Chrome beta disses plug-ins, speeds tapping on Android

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Google Chrome logo

Google released a beta of Chrome 32 on Thursday, fulfilling a promise to block many plug-ins and speeding up some tap operations on Android.

And Imgur fans will be eager to know that the new release also brings support for animated WebP images, a feature already added to Google’s image format but that had to overcome hurdles before finding a place in Chrome, too. Some advocated for a shift to plain old video, but animated GIFs have attained newfound popularity. Google promises smaller file sizes with animated WebP as an alternative, said Urvang Joshi, the Google programmer who championed animated WebP support for Chrome, in a blog post Thursday.

In September, Google announced that it will ban plug-ins that use the NPAPI technology for interfacing with the browser and giving it extra abilities. The ban doesn’t affect Adobe Systems’ Flash Player, by far the most widely used plug-in, and will only affect several other widely used plug-ins after a more graceful phase-out period.

On Android, the Chrome 32 beta ditches a 0.3-second delay that bogged down the process of tapping on a link. The delay was necessary to make sure people weren’t double-tapping to reformat a Web page for a mobile device. The delay is disabled for Web pages that Chrome judges to be designed specifically for mobile screens — another incentive for Web developers to adjust to the mobile market.

The new browser also supports the Vibration interface, which lets Web apps buzz your phone the way native apps already can. That’s one small step of the laborious process of trying to bring Web apps up to parity with those written directly for Android and iOS apps.


Are You Ready For Beetlejuice 2?

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WINONA RYDER could soon be reprising her role as Lydia Deetz in cult Tim Burton film Beetlejuice. Although the actress has been “sworn to secrecy”, she said that it “sounds as if it might be happening”.

Burton is behind the sequel, and Michael Keaton will once again play the creepy title role. It was their involvement that made Ryder want to do it again “because those guys I love”.

“It’s not a remake,” Ryder told The Daily Beast. “It’s 27 years later. And I have to say, I love Lydia so much. She was such a huge part of me. I would be really interested in what she is doing 27 years later.”

Beetlejuice has served as inspiration for some of fashion’s favourite Halloween costumes – both Henry Holland and Agyness Deyn have looked to the film for fancy dress stimulus. The Hollywood hit also inspired emerging British label Deetz, which was named after its young heroine.

Jay-Z And Barneys’ Racial Pact

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JAY-Z will continue working withBarneys on a Christmas collaborative collection, despite allegations that the store is guilty of racial profiling – on the condition that he will have a “leadership role” in addressing the issues. In response to the speculation, the rapper and store have pledged to increase the percentage of profits given to the Shawn Carter Foundation – which provides educational opportunities to young people facing difficulties – to 100 per cent, compared to 25 per cent agreed originally.

When the range – which involves design partners such as Lanvin, Balenciaga and Balmain – launches on Wednesday, Barneys will see that a further 10 per cent of all retail sales from all its stores and, with a minimum donation of $1 million WWD reports, also goes to the foundation. The chain came under fire last month after two black shoppers were reportedly detained by the police outside one of its stores, having made expensive purchases – allegations that are currently being investigated.

“While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling,” Jay-Z said on his website. “I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change in this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.”

21 Applause-Worthy Facts About Lady Gaga’s Eye-Popping Fashion

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Since showing the world her poker face and hair bow in 2008, Lady Gaga‘s outfits have been talked about as much as her music. Often times, they’ve even overshadowed it: Recall the 2010 VMAs, whose biggest star of the evening was The Meat Dress. This past weekend, Gaga made sartorial history once again with a dress that flies dubbed VOLANTIS.

Attention-baiting or not, Lady Gaga’s wardrobe changed the landscape of pop culture. The singer has brought high-fashion to mainstream consciousness, fostered a deeper respect for it as an artform, and propelled the careers of formerly cult designers, like her long-time stylist, Nicola Formichetti — now artistic director of Diesel.

Throughout her career, Gaga has become a beacon of fantasy in pop and fashion. She’s not only pushed the sartorial envelope with outlandish creations like that famous meat dress, she’s also challenged ideals of beauty in both realms. As zany as her costumes might be, they’re rarely trivial; hours of thought goes into each from her design team, Haus of Gaga.

1. Her iconic hair bow was created to resemble Hello Kitty’s bow.
Gaga’s hair stylist, Patricia Morales, designed the look for her “Poker Face” video but the singer liked it so much, she ended up making it her signature after the shoot.

2. Gaga honored Hello Kitty again a year later by donning a dress made out of the brand’s toys.

For the cuddly cat’s 35th birthday, Gaga starred in a campaign where she was styled in a Sanrio stuffed animal gown, Hello Kitty heels, and the floppy bow. It marked the second time in 2009 that Gaga wore a plush toy ensemble. The first was her Kermit the Frog coat.


Gary Moyes/Bravo/NBCUPB


3. Gaga’s Kermit the Frog coat was a commentary on not wearing fur.
She earned a compliment from PETA on it, who blogged about the Jean-Charles de Castelbajac runway creation along with Gaga’s statement: “I really loved this one in particular because I thought it was commentary on not wearing fur, ’cause I hate fur and I don’t wear fur. We were all laughing in the house about how it looks like a pile of dead Kermits.”

4. Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” brace outfit resembles a 1995 Helmet Newton shoot for Vogue.
Newton’s editorial spread considered the unattainable, dangerous ideals of fashion (like skyscraper stilettos) and Gaga’s video, similarly, pondered the dark side and demands of celebritydom.

5. Years later, when Lady Gaga was forced to use a wheelchair, it was 24-karat gold.
The $2,600 chair was conceived by jewelry designer Ken Borochov, had quilted leather seats and padding, as well as a hood, and was completed with a mere week’s notice. While Gaga was recovering from hip surgery, after canceling the rest of her “Born This Way Ball Tour,” Gaga also appeared in a custom Louis Vuitton wheelchair — one of the few times she’s sported brand logos.



6. Before she could afford luxury brands, Gaga copied a Hussein Chalayan creation during her Fame Ball tour. 

Her plastic bubble dress was inspired by the designer’s 2007 spring show. When she didn’t have the funds to purchase it, she had her Haus of Gaga team come up with their own rendition. A year later on her Monster Ball tour, she over-spent on her wardrobe, causing her $3 million in debt. This year, the singer one-upped Chalayan in a dress made of bubble machines.

7. Lady Gaga’s holographic “Bad Romance” outfit was created by Alexander McQueen and brought iconic status to his armadillo shoe.
The singer, one of the designer’s muses, debuted the final version of the song on his spring 2010 runway — the last collection he was alive to present. Two years later, Gaga honored the late designer in the special edition Born This Way song “Fashion of His Love” and then sold chocolate versions of McQueen’s signature shoe for $95 a pop at her holiday workshop for Barney’s New York.

8. Gaga’s braided hairy dress likely took inspiration from a shaggy blonde coat from Maison Martin Margiela’s spring 2009 show.
Gaga stepped out in hairy dresses again in 2010 and 2012.


George Pimentel/WireImage


9. About the meat dress: It weighed 50 pounds, didn’t drip any blood, and, according to its wearer, it “had a sweet smell.”
Franc Fernandez designed the dress, sourcing the meat from his family’s butcher. He’ll probably never live it down, but at least it earned him a placard in a museum. The dress was put on display in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “Women Who Rock” exhibit, alongside another VMA outfit worn by Britney Spears and a fur stole belonging to Billie Holiday. But as Stylite notes, before that happened, it “had to be painted over to look ‘fresh’ because, as the museum’s spokeswoman said, it had acquired a ‘dark, beef jerky’ coloring.”


Gregg DeGuire/PictureGroup


10. Gaga’s famous telephone hat was designed by Philip Treacy, who was also responsible for Princess Beatrice’s polarizing Royal Wedding topper — and the headwear worn in the “Alejandro” video.
The singer wore it shortly before her “Telephone” duet with Beyoncé was released. Around that time, Lady Gaga requested an internship with the milliner. He asked that she brush up on her sewing skills first. Two years later, she opened his spring 2013 show.



11. The white voluminous dress she wore to the opening of her holiday workshop for Barney’s New York was a custom design by Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld.
Gaga liked it so much, at the event she told WWD, “I think I also would like to be cremated in it.” Likewise, Lagerfeld, who is notoriously hard to please, is a fan of Gaga’s work. When he contributed to her fashion column for Magazine, the designer wrote, “Gaga gives the world her music and her talent, but the thing I like most is that she fights against boredom and banality. She also puts forth an ever-changing, inspiring, and strong image — an image beyond fashion.”


Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images


12. Lady Gaga’s male alter ego Jo Calderone, which she acted out during the 2011 VMAs, was initially conceived as a joke.
She and fashion photographer and music video director Nick Knight jokeingly staged a photoshoot where she dressed as Jo and then shopped the images around to magazines, masquerading as a male model.Vogue Hommes Japan ended up selecting one for its cover.

13. The spacious illusionary Comme des Garçons dress she wore was a response to the media’s scrutiny over her weight.
Her second response was to tweet the Marilyn Monroe quote: “To all the girls that think you’re ugly because you’re not a size 0, you’re the beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.” And her third response was to strip down to her intimates.


Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic


14. Lady Gaga once recycled Liz Hurley’s Versace dress seen-around-the-world in 1994.
The plunging safety-pinned stunner — which officially earned its place in the fashion canon last spring when it appeared in the MET’s punk exhibit — is one of the only outfits Lady Gaga has shared with someone else.

15. Versace opened their archives for Lady Gaga for her “Edge of Glory” music video.
It was the first time in history the brand had allowed someone free reign of their past collections. Gaga chose one of their popular silk shirts and a strappy leather getup, adorned with studs and Medusa heads.


16. Versace also outfitted Lady Gaga for her Born This Way Ball tour.
She’s since thanked the fashion house’s head with the Artpop ode to her, “Donatella.”


ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images


17. The “Born This Way” video made fashion history.
From being directed by Nick Knight to cameos by models Raquel Zimmermann and Rico “Zombie Boy” Genest to Gaga’s custom Thierry Mugler clothes, the 2011 clip is one of the most high-profile fashion productions of the decade.

18. Lady Gaga’s “Applause” cover makeup was a happy accident.
She got emotional during the video shoot because she missed her fans while she was recovering from her hip injury and smeared the makeup down her face to look like tears.


Courtesy of Interscope


19. Lady Gaga’s masks are how she deals with her insecurities.
She recently told Glamour Magazine, “Everybody always laughs because I feel so much more comfortable with, like, a giant paper bag on my whole body and paint on my face. Sometimes I try really hard to take it all off. But inevitably what’s underneath is still not a straight edge. And I don’t think it ever will be.” Which is why she recently wore a gigantic Charlie Le Mindu mask, made out of hair and inspired by the Queen of Sheba.


Chad Buchanan/WireImage


20. Lady Gaga’s recent mohawk was the pièce de résistance of Marc Jacobs’ final collection for Louis Vuitton.
She wore the entire runway look, which recalls Cher’s cagey 1986 Academy Awards outfit, a mere few weeks after the collection was shown in Paris.


Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images


21. The rotten dentures Lady Gaga wears on the “Dope” single artwork (which she also flashed at the YouTube Music Awards) are really a bracelet.
The design, dubbed a “dental cuff,” is the work of 25-year-old Danielle Hills. Haus of Gaga initially reached out to her to acquire rings for a video when she was enrolled in her final year at Pratt Institute’s fine-art jewelry and metals program. The rings were never used but Hills got her collection picked up instead by Formichetti’s then pop-up store in New York.


Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for YouTube


Vivienne Westwood To Write Life Story

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VIVIENNE WESTWOOD will launch her first ever memoir in October next year. The fashion veteran is working alongside her friend and renowned biographer, Ian Kelly, to pen her life story in candid detail.

“The living deserve respect. The dead deserve the truth; Ian and I are working together on this and I am excited that this will be my story, the story nobody ever did before,” said Westwood.

The book – published by Picador – will include contributions from Westwood’s family and high-profile friends – although names have not been confirmed yet. The memoir will span her career trajectory, from primary school teacher to becoming one of the industry’s most famous and rebellious designers. Westwood is known as much for her passionate eco campaigning, as she is for being one of punk’s key influencers – having helped catapult punk style into the mainstream, with her use of tartam saftey pins and bondage gear.

“Vivienne is much more than what you first see,” said Kelly. “She is passionately committed to human rights and to eco-politics, but as well as that I am keen to tell the truth about a huge-hearted, warm and witty individual, whose face and clothes are known the world over – but who is also recognisably the Derbyshire primary school teacher who met and fell in love with Malcolm McLaren and changed the world.”