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Google Chrome

  1. Google May Have Broken Its Own Paid Link Rules, May Have to Remove Chrome Download Page From Results

    Yesterday, Aaron Wall of SEO Book made an interesting discovery: If you did a Google search for "This post is sponsored by Google," you'd get a whole bunch results that were relatively hollow, content-thin endorsements of Google Chrome. You know, the kind of sponsored content that's more about mentioning a name and dropping a link more than anything else. The problem? Google's own rules say that paid links have to be designated as such, so they won't affect a page's PageRank. These links were not, and the penalty could be painful.

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  2. Chrome Usage Globally Overtakes Firefox For the First TIme

    Website analytics company StatCounter reports that Google's browser, Chrome, has taken a lead over Firefox in global market browser share for the first time. The reported numbers -- Chrome at 25.69% market share and Firefox at 25.23% market share -- only give Chrome a slight lead, literally a fraction of a percent, but I'm sure the folks at Google are happy to note that it is a lead nonetheless. Somewhat depressingly, StatCounter also reports that Internet Explorer still has the majority of global market browser share, with 40.63% of the browser market firmly in its grasp.

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  3. Facebook Blocks Google Chrome "Export Friends" Extension

    One of the biggest deterrents when it comes to using Google+ has been that you have to start over. Think about it, you've probably spent years cultivating your Facebook account, tagging pictures, adding trite quotes to your info page and most of all, acquiring a bajillion "friends." It'd be depressing to go from that huge, comforting, self-affirming number down to, say, two when you start up a Google+ account, right? Enter Mohamed Mansour's Facebook Friend Exporter for Google Chrome. The extension wasn't made for Google+ migration, but it happens to do the job well. That's probably why Facebook decided to block it.

    The extension works by going through and collecting your Facebook friends' email account, which likely serves as their identity elsewhere on the internet (unless they still log into Facebook with an embarrassingly-named Hotmail account from high school, like I certainly don't). In order to keep this from happening, Facebook recently implemented measures that will hide an email account from you if you frequent the owners profile page on a regular basis. While it's troubling that Facebook has taken the initiative to take information that was explicitly shared with you (email addresses between friends) and hide it, taking emails from off the site is technically a violation of Facebook's Terms of Service. Whatever the case, the spirit of this new restriction seems a little bit, well, petty. For the time being, the extension still sort of works, and a determined user can wiggle their way around the new restrictions. Check out ZDNet for instructions on coaxing the extension to work, but be warned, coaxing probably won't work for long. (via ZDNet)

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  4. Safari and IE8 Instantly Fall at Hacking Competition, Chrome Holds Strong

    Browsers were in the crosshairs yesterday for the first day of hacking competition pwn2own, and the "you don't need to worry about security for Apple products" set may not be too happy to hear that Apple's Safari fell within five seconds of French security firm VUPEN trying out their hack, which involved a webpage they had crafted packed with malicious code. The firm won $15,000 and a new MacBook Air for being the first to successfully exploit a browser vulnerability at the competition. IE8 also fell to the first person who attacked it, security expert Stephen Fewer, who reportedly did it by bypassing Protected Mode. Chrome, however, did not fall: According to Ars Technica, the hacker who had registered to try his skills against Chrome did not show up: "One possible reason for this is that Google published a Chrome update yesterday, closing at least 24 security flaws. The would-be Chrome attacker may have been depending on one of these flaws to attack the browser. Or he or she may have been unable to produce a reliable attack. Google has sponsored the Chrome hacking contest, awarding extra prize money for Chrome hacks, but with stricter rules for the hacks." As for Firefox, it isn't home free yet: It has been successfully hacked in past pwn2own competitions, and it's on trial today, along with the four major smartphone operating systems. (via Ars, ComputerWorld)

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  5. We Approve of Chrome’s New Sad Tab Page

    We're big fans of Google Chrome, and based on our site stats, more than a quarter of our readers are too. We're not fans, though, of the "sad tab" page which pops up whenever Chrome blows up, as happens with some frequency whenever Google updates the browser with a few bugs still intact. That said, we approve of the new sad tab page in the latest Chromium build, which shamelessly panders to its techy early-adopter audience by quoting Dr. McCoy. Some foreign Chrome users report a gorier crash page with a bullet hole through the sad tab's head. This seems excessive. (via Unofficial Google OS)

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  6. Chrome, Firefox to Offer Ad Tracking Opt-Out Solutions

    Internet advertisers are able to create personalized ads by tracking user's browsing habits with cookies (a term which has been subjected to far too many puns to warrant another), which is why you may see an advert for the next Twilight movie on your favorite website. While tailored ads are more relevant -- and generally more tolerable -- than their generic counterparts, they also raise privacy concerns: websites can sell personal information to 3rd party advertisement agencies without the user's knowledge. To protect their users' privacy, both Google and Mozilla have devised "Do Not Track" solutions for users to easily opt-out of personalized advertising. While the end goal is the same, the two companies have vastly different approaches.

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  7. Eight Great Google Chrome Web Apps

    Yesterday was a big day for Google: In addition to unveiling Chrome OS [check out our explanation of Chrome OS], they unveiled the Chrome Web Store, where users will be able to download paid and unpaid web-based apps, extensions, and themes for Google's Chrome browser. While the web store has a smoother UI than Google's previous outlets for downloading Chrome extensions and themes [see our roundup of good Chrome extensions], the biggest change is the introduction of applications, which many tech pundits have seen as an attempt by Google to take on Apple at its own game. The key difference, however, is that whereas Apple's apps live within the walled garden, Google's are entirely web-based, though many have offline capabilities. What makes a good web app, exactly? What distinguishes it from desktop applications and plain old websites? It's a blurry line -- the biggest complaint in the comment sections for many apps currently in the store is that they're basically just links to webpages. But among the most important characteristics are good user interface design, speed, and, when possible, the potential for offline use. (As you'll see from the apps below, a gray and black color scheme seems to be an unwritten requirement.) If the evolution of iPhone and Android apps -- many of which have Chrome store counterparts -- is any guide, there's a lot that can be done with web apps that hasn't yet been done. In the meantime, here are eight of the best apps we've seen from the Chrome web store:

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  8. Google Says Chrome OS Netbook Coming by the End of 2010

    The rumors to the effect that Chrome OS would be more or less dead on arrival apparently did not sit well with Google: In a recent set of New York Times interviews, Google execs assured us all that its web-centric operating system would be ready for prime time by the end of 2010, as would a Google-branded, third party-manufactured netbook powered by Chrome OS. But where does Android, Google's already-widely-adopted mobile OS, fit into the equation? Even Google says it isn't quite sure:

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  9. Wanna Know Who’s Unfriended You on Facebook?

    Facebook doesn't make information about who's unfriended who public, possibly for fear of bloodshed. But there's a browser extension called Unfriend Finder that lets you do just this for yourself. Compatible with Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera, this script by Edouard Gatouillat is simple to install: Download it, make sure the extension is active, and then, the next time you log into Facebook, you'll get a series of instructions on how to use it, as well as a setup box. As you can see in the picture below, an "unfriends" menu pops up on the left-hand side of your page, below the "friends" menu. You may want to restart your browser after installing it as well, as I was initially grayscreened by Facebook when I logged in immediately after installing. One major point: This app is not retroactive, meaning that it only tracks unfriends in the future, not in the past. So you'll have to sit tight with it for a while before you can see any results, and the people who have unfriended you in the past will remain an intriguing, most likely unsolvable mystery.

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  10. Facebook Disconnect: Pull the Plug on Facebook When You’re on Other Sites

    Even when you're not on Facebook.com, Facebook's tentacles are nearly impossible to avoid on today's Internet: According to the social networking site's public statistics, more than one million sites (including this one) have integrated with the Facebook platform, and more than 150 million people interact with Facebook on external websites each month. For some Internet users, there's nothing wrong with this state of affairs, and Facebook Connect may make their web surfing more convenient: However, for others, this is either an annoyance or a privacy concern. For this reason, Google engineer Brian Kennish -- working in a personal capacity and not because anyone at the company asked him to -- has written Facebook Disconnect, a Google Chrome extension that blocks all traffic from third-party sites to Facebook's servers, though you can still browse Facebook.com just fine.

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