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What’s New in Chrome 94, Available Today

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Chrome logo

Google Chrome gets a new release every four weeks. Version 94 arrives on September 21, 2021, and it includes Google Drive files on the New Tab Page, more HTTPS features, and a new sharing menu. Let’s take a look.

Google Drive Files on the New Tab Page

Google Drive Chrome card

Earlier this year, Chrome added “Cards” to the New Tab page. At first, they included things like recipes and shopping suggestions. Chrome 94 adds shortcuts to your recently accessed Google Drive files.

The new card is called “From Your Google Drive” and it shows the three most recently opened documents and files. This card can be removed in the same way as the other cards if you don’t like it.

RELATED: How to Remove Suggestions from Chrome’s New Tab Page

HTTPS Becomes Even More Prominent

Chrome 90 made HTTPS the default, meaning it will load HTTPS if the website supports it. Chrome 94 is taking it a step further with “HTTPS-First Mode.”

HTTPS-First Mode attempts to upgrade all web pages to HTTPS. If Chrome isn’t able to load the page with HTTPS, you’ll see a full-screen warning before proceeding to the older HTTP standard.

RELATED: What Is HTTPS, and Why Should I Care?

Improved Graphical Processing

Chrome 94 has begun testing a new API that allows web developers to tap into your computer’s graphics power. The WebGPU API will be especially useful for games that run in the browser.

The WebGPU API is a little different than the older WebGL and WebGL2 APIs. The browser can tap into your computer’s native processing technologies, which include Apple’s “Metal,” Microsoft’s “Direct3D,” and the open “Vulkan” standard.

As with many things that rely on developers to implement, support for this new API won’t be immediately noticeable in Chrome.

RELATED: What You Need to Know About Vulkan, Which Promises Faster Games on Every Platform

Chrome for Android Gets More “Material You” Theming

Chrome for Android Material You

Chrome 93 started to bring in some of Android 12’s Material You theme. Version 94 includes even more of Google’s new design language. The colors that match your wallpaper can be found on the homepage, the homepage feeds, and in Search results.

RELATED: How to Change the Theme Color on Android

Testing a New Sharing Menu on Desktop

Chrome Sharing Menu

Typically, mobile apps have built-in tools to make it easy to share things with other apps. Chrome 94 is bringing similar functionality to the desktop with the “Sharing Hub.”

The feature is currently behind a Chrome flag, but when enabled, you get a new sharing icon in the address bar. Clicking the icon brings up some sharing shortcuts, including copying the link, casting, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Enable the flag by going to chrome://flags/#sharing-hub-desktop-app-menu.

What Else Is New?

Chrome releases are every four weeks now, which means the big glaring features aren’t as frequent. There’s still a lot happening under the surface, though. You can read about many of these changes on Google’s developer site as well as on the Chromium blog. We’ll highlight a few changes here:

  • More Languages: Chrome DevTools now supports more than 80 languages.
  • Nest Hubs in Device List: You can now test how things will look on a Nest Hub in Device mode.
  • New checkbox to invert the network filters: Use the new Invert checkbox to invert the filters in the Network panel.
  • Scrollbar-Gutter Property: Allows developers to prevent layout changes as content expands and avoids unwanted changes when scrolling isn’t needed.
  • Chrome 94 incorporates version 9.4 of the V8 JavaScript engine.

How to Get the Update

Chrome will automatically install the update on your device when it’s available. To immediately check for and install any available updates, click the three-dot menu icon, and then click Help > About Google Chrome.

RELATED: How to Update Google Chrome

Neptune’s Garden by Ryan Bliss

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I was watching a nature documentary on Netflix recently and briefly glimpsed a scene of coral standing before a billowing kelp forest. The contrast was so striking I decided I had to try and emulate it using my tools. The coral and kelp were both modeled using Plant Factory. The title calls back to a similar (but less colorful) scene I created using World Builder way back in 2000.

JCT

“Very Serene”

Sat October 24, 2020 at 11:57 am


Cincykn1t

“Seconding the lost city suggestion!”

Wed October 9, 2019 at 11:36 am


Lews Therin

“Best underwater one yet”

Wed August 14, 2019 at 10:37 pm


D. C. Sessions

“MOAR underwater!”

Wed July 10, 2019 at 8:00 am


Ryan

“Re: Angelfish”

Wed July 10, 2019 at 7:05 am


jw

“what Mitch said (↓)”

Wed July 10, 2019 at 6:04 am


Rodewaryer

“Excellent”

Tue July 9, 2019 at 8:52 pm


Mitch

“Very nice layout and color… HOWEVER”

Tue July 9, 2019 at 6:41 pm


Ryan

“@Mike”

Tue July 9, 2019 at 1:58 pm


Pippa

“Great”

Tue July 9, 2019 at 10:58 am


Mike

“Light source”

Tue July 9, 2019 at 10:43 am


Littlemom

“Beautiful!!!”

Tue July 9, 2019 at 10:37 am


Nathan Zachary

“Stunning colours!”

Tue July 9, 2019 at 9:26 am


James C.

“Beautiful”

Tue July 9, 2019 at 8:55 am


How to Stop Getting Telegram Spam

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Arthur_Shevtsov/Shutterstock.com

Telegram has risen to popularity as a free messaging service that’s secure, fast, and social. As a result of this popularity, Telegram spam is on the rise. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to fight back.

Limit Who Can Add You to Groups

In our experience, the vast majority of Telegram spammers use large established groups to cast a wide net for potential victims. Telegram groups can hold up to 200,000 members, so the platform is ripe for exploitation in this way.

By default, Telegram allows anyone to add you to a group, even if you don’t know them. By changing this one setting, you can dramatically cut down on the number of spam messages you are exposed to.

Change Who Can Add You to Telegram Group Chats

Launch Telegram on your mobile device and tap on the Settings tab. Tap on Privacy and Security > Groups & Channels and change “Who Can Add Me” to “My Contacts” only. Going forward, only people you have added to your Telegram contacts will be able to add you to a group by invite.

Limit Who Can Find You by Your Phone Number

Telegram attempts to make it easy for your friends to find you using your phone number. By default, everyone can find you using your number. This means that if your phone number has appeared in a data breach, spammers can add it to their lists and identify you as a Telegram user.

You can take measures to avoid this happening. Open Telegram and tap on the Settings tab. Tap on Privacy and Security > Phone Number and change  “Who Can Find Me By My Phone Number” to “My Contacts” only. Now only people who appear in your contacts already will be able to see you have a Telegram account.

Change Who Can Look You Up by Phone Number on Telegram

While you’re there you might want to change “Who Can See My Phone Number” to “Nobody” to further lock down your account and protect your data.

Block and Report Spammers

If you do get targeted by a spammer, you can use the “Report” option under the ellipsis “…” icon in the top-right corner of the screen to send the messages to Telegram support. You can also block individual users to prevent them from sending you messages at all under the same menu.

Telegram is a powerful chat tool, but it pays to know how to best use. Make sure you know how to start an encrypted chat, how to send self-destructing messages, and how to sign up and use the service anonymously.

If Telegram isn’t for you, consider giving Signal a shot instead.

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Amazon’s New Kindle Paperwhite Reader Is Perfect for Kids

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Kindle Paperwhite Kids
Amazon

Amazon has just announced many new Kindle devices, and one of the most exciting is the Kindle Paperwhite Kids. There’s also a new Kindle Paperwhite and the first-ever Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition.

Amazon’s New Kindle Paperwhite Kids

Amazon went all out announcing new Kindle Paperwhite devices, but the one that really stood out is the Kindle Paperwhite Kids. Visually, it comes with a kid-friendly cover that could make it more attractive to young readers.

It also comes with a 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, which is Amazon’s $2.99 per month subscription that provides access to thousands of kid-friendly books and other goodies. Some books included are Keeper of the Lost Cities, Artemis Fowl, Big Nate, Harry Potter, Ramona Quimby, Warriors, and more.

The kid-friendly reader also has a 2-year worry-free guarantee, so you don’t need to worry about your kids breaking the reader.

The reader is built to be free of distractions, which will let kids keep their noses in the books and out of other stuff. Of course, there are also parental features that allow parents to view reading progress, add books to their child’s library, and more.

Amazon’s Other New Kindle Paperwhite Devices

Of course, the kid-friendly Paperwhite e-reader is just one of the new Amazon devices. There’s the regular Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition.

The Kindle Paperwhite Kids is based on the Kindle Paperwhite. In terms of hardware, this device comes with a larger 6.8-inch display, a 300ppi Paperwhite display, and an additional 10% brightness at the maximum setting compared to the previous generation Paperwhite.

Amazon is pushing the battery life to 10 weeks on a single charge with the Kindle Paperwhite, which is quite solid. Additionally, it takes just 2.5 hours to reach a full charge time when using a 9W adapter or larger.

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition adds some extra features, including wireless charging, an auto-adjusting front light that automatically changes the display’s brightness based on the lighting in the room, and 32 GB of storage.

New Kindle Paperwhite Devices Price and Availability

The Kindle Paperwhite Kids is $159.99 and is available for preorder today.

The Kindle Paperwhite is $139.99 and is available in 8 GB in black. The higher-end Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is $189.99, comes with 32 GB storage, and is also black. They’re both available for preorder today. Amazon is throwing in a four-month membership to Kindle Unlimited for free for a limited time with a preorder.

The one for children

Kindle Paperwhite Kids

Includes a Kindle Paperwhite, 1 year of Amazon Kids+, a kid-friendly cover, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee.

The regular Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

Now with a 6.8 inch display and thinner borders, adjustable warm light, up to 10 weeks of battery life, and 20% faster page turns.

The high-end model

T-Mobile Now Offers Home Internet to 30 Million Households

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T-Mobile logo on a buliding
Mihai_Andritoiu/Shutterstock.com

T-Mobile is steadily rolling out its Home Internet service to more places in the United States. The company has placed a lot of focus on areas that are underserved by traditional ISPs, bringing broadband internet to many who couldn’t get it before.

RELATED: Internet Problems? Here’s How to Tell if It’s Your ISP’s Fault

Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are all getting expanded T-Mobile Home internet coverage. In total, the company is adding 51 cities and towns to its network, which brings the overall number of covered locations to more than 600 with more than 30 million households.

“Today, thousands more households now have access to fast, unlimited high-speed internet. We’re expanding access in places that have never had a real choice when it comes to home broadband, where people are fed up with cable and telco ISPs,” said Dow Draper, Executive Vice President of Emerging Products at T-Mobile.

If you’re curious whether your exact address has T-Mobile Home Internet, you can go to the company’s website and search for your location. Between the existing cities and towns and the new ones, T-Mobile is definitely doing a good job of getting its internet service out to more users.

The complete list of new cities and towns is as follows:

Florida

  • Arcadia
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers
  • Clewiston
  • Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach
  • Gainesville
  • Jacksonville
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton
  • Ocala
  • Okeechobee
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville
  • Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent
  • Punta Gorda
  • Sebastian-Vero Beach
  • Sebring-Avon Park
  • Tallahassee
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
  • The Villages

Georgia

  • Albany
  • Athens-Clarke County
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta
  • Columbus
  • Cordele
  • Cornelia
  • Dalton
  • Dublin
  • Gainesville
  • Jefferson
  • Moultrie
  • St. Marys
  • Summerville
  • Warner Robins

North Carolina

  • Albemarle
  • Asheville
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia
  • Durham-Chapel Hill
  • Fayetteville
  • Greensboro-High Point
  • Kill Devil Hills
  • Mount Airy
  • North Wilkesboro
  • Raleigh-Cary
  • Sanford

South Carolina

  • Columbia
  • Greenville-Anderson
  • Hilton Head Island-Bluffton
  • Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach
  • Newberry
  • Spartanburg
  • Sumter


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Google Assistant Teams Up With Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club for Easy Reading – Review Geek

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Reese's Book Club on Google Assistant
Google

There’s nothing better than being deeply immersed in a great book. And now, Google Assistant has teamed up with Reese’s Book Club to help make your reading experience even better. So enjoy a hands-free and immersive reading experience on all your favorite Nest devices, not to mention great book recommendations monthly.

With this partnership, you’ll be able to say, “Hey Google, read with Reese’s Book Club,” on any Nest smart speaker, smart display and Assistant-enabled mobile device as long as you’re in an English-speaking country. Then, actor Reese Witherspoon will share her monthly book picks, offer exclusive commentary about each book she’s reading, or even share a review.

Better yet, users can take a quick quiz for personalized book recommendations, then dive into captivating stories. Here’s a quote from Reese herself:

“I’m thrilled to bring Reese’s Book Club to Google Assistant users around the globe. People can now discover our monthly book club picks, get personalized book recommendations and hear exclusive content from me, just by saying, ‘Hey Google, read with Reese’s Book Club.’ As an avid reader, I think I’ve found my favorite new Assistant feature!” — Reese Witherspoon

Google

Existing Reese’s Book Club members can easily link their accounts to Google Nest devices, and if you’re a first-time user looking for new content to enjoy, you can quickly sign up for Reese’s Book Club with a Google account. Some of the content is still available without signing up, making it an excellent option for bookworms.

Once you say, “Hey Google, read with Reese’s Book Club,” you’ll see a list of the current and previous month’s book picks, not to mention a little blurp or video about why Reese recommended that specific book. Her reviews are insightful and will likely make you want to read the full book. If so, simply download the Google Play Books for Android or iOS, find it, and get started. And if you’re too busy to read one right now, you can add books to the “book pile” and flip some pages when you have the time.

In closing, check out our list of the best book reading apps worth trying.

Source: Google Blog