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Google puts Chrome updates on Courgette-only diet

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Google has shrink-wrapped the way it delivers updates to its Google Chrome browser by releasing a new system dubbed Courgette.

Mountain View wonks decided to tweak the way it automatically sends out code to Chrome, after finding that some of the updates were slowing down Windows-based computers, as well as making them more open to attack.

The Courgette system aims to work around that problem by spitting out a compressed “diff” update to users’ machines, explained Google in a Chromium Developer blog post yesterday.

“It is an anathema to us to push out a whole new 10MB update to give you a ten line security fix. We want smaller updates because it narrows the window of vulnerability,” said Google software engineer Stephen Adams.

“If the update is a tenth of the size, we can push ten times as many per unit of bandwidth. We have enough users that this means more users will be protected earlier.”

The diff algorithm pushes out a stealth update that takes the old version of Chrome and generates the latest iteration of the browser without any user interaction required.

Courgette replaces the bsdiff algorithm that Google had previously used.

Google has more about the new fitter-happier-more-productive algorithm it's developed here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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