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Chrome 64 Now Trims Messy Links When You Share Them

Chrome 64 Now Trims Messy Links When You Share Them

Google’s latest consumer version of Chrome, version number 64, just started cleaning up messy referral links for you. From a report: Now, when you go to share an item, you’ll no longer see a long tracking string after a link, just the primary link itself. This feature now happens automatically when sharing links in Chrome, either by the Share menu or by copying the link and pasting it elsewhere. Even though it slices off the extra bit of the URL, this doesn’t affect referral information. If you choose, you can copy and paste directly from the URL bar to grab the link in entirety.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome
Google's Chrome Ad Blocking Arrives Tomorrow

Google's Chrome Ad Blocking Arrives Tomorrow

Google is enabling its built-in ad blocker for Chrome tomorrow (February 15th). From a report: Chrome’s ad filtering is designed to weed out some of the web’s most annoying ads, and push website owners to stop using them. Google is not planning to wipe out all ads from Chrome, just ones that are considered bad using standards from the Coalition for Better Ads. Full page ads, ads with autoplaying sound and video, and flashing ads will be targeted by Chrome’s ad filtering, which will hopefully result in less of these annoying ads on the web. Google is revealing today exactly what ads will be blocked, and how the company notifies site owners before a block is put in place. On desktop, Google is planning to block pop-up ads, large sticky ads, auto-play video ads with sound, and ads that appear on a site with a countdown blocking you before the content loads. Google is being more aggressive about its mobile ad blocking, filtering out pop-up ads, ads that are displayed before content loads (with or without a countdown), auto-play video ads with sound, large sticky ads, flashing animated ads, fullscreen scroll over ads, and ads that are particularly dense.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome

The browser for a web worth protecting

The web is an incredible asset. It’s an engine for innovation, a platform for sharing, and a universal gateway to information. When we built Chrome, we wanted to create a way for people to interact with the magic that is the web, without the browser getting in the way. We created a browser that took up minimal space on your screen, made the omnibar so you could quickly search or get directly to a website, and built our pop-up blocker to help you avoid unwanted content. Since then we’ve also added features such as Safe Browsing, pausing autoplay Flash and more—all aimed at protecting your experience of the web.

Your feedback has always played a critical part in the development of Chrome. This feedback has shown that a big source of frustration is annoying ads: video ads that play at full blast or giant pop-ups where you can’t seem to find the exit icon. These ads are designed to be disruptive and often stand in the way of people using their browsers for their intended purpose—connecting them to content and information. It’s clear that annoying ads degrade what we all love about the web. That’s why starting on February 15, Chrome will stop showing all ads on sites that repeatedly display these most disruptive ads after they’ve been flagged. 

To determine which ads not to show, we’re relying on the Better Ads Standards from the the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving the experience of the ads we see on the web. It’s important to note that some sites affected by this change may also contain Google ads. To us, your experience on the web is a higher priority than the money that these annoying ads may generate—even for us.

The web is an ecosystem composed of consumers, content producers, hosting providers, advertisers, web designers, and many others. It’s important that we work to maintain a balance—and if left unchecked, disruptive ads have the potential to derail the entire system. We’ve already seen more and more people express their discontent with annoying ads by installing ad blockers, but blocking all ads can hurt sites or advertisers who aren’t doing anything disruptive. By focusing on filtering out disruptive ad experiences, we can help keep the entire ecosystem of the web healthy, and give people a significantly better user experience than they have today.

We believe these changes will not only make Chrome better for you, but also improve the web for everyone. The web is a vital part of our day-to-day. And as new technologies push the web forward, we’ll continue working to build a better, more vibrant ecosystem dedicated to bringing you only the best experiences.

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Posted by amiller in Ads, Blog, Chrome
Scammers Use Download Bombs To Freeze Chrome Browsers on Shady Sites

Scammers Use Download Bombs To Freeze Chrome Browsers on Shady Sites

An anonymous reader shares a report: The operators of some tech support scam websites have found a new trick to block visitors on their shady sites and scare non-technical users into paying for unneeded software or servicing fees. The trick relies on using JavaScript code loaded on these malicious pages to initiate thousands of file download operations that quickly take up the user’s memory resources, freezing Chrome on the scammer’s site. The trick is meant to drive panicked users into calling one of the tech support phone numbers shown on the screen. According to Jerome Segura — Malwarebytes leading expert in tech support scam operations, malvertising, and exploit kits — this new trick utilizes the JavaScript Blob method and the window.navigator.msSaveOrOpenBlob function to achieve the “download bomb” that freezes Chrome.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome
A Bug in Browser Extension Grammarly, Now Patched, Could Have Allowed an Attacker To Read Everything Users Wrote Online

A Bug in Browser Extension Grammarly, Now Patched, Could Have Allowed an Attacker To Read Everything Users Wrote Online

Copyediting app Grammarly included a gaping security hole that left users of its browser extension open to more embarrassment than just misspelled words. From a report: The Grammarly browser extension for Chrome and Firefox contained a “high severity bug” that was leaking authentication tokens, according to a bug report by Tavis Ormandy, a security researcher with Google’s Project Zero. This meant that any website a Grammarly user visited could access the user’s “documents, history, logs, and all other data,” according to Ormandy. Grammarly provides automated copyediting for virtually anything you type into a browser that has the extension enabled, from blogs to tweets to emails to your attorney. In other words, there is an unfathomable number of scenarios in which this kind of major vulnerability could result in disastrous real-world consequences. Grammarly has approximately 22 million users, according to Ormandy, and the company told Gizmodo in an email that it “has no evidence that any user information was compromised” by the security hole. “We’re continuing to monitor actively for any unusual activity,” a Grammarly spokesperson said.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome
Chrome Will Start Marking HTTP Sites In Incognito Mode As Non-Secure In October

Chrome Will Start Marking HTTP Sites In Incognito Mode As Non-Secure In October

Reader Krystalo writes: Google today announced the second step in its plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure in Chrome. Starting in October 2017, Chrome will mark HTTP sites with entered data and HTTP sites in Incognito mode as non-secure. With the release of Chrome 56 in January 2017, Google’s browser started marking HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as “Not Secure” in the address bar. Since then, Google has seen a 23 percent reduction in the fraction of navigations to HTTP pages with password or credit card forms on Chrome for desktop. Chrome 62 (we’re currently on Chrome 58) will take this to the next level.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome
Even better translations in Chrome, with one tap

Even better translations in Chrome, with one tap

Half the world’s webpages are in English, but less than 15 percent of the global population speaks it as a primary or secondary language. It’s no surprise that Chrome’s built-in Translate functionality is one of the most beloved Chrome features. Every day Chrome users translate more than 150 million webpages with just one click or tap.

Last year, Google Translate introduced neural machine translation, which uses deep neural networks to translate entire sentences, rather than just phrases, to figure out the most relevant translation. Since then we’ve been gradually making these improvements available for Chrome’s built-in translation for select language pairs. The result is higher-quality, full-page translations that are more accurate and easier to read.

Today, neural machine translation improvement is coming to Translate in Chrome for nine more language pairs. Neural machine translation will be used for most pages to and from English for Indonesian and eight Indian languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. This means higher quality translations on pages containing everything from song lyrics to news articles to cricket discussions.

translation.png
From left: A webpage in Indonesian; the page translated into English without neural machine translation; the page translated into English with neural machine translation. As you can see, the translations after neural machine translation are more fluid and natural.

The addition of these nine languages brings the total number of languages enabled with neural machine translations in Chrome to more than 20. You can already translate to and from English for Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, and one-way from Spanish to English.

We’ll bring neural machine translation to even more languages in the future. Until then, learn more about enabling Translate in Chrome in our help center.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome, Translate
Chrome: secure by default, for everyone

Chrome: secure by default, for everyone

You shouldn’t need to be a security expert to browse the web, which is why we built Chrome to be secure by default, and easy to use safely by everyone. Chrome protects our users from malicious webpages by showing warnings more than 250 million times each month before users reach dangerous sites. We have also given more than $3.5 million to the security research community in rewards for helping us identify security bugs so we can fix them and strengthen Chrome. Here’s a refresher on how Chrome makes it easy for you to stay safe online.

Security by design

Chrome has used Google Safe Browsing for more than a decade to show you warnings before you visit a site that might be dangerous or deceptive. Safe Browsing launched in 2007 to protect people across the web from deceptive phishing sites, and has evolved to help protect against threats like dangerous malware across Chrome desktop and mobile. If you see a full-screen red warning, you’ll know that the page ahead might be dangerous.

ChromeSecurity_alert.png

There are lots of different players—like your internet service provider or your Wi-Fi network—that help get you connected online. Chrome will let you know if you’re securely connected directly to a site by showing a green lock in the address bar:

ChromeSecurity_bar.png

This means that you can be confident that you’re sending any information directly to that site, and it can’t be snooped on or tampered with by anyone else—even a curious person who also happens to be on the free coffee shop Wi-Fi!

Making security easy

Using unique, strong passwords is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe on the web. Chrome’s password manager, called Google Smart Lock, helps you remember your  passwords, so you’ll never have to reuse them. If you’re signed into Chrome, you can keep track of your passwords and Chrome will automatically fill them in on the right sites, across devices.

Finally, we know that you want to stay safe without the hassle of installing updates. Chrome automatically updates behind the scenes every six weeks to ensure that you always have the latest security features and fixes. And if we find an important security bug, we push out a fix within 24 hours—no update from you required.

ChromeSecurity_update.png

Our security team works hard behind the scenes, even (especially!) if you can’t see it happening. Check out our new Chrome Security page for more details, and for more news on security at Google, check out our Security Blog.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome, Safety & Security
Microsoft Edge Beats Chrome By Over Three Hours In New Battery Usage Test

Microsoft Edge Beats Chrome By Over Three Hours In New Battery Usage Test

An anonymous reader writes: With the launch of the Windows 10 Creators Update and Edge 40 (EdgeHTML 15), Microsoft has released a new battery usage test that, naturally, trashes the company’s competition. This new test shows that Edge uses less power than both Chrome 57 and Firefox 52, and is bound to draw a response from its competition, especially Google, who doesn’t like it when Microsoft takes a jab at Chrome’s efficiency. The same thing happened last year, in June, when a similar test showcasing Edge’s longer battery life was met with responses from both Google and Opera. The most recent tests were performed for the launch of Windows 10 Creators Update. Two tests were carried out until a laptop’s battery gave out. For each browser, a minimum of 16 iterations were recorded per test. The first test measured normal browsing performance and the second ran a looped Vimeo fullscreen video. In the normal browsing performance test, Microsoft claims Edge used 31% less power than Chrome 57, and 44% less power than Firefox 52. In the second test, Edge played a looped Vimeo video in fullscreen for 751 minutes (12:31:08), while Chrome lasted 557 minutes (9:17:03) and Firefox for only 424 minutes (7:04:19). That’s a whopping three hours over Chrome, and five hours above Firefox.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome