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Tag Archives: Google Chrome

Mozilla launches Firefox 6

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Another release of the most popular browser in the world, Mozilla Firefox, got launched yesterday. If you are an avid Firefox fan, then I am sure the news must have already popped up on your Firefox browser. For the rest, you can download the brand new Firefox 6 from Mozilla’s website.

The biggest piece of new feature is that the address bar now highlights the domain of the website you are currently browsing. The site identity blocker has also received a minor facelift to make it sleeker than before. There are also a few behind the scenes improvements such as support for WebSockets, improved Scratchpad, a new Web Developer menu item, an improved Web Console, and reduced browser startup time when using Panaroma.

Mozilla Firefox seems to be following Google Chrome‘s footsteps when it comes to version numbers. The Firefox browser had been updated thrice in the last 5 months. Definitely, there have a been a few improvements since the last 3 releases, but they haven’t really been enough to warrant a completely new series of version number. While most of them have been bug fixes.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Google Now Detecting Viruses, For At Least One Form Of Malware

Google has just announced something pretty interesting, that it is using its own data to detect viruses and will as of today be using Google Search results pages to warn users if their computers are infected with a specific form of malware. Users infected with the virus, which is apparently rerouting traffic to Google and other sites through a proxy, will see the below warning.

From the Google blog post mysteriously titled “Using data to protect people from malware”:

“Recently, we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers. After collaborating with security engineers at several companies that were sending this modified traffic, we determined that the computers exhibiting this behavior were infected with a particular strain of malicious software, or “malware.” As a result of this discovery, today some people will see a prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results.”

Google’s Matt Cutts offers more details about the virus on his Twitter account, apparently it only affects Windows computers and hijacks Google results. “That’s how we learned about it,” Cutts says about the “results hacking” thing, without offering many more details. Google is recommending you follow the advice in its Help Center if you do receive the notification.

This is the first time major search engine turns its results pages into what is ostensibly a malware alarm. Of course this is in the company’s best interests; if proxies are intercepting communications they could also potentially access Google accounts, thus creating more headaches for Google.

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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GOOGLE ANDROID VS GOOGLE CHROME

Mike Cleron, a Google software engineer for the Android operating system, made an ambitious pronouncement onstage at the company’s annual conference last week.

“We want one OS that runs everywhere,” Cleron said, referring to the popular system for smartphones and tablets.

The next day at the conference, Sundar Pichai took the very same stage to stake a very similar claim. Except Pichai was referring to a completely different Google operating system.

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“Chrome OS can be applied to a variety of form factors,” said Pichai, who is a senior vice-president for the division that makes Google’s brand-new operating system, which will be deployed in a line of laptop computers (sometimes referred to as notebooks). “We have chosen initially to focus on notebooks because that’s where most of the Web usage is today.”

Can Google support both operating systems?

“Chrome OS is a thought experiment rather than a viable product on any form factor,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, a consumer-electronics analyst for Forrester Research, in an e-mail to CNN. “Google should invest its resources to improve an imperfect Android before supporting a second fledgling OS.”

The first laptops running the Chrome software, called Chromebooks, are scheduled to hit stores June 15. An Android laptop already exists. Motorola Mobility‘s Atrix 4G smartphone can transform into a laptop using a peripheral and built-in software. There are also tablet-laptop hybrids that rely on Android.

On Android, the Web browser is just one application. Chrome OS is, put simply, a browser.

These are two competing methodologies for Google, a company that made 96% of its revenues from advertising last year. Only a sliver of that comes from ads shown on phones (or to let Google tell it: “Mobile advertising is still in relative infancy”). Google doesn’t derive any income directly from Android.

As Google often says, the company benefits from people using the Internet more. And that’s what Chrome OS facilitates.

“We wanted to rethink the entire (computing) experience and distill it down to nothing but the Web, and that’s what Chrome OS is,” Pichai said. “The software experience is very unique,” unlike Windows computers, which he said are “really, really complicated.”

Since throwing a coming out party for Chrome OS at Google I/O last year, the company has sent out thousands of prototype laptops to testers around the world. So far, the effort hasn’t been a resounding success.

But Pichai said his team has fixed various bugs with the hardware and software, and so Google will test next month whether a Chromebook is something people will be willing to pay for. If it strikes a chord, Pichai is apparently poised to wedge Chrome into “a variety of form factors,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Android team is boasting about the flexibility of its operating system. Cleron said: “We have phones in every size and shape, phones with keyboards that slide, phones with keyboards that flip, phones with built-in game controllers, tablets in every size from 7 inches to 10 inches, even tablets that transform into laptops, and who knows what else is coming.”

Google is welcoming one more electronics category to the greater Android family this summer. The Google TV software will be based on the same version of Android that’s used on tablets and will include the Market for downloading apps.

“If I had to pick one word to explain Android’s phenomenal growth over the past year, that word would be ‘choice,'” Cleron said. “Consumers really like choices.”

Pichai said the two Google divisions don’t currently compete but instead appeal to different audiences. Separately, they’ve found success. The Chrome browser has 160 million active users, and Android has activated 100 million devices.

“We share common code, common infrastructure, but the final expressions are two different visions. And we provide choices to users,” Pichai said. “The potential of competition or collision that you’re talking about in the future — we don’t think about it that way internally at all.”

Microsoft makes a distinction between Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7. So, too, does Apple between Mac and iOS.

For Google, the line between Chrome OS and Android may be only temporary.

Google says it is in the early stages of building a version of Chrome OS for tablets but has no formal product to announce. In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, Pichai downplayed that project, saying, “Chrome OS on a tablet, that’s not what we’re working on.”

“All of these systems are designed to scale and run across a set of devices over time,” Pichai said. “You want to design a computing experience, an operating computing experience, to run everywhere.”

For the launch of Chrome OS, Google has signed on two manufacturers: Acer and Samsung Electronics. Three dozen electronics makers already use Android.

But asking these partners to support an unproven system with their development and financial resources will be a tough sell, said Rotman Epps, the Forrester analyst.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Attackers Using Google Image Search to Distribute Malware

Attackers are now using Google’s image search to distributed malware, security experts say. Thousands of sites have reportedly been compromised by code injection–the malicious code redirects users to fake antivirus applications.

Internet Storm Center researcher Bojan Zdrnja writes that the attackers are mostly targeting WordPress sites, and are injecting PHP code that generates pages with images based on highly-searched content. Google then indexes these pages, and the images show up on Google’s image search.

Image hack is widespread and effective

Image searchers can be redirected to these fake antivirus sites, thanks to Google displays images when clicked, Zdrnja wrote in a blog post this week. At least 5,000 sites have been compromised, and Google could be serving as many as 15 million hits a month to these malicious pages.

Russian security researcher Denis Sinegubko said that, in about 90 percent of the compromised image searches, results from malicious websites appear on the first page.

“The main problem is not that cybercrooks managed to seriously poison Google Image search results but the fact that many people do click on such results results and get exposed to malicious content,” Sinegubko wrote to the Unmask Parasites blog on Thursday.

Google in the process of improving detection

Google says it is aware of the problem, and is making an effort to detect malicious pages. It would not detail its plans out of fear that attackers may adjust their methods to get around the company’s efforts. Sinegubko is also in the process of developing an add-on for Firefox that will alert users to these links.

Efforts are already underway to protect Google users on the web search side: Google added alerts to potentially hacked sites in December of last year, and Google’s Chrome browser blocks potentially dangerous downloads. For whatever reason, Google’s image search remains unprotected.

What can you do in the meantime to protect yourself if you feel that you have visited a malicious site via Google Images? Security experts recommend not trying to click your way out of it. Instead, quit the browser application using Ctrl-Alt-Delete.(pcworld)

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Posted by on May 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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