Google Chrome May Stop Showing HTTP in the Address Bar

chromium-logo One of the most recent builds of the Chromium web browser is drawing some criticism. As you may know, Chromium is the open source browser project that Google’s Chrome web browser is based on. In the Chromium version 5.0.375.3, something new showed up. The address bar was not displaying the normal http://in front of addresses. It was reported in the issues at Chromium’s code site as a possible bug.

URL BAR

However, it turns out that this is an intentional move, and it’s started a fairly heated debate there. Some of the people posting there do not want to have the http prefix removed. Some people argue that it’s a feature that everyone will eventually want.

Apparently, if you need to copy and paste the address from the Chromium address bar, it will automatically add the httpprefix, even though you don’t see it. This will need to happen in order to use copied URLs in other applications.

In my opinion, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem as long as the feature works as they say it will. I sometimes wonder why we even need to type the wwwin the address. It’s a waste of time and I’ll be happy if it goes away for good.

What do you think? Be sure to comment below.

Adobe Flash Player and Google Chrome; Just Married

Adobe Flash and Google Chrome got close when Adobe announced the availability of Flash support on Google Chrome. Adobe Flash player will be available on future versions of Google Chrome by default and they will no longer require to download am extra third-party plugin for this.

Further, any update to the Flash player will be delivered as Chrome’s browser update eliminating all security issues.

This adds more security to the already secure Chrome browser. The latest update keeps out any hack attempts and does not annoy users for updates. The flash player can also be disabled easily.

In addition to this, Adobe is also working on a new browser API, which is built on top of the NPAPI of Firefox. The now API will help plugins to integrate more tightly with the host browser. This will also improve sandboxing and provide added security.

The Chromium blog has said,

Improving the traditional browser plug-in model will make it possible for plug-ins to be just as fast, stable, and secure as the browser’s HTML and JavaScript engines.

It is good to see Internet movers and shakers like Google, Adobe and Firefox work together towards a better web.
(Via: Neowin.net)

Google Chrome 5 Beta Released For Windows

Google has been working on version 5 of for quite long now, in-fact the dev version of Chrome 5 was released late January. However it looks like Chrome 5 is now inching towards a mainstream release with the beta version of Chrome 5 now being made available for downloads.

Google Chrome Logo

The beta version has a lot of features including auto-translation, auto form filler, taskbar previews among others and also fixes some bugs. You can download the beat version of Google Chrome 5 for Windows by visiting this page.

Don’t forget to check out some excellent we have covered in the past to use with the browser.

Safe Surfing and Email with Web of Trust

wot-icon[Windows, Mac, Linux] Web of Trust (WOT) is an addon or extension that identifies risky or dangerous links and websites while you are using your web browser. This addon is available for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers. There is also a bookmarklet for Browsers such as Opera and Safari.

Here’s what the WOT website says about their product:

Protect yourself from online scams, sites with adult content, spam and other Internet threats. The WOT community has rated millions of websites so you can search, shop online and surf for fun without worrying.

When the WOT addon is installed in a web browser, it displays safety information about web sites in two different ways.

First, there will be a WOT icon at the top of the browser next to the address bar. It will be colored green, yellow or red to show you the general rating of the web page you are currently viewing.

wot-ratings

If you click on this icon, you’ll be able to see more details about the ratings.

wot-ratings-for-techiebuzz

The detailed ratings are broken down into four categories: Trustworthiness, Vendor Reliability, Privacy and Child Safety. As you can see, Techie Buzz is a winner in all four areas.

The second way that WOT displays it’s ratings is while you are searching at one of the popular web search engines. Ratings are shown for Google, Yahoo, Ask, Bing and Froogle.

wot-in-google

As you can see, there is a colored icon next to each search result. Clicking on the icons there also gives you more detailed information about each site. You won’t have to worry if it’s safe to click on search results once you have WOT installed.

Some online email services are also covered by the link identification from WOT. Here’s what my Gmail looks like in Firefox. This also seems to work in Yahoo Mail, Live Mail and AOL Mail.

wot-in-gmail

The WOT addon will make your online email far safer to use.

Downloads:

Download the WOT addons for Firefox, IE and Chrome

The WOT Bookmarklet for Opera and Safari

For those who don’t wish to install anything at all in their browser, I’ve found an online search engine which uses WOT to rate the search results.

Safe Search:

Try SurfCanyon’s WOT Search

Techie Buzz Verdict:

There are several other services that offer similar addons or toolbars to make surfing more safe. WOT is my favorite and it supports the widest range of web browsers.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5

Google Chrome – The Last Browser Standing

The Hackathon is over and the only browser left standing is Google Chrome. This is the second consecutive year that Google has managed to leave the competition unscathed. In fact, according to TheNextWeb, this time around no one even attempted to hack Chrome.

Google obviously went into the competition well prepared. It fixed as many as 11 flaws just ahead of the competition. However, so did Apple, which recently pushed through 16 patches for Safari. Safari’s fall also proves that there is more to Google’s success than its lowly market share.

In fact, given that Google Chrome had managed to survive last year’s Pwn2Own, most people expected hackers to be gunning for it this time around. Google credits its sandboxingtechnique , which forces processes to run in a restricted environment, for Chrome’s success. While, sandboxing might be the key behind Chrome’s outstanding security track record, it definitely isn’t the sole contributor. Even Internet Explorer 8 utilizes sandboxing (Protected Mode), yet it fell quite easily.

Google-Chrome-Sandboxing

Google built Chrome from the ground up with focus on security and speed and their efforts are certainly paying off. It is the only major browser, which is yet to be surmounted in the Pwn2Own contest. That alone is a laudable feat.

Block Flash Animations in Google Chrome Browser

Today, I decided to look for a Flash blocking extension for the Chrome web browser. One of the web sites that I visit frequently had decided to add a very loud flash advertisement. I couldn’t turn it off or ignore it.

I went to the Chrome Extension Gallery and I found a very good flash blocking extension. It’s called FlashBlock.

flashblock-ext-gallery

Go here to install FlashBlock

How does it work?

Once installed, Flash animations will show as a grayed out icon in your browser window. To view them, just click on them once.

FlashBlocked

You’ll also see a little Flash icon up in the browser’s address bar. You can click on the little icon to add sites to a list of sites that you don’t want to block Flash on.

flashblock-allow

The Chrome web browser is now my default web browser. I made the decision based on speed and also on security. Take a look at Chinmoy’s post here about the Pwn2Own contest, in which Google Chrome was the only browser that was not hacked. Since Adobe Flash is a big source of security exploits, blocking all Flash by default is also a good security measure.

Are you using some other web browser?

You will be ready to surf faster and safer by using a Flash blocking addon. I’m guessing that you won’t miss Flash on most websites.

See also:

Browser Saturday: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari Get Pwned, Opera Puts the Ball in Apple’s Court

The big event this week on the browser security forefront is the Pwn2Own content, which challenges hackers to break through the defenses of top browsers and operating systems. As expected by most security experts, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari fell quite quickly. Chrome is the only browser still standing (sadly Opera was not included in the challenge). You can find more information about the exploits used by the winning participants over here.

Pwn2Own wasn’t the only thing happening in the browser-sphere. Here is a quick look at other major events from this week.

Internet Explorer

It’s been almost a month since the browser ballot screen went live. While it has definitely had a positive impact on the download rate of alternate browsers, there is still confusion regarding its effect on Internet Explorer’s dominance. According to Statcounter, Internet Explorer has managed to hold on to its market share. This suggests that a lot of users are in fact returning to Internet Explorer after checking out the alternatives. However, now QuantCast is reporting that Internet Explorer’s shares may have dipped by as much as 5% over the course of 3 weeks

Awhile, Microsoft is yet to patch the previously discussed critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6.0x and 7.0x. If you are still on older versions of IE, ensure that you have applied the suggested workarounds.

Firefox

Fennec-Firefox-Windows-Phone-Mobile This was an interesting week for Firefox. Following the German Government’s advisory, which warned surfers against using Firefox, Mozilla fast-tracked the release of Firefox 3.6.2 which fixed multiple security issues.

On the mobile space, Mozilla stopped development of Firefox (Fennec) for Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7. This decision was prompted by Microsoft’s refusal to release a NDK for Windows Phone 7, which made developing native applications impossible.

Chrome

Chrome-5-Auto-Fill-Form

This was a jolly good week for Google Chrome. It proved itself to be the most secure browser in the Pwn2Own contest, and now Google has pushed through Chrome Beta 5 for Windows. Chrome 5 introduces a host of new features including Windows 7 Taskbar Tabs and an intelligent form filler. V8 (JavaScript engine) has been refined even further and according to our preliminary tests, the new build of Chrome edges out Opera 10.51 for the title of the fastest browser in the world.

Earlier this week, Google also unveiled its new ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine) project, which will enhance Chrome’s graphics rendering capabilities across platforms.

Opera

Opera Software finally submitted Opera Mini for iPhone to the app store for approval. Whether Apple will approve it or not is a million dollar question. However, Opera has certainly played its part well and has succeeded in getting everyone’s attention. If Apple does reject this app, it will undoubtedly have to endure another wave of negative publicity and possibly even more (we already know that the FCC has been watching ever since the Google Voice saga).

On the desktop front, Opera continued its aggressive release cycle. Opera 10.51 for Windows fixed a couple of highly critical security vulnerabilities along with a host of bug fixes and all-around performance improvement. UNIX and MAC users also had plenty of snapshot builds to keep them busy. Click here to get the latest snapshot build for Windows, UNIX and Mac.

That is all I have for this week. Subscribe to our Feed to get instant updates through the week.

Web Developer Extension for Google Chrome

Google Chrome provides a pretty decent set of developer tools out of the box. However, there is definite room for improvement. Web Developer is a new Chrome extension which tries to fill in the gaps.

Google-Chrome-Web-Developer-Extension

Web Developer is the official port of the Web Developer extension for Firefox. It is implemented through a simple toolbar button which provides quick access to a wide array of developer tools. There are simply too many options to list them all over here. However, it includes most of the stuff you would expect from a standard web developer toolbar including various validation options, page resize and hidden elements viewer.

The extension is still a work in progress and is not yet as feature-rich as its Firefox counter part. Some essential features like CSS Editing will be implemented in the future, while others like “Disable JavaScript” simply can’t be implemented due to limitations in the Google Chrome API.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Firebug is still the king of the hill when it comes to web developer tools. However, the Web Developer extension works quite well in tandem with Google Chrome Developer tools and forms a powerful duo. It is a neat tool which a web developer should have in his repertoire.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Good)

[ Download Web Developer Extension for Google Chrome ]

Install Google Chrome Extensions in Firefox with Google Chrome Extensions Manager

Google Chrome’s add-on API is designed to be lightweight and secure. However, the trade-off is that it is not as powerful as Firefox’s add-on platform. As if just to demonstrate this, a Firefox developer has taken it upon himself to implement the Google Chrome API through a Firefox extension.

Google-Chrome-Extensions-Manager-for-Firefox

The Google chrome extensions manager for Firefox does just what its name suggests – it allows you to install and manage Google Chrome extensions in Firefox. The extension is currently a work in progress and only supports a limited subset of the Chrome API.

Techie Buzz Verdict

The concept is definitely interesting, but its practical utility is limited at this point of time. As of now, for almost every Chrome add-on there is a Firefox extension. On top of that, installing new Chrome add-ons isn’t absolutely straightforward. Also, none of the extensions I tried worked perfectly. Nevertheless, I will not be too harsh on it, since it is still in experimental stage.

Techie Buzz Verdict: 1.5/5 (Average)

[ Download Google chrome extensions manager ]

(via @fearphage)

Browse YouTube Comment-Free With This Chrome Extension

Millions of views on a video is okay but even a few comments can make it annoying for some people. YouTube does have an option to block comments in works but how about if you can do it more easily. If Google Chrome is your browser of choice, there is a great extension that can block all the YouTube comments for you.

Once you have installed the extension from here, browse YouTube like you normally do and you won’t even notice that the comments section has completely disappeared. The extension works seamlessly without making it obvious that the comments have actually been blocked. In addition to keeping out the useless banter between users, blocking the comments also makes the page shorter and hence easier to scroll.

Chrome Extension To Block YouTube Comments

The extension was introduced very recently so might have a few bugs but overall seems to be a very useful and productive add-on. If you are looking for some more useful Chrome extensions, here are some really good ones that we have covered in the past. On the other hand, if you are a Firefox user and want to manage YouTube comments better, here is a great add-on for that.