Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla Team on Speedometer 3.0

The Apple WebKit team introduced the initial version of the Speedometer benchmark in 2014. Since then, it has become an industry-wide tool for gauging browser optimization and performance, even as some stakeholders complained that having been developed in the Apple ecosystem, it could not help but exhibit systemic biases that favored Safari. So, Microsoft, Google and Mozilla joined Apple to create Speedometer 3.0, “a new governance benchmark” that aims for neutrality across the architectures used by Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla’s Firefox. Continue reading Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla Team on Speedometer 3.0

Apple’s Keyframer AI Tool Uses LLMs to Prototype Animation

Apple has taken a novel approach to animation with Keyframer, using large language models to add motion to static images through natural language prompts. “The application of LLMs to animation is underexplored,” Apple researchers say in a paper that describes Keyframer as an “animation prototyping tool.” Based on input from animators and engineers, Keyframer lets users refine their work through “a combination of prompting and direct editing,” the paper explains. The LLM can generate CSS animation code. Users can also use natural language to request design variations. Continue reading Apple’s Keyframer AI Tool Uses LLMs to Prototype Animation

New AI-Based Google System Converts Webpages to Video

Google announced it has developed URL2Video, an AI-enabled system that automatically converts webpages into short videos by extracting text and images. The system also harvests design styles such as colors, fonts, graphics and layouts from HTML sources and organizes all the elements into a sequence of shots that looks and feels similar to the original webpage. Google is targeting businesses with websites for their products and services, enabling them to easily create marketing videos out of existing resources. Continue reading New AI-Based Google System Converts Webpages to Video

React Native Lets Developers Create Apps Using JavaScript

Facebook recently open-sourced its React Native framework to allow developers to build native mobile apps without having to compromise their use of JavaScript. The problem for many app developers has been that in order to build high performing apps, they would often have to go through the trouble of using Apple or Google’s complicated native tools. With React Native, app developers will be to create sophisticated apps while making use of the far less complicated JavaScript software.  Continue reading React Native Lets Developers Create Apps Using JavaScript

Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

Beau Cronin, co-founder of Prior Knowledge and current senior manager of predictive products at Salesforce, recognizes that VR is in the process of transforming from a specialty technology where innovation is driven by small groups of experts, to a general-purpose technology that will tap into a huge, broader market of users and hackers. In a recent article, he postulates that VR today is where the Internet was in 1993, just before Netscape. At that time there was a re-evaluation of all the rules, often done by outsiders. Continue reading Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

NSA Funds Development of All-In-One Programming Language

The National Security Agency is funding a project at Carnegie Mellon University to develop the world’s first “polyglot” programming language that combines CSS, JavaScript, PHP, HTML5, and more. Wyvern, the new language, intends to make Web programming easier. Files will be more organized, making it easier for Web developers to secure their websites, which seems to be the NSA’s primary goal. Wyvern is an open source project still in development. Continue reading NSA Funds Development of All-In-One Programming Language

Kaleidescape Settles 10-Year Legal Battle with the DVD CCA

DVD server manufacturer Kaleidescape has ended its lengthy legal battle with the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA), the not-for-profit organization that governs copyright protection of DVDs. The organization sued Kaleidescape in 2004 for creating DVD servers that encourage users to illegally rip copyrighted movies. Shortly after a joint notice of settlement was filed, the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara, noted a “voluntary dismissal” of the case, and determined on Monday, “Case complete.” Continue reading Kaleidescape Settles 10-Year Legal Battle with the DVD CCA

Disruption: Will Google Take Over the Desktop with Chrome?

Google Chrome has the potential to follow mobile as a second significant disruption to computing. With Chrome, Google is making a move to dominate computing as an entry to a new app economy. Kevin C. Tofel, writing for GigaOM, suggests that within a year, many of us will be using a Chromebook — but not necessarily “Google-designed hardware; instead it will be on the Mac, Windows or Linux machine you have at that time.” Continue reading Disruption: Will Google Take Over the Desktop with Chrome?

Future of the Internet: Do Web Technologies Need an Owner?

  • Software engineer Joe Hewitt proposed in a recent blog post that Web technologies may need an owner, and the assumption that the Web must not be controlled by anyone is a dangerous one. “The HTML, CSS, and JavaScript triumvirate are just another platform, like Windows and Android and iOS,” he writes, “except that unlike those platforms, they do not have an owner to take responsibility for them.”
  • He also suggests that “the arrogance of Web evangelists is staggering” since they “place ideology above relevance.”
  • Standards bodies cannot create the kind of cutting edge platforms developers need like they are doing with iOS, Android and Windows.
  • “My prediction is that, unless the leadership vacuum is filled, the Web is going to retreat back to its origins as a network of hyperlinked documents,” writes Hewitt. “The Web will be just another app that you use when you want to find some information, like Wikipedia, but it will no longer be your primary window. The Web will no longer be the place for social networks, games, forums, photo sharing, music players, video players, word processors, calendaring, or anything interactive. Newspapers and blogs will be replaced by Facebook and Twitter and you will access them only through native apps.”

Renewing Developer Relations: Twitter Pulls Itself Up by its Bootstrap

  • Twitter has released its Bootstrap platform to better compete in the ever-changing app market and renew its ongoing efforts with developers.
  • The platform will provide a set of CSS and HTML tools for creating apps.
  • “At its core, Bootstrap is simply CSS, but built with Less, an easy-to-use pre-processor that provides more power and flexibility than standard CSS,” reports Digital Trends. “With Less, a range of features like nested declarations, variables, mixins, operations, and color functions become available.”
  • “Bootstrap remains very easy to implement; just drop it in your code and go. Compiling Less can be accomplished via Javascript, an unofficial Mac application, or via Node.js,” explains Twitter via its blog post. “Second, once complied, Bootstrap contains nothing but CSS, meaning there are no superfluous images, Flash, or Javascript. All that remains is simple and powerful CSS for your web development needs.”