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  1. Chrome for Android finally gets a bottom tab bar in new experiment A new flag in Chrome Beta will create a strip of favicons at the bottom of the screen. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all 3 images. Everyone reading this probably uses multiple tabs on a desktop computer, but on mobile, tab management can be tough. On and Android tablet, Chrome looks like a real browser with a top tab strip, but on a phone, you don't get any kind of tab UI. There is a button that will take you to cascading UI of different Chrome windows, but a one-tap tab strip hasn't existed on Chrome for phones—until now! A new Chrome for Android experiment, first spotted by Android Police, will add a tab strip to the bottom of the Chrome window. Tabs take the form of site favicons, and just like on a real computer, a single tap will switch between tabs. The currently active tab gets a little close icon next to it, meaning that tapping the tab again will close it. An "X" button to the left will close the tab bar entirely, while a plus button on the right will open a new tab. For now, the feature is in Chrome Beta for some people, and you'll need to turn on a flag to enable it. To turn it on, paste chrome://flags/#enable-conditional-strip into the address bar, hit enter, enable the flag, and restart. Right now it can be kind of finicky to pop up at first. When I first open Chrome, sometimes I have to tap on the old window-switcher button to make the tab strip appear. This is just an experiment, and Android Police says it plainly doesn't work for some people. So there is probably a server-side switch involved, too. This UI seems like a big improvement over the current version of Chrome. The lack of a tab strip on mobile has made managing multiple tabs a real pain, and Chrome's separate window-changer page has a number of problems. First, the button for it (number with a square around it) is all the way at the top of the phone, which makes it hard to reach. Second, it's just a number, and the lack of page titles or favicons gives you absolutely no context for what other tabs are open. Third, it's really clunky to use, requiring a tap on the button, scrolling through the list of thumbnails, and another tap to load a new page. All these problems make the Chrome "tab" button really easy to just ignore and never use. Faster, easier, closer The tab strip is faster, easier, and closer to your fingers than the old window-switcher button. The favicons provide context about what tabs are open and what tabs are easy to close, and the growing line of tabs encourages you to actually close unwanted tabs. The strip auto-hides just like the address bar does, appearing when you leave the window alone and moving out of the way when you scroll the page. If you have too many tabs open, you can horizontally scroll through the tab strip with a swipe. If you've ever used a desktop browser, you instantly know how this works, and it seems crazy it's taken this long to develop. Hopefully, Google keeps this feature around. The Chrome team has been known to launch and then kill experiments like this without them ever hitting the stable channel. The tab strip is built off of a previous experiment that enabled tab groups on mobile (just like on desktop), which had the tab strip confusingly only show up inside a tab group. Now, a regular old tab strip makes a lot more sense. Listing image by Chrome Chrome for Android finally gets a bottom tab bar in new experiment (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  2. Chrome will soon warn you if too much storage is being used Google plans to introduce a new feature in the company's Chrome web browser soon that will inform users if too much storage is being used. New web technologies give sites and applications lots of options, and that includes storing data in manifold ways on user devices. One of the issues associated with this is that it is difficult to keep track of how much data is stored by apps or websites. While it is possible to check using third-party tools to find out how much storage space a browser and all its components require, e.g. File Explorer on Windows 10 or the excellent WizTree, browsers don't provide detailed information about storage requirements. Chrome users may use internal tools to clear data, e.g. to clear web storage or browsing data, but the browser does not warn if free disk space reaches a critical level on the device. The upcoming change, which will be enabled by default in desktop versions of Google Chrome, changes that. A new experimental flag is added to Chromium and Chrome that is called "Enable storage pressure UI". Flags are used by Chromium developers to introduce features in the browser that are not yet ready for wider distribution. Once enabled, Chrome will trigger a notification when a site's attempt to store data would reduce free disk space below the 15% threshold. Google plans to set a "once every 24 hours" threshold for the feature to avoid notification overload. The notification is triggered by attempts to use quota managed storage APIs such as IndexedDB or AppCache. Note that the feature does not address Chrome's own storage use on a device. Changes to clear site data A mockup published on the Chromium bugs tracker suggests that Google plans to improve the clearing of site data dialog as well in the near future. The prompt will display additional details on what is being cleared when the function is executed in the browser. Chrome users can clear site data by clicking on the icon in front of the address of the active site and selecting Site Settings from the menu that opens; this opens a new page and the option to delete the data is displayed at the top of that page. Only data associated with the active site will be deleted when the operation is executed. Users need to use the general option to clear browsing data in Chrome if they want to clear data for all sites in the browser. Chrome will soon warn you if too much storage is being used
  3. How to Get Safari's New Privacy Features in Chrome and Firefox Apple's browser is getting serious about security protections. If you can't or won't switch, don't worry: You don't have to fall behind. You don't have to wait for macOS Big Sur to drop to get a lot of these upcoming features though—both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have similar features.Photograph: Apple Apple just unveiled a raft of changes coming with the new macOS Big Sur later this year. Along with the visual redesign, the introduction of Control Center, and upgrades to Messages, the built-in Safari browser is getting new-and-improved privacy features to keep your data locked away. You don't have to wait for macOS Big Sur to drop to get a lot of these upcoming features though—both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have similar features, or they can with the help of a third-party extension. Here's how you can get Firefox or Chrome up to par with Safari in macOS Big Sur today. The Changes Coming to Safari When macOS Big Sur arrives, Safari is going to look somewhat different. Courtesy of Apple Privacy and data protection are already big priorities for Safari, but the version coming with macOS Big Sur is going to go even further to protect you from being tracked on the web. Some of the existing features are becoming more visible, while Safari is also embracing more extensions, with as much care for user safety as possible. The browser already warns you against using passwords that are easily guessed or that you've used before (assuming they're saved in Safari's password locker), but the next version will also warn you if your email address, username, or password have been exposed in a data breach online—which would mean the need to take action and change your password would be even more urgent. A new Privacy Report button is getting added to the toolbar—you can click on this to see exactly which trackers Safari is blocking in its ongoing attempts to stop advertisers and companies from following you around the web. Safari is particularly good at stopping "fingerprinting," where various characteristics of your device (like screen resolution and operating system) are used to figure out who you are. This same Privacy Report is going to be displayed on your browser start page, which should give you a better idea of which sites are most aggressively trying to track you, as well as showing off the work that Safari is busy doing in the background. Safari in macOS Big Sur is also boosting support for extensions. (Safari already has extensions, but there aren't many of them.) New developer tools will make it easier for add-ons to be ported from Chrome and Firefox, and Safari is going to give users a suite of controls to limit the browsing data and other information that extensions are able to get access to. Adding Features to Chrome uBlock Origin is one Chrome extension that can block trackers. Screenshot: David Nield via Google Google already checks the passwords that it saves for you against a database of leaked credentials (besides warning about duplicates and passwords that could be easily guessed)—this is actually a Google account feature as well as a Chrome one. From the Chrome Settings panel, click Passwords then Check passwords to run an audit. You can already get some tracking data about a site by clicking the icon to the left of a URL in the address bar in Chrome (the icon will be either a padlock or an info bubble). To get even more tracking data, and to selectively block it, Safari-style, you can use an extension like uBlock Origin: One click shows you how many trackers are active on a page and which have been stopped by uBlock Origin. As well as stopping tracking across multiple sites, uBlock Origin also suppresses aggressive ads and protects against sites embedded with malware. A similar tool for Chrome that you can try is Disconnect—again, a single click blocks out tracking technologies, unwanted advertising, and social plug-ins (used by the likes of Facebook to see what you're up to when you're out and about across the web). Individual trackers and sites as a whole can be granted permission to operate outside of the restrictions put in place by uBlock Origin and Disconnect, which can be used for sites with responsible advertising that you want to support. As an added bonus, all of this tracking and blocking should mean a faster browsing experience too. Policing extension permissions isn't quite as easy in Chrome as it sounds like it will be in the next Safari upgrade, but you do have options: Choose More Tools then Extensions from the Chrome menu, then click Details next to any extension. The next page shows you the permissions the add-on has and lets you set when and how the utility can read your browsing data—on all sites (everywhere you go, without question), on specific sites (only on sites you specifically list), or on click (so you'll be asked for permission whenever access is required). Adding Features to Firefox Firefox comes with a host of privacy protections built in. Screenshot: David Nield via Firefox Firefox already packs plenty of user privacy and anti-tracking technology into its interface, so you don't need to do too much in the way of tweaking to get it up to par with the improvements that Apple just announced for Safari. It blocks more than 2,000 web trackers by default, for example, and warns you if your details are included in a data breach as part of its Firefox Monitor and Firefox Lockwise tools. Click the little purple shield icon to the left of the address bar on any site to see what Firefox has blocked, including advertising trackers, social media plug-ins, attempts to fingerprint your device, and more. Firefox will intelligently allow some plug-ins to run if blocking them would seriously compromise the functionality of the site—it's then your choice to continue using the site or find an alternative. To open a report on how these various measures are working over time, open the main Firefox menu and choose Privacy Protections. If you open up Preferences then Privacy & Security from the Firefox menu, you can choose how these measures (called Enhanced Tracking Protection) are applied. Three different modes of operation are available—Standard, Strict, and Custom—and it's possible to tailor the level of blocking for specific sites too. Enhanced Tracking Protection can be turned off for sites that you particularly trust, as well. It's fantastic having all of these features built right into Firefox, and it may be where Apple got some of its inspiration from for Safari, but plenty of third-party extensions are also available if you want to go even further. uBlock Origin and Disconnect are both available for Firefox as well as Chrome, for example, and both work in the same way: With one click on the browser toolbar you can see which adverts and trackers are being blocked. To keep watch over which extensions are allowed to what in Firefox, choose Add-ons then Extensions from the program menu. Click the three dots next to any extension to see the data and browser features that it has access to—for the time being you can't change this, though you can block add-ons from running in private browser windows. If an extension is using a permission that you're not happy with, you'll have to uninstall it. How to Get Safari's New Privacy Features in Chrome and Firefox
  4. Google makes it easier to discover the meaning of... everything Chrome for Android can now give you definitions (Image credit: Shutterstock) Chrome for Android has a new feature that allows you to look up the definitions of words with a single touch. Browsing the internet mean encountering not only a wealth of information, but also a huge number of words, and you might not necessarily know what all of them mean. You could, of course, reach for a dictionary – but maybe there is a better option. Google certainly thinks so, and to make life easier when it comes to understanding unfamiliar language there is a new option for anyone using Chrome on Android. When you stumble across a word you don't know the meaning of, you may well highlight it, copy it and paste it into a Google search to find out the definition. But Google wants to make things a bit easier for you – at least if you have an Android phone. While in the past it has been possible to highlight a word, long-tap and use this to perform a web search, Google is now making it possible to tap to look up not only the meaning of a word, but also its pronunciation. The meaning of life Chrome for Android already offers a 'Touch to search' option, but this new feature goes further. When a word is highlighted in Chrome with a long press, Chrome will now show a definition in a pop-up at the bottom of the screen, as well as a pronunciation guide. The change seems to be rolling out to anyone who is using the latest version of Chrome, but you may need to tweak a setting sot enable the feature if you don't see it. Just head to chrome://flags/#contextual-search-definitions and set the option to 'Enable' Google makes it easier to discover the meaning of... everything
  5. This Chrome extension lets you link directly to specific text on a webpage Google has released Link to Text Fragment, a new extension, that lets users generate URLs to a specific text on a webpage, irrespective of the page's formatting. After the extension has been installed, highlight that text that you want to link to, simply right-click, and select "Copy Link to Selected Text." If the process succeeds, the selected text will briefly be highlighted in yellow. Anyone having a compatible browser can open and share this link. This extension builds upon Text Fragments, a feature that was recently added to Chromium. It works by appending extra information to a URL after a # and is the same technology that the Mountain View firm uses to highlight featured snippet text within webpages. However, this process can be a bit difficult, especially when users are linking to longer sections of text or complex pages. This extension makes the creation process convenient. The extension-created links are compatible with version 80 upwards of all Chromium-based browsers, but all browsers haven't adapted yet. As of yesterday, Google's blog post notes that Firefox and Safari had not stated whether or not they'd implement this feature. This Chrome extension lets you link directly to specific text on a webpage
  6. Some Chrome users are getting signed out automatically on Windows 10 version 2004 Some Google Chrome users who use the browser on a device running Windows 10 version 2004 are reporting that they are getting signed out of their Google account and other accounts automatically. Microsoft released Windows 10 version 2004, also known as the May 2020 Update, last month to the public. The operating system is being rolled out over time to devices. The company published several issues when it released the update, some of which block the update from being offered to a device. New issues have been acknowledged last week, and some old ones have been mitigated or fixed. It appears that some Chrome installations don't play well with Windows 10 version 2004 either. Chrome users report on the official Help forum [see for example here and here] that they are getting signed out of accounts automatically after every restart of the operating system. Chrome pauses sync each time because of that and it also does not appear to store or use cookies after the restart of the system. Common fixes such as reinstalling Chrome, clearing all cookies or site data, downloading a different Chrome version, don't fix the issue according to the reports. I have recently just updated to windows update 2004 and I keep having issues with google signing me out of every account on my browser including forcing me to sign in again for sync. I have already uninstalled and reinstalled chrome to try fixing this. It's been starting to get really annoying having to resign into my accounts every time I use my pc. I'm dealing with a problem where each time I close chrome, it pauses sync and doesn't seem to use stored cookies (meaning it logs me out of all websites, regardless of if the password is stored in sync or not). Microsoft has not acknowledged the bug yet and Google has not replied to any of the threads either at the time of writing. The issue seems limited to Windows 10 version 2004 only. Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy replied to one of the threads suggesting that it could have something to do with the dpapisrv master key cache. He suggests that affected users do the following to see if it resolves the situation for the session: Close all Chrome windows / instances. Use Windows-L to lock the computer. Unlock the computer, and restart Chrome. Closing Words It may take some time before the issue is addressed. Considering that reports started to appear more than two weeks after initial release and that only some Chrome users appear to be affected, it is possible that last week's cumulative security updates introduced the bug and not the release of Windows 10 version 2004. Some Chrome users are getting signed out automatically on Windows 10 version 2004
  7. Google to test simplified domain display in Chrome Google Chrome users may soon see only the domain name in the web browser's address bar instead of the full page address. Google published several development bugs on the Chromium website that highlight the changes. The main bugs, Issue 895940 Experiment with trimming everything but the Origin for Steady State Elisions, and Issue 1090393: Implement simplified domain display in the omnibox, highlight what the experiment entails. When enabled in the browser, Chrome will only show the domain name and not the full page URL. If you are on the page https://www.ghacks.net/2020/06/09/microsoft-windows-security-updates-june-2020-overview/, Google Chrome will only show https://www.ghacks.net/ by default. The company plans to run the experiment on desktop and mobile versions of its web browser, and has created several new experimental flags for that. The reason for running the experiment, according to a developer, is that the display of the full URL makes it difficult for the average user to distinguish between legitimate and malicious sites. We think this is an important problem area to explore because phishing and other forms of social engineering are still rampant on the web, and much research shows that browsers' current URL display patterns aren't effective defenses. Note that the implementation of the experiments is ongoing and that some functionality is not yet implemented fully. I go the "on interaction" flag to work properly but could not get the main hiding flag to work in the latest Chrome Canary release. Google plans to run two main experiments: Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Path, Query, and Ref -- When enabled, this experiment will display only the domain name on the page unless the user clicks in the address bar (e.g. to edit the URL). Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Path, Query, and Ref On Interaction -- This experiment, when enabled, hides all but the domain name in the address bar when the user interacts with the page, e.g. scrolls. Another experiment brings back the full address when the user hovers over the address bar (only on desktop)_ Omnibox UI Reveal Steady-State URL Path, Query, and Ref On Hover -- shows the full URL when the mouse cursor hovers over the address bar. Google plans to collect and analyze data to find out if the display of just the domain name improves the fight against malicious sites. If that is the case, it may roll out the change to all Chrome users. The company notes that users will have an option to opt-out when that happens. Closing Words Google has been on a crusade against displaying the full URL in the company's Chrome browser for a while. Back in 2014, it ran an experiment in Chrome that would only display the domain name of the page in a box on the left of the address bar. The company displayed a help text next to it that suggested that users could type a Google search term or an URL. Limiting the display to the domain name might help, but so would better highlighting the root domain name to the user or educating users. It is clear that Google is very interested in removing information from the Chrome address bar and that at least part of the interest has something to do with it being beneficial to the company as well. Google to test simplified domain display in Chrome
  8. Chrome to target abusive notification requests beginning in July Starting with Chrome 84 sites that Google thinks traffic in notifications meant to trick users will be blacklisted. LoveGuli / Getty Images Chrome next month will begin to block notifications from sites that Google believes misuse or abuse the privilege of issuing the warnings. Starting with Chrome 84 – scheduled to release July 14 – sites that Google thinks traffic in notifications meant to trick users will be blacklisted. Such sites' notifications will be scaled back to what Google earlier defined as its "Quiet UI" and a Chrome-produced warning will appear telling the user that the website may be trying to dupe him or her into accepting future notices. "Abusive notification prompts are one of the top user complaints we receive about Chrome," PJ McLachlan, a Google product manager, wrote in a May 28 post to a company blog. McLachlan claimed that a large portion of such notifications originate "from a small number of abusive sites." "Abusive" notifications, according to McLachlan, include two broad categories: "permission request issues," which mislead users, usually into allowing further notifications, and "notification issues," even more nefarious alerts that conduct phishing attacks, link to malicious software or try to fake system alerts or even chat messages. In Chrome 84, the browser's abusive notification protection will only affect new "permission requests" from abusive sites, not those users may have unwittingly agreed to prior. Google may expand the anti-notification defense to already accepted notifications in the future, McLachlan said. Sites that Google determines deal in abusive notifications will be notified by email at least 30 days before Chrome begins to enforce its new rules. In that interim, fingered sites will have the chance to mend their ways and then resubmit for a second review. More information on Google's Abusive Notifications Report – the mechanism it will use to highlight bad actors – can be found here. Details on the review process can be read by site owners here. Chrome to target abusive notification requests beginning in July
  9. Google Chrome is soon going to be installed in a different directory on Windows If you use a 64-bit installation of Google Chrome on a Windows device, you may know that the browser's default installation folder is C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\. Similarly, if you install other Chromium-based browsers, you may notice that the 64-bit installations of these get installed in the same program files folder. Chromium-based browsers install core browser files under program files on Windows and user data, e.g. the browsing data, bookmarks and extensions, under AppData instead. The fact that Chrome installs the 64-bit version in the folder designated for 32-bit application installations is puzzling but the browser is definitely not the only 64-bit program on Windows that installs in the wrong folder. The installation folder does not impact functionality of the program in question. Chrome users who upgrade the browser from a 32-bit version to a 64-bit version will also notice that the program folder remains the same. Starting soon, Google Chrome will install in the C:\Program Files\ folder by default on Windows if it is a 64-bit installer. Chrome 64-bit versions installed in the C:\Program Files (x86)\ folder will continue to work and will be updated just like before. It is interesting to note that the bug was opened more than six years ago. Google noted back then that the behavior was intentional and that it had plans to move 64-bit Chrome to the right program folder on Windows. Google notes that Chrome needs to be removed from the Windows device entirely if the user wants the browser to be installed in the new default program folder. Install 64-bit browser versions under "C:\Program Files" by default Browsers installed under "C:\Program Files (x86)" remain in that directory and will continue to be updated. They must be uninstalled first to be reinstalled under "C:\Program Files". The change is limited to new installs; it is likely that most Chrome users on Windows don't care about the installation directory let alone uninstall the browser just to make it install in the right 64-bit folder on the system. Administrators on the other hand may find the information useful as it may help them locate the Chrome folder if it is not in C:\Program Files (x86)\ as expected. Google Chrome is soon going to be installed in a different directory on Windows
  10. Google Chrome for Android will soon get a new autofill UI Google will soon roll out a new autofill UI in Chrome for Android which is currently available in the dev build of the browser. The new UI is noticeably better than the old one which displayed a drop-down list with all the available information whenever one tapped on a text box on a web page. This ended up blocking other elements on the webpage and did not really provide a good user experience. In comparison, the new UI puts the autofill content in a bar above the keyboard that looks sleeker and better designed. It provides quick shortcuts to passwords, addresses, and cards. The bar also scrolls horizontally to display more information whenever available. Left: Old autofill UI, Right: New UI The new UI is going to be useful for people who have multiple addresses or details linked to their Google account and it makes the process of selecting different parts from multiple addresses easy. A handy feature to have if the autofill feature in Chrome is not working with a particular site or you need to mix and match addresses for some reason. As of now, the new autofill UI is a part of Chrome dev for Android 85 and it should likely make its way to the stable version of Chrome for Android 85 due to be released in August. Source: ChromeStory Google Chrome for Android will soon get a new autofill UI
  11. Google strikes back: browser wars heat up as Chrome ads target Microsoft Edge users Anything Edge can do, Chrome can do better… (Image credit: Shutterstock) In a galaxy very, very close to home – this exact one, in fact – Microsoft and Google are taking serious aim at each other’s respective user bases in the browser wars, with the latter introducing yet more adverts to try to persuade Edge fans to join the Chrome side (although Microsoft is equally guilty of being engaged in very similar tactics). Google’s latest effort to promote Chrome at the expense of Microsoft Edge involves embedding an advert in Gmail security alert messages, which are sent when a new login has been made. In other words, if you sign in to your Google account on a new device, you get an email through to alert you of that activity, just to check that you have indeed logged in (and that it’s not someone else fraudulently accessing your account from their device). When that sign-in comes from a Microsoft Edge user on Windows 10, Google has sneakily placed an advert in the email alert trying to persuade the user that they should be browsing with Chrome instead. As spotted by Windows Latest, a Reddit user posted a grab of the ad, which says: “Make the most out of Windows 10 with the Chrome browser. Chrome is a fast, simple and secure browser, built for the modern web.” This is not a new tactic from Google, which has previously pushed similar ads on Edge users via its various online services and products, including G Suite, Google Drive, YouTube and its search engine, among others. One-big-advert-Drive Microsoft is similarly guilty, as we saw earlier today, of this kind of aggressive and targeted promotional activity, most recently with adverts in OneDrive aiming to persuade Chrome (and Firefox) users to migrate over to the new Edge. Previous to that, Microsoft has pushed Edge adverts via its Outlook.com webmail service, and ads have appeared in the search bar in Windows 10 as well as the Start menu (the latter aimed to persuade Firefox users to switch to Edge). It’s a case of both being as bad as each other, really, when it comes to pestering users. But given how dominant Chrome is in the browser world, Microsoft could perhaps take this as a compliment. It’s Edge with all the ground to make up, after all – a huge gulf of it, in fact – and clearly Google perceives some threat and certainly isn’t resting on its web laurels. Google strikes back: browser wars heat up as Chrome ads target Microsoft Edge users
  12. Add a ton of keyboard shortcuts to Firefox and Chrome with Surfingkeys Do you use keyboard shortcuts while browsing? F5, Ctrl + T, Ctrl + Enter, Backspace are some of the common ones that most users use. If you're a power user, and wanted more shortcuts, that's exactly what Surfingkeys adds to Firefox and Chrome. Install the add-on and use the shift and ? keys to view a help page that lists all available keyboard shortcuts. Press Escape to dismiss the help page. Try some of those shortcuts. For example, you can press e to scroll up half of the page, or d to scroll down. Surfingkeys uses keyboard combinations that require pressing 2 or 3 keys. Tap on the y key and quickly hit t. This will open a duplicate tab, i.e, a copy of the current tab. There are three-key shortcuts too. For instance, pressing s, q and l displays the last action that was performed. The last thing we did was open a duplicate tab, so the box that pops-up will display "yt". The extension also makes use of the Alt, Ctrl and Shift keys. Some shortcuts will require you to hold down one of these three keys, followed by other keys. Case matters too. Try the capital E shortcut, by holding Shift down and tapping e once. This switches to the tab on the left, as opposed to the small e which is used to scroll up. Speaking of which, use the j and k keys for smooth scrolling down pages. Let's try one more special combination, this time trigger the yT hotkey (that's a small y and a capital T). You know what to do, tap y, then hold shift and press T. This shortcut loads a duplicate tab (just like the other yt combo), but as a background tab, in other words, without switching to it. Experiment with the other shortcuts, there are plenty of options that can perform various actions like switching tabs, page navigation, mouse click, scroll page, search using selected text, clipboard (capture pages, links, text) etc, add a bookmark. Unsure where the links are on a web page? Tap the f key and Surfingkeys will place visual indicators wherever a link is available. All keyboard shortcuts in Surfingkeys are customizable from the add-on's options page. Search Select some text and press sg, this will use the text to search in Google. Similarly, you can hit sd for searching with duckduckgo, sb for baidu, sw for bing, ss for stackoverflow, sh for github, sy for youtube. Capture Screenshot Tap yg to take a screenshot of the visible part of the page you're on. The add-on will display a pop-up preview of the captured content. The screenshot is NOT saved to the clipboard. So, you'll need to right-click on the pop-up and select save image as, or copy image (to the clipboard). Note: If it doesn't seem to work, make sure you haven't selected any text on the page. That's because the extension has a different set of actions for "selected text" and will not respond to other commands until you deselect the content. Surfingkeys supports scrolling screenshots. You can take a screenshot of an entire web page. To do this use yG. Similarly, yS captures a screenshot till the scrolling target. But it didn't work for me, and kept scrolling to the end of the page. Omnibar Surfingkeys displays a pop-up bar when you press some keys. Press t to search and open URLs from the bookmarks or the history. b does the same thing but only displays your bookmarks. For e.g. I tap t and then type "ghacks" and it displays some results from my history. The search is done in real-time, it takes a couple of seconds the first time it searches, but the speed improves with subsequent searches. Session Management Hit ZZ to save all your tabs and quit the browser. The session is saved as "Last". ZR will restore the saved session. This option does work in both Firefox and Chrome, and with multiple windows. WARNING: Use this with caution. If your browser already saved the session, and you chose to restore it with Surfingkeys, the extension loads another copy of the saved tabs. So, if you had 100 tabs saved, restoring it will add an extra 100 tabs. I had to use "close tabs to the right" to quit the duplicate tabs. Visual Mode Tap v to enter visual mode. You'll see a bunch of letters appear on the screen. These are shortcuts to place the cursor at that location of the chosen letters. For e.g. If I type GR, Surfingkeys will place the cursor at the location where the letters "GR" were. The cursor will also appear thicker, that's because the extension has entered the Caret mode. A small banner appears on the screen to indicate the status. In Caret mode, the cursor is ready to be moved to a location of your choice. After placing the cursor where you want it to, tap v again. The banner changes from Caret to Range. Remember: Caret = move cursor, Range = Select mode. This is similar to Vim's visual mode. So you can use the hjkl keys to move the cursor (right/left/up/down), and it begins to select the text accordingly. Now that you have some text selected, you can perform some actions. t will translate it, sg will use the text to perform a search in Google, and so on. Surfingkeys has many more advanced features including vim-like marks, Vim Editor, PDF Viewer. I recommend reading the GitHub page, the list of features is massive and the official page is very informative. Surfingkeys is an open source extension. Download it for Chrome and Firefox. Landing Page: https://github.com/brookhong/Surfingkeys Add a ton of keyboard shortcuts to Firefox and Chrome with Surfingkeys
  13. 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. Fact: Chrome rules the world. Now with 69.2% of the world's browser user share – a measure of browser activity calculated by California-based analytics company Net Applications – Google's Chrome has no equal, at least in popularity. Rivals like Microsoft's Edge, Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari eke out single digits, while niche browsers under them fight over the smallest scraps. It's no surprise, then, that when Chrome speaks, everyone listens, whether about each browser upgrade – something Computerworld tracks in the What's in the latest Chrome update? series – or about Google's plans for the future. 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 what's-coming round-up. Just remember, nothing is guaranteed. As Google says: "They might be changed, delayed, or canceled before launching to the Stable channel." Chrome 84: Full-page TLS 1.0, 1.1 warnings Last year, Google spelled out the stages of warnings it would put in front of Chrome users about obsolete TLS (Transport Layer Security) 1.0 or 1.1 encryption. A first step – a "Not Secure" alert in the address bar – was taken in January 2020. With Chrome 81, the browser was to display a full-page interstitial alert that interrupted attempts to reach the destinations secured with TLS 1.0 or 1.1. That schedule, however, was abandoned in early April. Now, it's Chrome 84, slated for release July 14, that is to contain the page-sized warning. IT administrators can disable both warnings with the SSLVersionMin policy. Setting that policy to "tls1" allows Chrome to connect to TLS 1.0- and 1.1-encrypted sites sans alerts. The SSLVersionMin policy will work until January 2021, when it will be deprecated. Google Chrome 84 should show this message when the user tries to steer toward a site encrypted with the obsolete TLS 1.0 or 1.1 standards. Chrome 84: Risky downloads, rescheduled Starting with Chrome 84, the browser will warn users when executable files begin their downloading from a secure page (one marked as HTTPS) but actually transfer their bits over an insecure HTTP connection. "These cases are especially concerning because Chrome currently gives no indication to the user that their privacy and security are at risk," Joe DeBlasio, a software engineer on the Chrome security team, wrote in a Feb. 6 post announcing the scheme. At the time, Chrome 81 was pegged to begin the warnings. But as with the TLS 1.0 and 1.1 alerts, these were rescheduled in early April, pushed back to later versions of the browser. Google did not say aloud what prompted the change, but it likely was related to the March decision to pause Chrome's release cadence and when distribution was restored, abandon Chrome 82, skipping from 81 to May's 83. With Chrome 85, set to ship Aug.25, Google will drop the hammer, barring those executable files from downloading. Over several more versions, Google will warn, then block, additional file types, including (in order) archives such as .zip; "all other non-safe types, like .pdf and .docx; then finally image files, such as .png. For example, Chrome 85 will institute warnings for archives (and Chrome 86 will block them). By Chrome 88 (a Jan. 19, 2021, appearance), the browser will be blocking "all mixed-content downloads." Organizations managing Chrome can disable this future blocking on a per-site basis with the InsecureContentAllowedForUrls policy. Google Chrome's timetable for warning, then blocking various types of downloads transmitted over insecure connections runs through the next five versions of the browser. By January 2021 -- and Chrome 88 -- the process should be finished. Chrome 85: Cover me! Chrome will know when one of its windows has been occluded by others, and will then suspend painting that window's pixels in an effort to save CPU cycles and battery resources. An earlier version of this feature, Google said, "had an incompatibility with some virtualization software," and so it was reworked. (This had been on Chrome 81's to-do list at one point, but was punted to Chrome 83 before being delayed yet again.) It's now to appear in Chrome 85, currently scheduled to release Aug. 25. Administrators will be able to disable this with the NativeWindowOcclusionEnabled policy. Chrome 85: When IE's inside The Google-made Legacy Browser Support (LBS) add-on will be struck from the Chrome Web Store in late August, when Chrome 85 ships. "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 integrated form, was designed so IT admins could implant Chrome in their organizations but still call up Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) when necessary, say to render intranet sites or older, written-for-IE web apps. LBS wasn't an emulator but simply a URL director, sending any on a 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 plans to automatically remove the LBS add-on from the browser when Chrome 86 releases. Currently, that's slated Oct. 6. To call on the baked-in LBS, administrators can use the policies listed here under the Legacy Browser Support heading. Source: Fast forward: What's coming in future versions of Chrome? (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  14. Chrome 83: Google starts rollout of redesigned privacy and security settings Google released Chrome 83 Stable for all supported operating systems this week. The new browser is being rolled out currently to all devices configured to update the browser automatically. Chrome 83 is a big update for Chrome; it introduces support for DNS over HTTPS, which we looked at yesterday, and comes with redesigned privacy and security settings. As is the case with many feature introductions or changes in Chrome, both are being rolled out gradually to the entire Chrome population. It is possible that the changes have not landed yet on your devices even if you run Chrome 83. Chrome Stable users who want to test the new privacy settings right now may set the flag chrome://flags/#privacy-settings-redesign to enabled to do so. Chrome 83: redesigned privacy settings Select Chrome Menu > Settings > Privacy and Security, or load chrome://settings/privacy in the browser's address bar and scroll down to the section to access the redesigned section in the Chrome settings. First thing you may notice is that Google added more options to the root of the section. Older versions of Chrome displayed options to clear the browsing data and open site settings, the new settings add Security and Cookies and other site data options to the root level. The "more" option displayed in older versions of Chrome is no longer present and the settings that were listed under it have been moved to the new root level entry points. Tip: use the search to find specific settings if you have trouble locating them. Clear Browsing Data has not changed at all; all remaining root level privacy settings have been modified. Cookies and other site data Cookies and other site data is now accessible directly from the main settings menu. Cookie options were listed under Site Data in previous versions of Chrome. The following options are provided: Allow All cookies (default) Block third-party cookies in Incognito Block third-party cookies Block all cookies. Clear cookies and site data when you quit Chrome Send a "Do Not Track" request with your browsing traffic. Preload pages for faster browsing and searching. See all cookies and site data. Sites that can always use cookies. Always clear cookies when windows are closed. Sites that can never use cookies. Some users may find it confusing that Google added the "preload" and "Do Not Track" options to the cookies dialog. The companies reasoning for adding preload may be that prefeteched data may include cookies. Security The new Security section of Chrome's privacy and security options contains most of the options that were found under "more" in previous versions of the browser. It lists: Safe Browsing levels: Enhanced Protection -- "Faster, proactive protection against dangerous websites, downloads, and extensions. Warns you about password breaches. Requires browsing data to be sent to Google." Standard Protection -- "Standard protection against websites, downloads, and extensions that are known to be dangerous." No Protection -- "Does not protect you against dangerous websites, downloads, and extensions. You’ll still get Safe Browsing protection, where available, in other Google services, like Gmail and Search." Manage certificates Google Advanced Protection Program Options are displayed when you select Standard protection. You may toggle password breach warnings, sending of Telemetry data to Google when you select Standard protection. Site Settings The main change here is that Google separated the settings into groups. The first group lists permission, the second content. Both groups display just a few options and you need to click on the "additional" link on the page to expand the listing. Closing Words Google's redesign of the privacy and security settings of the company's Chrome browser improves the accessibility of cookies and other site data settings for the most part. Downsides to the redesign are that users may find it difficult at first to locate settings that were moved by Google, and that settings open on a new page instead of the same page for the most part. Source: Chrome 83: Google starts rollout of redesigned privacy and security settings (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  15. Chrome is getting a ton of big safety and security updates soon Better UI for privacy controls, encrypted DNS, and more Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The next version of Chrome for desktops is shaping up to be a much bigger update than usual. In addition to tab grouping and automatically blocking battery-killing ads, the browser is also getting a big set of improvements for security, safety, and privacy. When the update arrives in Google’s usual “coming weeks” timeline, users will see new features that fall into a few different buckets: user interface changes, more checks to prevent users from visiting malicious websites (including a more proactive option that may share more data with Google), more secure DNS, and third-party cookie blocking in Incognito mode. The first and most obvious update is user interface changes. Google’s moving some buttons and settings around to make them easier to find. Cookie settings, privacy settings, extensions, and Google sync settings are all becoming more prominent and will get better and clearer descriptive labels. Google does a lot of these settings shuffles on its platforms, but the changes here are more meaningful than usual because they are connected to several ongoing issues with both Google and Chrome. Google is moving its extensions menu to a little puzzle icon that will appear by default in the main toolbar. The company seems to think that some users with a lot of extensions aren’t figuring out that you don’t have to have a massive row of them. More importantly, though, Google has embarked on a long effort to clean up Chrome’s extensions and make it easier to restrict their permissions. You’ll still be able to pin extensions to the toolbar, if you like. Image: Google The new menu will do more than make extensions easier to find. They’ll more clearly show each extension’s current state and permissions and make it easier to chose those things. Expect more changes to improve how Chrome handles extensions going forward. They’re needed: extensions are great, but they’ve always been a vector for malware. Even for experts, it’s hard to keep track of it all. The next UI change is that Google is bringing cookies out to the top level of its settings menu where it’ll be easier to adjust them. This isn’t a big change, but it might be a way for Google to start educating its less-technical users on what cookies are and why they should pay attention to them. That’s because Chrome is on the slow road to fully blocking third-party cookies, a move other browsers like Safari and Firefox have already taken. Google is moving slower because it thinks blocking those cookies breaks too many websites right now. Image: Google However, Google will begin blocking third-party cookies but only in Incognito mode. In Incognito, there may be more of an acceptance that things could break in the name of privacy — and it will be possible to grant one-time allowances for third-party cookies for each Incognito session. Settings will also feature a more prominent Safety Check tool. That tool already exists, but Google will expand it with a way to check for known password breaches. If you use Chrome’s tools for saving your passwords, the browser will be able to warn you if any site you use has had a recent breach. It’ll also check for rogue extensions, Chrome updates, and whether you have Google’s Safe Browsing feature turned on. Image: Google If you’re not familiar, Safe Browsing is Chrome’s tool for detecting known phishing sites. It maintains a database of such sites and sends them out to browsers as often as every half-hour so that when you visit one, Chrome will pop up a huge, appropriately scary warning. On the next version of Chrome, Google will offer a new option called Enhanced Safe Browsing. If you turn it on, you’ll be sharing the URL of “uncommon” websites you visit with Google in real time. The reason for that is Google is finding that scammers are registering and deploying new phishing websites at such a rapid pace that even a 30-minute refresh on a phishing database isn’t fast enough. Google says this tool will also combine with information culled from your personal Gmail and Drive accounts. For example, if Gmail detected a spam email with a sketchy link, this tool could inform Chrome that it’s a phishing site if you happen to click on it. Obviously, sharing yet more detail with Google — especially something as private as what websites you’re visiting — should give you serious pause. The company tells me that, as soon as its Safe Browsing algorithm determines the URL you’re visiting is safe, it will anonymize the data. Then, it will eventually delete that anonymized data entirely, though it’s not clear exactly how long that will be. Image: Google Lastly, Chrome will follow Mozilla in enabling DNS-over-HTTPS, a more secure way for your browser to resolve the human-readable URL you type in and the actual IP address of the site you’re visiting. Google is apparently working with major ISPs to turn it on where supported rather than just flipping people over to a secure DNS of its own choosing. But it’s also not turning this option on for everybody because DNS-over-HTTPs isn’t without controversy. Normally, DNS is sent in the clear, which makes it easier for network-level filters to work. Encrypted DNS makes life for parental apps much more complicated, for example. Image: Google Google says that Chrome will use a list of encrypted DNS providers that the company maintains to match to your ISP, then fall back to default DNS if it doesn’t have an encrypted option. It will be turned off in Windows if parental controls are turned on, and it’ll also turn it off in cases where it sees enterprise device management policies. That’s it. But it’s also a lot. Combined with some of the other changes, the next version of Chrome looks like the biggest update in a long while, one that sets the browser up for the bigger changes to cookies and tracking yet to come. The update will roll out just as all of Google’s updates do: over the coming weeks. Source: Chrome is getting a ton of big safety and security updates soon (The Verge)
  16. Chrome will soon block resource-draining ads. Here’s how to turn it on now Fed up with cryptojacking ads? Google developers have you covered. Enlarge Getty Images 105 with 76 posters participating Chrome browser users take heart: Google developers are rolling out a feature that neuters abusive ads that covertly leach your CPU resources, bandwidth, and electricity. The move comes in response to a swarm of sites and ads first noticed in 2017 that surreptitiously use visitors’ computers to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As the sites or ads display content, embedded code performs the resource-intensive calculations and deposits the mined currency in a developer-designated wallet. To conceal the scam, the code is often heavily obfuscated. The only signs something is amiss are whirring fans, drained batteries, and for those who pay close attention, increased consumption of network resources. In a post published on Thursday, Chrome Project Manager Marshall Vale said that while the percentage of abusive ads is extremely low—somewhere around 0.3 percent—they account for 28 percent of CPU usage and 27 percent of network data. Enlarge “We have recently discovered that a fraction of a percent of ads consume a disproportionate share of device resources, such as battery and network data, without the user knowing about it,” Vale wrote. “These ads (such as those that mine cryptocurrency, are poorly programmed, or are unoptimized for network usage) can drain battery life, saturate already strained networks, and cost money.” To curtail the practice, Chrome is limiting the resources a display ad can consume before a user interacts with it. If the limit is reached, the ad frame will navigate to an error page that informs the user the ad has consumed too many resources. A disabled ad will look something like this: Enlarge To arrive at the threshold for disabling an ad, Chrome developers measured a large sample of ads Chrome users encounter. Ads that use more CPU resources or network data than 99.9 percent of overall ads will be blocked. That translates to 4 megabytes of network data or 15 seconds of CPU usage in any 30-second period or 60 seconds of total CPU usage. Chrome developers plan to experiment with the limits over the next few months and add them to the stable version of the browser by the end of August. The purpose of the delayed rollout is to give ad creators and tool providers time to incorporate the limits into their coding. Chrome users who want to turn the feature on sooner can enable the flag at chrome://flags/#enable-heavy-ad-intervention. Several antivirus providers have already provided the means for users to weed out ads that engage in so-called cryptojacking or similar types of abuse. Chrome users will soon have the means to do the same thing natively. Source: Chrome will soon block resource-draining ads. Here’s how to turn it on now (Ars Technica)
  17. Microsoft to start changing Chrome's search engine to Bing for opt-in customers Microsoft has revised its schedule for rolling out a Chrome browser extension to Office 365 customers; it plans to begin adding the extension to Google's browser this month. Microsoft Microsoft this week revised the schedule for rolling out a Chrome browser extension to Office 365 customers, which at one point would have forced users to switch to the company's own Bing search engine. Rather than deliver the Chrome add-on to version 2002 of Office 365 ProPlus between February and July, the Redmond, Wash. developer will instead begin adding it to Google's browser this month as part of version 2005, with a finish date yet to be determined. Microsoft did not offer a reason for the new schedule – unlike for other instances where it has cited the coronavirus pandemic for calendar changes – but it certainly needed more time after it had reversed itself in February. Critics pressured Microsoft to drop forced search change of Chrome At the top of the year, Microsoft quietly announced that it would change the default search engine of Google's Chrome to Bing – Microsoft's own search service – on PCs running Office 365 ProPlus, the productivity applications that serve as the heart of enterprise-grade Office 365 subscriptions. (As of April 21, Office 365 ProPlus was re-branded Microsoft 365 Apps, part of a larger renaming effort.) The change of Chrome's default search was required to implement Microsoft Search, which when tied to an Office 365 account lets users look up company information – internal documents stored on OneDrive or SharePoint, for example – from the browser's address bar. That functionality had already been baked into Microsoft's own Edge browser, which not surprisingly also tapped Bing as its search default. Customers wasted little time panning the move, calling it everything from "browser hijacking" to "malware" for the sneaky way Microsoft proposed to make Chrome a Bing-dependent application. Within a few weeks, Microsoft backtracked, saying it would not automatically deploy the add-on with Office 365 ProPlus. Details of exactly what Microsoft would do, however, remained cloudy until this week. Was 2002, now 2005 According to Microsoft, it will start providing the offer-the-extension with newly-installed and upgraded Microsoft 365 Apps version 2005 – the May update – rather than version 2002. The add-on will first be offered in late May to Windows devices that have been set to receive the Monthly Channel builds. Systems that receive Monthly Channel (Targeted) builds – which give customers an early look at the Monthly update, typically a week before that's issued – should see the add-on hit Chrome by the middle of this month. Unlike earlier this year, that's as far as Microsoft's latest schedule went. Both Semi-Annual Channel and Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) were listed as "to be determined" by Microsoft in the wide-ranging support document on the Chrome add-on. Note: The next slated Semi-Annual Channel upgrade for Microsoft 365 Apps should be version 2008, an August release. Microsoft also described under what conditions and how the use-Bing add-on would be installed to Chrome. As critics demanded when the company broached the subject, customers must opt in to receiving the Chrome extension; the Microsoft 365 Apps administrator does that by checking a new box in the admin center. Another requirement: an unnamed background service that runs behind the scenes, looks in the admin center and then installs the extension if it "sees" the checked box. The background service is installed automatically – it's actually the part that Microsoft will deploy this month to Monthly Channel and Monthly Channel (Targeted) builds – across the board. Once on the Windows machine, the service sits, waits and sniffs out the admin center box's status. The service will be added only to PCs joined using Active Directory, Microsoft said. "The background service is not installed if the device is joined only to an Azure Active Directory (AAD) domain," Microsoft said. The support document included instructions on how to prevent the background service from being installed in the first place, and described how to remove it once it had gotten into Windows. Suspicious minds might wonder whether, once the background service is in place, Microsoft could, at some future point, circumvent the opt-in of the checked box. Yet it's hard to see how Microsoft could automatically offer the add-on to large numbers of Windows devices managed by customers that want the extension without such a service. Cynics and the paranoid can, of course, use Microsoft's instructions to remove the service. Microsoft re-confirmed that it still plans to craft a similar add-on for Mozilla's Firefox browser. "Support for the Firefox web browser is planned for a later date," the company noted. Source: Microsoft to start changing Chrome's search engine to Bing for opt-in customers (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  18. How to deal with Chrome's "downloading proxy script" message The message "downloading proxy script" may be displayed by Google Chrome. If you see it frequently, you may want to know why the message is displayed by the browser and what you can do about it. You may see the message when Internet connectivity changes, e.g. when you connect to a different Wi-Fi network or if other connectivity parameters change. Chrome may appear to take longer than usually to display sites and the downloading of the proxy script may take a few seconds to complete. In many corporate environments, proxy servers are used. Web browsers and many operating systems, including Windows, take this into account and use automatic configurations to determine whether a proxy server is used in the environment. At home, proxy servers are usually not used but browsers are still configured to check whether proxy servers are used. Google Chrome's "download proxy script" message is caused by the default configuration. Chrome users who are certain that no proxy is used may disable the automatic detection to do away with the downloading proxy script message in the browser. Here is how that is done: Load chrome://settings/ in the Chrome browser's address bar. Scroll down and select Advanced to display advanced configuration options. Scroll down to the System section. Click on "Open your computer's proxy settings". The operating system determines which control panel gets opened. On Windows 10, the Proxy page of the Settings application is opened. Locate the "automatically detect settings" toggle on the page. Set it to off. The Internet Options may be opened instead if the device uses an older version of Windows.If that is the case, click on "LAN Settings" and remove the checkmark next to "Automatically detect settings" on the page that opens. Once disabled, Chrome should no longer display the downloading proxy script message; this should not have any negative effects if no proxy server is used. Source: How to deal with Chrome's "downloading proxy script" message (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  19. Google is bringing Live Caption to Chrome, now available in the Canary channel Last year at I/O, Google announced a series of new accessibility features for Android, one of which was Live Caption. Essentially, this capability allows for a device to recognize speech in any video the user might be watching on the phone, and add subtitles to the video in real-time. The feature ended up rolling out to the Pixel 4 family in October, followed by other Pixels and select Android devices. Now, the feature seems to be coming to the desktop thanks to Chrome. As spotted by Techdows, Google has now added a flag for live captions in Chrome Canary, which is disabled by default. In order to enable it, you'll need to be on Chrome version 84.0.4136.2 or newer, and visit Chrome's flag configuration page to find the "Live Captions" setting. Upon enabling it and restarting the browser, you'll then need to enable the feature again through Chrome's accessibility settings page. Google's YouTube already offers its own automatic captions in videos, but with this setting in the browser, it'll be possible to have captions on any media playing in Chrome. The setting is mostly useful for those with hearing impairments, but it could also be helpful for those trying to learn English, for example. It should be noted that, on Android, the feature only supports English, and it's likely the same applies here. Seeing as the feature is still hidden away, it may be some time before it becomes more widely available for Chrome users. It's also possible that Google will push this change upstream to the Chromium project, so browsers such as Microsoft's Edge could potentially benefit from it as well. Source: Google is bringing Live Caption to Chrome, now available in the Canary channel (Neowin)
  20. What's in the latest Chrome update? Tabs gather in groups The tab grouping feature is due to be released to all users before the next upgrade lands in mid-May. Meanwhile, other changes and tweaks are being delayed or rolled back because of the pandemic. Rob Schultz Google last week released the postponed-by-three-weeks Chrome 81, patching 32 vulnerabilities - plus one more on April 15 - and pledging to roll out a tab grouping feature to all users before the next upgrade lands in mid-May. The California search firm paid at least $25,500 in bug bounties to researchers who reported some of the vulnerabilities. Three were tagged as "High," the second-most serious in Google's four-step threat ranking, and one - patched with build 81.0.4044.113 on Wednesday - was pegged "Critical," the rare top-most rating. The latter, as well as two of the High trio, were submitted by engineers at Qihoo 360, a Chinese security software developer. Chrome updates in the background, so most users can finish the refresh by relaunching the browser. To manually update, select "About Google Chrome" from the Help menu under the vertical ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab shows that the browser has been updated or displays the download process before presenting a "Relaunch" button. Those who are new to Chrome can download version 81 for Windows, macOS and Linux here._ Google updates Chrome every six to eight weeks. It last upgraded the browser on Feb. 4. Note: Google suspended Chrome releases in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic and related disruptions, notably orders from companies, including Google, that sent home many employees to work remotely. Chrome 81 was originally slated to launch March 16 but was postponed three weeks. That pause, said Google, necessitated skipping version 82 and resuming upgrade numbering with Chrome 83, now set to release on May 19. Tabs now form groups The most prominent addition to Chrome 81, Tab Groups, is likely still invisible to most users. It was to Computerworld staffers running the browser. Tab Groups, which has been under construction for months, essentially does what it says: Users organize tabs in the bar atop the browser by lumping together several, each lump designated by color and name, adding new tabs and removing existing ones. The feature was to debut in February's Chrome 80, and may have in a small number of instances worldwide. It wasn't on Computerworld's numerous copies running under Windows 10 and macOS. Now, Google said, Tab Groups will roll out in Chrome 81, although it may not be immediately available by default. "This will be rolled out widely to Mac, Windows, and Linux users throughout Chrome 81," Google said in these release notes, under the section title of "Introduction of tab groups for remaining users." The impatient can manually engage Tab Groups by entering chrome://flags in the address bar, searching for Tab Groups, changing the setting at the right to Enabled, and relaunching the browser. Tab Groups is easy to use: Right-clicking tabs now offers menu items to assign tabs to new or existing groups, or remove tabs from those groups. Other actions let users name each group and/or select a color, which boxes the name and borders the tabs of that group; ungroup the tabs; or close all tabs in the group. Google After enabling Tab Groups in the chrome://flags options pane, the Chrome user can create groups, as shown here by the red-tinted News group on the left and the Gaming group in green on the right. Chrome 81's tab functionality will be most useful to those who regularly wrangle a large number of tabs each session. Segregating tabs into collections brings some organization to what otherwise would likely be a randomized mess. Tab Groups' simplicity is its best characteristic, since it's more likely the feature will be adopted into browser workflow. But it's hardly a compelling reason to stick with Chrome or take it up, as some have argued. It lacks at least one crucial tool - a way to save groups, either singly or collectively, for later recall - and can be mimicked, even surpassed, by add-ons, such as Simple Tab Groups for Mozilla's Firefox. (Firefox had a tab grouping feature at one point - known as Panorama - but Mozilla scrubbed it from the browser in 2016 because it was used by so few.) Browser rollbacks are now a thing Many bits of Chrome 81 that are notable are not because they're there but because they aren't. If that's confusing, join the club. Google had planned for several things to happen in Chrome 81, in particular protocols that were to be dropped or skills it was to surrender or security moves it was supposed to take. A number of them, though, were canceled, at least for this version, presumably to reappear in a future upgrade. FTP's back! Although Google said months ago that it would remove support for FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - an early Internet system for file transfer - in Chrome 81, and apparently did, it soon restored support. In an April 9 message on the Chromium bug tracker, a Google engineer wrote, "In light of the current crisis, we are going to 'undeprecate' FTP on the Chrome stable channel, i.e. FTP will start working again." FTP will be put on the chopping block "once people are in a better position to deal with potential outages and migrations." TLS 1.0 and 1.1 not departing this mortal coil yet. As Computerworld noted previously, browser makers, Google included, issued reprieves for TLS (Transport Layer Security) 1.0 and 1.1, encryption protocols that were to be dropped in March. Support for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 will now be removed from Chrome 84, the upgrade scheduled to launch July 14. SameSite enforcement put off. With Chrome 80, the version Google began distributing in early February, the browser was to begin enforcing SameSite, the standard pushed by Google, Microsoft and Mozilla designed to give web developers a way to control which cookies can be sent by a browser and under what conditions. Cookies distributed from a third-party source - not by the site the user was at, in other words - had to be correctly set and accessed only over secure connections. The SameSite enforcement was to roll out slowly, as most Chrome changes do, beginning around mid-February when small numbers of users would see their browsers take action. Enforcement was to expand to more Chrome users over time. Now, that has all been reversed. In an April 3 post to the Chromium blog (three days before Chrome 81 released), Justin Schuh, the director of Chrome engineering, said that "in light of the extraordinary global circumstances due to COVID-19, we are temporarily rolling back the enforcement of SameSite cookie labeling, starting today." Schuh said Google didn't want to chance destabilizing "essential services" rendered through the websites of banks, grocery stores, government agencies and healthcare organizations. Google will resume enforcement down the road, perhaps over the summer, Schuh added. Chrome's next upgrade, to version 83 - remember, Chrome 82 won't exist - is scheduled to debut on May 19. Source: What's in the latest Chrome update? Tabs gather in groups (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  21. 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 lords it over the browser world, Louis XVI to the peasants trying to keep famine from the door. Now with 68.5% 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. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Edge, Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari eke out single digits, while others fight over even smaller scraps. It's no surprise, then, that when Chrome speaks, everyone listens, whether about each browser upgrade - something Computerworld tracks in the What's in the latest Chrome update? series - or about Google's plans for the future. Every Chrome upgrade is accompanied by enterprise-aimed release notes that highlight some of the planned additions, substitutions, enhancements and modifications. We've collected the most important for this what's-coming round-up. Just remember, nothing is guaranteed. As Google call out, "The items listed below are experimental or planned updates. They might be changed, delayed, or canceled before launching to the Stable channel." Note: Google suspended Chrome releases in mid-March, delaying the expected March 16 launch of Chrome 81 until April 7. The three-week pause, said Google, meant it was skipping version 82 altogether and resuming numbering with Chrome 83 on May 19. Because of the omission of Chrome 82, this look forward picks up with Chrome 83. Chrome 83: No, this 'DoH' isn't a Simpsonism Google said it would wrap up the move to default DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) with Chrome 83. "In Chrome 83, DoH will launch by default for all remaining users," Google said. Previously, it had auto-upgraded only some users to their DNS provider's encrypted connection if one were available. Earlier, this had been slated to show in Chrome 81. But that version was postponed and the follow-up, Chrome 82, scratched entirely. DoH has been promoted by browser makers as a security provision, encrypting traffic between browser and DNS server so that it can't be read at, say, a public Wi-Fi hotspot or by criminals who intercept those bits to insert bogus addresses to steer users toward malicious sites. Chrome running on domain-joined clients are by default set with DoH disabled, as are instances of the browser that have one or more policies in place. As throughout Google's work on this, Chrome 83 upgrades to DoH only when the user's DNS provider offers an HTTPS connection (not all do). "The default 'same-provider auto-upgrade' behavior guarantees a continuity of the user experience (e.g. family filtering, malware filtering, established relationship with a provider)," Google spelled out in a December email. That means not all Chrome users will be using DoH, even with version 83. Chrome 83: Third-party cookies blocked in Incognito As of Chrome 83, all third-party cookies will be blocked by default within Incognito sessions, the name for the browser's privacy mode. Users can re-enable third-party cookies on a site-by-site basis. Cookies can also be managed by IT using the BlockThirdPartyCookies policy. Google is behind its rivals in privacy and anti-tracking initiatives such as this; Mozilla, for example, blocked all third-party cookies by default in all instances of Firefox, not just in its Private Window mode, eight months ago. Chrome 83: Check all passwords! Within Chrome 83, users will be able to check all saved passwords en masse to see whether any have been leaked in a data breach. Back in October, Chrome 79 debuted a warning when users logged into a site using credentials that Google said had been exposed by a data breach. Then, users could, after being directed to their Google Account, run an all-inclusive password check. What Google seemed to say about Chrome 83, however, is that this check will be executable from within the browser, probably in the Password section of Settings (Windows) and Preferences (macOS). Chrome 83: Tab groups, now with thumbnails Chrome 81 added tab groups, which lets users shuffle tabs on the tab bar into color-coded groups, making it easier to spot associated tabs and therefore pages. The next upgrade, said Google, will feature the long-in-the-works Tabstrip UI, which will display thumbnails of each tab in a single, scrollable strip. Tabstrip has been in testing since last fall in the Canary channel - the least polished version Google's engineers produce - and has been usable there after selecting settings on the optional chrome://flags page. Chrome 83: Chrome apps? Nope In January, Google spelled out the close-out of the Chrome app concept, putting browser versions - and thus dates - to the final days of the once-lauded, now-defunct notion. (This has been coming for a while, what with Google originally saying in 2016 that Chrome would reject running apps by early 2018.) As of Chrome 83 - which originally had a June 9 launch date - Chrome won't support apps on Windows, macOS or Linux. However, it will offer a grace period to managed browsers. "If your organization needs extra time to adjust, a policy will be available to extend support until Chrome 87," Google wrote. Chrome 87, the last upgrade for the year, is now scheduled for release Nov. 17. Source: Fast forward: What's coming in future versions of Chrome? (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  22. Google is rolling back SameSite Cookie changes temporarily Google introduced the new SameSite cookie policy in Chrome 80 Stable which it released in February 2020 to the public. The policy implements changes to the handling of cookies that the company announced in May 2019 for the first time. Basically, what SameSite does is limit cookie access to first-party access by default. Web developers get options to change the handling by explicitly marking cookies for access in third-party contexts. Third-party cookies will only be sent over HTTPS connections in that case to further improve privacy and security. Google published an announcement on the Chromium website on Friday in which it revealed that it made the decision to roll back the SameSite cookie changes in Chrome. The company started to implement the changes in February with the release of Chrome 80. According to Google's announcement, the rollback is necessary because of "extraordinary global circumstances due to Covid-19". Google wants to make sure that websites that provide essential services function as designed and that is why SameSite is rolled back and put on hold for the time being. However in light of the extraordinary global circumstances due to COVID-19, we are temporarily rolling back the enforcement of SameSite cookie labeling, starting today. While most of the web ecosystem was prepared for this change, we want to ensure stability for websites providing essential services including banking, online groceries, government services and healthcare that facilitate our daily life during this time. As we roll back enforcement, organizations, users and sites should see no disruption. Developers should monitor the Same Site updates page on the Chromium website as well as the Chromium blog for announcements on when SameSite is going to be introduced in Chrome again. Google announced other Chrome-related changes recently. The company postponed releases, decided to focus on security improvements only, and plans to skip Chrome 82 entirely but release Chrome 83 early because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Mozilla, maker of Firefox, had to rollback a change in Firefox as well because of the current global situation. The organization decided to re-enable TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in the Firefox web browser due to (some) government sites still requiring the aging protocols and Google postponing the change in the company's Chrome web browser. Microsoft postponed the disabling of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in the company's browsers to the second half of 2020 as well. Source: Google is rolling back SameSite Cookie changes temporarily (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  23. Chrome 81: mixed content images will be upgraded or blocked Google announced in late 2019 that it will change how the company's Chrome web browser handles mixed content. Mixed content refers to insecure content being loaded on secure sites; a basic example is a site that is accessible via HTTPS but loads some elements, e.g. images or scripts, from an insecure source, e.g. HTTP. One of the main issues with insecure content is that insecure content can be manipulated. Tip: if you want to find out how your browser handles mixed content, load this mixed content test page to find out about it. You may need to open the Developer Tools (using F12) and open the Console to see if audio, video, and image content was upgraded by the browser automatically. The Chrome browser blocks dynamic content, e.g. iFrame or script content, already if it is loaded from an insecure source. Insecure downloads will also be blocked in coming versions of the Chrome browser. Google introduced new auto-upgrade and blocking functionality of mixed content in Chrome 80 which it released in February 2020. Chrome 80 attempts to upgraded audio and video content that is loaded via HTTP on HTTPS sites so that the content is also delivered using HTTPS. If that fails, the media is blocked in the browser instead. Starting in Chrome 81, Google Chrome will do the same for images. If images are encountered on HTTPS webpages that are loaded via HTTP, Chrome will attempt to upgrade those. If that fails, Chrome will block these images so that they won't be loaded anymore. The Chrome Platform Status listing highlights that the change will be made in all Chrome versions (Chrome for desktop and Android, as well as Android WebView). This feature will autoupgrade optionally-blockable mixed content (HTTP content in HTTPS sites) by rewriting the URL to HTTPS, without a fallback to HTTP if the content is not available over HTTPS. Image mixed content autoupgrades are targeted for M81. Chrome attempts to upgrade the elements automatically but will block them if that fails as some sites may already support serving the insecure content via HTTPS but don't due to configuration issues or other issues. It is still likely that Chrome users may run into issues from time to time with content that is not loaded anymore once Chrome is upgraded to version 81. Google plans to release Chrome 81 next week and skip Chrome 82 to jump directly to Chrome 83 at the end of May 2020. Please note that the change has not yet landed in recent versions of the browser and that it is possible that it will be postponed. Source: Chrome 81: mixed content images will be upgraded or blocked (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  24. Google resumes Chrome updates with Chrome 81 coming the week of April 7 Last week, Google announced that it's temporarily pausing updates for its Chrome browser and Chrome OS. Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, many people are working from home and relying on their browser more for day-to-day work, so the company wanted to focus on stability and security. Today, the firm announced that it's resuming updates, but on a new schedule. Here's how it's going to work. In the stable channel, Chrome 81 will arrive the week of April 7 (two weeks from now), and Chrome 83 will arrive in mid-May, which is actually earlier than originally planned. Chrome 82 is canceled completely. Canary, Dev, and Beta channel updates are all arriving this week. The Beta channel is going to be bumped up to Chrome 81, while Canary and Dev will both get Chrome 83. Google says that it will provide timing for Chrome 84 in a future update. Presumably, these changes will be reflected across the board with other Chromium-based browsers. That includes Microsoft's Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, and more. You can expect to see announcements from those companies soon. Source: Google resumes Chrome updates with Chrome 81 coming the week of April 7 (Neowin)
  25. View all your tabs in one place, search, move them between windows with Tab Manager Plus for Firefox and Chrome There are plenty of add-ons that make tab management easier in Firefox. Tab Session Manager, Foxy Tab, Tree Style Tab are some good options that come to mind. Tab Manager Plus is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that lets you view all your tabs in one place, search in open tabs and move them between windows. The add-on places an icon on the browser's toolbar; it displays a badge that indicates the total number of tabs that are open at the time. Click the icon to view the add-on's interface. This pop-up window contains favicons of every tab that is opened. Mouse over a favicon to view the tab's title and URL. Tab Manager Plus assigns a title to the window that is based on the number of tabs you have opened per site. For.e.g If you had 6 or 7 gHacks tabs open or 8-9 of GitHub, it will use gHacks and GitHub. Mouse over the title and click on it to customize it if you prefer a different one. You may change the background color of the window from this screen as well and click on a favicon to switch to the tab instantly. There are four buttons below the tab icons for closing the window, minimizing it, setting the window color and title, and opening a new tab. If you want to jump to a specific tab, but aren't sure where it is, use the search box at the bottom of Tab Manager Plus'interface. It works on an as-you-type basis in real time, and highlights the tabs which match the search term. For e.g. If I type "ghacks", the extension highlights the tabs which have the word in the url or title. Right-click on a tab's icon to select it, you can select multiple. Press enter to move tabs to a new window, or drag the icons from one window's pane to another. The toolbar at the bottom of the add-on's interface can be used to highlight duplicate tabs, open a new window, filter tabs that don't match your search, or to pin the current tab. The other two options are handy for managing tabs that you have selected, they can either be discarded from the memory or closed. Click the three-line menu button to change the view. The default view is the horizontal view, and the others are vertical view, block view and big block view. Right-click on the Tab Manager Plus icon to view a context menu. This allows you to open the add-on's interface in its own tab which can be useful if you're using the vertical or big block view modes. The wrench icon in the top right corner opens the extension's Options panel. You can set the maximum number of tabs per window (for e.g. 15), once it reaches the limit, new tabs will be opened in a new window. The pop-up interface's size can be customized in terms of height and width. Not a fan of bright colors? Enable dark mode. Compact mode trims the spaces between each icon. Tab Manager Plus supports some mouse and keyboard shortcuts. As mentioned earlier, right-click selects tabs, holding shift while right-clicking selects multiple tabs. Close tabs using the middle mouse button. Pressing the enter key opens a selected tab, or moves multiple tabs to a new window. You can toggle animations, window titles, and the tab counter from the add-on's options page. The extension has a couple of experimental features for session management. But I couldn't get these to work in Firefox or Chrome. Tab Manager Plus is an open source extension. This reddit post explains the origin of Tab Manager Plus. Apparently, the developer was using a similar Chrome extension which was eventually sold and then went bad. So he forked the original add-on (before it went rogue), improved it and later ported it to Firefox. Landing Page: https://github.com/stefanXO/Tab-Manager-Plus Source: View all your tabs in one place, search, move them between windows with Tab Manager Plus for Firefox and Chrome (gHacks - Ashwin)
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