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  1. Google ends Simplified URL experiment in Chrome Google revealed plans in mid-2020 to replace the full URL displayed in the company's Chrome web browser with just the root domain name of the site. The company hoped that the reduction would help users of its browser against phishing and other domain-based attacks. A visit to any site in Chrome would show only the main domain, e.g. ghacks.net, instead of the full path. While Google did introduce options to display the full URL in Chrome, criticism was leveled at Google right from the get-go. The full URL offers valuable information, especially on multi-user or publisher sites such as WordPress or Blogger. A new post on the Chromium Bugs site reveals that the results were not as promising as Google had hoped. According to the post, security metrics did not improve when URLs were reduced to the bare minimum in the company' web browser. As a consequence, Google decided to end the simplified domain experiment. Delete simplified domain experiment This experiment didn't move relevant security metrics, so we're not going to launch it. Google Chrome will display the full URL going forward, and not just the base domain name of a site visited in the browser. The change won't affect the removal of the protocol HTTPS:// or common parts such as www, as these continue to be hidden in Chrome. Desktop users of Chrome may display the missing pieces by right-clicking in the browser's address bar and selecting the "Always show full URLs" option there. Once checked, Chrome will display the full address including the protocol and common parts such as www again for all visited sites. The experiment was not the first attack against the URL in Chrome's address bar. Back in 2018, Google introduced an experiment that would display the search term in the Chrome address bar and not the URL of the site. Google was criticized heavily for the change and pulled it eventually before it made its way into stable versions of the browser. Still, it is probably only a matter of time before the next URL hiding change for the sake of users of Chrome is introduced as an experiment by Google. Now You: full URL all the time or not? What is your opinion? Google ends Simplified URL experiment in Chrome
  2. Windows 10 update will debut another huge copy-and-paste change Windows 10 will change the way links are in a subtle but important way. (Image credit: Shutterstock / tanuha2001) Microsoft has unveiled a new feature for its flagship web browser Edge that will change the way links are copied and pasted. The new Link Format feature, which will be introduced in an upcoming Windows 10 update, allows users to choose whether a URL copied from the address bar is pasted as a link or in plain-text. To paste a URL as a simple link in a readable format, users can execute the traditional Ctrl+V keyboard command. The shortcut for pasting a full URL in plain-text, meanwhile, will become Ctrl+Shift+V, although the default option can be reversed via the Edge settings panel. The Link Format option only currently works with URLs copied from the web browser’s address bar, but Microsoft is working to expand the feature to include in-page links as well. Windows 10 copy-and-paste update Microsoft claims to have based the new copy-and-paste feature on an analysis of the ways Edge users copy and share web addresses. “We wanted to dig into how users feel about copy and pasting a URL from their web browser. We looked to understand what they do when they copy and paste URLs, as well as the pain points they experience,” explains a new Microsoft blog post. “We found that one has to regularly edit the URL to make them understandable for sharing or remove seemingly extra parameters. We also learned that nearly everyone, at one point, wants the full, plain-text URL exactly as it was copied.” The new feature, according to the firm, should resolve this conundrum by providing a simple way to paste links in a user’s preferred format. Anyone that wants to sample the option ahead of release can do so via the Windows version of Edge Canary, the browser build used to test features ahead of wider rollout. This browser version is updated almost daily with the latest tweaks and improvements developed by the Edge team. The Link Format announcement also comes hot on the heels of a wider overhaul to the Windows 10 clipboard, revealed earlier this month. The new-look clipboard will contain a panel that stores all the most recently copied images and GIFs, as well as 25 text entries - and is expected to arrive with the next Windows 10 feature update. Windows 10 update will debut another huge copy-and-paste change
  3. Google to test simplified domain display in Chrome Google Chrome users may soon see only the domain name in the web browser's address bar instead of the full page address. Google published several development bugs on the Chromium website that highlight the changes. The main bugs, Issue 895940 Experiment with trimming everything but the Origin for Steady State Elisions, and Issue 1090393: Implement simplified domain display in the omnibox, highlight what the experiment entails. When enabled in the browser, Chrome will only show the domain name and not the full page URL. If you are on the page https://www.ghacks.net/2020/06/09/microsoft-windows-security-updates-june-2020-overview/, Google Chrome will only show https://www.ghacks.net/ by default. The company plans to run the experiment on desktop and mobile versions of its web browser, and has created several new experimental flags for that. The reason for running the experiment, according to a developer, is that the display of the full URL makes it difficult for the average user to distinguish between legitimate and malicious sites. We think this is an important problem area to explore because phishing and other forms of social engineering are still rampant on the web, and much research shows that browsers' current URL display patterns aren't effective defenses. Note that the implementation of the experiments is ongoing and that some functionality is not yet implemented fully. I go the "on interaction" flag to work properly but could not get the main hiding flag to work in the latest Chrome Canary release. Google plans to run two main experiments: Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Path, Query, and Ref -- When enabled, this experiment will display only the domain name on the page unless the user clicks in the address bar (e.g. to edit the URL). Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Path, Query, and Ref On Interaction -- This experiment, when enabled, hides all but the domain name in the address bar when the user interacts with the page, e.g. scrolls. Another experiment brings back the full address when the user hovers over the address bar (only on desktop)_ Omnibox UI Reveal Steady-State URL Path, Query, and Ref On Hover -- shows the full URL when the mouse cursor hovers over the address bar. Google plans to collect and analyze data to find out if the display of just the domain name improves the fight against malicious sites. If that is the case, it may roll out the change to all Chrome users. The company notes that users will have an option to opt-out when that happens. Closing Words Google has been on a crusade against displaying the full URL in the company's Chrome browser for a while. Back in 2014, it ran an experiment in Chrome that would only display the domain name of the page in a box on the left of the address bar. The company displayed a help text next to it that suggested that users could type a Google search term or an URL. Limiting the display to the domain name might help, but so would better highlighting the root domain name to the user or educating users. It is clear that Google is very interested in removing information from the Chrome address bar and that at least part of the interest has something to do with it being beneficial to the company as well. Google to test simplified domain display in Chrome
  4. As part of the Megabar address bar/Quantum bar design update 1, to improve the readability of results that appear in the dropdown of the address bar, Mozilla has removed https:// and WWW. prefixes from URLs in Firefox 75 version which is currently in Nightly. The company believes this as the right step as Chrome also does the same. However, http:// prefix will still be displayed for URLbar results and there is no change in the way Firefox displays a website URL in the address bar. “Other browsers have already taken this step, we should follow suit to enhance readability” the bug report reads. For the unknown, Mozilla has been working on the new address bar design for Firefox for some time and the new design is currently enabled by default in Firefox Nightly. Till now Mozilla hasn’t made the change in the results view so that users can visit an encrypted site without any difficulty, with most of the sites switched to HTTPS Mozilla considers this as safe move. Verdi mentioned that in order to display more meaningful content in the view, we should look into hiding https:// there. Historically we didn’t do that so that the user would know beforehand whether they’ll go to an encrypted site. Now that most sites use https, I think it makes sense to flip that around, i.e. show http:// and other protocols but hide https://. In the input we’ll still show https:// and hide http://. Changing that in the future is an option but will require more invasive changes to URI fixup. While the current awesome bar design with suggestions displayed looks wider, the megabar looks truncated or narrowed. You can see the difference between old and new address bar results with the dropping of WWW. and https:// in the below screenshots. Firefox address bar results without https:// and www Firefox normal address bar results Source
  5. An overview of all internal Microsoft Edge URLs All web browsers come with a set of internal URLs or addresses that users may open; these internal pages provide additional information, may be used to configure certain browser settings, for management purposes, or for other things. The new Microsoft Edge comes with its own set of internal URLs; since it is based on Chromium, it should not come as a surprise that the majority resembles those of the Chromium core and other Chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome, Vivaldi, or Opera. Most browser makers change the protocol of internal pages and Edge is not different from those. You access internal pages with edge:// followed by a resource. One of the most convenient is edge://edge-urls/ as it displays a list of all resources that are available currently in the browser. While that is handy, the page lists links only and it is sometimes difficult to find out more about a page just by looking at the address. Internal Microsoft Edge URLs The following resources are available in Microsoft Stable. Development versions of the browser may include additional resources. edge://about -- Same as edge://edge-urls/ edge://accessibility -- Inspect the representation of accessibility in Edge and modify accessibility modes. edge://appcache-internals -- Lists information about the application cache (that sites may use). edge://application-guard-internals -- returns the status of the Windows-specific Application Guard feature, host information, a log, and utilities to check URL trust, Ping, and more. edge://apps -- Lists all applications installed in Microsoft EDge. edge://autofill-internals --Lists captured autofill logs. edge://blob-internals -- Lists blob data if available. edge://bluetooth-internals -- Provides information on Bluetooth connectivity including available adapters, devices, and debug logs. edge://compat -- Compatibility hub that lists Enterprise Mode Site List entries, User agent overrides, CDM overrides, and the status of Internet Explorer mode (including diagnostics). edge://components -- Installed plugins and components. The Adobe Flash Player version is listed here if installed, as is the Widevine Content Decryption Module, Trust Protection Lists, and other components. edge://conflicts -- The page lists all modules loaded in the browser and rendered processes, and modules registered to load at a later point in time. edge://crashes -- Lists all recently reported crashes. Includes option to clear the listing. edge://credits -- Lists credits for various components and features that Edge uses. edge://data-viewer -- Linked to diagnostic data. edge://device-log -- Provides device information, e.g. events of Bluetooth or USB devices. edge://discards -- Tabs may be discarded by the browser, e.g. to free up memory. The page lists those tabs and related information. edge://download-internals -- Displays the download status, and provides options to start a download. edge://downloads -- Opens the internal downloads management page listing all downloads of Edge. edge://edge-urls -- Lists all internal URLs. edge://extensions -- Lists all installed extensions and their status. edge://favorites -- Lists all bookmarks. edge://flags -- Opens a page full of experimental features that may be managed from that page. edge://gpu -- Provides detailed information about the capabilities of the graphics adapter as well as driver bug workarounds and potential problems. edge://help -- Displays the current version of Microsoft Edge and runs a check for updates. edge://histograms -- Stats accumulated from browser startup to previous page load. edge://history -- Opens the browsing history. edge://indexeddb-internals -- Information about the use of IndexedDB by sites. edge://inspect -- Configure port forwarding for USB devices and configure network targets. edge://interstitials -- The page displays various interstitial pages that EDge displays, e.g. when it detects a captive portal, on SSL errors, or when you are encountering lookalike URLs. edge://interventions-internals -- Lists the intervention status, flags, logs, and other information. edge://invalidations -- Lists invalidations debug information edge://local-state -- JSON data that lists browser features and policies, and their status. edge://management -- Page is only active if Edge is managed by a company or organization. edge://media-engagement -- Lists media engagement values, and displays sessions. edge://media-internals -- Provides media information. edge://nacl -- Displays NaCl (Native Client) information. edge://net-export -- Option to capture a network log. edge://net-internals -- Removed. edge://network-error -- Removed. edge://network-errors -- Lists all available network errors that Edge may throw edge://new-tab-page -- Opens a blank New Tab page. edge://newtab -- Opens Edge's default New Tab page. edge://ntp-tiles-internals -- Provides information on New Tab Page data, e.g. whether Top Sites is enabled, the list of sites, and more. edge://omnibox -- Displays address bar input results on the page. edge://password-manager-internals -- Provides internal information on the password manager in Edge. edge://policy -- Lists policies that are set in Microsoft Edge. Option to export to JSON. edge://predictors -- Lists auto-complete and resource prefetch predictors. edge://prefs-internals -- JSON data listing preferences and their status. edge://print -- Print Preview page. edge://process-internals -- Information about site isolation mode and the sites that are isolated. edge://push-internals -- Push Messaging debug snapshot. edge://quota-internals -- Disk quota information including available free disk space for the profile directory. edge://sandbox -- Detailed sandbox status for Edge processes. edge://serviceworker-internals -- Service Worker information. edge://settings -- Opens the main Settings page of the browser. edge://signin-internals -- Details about the sign-in status, refresh tokens, email addresses and more. edge://site-engagement -- Site engagement scores for every visited site. edge://supervised-user-internals -- Removed. edge://sync-internals -- Provides lots of information about synchronization in Edge. edge://system -- System information, e.g. Edge and Windows version, whether enrolled to domain, and more. edge://terms -- License Terms. edge://tracing -- Record, load, and save trace data. edge://translate-internals -- Provides information on the built-in translation functionality. edge://usb-internals -- Option to test USB devices and a devices list. edge://user-actions -- Lists user actions. edge://version -- Edge version information including command line parameters and variations (experiments). edge://webrtc-internals -- create WebRTC dumps. edge://webrtc-logs -- Lists of recently captured WebRTC text and event logs. For Debug The following pages are for debugging purposes only. Because they crash or hang the renderer, they're not linked directly; you can type them into the address bar if you need them. edge://badcastcrash/ edge://inducebrowsercrashforrealz/ edge://crash/ edge://crashdump/ edge://kill/ edge://hang/ edge://shorthang/ edge://gpuclean/ edge://gpucrash/ edge://gpuhang/ edge://memory-exhaust/ edge://memory-pressure-critical/ edge://memory-pressure-moderate/ edge://ppapiflashcrash/ edge://ppapiflashhang/ edge://inducebrowserheapcorruption/ edge://heapcorruptioncrash/ edge://quit/ edge://restart/ Source: An overview of all internal Microsoft Edge URLs (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
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