Google fixes 22 flaws in Chrome, slams silent add-ons

Also yanks MathML, which just made it into Chrome last month, over security concerns

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The patches prepare Chrome for the Pwn2Own hacking contest, which will kick off March 6 at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Unlike last year, Google has contributed money to the prize pool of Pwn2Own, which will reward $100,000 to the first researcher to hack Chrome on Windows 7.

Google also disabled MathML in Chrome 25 over security concerns, said Jason Kersey of Google in a Thursday blog. "The WebKit MathML implementation isn't quite ready for prime time yet, but we are excited to enable it again in a future release once the security issues have been addressed," Kersey wrote.

MathML, or Mathematical Markup Language, is a 15-year-old specification for describing mathematical notation on Web pages. Google debuted the WebKit implementation of MathML in Chrome 24 last month.

Yanking MathML was somewhat controversial among developers, some of whom said that doing so would be "a giant step backward." But other Chromium developers -- Chromium is the open-source project that feeds code to Chrome itself -- were adamant.

"The WebKit code still needs further improvements before we can ship it," one Chromium developer wrote in a bug report for MathML.

Other browsers, such as Safari and Firefox, support MathML: Users can test how a specific browser handles MathML with this page.

Users can download Chrome 25 from Google's website. Active users can simply let the automatic updater retrieve the new edition.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at  @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is

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