Is Chrome’s Idle Detection really a threat to privacy?

IdleDetector APIChrome 94 was recently released with a new feature: Idle Detection.

Specifically, there’s a new JavaScript API called IdleDetector. It reports two things to the JS code of the web page you’re viewing: keyboard/mouse activity, and if your screen is locked or not.

Much has been said about the diabolical nature of this new capability in Chrome…

Thing is, while we can be forgiven for doubting Google’s motives in adding this feature, it just so happens that Idle Detection is actually quite safe – and useful!

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Is Chrome spying on you?

Chrome Software Reporter ToolChrome is a fantastic web browser – except when it eats all your CPU power and crashes your puter.

What’s going on here? I thought Chrome was lean, mean, and zippy?

Well, it IS… But the Software Reporter Tool that it downloads and runs to scan your computer “for evil add-ons” may be up to more than just making sure Chrome runs well (which is hilarious, since it ends up crashing the puters of so many of us!).

Whatever… How do you turn the dang thing OFF?!

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Fix weird colors in Chrome in just a few clicks

Chrome Color ProblemIf you’re like most internauts these days, you use Google’s Chrome web browser.

You may have noticed that after a certain update, Chrome started displaying colors incorrectly.

The change can be subtle, like with bright blues and purples appearing slightly “off”.

Things can also appear totally wonky, and your whole browser window can be tinted red, for example.

Fortunately, this is a known problem and there’s a very easy way to fix it!

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How to debug JavaScript on mobile devices

Mobile JS DebuggingAh yes, the Mobile Revolution!

It’s fabulous – unless you actually create web sites and other stuff that use JavaScript.

In desktop web browsers, you generally get a web inspector / debug console that lets you do all kinds of fun stuff, including debugging your JS code.

But on mobile, well, no such luck.

In fact, most mobile browsers give you absolutely nothing! Fortunately, there’s a neat trick that fixes everything.

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How to make Chrome less Google-friendly

With Chrome version 69, Google was very naughty.

It was quite easy to miss this little tidbit, but it seems Google decided to make Chrome automatically log you in to Chrome itself if you used the browser to log in to any Google web service.

Before, you didn’t have to log in to Chrome itself in order to log in to Google services. With Chrome 69, that changed.

Fortunately, Google introduced the ability to turn off this annoying feature in Chrome 70.

While you’re at at, there are a few other browser “features” you may want to turn off…

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How to Remove or Block Cookies in Chrome

I use Firefox as my main browser, which is why I wrote the earlier article Remove individual cookies in Firefox (yes, it changed again).

I also use Chrome as a secondary browser since I have 2 screens and too many tabs for one browser!

Recently, I had to do some testing for a web app. I needed to delete a cookie in Chrome…

Well, whattaya know?!

Unlike Firefox, Google Chrome makes it very easy to remove individual cookies. Plus, you can even block cookies for an entire domain!

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How to turn off those annoying notification popups in your browser

Will you allow this site to send notifications?

NO! And stop asking me, dangit!

For ages now, I have put up with these silly popups. Then, one day very recently, I asked myself why.

Why was I putting up with them?!

In the absence of a good answer, I figured out how to turn them off. I’m guessing that if I never bothered to figure it out, you might not have, either.

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Turbocharge your Firefox with multiprocess mode

About half of all internet surfers these days are using Google’s Chrome browser, mostly because it’s awesome.

But many folks, such as myself, still have Firefox around. Firefox is awesome because there is a huge variety of add-ons available, and it’s not yet another Google product.

The problem lately has been that Firefox has become soooo slooOOOW! Like, horribly slow. Like, locking up on me slow…

Despite my best efforts at verifying that an add-on or evil web site was the culprit, it’s still just pokey.

The good news is that this is already changing: turbocharged Firefox is already here, and you can take advantage of it right now!

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Time to say goodbye to Adobe Flash Player

K, Buh-bye Flash!Five months ago, I answered the question Is the Adobe Flash Player really dead?

The answer was: No!

Fast forward to today, and I’m afraid it’s time to part ways, especially if you’re using Firefox.

And if you’re using Chrome, you have a bit less choice in the matter, anyway. Starting next month, Chrome will no longer support Flash by default.

So, do you really still need Flash? And if not, how do you remove it?

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