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WebXR Device API to let browsers access VR, AR hardware, sensors

WebXR Device API to let browsers access VR, AR hardware, sensors

Browsers these days are so powerful you can almost do anything in them. Yes, sometimes even run older (ancient, really) operating systems in a browser tab. Want to play 3D games? Google's Project Stream is working on that. How about virtual and augmented reality experiences? That's in the works, too. And with the new WebXR Device API on its way to become a standard specification, there might be a time when all you need for VR and AR is a portable headset and a web browser.

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New Chrome mode speeds up internet by blocking content

New Chrome mode speeds up internet by blocking content

Google Chrome developers are currently testing a mode dubbed "NeverSlowMode" by its creator. This function is not yet live in Google Chrome in any public form, but might soon be - if all its cards are played JUST right. The deal is that this code will flip a switch on the internet, making your internet feel very, very quick! Unfortunately, there's a rather sizable drawback.

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Microsoft Edge Chromium rumor just confirmed

Microsoft Edge Chromium rumor just confirmed

This morning Microsoft confirmed that the rumors were, indeed, true, that they'd be working with the Chromium open source project for Microsoft Edge. "Today we’re announcing that we intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers," said Microsoft Corporate VP Joe Belfiore.

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Google’s Squoosh proves web apps are the way of the future

Google’s Squoosh proves web apps are the way of the future

There's a new web app for Chrome called Squoosh this week, made by Google to prove the next generation of web apps are viable. That might seem pretty boring to everyone that's already got their traditional apps already downloaded - but the future is coming. With this app, Developer Advocate Jake Archibald and Drawsplainer Mariko Kosaka show how Javascript in a web browser can make the impossible task of up-scaling a photo quite possible indeed.

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Google Discover: How to get The New Search

Google Discover: How to get The New Search

Google's next step after Google Feed is "Google Discover" and it's all about News. Google's describing it a bit differently - they're offering this system up as a set of changes in the way they think about Search. "We're launching a major update to this experience," said Karen Corby, Google Search Group Product Manager, "including a new name, a fresh look, and a brand-new set of features."

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Microsoft To-Do remembers it has a web app, updates all platforms

Microsoft To-Do remembers it has a web app, updates all platforms

Before there were all these hip productivity to-do list apps, there was the list-lover's heaven known as Wunderlist. Microsoft gobbled it up and, just like the Sunrise calendar, made it no secret that it would be shutting the service down once its replacement was well on its way. That replacement is Microsoft To-Do, which doesn't seem to get as much attention as Microsoft's other apps. In fact, it's only now that Microsoft is reminding people that it actually has a Web version of the service, after giving it a facelift.

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Google .app domain to make web apps easier to remember, safer

Google .app domain to make web apps easier to remember, safer

Mobile apps may be more widespread because of the ubiquity of smartphones but web apps are the hot thing in the software market these days. They bring with them the promise of cross-platform availability on anything that can run a modern web browser. But they also bring the risks associated with any web page on the Internet. Short of having an app store for web apps, Google has announced the .app top-level domain (TLD) that can be used for easy to remember URLs and safer transactions between web browser and web server.

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Chrome 67 to make mobile Web-based games, VR, AR better

Chrome 67 to make mobile Web-based games, VR, AR better

Chrome 66 just came out of production, finally blocking annoying autoplaying content, but Google is already whetting developers' and users' appetites on what's coming next. While it might not be a grand launch just yet, Chrome 67 will be laying the foundations that will make Web-based mobile experiences better by taking advantage of the smartphone's sensors as well as the new WebXR framework that combines VR and AR APIs into one.

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Mozilla Hubs is a browser-based VR chatroom with robot avatars

Mozilla Hubs is a browser-based VR chatroom with robot avatars

The nascent VR market has more or less settled into two camps, Oculus and Vive. Four and a half if you count Oculus-powered Gear VR, Google Daydream, and Windows Mixed Reality. Needless to say, there's a bit of fragmentation going on, especially when you factor in prices and system requirements. WebVR, and particularly Mozilla's new Firefox Reality, promises to democratize VR by making experiences available on all VR platforms and devices. And its first actually usable application is Hubs by Mozilla, a VR chat world where you take on the appearance of a clunky, floating robot.

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Internet Archive’s Arcade now adding “hundreds” of new games

Internet Archive’s Arcade now adding “hundreds” of new games

Emulated games from the otherwise-lost history of video games are coming to the Internet Archive. The original Internet Arcade project was started all the way back on August 6th of 2014, but only this year really blew up to its current size. In fact, the most massive portion of games in the archive now were just added this week - and will continue over the next few days!

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Websites could soon use your fingerprint to log in

Websites could soon use your fingerprint to log in

Biometrics are everywhere. Almost all smartphones these days, even mid-range ones, have fingerprint scanners. Laptops and convertible tablets are slowly getting there. And while Apple seems to be doing away with them, it is replacing fingerprints with faces, yet another biometric security factor. The only place where this secure authentication method isn’t available is where they matter the most: the Web. But if the World Wide Web Consortium, a.k.a. W3C, has its way, even websites like, well, Facebook will support password-less logins in the near future.

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Privacy settings: it’s time to check them and here’s how

Privacy settings: it’s time to check them and here’s how

Thanks to Facebook, online privacy has come under the spotlight once again. But if history repeats itself, the issue will blow over after a year or so and people, especially end users, will have forgotten the lessons they learned or should have learned from the fiasco. So while the topic is hot and the fear fresh in our minds, it’s best to take stock of the places where we leave our digital footprints and make sure that those are really the only things we leave behind.

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