Do Not Upgrade To The New Chrome! Yet.

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The new Chrome browser by Google, Chrome 69, is probably an important improvement in browser functionality, look and feel, and security. But, as you might expect, the first version available for general users is buggy, perhaps very buggy. I would wait a little while for the bugs to get all hunted down and exterminated. How long? A week or two should do it.

What is new in the new Google Chrome 69 Browser?

This new 10th anniversary edition (has it only bee 10 years?), which you can download here, is said to be faster. However, speed is more of a function of your internet connection and computers’ speed, so how much that matters will depend on your situation. In-line results, in the place formerly known as the Address Bar, are new. You’ll see things in there like the actual weather, not just a link to the weather, or say Google believes you have documents or links related to an upcoming trip, and you put the destination city in the search bar … you may get a link to your files. That sort of thing.

Security is improved, but I can’t really say how. Flash is handled differently, more gingerly, so that’s one thing.

The biggest difference, probably, is the overall look and feel It is rounder and flatter, as things are these days. Material design style, for those keeping track. There are more and perhaps better themes, and you can play around more with the background.

There is a thing called Picture in Picture mode. I think this allows you to deploy that annoying feature some web sites already have where a video that is playing follows you around and refuses to go away. Yay!

What’s wrong with this first release of Google Chrome 69?

A variety of things, like downloading certain files instead of using or “playing” them, like web sites that won’t work or that are greyed out. It is actually not worth listing these problems here because even as we speak they are being fixed. Within the last few hours, 40 bugs were fixed, most of which most people didn’t even see.

My biggest concern is that there are URLs I must visit now and then that Google habitually sees as insecure (but they are gateways through which it is difficult to pass, and otherwise do nothing). If the new Google Chrome is super security oriented and not perfected, I may not be able to do certain things. So, I’ll keep a computer with the old Chrome indefinitely just to make sure, once I do upgrade.

I am about to launch two heavily modified or freshly home built computers, and I’m a bit worried that if I do that right now, and install the available version of Chrome, I’m going to have problems. What that really means for me is keeping Firefox on those boxes, just in case!

Why is it called 69?

I believe this is called Chrome 69 simply because it is the 69th version. But I for one do not remember earlier vesions being called by their name so overtly, so I’m wondering if there is another reason. I tried typing “why is it called 69” into Google. I got lots of answers, but not to my specific question.

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8 thoughts on “Do Not Upgrade To The New Chrome! Yet.

  1. My biggest concern is that there are URLs I must visit now and then that Google habitually sees as insecure

    A big part of that is flagging as insecure sites that still use http rather than https. Eventually the plan is to make it more difficult to access http using sites.

  2. Do not update to the new Chrome ever!

    Fixed the headline for you. Letting Google keep your browsing habits on file is probably not a good idea.

    1. Letting Google keep your browsing habits on file is probably not a good idea.

      Not as as bad as unjustified paranoia.

  3. I know what Google collects mikeN. I also know they don’t sell it and that you can delete it, and that you can change settings to stop the collection (at the expense of sacrificing functionality of several apps). Apple also collects data, although whether it is as much as Google I don’t know. Several years ago Apple tried to enter the data market and their attempted didn’t work out — in essence, their data security stuff is the result of one of their rare marketing failures more than anything else.

    Your concern about data, if it is sincere, should be aimed at other targets — perhaps they are in your aim too: I don’t know because you haven’t mentioned it if they are. Your isp and phone carrier collect virtually everything you do (location too, as phones constantly triangulate off the 3 nearest cell towers) and it is far more than a fair bet that the sell it to every bidder that comes along. You should also be concerned about the growth in data collection by the government* — started with the terribly named Patriot Act, the amount of which has at the least been left alone and often increased since it started.

    I don’t know whether you use the little keyring scan cards grocery and other stores offer — if so, your data is everywhere now: those cards are tied to your identity.

    It only take about 12 good pieces of data to identify you — fewer if location data is included. Unless you’ve never used any of the electronic devices that have been prevalent for over a decade, it’s too late to worry about it now. That’s not conspiracy mongering: people are right to be concerned. It is wrong to think or imply, Google is involved in selling what they collect: it’s more valuable to them directly.

    * Far short of having any statistical significance, but: I know four people who teach computer security at universities or work in it doing research. All of them have told me that because US border agents have been giving them so much hassle when they leave or come into the country (computers/phones are taken for examination while they wait and returned after different amounts of time) that they’ve started wiping their computers and phones clean before they travel. Nothing but bare stuff on them — they ca access what they need after they are at their destination. That’s the stuff to be worried about.

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