Web

Google Chrome might help find the tab with the annoying video ad

google chrome noise feature

We’ve all had that horrifying moment when noise is blasting from your speakers and you can’t find the browser window responsible for it. Then you go hunting through tabs to find the culprit, or switch off your speakers altogether if it gets to be too much. Thankfully, Google Chrome might have a fix for that soon, as first noticed by developer François Beaufort.

Google hasn’t made an official announcement about the feature so it’s not ready for prime time just yet, but you can check it out in the latest build of Chromium. The feature’s design is simple but really ingenious when you think about it: A thumbnail version of an active equalizer will hover over the favicon of an open tab responsible for the sound, unwanted or not. This works for all tabs that play audio, although if you’re listening and watching a YouTube video you probably won’t care enough to be distracted by the equalizer jumping up and down on the tab.

SO far, it appears that the plugin doesn’t work for OS X yet, but that Windows compatibility is up and running. Since Chromium is an open source browser that Google uses to test new features, the equalizer won’t pop up with every single audio source – at least not just yet. For now it can detect HTML5 videos and audio files, but doesn’t work when you’re playing Flash videos.

We’re hoping that the feature comes out to Chrome before Facebook manages to figure out its TV advertising strategy. If you recall, Facebook admits it has been toying with the idea of playing up to three video ads per day automatically. Executives are still trying to figure out if sound should or should not be played immediately, along with the video. Much of the design on how these ads will look inside of Facebook is still up in the air, but since there’s a chance that Facebook might be insufferable should video ads suddenly pop up with sound, the tab identification feature is music to our ears.

Home Theater

House of Marley takes analog audio wireless with Bluetooth-enabled turntable

Sustainability focused audio brand House of Marley has added Bluetooth capability to its already awesome Stir It Up turntable, allowing listeners to stream their favorite analog audio to their portable speaker of choice.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Computing

Here's how to download Wikipedia. Seriously. The whole thing

Frequent Wikipedia user? You can actually download the entire Wikipedia library to your home computer thanks to its open-source nature and a several free applications that do almost all the heavy lifting for you. Here's how to do it.
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Mobile

Apple Maps boosts Flyover locations, indoor mall maps, and more

In a boost for Apple Maps, the tech company has recently added more than 50 new locations for Flyover, the feature that offers spectacular 3D photo views of particular cities and famous landmarks around the world.
Computing

Tired of paying? Here are 4 ways to use Microsoft Office for free

Many of us need to use Office apps from time to time -- but we may not want or need to pay for a constant subscription. Fortunately, there are ways to get those services without paying. Here's how to get Microsoft Office for free.
Computing

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

Miss AIM? These are the best desktop chat clients to use today

Desktop chat clients are far from dead. In fact, they're currently enjoying something of a renaissance. So, which one should you be using? We take a peek at the best chat clients for teams, gamers and mainstream web surfers.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Mobile

Google has found a clever way to make your search history more useful

Google has found a clever way to make more use of your search history by showing links to pages you've visited before. Ideal for repeat searches for the same page, the links show up on cards at the top of mobile search results.
Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.
Web

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.