New Google Chrome Update Will No Longer Support Java

Chrome Version 42; The answer to life, the universe and everything?

Not for much longer as Google have deprecated NPAPI, NPAPI stands for Netscape Plug-in API. A feature of Chrome to allow extensions to interface with the local machine.

This doesn’t come as a surprise though, Google started their efforts to remove support more than a year ago. Google have kept the option to re-enable the support for NPAPI of you really, really need it, however, they do plan to remove the functionality as of September this year.

The disabling of this feature will mean a large impact to several extensions and plugins that are available for the browser, such as Java. Chrome will now refuse to run the Java plugin as default. Severely minimizing the attack vector against the browser and more importantly, your personal data.

Apps have now started to be removed from the Google Web Store now. Google state the following:

“In April 2015 (Chrome 42) NPAPI support will be disabled by default in Chrome and we will unpublish extensions requiring NPAPI plugins from the Chrome Web Store. All NPAPI plugins will appear as if they are not installed, as they will not appear in the navigator.plugins list nor will they be instantiated (even as a placeholder). Although plugin vendors are working hard to move to alternate technologies, a small number of users still rely on plugins that haven’t completed the transition yet. We will provide an override for advanced users (via chrome://flags/#enable-npapi) and enterprises (via Enterprise Policy) to temporarily re-enable NPAPI (via the page action UI) while they wait for mission-critical plugins to make the transition. In addition, setting any of the plugin Enterprise policies (e.g. EnabledPlugins, PluginsAllowedForUrls) will temporarily re-enable NPAPI.”

The team are not the only people pushing for the end of Java in the web browser. The developers of Minecraft and the US government have taken serious steps to mitigate user exposure to the exploits of Java vulnerabilities.

Thanks to TheRegister for this information

Image courtesy of ikinja

Iiyama Expands Its Display Offering with the New 24″ ProLite X2481HS and XB2481HS

Iiyama has added two new products to its 24″ display lineup, the ProLite X2481HS and XB2481HS, featuring a slim bezel design, FullHD resolution, LED backlights and the enhanced VA panel technology.

The company states that due to their VA LCD panel technology which is able to provide vivid and bright colours, along with high contrast and superior viewing angles, the display solutions are perfect for anyone working in the Photography, Graphic or Web design industry. Also, their multi-monitor configuration makes it a perfect solution for people working to manipulate multiple applications at the same time.

The ProLite XB2481HS features an ergonomic stand which rotates, tilts and its height can be adjusted by 13cm. Another feature consists of its ability to pivot between landscape and portrait mode. Both solutions are stated to come with integrated speakers and a wide range of connectivity options as shown below.

Iiyama says that the new generation ProLite XB2481HS and X2481HS are now available across Europe and are standard offered with 3 years ‘on-site’ Advance Exchange Warranty.

Source: Iiyama

Apple Stores to Install Safes for Gold Apple Watch

 

The Apple Watch is set to arrive in April, starting at $345. Now while we all know that, not so many of us care about that base price. Most of us are interested in the price of the ‘rose gold’ option, the ‘Apple Watch Edition’.

Why? Because unlike its iPhone counterpart, instead of just being gold coloured, it really is made of gold. 24-carat gold to be precise. So how much will it cost? $3000, $5000, perhaps $10,000? Who knows, they’re only suggestions. But now, we may just have our first indication of how expensive it will really be, by way of news that Apple is to begin installing safes in stores to house these expensive watches.

Yes, the venerable Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac says that Apple stores will soon be adopting practices somewhat more akin to jewellery stores, all for the ‘Edition’ model of the Apple Watch. He also says that the stores will receive weighing equipment to ensure that no-one has replaced the gold on the watches when someone returns one.

All of this is making it quite clear that this piece of technology, is going to be a pretty serious piece of jewellery too.

Source: 9to5Mac

BenQ XL2420G Hybrid Engine G-SYNC Monitor Revealed

BenQ have just revealed their latest monitor and it’s absolutely packed full of a features that will no doubt appeal to the PC gaming masses. The XL2420G features two engines, one offers up the latest G-SYNC features, allowing the monitor to automatically adjust its refresh rate to match the output of your graphics card, preventing screen tearing. The other is the proprietary Classic Mode, which will aim to smooth gameplay for any titles which don’t support G-Sync.

“Following the launch of NIVIDIA G-SYNC, we learned that the anticipation is soaring for a BenQ G-SYNC monitor. But we didn’t just want to build a G-SYNC monitor. We wanted to build one that’s the best out in the market, for every BenQ gaming monitor is aimed to bring the best gaming experience,” said Peter Huang, General Manager of BenQ Technology. “So with the XL2420G, we challenged ourselves to something radically new, a hybrid engine design executed to perfection to offer the best of BenQ and the best of G-SYNC.”

The 24″ display sports a snappy 1ms GTG LED panel, motion blur reduction, gaming refresh rate optimisation management which will allow 100/120/144Hz switching, perfect motion and fast gaming modes, black eQualizer, smart scaling and a whole lot more.

No details on price or exactly release date just yet, but we do know that BenQ are aiming to launch the monitor this Fall.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Philips 242G5 144Hz LCD Gaming Monitor Review

Introduction


Over the last few months, monitors that are built for gaming have been cropping up within the marketplace and at last people can get a panel that compliments their high performance gaming system, delivering better image quality and faster refresh rates with a typical 144Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate is the key part to what sets this new type of panel apart from the rest of the crowd. As I’ve highlighted before, it’s all and well having a GPU that can pump out in the region of 100fps, but if your monitor is only running at 60Hz as the vast majority do, then it can only show a maximum of 60 frames per second itself. As a result there are frames that have been rendered effectively going to waste and it may be one of those frames that could make a crucial difference to the outcome of a tournament for example.

This is where the new 144Hz standard comes into play. With this higher refresh rate, the panel is able to display up to 144 frames per second. This means that not only are those extra frames not going to waste, but the image will appear to be much smoother and fluid in motion as scenes are displayed.

Recently I took a look at one of these new 144Hz panels from AOC, namely the G2460PQU and on the whole I was impressed with the quality of the build and the feature set on offer, but most importantly, the difference that the faster refresh rate made to not only game play but also during day-to-day usage.

Philips as some may or may not know is related to AOC through a parent company known as TPV. Whilst the two rand names run side by side, it is worth noting that some aspects of the monitors from each brand may appear to be the same, but on the whole they are run as two completely separate brands within the market place.

Philips ship the monitor in is probably one of the biggest boxes that I’ve seen for a screen of this size. The box is wrapped in a bold space styled scene with an image of the screen itself and along the lower edge are a set of smaller images highlighting certain aspects of the screen.

With everything taken out of the box, it’s immediately apparent why the box is so thick. Where most screens come with the base plate completely separate from the rest of the stand, the 242G5’s stank is one complete unit and as a result the dimensions of the box are increased. Alongside the stand and the LCD panel, there are a set of manuals and an information and driver CD, IEC power cable, USB3.0 cable, two display cables (VGA and DL-DVI) and finally an OSD remote control pad.

Three 24-inch 16:10 Monitors Launched By AOC

Three new 24″ monitors in a 16:10 format have been launched by AOC. The 60 series models from the AOC Professional Line deliver a WUXGA resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, adding valuable desktop space in height compared to the widespread 16:9 Full HD format. Having a classy textured black finish and different equipment variants, these high performers will provide for a great viewing experience in company and home offices. Users can also benefit from a number of tailor-made features such as integrated USB hubs, great ergonomics and intelligent software.

For professionals and ambitious home users

The three new Pro Line models are targeted at office users at home or in enterprises, who require extra desktop real estate for working on complex tables, long texts or pictures. Due to their wide viewing angles and short response times, however, they are more than well-equipped for the occasional movie or game.

The i2460Pxqu is based on a top-notch eIPS (In-Plane Switching) panel, allowing for exceptional colour stability from even larger viewing angles of up to 178°/178° horizontal and vertical. The model reaches a brightness of up to 300 cd/m²; it also boasts the same ergonomic versatility as the e2460Pxda. In addition to D-Sub and DVI-D, the i2460Pxqu features an HDCP-compatible HDMI socket as well as a DisplayPort.

Both the e2460Pxda and the e2460Sxda utilise an LED-backlit TN panel, providing excellent high-definition picture quality with 1920 x 1200 pixels, a luminosity of 250 cd/m² and a static contrast of 1000:1. Both analogue and digital video signals can be received via D-Sub and DVI-D. In addition, the e2460Pxda offers full ergonomic flexibility, allowing users to adjust the panel height by 130 mm as well as to tilt and swivel the monitor. These ergonomic features are especially practical in offices with shared desk environments or for a quick presentation of the screen to colleagues. Thanks to the pivot function, the display can even be rotated into portrait format – just perfect for working on long tables and texts or for editing photographs.

Extras

For the utmost user convenience, AOC fits out the Pro Line IPS display with a USB hub integrated in the bezel – keyboards, pen drives, webcams, smartphones and other USB gadgets are thus connected without causing cable clutter on or behind the desk. All 16:10 models from the series 60 are equipped with 2 W speakers for basic sounds. For the more demanding, sound can be looped to external audio set-ups over a 3.5 mm jack.

The models also come with intelligent software. Programs such as e-Saver or Eco Mode help saving energy. With i-Menu, the monitor settings can be conveniently adjusted with the mouse. And Screen+ allows for the large 61 cm (24″) to be divided into different panes, which are accessible via shortcuts – making work much easier for multi-taskers.

Sustainable and energy-efficient

The monitors are produced entirely mercury-free. Thanks to the energy-efficient LED backlights, the energy consumption lies at a very moderate 22 W. Demanding sustainability certificates such as Energy Star 6.0, TCO 6.0 or EPEAT Silver are thus easily fulfilled.

As for all its monitors, AOC offers 3 years of warranty on the three new members of the series 60. As for prices, AOC has the e2460Pxda priced at £239.99, the e2460xda at £229.99 and the i2460PXqu at £249.99.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp

AOC G2460PQU 24″ 144Hz WLED Gaming Monitor Review

Introduction


As we have seen recently, there are a huge number of components that make up any system setup and unfortunately there is one key component that many people fail to put any attention to, thus making that gloriously expensive graphics card not give as good as it can. This of course is the monitor that we spend every minute looking at whilst using the system for whatever the task may be – whether it be office work, watching a film, image editing or even gaming. What these panels do for each task has a major impact on our user experience as a whole. If the image that we see is not crisp and defined with a great balance of colour, brightness and vibrancy, in the long run there is the chance of the poor image having an effect on the eyes or in the mind of a gamer, this can have a detrimental effect on the outcome of a game.

On the market there are so many generic ‘all-round’ performing monitors that are designed to perform for any task with reasonably good results, but nothing special. As we have seen recently though, there are many panels as well that are built for a specific user group in mind and this was a prime case when I looked at the ProArt PA249Q from Asus not too long ago. This panel is optimised for professional users who perform tasks such as image and video editing, where the need for precise colours and a definitively sharp display is fundamentally important.

Across many users, there is one task as such that many people carry out and this is where many people spend hundreds, if not thousands of pounds getting the best system they can. This of course is gaming. As highlighted in my ProArt review, its quite a sad sight so see when someone has spent hundreds of pounds on the latest and greatest graphics card, only to have a cheap, generic TFT panel connected up to it that can only give a mediocre / average image that consequently doesn’t do the card much justice. As a result this is where gaming orientated displays come into the playing field.

The most critical gamers on the planet are the professional team players. This select group of dedicated people strive to win and being able to see and respond to what they see with accuracy – and fast, is what can be the make or break of any match. Anyone who has seen a professional team in action will note that each and every one of them can have differing mouse and keyboard setups and this comes down to what they find is the best for them and what they are comfortable with and all the time they are looking at the best screens they can get their hands on.

AOC have been developing some of the most sought after panels for a number of months now, including the super widescreen 29″ Q2963PM with its 2560×1080 UWHD resolution and the i2369Vm IPs panel which AOC market as the IPS panel for everyone. One of the more recent focus points for the AOC development team has been the gamer. Whilst the vast majority of screens sold worldwide for offices and professionals alike will never see a game displayed upon them, we cannot forget that the world of gaming is growing ever more rapidly and the need to have the best screen for the job is too. To develop this new panel, AOC have taken their development to the people who will push them to their limits – the professional gamers. By working with this select group of users who know specifically what they are after, AOC have been able to craft a screen that has been made for gamers – by the gamers.

Like many a large number of other panels on the market, the G2460PQU comes in a brown based box with some simple monochrome styling around it to show what model is inside.

Inside there is the usual selection of cables included with the panel, including VGA and DVI display cables, a UK kettle lead, USB2.0 A-B, 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable, clip on cable tidy, a CD with the user guide and some software and last of all a copy of Shoot Mania to play.

Asus ProArt PA249Q 24″ AH-IPS LCD Monitor Review

There are many components within a system setup that are mandatory for the system to be usable or even perform for that matter,and these days there is so much focus from vendors to consumers alike about getting the best for the money and at the same time to avoid compromising on performance or quality. Take power supplies, they are a prime example of the obsession of most users and rightly so – I would not dream of putting a power supply in to a system where I thought the quality was not up to standard. After all, if that fails, then it can be ‘bye bye’ to your system and an expensive repair bill.

What does the quality of a power supply have to do with a monitor I hear you ask? Well it is a notable fact that for a large percentage of users, so much focus is put in to the system and the graphics output, a consequent side step is made around deciding what screen is going to be used to display the graphics. Take a moment to think about it, you’ve spend the best part of £1500-2000 on your top end system, but then skimp out on a £100-150 panel, because it ‘does the job’ of displaying your top end system’s output. Doesn’t make a lot of sense really – does it?

Since LCDs have been around, the introduction of LED backlit panels vastly improved the quality of the image that we saw on the screen with better depth of colour and brightness to go with it. More recently, the IPS (In-plane Switching) panel has made the LCD screen even more clear and crisp with superior colour output as well as wider viewing angles and more importantly for gamers, a faster response time.

With nearly all users these days using LCD screens, getting the true colours out of the panel is nigh on impossible and whilst there are expensive calibration kits available that will assist in doing so, for a large number of the panels on the market, this is going to be a battle against the odds to get things just how they should be.  But why should we be looking for perfection? If you’re a graphic designer or someone who does a lot of photo or video editing, the answer is a no-brainer really, it makes a hell of a difference when getting the work right – first time.

Bringing that bag of challenges to the design table, the R&D team at Asus have been busy working away to get a panel to market that will tick all the boxes for graphics designers and gamers alike with a pre-calibrated panel that will give near perfect colour outputs whilst offering up a 1920×1200 resolution that will give some extra pixel real-estate to play around with over a 1080p panel. Bring forward the PA249Q a 24″ IPS panel that offers all this plus more, but the real question is, is Asus’ pre-calibration really that noticeable to the eye?

The PA249Q comes in a relatively colourful box, showing off the screen in both its portrait and landscape orientations. On the lower half of the box there are a number of logos, some which have a significant feature within this panel such as the Adobe RGB colour profiling, a supreme level of colour accuracy and a factory colour calibration.

 Before we move on to the panel itself, there are a number of accessories to sort  through, including VGA, DVI and DisplayPort cables, a USB3.0 lead, an EU power cable (although regional SKUs will have the required cables included), quick installation guide, Asus VIP notice and a CD with the manual on. Additional to these, there is a pack with Velcro cable ties in which is a welcome addition to keeping everything tidy behind the scenes and most importantly a dedicated report for the calibration of this particular panel.

Asus PA249Q ProArt 24″ IPS Monitor Overview Preview

Asus are one of the only brands in the market at the moment who really have the facility to delve into multiple areas and different product segments. It seems that every time they venture into another market, they seem to come up trumps with a fantastic reception from customers. With this in mind, they have been developing monitors for a fair few years now and even now, they are regarded as some of the highest-end, best monitors money can buy without going into the realms of the Dell UltraSharp series or Apple monitors.

Stemming from this success, they have created this beast of a monitor that we’re taking a quick look at today which is part of their ProArt series of monitors, featuring an pre-calibrated AH-IPS panel, 99% AdobeRGB colour representation and aimed at a specific market of designers and artists alike. With it’s 16:10 1920×1200 resolution it gives extra desktop estate when needed and is LED-backlit to give a crisp, clear picture.

It’s also packed full of connectivity options with native DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI and D-SUB VGA giving the user multiple choices and a big highlight of USB 3.0 functionality for those needing speed when using the likes of photoshop and large RAW image files.

The specifications from a first glance certainly seem impressive with some very nice viewing angles, PiP support and plenty of connectivity options, so lets take a quick overview of the monitor itself.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64-5Gi3K21Y[/youtube]

Great first impressions from this monitor, and some really nice features for the budding artists in the market. A personal highlight for me comes with the USB 3.0 connectivity options, as USB 2.0 really is a bit of a dying breed now, especially with files getting much larger in size which Asus have clearly thought about, as this monitor is aimed at consumers and professionals who will obviously be dealing with large images such as RAW photos taken on a DSLR. I’m also very excited to see the ruler etched into the monitor frame, giving print professionals a nice guide to use when using the likes of Adobe Illustrator.

Overall, a very nice monitor from the initial unboxing and overview, and in the next coming weeks, we will be playing with its functionality to see if its the perfect device for the task its aimed at. Without expensive monitor calibration equipment, it’s hard to fully test a monitor, but with a subjective mind, we can hopefully show who this type of product is aimed at, and why it is suited perfectly for that job and task at hand.

Have Asus managed to make another award-winning product, in yet another product segment? If so, we can only assume good things for Asus to come in the near future, as they already have the motherboard and VGA component market pretty much sewn up which some elite products already in the market. Monitors and phones are just another stepping stone for them, and who knows; maybe world domination is next? Of course I kid, but we can only see more good things to come if this initial overview is anything to go by.