Many people have already complained about Google Chrome leaving off the http:// in the URL field (there are certain cases where it does display, that is now the exception though, not the rule), here is my take on why this move was not only wrong, but worse than what we had before.
Initially the complaint was that without the http:// in front copy-paste will be a problem, because other systems use that to detect strings that look like URLs. So Google got clever (this should be the first clue of something bad happening, picking a clever solution over a simple one), when you copy the URL it magically inserts the http:// at the beginning so that it shows up when you paste.
Problem solved right? No, it actually made things worse.
It is not unusual for me to copy just the host name portion of the URL from my browser (Chrome is usually my default browser), but since Chrome silently adds the http:// in the background it is not impossible to copy just the host name. Using this site as an example, copying josephscott.org from the URL results in http://josephscott.org/ when I paste. Not only does it prefix http:// it also adds the trailing slash.
This ends up being super annoying. I’ve looked for options to disable this feature of Chrome and just always show http:// in the URL field and not to mangle copy-paste. So far I haven’t found a way to do this. My work around for now is to copy all but the first character of the host name, type that in manually and then paste the rest of the host name.
Was mangling the copy-paste buffer in the background a clever hack? Yes. Is it better than the simple solution just showing http:// in the URL field? No, not by a long shot.