Links from Thursday's episode of Loaded:Amazon.com is releasing an updated Kindle DX with a lower price Amazon will soon allow you to read parts of Kindle books in the browser with HTML5 And in more Amazon news, the company buys Woot.com Google claims that search suggestions are being blocked in China Google News is redesigned with more customization and social-sharing features Microsoft ditches plans to launch the Kin in Europe, deciding instead to focus on Windows Phone 7
Updated at 2:12 p.m. on July 1: Opera spokesman Thomas Ford said in an e-mail to me that he's "almost certain" that Opera's new AVG anti-malware detection system replaces the previous one that Opera used, which had been provided by Haute Secure.
The first beta of Opera 10.60 was released only two weeks ago, and on Thursday it graduates to a wide release and sheds its beta tag. Opera 10.60 for Windows, Mac, and Linux incorporates security enhancements provided by popular freeware antivirus vendor AVG, improves performance, adds further HTML5 compatibility, and … Read more
I think we can all agree on one thing: flying cars may be cool, but it's going to be a slaughter in the skies--at least at first. Also, the Verizon iPhone is here again! Yay! We'll believe it when we see it, just like we'll believe that Google Me is real and a real competitor to Facebook when we see it and when Google manages to understand actual humans and what they want in a social network. But hey, fingers crossed! Special guest, Darren Kitchen of Hak5!Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Mozilla had to restart an effort to overhaul Firefox's extension technology, but the Jetpack reboot is steadily coming together.
Mozilla has released five beta versions of the Jetpack Software Developer Kit, a package that puts a friendly face on Firefox's inner workings so that extensions can do things such as open new tabs, add menu items, and modify Web pages. And the latest schedule was announced this week: its goal is to release Jetpack 1.0 by the end of 2010.
Google is among the biggest proponents of a collection of Web technologies that reproduce many important features of Adobe Systems' Flash, but it's not yet time for regime change at YouTube.
One of the most important parts of the upcoming HTML5 standard is support for video that can be built directly into Web page without requiring a plug-in such as Flash Player. Other open standards such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for formatting, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), and Web Open Font Format (WOFF) for typography can mimic Flash features, but Flash's ability to deliver streaming video to multiple … Read more
Listening to marketing messages from companies such as Apple and Google, one might think HTML5, the next-generation Web page standard, is ready to take the Net by storm.
But the words of those producing the specification show an HTML governance process that can be stormy, fractious, and far from settled down. The World Wide Web Consortium's return to HTML standardization after years of absence has produced tensions with the more informal Web Hypertext Application Working Group (WHATWG) that shouldered the HTML burden during that absence.
Some examples of language that's cropped up this month on the W3C's HTML Working Group mailing list: "childish," "intolerable," "ridiculous," "shenanigans." And there's a concrete manifestation of the divisiveness: The WHATWG and W3C versions of the HTML5 specification, though both stemming from the same source material, have diverged in some areas.
Some of the differences are relatively minor, and there are strong incentives to converge the two drafts of the HTML5 specification so that browser makers and Web developers aren't faced with the prospect of incompatibilities. In the meantime, though, the overseers of the Web are clashing during a time when their important new standard is just arriving in the spotlight.
"It's not an ideal situation. You want as much energy devoted to improving the spec and as little lost to the friction costs," said Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of engineering. In the long run, though, Shaver said, it's like writing software, where improvements cause temporary disruptions: "Sometimes you add something new, you have stability problems, you clean them up before they ship." … Read more
Updated 5:40 p.m. PST on Wednesday, June 16, 2010, to clarify benchmark information and add CNET benchmarks.
Opera has released its latest browser betas that emphasize speed improvements and better HTML5 compliance. Opera 10.60 for Windows, Mac, and Linux gives fans of the alternative Web browser a bucketload of HTML5-related improvements, along with the claim that the company has made the browser 50 percent faster than the previous version.
Mozilla released a new Firefox 4 prototype late Monday that builds in support for Google's WebM video technology and several other changes planned for the open-source Web browser's next major version.
With WebM, Google hopes to liberate Web video from patent-related royalty constraints of today's prevailing video compression technology, H.264. Mozilla and Google are working to make WebM's VP8 codec a standard part of the new specification for built-in video being added to the HTML5 Web page design technology.
But the situation is complicated: Apple prefers the H.264 codec and has built that codec into its Safari browser, and Microsoft is doing so with IE9, its upgrade to Internet Explorer now under development. Google's Chrome is supporting both H.264 and WebM, whose video codec is called VP8.
Lending a bit of weight to the Mozilla and Google camp is Opera Software, the fifth-ranked browser in terms of share of usage. On Monday, it released an Opera developer version that adds WebM support among various other HTML5 additions.
The browser market is feistier than it's been in more than a decade. Back in the 1990s, the competition came down to Netscape vs. Microsoft. This time around, Netscape's Navigator has morphed into Mozilla's Firefox, Apple has launched five versions of Safari, Opera has kept the pressure on the bigger players, Google has entered the market with Chrome, and, most recently, Microsoft has fired up IE development after a long period of quasi-dormancy. … Read more
Apple's launch of Safari 5 made it final: the marketing people have snatched the term "HTML5" away from the developers.
HTML5 is the next version of the Hypertext Markup Language standard for creating Web pages. The standard has lain fallow for a decade, but passionate, persistent developers resuscitated it with new features ranging from built-in video to 2D graphics.
But there's a reason a minority of the population knows how to program: it's complicated. So it's no surprise that when it comes time to pitch a product, the marketing folks step in with the tasteful packaging to make it all comprehensible.
In Apple's case, it was an HTML5 demo page. There have been plenty of such pages before, and there will be plenty more to come, but few in the tech world are up to the caliber of Apple's marketing staff. Apple's HTML5 demos offer swirling iPods, tasteful typographic technology, elaborately transforming photos, and other eye candy.
Hackles raised Apple lending its marketing might sounds like a dream come true for developers who'd spent years struggling to make the case for HTML5, right? Umm, not so much.
Apple's programmers with the WebKit browser engine project that underlies Safari have been among the HTML5 allies, but Apple's marketing staff evidently are less collegial. Apple's site blocked other browsers, with the following message:
You'll need to download Safari to view this demo.
This demo was designed with the latest Web standards supported by Safari. If you'd like to experience this demo, simply download Safari. It's free for Mac and PC, and it only takes a few minutes.
It doesn't quite say that other browsers don't support HTML5, but it most definitely is a marketing pitch for Safari.
It should come as no surprise to see Apple touting its products, but the way it did so raised hackles. … Read more
Adobe Systems on Thursday released AIR 2, upgrading the features and aspirations for the software foundation.
Adobe has had some significant successes with AIR. It is installed on "nearly 300 … Read more