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International Mobile Gaming Awards hit San Francisco

download.com news - Παρ, 29/03/2013 - 08:21
(Credit: IMGA)

After existing as a peripheral event during Mobile World Congress each year in Barcelona, Spain, the International Mobile Gaming Awards this year moved its ninth annual show to San Francisco.

Launched in 2004, the IMGA is a competition for mobile games developed in countries across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Awarding is based on two rounds of judging by a jury of twelve, with 10 category finalists announced in the months leading up to the event, and one winner ultimately winning in each category. In addition, the IMGA also gives awards for Honorable Mention, People's Choice (based on online voting), and Grand Prix (best overall game).

This year's show was hosted by Australian blogger and television personality Maude Garrett from Geek Bomb, and it featured a handful of big-name games, as well as quite a few that we had never heard of. All of the nominees presented, though, looked fantastic based on the short video snippets that were presented. Check out the winners below:

(Credit: Fireproof Games)

Excellence in Visuals The Room, a popular puzzle-solving, story-driven mystery game won the Excellence in Visuals award for good reason. Each new puzzle is presented in beautifully textured realistic 3D graphics complete with lighting effects. Even on the first puzzle, you will immediately see why this game de... [Read more]

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Google shows interest in ASM.js, Mozilla's plan for fast Web apps

download.com news - Πεμ, 28/03/2013 - 23:12

Some low-level benchmarks show ASM.js software outperforming ordinary JavaScript in both Firefox and Chrome, and coming close to the speed of native software.

(Credit: Alon Zakai/Mozilla)

At least some at Google want to embrace a Mozilla-backed project to speed up Web apps written with JavaScript -- even though it competes directly with Google's own Native Client and Dart programming technology.

Mozilla has been working for months on a technology called ASM.js, which it hopes will boost JavaScript performance, especially in combination with a related Mozilla-spawned technology called Emscripten. JavaScript powers Web apps such as Google Docs, and ASM.js is a special "extremely restricted" subset of the programming language that's designed to make it easier for developers to bring existing software written in the C programming language to the Web.

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Apple tries new pitch to woo video pros to latest Final Cut

download.com news - Πεμ, 28/03/2013 - 20:15

Just days ahead of one of the largest gatherings of video producers, Apple's making a new push for attention -- and hopefully adoption -- of its controversial video editing software.

Apple today debuted a new series of promotional plugs by some top film and content makers, all in an effort to push others to Apple's Final Cut Pro X software, notes the Los Angeles Times. Some of those include videos featuring video editor and director Julian Liurette, director Tsui Hark, and Mexican media company TV Azteca.

It's not unusual for Apple to make these types of videos, which it does for its other "pro" apps Aperture and Logic. What's noteworthy is that it's all happening right before the National Association of Broadcasters' annual show, where Final Cut Pro was first introduced.

Apple's Final Cut Pro X came out in June 2011, following a stealthy debut at a private event during the National Association of Broadcasters show. Once released, it rubbed many longtime users the wrong way with its changes. The program had a whole new look, and promised to speed things up things like rendering, but it was also incompatible with older project files, removed some features, and changed long-established workflows.

The changes, along with a lack of updates ... [Read more]

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Despite Google patent efforts, VP8 no shoo-in for Web video

download.com news - Πεμ, 28/03/2013 - 09:00

Justin Uberti, a WebRTC leader and VP8 advocate at Google, speaking at Google IO 2012.

(Credit: screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)

A Google patent-licensing deal two weeks ago dramatically improved the fortunes of its VP8 video technology, but Nokia has added a barricade to what has already been an arduous road to adoption.

VP8 is a codec -- technology to encode and decode video or audio data for compact storage and efficient network streaming. Despite passionate debates about VP8 vs. the incumbent codec, H.264, most people need never care about video codecs.

But as video becomes ever more deeply embedded in the Net -- TV entertainment, chatting with friends, videoconferences for business, online schooling for children -- the video codec issue becomes ever more important. At stake in the current debate is whether H.264 and its big-business licensing terms will prevail, or whether there also is room for an open-source, free-to-use alternative that could give an edge to cash-strapped startups, schools, and self-publishers.

Spreading VP8 Google and allies including Mozilla want to build VP8 into the workings of the Net as a royalty-free technology. The current focus for the debate is WebRTC, a technology for Web-based chat that members of the Internet Engineering Task Force are standardizing.

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Gmail for iOS adds more organizational tools

download.com news - Πεμ, 28/03/2013 - 02:24

Swipe between messages

(Credit: Screenshot by Kent German/CNET)

As part of a flurry of changes today, Google updated its Gmail app for iOS.

The core structure and design of the app remain largely the same, but Google added several new useful features that make browsing and organizing your messages easier. Here are the highlights.

  • You now can jump between messages by swiping horizontally across your iPhone or iPad display. This new action saves you from having to close an e-mail and return to your home screen before you can move on to your next message.
  • The app now supports up to five Gmail accounts.
  • With the Search bar, you can scan your inbox and folders using a contact's name or a specific term. Predictive text can save time as you type.
  • In a very welcome move, you'll be able to organize a group of messages simultaneously using the Action Bar. After making your selections, you then can archive the messages, delete them, mark them as unread, or report them as spam.
  • After creating a message, you can add multiple attachments, including... [Read more]

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Mozilla wants you to get your game on -- in your browser

download.com news - Τετ, 27/03/2013 - 20:39

SAN FRANCISCO--If you could play high-end, 3D games in your browser at the same speed as on a console, would you? Here at the annual Game Developers Conference, the maker of Firefox revealed a plan to get you to do just that.

Mozilla's current holy grail is getting the mix of HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS that powers the modern Web to run apps at speeds that rival native code, the operating system-dependent languages underpinning apps on iOS, Android, Windows 8, and other proprietary systems.

The not-so-secret weapon in Mozilla's plan is something called ASM.js, said Director of Engineering Vladimir Vukicevic. "It's a dialect of JavaScript that can optimize [code] much better. It's around two times as fast," he said.

Mozilla announced here today that through a partnership with Epic Games, it's ported Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to the Web using ASM.js and the JavaScript compiler Emscripten. Mozilla said that it's working with other big-name gaming companies including Disney, Electronic Arts, and ZeptoLab.

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Some iOS 6.1.3 users hit by battery drain and Wi-Fi issues

download.com news - Τετ, 27/03/2013 - 14:24
(Credit: Image created by Josh Long/CNET)

Another iOS update, another round of complaints.

Released last week, Apple's iOS 6.1.3 was designed to fix a security hole that let someone access the iPhone by sneaking past the lock screen. But the update also seems to have plagued some users with other problems, according to blog site Gotta Be Mobile.

The persistent battery drain rears its ugly head again with iOS 6.1.3. Several people posting on Apple's Support Communities forum say the battery drains faster after installing the new update. Some have tried the usual fixes, such as turning off notifications and restoring the device to factory settings, but say their battery charge still doesn't last long.

Battery drain seems to be a constant complaint with every new iOS update. Just how pervasive a problem is it?

A significant number of people ran into battery drain woes with iOS 5.0, forcing Apple to ... [Read more]

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