Chrome: If you frequently search for image files when you encounter new animals, foods, and other words you can save time by installing Image Dictionary, a Chrome extension that can automatically display Wikipedia images for a word using a mouse clicks. More »
It’s important for users to know what extensions they have enabled since extensions can sometimes influence Chrome’s functionality and performance. Many users have installed extensions from the Chrome Web Store, but some users have extensions that were silently installed without their knowledge.
Until now, it has been possible to silently install extensions into Chrome on Windows using the Windows registry mechanism for extension deployment. This feature was originally intended to allow users to opt-in to adding a useful extension to Chrome as a part of the installation of another application. Unfortunately, this feature has been widely abused by third parties to silently install extensions into Chrome without proper acknowledgment from users.
Two new features in Chrome 25 will help users run only the extensions they want to use:
Extensions installed by third party programs using external extension deployment options will be disabled by default. When a third party program installs an extension, the Chrome menu will be badged, and users can click through the Chrome menu to see a dialog containing an option to enable the extension or to remove it from their computer.
In addition, all extensions previously installed using external deployment options will be automatically disabled. Chrome will show a one-time prompt to allow the re-enabling of any of the extensions.
Windows application developers should ask users to install Chrome extensions from within Chrome. A great way to allow users to install a Chrome extension related to your Windows application is to link users to your website and use inline installation.
On Christmas Eve, as Santa makes his way across the world, you can follow his progress and keep tabs on how many presents he’s delivered with the Google Maps’s Santa Tracker. And this year Santa’s developer elves went a bit further. They created a Chrome extension that enables you to simultaneously browse the web on your Chrome Browser and follow Santa along his route. Simply install the Santa Tracker Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store.
Before Santa takes off on Christmas Eve, you can also use the extension to follow the countdown to his departure, play around with his blimp, elf bus, and write messages on a frosty browser window.
While everyone in Santa’s Village is busy gearing up for the big day, they always make time for visitors. You can meet some elves and ask Santa to make a personal phone call to a friend or your family.
For more ways to get holiday inspired Chrome themes, apps, and extensions, check out the holiday collection in the Chrome Web Store - including the Santa Tracker chrome theme. And, if you don’t have Chrome yet, give it a spin.
Happy holidays from all of us at Google!
Built on Web Components, and inspired by Model Driven Views, Dart's Web UI library is now ready for testing. This early release of Web UI supports dynamic templates, live one-way and two-way data binding, and custom DOM elements. Web UI also includes a compiler that makes these features available to all modern browsers today.
Web UI helps you build declarative apps that have cleaner semantics and structure. You can build and use custom elements like
Web UI also automatically keeps the HTML page and data models in sync with one-way and two-way data binding. Simply declare, in the DOM itself, the bindings between Dart objects and page elements and let Web UI take care of the details.
Here is a small snippet from a simple TODO app that shows some of these features, including:
(1) linking to a custom element
(2) declarative event handling
(3) templates and iteration
(4) data binding with a custom element
To see Dart Web UI in action, we've ported the ubiquitous TodoMVC sample app:
Getting started and installing Web UI is easy with pub, the Dart package manager. Simply add the web_ui package to your list of dependencies and run pub install. Once installed, you can even configure Dart Editor to watch for changes and automatically recompile your Web UI apps for quick and easy edit and reload development cycles.
I've talked before in presentations that the ASP.NET and Web Tools team has been slowly externalizing pieces of ASP.NET. You've seen it in many pieces of the ASP.NET runtime moving into NuGet while also being open sourced, and you've seen it as we've moved big chunks of the "tooling" (that means the menus and dialogs you interact within Visual Studio when using ASP.NET) into external installers.
Since we launched Chrome, the team has continued to work on ways to make it fast and simple for people to use. To that end, we’re going to begin testing variations of Chrome’s New Tab page (NTP) in which a user’s default search provider will be able to add a search box or otherwise customize the NTP. While you can search straight from the omnibox in Chrome, we’ve found that many people still navigate to their search engine's home page to initiate a search instead. The goal is to save people time by helping them search and navigate the web faster.
We’ll also allow search engines to display the user’s search terms right in the omnibox, which avoids the need for a second search box on the results page. This new capability, along with other ways to improve search suggestions, are exposed in a new Embedded Search API, an extension of the existing SearchBox API. Search engines can implement any part of the specification if they’d like their users to experience a customized variation of the NTP experience.
Starting today, a small set of users on Dev channel on Windows and Chrome OS, who have Google selected as their search provider, will begin seeing variations of the new experience. Mac will be coming soon. We look forward to your feedback and bug reports, which you can file against the InstantExtended feature on crbug.com.
Google Drive got a few updates today, in the form of an official "Save to Drive" Chrome extension and a few new features to images stored in your Drive. More »
Last week in my post on updating my Windows Phone 7 application to Windows 8 I shared some code from Michael L. Perry using a concept whereby one protects access to a shared resource using a critical section in a way that works comfortably with the new await/async keywords. Protecting shared resources like files is a little more subtle now that asynchronous is so easy. We'll see this more and more as Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 promote the idea that apps shouldn't block for anything.
After that post, my friend and mentor (he doesn't know he's my mentor but I just decided that he is just now) Stephen Toub, expert on all things asynchronous, sent me an email with some excellent thoughts and feedback on this technique. I include some of that email here with permission as it will help us all learn!
A few months ago we released This Exquisite Forest, a Chrome Experiment that lets you create collaborative animations using an online drawing tool. Thousands of people from all over the world have contributed to the project, creating unique animations like Looking Up / Looking Down, Wine after Coffee and Animated Typography. For any of these animations, you can click the button in the lower right to add to the story and branch it in a new direction.
Today, we’d like to share The Endless Theater, a new way to wander the forest by viewing a continuous stream of different animations. In addition, now you can embed animations directly into your site or blog, so it’s even easier to share your work with the world. Just go into the lightbox view and click “Embed.”
Google’s Chrome browser ships with a minimalistic layout by default which many users find beneficial as less chrome means more screen estate for the websites that you open in the browser. If you are used to working with a bookmarks bar in other web browsers you may miss it in Chrome as it is not displayed by default.While it takes away some vertical screen estate it speeds up accessing sites that you have added to the toolbar.
There are a couple of options to display the bookmarks bar in Chrome. You can for instance use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-B to hide and display it. The shortcut gives you some flexibility in this regard as it allows you to display and hide the bar near instantly.
You can alternatively click on the settings button at the top right corner of the Chrome window and select Bookmarks > Show Bookmarks Bar from there.
Now that you have displayed the bar you are free to add new sites or folders to it. I personally like to add a couple of folders to it as it gives me room to add more than a couple of visible bookmarks to the bar. Some bookmarks take up lots of space on the bar due to their title. You can right-click any bookmark here and select Edit to cut the title to reduce the space the bookmark requires on the toolbar. If you do not mind working only with icons, you can remove all of the page’s title to save lots of space.
You can add bookmarks by dragging and dropping the site address or the favicon if the site to the bookmarks bar, or by bookmarking a page with the shortcut Ctrl-D and selecting the bookmarks bar as the destination for the new bookmark.
Other options include importing bookmarks from other web browsers or using the built-in bookmark manager to move existing bookmarks to the toolbar. To import bookmarks click on Settings > Bookmarks > Import Bookmarks and Settings to load the import module.
Here you can pick a web browser you want to import the bookmarks from. If you have an HTML file you need to click on Organize > Import bookmarks from HTML file instead in the Chrome Bookmark Manager which you can open with the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-O or by clicking on Settings > Bookmarks > Bookmark Manager.
Use drag and drop to order bookmarks, to move them to another position or into our out of folders. A right-click on the bar opens options to open all bookmarks that you have added to the bar in new tabs or a new window of the browser. That’s useful if you often open a sequence of sites in the browser that you visit one after the other.
There are a couple of extensions that you can use to improve your experience. Bookmark Bar Switcher for instance lets you switch between multiple bars in Chrome with the click of a button, Atomic Bookmarks makes all bookmarks accessible via a single icon in Chrome’s default toolbar and Bookmark Sentry makes sure you do not have duplicate or broken bookmarks in the browser.
Earlier this year I wrote a small Windows Phone 7 application in a day called Lost Phone Screen. It creates lock screens for you with your name and contact number on them to aid in finding your phone the old fashioned way when you lose it. No need for a GPS, just tell folks you have a small reward and give them a number to call. You can download it free now as folks will not pay 99 cents for anything except Angry Birds. But I'm not bitter.
Mobile Browser Benchmarks: Android Browser 4.1 vs. Google Chrome 18 vs. Dolphin 9 vs. Firefox 17 vs. Maxthon 1.7 vs. Opera Mobile 12.1 vs. Sleipnir 2.5
Now here is something for the Android users. Guys from TomsHardware took massive list of Android 4.1 (Jellybean) supported web browsers and tested all of them. If you got confused by too many alternatives, this article should give you a pretty good indicator on who’s leading and who’s lagging in this area. You will be [...]
Darn it all. I didn't want to like this little computer. I've always been a "MOAR POWER" laptop user. For me, laptops are desktop replacements. It's less about the carrying and more about the "setting up in a remote place and having all the power of your desktop." My main laptop has been a Lenovo W520 for years. It's got dual SSDs, 8 (logical) processors and 16 gigs of RAM.
But lately I haven't even turned it on. I have a MacBook Pro but it also goes unused. I've been using this little Intel Ultrabook prototype near-exclusively for months and I've gotten to the point where I've decided that my next machine will be ultralight.
November, 2012 Desktop Market Share: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera - Up; Google Chrome - Down
It’s the last month of the year as we check the market share results for November. Were there any surprises? Let’s find out. It looks like Internet Explorer wont slide below the 50% mark for quite some time as its market share continues to edge higher, up from 54.13% to 54.76% (0.63 point increase). Mozilla’s [...]
Chrome: Remember that six months or so when Google searches displayed tweets along with normal results? Twitter stopped that, but if you're a Chrome user you can add that functionality back in with the browser extension HashPlug. More »
Last year I purchased and installed a 3M Filtrete Touchscreen WiFi-Enabled Programmable Thermostat and have generally been very happy with it. It's not automatic, but it's programmable and it has a remote control iPhone app and a very nice programmable web API. Since I work at home, sometimes I am in my home office and other times I'm in a local coffee shop, and in these instances I just use the phone to turn off heat as I leave.
With Microsoft publishing a developer preview version of Windows 8 back in 2011, it’s time to find out, which (if any) of the web browser companies actually did their homework and optimized the software for the latest OS. Web Browsers Internet Explorer 10 Firefox 16 Google Chrome 23 Opera 12.10 Benchmark Results Conclusion Overall, a [...]
Many popular applications today help users consume, share, manage, and edit media content, as evidenced by the rise of web apps like Google Play Music and YouTube. For Chrome packaged app developers, the new Media Galleries API introduces a simple way for apps to access media stored on a user’s device (with the user’s permission, of course).
To use the API, you first have to determine what kind of permission your app needs to access user’s media:
- read-only: allows media content to be read, but not modified
- read-write: allows media content to be read and modified
- add-files: allows media to be added to the galleries but prevents modifying existing media files.
Currently, only read-only access is supported. Support for read-write and add-files will be introduced in a future release.
To retrieve media content, use getMediaFilesystems(). If this is the first time your app is accessing the user’s media libraries, the system will prompt the user to grant access:
You can also make your app explicitly ask the user to designate specific galleries. This is useful if, for example, your app is only interested in pictures. Once access is granted, your app can then retrieve a list of LocalFileSystem structures. At that point, you can use the W3C FileSystem API to access the media gallery content.
Sandboxing is a layer of security that Chrome places between attackers and their computer, aiming to isolate an attacker who has successfully exploited a vulnerability. When contained in a sandbox jail, an attacker will typically look for porous or fragile bits in the walls to throw rocks at. That is, he’ll try to gain additional privileges by taking advantage of other vulnerabilities. Our job is to make the virtual walls of the sandbox as strong and impenetrable as possible.
One juicy target for attackers is the operating system’s kernel: a large and complex code base. The latest stable version of Chrome introduces a new layer of sandboxing of Chrome renderers for the 64-bit versions of Chrome OS and Linux, based on a new kernel feature called seccomp-bpf. With seccomp-bpf we’ll install a small filter in the kernel that will quickly reject many of the rocks thrown by an attacker. A simple example: if we know that Chrome renderers don’t need a system call such as vmsplice, or a facility such as “inotify”, we can just deny them completely. We use a broker process model to keep the list of allowed system calls small.
Installing this filter in the kernel improves the security of our users. But it is just the beginning: using this new facility, we’ll continue to make the sandbox safer.
This new sandbox layer is automatically baked into the latest version of Chrome OS. On Linux, you can check by going to chrome://sandbox and look for “Seccomp-BPF sandbox Yes”. If this is not available, ask your Linux distribution to include and enable seccomp-bpf in its kernel, as Ubuntu has done since version 12.04.
As always, you can report bugs and issues here, by clicking on “New issue”.
At home I use a Synology 1511+ NAS (Network Attached Storage) server for all my family's digital things. The Synology gives me virtually all the features I had when I was in love with the Windows Home Server. I can add a drive of any size and get more storage, I can install add-in packages for more functionality, and most importantly, everything has multiple copies. I've even lost a whole drive and just repaired it by pulling it out and replacing it.