Google to award successful hackers with 2 million dollars in Pwnium 2

Google is backing words with actions, as the search engine giant is set to award cash prizes to everyone that could successfully exploit their Chrome browser.

Last Wednesday, Google announced the Pwnium 2 project. Pwnium 2 is a contest that will award $60,000 for whoever it is that can exploit their Chrome and Chromium browsers.

According to Google, this contest will be held in Malaysia this October in the Hack In The Box security conference. For those who can partially exploit the browser, Google is going to award them $50,000. While a non-Chrome exploit in Windows, apps and Adobe Flash on the other hand will fetch the hacker $40,000.

According to Google software engineer Chris Evans, “You may have noticed that we’ve compressed the reward levels closer together for Pwnium 2. This is in response to feedback, and reflects that any local account compromise is very serious. We’re happy to make the web safer by any means – even rewarding vulnerabilities outside of our immediate control.”

The company is set to award a handful of individuals the prize. Their threshold will be $2 million. If that is reached, the contest will be over.

Prepare you hacking abilities and test your mettles in the Pwnium 2!

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Google Docs enables offline editing

Google has finally enabled offline editing to Google Docs users.

Offline editing enables users to edit or continue writing, even if there is no Internet connection available.

Product Management Director at Google Clay Bavor said, “No Internet connection? No big deal. With offline editing, you can create and edit Google documents and leave comments. Any changes you make will be automatically synched when you get back online.”

Not all features are available for the offline version of Google Docs. In the offline mode, users can’t attach or insert an image or drawing, use tools such as research tools and translate, download or share, publish and prints documents.

Bavor added, “We’re also working hard to make offline editing for spreadsheets and presentations available in the future.”

Reactions for the Google update have been positive. Venture Beat writes, “Offline editing puts Google Docs in a position to take on note-taking applications such as Evernote. One major complaint about Evernote is the inability to share notes with others, which Google Docs obviously already enables.”

To enable offline editing in Google Docs, users need to click on the gear icon at the top right hand portion of the page in Google Drive, either  in Chrome or ChromeOS, and set it up.

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Chrome for iOS now Apple App Store’s baby

Google Chrome for iOS became an instant sensation, barely a day after Google released the app to Apple fanatics.

Chrome became the app store’s most downloaded free app on the iPad and the iPhone, and it doesn’t look like that trend might change for days.

Google Chrome is considered as one of the popular Internet browsers out there, as of the moment even trumping Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox in some states and countries.

Google Chrome’s biggest draw is the ability to sync tabs, passwords from your PC or notebook Chrome browser to other devices and bookmarks. This makes Internet browsing easier for you if you use multiple devices to access it.

But Apple isn’t ready to jump on the bandwagon yet, as the company doesn’t intend to change their default browser to the Chrome. That distinction is still being held by Apple’s very own Safari.

Although developer Jon Abrams created an iOS Safari bookmarklet to open pages in your Chrome browser.

Create a bookmark in Safari for the following address: javascript.location.href=”googlechrome”+location.href.subsstring(4);

You can name the bookmark “Open in Chrome.” When you select it, it will open your current Safari page in Google’s browser.

Have you tried Chrome for iOS?

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Google Drive and Chrome now available for iOS

Users of iOS devices such as iPad, iPhone and iPod can now use Google’s cloud storage service, Google Drive, and Google’s browser, the Google Chrome.

During the annual developer conference of Google, the company announced that both the Google Drive and Chrome are going to invade Apple devices.

Vice president of Chrome, Briand Rakowski, demoed the Chrome browser on iOS devices. This includes synching settings from a multiple devices.

Google also announced that the Google Drive, which enables individuals to store files and share documents via cloud, is now up and running for iOS devices.

Director of product for Google Apps Clay Bavor said, “We brought many of the best features of Drive to mobile.”

According to CNET, Bavor presented during his keynote address was the ability of images to be scanned and stored as PDF files in Google drive and the best thing is that they are searchable.

Google’s browser, the Chrome, is considered by many as the best browser out there in the market. Being a light on your system, it doesn’t slow your PC or laptop.

If Google can bring this to the Chrome for iOS devices, then this would be surely a hit to Apple fanatics!

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Google Chrome and the others are not invited to the Windows 8 RT party

Google Chrome is getting ready for the future of Windows, but Microsoft wants to cut them short. What am I talking about? I am talking about the lack of browser freedom in the upcoming Windows 8. Google assures its users that it will have Google Chrome functional in the upcoming Windows 8, but not on Windows 8 RT operating systems.

Why is this a big issue? Isn’t Google Chrome already working on a Windows environment?

People know that Microsoft has promised that they will provide a “desktop mode” or a way for legacy applications to work on the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Still, Google Chrome will not want to be termed lazy by not creating a Google Chrome that follows the new Metro style.

The issue is because Microsoft has implemented a code on Windows 8 that treats browsers differently from any other application that may run on the operating system. They said that they are restricting the use of 3rd party browsers, requiring that the browser must be set as a system app for it to work normally. This will require a lot of tweaking and new coding to adapt to the new APIs of Windows 8.

Microsoft is being very aggressive in creating an environment that is focused mainly on Microsoft’s offerings. They are creating a sort of locked system environment; the same accusation that Apple is getting on its Mac and iOS devices. Despite this controlled environment, Google has a way out. It’s entirely up to the user to choose Google Chrome as a system application, and it is not impossible to do so. For the Windows 8 RT though, it’s a whole different story.

Wait, what is Windows RT?

I am sure this has grazed the thoughts of some readers by now. Remember when I talked about Windows 8? They were planning to implement the use of Windows 8 on a slew of different devices. One of these devices is the tablet. Most tablets are set up to run on ARM architectures. It uses less power, and is completely built for a low processing environment. What this means is that ARM devices last longer ,but are not quite as powerful as your Intel or AMD processors.  This makes them perfect for the mobile environment, since you would prefer to use your mobile devices, such as tablets and phones, without frequently gunning for a wall socket.

As you would have figured out, ARM processes things differently than Intel or AMD devices. They require a different way of programming. Programmers who aim to produce apps for both the PC and ARM devices would need to maintain different sets of codes. This makes Windows 8 RT different internally, but aesthetically the same as Windows 8.

So, where is the problem again?

The problem here is that Microsoft is becoming even stricter with regards to Windows 8 RT. They placed restriction on its own developers and made sure that only Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer will be the only browser that will work effectively in this environment. Other browsers may try, but they won’t be able to implement several functions, such as the implementation of plugins.

So, what now?

Google and Mozilla have been very vocal regarding this matter. They seek to ensure that the user has a choice to run other browsers on the Windows 8 RT, as well as allow fair play, by removing the restrictions on 3rd party browsers. They are also banking on a legally binding agreement of Microsoft with the EU pertaining to browser choice. Microsoft argues that this is only for a Windows PC. Well, are they saying Windows RT is not Windows anymore?

We already have a closed system provider for people who like to have other people choose for them. That is what Apple represents. Microsoft’s Windows used to run in the principles of user choice and the availability of choices. No matter how you look at it, Windows RT is still a Windows operating system. It makes no sense to market that they want the “same” Windows experience for both the tablet and the PC. By restricting possibilities and innovation in the tablet environment, they are simply sound like they are lying through their teeth.

As a user of Windows for many years, do you want to have them decide for you which browser you will use? Are you satisfied to stick to Internet Explorer and allow them the monopoly on Windows RT? It really is up to the pressure of the users to decide whether Microsoft can get away with this new model or not.

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Google Chrome OS Gets Stronger

Samsung has released the new Google Chrome devices, the Chromebook laptop and the chromebox desktop. This has been heavily influenced by the performance problems that the browser-based operating system suffered while running on other devices.

The new devices are good for people who spend more time on the Google cloud. Getting the Google services such as Gmail, YouTube, Google docs, Google drive, and the rest will be easier with these devices. The issue of speed nowadays is very important in the marketing of any mobile or computer device. Google has realized this and is continuously working on having the fastest hardware that they can offer.

However, the Chromebook and the Chrome box are not up to scratch yet. They cannot support a number of software such as Skype, Photoshop iTunes among others. This really limits the user in terms of what they can do. Even if the speed improves, without being compatible with useful software, it becomes non appealing to the consumers.

Google on the other hand, appreciates that the new Chrome OS-driven devices are not for everybody, but for a certain targeted niche that realizes the advantages of them. In fact Google did not advertise the first generation Chromebooks, opting for consumers to find them by themselves. They have however decided to market the new devices and try to put across the advantages to the consumers. Google and partners such as Samsung are working on connecting the Android phones with the Chromebooks. This will make sure that Android lovers will be more comfortable with the Chrome run devices rather than the Windows or Mac machine.

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Twitter upgrades users privacy control

Social networking site Twitter said that they are now going to honor Do Not Track requests so as for users to better improve their privacy control.

Director of growth and international at Twitter Othman Laraki said, “These tailored suggestions are based on accounts followed by other Twitter users and visits to websites in the Twitter ecosystem.”

“We receive visit information when sites have integrated Twitter buttons or widgets, similar to what many other companies – including LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube – do when they’re integrated into websites.”

By recognizing which accounts are frequently followed by people who visit popular sites, we can recommend those accounts to others who have visited those sites within the last ten days.”

Do Not Track is a privacy setting available in a few browsers; it basically tells websites that you have opted out of tracking by way of an HTTP header.

If you choose not to be tracked at browser level, some websites will be unable to allow third parties to note what websites you visit and when to inform advertising and analytics.

Unfortunately, not all websites agree not to track you and not all browsers have the option.

It is currently available only from Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox. Google has assured their followers that their own Chrome browser will have the option before the year ends.

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Flickr set to unveil new way to upload photos

Fans of the poplar photo sharing site Flickr will be pleased upon hearing the news that they have added a new uploading interface that promises to be much more convenient and faster than the old way.

The new technology they are using is the HTML 5. This means that members can now select for uploading by dragging the photos you want to your browser. That’s how simple it is.

Supported browsers are Chrome 6, Safari 5, Firefox 8 and above. If you have an outdated browser, you better update to the latest one to enjoy this upgrade.

This makes life easier for Flickr members as they would only need to drag and drop. An aim for this update is to make sorting of images into sets easier.

The photo sharing site also claims that is has managed to pull off a 20-30 percent increase in upload speed. International users on the other hand may enjoy a 50-60 percent increase. They have also increased the uploadable file limit to 50MB for Pro users and 30MB for free users.

These changes will be felt in the upcoming weeks to come.

It was just last February that Flickr revamped its main interface. So expect for a bigger and better photo sharing experience.

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Google’s Chrome 17 introduces pre-page loading

Who doesn’t want a faster web browsing experience?

Google is about to make dreams into reality with their new Chrome 17. With the latter’s entry in the market, web browsing could be improved. Google’s latest browser loads and renders pages which the user is most likely to visit so that the appear straightaway.

The Chrome 17 is still  available in beta stream. It pre-renders so that it reduces the time between the user hitting return and the appearance of a loaded page.

Security features called “safe browsing technology” has also been improved so as for users to be protected from malware attacks. With the prevalence of sites that gives its visitors downloads with malicious software, this could be a big boost for your privacy and computer’s health.

Dominic Hamon a software engineer from Google said that, “if a file you download is known be bad, or is hosted on a website that hosts a relatively high percentage of malicious downloads, Chrome will warn you that the file appears to be malicious and that you should discard it.”

He also added that, “remember, no technical mechanism can ever protect you completely from malicious downloads. You should always be careful about which files you download and consider the reputation of their source.”

A new homepage for Google

Google’s homepage has been minimalist since its inception. The company’s logo with a little box for your search query and two buttons welcome you to their site and that’s about it. If you compare it to their rivals like Yahoo!, it certainly looks bland and boring.
It seems like Google’s minimalist homepage have its days numbered. The company has begun testing a new design for their website. If visitors click the logo, a menu pops out revealing Google’s top services (Google+, Search, Images, Maps, YouTube, News, Gmail and Documents) add to that a “More” option with submenus that gives you access to Reader, Calendar, Books and Shopping.
The design is still not available to all users. The upgraded homepage can be viewed by selected individuals in English language markets.
It’s obvious that Google is pushing for their social networking website, Google+, to the top. The company has placed it in the topmost portion over their other services. This comes as a much needed push for the young site.
The new look resembles Google’s Web-dependent Chrome OS that is available on selected Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer. Chromebooks have been in the market for over a year.
Google’s minimalist design started in the 90’s when they had a logo, search bar and button and an “I’m feeling lucky” tab.
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