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Chrome fights back against settings hijackers

Google is taking aggressive steps to combat what it says is the No. 1 complaint in its Chrome browser: having your settings hijacked.

The company first took measures to address the problem in August when it introduced a "reset browser settings" button on the Settings page in Chrome, but that wasn't enough to fix things.

Now, Chrome will ask Windows users automatically via a pop-up if you want to reset your settings when it detects that they might've been changed without your permission. It will disable all extensions, themes, and Chrome Apps you have installed. It … Read more

See when recipients open your Gmail attachments with docTrackr

Some e-mail attachments are more sensitive than others, just as some e-mail recipients are more responsible than others. Chrome extension docTrackr lets you encrypt Gmail attachments, set permissions, and remotely destroy them. It also alerts you when a recipient opens or prints an attachment, so you can call shenanigans the next time your flighty friend claims not to have received an attachment.

When docTrackr installs, it adds a button next to the regular attachment button in Gmail's compose window. It also adds a button to the right of Chrome's address bar that provides a link to docTrackr's … Read more

Disable Chrome's Windows 8 mode

"Chrome for Windows 8, we need to talk. Listen, I like you. I think you're a great browser. In fact, you're my default browser. The thing is, I want to be able to see other windows."

I've been meaning to have that conversation with Chrome for Windows 8 for weeks now. Chrome's default setting in Windows 8 is to open as a Metro-style app if you have it set as your default browser, which takes you away from the desktop and into a Chrome-only environment. While the animation that moves you in and out … Read more

Build with Chrome is a virtual Lego time-suck, but worth it

You really, really want to build something out of little plastic bricks, but you're stuck in your office, far away from your Lego stash. Lucky for you, Google has just unveiled Build with Chrome, a virtual Lego playground that gives you access to all sorts of pieces for building online.

You can jump right in, or take some lessons first. The Build Academy sets you against a series of challenges to train you to be a master builder. You're guided along by a virtual hippy-wizard Lego minifig, a character that ties in marketing-wise with the upcoming Lego movie. It starts off basic with learning how to rotate your baseplate and gets increasingly more complex as you hone your skills.… Read more

How to reduce data usage with Chrome for iOS

Google recently updated Chrome for iOS with the typical bug fixes and a couple of new features. One of the new features is the ability to cut back on the amount of data used by your iOS device.

The feature reroutes non-SSL or Incognito Web browsing through Google's servers to compress the pages, resulting in less data being transmitted to and from your iDevice.

In order to use the new feature, and hopefully cut down on data consumption by Chrome, you'll need to launch the current version of the app and navigate to the Settings page.

Once in … Read more

That was fast: Chrome Apps ready to go mobile

The cold, hard walls between mobile native apps and HTML5 wobbled a bit on Tuesday morning, as Google announced that Chrome Apps will now work on the two most popular mobile platforms.

Chrome Apps are HTML5-based single-serving applications, more than just a mere Web site, that will work on Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS without having to open your browser first. However, because they're based in Chrome and can't function without it, they've been criticized for "breaking" the Web.

Google opened up a developer preview of the Apache Cordova "toolchain" for wrapping Chrome … Read more

How to manipulate multiple tabs in Chrome or Firefox

If an Internet research session sends you down a rabbit hole, by the time you resurface you can be staring at dozens upon dozens of tabs open. To organize the messy results of your research, you may find it useful to manipulate groups of tabs. That is, move, close, pin, or bookmark multiple tabs in one fell swoop.

Chrome provides the ability to move and close multiple tabs natively, while Firefox extension Multiple Tab Handler provides this functionality and much more.

In Chrome, you can select multiple tabs by clicking on tabs while holding down the Ctrl key or select … Read more

Annotate local files with updated Awesome Screenshot

My preferred method for taking screenshots in Chrome was just updated with a new feature that extends its reach. I use Awesome Screenshot to capture parts of or entire pages in Chrome, a process which became more efficient last year when an autosave feature was added. Now, Awesome Screenshot lets you not only capture and annotate screenshots you took of Chrome, but it also lets you load local image files to annotate using Chrome.

To select a file, click on the Awesome Screenshot button to the right of Chrome's URL bar and choose "Select a local image," … Read more

Save data while translating in new iOS Chrome

Slightly behind its Android sibling, Google has updated Chrome for iOS to version 32 on Monday with tools for translation and reducing your bandwidth usage, potentially saving you some money.

The bandwidth compression tool, which hit Chrome for Android a few weeks ago, can reduce how much bandwidth you use by up to nearly 50 percent. If you're on a rate-limited plan and use Chrome heavily, this could save you some serious change.

You can activate the compression tool by going to Settings, then Bandwidth, then Reduce Data Usage.

A translation bar will now appear on Web pages that … Read more

Chrome extension turns YouTube into your own personal radio station

There is no shortage of Internet radio services. From freeware like Pandora and Rdio to premium services like Spotify and Google Music, you can listen to all the songs you want, when you want them. Streamus allows you to search for songs by tapping into the world's largest music database, YouTube.

Just download and install the extension and start listening to your favorite tune. You can search directly from the Omnibox (the address/search bar) by typing in "Streamus" and hitting Tab, or you can search within the extension and create your own playlist.

You can get … Read more