Tech News

Chrome Overtakes Internet Explorer, Solving Windows God Mode Malware… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 03-05-2016

Chrome is the most popular Web browser, Windows God Mode gets hit with malware, Apple thinks you’ll be upgrading soon, Google Keyboard gets a major update, and Apple Watch is improved immeasurably by Windows 95.


Google Chrome Is King, Finally

Google Chrome The Easy Guide to Google Chrome This Chrome user guide shows everything you need to know about the Google Chrome browser. It covers the basics of using Google Chrome that is important for any beginner. Read More is now THE most popular Web browser in the world, with Net Market Share finally declaring it as such with its figures from April 2016. This brings to an end the longtime domination of Internet Explorer, with Microsoft’s much-maligned browser having been number one since 2002.

Net Market Share claims Chrome now boasts 41.66 percent of the market, up from 39 percent the previous month. Internet Explorer has a 41.3 percent share of the market in April, down from 43.4 percent the previous month. Firefox only controls 9.7 percent of the market now, way down from its peak.

StatCounter, a rival metrics company, actually crowned Chrome as the most popular Web browser as long ago as 2012, but it has taken a further four years for the numbers to align. Essentially, StatCounter and Net Market Share employ different methods to track data, leading to the difference of opinion. However, both now agree that Chrome is number one.

You may be sitting there thinking this is all meaningless because of Microsoft Edge, the Windows 10 Web browser designed to replace IE. However, those Internet Explorer numbers include Edge, so it’s no wonder Microsoft is trying to force people to adopt Edge Cortana Only Works With Edge, Facebook Releases Windows 10 Apps... [Tech News Digest] Cortana only works with Microsoft Edge, Facebook releases Windows 10 apps, Google lets you know when apps have ads, Uber insists you shouldn't tip your driver, and a madcap inventor creates a homemade hoverbike. Read More by making Cortana only play nicely with its own browser.

Malware Hits Windows God Mode


Malware authors are now using Windows God Mode to infect machines. God Mode has been a thing since Windows Vista, and allows users to create a special folder full of settings and control panels. This shortcuts the process of getting under the hood of Windows, and is a boon for power users.

Unfortunately, Windows God Mode How to Enable God Mode in Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 Windows has a hidden shortcut to view all system settings at once. Here's how to easily get to God Mode. Read More can also be used for bad, with ne’er-do-wells hiding malware within one of these folders. As recently discovered by McAfee, this is the case with Dynamer, a piece of malware that hides within God Mode and can persist across reboots thanks to a dynamic executable name.

This makes it impossible to simply delete this particular variant, as the normal right-click menu options and standard command prompts have no effect. Thankfully, however, McAfee’s antimalware products are now capable of deleting the threat, and everyone else can use a “specially crafted command from the command prompt” as outlined in this blog post.

Apple Promises “Great Innovation”

Since the death of Steve Jobs Is Apple's Downward Spiral Inevitable Without Jobs? All technology companies experience peaks and troughs. Products come and go, execs get up and leave, consumer tastes change. Just look at RiM and the fortunes of the BlackBerry platform for proof. Apple is just... Read More in 2011, Apple has faced criticism over its supposed lack of innovation. The company which revolutionized various industries is now, its critics claim, just retreading old ground, delivering incremental upgrades to existing products or, in the case of the iPhone SE iPhone SE Review Apple's newest iPhone is the smallest produced by the company since the release of the iPhone 5s in 2013. Despite being crammed with the latest hardware, you'd struggle to tell the two apart. Read More , literally repackaging its greatest hits.


The most recent financials suggest there’s some truth to this, as consumers have stopped handing over their hard-earned cash to the company. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook is adamant there is no problem, insisting “it was a pretty good quarter,” despite not being “up to the Street’s expectations”. He also thinks the good times are once again just around the corner, saying:

“We’ve got great innovation in the pipeline, new iPhones that will incentivize you and other people that have iPhones today to upgrade to new iPhones.”

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 7 later this year, but Cook referenced multiple “iPhones,” suggesting there will be various models to choose from. As for the “great innovation,” Apple really needs to deliver something mind-blowing to rouse people from their comfort zone, because consumers are clearly getting picker about upgrading for the sake of it.

Google Keyboard Gets One-Handed Mode

Google has updated Google Keyboard, releasing Google Keyboard v5.0 on Google Play. The update brings various improvements and new features, the most interesting of which is the one-handed mode. This shrinks the keyboard and moves it to either the right- or left-hand side to allow for easier typing with one hand. This should prove useful to those with larger phablet-style phones Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big-Screen Smartphones You Can Buy If you're going to buy a big-screen phone now, and by that, we mean something that's larger than a 5.5-inch screen and smaller than a 7-inch tablet, these are your best options. Read More .

Other improvements — as spotted by Android Police — include the ability to customize keys and add borders around each character, the ability to move the cursor more quickly, and the ability to delete entire words by sliding left on the delete key. This is the first update for Google Keyboard since June 2015, so it’s a good job it was worth the wait.


Install Windows 95 on an Apple Watch

And finally, the Apple Watch hasn’t exactly set the world alight as Tim Cook and company expected. Plenty of Apple fanboys and fangirls bought this unnecessary fashion accessory How The Apple Watch Won Me Over When Apple announced their latest gadget, I wasn't entirely impressed. I ignored the hype, disregarded the reviews, and didn't pre-order one for myself. Obviously, I caved. Read More , but the rest of the population simply doesn’t care. However, there may be hope for the Apple Watch yet.

All Apple needs to do to make the Apple Watch Apple Watch Review & Giveaway The new Apple thing is finally out, but everyone was talking about the Apple Watch long before it was officially announced. Starting at $349 - we take a look, and have TWO to give away! Read More soar is… install Windows 95 on it, just like Nick Lee did in this video. Problem solved.

Sure, it’s so slow as to be almost unusable, and the tiny screen makes finding the cursor is almost impossible, but at least it turns the Apple Watch into something other than a device designed to save you from having to get another device out of your pocket. [H/T Medium]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Which Web browser are you currently using? Have you ever messed around with Windows God Mode? Do you believe Apple still has the capacity to innovate? Will you be using Google Keyboard’s new one-handed mode? Do you still wear your Apple Watch?


Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Stephen Shankland via Flickr

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  1. Anonymous
    May 7, 2016 at 1:33 am

    I'm now using Chrome Deluxe, known in certain circles as Opera, and I've bumped up to the Developer version. So far it's been a better, smoother experience than Chrome, aside from all of the workflow synchronization adjustments I've had to make with every browser I've ever used. I tried this many times before, but couldn't fully get into it until Opera finally introduced tab syncing between desktop/phone/every device Opera is on. Likin' it alaht.

    Yay! Google finally copied the positionable keyboard from my two year old LG phone!

    • Dave Parrack
      May 15, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Did you hate Chrome for some reason(s) or do you just prefer the way Opera handles stuff?

      • Kelsey Tidwell
        May 15, 2016 at 2:05 pm

        Well there's nothing I can think of that I actually hate about Chrome. It's a browser after all, and it browses. But the difference in it and Opera is mainly one of perception. Opera seems to feel better throughout for my way of working than Chrome does. I've dabbled with Opera for many years, always admiring the innovations that made it stand out to me. But it always seemed a little out of sync with the habits and methods I'd developed in Chrome and Firefox.

        Since the Opera team moved over to the Chrome-based setup and have begun really progressing the feature set, I'm loving it and it finally works for me. I mean, what's not to like about free VPN??? That's in Developer only right now, AFAIK, but it's not a big thing to run Dev.

        The one and only niggle I really have with Opera is a silly one. I prefer the way Chrome shows progressing downloads in the bar at the bottom of the window instead of the way Opera tucks it away up in the corner. Yeah, silly, I know. But the devil is in the details :)

        If there's a negative to Chrome that makes me like Opera better, it's that Chrome's feel, themes aside, is pretty basic and functional and rigid, whereas Opera seems to breathe.

  2. zeira
    May 4, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Chrome is the worst web browser by a large margin, I’ve ever tried.
    At present I use mostly Safari, with Firefox as a secondary browser.
    To replace Firefox as a secondary browser about two months ago I installed Chrome on my 2014 iMac running OS X 10.11.4, and I had a major problem with it, I couldn’t solve.
    When I had to search for anything it always searched only UK sites, because the search engine invariably defaulted to, so the first one hundred results of any search were all sites in the UK.
    Very annoying, since I live in Canada and not the UK.
    I uninstalled Chrome using an application which uninstalls all hidden related filed to the application to be uninstalled.
    I did a cold restart of my machine, downloaded Chrome and installed it again.
    The result was the same.
    I couldn’t re-configure Chrome to use (not even as the default search engine.
    I contacted Chrome about this problem, but nobody could solve this anomaly.
    So, I uninstalled Chrome and just forgot it does exist.

    • Dave Parrack
      May 15, 2016 at 10:52 am

      That's definitely an anomaly, and not one I've heard of before. In your case I can see why you wouldn't bother with Chrome.

  3. Anonymous
    May 3, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    I've had DOSbox with a Windows 98 install on my last three phones, mostly for the novelty factor of being able to show it to people as an idea of smartphone capabilty. I'd expect an Apple watch to at least be able to keep pace with a seven year old phone.

    I'm not overly fond of Chrome. Given the choice, I think the sane option would be to pick a browser that ISN'T controlled by a huge advertising company, but all you can do is give people options and then tell them they're stupid when they choose poorly.

    • Dave Parrack
      May 15, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Is it capable beyond the novelty factor? Or is it as slow and awkward as it looks on the Apple Watch?

  4. Anonymous
    May 3, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    "Google Chrome Is King, Finally"
    So we've replaced one piece of spying software with another. Whoopeee!

    "Apple Promises “Great Innovation”"
    Apple is taking a page from the Microsoft playbook. When you ain't got nothin', promise them vaporware.

    "Install Windows 95 on an Apple Watch"
    Do you have to register the Win 95 install with Microsoft?

    • Dave Parrack
      May 15, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Since writing this I have seen supposed leaks of the iPhone 7 and it looks... exactly the same as the iPhone 6s. Now, that's innovation.

      • Anonymous
        May 15, 2016 at 1:29 pm

        Innovation at Apple died with Steve Jobs. I'm sure that Apple has employees with vision but is Tim Cook smart enough to put them in charge of product development? Or has Apple turned into a mature, hierarchical company like IBM where everything must go up through the chain of command?