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Author Topic: Google Chrome - What Will It Take  (Read 10045 times)
Ehtyar
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« on: September 12, 2008, 07:17:29 PM »

It seems that most anti-chrome sentiment gets gobbled up inside the pro-chrome threads on this forum, so as my final stand against Chrome I will create a thread where people can read about the negative impacts of using Chrome. I will keep it updated with any information I find. Any posts welcome.

Google issues silent updates for Chrome. It seems Google is once again using (read abusing) the BETA moniker to its fullest.




Quote
Without a manual check, Chrome will update itself automatically, Google said. "Google Chrome will automatically checks for updates approximately every five hours. If an update is available, it will be downloaded and applied at the next browser restart," Google said.

Google believes it's best if Chrome applies security updates not only without a description of what's changing, but also without an opportunity for users to decide whether to accept the patch.

Full Story
Blog Post



Security agencies unite against Chrome.




Quote
Government computer security agencies in Germany and The Netherlands are warning consumers against using Google's Chrome browser.

"This concerns a beta version of Chrome. Govcert.nl recommends that test versions are installed only in a test environment. For the duration of the beta test period, we recommend against computer owners using Chrome at home," a representative for the Dutch Computer Emergency Response Team cautioned in an email message on Monday that was sent to Webwereld, an IDG affiliate.

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Ehtyar.
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EĆ³in
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2008, 09:39:43 PM »

Maybe it's just me but I can't help but feel that if you install an application which you acknowledge will have internet access then the extra step of it updating itself is trivial. I mean unless you have studied it's code in detail there is little new that could happen as result of an update that couldn't have been in the original install.
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cmpm
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2008, 09:55:23 PM »

Well if that's the way they want to play.
They should have sent invitations and explained all this first.
To qualified beta testers, or those willing to risk this agreement.

And personally I take it as a slap in the face.
Having used their products and services with full disclosure.

With it being marketed by many reliable sources, without disclosing this that Ehtyar has informed us of, is not right.

And puts those who put Chrome on their sites to download in a bad position and I would suggest class action until they release the control of the end user's computer. And disclose their intent fully.

I have it on one computer and the 'googleupdate' process can be killed while the browser is running but not 'chrome.exe' without killinng the browser.

And when the browser is not running, 'googleupdate' continues to run, but can be killed via taskmanager or processexplorer.

Regardless, this is disclosing what they will not tell you after the release of this product.

My main question is WHY!
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2008, 10:01:55 PM »

I'm tired of explaining this sort of thing to the Chrome nuts. If this does not bother you, even on principal, then my rhetoric won't either. I am, however, curious as to why you expect the changes in the update to be so restricted. People continue to forget also that the updater is not open source.

cmpm: Very well said.


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zridling
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2008, 12:28:22 AM »

Actually, this a great topic idea, Ehtyar. The only reason I'm not scared of Chrome is because of Google's past track record with regard to privacy.

I've been a Gmail user since the beginning and haven't had any problems. And for me, if they really want to market to me, they'll know that I spend most of my computer time simply reading -- about software, chess, science, Linux, some politics, and a little sports. The rest is porn. That's my computing life laid bare. I'm still porn-spammed, even in Gmail. But I'm not alone there.

Point is, don't trust a corporation. Even if you've always trusted them, hold them accountable and keep watching. The history of business is that if you allow corporations an inch, they'll take 100 miles. I remember turning off Automatic Updates in Windows only later to read that Microsoft forced [some] updates on its users whether it was turned off or not. I was seriously pissed to the point that I started planning my exit strategy toward the platform.
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cmpm
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2008, 01:18:48 AM »

Although I usually don't know what allowed updates are for various programs, including XP, it is polite to let you know.

If it's a beta product then it's beta users using it who need to know the changes I would think.

Hiding what the 'security updates' are what was said for security reasons.
Well then tell me if it's a security update or not?I have to say I don't buy it. They could add anything with a security update and still call it one.

This particular 'note' about Chrome didn't come into play untill the first update. I suspect it was in the program before the update though.
And this is what is annoying.
To spring this on you after you have already downloaded and installed Chrome.

And interesting still is another issue. Google's toolbar for Firefox updated itself automatically recently, with out asking, although it did inform me of the update, it didn't say what it was. And I can't remember agreeing to auto updates for that. I could have though.

And true, I have nothing to hide, but google can't just come in and rearrange my property at it's own will unless I say they can.

I would guess a security update would involve more then changing just the program Chrome but all the files in the OS that make it work.

So I suppose if one wants that kind of updating to have Chrome, then google has control over this browser.

Quote
"Users do not get a notification when they are updated...When there are security fixes, it's crucial that we update our users as quickly as possible in order to keep them safe. Thus, it's important for us to not require user intervention," the company said in a statement."There are some security fixes that we'll keep quiet because we don't want to disclose security vulnerabilities to attackers."

The automatic update policy applies to security and bug fixes. "For major version updates, when feature changes are involved, we'll explore options for providing users with more details about the changes," Google said.


Apparently this "decision" is going to happen after they are done 'exploring', but as of now it will update at will without notice.
I wonder how long that will continue?

Anyway I like Firefox better. It's better for me for now anyway.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2008, 06:39:23 AM »

Thank you zrilding, your point of view is a sound a cautious one. cmpm, well said again.

Ehtyar.
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f0dder
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2008, 07:31:28 AM »

I don't mind automatic updates, imho a feature like that is the bee's knees, and absolutely necessary.

But silent updates, without a description of what has been fixed/added/changed? Not good. I could personally live with updates being auto-applied, which would probably be a good idea for the millions of not-so-techy users (and would suck for corporations trying to maintain a homogenous install base), but without information this seems pretty darn underhanded.

Also, while I doubt googleupdate is doing anything nefarious, I'm tired of all these applications installing their own updaters, scheduling services, etc. Use the damn built-in windows scheduler, or have update checks in your programs instead of as an always-running service! mad
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2008, 07:59:10 AM »

Google Updater does use the Windows Scheduler tongue IMO, in-program updates (like Firefox) is the only way to go.

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f0dder
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2008, 08:06:52 AM »

Google Updater does use the Windows Scheduler tongue IMO, in-program updates (like Firefox) is the only way to go.
I thought people said it was always running?

Oh, and to be pedantic: I obviously meant the task scheduler, not the thread scheduler Wink
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thorazine74
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2008, 09:09:18 AM »

I believe the reason for having silent automatic updates is because that way Google can manage Chrome as just another "web service" like the rest of their services, and not having to deal with the fact that, along time, not all users will install the latest update, so they will have to tailor their services for different versions running at the same time (for instance, they will release a new version of gmail that will rely on some new feature of Google Chrome v2.0; if there is users still using Google Crome v1.9, they will not be able to use that new feature or maybe it will crash the browser, or cause problems to their Gmail servers...).
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2008, 09:18:58 AM »

thorazine74: I don't think the problem discussed is with chrome having automatic updates, but with the way they are implemented.
You see, there could be automatic updates, but there should be an option to disable (which IIRC there isn't) and they should only be executed as a part of the program itself (for example when you open chrome, or something like that) and NEVER as a windows task.
Not only is it a way of "hiding" the auto updates (it took me a while to figure how to disable it in Vista, it's way stranger than in XP), it also generates web traffic that people aren't expecting (imagine if you're on a mobile connection and the updater checks for updates every 10 seconds) because they don't have the browser open.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2008, 10:12:50 AM »

The key here is to look for Chrome's second main beta release. Otherwise we're still arguing the same points on the same old beta Chrome.
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cmpm
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2008, 10:38:03 AM »

No this is about the latest beta and the first.
These tactics were more built into the first.
Obviously since it updated on it's own.

I don't think it is a 'fix' for anything especially since the second beta automatically updated itself without user intervention or knowledge.

It was already in the first beta and is now coming to light and attention.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2008, 12:30:29 PM »

Oh, I didn't know there was a second beta out already. I meant that this is something that can only be complained about when Chrome releases it's second main update (containing all the new features) because at this point, we're just playing the repeat game of saying Google should have done this and that. Well they didn't and the question has been raised so now it's up to them to change it. Everything else should just be a matter of how long they listen to the feedback and not much time have passed to really complain about them from this perspective.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2008, 03:17:35 PM »

Google Updater does use the Windows Scheduler tongue IMO, in-program updates (like Firefox) is the only way to go.
I thought people said it was always running?

Oh, and to be pedantic: I obviously meant the task scheduler, not the thread scheduler Wink
It is scheduled to run "when idle", and given how unlikely it is that the thing closes immediately when you return to your PC, that gives the impression that it's constantly running.

Ehtyar.
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f0dder
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« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2008, 06:23:12 PM »

I didn't know the task scheduler had an "when idle" option, I thought it only had periodic triggers? Shows how much I've used it tongue
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2008, 10:08:52 PM »

I uninstalled Chrome the other day and rebooted. Then when I noticed that Google Update was still running, I looked around for it. I found about 6 copies of Google Update in temp files and in a pagefile (or something related to the pagefile) not to mention Program Files and somewhere else.

Google Update also was never in my Add/Remove Programs list, so I had to search and destroy manually. thumb down thumb down
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2008, 10:52:34 PM »

I uninstalled Chrome the other day and rebooted. Then when I noticed that Google Update was still running, I looked around for it. I found about 6 copies of Google Update in temp files and in a pagefile (or something related to the pagefile) not to mention Program Files and somewhere else.

Google Update also was never in my Add/Remove Programs list, so I had to search and destroy manually. thumb down thumb down

Strange, I downloaded the first beta, ran it and uninstalled it without a hitch. Odd (un)install process, though.
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MrCrispy
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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2008, 06:15:17 PM »

Google apps have a bad habit of installing the google update service, running their updater etc. I don't like the way things are going, just because Google has a catchy "Do no evil" motto is no reason to trust them! In fact they are well known for their refusal to anonymize their users privacy and to keep records for as long as possible so they can be data mined and sold to their advertisers.

On top of it all, I fail to see whats so great about Chrome to begin with. And its another Google app that they will perpetually keep in beta.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2008, 04:28:04 AM »

I am well known as being a google sceptic - I do not use gmail and quite a few other things out of concern that they have too much control and too much information.

Having just been to a conference which had people from the mozilla foundation and the google gears team, I now think chrome is a good thing (now that they have sorted the mistake with the license) and I have installed it.

- it is small and clean - no fluff, lots of space for the web page instead of menus and toolbars
- it has a fast rendering engine,
- it has a fast javascript engine, was optimised for many of the existing libraries, so ajax websites fly on it
- it supports gears natively which improves certain webapps no end, offering things like local storage, offline operation etc.
- it will be the standard browser on the up coming mobile device google are making (so they cant keep it in beta, this needs to be stable!)

- because of the javascript and gears it will be a very interesting browser for interactive apps on mobile devices

- it supports a lot of the new standards and many planned features hoped for html5 and ecmascript - so now we have things that opera, firefox 3, safari and gears support. Which gives the people working on ie8 arguments to get certain standards put in their product too.

- it can only be good to have another browser to put some pressure on the existing ones, firefox especially was letting itself slide on compliance and speed and things like Safari and Chrome have injected a nice kick back into the browser development. And chrome gave a kick to apple to push Safari performance up again to get the speed crown again.

It is an annoyance as a designer/developer that you have to test so many, but on the other hand it increases the consensus about some new features and also increases the chances that some of those make it into IE8.
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cmpm
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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2008, 08:46:46 AM »

Yeah, they took out the part about 'everything done in this browser is ours'. But did they take out the auto update without your knowledge or consent?

There is no way I know of to stop the update at this point because as soon as you start chrome it checks for updates. And updates then. As well as the stated 'every 5 hours' with that process still running whether chrome is running or not. Not informing of when or what the updates are either.

The chrome browser doesn't scare me any, it's just that these liberties they have included in the very first version without telling before releasing it smells of deceit.

And after it being discovered is when they talked about it, without saying much.

My son uses it on his laptop for the speed. I'm not concerned. It's just the way in which google is operating that raises a caution and be aware flag.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2008, 12:14:00 PM »

I have no knowledge of the update process, although I did remove the auto-start bit that google (and apple on the safari side) had installed without giving me options. I have not noticed it updating yet, but there simply could be no updates.

I have very little trust in google except some teams that I know are on the idealist side and have been given enough leeway to be able to resist evil... but yes, I dont put my email in gmail, wouldnt use google docs, because i dont trust them not to use the information available that way whether I allow it or not.

I was amused to see that chrome took my search preferences from IE7 so my default search in chrome was windows live  tellme
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2008, 02:34:54 AM »

I just found out the first Spyware written for Chrome cheesy, when i was reading article on one site. I highlighted a line in para that leads me to webpage of original-search.com site which is the spyware creator in this case. It could be false alarm from my side. But i'm sure there was no hyperlink i cliked while highlighting the para. Sad So anybody have similar problem?
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windowssucks
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« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2008, 08:04:22 AM »

its good for browsing but never use it for Online banking etc
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