Sunday, September 30, 2018

Chrome 69 - Part II

Chrome 69 introduced so many changes it's taking several posts to cover them.
In the Chrome [69] address box's "resting state" -- in other words, when you aren't typing in it or otherwise interacting -- Google now hides the HTTP or HTTPS prefix and strips out website domain qualifiers like the initial "m." that indicates a website geared for mobile devices.
One of Chrome's engineering managers tweeted:
We are exploring ways of drawing attention to the right identity indicators at the right times.
By removing information?

You can still reveal the full URL in Chrome 69 by double-clicking the address in the address bar, and if you copy the simplified address and paste it elsewhere it will display the full address.

You can try this by browsing to

Then double click on

Does the "www" matter?

Chrome now considers the "www" to be a "trivial subdomain". Others are "m" and "amp".

What's "amp" you say? Funny you should ask.

AMP is Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Google's AMP strategy has been fraught with controversy over how these pages are hosted.

Hiding the "amp" subdomain is being seen by some as a way to quell this controversy.

To make Chrome 69 show the entire URL, go to:
Set it to "Disabled". Relaunch Chrome.

These work-arounds tend to disappear over time.

Chrome 70 seems to walking this back some.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Chrome 69 - Part I

On September 2, 2018 Google's Chrome browser turned 10 and Google released Chrome 69.

I'm not picky about subtle UI changes like rounded tabs vs. slanted tabs or even different color palates.

Things that make it harder to do what I use a browser for is what really bothers me.

Chrome 69 took the user icon out of the title bar and put it on the toolbar. When it was in the title bar it showed your first name. In that entry I changed my "name" to "." so it almost didn't show in the title bar. Chrome 69 moved it to the toolbar and now it shows your avatar. And you can't hide that icon like you can hide extension icons.

Chrome 68
Chrome 69

Prior to Chrome 69 when you hovered your mouse over the "X" of a tab to close it, the background of the "X" turned red. That provided a clear indication that you were about to close that tab. Now the background of the "X" turns to white. This doesn't give much contrast on the gray background of the tabs.

Chrome 68
Chrome 69

Notice that this highlighting is completely invisible on the tab in focus as the tab is white.

Prior to Chrome 69 when you opened an incognito window the top left of the title bar had a spy icon. It was a very obvious indicator that you were in incognito mode. Now when you open an incognito window there is a gray spy icon in the toolbar which has a gray background. Much less obvious.

Chrome 68
Chrome 69

I guess I'll get over it but I just don't understand how any of these are improvements.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Zoolz Update

I mentioned that I was using Zoolz a while back.

It's still going well.

I have added a huge folder from my Drobo 5N to Zoolz's Cold Storage capability. I'm now sitting at just over 400GB of my 1TB capacity.

I still haven't played with the Instant Vault storage.

I occasionally exercise Zoolz's restore. My most recent test took about 4 hours to restore. That was for a single file. I don't expect that will grow linearly for a larger set of files.

My next restore test will be for a full folder.

Remember that your backups are no good if they won't restore.

If you've turned on Controlled Folder Access, you need to add Zoolz.exe and ZoolzRestore.exe from C:\Program Files\Genie9\Zoolz2\,

Sunday, September 09, 2018

GDPR Cookies

You know what GDPR is, right? Great, then we can keep going.

One of the most visible results of GDPR is all the cookie notifications you've been seeing.

Here's what's behind all that.
One of the most tangible requirements of the GDPR is in the definition of what constitutes a proper cookie consent, meaning, that the consent has to be:
  • Informed: Why, how and where is the personal data used? It must be clear for the user, what the consent is given to, and it must be possible to opt-in and opt-out of the various types of cookies.
  • Based on a true choice: This means, for example, that the user must have access to the website and its functions even though all but the strictly necessary cookies have been rejected.
  • Given by means of an affirmative, positive action that can not be misinterpreted.
  • Given prior to the initial processing of the personal data.
  • Withdrawable. It must be easy for the user to change his or her mind and withdraw the consent.
But don't just click through those pesky notices. Click on them and wade through them.

It's pretty fascinating what's in them.

Recently I logged into

I got the following notice:

I didn't just click on the bright yellow "Accept cookies" like most people would.

Rather, I clicked on "> Cookie Settings".

Here's what I got:

Look at how much control I had over what cookies would be stored!

I was impressed that the "Targeting Cookies" were turned off by default.

I flipped all the switches to "Inactive" and noticed no degradation in performance or function.

By the way, here's the site referenced in the fine print at the bottom. Somebody is making a lot of money.

Some of these dialogs have actually given me the choice of which partners the site can share my information with.

Here's what I got from the Daily Star.

Don't click on "Continue and Accept All". Rather click on the tiny "here".

On the next screen click on "Continue to partners".

Look at that! They gave me a list of all their "partners."

Click on "Select all" and then on "Reject all"

You're done.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Online Audio/Visual Tools

I like online tools so I don't have to install software. I like free tools because they're, well, cheap.

Here is a collection of online audio/visual tools that I've used.

They tend to disappear over time so if one isn't working any more, drop me a note and I'll tell you if I've found a replacement.

Video Crop

Sometimes I want to "zoom in" a video before I share it. The way I do this is to crop the video just like I would do a still. Like a still, I lose some resolution but it gets the focus where I want it.

Video-Crop is what I use.

Like their web site says "You can find here damn simple and juicy tool for video cropping."

Remove Audio from Video

Especially in my dashcam video sometimes there's audio that isn't appropriate to share. AudioRemover is what I use.

MP3 from Video

When I come across a video, usually YouTube, that I want to extract the audio from and make an mp3, convert2mp3 is what I use.

Audio Cutter

If I have an mp3 that I want to trim down, e.g. for a ringtone, I use

MP3 Volume

To increase the volume of an audio clip, e.g. for a ringtone, I use

I can choose how many decibels I want to increase the volume.

YouTube to MP4

If I want to save a YouTube video, I need to convert it to a format that I can store. I use ClipConverter to do this.

Notice that ClipConverter has a variety of output formats.

Audio to MP3

I have some old audio files (wav, amr, etc.) that I want to convert to mp3s. Online-Convert does it for me.

Anything to Anything

When all else fails, I try CloudConvert.