All posts in “google-chrome”

Google Chrome adds the privacy-first DuckDuckGo as a default option

Google has made a curious addition to its Chrome browser. 

With the release of Chrome 73, the browser has added the pro-privacy DuckDuckGo to its suite of default search engines, alongside Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

As per TechCrunch, the addition was spotted in the changes for Chrome, and the option will be available in 60 markets around the globe. 

Launched in 2008, DuckDuckGo has been lauded for its privacy focus, hitting 30 million daily searches last October. The search engine doesn’t track users, nor does it store their personal information.

“We’re glad that Google has finally recognized the importance of offering consumers a private search option in Chrome,” DuckDuckGo wrote in a tweet.

Another privacy-first search engine, Qwant, was added as a default option, but only in the French market.

To change your search engine preferences, you just need to open Settings on Chrome, and select DuckDuckGo next to the “Search engine used in the address bar” option.

Yes, we know, you could’ve manually added DuckDuckGo as a search engine in Chrome already, but as tech giants like Google and Microsoft know well, defaults help dominate market share, allowing them to decide what you see on the internet.

Google has been under the spotlight for its search engine dominance in recent years, of which it retains 90 percent of market share.

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Dark mode for Google Chrome is finally out on Mac

Chrome's dark mode is all class.
Chrome’s dark mode is all class.

Image: mashable screenshot

Dark modes are all the rage, and now Chrome has come to the table.

With the release of Chrome 73 on Tuesday, the browser now natively supports the dark mode long offered in macOS Mojave.

If you have dark mode enabled in your Mac’s settings (open up System Preferences > General, then select “Dark” by the Appearance option) then the theme should do its thing, if you have the latest version of Chrome installed.

As per Chrome 73’s release notes, Windows support is “on the way.”

Light mode.

Image: Mashable screenshot

Dark mode.

Dark mode.

Image: mashable screenshot

Of course, there are already a number of dark themes which you can download through the Chrome store, but the latest update means you won’t need to shop around for a theme you like — you can just use the official one.

Keep in mind that Chrome’s new dark mode looks pretty much the same as Incognito Mode, minus the warning that “you’ve gone incognito.”

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Stop what you’re doing and update Google Chrome

Image: Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology.

Google is urging Chrome users to update the web browser right away to patch a zero-day vulnerability that is being actively exploited.

In a Tuesday tweet, Google Chrome Security and Desktop Engineering Lead Justin Schuh said users should install the latest version of the browser—72.0.3626.121—right away.

“Seriously, update your Chrome installs… like right this minute,” he wrote.

Google started rolling out the patch for Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Linux on Friday. This week, Google revealed that the update corrects a “high” severity flaw—CVE-2019-5786—that has been under attack by cybercriminals.

“Google is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2019-5786 exists in the wild,” the web giant said.

A member of Google’s Threat Analysis Group first reported the bug on Feb. 27. At this point, details of the vulnerability are scant, as Google said it’s restricting access to bug details until a majority of users have installed the update.

As ZDNet notes, the vulnerability is “a memory management error in Google Chrome’s FileReader—a web API included in all major browsers that lets web apps read the contents of files stored on the user’s computer.” The bug may allow for the execution of malicious code.

For the most part, Chrome updates are automatic, meaning you don’t have to do much beyond opening and closing the browser window. It can take a few days to a full week for everyone to be automatically updated to the latest version, however. In this case, you should manually trigger the update to ensure that you’re on the latest version as soon as possible.

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Chrome extension also sends your tweets to Congress

ePluribus sends your Facebook posts or tweets to Congress too.
ePluribus sends your Facebook posts or tweets to Congress too.

Image: mashable screenshot

Firing off a political tweet and want your representative to see it too? There’s a Chrome extension for that. 

It’s called ePluribus, and with a click you can also send your supportive (or angry) message off to Congress without having to type it again.

Before you can send anything, the extension requires you to enter your address to find the right people, plus your phone number — if it’s required by your representative. 

Once you’re logged in, you’ll be presented a list of reps when you tweet or post to Facebook. The extension is also added on the end of U.S. news sites like CNN, the New York Times, among other sites.

“The idea is that people are already talking about politics on social media and news sites, but it doesn’t really matter right now because it’s in a bubble,” Liam McCarty, co-founder of ePluribus, told Fast Company.

“It doesn’t get to the decision-maker. And so we are effectively providing an extra layer over that. You can both tell your friends what you think, but also get back to your representatives so that they can act on it.”

[embedded content]

The company said it would look to verify constituents by mailing them a card with a verification code on it. 

Co-founder Aidan McCarty told Mashable via email the company expects to run a private beta of the verification system “later in mid March and to launch a public version by the end of April at the latest.” 

Mail will be the only option to verify, as it’s the “best, most robust way to verify address.” ePluribus is also looking to add other verification options, but it won’t be implementing those this year.

It’s also worth noting ePluribus is currently only a Chrome extension, but aims to be available on other browsers and have an app version at some point. 

As for how the company plans to make money over the long term, McCarty said it would look to monetize the identity component of the service.

“This does not involve selling user data, but rather gives our users complete control over their personal data and monetizes by providing secure sharing of this personal information to various service providers (e.g. government institutions) that will pay for these services,” he explained.

ePluribus captures the minimum information needed to fill out a representatives’ contact form (phone, email, name, address, and title), as well as some usage data.

Anyway, if you’re the kind of person who wishes your representative would pay attention to your tweets, you might just have your answer.

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How to seriously speed up Chrome with a single click

An online life hack your computer will thank you for.
An online life hack your computer will thank you for.

Image: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Tab addicts, rejoice!

If you’re a tab-loving Chrome power user, a simple extension can give you the power to speed up your computer instantaneously. The folks at BGR recently called our attention to the extension OneTab, and we had to spread the word. 

Having multiple tabs open eats up RAM and CPU resources, two components that contribute to the speed of your machine. Ever hear the fan start whirring as you open 17 more tabs with articles to read later? That’s your computer getting overloaded with the multiple digital balls it has to juggle, causing it to slow down.

The extension OneTab essentially caters to your tabs habit, managing RAM and CPU resources, while assuring you that you won’t lose the link to that 2,500 word think piece you swear you’re going to read later. 

When you click on the extension icon, it gathers all of your tabs into one, with a list of the URLs of all the tabs open. That way, you can always go back and find that one important thing, but you don’t need to keep all of the websites you’ve visited running in the background.

One tab to rule them all.

One tab to rule them all.

Image: screenshot: rachel kraus/mashable via onetab

OneTab works with Chrome as well as Firefox.  It claims to “save up to 95% memory and reduce tab clutter in Google Chrome.” Also, it’s free.

According to reviews, the extension has been around since 2017. But the developers added a 2019 update to incorporate user suggestions, such as the ability to restore all your tabs all at once.  

The extension has overall positive reviews, though some claim that they have lost their lists and angrily give one star reviews. One power user points out several fixes for this, including refreshing, changing default settings to keep URLs even after you open them, and to manually save the contents of the webpage. 

I tried the extension while I had just over a dozen tabs open. According to Google Chrome’s task manager, those tabs had a memory footprint of thousands of MBs. 

I am fully aware of how many unread emails I have, OK? So BACK OFF!

I am fully aware of how many unread emails I have, OK? So BACK OFF!

Image: screenshot: rachel kraus/mashable

I was a bit afraid at first to click my newly installed OneTab icon in the upper right corner, which rightfully looks like a tornado about to suck up all your browsing memories. 

But I took the plunge — and my Memory Footprint reduced to just a few line items, mostly from other extensions. And with a WAY smaller memory footprint. 

A Task Manager list with empty space?! Unheard of.

A Task Manager list with empty space?! Unheard of.

Image: screenshot: Rachel kraus/mashable

With one click, I transformed my cluttered browser into one tab.

With one click, I transformed my cluttered browser into one tab.

Image: screenshot: rachel kraus/mashable

Restoring the tabs I wanted open was easy. I ended up opening up my work management stuff, but leaving the articles I meant to read later in my list. I also tried restoring everything at once with the “restore all” button. That really got my fan a-whirring, but it worked.

Perhaps the simpler solution to increasing speed would be to fight our tab addictions. But that’s just not what the internet is about; services like Chrome are called “browsers” for a reason. Online, we relish our ability to pick things up and put them down, to come back to them when we want to, to create a customized resource of knowledge and information day by day. If that eats up processing power and speed, so be it! That’s what these machines are for, dagnabit!

You can download OneTab here. OneTab to rule them all!

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