Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Really "Awesome" Chrome Extension

It's not often that I find a program for my PC that is useful yet simple and easy to use. Today, I ran across a Chrome extension that is both - Awesome Screenshot: Capture and Annotate.

What this extension does is allow you to take a screenshot or a partial screenshot of any content in Chrome and using simple drawing tools at the top, mark it up. Here is an example:













When I used it I fell in love with it... but... (there's always a catch isn't there?)

Early on, it was found that this extension was adding it's own links to Google search results without telling anyone. It was enabled by default and didn't have a way to disable it. When it was discovered, the author put in a disable button in the options, but the outcry was so great that it was totally removed. The author says that he meant it to be a feature, but just implemented it in the wrong way. Whatever you believe, it is now gone.

The other issue is a privacy concern. This extension gets a warning that it will be able to access all data on the web and on your computer. It sounds pretty strange, eh? The author claims that it is because he has to use a certain API to get around a bug that will crash Chrome if the screenshot is greater than 2 MB. Here is his explanation:

【For Those with Privacy Concern 】
Chrome will alert you that the extension may access all your data.
Here is the whole story.
1. We use chrome's NPAPI (Which has the ability to access some local data) to work around a Chrome issue http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=45395  which may crash the extension  when you save a large ( >2M) screenshot.  The new version also delivers a much better "Saving screenshot" experience. If you still concern about privacy, you can install a lite version we designed specially for you http://bit.ly/iY6qPz  .

I did some searches and didn't find anyone having a bad experience with this extension. So am I going to use it? After some thought I feel that the benefits outweigh the concerns on privacy. It is a really cool extension and one that I will probably be using a lot in future blog postings. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.



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