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The winter holidays are my favorite time of the year: I get to spend quality time with friends and family and eat lots of delicious food. However, between booking airplane tickets, sending greeting cards and looking for the perfect gifts, the pre-holiday season can be busy...and even a bit stressful. This year though, I feel much more in control thanks to the apps I discovered in the Chrome Web Store’s Holiday collection.

If you are looking for last minute holiday gifts, try Gilt for Chrome. Within the app, you can find the latest designer fashion items on sale and search for specific items and sizes like “men’s shoes size 11.”



I also recommend Amazon Windowshop. You can use the app to browse through millions of products in a slick way. For example my cousin really likes cupcakes: a search in the app shows me cupcake related products organized across categories like books, groceries and clothing, helping me find unique gifts.



For those of you still planning your trip home, check out Hipmunk. Hipmunk sorts all available flights to your destination by “agony” -- a mix of price, duration, and number of connections. You can see all the flights that meet your needs in a single view.



Finally, if you are late like I am in sending holiday cards, I suggest checking out Stupeflix Video Maker. In the app you can select a theme (my favorite one is “Celebrate”), insert pictures, text, and music, and create a free 60-second greeting that you can email or post on YouTube and Facebook. Or, you can simply create beautiful photo slideshows with DropMocks and comemories.

There are hundreds more apps to discover at the Chrome Web Store.

Happy Holidays!

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In 2010, the Chrome community has joined us in moments of fun, invention, exploration, and now, giving. Last week, we invited Chrome’s users worldwide to “donate” their opened tabs in Chrome to drive a charitable gift of one million dollars. We on the Chrome team were deeply impressed with the support and participation and now we’re happy to share the results with you.

The Chrome community responded with staggering enthusiasm and, acting together, raised 60,599,541 tabs for charity.


Each Chrome user chose the causes their tabs would support, which determined how we allocated our one million dollar donation. Accordingly, we’re excited to make the following donations on behalf of the Chrome community:
  • $245,278 toward planting trees in the Atlantic Forest, one of the world’s endangered tropical forests.
  • $232,791 toward providing clean water, by building freshwater wells for communities in developing nations.
  • $112,078 toward building shelter, to be constructed by volunteers for impoverished families in Latin America.
  • $267,336 toward administering vaccinations against meningitis to combat outbreaks in Africa.
  • $142,518 toward publishing books by local writers and illustrators, which will be created and donated to schools and libraries across Asia and Africa.
We’ll be making the donations at year-end, and our partner charities are already looking towards applying the funds from Chrome for a Cause in 2011. Read more about how your donation will be applied specifically by visiting our partners’ websites:
We're glad to connect Chrome users with these important causes all around the world -- so much so that we’re already thinking of more Chrome for a Cause projects for the future!

Feel free to keep your extension installed if you’d like to hear about future opportunities to work together with the Chrome community for a good cause. We’ll post all the details about how to participate on the Chrome blog, so make sure you check in when you hear about new opportunities.

Thanks for joining us in this endeavor. Happy Holidays!

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Here at the Demo Lab we have only one mission: to protect your data no matter what happens to your computer. To serve this mission we have been evaluating our Cr-48 prototype notebooks in challenging, some might say extreme, conditions. We’ve been in the lab testing notebooks exhaustively (I'm talking 24 hours a day here). But, to try out as many notebooks as possible, we’re opening up the lab to the public today.

Are you ready to help take the Cr-48 through its paces? If you are up to this challenge, take these mean machines through explosions, carbicide, and destruction by ravenous zombies at google.com/demolab. While you're at it, you can submit an application to the Chrome notebook Pilot program.

That's all from here. Good luck, remember to wear your safety goggles at all times, and see you in the lab.


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Last week, we previewed several upcoming features that will be available to users on Chrome and Chrome OS. Today we’re excited to introduce a few of these new security, speed, and open web platform features into Chrome’s beta channel.

As one of the engineers working on Chrome’s sandbox, I’m happy to announce that we’re bringing Chrome’s existing sandboxing technology for web pages to the Flash Player plug-in in Chrome for Windows. The sandbox adds an additional layer of protection to further guard against malicious pages that try to hijack your computer or steal private information from your hard drive. Based on this groundwork in the beta, we’ll be bringing the sandboxed Flash Player to Chrome for Mac and Linux in future releases as well. For an explanation of how sandboxing technology makes Chrome safer, check out this animated video:



With the latest beta, you can turn on Chrome Instant (à la Google Instant), which lets you view web pages and search results faster than ever. With Instant enabled, web pages that you frequently visit will begin loading as soon as you start typing a URL in the omnibox, faster than you can say ‘Jack Robinson!’ (or in this case, faster than you can hit Enter). In addition, if supported by your default search engine, search results appear instantly as you type queries in the omnibox, and in-line predictions will also appear to help guide your search. Give it a whirl by enabling it on the Basics tab of Chrome’s options and see how you like it!

Finally, this beta will include WebGL, a new web technology for bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser. For more on WebGL in Chrome, check out the Chromium blog. If you’d like to learn more about 3D in the browser and what hardware-accelerated graphics, read on in our online guidebook to browsers and the web.

We hope you’ll enjoy this safer, faster, and more powerful version of the Chrome beta!


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Whether it’s bug fixes to the Chromium open source project, dazzling apps and extensions arriving daily in our Web Store, or boundary-pushing Chrome experiments -- the Chrome community never fails to inspire us with their awesomeness.

This holiday, we wanted to enable the Chrome community to work together for a good cause. Starting today, we invite you to support five worthy causes by counting and “donating” the tabs you open in Chrome.



Everyone’s total tabs will determine a charitable donation made on behalf of the Chrome community, up to one million dollars. Here's what your tabs can do:
  • 10 tabs = 1 tree planted
  • 10 tabs = 1 book published and donated
  • 25 tabs = 1 vaccination treatment provided
  • 100 tabs = 1 square foot of shelter built
  • 200 tabs = 1 person's clean water for a year
To find out more about this effort and the organizations we're partnering with, visit google.com/chrome/intl/en/p/cause/.

Want to participate?
  • Get the Chrome for a Cause extension
  • Browse the web with Chrome between December 15 - 19
  • At the end of each day, you’ll be prompted to click on the extension to submit your tabs
  • Choose which charity you’d like to support with that day’s tabs -- you can always support the same charity, or pick a different one each day
Next week, we’ll be sharing the details of the good deeds you’ve enacted. In the meantime, browse away!



Added on December 15, 2010:

In order to prevent hackers, spammers and bots from manipulating the extension, and to maintain the integrity of the campaign, we ask that users login with their Google account before submitting their tabs. As part of this step, the account log-in process requires connecting to one of Google's APIs to connect with your account. The Google Contacts API is the lightest of all Google APIs and grants the least permissions. Though we use the Contacts API to verify your account we do not use any of your Contacts data in the Chrome for a Cause promotion.

Rest assured, Google's not going to spam your contact list or send you a single email about this.

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When we announced that Chrome is now used by over 120 million users and showed off some of its latest features last week, we saw a tremendous amount of excitement from both users and businesses. Many businesses asked how they can get the benefits of increased security, speed and the modern browser capabilities that Chrome offers with the configurability and customizations they need.

The good news is that businesses don’t need to wait any longer to deploy Google Chrome. Today, we’re announcing that Chrome offers controls that enable IT administrators to easily configure and deploy the browser on Windows, Mac, and Linux according to their business requirements. We’ve created an MSI installer that enables businesses who use standard deployment tools to install Chrome for all their managed users. We’ve also added support for managed group policy with a list of policies and a set of templates that allow administrators to easily customize browser settings to manage security and privacy.

By deploying Google Chrome, organizations can take advantage of improved security and web application performance without needing to upgrade other expensive software licenses or buy new hardware. Deploying Google Chrome also gives users access to productivity-enhancing HTML5 web applications. Since Google Chrome is the same as the browser on Chrome OS, admins considering Chrome OS for their organizations can start testing their mission-critical web applications by deploying the Google Chrome browser.

Support for these new administrative features is available to Google Apps for Business admins by phone and email as part of their Apps deployment. For those who are not Google Apps for Business customers, we’ve also posted documentation to assist administrators deploying Chrome inside their organization.

Over the past few months, we’ve worked to test Chrome with admins in a diverse set of large organizations interested in moving to a more secure, modern browser. Organizations such as Vanguard, Boise State University, and Procter & Gamble (and Google!) have already successfully deployed Chrome to thousands of users. They’ve provided us with excellent feedback, and we’re continuing to work on the next set of features that they’ve requested.

What we’ve built is just the start of what we’d like to offer businesses with Google Chrome. We’re excited by the features built so far, and we’re working hard on polishing the next set of policies that will make Google Chrome even more customizable and useful to users in the future. Please give the new features a try and let us know what you think!

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The other day I told my parents about a recent Chrome experiment, but the site wouldn't load for them: turns out they were still using a browser released over nine years ago and weren’t sure how to update it. I ended up installing Chrome for them, as it stays up-to-date automatically (read: it's less work for me!).

For those of you who also have family members suffering from outdated browser issues, I’ve created a video tutorial that you can share with them so that they can walk through a few quick steps to ensure that they have the latest browser:



This video is one in a series of basic how-to videos that a handful of us at Google have put together at TeachParentsTech.org, a place where “kids” of any age can send tutorials to their moms, dads, uncles, and whomever they like. Send someone a tech support care package of your own!

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Yesterday, we posted a demo video with a secret challenge where the first clever person to crack the code would receive a Cr-48. Just 20 hours later, the puzzle was solved correctly by the team at Jamendo. Congratulations!

Here’s how you can find the puzzle and the solution.
First, around 2:24 in the video, you see the following equations on the board:


The constants solve out as follows:
G = 900.91
C = 8335727
H = 269462689
R = 222647
O = 694079
M = 552
The final equation is written as:
X = G / (C*H*R*O*M - 3)
Plugging in the previous answers gets you to:
900.91 / 191605050401140404051920181525
At that point, the puzzle changes from math to code where the numbers represent letters. It hints to that by the final equation spelling CHROM3, but we expected people to get stuck here and have to play around for a bit. The first mental leap is that you have to visually identify 900.91 as goo.gl (just like spelling words on a calculator: 9=g,0=o,0=o,9=g,1=l). The division sign is a slash ( / ), so this pretty clearly points to the Google URL shortener. From there, you need to figure out the shortened URL.

The number 191605050401140404051920181525 may confuse people for a bit, but the large number of zeros and the repeated "04" and "05" sequences in it visually allude to pairs within the string. Once you see that, it can be broken up into:
19 16 05 05 04 01 14 04 04 05 19 20 18 15 25
If you've gotten this far, you've probably noticed that all of those numbers are between 1 and 26. From here, it's just a straight mapping to letters of the alphabet (A=1, B=2, C=3, etc). Decoding the full string gives you:
s p e e d a n d d e s t r o y
Putting everything together, the end result is:
That URL points to a page where you can fill out a form to request a shiny new Chrome notebook (the form is closed now, of course).

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At our Chrome event on Tuesday, we showed how Chrome notebooks can make computing simpler.

Thanks to the cloud, your Chrome notebook might be how you do everything, but losing it means you lose nothing. No matter what crazy things happen to your laptop, your work stays safe online. Check out our demonstration video below.



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On the Chrome team, we’re constantly amazed by the speed of innovation on the web. We designed Chrome to make the web shine, and we hope our upcoming efforts will help support this vibrant ecosystem even more. By making the web faster, helping people discover great apps, and making computers more fun to use, the next year of computing should be even more exciting than the last one.

Chrome

This year, the number of people using Chrome has tripled from 40 to 120 million. Speed is what people love most about Chrome, and we’re always working to make the browser even faster. Therefore we’re bringing Google Instant to the Omnibox, showing search results and loading web pages as you type. We’ve also overhauled V8, Chrome’s JavaScript engine. It now runs complex JavaScript programs up to twice as fast as before. These two features are available in our early access channels and will be rolling out to all users soon.

Chrome Web Store

Today the Chrome Web Store is open for business. Developers have already started uploading apps, and we expect the number to grow over time. Right now the store is only available in the U.S., but will expand to many countries and currencies early next year. The store will be featured prominently in Chrome, helping people discover great apps and developers reach millions of users around the world.

Chrome OS

Last year, we announced our effort to design an operating system that is built and optimized for the web. Many people already spend all their time in a web browser, and by building an operating system that is essentially a browser, we can make computers faster, much simpler and fundamentally more secure.

We’re not done yet, but Chrome OS is at the stage where we need feedback from real users. Some of the features of Chrome OS require new hardware, but we didn’t want to sell pre-beta computers. Instead we’re launching a pilot program where we will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses. We're starting with the U.S. and will expand to other countries once we get the necessary certifications. To participate in the pilot program, visit the Chrome notebook website.

The test notebooks exist only to test the software—they are black, have no branding, no logos, no stickers, nothing. They do have 12.1 inch screens, full-sized keyboards and touch pads, integrated 3G from Verizon, eight hours of battery life and eight days of standby time. Chrome notebooks are designed to reach the web instantly, are easy to share among friends and family, and simply by logging in, all of your apps, bookmarks and other browser settings are there. Setting up a new machine takes less than a minute. And even at this early stage, we feel there is no consumer or business operating system that is more secure.

In the first half of next year Chrome notebooks will be available for sale from Acer and Samsung. More manufacturers will follow. Also, Chrome OS is designed to work across a wide range of screen sizes and form factors, enabling our partners to deliver computing devices beyond notebooks.

We’re excited to get Chrome notebooks into the hands of users. The data from our test pilots is key to building something wonderful. We look forward to working together to make computers better.