Google has removed an extension from its open source browser Chromium after people complained that it had been downloaded without permission and then listened to users through their microphones. The Chrome Hotword extension was used by Chromium to offer "OK, Google" voice activation to the browser.
Privacy advocates were concerned about the potential for eavesdropping, particularly in light of the fact that users were not warned of the presence of the extension. There was also concern that the extension is not open source, so it was not possible to see exactly what it was doing. In response to complaints, Chrome Hotword has now been made an optional component.
It seems as Google’s software, with the ability to listen everything being said in a room, was being installed on computers without the owners’ consent, and everyone’s freaking out about it.
It was first spotted by open-source developers who noticed that Chromium (open-source basis of Chrome) began remotely installing audio-snooping code that was capable of listening to users, The Guardian wrote in a report.
It’s no secret that Chrome for Mac hogs more resources than Safari. The browser by Google has been receiving heat from experts and users alike for shortening their laptop's battery life by 2-3 hours. The good news is that the company finally seems committed to resolving these glitches.
Earlier this month the Mountain View-based giant took its first major step at bringing improvements to its browser when it announced that Chrome will begin to automatically pause flash content on web-pages if a user hasn’t looked at it in a while. The company is now sharing other efforts it is making to improve Chrome.
Google Chrome may be one of the most powerful and reliable browsers around, but it is also one of the biggest offenders when it comes to energy consumption. It does not matter if you are using a PC or Mac, or even iPhone or iPad, its impact on battery life is considerable.
Google is well aware of Chrome's shortcomings, now announcing that it is rolling out a number of changes in the coming months that are meant to improve the browser's power consumption. The first improvement targets Adobe Flash.
There are many ways to share a link with someone: Twitter, Facebook, IM, email and more.
But if your friend is close by then you could just broadcast it via specially encoded audio tones.
Popular peer-to-peer VPN service Hola has become one of the most popular extensions for web users for its free and easy-to-use service, but it looks like the company has been using bandwidth from users for illegal DDoS attacks, amongst other things.
Image board 8chan first reported multiple DDoS attack from Hola, claiming it used an affiliated Luminati network to send the huge traffic spikes. DDoS attacks have been a frequent issue for 8chan, as it struggles to build reliable servers and infrastructure.
Google has unveiled Chrome 43 FINAL for Windows, Mac and Linux. Version 43’s main new feature is support for hardware MIDI instruments.
Chrome 43 also implements a couple of behind-the-scenes tweaks for developers that will help benefit end users through reducing the number of unnecessary prompts for action without compromising security.
Even though my Internet connection is fast and my computer is up to the task, whenever I play 4K videos in Google Chrome -- usually on YouTube -- playback stutters heavily, forcing me to opt for a lesser quality for a seamless experience. Switching to another browser, like Safari, will solve the problem, but this is hardly a fix that I can live with.
Fortunately, Google is working on a solution, introducing an experimental option in Chrome that will make 4K videos finally run as they should -- smoothly, that is. Here is what you need to know.
Google is extending its block on unofficial Chrome extensions to the developer channel and Mac users. The move is a continuation of the decision taken last year that forced people using the stable and beta channels of the Windows version of the browser to stick with official extensions.
It is a decision which aims to stop people from installing malicious add-ons; Google has previously been criticized for failing to clear out junk quickly enough. With immediate effect, those on the developer channel will have to install extensions from the Store, and the policy will be applied to the Mac version of Chrome in a few weeks. All is not lost for anyone who wants to install unofficial extensions, though.
Google is life. Well, not really, but for some people it kind of is. For many of us, a Gmail account became a gateway to an entire Google lifestyle. One password logs us into numerous services, which is super convenient, but also quite scary. Over time, it is easy to let your guard down and fall for phishing sites that pretend to be a legit Google login. If your Google credentials are intercepted, you are going to have a bad time.
Today however, the search-giant releases an open source Chrome browser extension aimed to thwart these stinky phishing goons. Called "Password Alert", it will hopefully protect your credentials and keep the sun shining on planet Google.
In today's world privacy has become a premium and companies and governments are the ones in the hotseat thanks to Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks and others. People are searching out ways to avoid being tracked, a difficult task in this current society. AVG is the latest to offer a solution.
The security firm is announcing Crumble, a new extension for Chrome that promises you can "surf without surveillance". The app comes from the Innovation Labs and is still in beta at the moment, but users can start testing it out now.
Believe it or not, a year has passed since Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP. And even though the 13 year-old operating system no longer receives security updates -- at least not officially -- it is still being used by roughly 17 percent of Windows users. For some companies it is reason enough to continue to support Windows XP today, even though its maker has long left it for dead. And Google is one of them.
Six months after Windows XP support ended, Google announced that its Chrome browser would continue to be supported on the OS with "regular updates and security patches until at least April 2015". That was done in order to give its users more time to finish migrating to a newer Windows release, one that would, hopefully, be officially supported by Microsoft for many more years to come. Obviously, that hasn't gone as expected. But instead of pulling the plug, Google is now giving Chrome users on Windows XP another reprieve.
They're old, horribly inefficient, seriously dumb, but let’s be realistic: there are times in every online conversation when only an animated GIF will do.
If you already have a big collection of face palms and laughing dogs then that’s not a problem, but if you’re more of an occasional GIFer then you might need a little help.
Malware is something computer users -- and even mobile and tablet owners -- are now more aware of than ever. That said, many people do not give a second thought to installing a browser extension to add new features to their most frequently used application. Despite the increased awareness, malware is not something a lot of web users think of in relation to extensions; but they should.
Since the beginning of 2015 -- just over three months -- Google has already received over 100,000 complaints from Chrome users about "ad injectors" hidden in extensions. Security researchers have also discovered that a popular extension -- Webpage Screenshot -- includes code that could be used to send browsing history back to a remote server. Google is taking steps to clean up the extension store to try to prevent things like this from happening, but security still needs to be tightened up.
It's April Fool's Day! This is a day where people play jokes on each other. Practical jokes can be funny if they aren't happening to you, but quite the opposite when you are the target. Oh, you put a whoopee cushion on my chair and everyone thinks I passed gas? Thanks for that. You replaced the grape jelly on my PBJ with petroleum jelly? Hilarious. I think that is poison actually, and probably a crime, but you have fun. Enjoy your wacky day.
I'm a bit of a scrooge on April Fool's Day, because I am usually the target of such jokes. I'm a busy guy, and I forget the date constantly, so all day today I will forget it is April Fool's Day. While in-person pranks with friends and family are annoying, online pranks from companies can be fun (sometimes). They have become a tradition and are admittedly hilarious. Google often leads this, and 2015 is no different. Here are some of the fake products that companies are pranking us with in 2015.