Fresh on the heels of Mozilla’s decision to raise the bounty payment under its Security Bug Bounty Program, Google has announced a similar hike. The maximum reward under the six-month-old Chromium Security Program has been raised to $3,133.7, which is almost $2000 more than the previous payment cap. However, the base payment “for less serious bugs” is same as before — $500 per bug.
“The maximum reward for a single bug has been increased to $3,133.7. We will most likely use this amount for SecSeverity-Critical bugs in Chromium. The increased reward reflects the fact that the sandbox makes it harder to find bugs of this severity," Chris Evans, a Google security researcher, wrote in a blog post.
We're not under any illusion that people refrain from running ad blocking extensions in their browsers (though we do hope your favorite technology site is on the whitelist). The Chrome Adblock extension (which many of you probably use) has added a new trick that brings it up to par with the Firefox Adblock Plus extension. It can now block ads from loading at all, not just remove them from the rendered page. In doing so, Adblock developer Michael Gundlach has made known a feature that only recently found its way into Chrome.
The so-called "beforeload" event was added to the Webkit trunk, and eventually made its way into Chrome. It was not contributed to Webkit by Google, but By Apple, who uses the same engine for their Safari browser. Googler Aaron Boodman said of the situation, "Thank Apple. They added it to WebKit. We just inherited it." Boodman also has pushed for the open Chromium project to allow better blocking options in the name of privacy.
So Chrome users can't say Apple never did anything for them anymore. Do you run an Adblocker in Chrome? Have you noticed a difference
Google Voice. Situation: It's a pretty awesome competitor to good ol' Skype, especially when you use its crazy powers to forward calls from your magical number to physical locations all over the world. I, for one, use Google voice to get into my own apartment. Ringing me up on the ol' call box in front of my condo complex calls my Google Voice number (local calls only!), which in turn buzzes up my cell phone which, in turn, lets me go home.
That's just one interesting use of an otherwise awesome service. There are many more. Problem: There are not nearly as many apps--Web-based or downloadable--that allow you to interact with Google Voice in unique, cool ways. I've scrounged together five for your enjoyment but, honestly, we're scraping the barrel this week in terms of available software.
So, that said, go register a Google Voice number. And while you're doing that, start skimming this article for awesome new ways to use the service!
The first beta for Firefox 4 was released yesterday, and brought with it a host of new features. One thing we were hoping for was a significant speed boost that would bring the popular open source browser up to parity with the likes of Chrome and Safari 5. Well, keeping in mind that this is a beta, things aren't looking great in the speed department.
A benchmark of the browser with Dromaeo and Peacekeeper show that Firefox 4 is a modest improvement over Firefox 3.6, but it still can't touch Chrome or Safari. Both Safari and Chrome have been iterating their software very fast, and it's possible the Mozilla Foundation just can't keep up. Firefox has a notoriously long release cycle.
We hold out hope that the development team have some tricks up their sleeve for the final release. It would be nice to see Firefox come back after seeming to fall behind. Are you a Firefox user, or have you moved to Chrome/Safari?
Google is preparing to add a new type of hardware awareness to the Chrome browser. The browser will soon be able to use accelerometer data to keep track of which way is up, and rotate the interface. Thus Google gets one step closer to making the browser an operating system.
It's not just fitting content to device orientation that can be of use here. Web-based apps and games could also poll the accelerometer as a method of control. Mozilla started to work on this in 2009, and expects to roll it out in Firefox 3.6.
Google is spending heavily on their browser software, which will be the underlying framework of the upcoming Chrome OS. Are there any other uses of orientation awareness in browsers you'd like to see implemented?
Perhaps inconceivable just a few short years ago, it now seems inevitable that Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser won't hold onto its market share lead forever, and could fall to Firefox within the next 24 months or so. We say this because IE has been trending backwards in market share numbers, at least up until now.
Microsoft can breathe a sigh of relief in June, even if only for one month. For the first time in a long time, the world's most popular browser (in market share) increased its usage, stopping what's long been a slow, albeit steady decline. According to Web analytics firm Net Applications, IE's usage numbers inched upwards in June from 59.8 percent to 60.3 percent. While promising, Microsoft knows not to read too much into this.
"We certainly don't judge our business on just two months of data, but the direction here is encouraging," said Ryan Gavin, senior director of business and marketing for Internet Explorer.
Meanwhile, Mozilla's Firefox browser slid backwards from 24.3 percent to 23.8 percent. And don't take your eyes off of Google's Chrome browser, which rose from 7.0 percent to 7.2 percent from May to June. Still settling in at fourth place, Apple's Safari browser climbed from 4.8 percent to 4.9 percent, while Opera declined ever-so-slightly from 2.4 percent to 2.3 percent.
Google recently updated Chrome with the ability to automatically update the Adobe Flash plug-in. In an upcoming revision, Google's browser will gain power over other plug-ins as well. The out of date plug-ins will be blocked from working, while also offering the option to assist the user in updating them. Vulnerabilities in plug-ins are one of the most often exploited security issues.
The search giant did not have an approximate date users could expect to see the feature added. The browser will also eventually have the ability to determine when a plug-in is being run under suspicious circumstances. When a plug-in is rarely used, it's activation could be a sign of malicious behavior. Chrome could be able to take not of this and notify the user.
Chrome has a beta and developer build channel, so we're likely to get some warning before this feature hits the majority of users. The changes don't sound too intrusive, and we like the idea of all our plug-ins being kept up to date automatically.
Google Chrome has been the third most popular browser in the world for quite some time now. According to web analytics firm StatCounter, the browser now occupies the familiar third slot in the United States as well. Google's WebKit-based emerged as the third most used browser in the US for the week beginning June 21. This is the first time its market share in the US has gone past Safari's.
"This is quite a coup for Google as they have gone from zero to almost 10% of the US market in under two years," said Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "There is a battle royal going on between Google and Apple in the internet browser space (Chrome v Safari) as well as in the mobile market (Android v iPhone)."
StatCounter's report is based on a sample of 874 million US page views. Chrome now commands almost 9% of the US browser market, but still trails Firefox (28.5%) and Internet Explorer (52%) by a long way.
Google and Adobe are getting along swimmingly these days. In the mobile space, Android is the only platform that currently has full Flash support, and now Google's desktop browser has the Flash Player built in. The newest stable version of Chrome 5.0.376.86 has Adobe Flash by default. This feature was present in the beta and developer channels at various times recently, but now it is rolled out everywhere.
Many developers and consumers feel Flash is too resource intensive, and should be replaced by HTML5 standards. Interestingly, Google is one company pushing HTML5 quite hard. It seems they are willing to support multiple standards for the benefit of users who, like it or not, need to use Flash content from time to time.
Users who don't want the plug-in for whatever reason can disable it. Type about:plugins into the address bar and hit enter. From this page, you can turn off Flash, or any other plug-ins you don't want.
Chrome has gained a large following in its short history on a reputation for speed. According to a new round of benchmarking, it looks like Internet Explorer 9 could actually give Google's browser a run for its money. We heard the new version had improved HTML5 support, but they weren't kidding. In the newly released Preview 3, IE9 managed to beat Chrome soundly on a test of HTML5 canvas speed. It's described as "orders of magnitude faster"
Keeping in mind that this is still a preview build of the browser, we're feeling pretty optimistic. It's hard to see moving to IE as our main browser, but it would be nice if people had a decent browser on their PCs out of the box. Hit this link to see the video.