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Google Chrome 18 Accelerates Canvas

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The Canvas element is one of the key web elements that the HTML5 specification standardizes for web browsers. Canvas is the element that interactive web developers are using to build games and other types of immersive experiences.

Google is now taking Canvas2D a step further by enabling the new Chrome 18 web browser to leverage hardware-based GPU acceleration.

"We've enabled GPU-accelerated Canvas2D on capable Windows and Mac computers, which should make web applications like games perform even better than a pure software implementation," Google explained on the Chromium blog.

Hardware acceleration for Canvas is something that other HTML5-compliant vendors could benefit from as well. As a web standard Canvas is also being leveraged by Mozilla for their BrowserQuest online game, which was released earlier this week. BrowserQuest is a full in-browser massively multi-player online game.

Security Fixes

Chrome 18 also provides at least 9 security fixes, and three of the issues are rated as high impact. There are no critical fixes for the Chrome 18 updates.

One of the high impact flaws is a Use-After-Free memory issue with the SVG graphics library. The other high impact flaws include a memory corruption and a type sanitizer vulnerability.

All told Google is paying security researchers $4,000 for flaws fixed in the stable release of Chrome 18. That said, Google noted in its release notes that it had paid out an additional $8,000 in awards for bugs that were reported and fixed before Chrome 18 hit the stable release channel.

The Chrome 18 release is Google's second major browser release of 2012. The first Chrome 17 update debuted at the beginning of February.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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