Top 5 Favorite Chrome Extensions

chrome-extesions-ico I’ve seen lots of other people do this. Now it’s my turn. Below are my top 5 favorite extensions for the Google Chrome web browser, in no particular order.

after-the-deadline 1. After the Deadline

With a name like that, it’s surprising that anyone uses it. It doesn’t give you any clue as to what it really does. Here’s a quote from the gallery:

After the Deadline uses artificial intelligence to check spelling, style, and grammar. Use it to check your tweets, find mistakes in your email, and socialize with confidence. Click the ABC icon in the lower-right corner of an editable area to proofread your writing.


2. Chromed Bird

Ok, another unusual name. If you use Twitter, this is very handy. I haven’t used many of the features, but you might. Quote from the gallery:

Chromed Bird is an awesome Twitter client extension for Google Chrome with lots of features.

Some of the most important features are:
* Add and remove timeline tabs “on the fly” using the new right-click context menu
* Create custom search queries that will update automatically
* Preview image links by hovering them
* See all your tweets in an unified timeline
* Follow your timelines, @mentions, lists, DMs and favorites
* Compose, reply, RT, share, favorite and delete tweets
* Create short URLs within the extension
* Preview shortened URLs before clicking them
* Track read / unread tweets
* Notify user whenever new tweets arrive


3. Cooliris

Another name that doesn’t mean much, but has to be seen to be believed. This awesome extension brings 3D image browsing into your browser. Here’s a quote and a video to follow:

Meet Cooliris, the 3D Wall that speeds up search on Google Images, YouTube, Flickr, and more. Enjoy the richest way to view photos from Facebook, Picasa, and even your own computer. On our infinite 3D Wall, you can effortlessly scroll though thousands of images and videos in seconds without having to click from page to page.

Click here if you can’t see the video.


4. Facebook for Google Chrome

Finally a clearly named extension. Yes, it’s an extension that lets you very quickly view, post and comment on your Facebook pages. I have come to depend on it. Here’s a quote from the gallery:

This unofficial extension lets you check your Facebook news feed, wall, inbox and notifications.

Version 2.0 will now indicate when you have new notifications or unread messages. Additionally, the extension now uses Facebook Connect as a more reliable way to retrieve your information. Also, the extension now supports English, Spanish and French.


5. Google Talk Gadget

If you have Gmail, you are very likely also using the G-Chat that’s built in. This extension allows you to pop it out into it’s own little window. It simply works great. Here’s a quote:

This is a very simple extension that allows to use Google Talk Gadget with Google Apps.
Please note that the chat session will not run in the background unless you click the ‘pop out’ link in the top left corner.

That’s all for now. I hope you see something here that you haven’t seen before. Be sure to comment below and tell us about your favorite Chrome extensions.

Google Chrome Plans to Release One Stable version every Six Weeks

Google Chrome has announced that it will release two major versions every three months now unlike the earlier one every three months. The Chrome blog announces this saying,

Running under ideal conditions, we will be looking to release a new stable version about once every six weeks, roughly twice as often as we do today.


So why the change? We have three fundamental goals in reducing the cycle time:

  • Shorten the release cycle and still get great features in front of users when they are ready
  • Make the schedule more predictable and easier to scope
  • Reduce the pressure on engineering to makea release

However, they are holding up the words “under ideal conditions” strongly and have mentioned again that,

when we faced a deadline with an incomplete feature, we had three options, all undesirable: (1) Engineers had to rush or work overtime to complete the feature by the deadline, (2) We delayed the release to complete that feature (which affected other un-related features), or (3) The feature was disabled and had to wait approximately 3 months for the next release. With the new schedule, if a given feature is not complete, it will simply ride on the the next release train when it’s ready. Since those trains come quickly and regularly (every six weeks), there is less stress.

Thus, a lot of load will be taken off the engineers and the time window of six months weeks will give developers ample time to work on any incomplete feature. In addition, with every new release, the software version will increase as 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and so on. This marks a continuous development of Google Chrome and clearly indicates how seriously Google is taking the web-browser market.


Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome Leak Sensitive User Information to Websites

Black-Hat-Conference Most of us don’t think twice before saving sensitive information in our browser’s auto-fill database. After all, browsers are desktop applications that reside on our system. So, any data we store in our browser should remain private, right? Wrong.

Jeremiah Grossman, CTO of White Hat Security, has managed to uncover security holes in each of the major browsers that can be exploited by booby trapped websites to gain access to sensitive information.

“Right at the moment a Safari user visits a website, even if they’ve never been there before or entered any personal information, a malicious website can uncover their first name, last name, work place, city, state, and email address”, revealed Grossman in a blog post. According to the proof of concept demonstrated by him, it is possible to fool Safari (v4 and v5) into giving up stored form auto-fill information without user intervention using JavaScript. Apple, which was notified about this vulnerability back in June, has yet to respond.

Internet Explorer 6 and 7 can also be exploited in a similar fashion. However, Internet Explorer 8 appears to be safe for the moment. If you are using the any of the affected browsers, it’s highly recommended that you disable the in-built AutoFill functionality for the time being.

The Register is also reporting that Grossman has discovered critical XSS (cross-site scripting) vulnerabilities in Firefox and Chrome, which can be exploited to gain access to stored website passwords. Grossman is expected to reveal more at the Black Hat Security Conference, which is going to be held next week.

Hacker Pwnes Google Chrome’s Security Brags with a Plugin

Google has made every attempt to keep Chrome secure and safe from hackers. However, it was only a question of days before someone outsmarted their annoying sandbox and today is the day.

Google Chrome has been hacked by a browser plugin! The plugin checks for login account details on Gmail, Twitter and Facebook and runs with the help of JQuery. Once again, this is a proof of concept hack and will not leak any information retrieved in the process.

The hack has exploited the access to DOM, which the plugins are allowed. The hack can also be used to steal cookies and hijack sessions as reported by the hacker Andreas Grech on his blog.

He writes,

The Google Chrome browser allows the installation of third-party extensions that are used to extend the browser to add new features. The extensions are written in JavaScript and HTML and allow manipulation of the DOM, amongst other features.

By allowing access to the DOM, an attacker can thus read form fields…including username and password fields. This is what sparked my idea of creating this PoC.

The extension I present here is very simple. Whenever a user submits a form, it tries to capture the username and password fields, sends me an email via an Ajax call to a script with these login details along with the URL and then proceeds to submit the form normally as to avoid detection.

Google Chrome’s sandbox for plugins just got pwned.


Google Chrome Will Block Out-of-Date Plugins in Future

Google has introduced a feature for automatic updates in its latest Chrome browser but that does not seem to be enough to Google. Therefore, it has gone a step further to add a technology that blocks out of date plugins in Google Chrome, forcing users to upgrade them if they wish to continue using these plugins.

Google has not announced any official time for the release of this feature but it is expected sometime in the next few months. According to this feature, the browser will also show warnings to inform users of lesser-used plugins.

Google Chrome already provides support for an Adobe PDF and Flash by default. Now, Google has taken a step towards security by issuing these updates automatically, which makes Chrome a safer browser. There are some other security features in store for Google Chrome, about which Google says,

There are more ways we are attacking the problem:
Integrated, sandboxed PDF viewing: We have announced an integrated PDF viewer plug-in running inside Google Chrome’s sandbox. This will make it harder for PDF-based vulnerabilities to result in the persistent installation of malware.
Protection from out-of-date plug-ins: Medium-term, Google Chrome will start refusing to run certain out-of-date plug-ins (and help the user update).
Warning before running infrequently used plug-ins: Some plug-ins are widely installed but typically not required for today’s Internet experience. For most users, any attempt to instantiate such a plug-in is suspicious and Google Chrome will warn on this condition.
A next generation plug-in API: Peppermakes it easier to sandbox plug-ins.

Currently, this level of security is offered only by Firefox, which shows update notifications and will auto-update plugins in future.


Firefox Downloads are 2.5 Times Greater than Google Chrome

A Mozilla Firefox employee, Asa Dotzler, in his blog,   has estimated from the recent download stats of both Google Chrome and Firefox that, for every one new user of Google Chrome there will be 2.5 new users of Firefox. He has also created a graph in which you can see the download rates of both the browsers. Here is the graph:


It is difficult to say which is good. Firefox has been ruling the browser industry for a long time, while the new baby, Google Chrome has also made a tremendous growth in a short span of time.

However, I personally feel that, one factor for the exponential growth of the Chrome browser is advertising. Google has been advertising its browser everywhere. Starting from its homepage, Chrome ads are on, almost every page of Youtube. They also have promoted it offline by creating banners all over Europe.

Apart from other factors like speed, lightweight etc, another important factor is the Extensions gallery of Google Chrome. Many people, in the beginning, hesitated to move to Chrome because of the lack of extensions in Google Chrome. Now that the gallery is full of useful extensions, this certainly is a huge factor that is influencing on the growth of the browser.

Nevertheless, I prefer Firefox always. What do you use? Google Chrome, Firefox or any other browser? Please share your comments on this.

Google Chrome Dev Channel Gets Extension Sync

Finally!!!! The long wait is over. The latest dev channel of comes with the ability to sync your extension with the “cloud”.

Google Chrome Sync Extensions

Google Chrome build has officially added support to sync extensions along with the earlier ability to sync preferences, bookmarks and themes over the cloud, this was a highly demanded feature and will definitely add more value to the already feature rich browser.

Also Read: Ultimate List of Google Chrome Tips and Tricks | Best Google Chrome Extensions

To enable Extensions sync for Google Chrome, edit the Chrome shortcut and add the –enable-sync-extensions to the end of the file path preceded by a space as shown in the screenshot below.

Sync Extensions Switch Google Chrome

This is definitely good news since now users will be able to access all their Chrome settings from anywhere. Lets hope that they add password synching too now. More info on the latest dev build for Chrome can be found here.

(Source: LH)

Flock Dumps Mozilla Firefox for Chromium

Flock the popular social browser which earlier ran on the Firefox Gecko engine has dumped Mozilla for Chromium, the popular new browser which also powers .


The new Flock beta browser now runs on Webkit which is also part of Safari and Google Chrome. Flock which has about 8 million users has also landed a new feature where you can create a Flock account and sync your settings to the "cloud".

Users can use the cloud feature to take their accounts to any Flock browser without having to reset it again and again. Considering that most of the other browsers too have an option to sync profiles or at-least bookmarks, it made more sense to have it in the newest Flock beta too. Apart from that Flock almost remains the social browser people have known it to be.

The switch from Firefox code to Chromium will come as a big jolt for Mozilla whose internet browser Firefox’s popularity has been going down since the launch of Google Chrome. Also the team at Flock had initially worked with the Mozilla team on the Netscape project before moving towards creating Flock, so their decision to branch out Flock to Chromium will be even more bitter.

You can download the latest beta of Flock by visiting this page, more info and details are available at the official Flock blog here.


Apple Tries To Be Open: Launches HTML5 Showcase That Doesn’t Use a Lot of HTML5

In the recent past, Apple has been vilified for acting like a big brother. Regular Techie Buzz readers are probably familiar with Apple’s battle against Flash and their stance against open technologies like Theora and WebM. Perhaps stung by the criticism, Apple has launched a new HTML5 showcase demonstrating what’s possible with Safari.

The message is loud and clear – Flash isn’t the only way to deliver rich web applications. If developers don’t want to write Apple product-specific code, they can always opt for open web standards.


The HTML5 Technology demo gallery has some spectacular samples, which showcase video, audio, typography, transitions and more. Each and every one of these demos have Apple’s hallmark. They are simple, yet stunning enough to wow you.

Unfortunately, they also bear Apple’s other signature – a lot of half-truths. According to Opera developer, Haavard K. Moen, “The only things that are HTML5 on that page are HTML5 <audio> and <video>”.

Worse still, Apple is using browser sniffing to artificially block other browsers. So, although Chrome – another WebKit based browser, does significantly better than Safari in, it stumbles while rendering Apple’s HTML5 showcase. Opera is another browser with an impressive HTML5 support that is not allowed to render Safari’s technology demos.

It is obviously well within Apple’s rights to create stunning demos showcasing its browser’s capabilities. However, dubbing its technology demos as HTML5 and Web Standards showcase, when they are clearly not, is despicable.

Apple deserves credit for encouraging and promoting HTML5. In fact, their focus on HTML5 will probably lead to an overall faster rate of adoption among both browser makers and developers. However, as Haavard points out, Apple is also trying to use HTML5 and open, as a buzzword, to its advantage.

And yeah, if you thought Microsoft fares better, here is a hilarious take on Internet Explorer’s HTML5 Testing Center.

Update: As pointed out by Sathya, Mozilla’s Robert Sayre has responded to Apple’s HTML5 Demos in his own eloquent manner.

Desktop Notifications For Chrome Extensions

Google Chrome extensions have brought features to the browser and coupled with the awesome speed Chrome has, this gives us an amazing overall browsing experience. I have personally switched over to Google Chrome as my default browser and am satisfied with it.

Google Chrome extensions now have an added advantage. Chrome got a nifty feature of extension notifications whereby any installed extension can send out windows style notifications. This feature was already available to websites from Chrome 4. In the latest build, this feature will be made available to extension developers by a notification API.

One of the first to use this notification is the Gmail notifier add-on for Google Chrome. This added feature into the notification API can mean two things.

The advantage of this is that extension developers are no more limited to OS capabilities to display notifications and can easily do so using the browser. This will get clearer when more extensions use this feature to create a better user experience. Facebook and Twitter apps will be the first to follow.

Though, a downside of this is how extension developers will use this to provide some real functionality or simply for creating annoying notifications.