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You might be unfortunate enough to have an annoying coworker in your vicinity. You know, the one that talks about how much he loves eating quiche for breakfast. Let’s call him Chad. While you (probably) can’t put Chad’s headphones in jello to get back at him for pinning last week’s soccer loss on your bum knee, you can slowly drive Chad mad where it hurts the most: in his precious YouTube goofing-off time.
It’s Evil Week at Lifehacker, which means we’re looking into less-than-seemly methods for getting shit done. We like to think we’re shedding light on these tactics as a way to help you do the opposite, but if you are, in fact, evil, you might find this week unironically helpful. That’s up to you.
To pull off this trick, you’ll need to install a Chrome Engine extension on your enemy’s computer. Since it’s not an official Chrome extension, you’ll have to do it manually, so make sure they’re out to lunch or on their smoke break so you have enough time to get your revenge.
Bearing the rather innocuous, seemingly beneficial name of “Chrome Engine,” this sinister Chrome extension (also known as “jerkface-chrome”) slows down YouTube video playback by 1% every day your officemate watches a YouTube video, stopping when it hits 70% of the original playback speed. That means your coworker will endure 30 days of slow but sure video speed reduction, and probably wonder what’s happening to their computer (or if you’re lucky, their mind).
Head to the Chrome Engine page, and select the “chrome-engine-packed.crx” link. Hit the “Raw” link in the middle of the page to download the extension (you’ll see it end up in your Download bar on the bottom of your browser). Open a new tab and type “chrome://extensions” to head to Chrome’s Extensions page. Drag the downloaded extension into the page and hit Install. You’ll see a tiny Chrome logo pop up in your list of extensions next to the address bar. Right-click it, select Hide in Chrome Menu, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
It Gets Worse Wherever They Are
If Chad decides to call in sick and miss a few days, don’t worry. The extension’s smart enough to wait until they return, pausing the slowdown rate.
If your colleague is “home sick” (probably enjoying Let’s Play videos of racist YouTube streamers from the comfort of their laptop), Chrome Engine will remain synced to their Google account, as long as they’re signed into a Chrome browser. That means the reduced playback speed will follow them wherever their Chrome browser is.
The extension also compensates for user-selected playback speed adjustments. Should your victim lower the playback speed, it will slow based on the extension’s updated playback rate. Eventually they will figure out something is up, but if you play it cool they will never know it was your doing. Let the gaslighting begin!