Chrome: The same open-source software company that wants to keep covert cryptocurrency mining out of your browser also wants to keep "fake news" from enriching your life. Or, at the very least, Eyeo wants to show you whether your favourite news sites are full of FUD and bias.
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I'm a tremendous fan of dark modes. They're easier on your eyes and your computer's battery, and I think make using sites and apps a lot more pleasant. Unfortunately, not every site offers a dark mode (this one included). However, this week I came across a web extension that can make the magic happen anywhere you want it to.
It feels like every website today wants to send you notifications, regardless of how big or small they are. Visit a page in Chrome, for instance and you'll often see a dialog in the top-left asking you to allow notifications. If you're sick of seeing these, it is possible to rid yourself of them forever... or selectively, depending on your mood.
Chrome: I can't recall the last time I didn't install an extension from the Google's Chrome Web Store. However, developers - up until now - have been allowed to offer their extensions as inline downloads. In other words, they could drop a download button on a website, you'd click on it and see a typical installation confirmation dialogue (as if you were installing the extension from the Chrome Web Store itself), and before you knew it, you were +1 to extensions.
It was a little over two years ago that Chrome snatched the market share top spot from Internet Explorer. Now, in 2018, Chrome sits at a whopping 62.85 per cent, while IE and Firefox wallow at 11.82 and 9.92 respectively, according to the latest figures from Net Marketshare.
We all fall victim to the dangerous belief that if an app or extension is listed in an official repository - be it the App Store, Google Play, the Microsoft Store, Mozilla's Add-Ons directory or so on - it must be legitimate. After all, the big tech companies surely use a lot of automated systems (and real human beings) to ensure that their customers aren't downloading harmful things. Right?
If you're a Chrome power-user, you'll eventually want to set up an automatic URL redirect. Maybe you want to watch all your YouTube videos on a minimalist site; maybe you love — or hate — going to the mobile version of a site. Maybe you just make the same typo every time you enter a certain URL.
The web's more media-heavy that it's ever been, with a great many sites serving images like Sanitarium Up & Gos out of the back of a Black Thunder. This isn't a problem until the image loading clogs up rendering of the rest of the page, causing your browsing experience to suffer. The good news is there's a Chrome flag you can enable to alleviate this.
How many times have you gone to share an interesting story (or comic) with a friend — a pretty standard process — only to find that the short URL you thought you were copying and pasting is actually one giant, messy paragraph of text. You can thank all the services and sites that append a ton of extra junk to URLs so they can have a better understanding of how you visited the site, what you've looked at and where you're going.
Browser cookies are useful in some instances; unpleasant in others. While they can save you from having to go through a complicated authentication process whenever you're trying to access your favourite sites, they can also store data on what you've done on a particular website -- which can then be used to serve you more "relevant" advertising at a future point.
I recently stumbled across the extension Toby (Chrome, Firefox), and I'm surprised at how much I love it. So much so that it has replaced the pretty Chrome Delight and Earth View from Google Earth extensions I've been using whenever I open a new tab. I'm one-hundred per cent Toby now, because it's one of the best ways I've seen to get a little more control over all those open tabs in my browser.
With Chrome 66, Google made some hefty changes to the way autoplaying content works — killing it, essentially. Unfortunately, this has broken a number of extensions (such as Imagus) preventing them from interacting with animated, cross-site images.
Suppose you're trying to troubleshoot a family member's computer, you want to show a friend some issue you're having with your system, or you want to make a quick recording of some crazy thing you're about to do in a game. With the Chrome extension Loom, it's incredibly easy to capture and share a quick recording of your screen right from of your browser.
So you just installed Google Chrome -- that, or you've cleared your cache and history because you wanted to save some space on your PC or fix some website issue involving cookies. You go to pull up your favourite website and, suddenly, a sound starts blasting out of your speakers. The dreaded autoplaying video returneth.