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.

Computing

Chrome 70 could break thousands of websites, but that’s their own fault

Chrome 70 will cause websites with older security certificates to break, but Google had given developers more than a year of notice. Thousand sites may be affected by the change by as early as October 16 when Chrome 70 launches.
Mobile

Here’s everything Google announced at its October 9 event

Google's October 2018 hardware event is over, and though it was short, it left us with an awful lot to talk about. But if you didn't catch the livestream or the updates, it's easy to catch up on the reveals.
Mobile

iOS 12.0.1 fixes iPhone XS charging issue, Wi-Fi bugs, and more

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Computing

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are plenty of great tools you can use, both online and offline. These are our favorites and a step by step guide on how to use them.
Computing

How to recover Google contacts

If you accidentally deleted an important person from your Google Contacts, they might not be lost forever. Recovering them is a fairly easy process -- as long as you do it quickly. Here's how.
Product Review

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a love letter to PC geeks

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line-up is targeted at business use, but it’s long appealed to hardcore PC geeks as well. The new X1 Extreme, which combines a powerful processor and high-resolution screen with Nvidia graphics, seems built for them…
Computing

Afraid that Bitcoin could be a bubble? Here's how to sell what you've got

If you're investing in cryptocurrencies, it's important to have your exit strategy in place if prices start to crash. If you've decided it's time to get out or just want to learn how to sell Bitcoins, here's how to get started.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

If you weren't already aware, USB-C is quickly becoming mainstream. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone.
Computing

How to protect your iCloud account

From Chinese hacking to identity theft, it's not surprising if you're a little worried about your iCloud data. Here's how to protect your iCloud account with a few simple security steps. It will only take a few minutes, and we'll walk you…
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…
Photography

Adobe's "creativity conference" begins October 15. Here's what we hope to see

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Product Review

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, the Vive Pro is better. Is the original Vive still worth it?

The Oculus Rift may have brought virtual reality into the public eye, but HTC’s Vive, built in partnership with Valve, does it better. Does the Vive still represent the true future of virtual reality, or are there better competitors on…
Computing

Don't take your ISP's word for it: Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.