Chrome change could hobble ad blockers

first_img Comments 5 Share your voice Google Chrome dominates the browser market. Stephen Shankland/CNET A Google plan to improve the Chrome web browser has triggered an explosion of concern that it’ll also cripple extensions designed to block ads, improve privacy and protect against security problems.Google’s proposed approach would torpedo ad blocker uBlock Origin, tracker blocker Ghostery, privacy and password manager Privowny, JavaScript software blocker NoScript and a malware blocker from F-Secure, according to their developers.In a statement Wednesday, though, Google said it’s trying to improve Chrome while keeping all those extensions working.”We want to make sure all fundamental use cases are still possible with these changes and are working with extension developers to make sure their extensions continue to work while optimizing the extensions platform and better protecting our users,” the company said in a statement.The controversy shows the difficulties that arise from Chrome’s dominance 10 years after its debut. Google’s browser accounts for 62 percent of website usage today, according to analytics firm StatCounter. But if a Google change causes problems, then extension authors and website developers can be stuck with it unless they can get millions of people to change to a different browser like Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari.Chrome’s power also is amplified by the fact that other browsers, including Vivaldi, Opera, Brave and soon Microsoft Edge, use Chrome’s open-source foundation, called Chromium.Extensions let you customize web browser behavior to do things like take screenshots, manage tabs, disable websites’ potentially risky JavaScript software and even replace photos of President Donald Trump with images of kittens. But ad blockers are a top extension use. Indeed, it was one of the uses Google specifically called for when it first revealed its Chrome extensions plan in 2008. uBlock Origin has been installed more than 10 million times, for example, according to Chrome Web Store statistics.Ghostery developer Cliqz said Google’s proposed change is radical, and threatened legal action if it goes forward.”This would basically mean that Google is destroying ad blocking and privacy protection as we know it,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “Whether Google does this to protect their advertising business or simply to force its own rules on everyone else, it would be nothing less than another case of misuse of its market-dominating position. If this comes true, we will consider filing an antitrust complaint.”Chrome’s Manifest v3 destinyGoogle revealed the change way back in October as part of a broader plan to improve Chrome extensions. Some developers are only now noticing the part that could hurt ad blockers, called Manifest v3. Manifest v3 is designed to improve Chrome extensions’ performance, privacy and security. One part of that change, though, limits how extensions will be able to examine aspects of websites. The thorny limit affects how an extension can check if website elements originate from a list of hundreds of thousands of advertising sources. Google has proposed a limit of 30,000.One extension designed to protect people who click on malicious links, Blockade.io, “will cease to function” under Google’s Manifest v3 plan, said Brandon Dixon, who maintains the extension. “There is a 30K rule limit imposed, which is not enough to handle our ruleset (~250K),” Dixon said in a Wednesday mailing list post.Safari and Firefox have embraced variations of Chrome’s extensions technology, an approach that in principle makes life easier for extension authors trying to support multiple browsers. But Privowny’s Daniel Glazman lamented the fizzling of an effort to turn Google’s extensions technology into a web standard all browsers collectively develop and support.The browser extension technology is “fully in the hands of Google, [which] can and will change it anytime based on its own interests only,” Glazman said in a blog post Wednesday.Google probably will amend its extensions plan, though not its aspiration to improve performance and security, Chrome team member Devlin Cronin said in a mailing list response Wednesday.”This design is still in a draft state, and will likely change,” Cronin said. “Our goal is not to break extensions.”First published Jan. 23, 10:49 a.m. PT.Updates, 10:58 a.m.: Adds more Google comment; 11:29 a.m.: Includes further background; 4:11 p.m: Adds comment from Ghostery.’Hello, humans’: Google’s Duplex could make Assistant the most lifelike AI yet.CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET’s newsstand edition. Tags Software Internet Security Microsoft Edge Advertising Brave browser Chrome Chrome OS Firefox Privacy Googlelast_img read more

Volkswagen recalls 662000 Atlas Passat vehicles for illegally adjustable headlights

first_img The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas is spacious and affordable Share your voice 20 Photos Now playing: Watch this: More From Roadshow Recalls Volkswagen More about 2018 Volkswagen Atlas Review • 2018 Volkswagen Atlas: Checking all but one box Preview • 2018 Volkswagen Atlas: New 3-row SUV lets VW play with giants Enlarge ImageIf you’re not poking around behind your headlights, you’ll probably never even notice the adjuster’s missing cap. Volkswagen Every vehicle sold in the US must conform to a massive amount of regulations known as the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. If an even seemingly insignificant FMVSS violation makes it to market, it’s all but guaranteed that a recall will follow. That’s the reason behind VW’s latest recall, which is a big one.Volkswagen has issued a recall for 662,185 examples of the 2018-2019 VW Atlas SUV and the 2012-2020 VW Passat sedan. There are a lot of cars in this recall, carrying a wide variety of build dates and non-sequential VIN ranges, so it’s best to give your dealership a ring if you think your vehicle might be part of this.The problem stems from a single cap. When it’s still being assembled, factory workers align the headlights’ horizontal aim, and then that aim adjuster is sealed off with a cap. However, the vehicles included in this recall never had that cap installed, allowing Average Joes and Janes to adjust the headlights horizontally. This puts the vehicle in violation of FMVSS 108, which states that headlights are not allowed to be adjusted horizontally after assembly. Since it’s out of spec according to federal regulations, VW initiated a recall to remedy the issue.VW discovered the problem in early 2019, when the automaker discovered missing instructions about installing the horizontal-aim adjustment cap. VW remedied this by correcting the work instructions, and then it went about figuring out how many vehicles had these missing caps. If a person changes their headlights’ horizontal aim, it may not provide adequate coverage as expected, which could present a safety hazard.Volkswagen is still researching a permanent remedy, but the idea behind it is simple: Dealership technicians will block the horizontal aim adjuster, preventing owners from making changes after the vehicle has been sold. Dealers have already been notified of the recall and affected owners should start to receive notifications in the mail later in July. 2018 Subaru Crosstrek: Just as good as before, only bettercenter_img 5 things you need to know about the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas 2018 Ford EcoSport: Better late than never 5 Tags 2020 Toyota Supra review: A solid sports car that’s rife with controversy Car Industry SUVs Sedans 1:26 Comments Volkswagenlast_img read more

WB govt shifts Pak inmates to highsecurity cells

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal government has shifted 14 Pakistani prisoners, lodged in two correctional homes here, to separate barracks and “high-security” cells, amid soaring tension between India and its western neighbour, a senior official said. The state government’s move comes days after a 50-year-old Pakistani convict was allegedly killed by fellow inmates in Rajasthan’s Jaipur Central jail. “Strict instructions have been issued to separate Pakistani inmates from others following the incident in Rajasthan jail. They have been shifted to high-security cells, where heavyweight prisoners, such as those arrested for American Center attack and Maoists have been staying,” the official of West Bengal Correctional Services said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose A three-layered cordon has been set up for the security of the 14 prisoners, he said. “Most of these prisoners share a good rapport with their fellow inmates, but we cannot take risk in the wake of the Pulwama attack,” the official told PTI on Wednesday. Of the 14 inmates, four are lodged at Presidency Correctional Home in the city and the other 10 at Dum Dum Central Correctional Home, he said. “Some were jailed for flouting visa norms, while a few were waiting to be taken to other correctional homes. There are also others who were imprisoned for their involvement in criminal activities,” the state government official said. Along with the chief head warden, the head warders are keeping an eye on the cells, he said. “The Pakistani inmates will not be allowed to move out of the sensitive zones for now. Our officers are keeping a close watch on these cells round the clock,” he added.last_img read more

To stop BJP minorities likely to go with TMC in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: Despite nursing a grudge against the state government for its alleged failure to curb communal riots, the minorities in Bengal are likely to vote for the TMC to stop BJP’s march, leaders said. A deciding factor in several Lok Sabha seats in the state, the minorities especially Muslims are likely to vote for the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) which they perceive as a “credible force” unlike the Congress-Communist Party of India (Marxist) alliance, they claimed. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose “Despite having anger against the state government over various issues including several riots that took place in the state, the minorities will vote for TMC in the state to ensure their safety and security,” Mohammed Kamruzzaman, General Secretary of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation told PTI. “In Bengal, TMC is the most credible force as it is in power, when it comes to fight against BJP,” he added. Kamruzzaman, whose organization has the biggest following among Muslim youths in the state, said that the Congress-CPI(M) seat sharing talks have evoked little hopes as credible alternative among the masses. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The Imams of the city, who hold a sway over the large Muslim population here, felt that the minorities should vote for the strongest secular candidate. “We would appeal to the minorities to vote in favour of the strongest secular forces in their respective areas. Efforts should be made to ensure that only secular and democratic candidates win,” Qazi Fazlur Rahman, the Imam, who conducts prayers on Eid at Red Road every year, told PTI. The Red Road Eid prayers witnesses the biggest congregation of Muslims in the state. Rahman’s view was echoed by Shafique Qasmi, Imam of Nakhoda Masjid, the biggest mosque in the city, who stressed that the minorities must ensure that there was no division of their votes and only a secular and democratic force comes to power. The minorities, which comprise nearly 30 per cent of the electorate, are a deciding factor in nearly 16-18 Lok Sabha seats of the state. They are a vote bank that every political party has tried to woo. Parliamentary seats such as Raiganj, Coochbehar, Balurghat, Malda North, Malda South, Murshidabad in north Bengal and seats such as Diamond Harbour, Uluberia, Howrah, Birbhum, Kanthi, Tamluk, Joynagar in south Bengal have very high Muslim population. The TMC presently holds a great influence over the minority votes in the state but several riots that took place in the last four years have angered a section of the minorities. According to Union Home Ministry data released in 2018, communal violence increased sharply since 2015 in West Bengal. While the state recorded 27 incidents of communal violence in 2015, the number almost doubled by 2017 when 58 such incidents were recorded. The recent ones being the Basirshat riots in 2017 and Asansol riots in 2018. The TMC, however, blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for trying to flare up communal passions to serve its own political purpose and expressed confidence that it will repeat its 2014 feat with the help of minorities. “The minorities are very well aware of developmental work that the TMC government has done. Bengal is known for communal harmony but BJP is trying to disturb that for its own political gains,” TMC leader and minister Firhad Hakim said. According to TMC sources, minorities are likely to vote for the party to stop the march of the BJP. Since independence, the minorities in the state voted in favour of the Congress in order to keep outfits like the Hindu Mahasabha and Jan Sangh at bay. However, since the late sixties, they gradually started drifting towards the Left forces, which under the leadership of Jyoti Basu and Promode Dasgupta put up an alternative against the Congress rule in the state. After the CPI(M)-led Left Front came to power in 1977, through its iconic policies of ‘Operation Barga’ – giving land to landless farmers which benefited lakhs including Muslims – cemented its support base among the minorities. Riding on the support of minorities and rural Bengal, the Left Front in 1996 and 2004 had sent the largest bloc of 33 and 34 MPs, respectively, to the Lok Sabha. But things started falling apart for the Left Front after the Sachar Committee report in 2008 painted a dismal picture on the condition of minorities in the state. Adding to their woes was the anti-land acquisition movement in Nandigram and Singur that made the TMC, led by Mamata Banerjee, as the new “saviour” of minorities. Banerjee unseating the 34-year-old Left Front regime in the state but has been accused of appeasing minorities by the BJP-RSS, which emerged as the main opposition in West Bengal. “The policies of the state government were only aimed at protecting the interests of a specific community in the state. This has ignited anger among the majority community which feels only BJP can protect their interests,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said. Senior CPI(M) leader and MP Mohammed Salim said the assertion by TMC that it is a saviour of the Muslims in the state has fallen flat in the last few years. While Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan said that minority voting pattern would depend a lot on the credibility of the CPI(M)-Congress alliance in the state. “If we are able to put up a credible alternative then we too will receive considerable minority votes. But if we fail to do so, TMC will take away the entire share,” the senior Congress leader said.last_img read more

Asking questions from destiny

first_imgOpening at the Visual Arts Gallery on August 14 is Georgina Maddox curated stubbing show of powerful figuratives on canvas, as well as sculptures in a quixotically titled show ‘Destiny, Sold Out’.”Fate and Destiny are perceived as twin sisters, that guide humankind through the perils of life. Destiny may be read as both redemption and nemesis of human existence,” says critic and curator Maddox. “According to Modern philosophers, destiny ultimately revolves around death, rather than the events of one’s life while fate has been connected to the concept of life. This has however been challenged. Destiny and Fate have been relevant in every civilization whether Hellenic or Vedic, since the dawn of time.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThis exhibition features probing paintings by Shiffali Wadhawan and surreal sculptures by Tapasya Gupta. It explores the notion of destiny and the various myths, traditions, allegories, and perceptions created around it.”Destiny has been formally defined as the power or agency that predetermines and orders the course of events,” opines Maddox one of the finest critics in the country. ” Shiffali and Tapasya examine in detail and depth the human condition and its relation to the idea of destiny. Often in situations of complete despair when there is no answer in sight we humans are faced with the big question ‘why is this happening to me?'” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWith the figurative perfectionist Shiffali Wadhawan, the objects and figures work as references that invests these works with a strong biographical and emotionally resonant note. Wadhawan works on realist principles but it is her approach and subject sensitivity that brings in a surrealism that is both symbolic as well as sensitive to her output rooted in a consistent set of emotional themes. Indeed, the eternal thread may be read as the realm of the unconscious, timeless and eternal, from which the multifarious and at times contradictory forms of her art emerge. The finesse and felicity of forms and scale of these works reflect the artist’s research into correspondences between the shapes of human figurines and the contours of bird in the realism of a scenic spectacle. The flamingoes appear formally factual, but within their perfection of form and figure, we can glimpse spirits of different ages and statuses and will evoke mediums or visionaries engaged in a conversation that is part convocation and part choral lament. With allusions to the reality of life-destiny and dictates and spiritual travel, Wadhawan offers a conversation for these imagined voices and premonitions and underscores the brevity of human existence relative to cosmic and geologic time in which nature plays a vital part.Tapasya Gupta creates hybrid sculptures that dwell both on symbolism as well as the blended realities of today. She expands her ongoing explorations into the histories of specific mediums bronze, metal wood as well as fiberglass to give us stories within stories. In these quaint hybrids like creations, we glimpse artistic forms and dualities as well as cultural symbolism.In her sculptures, Tapasya traces the history of the contours in composition across centuries and diverse geographies – following its transitions and shifting associations, from the sacred to the political to the emotional. Her sculptures invade the space in moments when the storyline ascends and descends and then recedes, channeling a discomfort within sterile environments and the invisible alien aftermaths that engulf us and transform our very inner recesses.The show runs till August 18 at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre.last_img read more

Moorlands road partially blocked by accident

first_imgThe location of the accident (Image: INRIX/Google) For the latest live breaking news, traffic and travel information and weather from Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire, visit today’s live news service here. For the latest news from Leek , Cheadle and the rest of the Staffordshire Moorlands, visit the Post and Times homepage at leek-news.co.uk Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailUPDATE: THIS ACCIDENT HAS NOW CLEARED A country road is partially blocked following an accident on a Staffordshire Moorlands road this morning. The accident has taken place on Lockwood Road, near Kingsley Holt, between Chapel Lane and B5417 Oakamoor Road, according to traffic data monitoring company INRIX. Traffic is moving slowly and there are reports of debris on the road as well as a fuel spillage. A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “There is an RTC on Lockwood Road, Kingsley Holt. “Debris and fuel in the road. Cars can pass with caution. Please avoid the area if possible.” The accident is believed to have taken place at around 10am and the incident is ongoing as of publication. It is unclear if anyone has been seriously injured in the accident – and we will bring you an update when the road has been cleared. Read MoreTESCO ROBBERY LATEST: Two robbers attacked worker on cigarette counter before stealing cashlast_img read more