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Mozilla founder unveils Bitcoin-based micropayments system for users, publishers (brave.com)
217 points by randomname2 on April 1, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 108 comments

I think advertisers should pay me directly to show me some ads. That would incentivise them to show me just ads that have non-zero probability of succeeding.

Every user could decide, how much information about himself he shares with advertiser (even up to eyetracking with webcam if user wants) and how high he prices adspace before his eyes. Advertisers could filter out whom they would like to serve their ads based on the price and information user was willing to disclose and past success of the ads that were presented to him.

If we agree that ads are good then most targeted ads that us as much information each user is willing to share are the best ones. If we agree that ads are bad, why not just ban them altogether and replace them with one single directory of stuff and stuff providers where customer would go to when he needs some stuff.

> If we agree that ads are bad, why not just ban them altogether and replace them with one single directory of stuff and stuff providers where customer would go to when he needs some stuff.

That's exactly what has happened. Web browser users have "banned" ads by using ad blocking extensions or some other means of removing ads. Then if they want to buy something, they search for it on Google.

Then if they want to buy something, they search for it on Google.

Then they click on the first 3 results which are all ads.

Worst, just yesterday I saw someone do this. I asked them if they knew they were clicking on ads. They looked at me blankly as in "what are you saying, and what does it matter."

Why does it matter if whatever he clicked on satisfies his needs?

This is why I always install adblock on every computer possible. A lot of people don't seem to notice or care about the difference between ads and content, so the safest and most efficient way to fix it is just to remove the ads altogether.

I'm generally for advertising in content I enjoy, but for people who can't tell the difference (and would end up getting viruses, etc) I install ad blocking. I personally block all ads with a very minimal whitelist.

Advertising in content ruins the platform.

Great work. Next up, you can resolve how to save the news media industry in the absence of ad revenue for the publishers.

I think we need to seriously rethink how news is done. So I'm not too invested in the news media industry staying alive.

Are you invested in democracy though? Without media, you don't have democracy.

I wouldn't count on media preserving democracy. Especially in its current form.

Yeah, the current media is more interested in preserving the status quo and helping out those in power rather than holding them accountable. The complete lack of interest they have in things like government spying and surveillance is a good example of that.

Enough of the motte-and-bailey tactics. Saying 'No Media' therefore 'No Democracy' is incredibly disingenuous.

Doesn't make it false though.

To have democracy you need to have information that comes with some degree of ethics and accountability.

Blogs and random outlets ain't that.

What else do you have? Rando civilian blogs? The more serious ones are a form of news media, but they need to make a living like the more corporate ones.

I think out of all the threats to democracy in this world, Ad Blockers don't seem to be the most pressing.

I vote we should replace democracy with a combination of random sampling and standardized testing.

The unincumbered spread of ideas is essential for maintaining democracy.

The press' current business model isn't necessary however.

Isn't democracy the rule of advertisers?

I suspect the answer is probably going to be as follows:

Original content in the form of features, investigative journalism and opinion pieces might manage to survive with a model like microtransactions or subscriptions.

News (as in the generic 'here's what happened today' kind), is probably as good as dead, at least as far as being a product with any value goes. This is doubly true of any niche where any Tom, Dick or Harry could write about current events, like the tech world, gaming, sports or celebrity gossip.

Which bodes poorly for the average newspaper, but likely isn't as much of an issue for something like The Economist.

Ad revenue is on the order of magnitude of 1USD per one thousand views. I will gladly foot that bill for an ad-free Internet.

You, yes. But we had a paywall at my work (major metropolitan newspaper) for a year and it was a dismal failure. It seems to mostly work for financial/business papers for which many workplaces pay the subscription for. I'm curious to see how the Guardian's sustaining memberships will do.

1) Way too expensive. 2) Not general enough (I'm not paying for 30 different news sites seprately).

I don't go to your sites and look for news; HN or reddit link me to them.

I think this is the point of micro payments, maybe spend a dollar or two a month on internet in general behind the scenes.

Paywalls seem to mostly not work, but there are more options.

There's the supporter model where a small percentage of viewers pays regularly because they like the content (works great for artists and YouTube rs)

There's the preview model: you pay extra to get the content sooner. Lots of examples of that everywhere.

Another example would be the freemium model, but there it's not obvious to me how to apply it here

Respectfully, I disagree. This is not about ad revenue, or saving the news industry. It's about the ALL websites that get ad revenue, completely losing their minds over ads and desperately latching on to anything that pays, no matter the consequences, or how awful it makes the browsing experience. Something has to give, but it's not going to change until someone forces these websites to act more responsibly.

>Great work. Next up, you can resolve how to save the news media industry in the absence of ad revenue for the publishers.

I can't speak for the parent poster, but personally I don't want it saved. I stopped reading professional news years ago.

All published for-profit news has an agenda. Even if the journalist doesn't have one, it can be inserted by the editor picking and choosing which stories to run. It's hit rock bottom levels. In most countries, if you ask the locals, they can tell you which news outlets are aligned with which parties, and which newspapers publish for which prominent businesses.

For my mileage, I find places like hacker news much better sources of news. This place does a great job of aggregating the kind of high quality content that only pops up when a person /truly cares/ about a subject. You can't get that kind of quality out of someone who works 9-5 making news every day.

From my perspective, the traditional news industry gets a big fat shrug. If they can't keep themselves alive, I won't shed a tear.

Even on hacker news, there are often for profit news sites that are very interesting. If you look outside the tech bubble (or scientific bubble), there will be very few who report on what is going on in the world. And those who do either have extreme views (many of them support the tea party or occupy wallstreat) or have very low writing and research skills

Politics are completely different from tech news because in order to write about them, you need to do lots of research. If you want to write why languge A outperforms language B after your extensive benchmarking that took you hours, you only need to summarize it. Your paid job most likely required you to do this kind of research anyways and summarizing it is the smallest part (and not important for your employee). If you write about economics or politics, research is the crucial part and the sole reason for your article (at least most of the time). There are very few people who can afford to do that kind of research for free and donations won't work in the long term. Sure there is a bias and agenda in more traditional news articles, but you can choose which one to read and different news companies have different biases and agendas.

>Politics are completely different from tech news because in order to write about them, you need to do lots of research.

Disagree. I don't think tech news are any quality. Also, we have issues like encryption which can be regarded as a mix, but like FBI vs Apple is more of a politics issue imho, yet reporters can't even get the basic terminology right.

I would switch to Brave immediately except for extensions like Lastpass and Vimium are simply too integral to abandon, however that may change [0].

Ultimately, advertising is a form of inefficiency both for the end-users and producers. Perfect world, user's are aware of products and services they do/could/would want without annoying grabs for their attention while producer's can either reduce prices or focus capital elsewhere. Finding models that successfully reduce advertising inefficiencies is better for everyone. Consider how much better the internet is than television and print newspapers/magazines where you actually pay to consume what contains a substantial amount of advertisement (over 1/4 for television).

Because advertisement is a necessary efficiency I don't think just blocking advertisements is really a solution. For now, some model of efficient advertisement is better than the growing number of bloated and data gathering websites out there. I don't see any of the other browser vendors making efforts to move this forward.

Yes, a new browser is annoying and then again perhaps we wouldn't need one if Mozilla hadn't fired Eich for his political contributions?

[0] https://github.com/brave/browser-laptop/issues/253

He wasn't fired. He quit after industry pressure (boycott from OkCupid and others) showed Mozilla would suffer greatly if he didn't. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brendan_Eich#Mozilla

> He wasn't fired.

About that: have you ever noticed that C-level executives never get fired? They get to "resign to spend more time with their families". Being forced to quit is the same as being fired, it just sounds better for PR reasons

First of all, that is not true. For example, this executive was fired: http://recode.net/2016/03/12/longtime-sequoia-capital-vc-mic...

Second, while in some cases "spend more time with my family" is clearly an excuse, in the Eich case there is a much simpler explanation. He founded Mozilla and cared deeply about it. Boycotts were going to destroy it. Of course he would step down, it's his only option from his perspective. If he hadn't, it's very likely Mozilla would not exist today.

The 'simpler' explanation is not necessarily true: there is simply not enough information for outsiders to know whether Eich jumped or was pushed. I'd say the Brave venture shows Mr. Rich is not done with improving the internet yet.

> Boycotts were going to destroy it...it's very likely Mozilla would not exist today.

I doubt highly doubt it: around the same time, some folk were threatening to boycott Dropbox over Condoleeza Rice's role and the board did not equivocate in their support for her. Dropbox is still around, who knows what would have happened if Mozilla's board had chosen to support Eich.

The Mozilla boycotts were actually effective, though, unlike DropBox. All Firefox users visiting OkCupid were blocked, and very loudly. Boycotts like that can tank a browser's market share.

Isn't the data gathering an improvement on efficiency, not a reduction of it? If you define efficiency as something like a ratio of useful informing to viewer attention. More personalized ads should be providing more useful information with less noise from irrelevant information. Your example of TV is a good one to show the value of targeted ads. TV ads are even more wasteful of people's attention.

Depends on your perspective. I try to stay the hell away from ads (ads are generally not a good method to discern how to think or buy things) and don't buy all that much anyway; the ideal personalization for me is ads that are in-depth and provide a neutral comparison among products I already want. So basically, no ads; I'll find what I'm looking for.

Since I have no interest in ads, targeted ads are worse because now my data is out there too.

From the perspective of a company, targeted ads probably make more money than untargeted ads, which make more money than zero ads. It's a compromise to try to get those who have zero ads to move to untargeted ads.

Mozilla would not be engaging in this kind of content filtering natively. However the question can be, why is this not a browser plugin?

Looks like some work to support this is happening in a branch: https://github.com/brave/libchromiumcontent/commit/ca3e356b0...

I find it hard that people are going to change their primary browser (a big ask) and post for content, when they can simply continue use their existing browser, and install an extension ublock origin). Maybe brave plans in having extensions as well?

Users will be paid for watching ads. It's an innovative approach.

I wouldn't say it's innovative, given the existence of companies like AllAdvantage [1] or ePIPO [2] well over a decade ago.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AllAdvantage

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zango_%28company%29#1999.E2.80...

I used AllAdvantage back in the day, mouse moving script and all. Ran it 14-16 hours a day on a second computer and made $40-$60 a month. Can't complain.

The down-side was the overhead, it was a noticeable strain on my computer, which is what prompted me to set it up on a dedicated machine. Pretty sure I was on dial-up then too, which just made things worse.

There was a large group of us on IRC all doing the same thing. Little jerks like us ruined it for everyone.

I would do the same thing today. Seriously, who wants to spend their mortal life actually watching ads? Do they actually enrich anyone's life?

I have gotten a couple ads recently that I appreciated, in that they reminded me of something I meant to buy but forgot about.

" our ad-matching partner takes a share (15%), we take our share (15%), we reserve the user revenue share of the total payment (15%)"

I missed the part about the user getting a chunk of it. This makes way more sense now.

Haven't read into this, but what's to stop ad-watching farms?

I find it hard that people use the same browser for everything.

Why would they use different browsers?

I am not sure, but I use different browser for different things. Google + Chrome for day to day. Firefox + Chrome for searches I need not personalized at all. Bing Web/Video + Firefox Incognito for grey matters. And I would like a browser optimized and private which serves only for media, say for watching Vikings and GOT online.

Sounds outlier-ish. Not something I'd intuitively expect most people to do.

A browser that accepts payments that only a tiny fraction of users know how to use or trust (bitcoin)...for a very technical subset of the market (demographic), for which this problem doesn't really exist. Outlook not great.

Maybe, but consider it as one of many possible solutions we could have for the 'ad-blocking problem'. It's not really clear which solutions will take hold, but this is ideal for those that block ads for privacy and intrusiveness reasons.

Its an experiment. This may fail, but bits and pieces of it will be built into future solutions.

Until they make a serious attempt at it, how will they know what holds back adoption or what problems they will encounter?

>Maybe, but consider it as one of many possible solutions we could have for the 'ad-blocking problem'. It's not really clear which solutions will take hold,

Well, it's clear that bitcoin based ones, wont.

Well to be frank, they will know why they failed but it's not very relevant to anything else.

If you miss a target it doesn't mean you learn how to make the target better.

Maybe. Everyone else here seems to think they could do better (or that it could be done better). I'm sure that's not at all inspired by this attempt.

Micropayments are something a ton of markets could care about if there was a good solution.

The problem is that bitcoin as a micropayment solution sucks.

Someone said the very same thing about the Internet, Browsers, E-commerce, and more...

Bitcoin has been around for 5 years now? if it hasn't taken off now when?

To me this concept seems like https://flattr.com/ with bitcoin.

Flattr is stagnant at best, maybe Brave will do better though.

The problem with micropayments in this context is that flattr lacks the impulse nature that bitcoin can possibly provide. You have to load the money in an account beforehand, but with bitcoin you could potentially just donate directly from a hot wallet on your computer. Pre-loading accounts that are designed specifically for donations feels unnatural, I think.

> impulse nature

How about reverse-order micropayment for donations? The site lets you start tipping right away, but doesn't actually pay until you load money. So you can start using the service right away, and eventually you'll guilt yourself into actually donating in bulk.

this is a great idea. maybe even casually prompt you at dollar mark milestones. e.g.

you viewed 59 applications.

supported by teams totalling 489 people.

running 78 servers.

you didn't see 4900 adverts.

your charity account has reached $5, if you have the time, those teams would appreciate your support.

Or at the end of the month rather than pre-paying at the beginning. I might be more willing to chuck in $10 once I know what I've received than I am $5 beforehand. Removes a hurdle when first signing up (just like a free trial does). There's nothing stopping you asking people to setup something regular either, just support people putting money in afterwards.

This would add complexity to the backend, but I'd be surprised if it had an inherently high cost overall. A user that actively uses flattr but doesn't put any money in each month probably only represents a small overhead in resources. I guess there's a risk that someone who otherwise would have setup a regular payment now doesn't (or contributes less).

This feels like one of those ideas that is incredibly obvious in retrospect but until I'd heard someone suggest it I hadn't thought about it.

Tipjoy tried this, it didn't pan out at the time.

99% of users don't have any BitCoin, so to use BitCoin they'd have to learn how it works, set up a hot wallet, buy some Bitcoin, and then figure out Brave, and also keep a constant mental note of the exchange rate between Bitcoin and their currency to know how much they're paying.

You're suggesting that process is easier than preloading an account from a credit card?

I, for one, have downloaded and tried Brave, but I am not going to use its payment system until I can pay with a credit card or PayPal. I happen to have a bitcoin (1 BTC), printed on a piece of paper (it was a wedding gift), but I'm not going to bother with wallets and shit just to use Brave.

> Pre-loading accounts that are designed specifically for donations feels unnatural,

To me, having a bitcoin hot wallet on my computer is what feels unnatural. I'm far more likely to use a service that will let me preload an account balance than I am to use bitcoin and all that entails.

I don't see Bitcoin as being any more convenient for most people since they don't have any Bitcoin and would need to buy some and figure out where they want to keep them. (It isn't particularly easy to open an account on CoinDesk, for example.)

No account at Coinbase or any other online exchange is required to own bitcoin. In fact, to have someone else hold your money is against the spirit of Bitcoin.

Everyone is their own bank. All you need is a Bitcoin wallet and I recommend exactly that app, Bitcoin Wallet: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.schildbach....

There are many others as well. BitPay has a user-friendly one called Copay: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bitpay.cop...

You still have to get some bitcoin somehow, though, which like GP says may not feel that much different to the average user than pre loading funds into a Flattr account.

Recommending Bitcoin wallet over mycelium? How come? Mycelium is fantastic.

The Bitcoin is being used with a zero knowledge proof system so that Brave will not know what websites you visited.

I think they are hoping to be different than flattr in that they are a browser and so might have a more comprehensive experience than a website widget. Also, websites will get their ads blocked regardless of whether or not they have signed up for any service with Brave. I suppose the hope is that people feel guilty enough about blocking ads to pay a flat rate to have the sites they visit compensated.

For non-rival goods (which are increasingly common, since copying bits is cheap), Brave seems like the right kind of model -- users pay an overall tax, and it gets parceled out to creators proportionally [1] to usage.

[1] or some other function-- e.g. proportionally to sqrt(usage), in order to flatten out power-law returns, and reward creators who make it but aren't in the top 10.

Side note: I thought it was a side project of the ING bank because of the orange lion: http://www.ing.com/Over-ons/Onze-berichten/Geschiedenis-van-...

I hope this wont cause any trouble for Brave.

This is a really interesting model and I hope it catches on with many more similar initiatives.

Both ads and search engines benefit greatly from greater user profiling. The path I see for a privacy-sane future is a system where users get to have a personal program (like the Brave Browser) that manages their information and acts like a privacy firewall for third party applications.

I look forward to the day when I can search for something without Google and the likes trying to profile me to give me better results but simply ask in a anonymized and privacy conscious way a contextualized search query from my personal private information broker program.

The Brave ad system looks like a first step in the right direction where users get to control their information.

ill say this again. Brave is the best concept executed in the worst way. i tweeted until eich actually responded just hoping they would take a dif tact.

a browser is almost 100% a commodity wrapped around a search engine. they cant be decoupled. forking chrome and installing some security makes 0 difference to isers.

you have to build top notch security but dont expect users to care. fork apache products & elastic and build a personalizef search engine and browser. let people use your platform to transact and sell optimization and information, then the alt currency piece will make sense.

still like brave though. opera of 2016

> a browser is almost 100% a commodity wrapped around a search engine

I've seen you post this a few times, but I'm curious why you think this, because I haven't seen you give a good explanation and the connection seems like a total non sequitur to me.

It would be huge for Brave to gain Opera's level of marketshare, for instance, and no one is downloading Opera because of its search engine.

i seem to find that most people use their browsers to connect to google. many people use google as a web interface. almost everyone in english speaking countries use either microsoft edge/ie to connect to bing or use chrome to go to google or somewhere in between, although chrome has close to 60% of global browser marketshare. don't get me wrong, chrome is a great browser, but i argue that the integration with search & ancilliary services are why it is gaining share.

so onbvious consolidation risk aside, and allowing one org to control how the world receives info (using pagerank/clone pf pagerank) a browser is a wrapper through which we receive info and typically that is through a search portal.

i think brave is awesome and totally great. great product. great team. good vision. however, i think it is unlikely to 10x. it cant 10x my integration with search/info gathering(browsers browse literally synonym of search) and it likely cant 10x my(generic me) experience if i use adblock/ublock.

browsers help you browse. search engines help you find. you can't browse if you don't know where to look. also, there are only ~3 browser engines that have serios market share. most browsers render the web the same way because of standards so they are just varying degrees of ui, convenience/ux and exterior service integration.

does this make sense? that is how i have been thinking about it.

I don't think brave is about security? It's about removing ads (and the consequences of that).

Ads do matter to users, as if you remove them then the user sees they are no longer distracting and that things are faster.

it has a heavy security component which is great one of the women who was a key hire built one or 2 encrypted communication companies. maybe they scaled back on marketing, but it is inherently security, privacy focused with the third value prop being, as you indicated, content control including ad filtering

What I don't fully understand: are they going to replace google ads with their own ads? Is it even legal? There are battles whether blocking ads is legal, but replacing someone's ads with your own ads looks like potential trouble. Imagine if Google Chrome will adopt that approach.

And if they won't replace other ads but only interact with their partners, I don't see how that'll work. There are billions of websites, unless they got some really big contracts, they won't make it.

Interesting project, anyway.

Well, why not? If taking ads out is legal, then why not putting ads in?

What country are you talking about? (Legality of course depends on country.) What law could they be breaking? And bonus points if there's somebody else who's ever been prosecuted for something remotely similar.

CleanFlicks was a Utah company that bowdlerized films. The Directors Guild successfully sued them for copyright infringement.

Since there's no copying or redistribution going on, copyright doesn't seem relevant.

I wouldn't be so sure of this.

ClearPlay, for example, works by marking video frames where unwanted content appears and then skipping over them during playback. The Family Home Movie Act 2005 carved out an exception for this in 17 USC 10(11): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/110

There's an analogy between deleting objectionable portions of a film and parts of a website. I'll ask my copyright attorney friends, I'd bet this is an unresolved question.

Ok. And remember that the copyright holder for the page doesn't own the copyright in the ads you're blocking, so each copyrighted work might be loaded in its entirety or not at all.

Other transformations have been done on webpages forever. In fact blocking all images was a built-in feature of most browsers until a few years ago.

I think this is a brillaint idea. It's not that I don't like paying for content. It's that ads on the web have become so intrusive, overbearing, comumbersome, and, well, BAD, that it has destroyed the browsing experience. There are no controls. I don't need to be paid, as some have suggested, to be given ads. However I do want more control over the ads displayed, how they're displayed, and who benefits. I love this model and I can't wait to direct some money to better causes.

I think if people want to donate money to the creators of content they should install the Autotip browser extension. It works the same way as Brave, except it sends the tip on-chain. If you read Brave's documentation, the architecture of their tipping system has the Brave organization as the midleman who takes a cut of all donations. Because autotip is completely on-chain, your tip arrives to the tipee without anyone taking a cut.

I can't really see this being good for any publisher or advertiser, you're cutting in two new parties (Brave & the user) and the CPM will tank due to poor targeting. They'd be better off blocking it and hoping it dies off before adoption.

Maybe users will flock to it to earn a few pennies in ad replacement mode? Certainly not for the oppty to pay for ad-free mode.

You're cutting out a lot of the people in the middle and can show better ads. These ads should pay more, and both the publisher and user should make more than what they make today. (It's not hard to beat current payments to publishers, and users get no part of the pie right now).

Targeting can be much better if Brave gives the user the option to anonymously share information with them.

> Targeting can be much better if Brave gives the user the option to anonymously share information with them.

At this point, it's no different from Google.

How can they block it, though, if it appears like chrome?

It seems they would have to block everyone using an ad blocker (or everyone using chrome using an ad blocker). Which seems unlikely, but you never know I guess.

It's not clear to me if they [include](https://github.com/brave/browser-ios/blob/6f4a0c7175990f18bf...) Fabric analytics module into their deployments on the iTunes store. If they do, I think it's really ironic for a browser touting anonymity and non-tracking to include a tracking module from Twitter, even if "only for crash monitoring".

In that context, it's hard to take any of their efforts without a pinch of salt.

Wow, they are up to a hard problem. Freedom won and people can block anything they want, how to persuade them buying into our ad network. Seriously? Pay us not to show ads, is this some new kind of ransomware? >We love browsers What does this even mean? Then continuing with how ads work in Brave. Selling how they care about users and being pro ads don't match, sorry. It is sneaky and disingenuous and defaults you to being a bad actor. Even when you can opt out ads, all these pro ads nonsense shoveled in your face, makes me want to help kill ads more quickly, not just seeing them agonizing.

Brave is an anti-tracking browser, not an anti-advertising browser.

That is a solved problem already as much as it could be at this point. Ads people played hardball, now they have to face the consequences. I would rather call it some kind of adscheme, than a browser, really. And what is the incentive to buy into someone else adscheme? A pittance? Arrogant and dishonest. I will not believe they are more concerned about tracking than ad money for a minute. You can have an anti tracking browser without any kind of ads, full stop.

The problem is that if sites don't get money, they can't afford to produce content. If you want content, you have to pay for it. This is a way to deliver ads without tracking.

>This is a way to deliver ads without tracking.

Now we are talking, let's cut the we love browsers PR talk. So we are back to the financing content discussion again, and they offer disrupting ads with well, more ads. Because it will be so much better this time if it is them who make a cut. Users are not that gullible, sorry. There are many more bad properties of ads, and the pro people try to argue is that they support content. It is pure fud. Why should I care if some content disappears I would not pay for anyway? And that is a big if, I would argue declining margins at most. Yet there are still many other ways to sponsor content (no pun), often discussed on HN.

I didn't see estimates of costs for ad-free page views. There's discussion about letting users prioritize sites for support. But nothing about how much sites will want to display ad-free content.

I still don't really get it. Why would i as publisher care? If it gives me some extra BTC without me having anything to do, ok. Sure why not. But it sounds like i need some obscure verification process and then earn a laughtable small sum. I rather use non blockable ads with affiliate links.

Offtiopic, but I think it is a real shame that the Gecko API is so unstable that even a Mozilla founder won't use Gecko for a browser!

The Gecko API is so crufty that Firefox has deprecated it.

Nah...I think I will just stick with my free Ad blocker plus because the minimum ads that I do get are really not a problem.

Nice idea but Bitcoin is no good except as a proof of concept. I have to be able to use Paypal to make this practical.

Damn it this is silly. Just give me a way to send Matt Taibbi a quarter.

Some feedback:

1. You really need to remove that picture of Eich. It's just bad. We get it, he's a visionary who wears suits. Please don't downvote me, it's legitimate criticism. It's vain and out of touch. A picture of him is fine but one that is less market-y, more down to earth, isn't trying as hard.

2. The ad-experience-oriented value-add over existing browsers is too low. The vast majority of people just want a fast/stable/free browser to search google and browse Facebook. For the most part they aren't conscious of what browser they are using. When it comes to web-based tracking/advertising they either don't care or don't know to care. It's sad but inescapably true.

Additionally, for those who do care about privacy and/or are aware that their browser is a program they can change, they definitely don't want to pay for an ad-free experience. Why would someone pay for ad-free Brave when they can use ad-free Firefox/Chrome for free? If you're going to argue that they can make money with Brave, how much money are we talking? I'd guess dollars if not cents, is that worth it?

I really hope the Brave team can realize their project is a mistake before learning the hard way. There is definitely a more successful thing out there that they could work on.

Since this really comes down to a question of "who are we appealing to?", I'll throw my two cents in.

I like that picture. I'm glad for once, that someone in the tech sector is wearing a suit. I don't view suits as a reflection of personal quality, but I do like them as a fashion statement.

To be honest, I've never really understood the US motif where wearing a tie and/or suit is equivalent to being dressed up or out of touch with the common man.

School children here (and also in the UK), wear ties and blazers so wearing a tie doesn't feel 'corporate' or stuffy at all to me.

Lots of figureheads in tech wear suits in marketing materials.

Even still, my criticism isn't specifically or especially the suit. That's just a superficial component of the deeper flaw. It's just looks like it's trying too hard, doesn't look natural, feels cringy. I mean, who sits on a bench in a suit by themselves looking ambiguously into the distance while clasping their hands together? It's weird.

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