Facebook in Pursuit of Interactive Video With Vidspresso Deal

Facebook struck a deal with Utah-based Vidpresso to acquire its technology and absorb its seven-person team, without actually buying the company. Vidpresso’s website says that the new partnership will help put its tools in the hands of creators. Founded in 2012 to “make video more like HTML,” Vidpresso allows publishers to incorporate interactive graphics and superimposed captions to encourage viewers to respond to polls or ask questions. BuzzFeed, Nasdaq, NBC, TED, Turner Sports and Univision are among its customers. Continue reading Facebook in Pursuit of Interactive Video With Vidspresso Deal

World Wide Web Consortium Proposes HTML5 DRM Standard

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has formally moved its Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) anti-piracy mechanism to the stage of Proposed Recommendation. The decision of whether or not to adopt the EME standard now depends on a poll of W3C’s members, which have until April 19 to respond. Although the proposed standard has many critics, W3C director/HTML inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has personally endorsed it. Engineers from Google, Microsoft and Netflix created EME, which has been under development for some time. Continue reading World Wide Web Consortium Proposes HTML5 DRM Standard

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

LinkedIn Has 300 Million Registered Users, Mobile Use on Rise

LinkedIn recently announced that it now has more than 300 million registered users, about two-thirds of which are based outside the United States. While the company has not specified how many of the 300 million are active monthly users, it reported 139 million monthly unique visitors and 48 million Slideshare visitors for the fourth quarter of 2013. During that same period, LinkedIn noted that 41 percent of its traffic came from mobile devices, a percentage it expects to continue increasing. Continue reading LinkedIn Has 300 Million Registered Users, Mobile Use on Rise

MPAA Joins W3C to Help Standardize Video Copy Protection

In an effort to join the official conversation on how to come up with a solution for copy protection of videos on the Web, the Motion Picture Association of America has joined the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which makes official decisions on Web standards like HTML. A new HTML component allows websites to host video directly on their sites instead of having to use a video tag, which doesn’t enable copy protection. Some, however, don’t care for the new approach. Continue reading MPAA Joins W3C to Help Standardize Video Copy Protection

DRM Integration Into HTML5 Concerns Open Web Advocates

While many are in favor of DRM being integrated into HTML5, some open Web advocates are concerned that the integration will eventually lead to third parties controlling too much of our online browsing. Tim Berners-Lee suggests that allowing content protection may be needed for standards to combat the rise of proprietary platforms. Meanwhile, mobile operating systems such as Firefox OS will be DRM-free. Also, some TV networks and performers are selling their content without digital restrictions. Continue reading DRM Integration Into HTML5 Concerns Open Web Advocates

Web Apps Join Android Offerings on the Amazon Appstore

Amazon announced that developers now have the option of creating Web apps that will be offered alongside native Android-based programs on its Appstore. The move could encourage developers to distribute HTML5-based apps without converting them to Android versions. It could also potentially lead the charge for change with other stores. Developers currently have to convert their apps to native iOS and Android versions for availability via the Apple App Store and Google Play. Continue reading Web Apps Join Android Offerings on the Amazon Appstore

Developers Struggle to Build Ideal Apps for Every Smart TV

Developers face significant challenges in creating apps for smart TVs due to the large number of devices. Most manufacturers have their own platforms, with limited compatibility among them. TV makers are beginning to simplify the programming process by adopting HTML5, while bringing an app to multiple platforms still requires significant resources. Netflix devotes major resources to creating its apps, but few may be able to follow their example. Continue reading Developers Struggle to Build Ideal Apps for Every Smart TV

Mozilla Planning Affordable Smartphones for Firefox Adoption

Mozilla is teaming up with major phone manufacturers as part of a plan to offer sub-$50 smartphones in emerging markets. The company is looking at international regions with growth potential as the global market for smartphones continues to take off. Mozilla is also pushing for more mobile devices to run its Firefox operating system, which it is pitching as an alternative to dominant systems from Google and Apple. Continue reading Mozilla Planning Affordable Smartphones for Firefox Adoption

Will HTML 5 Help Streamline the Second Screen Experience?

During NewBay Media’s “TV in a Multiplatform World” event last week in New York, industry execs participated in a panel called “Tablet Tune-Ins: Syncing Up with the Second Screen” that was moderated by Jeff Baumgartner, technology editor for Multichannel News. The panel discussed some compelling points regarding today’s second screen experience, the status of user engagement and the emerging role of HTML 5 technology. Continue reading Will HTML 5 Help Streamline the Second Screen Experience?

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?

Will Proposed DRM Framework Keep the Web Relevant?

The World Wide Web Consortium published a working draft last week for Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), which is a proposed framework that enables delivery of DRM-protected media content via browsers without using plugins such as Flash or Silverlight. While the announcement has met with sharp criticism from groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Free Software Foundation, Ars Technica suggests the framework will help keep the Web relevant. Continue reading Will Proposed DRM Framework Keep the Web Relevant?

Will New $99 Kobo E-Reader Compete?

  • Kobo announced it will release its $99 Kobo Touch with Offers in time for the holiday season.
  • The 6-inch e-reader is the same as the company’s $130 offering, but “the screen will display ads when it is in sleep mode or turned off, as well as in what the company mysteriously refers to as ‘discreet places,'” reports VentureBeat.
  • The device “will be a direct competitor to Amazon’s Kindle Touch with Special Offers and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch,” suggests the article.
  • Although not widely known in the U.S., Kobo hopes to change that with unique features such as support for HTML, RTF and various image files.
  • According to the article: “Just last week, the Canada-based e-reader manufacturer was acquired for $315 million in cash by Rakuten, the largest online shopping mall operator in Japan, which may help the reader become an international hit. As for this season’s e-reader wars in the U.S., it’s still a scrappy underdog.”

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.”

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