Category Archives: Chrome

Chrome 63.0.3239.84

The change log for Chrome 63.0.3239.84 has ten thousand entries. I’d like to read it, and I might even find something interesting buried there, but instead I’ll assume Google would point out any notable changes in the release notes.

Alas, while the release notes do point out that the new Chrome includes fixes for thirty-seven security vulnerabilities, none of the other changes are discussed. In a way I suppose that’s a good thing: as long as Google isn’t making large changes or adding new features, while they continue to fix vulnerabilities and other bugs, the outcome is almost always going to be a better browser.

Chrome typically updates itself within a few hours or days of a new release, although in the release notes, Google says “This will roll out over the coming days/weeks.” Given the number of security fixes in this version, it’s a good idea to check the version you’re running, and hopefully trigger an update, by clicking Chrome’s menu button (three vertical dots at the top right), then choosing Help > About Google Chrome.

November updates for Adobe products

Adobe logoYesterday, Adobe announced updates for several of its main products, including Flash, Acrobat Reader, and Shockwave.

Flash 27.0.0.187 addresses five critical vulnerabilities in earlier versions. You can download the new desktop version from the main Flash download page. That page usually offers to install additional software, which you should avoid. Chrome will as usual update itself with the new version, and both Internet Explorer and Edge will get their own updates via Windows Update.

Acrobat Reader 11.0.23 includes fixes for a whopping sixty-two vulnerabilities, all flagged as critical, in earlier versions. Download the full installer from the Acrobat Reader Download Center.

Shockwave Player 12.3.1.201 addresses a single critical security issue in earlier versions. Download the new version from the Adobe Shockwave Player Download Center.

If you use Flash, Reader or Shockwave to view content from untrusted sources, or if you use a web browser with add-ons enabled for any of these technologies, you should update affected systems immediately.

Chrome 62.0.3202.62: thirty-five security fixes

If you want to test your web browser’s performance and memory management, just point it to the full change log for Chrome 62.0.3202.62. It’s a behemoth, documenting over ten thousand distinct changes.

Given the number of changes in Chrome 62.0.3202.62, I decided to skip reading the log and trust that Google would point out anything interesting in the release announcement.

The announcement for Chrome 62.0.3202.62 documents thirty-five fixes for security vulnerabilities, so clearly this is an important update. As for the other changes, Google says only this:

Chrome 62.0.3202.62 contains a number of fixes and improvements — a list of changes is available in the log. Watch out for upcoming Chrome and Chromium blog posts about new features and big efforts delivered in 62.

Chrome usually updates itself within a few days of a new release. You can trigger an update by navigating to the About page: click the three-vertical-dots menu button, then Help > About Google Chrome.

Chrome 61.0.3163.100

There are exactly fifty-seven items in the change log for Chrome 61.0.3163.100. Some of those changes are version increments and other housekeeping; about forty are actual changes to functionality. Most of those changes are fixes for minor issues. Three of the fixes are for security issues.

If you’ve stopped trying to prevent Chrome from updating itself, it will no doubt proceed with this update automatically. But since the new version includes security fixes, it’s a good idea to make sure. Click the main menu button (three vertical dots at the top right of Chrome’s window), then Help > About Google Chrome.

Chrome 61.0.3163.79 includes 22 security fixes

The change log for Chrome 61.0.3163.79 is another browser-challenging page, this one having over 10,000 entries. Google didn’t bother to highlight any of the changes, aside from the twenty-two security issues addressed in the new version.

Unless you’ve gone out of your way to disable the various auto-update mechanisms Google installs alongside its software, Chrome should update itself within a day or so of the new version becoming available. If not, you can usually trigger an update by visiting Chrome’s About page: click the three-dot menu button, then select Help > About Google Chrome.

Chrome 59.0.3071.86

With thirty security fixes in Chrome 59.0.3071.86, I would expect Google to emphasize the need for users to update as soon as possible. Instead, the release announcement says “This will roll out over the coming days/weeks.” Presumably Google feels that the fixed security issues are too obscure to represent any imminent threat.

To be fair, personal experience has shown that Chrome is great at detecting updates, often very soon after they become available. Visiting the About page is usually enough to trigger an update. Click the three-vertical-dots menu button, then choose Help > About.

If you have several hours to kill, you might want to check out the change log for Chrome 59.0.3071.86, which by my count contains 10,911 entries.

Google’s new Chrome ad blocker raises questions

Google is giving web advertisers until the end of the year to comply with the standards set by the Coalition for Better Ads, after which a new ad-blocker in Chrome will start blocking non-compliant ads.

This raises some interesting questions.

Google is the biggest provider of advertising services on the web. Will Google block ads from its own platform if they don’t meet the new standards? That scenario, while interesting to ponder, is unlikely to occur, since Google’s ad creation tools will presumably prevent it.

If Google’s ads are unlikely to be blocked, won’t this be viewed as anti-competitive behaviour by other advertisers? Google will point to the independent standards set up by the CBA, but will that be enough? Less-reputable advertising providers — those allowing the sorts of ads Google wants to block — stand to lose significant revenue. These days it doesn’t take much to trigger a lawsuit, and Google is a favourite target for litigation, because it has enormously deep pockets.

From the user perspective, Chrome’s new ad blocker will be purely beneficial. Opera already has a built-in ad blocker, and it’s likely that the other major browser makers are working on similar features. But there are weird times ahead for Google.