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Chrome Corner - weekly updates, extensions, themes and tips for Google Chrome

More subtle-but-useful updates landed in Google Chrome this week, including some welcome functionality for Mac users. Submissions to the Extensions Gallery continue at a frantic pace, and I'll look at two which have taken up residence in my browser.

There's also an interesting take on where the design for the Google Chrome logo came from - could there be a sinister message behind the four-color sphere? Keep reading after the break, and help me sort it out in the comments!

That chap Hexxeh has also been busy. Let's start with his latest effort!

Chromium OS Zero released
With no official download of Chrome OS or Chromium OS coming from Google any time soon, the builds created by Hexxeh have gained quite a loyal following. And with good reason - they're easily the most pain-free way to play with the OS.

Apart from speed and stability improvements over the previous release (Cherry), Hexxeh has begun laying the groundwork for an auto-update system in his Chromium OS builds. That addition will make it easier for testers to stay current - and will sidestep the hassle of re-downloading full releases.

A different origin for the Chrome logo?
The Register's Andrew Orloski has an interesting (if not slightly tinfoil hat-ish) post about a possible inspiration for the Google Chrome logo. In his post, Orloski looks at the similarities between the Chrome orb and the logo of the Club of Rome.

There are plenty of people out there who think the Club isn't the stand-up organization it purports to be - they claim its goals are to secure its members wealth. But hey, this is the Reg we're talking about, so who knows what the real motivation behind the post is. Anyone want to call shenanigans?

I'm more convinced the Chrome logo's roots come from a thought process like the one shown in this image by Federico Feini.

Stay on top of Chromium Nightly updates with a new extension!
If you use Chromium's nightly builds instead of Chrome, one thing you miss out on is automatic updates to the browser. Want to stay current? You've got to head over to the buildbot snapshots and download and run a new installer. Over. And over. And over.

At least with this extension installed you'll get a quick look at what's been changed and then decide whether or not you need to bother with yet another download.

Chromodoro is a productivity timer in your browser
Staying focused and productive in your browser can be tricky, especially with all those great Time Wasters out there. Adding this extension to Google Chrome gives you a handy little Pomodoro timer that's always within view while you browse.

Once your 25-minute session is up, you'll receive an alert window reminding you that it's break time. Finish your break and fire up the timer again to tackle your next task!

Two Chrome Experiments for creating trippy desktop artwork in your browser
Google launched Chrome experiments ages ago to show off the speedy V8 JavaScript engine. The site has continued to grow, but it doesn't get mentioned much anymore. Over the weekend I took another look -- and I had some fun playing with Bomomo and Sketchpad.

Bomomo is more of a 'living canvas' that you can play with. The tools kind of have a mind of their own - you give them a path to 'dance' on and they do their thing.
Sketchpad is a more traditional digital drawing app, but it adds some cool features like a spirograph and the ability to create gears. It's got a lot of Photoshop-y features, like a stamp tool, gradient and pattern fills -- it even maintains an undo history!

Tags: chrome, chrome corner, ChromeCorner, chromeos, chromium, extensions, google, hexxeh