Paying developers and users for discovering security vulnerabilities has become rather commonplace. You know what? Good. Why shouldn't the "average Joe" have the opportunity to earn some cheddar in exchange for making software more secure? It's a win / win proposition.
Every year, Google announces the annual Pwnium event, in which people have one day to show off a Chrome browser or Chrome OS exploit and get money. The problem? Limiting this activity to one day per year limits the opportunity. In other words, why not pay people all year long for discovering exploits? Well, Google is doing exactly that; Pwnium V will last forever and offer unlimited money rewards. Ready to get rich?
Chrome Experiments is now entering its sixth year and is home to hundreds of coding experiments that help to make the Internet a more fun and enjoyable place. Ten hundred in fact. To celebrate reaching the milestone of 1,000 experiments, Google is not only launching a new experiment that shows off all of the rest, but also rolling out a redesign.
The web could be in line for a speed boost as the HTTP/2 standard edges closer to being finalized. The updated standard will be the first major alteration to the protocol since the late 1990s, and it includes a number of important updates that should help to make life online faster and more enjoyable.
Although HTTP/2 is yet to be published as a completed standard, it is already supported by some web browsers including Chrome and Firefox. However, it won't be until the standard is far more widely adopted that the real benefits will be felt.
The web is unnecessarily complicated. Competing web browsers support differing technologies and standards, leading to varying performance and compatibility issues. The problem is, it may be naïve to think there are truly open standards. True, there are standards that can be pointed to, but stop and think for a moment -- who decided on the standards? In other words, if the web is truly open, why does it seem like big companies are steering the ship when it comes to the major decisions?
Google is one such company that is making decisions that will form the future of the web, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. The thing to take issue with is that the company could arguably have a conflict of interest when contributing to web standards. Why? It develops its own web browser (Chrome) and associated operating system (Chrome OS). Today, Google announces that it is abandoning SPDY for the HTTP/2 protocol in Chrome.
The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now, but the deadline is finally here. Google's Gtalk service is set to be discontinued as of 16 February, and from this time users will have to use Google Hangouts or seek out an alternative.
This is not the first online service that Google has killed, and it certainly won't be the last. While Hangouts is generally regarded as a superior service, there are still diehards who will hold out until the very last minute to switch -- or they might jump ship completely in favor of something like WhatsApp.
Ads are pretty much universally hated; in the list of lovable things in the world, ads rank pretty far down. On TV, in movie theaters, in magazines and online, ads are forced upon us and are impossible to avoid. Except that's not true online. Ad-blocking software can be used to filter out the stuff you don’t want to see, making for a happier web browsing experience.
However, it turns out that installing an ad-blocking tool like, ooh... I dunno... AdBlock Plus... is not enough to prevent the appearance of unwanted advertisements. Some time ago we learned about the whitelist operated by AdBlock Plus and now the Financial Times reports that big companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon have paid to be included on the list so their ads are no longer blocked.
If you've joined the beta channel for Google Chrome you'll have seen the browser's profile switcher some time ago. For anyone who has decided to stick with the stable channel it may just have appeared. But what's the point? Nestling in the upper right hand corner of the browser window next to your tabs, you'll see a button with your name on it.
This is not to serve as a name reminder to the forgetful, but to show which Chrome profile you’re signed into. If you've set up more than one profile you can use the menu to switch between them with ease, but if -- like most people -- you only use one, it's a waste of space and looks rather ugly. Here's how to remove the pesky profile switcher button from Chrome.
It happens all the time. You’re browsing a website, engrossed in the content, when suddenly an overlay appears and blocks your view. Annoying, even when it’s displaying useful information.
Usually clicking the "x" close button will get rid of the popup, and you can carry on as you were. But if there is no "x", or it’s been carefully hidden, then you might need a little help.
While I keep the list short this year, it wouldn't be U.S. Thanksgiving without my writing about gratitude, and why some tech company's executives, employees, and partners should prostrate and pray "Thanks".
Let's start off with Google, which continues a great run that started with Larry Page's return as CEO in April 2011. If he's not all smiles this Turkey Day, someone should slap that man aside the head. I could tick off a hundred things for which he should give thanks. For brevity's sake, so you can get back to the big game and bigger bird, I select some things that might not come to mind.
Google has unveiled Chrome 39 FINAL for Windows, Mac and Linux. The big news with version 39 is the long-awaited arrival of a native 64-bit build for Mac users.
Unlike the Windows version, which offers both 32-bit and 64-bit builds, the Mac build is now 64-bit only, and existing users with supported Macs will be automatically upgraded to the new version.
Power Zoom is a Chrome extension which makes it easier to browse thumbnail images online.
There’s no clicking, no opening images in a new page or tab, no need to click Back afterwards: just hover your mouse cursor over the thumbnail, the linked full-size image is downloaded, and displayed in a pop-up over the current page. Move your mouse away, it disappears, and you can repeat the process elsewhere.
Installed apps are becoming a thing of the past. Microsoft is just one of a raft of technology companies gradually moving to the cloud and the latest display of this is a new beta version of Skype for Web. The messaging tool has been designed to be used in a web browser without the need for plugins, extensions or other software. At least that is the aim. During the beta stages you'll still have to install a small plugin.
Work being carried out by the Internet Explorer developers should bring plugin-free Real-Time Communications (RTC) to browsers in the near future, and Skype for Web will be able to take advantage of this. The beta is not being made available to everyone straight away, so you'll need to check your account to see if you can try it out.
With the increased popularity of the cloud, lines are becoming blurred between what is local and what is stored online. One of my favorite cloud services is Google Drive, as it integrates perfectly with Chrome OS, while also working well with both Windows and OS X.
It can be problematic though, when I am navigating Drive in the browser, and want to open a file. Sure, I can save the file locally, but this is tedious and messy -- my desktop is full of such files. Today, Google blurs the lines even further, allowing both Windows and OS X programs to be launched directly from the Chrome web browser with an extension.