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Google speeds WebP image format, brings animation support to Chrome

Google has built a new version of its WebP software into Chrome to let browsers display its image format 25 percent faster, the company said Friday.

The better performance new libwebp 0.4.0 is part of Google's general effort to speed up the Web, and the new software also uses less memory and fixes an issue that had blocked Google from supporting animated WebP images. The updated WebP support is built into the version of Chrome that's currently in beta.

Animated GIF images, popular on sites such as Tumblr and Imgur, are the last remaining holdout for … Read more

Programmer crowdfunds work to improve Chrome image support

How much does it mean to you to have good-looking images when using Chrome on your Retina-display MacBook or your high-resolution Android phone?

Programmer Yoav Weiss hopes Internet users' collective answer is at least $10,000. He's launched a crowdfunding effort to sponsor his development of the "picture" element in Chrome, a new feature that's instrumental to the idea of responsive images on the Web.

"Yeah, we're running a crowdfunding campaign to add a feature to an engine," Weiss said on Twitter on Thursday. "Never done before, but hey, we're here … Read more

Chrome extension lets you save Facebook posts to read later

One of my least favorite parts of Facebook is combing through my News Feed for a post I skipped past earlier in the day, or worse, earlier in the week that I now want to share or read. If I can't remember who shared it or I didn't like or comment on it when I first encountered it, then my search efforts meet with little success.

Thankfully, I found a Chrome extension via AddictiveTips today that helps solve this problem of how to keep track of News Feed items I may want to return to later. It won'… Read more

How to run both Chrome OS and Ubuntu on a Chromebook

You've probably heard a lot about Chromebooks. These affordable computers are manufactured by companies like HP, Acer, Toshiba, and Samsung, among others, and run Google's cloud-based operating system known as Chrome OS, which relies on an Internet connection to run most apps.

The big appeal for these computers are their price tags, with most models retailing for under $400 and some even dipping as low as $179. Many people aren't aware, however, that Chromebooks are capable of doing more than just running Web apps. In fact, you can run both Chrome OS and Ubuntu, a popular Linux … Read more

Better manage downloads in Chrome with Downloadr extension

When you download a file in Chrome, the download shelf makes its appearance at the bottom of the browser. It keeps you apprised of a current download's progress, but can get in the way of the page you are viewing, and it must be closed manually.

If you aren't enamored with managing your downloads from the download shelf, the Downloadr extension for Chrome adds a button to the right of Chrome's URL bar that you can use instead to keep tabs on your downloads.

Click on the button to open a small panel with a chronological list … Read more

Chrome extension turns ads into social media feeds

If you want to rid your Web browsing experience of ads, your best bet is AdBlock. If you want to replace the ads on some sites with equally or arguably more distracting feeds from Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, however, then there is the Post Forward extension for Chrome.

After you install the Post Forward, you can then head to the extension's site or click the button the extension installs to the right of Chrome's URL bar to connect to any of three aforementioned social networks. The extension will then replace ads on some sites -- a select few … Read more

Google's Project Tango phone rocks four cameras

When Google decided to ship most of Motorola over to China and its new home with Lenovo, it held on to Moto's Advanced Technologies and Projects division, which has been working on some of the more crazy, and Google X-like, initiatives -- like a modular smartphone (Project Ara) and a 3D-mapping phone (Project Tango).

It seems as though the only phones Google is truly interested in making in-house are those that push the boundaries of what a smartphone is and is meant to do. Now we have some idea of what the Project Tango phone, which is kind of like taking Google's mapping and Street View initiatives down to an even more detailed level, will shape up to be. … Read more

All hacking eyes on the prize money at CanSecWest

VANCOUVER -- When it comes to hacking, it turns out that greed really is good.

All four of the major desktop browsers, plus two Adobe browser plug-in programs, succumbed to the predations of the hacker community in two different contests.

Pwn2Own, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard and organized by the HP-owned Zero-Day Initiative, featured up to $1.085 million in prizes, and security researchers going after Adobe Flash and Reader, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox.

Eight research teams earned $850,000, with another $82,500 going to charity for Pwn4Fun over the two-day competition, which concluded on … Read more

Google fixes 7 Chrome security holes just before CanSecWest

Google has fixed seven security flaws in Chrome, just a day before the annual, real-time hacking competitions Pwnium and Pwn2Own.

The new security update for Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Linux patched four flaws labeled as High, below the more important level of Critical; three flaws in its rendering engine V8; and updated its internal version of Flash Player.

Three High-level vulnerabilities were found by three independent researchers, who earned a total of $8,000 for their work. The last High-level vulnerability was discovered by Google employees, as were the V8 vulnerabilities.

[$4000][344881] High CVE-2014-1700: Use-after-free in speech. Credit … Read more

Google offers new sales options for Chrome Web Store

Google has added new options for developers selling software through its Chrome Web Store.

Those selling software for Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS operating system now have a variety of new sales possibilities, according to a blog post Tuesday by Chary Chen of the Chrome Web Store team. Among those options are the ability to offer:

Free trials of Chrome extensions and Chrome packaged apps.

Themes that cost money.

Extensions and packaged apps that include in-app payment possibilities.

Subscriptions for Chrome extensions.

Google's Chrome Web Store has brought the app store approach to Web apps and to … Read more