Category: Software

Software

New Steam Chat – In beta now


Today Valve has made available an open beta for a completely overhauled set of Steam Chat features. The all-new friends list and chat system makes it easier to group up with the people you chat and play games with.

Friends List updates

The friends list now has a customizable favorites section at the top, for quick access to the people, groups, and chats you care about most. You’ll also see in-game friends at the top of your list, grouped together by game or even by party, making it easier to join in, or just to see which games are popular among friends.

Group chats

The friends list now has a dedicated area for group chats, which can range from casual chats with a couple of friends to larger communities. Starting a group chat is as simple as dragging an additional friend onto a chat window. You can also save your group chats with a name and avatar, making it easier to come back to them later to pick up the conversation or to play games with those same friends.

Within a group chat you have the option to add additional text channels, voice channels, member permissions. Plus, all chats now display images, videos, tweets, and links inline in a rich, beautiful way.

Voice chat

The entire voice chat system has been rebuilt, to ensure a more seamless experience when playing games on Steam with friends. It’s now one click to start a voice chat and organize your group pre-game.

Plus..

This update includes many more items of note, including: invisible mode, so you can appear offline, but still access your friends list and chats. And adding friends is easier now with custom friend-request links you can email or send outside of Steam.

Join the beta

If you’d like to participate in the beta and give your feedback you can check out the announcement page to see how.

Software

Firefox 57 Released

Firefox 57 has been released! Included in this release is a new UI and Quantum CSS. This is the first part of a major rewrite of many of the browser’s components using the programming language Rust. The overall effort is called Project Quantum, and the goal is to make the web browser do more work in parallel, making better use of modern multi-core processors. I have to say the results so far are pretty significant. The browser is a whole lot faster then it used to be.

If you already have Firefox installed, it should automatically update soon. If you do not already have it, you can download the new Firefox here.

Software

Goodbye Flash Video

Over the past few months I have been making some improvements to the website. The first update was a new responsive theme that works better on mobile devices. The second update was upgrading to PHP7 and configuring SSL. Now, I have gone back through years of posts and replaced (almost) all of the Flash video content with a HTML5 video player. A lot of the videos were already in a supported format, so the flash based video player was just swapped out. Other videos were replaced with Youtube embeds, while others were re-encoded and re-uploaded. The main goal for this was to get the site fully functional on mobile, plus Adobe is ending Flash support in 2020. Please let me know if you run into any issues.

Software

Firefox 54 Released

Firefox 54 was released, and with it we finally get multi-process. The old Firefox used a single process to run all the tabs in a browser, and a complex site in one Firefox tab could slow down all the others. That often meant a less than perfect browsing experience. Firefox now uses up to four processes to run web page content across all open tabs. This means that a heavy, complex web page in one tab has a much lower impact on the responsiveness and speed in other tabs. By separating the tabs into separate processes, Firefox makes better use of the hardware on your computer, so it can deliver you more of the web you love, with less waiting. Medium has a nice write-up of the new version of the browser. In order to run multiprocess, your add-ons need to support it as well. You can check compatibility using this plugin.

Software

PSA: Nvidia Drivers Contain Spyware/Telemetry

Just a PSA that Nvidia Drivers now contain spyware that is enabled by default. Currently, there is no option to disable the Telemetry during the install. However, a utility has been built that will disable it. You can download that utility here. The application scans the system for Nvidia Telemetry Services and Telemetry Tasks, and allows you to disable what it finds. End of Line.