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Google developing ad-blocking feature for Chrome

Google is developing an ad-blocking feature for its Chrome browser, which will block “bad advertisements” as defined by the Coalition for Better Ads. The Wall Street Journal[1] reported that the ad-blocking feature may be switched on by default. It said the feature may be announced within weeks.

However, the company may decide not to move ahead with it. With the growth in popularity of ad-blocking, this can be seen as a defensive move by Google to ensure it gains control over the ad-blocking ecosystem.

The Coalition for Better Ads

The Coalition for Better Ads uses consumer insights and industry expertise to develop global standards for online advertising. The Coalition for Better Ads asked 25,000 consumers to rank 104 ad experiences so it could identify the most irritating ads which made them install ad blockers.

The results show six desktop and 12 mobile ad experiences which fall beneath the threshold of acceptable experiences.

For desktop they are: pop-up ads, autoplay video ads with sound, prestitial ads with countdown, and large sticky ads.

For mobile, the offending formats included pop-up ads, prestitial ads, and ads with density greater than 30%.

Now read: Google Chrome fixes page jumps[2]

References

  1. ^ The Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com)
  2. ^ Google Chrome fixes page jumps (mybroadband.co.za)

Construction to start on Hikurangi UFB network

Exactly three years after Northpower Fibre completed New Zealand’s first ultra-fast broadband network, the company is embarking on another UFB network build. Construction on the Hikurangi UFB network begins on 21 April and when completed in September this year will pass over 650 customers. It is more than 150 years since Hikurangi was established as a timber milling town and it flourished further in the late 1800s when the first of many coal mines was opened.

Northpower Fibre CEO Darren Mason believes the arrival of UFB fibre is an overdue boost for the proud town.

“Over the years Hikurangi has flourished thanks to the farming sector, timber milling, gum digging, coal mining and limestone quarrying. There is a strong community spirit in the district and we believe bringing fibre to town will add to that vibrancy,” says Mr Mason.

“So in weeks and months to come locals will see our crews in and around town, laying the ground work, pulling cables – simply getting the Hikurangi fibre network ready.

“I would encourage people to pre-register their interest to connect by going to www.northpowerfibre.co.nz/hikurangi

“From there they simply need to choose the fibre retail service provider who best serves their needs and sign up to what will be the best, fastest and most reliable broadband in town,” says Mr Mason. From there Northpower Fibre will be in contact to connect fibre from the street to the house or business, he says.

Fibre retail service providers can be found at www.northpowerfibre.co.nz/partners

Mr Mason says Hikurangi’s fibre broadband network will give locals the best online experience, the best (and higher quality) on-demand TV, the best preparation for a future online, along with the best (and faster) broadband service available.

For more information on other Northpower Fibre coverage areas and build schedules: www.northpowerfibre.co.nz/coverage

SNES Mini latest rumours: release date, price, specs, and games

Is Nintendo planning to follow up the NES Classic with a souped-up SNES Mini this Christmas? Read the latest rumours and news on the SNES Classic.

Forget the NES Mini – Nintendo has something better on the way


By | 11 mins ago

Nintendo’s NES Classic[2] (or NES Mini, or Nintendo Classic Mini NES – they could never really decide) was the surprise hit of Christmas 2016, flying off shelves so fast that Nintendo could never keep up with demand – right up until it shocked everyone by discontinuing the console[3] in April 2017. That might not have been such an odd move, however, if you take into account rumours that Nintendo had to shut down production of the NES Mini for one simple reason: to make room for its almost-inevitable follow-up, the SNES Mini.

Release date

There’s no official release date for the SNES Mini yet because, well, Nintendo hasn’t even confirmed that it’s making one yet.

But internal sources have told Eurogamer[4] that the company is developing a mini version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and given the success of the NES Mini, it makes a lot of sense. The NES Classic launched on 11 November 2016 and was a huge holiday hit, so we’d expect Nintendo to aim for a similar launch window this time around. Let’s just hope they make enough of them this time.

Price

The NES Mini sold at ?50/£60, with spare controllers for ?8/£10, and we imagine the SNES Mini would hit a similar price point.

It might run a little higher though, to factor in the ever so slightly more powerful tech needed to run the games (though still simple by today’s standards) and the general rise in electronics prices – so don’t be surprised if it’s closer to £60/?70. If you’d like to buy a NES Mini in the meantime, you can expect to pay much more than the RRP. Amazon marketplace resellers are offering it for premium prices starting at ?81 at the time of writing, while on eBay consoles are typically going for around ?120.[5][6] At those prices, you might be better off tracking down an actual original NES – check out our guide to buying old games and consoles[7] to find out how.

Features

Again, we don’t know anything for sure, but we can look to last year’s NES Mini to get some idea of what to expect. That console was powered by USB (though for some reason didn’t come with an AC adapter in the UK) and connected to TVs and monitors by HDMI. It also allowed a second player to join in by connecting another controller (purchased separately).

As for games (more on those below) it came with 30 titles pre-installed, though no option to add to that library. Given the huge success of the NES Mini, we think the follow-up will stick to the same formula: pre-installed games, HDMI and USB connections, and up to two controllers (as with the original SNES). The only major question mark is how Nintendo will handle the differing SNES designs.

While the Japanese and European consoles (pictured at the top of the page) opted for a multi-coloured design, the North American SNES had a simpler purple-and-grey colour scheme – we don’t know if Nintendo will recreate both designs this time around, or just pick one for every market.

Games

As mentioned above, the NES Mini came with 30 titles pre-installed, including some of the original console’s biggest, like Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda. The SNES Mini will likely also come with pre-installed titles, but the comparatively richer game library of the SNES means it could have an even better selection.

Just looking at Nintendo’s own games, we’d expect to see the likes of Super Metroid, F-Zero, Super Mario Kart and Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Star Fox.

If Nintendo can secure the licensing deals, the SNES Mini could also include great games from other publishers like Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Street Fighter II, Final Fantasy VI, Mortal Kombat, and Super Castlevania IV.

This is all speculation right now, but Nintendo should easily be able to put together at least 30 classic titles[8] to make up the collection and comfortably improve on the NES Mini lineup.

References

  1. ^ (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  2. ^ NES Classic (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  3. ^ discontinuing the console (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  4. ^ told Eurogamer (www.eurogamer.net)
  5. ^ Amazon (amzn.to)
  6. ^ eBay (rover.ebay.com)
  7. ^ guide to buying old games and consoles (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  8. ^ classic titles (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)