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Chrome will support the WebGPU API by default – here’s why it’s important



Andrew Cunningham/Google

Google announced today that it will enable WebGPU support in its default Chrome browser starting with version 113, which is currently in beta. WebGPU, in development since 2017, is a next generation graphics API that aims to take advantage of low overhead APIs such as Microsoft Direct3D 12, Apple Metal, and Vulkan in web browsers and other applications.

WebGPU support has been available for some time, but is disabled by default in Chrome because the API hasn’t been finalized and things could break from update to update. Google says Mozilla and Apple will eventually support WebGPU in Firefox and Safari, and browsers like Microsoft Edge and Opera that rely on the Chromium browser engine could conceivably enable it, as Google did.

Chrome 113 supports WebGPU on Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS to begin with, while “support for other platforms” like Linux and Android “is coming later this year.” This version of the browser should become available to all Chrome users sometime in May.

Support in Chrome is a big step forward for any new standard, whether it’s a new or updated API, image format, or video codec. According to StatCounter, Chrome accounts for roughly two-thirds of the browser market share worldwide, and nearly 80 percent of the total browser market share if other Chromium-based browsers are included. Once Safari and Firefox add support, virtually all web browsers around the world will be able to run WebGPU code, so it’s worth briefly explaining what WebGPU is and why it exists.

What is Web GPU?

WebGPU is a kind of successor WebGL, a much older API that allows you to display OpenGL-based graphics in your browser without requiring additional third-party plugins such as Adobe Flash. While WebGL was revolutionary when it was announced in 2009, today it suffers from many of the same problems as OpenGL: it doesn’t take full advantage of modern GPUs, it can lose performance due to driver overhead, and it has only limited capabilities. kludgey support for GPU compute workloads.

“While WebGL is primarily designed for drawing images but can be repurposed (with more effort) to perform other kinds of computations, WebGPU has top-notch support for performing general computations on the GPU,” says draft paper explaining why WebGPU exists. The new API will improve graphics in environments like Babylon.js and game engines like Unity; will support GPU-accelerated workloads like those used for machine learning and artificial intelligence; and can make it easier for photo and video web apps (among others) to take advantage of the GPU acceleration that native apps benefit from.

WebGPU is being developed by a working group that includes members from Google, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Intel and many other companies, and as a result the API has been designed with the widest possible compatibility. WebGPU is not a direct implementation of any existing graphics API, but is a native API that sits on top of and interacts with Direct3D 12, Metal, and Vulkan. This explainer from Surma, a Shopify engineer and ex-Google employee, sums it up nicely (our emphasis):

“While WebGL is just a thin wrapper around OpenGL, WebGPU has taken a different approach. It introduces its own abstractions and does not directly reflect any of these native APIs.. This is partly because no single API is available on all systems, and also because many concepts (e.g., extremely low-level memory management) are not idiomatic for web APIs. Instead, the WebGPU was designed to feel “webbed” and to conveniently sit on top of any of the native graphics APIs, abstracting from their features. It’s standardized in the W3C and all the major browser vendors are sitting around the table.”

This has the advantage that WebGPU code becomes very portable – write WebGPU code and as long as users have hardware and a browser that supports it, you should get the same result on a Windows system with Direct3D and on an Android phone with Vulkan. And this avoids some of the hacks that keep WebGL working – for example, WebGL on Windows and macOS doesn’t even use OpenGL directly, but uses a translator called CORNER instead, OpenGL API calls are turned into Direct3D and Metal API calls. With WebGPU, there is no need to start a separate project to write a slow or poorly maintained implementation of OpenGL.

WebGPU also has its own shader language (WGSL), which the Chrome team is still working on supporting – today’s announcement says that Google “plans to provide deeper access to shader cores” via WGSL in a future release. Like the rest of the WebGPU API, WGSL is platform independent and easily translates to the preferred shader language of whatever operating system you use it on.

Finally, despite the word “network” in the name, the WebGPU API is not limited to browsers. V RSPU project is Rust’s version of WebGPU that allows you to write WebGPU applications and run them outside of web browsers.

If you want to experiment with WebGPU right now, Chrome 113 beta is available. Here. A GitHub repository with code samples is available. Hereas well as the official documentation for both WebGPU another WGSL.

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Update Chrome Now to Protect Yourself from This Zero-Day Vulnerability



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SwitchSalesShop – Has anyone ordered from this place before? – Video game suggestions



Came back to my account after a few years because I saw this on Twitter.

Looking at the site and the information provided. I am 99% sure that this is a scam and will take your money and run away.

The site location is the CVS repository and the email address is temporary/discarded.

We all love deals, but it’s better not to risk it.

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Spotify is shutting down Heardle, a Wordle-like music guessing game it bought last year



Spotify closes Heardle, a music guessing game he purchased inspired by Wordle last July for an undisclosed amount. Like wordle, hurdle offers players six attempts to guess a popular song – but instead of entering different letters to form words, players listen to the song’s intro to guess the artist and title. At the time of the acquisition, Spotify stated that Heardle would remain free for everyone. The company now says it will hear the sunset on May 5 as it seeks to focus on its other music discovery goals.

Changes are communicated via an in-app message on the Heardle website.

Image credits: hurdle

We understand that the decision to shut down Heardle was made because Spotify wants to devote more of its energy to finding music through recent in-app changes rather than Wordle-inspired gameplay off the platform.

last month, Spotify redesigned from its mobile app, which introduced new TikTok-style music and podcast discovery channels, as well as other features such as Smart Shuffle for playlist recommendations and a new option to automatically play podcasts, among others. Rolled out too on “I DJ” which finds out what kind of music users like and then plays those tracks for you. This feature also gets smarter over time the more you interact with it.

In light of these updates, Hurdle was no longer involved in Spotify’s overall music discovery efforts. Also, like many tech companies that have been subject to belt-tightening measures such as layoffs In recent months, there has been less financial incentive to participate in side projects, including, for example, a fun musical game.

However, at the time of the acquisition, Heardle was still quite popular. In March 2022, the game peaked at 69 million visits per month on desktop and mobile, according to analytics firm Similarweb. Shortly before the Spotify deal, those visits dropped to 41 million. The firm says visits continued to decline, likely making Hurdle’s ongoing maintenance no longer viable for Spotify.

In addition, with most Wordle craze is also on the decline After The New York Times bought the flagship word game last January, Hurdle’s own future prospects may have dimmed as well. We understand that Heardle has retained some of its loyal users since the deal closed, but Spotify will not comment on overall usage or repeat interactions with any specific metrics. However, it wasn’t until Spotify learned how Heardle players interacted with the game that the decision was made to focus the company’s investment elsewhere.

In the game, after users guessed the song, they could press a button to listen to the full track on Spotify. Perhaps not enough users did this, but simply left the game to play again later.

In other words, Hurdle ultimately didn’t help Spotify achieve its goals of improving music discovery. And with the redesign, much of what Heardle had to offer was now duplicating the company’s other music search features — and doing so outside of the Spotify app.

However, for those who enjoyed playing Heardle, today’s announcement that the game will soon be closed is hardly welcome news. Except, perhaps, those Forbes participants who had to write down daily answers and prompts, as well as numerous sites that ran Hurdle clones.

Spotify confirmed the closure of the game with a statement.

“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to say goodbye to Heardle as we focus our efforts on other music discovery features,” a company spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The website will display a banner for users to warn them of the shutdown, which will occur on May 5th.

We understand that Heardle did not have a dedicated team, so this will not affect either the reduction in staff or the reorganization.

We’re told that while Spotify is moving away from Heardle, that doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning other kinds of interactive experiences. Today, the company offers an interactive AI DJ feature and other features such as polls and Q&A that allow podcast listeners to interact with their favorite creators. It will also continue to invest in other gaming projects such as Roblox’s Spotify island, in-app gaming hub, and other Xbox and PlayStation integrations.

Earlier this month, Spotify also shut down another spin-off project with close Spotify Livelive streaming app and competitor to Clubhouse.

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