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.
A couple of days ago Google launched a Chrome extension that compresses web pages. This is a feature that has been available for the iOS and Android versions of Chrome, but now it has hit the desktop. It's something that will be off interest to people whose ISP puts data caps in place.
Launched on March 23, the Data Saver extension is currently in beta (come on, this is Google… what did you expect?) and it helps to "reduce the amount of data Chrome uses". This might sound appealing, but it does mean that your traffic is routed through Google's own servers. Do you trust Google enough?
If you need to drive a nail into a piece of wood, you shouldn't use a wrench. Could you make it work? Sure, but it is not ideal; you should use a hammer. In other words, you should select the correct tool for the job. The same makes sense for computers. When you decide to buy a machine, you want to be sure that it is powerful enough for the software you want to run, but also, durable enough for the environment.
Chrome OS devices are starting to be used more and more, but let's be honest; none of them are particularly durable. For a business owner, a chintzy Chromebook, Chromebase or Chromebox may not last in a dirty or abusive environment. Today, AOPEN announces a commercial-grade Chromebox and Chromebase (in two sizes) with a focus on digital signage.
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.