Not too long ago, Microsoft released an extension for Google Chrome which enabled H.264 HTML5 video playback. Now Google has returned the favor by offering a WebM plug-in for Internet Explorer 9 users. In a move which we can only describe as oozing with self-confidence, Google points out that there are some known issues -- visit this page, and revel in its blankness.
If you plan on using IE9 but don't want to miss out on all the WebM videos which are popping up, download and install the plug-in now. The plug-in only works on Vista and Windows 7, but conveniently the same is true for IE9.
If you use access Gmail in Google Chrome on your computer, you can now view PDF attachments using Chrome's built-in viewer. The Chrome PDF plug-in is faster than the Google Docs previewer, its rendering accuracy is better, and you don't have to change settings anywhere for this to take effect. Just use Gmail in Google Chrome and the 'view' link will automatically open your file in the Chrome PDF viewer.
The change is also nice because Chrome's PDF plug-in actually lets you print, unlike the previewer which can only manage recursion printing (it generates a PDF of your PDF).
One of the oldest -- yet somehow least-lauded projects in existence -- is Mycroft. Perhaps its under-hypedness is due to its total simplicity -- Mycroft is nothing more than a massive directory of search plug-ins that you can add to Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. Check the top 100, and you'll get some idea of Mycroft's scale.
For Firefox and Internet Explorer, this means you can search just about every site in existence from the Search bar in the top right corner of your browser. For Chrome users, this means you get even more functionality from the uber Omnibar.
Incidentally, Chrome users, did you know that you could use specific search engines from the Omnibar? When you grab a search plug-in, make sure you provide a keyword. Make it something short -- like 'pb' for Pirate Bay or 'imdb' for IMDb -- and then, when you want to search The Pirate bay, just type pb, followed by your search term.
Firefox added built-in checking for outdated plug-ins a while back, and it was announced back in June that Google Chrome would soon add the feature. After all, surfing with older, unpatched versions of Flash, Java, or QuickTime poses a security risk, and browser security is a vital part of Chrome's core.
Following the update to 7.0.542.0 in Chrome's bleeding-edge Canary build, Windows users can now turn on outdated plug-in checking. To flip the switch, jump to the about:labs page and click the enable link. Unlike some other experimental features, the plug-in check doesn't require a restart.
Right now, the check is only available in Canary -- but this is the kind of feature Google tends to push to Chrome's other channels in short order.
When Google began working on a built-in Flash plug-in for Chrome, they cited a handful of key motivations. They wanted a more hassle-free web experience for end users, more modern alternative to the aging NPAPI architecture, better security, and an easier way to deliver updates.
According to the SecBrowsing blog, their update aspirations have been a smashing success.
The traditional Flash updater is easy enough to avoid -- I often work on end users systems and see the beleaguered Flash updater crying out for attention from the system tray. Sadly, its cries often go ignored. Chrome's internal updater, however, can't be ignored. When there's a update to the browser or an internal plug-in, by Odin's beard, you're going to get it!
Within just two days of the most recent Flash update, fewer than 30% of SecBrowsing visitors were running an out-of-date version. That's compared to 14 days with the previous release -- a substantial improvement.
No comparisons to other browsers are given, but I've got to think that Chrome users are well ahead of the curve here.
Two recent additions to the Chromium source code combine to function very much like FlashBlock does: per-plug-in content settings and click-to-play. Visit a page with the former enabled, and the latter allows you to click any element you want to display. Better still, you can whitelist an entire website. Simply click the puzzle piece in Chrome's Omnibar and the menu above is displayed. To try it out right now, you'll need to download a recent Chromium snapshot build and add two command line switches: --enable-resource-content-settings and --enable-click-to-play.
Why would you want to do this? Two big reasons are security and transfer caps.
While Chrome itself is a very secure browser, plug-ins (especially out-of-date ones) can pose a major security risk. By using click-to-play and manually whitelisting sites you trust, you're giving yourself a little added protection against nefarious types who use things like Flash to perform drive-by attacks on unwary surfers. And because blocking prevents the elements from downloading without your consent, click-to-play can also help you conserve bandwidth.
The FlashBlock extension currently has more than 160,000 users -- I'm curious to see if that number dwindles once this code makes its way into Chrome's beta and stable channels. It sure seems as though the enhanced content settings will make FlashBlock redundant.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments!
A couple small but noteworthy changes happened to Google Chrome this week. Two days ago, the beta channel updated to version 5.0.375.86 -- bringing an assortment of security tweaks and bugfixes. Less than a full day later, that version moved from beta to the stable channel -- and brought one more significant change.
The internal Flash plug-in is now enabled by default in all versions of Google Chrome. It wasn't that long ago (about three months) that internal Flash was just a rumor. In mid-April, Google turned it on by default for dev channel users. After making the jump to the beta channel, the internal Flash plug-in had been disabled for a while -- presumably while some kinks were worked out -- but it could still be enabled via command-line switches.
Google doesn't take pushing features to Chrome stable lightly, so this is a pretty clear indication that the internal Flash plug-in is here to stay. Let's hope they're right about the security benefits. I'm also curious to see if anyone else starts taking a serious look at the new plug-in architecture -- one of Google's other aims was to put something together which was more secure and modern than the old NPAPI plug-in system.
Mozilla Firefox’s most wanted add-on FireBug is now available in google chrome.
Firebug Lite is not a substitute for Firebug, or Chrome Developer Tools. It is a tool to be used in conjunction with these tools. Firebug Lite provides the rich visual representation we are used to see in Firebug when it comes to HTML elements, DOM elements, and Box Model shading. It provides also some cool features like inspecting HTML elemements with your mouse, and live editing CSS properties. Firebug Lite 1.3.0 beta for Google Chrome is basically the same you’ll see when using the bookmarlet.
click here to install firebug for google chrome