Earlier this week Forecast.io was announced by the same team behind the iOS weather app Dark Sky. The app would provide alerts based on the immediate weather forecast, allowing you to get inside just moments before the weather would get nasty. With the launch of Forecast.io, the team is able to get the same type of forecasting into the hands of more users since it's a Web based app.
Facebook's messaging system can sometimes be more distracting than useful. The ability for everyone you have as a friend to contact you in a real-time chat can eat a large chunk of your time each day (depending on the number of friends, of course). Instead of allowing everyone to talk to you at their whim, why not just enable chat for the people you would actually want to have real-time conversations with?
Luckily Facebook has options to turn off chat for everyone except those you select, or simply turn it off for people who contact you too often. Here'… Read more
The nascent WebRTC standard for video communications on the Web has become a technology battleground pitting Google against Nokia.
The reason for a war not just of words but also of actions is a lowly technology called a codec, which compresses video for efficient networking and compact storage. Google wants the Net to embrace its royalty-free, open-source VP8 codec, but Nokia is trying to quash VP8 by refusing to license patents it says are required to use it.
Google, meanwhile, has come to the aid of Android phone maker HTC in a Nokia patent-infringement case that involves VP8.
Why the … Read more
Microsoft's next version of Internet Explorer might just support WebGL, a standard for accelerated 3D graphics on the Web that the company previously has attacked as a security risk.
A leaked version of the next version of Windows, code-named Blue, came with a version of IE11, and developer's scrutiny of the browser shows evidence of WebGL.
"It seems like WebGL interfaces are defined but not functional at this time," said Web developer and author Francois Remy in a blog post this week. That means that the IE11 build has some infrastructure in place to support WebGL, … Read more
A Google patent-licensing deal two weeks ago dramatically improved the fortunes of its VP8 video technology, but Nokia has added a barricade to what has already been an arduous road to adoption.
VP8 is a codec -- technology to encode and decode video or audio data for compact storage and efficient network streaming. Despite passionate debates about VP8 vs. the incumbent codec, H.264, most people need never care about video codecs.
But as video becomes ever more deeply embedded in the Net -- TV entertainment, chatting with friends, videoconferences for business, online schooling for children -- the video codec … Read more
When you have many, many friends on Facebook, it can sometimes be hard to get through your whole stream of "news." Photos are a great addition to your Timeline, simply because they can share an idea without needing a paragraph of explanation (unless it's one of those terrible "if this gets 1 million likes" chain posts). Unfortunately, when you see one that is too small to show off all the detail, you have to click to enlarge it.
Instead of clicking on each photo, you can view the enlarged version of a photo by simply … Read more
Remember when Twitter stopped showing Instagram photo previews to users, both online and in apps? Now you can add those photo previews for Instagram and other third-party photo services back to your Twitter feed, at least on the Web.
This is done through the use of a Chrome extension called Previeweet. The extension actually works for more than just Instagram. While testing it out, I was able to see previews from Instagram, Photobucket, Facebook, Yfrog, Twitpic, Twitvid, Flickr, and Imgur -- which is great, since those are in the list of services that Previeweet says it supports.
To get started, … Read more
Google is on the cusp of fixing some initial shortcomings of its WebP, an image format it hopes will speed up browsing.
A new version of libwebp, the library that software can use to display and create WebP images, adds support several features, some of which were the subject of criticism when Google announced WebP in 2010:Metadata handling so people can see camera and exposure information stored in the file with the EXIF and XMP technologies.
ICC (International Color Consortium) color profiles for more accurate color rendering.
Animated WebP images, a new spin on a once-once obscure GIF technology … Read more
The Internet is a valuable tool in today's research for papers and other projects. However, bookmarking endless Web pages is not the most efficient way to keep track of the information you need. Sure, it points you to the source where you found useful information, but you still have to go digging through the Web page to find it again.
Instead of adding to your endless bookmark collection, you should try using a service like Annotary. This service is dedicated to helping you do online research more efficiently, and it's free for individual users. If you want to … Read more
Abalta's just-released WebLink system makes use of smartphones to power popular apps on a car's dashboard. Although no automotive partners have been announced, the technology could let drivers see and control apps for navigation, music, news, and social media through their cars' touch screens.
For the WebLink launch, Abalta Technologies included integration with Slacker Internet radio, WebNav navigation, Parkopedia parking information, and WCities event information apps.
Abalta says WebLink will work with any major smartphone operating system. The technology makes use of the HTML 5-compatible browsers of smartphone operating systems, showing the content and accepting touch-screen control input … Read more