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Google is apparently working to improve native support for Nintendo‘s Switch controllers within Chrome. Could this be a sign of things to come for Project Stream?
A recently discovered commit in Google‘s Chromium Gerrit page proposes to “improve support for Nintendo Switch gamepads.” First spotted by 9to5Google and Owen Williams, it would improve support for Switch Pro controllers (which are currently supported on Linux) and give support for Joy-Con, either through Bluetooth or through a charging grip controller attached via USB. By itself, this would seem like a somewhat random addition, but it does bring to mind some interesting possibilities.
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Google's adding Nintendo Switch controller support to Chrome… days ahead of its game streaming service being unveiled. This is gonna be good. ????
— Owen Williams ⚡ (@ow)
Google is expected to reveal something game-related at this years Game Developers Conference — it’s all but screamed that fact with constant teases and a recently-uncovered patent for a game controller. It’s most likely to be something related to Project Stream, the in-browser game streaming service it revealed last year. In case you missed it, Project Stream is a service that allows you to stream AAA games to your Chrome window. The company offered a trial in the closing months of 2018 that allowed gamers to play then-new Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in Chrome.
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Famous brands that started out with different names [Microsoft GES]
Some of the most well-known brands, such as Playboy, Subway, Google and Starbucks, were named differently when they started. Surprised? Read on to find more.
Previous Name: Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice
The coffee chain was called Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice for 12 years since its birth in 1971, until Howard Schultz, one of its employees, started his own coffeehouse chain called Giornale. In 1987, the owners sold the chain to Schultz, who re-branded his Giornale outlets into Starbucks.
Previous Name: BackRub
The search engine got its present name in 1998, two years after it came into existence. Google, which is a play on the word "googol", the mathematical term for the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros, was chosen by founders Larry Page and Serge Brin, as it reflects their purpose to organize an infinite amount of information on the web for all.
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Previous Name: Blue Ribbon Sports
Founded in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, Blue Ribbon Sports was originally a distributor for the Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger. It officially became Nike Inc. in 1971, deriving its name from the Greek goddess of victory.
Previous Name: Brad’s Drink
A North Carolina pharmacist Caleb Bradham introduced Brad’s Drink in 1893 after experimenting with several soft drink recipes. It was changed to Pepsi-Cola in 1898 and finally to just Pepsi in 1961.
Previous Name: Apple Computers
Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak, Apple Computers became Apple Inc. in 1997 as they diversified into consumer electronics such as iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Previous Name: Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo
Started as a radio repair shop by Masaru Ibuka in 1946, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo became Sony in 1958, a combination of the Latin word “sonus” (meaning sound and music) and “sonny,” American slang for boys.
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Previous Name: Pete’s Super Submarines
Founded in 1965 by 17-year-old high-school graduate Fred DeLuca and his friend Dr. Peter Buck in Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S., Pete’s Super Submarines became Subway in 1968.
Previous Name: Quantum Computer Services
Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1985, the company became America Online in 1991 and officially adopted its abbreviated name AOL in 2006.
Previous Name: Stag Party
Founder Hugh Hefner intended to call his adult magazine Stag Party, until an unrelated magazine called "Stag" threatened legal action for trademark infringement. Eventually, Playboy was decided upon at the last minute.
Previous Name: "Rent-a-Ford"
John Hertz, owner of the Yellow Cab Company, bought a car-rental operation from Walter L. Jacobs in 1923 and renamed it as Hertz Drive-Ur-Self. General Motors acquired the company from Hertz in 1926. In the 1950s, Hertz purchased the company back from General Motors and re-branded it as simply The Hertz Corporation.
Previous Name: AuctionWeb
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Pierre Omidyar launched AuctionWeb in 1995. They officially changed their name in 1997, initially calling the company EchoBay.com after Omidyar’s consulting firm. After discovering that domain was already taken, they switched to the now familiar eBay.
Previous Name: Phoenix
Founded in 2002, the open-source web browser was renamed “Firebird” due to trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies. The new name, too, faced pressure from the existing Firebird database software project. The Mozilla Foundation finally settled on Mozilla Firefox, named after the nickname of the red panda, in 2004.
Previous Name: Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web
Founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1994, the website was renamed Yahoo! - an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle” within a few months.
Previous Name: Sound of Music
Founded in 1966, the store was called Sound of Music until 1981, when a tornado destroyed their largest store. A ‘Tornado Sale,’ advertising ‘best buys’ of damaged and excess stock followed, and became an instant hit. This led to re-branding of the store as Best Buy in 1983.
Previous Name: Wards
Samuel S. Wurtzel established the first "Wards" retail store in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. in 1949. The name was an acronym of the last initials of his family members: W = Wurtzel; A = Alan; R = Ruth; D = David; S = Sam. They officially changed their named to Circuit City in 1984. The retail chain shut down in 2009.
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Previous Name: Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation
Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation was founded in 1911 and was renamed International Business Machines in 1924. Headquartered in New York, U.S., the company is commonly referred to by its acronym, IBM.
Previous Name: Marafuku Company
The playing card company Marafuku Company was founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi and later changed its name to Nintendo Playing Card Company in 1951. The name was eventually shortened to Nintendo.
Previous Name: Research in Motion
Research in Motion, one of the first wireless data technology companies in North America, was founded in 1984. The founders announced the name change to Blackberry in 2013 with the purpose relaunching the declining brand.
Previous Name: Confinity
Confinity – an amalgamation of the words "confidence and infinity” – was formed in 1998 as a company that developed security software for handheld devices. In 2000, it merged with X.com, an online banking company. Following the management’s decision to focus solely on money transfer services, X.com became PayPal in 2001.
We heard a few days ago of a patent Google filed for its own game controller, which naturally raised speculation on whether this controller was specifically for Project Stream. If this is any indication, it seems like it’s not necessarily putting all the eggs in its own basket, as far as controllers go. One of the benefits of a cloud-streaming service like Project Stream is convenience — and what could be more convenient than being able grab whichever game controller you have at hand and use it to play? It’d be a trip using a Joy-Con to play the likes of Assassin’s Creed or Red Dead Redemption 2.
Of course, there’s a less likely but more exciting proposition: that Nintendo games might become part of Project Stream’s library. Imagine being able to play Mario Kart or Smash Bros in your Chrome browser? Like I said, not likely — Nintendo is not exactly the type to allow its games to be played just anywhere. But a gamer can certainly dream.
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