Most of the points I took off Matt Cutts' blog, then searched for confirmation. The last point is based on a new feature that is being developed for Chrome. I have not found any other references to other communication between Chrome and Google.
It is fairly easy to confirm this information though. Simply install Paros Proxy on your computer, and route the browser to run through it. Paros will give you a report of all HTTP traffic coming out of the browser.
Presumably, the data captured & reported by Paros is not unlike that provided by HttpFox.
And, from a quick overview of the Parosproxy.org site, it appears that one toggles its use on/off by way of the browser's Proxy settings. Correct?
From one tinkerer to another, thanks for the pointer.
The main difference between Paros Proxy and HTTPFox is that you can change information as it is in transit. Plus, you can use it with any browser. This is the tool I used to determine that Google is capable of detecting rank checking utilities and scrambling the results it returns. And to figure out that there is actually a server, owned by Google, known as the TrustRank Server.
Ah this also happened to me. It's very annoying. You may wish to create a robots.txt file to deny search engines access to that folder.