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First WebCL Demos Arrive From Nokia and AMD 48

Posted by timothy
from the heading-toward-the-singularity dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Samsung and Nokia have released initial implementations of WebCL for web browsers. Nokia's version works with Firefox 4 and AMD's App SDK on Windows Vista/7 32-bit and Samsung's version on Mac OS X 10.6.7 with Safari and Nvidia OpenCL GPUs. The implementation has little to no use for average users, but there are a couple YouTube videos that showcase the horsepower of GPUs in physics computations — inside a browser window."
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First WebCL Demos Arrive From Nokia and AMD

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Way to target an obsolete, unsupported browser!

  • by makomk (752139) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @12:04PM (#36662082) Journal

    Take a look at ticket #1 [nokia.com] on the Nokia OpenCL plugin. Arbitrary code execution anyone? The security issues with WebGL are massively overblown, but WebCL seems to be a different matter entirely.

    • Sounds like a problem with Nokia's plugin, not WebCL itself.

    • I am not sure you can draw such a clear distinction. WebGL allows arbitrary GLSL shader code to execute on your GPU in much the same way as OpenCL.
      The fact that GLSL is intended to process graphics doesn't itself provide any guarantees that is all it can be used for.

      • by makomk (752139)

        GLSL is a fairly restrictive language lacking things like pointers. The verified subset of it that WebGL allows is even more restrictive. OpenCL is basically C with a few minor limitations to make it more GPU friendly. Oh, and WebCL allows this code to be executed on the CPU, not just the GPU.

        When I talked about arbitrary code execution, I didn't mean it in the bullshit sense the anti-WebGL articles used - I mean the traditional definition, arbitrary code execution with access to the full privileges granted

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Honestly, and I hate to do this since I haven't agreed to a damned thing they have done since the sweaty monkey took over, I think MSFT may be right on BOTH WebGL and OpenCL when it comes to security and here is why:

      What is the most buggy driver on the average Windows system? Why that would be the graphics driver. Which driver is the LEAST likely to be updated? Again that would be the graphics driver. Which piece of hardware gets the least security checks because it would slow it down? Which piece of hardwa

      • by tyrione (134248)

        Honestly, and I hate to do this since I haven't agreed to a damned thing they have done since the sweaty monkey took over, I think MSFT may be right on BOTH WebGL and OpenCL when it comes to security and here is why:

        What is the most buggy driver on the average Windows system? Why that would be the graphics driver. Which driver is the LEAST likely to be updated? Again that would be the graphics driver. Which piece of hardware gets the least security checks because it would slow it down? Which piece of hardware thanks to the unified driver arch can take down tens of thousands of machines with a single buffer overflow? I think you get the idea.

        ActiveX was a seriously Forest Gump level of stupid and this? Right up there alongside it. This is an idea which will have little to NO benefit for end users, increased risks of infection, and for what? So some browser can go wobbly windows like the average Linux distro? Yeah that's worth the huge increased risk.

        Thanks to DXVA and H.26x support on even the low end GPUs released today there is already a trivial way to accelerate video. All this will do is give Windows and Linux users something in common, a nice single target for malware writers. It is a DUMB idea, greatly increases risk for the end users and for what? So you can run a game in a browser? The Asian MMOs have been doing that for ages by having plug ins and a mix of native and web code, and frankly the security there isn't very great there either.

        So if someone can explain how having a device with a super fast CPU of its own, at least 256Mb of super fast RAM of its own, and with the most buggy and least likely to be updated drivers access to running untested or vetted third party code off the net I'm listening. Oh and with today's firmware it would probably be pretty trivial to flash in a loader that makes sure the payload is loaded upon startup. Nice for the malware writers, not really seeing a point for my end users here.

        Bull shit. That's it. Pure Bull shit. The iframe is sandboxed in WebKit. Canvas is sandboxed in WebKit. How the hell do you cite WebGL and OpenCL and somehow fail to mention OpenGL? Utter bull shit. I could careless about Windows. This concerns OS X, iOS, Linux, Android and others. Enjoy DirectX11 and it's competitors to OpenCL, WebGL and WebCL. They will lose.

      • Which driver is the LEAST likely to be updated? Again that would be the graphics driver.

        And yet the graphics driver is the one thing I see updated so much more often than, say, my sound card driver or any other driver for any other hardware on my PC whatsoever.

  • Guess I must be out of touch with the bleeding edge. What's the "new" thing here... that it works in a browser window?

  • According to Nokia, WebCL can be used for Bitcoin mining - in which case WebCL is good for real world earnings of about $10 per day - at least as long as the Bitcoin currency remains intact.

    Seriously Nokia, first you're trying to sell your handsets by using Windows [slashdot.org], and now Bitcoin?

    • by acid06 (917409)
      Next obvious step is... Bitcoin-mining ads.
      Profit!
    • Re:Bitcoin? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Animats (122034) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @12:36PM (#36662416) Homepage

      good for real world earnings of about $10 per day - at least as long as the Bitcoin currency remains intact.

      Iif you create a web page which does Bitcoin mining in the background while displaying something else, you may be able to get people to do the computation for you.

      Bitcoin will probably tank before WebCL gets going. Bitcoin was supposed to be a transactional currency for micropayments. Instead, it's become almost entirely a speculative market. Bigcoin fans are franticallly "mining" and trading, but no major retailer accepts Bitcoins. Bitcoins are now so volatile that pricing anything in Bitcoins is hopeless. (Today's range is $12.40 to $15.00 per Bitcoin.)

      Without significant usage as a currency, it's not a currency. It's a pyramid scheme. About $100,000 worth of new Bitcoins are generated each day, and to keep the price up, the scheme needs $100,000 of new sucker money each day. Lately there's been a sucker shortage, and the price has been declining.

  • The functionality is awesome. But the API is too Java-like. Someone make it more JavaScript friendly please!

    • I hope to fucking christ you're joking... the only reason I wouldn't use this is because I need to use JavaScript. If browser companies would push something other than JavaScript in browsers this would be 1000% better. Hell, add support for Assembly and I'd prefer it over JavaScript. (Note: I did web development for a while after college before I got a job doing Java/JOGL graphics)
      • Sounds like you need to do your JavaScript development in a different language then... Check out GWT (Java) or Emscripten (LLVM)
  • My browser is meant to render HTML pages. At least, that's what I'd like my browser to do.
    I know that there are people who like lots of bells and whistles, so it's nice to have javascript and all of the other nifty additions to browsers, even though I turn them all off or just use w3m.
    Now openCL..sure, there's a niche for it somewhere and someone will want it. I think that this is tremendously unnecessary now, though. At which point does the trend for unnecessary bells and whistles go too far?
    Will the br
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      They have to come up with all kinds of useless features so that Firefox can add the latest and greatest new feature - a "freeze" button to stop all computation on a web page.

      Actually... can I have one of these please?

    • by gl4ss (559668)
      because somewhere along the history it was deemed that it's stupid to build browsers so that they load .cpp's, compile them and then run them -which would be amazingly convinient and something ms shot for so long time ago-, so you need some way to run fast code natively which pretty much compiles stuff to native and runs them.. kind of like a logical escape from a logical barrier invented few years ago? couldn't they just collectively buy out flash and put all this silly stuff in it? or implement virtualbo
    • by tyrione (134248)
      What's the reason? To offload the heavy lifting to the GPGPU so you can leverage all that OpenCL provides to the compiled native executable can only aid in the myriad of Javascript coding that currently bombards the CPU that could easily be passed onto the idle GPU(s).
  • Why does everyone seem to want to do everything in a web browser these days. I want to use my web browser for browsing websites. If I want to edit photos I would prefer to run a photo editing program in another window rather than piknik or similar in a web browser. If I want to work out pi to a million places, I might run superpi (or watch wierd al on youtube I guess). If I want to play a game, I don't want to do that in a web browser, either.

    Folks seem to understand this when it comes to phones; as ap
    • It allows folks at work to circumvent just about every single software installation policy in existence just by simply navigating to a website, so that way they can play their farmville and their angry birds instead of getting things done. This behavior translates right on over to their home machines, since installing software is a confusing and terrifying experience for the computer users too incompetent to even know what a filesystem is (omg registry settings are getting changed a commercial once told me
      • by Toonol (1057698)
        It allows folks at work to circumvent just about every single software installation policy in existence just by simply navigating to a website, so that way they can play their farmville and their angry birds instead of getting things done.

        It also allows them to get things done without waiting three weeks for someone from IT to respond to their requests to install the software they need, or to patch their software to current versions, or to give them access to the various directories that they require.
    • because it is very obvious that we are moving very much towards browser orientated systems. for normal people this is a very good thing, you dont need to install anything, just start playing, easily move from your pc, to your laptop, to your phone, without hassles of copying work or saves. can you really not see how useful that is?
      • My point was we are moving in the opposite direction on the phone (and even some other devices). Things that used to be done in browsers are being moved to "apps". The mobile market is moving away from browsers, the desktop market is being dumbed down into browsers.

        Not that I am saying I would like running software in a browser if mobile wasn't moving away from browsers, but it would at least make sense if things were moving in a consistent direction.
        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          except Microsoft (who'd have thought!) is embracing the 'app as a mini-browser' with Windows 8 and it's html+js GUI based model.

          I know a few mobile apps are practically browsers - the data seems to be pulled from the server all the time (ie plenty of 'loading...' forms are shown).

        • mobile apps are mostly just browser front ends
        • Have you browsed any books for mobile development recently at a B&N? My Andriod books are mostly devoted to HTML 5 with a few bits of java code to make it an actual applet. I think HTML 5 is going to the be the new gui framework standard whether we like it or not.

  • I thought Samsung and Apple hate each other? I can see the love with their injunctions on each others products and lawsuits galore.

    • As most other big companies, they have a love/hate relationship. Keep in mind that Samsung supplies screens for all those iPads...

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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