back to article Chrome 13: Google uncloaks search click prediction engine

Google has released a new stable version of its Chrome browser, adding an "Instant Pages" service that attempts to accelerate your Google searches by rendering pages before you actually click on them. Chrome 13 – available here for Mac, Windows, and Linux – also a offers a print preview tool just for Windows and Linux users, …

COMMENTS

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  1. Greg J Preece

    As if Google wasn't creepy enough

    Yet another reason to stick with Firefox...

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Big Brother

      http://tiny.cc/ee4ov

      That is all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Greg J Preece

      While FF may not do as much creepy stuff as Chrome, I believe they do send user data back to our Mountain View based overlords in return for a large wad of cash to keep them going.

      <shiver>

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perfect timing

    Just as the European Commission leaked that they now have 9 formal antitrust complaints against Google.

    http://thenextweb.com/google/2011/08/02/google-reportedly-facing-nine-european-commission-antitrust-complaints/

  3. rvt
    Thumb Down

    fail!

    Important: This is an experimental API and may change—or even be removed—in the future, especially as the Page Visibility API standard, which is an early draft, evolves. Check this page for updates to this API.

    Really, who cares of Google want's this. THis is only more stress and burden for developers for a API that may vanish later on in live, know google, it will since most of there proposals fail anyways

  4. Paul Ryan

    Duke? Nah...

    I bet Google isn't offering to pay for the extra wasted bandwidth for people who have data caps.

  5. Mr_Toad
    FAIL

    Twice as fast

    The video is for numbskulls who need to be told something 20 times before they get it.

    Also. Have you played the game of aiming the mouse at the 'Google Search' button, only to find that you've missed completely and got one of their helpful, incorrect, suggestions coughed up by their wretched autocomplete algorithm?

    I think the idea was to get you the wrong page twice as fast as they did before. Now it's even quicker - Google gets you the wrong page in zero seconds.

    Sigh.

    1. Your Retarded
      Angel

      Clicking on the 'Google Search' button - help

      Why don't you just press ENTER?

      If you don't like Instant Search, use NoScript to disable it.

      If you don't like Google retaining a history of everything you search and cross-referencing it with the ads you see or click in all other web sites, and all other info they may hold or be able to distil about you - use Scroogle.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Jolyon

          Your retread

          At least three commentards have sneered at YR's moniker in recent days.

          And yet it remains unchanged.

          It's almost as though the person behind it doesn't care that it might to some eyes be 'incorrect'.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge
            Joke

            Not mine

            "Your retread"

            Not my retreads. You should buy new tyres: they might save your life.

          2. Your Retarded
            Megaphone

            Okay, okay, I'll make it clear for those having difficulty.

            The name is intentional and is supposed to be satirical. It seems some of you missed the joke and also failed to consider that the words can mean other things.

            1. Hollerith 1
              Unhappy

              intentional what?

              "Your retarded" is an adjectival phrase now? But what is the noun? "Your retarted friend"? "Your retarded colleague"? Or is it am intentional misuse similar to those used liberally by Lolcats, e.g. "teh", "noes" etc? Maybe I am missing the satire.

              1. Your Retarded
                Happy

                Your Retarded

                My Retarded,

                Our Retarded.

                None can abdicate responsibility for The Retarded.

                (The Retarded is a collective noun)

        2. Your Retarded
          Meh

          I'm not calling you anything...

          I was only trying to help.

          It is not I that is confused about use of words. I chose the name as it has several meanings and tends to offend those who do have confusion about words.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Martijn Otto

    Chromium & WebRTC

    I don't get why people always talk about Chrome, but you never hear anything about Chromium, the Open Source project that makes Chrome possible. There is no advantage in running Chrome over Chromium. Only, with Chromium you can actually check whether Google put something nasty in it.

    Also, when is WebRTC landing in Chromium? That seems to be a much more interesting feature than something like Instant Pages. Finally the possibility to write complete voice & video webapps without the use of plugins. Exit skype!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh great

    So not only it installs like malware it actually acts like it on the Interweb too. That's what you get when you tie an ad agency and major website into a browser.

    Fortunately I don't think my website will show as top result for anything on Google, so I don't need to add any unfinished Page Visibility Javascript crud just to understand if my viewers are real or not.

    But I shudder to think what's coming next.

    1. Tim Parker

      @++ath0 : malware

      "So not only it installs like malware "

      eh ?

      1. nyelvmark
        Headmaster

        eh?

        "So not only it installs like malware..." = "So, not only does it install like malware..."

        I'm not sure why you had a big problem with that. Scroll up a little and try to comprehend rvt's contribution if you're up for a real linguistic challenge.

        1. Tim Parker

          @nyelvmark : eh ?

          ""So not only it installs like malware..." = "So, not only does it install like malware..."

          I'm not sure why you had a big problem with that. "

          I have a problem with your statement because it is a semantic null. My previous post was essentially asking for more information about something I found unclear.

          "Scroll up a little and try to comprehend rvt's contribution if you're up for a real linguistic challenge."

          The only post I can see by rvt above has nothing to do with installation - which is what I was asking about - but about an API in flux and whether anyone should care.

          The subsequent reply by +++ath0 about installation pointed me to an apparently relevant previous article - your reply adds no information.

          1. nyelvmark
            Unhappy

            @Tim Parker

            I may be a few days too late, but my apologies. I misread your "eh?" as referring to +++ath0's somewhat eccentric grammar, rather than the content of his post. I don't know who downvoted your reply to me, but I have upvoted it in compensation.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Tim Parker

        I refer you to the comments on the earlier story:

        "Schmaltz-powered Chrome overtakes morally superior Firefox"

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/01/chrome_overtakes_firefox_uk_browser_market_share/

        Apparently Chrome installs by default with much of Google's other software. I'm just going by comments there as it's been a while since I installed anything from the Chocolate Factory.

        I still do get a lot of irritating ads telling me to install it, as if it was somewhat wrong not to.

        1. Tim Parker

          @+++ath0

          "I refer you to the comments on the earlier story:"

          Thanks - missed that.

  8. Robert E A Harvey

    Chrome 13 includes more than 5,200 revisions

    That's nice dear.

    When are they going to fix Groups?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    WTF

    This is actually fucked up. Someone has to say it.

    So, the client is aware if the page is being requested in an invisible fashion, but it's obviously too hard to, say, put in an HTTP header like Mozilla played with a long time ago (the X-Moz-Prefetch header, if my memory does not deceive me) to indicate to the server whether or not the page should be treated as loaded by Google?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Like how you're thinking, but wouldn't work

      The problem is the page may actually be shown, but it won't be re-fetched if it is.

      So just based on that header the server wouldn't know either to count it as a page view.

      But in saying that I completely agree that this is fucked up.

      The web is slowly turning into a huge - and worse, opaque - Javascript application, with mostly Google's code on it - if you count Web Analytics, Google's +1 buttons, AdSense....

      Microsoft would be proud.

  10. bdam
    WTF?

    What about AdSense?

    If it guesses the page, fetches it back and it contains some AdSense content but then you don't see it are the impressions counted? Perhaps the outfit behind AdSense ought to be told...

    1. Dion de Ville
      Mushroom

      That's only half of it...

      Not only might ad impressions be counted but what about malware - will it automatically download them?

      I like to decide what my browser downloads. I've a well filled hosts file that blocks most ads and many possible malware infected sites but I still dislike the idea of Chrome fetching web content before I've decided that I want to view it.

      Has Google considered that someone looking for porn might inadvertently appear to have been viewing content deemed illegal in his/her country due to Chrome pre-fetching it?

      Another consideration is whether artificial inflation of a site's visitor stats might affect the site's evaluation by the algorithms of some search engines. Has Google introduced this to skew the results of other search engines?

      I hope Chrome includes an off button for this pre-fetch feature.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        and what if you're on limited data plan or roaming

        Extra data charges on something you never clicked on.

        Another option to disable, hidden somewhere deep, completely away from pictures, plugins,...

        Is there a browser out there that can define some kind of profile for 'full content' and 'limited content' which you can switch with 2-3 mouse clicks?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Anyone know how to filter this s**t?

    Or does this mean that they're going to retire their google bots? Probably not.

    They need to add an HTML header variable, like: X-Google-Preload: true So that I can create a firewall policy to rate-limit the crap out of unsolicited gets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      cant think of one

      I like the sound of this response header: X-Google-Fuck-Off

  12. Youngdog
    WTF?

    Huh? Can someone please explain...

    ..how this experimental API can prefetch a page that normally takes 7.2 seconds to load and present it for instant rendering when it only took 4 seconds to load the results page and click on the first link?

    I NEED TO KNOW GODDAMMIT!

    With my hectic modern lifestyle, I am all for shaving the odd second here and there off mundane tasks - but Google repeatedly screaming OMG 0.0s!!!! at me in the video just sets off my BS detecter and leaves me with a poor first impression of this technology

  13. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    SMART Algorithm Wars ...... What you Give is What you Get for Equalism in Equilibrium and Vice Versa

    "We know what you want before you do" .... Google.

    Ok. That is a neat trick. But the real future art, in order to be big cheese in predictive productive search, is are you able/enabled to provide it, Google, thus to generate a mutually beneficial creative feedback loop in ...... well, they would be prime subjects and objects of desire, wouldn't they, able and enabled to lead search engines/virtual machines to where they need to go with discovery of novel lode/core virgin source input.

    Beware and be aware though, that some laid and baited trails are for grooming and betatesting of systems' depths/breadths/heights, and thoughts of leveraging an abusive remote control advantage with phished and phormed information against intelligent source provision of prime subjects and objects of desire, will be catastrophically counter-productive at least, as well as being designedly obscenely prohibitively expensive.

  14. seven of five

    If it renders the page, does it load the exploits?

    So, is it possible to draw a virus from a page you did not actually visit?

    Just wondering.

    on a personal note, I am still at 768k (yeah, is a lot, but not in a 7 million people agglomeration in central Europe), so loading page on a wild guess is going to make me upset.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      ditto on the BS

      plus in the latter examples even tho the pages weren't technically 100% loaded they would be more than usable within about 1s

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm normally pretty pro-Goog...

    ...and even I'm a little creeped out by this. I mean, on the one hand it's just an extension of the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, but on the other there's an element of "just add this experimental API call to your web page(s) - not that big of a deal..."

    Come back Lycos! All is forgi... Nah...

  16. Pedro Mendosa
    FAIL

    Disabled Months Ago

    For months Chrome has had the option "Enable Instant for faster searching and browsing" which I initially thought was a good idea - until I saw the requests it was making: as soon as the user's typing picks up the website (e.g., 'www.ther') it will make a page request for every further character the user types (e.g., 'egister' would generate a further 7 requests for the homepage).

    Does Google Analytics take account of this?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Hold on one minute....

    so to stop you page counts (and therefore potential ad revenue, bandwitdth costs, server load etc etc) being totaly screwed up, you have to use an unapproved "standard" from a vendor creating the issue in the 1st place. If it's like instant preview, a heck of lot of sites won't display correctly anyway.

    i.e.6 come back all is forgiven! (Joke)

  18. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Holmes

    It wasn't me that searched for bombs your honour

    It was my browser...

  19. Whitter
    Stop

    Safe browsing

    I used to run Chrome for security reasons.

    Now I won't.

    Well done chaps.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But...

    Personally I hope it amends the AGENT request string when pre-fetching (or adds a trackable header) - otherwise how could someone (in some situations) explain that they *didn't* load a page (detected via corporate proxy engines etc) which may be deemed as "suspect" by someone, courtesy of a search result?

  21. BLD
    Boffin

    Is this an illusion?

    I'm no rocket scientist but....

    Firstly I agree with some of the comments above surrounding the basic point of, what effect might pre-loading a page have.

    Secondly, here's my thoughts.

    Scenario A

    Imagine you search for an item and you are shown 10 results.

    Then imagine you quickly click the first result.

    Chrome probably didn't have time to pre-fetch the page, so it really isn't much quicker.

    Scenario B - My personal method for searching/browsing

    Imagine you search for an item and you are shown 10 results.

    Then you quickly middle click the top few results to open them in new tabs so they are pre-loading for you, any browser with tabs supports this.

    Again Chrome probably wouldn't have time to pre-fetch the pages, so it really isn't much quicker.

    Scenario C - Perhaps when Google does speed things up.

    Imagine you search for an item and you are shown 10 results.

    Then you ponder for say 7 seconds thinking which page to load.

    Finally deciding that the first link is what you want.

    Great stuff Google pre-loaded it for you.

    Scenario D - Oooops no quicker again

    Imagine the same as scenario C, however this time you don't choose the top result.

    Chrome was busy pre-loading the first page and not the one you've chosen, so again it isn't any quicker.

    I seriously think that Webkit, Chromium, Google and Chrome are pretty decent for this world, mainly because they increase competition. However, on this occasion it's a bit like having a LED light on an appliance, it's reassuring. This feature sounds like it will always make things quicker but in reality it cannot, thus it's a nice illusion, something that keeps people reassured that Chrome is very fast.

  22. breakfast
    FAIL

    Just upgraded

    I just tried the upgrade and it hasn't fixed the problem I was having where Chrome locks up completely when it can't open the page on one tab ( so where is the benefit of using separate threads the whole time? ) and can't open a whole lot of Google sites. In my experience it has proved to be shockingly and consistently unreliable as a browser.

    Fortunately Opera appear to have sorted out the abysmal performance that their 10.* versions so I have switched back to that, which apparently also makes me more intelligent, so I guess that's a win all round really.

  23. Daniel 1

    It'll start like this

    Then, they'll change it, so instead of searching for what you typed, it'll return the result for the search it thinks you should have typed.

    I got to page three of an apparently incomprehensible set of search results, the other day, before I finally worked out that, instead of showing me the results for:

    "I/O ChildEvents stEdit editTab.length must be nonzero"

    It was showing the results for:

    Io childrens events street editable length must be one zone

    If anyone from Google is reading this, I have a word of advice for them. This idea was shit, when it was a paper clip. Stop doing it. Even you're not clever enough to do a shitty thing well.

    1. CD001

      Hehe

      I can see it being tied into Google Docs...

      You start typing a search for "Dear" and a cute little Google drawing pin with a red/yellow/green head (or whatever) pops up and says "It looks like you're typing a letter - would you like some help with that?" whilst pre-fetching Google Docs for you in the background... *sighs*

      Irrespective of the fact that you were going to search for "Dearth of useful information on Google these days because of this stupid helper!".

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Optimum Meddling Mode Initiated

    Google is well and truly embroiled in a stage I call "optimum meddling"

    The adage "It's not broke, so don't fix it" falls on deaf ears.

    The good old days of a ridiculously simple search interface are gradually being eroded by a plethora of features dreamed up at the chocolate factory.

    They have so much money and power, the luxury to just meddle, poke, fiddle and stir is there in spades.

    Some of it is great - some of it is crap and some is downright invasive.

    We are but mere numbers on Google's great big ad machines marketing curve- *everything* is geared toward gleaning as much data as possible, just within the bounds of legality, under a banner of "do no evil"

    Gotta love that phrase, because, it's essentially a double-edged sword. By feeling the need to proclaim you "do no evil", that kinda leaves the door open to interpret the statement.

    The gathering of data has massive advantages - hell, Google Maps and Google Earth are nothing short of staggering, probably Google's finest achievement. What is worrying is the business model.

    The business marketing web is slowly but surely being entirely controlled by Google to the point where you simply cannot run a web business without some google involvement.

    I'm rambling, this is about Chrome, but it's part and parcel of Google's strategy to effectively *own* the internet - and that, folks, is not a very good thing at all.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Dear Google

    Stop fucking with the net like you own it.

    You became the top search engine because of simplicity and good results, and are currently top because everyone's used to you now. Even if a better matching engine comes along they'll have a hard time beating you.

    However, if you keep fucking around with the results page's behaviour (buggy instant search and previews, now this) eventually the great unwashed will go somewhere else, and then you're well and truly screwed. And I'll laugh.

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