Posted tagged ‘chrome’

Chrome OS goes open source

November 20, 2009

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/releasing-chromium-os-open-source.html

When the technology became available for personal computers on a desktop, there was a significant paradigm shift in the way operating systems worked.  And ever since the notebook has come into the mainstream, notebook operating systems (largely) have been desktop operating systems crammed into a smaller can.  Yes, mobile phones came along with their own OSes, but it’s about time operating systems had a significant shift in the way mobile computing happens.

That said, I’m not entirely sure Chrome OS is it.  But I’m interested to see where it goes.  I like their security model (as long as we can trust the application host?).  And for a group that has milked their customers for personal information for so long, I’m hesitant to think they should be the ones providing apps for you to, say, manage your finances on.  Sorry, call me a conspiracy theorist.  I’m actually not, because I don’t have a theory.  I’m just distrustful.

Bottom line: Chrome OS looks very promising.  If it is to OSes what Chrome is to browsers (as I type this post in a Chrome window) it might just be the catalyst that gets me to finally buy a netbook.

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Chrome/IE security flaw

April 28, 2009

Kaspersky Labs journalist Ryan Maraine writes up the new security problem when running IE + Google Chrome.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=3224&tag=nl.e019

I was particularly interested in this since I run Chrome as my default browser and IE6 as a secondary.  I mainly use IE for online banking (since it doesn’t play well with Chrome) and my time card at work.  However, if you’re surfing with IE while Chrome is installed, you need to read this article.  I will copy over what Ryan said:
 

The skinny:

  • If a user has Google Chrome installed, visiting an attacker-controlled web page in Internet Explorer could have caused Google Chrome to launch, open multiple tabs, and load scripts that run after navigating to a URL of the attacker’s choice.

The “high severity” vulnerability affects Google Chrome versions 1.0.154.55 and earlier.

So class, what is rule #1 for making sure a system is secure?  That’s right.  Keep your A/V (you do have A/V, right?), OS, and other software fully patched.  I’m typing this in Chrome v. 1.0.154.59.  So I’m (hopefully) all set, as I’m 4 builds ahead of the vulnerability.  Keep it up to date.  You can check your version by clicking on the “wrench” icon in the upper right hand corner of Chrome and clicking “About Google Chrome.”

Here’s another snide sort of comment Ryan included:
 

“It is important to note that the way Internet Explorer processes URL protocol handlers is a known Achilles’ heel and has been widely used previously to attack other various applications,” [Roi Saltzman at IBM] said.  Proof-of-concept code for this issue is publicly available.
Microsoft maintains the problems are not related to vulnerabilities in its code.
Of course.

My thoughts on Google Chrome’s performance

March 18, 2009

I resist change in some arenas.  Sometimes, I would rather have familiarity over functionality.  Such is the case in my Web browser usage.  I still have IE6 installed on most of the computers I use.  This is mainly because my company does not use IE7 due to app compatibility issues, but even if they did, I still appreciate IE6’s advantages over 7.  I have used Firefox enough to work well with it, and used Opera or Konqueror on the very rare occasion, but haven’t felt the need to change my default browser.  So I resisted the urge to use Chrome until my curiosity got the better of me.

I want to mention the performance pros and cons I have found with Chrome.  I will save my review of the interface and concept for another post.

Two things become immediately obvious about Chrome.  First, its startup time is virtually nil.  Internet Explorer can never claim that; rarely is IE fast enough for me.  So, my first real issue with IE is gone, and I’m happy.  In addition, load times are small and run time is fast in every respect.  

While I’m on the subject of performance issues, I like to listen to music on YouTube.  IE at work currently takes about 10-15 seconds or so to start the video.  I had thought that it was something related to the network, because at home I don’t have that problem.  But when I started using Chrome, the problem went away totally.

I have only had one issue with Chrome’s performance thus far.  Again, this one is with YouTube.  I listen to music, but I don’t always watch the video.  If I minimize the window during playback of a video, there is a very brief break in the sound.  It’s not a real problem, but it’s a bug I’d like to see fixed.  It doesn’t have an issue when I’m switching tab to tab; it’s only when I minimize or restore the window.

Another issue I have had (although it’s not performance-related) is that some sites are configured to check the userAgent and deny access to the site for anyone not using a “compatible” browser.  I wish they would just let me on so I can see if it works.  This has really only happened with one site for me, but it’s our company’s time-clock application (KABA Web Clock), so I access it at least twice a day, most days four times.

So all in all, I really only have one or two complaints.  The performance speed is terrific.  If nothing else, try it just for that.  Later on, I will write more about Chrome, especially about the peculiarities that make it unique.