Category Archives: Technology

Google Chrome & Mobile

Since reading the Google Chrome comic, the possibility of running a new class of (web) applications in this new browser is exciting, especially considering that it’d most likely be part of Android in the future. With this new browser from Google, it’s not only re-igniting the browser war (mostly with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer), but also a step towards OS-independent applications that can run either online or offline. It’s another strike at Microsoft’s OS market share (something that Adobe has been achieving with the Flash Platform, except this time, Google is making it with a larger footprint). Chrome is in effect an operating system in its own sandboxed world. Google Chrome

Here are some of the more interesting features of Chrome:

  • uses the open source WebKit – the browser engine used by Safari (Mac OS, iPhone/iPod Touch, Windows), Adobe AIR (Windows, Mac, Linux), S60 (e.g. Nokia browser) and many more
  • in return Google Chrome is also open source
  • a new JavaScript Virtual Machine (V8) that compiles JavaScript to native machine code when interpreted, with the goal to improve JavaScript speed for complex applications
  • separate process and sandbox for each tab
  • Google Gears is built-in (GeoLocation API would be especially useful for mobile devices)

One logical direction for Chrome is to have it run on devices. With Android devices coming out soon, it’d be interesting to see where and how new applications will be deployed and developed if Chrome takes off and becomes a relevant platform.

Download Google Chrome Beta (for Windows).

New version of Opera for the Wii

Just finished updating to the latest version of Opera / Internet Channel for the Wii. Nice to see the option to hide the taskbar – now browser content can now go full screen.

A new set of preferences is also added to the browser (e.g. use Google or Yahoo for searching, show/auto-hide/manual hide the taskbar, proxy settings…etc.). One thing I find missing on that screen is an indicator to show up/down scrolling.

Parental control for the browser is also added, although I was expecting more than a general yes/no entry point to the browser. Hopefully some sort of content filtering will be implemented in the future.

Another improvement is easier scrolling using the B button with visual aid of the scroll direction.

Flash developers can now use the whole screen for their apps or games, although the user has the choice to show or hide the taskbar. The extra pixels will certainly be useful.

To get this latest release, make sure to first update the system software and then update Opera from the Shopping Channel. More information can be found in the letter sent to the Wii.

Microsoft Photosynth

Photosynth

Coming out of Microsoft Research, the tech preview of Photosynth is now available to the public. Photosynth puts together photos taken from different angles (and most likely by different people at different time) into a 3D viewing environment.

The experience is different than viewing 360 degree panoramas. Because each photo is faded in and out, and the random nature of the time and angles makes it more like putting a puzzle together than being virtually at the location.

To view the demo, a plug-in (~5.5MB) is required.