Google Adds Cloud Printing Support to Chromium

Back in August, Google added a Labs section to Chromium for showcasing the latest crazy projects from Google engineers. The Chromium Labs kicked off with only a couple of new features, but has since been expanded to include a few more features.

The latest feature to grace Chromium Labs is Cloud Printing. Cloud Print is a feature that was announced earlier by Google for the Chrome OS. In Chrome OS all the apps are web apps. This makes leveraging system drivers to enable native printing support in apps more challenging. Google Cloud Print enables these web apps to submit and manage print jobs without relying on the print drivers.


Cloud Print can be enabled in the latest build of Chromium (7.0.547.0) by typing about:labs in the address bar to bring up the Labs section. Cloud Print compatible printers are under development. However, a proxy (a small piece of software that sits on a PC where the printer is installed) enables legacy printers to work with this new feature.

Sony Ericsson Unveils LiveView™ for Android Phones

So which one of you saw the strikingly built-for-a-watch-strap iPod nano and exclaimed I WANT!before realizing that it’s not all that great an accessory in real life? How about something similar that is actually a great accessory and works with your Android phone?


Enter Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ a Bluetooth enabled 128×128 OLED mini-display that does a host of things such as announcing the number of unread messages, RSS items and other such notification while managing to look sleek and tidy. It also has four touch-enabled areas:-

The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ uses Bluetoothâ„¢ connectivity to wirelessly pair up to a compatible handset. The LiveViewâ„¢ features a 128×128 pixel, 1.3 inch organic LED (OLED) display with four touch areas. LiveViewâ„¢ also has two additional keys for on/off and select. By default, it can function as a remote control for the music player, display messages and feeds from the phone and social networking services, and also display call information and calendar reminders

The size of the Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ is 3.5 cm x 3.5cm x 1.1 cm, and the battery will last up to four days during normal usage. The LiveViewâ„¢ will work with most phones running Androidâ„¢ 2.0 and above. A list of compatible phones will later be available on   LiveViewâ„¢ is compatible with Bluetoothâ„¢ 2.1 technology. The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ will be available in selected markets from Q4, 2010.

Made specifically for Android phones, Sony Ericsson will also release the SDK to make the device work with many applications that can be accessed by any phone running Android 2.0 or up.

Considering that the XPERIA Android line of SE phones are to update to 2.1 in October, it is safe to assume that the device will be released after October, perhaps in the Christmas season. Keep a look out!

Popular Bookmark Syncing Tool Xmarks is Shutting Down

XmarksIn a move that will definitely surprise a lot of people, Xmarks – the popular bookmark synchronization tool, has announced that it will be shutting down in approximately 3 months.

Xmarks, which started off as a Firefox extension called Foxmarks, offered free cloud based bookmark synchronization for Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer. In spite of the introduction of out of the box bookmark synchronization to recent versions of Firefox and Chrome, Xmarks managed to remain wildly popular due to its ability to cross-sync bookmarks among different browsers.

Earlier today, in a lengthy blog post, Todd Agulnick, the Co-Founder and CTO of Xmarks, explored the events that ultimately led to the demise of Xmarks.

By Spring 2010, with money running tight and options fading, we started searching for potential buyers of the company. Over the past three months, we have been remarkably close to striking a deal, only to have the potential buyer get cold feet. We also considered refocusing Xmarks as a freemium sync business, but the prospects there are grim too: with the emergence of competent sync features built in to Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, it’s hard to see users paying for a service that they can now get for free. For four years we have offered the synchronization service for no charge, predicated on the hypothesis that a business model would emerge to support the free service. With that investment thesis thwarted, there is no way to pay expenses, primarily salary and hosting costs. Without the resources to keep the service going, we must shut it down. Our plan is to keep the service running for another 90+ days, after which the plug will be pulled.

There’s nothing unusual about startups collapsing due to the lack of a viable user model. Yet, one can’t help feeling sorry for Xmarks, simply because it was a damn useful service. It’s a pity that they decided to fold even without trying the freemium model.

Google: Orkut’s “Bom Sabado” Worm Did Not Compromise User Information

Yesterday, Orkut was paralyzed and transformed into a booby trapped minefield by the “Bom Sabado” worm that spread like wildfire. While most of the world was oblivious to the attack, its effect was felt in countries like India and Brazil where Orkut has a sizable presence.


As suspected, the worm exploited an XSS (cross-site scripting) vulnerability present in Orkut, to load a third-party JavaScript that automatically sent scraps to everyone in an affected user’s friend list. However, contrary to popular belief, user’s cookies weren’t stolen or poisoned.

A Google spokesperson issued the following statement:

We took swift action to fix a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability on that was discovered early Saturday. We were aware of a script being used to spread messages on orkut, but our analysis of the script code did not reveal any evidence of users’ accounts becoming compromised; nonetheless, the issue is now resolved. We’re in the process of cleaning affected profiles, and we are studying the vulnerability to help prevent similar issues in the future.

Twitter Attacked Again

Just a day after Google’s social network Orkut was ravaged by the “Bom Sabado” worm, Twitter has possibly fallen victim to a XSS (cross-site scripting) attack.

Details are scarce at the moment, but the gist of the matter is that you should strictly avoid clicking links in any tweet that begins with a WTF. If you do, then be prepared for a barrage of embarrassing messages like these being tweeted out from your account:


The attack has already claimed high profile tweeps like Robert Scoble and Zee.

via CoveringWeb

Update 1: Twitter has issued a statement that states, “A malicious link is making the rounds that will post a tweet to your account when clicked on. Twitter has disabled the link, and is currently resolving the issue.”

Update 2: Twitter is now saying that they have fixed the exploit and are in the process of removing the offending Tweets. While Twitter succeeded in nipping the problem in the bud through their quick response, this attack comes just five days after a major XSS vulnerability resurfaced in its web interface. Twitter clearly needs to do a better job at plugging the holes.

Twitter Starts Selling Wine to Help Promote Literacy in India

What does Twitter and alcohol have in common? Apparently a lot. A year back, Twitter started accepting pre-orders for 2009 vintage wines under the label Fledgling Wine. Now, they are finally ready to start shipping the first lot of wines.

According to the website, these wines are being made using some of the best vineyards in California by the acclaimed winemaking team at Crushpad. Twitter is currently offering two variants –

2009 Fledgling Pinot Noir: A suave rendition of Pinot Noir produced from top-flight California vineyards.
2009 Fledgling Chardonnay: A pure expression of brilliant California Chardonnay from acclaimed vineyards and a superb vintage.

A single bottle (750 ml) will set you back by $25, while an entire case (12 bottles) will cost $300.00. But, all of this is for a good cause. The revenue generated from Fledgling Wine will be donated to Room to Read, which will be working with children in Uttarakhand, India to promote literacy. Twitter says, “For each bottle you buy, $5 will be donated to Room to Read, a transformational non-profit that brings books, libraries and ultimately literacy to people in the poorest areas around the world”.

Clueless French Court Fines Google for Suggesting Defamatory Search Queries

GoogleA French court has convicted Google and its CEO Eric Schmidt of defamation. Google’s offense? Google Search suggested the words “rapist” and “satanist” when someone searched for the plaintiff’s name. The court has ordered it to pay damages worth 5000 euros to the unnamed plaintiff who has a standing conviction in a case of corruption of a minor.

Now, it’s unfortunate for anyone to have their names associated with offensive search queries. However, that’s all it is – unfortunate. Its common knowledge that Google Suggest as well as Related Searches features are completely algorithmic (as is pretty much every aspect of Google Search). While I can accept that an algorithm might act stupidly, it’s hard to fathom a well educated and enlightened judge acting as if he has “no effing clue”!

The court’s argument seems to be that Google can be held accountable for the suggestions generated by its algorithm, since it has already admitted to censoring terms that involving pornography, violence and hatred. One again, it doesn’t take a computer expert to notice the gaping hole in that logic. Retrospective human intervention is an altogether different beast than a general broad censorship that is required to protect minors from getting exposed to adult content. If Google were to grant every request from every disgruntled user who shares a first name with a p*rn star, then very soon, that’s all they will be doing.

Orkut Gets Flooded with ‘Bom Sabado’ Scraps

If you are amongst the few who still give a damn about Orkut, you might have noticed something fishy going on over the past few hours. A large number of users are randomly flooding their friend’s scrapbooks (Orkut’s equivalent of Facebook Wall) with the following message:


It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the “Bom Sabado!” messages are automatically generated by a script. However, it is not clear if this is simply a script exploiting vulnerability in Orkut, or have the accounts sending the automated scraps been compromised.

If you are amongst those affected, it’s highly recommended that you follow the steps highlighted below:

  • Switch to the “older version” of Orkut.
  • Log out of Orkut.
  • Clean your browser’s cache and cookies.
  • Log in and change your password and security question.

If you haven’t been affected yet, it is strongly advised that you avoid Orkut until the issue has been resolved. I managed to trigger the same exploit while researching this article. Recently other high profile websites like Twitter and YouTube also fell victim to XSS attacks.

This is a developing story; we will update this topic as soon as we learn more. In the meanwhile, stay tuned to Techie Buzz and don’t forget to share your experience, if you have also been affected.

Update 1: The worm appears to have originated in Brazil, where Orkut is still exceptionally popular. Many of the affected users are noticing the Brazilian flag on their status messages. Additionally, the word ‘Bom Sabado’ means ‘Good Saturday’ in Portuguese, which is the official language of Brazil. We are still awaiting an official response from Google.
Update 2: ‘Bom Sabado’ is now trending on Google.


Update 3: Google has finally responded. An update posted on the official forum claims that the ‘Bom Sabado’ bug has been contained.

We’ve contained the “Bom Sabado” virus and have identified the bug that allowed this and have fixed it.
We’re currently working on restoring the affected profiles.

However, we are seeing new variants of the worm (such as ORKUT 3XPL0!T5) appear, which suggests that the underlying vulnerability is yet to be plugged.

Update 4: Google has officially confirmed that the attack did not lead to any compromised user account information. For more information check our follow-up post.

Learn About Latest Google Innovations and Product Updates with Google New

Google-NewEvil or not, Google is a behemoth – there can’t be any doubt about that. Barely a day goes by without Google announcing a new product or unveiling a swanky new feature. Just keeping track of everything Google is announcing can be an uphill task. Subscribing to Techie Buzz obviously helps, but most of the time, we just scratch the surface. Google itself maintains a network of more than 100 blogs to announce new policies, product launches and updates.

Google quite obviously realizes that there is a problem, and in keeping with its tradition, the folks at Google have launched yet another new product to solve this problem – Google New. In the words of Ji Lee, designer and creative director at the Google Creative Lab:

A few of us had a 20 percent project idea: create a single destination called Google New where people could find the latest product and feature launches from Google. It’s designed to pull in just those posts from various blogs. We hope it helps you find something useful you’ve never tried before.

Google New showcases all the latest announcements from Google that you should be aware of. Almost all of the Google Products are covered, including Google Earth and Maps, AdSense, Webmasters, Analytics, Search, Gmail, Docs, Blogger and Orkut. Go ahead and give it take it for a spin at

Opera 10.62 for Desktop Released

Opera-Logo Opera Software has just released a minor update to Opera 10.62 for Windows, UNIX and Mac. The newest release fixes a high severity vulnerability that could have been exploited to load malicious DLL files and execute arbitrary code.

Other minor feature improvements include the addition of Fastmail and to the email auto-configuration list, and support for more MIME file types and suffixes for compressed tar files. Additionally, nearly a dozen bugs, many of which could have crashed Opera, have been squished.

Opera Software has also been working on the upcoming Opera 10.70 release. If you love to stay on the cutting edge you can download the latest builds from here.

[ Download Opera 10.62 ]