Google announced yesterday a new stable version of their Chrome browser, which netted bug finders nearly $10,000 according to the company’s statistics.
Chrome version 12 dubbed ‘safer and snazzier’ by the developers brings improvements in security, graphics and privacy.
First up they have enhanced the ‘Safe Browsing’ technology within Chrome to alert users to more potentially harmful files they try to download. You can also delete Flash cookies from within the browser.
There are improvements in the graphics department too including support for hardware-accelerated 3D CSS, giving you the potential for tripped out 3D effects on certain web pages.
Chrome should update automatically. If not simply click on the spanner and go to ‘About Google Chrome’; or just download the latest stable build here.
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The stable build of Google’s increasingly popular Chrome browser is now at version 11.0.696.57. The update contains quite a number of security fixes and a few new features; including speech input through HTML.
Speech input through HTML lets you use Google Translate in conjunction with Chrome to translate what you say through your microphone into another language. You will need to speak slowly and as clearly as possible in order to get a proper recognition of your voice, but it seems to work well.
Google shelled out $16,500 to users who found bugs in the beta; a detailed list of which can he found here.
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The latest Flash Player exploit which uses a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Word (.doc) file has finally been plugged by Adobe.
Google have updated their Chrome browser with the relevant fix which plugs the critical hole in Adobe’s Flash Player software.
The latest build of Chrome is 10.0.648.205. You can find out if you have the latest version by clicking on the spanner in the upper-right then find ‘About Google Chrome’. This small update also fixes a few other issues listed here.
The Chrome Stable channel has been updated to 10.0.648.205 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame. This release contains a new version of Adobe Flash which includes a fix for a security vulnerability.
Using IE? You can manually download the Flash update here.
Firefox users grab it from this page.
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Google's Plus 1, coming soon to a search result near you
A little over a week ago news emerged from the Googleplex that they would be rolling out ‘the most significant social feature to its search service yet‘ in the form of a clickable Plus 1 button alongside the search results, search ads and eventually on other sites on the Web.
According to reports the service has only rolled out to 2% of Google’s U.S. userbase so far and I haven’t been able to check it out myself yet, but you’d be forgiven for noticing the similarities between the new button and the almost insidious spread of Facebook Like buttons across the Web.
My first reaction when I heard about Google jumping on this particular bandwagon was, what happened to Google as an innovator – the inventor of truly groundbreaking services like Gmail and Google Autocomplete? Another thought that occurred to me is I don’t use Google as a social tool at all, in fact I don’t even know how to add friends or contacts to my Google account apart from with my Gmail friends list. Another thought was, when I use Google, my aim is to get off the search engine as soon as possible and to my destination – I’m not interested in staying on the Google pages longer than finding the page I need and clicking out.
Maybe I’m wrong but it seems to me Google is heading towards another social media catastrophe like Google Wave, which was no good to neither man nor beast, or one that was largely ignored like Google Buzz. Like I said, I haven’t tried Plus 1 yet so I can’t really give a proper assessment but from an outside point of view it seems like just a defensive move against Facebook, overlooking Google’s own strengths (ie they aren’t social media).
Some reaction to Google Plus 1 from around the Web:
With +1, Google Search Goes Truly Social — As Do Google Ads
Google +1: Not Really Social, All About Business
Can Google’s Plus One Take On The Facebook Like?
+1′s: About the +1 button – Official Google Help page
Google Hacks (O’Reilly book)
Google plugs Flash Player vulnerability in Chrome
Google warns of IE security flaw
If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser and keeping it up to date you need not worry about the recent exploit in Adobe’s Flash Player software. Because Flash comes bundled with the Chrome browser Google were able to apply a fix faster than other browsers.
The exploit which has been exposed to hackers online could potentially pass your system to the controls of a remote user. If you run Firefox or Internet Explorer you want to download Flash Player version 10.2.153.1. You can find out which version you have installed from Adobe’s website.
Firefox 4 hits the web early
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Google warns of IE security flaw
Google has issued a security warning to users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The software giant claims that a politically motivated attack is being made on IE via a popular social networking site; although they don’t go into detail about which one it is.
The exploit in IE is down to a flaw in MHTML which could allow someone to execute malicious script, taking over the infected PC. Microsoft has released a temprary fix which you can grab here. The exploit affects users of XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 (that includes both 32-bit and 64-bit editions)
Microsoft is investigating new public reports of a vulnerability in all supported editions of Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow an attacker to cause a victim to run malicious scripts when visiting various Web sites, resulting in information disclosure. This impact is similar to server-side cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.
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In a post over on the Gmail blog, Google is trying to reassure users affected by yesterday’s Gmail debacle. We don’t know just how many but Google says 0.02% of its Gmail user-base had their accounts wiped clean of any emails and in some cases contacts.
According to the search giant it was a software bug introduced to their storage software that caused mass-deletion of files. Although Google has several backups across multiple storage locations, they also have tape backups of Gmail data. In their blog post they actually hint that in some cases they are having to revert to the tape backups causing an inevitable slowdown.
Since the tapes are offline, they’re protected from such software bugs. But restoring data from them also takes longer than transferring your requests to another data center, which is why it’s taken us hours to get the email back instead of milliseconds.
Google assures users they will have their accounts back soon, but it mght take longer than previously expected. We don’t have a definitive time-frame as you might expect, but if you’re one of the unfortunate people affected you can find the latest updates from this web page.
According to the BBC, thousands of Gmail users are waking up today to find their accounts disabled, completely wiped clean of emails and in some cases their contacts are missing.
Although some users have reported their accounts fully restored many are left stranded. Google says its engineers are busy working on the problem and have already helped out many of the affected users of their popular email service.
Gmail engineer Mike CH has said the disabling of certain accounts is just a temporary maintenance measure:
Over night we temporarily disabled access to some Gmail accounts due to a service disruption. The disables are in place to stop the account from changing whilst we make the necessary repairs.
Access to your accounts will be restored shortly. Whilst an account is disabled:
• You will be unable to sign in to any Google service.
• Mail sent to the account will bounce.
• Hosted content you own like blogs, sites, shared items in Google Reader and so on will be unavailable.
The message you see on sign-in may refer to you to Google terms of service, but this is a generic and incorrect message. You have not violated the terms of service and we’ll restore your account access as soon as we can.
There is no update on the official Gmail blog, but you can get the latest info on the disruption from this web page.
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