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HTML5 and the future of the Web

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There's been a lot of talk lately about the future of the Web. For instance, Wired had a cover story a couple months back proclaiming "The Web is Dead." And when I was at BlogWorld last month in Vegas, one of the main topics was how blogs are going to survive "In a world, where browsers are no longer..."

If anything is going to save the browser and the Web, it's going to be HTML5, and other improvements to the current HTML. HTML, if you don't know, stands for hypertext markup language and is the main set of tags we use to create Web pages and display information on a Web browser. But the standard we're using right now doesn't allow for cool things like video and animation without plugins like Flash, etc. That's why you can't watch Flash on your iPhone or iPad, because it's not part of the browser.

HTML5, which is coming to a browser near you very soon, has tags for animation, video and all sorts of cool interactive components that will blow your mind. The best example out there right now is an interactive music video by Arcade Fire called "The Wilderness Downtown." Our own Allison Keene mentioned this in a post last month, but it really deserves its own spotlight—it's that amazing.

The idea here is that you can help make the video by entering in your childhood snail mail address (or any other address you'd like). If Google maps has enough information/pics from your address, the HTML5 code will build the environment using several browsers of varying sizes and shapes. It's really amazing and something you MUST see to believe. If you don't have Chrome, you should install it first, because it makes the whole thing run much more smoothly.

Who knows what the future of the Web holds. But if HTML5 has anything to say about it, browsers will be around for a lot longer than the app kingdom hopes.

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technology
Take a Look Inside the 1987 Consumer Electronics Show
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Since June 1967, the Consumer Electronics Show has provided a venue for tech companies to show off their hottest products for the upcoming year. It’s also become a way to measure the progression of technology over recent decades, as the video below shows.

According to Sploid, the footage was filmed by Art Vuolo at the Consumer Electronics Show held in Chicago in the summer of 1987. The 30-year-old tape chronicles a time when camcorders, VCRs, and “portable” TVs were considered cutting-edge gadgetry. As we know, it would only be a few decades until those items served more of a purpose as kitschy craft supplies than actual hardware.

After watching part one of Vuolo’s series, check out the other three videos from the event which include a Casio synth guitar and an early video phone.

[h/t Sploid]

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Wisconsin Software Company Will Microchip Its Employees
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Typically, pets—not people—are microchipped. But as NBC News reports, one Wisconsin-based company plans to become the first business in the country to offer the tiny implants to its employees.

Three Square Market (32M), a software design firm in River Falls, Wisconsin, will begin providing the chips starting August 1. The rice-sized implants—which cost around $300 each—will be implanted in the hands of staffers between the thumb and the forefinger, and will allow them to purchase vending-machine snacks, open secured doors, or log into their computers with the wave of a hand. The company says the chips are optional.

32M is partnering with Swedish-based BioHax International to install the chips, which were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004. The chips utilize electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored data, and near-field communications, a technology that's used in contactless credit cards.

Fifty company members—including CEO Todd Westby—are expected to volunteer to receive the implants, according to a company statement. The company will foot the bill for the implants.

32M's microchipping program may sound unconventional, but the company—which owns machines that can use microchips—says it's simply riding the wave of the future.

"We see chip technology as the next evolution in payment systems, much like micro markets have steadily replaced vending machines," 32M's Westby said in the statement. "As a leader in micro market technology, it is important that 32M continues leading the way with advancements such as chip implants."

As microchipping becomes more common, Westby added, people will use the technology to shop, travel, and ride public transit.

The company says the chips are easily removable and can't be hacked or used to track recipients. However, some experts have argued the technology is an invasion of privacy, and that it could lead to heightened employee scrutiny.

"If most employees agree, it may become a workplace expectation," Vincent Conitzer, a computer science professor at Duke University, told NBC News. "Then, the next iteration of the technology allows some additional tracking functionality. And so it goes until employees are expected to implant something that allows them to be constantly monitored, even outside of work."

[h/t NBC News]

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