News Posts matching "Chrome"

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Antitrust: European Commission Fines Google for Record €4.34 billion for Illegal Practices

It's a record-setting fine: the European Commission has officially ruled that Google must pay a fine of €4.34 billion for breaking antitrust laws, specifically related to the implementation of its services within the Android ecosystem. The three key areas within which the EC has found wrongdoings pertain to bundling of its search engine and Chrome apps into the operating system; blocking phone makers from creating devices that run forked versions of Android (claiming, without proof, that these versions would offer more security risks), and "made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators" to exclusively bundle the Google Search app on handsets.

Google now has 90 days to comply with the EC's decision (notwithstanding payment of the fine), which Google, obviously, has already announced will appeal the decision. In a statement to The Verge, a Google representative said that "Android has created more choice for everyone, not less. A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation, and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition," and that Google "(...) will appeal the Commission's decision." The idea here seems to be to stop Google from forcing manufacturers to bundle their app and search software stacks - many times in a seemingly unremovable way. You can check the press release in the source link, but some of the more interesting snippets have been collated after the break.

Google to Remove Cryptomining Extensions from Its Store

In a continued crackdown from regulatory and tech companies alike, Google has just announced an addendum to their purge of all manner of cryptocurrency or mining-related content that they deem may be dangerous for users. After the company went through the trouble of establishing clear guidelines on what exactly would be classified as an acceptable cryptocurrency and cryptomining extension on its store (basically, what Google wanted was transparency from the part of the developers as to what the extension would do with users' hardware resources), and seeing those warnings and guidelines fall on deaf ears, Google has taken, again, the nuke approach: they're just banning all related content and extensions from their store altogether.

Alliance for Open Media Announces the AV1 Royalty-free Video Format

Consumers' video expectations are being shaped by the brilliant images promised by 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) video and beyond. However, the technical-based hurdles and data demands of higher quality video mean that the majority of users only have access to full HD or lower video technology. For nearly three years, the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) has been working in lock-step with its members, the world's best-known leaders in video, to develop a better quality internet video technology that benefits all consumers. Today, the Alliance is proud to announce the public release of the AOMedia Video Codec 1.0 (AV1) specification, which delivers cross-platform, 4K UHD or higher online video, royalty-free - all while lowering data usage.

Whether watching live sports, video chatting with loved ones, or binging on a favorite show, online video is becoming a bigger part of consumers' daily lives. In fact, video is so important to users that by 2021, 82 percent of all the world's internet traffic will be video, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index , 2016-2021. To remove many of the hurdles required by older, optical disc-era, video technologies, AOMedia developed AV1 specifically for the internet video-era, paving the way for companies to make more of the royalty-free, 4K UHD and higher video devices, products, and services that consumers love.

Google To Integrate "Not Secure" Tag in Websites Sans HTTPS

Google has been one of the more vocal advocates of a HTTPS-based web, and the company is mounting an offensive of sorts that aims to push web page managers to adopt the more secure protocol. Starting July of this year, with Chrome 68, the Google web browser will start marking all non-HTTPs websites as "Not secure", thus warning users of heightened security risks. From the way Google is doing this, it seems the company hopes users that see the "Not secure" badge on web pages will start gradually choosing other options for their web surfing habits - HTTPS-enabled options, ideally - and thus force page managers to upgrade their security to stem the leaving user base.

Google has some interesting bullet points as it pertains to the adoption of HTTPS; they say that over 68% of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows is now protected; over 78% of Chrome traffic on both Chrome OS and Mac is now protected; and that 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default (which this editor would personally expect to be closer to 100 out of 100, but there are just some websites that really can't be moved). In the blog post announcing the change, Google engineers also bring attention to the company's Lighthouse utility, which automagically scans web pages for non-HTTPS elements, highlighting them, and noting those that can easily and painlessly be converted to their secure, HTTPS equivalent - which in some cases, might even enable more powerful tools.

Google and Mozilla Push for AV1 Image Format Adoption, Beats JPEG and HEIC

Google and Mozilla, the companies behind the Chrome and Firefox cross-platform web-browsers; are pushing for the adoption of a new web image format to replace the ageing and inefficient JPEG, and the license-ridden HEIC. The two companies are leading a consortium of Internet businesses, called the Alliance for Open Media, to push for the proliferation and standardization of the new AV1 image file format. Early testing shows AV1 files to be 15 percent smaller than HEIC for comparable quality, which in turn promises half the file-size of JPEG for comparable quality. Apple uses HEIC as the default image file format for iOS and MacOS, while JPEG, PNG, and GIF continue to be the dominant web image formats, and have been prevalent for over two decades now.

"It seems downright silly that we're still relying on compression tech from 20 years ago," said Kelly Thompson, general manager at 500px, a photo sharing and sales site. "The equipment we're using to capture and display images is now exceeding JPEG's upper limits." JPEG is not just inefficient, but also has severe color palette limitations, and lack of support for transparency. Adoption of newer image file formats could significantly reduce Internet bandwidth usage benefiting both end-users running on slower/metered connections; and for infrastructure providers, such as ISPs.

ASUS Showcases Small Form Factor Solutions at CES 2018

ASUS today announced its latest lineup of small form factor products at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, including the PB40 and PN40 Mini PCs, Chromebox 3 and Tinker Board S. This year's innovations offer compactness and versatility for a variety of usage scenarios without compromising quality or performance.

With the new PB40 and PN40 Mini PCs, users can enjoy the power of a computer with the convenience of a compact and portable device, whether for work or play. The latest Chromebox 3 lets users enjoy their favorite Android apps for both home and educational entertainment, with the full power of an 8th Generation Intel Core processor. And with the new ASUS Tinker Board S, DIY enthusiasts can enjoy class-leading performance for turning their creative ideas into reality.

Google Chrome's Integrated AdBlocker to Go Live on February 15th

In what is certainly a major step forward for Internet advertising and the way these are delivered to users, Google has announced that their in-Chrome AdBlocker, which will ship embedded on the Chrome web browser, should be up, running, and being distributed in installation packages by February 15th. This move by google comes after the company joined a voluntary association in the form of the Coalition for Better Ads Experience Program, which aims to better the Internet - and its ads - on both consumers and publishers. This coalition's aim is to define standards for advertising, marking ads as either acceptable or not under the standard's rules, and will "certify web publishers that agree not to use the most disruptive ads identified in the Standards and will accredit browsers and advertising technology companies that will assess publishers' compliance with the Standards and filter digital ads based on the Standards."

Following its integration in the Better Ads Coalition, google will officially activate its AdBlocker on February 15th, whose criteria for blocking ads will be based off of the Coalition's white and black listing of websites and ads according to whether or not they conform to the body's advertising Standards. Google wrote on a developers blog post that "Starting on February 15, in line with the Coalition's guidelines, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a "failing" status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days."

Web Cryptocurrency Mining Evolves: Now Keeps Running After Closing Browser

Well, after users think they've closed their browsers, more specifically. Researchers form anti-malware provider Malwarebytes have discovered a new form of web-based cryptocurrency mining that has a stealth-like approach to running mining code, which might cause less attentive users' machines to keep mining even after their web browsers have been closed. This is done via an utterly simple method, really: upon opening a malicious web page that has been coded to make users' machines mine cryptocurrency, the web page opens a pop-up window that is minimized behind the Windows Taskbar's clock. It's ingeniously simple - but could be surprisingly hard to detect, and could mean that the mining process will actually keep on using CPU cycles and mining crypto indefinitely until the next system reboot.

Mozilla Announces Firefox Quantum Web-browser

Mozilla today released the Firefox Quantum web-browser for PCs. Technically version 57.0 of Firefox, Quantum comes with an overhauled user-interface, a more evolved multi-process sandbox than Google Chrome, and is geared for both performance and lower memory footprint. Mozilla claims that web-rendering performance has been doubled over the previous version (Firefox 56.0), making it play in a league above Google Chrome. It's also designed to have up to 30% smaller memory footprint than Chrome.

Firefox Quantum takes advantage of the very latest CPU instruction sets, and GPU features, to accelerate web-rendering, with a focus on keeping the interface as smooth as possible, without losing out on the quality of rendering. It also adds WebVR and and WASM support in-built, broadening its feature-set for browser-based gaming. Grab Firefox from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: Mozilla Firefox Quantum

Cryptojacking: Over 2,500 Websites Out There to Steal Your CPU Time

Cryptojacking is a new phenomenon, which was popularized by ThePirateBay embedding its website with a Javascript-based crypto-currency miner. It quickly sprung up the debate on whether crypto-currency miners hidden into web-pages could become the revenue model of the future, replacing online advertising or paid subscriptions. Some commentators argue that it's fine as long as users are made sufficiently aware that a website is embedding a miner, and is presented with a choice between ads and the miner. Others were steadfast against the idea as heavy Internet browsing (across multiple tabs), could bring down computers to a crawl, and have a more than tangible impact on electricity bills.

According to an ArsTechnica report, there could be at least 2,500 websites out there, with embedded crypto-currency miners that are hidden from the users. Willem de Groot, an independent cybersecurity researcher told the publication that he estimates JS miners may have proliferated to 2,496 websites, and its adoption is on the rise. Some dishonest websites embed miners as a revenue source in addition to ads and sponsored content. At the heart of the controversy is Coinhive. This company sells easy-to-integrate crypto-currency miners that can be embedded into websites as a revenue source. The company is on a marketing overdrive, writing to siteops and bloggers to spread their miners.

Web Mining, Part Two: Adblock Plus Now Blocks Web Mining Efforts a la TPB

We here at TPU wrote an extensive editorial on the issue of web mining possibly becoming the revenue model of the future. The Pirate Bay may not have been the first site to adopt Coinhive's javascript code for mining purposes when users access its pages, but it was the highest-profile one to be caught, since the performance hogging was enough that users started seeing diminished responsiveness on their systems when visiting the torrent site. On that editorial piece, we talked about the issues of web mining, and compared it to the advent of ad-based revenue models for websites. A piece of our argument revolved around human nature and the pursuit of higher and higher revenue, in a system that would typically reward abuse with higher amounts of mining-generated money - and how users, browsers, and ad-blocking would evolve to also block these mining efforts.

Well, Adblock Plus has gone and done it, adding a filter for Coinhive-based web mining, filtering the mining script. This will likely ignite a cat and mouse game between web mining providers, users, and the browsers and extensions we use to protect ourselves, but it isn't something we hadn't mentioned before. The Adblock Plus extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Android. Look after the break for instructions on how to add these filters to your Adblock Plus-enabled browser of choice.

Windows 10 Process-Termination Bug Slows Down Mighty 24-Core System to a Crawl

So, you work for Google. Awesome, right? Yeah. You know what else is awesome? Your 24-Core, 48-thread Intel build system with 64 GBs of ram and a nice SSD. Life is good man. So, you've done your code work for the day on Chrome, because that's what you do, remember? (Yeah, that's right, it's awesome). Before you go off to collect your google-check, you click "compile" and expect a speedy result from your wicked fast system.

Only you don't get it... Instead, your system comes grinding to a lurching halt, and mouse movement becomes difficult. Fighting against what appears to be an impending system crash, you hit your trusty "CTRL-ALT-DELETE" and bring up task manager... to find only 50% CPU/RAM utilization. Why then, was everything stopping?

If you would throw up your arms and walk out of the office, this is why you don't work for Google. For Google programmer Bruce Dawson, there was only one logical way to handle this: "So I did what I always do - I grabbed an ETW trace and analyzed it. The result was the discovery of a serious process-destruction performance bug in Windows 10."

Club 3D Announces 2 New Video Splitters With 2x 4K @ 60Hz Support

Club 3D is proud to announce the next generation of SenseVision video splitters today with the introduction of two brand new splitters, CSV-1474 (USB-A to HDMI 2.0 Dual Monitor 4K 60Hz) and CSV-1477 (USB-A to DP 1.2 Dual Monitor 4K 60Hz) with this press release.

Former generation video splitters or USB graphic adapters based on USB 3.0 or 3.1 suffered from a limitation of 30 Hz if you were aiming at using the highest resolutions like 3840 x 2160 (4K). The latest developments from DisplayLink make it possible now that with CSV-1474 and CSV-1477 the resolutions can be taken to a new level. Not only one time 4K60Hz is possible, both splitters offer Dual Monitor functionality and each of the outputs can offer 4K 60Hz. The only requirement is to have a free USB Type A 3.1 Gen 1 socket in your device. The two new SenseVision products are powered by DisplayLink 6950 SoC. Our new future-proof products will be ready for shipment on June 30th. Wide availability of the products in the market we expect in the first week of July.

Firefox 54 Released: Multi-process, Optimized Memory Footprint

The Mozilla Foundation has recently launched the latest version of their Firefox web browser. The foxiest web browser around, which lets you access all of those amazing websites (like TPU) now features increased support for multitasking through its multi-process technology. A result of the Electrolysis effort from Mozilla's part, which has spawned more than eight years of work, Firefox 54 applies the Goldilocks principle to browser design, straddling an approach between increased performance and acceptable memory usage.

As such, Firefox won't be like Chrome, where each process is responsible for a single tab and its content handling (and can therefore increase memory usage immensely, which has justified Chrome's fame as a memory hog), but will instead opt for a more streamlined approach. Open 10 different tabs with 10 sites in Chrome, and you'll have 10 different processes. Each of those processes has its own memory - with their own instance of the browser's engine. Au contraire, Firefox now creates up to 4 separate processes for web page content. This means that the first 4 tabs each use those 4 processes, and additional tabs run using threads within those processes, optimizing, as per Firefox, memory usage and performance.

Chrome 62 Really Won't Like "HTTP" Sites When In Incognito Mode

As part of Google's push towards a safer, HTTPS-encrypted web, the Chrome browser will begin marking any HTTP site as non-secure when a user browses in incognito mode. Incognito is the Chrome browser's enhanced privacy mode, which goes a long way in explaining why Google sees non-HTTPS sites as a non-secure place to visit. Save some network metadata, encrypted HTTPS connections keep the contents of the communications between the user and a web server hidden from outside parties - in normal circumstances, that is. The company is already marking HTTP web-pages that accept credit card details as not-secure, and starting October this year, the browser will do the same on every HTTP site in which the user has to input data, and for every HTTP page browsed in Incognito mode.

Interestingly, Google has advanced that traffic to pages it has marked "Not Secure" has dropped by 23%, which goes to show that such policies do impact a user's decision on whether or not to establish such a connection. In addition, Google started scrambling its search engine algorithm so as to feature HTTPS sites more prominently than sites that don't. This means that websites that see diminishing visitors should be more inclined towards a adopting the more secure, encrypted HTTPS. And in an era where every scrap of our information is deemed worthy of at least being stored and resold, I find it commendable that Google thinks every piece of information should be secured, instead of just our payment information - which even that isn't always secure.

ADATA Announces the i-Memory AI920 Jet Black Flash Drive

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the i-Memory AI920 Jet Black Flash drive for iOS devices. Featuring Lightning and USB 3.1 in one slim 6.9mm device, the AI920 delivers 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacity and up to 150MB/s read. The Jet Black color scheme has been added in order to better complement Apple devices with an exact color match with iPhone 7, giving consumer more choice. The AI920 is also Apple MFi certified, making it an official iOS accessory.

Phanteks Introduces the Glacier G1080 Ti Founders Edition

With the release of Nvidia's newest flagship gaming GPU, the GTX 1080 Ti, Phanteks is excited to introduce the Glacier Series G1080 Ti. The full cover waterblock from Phanteks are designed to work seamlessly with Nvidia's new GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition and Titan X cards, which allows serious overclocking and extreme performance.

Made from premium materials according to the finest standards of craftsmanship from Phanteks, the G1080Ti water block delivers extreme cooling and improve stability under high overclocks for the enthusiasts. VITON sealing from the Automotive and Aerospace Industries ensure the best reliability and longevity. The Glacier Series features RGB lighting to let you synchronize lighting patterns and effects from our RGB motherboard and Phanteks RGB products. Phanteks Glacier G1080 Ti will be available in April, 2017 with two color options: Mirrored Chrome and Satin Black, with pricing set at €149,90 / £129.99.

Google Readies New Operating System Codenamed "Fuchsia"

Google is reportedly working on a new operating system it codenamed "Fuchsia" on the project's Git repository. Some of the oldest comments read "pink + purple = fuchsia (a new operating system)." The Verge speculates that looking at the focus on lightweight code, Fuchsia could be a cross-platform operating system that unifies the Android and ChromeOS ecosystems. Another theory holds that the OS could drive the company's routers and IoT devices. The OS is based on Magenta, a heavily stripped down micro-kernel based on Linux. Magenta's lightweight design favors embedded applications.

DisplayLink Announces Native Support in Google Chrome OS

DisplayLink, the leading provider of USB graphics technology, today announced its docking stations and adapters work with Chrome OS Release 51 onwards. A demonstration of the native plug-and-display capability will be shown at Interop 2016, Las Vegas showcasing the latest Chromebooks from industry leaders such as Dell and HP. For a demo, visit the DisplayLink booth at Interop Las Vegas Expo, between May 4th and May 5th.

"DisplayLink is truly excited to announce native OS support in Google's Chrome OS from today onwards," said John Cummins, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing. "No driver is required, just plug in any DisplayLink device and it just works. As Chromebooks have expanded across education and corporate markets, we've experienced strong demand to enable Chromebooks with the DisplayLink installed base of millions of devices. A Chromebook and DisplayLink multi-head docking station enables multiple monitors for a true productivity desktop experience. We are proud to have worked closely with Google to deliver this new functionality to customers worldwide."

HP Unveils New Chromebook Designed for Education

HP Inc. today announced the HP Chromebook 11 G4 Education Edition (EE) -- a durable, lightweight Chromebook designed to meet the needs of students and educators. "The popularity of Chromebooks in the classroom offers a simple, secure, and manageable solution to enable technology-based learning," said Gus Schmedlen, vice president of Worldwide Education, HP. "With the HP Chromebook 11 G4 Education Edition (EE), we are bringing innovation, design and HP's legendary quality to students and teachers in a durable device built to survive the rigorous school environment while enabling students to achieve more both in and out of the classroom."

Because students can be some of the most demanding users when it comes to technology, HP designed the HP Chromebook 11 G4 EE with their environment in mind. At 20 mm thin and just 2.7 pounds, the fanless HP Chromebook 11 G4 EE is the thinnest rugged Chromebook for Education designed to pass MIL-STD testing. With rugged construction accents like co-molded rubber edges, the device passes HP's 70 cm drop test to help protect it from occasional bumps with lockers and drops from desks.

Toshiba Updates its Chromebook 2

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced the successor to its award-winning Chromebook 2. Now available with a 5th Gen Intel Core i3 or Celeron processor and up to 4GB of RAM, these two new models deliver better performance for loading content-rich webpages quickly, providing brilliant video playback and effortless multitasking. Both models come with an all-new LED backlit keyboard for a more seamless experience when web browsing, watching movies, listening to music and getting work done, even in low light environments.

"As more people use Chromebooks for productivity and rely more often on the web for content creation and entertainment, devices need to be better equipped for these higher processing demands and built with hardware features that optimize Chrome OS," said Philip Osako, senior director of product marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "With the launch of our latest Chromebook 2 models, Toshiba delivers brilliant performance for an outstanding experience on and off the web with entertainment-inspired hardware features that make the most of Chrome OS and enable customers to get things done faster wherever their Chromebook 2 takes them."

ASRock Unveils H2R HDMI 2-in-1 Router

There's the ordinary travel routers that function as their names suggest, and then there's this extraordinary new device that outdoes the rest of the gang - ASRock H2R (HDMI 2-in-1 router). Besides working as a travel router, it can also be used as an Ethernet adapter, or even an HDMI dongle substitute for Apple TV or Google Chromecast.

Imagine yourself on a lonesome odyssey. Weary and burdened from the excursion, you reluctantly relinquish and check in at a shabby hostel. Flipping through foreign channels mindlessly makes you feel even more disconnected. But deep down you know it isn't the solitude that's devouring your consciousness bit by bit. What you're facing is one of human's primal fears, fear of the absence of a strong and perpetual WiFi signal. Your only salvation lies within ASRock H2R and a functioning RJ45 LAN cable.

NVIDIA Readies a PS4 SharePlay-like Feature for GeForce Experience

NVIDIA is giving final touches to a feature that's similar in function to PlayStation 4 SharePlay, called GameStream Co-op. Accessed through its GeForce Experience app, the feature will let you share your game over the Internet with your friend, letting them either take over control (and get you through a level you're stuck with), or play co-op multiplayer with. The way this works is that your systems renders the game, and streams it across the Internet to them.

NVIDIA is planning to get GameStream Co-op into the hands of as many gamers as possible, by the minimum system requirements of the host PC rather low. You need at least a GeForce GTX 650 graphics card to get started. The guest PC has even lower system requirements, including not needing any discrete-graphics, and just Google Chrome (the game streams to them as a web-page). The only notable requirement is an Internet bandwidth of at least 7 Mbps (upstream) for the host, and 7 Mbps (downstream) for the guest. NVIDIA plans to put a working beta of this feature in the hands of gamers by September.

Dell and Google Launch Premium Professional Chromebook

Dell today announced the continued expansion of its collaboration with Google with the launch of the Dell Chromebook 13, a premium 13.3-inch professional Chromebook solution. Designed for today's on-the-go lifestyle, the Dell Chromebook 13 offers class-leading performance from up to 5th generation Intel Core i5 processors, an ultra-sleek design, stunning display and up to 12 hours of battery life. Along with powering businesses with the speed and simplicity of Chrome for Work, the Chromebook provides customers with manageability and security software and applications, which allow it to fit seamlessly into any professional computing environment. The Dell Chromebook 13 joins Dell's Chrome portfolio and further showcases the commitment Dell and Google have made to developing innovative and flexible solutions to meet the evolving needs of the mobile workforce.

"Working in a high paced environment like The Weather Channel, it's essential we have the right technologies in place so we can stay up to date with the latest information and power our continuous coverage," said Nicholas Gardner, sr. director corporate technology, The Weather Company. "The Dell Chromebook 13 we've been testing has provided us with a secure, powerful and easy to manage device that we can use both in the office and on location. We're excited by its potential and look forward to seeing it come to market."

Belkin Announces Universal HDMI to VGA Adapter Kit with Audio

Belkin, a trusted leader of technology solutions for office, classroom, IT infrastructure, and mobile environments, today announced availability of its new Universal HDMI to VGA Adapter Kit with Audio, the only branded, multi-purpose adapter kit that gives existing legacy equipment complete compatibility with new digital devices.

Today's classroom is a mixed technology environment comprised of legacy VGA equipment (e.g., old projectors, early-generation interactive whiteboards) and new HDMI-enabled devices (e.g., iPads, Apple TV, Chromebooks). Budget constraints can restrict the purchase of new equipment, forcing educators to use what the school currently has available. There is no easy way to integrate existing equipment with new devices, creating a disconnect that hinders collaboration in the classroom.
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