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Google gives Chrome experimental muting feature and triples bounty reward

It was a busy Tuesday for Google as they announced increases to payouts for finding bugs in their software, as well as an experimental audio muting function in their Chrome browser.

The company had previously paid from $500 all the way up to $5,000 but as bugs have become more challenging to find – the necessity to increase the reward to accommodate the increase in work related to actually finding the bugs in the first place was something Google was inevitably going to have to do, and wrestling with for a while.

Google, and Facebook have both utilized “Bug Bounty Programs,” in an effort to shore up security and ensure that the tech giants are missing anything that could potentially be a risk to their platform, brand, and obviously bottom line.

However, the bad guys have always been paying more than the good guys. That’s just how it works in the technology space. But, Google isn’t doing this to keep up with the bad guys. They already offer something that they say is better than what the bad guys can offer. While brokers like Vulpen and Netragard will sell vulnerabilities to cybercriminals, giant companies like Google offer a celebrity status, in addition to the payout.

Google has also created a “Hall of Fame” for successful submissions, which will serve as a public record for all of those who have helped improve the company’s security.

On the other side of Google’s busy day, was around fixing something that at one time or another has plagued everyone surfing the internet. Depending on your browser, or most specifically, if you run Chrome – you have noticed the sound icon that appears on a tab that is playing sound automatically – if you’re running multiple tabs.

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Now, with some updates Google is working on making that icon clickable, to stop the noise from automatically playing. Well, it’ll still automatically play – but it will temporarily mute it. So, if you’re looking at two things at once, and want the first tab muted – you can make it happen by enabling the experimental flag.

To do that, in your Chrome browser, copy this into your browser: chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting, and then press enter. After this, you’ll simply have to hit enable, twice, and all that will be left to do is restart your browser.

When reloaded you should be able to quickly mute tabs that automatically have volume playing through them.

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