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22 February 2013, 11:59

Chrome 25 arrives with speech recognition

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Google has released Chrome 25 to its Stable Channel. Chrome 25.0.1364.97 for Windows and Linux and Chrome 25.0.1364.99 for Mac OS X bring improvements to extension security, support for the JavaScript Web Speech API and fix 22 security vulnerabilities, five of which were fixed as part of Google's bug bounty program for the browser; the rest were found by employees of the company.

Two of these vulnerabilities were classed with a High rating and netted Atte Kettunen of Oulu University and Chamal de Silva $1,000 each. Another High and two Medium bugs paid out $500 each; two of these were also discovered by Kettunen. All told, Google paid out $3,500 in bounties for this release.

Chrome 25, which has been in beta since mid-January, now blocks silent extension installs on Windows and triggers a dialogue that alerts users to the fact that a page is trying to install an extension. This removes the ability for web pages to "sideload" extensions without the user's consent. The new version also includes support for the JavaScript Web Speech API which allows applications to recognise spoken word input. In Chrome's implementation of the API, short bursts or continuous speech is sent to the Google Voice service for analysis; this then sends the results of the analysis back to the browser.

For developers, Chrome 25 includes Shadow DOM as part of the Web Components initiative, allowing web developers to componentise HTML5 code and isolate it within the page. Better support for HTML5 date and time inputs is also included, as is better handling of WebGL errors.

Security fixes include a memory corruption when processing web audio, a buffer overflow in decoding of Vorbis files, a memory access fault with the SVG parser and a use-after-free error in the browser's database and URL handling. Several memory safety and other problems in the browser's IPC layer and an integer overflow in the software's blob handling were also fixed. All in all, the update fixes 9 High-, 8 Medium- and 5 Low-rated security problems.

Chrome 25 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and as the Chrome Frame plugin for Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. Chrome is built from the open source Chromium browser project run by Google.


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