Sep 09, 2008

Free project WINE now offers the newest version (1.1.4) of its runtime environment. Among its features is better support for Google Chrome.

Wine 1.1.4 went public only two weeks after the earlier version 1.1.3 and, along with fixed bugs, provides better support for the new Chrome Google browser. The developers also tout its substantial WinHTTP implementation and improved JavaScript support. A complete list of changes can be found at the WINE HQ website, with binaries for Wine 1.1.4 to follow shortly. The source code can be downloaded from the Sourceforge portal.

There is nevertheless growing criticism of the browser. For example, the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI), whose purpose it is to protect users, issued a warning at its release. The BSI spokesperson characterized the browser as "convenient yet risky." The agency sees it as risky in one sense that Google is pawning off a not-yet-prime-time prototype to a wide audience, and in another sense because technically less versed users may encounter serious security issues due to the nature of the browser's overzealous data collection practice, which the agency describes as "questionable."

Included in the Google Chrome Privacy Notice is a statement that anything entered in the browser's Address field will be sent to Google. This, they claim, is a technical requirement to enable generating website hints and recommendations. However, there is also the chance that other information such as data, applications and services might also be conveyed to Google under certain circumstances.

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