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ZTE postpones earnings report after being slapped with U.S. exports ban

ZTE will postpone the release of its quarterly earnings report after the United States government banned American companies from selling goods to the Chinese telecom and smartphone maker. In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, ZTE said that its earnings report, originally set to be released on Thursday, is now delayed to an undetermined date.

About a year ago, ZTE pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Its deal with the U.S. government included penalties and fines totaling more than a billion dollars, but allowed it to continue doing business with U.S. suppliers.

On Monday, however, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that ZTE had failed to follow the agreement’s terms. It accused the company of making false statements and failing to punish employees and senior management. As a result, the Department of Commerce slapped ZTE with a seven-year export restriction.

This is a huge blow to ZTE, which sources a significant portion of its most important components, including processors, from U.S. companies like Qualcomm . It also means ZTE may lose access to software licensed from Google, including Android.

This is the latest in ZTE’s string of entanglements with the U.S. government. Despite holding fourth place in the U.S. smartphone market share, after Samsung, Apple and LG, ZTE is under scrutiny by U.S. intelligence agencies, which believe that it and fellow Chinese smartphone maker Huawei may pose security concerns.

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Grasshopper, a learn-to-code app from Google’s Area 120 incubator, goes live

Google’s internal incubator, Area 120, is today releasing its next creation: a learn-to-code mobile app for beginners called Grasshopper. At launch, the app teaches would-be coders how to write JavaScript, via short lessons on their iPhone or Android device. The goal is to get coders proficient in the basics and core concepts, so they can take the next steps in their coding education – whether that’s taking online classes, attending a bootcamp, or playing around in Grasshopper’s own online playground where they can create interactive animations.

Like other Area 120 projects, Grasshopper was built by a small team of Googlers, who had a personal interest in working on the project.

“Coding is becoming such an essential skill, and we want to make it possible for everyone to learn even when life gets busy,” the app’s About Us page explains. “We made Grasshopper to help folks like you get into coding in a fun and easy way.”

Area 120 has now been around for just over two years, but Google’s hadn’t heavily publicized its efforts until last year, when it launched a dedicated website for the incubator. To date, Area 120 has released things like Advr, an advertising format for VR; personal stylist Tailor; emoji messenger Supersonic; a job-matching service in Bangladesh, a booking tool called Appointments; and the YouTube co-watching app UpTime.

The incubator’s goal – beyond potentially finding Google’s next breakthrough product – is to retain talented engineers who may have otherwise left the company to work on their own passion projects or startups.

Grasshopper – whose name is a tribute to early programming pioneer Grace Hopper – was already known to be one of the projects in the works at Area 120.

However, it hadn’t launched to the public until today.

The app itself offers a series of courses, beginning with “The Fundamentals,” where users learn how code works, along with various terminology like functions, variables, strings, for loops, arrays, conditionals, operators, and objects. Grasshopper then moves into two more courses where coders learn to draw shapes using the D3 library, and later create more complex functions using D3.

This curriculum will expand over the next couple of months. Grasshopper will add more content to The Fundamentals section as well as a new course.

But the team says it’s not currently focused on expanding beyond JavaScript, a language used by over 70 percent of professional developers, the site notes.

The Grasshopper app is now live on both iOS and Android, but only in English.

How to Export Your Passwords and Login Data From Google Chrome

In Chrome 66, rolling out now for Mac and iOS, Google has added a password export option to the web browser so that you can easily migrate your login details to another browser via a third-party password manager app. In this article, we’ll show you how to export your passwords from Chrome on Mac and iOS.

At the end of the process, you’ll be left with a CSV file containing all your login credentials. Popular password managers like Enpass and 1Password accept CSV files for importing login data. Just be aware that the CSV file you export from Chrome is in plain text. That means your credentials could be read by anyone with access to it, so make sure you securely delete the file once you’ve imported the data into your password manager of choice.

Continue reading “How to Export Your Passwords and Login Data From Google Chrome”

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Google Chrome 66 Browser Adds Default Mute Autoplay Feature, Password Export, and More

Google is currently rolling out its Chrome 66 update to users of the web browser on Mac and iOS. The Mac version now mutes autoplaying content by default, while both desktop and mobile versions include a passwords export option, security improvements and new developer features.

Mute autoplay was originally slated for Chrome 64, which introduced autoplay settings on a per-site basis, but the function got pushed back for unspecified reasons. However, Chrome 66 now rolls out the default behavior for all users, and feeds into Google’s wider intention to make the media playback experience more consistent when users navigate the web.

Going forward, web-hosted media can only automatically play if it has no audio, if the user interacted with the page during a previous browsing session, or if the user frequently plays media on the site. Similarly on mobile, media can only autoplay if the site was added to the Home Screen by the user.

The new passwords export option was previously hidden in Chrome’s backend flag menus, but Chrome 66 adds the option to the user-facing settings.

As for enhancing security, Chrome 66 follows through on Google’s plan to deprecate Symantec-issued certificates, after the company failed to comply with industry security standards. The decision to end its trust for Symantec certificates was made when certificates for example.com and variations of test.com escaped into the wild.

Additionally, Chrome 66 includes a Site Isolation feature that offers additional protection from the Spectre CPU vulnerability, by forcing websites to run as different processes, with blocks to prevent them receiving certain types of sensitive data.

Google Chrome for Mac is a free download available directly from Google’s servers.

Google Chrome for iOS is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tags: Google, Chrome

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