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February,10 2011

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Google's New Chrome 9 Web Browser

The New Chrome Browser Should Steal A Lot Of Firefox Users

Scoroncocolo, Scoroncocolo Tech Pages, ScarewareWith the launch of Google Chrome 9, accessing the Internet has entered a new era.

Google Chrome 9

Google Chrome Is Gaining Market Share on Firefox

Earlier this month (February 3, 2011) Google introduced a stable build to its Chrome 9 browser which had been in bata for some time now. If you are someone like me who has been sort of riding the fence between Google Chrome and Firefox, the introduction of Chrome 9 could be the tipping point in our browser preference confliction dilemma, especially considering the fact that it's seemingly taking forever for Mozilla to come up with a stable version of Firefox 4.

One of the most compelling reasons I have had in the past for continuing to use Firefox as my primary browser is because of a fantastic add-on that only Firefox supported called NoScript. I wrote about NoScript in an article on this site back in May of 2010. With NoScript installed on Firefox you can browse the Web with impunity knowing that no scripting language (Java, JavaScript, SilverLight, etc.) will every be allowed to run without your explicit permission. NoScript couldn't and still can't work on any other other browser but Firefox.

I prefer a browsing experience that doesn't allow scripts to run period unless I give them permission to do so but Google's Chrome browser approaches the problem of unwanted scripts and possibly dangerous scripts in a different fashion. It will allow the scripts to run but they cannot (or they are not supposed to) escape the browser and so cannot interact in any way with the hard drive of the PC or Mac the browser is running on. This is called running an application in a Sandbox and the application in this case is the Chrome browser. Google Chrome has been using sandboxing ever since its inception. Sandboxing is as good a way of handling malicious scripts as is a browser add-on like NoScript that works by not allowing their execution at all. Sandboxing normally works great as long as the bad guys don't find a way to hack Google's code and thus find a way to "escape" the sandbox.

During Pwn2Own, the annual computer hacking convention that runs this year from March 9 through March 11 in Vancouver, Google is offering 20,000 dollars to anyone who can hack Chrome 9 and escape the sandbox. Experts expect all of the major browsers with the exception of Chrome to be hacked the first day of the convention.

Chrome is the only browser that has never been hacked at a Pwn2Own hackers convention but with $20,000 up for grabs Pwn2Own could be very interesting this year. But regardless of whether or not someone manages to hack out of Chrome's Sandbox the news will be good for Google because even if Chrome is hacked Google will know how it was done and a patch will be in the works and maybe even implemented before the ink is dry on that 20 thousand dollar check.

The bottom line is Google Chrome, with its sandboxing technology, is probably every bit as safe and secure as Firefox running with the NoScript add-on installed. And on my the PCs I have running XP, Vista and Windows 7, Chrome is somewhat, though not dramatically, faster at loading the program itself and pages in general than Firefox.

For now Google Chrome is my primary browser. Firefox 4 will eventually be released and I'll look it and write about it here on this blog. Also the final version of Microsoft's IE 9 is due to be released within the next few weeks. I'll test that out and report on it here in this blog as well. It's wonderful to have these browsers in competition with one another, along with Apple's Safari and the Opera browser, because this competition is driving the ever increasing enhancement of our browsing experience.

Three New Features Added to Google Chrome 9

Google Chrome 9

The New Google Chrome Browser

Google patched nine bugs in Chrome 9.0.597.84. (This just in. As I was writing this article Google patched 5 more bugs and the newest build is as of today 9.0.597.94.) Aside from these patches, Google added three very cool enhancements to the browser - WebGL, Chrome Instant and easy access to the Chrome Web Store. And some of the coolest Apps you'll find in the Chrome Web Store are free. But let's look at these new features added to Chrome 9 one at a time.

3D Graphics Using WebGL

To me, by far the most exciting feature Google added to Chrome is WebGL capability. So what is WebGL? It's a modeling technique that's been around for awhile but now app developers and Web designers can use JavaScript code inside the new HTML 5 canvas tags in the most modern Web browsers to create 3 dimensional effects. Some of you who are familiar with what I've written in the past may recall a piece I wrote on the future of coding for the new Web called HTML 5 and in that article I wrote briefly about HTML 5's new CANVAS tag. To describe this new HTML (hyper-text mark-up language) tag very succinctly would be to say that this HTML tag allows you to "draw a picture" that will render on a Web page. Of course the programer would draw the picture mathematically with a scripting language like JavaScript. Firefox 4, when it is eventually released out of beta will have the same capability to utilize the new HTML 5 Canvas tag. But for now, Google's Chrome browser is the only stable i.e. out of beta browse on the planet that is capable of using this awesome technology. If you're reading this on an updated version of Google's Chrome browser, go look at what WebGL is all about.

Chrome Instant Helps You Find Websites Much Faster

Chrome Instant is very much like Google Instant in that the moment you begin typing a URL into the search/address bar the browser will spill down a list of guesses about where you want to go. One of the cool things about Chrome Instant is that it learns from the choices you make which Web destinations to place at the top of the list it begins propagating the moment you start typing. You'll learn to love it so give it a try. Chrome Instant is turned off by default so you'll have to turn it on so here's how to do that.

  • 1. Click the wrench icon on the browser toolbar.
  • 2. Select Options.
  • 3. Click the Basics tab.
  • 4. In the “Search” section, use the checkbox to enable or disable Chrome Instant

Easy Access to Chrome's Web App Store

And in the third major overhaul of Google's browser, Chrome 9 makes it very easy to access its huge and ever expanding world of Web Apps. When you open a new tab in Chrome 9 either by clicking the plus button to the right of the currently open tab or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + n you will be presented with a page that gives you a link to the Chrome Web App Store along with two sample applications that are automatically loaded.

Apps are being added all the time. Most of them are free. And I intend to look them over in the weeks ahead and maybe write about some of the most useful ones. In the meantime, if you find something really compelling in Google Chrome's new App Store, email me and let me know about it.

If you haven't done so already, think about down loading Google Chrome For PC, Mac, and Linux and email me at and let me know what you think.

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