The World Weide Web Consortium (W3C) is calling for a broad review of HTML5, the next version of the Hypertext Markup Language used to describe webpages, as well as five related specifications that constitute the W3C Open Web Platform. Officially, this is known as entering the Last Call draft stage in which the HTML Working Group encourages people to comment on what's been made of HTML5 so far and whether or not they believe that technical requirements have been met.
The cloud outage season that began with the PlayStation Network outage seems to be having an extended run as web services just can’t stop tumbling. Microsoft was one of the companies that encountered problems with their web services last week. Redmond’s trouble revolved around its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). While all issues were resolved quickly, the BPOS team did not forget to apologize for BPOS’s relative lack of productivity during the week. Hit the jump for more.
Microsoft recently updated its Office Web Apps online productivity suite to add a few useful features. The service update, which was announced by the Office Web Apps team on its official blog on Wednesday, only concerns the Excel and PowerPoint Web Apps. Hit the jump to find out what these enhancements are.
Adobe has announced the release of Flash Player 10.3 for Android, Linux, MacOS, and Windows. The latest stable release of Adobe’s ubiquitous plugin packs a bunch of new features and security enhancements. But its most notable user-facing feature is the ability to clear hitherto hard-to-delete Flash cookies, or local shared objects (LSOs) as they are formally known, from the comfort of the web browser’s privacy settings. Hit the jump for more.
Denver-based patent pool outfit MPEG LA, which is responsible for the royalty-saddled H.264 video codec, is trying to form a pool of “patents essential to the VP8 video codec specification.” It is a clear attempt at sabotaging the open-source, VP8-based WebM video format backed by Google against H.264 in the ongoing battle for HTML5 video supremacy. Not the one to be intimated, Google has picked up the gauntlet thrown down by MPEG LA and is ready to defend WebM with a patent pool of its own. The Internet giant today announced the formation of the WebM Community Cross-License (CCL) Initiative.
The current HTML Working Group charter defines HTML5 as being “a platform-neutral and device-independent design.” Pretty straightforward, right? Well, try telling that to Microsoft. Earlier this week, when it launched IE10 Platform Preview 1, the world's leading software vendor claimed that Internet Explorer is the only browser that delivers a “native HTML5” experience. Microsoft's ludicrous claim didn't go unnoticed. While rivals Mozilla and Opera were quick to respond, it was the former that stood out with a parodic bug filing on its Bugzilla bug tracking system.
A German court last month declared street-level photography by Street View's car-mounted cameras to be legal when it dismissed a lawsuit alleging personal and property rights violations on the part of Google's Street View service. Despite the legal victory, and contrary to what most people might have expected, the company has decided against returning to the streets of Germany with the camera-toting vehicles it uses to collect street imagery for its popular Google Maps and Google Earth services.
Firefox 4 has been a long time in the making but tomorrow (March 22, 2011) it will finally bid farewell to the protracted development process once and for all. If for some odd reason some of you simply can’t bear the wait any longer, you can download the final version a day in advance. Download links across the jump.
We know, we know, the Internet police will have to pry Chrome/Firefox (Opera/Safari?) from your cold, dead hands. But for what it's worth, the final version of Internet Explorer 9 just dropped from Redmond and is ready for download. If you're already sitting pretty with the Release Candidate, you may be able to upgrade without having to reboot your system (we've had mixed results), you know, just like the other browsers allow. Otherwise, a reboot will be in order. Is it worth it?
Google is constantly tweaking its fabled search algorithm. In fact, according to the search giant, the changes are so numerous and so subtle that a vast majority of them are never announced and seldom noticed. But the latest update is huge. How big you might ask? Well, big enough to impact 11.8% of all search queries. The update seeks to punish low-quality sites by reducing their visibility in search rankings. Hit the jump for more on this update.