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Ochs for Chrome makes NYT better to behold

As far as news sites go, The New York Times is pretty well polished. But everything, even the Old Gray Lady, can stand improvement.

The latest Ochs update emphasizes high-resolution photos. (Click to enlarge.) Screenshot by Ben Dreyfuss/CNET

Now that you only get 10 free New York Times articles a month, why not make the most of them?

Ochs, an extension for Google Chrome that just got updated, streamlines the site for your consuming pleasure. It gets rid of most of the clutter (ads be gone! unnecessary toolbars, adios!) and puts the emphasis right where it should be--on the articles.

The extension makes The New York Times so stylishly minimal it almost could have been created by Apple designer Jonathon Ives.

The latest Ochs update, released last week, automatically replaces the story art with the highest-resolution version of the image available. That means a big, crisp, beautiful image accompanies every story.

Somewhat ironically, the extension's namesake--the paper's first great publisher, Adolph Ochs--famously hated photos gracing the front page, as Gay Talese wrote in "The Kingdom and The Power." I can't help but wonder how Mr. Ochs would feel knowing that for a whole lot of Times readers, his name is now synonymous with prominent photography.

Ochs is obviously a product of deep, abiding, Old Gray Lady love, so perhaps it's no surprise that its creator, Web developer Michael Donohoe, actually used to work for The New York Times.

Ochs is available for free in the Chrome Store. If you use Chrome, read the Times, and like pretty things, you might want to give it a spin.

(Via Michael Donohoe)