Back in September, Google said Chrome 64 would address several user concerns around content that autoplays, most notably, the ability to have autoplay videos go silent by default. Now, if you’re really keen on testing it out, you do so today by downloading the Chrome 64 beta. The company said the full autoplay video blocking feature, which is part of a broader ad blocking effort in Chrome that’s been in the works for quite some time, would arrive in the consumer version of the browser come January.
The setting to have autoplay content automatically muted is in Chrome 64’s permissions bar. Unfortunately, this isn’t a one-and-done setting — it has to be done for every website you want it applied to — but it will mute sound for any content that is navigated to under the parent domain.
Other bonuses in Chrome 64, as noted by 9to5Google, include an improved pop-up blocker, additional security measures that prevent malicious auto-redirects, and support for HDR video playback when Windows 10 is in HDR mode. On Chrome OS, there is also a new “split view” feature that allows for easier multitasking with multiple windows.
“It is the same protein that spiders use to make webs. It’s very sticky. When you mix it with chitin, it produces a fabric that is flexible, strong and exhibits all the properties you want in plastic. In short, the final material has the strength of a prawn’s shell and the flexibility of a spider’s web. The plastic also degrades completely with nothing harmful left behind”, Angelina explained, adding that while the shells needed a lot of preparation before being used, it was a lot less than what conventional plastics needed.Encouraged by her parents, Nitin and Aashima Arora, Angelina put together a detailed report (accompanied by pictures of the remarkably malleable and sturdy bioplastic she had made) of her innovative work. This led to her being recently awarded the second prize in chemistry at 2017’s STANSW Young Scientist Awards. The enterprising youngster now hopes that biodegradable alternatives like hers will contribute towards phasing out planet-clogging plastics and cleaning up the environment. Especially in the world’s oceans — a cause close to Angelina’s heart ever since she found thousands of tiny plastic fragments in the gut of the fish bought from local fishmongers. This significant global problem is illustrated by fact that the infamous Pacific trash vortex ( the large area of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean) is primarily made up of plastic debris that fish keep getting entangled in and dying, wreaking havoc on the region’s ecological balance. Interestingly, a similar project is under way in Egypt’s Nile University in which prawn shells are cleaned, dried, chemically treated, ground and dissolved into a solution that dries into thin films of plastic.
“If commercialized, this could really help us decrease our waste. And it could help us improve our food exports because the plastic has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties,” says Irene Samy, a professor overseeing the project said.In India, a country with an extremely long coast-line, fishermen and seafood vendors are always looking for economically viable ways to dispose of discard prawn shells. In fact, they often have to pay to get it cleared away. Researchers at at Harvard’s Wyss Institute also say that there is plenty of room for growth. Literally, in fact: the nutrients in this bio-inspired plastic makes an excellent fertilizer after its broken down. Working towards fine-tuning its commercial manufacturing, they have been able to already make fully biodegradable products such as egg cartons, chess pieces and even cell phones.
Facebook today is launching a new feature designed to give users more control over what content they see in their News Feed: a “Snooze” button. The option, which will become available via the top-right drop down menu on a post, will mute content from a person, Page or group for 30 days.The new feature can serve as a way to dial down the content you don’t want to see, without having to fully unfollow or unfriend someone. For example, if you’ve had enough of someone’s political rants or baby photos, you can temporarily opt to see less of them in your News Feed. You could also turn off a particularly chatty Facebook friend whose continuous updates clutter your feed. The option could be useful for people going through a breakup, too – that is, one where they’re staying connected socially, but don’t necessary want constant reminders of what an ex is up to. That’s an area Facebook has explored in the past, with the 2015 debut of tools to help you see less from former flames. However, not many people seem to know these features exist. Snooze, on the other hand, will be far more visible. For Pages and Groups, having a Snooze button means they may be able to better retain their less active users, who may have otherwise unliked them or left the group to avoid their content. TechCrunch first spotted Snooze in testing this fall, when different lengths of time were being offered. Today’s launch has settled on a month as the right amount of time spent on mute. Snooze joins a series of other content controls for News Feed, like Unfollow, Hide, Report and See First, which give people more ways to customize their experience, notes Facebook. The update, while seemingly minor, comes at a time when many people – including some ofFacebook’s early founders – are questioning whether social media is having a negative impact on people and society as a whole. A network that’s too tuned to what people want to see, and provides that to them by way of algorithms, can lead to addiction and an inability to relate to different people and opinions. The flip side of Facebook’s tool set for deep personalization, including now Snooze, are these ongoing concerns that Facebook’s social network can become overly comfortable for people. It allows people to ensconce themselves in a world where everyone thinks like them, enjoys the same things, and posts similar news and other things. But this is not the real world, where people’s opinions can wildly differ. The result of this bubble effect is a reduction in being exposed to new ideas, and an increased intolerance for those who don’t share your same beliefs. Snooze, in that context, could be seen not as an empowering tool, but one that could potentially lead people to further distancing themselves from friends with different perspectives – whether political, religious, cultural or otherwise – simply because it’s something you don’t want to see. But at least Snooze’s forced cooldown period could stop people from unfriending people with these opposing viewpoints. Facebook notes that when the Snooze period is about to end, it will notify you of this – presumably, in case you need to snooze them again. You can also reverse a snooze at any time, the company notes. The Snooze button is rolling out today, across Facebook.