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14.06.2019
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Google Chrome 76 beta makes it harder to use Flash, easier to dodge paywalls

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google Chrome’s last big feature was dark mode in Chrome 73 and 74, and version 75 didn’t bring much of note, but Chrome 76, in beta today, has some sneaky features you may want to know about.

While Adobe Flash won’t truly die till 2020 and has been blocked by every major browser in one way or another for several years now, Chrome 76 is taking it one step further. Not only are individual Flash items blocked by default, but now the entire browser feature is off by default as well. If you opt into the beta and head over to chrome://settings/content/flash, you should see the with the little “Ask First” setting flipped off instead of on, according to 9to5Google.

Another somewhat covert tweak: Google Chrome developer Paul Irish says that websites will no longer be able to detect when your Chrome browser is in Incognito Mode. That one’s going to be pain for publishers like The New York Times which use those detection schemes to keep you from reading an infinite number of free stories — and steer you into paying for a subscription.

Chrome Incognito mode has been detectable for years, due to the FileSystem API implementation. As of Chrome 76, this is fixed.
Apologies to the “detect private mode” scripts out there. pic.twitter.com/3LWFXQyy7w

— Paul Irish (@paul_irish) June 11, 2019

There’s also an intriguing enhancement for Dark Mode itself. Now, web developers can program their sites to automatically serve up a dark version of their website when it sees your Dark Mode browser, seemingly just by adding a little bit of extra code.

The stable (non-beta) release of Chrome 76 is tentatively scheduled for July 30th. You can read about additional changes in Google’s Chromium blog post.

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