Jolicloud, once only a cloud-focused Linux distro for netbooks, has been re-branded as Joli OS. The company's focus has shifted slightly, though the goal is still to provide access to a fun, easy-to-use Internet experience. In addition to offering the OS itself, the Joli "cloud" portion will become a Web-based launchpad which users can install in Google Chrome (already available), Safari, Firefox, and even on the iPad.
The company has also announced a set of changes in the Joli OS 1.2 update, which brings an integrated file browser, an automatic Jolicloud login option, and Guest mode -- for those times when you want to let a friend take your Joli OS-powered notebook for a spin.
To update to the latest stable version of Chrome, simply close your browser and re-open it -- the update should be applied automatically. Alternatively, click the wrench icon and then About Google Chrome, which will check for the the latest update.
Install Cloud Save, and you'll add the ability to right-click files on Web pages you visit and zap (or sideload) them to various online services like Google Docs, Dropbox, Picasa, Flickr, Posterous, CloudApp, and Box.Net. The extension appears to be based on drag2up, another handy little Chrome extension, as you'll see some of the auth dialogs refer to it instead of Cloud Save.
By default, Cloud Save shows you desktop notifications when a transfer completes -- though you can shut them off if you like. It's a handy extension for zapping found files to your cloud storage without having to download them to your desktop first.
The Khronos Group has finally put its stamp on the WebGL 1.0 spec, and that's good news for those of you running Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, and any other up-to-date WebKit browsers. If you're an Internet Explorer user, however, you're still not invited to the party.
Microsoft, with IE9 only being available for Windows Vista and 7, is perfectly content with IE9's DirectX-based hardware acceleration. It will be interesting to see what happens with the mobile version of IE9, too -- if HTML5 and WebGL apps take off, Microsoft (and Nokia) will want to support them.
Mozilla's Jay Sullivan doesn't appear worried though, saying "Between Firefox and Chrome, people will build stuff." You can, of course, add WebGL support to Internet Explorer yourself -- by installing Google Chrome Frame, though admittedly that brings a whole lot more functionality than browser-based 3D.
We've spent a lot of time jabbering on and on and on about hardware acceleration in the next generation of Web browsers.
The problem, however, is that no stable browsers have it turned on by default. Unless you're running Firefox 4 beta or Internet Explorer 9 RC, you're probably not enjoying hardware acceleration. Heck, our latest poll shows that almost 50% of Download Squad readers run Chrome, anyway!
Turning hardware acceleration on in Chrome 9, 10 and 11 (stable, beta and canary) is easy, and it can significantly speed up surfing on low-powered devices, like laptops -- or if you're the kind of person who has 30+ tabs open on your desktop PC. We'll show you how to turn on pre-rendering, too, which provides another nice speed boost.
Gamers and other enthusiasts know the importance of keeping their video card's drivers current, but it's not something the vast majority of the computing public pays any attention to. If the computer is running OK, there's no need to update drivers, right?
As it turns out, there's a very good reason to update: your old driver might be causing your Web browser to crash excessively. That's what Google is reporting over at the Chromium blog. If you're surfing with Chrome and using an outdated driver, it could be wreaking havoc with Chrome's GPU acceleration and WebGL features.
Along with HTML5 support and tracking protection, hardware acceleration has become part of the 'geeky trinity' of features to trumpet in next-gen Web browsers. As developers tap deep into your computer's hardware to squeeze out additional performance gains, keeping your drivers fully updated -- especially for the graphics card which is handling all that accelerated rendering -- is going to be very, very important.
What about all us Windows, Mac, and Linux users? Well, now we can get in on the action, too, even though the Chrome Web Store loudly proclaims ** THIS APP REQUIRES A CHROME NOTEBOOK **!
Your operating system can run processes in the background -- things like realtime antivirus protection and streaming movies and music around your home -- and so can Google Chrome. Background apps have existed in Chrome and Chromium for some time, but now that the Chrome Web Store is open and its apps are available for installation, Google has posted a blog about why backgrounding is cool.
It's really all about Chrome being your "OS" even if you're using a Windows or Mac computer. With the ability to run Web apps in the background and Native Client support headed to the beta and stable channels in relatively short order, Chrome Web Apps will soon be capable of doing many of the same things your traditional desktop apps can do.
Google's post talks about using backgrounding to issue notifications (as apps like TweetDeck and exfm do) or to prefetch data. There's really no end to the possibilities, and we're exited to see what the next generation of Chrome Web Apps can really do.
CueThat is a slick little browser add-on that lets you add any movie you happen upon while browsing the Web to your Netflix queue. Just highlight a title, right click and choose CueThat from your context menu, and voila: it's added to your list. It even works with movies that are still only screening in theaters.
CueThat is offered as an extension for both Firefox and Chrome, though the bookmarklet works just as well and is usable in any Web browser. It's well worth adding to your bookmark toolbar if you're a Netflix user who hunts for movie reviews or recommendations while browsing the Web.
Just install SpellBook and use Chrome's bookmark manager to drop your bookmarklets into the folder the extension creates. Now when you want to fire up you favorite marklet, you can simply click your right mouse button, hover over SpellBook, and then click the one you want to execute. The extension also adds two-click access to the Chrome bookmark manager.
Looking for some handy bookmarklets to install, too? Check out our list of favorites -- and remember, they'll work in practically any Web browser!
Google's Chrome beta update brings with it a slew of goodies for the adventurous users who prefer slightly more cutting-edge features over tried-and-true stability. Version 10.0.648.82 hit the beta channel earlier today, and it affected just about every piece of the browser, from the settings interface to the rendering engine.
Browser settings are now opened in their own tab, as opposed to a separate window. The added space and cleaner layout that this provides is actually quite nice, and when you think about it, a browser that can use multiple tabs really has no reason to make new windows at all, so it just makes sense. One cool side-effect of moving settings into a tab is that they're actually browsable, meaning that if you get good enough at it, you can go directly to the page for certain settings just by using its address -- like "chrome://settings/advanced" or "chrome://settings/browser."
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).
Google has made it clear that it wants to clean up its search results -- eliminating worthless cruft like the content farms which spam searchers with low-value (and often plagiarized) content. Now, the company has announced a new Google Chrome extension which they hope will aid in the fight.
Called Personal Blocklist, the extension allows Google Chrome users to blacklist certain domains when results appear in Google Search. Click the icon in the browser actions area to see which domains you've blocked, unblock a site, or edit its particulars.
At least one other Chrome extension which provides this functionality has been listed in the Gallery for some time, but the difference here is that blocks will be reported to Google. Google, in turn, will look at user data and possibly use that information to improve its search quality.
Install Personal Blocklist for Google Chrome, and start helping fight search spam!
One of the ways Internet Explorer 9 seeks to "bring the Web to your desktop" is by allowing sites to be pinned to your taskbar, and use jump lists to quickly and directly access specific parts of a website. A handful of big-name sites already offer Windows 7 integration, including Facebook, Twitter, CNN, Flixster, and IMDb.
Microsoft has also shared how this works (and Scott Hanselman has posted an excellent how-to article), so it's possible for other browser makers to implement, too. If you're a Google Chrome user, in fact, you can install an extension (developed by an independent programmer) which adds jump list actions to a drop-down menu on the Omnibar!
Unsurprisingly called IE9 Jump List Tasks, the extension adds a green arrow to the Omnibar whenever you visit a supported site. If jump list actions are detected, clicking the arrow will display a menu like the one you see above. It's not quite as cool as being able to poke your taskbar icons, but it is a neat display of how the feature can be utilized in non-IE browsers. The extension also didn't work for me on all the sites I tried -- Twitter and Facebook lists weren't detected -- but it was still cool to see it pop up elsewhere, like on IMDb and Flixster.
If you reload your Gmail tab, you should be prompted to enable the desktop notifications -- otherwise, head into Settings, scroll down to Desktop Notifications, and choose what kind of notifications you want. You can currently toggle chat, new mail, and new important mail -- but presumably, you'll be able to select which labels will produce notifications.
If you want more control over your Twitter stream, check out the Proxlet Chrome extension. Proxlet lets you easily mute any user (temporarily or forever), block any Twitter app, or filter out any hashtag. The most obvious use for Proxlet is filtering out app spam from the likes of Foursquare and Paper.li, but it's also great if your friends are tweeting from a conference you don't like or they suddenly pick up a hashtag meme that doesn't interest you.
The really fantastic thing about Proxlet is that it also works with some desktop and mobile apps, including TweetDeck Desktop, Twidroyd and Twitter for iPhone. The idea is so slick that it might not be a bad idea for Twitter to look at acquiring Proxlet or implementing some of these filters themselves. Sure, Twitter is supposed to be simple, but new use cases -- like app spam -- need new user tools, and Proxlet is one of the best new tools you can add to your arsenal.
Google made a minor tweak to the Gmail navigation links recently -- moving Photos into a more prominent spot and Reader into the More drop-down. While I wasn't particularly concerned (I've got Firefox hotkeys wired to most of my bookmarks for fast mouse-free access), the change created quite a stir on Twitter.
But as is usually the case, enthusiasts who don't want to accept changes on their favorite Web sites have already responded. If you want your Reader link back and you're using Google Chrome, grab the Put Reader Back extension. Once installed, just reload your Gmail tab to see the change.
Kindle owners who would rather read web articles on their Kindle devices than on a laptop screen are in luck: there's now a Send to Kindle Chrome extension. With a little bit of setup, you can pass articles to your Kindle over Wi-Fi or Amazon's Whispernet with one click.
When you install Send to Kindle, you'll see a setup screen where you'll have to enter your Kindle's registered email address. Then, jaunt over to your Kindle Management page at Amazon and add the extension's email address -- "email@example.com" -- to your list of approved senders.
In a strong, head-held-high missive, Adobe has detailed a new initiative to bring Flash local storage clearing to Web browser UIs. The new API, NPAPI ClearSiteData will let Firefox and Chrome users clear Flash's Local Shared Objects, or 'Flash cookies,' in the same way that you currently clear cookies and temporary Internet files.
LSOs are very commonly used throughout the Web, but unlike conventional cookies they're a little harder to delete. A lot of websites use them to track you across the Web, but they're also used by sites like YouTube to store your video preferences.