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  1. The Best Chrome Extensions to Prevent Creepy Web Tracking Ad trackers follow you everywhere online—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Illustration: Elena Lacey Almost every site you visit tracks you to try and link your browsing history to your interests and, in turn, show you targeted adverts. One minute you’re searching for a new desk, the next adverts for that furniture website you looked at are stalking you around the web If you want to get a sense of how you’re being tracked across the web take a little time to read (and disable) the cookie options that appear each time you visit a new site. They’ll give you a sense of what technology each website is using to track its visitors and the information they gather. (The consent preferences on WIRED are controlled by parent company Condé Nast). With the Do Not Tracking setting in browsers becoming increasingly useless, web browsers are increasingly flexing their privacy credentials Apple’s Safari browser has boosted its anti-tracking tech and Firefox has blocked trackers by default since 2018. Google Chrome is also planning on getting rid of third-party cookies. However this won’t happen until 2022 and there are still significant questions about how the change will be implemented. In the meantime, your best best for stopping creepy web tracking is to move to a privacy-first web browser. For some people this step might be too radical or impractical at the moment. If that’s you, there’s another way to push back against online tracking: bring the blocking tech to your current browser. These browser extensions are a simple first step in improving your online privacy. Privacy Badger Privacy Badger is one of the best options for blocking online tracking in your current browser. For a start, it’s created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a US-based non-profit digital rights group that’s been fighting online privacy battles since 1990. It’s also free. Privacy Badger tracks all the elements of web pages you visit—including plugins and ads placed by external companies. If it sees these appearing across multiple sites you visit then the extension tells your browser not to load any more of that content. The organization says it doesn’t keep lists of what to block but discovers trackers as you browse the web and is more effective as time goes on. Like many of the extensions in this list the tool will also show you which trackers are blocked on each site you visit. This includes how many trackers and what type each website is using. You can disable the tool for individual sites and change settings if you don’t mind being tracked by some sites. There are Privacy Badger extensions for Chrome, Firefox (desktop and Android), Microsoft Edge and Opera. DuckDuckGo DuckDuckGo is best-known for its anonymous search engine that doesn’t collect people’s data. But in recent years the firm has also been moving more into privacy controls for the whole web (including introducing its own mobile browser). DuckDuckGo also makes an extension for Chrome. The Privacy Essentials extension blocks hidden third-party trackers, showing you which advertising networks are following you around the web over time. The tool also highlights how websites collect data through a partnership with Terms of Service Didn’t Read and includes scores for sites’ privacy policies. It also adds its non-tracking search to Chrome. Ghostery This New York-based firm—which has five different tools—is owned by the same company that was behind Cliqz, a privacy-focussed browser and search engine, which was shuttered earlier this year due to the impact of Covid-19. But Ghostery lives on. Its browser extension blocks trackers and shows lists of which ones are blocked for each site (including those that are slow to load), allows trusted and restricted sites to be set up and also lets people you block ads. The main Ghostery extension is free but there’s also a paid for $49 per month subscription that provides detailed breakdowns of all trackers and can be used for analysis or research. There are Ghostery extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera. Adblock Plus Unlike other tools here, Adblock Plus is primarily marketed as an ad blocking tool—the others don’t necessarily block ads by default but aim to be privacy tools that may limit the most intrusive types of ads. Using an ad blocker comes with a different set of ethical considerations to tools that are designed to stop overly intrusive web tracking; ad blockers will block a much wider set of items on a webpage and this can include ads that don’t follow people around the web. Adblock Plus is signed up to the Acceptable Ads project that shows non-intrusive ads by default (although this can be turned off). On a privacy front Adblock Plus’s free extensions block third party trackers and allow for social media sharing buttons that send information back to their owners to be disabled. There are Adblock Plus extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Opera and Yandex. Browse Differently Adding a privacy-enabling browser extension will definitely help your online privacy, but it’s not the only step that you can take. Moving to a privacy-first browser may be the next obvious step once you’ve tried out the experience with an extension. Extensions, for Chrome at least, are limited to the desktop browser so won’t do anything to stop you being tracked on mobile. For that you’ll need a to pick a new mobile browser. For added protection you may also want to start using a VPN to mask your web activity further. This story originally appeared on WIRED UK. The Best Chrome Extensions to Prevent Creepy Web Tracking
  2. Chrome 86 to feature improved password reset capabilities Many modern web browsers include functionality to determine if saved passwords have been leaked in the past. Companies like Google or Mozilla maintain databases of leaked passwords and compare the hashes of these against passwords stored by users in the browser. If a match is found, the password has been leaked and is considered insecure. A suggestion to reset the password is then displayed to the user. That process needs to be done manually as the user needs to visit the site the password was saved for and use the available password reset functionality on that site. Browsers may provide a link to the site but that is usually all the help that users get. Apple introduced a new security feature in Safari that establishes a fixed path for password reset operations. The path uses the format /.well-known/change-password; since it is known, Apple may redirect users directly to the path if a password needs to be reset instead of the homepage of the service. The URL redirects automatically to the actual password reset page of the site. Google plans to introduce support for the format in Chrome 86. The upcoming version of the web browser is expected to be released on October 6, 2020. Chrome displays a change password button next to compromised passwords. A click on the button loads the password reset page if the site in question supports the "/.well-known/change-password" format, or to the site's homepage if there is no other fallback that Google knowns about. An "Intent to Ship" post on the official Blink Dev group confirms Google's plan to ship the feature in the browser. Websites can set a well-known change-password URL using the format, '/.well-known/change-password', to allow users to quickly navigate to a page allowing them to change their password. Chrome will leverage this URL to help users easily change their weak / compromised passwords following a bulk password check (Desktop, Android, iOS). We want to ship this to 100% in M86. Tip: Chrome Beta and Canary uses may enable the feature right now by loading chrome://flags/#well-known-change-password in the browser's address bar and setting the experimental flag, called Support for .well-known/change-password', to Enabled, and restarting the browser afterwards. Google published an article about the new feature on its Web Dev website already in which it informs webmasters and companies about the new format. Major web companies, including Google, Twitter, Facebook, GitHub and WordPress, use the format already on their sites to improve the resetting of passwords. Google GitHub Facebook Twitter WordPress Apple's Safari browser supports the feature since 2019. Google plans to introduce support in Chrome 86, and Mozilla considers it worth prototyping but has not decided yet whether the feature will be implemented in the Firefox web browser. Firefox users may keep track of this bug on Bugzilla to find out if the feature does get implemented in the browser. Chrome 86 to feature improved password reset capabilities
  3. SingleFileZ is a fork of the SingleFile Firefox and Chrome extension with better file compression Want to save an entire web page for offline reference? There are add-ons which can help you, such as SingleFile, or its fork SingleFileZ. All you have to do is click on the add-on's button on the toolbar to save the current web page as a single HTML file. If you're thinking this sounds similar to what the SingleFile extension does, that's because it is made by the same developer, Gildas Lormeau. SingleFileZ is a fork of the original add-on, so it retains most of its features while adding some new ones. Though the saved pages are in the HTML format, these are actually compressed ZIP archives. The developer calls these "self-extracting HTML/ZIP hybrid files". In order to learn how the two add-ons differ, I began using them both in Firefox. You can do this as well. Try saving the same pages using each extension, you will notice that there is a noticeable difference in the file sizes. Here's a quick comparison between SingleFileZ vs SingleFile compression levels Ghacks article - 129 KB vs 144 KB Steam homepage - 14.7 MB vs 20.8 MB Google.com - 87 KB vs 422 KB Add-on's GitHub page- 10.5 MB vs 14.8 MB SourceForge - 228 KB vs 325 KB Total file size: 25.1 MB vs 35.7 MB That may not seem like a huge difference, but the compression level helps save precious storage space in the long run. The important thing is that there was no visual difference between the saved pages, i.e. the content saved by both plugins was the same. Are the saved pages cross-browser compatible? Yes. When I saved the page using the Firefox add-on, and tried opening it in Microsoft Edge (without the Chrome extension), it didn't work. But there a message was displayed on the screen that said the extension must be installed and the option to allow access to file URLs must be enabled, or start the browser with the following switch: "--allow-file-access-from-files". So I installed the Chrome extension, enabled the required option from its settings and that fixed the issue. Safari users will need to go to the "Develop" menu and toggle "Disable Local File Restrictions" to get the saved pages working. SingleFileZ has a tab bar context menu that's similar to the original add-on. You can use it to save multiple tabs at the same time including the current tab, selected content or frame or links, all selected tabs, pinned tabs, or all the tabs. The extension does not have the "Annotate and save the page" menu item in its tab context menu. Moving on to the add-on's options page, you will find some new settings. In addition to the HTML content options, there is now a section for Zip Content. It lets the add-on create self extracting archives and makes text searchable. The third option under the section is for "creating a root directory", but this option is not pre-enabled. Unlike the original extension, SingleFileZ does not support "group duplicate images together", "save to clipboard", "add proof of existence". Download SingleFileZ for Firefox and Chrome. The add-on is open source. SingleFileZ offers better file compression compared to SingleFile, this can be helpful if you've limited storage space, cloud storage or when you're sharing the saved web pages as email attachments. Landing Page: https://github.com/gildas-lormeau/SingleFileZ SingleFileZ is a fork of the SingleFile Firefox and Chrome extension with better file compression
  4. Fast forward: What's coming in future versions of Chrome? Every time Google updates its browser, it publishes release notes aimed at enterprises to highlight upcoming additions, substitutions, enhancements and modifications. Here's some of what's coming. geralt (CC0) Chrome looms over the browser landscape like a leviathan. With more than 70% of the world's browser user share – a measure of browser activity calculated by analytics company Net Applications – Google's Chrome has crushed the competition. Rivals, from Microsoft's Edge to Mozilla's Firefox, survive on single-digit shares that seem liable to evaporate on short notice. So, it's no surprise that when Chrome moves, others feel the tremors. With each upgrade – something Computerworld tracks in the What's in the latest Chrome update? series – and every time Google talks of future plans, opponents pay attention to hear what they may have to copy to stay competitive. Every Chrome upgrade is accompanied by enterprise-centric release notes that highlight some of the additions, substitutions, enhancements and modifications slated for the future. We've collected the most important for this refresh of Computerworld's latest what's-coming round-up. But nothing is guaranteed, least of all software's prospective features. As Google says: "They might be changed, delayed, or canceled before launching to the Stable channel." Chrome 86: Legacy Browser Support gets the hook Google will pull the Legacy Browser Support (LBS) add-on from copies of Chrome 86 on which it's installed. LBS, now baked into Chrome, was designed so IT admins could deploy Google's browser but still call up Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) when necessary to render intranet sites or written-for-IE apps. The add-on debuted in 2013, when Chrome's share of 18% lagged far behind IE's still-dominant 58%. After integrating LBS into Chrome, Google decided the add-on was unnecessary and began a several-step process to eradicate the extension. After Chrome 85's release on Aug. 25, for example, Google was to have removed it from the Chrome Web Store. (Google hasn't done that yet, although the label "DEPRECATED" looms large on the add-on's page.) Chrome 86: More messing with the URL Google plans to truncate what shows in the address bar starting with Chrome 86. Only some users will see the change at version 86's debut, Google said, adding that "a full roll-out ((is)) planned for a later release." Under the scheme, a full URL like https://google-secure.example.com/secure-google-sign-in/ would show only as the registrable domain, example.com in the address bar. Google argued that the move is "to protect your users from some common phishing strategies," such as when criminals try to trick potential victims into clicking on links that at first glance look legitimate, but which are actually made to mislead. "This change is designed to keep your users' credentials safe," Google stated. This will not be the first time that Google has tried to shorten what shows in the Chrome address bar. At several points in the past – most recently, in 2018 with Chrome 69 and Chrome 70 – Google has contended that stripping out parts of a URL, say the www, is a move worth making. Critics have blasted such proposals, saying that it eliminated cues some users relied on to sniff out deceptive sites. Chrome 86: Bye-bye blacklist, other labels Nineteen of Chrome policies will be renamed to drop the terms "blacklist" and "whitelist" that refer to barred and allowed actions, respectively. Also part of the renaming plan: "native" as in "native printing," or local printing over an organization's network (and one of Google's recommended options for customers now using Google Cloud Print, which will stop working as of Jan. 1, 2021). "Chrome will be moving to more inclusive policy names," Google noted in its enterprise release notes. "The terms 'whitelist' and 'blacklist' will be replaced with 'allowlist' and 'blocklist.'" Meanwhile, "native" will simply be dropped. The 19, including URLBlacklist and ExtensionInstallWhitelist – which will be renamed URLBlocklist and ExtensionInstallAllowlist – will change with Chrome 86. Another eight, including DeviceNativePrinters (DevicePrinters and DeviceNativePrintersBlacklist (DevicePrintersBlocklist) will be transformed as of Chrome 87, which is due out on Nov. 17. Google added 14 policy names to this change list after first mentioning it in July. The Mountain View, Calif. firm also told IT admins, "If you're already using the existing policies, they will continue to work, though you will see warnings in chrome://policy stating that they're deprecated." Discussions of technology terminology – "master" and "slave" regarding device communication were among the examples – have percolated for years. But this year's protests over racism, inequalities and police killings of Blacks prompted calls for other changes from the likes of Apple and Microsoft, as well as Google. In Apple's style guide for developers, for example, under the blacklist/whitelist, the entry stated: "Don't use. Instead, use an alternative that's appropriate to the context, such as deny list/allow list or unapproved list/approved list." Chrome 86: Chrome says 'Update,' so do it As of this version, Chrome will put the word "Update" inside a button-like element at the upper right-hand corner of the browser's window. It's the signal that Chrome has been upgraded in the background but requires a restart to finalize the refresh. Chrome 86: Tab throttling Chrome 86 will curtail the amount of power background tabs consume by throttling them to a maximum of only 1% of CPU time. And background tabs will only be allowed to "wake up" – to repaint the page, for instance – once per minute. Administrators will be able to control this throttling with the IntensiveWakeUpThrottlingEnabled policy. Note: In July, Google said tab throttling would debut in Chrome 85. But in late August, Google said tab throttling had just been added to Chrome Beta, signaling that it had yet to make it into Chrome Stable. Chrome 87: More functionality for PDF viewer Google plans to debut a new user interface (UI) for Chrome's built-in PDF viewer in November's Chrome 87. Details are skimpy, even though the PDF changes were first noticed in March. Most importantly, when a PDF document is opened in Chrome, a toolbar will now appear. When Chrome 85 – the version released in late August – was told to display the toolbar (via a selection in the chrome://flags page), only a place holding message shows ("New PDF Viewer toolbar will appear here.") Google asserted that the new PDF viewer would also include a "two-up" view – two pages, shown side by side – the document table of contents and a mode to see added annotations. Fast forward: What's coming in future versions of Chrome?
  5. nightTab is a highly customizable new tab replacement extension for Firefox and Chrome There are lots of ways to customize the new tab experience. Some like using custom CSS or display a blank page, others rely on extensions like Group Speed Dial or Tabliss. Want something that's user-friendly, customizable, and minimalistic? The add-on nightTab might be just the thing you need. Install the extension and open a new tab to access nightTab's interface. It has a dark theme, and a bunch of pre-configured bookmark tiles, aka speed dials. All the elements you see on the tab are customizable. The search bar at the top of the tiles can be used to search in your bookmarks, or to perform an online search in Google. NightTab displays a clock and the date to the left of the search box. Let's see how to manage the speed dials. Click on the Edit button next to the search box, or the Add button in nightTab's screen to create a new group or bookmark. This brings up several buttons for each shortcut. Use the left and right arrows to move a speed-dial right or left. You may reorder the tiles by clicking on the three-line icon and dragging it elsewhere, even onto another group. The x button deletes a speed dial, while the pencil icon is used to customize a tile. You can edit the appearance of the dial from the Visual Element settings. The letter option in nightTab uses a cool font, which you can use to name your bookmarks. Or you can pick from many icons that the extension comes preloaded with; these are part of the Font-Awesome collection. You can paste a URL of a custom image that you want to use for the tile. If you assigned an icon or a picture, you may want to add a label to the speed dial, and that's what the name field is for. Paste the URL of the page that the speed dial is for in the Address field and hit the save button, and your new tile is ready. NightTab allows you to customize the appearance of the tiles further, change the size of the letter, icon, image, shadow and name. Set the position of the element in the tile, rotate it, pick the accent color, theme color, opacity from the advanced options. You can even use an image or a video as the background for the speed dial. Each set of bookmarks is a group and it has a title to categorize it. You can change the name of the group, reorder its position, or delete it. Tiles can be moved between bookmarks with a drag and drop, or from the editor. Click on the "color" button to pick a custom background color from the palette. The Accent button similarly allows you to use a different color for the letters, icons and names. The gear icon in the top right corner has even more settings. You can adjust the scaling size, width and alignment, padding of the layout. Enable the Greeting option if you like to see "Good morning, Hello, Hi", followed by your name. Transitional words places shows the words "The time and date is" or "It's" before the clock. Speaking of which, the clock can be customized too. Switch from number-based to a word-based clock, enable seconds, change the separators, toggle 24-hour clock, enable AM/PM. The Date settings are modifiable as well and has options to switch the format, word style, size, etc. Next is the Search settings which aside from a couple of visual options lets you choose from the following search engines: Google, DuckDuckGo, YouTube, Giphy, Bing, or a custom search provider. Dislike having the Edit, Add, Color and Accent buttons in the new tab? Disable them from the options. Bored with the colors? nightTab has plenty of themes to choose from, of course you can create your own easily. The extension allows you to use Google Fonts for the text and numbers. Why restrict yourself to a colorful background? Use an image or a video, nightTab supports both local and online media, go nuts. No one likes to see their settings reset to default. It may be a good idea to use the add-on's built-in backup and restore option to preserve your customized preferences. I tried importing my backup from Firefox to Chrome, and it worked like a charm. Download nightTab for Firefox and Chrome. The extension is open source. NightTab is an excellent new tab replacement with a ridiculous number of settings, yet somehow it manages to keep things user-friendly. Landing Page: https://github.com/zombieFox/nightTab nightTab is a highly customizable new tab replacement extension for Firefox and Chrome
  6. Google rolls out Secure DNS support in Chrome for Android After having introduced Secure DNS in Chrome 83 for the desktop, Google announced this week that the roll out of the feature has started for mobile Chrome for the company's Android operating system. As has been the case for the desktop rollout, Secure DNS will be rolled out to all Chrome installations over time. Secure DNS, or DNS-over-HTTPS, is a new privacy and security features that has started to gain some traction in recent time. Web browsers like Firefox or Chrome, but also operating systems like Windows, support or will support the feature in the future. Basically, what it does is encrypt DNS traffic to avoid tampering with the traffic or the recording of it. The implementation may differ but for Chrome and most Chromium browsers, it is the following: Chrome will not switch the default DNS provider but will use Secure DNS if it is supported. Options to disable and configure the feature manually are provided via in-browser preferences but also Enterprise policies. Chrome built-in Secure DNS configuration Select Menu > Settings > Privacy and Security to get started. The new "Use secure DNS" option is displayed on the page that opens, provided that the feature has reached your device already. The status of the feature is displayed on the page, but you need to tap on the option to configure it in the mobile browser. Google Chrome displays two options on the "Use secure DNS" configuration page: Turn the feature on or off by toggling "Use secure DNS" at the top of the page. If you don't want to use it, toggle it to off. Chrome continues to use the default DNS provider but without use of DNS-over-HTTPS even if supported by the provider. Chrome offers options to continue using the default service provider, or a manual provider. The first option is the default and it can mean that DNS-over-HTTPS is not used even if the setting is enabled; this is the case if the DNS provider does not support the feature. Chrome lists five different Secure DNS providers that you may select by switching to "choose another provider". The five providers are Google (Public DNS), Cloudflare, Quad9, CleanBrowsing, and DNS.SB. An option to add a Secure DNS URL manually is also available. Closing Words While DNS-over-HTTPS support gets added to more and more browsers, none seems to report to the user if the feature is indeed working. You can check out our guide on finding out if DNS-over-HTTPS is working as advertised. Google rolls out Secure DNS support in Chrome for Android
  7. A Chrome feature is creating enormous load on global root DNS servers Google is doing to DNS what D-Link once did to NTP. 181 with 87 posters participating, including story author The Chromium browser—open source, upstream parent to both Google Chrome and the new Microsoft Edge—is getting some serious negative attention for a well-intentioned feature that checks to see if a user's ISP is "hijacking" non-existent domain results. The Intranet Redirect Detector, which makes spurious queries for random "domains" statistically unlikely to exist, is responsible for roughly half of the total traffic the world's root DNS servers receive. Verisign engineer Matt Thomas wrote a lengthy APNIC blog post outlining the problem and defining its scope. How DNS resolution normally works Enlarge / These servers are the final authority which must be consulted to resolve .com, .net, and so forth—and to tell you that 'frglxrtmpuf' isn't a real TLD. Jim Salter DNS, or the Domain Name System, is how computers translate relatively memorable domain names like arstechnica.com into far less memorable IP addresses, like Without DNS, the Internet couldn't exist in a human-usable form—which means unnecessary load on its top-level infrastructure is a real problem. Loading a single modern webpage can require a dizzying number of DNS lookups. When we analyzed ESPN's front page, we counted 93 separate domain names—from a.espncdn.com to z.motads.com—which needed to be performed in order to fully load the page! In order to keep the load manageable for a lookup system that must service the entire world, DNS is designed as a many-stage hierarchy. At the top of this pyramid are the root servers—each top-level domain, such as .com, has its own family of servers that are the ultimate authority for every domain beneath it. One step above those are the actual root servers, a.root-servers.net through m.root-servers.net. How often does this happen? A very small percentage of the world's DNS queries actually reaches the root servers, due to the DNS infrastructure's multilevel caching hierarchy. Most people will get their DNS resolver information directly from their ISP. When their device needs to know how to reach arstechnica.com, the query first goes to that local ISP-managed DNS server. If the local DNS server doesn't know the answer, it will forward the query to its own "forwarders," if any are defined. If neither the ISP's local DNS server nor any "forwarders" defined in its configuration have the answer cached, the query eventually bubbles up directly to the authoritative servers for the domain above the one you're trying to resolve—for arstechnica.com, that would mean querying the authoritative servers for com itself, at gtld-servers.net. The gtld-servers system queried responds with a list of authoritative nameservers for the arstechnica.com domain, along with at least one "glue" record containing the IP address for one such nameserver. Now, the answers percolate back down the chain—each forwarder passes those answers down to the server that queried it until the answer finally reaches both the local ISP server and the user's computer—and all of them along the line cache that answer to avoid bothering any "upstream" systems unnecessarily. For the vast majority of such queries, the NS records for arstechnica.com will already be cached at one of those forwarding servers, so the root servers needn't be bothered. So far, though, we're talking about a more familiar sort of URL—one that resolves to a normal website. Chrome's queries hit a level above that, at the actual root-servers.net clusters themselves. Chromium and the NXDomain hijack test Enlarge / Chromium's "is this DNS server f'ng with me?" probes represent about half of all the traffic reaching Verisign's DNS root-server cluster. Matthew Thomas The Chromium browser—parent project to Google Chrome, the new Microsoft Edge, and countless other lesser-known browsers—wants to offer users the simplicity of a single-box search, sometimes known as an "Omnibox." In other words, you type both real URLs and search engine queries into the same text box in the top of your browser. Taking ease-of-use one step further, it doesn't force you to actually type the http:// or https:// part of the URL, either. As convenient as it might be, this approach requires the browser to understand what should be treated as a URL and what should be treated as a search query. For the most part, this is fairly obvious—anything with spaces in it won't be a URL, for example. But it gets tricky when you consider intranets—private networks, which may use equally private TLDs that resolve to actual websites. If a user on a company intranet types in "marketing" and that company's intranet has an internal website by the same name, Chromium displays an infobar asking the user whether they intended to search for "marketing" or browse to https://marketing. So far, so good—but many ISPs and shared Wi-Fi providers hijack every mistyped URL, redirecting the user to an ad-laden landing page of some sort. Generate randomly Chromium's authors didn't want to have to see "did you mean" infobars on every single-word search in those common environments, so they implemented a test: on startup or change of network, Chromium issues DNS lookups for three randomly generated seven-to-15-character top-level "domains." If any two of those requests come back with the same IP address, Chromium assumes the local network is hijacking the NXDOMAIN errors it should be receiving—so it just treats all single-word entries as search attempts until further notice. Unfortunately, on networks that aren't hijacking DNS query results, those three lookups tend to propagate all the way up to the root nameservers: the local server doesn't know how to resolve qwajuixk, so it bounces that query up to its forwarder, which returns the favor, until eventually a.root-servers.net or one of its siblings has to say "Sorry, that's not a domain." Since there are about 1.67*10^21 possible seven-to-15-character fake domain names, for the most part every one of these probes issued on an honest network bothers a root server eventually. This adds up to a whopping half the total load on the root DNS servers, if we go by the statistics from Verisign's portion of the root-servers.net clusters. History repeats itself This isn't the first time a well-meaning project has swamped or nearly swamped a public resource with unnecessary traffic—we were immediately reminded of the long, sad story of D-Link and Poul-Henning Kamp's NTP (Network Time Protocol) server, from the mid-2000s. In 2005, Poul-Henning Kamp—a FreeBSD developer, who also ran Denmark's only Stratum 1 Network Time Protocol server—got an enormous unexpected bandwidth bill. To make a long story short, D-Link developers hardcoded Stratum 1 NTP server addresses, including Kamp's, into firmware for the company's line of switches, routers, and access points. This immediately increased the bandwidth usage of Kamp's server ninefold, causing the Danish Internet Exchange to change his bill from "Free" to "That'll be $9,000 per year, please." The problem wasn't that there were too many D-Link routers—it was that they were "jumping the chain of command." Much like DNS, NTP is intended to operate in a hierarchical fashion—Stratum 0 servers feed Stratum 1 servers, which feed Stratum 2 servers, and on down the line. A simple home router, switch, or access point like the ones D-Link had hardcoded these NTP servers into should be querying a Stratum 2 or Stratum 3 server. The Chromium project, presumably with the best intentions in mind, has translated the NTP problem into a DNS problem by loading down the Internet's root servers with queries they should never have to process. Resolution hopefully in sight There's an open bug in the Chromium project requesting that the Intranet Redirect Detector be disabled by default to resolve this issue. To be fair to the Chromium project, the bug was actually opened before Verisign's Matt Thomas drew a giant red circle around the issue in his APNIC blog post. The bug was opened in June but languished until Thomas' post; since Thomas' post, it has received daily attention. Hopefully, the issue will soon be resolved—and the world's root DNS servers will no longer need to answer about 60 billion bogus queries every day. Listing image by Matthew Thomas A Chrome feature is creating enormous load on global root DNS servers
  8. Chrome 85's new tab management features detailed, includes tab groups and more Google today announced a few new features being added to the Chrome browser that relate to the management and performance of tabs. Some of the features have been in testing, which are now being made available to the stable channel. Those include the tab groups feature, and a more touch friendly version of the browser that is slowly rolling out to Chrome OS users, and tab previews. There are a few improvements to Chrome on Android as well. The first in the list of improvements is a 10% improvement in tab performance. The company says that tab loads are now faster, thanks to the enhancements made to Profile Guided Optimization. The company will also be adding tab throttling to improve performance of active tabs. Tab Groups Tablet Mode UI The tab groups feature is also being made available to Chrome users in the stable channel. As the name suggests, Chrome now lets users group tabs and name them for easier segregation. These groups can be moved around, collapsed, and expanded. Another feature is the touch-friendly UI for tablet mode, something that the company announced back in April. The new UI provides a larger tiled interface for tab previews, making it easier to navigate between using touch. The feature is first rolling out to Chromebooks, but will also be made available on laptops. However, it is not clear if the UI will automatically adapt when a device is switched to tablet mode. In addition to these improvements, Google will also be bringing the tab previews feature to Chrome Beta. The feature is currently hidden behind a flag and shows a thumbnail image of the contents in a tab, instead of just the site name. Microsoft’s legacy Edge browser debuted this feature, and is also being added to the Chromium-based Edge browser. Tab previews PDF improvements For Chrome on Android, the Mountain View company is adding the ability to quickly switch to tabs that are already open. The icon prompting to switch tabs appears if users begin typing in the website address or title of an already open tab. Other improvements include the ability to directly fill out and save PDF files on the desktop, making it easy to edit PDFs right in the browser without having to use other apps. There are enhancements to URL sharing on mobile and desktop, including a new QR code generator for the desktop. Most features announced today should begin rolling out with Chrome 85 that is due for release today. However, considering that the release is generally staggered, it might be some time till all users begin seeing the update. Chrome 85's new tab management features detailed, includes tab groups and more
  9. Chrome is about to get a great new security tool – but only if you use Android If your login details are compromised in data breach, Chrome will let you know and prompt you to change them. (Image credit: Shutterstock) The Android version of Chrome is catching up with the desktop edition, gaining a security feature that helps to ensure that your passwords are safe. The browser has long featured a password manager that is used to store the login details for the sites you visit. This saves you from having to constantly type in usernames and passwords, but the latest feature to be added helps to increase security. Having your web browser save your passwords for you is not only a great time-saver, it also discouraged people from doing things like writing down credentials on sticky notes attached to the side of the monitor. But it doesn't mean that your passwords will remain secure – data breaches occur, and if a website you use is hacked, your password may be revealed. Android user are now gaining two ways to check whether their passwords have been involved in a breach via Check Passwords and in the Safety Check feature. These manual checks work in very much the same way as on the desktop, and serve as a handy means of finding out whether you need to change your passwords. Password lockdown It will take a little while for this security feature to filter its way down from the Canary build of Chrome, down to the beta version and finally to the main, stable build. But that doesn't mean that you have to wait to try it out! All you need to do is install the Canary build of Chrome, which you can download from Google Play. With Chrome Canary installed, fire it up, and follow these steps: Pay a visit to chrome://flags Search for Bulk password check Select Enabled from the drop-down menu You can also enable the Safety Check on Android setting Restart Chrome If you now look in the Password section of Settings, you will see a new Check passwords option as well as the new ability to check for password breaches in the Safety Check section. Via Techdows Chrome is about to get a great new security tool – but only if you use Android
  10. Chrome may soon check saved passwords for weaknesses Most web browsers come with options to save account information, usually username and password, when users sign-up for new services or sign-in to a service. Google's Chrome web browser and other Chromium-based browsers are no exception to that. Google started to integrated a password checker in the company's Chrome browser back in 2019 to alert users about passwords founds in leaks. The company released a Password Checkup extension initially but decided to integrate the functionality into Chrome natively. The upcoming release of Google Chrome 87 improves the functionality further if everything goes according to plan. Google has integrated options to check for weak passwords in the latest Chrome Canary version. Chrome Canary is the cutting edge development version of Google Chrome. For now, it is necessary to enable the feature on Chrome's experimental flags page. Note that the new feature requires that you sign-in to a Google Account in Chrome as you won't be able to use it otherwise. Here is how you enable the weak password check feature in Chrome: Make sure you run at least Chrome 87. You can check that by loading chrome://settings/help. Load chrome://flags/ in the web browser's address bar. Search for "passwords weakness check". You may also load chrome://flags/#passwords-weakness-check directly if you prefer that. Set the flag to Enabled. Restart the Chrome browser. The feature is available in all desktop versions of Google Chrome but not on Android or iOS. To run a check for weak passwords in Chrome, do the following: Load chrome://settings/passwords in the browser's address bar to open the Password settings and interface. Active the "check passwords" button in the interface. Chrome checks all stored passwords and alerts you about compromised or weak passwords. The browser suggests to change compromised or weak passwords immediately. Google does not reveal information about the algorithm that it uses to determine whether a password is weak. Chrome may also display alerts to the user when passwords are used actively and detected as weak, similarly to how Chrome warns users if compromised passwords are used in the web browser. Closing Words Users who store passwords in the web browser may soon be alerted about weak passwords next to compromised passwords; that is a good thing as it may help them improve password security. Downside to Google's implementation is the account requirement. Not everyone signs-in to the browser and many users don't want to; restricting the password checkup feature to signed-in accounts limits the useful functionality. Chrome may soon check saved passwords for weaknesses
  11. Google is experimenting with settings to make Chrome less power-hungry The browser should soon suck up less of your battery (Image credit: Future) Chrome has long had a reputation – one that's well-justified – for being something of a resource hog. Anyone who has opened several tabs in the browser will have noticed how much memory it sucks up. Google has taken some steps to improve things, and now it seems that the company is turning its attention to the browser's power consumption. Recognizing that battery life is an issue for laptop users who are away from a source of power, Google is experimenting with new settings that will enable websites to activate power-saving options. Experimentation is currently in the very early stages and it is not yet even available in the Beta or Canary builds of the browser. Instead, Google is running a trial for Battery Savings meta tags through its Chrome Origin Trials program for developers. The description for the trial explains that the new feature is "a meta tag allowing a site to recommend measures for the user agent to apply in order to save battery life and optimize CPU usage". This means that websites will be able to react to low battery levels in much the same way phones and laptops can automatically enter a battery-saving mode. Power sipping What this means in practice is that sites will be able to do things such as reduce the frame rate of videos to try to eek a little more life out of a dying battery. Other suggestions revealed in an explainer post on GitHub include running scripts more slowly or at a lower priority For developers who register to take part in the Battery Savings Meta trial, the battery-saving feature is available in Chrome 86 and 87. But with the trial set to run until January 13 2021, it could be quite some time before the average user gets to feel the benefits. Via TheWindowsClub Google is experimenting with settings to make Chrome less power-hungry
  12. Chrome 86 will disable autofill on potentially insecure forms Google has announced a couple of new features for its Chrome browser, which are planned for later this year. First, there's a security feature meant to protect user data from potentially unsafe forms. Essentially, the feature will disable the ability for Chrome to autofill forms on websites that make mixed use of HTTPS, meaning they don't use HTTPS to submit forms. Previously, these websites were only signalled by a lock icon on the address bar. Chrome's password manger will still work on forms that require a username and password, though, since Google claims it helps users input unique passwords, rather than reusing them. In addition to disabling autofill, Google will add a warning under the text field saying that the page is not secure, and even after the user submits the form, a full-screen warning will warn users they may be putting their information at risk. On a separate note, Google has also announced a small new feature for Chrome on mobile devices. Currently rolling out to Chrome 85 in the beta channel, there's a flag that lets users see whether a page is optimized for mobile devices. Once the flag is enabled, users can long press on a link in a webpage, and the pop-up menu will have a message saying whether that page meets the Core Web Vitals metrics - that is to say, it will say if the page is fast to load. Chrome 85 is set to hit the stable channel on August 25, so the feature should be more widely available by then. Chrome 86 is currently slated for October 6, and it's also possible that it will include another security feature that hides URL paths. Chrome 86 will disable autofill on potentially insecure forms
  13. Chrome 86 experiment will obscure URL paths to stop phishing In its war on the URL bar, Google has announced that in Chrome 86 it will be running an experiment that hides part of the URL path to help users figure out which website they’re on. The firm says that this helps users identify potentially malicious websites but also makes URLs a bit less obvious, which could see more people come to rely on Search. To test the new feature, Google is randomly switching this feature on for random people. Those who get opted into the experiment will have two ways to view the full URL, either by hovering over the URL to expand it or by right-clicking on the URL and selecting ‘Always show full URLs” in the context menu. If you choose to always show the URLs, they will remain fully visible on all future sites that you visit. Those with Enterprise-enrolled Chrome browsers will not be included in this experiment, this move should help tech support in the workplace to better assist colleagues. If you want to test out the feature out of curiosity, download Chrome Canary or Chrome Dev, open chrome://flags and enable the following flags then restart Chrome: #omnibox-ui-reveal-steady-state-url-path-query-and-ref-on-hover #omnibox-ui-sometimes-elide-to-registrable-domain Optionally, #omnibox-ui-hide-steady-state-url-path-query-and-ref-on-interaction to show the full URL on page load until you interact with the page. As alluded to previously, the move may be a sincere attempt to prevent phishing, however, it also makes the URL bar more irrelevant. For new users coming online, having the URL bar partially obscured could lead to more people doing search queries to get to websites rather than typing the exact URL, this, in turn, could lead to more traffic over on Google Search. Chrome 86 experiment will obscure URL paths to stop phishing
  14. Tabliss is an elegant new tab replacement extension for Firefox and Chrome Most new tab replacement add-ons are related speed-dials, bookmarks and the like. Tabliss however is all about elegance. It is a new tab replacement extension for Firefox and Chrome, that displays cool backgrounds and useful widgets. Install the add-on and open a new tab. It has a random wallpaper, which is not unlike Edge Chromium's Bing wallpaper of the day. The images are sourced from the Unsplash image service. In case you aren't familiar with it, the service offers images that are free for commercial/non-commercial use. Tabliss displays a few links in the bottom left corner of the new tab. One that links to the current wallpaper's page on Unsplash (useful if you want to download the image), another for the uploader/photographer who uploaded the image, and the last URL links to the service's homepage. The new tab also has a clock, and a message that reads "Hello". This is a fairly minimalistic new tab experience. You may customize the add-on, to do so mouse over the gear icon in the top left corner, and it displays a panel with three buttons. The first button opens a side bar with various options. The drop-down menu allows you to select the background image source. You can choose from: a Gradient Color, Solid Color, GIPHY, Unsplash or Upload your custom photos. Tabliss uses Unsplash by default, and is set to show a new photo every 15 minutes. You can use the dropdown menu to set the add-on to display a different wallpaper for every new tab, or change the picture once in 5 minutes, an hour or every day. If you like a picture and want to use it permanently, hit the pause option. The "display settings" allows you to customize the blur and luminosity levels of the images. The second option in Tabliss' gear-icon panel, toggles the Widgets. Use it or the hotkey W to hide the clock and message. Head to the program's settings to add a new widget. There are many options to choose from such as "Custom CSS, Greeting, Literature Clock, Message, NBA Scores, Quick Links, Quotes, Search Box, Time, Todos, Weather". Each widget has its own settings. Custom CSS allows you to use your own script. Greeting says Hello every time you open a new tab. Optionally write your name, to be greeted like Hello, John. Literature Clock is rather unique, it quotes sentences (from random books), that tells you the current time. Message displays a custom text message of your choice. NBA Scores shows the results from the latest games, and optionally the team logos. Quick Links are like speed-dials. You can add links to any website you want, and use the corresponding number as the keyboard shortcut. Quotes places a random quote from "They Said So" and "Developer Excuses", it has some categories that you can select. The Search Box widget settings has various search provides you can choose from: Google, Baidou, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Qwant, Ecosia, Lilo, StartPage, Yandex and Mail.Ru. Search Suggestions can be enabled for Google or Bing. The Clock widget in Tabliss, Time, lets you switch to Analogue, 12-hou or 24-hour digital mode. It can optionally display the seconds, minutes and the date. Set reminders using the Todos widget. Select the number of tasks to be shown from the settings. Click on the + icon in the widget to add a new task. The O icon will display a check mark when you click on it, to indicate that the task has been completed. Get weather updates in every new tab. Set the Location, Name of the place, toggle extended details (feels like, humidity, chance of rain), switch between Imperial and metric units. It uses Dark Sky's API. I'm not sure how long this will work, since Apple has acquired the service. Hopefully, Tabliss' developer will replace it when the API stops working. Use the arrow icons on the side-panel to reorder the widgets, the delete button removes the widget. Adjust the position of the widget and its size, from the display settings. The Font settings allows you to change the font type, weight and the color. Tabliss has a full-screen mode too. You can test the add-on from the web demo available on the official website. I was testing a similar add-on called Momentum, but was annoyed by the features locked behind the paywall, and looked for an alternative and came across Tabliss, which has no such issues. The add-on is open source and is a Mozilla Recommended Extension. Download Tabliss for Chrome and Firefox. Busy all day? Take a moment to appreciate a nice wallpaper, and use the widgets to get weather updates, reminders. The option to download the background is a huge plus. Landing Page: https://tabliss.io/ Tabliss is an elegant new tab replacement extension for Firefox and Chrome
  15. YouTube Windowed FullScreen is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that plays full screen videos in windowed mode Want to watch YouTube videos in a larger view than theater mode, but don't want it take up the entire screen when you hit the full screen button? There's a way to do this. YouTube Windowed FullScreen is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that plays full screen videos in windowed mode. Full screen mode as you may know does not allow you to interact with other tabs or applications. This add-on can be useful if you want to watch videos while working with other applications, monitoring notifications from other programs/tabs, using dual monitors, etc. Install YouTube Windowed FullScreen and it presents its settings window. Dismiss the panel for now, we'll get back to this later once we have seen it in action. Go to YouTube and play a video. Hit the ` key (Tilde) and the extension will force the video to play in a windowed full screen, hence the name. How does it differ from the regular full screen mode? Take a look at these screenshots, compare them and you'll notice the difference. Youtube theater mode Youtube Windowed FullScreen There is a lot of wasted screen real estate in YouTube's theater mode. When YouTube Windowed FullScreen is enabled, it hides the elements at the top (menu, search bar, sign in, notifications, etc) and below the video player (views, likes, comments, autoplay, etc). This gives you a more immersive and distraction-free viewing experience, while restricting the video to play in windowed mode. Head to the YouTube Windowed FullScreen settings by clicking on the extension's button. It has three options, none of which are enabled by default. The first of these, allows you to set a custom shortcut key. Though the box next to this setting is blank, the addon does have a default hotkey pre-enabled, which as I mentioned earlier is ~. Click in the hotkey box to register a new key, and hit the save button to apply the changes. The second option hides the full screen button in YouTube's video player. You can still switch to full screen mode when you have hidden the button, to do so hit the "F" key. There is one other thing this setting does, it adds a new button to toggle the windowed full screen mode. If you mouse over the button, a tooltip appears that says "Full browser mode". The last setting is to "auto-toggle" the windowed full screen mode, which makes all videos open in this view by default. There is no way to resize the video player directly, but since it plays in a full screen window, you can just resize the window to your liking. And yes, there is a noticeable difference between a regular YouTube window that's resized and a resized "windowed full screen". Since the latter doesn't display the search bar and other elements in the window it is easier to use (resizes dynamically), as opposed to resizing and then scrolling down to hide the elements in a regular window until it meets your requirements. I came across YouTube Windowed FullScreen on reddit about a week ago, where the author navi,jador announced the release of the Firefox add-on, which is a port of their Chrome extension. Download YouTube Windowed FullScreen for Firefox and Chrome. It is a good extension. An extra on-screen button to toggle full browser mode (without disabling the full screen button) would have been nice for users who prefer the mouse over using keyboard shortcuts. A potential issue arises from the reliance on a single-key shortcut as it may conflict with other keys. YouTube Windowed FullScreen is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that plays full screen videos in windowed mode
  16. Translate selected text quickly with the Simple Translate extension for Chrome and Firefox Remember the extension called "To Google Translate"? That's what I normally use on Firefox, but it's not available for Chrome or other Chromium-based web browsers. Recently, I had to use Chrome for some work, but I'm not a fan of its built-in translation style. That's mostly because translated pages had their web script completely messed up. Besides, I prefer having the original page loaded while getting a translated version in a box similar to the one used by the add-on I'm used to. A search for these requirements led me to an extension called Simple Translate. It's actually pretty similar to "To Google Translate", and is also available for Firefox. Here's how it works. Install Simple Translate and it places an icon on the toolbar. Click on it to view its pop-up interface. Enter some text in the large box or paste something in it. The drop-down menu in the bottom right corner of the pop-up is for selecting the language the content has to be translated to, aka the target language. The extension translates the text to the language that you selected. Click on the copy button to send the translated version to the clipboard. Listen to the translation by clicking on the speaker icon. Hit the "Translate this page" option to load the page in a new Google Translate tab. There are three more ways to translate text. Select some text on a web page, and click on the Simple Translate icon in the toolbar and it uses it as the source to be translated. Or, you can click on the pop-up Translate button that appears when you select the text. The third way is to select text and use the right-click context menu to translate the text. This displays the translated version in a pop-up box right next to the selection. Setting your second target language in the Simple Translate options page can be useful. If the selected text is already in your primary language, the addon will translate it to your second language. You can toggle the button at the top to disable translation on the current website. The add-on's settings has a blacklist option "URL list to disable translation", use it to enter the addresses of the web pages that you don't want to be translated. You can customize the add-on's behavior and its interface (font, display position, height, width of the pop-up, etc). Error: Service Usage limit reached If you use it t translate too many phrases quickly, Simple Translate throws up an error message that says "Error: Service usage limit reached. Please wait a while and try again". It happened in both Chrome and Firefox. To fix this, the extension recommends you to increase the "waiting time to translate" from the add-on's options. I tried this, but the error seems to recur, it mostly happened after I used it to translate a few phrases. So, I decided to simply wait it out, and it worked. You can still use Google Translate normally during the "waiting time". The GitHub issues page for the extension reveals that this is a very old issue, dating back to 2018. This page in particular sheds more light on it. Apparently, Simple Translate sends a request to the Google Translator API whenever text is selected, to auto-detect the language of the selected text. The developer mentions that this behavior is by design. That means, if you quickly select text multiple times, a number of queries are sent to the API, which blocks the query sender (your IP address) from using the service for a short while. I disabled the translation button, and the "translate in text field" options, and set the waiting time to 1000 (milliseconds). This seems to work better, at least for me. Download Simple Translate for Chrome and Firefox. It is an open source extension. The add-on is quite good, except for the annoying error message. And since it uses Google Translate's API, the same privacy policies apply to the add-on's usage. Translate selected text quickly with the Simple Translate extension for Chrome and Firefox
  17. Chrome on Android adds new features to make autofill more secure Google announced today a new feature for Chrome on Android that lets you authenticate credit card transactions through biometric information. In addition, the web browser on mobile is introducing improvements to its native password manager that will make signing in to a site quicker with the new touch-to-fill capability. Currently, when you make a purchase through Chrome on mobile, you will be asked to enter your card's CVC before the autofill feature provides your full card number to a form. Over the coming weeks, Chrome on Android will allow you to use your phone's biometric authentication to retrieve your card numbers with your fingerprint when making a purchase. That means you won't need to enter the CVC, except when you're using your credit card for the first time. You can still opt out from this feature and, instead, choose to verify your card with the CVC. Also, there's an option in Chrome to disable this capability. The ability to confirm credit card transactions with biometrics first surfaced earlier this month via a Chrome flag. Another update to Chrome on mobile is the new touch-to-fill capability that will show you your saved accounts for a current site through Android's standard dialog. This feature is rolling out to Chrome on Android over the next few weeks. Chrome on Android adds new features to make autofill more secure
  18. Google is finally bringing one of Chrome's best mobile features to the desktop Handy tab saving feature is on its way (Image credit: Shutterstock) Users of the desktop version of Chrome should soon be able to take advantage of a handy feature that's been available to iOS users for years already. Currently undergoing testing preview Canary builds of the browser, the "Read Later" feature will make it possible to save article or tabs for easy access later. The feature is very similar to options already found in Microsoft Edge and Firefox, and it will help to eliminate the need to keep dozens, score or even hundreds of tabs open so you can – maybe – refer back to something that caught your eye. References to tab saving were spotted on the Chromium Gerrit where there is a commit labelled "Add flag for Read Later feature". Take a look at the optional flags in the Canary build of Chrome 86 by visiting chrome://flags, and there is one called Read Later. The description of the flag explains that the option will "allow users to save tabs for later. Enables and new button and menu for accessing tabs saved for later". Here Google also makes it clear that the feature will be coming to all desktop platforms – meaning macOS, Windows, Linux and Chrome OS. Save for a rainy day Although the flag can be seen in Chrome Canary, it doesn't seem to be working yet – even when enabled neither the button nor menu Google refers to are visible at this time. Clearly this is a feature that is still in the early stages of development, and Google's developers believe it's not ready enough even for those living on the bleeding edge of Canary. It's hard to say when we'll get to play with Read Later, but it's something that will be welcomed by anyone who finds themselves drowning under tabs, or losing sites in a sea of bookmarks. As well as giving you a way to earmark something to refer back to later so you don't get distracted from your current task, it will also be a great way to organise research tabs – and it can't come soon enough. Google is finally bringing one of Chrome's best mobile features to the desktop
  19. x64 http://redirector.gvt1.com/edgedl/release2/chrome/BaBRExYjv6yO9XgQ19F1fQ_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe https://redirector.gvt1.com/edgedl/release2/chrome/BaBRExYjv6yO9XgQ19F1fQ_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe http://dl.google.com/release2/chrome/BaBRExYjv6yO9XgQ19F1fQ_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe https://dl.google.com/release2/chrome/BaBRExYjv6yO9XgQ19F1fQ_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe http://www.google.com/dl/release2/chrome/BaBRExYjv6yO9XgQ19F1fQ_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe https://www.google.com/dl/release2/chrome/BaBRExYjv6yO9XgQ19F1fQ_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe x86 http://redirector.gvt1.com/edgedl/release2/chrome/AK2w57FKf_1Xt4yCiPlaBqw_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe https://redirector.gvt1.com/edgedl/release2/chrome/AK2w57FKf_1Xt4yCiPlaBqw_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe http://dl.google.com/release2/chrome/AK2w57FKf_1Xt4yCiPlaBqw_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe https://dl.google.com/release2/chrome/AK2w57FKf_1Xt4yCiPlaBqw_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe http://www.google.com/dl/release2/chrome/AK2w57FKf_1Xt4yCiPlaBqw_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe https://www.google.com/dl/release2/chrome/AK2w57FKf_1Xt4yCiPlaBqw_84.0.4147.105/84.0.4147.105_chrome_installer.exe
  20. Never-Consent refuses GDPR consent requests automatically GDRP and cookie consent prompts are displayed on many Internet sites. Some sites check a user's location to determine whether consent prompts need to be displayed, others display these prompts to anyone entering the site. What started with good intentions has quickly turned the Internet into consent-hell as users are bombarded with these prompts quite frequently. While it is possible to deny giving consent, it is not really productivity to react to consent prompts regularly. To make matters worse, most sites use cookies to determine a user's response to the prompt, and if cookies get deleted regularly or denied outright, prompts will be displayed on every visit to the site. The Firefox and Chromium add-on Never-Consent has been designed to provide an automated solution for users of the browser. It will refuse GDPR consent on any site that is loaded in the web browser provided that the site uses a consent platform that is supported. The latest version at the time of writing supports a good dozen consent platforms including Cookie Law Info, CookieConsent, Quantcast, OneTrust, ConsentManager and Didomi. All it takes is to install the extension in a supported browser, e.g. Firefox, Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based). The extension works automatically in the background to refuse any GDPR consent prompt right away that the extension recognizes. The extension itself is open source, you can check out the source on the project's GitHub site. Additional GDPR platforms are already on the project's to-do list, and the project team is looking for a solution to deal with custom GDPR prompts that are not powered by any of the widely used platforms. The extension comes without any options and works right after installation. Closing Words Never-Consent is a handy browser extension that complements the anti-cookie consent extensions and options nicely. Users who run into GDPR prompts frequently benefit the most from installing the extension, others may prefer to handle the prompts manually to avoid installing another extension in the web browser of choice. Landing Page (Firefox): https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/never-consent/ Never-Consent refuses GDPR consent requests automatically
  21. Open a list of webpages in one go with the Bulk URL Opener extension for Firefox and Chrome We've reviewed extensions such as Copy Selected Links or Copy All Tab URLs which can save the web addresses from all your tabs with a single click. Now, how about reviewing an extension that can open a list of URLs in your browser of choice? Bulk URL Opener is an extension for Firefox and Chrome, which can do that. Install it and click on its icon that on the toolbar and, Bulk URL Opener's interface pops-up. A large pane contains a list of all tabs that are loaded in the current window. It works on a per-window basis. The pane is the URL field, though it just looks like a text box. Paste the links that you want to open in the box, and then click on the Open Links button. The extension will load all the links in new tabs, hence the name, Bulk URL Opener. The "Get links of all opened tabs" is sort of like an undo option, in case you deleted the contents in it. You can do the same by just clicking away and reopening the add-on's window. An icon is displayed next to the extension's name in the pop-up, click on it to open the add-on's interface in its own window. This is optional, of course. The links that you paste don't have to be in a special format, all you need to do is make sure that there's only one URL per line. So, you can import links that you've obtained from other extensions, text files, etc. Bulk URL Opener opens the pasted links in the same window. If you want it to open them links in a separate window instead, you'll have to open a new window before using the add-on to load the list of tabs. The extension can also be used to save the URLs from all loaded tabs. There are two ways to do this: you can copy and paste it to a text file to save the links. You can even use the list in a different browser if you want to. Or, click on the new list button to save the tabs using the add-on's built-in list manager. The saved list can be accessed from the drop-down menu in the left corner of the pop-up interface. This is sort of like saving a browsing session. Lists can be edited or deleted anytime you want to. The Load list button does not open the links immediately, it only displays the URLS. Use the Open links button for opening the loaded list. Don't want all tabs loading at once? Enable the last option on the Bulk URL Opener's settings page, to make it load a tab only when it is selected. Export your settings and tab lists, and save the script in a text file. Import them back by pasting the script. Bulk URL Opener has a setting, which, when enabled, will try to extract a URL from the string, which is handy if you paste text that contains a link somewhere, instead of using an actual URL. Or, you can tell the extension to perform an online search using Google, DuckDuckGo or Bing with the non-URL text as the keyword. The add-on has a night theme that you can toggle, though this only affects the Settings page. Download Bulk URL Opener for Chrome and Firefox. The extension is open source. Landing Page (Firefox): https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/bulkurlopener/ Landing Page: (Chrome): https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bulk-url-opener/kgnfciolbjojfdbbelbdbhhocjmhenep Open a list of webpages in one go with the Bulk URL Opener extension for Firefox and Chrome
  22. Chrome password manager: What is it and how to use it Keep track of all your passwords with Google’s own password manager (Image credit: Google) The Chrome password manager (officially titled Google Password Manager) is a free password management tool available within the Chrome web browser. It keeps a record of all the usernames, passwords, addresses, and payment methods that you use online. Why is this useful? Using a single password on multiple websites is a big security risk; if one of those websites is hacked, your password for all of them is revealed. This is why security experts encourage users to have a different password for each website, but this can quickly leave you with dozens or even hundreds of passwords to keep track of. A password manager, like the Chrome password manager, simplifies this task. Let’s take a closer look at the Chrome password manager and how to use it. How to install the Chrome password manager Google Password Manager is installed automatically with the Chrome browser. You can download Chrome for Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and Mac OS for free. After downloading the installation file, run it and follow the instructions. You’ll be asked to create a new Google account or you can use an existing account. To create a new account, enter your full name, and choose a username that will be used as the basis for your Gmail email address. You can choose to supply a backup email address or phone number that can be used to recover your account if you lose access to it. By default, the Chrome password manager will be enabled within Chrome. If you install Chrome on multiple devices, the usernames and passwords stored will automatically sync across all of them. (Image credit: Google) How to store passwords in Chrome When you use the Chrome password manager, every time you enter a new username and password on a website, you’ll be asked whether you want to save them. You can even save multiple username and password combinations for each site, so you can use the Chrome password manager for multiple accounts. Whenever you return to a website, the password manager will automatically fill in the log-in username and password for you. If you have multiple username and password combinations stored, you’ll be prompted to choose between them in a drop-down menu. Managing your stored passwords in Chrome You can add, edit, and remove any of the credentials stored in Chrome from within the browser. Click on your profile picture, which is near the top right of the browser interface. Then, click on the Passwords button, which looks like a key. There, you’ll find all your stored usernames and passwords. You can also manage your passwords by heading to passwords.google.com. Generating unique, strong passwords in Chrome Creating strong, secure, unique passwords in Chrome is easy. When you sign up for a new website and are asked to create a password, click on the password text box and choose Suggest Strong Password. You’ll see the unique password that Chrome has generated for you, and it will be automatically filled in on the website and stored in the password manager. If Suggest Strong Password doesn’t show up when you click the password box, try right-clicking on the password box and choosing Generate Password. (Image credit: Google) Checking the strength and security of your passwords Chrome includes a handy tool that shows you if your current set of passwords is strong and secure. On Windows, choose Settings, click Safety Check, and select Check Now. This will scan all your current passwords and then generate a report on whether any have been exposed in a data breach. The report also advises when your passwords are weak or if you’ve reused the same password on multiple websites. If any of your passwords have been exposed due to a data breach, change them at once. For maximum security, you should also replace any weak passwords or ones that you’ve reused across websites. Is the Chrome password manager secure enough? For many users, the built-in password manager in Chrome is quite secure. Your Google account can be protected with two-step authentication, making it difficult for anyone unauthorized to access your passwords. But it does have a few limitations. It only works with the Chrome browser, so if you use other browsers, such as Firefox or Safari, then your passwords won’t autofill there. You can’t use the Chrome password manager to autofill passwords in desktop applications. There’s also no facility for securely sharing passwords with other members of your household. Most paid password managers include these features. Disabling Chrome password manager If you use an alternative password manager, such as LastPass or Dashlane, you may want to disable the password manager in Chrome. You can do this by clicking on Settings, choosing Autofill, clicking on Passwords, and turning off the settings for Auto Sign-in and Offer to Save Passwords. Included with Chrome The Chrome password manager is a free password management tool built into the Google Chrome browser. While it doesn’t have some of the advanced features of our favorite password managers, it’s still a solid choice if you exclusively use Chrome as your web browser. It’s easy to use, works on virtually every website you’ll encounter, and requires no additional installation. It even has a password checkup tool that gives you a report on the security of your current passwords. Overall, Chrome password manager is a solid choice for keeping track of all the passwords you use online. Chrome password manager: What is it and how to use it
  23. Chrome for Android: new download options including scheduling Google is working on improving the download options provided by the company's Google Chrome web browser for the Android operating system. Current versions of Chrome for Android offer little when it comes to downloads. Downloads start immediately when you select to download files, and while that is probably wanted in most cases, there are cases where users may not want downloads to start immediately. A prime example is when the device is connected to a mobile network and not a wireless network. There may also be situations where you don't want downloads to start right away, e.g. when you are still connected to a school or work network with your device. While you could wait before you start the download, other options may be welcome to address these situations. Google engineers added a new experimental flag to the latest Chrome Canary version that introduces new download options. Once enabled, Chrome will display several options to the user when files are selected for download. These let users start the download right away, start it when the device is connected to a wireless network (if it is not at the time), and to schedule the download. Let's take a closer look at the available options and how to enable the feature in Chrome. Make sure you run the latest version of Chrome Canary for Android; the version that I used for the test is 86.0.4204.0. Load chrome://flags in the web browser's address bar. Search for "Enable download later". Set the experimental feature to Enabled. Restart the Chrome browser on the Android device. Google Chrome for Android will display a prompt when you start downloads in the browser after the restart. The prompt provides you with options to start the download at that point in time, wait until the device is connected to a wireless network, and to schedule the download. The first two options are self-explanatory, the third resembles functionality known from Download Managers. When you select it, Chrome asks you to pick a date and time for the download. It will schedule the download and start it at the selected date and time. Chrome users may dismiss the prompt to restore the default downloading functionality of the browser. The scheduled downloads are listed on the browser's downloads page. Closing Words Experimental features may come and come at any time, and it not 100% ensured that the download scheduler and other download options will make it into stable Chrome. The options may be useful in some situations, e.g. when starting downloads while connected to a mobile network; the scheduling on the other hand, I'd estimate that it would not become a very popular feature. Chrome for Android: new download options including scheduling
  24. Fast forward: What's coming in future versions of Chrome? Every time Google updates its browser, it publishes release notes aimed at enterprises to highlight upcoming additions, substitutions, enhancements and modifications. Here's some of what's coming. geralt (CC0) Chrome continues to kick a** and take names. Now with more than 70% of the world's browser user share – a measure of browser activity calculated by analytics company Net Applications – Google's Chrome has no equal in popularity. It's run roughshod over rivals like Microsoft's Edge, Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari, which eke out livings as single-digit browsers, dangerously close to mere niche status. So, it's no surprise that when Chrome speaks, others tremble, if only in virtual boots. With each browser upgrade – something Computerworld tracks in the What's in the latest Chrome update? series – and every time Google talks of future plans, opponents pay attention to hear what they may have to copy to stay competitive. Every Chrome upgrade is accompanied by enterprise-centric release notes that highlight some of the planned additions, substitutions, enhancements and modifications. We've collected the most important for this edition of Computerworld's latest what's-coming round-up. But remember, nothing is guaranteed, least of all software's prospective features. As Google says: "They might be changed, delayed, or canceled before launching to the Stable channel." Chrome 85-86: Legacy Browser Support waves bye Google will purge the Legacy Browser Support (LBS) add-on from the Chrome Web Store when Chrome 85 ships in late August. "Legacy Browser Support (LBS) is now built into Chrome, and the old extension is no longer needed," Google said succinctly. LBS, whether in extension or inside-Chrome form, was designed so IT admins could deploy Google's browser but still call up Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) when necessary to, say, render intranet sites or older, written-for-IE apps. LBS wasn't an emulator but simply a URL director, sending any links on an admin-made list to IE for that browser to open. The add-on debuted in 2013, when Chrome's share of between 15% and 18% was far below IE's still-dominant 55%-58%. Google still plans to automatically remove the LBS extension from all copies of Chrome when v. 86 releases on Oct. 6. At that point, only the built-in LBS will remain. To call on the baked-in LBS, administrators must use the policies listed here under the Legacy Browser Support heading. The old policies written for the add-on will not work once the extension if removed in October. Chrome 85: Throttle back Chrome 85 will drastically curtail the amount of power background tabs consume by throttling them to a maximum of only 1% of CPU time. And background tabs will only be allowed to "wake up" – to repaint the page, for instance – once per minute. Administrators will be able to control this throttling with the IntensiveWakeUpThrottlingEnabled policy. (Note: Computerworld was unable to find Google's description of this new policy, but Microsoft has published its version here for use in Edge 85 and later.) Chrome 86: More URL messing around Google plans to press forward with its plan to truncate what shows in the address bar starting with Chrome 86, slated for an early October release. Only some users will see the change at v. 86's debut, Google said, adding that "a full roll-out ((is)) planned for a later release." Under the scheme, a full URL like https://google-secure.example.com/secure-google-sign-in/ would show only as the registrable domain, example.com in the address bar. Google argued that the move is "to protect your users from some common phishing strategies," such as when criminals try to trick potential victims of clicking on links, which at first glance look legitimate, that are actually constructed to mislead. "This change is designed to keep your users' credentials safe," Google stated in its enterprise release notes. This will not be the first time that Google has tried to shorten what shows in the Chrome address bar. At several points in the past – most recently in 2018 with v. 69 and 70 – Google has contended that stripping out parts of a URL, say the www, is a move worth making. Critics blasted the proposed change, saying that it eliminates cues some users relied on to sniff out deceptive sites. Chrome 86: No more blacklist, whitelist A baker's dozen of Chrome policies will be renamed to drop the terms "blacklist" and "whitelist" that refer to barred and allowed actions, respectively. "Chrome will be moving to more inclusive policy names in Chrome 86," Google noted in its enterprise release notes. "The terms 'whitelist' and 'blacklist' will be replaced with 'allowlist' and 'blocklist.'" Thirteen policies – including URLBlacklist and ExtensionInstallWhitelist – will be introduced in Chrome 86, set to release Oct. 6, in renamed forms, such as URLBlocklist and ExtensionInstallAllowlist. Discussions of technology terminology – "master" and "slave" regarding device communication is among the examples – have percolated for years. But this year's protests over racism, inequalities and police killings of African Americans prompted calls for other changes from the likes of Apple and Microsoft, as well as Google. In Apple's style guide for developers, for example, under the blacklist/whitelist, the entry stated: "Don't use. Instead, use an alternative that's appropriate to the context, such as deny list/allow list or unapproved list/approved list." Fast forward: What's coming in future versions of Chrome?
  25. Somehow, Microsoft is the best thing to happen to Chrome Airborne pigs also spotted (Image credit: Shutterstock) What strange times we live in. Who’d have thought that I’d be writing an article on how Microsoft is the best thing to happen to Google Chrome? A few years ago the idea of Microsoft getting involved in an open source project would cause a mixture of laughter and dread. You know… Microsoft, the foe of open source who had a CEO that once said that Linux was “a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.” The company that couldn’t make a decent web browser to save its life. But, believe it or not, I really do think that Microsoft’s involvement has made Chrome a much better browser. (Image credit: Pixabay) Learning to love open source First of all, Microsoft ditched its antipathy to open source a good while ago now, and it’s a now a platinum sponsor of the Linux Foundation, and in some metrics it’s also now the biggest open source contributor in the world. Basically, since dropping its opposition to open source, and not only embracing it, but putting its money where its mouth is, the thought of Microsoft being involved with an open source project is no longer the stuff of nightmares. It’s proved to be a valuable contributor to the open source community already. But how does this affect Google’s Chrome browser? Well, ever since Microsoft stopped using its own web engine, EdgeHTML, for its Edge web browser, and instead built a brand-new version that’s based on Chromium, it’s been contributing a steady stream of fixes and new features to Chromium – and those have not just been benefitting Edge, but Chrome as well. The latest example of this is Microsoft finally fixing an issue where notifications for Chrome doubled up in Windows 10, and clicking the wrong one would fail to open up the website that was sending the notification in Chrome. It managed the impressive feat of being both annoying and useless. However, Microsoft submitted code to the Chromium project that fixes the issue. While Microsoft fixing an issue that affects its operating system isn’t too surprising, there have been a number of other instances where Microsoft has made Chrome a better browser thanks to its input. Lending a hand I’ve complained before about how sick I am of Chrome being a massive RAM hog, and Microsoft has found a way to stop it gobbling up so much memory, while also draining less battery when run on a laptop, by preventing unnecessary disk caching when users watch videos. A Microsoft developer also recently fixed a particularly annoying quirk in Google Chrome that can result in you accidentally losing your current tab. And there are many other examples. OK, so all these fixes were primarily aimed at sorting out Chromium Edge, but the important thing is that they also improve a web browser people actually use. For anyone who’s been frustrated by Google’s handling of Chrome, the fact that Microsoft has been bringing improvements to the browser is a strange – but welcome development. I never thought I’d be celebrating Microsoft’s involvement in an open source project – but in this case, I’m very happy to be doing just that. Somehow, Microsoft is the best thing to happen to Chrome
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