Tag Archives: Google Chrome

Extra Adverts showing in Chrome?

For the last few weeks I’ve noticed unusual floating adverts from superfish.com on amazon.co.uk, focalprice.com and other shopping sites but I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. Turns out I’m not the only one to notice them.

superfish floating advert

It was an extension I had installed in Google Chrome. I went through each of the extensions I have installed, checking the options for each. Some didn’t have any options page and only one mentioned adverts at all but it wasn’t the Superfish one. With those checked I disabled each extension one by one, reloading Amazon until the advert went away.

I found it. “Flash Video Downloader” version 2.3.5 (id: ggkfikfcbnpfoicfjammigpnakpogebh) was responsible for the adverts. Authors of software want to be paid but this was very underhand. The extension has no options page and doesn’t mention adding Superfish adverts on the extensions page. It’s also a reminder of how much trust we put into the authors of software with access to our personal and private data. Since finding this I found the CNET download page and reviews for the extension. The latest reviews warn of the added malware:

Pros
Flash Video Downloader used to be an easy & safe product to download flash-based videos embedded into various websites.

Cons
They’ve secretly slipped Adware/Malware into their product (Superfish “Featured Shopper”). Flash Video Downloader obviously tracks your browsing history (that’s how it know’s when there’s a flash video available to download)… who knows where your browsing data is going now that they’ve got AdWare/Malware involved.

Also, Flash Video Downloader recently removed support to download YouTube videos. (I suspect Google/YouTube probably forced that change for copyright purposes.)

Summary
With Adware/Malware added to the product and YouTube support removed removed, I suspect most users will no longer find this product helpful or safe to use.

The extension isn’t on the Chrome Web Store. The last time I went searching I couldn’t find a decent one on there but maybe that has changed since. I don’t want to pirate Youtube videos. Sometimes I just want to watch a gameplay video offline!

Google Chrome on Linux and Mac

Google Chrome, the open source browser that recently made headlines, was unfortunately only released for Windows. Linux and <a href="Mac users were left out in the cold.

It was possibly to get the browser working with Wine, but it wasn’t very stable by all accounts. Thanks to CodeWeavers, they have ported the Chromium browser to Linux and Mac OS X and packaged it ready for download on both systems!

First impressions of the Linux version? For some reason my whole screen goes black while a page is loading or when a new tab is opened. I see this in Vice (The C64 emulator) and any movie player other than mplayer so it’s an issue with my setup, not the browser. The fonts in the url bar suck as well, but I’m sure they can be fixed too. My curiousity is sated. CoveWeavers did a great job, but I’m going back to Firefox. (Via Tom)

So today I am pleased to announce that we have shipped freely available versions of Chromium for both the Mac and Linux. Not only does this give Mac and Linux users a chance to see what all the hype is about, it also lets the world see just how far Wine has come and how powerful it truly can be. In just 11 days, we were able to bring a modern Windows application across to Mac and Linux.