Google releases ‘safer and snazzier’ Chrome 12 browser update

Google 12 3D ExperimentSticking to its six-week update cycle, Google has launched the newest version of the Chrome Web browser. Chrome 12 boasts several new features, but Google is particularly proud of the browser’s new security and 3D improvements.

Following in the footsteps of its recent Chrome releases, Google has concentrated on improving security first and foremost. The Safe Browsing feature has been updated to warn users when they attempt to download a potentially dangerous file. However, for the moment, this features kicks in for .exe files only. That means Mac and Linux users will have to wait for a future update before they’re protected from harmful files. Chrome’s Safe Browsing feature already warns users about potential malware or phishing sites.

Google bases its warning system on a database of known malicious sites and files.”We’ve carefully designed this feature so that malicious content can be detected without Chrome or Google ever having to know about the URLs you visit or the files you download,” said Adrienne Walker,  a software engineer at Google, in a blog post.

Chrome 12 also gives users more control over Adobe Flash Player’s Locally Stored Objects (also known as Flash cookies and LSOs) that have been stored on users’ hard drives. Flash cookies, like non-Flash cookies, are used to store information about users, in this case stuff like high scores from Flash-based games, although they can be used for for far more nefarious purposes, too. Previously, it was only possible to manage Flash cookies through an Adobe website. Chrome 12 now directly integrates controls for Flash cookies directly into the browser.

Google has also made some substantial improvements to Chrome’s graphical capabilities. The new release supports hardware-accelerated 3D Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Google promises a “snazzier experience” for users who visit sites that support 3D CSS. If you’re having trouble finding such a site, Google has been kind enough to provide an example in Aardman Studio’s “Shaun the Sheep.” Users who are running Windows Vista or Max OS X 10.6 will find that they can manipulate the video by rotating it, scaling it up or down and toggling reflections on and off.

Google promises more improvements are coming in the next Chrome release, due in six weeks.

Android

The dramatic BlackBerry Key2 Red Edition is now available in the U.S.

BlackBerry's Key2 is likely to be the best keyboard-equipped phone in 2019, with a modern look, some powerful specs, and totally revamped features. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Mobile

iFixit's teardown might show the reason the Galaxy Fold keeps breaking

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Apple

Leaked memo: If your MacBook keyboard dies, Apple will fix or replace in one day

If your Apple MacBook keyboard is problematic, getting it fixed at a Genius Bar just got a lot easier. Apple has now mandated that its Geniuses repair or replace MacBook keyboards by the next working day.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. Our picks for the best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while they're at it.
Product Review

Still waiting for a new Mac Pro? Corsair’s mini PC has all the power you'll need

With a modern 12-core Intel Core i9-9920X processor, Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti graphics, and 32GB of RAM, the Corsair One Pro is designed to woo creatives who demand more power from Apple’s Mac Pro. Like the Mac Pro, the best part of this PC…
Computing

USB drive issue blocks some PCs from receiving Windows 10 May 2019 update

A USB drive error resulted in some PCs being blocked from receiving the Windows 10 May 2019 update. Microsoft decided to block eligible PCs with USB drives or SD cards attached from getting the update until the error is fixed.
Photography

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…
Cars

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.
Computing

Tablet or notebook? Our favorite 2-in-1 PCs give you the best of both worlds

If you can’t decide if you need a tablet or a notebook, then don’t bother. The best 2-in-1 laptops are both, and they can provide all the power you need. Check out our list for the best 2-in-1s for any user.
Computing

Amal and George Clooney want to change the world. Can Microsoft help?

Microsoft and The Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) unveiled the TrialWatch app Thursday morning, a new tool in CFJ’s ongoing TrialWatch effort to shine a light on injustice in courts around the globe – which too often are simply…
Computing

These are the best 13-inch laptops you can buy right now

With so much choice out there, how do you know which are the best 13-inch laptops? They should have beautiful screens, long battery life, and remain light and portable. This is a list of our favorites.
Computing

These gaming monitors will transport you to another dimension

What are the best gaming monitors you can buy right now? We select five that are all priced under $900 packing premium technologies like G-SYNC and FreeSync, high resolutions, and fast refresh rates.