Google Chrome 18 Now Available, Improves Graphics Performance

Simple, quick update: Chrome 18 brings improved graphics performance. To do this, it’s enabled GPU acceleration for Canvas 2D (a graphical element of HTML5) for the first time in a non-beta release, meaning that it should improve gaming and web app performance dramatically, while reducing the strain on your computer’s CPU.  There’s also aother WebGL graphics standard — the TransGaming’s SwiftShader rasterizer, a software-based solution that allows for older computers to access basic 3D web content. It’s disabled on newer machines, but it’s nice for Chrome to have such large support. This update should come automatically to your version of Chrome, but if it doesn’t, head into the settings and check for the update, manually.

Via: The Chromium Blog

Minecraft made a massive $80 million in 15 months

Congrats, Mojang AB!

In the 15 months since the first alpha build back in October of 2010, Notch’s child and Mojang AB’s best game to date, Minecraft, has made a gross profit of $80 million. That report comes from the Financial Times, which noticed Mojang had filed finances in Sweden (their home turf). After interest, taxation and depreciation deducted, that’s $13.5 million in the pocket, with Notch as the main shareholder and a dividend of $3.7 million, which is shared with the rest of the company. In the meantime, Mojang is working on two new games: Cobalt and Scrolls, both of which may strike rich if they really are as seductive as Minecraft has been.

Via: FT

Grr: Android 4.0.4 Only Out For GSM Nexus S And Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ , Not LTE Variant

This is getting on our (read: my) nerves. Both the Sprint Nexus S and the Verizon LTE Galaxy Nexus seem to be the second-class citizens that the other Android devices are, as they never receive updates, such as the new Android 4.0.4 which adds smoother screen rotations, camera fixes, stability improvements, and numerous other bug fixes and tweaks to Ice Cream Sandwich that have long been asked for. For those of you that do have an HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus or a GSM Nexus S (meaning with SIM card), then the update is freely available to you, unless the download has not come down to your handset, since updates like these are gradually rolled out to the masses.

Via: Google+

Brevity Review: Portal 2 Test Candidate Hoodie

This is an official Aperture Science hoodie that retails for $60 from our friends at ThinkGeek. On the front, the iconic Portal 1 and 2 character slipping in between space, is 100% cotton, two front pockets, has ribbed cuffs and bottom. Wearing it is a very comfortable experience, despite the smallest size looking like a medium-sized hoodie when you make comparisons to other hoodies. Now, what I think is the most special about this hoodie is the back: it proudly displays the “Test Candidate” that you are when you wear a Portal 2 hoodie (or would if you were actually part of the game, in which case I’d like to steal your position).

Check Out Usenet.nl, A Form Of Access To Usenet

Once I got an email from Usenet.nl the first thing that came through my mind was “another cloud storage service”. Turns out, it has ingenuity and is unique in every way, plus it isn’t your normal cloud service to begin with. It’s an independent company that provides access to the usenet. The Usenet existed since 1979 and is something like the forerunner of the internet. Today providers like usenet.nl grant access to the usenet via internet. If you sign-up for usenet trial, you can – in two weeks – download 300 GB for free! While that is hard to believe, that it’s pretty legit and easy to use, and is all part of the free usenet download you can easily try on your own. Best of all, once you found files on the servers or files you simply want to download, you can do this with unlimited speed for a volume of 5 GB after that the rest of the 300 GB can be downloaded with a maximum speed of 2,000 kbit/s. The infrastructure piece on how Usenet operates can easily be seen here, which is fascinating, mainly because it combines 8 server farms into one streamed download, plus with the Newsreader software, which essentially is a browser for the files. It’s better than your usual torrenting service and in some cases faster than other service. Plans start at just a mere $9 per month on a yearly plan which enables you to download a volume of 635 GB per month which equates the amount of 850 CDs.

So, feel free to give Usenet.nl a shot!

Adobe Flash 11.2 and Air 3.2 launched today, with gaming in mind

Both the new Adobe Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2 have been launched. They represent an idea to enable “console quality” games like Shadowgun inside of your web browser. Flash version 11.2 includes support for mouse-lock, relative mouse coordinates, right/middle click events, multi-threaded video decoding, and the capability for hardware accelerated 2D and 3D graphics for gameplay at up to 60 frames per second (FPS). The new AIR 3.2 (Adobe’s platform for building cross-platform web apps, like Tweetdeck used to), comes with Stage3D for mobile, an Adobe tech released back in October for desktops used in graphically intensive titles. Also, Flash will auto-update itself on Windows.

Now for the funny part: Adobe is incentivizing Flash 11.2’s premium features (for the first time, it seems) by promising not to charge devs until their app reaches $50,000 in revenue. Sounds a little sketchy at first, but reasonable. Apps built using AIR don’t get charged. The new policy is effect August 1st, 2012.

In the meantime, it’s time to update both Flash and AIR on your computer.

Via: Adobe