The new mobile app from Facebook called Facebook Paper has been launched for the iPhone in the US. Created by a group of star designers and engineers (operating more like a startup within the company), the app presents users with a new and attractive way to browse Facebook, while aggregating news and social feeds in one place.
“I decided to start with the photo tilt feature, it turned out to be relatively simple to implement…I just pushed to Github a tool/hack called PhotoTilt which, given a photo and a container, will replicate Paper’s tilt functionality,” Tregoning writes in a blog post.
Tilting the screen enables you to explore high resolution photos, while enjoying a seamless video viewing experience within the app.
He added: “One advantage that native currently has over the mobile web is that there is no way to stop the device from changing orientation (portrait/landscape) when tilting too much.”
Screen.lockOrientation is an experimental feature that is said to currently only work in Firefox for Web pages that are in full-screen mode.
You can check his working demo on a device with a triaxial/accelerometer, like a phone/tablet, with orientation locked in portrait mode, Tregoning writes.
Netflix till date has very bad support, actually no support, for streaming in Linux systems. The core issue was the use of Microsoft’s dying Silverlight by Netflix, but Netflix announced their plans to move to HTML5. The switch to HTML5 gives Linux users some hope of running Netflix on their systems as they can play content from Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus and Google Play.
HTML5 playback has recently been added in the online movie streaming site, thus giving a ray of hope for GNU/Linux lovers.
Although hackers have already made a workaround to stream Netflix videos in Linux machines, performance is generally low and video playback is not hassle free. Some workarounds include running the entire browser in Wine, or running a Silverlight plugin in Wine and make it compatible with the browser. But all of them come at a cost of performance. Switching to HTML5 from Silverlight will greatly reduce all these hassles, as all you will need is a latest standard compatible browser to stream movies and TV shows. This will also allow support for mobile devices and tablets which are adopting more HTML5 standards day by day.
However, keep in mind that HTML5 playback will possibly be locked by DRM, so this may be a great news for Linux users but not a great news for freedom lovers. But this will be a great step for millions of Linux users who would like to watch Netflix videos without switching to Windows.
A candid chat with Netflix support has been posted on Reddit which confirm that developers at Netflix are testing HTML5 playback for now.
Once it becomes a standard Microsoft and Google will rush to implement it in their browser as they race to get more content for their users. These companies are not going to challenge the system and take side of their users.
Only bodies like EFF and free software can challenge this lock-out. Free software browsers can choose to ignore the W3C standards and keep those schacles at the bay, but then their users won’t be able to access such content.
O’ Brien said, “EFF is still a W3C member, and we’ll do our best to work with other organizations within and without the consortium to help it fight off the worse consequences of accepting DRM. But it’s not easy to defend a king who has already invited its attackers across his moat.”
If you longed to watch Netflix on your Linux computer, here is some good news for you. According to a blog post by Netflix’s Anthony Park and Mark Watson, they are planning to test HTML5 video and to switch from proprietary Microsoft Silverlight for video streaming. Modern mobile browsers have problems in running Microsoft Silverlight extensions and they want a more reliable solution so as to stream Netflix in all platforms without hurdles. Also, Silverlight has been discontinued by Microsoft since 2001 and they want a more future proof solution.
Silverlight is a browser plugin which allows our customers to simply click “Play” on the Netflix website and watch their favorite movies or TV shows, but browser plugins have a few disadvantages. First, customers need to install the browser plugin on their computer prior to streaming video. For some customers, Netflix might be the only service they use which requires the Silverlight browser plugin. Second, some view browser plugins as a security and privacy risk and choose not to install them or use tools to disable them. Third, not all browsers support plugins (eg: Safari on iOS, Internet Explorer in Metro mode on Windows 8), so the ability to use them across a wide range of devices and browsers is becoming increasingly limited. We’re interested to solve these problems as we move to our next generation of video playback on the web.
This update brings, what Google calls, ‘Widevine Content Decryption Module’ to all Chrome Devices (not only ARM). It’s a module which ‘enables Widevine licenses for playback of HTML audio/video content. The new HTML5 Encrypted Media Extensions aka EME (a set of APIs designed to control playback of protected content) made this possible.
But why lock HTML5 with DRM?
There are two aspects of this news, one good and one bad. The good news is it will boost the adoption of HTML5 among the ‘media’ companies who otherwise were preferring non-free, non-standard and insecure technologies like Adobe Flash or Microsoft’s SilverLight.
Let’s get one thing clear big media companies are always going to ask for some kind of DRM for streamed media. If a platform or technology doesn’t support it, they won’t make their movies, shows or music available through that platform or technology. So no matter we dislike if we want media through open source/open standard technologies it will have to support DRM.
However, what Google has done there is not exactly as François Beaufort of Google tries to explain:
This HTML5 new feature is actually not “the” DRM module. Big media companies won’t stop asking for encryption to broadcast their videos. We know that. So, in order to have a seamless web experience (I mean no plug-in here), EME has been created to provide a unique way to interact with protected content.
Google has been working with Netflix (take some tips Canonical) to bring the DRMed services to the Chromebook. This is major as instead of using Microsoft’s Silverlight Netflix is using HTML5 video streaming (which now supports DRM for HTML5 on Chromebooks). Recently Google enabled the much controversial DRM (digital repression management) support for HTML5 in Chrome OS to bring services like Netflix to Chromebooks using HTML5 instead of controversial Silverlight of Microsoft.
This is yet another victory of open standard and open source after Google managed to get a deal with MPEG LA for VP8 which is now heading for becoming a standard.
Unlocking the power of the Web on mobile, Mozilla on Sunday announced the first phones powered by its HTML5-focused Firefox mobile operating system (OS) at the Mobile World Congress. The Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open are the first Firefox OS phones which, Mozilla said, are coming this summer. These two phones will come with Nokia’s Here Maps application preloaded, along with deep Facebook integration.
The company is using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs in the Firefox phones. It is also working with other two manufacturres-LG and Huawei-to build the first Firefox OS devices.
Talking about its Firefox Marketplace, the firm said:
Firefox Marketplace will offer apps in categories like games, news and media, business and productivity. These apps are tied to you and your online identity to take across devices and platforms. Leading mobile apps and Web developers around the globe will leverage the power of the Web unlocked by Mozilla to release apps in the Firefox Marketplace.
The Web enables limitless innovation and with Firefox Marketplace. Every Web developer can easily create and distribute HTML5 apps so you can find an app for whatever you want – even local, niche and emerging topics.
Firefox Marketplace can be previewed on Firefox for Android Aurora and will be offered with the first Firefox OS phones to launch later this year.
The Alcatel One Touch Fire and ZTE Open will make their debuts in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.
Key specs: Alcatel One Touch Fire
• 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels
• 3G, HSPA (up to 7.2 Mbps), GPRS/EDGE
• Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
• Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
• GPS with A-GPS support
• 3.2 megapixel primary camera
• 512MB internal storage with microSD card slot and 2GB card in the package
Key specs: ZTE Open
• 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 480
• 3G (HSPA up to 7.2Mbps), GPRS/EDGE
• Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
• Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
• GPS with A-GPS support
• 3.15 megapixel primary camera
• 512MB internal storage with microSD card slot and 2GB card in the package
DRM, also known as Digital Repression Management, is one of the most dangerous technologies with insecure media company want to use for their ‘works’ such as online movies, games and books. While companies like Apple succeeded in getting rid of DRM from their ‘music’, now HTML5 is heading in the same direction, Google has implemented DRM in its Chrome OS with support for WebM.
Google pushed an updated for the stable channel of Chrome OS bringing it up to the version 25.0.1364.87 for Samsung Chromebooks. One of the most notable ‘features’ of this update is HTML5 on Chrome OS has been restricted with DRM. The changelog states:
HTML5 Content Decryption Module (CDM) with WebM support.
So now WebM trans-coded videos can also be restricted with DRM on Google’s Chrome platform.
This build also contains a number of new features, bug fixes and security improvements. Machines will be receiving updates over the next several days.
It’s really bad news that instead of getting rid of DRM, Google has started implemented it in its Chrome OS.
Editor picked user comment: David Greengas writes on our Google+ page: Google has long had DRM support built-in to Android. They are definitely not against it. Before Google can take a true stand against DRM, it needs leverage. That means that it needs content providers to adopt WebM. This will not occur without DRM at this time. Once the content providers are entrenched in WebM, Google has the power to control the content providers instead of the other way around.
Once in control, they can user their influence to suggest a better market. They are starting to do this with mobile phones and their carrier dominance by introducing the Nexus line. Carriers are starting to realize the Google name means something in the mobile market. Content providers will realize the same and begin to lose their influence on DRM schemes.
At Google I/O earlier this year, developers were given a glimpse of Movi.Kanti.revo, a new sensory Chrome experiment designed by Cirque du Soleil and developed by Subatomic Systems. For people who are not acquainted with Cirque du Soleil, it is a Canadian entertainment company, whose performances are described as a dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment.
The full experiment which has been created using modern web technologies, allows the users to follow a mysterious character through a beautiful world of Cirque du Soleil performances. The website was launched at the Big Tent event in New York City on 19th September 2012.
On mobile devices, the experiment takes advantage of the accelerometer to navigate through the world.
Experience the world of Cirque du Soleil at www.movikantirevo.com
Mozilla had announced plans to create its own mobile OS based on HTML5 technologies. Some of the builds of this OS are available but it’s yet to release on any devices. However, Oleg Romashin has successfully ported Firefox OS to run on Raspberry Pi and builds are available for download.
The below video shows Firefox OS running in Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized single board computer that costs as low as $25. A range of operating systems including Debian, Fedora, Kubuntu, Android and Arch Linux have been successfully ported to run on it.