What is HTML5?

We’re sure by now you’ve heard the term “HTML5” thrown around by the likes of Apple and Google. This is the next evolution of HTML, or Hyper Text Markup Language, which forms the backbone of almost every site on the Internet. HTML4, the last major iteration of the language, debuted in 1997 and has been subsequently poked and prodded so that it can handle the demands of the modern Web.

HTML4 has been tweaked, stretched and augmented beyond its initial scope to bring high levels of interactivity and multimedia to Web sites. Plugins like Flash, Silverlight and Java have added media integration to the Web, but not without some cost. In search of a “better user experience” and battery life, Apple has simply dropped support for some of these plugins entirely on mobile devices, leaving much of the media-heavy Internet inaccessible on iPads and iPhones. HTML5 adds many new features, and streamlines functionality in order to render these processor-intensive add-ons unnecessary for many common functions.

Assuming content providers sign on (and many are), this means you won’t have to worry about installing yet another plugin just to listen to a song embedded in a blog or watch a video on YouTube. Similarly, this is a big deal for platforms that either don’t support Flash (e.g., iPhone and iPad), or have well documented problems with it (e.g., Linux). It will be a particular boon to those smartphones for which supporting Flash has proven problematic.

Rough Timeline of Web Technologies

1991 HTML
1994 HTML2
1996 CSS1 + JavaScript
1997 HTML4
1998 CSS2
2000 XHTML1
2002 Tableless Web Design
2005 AJAX
2009 HTML5

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Watching Aurasma in action is very impressive, it is tech that looks like magic. Aurasma is software that picks out objects, shapes, symbols — which are called triggers — with its Virtual Browser and understands what they are. Once the trigger is recognized, relevant content gets pushed across to the user using enhanced reality. For example, we have a look at a $20 bill during our demo and the bill in the phone display starts to deconstruct ending in some pretty serious rah rah sis boom bah. Aurasma is getting traction in advertising and we can only see this growing, it is really addictive fun. Users can grab the app free on either iOS or Android — another mobile platform is coming with a name that doesn’t rhyme with BlackBerry — and get playing and creating. Aurasma also has a pro version — also free — with much more serious development tours for folks that really want to stretch its boundaries. Aurasma has been around for a while now but this is the first chance we’ve had a demo and we were very impressed. Click through to see money do crazy things and a Harry Potter poster come to life.

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Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary Edition will be available for select new generation iOS and Android devices on the App Store and Android Marketplace next week, December 15th for $4.99. Below is an updated list of devices to be supported at launch.

Apple iOS Devices: iPad 1 & 2, iPhone 4 & 4S, iPod touch 4th Generation
Android Phones: HTC Rezound, LG Optimus 2x, Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy R, T-Mobile G2x
Android Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Dell Streak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, Sony Tablet S, Toshiba Thrive

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Carrier IQ has recently found itself swimming in controversy. The analytics company and its eponymous software have come under fire from security researchers, privacy advocates and legal critics not only for the data it gathers, but also for its lack of transparency regarding the use of said information. Carrier IQ claims its software is installed on over 140 million devices with partners including Sprint, HTC and allegedly, Apple and Samsung. Nokia, RIM and Verizon Wireless have been alleged as partners, too, although each company denies such claims. Ostensibly, the software’s meant to improve the customer experience, though in nearly every case, Carrier IQ users are unaware of the software’s existence, as it runs hidden in the background and doesn’t require authorized consent to function. From a permissions standpoint — with respect to Android — the software is capable of logging user keystrokes, recording telephone calls, storing text messages, tracking location and more. It is often difficult or impossible to disable.

How Carrier IQ uses your behaviour data remains unclear, and its lack of transparency brings us to where we are today. Like you, we want to know more. We’ll certainly continue to pursue this story, but until further developments are uncovered, here’s what you need to know.

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About one in five young workers in the U.S. picked Google Inc. as a most desirable place to work according to a survey by Universum, an employment data and consulting firm. Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., the U.S. State Department and Walt Disney Co. round out the top five.

Universum queried about 6,700 early-career professionals, defined as college graduates under the age of 40 with one to eight years of work experience, and asked them to pick as many as five ideal employers out of a list of about 200. This is the second year that Universum has conducted the survey. Google topped the earlier survey as well.

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Photojojo has unveiled its new iPhone SLR Mount for the iPhone 4. The new mount consists of an aluminum case, an SLR lens adapter, and a UV filter; the case offers open access to all ports and controls, and also features two loopholes for attaching a camera strap. By connecting a traditional SLR lens, the mount promises to offer users a wide variety of effects and features based on the type of lens used. Photojojo’s iPhone SLR Mount for the iPhone 4 is available now for either Canon or Nikon lenses and sells for $249. Android users drool with envy…

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Android’s share of the smartphone market is still blowing away all competitors in the U.S. according to new data from comScore. The only company that’s hanging on is Apple, which saw its share of the market tick up ever so slightly.

If you’re thinking about writing a mobile app, in the US, the Apple App Store had about 300,000 apps at the end of 2010, twice the number available the previous year, according to Distimo, a mobile analytics firm. The newer Google Android Market has about 200,000, eight times the number available in 2009. Both Nokia’s Ovi Store, which offered 25,000, and BlackBerry App World, which had 18,000, were growing at triple-digit rates at the end of 2010.

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Mimics Dash allows you to operate an iPhone via a touch screen monitor installed in your vehicle. After installing Mimics Dash, simply plug your iPhone in each time you enter your vehicle and enjoy the convenience of all of your iPhone’s apps, music, phone, and navigation features on a safe, easy-to-use touch screen monitor. By bridging the gap between your iPhone and your car, Mimics becomes the ultimate in-car entertainment system.

The system is available now for pre-order at $630 for the full version, $530 for people who have standard double DIN-sized radio openings in their cars, and $205 for hobbyists who want to put the thing together themselves. So far mp3Car offers this setup exclusively for iPhone, but we’re all hoping that the same technology will soon be available for android market as well.

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This office on wheels is the second-generation business class creation from Brabus tuning studio. The new S600 iBusiness 2.0 is bloated with the latest technology. It offers two iPad2 tablets with built-in WiFi connection and a special iPad app that allows you to easily manage a proprietary COMAND system from Mercedes-Benz, including navigation, music, telephone and options to control the passenger’s comfort.

Small tables are situated right underneath the tablets for your bluetooth keyboards. On top of everything else (literally!), there is a 15.2-inch LCD screen, which hides in the roof.

As for the car specs, Brabus iBusiness 2,0 stands up to its name with 800hp and 1047Nm of torque from a twin-turbocharged V12, accelerating this piece of real estate from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds (with a limiter set to 350 km/h). Brabus also offers a full iBusiness 2.0 package for any S-class – from a modest S350 to S65.

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Steve Jobs thinks that HTML5 is the future of media-rich content on the Web, and eventually he might be right. But Web designers and their clients are working with Flash now, so to address this schism between the two, Adobe Labs today unveiled a new free tool called Wallaby that will convert Flash into HTML5.

As Wallaby works now, you select your FLA-formatted file and hit convert, and Wallaby changes the Flash file into HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. Most of your Flash file will get converted, Barclay said, including most drawing elements, fills, shape tweens, motion tweens, symbol names and instance names. Since it’s built on Adobe’s Air platform, both Windows and Mac based developers will be able to use it.

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Eric Schmidt - the future is friendlyEric Schmidt explains the changes at the top of Google and his vision of what the world of computing will look like in 50 years’ time.


“I am incredibly optimistic about what is going to be possible in the next decade, we have spent our whole career getting to this point”

Changes at the top of Google are ultimately tactical matters. When he looks ahead a decade or more, Schmidt knows that he is standing on the cusp of the next big shift in technological innovation. Google is a search company. Facebook is a social media company. But Schmidt uses the word “social” more often in his discussion with journalists than “search”. Search, he says, is becoming social.

Anyone who thought Google could be starting on the down curve had better reconsider.


Some of the highlights of this conference are:

  • Schmidt says, Facebook is not a competitor because the more people use Facebook the more they use Google. “That is a net positive.”
  • “We still think of search as something you type,” Schmidt said. “Perhaps a decade from now, you will think, well, that was interesting, I used to type but now it just knows.
  • There will be a ubiquitous computational capability that is just so free and so amazing that people will assume that it is an assistant. It knows who you are, it knows what you do, it makes suggestions, it intuits things for you.
  • 10-15 years ago, we couldn’t do the maps. We couldn’t do the searches. We couldn’t physically do it. You couldn’t get enough hardware. You couldn’t get enough power, whereas now it is trivial. So 50 years from now, people will think of us the way we think of the conversion from black and white to colour television. They will think: ‘Why couldn’t they do these extraordinary things?’
  • The rise of Google, the rise of Facebook, the rise of Apple, I think are proof that there is a place for computer science as something that solves problems that people face every day.
  • It eventually gets resolved, and in the case of StreetView (where personal data was inadvertently collected), resolved quite positively. I think that will be the norm. The days when we could just ship a product are gone. We do much, much more than five years ago. It is a permanent change.
  • There will certainly be future rows and battles, but as society faces a new technological age – the age of convergence and convenience – the future power of Google is almost impossible to overestimate.

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