Aurora

Aurora Blu-ray Media Player review

Aurora Blu-ray Media Player lets you play files from a disk or from your hard drive. Whether it's YouTube videos or the latest releases on Blu-ray you want to watch, you can enjoy it right from your computer with this convenient program.

Pros

Excellent interface: All controls for this app are clear and accessible, even to users who are not familiar with this type of program. You can open any video files and begin playback directly from the app's main interface without hassle, and enjoy a crisp, clear picture in no time. And if you'd like to … Read more

NASA captures footage of enormous solar flare

While solar flares are a common occurrence on the sun, it's not everyday that we get an X-class flare.

However, sun watchers were given a treat this week when the star let off a huge solar flare, according to NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The flare peaked around 5 p.m. PT on Monday and NASA published a video (see below) of the event on Tuesday.

Solar flares are bursts of radiation propelled off the sun. This latest flare was classified as X4.9, which means it was an incredibly significant burst of light and one of the largest … Read more

Firefox's new interface is almost here

Twelve weeks from now, the majority of Mozilla Firefox users will get a massive overhaul to the browser's interface and features. The project, code-named Australis, has been limited to Firefox's nightly builds, but adventurous fans can check out what's in the works with Friday's release of Firefox 29 Aurora.

In development for almost two years, the interface will be the most apparent change. On Windows and Linux, the orange Firefox button in the upper-left corner of the browser is gone, a hallmark since 2011's Firefox 4.

In its place, Mozilla has created a more graphics-friendly … Read more

Dazzling aurora borealis could reach the lower 48 this week

Here's to hoping for clear skies. A stunning show of colorful aurora borealis, or northern lights, is forecast for Thursday and Friday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center. And, what's more, they could be seen as far south as Washington, Illinois, Michigan, and even down the Rockies to Colorado.

"The CME [coronal mass ejection] is forecast to set off G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm activity through January 9 and 10," NOAA wrote on its prediction center site on Wednesday. "Aurora watchers should be ready."

The glimmering cloud-like lights … Read more

Review: Aurora for Mac provides a bevy of tools for creating alarms on your Mac

Aurora for Mac is an alarm clock system that allows you to set up numerous custom alarms, wake-up times, snooze options, and more from your Mac. Because it can manage the waking up and turning off of your computer to perform these functions, it is a viable alarm clock, and it goes a step further than your phone by integrating with your events and calendar so you can instantly see what's on tap for the day when you wake up.

Installation of Aurora is fairly straightforward and once you are done the interface clearly shows you what to do … Read more

Firefox to deactivate most plug-ins by default

Mozilla has dealt another blow to those who want to use plug-ins to extend the browser's capabilities. It's keeping all but Flash Player deactivated by default in a version of Firefox now under development.

With the click-to-run plug-in feature, announced in January, plug-ins such as Silverlight and QuickTime won't run unless the user authorizes it when a Web page using them loads. That feature now is built into the Aurora version of Firefox that will grow into the final release in coming weeks. The plug-in hurdle doesn't apply to Adobe Systems' Flash Player, by far the … Read more

Stormy weather -- on the sun -- heading toward Earth

NASA spotted a colossal "coronal mass ejection" erupting off of the sun on Tuesday morning. This solar phenomenon spewed billions of tons of particles into space at speeds of 570 miles per second and they are currently headed toward Earth, according to the space agency.

NASA estimates that the particles will reach our planet in one to three days and could cause a geomagnetic storm.

"These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth," NASA said in a statement, "but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground."… Read more

Twice in two weeks: Another Web app for processing raw photos

Web-based photo editing took a second step forward Tuesday with the release of WebRaw, a tool that uses Mozilla's ASM.js technology for the computationally intense process of handling raw photos.

Raw photo formats, available on high-end cameras, offer better image quality and more editing flexibility, but they also are much more of a hassle than standard formats like JPEG, in part because they're so burdensome for computers to decode. That's why the demo, from Mozilla's Vladimir Vukicevic, is interesting: processing raw photos is the sort of chore that only a couple of years ago would … Read more

Future Firefox takes tougher stance on mixed content

Mozilla is taking steps to lock down mixed content Web sites for Firefox in an update Friday to Firefox 23 Aurora.

In Firefox 23 Aurora, the pre-beta version of the browser for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Mozilla will block by default mixed active content. Mixed content is a term that refers to a Web site secured with HTTPS that loads some of its content, such as images or scripts, from standard HTTP sources, and can lead to eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Mixed active content describes things like scripts because they can actively change how you interact with the site. Mixed … Read more

Firefox readies tougher stance on cookies

Up until now, only Apple's Safari browser had blocked third-party cookies by default. Last week's release of Firefox 22 to its developer's channel also came with the feature, indicating that the option will soon make it to all Firefox users.

Firefox 22 Aurora (download for Windows, for Mac, and for Linux) blocks third-party cookies by default, putting the ad industry on notice that browsers are about to start looking askance at them. While Safari has had the feature for a long time, no other major browser has supported it until now.

Mozilla first announced in February that … Read more