GOOGLE'S MARKET LEADING web browser, Chrome has suffered from significant borkage after an 'experiment' in the latest version.
Users who have the ‘Network Service Experiment' enabled in Chrome 72 are finding that some extensions aren't working, missing requests entirely and blocking notifications after you open a tab.
It's a server-side opt-in to a small subset of users, meaning you either haven't any clue what we're talking about, or are currently hugging your laptop, weeping softly and saying "thank you…. someone understands my pain".
Google has said that the problems are only affecting 0.01 per cent of its userbase, and that it won't roll back jack, pointing out that it usually does this kind of thing without any issues and ergo, nobody finds out.
The good news is that there is a 'Network Service Experiment' flag in the Chrome Flags menu, and by turning it off, you'll find everything is lovely once more.
One of the biggest ironies (part one) is that this is having a serious effect on ad-blockers, which are already under threat from planned changes to the browser in a future edition.
Another separate, but equally bizarre bug is that the build is causing even higher than usual CPU hogging. No big deal, right? It gets… erm… ironic (part two). Checking the CPU usage in the Chrome task manager is itself a CPU hog on certain machines including the Pixelbook, Pixel Slate and several others.
This amount of CPU hogging can seriously bork your day, and can max out the processor completely, meaning lags, crashes and general bad vibes.
Google seems to have this one under control in as much as it isn't looking for any more examples of the problem in the wild, which is usually a good indication that the root cause has been identified and the fix is in development.
It's not certain if there really are CPU spikes outside the task manager, Google isn't clear if there are other forces at work or just a bug with the monitoring.
In the meantime, the advice is that the best way to avoid having your CPU spiking when the task manager is open is…. well, not to open the task manager, obviously.
Chrome Unboxed which first spotted the story has suggested that there's a correlation between the devices affected, and the rollout of the Android 9.0 Pie subsystem, and that disabling the Play Store is a decent workaround. μ
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