AfterDawn: Tech news

Google places restrictions on browser toolbars

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 23 Dec 2013 13:03 User comments (9)

Google places restrictions on browser toolbars Google has taken the excellent step of protecting Chrome users from browser toolbars that can be added (usually unwittingly) when installing extensions or other software.
Says Google: "Today we're announcing an update to the Chrome Web Store policy: extensions in the Chrome Web Store must have a single purpose that is narrow and easy-to-understand. While this has always been the intent of the Chrome extension system, not all extensions have lived up to this ideal. These multi-purpose extensions can crowd your browser UI and slow down your web browsing - sometimes significantly. We're making this policy change to fix these problems and give users more control over their browsing experience."

Chrome extensions were always supposed to serve a single purpose, allowing for a single visible UI surface when using the browser. Toolbars, which can add search bars and other features revolving around the toolbar maker's products, clearly did not fit into the Chrome mold. Google was unable to stop them, however: "Unfortunately, in some cases, we couldn't enforce these design goals technically. With content scripts, extension developers have full control over the page, so they can put up as much UI as they want, even going as far as to create toolbars in the page. Others used content scripts to create extensions with more subtle features bundled together that were harder to attribute to specific extensions. In many cases, the Chrome Web Store helped by showing poor reviews when users had noticed bad behavior from a particular extension, but in other cases the connection wasn't clear."

The policy goes into effect immediately for new extensions and in June 2014 for existing extensions, giving developers time to update the software.

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9 user comments

123.12.2013 13:20

Coming from one of the leaders of installing their crappy toolbars and forcing their browser on everyone with the automatic checkboxes that most people do not uncheck when installing programs and apps. Oh the irony


AMD Phenom II 965 @ 3.67Ghz, 8GB DDR3, ATI Radeon 5770HD, 256GB OCZ Vertex 4, 2TB Additional HDD, Windows 7 Ultimate.

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223.12.2013 17:05

Quote:
Google has taken the excellent step of protecting Chrome users from browser toolbars that can be added (usually unwittingly) when installing extensions or other software.
Ugh, I wish there was a way to isolate and neutralize the part of the brain that causes some people to think they can just spam the Next button without paying any attention and have everything happen correctly. Even more annoying is when people don't even notice/care that they've installed something they didn't mean to, or when they think the toolbar is a required component of Java or some such thing.

Sorry -- just the ramblings of a guy who always gets called on to save friends/relatives from their computer woes...
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Dec 2013 @ 17:05

323.12.2013 17:20

Originally posted by nonoitall:
Sorry -- just the ramblings of a guy who always gets called on to save friends/relatives from their computer woes...
I feel your pain. I get that too all the time.

"I have no idea how all those toolbars got there"

"Why does my internet look different" (meaning some other browser forced itself to be installed and be set as default)

"That virus just got on the computer. I swear I didn't click anything"



AMD Phenom II 965 @ 3.67Ghz, 8GB DDR3, ATI Radeon 5770HD, 256GB OCZ Vertex 4, 2TB Additional HDD, Windows 7 Ultimate.

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423.12.2013 22:04

Originally posted by nonoitall:
Sorry -- just the ramblings of a guy who always gets called on to save friends/relatives from their computer woes...
Haha, I'm sure fixing rellies/friends from this happens to all us AfterDawners. :)

@Bob... irony? Not to mention that Chrome loads up DoubleClick every time you run it.


- I have a personal dislike of the Adobe Flash install that wants to load up McAfee Security Scan Plus with an op-out tick... cheek.

Its a lot easier being righteous than right.


524.12.2013 1:34

@bobiroc, @nonoitall, & @jemborg

It would appear we are, all of us, on the same boat. Lol.

"I have no idea how all those toolbars got there" & "Why does my internet look different" seem to be the more prevalent dilemmas. With the occasional "I don't know what happened. All I did was turn on the computer/laptop."

:D

624.12.2013 1:41

Originally posted by DDR4life:
@bobiroc, @nonoitall, & @jemborg

It would appear we are, all of us, on the same boat. Lol.

"I have no idea how all those toolbars got there" & "Why does my internet look different" seem to be the more prevalent dilemmas. With the occasional "I don't know what happened. All I did was turn on the computer/laptop."

:D
And tomorrow is Christmas Eve so I get to look forward to my family coming up to me with the dreaded "I have a computer question for ya..."

The worst was when I had a guest at my wedding do that to me. Here I am getting married, drinking and dancing, and having a good time and they have to pull that one out on me.

There is no rest for the computer genius.

AMD Phenom II 965 @ 3.67Ghz, 8GB DDR3, ATI Radeon 5770HD, 256GB OCZ Vertex 4, 2TB Additional HDD, Windows 7 Ultimate.

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724.12.2013 8:46

Originally posted by DDR4life:
@bobiroc, @nonoitall, & @jemborg

It would appear we are, all of us, on the same boat. Lol.

"I have no idea how all those toolbars got there" & "Why does my internet look different" seem to be the more prevalent dilemmas. With the occasional "I don't know what happened. All I did was turn on the computer/laptop."

:D
i did turn my computer on and it died.fixed it but i hadn't done anything and it died.
If i ask family how to fix my computer they tell me to run scans, half the time they try and tell me there better with computers than me (there all older),but have no idea how to fix it when i have an issue.

back on topic,i did notice there was no opt out button on flash but i manually uninstalled mcafee.

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824.12.2013 20:01

Ah, Adobe are doubly tricky y'see... your choice to opt-out is on the Download page not at the install!!! A-holes.

I'm always uninstalling it from peoples poots lol.


Pro tip: If it's a dire infection... if you can run your desktop, then run ComboFix (get it from bleepingcomputer.com) and then a regular scan... no worries.

Merry Xmas everyone.


Its a lot easier being righteous than right.


926.12.2013 2:02

Originally posted by Jemborg:
Ah, Adobe are doubly tricky y'see... your choice to opt-out is on the Download page not at the install!!! A-holes.

Merry Xmas everyone.

True, very true. Why a big-time corporation like Adobe would rely on McAfee is beyond me.

Merry Christmas, all.

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