Play Your NES Games In 3D Thanks To This Emulator

Back before the likes of the Playstation and the Xbox, there was the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES for short. With classic games like Megaman and Super Mario Bros. bringing hours of enjoyment for anyone who played them. The classics can come back with the help of an emulator that lets you play your favourite NES games in 3D.

When it comes to playing old games these days, there is a tear down the middle. Some believe that the old games don’t have enough to keep up with the latest releases, stating that everything from the graphics to the gameplay missing everything that makes them fun. Others believe that a classic is a classic no matter what you do, it would seem that Geod Studios are a company who want to be somewhere in between.

Geod Studios have released a new emulator, titled 3DNES, which not only lets you play the classic Nintendo games but with the added bonus of 3D effects.

The emulator in question can be played from your web browser (provided that you are using Firefox) and means that childhood favourites like Megaman, Dr. Mario and even Castlevania are enjoyable in a whole new light.

Having grown up with these games, you can’t help but appreciate them and the fun they helped create, back then and even now. Giving them the 3D treatment is a nice twist, and is made all the better by the fact it’s been done right. Here’s hoping that Nintendo will take note and support this project!

Oracle is Killing Off Java

Outdated browser plugin Java is finally being pulled, Oracle has announced. Java will be slowly phased out, beginning with a deprecation of the plugin starting with JDK 9. The advent of HTML5 means that buggy and insecure browser plugins, such as Flash and Java, are no longer required, with Google Chrome already suspending use of Java last year. Adobe has made a similar move, rebranding Flash and shifting toward HTML5.

“By late 2015, many browser vendors have either removed or announced timelines for the removal of standards based plugin support, eliminating the ability to embed Flash, Silverlight, Java and other plugin based technologies,” Oracle’s announcement on its blog reads. “With modern browser vendors working to restrict and reduce plugin support in their products, developers of applications that rely on the Java browser plugin need to consider alternative options such as migrating from Java Applets (which rely on a browser plugin) to the plugin-free Java Web Start technology.”

“Oracle plans to deprecate the Java browser plugin in JDK 9. This technology will be removed from the Oracle JDK and JRE in a future Java SE release,” the post continues. “Early Access releases of JDK 9 are available for download and testing at http://jdk9.java.net. More background and information about different migration options can be found in this short whitepaper from Oracle.”

Google Isn’t Happy With AVG’s Chrome Plugin

AVG have a give and take relationship when it comes to their attitudes and approach with security and privacy, from their creation of glasses that could hide you from facial recognition software to going so far as to start selling your browsing activity to companies. AVG Chrome plugin has been found to bypass Chrome’s security features, something which Google are less than happy with.

The Web TuneUp tool is available for download from Chrome’s extension store, which sent the web addresses where they were compared against known malicious sites, in hopes that they could warn you before you land on one of those bad sites. The way the plugin was created though reportedly left the information open to exploits as reported by Google Security researcher Tavis Ormandy on December 15 in an issue report. In the report, he describes it by stating that it “exposes browsing history and other personal data to the internet”.

Ormandy was less than pleased about it, stating that he was unsure if he should contact AVG (an action that he did do) or if he should ask the extension abuse team to investigate it as a PuP (Potentially unwanted program, a term often used to describe pieces of software that could also be described as viruses or malware).

As of December, 28th AVG has completed a secure patch for the plugin while it has been reported by Ars Technica that the plugin was frozen while the plugin was investigated for policy violations.

One Java With An Added PUP Please

Critical security updates to applications are essential to maintain a patched system from the many exploits which attempt to infiltrate ones PC. Certain software companies need patching more than others and this is no less evident with both Adobe Flash and Oracle Java, the aforementioned needs fixing every five minutes and the latter, well, is probably better uninstalled altogether. On the subject of Java, many websites are using a trick which promises an update but also bundles are PUP for good measure.

So, what are the tricks, well, when a user attempts to view content which requires a Java plugin on certain websites, a pop up appears stating that they should update their version of Java. By following the prompt the user lands on various pages unconnected with Java, for example one page is coined “Media Downloader”. The user is then asked to both downloaded and install a “setup.exe” file which turns out to be a PUP.  Quick tangent here, a novice computer user once asked me if it would download a dog, I replied PUP not Puppy, not joking either.

There are other techniques too, one masquerades on a webpage as a standard Java pop up update notification, further examination shows this is in fact a background image and not a pop up. If you click on this you might receive among others a bundler which offers Java but also others including Norton 360 (terrible program) PC Mechanic and for some reason Stormfall Age of War. This though can be avoided by checking the UAC prompt which lists this .exe file as from Verified Publisher “Super IS Fried Cookie Ltd”, sounds about as authentic as a fast food burger, mentioning no names.

As standard, make sure any software applications are downloaded from authentic sources, if you visit a page that promises an update, be cautious, check the URL and as an extra precaution, always scan downloaded files with a reputable Anti-Virus and if possible a Malware scanner as well. Quick side note, these days viruses are becoming harder to detect by AV companies, therefore, while it’s essential to have these suites available, always download from authentic sources and be sceptical.

Of course, if you don’t use Java then it might be better to uninstall it considering the amount of security issues it has faced over the last few years.

Image courtesy of limewheel

Google Changes how Flash Ads Work in Chrome

Despite helping pay for web content, auto-playing Flash ads have become the bane of internet users. While third party plugins have long offered the ability to control Flash elements, Google is now baking in the ability to pause auto-playing Flash ads right into Chrome. Starting with the latest Chrome Beta build, pausing non-central plugin elements will become the default setting. Pausing auto-play ads is one thing but Chrome being able to determine which Flash elements are ads and which ones are the content makes the feature so much more useful.

In their blog post announcing the new feature, Google states that the main purpose of adding this ability into Chome is to help improve battery life. By reducing the number of flash elements being played, the processor has a lower workload, reducing power consumption and improving battery life. Flash has long been notorious for consuming processor cycles and being a performance hog so disabling unnecessary elements is sure to help not only battery life but those on older machines.

It’s important to note that it’s not clear how Chrome will determine which elements need to be paused. The feature also isn’t meant to block ads necessarily as a Flash ad that plays in the main video frame before the real video likely won’t be blocked. HTML 5 playable ads and other ads also won’t be blocked so this feature won’t be a replacement for ad-blockers. Nethertheless it’s interesting to see an advertising firm pushing out features that could reduce their ad revenue.

Firefox Aims to Replace Flash Plugin Altogether with Shumway

Mozilla’s newest project for the Firefox browser will make the need to use the Flash plugin obsolete. The project is called Shumway and is already integrated into Firefox Nightly. It has the purpose of making web browsing more secure as well as faster through the elimination of the Flash plugin altogether.

Flash is probably the most attacked piece of software out there and we’ve seen one severe security hole after another. Recently, Google made HTML5 the default on YouTube and Chrome only uses Flash as a last resort itself. Mozilla is now following this, but with a slightly different approach.

The Shumway project renders flash content, but without the use of the bug-riddled Flash plugin. The project is still relative new and right now the feature only works on Amazon’s Product Tour section, but future updates will bring support for more websites. It works on Windows Vista, 7, and 8.1, as well as on Mac’s OS X. Windows XP and Linux users could also get it up and running, but a H.264 video decoder is needed.

Thanks to Softpedia for providing us with this information

WordPress Now Powers Over 22% of the Most Popular Websites in US, 14.7% Globally

 

WordPress blogs now fuel over 22% of new websites in the US and 14.7 of the top million sites in the world, according to W3, becoming the fastest growing CMS of 2013.

WordPress.com blogs passed the 50 million mark in July this year. The blogs have accrued 2.5 billion page views, hit by 287 million different people. Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress, addressed WordCamp San Francisco last week, in a speech entitled “State of the Word”. He told the audience that WordPress has 15,000 plugins and has been downloaded 200 million times, with WordPress 3.2 hitting 500,000 downloads in just two days.

Source: TechCrunch