 and so on.

The HTML5 game, … Read more

Firefox 28 aims for easier media playback

Firefox 28 debuts with an emphasis on under-the-hood improvements to keep the browser in line with the latest plug-in-free media playback tools.

VP9 decoding and Opus support in WebM keeps Firefox current with the royalty-free codecs that power media playback in HTML5.

They're not exactly another nail in the coffin for Flash, since Firefox already offers broad HTML5 media playback support, but they do signal that plug-in-free codecs are maturing into broad usability.

Firefox 28 for desktops also gets a new volume control for HTML5 audio and video, and Mac OS X users get Notification Center support for Web … Read more

Vimeo speeds its online videos, goes HTML5 by default

Vimeo has sped up its video-streaming technology and made the shift from Flash-powered video to HTML5 by default, the company said Tuesday.

The new player software improves performance, social links, and post-production capabilities, Vimeo Chief Technology Officer Andrew Pile told CNET. It loads in half the time -- not only when the video player populates on a Web page, but also when people click the play button.

Faster performance generally helps Web-based businesses -- Vimeo's new on-demand video-purchasing program through which people can rent or own videos, for example. Indeed, as Vimeo gradually distributed the new player to viewers, … Read more

Telefonica's Yotam Ben-Ami fights for Firefox phones (Q&A)

Android and iOS won the mobile operating system wars, right?

Not if you're Yotam Ben-Ami, who as director of open Web services at Spanish carrier Telefonica is responsible for bringing a new competitor to market, Firefox OS. Last week, Mozilla finished Firefox OS 1.1, but even with some shortcomings fixed, the smartphone operating system faces immense challenges competing against Google's Android and Apple's iOS.

But Ben-Ami has some evidence that the open-source, browser-based operating system has a shot at becoming the third operating system for mobile devices. Since its first Firefox OS phones went on sale in July, … Read more

Super Mario fully playable online using HTML5

You could plug in your old Nintendo Entertainment System, load up a vintage Super Mario Brothers cartridge, and play one of the greatest games of all time. Or you could just pop over to Full Screen Mario and get your fix online.

Josh Goldberg is behind this perfectly reproduced Super Mario remake done entirely with HTML5. If you're looking to switch things up and you like surprises, then you can play through randomly generated levels. Purists can stick with recreations of the levels from the original game.… Read more

Microsoft publishes its Windows Phone YouTube app (again)

Microsoft officially released its updated YouTube app for Windows Phone on Monday -- the only problem is it's not that fetching. The app appears to be nothing more than a place where users get redirected to YouTube's mobile Web site.

Before people lay the blame on Microsoft, the problem actually stems from an ongoing back-and-forth the company has been engaging in with Google.

The skirmish between the two companies began last May when Microsoft fielded a YouTube app that it built itself for Windows Phone 8. While users were quite happy with the app, it violated Google's … Read more

Google to ad makers: Code once, display everywhere

Google wants to replace annoying, blinking Flash ads on the Web with annoying, blinking HTML5 ads, and it's built a new tool to help ad makers do just that.

The free beta of Google Web Designer (download) lets ad makers build animated HTML5 ads with what Google calls "a robust yet intuitive set of design tools." The tool works with DoubleClick and AdMob, and can be published to any generic environment.

Although the tool builds ads visually, you can see and edit the code behind your designs, with changes reflected immediately. Google Web Designer itself updates automatically, … Read more

At long last, browser makers adapt to Retina-quality images

The days when a Web developer could count on a big screen with 72 to 96 pixels per inch are long over. Retina displays on laptops and tiny mobile phone screens for years have been complicated the job of delivering images best suited for different browsers.

But after years of sometimes contentious wrangling, it seems browser makers have settled on a solution: a tweak to the Web page programming that goes by the ungainly name of "srcset."

If it works out as planned, people using the Web should see high-resolution photos on Retina displays but not have to … Read more

QNX updates its CAR platform, wants your next ride to support Android apps

At the Telematics Detroit Conference today, QNX pulled the wraps off of a new version 2.1 of its QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment.

The new QNX platform builds on the provider's telematics and infotainment architecture to enable developers to adapt Android apps for use in the car and to create apps and interfaces based on the Qt 5 application framework. This builds on the CAR Platform's previous support for HTML5 and OpenGL ES standards, giving mobile developers an assortment of widely supported tools to build software for your next car.

The new version of the QNX CAR … Read more

IE piggybacks on Everest celebration to showcase new browser tech

There's much more to climbing Mount Everest than the trek to the summit, mountaineer David Breashears would tell you.

To help emphasize that point, the filmmaker and explorer has teamed up with Microsoft to build an interactive examination of the mountain and the Greater Himalaya region, which have enthralled imaginations since Edmund Hillary made his successful ascent of the Everest summit 75 years ago this week.

Everest: Rivers of Ice is a new Web site open to the public on Tuesday night built in HTML5 and CSS3 for touch screens. Created by the Internet Explorer 10 team, Microsoft Research, … Read more