Trying to define Google as a company isn’t easy, but if there is one theme that every project seems to share, it’s the drive to make the web every bit as rich and fast an experience as what can be found offline. Web App’s are starting to catch on in a very meaningful way, but browser technology is still far too immature to take advantage of all the powerful hardware found in modern machines.
The ideal solution would be to allow code to execute natively within the browser, but as Microsoft learned with ActiveX, this is far easier said than done. On Friday however, Google announced it is beginning to roll out its “Native Client” with Chrome 10, and they think they’ve found a secure way to deliver the type of performance that could power everything from 3D gaming to rich media.
Google's rolled out an experimental Chrome extension intended to let users block "shallow or low-quality content" sites from their search results, the search giant announced in a blog post. Once installed, the extension will also send blocked site information to Google for further study, which could end up being used to help rank search results. But it all depends on you installing it. Here's what you need to know.
There's a new stable build of Google's Chrome browser available today, and according to the sultan of search, it's the fastest build yet. But speed isn't the only addition. The latest Chrome version adds a couple of other goodies previously only available on beta builds, including WebGL, Chrome Instant, and the Chrome Web Store, Google announced in a blog post.
In the grand scheme of things, relatively few people ever claim $20,000 for a day's worth of work. You can be one of them, provided you put your hacker hat on and attend the Pwn2Own contest next month. Google's challenge is this: Be the first to "pop [the Cr-48's Chrome] browser and escape the sandbox using vulnerabilities purely present in Google-written code" and the bounty, as well as the laptop, are both yours to keep, TippingPoint said in a blog post.
"If competitors are unsuccessful, on day 2 and 3 the ZDI will offer $10,000 USD for a sandbox escape in non-Google code and Google will offer $10,000 USD for the Chrome bug. Either way, plugins other than the built-in PDF support are out of scope," TippingPoint said.
TippingPoint has put up a total cash pool of $125,000 in this year's Pwn2Own contest, with only $20,000 coming from outside funding (Google). This is the first time Google has offered a cash prize as part of the event, though it's worth mentioning that Chrome was the only browser to remain unscathed during last year's contest.
For the first time ever, Google's Chrome browser busted through the 10 percent global market share threshold in January, according to market research firm Net Applications.
Chrome's market share has been steadily rising every month, while both Internet Explorer and Firefox go in the wrong direction. According to Net Applications, Chrome's share of the browser market was 5.22 percent in January 2010, less than half of what it is now (10.7 percent). Compare that to Firefox, which has gone from a 24.43 percent share in January 2010 to 22.75 percent in January 2011.
Microsoft still owns the largest chunk of the market, but its share has fallen from 62.12 percent in the beginning of 2010 to 56 percent to start off 2011. As for the other browsers, Safari now claims a 6.3 percent share of the market and Opera remains steady at around 2.28 percent.
Today Google announced a new Chrome extension that aims to give users more control over online privacy. The extension is called Keep My Opt-Outs, and does mostly what the name suggests. It allows you to opt out of advertising tracking cookies while using Chrome. Google pointed to the statement from the FTC late last year about investigating the possibility of a do not track registry as the impetus for this new add-on.
The extension has a leg up on the HTTP header scheme Mozilla is developing. The extension will be able to store your preferences for opt-outs permanently. So if you clear your cache, all your opt-outs will remain in effect. With the Mozilla solution, you would lose all those cookie preferences. Chrome has very elaborate controls for cookies as it is, so users can even access those elusive Flash cookies.
This may not be the biggest shift in the browser landscape. After all, many Chrome users that care about ad tracking have already blocked ads. Google does, however, point out that more than 50 companies that support opt-outs that are compatible with Keep My Opt-Outs, and the top 15 ad networks are among them. Will you be getting the extension?
Google's Chromium Security Rewards program offers participants cash bounties for the discovery of eligible bugs. Rewards range in value from $500 to an 'elite' $3133.7 (get it?), and up until now, that max payout has never been claimed.
Enter Sergey Glazunoz, who will not only collect Google's first ever elite reward for discovering a "Critical" bug, but several thousand more for unearthing four other bugs classified as "High."
"We're delighted to offer our first 'elite' $3,133.7 Chromium Security Reward to Sergey Glazunov," Google said in a blog post. "Critical bugs are harder to come by in Chrome, but Sergey has done it. Sergey also collects a $1,337 reward and several other rewards at the same time, so congratulations Sergey!"
Congratulations indeed. For his efforts, Glazunov will collect a cool $7,470.70 from Google.
Google's Chrome browser is now the go-to browser for 1 out of every 10 PC users, suggests new data by Net Market Share. Let's put that in perspective. At the beginning of 2010, Chrome's share of the browser market hovered around 5.6 percent. By the end of December 2010, Chrome's share has almost doubled, finishing the year with just under 10 percent.
Much of that has come at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, still the most used browser on the planet, but no longer uncatchable. It's hard to scoff at a 57.08 percent share of the market, which is where IE ended 2010 at, but that's more than 5 percentage points down from January 2010.
It's also been a rocky year for Mozilla's Firefox browser, which started 2010 with a 24.43 percent share of the market and ended with 22.81 percent. As for the other browsers, Opera barely budged (dropping slightly from 2.38 percent to 2.23 percent), while Safari climbed more than a percentage point from 4.53 percent in January 2010 to 5.89 percent in December 2010.
Flash is often the villain in any tale of technological woe. It eats battery, hogs resources, and can even make your system vulnerable to malware. Well, the new version of Chrome can at least address that last issue. The version of Chrome for Windows that was just pushed to the beta channel sandboxes Flash and other plug-ins so they are less able to harm your system. Any malicious code will be unable to spread beyond the tab it enters through.
Google has been talking about making this change for months now. Google recognizes that plug-ins are a real security threat, and if Chrome is to keep accumulating market share, they need to address it. Chrome will now keep Flash up to date in the background in the same way the browser itself is kept updated.
Flash might not be perfect, but we support any effort to make it safer. What's your impression of Flash and Adobe's commitment to security these days?
Google's Chrome browser didn't gain full extension support until late in the game, but developers have apparently stepped up to the plate in a big way. After looking over the Chrome Extension Gallery, TechCrunch is reporting that Chrome has surpassed 10,000 extensions. It's only been a year, and Chrome is closing in on Firefox with nearly 13,000 extensions.
Chrome has always been admired for its raw speed, but many users held back due to the lack of extensions support. Firefox tends to be a little slower, but the huge number of add-ons kept users locked in. The recent surge in Chrome usage could have a lot to do with the roll out of full extension support. The ball is really in Mozilla's court now, but early reports on Firefox 4 are very positive.
Google pushes out new versions of Chrome at warp speed, and Firefox has a reputation for slow, steady development. Even if Firefox 4 is a winner, Chrome might fly past it again in short order. Do you think extension numbers are telling a tale?