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So I write a column for the UAF Sun Star that runs weekly. It deals with technology, and I get paid. Not too shabby, putting that Journalism degree of mine to some work. Anyway, THIS is that column.

Chrome Starts A Fire (Arcade That Is)

I spend much of my day wrestling with web pages, and Google’s Chrome browser has definitely helped. Heralded for its support of HTML 5 (the newest iteration of code that makes web pages), Chrome has spent the last year in my web toolkit with its sleek, minimalistic look and speedy performance. Video and audio playback directly in the browser – no Flash required – is a positive too.

Now the Canadian indie act Arcade Fire is teaming up with Google to show off Chrome and HTML 5’s potential in a mash up of epic proportions. The band’s song “We Used to Wait” from the album The Suburbs is available as an interactive video, complete with moving aerial and street view images from a location of your choosing.

Using Chrome, I visited and entered my parent’s address. After a bit of waiting and clicking on birds, about ten new browser boxes popped open. I felt like I was in an old-school porn explosion for a moment, but I soon realized they were camera angles for the video to come.

The highlight was seeing locations from my youth sprout trees before my eyes. The show was a little light on aerial images from my neighborhood, but made up for it with an artistic opportunity to send a letter to my former self.

Chrome itself is a small download and fairly unobtrusive. The gee-wizardry of HTML 5 alone is worth the install… and a free, customized Arcade Fire video isn’t bad either.

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