View all your tabs in one place, search, move them between windows with Tab Manager Plus for Firefox and Chrome

There are plenty of add-ons that make tab management easier in Firefox. Tab Session Manager, Foxy Tab, Tree Style Tab are some good options that come to mind.

Tab Manager Plus is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that lets you view all your tabs in one place, search in open tabs and move them between windows.
The add-on places an icon on the browser’s toolbar; it displays a badge that indicates the total number of tabs that are open at the time. Click the icon to view the add-on’s interface. This pop-up window contains favicons of every tab that is opened. Mouse over a favicon to view the tab’s title and URL.

Tab Manager Plus assigns a title to the window that is based on the number of tabs you have opened per site. For.e.g If you had 6 or 7 gHacks tabs open or 8-9 of GitHub, it will use gHacks and GitHub.
Mouse over the title and click on it to customize it if you prefer a different one. You may change the background color of the window from this screen as well and click on a favicon to switch to the tab instantly. There are four buttons below the tab icons for closing the window, minimizing it, setting the window color and title, and opening a new tab.
If you want to jump to a specific tab, but aren’t sure where it is, use the search box at the bottom of Tab Manager Plus’interface. It works on an as-you-type basis in real time, and highlights the tabs which match the search term. For e.g. If I type “ghacks”, the extension highlights the tabs which have the word in the url or title.

Right-click on a tab’s icon to select it, you can select multiple. Press enter to move tabs to a new window, or drag the icons from one window’s pane to another.

The toolbar at the bottom of the add-on’s interface can be used to highlight duplicate tabs, open a new window, filter tabs that don’t match your search, or to pin the current tab. The other two options are handy for managing tabs that you have selected, they can either be discarded from the memory or closed.
Click the three-line menu button to change the view. The default view is the horizontal view, and the others are vertical view, block view and big block view. Right-click on the Tab Manager Plus icon to view a context menu. This allows you to open the add-on’s interface in its own tab which can be useful if you’re using the vertical or big block view modes.

The wrench icon in the top right corner opens the extension’s Options panel. You can set the maximum number of tabs per window (for e.g. 15), once it reaches the limit, new tabs will be opened in a new window. The pop-up interface’s size can be customized in terms of height and width. Not a fan of bright colors? Enable dark mode. Compact mode trims the spaces between each icon.

Tab Manager Plus supports some mouse and keyboard shortcuts. As mentioned earlier, right-click selects tabs, holding shift while right-clicking selects multiple tabs. Close tabs using the middle mouse button. Pressing the enter key opens a selected tab, or moves multiple tabs to a new window. You can toggle animations, window titles, and the tab counter from the add-on’s options page.
The extension has a couple of experimental features for session management. But I couldn’t get these to work in Firefox or Chrome.
Tab Manager Plus is an open source extension. This reddit post explains the origin of Tab Manager Plus. Apparently, the developer was using a similar Chrome extension which was eventually sold and then went bad. So he forked the original add-on (before it went rogue), improved it and later ported it to Firefox.
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Google implements "always show full URL" option in Google Chrome

Chromium, the open source part of the Google Chrome browser, got a new experimental flag recently that, when enabled, added a context menu option to the address bar to show the full URL of the active site. My take on the initial feature was that it was more or less worthless as it only showed the full ‘URL for that site; a reload, click on a link or the loading of a new address would return to the crippled status quo.
It appears that the Chromium developers were not finished with the implementation. If you use Chromium or Chrome Canary with the flag enabled, you will notice that it has been turned into a toggle.
A right-click on the URL in the Chrome address bar and the selection of “Always show full URLs” toggles the feature.

When enabled, Chrome will always show the full URL of the active site including the protocol that is used and the www/m part if it is used by the site. The default state is disabled and Chrome will omit the information in that case.
Google plans to roll out the feature in Chrome 83 Stable. The company announced recently that it will skip Chrome 82 due to the Coronavirus pandemic so that Chrome 83 will be the next stable version of the web browser.
Google Chrome users who run Chrome Canary (or Chromium) currently may enable the new feature in the following way:

Load chrome://flags in the web browser’s address bar.
Search for Context menu show full URLs or load chrome://flags/#omnibox-context-menu-show-full-urls directly.
Set the status of the experimental flag to enabled.
Restart the web browser.
Right-click on the address in Chrome after the restart and check the “Always show full URLs” context menu option.

Chrome will display the full page address from that moment on for all visited sites.
Closing Words
Finally, an option to show the full page URL again in the Chrome web browser (without having to install a browser extension). I still think it is ridiculous that Google removed the information in first place (and that other browser makers followed). Vital information like the URL should never be manipulated in my opinion.
Now You: Full URL or just some part of it, what is your preference? (via Techdows)
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Chromium's "Show Url" is the most useless thing I have ever seen in a browser

Every now and then, browser makers make decisions that seem in diametrical opposition to what user’s want or expect from a browser. Granted, these companies have lots of Telemetry data that the public does not have access to, and that data may suggest to them that the change makes sense.
Google started to hide certain elements from the URL in the address bar some time ago. Particularly, Chrome hides https://, http://, and www from the URL by default and Chrome engineers stated that the information was not required by most users. For secure sites, Chrome shows a padlock icon to indicate that the site is secure but that is that.
If you visit Ghacks, you will notice that Chrome omits the “www” part of the address. While it makes no difference here on this site, it is theoretically possible that site content differs when accessing a site using www and without www.
Note: Mozilla plans to remove HTTPS and WWW from Firefox’s address bar as well.
A click in the address bar currently displays the full address. While that is better than nothing, it is cumbersome to do so. Google removed a flag in the browser some time ago that allowed users to restore the full address in the browser. Chrome users may install the company’s Suspicious Site Reporter extension or a third-party extension that restores the functionality.
Now, it appears that Google is working on another option to restore the functionality. Recent versions of Chromium, the open source core of Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers, sport a new experimental flag to add a context menu option to Chrome. What it does? It gives users the option to display the full address from the right-click context menu.
The problem? It is only active for the currently loaded site and only until a reload. Why would anyone use the context menu to display the full address if a single left-click in the address bar does the same?

The only explanation that I have for that is that the feature is not fully implemented yet. It could be that the option will toggle the functionality permanently or at least for the session once fully implemented. If not, it does not look as if it is a feature that could be of use to anyone using  the web browser.
The flag is only active in Chromium currently. While you see it in Chrome Canary currently, enabling it does nothing at the time of writing.
Now You: What is your take on the hiding of information in a browser’s address bar? (via Techdows)
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Anity for Chrome translates Japanese Manga into English

Anity is a new browser extension for the Google Chrome web browser that translates Japanese manga to English in the browser.
If you like manga, you may have noticed that most manga is in English. While an ever increasing selection of manga gets translated into various languages, most manga remains in Japanese.
Tip: check out Kana for Android to learn Hiragana and Katakana.
Translate Japanese manga to English
Anity comes to the rescue. The Chrome extension is designed to provide non-Japanese speakers with options to read Japanese-language manga. It uses machine and user translations for that and works in the following way.
Visit a webpage with a manga that is in Japanse. Click on the Anity icon in the Chrome address bar and select translate from the list of options that the menu that opens lists. Use the mouse to select the image that you want the extension to analyze.
You will notice a loading symbol on top of the image; this symbol indicates that the extension is in the process of analyzing the image.

It should identify all text parts of the image automatically. These text bubbles are highlighted so that you know that they have been identified.
Click on any of these to display the translation in an overlay on the screen. Repeat the process for any other text bubble that Anity identified to read the English translation of the text.
Some of the Japanese characters may be underlined in the text overlay. You may click on these to look up more information about these characters which may be useful if you learn Japanese as it allows you to look up characters that you are unfamiliar with.
Closing Words
Anity works really well when it comes to the translation of Japanese manga into English. I’m not proficient enough to judge the quality of the translation but it is likely that you should expect it to be understandable for the most part but with errors.
The process of selecting images for translations is somewhat cumbersome if you want to read an entire manga on a website as you have to repeat the process for each image on the page. It would be better if the extension would either detect all images automatically or introduce an hover option to make things more comfortable.
All in all though, it is an excellent option for non-Japanese speakers who are interested in manga. The extension should work in other Chromium-based web browsers as well.
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Google implemented a controversial feature in Chrome

Google has implemented a new feature in version 80 of the company’s Chrome web browser called Scroll To Text Fragment designed as a global method to deep link to any part of a web document.
Unlike HTML’s anchor functionality, Scroll To Text Fragment links may be created by anyone to point to different parts of a document; this is done by specifying a text snippet in the URL. The text snippet has to be provided in the form #:~:text=, e.g.
Use cases include search engines that may link to content on a page but also resource sites such as Wikipedia and users who want to share links that point to a specific part of a document (similarly how you may share video links on YouTube that point to a specific playtime).

The feature emerged from the W3C’s Web Platform Incubator Community Group which is heavily dominated by Google. Three of the four code reviews of the feature were conducted by Google employees.
Google has been criticized heavily for implementing the feature in Chrome by default. Mozilla employee David Baron posted this last December:
My high-level opinion here is that this a really valuable feature, but it might also be one where all of the possible solutions have major issues/problems.
Brave’s Peter Snyder put it more bluntly on Twitter:
Imposing privacy and security leaks to existing sites (many of which will never be updated) REALLY should be a “don’t break the web”, never cross, redline. This spec does that.
The feature could enable new privacy attacks according to Snyder who published an example of a potential issue on GitHub:
For example: Consider a situation where I can view DNS traffic (e.g. company network), and I send a link to the company health portal, with #:~:text=cancer. On certain page layouts, i might be able tell if the employee has cancer by looking for lower-on-the-page resources being requested.
Google has created a document and made it public in which it collected potential issues linked to the Scroll To Text Fragment feature. In it, Google highlights potential attack vectors and potential mitigations.
Closing Words
One of the main takeaways from the controversy is that Google acts from a position of power thanks to Chrome’s dominance on the web. Google will push features into Chrome that it considers worthwhile (for whatever reason) even if there is strong opposition.
Now You: What is your take on the controversy surrounding the new feature?
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Google updates its Terms of Service to include Chrome and Chrome OS

If you visit a Google website right now you will likely see a notification at the top stating that the company has changed its Terms of Service and that the new terms will take effect on March 31, 2020.
The message, “We’re updating our Terms of Service. Get to known our new Terms before they take effect on March 31, 2020”, has “review” and “got it” buttons attached to it.

One of the most important changes in the new Terms of Service is that the updated terms apply to Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS, and Google Drive as well.
You can check out the summary of major changes here to get an overview of important changes. Google published a special page for Google Chrome and Chrome OS that summarizes the changes for these two separately.
We added Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS, and Google Drive to the list of services that the Terms apply to. With this change, these services are governed by the Terms of Service and also a smaller set of service-specific additional terms.
Google notes that it has not “made any changes to the way” it treats customer data and that the updated terms do not “change the service” that the company provides.
The updated terms will not change the service we provide to you. This change makes it easier to understand the general terms that apply to most Google services — which now include Chrome and Chrome OS — alongside the service-specific additional terms and policies that apply to particular Google products. Our privacy policies aren’t changing. The Google Privacy Policy still applies to personal information you provide to Google when you use Chrome and ChromeOS […]
Essentially, what Google will do from March 31, 2020 onward is that it will treat Google Chrome and Chrome OS equal to other company services. One of the most important takeaways from that is that the Terms will apply to Chrome users who don’t use a Google Account now. Previously, the Terms would apply to Google Account owners.
What is particularly problematic about that is that non-Google account users get no options to control the data that collects and  don’t get access to some other privacy related settings because they are only available to customers with a Google Account.
Google Chrome and Chrome OS users who don’t want to accept the updated Terms of Service have only one option according to Google: to stop using the services.
Now You:What is your take on these changes?
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Motion attempts to stop procrastination in Chrome

Motion is a new extension for the Google Chrome browser that attempts to stop procrastination. Unlike other extensions of its kind, which simply block access to a set of sites you specify, Motion extends the core functionality significantly.
The idea for the extension came after one of the developers realized that he was spending too much time on Facebook, and that the existing selection of extensions to reduce usage on the site were not useful as they were either too restrictive or too simplistic.
When you set up the extension after installation, you are asked a couple of questions. You may set working hours in which Motion is active in the browser, and may remove a handful of popular sites — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit — from the list of suggestions.
The extension displays a small popup when you visit a site that is on the blocklist during working hours. It acts as a reminder and gives you options to close the tab, access the site for a minute, or for longer.

Motion displays a timer on the page when you select to access it. Another popup is displayed when the time runs out and you may use it to close the tab or get more time to continue accessing the site; this repeats itself until you select the close tab option.
Sites can be added or removed to the list of distracting sites or the whitelist. The whitelist may be useful to allow specific pages on distracting sites, e.g. a business page on Facebook.

The general settings let you change the working hours and make the following changes to the extension’s functionality:

Use Motion’s widget functionality.
Show the report from yesterday when Chrome opens.
Show periodic reminders when you are on sites for a long time.
Treat news sites as distracting sites.

The widget is an icon that Motion displays on sites. It is the same icon that powers the time functionality. A click on it displays options to hide it, mark the current site as distracting, or use the extension’s task functionality.
Tasks run until you stop them; they are added to the reports functionality of the extension and may help you understand better what you did on a site and they also highlight the task to you on every page in the browser.
Reporting plays a big part and you may access reports in the settings. Motion lists any site you visited and you may add any to the list of distracting sites from that list right away. Sites are sorted by access length and you may change the data or switch to tasks if you want.
What about privacy?
Motion states that it will never sell user data (not even in anonymized form) and does not collect URLs or the content of sites visited in the browser. The team plans to introduce a paid plan in the feature that adds functionality to the extension that power users may find useful.
The privacy policy provides detains on the data that Motion collects and for what purpose.
Closing Words
Motion is an interesting extension for Chrome with a balanced approach to procrastination. The popups that it displays on distracting sites are helpful and so is the tool’s reporting functionality. In the end, some self-control is still required as it is easy enough to bypass, e.g. by using a different browser or disabling the extension. Users who need just a small push to stay focused may find it useful.
Now You: how do you handle distractions while working?
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Google Chrome will block all "insecure downloads" in the near future

Google plans to block all insecure downloads in coming versions of the company’s Google Chrome browser. Insecure downloads, according to Google, are downloads that originate from HTTPS websites that are not served via HTTPS. The decision won’t affect sites that are still accessed via HTTP.
The change is the next step in Google’s plan to block “all insecure subresources on secure pages” which it announced last year. Back then, Google declared that mixed content, another term for insecure content on secure websites, “threatens the privacy and security of users” as attackers could modify the insecure content, e.g. by tampering with a mixed image of a stock chart to mislead investors” or injecting “a tracking cookie into a mixed resource load”.
Insecurely-downloaded files are a risk to users’ security and privacy. For instance, insecurely-downloaded programs can be swapped out for malware by attackers, and eavesdroppers can read users’ insecurely-downloaded bank statements. To address these risks, we plan to eventually remove support for insecure downloads in Chrome.

Google will introduce the change gradually starting in Chrome 81 on the desktop. First, the browser will only display warnings in the Developer console to get the attention of developers working on sites with insecure downloads.
In Chrome 82, a warning will be displayed if executable files are downloaded via HTTP but the blocking is not enforced at this point. Executable files such as .exe or .apk fall into that category.

Starting in Chrome 83, the browser will block insecure executable downloads outright and display a warning if archives are downloaded via HTTP.
Then in Chrome 84, insecure executable downloads and archive downloads are blocked, and a warning is displayed for “all other non-safe types” such as pdf or docs.
In Chrome 85, these non-safe types are blocked as well, and warnings are displayed for media and text files.
Finally, in Chrome 86, all insecure downloads are blocked in the browser.
Google will delay the roll-out on Android and iOS versions of Chrome for one release which means that warnings for insecure executable file downloads are displayed in Chrome 83 on that systems and not in Chrome 82.

Administrators may use the flag chrome://flags/#treat-unsafe-downloads-as-active-content to disallow downloads of unsafe files right away when Chrome 81 gets released (as well as in development versions of the web browser).
All it takes is to enable the flag and restart the browser to do so.
Enterprise and education customers may override the blocking on a per-site basis by using the InsecureContentAllowedForUrls policy.
Now You: What is your take on the change?
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Google Chrome to block annoying video ads soon

Google revealed on Wednesday that the company’s Chrome web browser will soon block certain types of video ads automatically going forward.
If you have been to video sites, you may have noticed that these sites use a variety of ads attached to videos. Ads may be displayed when you hit the play button or in the middle of videos. Some sites even overlay ads on the video frame.
A survey of 45,000 consumers by the Coalition of Better Ads identified three ad experiences in videos of 8 minutes or less that fall beneath the organization’s Better Ads Standard. These are:

Advertisement that is displayed in the middle of the video, called mid-roll ads.
Advertisement that is displayed before the actual video that lasts longer than 31 seconds that cannot be skipped after the first 5 seconds.
Advertisement that is displayed in the middle third of a playing video or is larger than 20% of the video content.

Starting on August 5, 2020, Google Chrome will expand the built-in content blocking functionality to take these new ad experiences into account. The browser will “stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly show these disruptive ads”.
Google’s own platform YouTube will “be reviewed for compliance with the standards” just like any other site on the Internet that has video content. YouTube introduced a new option to publishers in 2018 to make video ads unskippable.
Google started to integrate content blocking functionality in the Chrome browser in early 2018 to slow down the rising number of systems with installed ad-blockers. Since the company could not just integrate a full-blown ad-blocker in Chrome, as it would reduce Google’s earnings significantly, it selected to try and reduce the number of “annoying” ad formats and types instead by using Chrome’s and Google Searches might to enforce the changes on all sites on the Internet.
The main idea was to ban certain ad formats and types on the Internet, mobile and desktop, by blocking all ads on sites that still use these formats.
The new standards apply to videos of 8 minutes or less only and it does not include videos with multiple pre-roll advertisements provided that these ads are skippable after five seconds.

Closing Words
Less intrusive advertisement is always a good thing but the change is not going far enough in my opinion. Mid-video advertisement is as annoying in longer videos than it is in shorter videos as it breaks the immersion.
Now You: What is your take on the new standard and the enforcement of it?
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Chrome 80 is out with SameSite Cookie Changes and mixed content upgrades

Google released Chrome 80 to the Stable channel today; the new version of the web browser is available for all supported desktop operating systems — Windows, Linux, Mac — as well as mobile operating systems.
Desktop users may run a check for updates to update the web browser right away but the update should be distributed to most systems automatically in the coming days. If you want to run a manual check, load chrome://settings/help in the browser’s address bar. Chrome contacts the update server to install the new version if one is discovered.
The big change in Chrome 80, apart from the usual security fixes and improvements, is the enforcement of the new cookie classification system. Google revealed plans in May 2019 to improve cookie controls and protections in the company’s browser through the SameSite cookie attribute.
SameSite supports three values of which “lax” is the default in Chrome and the value is automatically set if no other value is set by the site. Lax offers a compromise between security and convenience by blocking cookies from being sent in third-party contexts unless developers set the value to “SameSite=None; Secure” which ensures that third-party cookies will only be sent over HTTPS connections.
Google published a video, aimed at developers, that explains the concept in detail.

The SameSite=Lax enforcement is being rolled out starting in February. Google plans to enable it for a small group of users and increase the availability over time.
Tip: if you don’t want to wait, you can make the change right away. Load chrome://flags/#same-site-by-default-cookies in the browser’s address bar to open the experimental flag. Set the flag to enabled and restart the Chrome browser to apply the change.

The test that Google created somehow fails to return the correct results when using the flag. According to Google, all rows of the test page should be green if SameSite=Lax is being used but that was not the case for one test row.
Developers may consult this Chromium blog post for additional information on using SameSite on their webpages.
Chrome 80 adjusts how the browser handles mixed content to improve accessibility. Mixed content refers to non-HTTPS content on secure webpages. A simple example would be an image or script that is loaded via HTTP on a HTTPS site.  The new browser attempts to upgrade HTTP content to HTTPS by rewriting the URL. The content is still blocked if the upgrade fails, i.e. if the resource is not available via HTTPS.
Chrome 80 will only upgrade audio and video resources this way. Google plans to do the same for images loaded via HTTP on HTTPS sites in Chrome 81.
Deprecation of FTP support begins in Chrome 80 as well. FTP is still enabled in that release . In Chrome 81, FTP support is disabled by default but may be re-enabled using the flag or the startup parameter -enable-features=FtpProtocol. Chrome 82 won’t support FTP anymore.
Notification requests are made less annoying in Chrome 80 as well. Google announced the change in January 2020 to combat an ever increasing number of sites that ask users for permission to push notifications to their systems.
Now You: what is your take on Chrome 80?
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