Tonight while I was browsing the Chrome Extensions Gallery, I noticed something a bit odd. A recently uploaded theme returned the error you see above when I clicked it. OK, I thought... Maybe the author really did take it down.
So I tried again... Using some of the more popular themes, like the Android-inspired one I blogged about a while back. Again, the error appeared. Which got me thinking: could Google finally be divvying up the Extensions Gallery? Will extensions and themes be listed separately?
I certainly hope so.
Now, there's every chance that this is just some kind of temporary glitch -- but I certainly hope it's not. The gallery has been a disorganized mess since it opened. Yes, you can search, but why do we still not have basic things like categories or tags to help us discover new or related extensions?
So what's going to happen to them? Perhaps a better solution would be to move themes out of the Extensions Gallery entirely and add a third tab to the themes page: artist themes, themes by Google, user created themes. Makes sense to me, now we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Chrome only: Google Chrome extension Iconized Bookmark Popup displays your bookmarks in a simple popup that saves space by showing just the bookmark icons—very useful for those of us who keep the bookmarks bar hidden.
With more than 1.3 million downloads, the Ghostery add-on for Firefox is obviously an extremely popular way to know who's keeping tabs on your Web browsing. All kinds of tracking goes on behind the scenes while you surf. Google, Omniture, comScore, and others are gathering data wherever they can.
If you'd like to know what's going on in the background but you surf with Google Chrome, you can now plug the Ghostery extension into your browser, too!
Right now, the Chrome extension only provides insight; it doesn't allow you to block access the way its Firefox cousin does. It's probably safe to assume that, once they can bring that functionality to Google Chrome, Ghostery will bolt it on in short order.
I have to give kudos to TSN. Three items is less than half of what visits to some sites (ourselves and Lifehacker included) turn up.
It's an uncomfortable truth, but your Web browser probably knows more about you than your best friend. It's just a fact of life online. Your browser knows your name, your browsing habits, your interests, your bank balance, your passwords... in essence it really knows everything about you -- and this is something that Mozilla Labs wants to capitalize on!
Introducing: the Account Manager add-on for Firefox.
Mozilla Labs posed a simple question: why should you have to input passwords on every site you visit? Your browser is you. You shouldn't need to identify yourself every time! With Account Manager, website developers can let Firefox handle your sign-ins. Account Manager works behind the scenes so that you don't have to -- in theory you don't even know your name or password for a site: Firefox manages it for you. Changing your identity is a matter of selecting another name from a drop-down box in Firefox -- Account Manager does the rest.
It's an exciting concept and, given the surge of tailored-to-the-user functionality that we're seeing in Web browsers (the Chrome new tab page!), I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. Support of other authorization schemes like OpenID and HTTP Auth is next... exciting!
The experimental add-on is available for download on Mozilla's Account Manager site if you'd like to try it out.
View Thru is a neat extension for Google Chrome that lets you instantly see what's hiding behind a shortened link. You simply hover over the link (say, http://is.gd/bJoc7) and get an instant tooltip showing you where it's leading. When I tested it, the tooltip really was instant -- I did not have to wait at all. I tested it both with TinyURL and is.gd, and it worked equally well on both.
The shortened URL must be an active link, though -- it doesn't work when it's just text on the page. View Thru has earned a five-star rating in the Chrome extension gallery, and I can see why.
Chrome: Searching random bits of Wikipedia information usually involves abandoning your current page and/or opening up a new tab.
Chrome only: Google Chrome extension Speed Dial updates, adding custom site logos for your speed dials and plenty of other customization settings to make your browser start page loo
While bloggers and website owners everywhere wrestle with whether or not to integrate the vast array of new 'Facebook on your site' goodies, FB users are starting to use that little like button. If you're running Google Chrome, you don't need to wait on an update to your favorite sites.
Just grab the Facebook Likes extension and you'll be able to submit any web page you browse. Just give the browser actions icon a click, and then click like. As long as you're signed in to Facebook, that's all it takes. If you're not, the extension will first pop up a window so you can sign in.
Likes also displays recent related activity from other Facebook users, which is a neat way to discover other items you might want to check out. Neat!
note: in case the author hasn't had a chance to fix the bug I reported in the Extension Gallery comments yet, follow the steps I posted on the page to get FB Likes installed!
Windows only: Google Chrome extension IE Tab Classic loads up the Internet Explorer rendering engine into a tab, so you can access those IE-only web sites without leaving the comfort of
I have no idea how long this extension will be around -- has the jury returned a verdict on whether ad-blockers are ethical? -- but for the casual user, minimal.digg is awesome. By removing the fluff, the crust, the non-essential verdigris, minimal.digg gets you to the content faster. In fact, unless you're deeply entrenched in the Digg community, I can't see why you wouldn't use this extension.
Digg has, for the longest time, been a great (if demagogic) link collator. In fact, if you've never visited Digg, install the extension and head on over! Most of the links that arrive via email or instant message were originally dug up by a Digger -- so why not get in at the start of an Internet meme?! Be contemporary!
Drive-by browser attacks are pretty common. Many of you have probably seen the suspicious-looking 'you've got errors on your PC!' or 'holy hell, you're full of viruses!' pop-up alerts malware peddlers hope you'll click on.
But here's a new one: someone is now trying to fool Google Chrome users into installing an 'extension' -- which is, of course, actually malware. I've got to admit, I'm a little curious how this particular snare could ever work.
It starts with a spam message which is sent to 'inform' users about a new extension for their favorite browser. Once they follow the link to the malicious domain, a download window appears which offers to save a .exe file. Which, you know, isn't a Chrome extension. Those are .crx files, but the bad guys are clearly playing on end user ignorance as they usually do.
Then the victim has to actually install the downloaded executable.
This seems like such an unlikely sequence of events to me. For starters, if you're a Chrome user and you actually know what an extension is, you probably also know what a b.s. email message looks like. You probably also know how Chrome behaves when you install a .crx. And you most certainly know that .exes which seemingly come from out of nowhere aren't to be trusted.
Sadly, I also know that plenty of my customers -- who have proven time and again that they don't know when to restrain their left-mouse-button clicking urges -- now run Google Chrome. They have no idea how it got on their system or what a web browser is, and they would almost certainly fall for a trick like this if it offered 'better something.'
Oh well...I guess that just means added job security for us technicians, right?
I only just covered this bad boy in last week's Firefox Friday -- and now there's a Chrome version! RescueTime advertises itself as a 'Productivity Meter' but really it's just a cool way of seeing how you spend your time on the Internet.
All you have to do is install the extension and it'll do the rest. At any time you can click the menu button to see a quick breakdown of how distracted you are as well as how productive you are compared to other RescueTime users. If you visit sites like Facebook or Flickr, your distractedness rises; stick to work-related stuff and you're 'safe'. Talking of 'safe', no login is required to use this extension -- you are anonymous (for all intents and purposes)!
The proof is in the pudding, though: after a few hours or days, check out 'Detailed Stats'. Prepare to be shocked, awed, amazed and disgusted by the damning but beautiful graphs. The amount of data that the RescueTime team and its users have collated, and thus the accuracy of the reports, is quite stunning.
(Incidentally, if you're a manager of some kind, there's a 'pro' version which you could no doubt use to improve the efficiency of your team...)
Internet Explorer slowly nears 60% market share mark. This time it went down from 61.58 to 60.65, 0.93 point decrease.
In March, Firefox managed to increase its market share by 0.29 point, moving up from 24.23% to 24.52%.
Google Chrome continues to grow steadily; 0.52 point increase this time, up from 5.61% to 6.13%.
Safari has also increased its market share by 0.2 point, from 4.45% to 4.65%.
Opera’s market share also went up by 0.02 point, from 2.35% to 2.37%.
<!-- videoId: OUl2mJnjwbY --><!-- /videoId: OUl2mJnjwbY -->Chrome: There are apps with helpful keyboard shortcuts, and then there are old-school text editors like vim.
Vimium is an incredible Chrome add-on for keyboard-only Web navigation. Its basic shortcuts are modeled after those used in the ubergeek-oriented Vim text editor. The idea behind Vimium is that all of the most common actions (scrolling up and down, switching tabs, zooming) can be done using keys that are either on the home row of the keyboard, or otherwise very easy to reach (such as "zi" for Zoom In). Fortunately, they can be customized. That's one of the main things I like about it, since I use an alternative keyboard layout (Colemak). Once you get used to the shortcuts, you can do just about anything (navigate to links, find text, switch tabs, zoom in and out) without moving your fingers, much less reaching for the mouse.
Google Chrome is already an extremely secure Web browser. Armed with its exploit-thwarting sandbox, Chrome remained untested at Pwn2Own this year, while other browsers were hacked within minutes.
Still, it never hurts to bolster your defenses, and there are plenty of good options for doing just that over in the official Google Chrome Extensions Gallery. Let's take a look at nine which are well worth installing -- see you after the break, Chrome fans!
View Thru - The millions of short URLs floating around on Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the Internet might be a convenience for some, but they can also be a big threat to your safety. Just like the Rickrolls of yesteryear, there are those who "poison" shortened URLs, hiding their malicious destinations behind a jumble of letters and numbers.
With View Thru installed, you'll see a tooltip appear whenever you hover over a link, which includes the title of the destination page and its unshortened URL.
Every now and then I need to quickly screenshot something from a browser window and pass it along to someone else -- say, a member of the DS team to point out an error or something post-worthy I've found online. While it's easy enough to use my desktop screenshot app and attach it to a new email message, the Explain and Send Screenshots extension for Google Chrome is an easy way to do it right inside my default browser.
Click the capture button, and the extension opens a new tab with a complete snapshot of the page you were viewing. Drag a selection box to crop what you need, annotate with arrows, circles, lines, and text in red or green, and hit done! Your picture is zapped over to pict.com and you're provided with a link to the image and buttons to share it on Twitter and Facebook.