Fix Chrome 9.0.597.0 dev Channel Crashes, GPU Acceleration Crashes

If you upgraded to version 9.0.597.0 dev this morning and are seeing frequent crashing of the browser, you are not alone. The problem is that the latest version of Chrome has a problem with the GPU Acceleration.

Thanks to How-to-Geek there are several solutions to fix the GPU Acceleration crashes on dev channel. The one that worked for me is adding "–disable-accelerated-compositing" switch to the command line and start it again.

This problem occurs for only those users who have turned on GPU acceleration in about:flags (previously about:labs), so you might want to go there and disable "GPU Accelerated Canvas 2D" feature for the time being and then try starting the browser without the above switch.

If the command line switch does not fix your problem, you will find more solutions at the how-to-geek’s post linked above.

Why Is Chrome Winning And Firefox Losing Market Share?

, once the darling of the tech and IT crowd is slowly but surely losing love from the same people who used it because of the crappy Internet Explorer. In the years since it launched, Firefox has become a browser loved and used by a broader range of people. At one point of time, Firefox looked all set to conquer the world and overtake IE.

Firefox vs Google Chrome

However, in the past two years, a browser called has been making dents into both Firefox and IE’s market share. The browser which is barely 2 years old almost has 10% market share. This is definitely something that is worth talking about.

Also Read: Google Chrome Extensions vs. Firefox Add-ons: Head to Head Comparison

So where is Chrome winning users from? Chrome is winning over the same users that Firefox stole from IE, the tech and IT crowd. This has been made more than clear with recent Tech powerhouse sites like TechCrunch and Techmeme reporting that most of their users now use Google Chrome, pushing Firefox to the second position.

So why this change? When Firefox came out more than 6 years ago, it brought about a fresh perspective to a software in which we spent most of our time in on a computer. It also introduced which made our lives easier. However, with all those additions, Firefox in itself started to become bloated, eating precious memory and CPU.

Once Chrome came in, it defined a minimalistic approach to browsing. It got rid of unwanted toolbars and presented users with a simple way of browsing and searching. It also brought a much more sleeker look which helped users focus more on what they needed to have rather than what they should have had.

One of the key reasons people I had talked to who were not switching to Chrome was the lack of extensions, which made them stick with Firefox. However, once Chrome came out with extensions, many users switched to it. Top that with cloud sync and security and it made Chrome a darling of the tech crowd.

Frankly speaking, for the past two years I have used Firefox only when necessary. I hate the fact that it is so bloated that it makes me less productive than I would like to be.

I would say that Mozilla and Nokia are two similar companies who were sitting on the top of the pile, but have been struggling to keep up ever since competition has cropped up. I admit that does provide a better experience, however, people would now ask the question; Why should I switch to Firefox 4 from Chrome when they have delaying it for so long and Chrome is dedicated to adding features every 6 weeks?

Once again, Chrome is bound to grow leaps and bounds in the future. With the Google Web Store around the corner, it would bring more and more people towards it. Alas, Firefox 4 is still a long way from release, hopefully once it comes out it should make the competition more even.

In the end, this is my honest opinion about a browser I loved at one point of time. I have been struggling to find reasons to use it now and I feel that several other users do the same which is why Chrome is gaining over Firefox. There are few questions though which only you can answer. Do you use Google Chrome? Do you prefer it over Firefox now? Would you switch back to Firefox 4 when it comes out? Do let me know your thoughts.

Google Chrome Brings in Sandbox for Adobe Flash Content

Over time, Google Chrome has achieved a reputation for being one of the fastest and most secure browsers. Chrome attributes much of it’s security due to the sandboxing model, which ensures that each tab runs in a separate process and cannot interfere with each other.

Google Chrome Sandbox

Google Chrome has gone the extra step to ensure that one of the most vulnerable software, Adobe Flash, gets constantly updated with bundling and auto-updating the Flash Player automatically. Extending this further, with the latest dev channel editions, Chrome also sandboxes Adobe Flash content. Chrome developers state that Chrome is the first browser under Windows XP which sandboxes Adobe Flash content and hopes this will protect users again most common malware.

For whatever reason, if you want to disable Flash sandboxing, add –disable-flash-sandbox as a command line parameter to your Chrome shortcut and you’re set.

Chrome to Get Multiple User Profile Support

Google Chrome is about to officially get multi-profile support. According to Downloadsquad, once this feature kicks in, users will be able to run different windows of Chrome with different Google (Gmail) accounts.

Currently, it is possible to enable multiple profile support in Chrome with command line switches. However, once Google officially enables this feature, you will be able to access it from Chrome’s preferences dialogue box (pictured below).


Every individual window, Chrome will clearly display which profile it is associated with. In Windows, this information will be displayed at the top of the browser frame, where as in Mac, this info will be added to the menu bar. Every profile will be color-coded to make identification easier.

There’s no word on when these features will show up in Chromium. However, knowing Google, it probably won’t take too long.

Multiple Profiles Coming To Google Chrome

has had the ability to allow users to create multiple profiles, but it has been pretty inconvenient to say the least, Browsers like already have an easy way to do this, so Chrome would definitely want to have an easier way too.

Google Chrome Multiple Profiles

According to a new design document on the Chromium website, developers have suggested a new feature which will allow users to create multiple profiles. The new multiple profile feature though will be tightly integrated with the browser sync.

The multiple profiles feature will allow the user to associate a profile with a specific set of browser windows, rather than with an entire running instance of Chrome. Allowing different windows to run as different Chrome identities means that a user can have different open windows associated with different Google accounts, and correspondingly different sets of preferences, apps, bookmarks, and so on — all those elements which are bound to a specific user’s identity. Having multiple profiles in the Chrome browser also makes it easy to browse with separate identities without having to log in as separate users at the operating system level.

This means that, users will be able to create multiple sync profiles and backup their bookmarks, etc. to the cloud. However, they can also create another profile and then sync certain things to that profile only. This will be very useful when you use Chrome at different places. Using this feature you can create a profile for Work and sync your work bookmarks and extensions to it. You can then also create a Personal profile and sync your home bookmarks, extensions, etc. to it.

This will allow you to maintain different identities for different purposes. Also unlike Firefox, Chrome will maintain different profiles in the cloud, so you can use any computer and have all your data ready to use.

(Source: Google OS)

Twitter Desktop Notifications For Google Chrome

recently got the ability to display notifications from on the desktop and there are several extensions out there which display notifications now.


If you are a user, you can now get Twitter notifications about new tweets, replies and direct messages right on your desktop with a . Using Twitter Notifier for Chrome will allow you to get rid of desktop clients, however, you have to remember that this extension will only display those tweets and not allow you to do anything else like replying or viewing it on Twitter.

I ran a few tests to check for DM and replies notifications and they were almost instantaneous. By default the extension is set to display all the tweets along with replies and DMs, so you might want to visit chrome://extensions to change the settings for it to only display @reply and DMs if you want.

Have fun with the new desktop notifications from Twitter. Download Twitter Notifier for Chrome.

Google Releases Ebook On Internet Basics

As tribute to Tim-Berners Lee proposing the web 20 years ago, this month,   Google has released a HTML5 based ebook that talks about the various (technical) Internet concepts.

The book deals with all the basics of Internet, from TCP/IP to browsers and malwares, even the latest buzz word Cloud Computing. As talked about on the official Google blog, the book explains how the browser works and the jargons. With really nice illustrations from Christoph Niemann, this is a must-read for anyone who has an interest in technology. The book has been done by the Google Chrome team and is titled 20 Things I Learned About Browsers and The Web


I hope this book makes into the syllabi for high schools. Oh, and it works mighty fine on IE9 beta as well.

Google Chrome Fails To Handle Tabs after a Certain Limit

This time around last year, I stumbled upon an interesting fact on Firefox tab behavior accidentally. I was reminded of this because, today, while browsing Reddit, I came across this interesting fact on Google Chrome. This time, too, it is about the behavior of tabs. It was like a deja-vu and I jumped in to perform the experiment.

It is as simple as it can get. I press ctrl + t to open tabs and keep it pressed. After a few seconds, when the tab bar turns into a skinny triangle, I stop. Now comes the funny part.

As you see in the image below, the last tab crosses the “add new tab” button.


Now, I decide to start closing tabs and here is what happens. The “add new tab” button moves to the left as tabs close and comes back after a certain number of closed tabs. This goes on in a loop.


At this point of time, if I want to launch a new tab and try pressing on the “add new tab” button, it simply takes me to the tab that is behind the button. The “add new tab” button is just sitting there useless. This proves that Google Chrome indeed has a limit to the number of tabs it can allow for opening.


The experiment is impractical because anyone who opens that many tabs is insane and has all the right to take down Google Chrome with a tab overkill. From an engineer’s perspective, Google Chrome dev team should update their test cases.

How to Disable Instant Previews On Google Search Results

Google Instant previews, which was rolled out the earlier week allows users to previews websites on search result pages. With Instant previews, users are able to see a graphical overview of a search result which highlights the most relevant sections related to the search terms.

If you haven’t noticed the instant preview of search results on, here is an example:

This feature is useful but can be distracting at times. You hover the cursor over any link and an overlay window starts loading the screenshot of the webpage automatically.If you ask me, I have three words – “Unnecessary UI Clutter”

If you are like me who prefers simpler things and want a minimalist search interface, you may want to turn off instant previews on Google search result pages.

Though Google doesn’t provide any option to disable Instant previews yet, like they do for Google Instant search but you can use a Greasemonkey script for Firefox and Google Chrome and say good bye to Google Instant previews forever.

Firefox users can use this userscript, provided they have the Greasemonkey add-on installed already. Google Chrome users can install the userscript directly because Chrome supports userscripts by default.

Once the script is in place, you will notice a new link named “Disable Instant previews” on the right side of search result pages. Click that link and the thumbnails won’t appear, as long as you are on the same browser tab.

I tested the script in Google Chrome and it worked just as fine. The only downside is that when you open a new tab or restart the browser, you have to click the “Disable Instant previews” link again. Hope Google soon comes up with something in Google account preferences so that users who don’t want to use the Instant previews feature can turn it off permanently.

Script Source: Varun’s Scratchpad

NotScripts: NoScript Extension for Opera and Chrome

A large number of browser exploits take advantage of JavaScript and third-party plugins like Java and Flash. NoScript is a popular multi-award winning Firefox add-on that blocks all such scripts and plugins, and allows you to intelligently and selectively execute them only on trusted websites.

I have always felt that using NoScript borders on the verge of paranoia, since it hinders normal web browsing experience. However, a lot of people obviously don’t mind this, since NoScript can protect users against scary click-jacking exploits, XSS vulnerabilities and even zero-day exploits that haven’t been discovered yet. Many Opera and Chrome users have been requesting similar functionality for a long time. However, most NoScript implementations for the aforementioned browsers have been limited due to the rigid nature of their APIs. Fortunately, Eric Wong has found an ingenious way of make NoScript work within the framework of Opera and Chrome’s extension library.

NotScripts is a NoScript inspired extension for Opera and Chrome, that utilises storage quota allocated to HTML5 applications and UserJS files to offer many of the functionalities present in NoScript. It supports both whitelist (everything is blocked, unless explicitly allowed) and blacklist (everything is allowed, unless explicitly blocked) approaches, and allows you to block scripts either temporarily or permanently.


NotScripts is still not perfect, and as mentioned earlier, taking a whitelist approach might create usability problems. Nevertheless, NotScripts is the best implementation of NoScript I have seen for either browser.

[ Download NotScripts for Chrome | Opera ]