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Google Begins Testing Extension Manifest V3 in Chrome Canary (bleepingcomputer.com)
521 points by rahuldottech 24 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 436 comments

This is not as terrifying to me as the other news brought to my attention by a post in today's Reddit's r/YSK, that if you use Adblock, your gmail can be closed.

In the new TOS of Youtube [1], it states that if your account is not deemed commercially viable, your Google account (i.e. your Gmail, your Google Photos, your Google Drive, etc.) can be closed down:

    YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google 
    account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube
    believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the 
    Service to you is no longer commercially viable. 

Makes sense they would make this decision, as Youtube is a big money-loser for Google and they want to do something about this. Still, this is more of a wake-up call to me than anything else that I need to get off Google.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/t/terms?preview=20191210#main&

> Terminations and Suspensions by YouTube for Cause

> YouTube may suspend or terminate your access, your Google account, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if (a) you materially or repeatedly breach this Agreement; (b) we are required to do so to comply with a legal requirement or a court order; or (c) we believe there has been conduct that creates (or could create) liability or harm to any user, other third party, YouTube or our Affiliates


Edit: just to be cristal clear, yes, YouTube can terminate your Google account

> YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.

just one more reason i continue to recommend that youtube is greatly improved by signing out. none of the signin-walled "features" are worth it anyway. comments are a banal wasteland, votes mean nothing for creator visibility, subscribing doesn't mean you'll see new videos when they're released, algorithm-driven recommendations actively harm diverse content discoverability...

I don't even visit the YouTube site that often anymore. I've set up a script to use youtube-dl to download new videos from channels I like on a daily basis.

that's an excellent option, but make sure you aren't logged into your gmail on that same computer. Your script shouldn't access the cookies of the browser, but if somehow they are able to, they will disable your gmail account when they realize you are watching from the same IP with a headless script that can't watch ads.

Youtube-dl saved my youtube experience, as I have many playlists that have actually gotten entries deleted somehow, and I had then no recourse into recovering my playlist (often the uploader or another youtube denizen just re-uploads it, but I lost all information about the video).

Can you share any more information or the source of your script? Sounds like a pretty cool idea.

It's actually really simple! Here's an example:

youtube-dl --dateafter now-7days --playlist-end 10 --download-archive '/path/to/folder/downloaded.txt' -o '/path/to/folder/%(title)s.%(ext)s' -- 'https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYO_jab_esuFRV4b17AJtAw'

You can play around with the parameters to get the behavior you want (there are tons more than I don't use), I kept it pretty simple. In my case it checks the channel page for videos that are newer than 7 days (it runs daily but this gives me a buffer). If there are more than 10 videos newer than 7 days it only checks the first 10. It stores previously downloaded video information in downloaded.txt so it doesn't download duplicate videos, and outputs the video in the format videoName.ext.

Then throw that into a shell script along with any other channels you want and set up a cron job to run it as often as you'd like. You'll also probably want to put 'youtube-dl -U' into a cron job to keep it up to date, YouTube frequently changes things that breaks functionality of youtube-dl.

Your comment inspired a quick and dirty implementation of this.

It's on my github[1] if anyone wants to take a look. I don't use bash often, so if anyone sees better ways to do things I'm all ears.

[1] https://github.com/kiddico/Fight_the_Man

I never thought to set up something like this, but it's a fantastic idea!

Now... this may seem like a silly question: What does the '--' do before the channel url? I know '--' is normally used for parameters longer than one character, but that one is kinda just floating about haha.

Putting "--" as an argument means that future arguments starting with "-" will not be parsed as arguments (imagine trying to rm a file called "-rf" or grep for "-"). But it just so happens that it's not necessary in this case.

Ohhhhh okay, that makes sense. Thanks!

Looks like a mistake on my part, I was probably playing around with another parameter and forgot to remove it completely. It runs fine with it there so I never noticed it but it isn't needed.

Curious, why not just use invidio.us?

Where does it say your gmail can be closed. The terms listed only say they can terminate your account access to the service, aka Youtube.

When they close your YouTube account, they close the associated account on the Google side of things

I actually found it mentioned in a different paragraph. It explicitly states your Google account.

You can have your YouTube account shut down and still have an email account

The thing with markiplier a few days ago says otherwise

I don't know what a markiplier is, I am just reading the actual changes on the YouTube terms website.

  Terminations and Suspensions by YouTube for Cause

  YouTube may suspend or terminate your access, _your Google account_ , or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if 
  (a) you materially or repeatedly breach this Agreement; 
  (b) we are required to do so to comply with a legal requirement or a court order; or 
  (c) we believe there has been conduct that creates (or could create) liability or harm to any user, other third party, YouTube or our Affiliates.
I tend to believe YouTube wouldn't put it in if they didn't mean it.

Just because they can terminate a Google account doesn't mean they have too... I do not understand what point you are trying to make

Your original comment asks where it says they can terminate your Gmail account. I was responding to that. There are dozens (hundreds?) of documented cases of Google banning the associated Google account when they ban the YouTube account.

Yes, just because they can, doesn’t mean they have to, but they do it anyways.

I think we agree and one of us just got confused on the way? I know they have done that for youtube accounts; developer accounts too.

They are now at least making it much more obvious

I find that very worryingly vague. In my reading though, that only applies to YouTube itself ("the Service"). It seems to be saying that your Google account can lose access to YouTube, not that you can lose access to your Google account.

It's recently been proven that the two are one in the same (look up the "Markplier YouTube Ban").

Wow. That is some heavy-handed, misguided "justice" there. Banning people's Google (including GMail) accounts, even rejecting appeals, only for using emotes the way it was requested and encouraged by the streamer they were commenting on.

The thing that was apparently against unspoken Youtube policy here was this kind of interactive, emote-driven streaming. But I get the impression Markiplier didn't get banned, only their fans.

It's bizarre and alarming.


Maybe, but maybe not. There was another recent YouTube controversy where dozens of people were banned from all google services (including Gmail) for spamming on a gaming livestream chat (which is considered perfectly acceptable behavior by most streamers).

Losing access to ALL Google services happens because of abuse signals. I don't know of any other instances where global bans happen.

Abuse signals, as determined by a machine learning system that is a complete mystery to even its creators.

But that's beside the point. Losing the ability to receive email is not something that should ever happen under any circumstances.

I think it depends on how "the Service" is defined. As "Service" is capitalized, it is likely defined in the TOS, and may only apply to Youtube (not Google as a whole). So I believe you (and the redditor) are reading that passage incorrectly.

(IANAL, and I have no clue if what I said is right).

I've been struggling with this myself. But extrapolating from news that some Youtubers who got banned also found their Google accounts (i.e. Gmail, Drive, etc.) closed, (someone up above just commented on this), I feel I must err on the side of caution. I mean, what do you then make of this haphazard interpretation of 'Service'?

p.s., not to be snarky, but you ought to add a disclaimer that you're a Googler in your comment!

Yup,thanks for calling it out. I'm Googler, opinions are my own (and I have no idea about how youtube operates).

There's the theoretical legal interpretation, and then there's the precedent for how google have traditionally enforced their rules. And they have been absolutely ruthless. Banning your family and everyone who ever logged in from the same IP as you. Deleting corporate Play Store accounts if one of the developers was banned in the past. It's all done automatically, and there is no way to appeal.

I don’t sign in to any of their web properties ever. I do have a Google account for Gmail, but I only use it from my various mail clients.

They probably know who I am though when I browse “anonymously”. Am I at risk?

> YouTube is a big money-loser for Google


I have AdBlocker for YouTube in Firefox on desktop, but I use the app on mobile, which shows me ads normally, so I guess I’m fine?

Unfortunately nobody knows, and you have little to no recourse if they ban you :(

It's insane to me that Google has gotten so hostile, they place little to no value on individual accounts, meanwhile those accounts are the lifeline of so many individuals and businesses.

This makes me want to ditch gmail to prevent accidentally getting my account closed, say for using Youtube while I have Adblock installed in my browser. I do have personal email on a domain I own, but it will be a lot of work to update my e-mail address with each service.

I want to ditch Gmail/Google as well but I am so entrenched into Android that I'm torn. I don't want to rely on third party ROMs that I need to root and install on my phone. I want the latest AOSP security updates, that's why I choose to buy the Pixel line of phones (looking into Android One phones as well). Also how do I keep my contacts synced between devices. What's a good replacement for Google Photos that gives me the same features. I'm sure people have figured this out already somewhere

This is exactly my problem as well. I think the best bet is to partially move off. Setup backups with other systems. For email, have all emails forward to a backup Yahoo account or something. You don't have to check it, but just have it in case Google screws you.

Yeah that's what I'm going to have to do as well. I think the most important (for me) is changing my email to another service (looking at Fastmail) and then slowly changing all my logins to that one. Backing up my contacts on a regular basis and importing them to the new service. And moving any important stuff off Google Drive. I'll probably still use docs and sheets but for things that I don't care if I lose. And finally, Google Photos will be the hardest one to leave. I have so much in there

And that's how it works. If you want to be able to use all the cool stuff that Google creates, you have to submit to their business model and play by their rules.

It took me about a year before I stopped getting any legitimate email at my gmail address. Start changing everything you can to your new email address at a domain that you own, and start forwarding your gmail to it. Every time a legitimate message comes in to your old gmail address, tell that person about your new email address, or update your email address with that service.

Fortunately, for privacy-conscious people this is not a huge problem as we're usually running Google apps in a separate workspace already. It sure is a problem for mobile users though as ads in general are a huge battery drain.

My confession as a privacy-conscious person: yeah, YouTube is the only Google service that I (reluctantly) use. I even pay cash money for it in exchange for no advertising.

However, I only use it on a single tablet that is devoted exclusively to that purpose. As with all Google services, I wouldn't dare to actually use it on a machine that I use for anything else.

So if you want to use ad-blockers, I guess it's important to use Youtube only while not logged in. Keep your GMail and Youtube use independent from each other.

Hopefully that's just saying they have the right to shut down YouTube altogether, rather than denying specific individuals. But I'm not fluent enough in Legalese to be sure about that.

The biggest advertising company in history tries to kill blocking advertisements in their browser? How am I not surprised.

I bet this move is also to kill the workings of extensions like DecentralEyes and others that try to protect users from being tracked. The whole changing of the API into a "sure we'll block that URL for ya, sometimes maybe" model reeks of increasing user tracking. They'll work out the kinks to let AdBlockers function again. But they'll have their tracking back.

Would anyone like to make a bet on whether ad blocking will still work in Chrome in two years? Something like "if you visit the top ten publishers in the US in Chrome Desktop with the best ad blocker will you see more ads than if you use Firefox Desktop with the best ad blocker"?

(Disclosure: I work at Google, not on Chrome, and don't have any inside information on this)

Vanilla ad blocking will continue to work because companies that participate in Acceptable Ads [1] will be happy to implement restricted ad blocking, such as Eyeo with Adblock Plus, while advanced and effective ad blocking that is not funded by advertising companies, like what uBlock Origin offers, will become impossible in Chrome.

Meanwhile a bunch of unrelated extensions will be killed, the ones that rely on modifying requests and which have nothing to do with ad blocking. Innovation around extensions that involves modifying requests will be halted, and everyone will suffer as a result, except Google.

Crooks will have continued and easy access to user data, since Manifest v3 is not focused on protecting user privacy.

I can bet on that.

[1] https://acceptableads.com/en/

The "acceptable ad" program is pointless, as it doesn't consider tracking to be "unacceptable".

Sure, I've been trying to make more tangible predictions about the future lately. I don't bet money, but if I'm wrong, you can come find me online and publicly tell me I'm wrong.

I will make a public prediction that after one year of Manifest V3 actually shipping to users in mainline Chrome:

- Assuming that Manifest V3's declarative API is not significantly changed from its current implementation.

- If you visit each of the top 10 publishers in the US (including open publishing platforms like Twitter/Facebook/Youtube)

- If you compare Chrome and Firefox, each with the most-recommended ad-blocking/tracker-blocking extensions on their equivalent web stores installed (currently Ublock Origin, but we'll leave it open. "Most recommended" means that among technical users, this extension is the most commonly recommended. There's a little ambiguity here, but not sure how to narrow it.).

- Firefox will block more web trackers (65% likelyhood).

- Firefox will block more visible ads and popups (55% likelyhood).

There are a couple of reasons why I feel comfortable making those two predictions:

- Twitter and Facebook both try really hard to get around adblockers, and Firefox will be more likely to be able to combat their strategies in the future.

- Extensions like Privacy Badger will already have a more difficult time working in Manifest V3, so there's potential for new adblocking strategies to develop in Firefox that can't be ported.

- Safari made similar changes, and it's already less effective than Firefox at adblocking, so it seems reasonable to guess that Chrome will follow the same path.

- Properly configured, Firefox is already better than Chrome at blocking web-trackers, and I think Firefox will roll those changes out by default to ordinary users before Chrome does.

There are a few reasons why I'm hedging my bets:

- The advertising market is volatile, and might change significantly in the next year (privacy laws, etc...) This is unlikely, but not so unlikely that I can completely discount it.

- Chrome has research teams working on some interesting privacy strategies. I think it's mostly just talk and they won't do much of significance in a year, but I can't completely discount it.

- A mass exodus to Firefox could force Chrome to adapt Manifest V3 to be more open. This is also unlikely, but again, I can't completely discount it.

- And just general uncertainty, because the longer out you predict the more uncertainty you should introduce.

55% and 65% seem like very low numbers, but I think they're a relatively bold prediction. If Firefox and Chrome are blocking basically identical numbers of trackers/ads, that doesn't count as a successful prediction. I'm not going to be pedantic about, "Chrome randomly saw one more ad on exactly one website." Right now, I consider Chrome and Firefox to be equal in terms of adblocking capabilities. So even a 50% guess would be saying, "there's a one-in-two chance that something changes and Firefox will just be an objectively better browser for adblocking."

Thanks for giving so much detail about what you expect! This seems pretty hard to formalize a bet about, though, since the core disagreement is over "Firefox will block more visible ads and popups" which you'd put at 55% and I'd put at ~50%.

I want to stress that I think 50% is high here, because the default state is that most browsers do basically the same amount of stuff.

If you asked me to make a bet on whether Firefox would be meaningfully better than Chrome on, like, SSL support, I would give that a pretty low probability -- maybe 10% off the top of my head. Because I expect that a year from now nothing drastic is going to happen that would magically make either browser be different from each other on that front.

It's not 50% "one of the two things will happen, flip a coin", it's 50% "we will see a meaningful change from the status quo."

They are not trying to kill advertisements. They want to replace API to provide better performance. That's about it. ad blocking extensions won't disappear. May be some will, and new extensions emerge.

> They want to replace API to provide better performance.

The replacement API is incompatible with what it is replacing. The supposed gain in performance is not without loss in ability to block ads.

> ad blocking extensions won't disappear. May be some will, and new extensions emerge.

Some kinds of ad-blocking is simply impossible in the new API, without replacement or workaround. No extension can implement those methods.

Incidentally these new declarative rulesets are useless against some very simple tricks. I know people who are working full time on defeating ad blockers and the new Manifest v3 seems to have made their lives so much easier.

this change is intended to move control over the blocking process from the extension author to Google

once they're in total control of how the blockers can operate: I doubt they'll be responsive to what the developers of the blocking extensions want...

If performance was the criteria by which they made decisions then they would probably bake ad-blocking directly into chrome, since ads/tracking is one of the leading reasons for poor performance

By that reasoning Microsoft didn't prevent others from writing .doc-compatible word processors either - they just defined the format as basically a memory dump of Word :)

This is how a company implements measures that could be a legal problem: By formally making a technical decision and having the actual goal as a by-product of that decision.

> By that reasoning Microsoft didn't prevent others from writing .doc-compatible word processors either - they just defined the format as basically a memory dump of Word :)

It's funny because for years MS kept officially supported, feature complete, portable format for use in interchange, while DOC being shared was kinda unintended consequence that just wasn't fought against.

The very requirements of the original DOC spec required it to be a memory dump.

They didn't need to replace the current API, adding a new API would have sufficed. If it was truly better, the major addons would have transitioned it voluntarily. No need to force it.

They are killing the functionality that has supported robust adblocking for a long, long time. Any extensions that replace the current model will be less effective.

> They are not trying to kill advertisements. They want to replace API to provide better performance.

So they say. I see literally no reason to believe that claim, though.

Apple did similar move with Safari. And they are not ad company. So probably it is the valid reason.

Apple has a bit more credibility than Google, too.

This of course. Why is anyone in the least surprised that Google doesn't want the ads that fund Chrome (and everything else they do) to be blocked by the users of Chrome. Shall Google fund our nice things (like Firefox, Chrome, gmail, google maps, etc etc) with hopes and dreams in place of cold hard cash? The audacity.

Clearly an unpopular opinion here, but anyway: I'm happy to let a few ads slip through (which I will happily ignore anyhow) in exchange for the possibility of a future where I dont have to drive a car to get places.

It's not either/or, just like you can have a factory making cheap widgets without letting that factory pollute the local river with industrial waste.

Ads are funding the Internet only because it's the easiest legal business model to pull off, so everyone gravitated to it. But it's not like there wouldn't be money for self-driving cars without adtech, and in reality, them being tied with advertising companies only ensures that the future will be shitty.

To add to this, ads are currently the best way to collect micropayments from users online without requiring you (the website maintainer) to have a database or profile on each customer, or to handle complicated return processes, or to deal with merchant accounts. You just make an adwords account, serve content to people, and that's it.

I'm convinced that in a world where collecting anonymous micropayments was as easy as serving ads, the web would look at lot different.

People look at this as a choice between paying $5 a month for every website they visit, or getting it "free" with ads. But in a world with good micropayments, most websites wouldn't cost $5. Outside of the biggest players, most sites aren't currently making $5 a month per user via ads.

> I'm happy to let a few ads slip through ...

But should that mean letting the fox guard the henhouse though? The problem here is that the largest ad provider also controls the largest ad display platform (i.e., Chrome), and is using the latter to benefit the former.

Ironically, developers helped create the henhouse they’re now worried the fox might get, by only using Chrome.

I'm in the process of switching as much as possible to Firefox. I now use Firefox Mobile on my smartphone, and my new laptop doesn't even get Chrome. And in many ways, it's been a breath of fresh air. Firefox gives my much more control over my privacy, and even recommends some extensions to improve it further. A couple of websites are sadly broken on my Firefox setup, but I can live without them.

I want to get back to the content-driven web rather than this ad-driven web we have now. I want to read what people want to share, not what people think will get them ad clicks.

> I want to read what people want to share, not what people think will get them ad clicks.

Interesting thought.

Why not something like Brave which has the performance of Chromium (still better than Firefox imo) because it's a fork but probably won't make similar business decisions to Google?

Isn't Google introducing this change upstream in Chromium? This means that it will affect downstream browsers, including Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, and a number of others[1]. The only way they will keep the old functionality is if they fork it and maintain it themselves going forward, which could potentially be made more difficult by further upstream changes made by Google. A few have vowed to do so[2], but Google has too much power controlling the upstream to guarantee they can continue it long-term.

Google has a stranglehold on the entire browser market through Chromium right now. Switching to non-Chromium-based browsers is a must.

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_(web_browser)#Browser... 2: https://www.zdnet.com/article/opera-brave-vivaldi-to-ignore-...

What I want to know is whether Microsoft plans to continue to support Ublock Origin, etc, in Edge Chromium.

All Chromium "based" browsers are forks already -- how is this any different?

They’re less so forks than re-builds. They rely heavily on upstream and Google can certainly make it more difficult for them to maintain a “fork” that diverges too much from Chromium proper. Manifest V3 may be something they can easily keep out of their builds while maintaining the old method, but I’m no expert so I won’t comment on that.

A fork implies maintaining most or all of the code base themselves, when in reality, most Chromium derivatives simply change the “front-end” or the UI while keeping everything else upstream, except for a few tweaks here and there. To maintain an entire fork themselves would be a massive undertaking, especially since Google now has a practical stronghold on the development of the open web. “Forks” would have to ensure they work with the standards (and non-standards) that are being pushed by Chromium and there’s no easy way to do that besides using Chromium and “re-building” it with their broswer’s specific features and UI. Google could make Manifest V3 harder to exclude from those re-builds.

It’s this very reason that Microsoft moved to Chromium as they could not keep up with the changes Chromium were pushing to the open web. They have also made it very clear that they’re not “forking” Chromium for the new Edge, but rather using it as their “back-end” so they can focus on their “front-end” while contributing back upstream to improve the back-end. Too much of a divergence would land them back to square one with the issues they had keeping up with old Edge.

If a company the size of Microsoft are unable to maintain a “fork” of Chromium, it doesn’t leave much hope for the smaller companies like Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, etc. However, that does not mean that they are unable to exclude the Manifest V3 from their builds, just that they’re still beholden to the changes made to Chromium to some degree.

> If a company the size of Microsoft are unable to maintain a “fork” of Chromium

Microsoft is entirely able to maintain a fork of Chromium, or even their own proprietary browser.

What Microsoft has done is a cost/benefit calculation and decided that the benefit for maintaining their own stuff is not sufficient to justify the costs.

The thing about those types of analyses is that they are very company-dependent. That the C/B ratio is not good enough for Microsoft doesn't imply that it can't be good enough for other companies.

That was a poor choice of words on my part. Rather I meant, they themselves stated it was not feasible for them to keep up using EdgeHTML and they could not. The same may be true if they were to completely fork Chromium and maintain their own version (ala Blink from WebKit) while keeping up with the changes made by Chromium that in turn propagate to the entire open web due to its dominance. It’s the reason they moved to Chromium and contribute back upstream rather than “fork” it.

It doesn't have to be a complete fork. In git terms, it can be a branch that pulls from Google, but reverts the commits that disable this functionality. Write some extra unit tests to ensure this functionality is still active, and after that, every time Google pushes something that breaks it, tests will fail and you can fix what they broke. Other than that, you can just keep pulling all the changes from Google.

>have also made it very clear that they’re not “forking” Chromium for the new Edge, but rather using it as their “back-end”

I would love a citation for that.

Not including Manifest V3 in their builds hardly seems like a change that makes maintaining a fork untenable. That's what, a one-line change?

Because they will probably follow Chromium and remove ad blocking once the pain of forking is too great.

It's one of their central features, so probably not.

We will support webRequest for uBO and uMatrix at least, I've already said so on Twitter and Reddit. The API is available to enterprise Chrome customers, it's being hidden not removed.

In case anyone cares about the facts that can be confirmed from our github: our enabling tips to unverified creators mistake was corrected quickly, and the tokens in question were ours, not the users who directed their flow (this matters because we do not intermediate in token flows; our partner Uphold, a licensed MSB, does).

I like how Peter Thiel, the guy who scorched earth Gawker for outing him as gay, can look past Eich supporting prop 8, but HN can't.

By the same logic you could use Microsoft Edge, which is now chromium based and effectively a chrome shell.

Very true, but I think I trust Brave more than I trust Microsoft to try to keep the internet neutral as such.

> I want to get back to the content-driven web rather than this ad-driven web we have now.

Are you prepared to pay for it?

As much as I did back when we had it.

Many people love sharing stuff. The move to this ad-driven web happened because companies saw they could make money here. I'm totally fine with companies not making money and the web being driven by scientists and hobbyists.

Are you under the impression that the people creating the web content of the 90s and 00s were being paid for it?

> Are you prepared to pay for it?

Sure. We're all paying for it anyway -- the only question is what currency we're paying with. I'd much prefer the currency be cash rather than data.

I have no ads or tracking on my website and provide code and projects, I just enjoy sharing things so other people can learn or get benefit out of what I've created.

I remember early 2000's, late 1990's internet...it was truly better times. Simplicity ruled, content ruled, not design solely around selling clicks.

Back in the IE 6 days I was in charge of fixing my families computers, and my family's friends computers. I was dealing with a few things a week, some requiring a full re-install. This was back in the early 2000's. Eventually I snapped and started charging hourly unless people switched to Gmail and Firefox. I started getting a lot less calls since Gmail was pretty good about filtering out malicious attachments and IE was, IE. I probably got around 40 households to switch to Firefox. The people that refused to switch financed a lot of my undergrad, I charged 100 a hour. I don't like fixing computers and the goal was to make things as painful as possible for them so they would stop using IE.

Using a ad-blocker in Firefox was the #1 thing I suggested for safe computing. And don't open unexpected email attachments. This killed 95% of peoples computer woes.

So good job Google, you did it, from here on out whenever I see Chrome on families computers I will strong-arm them into switching to Firefox. I did it in 2005 and was wildly successful. I can do it again. And I think my Christmas gifts this year will be domain names and three year subscriptions to Fastmail for my immediate family.

I did it like this

Install FF

Set it as default

Change path on desktop shortcut for "Internet" to FF

And ofc do not forget to say that is new IE version

I always found that it was best not to lie to users for their own good, at least if you want them to continue considering you a trusted source of computing information.

You don't have to explain what firefox is, or what IE is, just that "this isn't IE but it does the same thing and will keep you safe".

Maybe they'll have follow up questions, and you can answer those, but lying is just a good way for them to go back to IE and not tell you because they don't to be treated condescendingly.

If you’re on Windows, you need to set up edge-deflector too, which is a fairly advanced piece of idiocy.

There is a way to get rid of Edge by renaming its install folder or something like that. I did it, and I love it.

Change the icon of the FF shortcut to look like the IE icon ;)

> And ofc do not forget to say that is new IE version

That's just plain dumb. Explain to your users what you are doing. You seem to think they are stupid, well they are not.

Oh no, he doesn't think they are stupid, just that they don't know the difference between browsers. If my mechanic mounted a new transmission or something that wasn't the same brand as the one mounted before, and told me "it's the new version", I couldn't care less as long as it worked as intended. I don't know anything about transmissions, so from my point of view I have no way of knowing if what he's telling me is the truth or not, I just trust him to make my car work again.

This reminds me that such people also think that the visual experience of browsing the internet is somehow "fixed". My impression of social media is that one of its draws (pitfalls actually) is that it gives the impression of different people experiencing the same thing, e.g.: a 100 people like this or 500 people retweeted that.

However, as programmers, we should see the internet not as a browser at all. We should see it as a list of protocols and implementations thereof.

I think a big part of the oh-so-common emotional social media battles is anticipation of the other person's experience. Hopefully for you, as a programmer reading this, your view of the internet is protected by automated command line scripts that fight your internet battles for you...

>social media ...gives the impression of different people experiencing the same thing


If my mechanic mounted a new transmission from another brand without telling me beforehand that he intended to do so, and I found out later, then I would immediately lose all trust in such a mechanic.

Why did he mount a different brand? Was it because he thinks it's better? Maybe it's cheaper, but otherwise equivalent? I have no way of knowing, and I trust his judgement entirely. On the other hand, if I went to my mechanic and said "Look Bob, I want an ACME Turboencabulator v2 mounted" I believe he would be happy to do so. The point is, most users don't even know what a browser is and just want to get back to facebook ASAP, and don't care if you tell them you installed an ACME Turboencabulator or a Stark Industries Turboelectroencabulator.

Of course, we all know the original Turboencabulator is GE and all the others are knockoffs, but I've tried other brands and they work just as well, if not even better.

Same here, and I understand cars. This is repair fraud, actually, and a criminal offense in the US. If I paid for and was told I would receive an OEM part and instead I got some aftermarket part off RockAuto, I'd be beyond pissed off and I'd get my recompense somehow.

I understand the grandparent point, but their analogy is terrible. When you are paying for a specific brand of item and you get an alternative brand without being informed and giving consent, that is fraud. It is a crime, and it is effectively stealing from you the difference in price/value/cost of the two items, since you're paying for the other brand.

Never did I mention I had specified a model/brand. I just went to the mechanic and asked him "fix my transmission". Whatever the way he does it, if it works it's good to me.

In automotive, there's a rich third-party ecosystem of replacement parts manufacturers.

Even the original vehicle manufacturer might purchase the parts from several of them.

You, as an typical end-user, have practically no chance to find out, whether the replacement part is "original" or not.

Yes, the most ignorant among us will never find out, unless they have a problem and go to a different mechanic that tells them. But it is very very obvious when you actually receive parts whether or not it's an OEM part, or an aftermarket part. Both may be identical and made in the same factory, but if I request a repair with OEM parts, am charged for OEM parts, and am provided with non-OEM parts that is repair fraud and a crime.

Good sir, I did not have 10h+ for lecture per client

And by the way, smart ones already had FF and Opera installed

No they are not, they just frequently devoted their intelligence to being a lawyer, doctor or whatever rather than caring about tech. Any more than they cared about the finer points of their microwave or VHS recorder.

The first Google scam - yes scam - was Adsense and adwords. The search "sponsored" box was a yellow designed to be near indistinguishable from white, and was invisible on many LCD monitors. Adsense and adword links were the same blue IE used for links - because people had been conditioned to believe blue links simply traversed the web.

With hindsight, that's the moment everyone should have lost all trust in Google.

A ton of people are stupid. You don't know his users.

yeah back then there was a theme for firefox 3 that mimiked explorer icon and ux, all my relatives had that, very few questioned the different download menu.

thanks satan In all seriousness, "And ofc do not forget to say that is new IE version", that is the key, let them think they are still using their old software.

Nowaways I put a pihole in every home of my family members. Together with unchecky (windows) my calls dropped by 95% or so.

I use a pihole at home too. It is funny since I have gotten a few texts from my roommates about their phones being infected when they aren't connected to the wifi here. They think it is a virus and I have to tell them that is what the internet normally looks like.

I wouldn't rule out an infection in that case. I have a friend who has phone malware that shows ads about every minute or so. I offered to help factory reset it (last I checked everything she wants to keep is automatically backed up to the cloud) but we just haven't gotten around to it. And yes she really does use her phone regularly.

DNS adblockers like Pihole are markedly _less_ effective than the declarative content blocking proposed for Chrome and currently in-use by Safari.

They do have the advantage of covering your entire LAN and working inside apps, so they are definitely useful. But they don't replace real adblockers, or even the castrated ones Google is pushing on its users.

It won't work for long. With eSNI and DoH you won't be able to use DNS for blocking, and IP is very easy to switch around, especially in IPv6 but even in IPv4 (ad networks have money, shortage is not a problem for them).

What lists are you using, which avoiding? My use of pihole constantly disrupted basic services such as Sonos. I can certainly find the URL culprits and resolve it, but I got tired of constantly doing so...

I have Sonos kit and a pi-hole. I use the default lists plus the ticked lists from this site: https://firebog.net/

I have no issues with my Sonos equipment - I use a local MP3 library, a Spotify subscription and TuneIn Radio all without any issues.

What problems did you have?

In case of Sonos - the speakers disconnected all the time. Taking off pihole completely solved the issue. I did not check for possible problematic URLs on the blacklists though.

What were you using for DHCP? I'm no Sonos engineer but that sounds like it might been network level rather than DNS. I have pi-hole doing DHCP as well and created DHCP reservations for my Sonos speakers just to be safe (although it isn't necessary and I never had issues when they were regular DHCP clients of my ISPs router).

I just use the default. We have Sonos stuff too and it works without doing anything special.

Back then, that was pretty good advice. IE was so insecure your entire system was at risk if you were exposed to the wrong content. Google made their browser quite secure and fast, which negates some of the reasons why people used ad blockers. There are other reasons people might use them, but these days you're much, much safer on Chrome than you ever were on IE.

Maybe the attacks were less sophisticated back then. I've seen so many windows computers completely owned by people using chrome to stream tv shows or perhaps visiting the wrong site while looking for discounts on shopping.

Meanwhile me laughing in Firefox.

I hope no one here is surprised by this G was more and more anti ad-blocking for years now.

This is only natural conclusion after u are a de-facto browser monopoly.

You won't be laughing for long, I believe.

See this FAQ:


Note how they say: "We have no immediate plans to remove blocking webRequest and are working with add-on developers to gain a better understanding of how they use the APIs in question to help determine how to best support them."

"No immediate plans" is weasel-speak, as is "[we] are working with add-on developers".

If Mozilla was dead sure that they weren't going ahead with it, they would say so, unequivocally. And I remind you that Mozilla "worked with add-on developers" when they unilaterally decided to drop XUL and go ahead with web extensions, while failing to include support for APIs that developers said they needed to support functionality that their add-ons provided.

IMHO, adoption of manifest v3 is not a matter of "if" but rather "when".

While I would agree that this might be just a overt way of saying "when", that statement came from Mozilla, and so far I don't think I could accuse them of misleading newspeak. If that was any other big corpo, then you are absolutely right.

As far as organization Mozilla have my trust and I don't look for false bottoms in their statements.

I would point out the previous statement they made there:

> Firefox is not, however, obligated to implement every part of v3, and our WebExtensions API already departs in several areas under v2 where we think it makes sense.

I trust Mozilla to be on my side as customer than ad industry. Well, we will see what future brings.

Mozilla is free to implement Manifest v3, while preserving the webRequest API in its current state. Maintaining the blocking abilities of the webRequest API would not introduce any incompatibilities with Chrome extensions, because they simply would not use that part of the API.

I think the concern is they might also be "free" to find alternative sources of funding if that were the case not whether or not it's technically feasible to support an API that exists today.

Of course, I'm mainly pointing out that if Mozilla retorts to use compatibility as a reason for deprecating parts of the webRequest API, they'll most likely be dishonest.

I don’t understand why you are downvoted because Firefox is a Google funded browser. One day they’ll have to compromise or find a real business model.

"Google wants to drop support for blocking WebRequests, which will cripple certain extensions, others might not even work at all. Mozilla is not going to follow this destructive path. Instead, they will keep allowing the use of blocking WebRequests and investigate how to address the issue differently."


That isn't an official communication from Mozilla. That is "someone's" recollection of something "someone" said (or not) at some workshop:

"Fair warning: I don't speak for Mozilla. Everything I say here is a recording of my memories from that event. Nothing more. Nothing less."

(and yes, I noticed that the second "someone" is Mozilla's "Add-ons Policy Policer, Thunderbird Council Chair", but my point still stands: this is something "someone" said, not Mozilla's official position)

Mozilla will certainly support manifest v3 to maintain Chrome compatibility. That was never in question.

The question is whether Mozilla _removes_ support for webRequest like Google did. And you're right, they weaseled their way out of answering that question.

You just have to look at how they don't support addons in their new mobile browser to see their true intentions.

Addon support will be available in Firefox Preview. This has been clarified.

Google captcha makes some sites almost unusable on firefox if you dare to resist fingerprinting for full traceability.


I see recaptcha, I walk. There's nothing else I can do. BTW if I turn on 1st party isolation in FF, I keep feeding the fire hydrant monster for hours.

Sites with recaptcha should be boycotted as much as possible. It's a stupid, annoying test.

They're getting garbage in with the service too - about the last dozen (at least) or more times I've had to do it you can clearly see that one of the options is what the AI thinks should be the answer, but isn't. But if you don't select it before clicking 'verify' it gives you a little 'please select all taxis' or whatever.

No AI, that's just a car, not a taxi.

But who cares, I just click anyway and feed bullshit in and in a few years it'll think everything is a taxi.

Can you surpass it by faking user-agent and pretend to be Chrome?

It is not about Chrome vs Firefox. It is about how much information they can get about you.

The idea behind the "I am not a robot" captcha is that if you act like a human, then you don't need to be shown pictures for further confirmation. The more you allow tracking, the more info they have to figure it out.

A big one is being logged in to your Google account. Having access to all your history really helps. And because Chrome heavily encourage you to setup a Google account, Chrome users are more likely to be logged in than Firefox (or other) users.

Spoofing your user-agent is likely to be worse. If you have a Chrome user-agent but your browser don't act like Chrome, that's a big red flag. Bots often spoof their user agents.

> This is only natural conclusion after u are a de-facto browser monopoly.

... and (probably?) the world's largest ad broker.

Just tried updating to the latest firefox on MacOS Catalina and I get:

>“Firefox Software Update.app” can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.

First we started telling everyone about Firefox Then we told them about Chrome Now we tell them about Firefox again

Google has officially reached 90s MS levels

I've been adding #chromeIsTheNewIE to related posts for a while. As someone who worked at the end of IEs dominance that feels spot on:

- lots of developers not caring at all

- businesses being businesses caring that we don't spend time on it

- ordinary people not caring even when the alternative is in another league

We got some work ahead. Hopefully Mozilla won't mess up too much during the next few months/years and then we might pull it off again.

And feel free to reuse the hashtag above : )

Only far worse

This is the point in the dominance cycle where the dominant player decides they no longer need to be the fastest or the most secure and that their dominance will allow them to coast along doing their thing.

There’s nothing particularly inevitable about what happens next, but let’s hope they get an IE6-sized kick in the teeth.

has anyone else noticed a marked decline in the quality of Google search results over the last 12 months? I swear, around about 2011 I thought Google was going to become self aware but it's declined from that high-point to a point where duckduckgo has become a viable alternative for more than just reasons of privacy. Which is a great thing!

Turns out "Don't be Evil" was more than just a feel-good marketing slogan. It may have actually been good for business as well.

Bye bye Google. It really has been great!

The one that I've noticed getting much worse over the last couple of years is Google (and to a smaller extent DuckDuckGo) removing the least common search term if there aren't thousands of hits. Precise search terms are very valuable for hitting the right results in a pile of unrelated slop and Google is even doing things like returning all Windows results when I search for linux and some CLI app that isn't available for Windows and never was. I can put in full paths out of /sys and Google will happily remove linux and the entry name because I'm only getting 5000 hits. The only thing I can think of is that they're trying to increase the number of ad impressions by having you need to do more searches to find what you're looking for.

I think that summarises what I have been seeing quite nicely. Its like it has lost all sense!

> over the last 12 months

More like since 2014.

I use google search for one thing only these days: product search, when I'm trying to find a local dealer for a product.

For everything else, duckduckgo, which, to be completely honest, is a lot more like the old google from the early 2000s, than the current google.

> More like since 2014

I do remember remarking to somebody around this time that google search had become something of a glorified grep.

You could still get things though. What I meant in this comment is that it has gotten even worse to the point that its almost unusable. It really does remind me of Microsoft of the 00’s.

I think 2014 was the big change into "AI first" for Google. I remember Translate working fine in 2014 in China with the offline pack, and the offline pack was ~220MB. In 2016, the offline pack was ~30MB and nobody understood the translations over there.

I don't know about overall quality of search, but did stack overflow do something to fall out of Google's good graces? I swear unless I specifically include stack overflow in my search query it's either near the bottom or not include at all. Instead it's a whole bunch of articles from independent websites. This is for questions I know fit the bill for stack overflow too. It's almost like Google is artificial lowering their ranking to decentralize the source of knowledge. That or stack overflow lost 70% of readership in 4 months

No repro here.

Google knows I land on StackOverflow results so often that SO results appear near the top, if not the #1 result, for terms that often have nothing to do with programming or computers. I was recently looking for an online thesaurus service and Google showed me an SO post about building linguistic/semantic search algorithms. Hmmm.

This is my experience too, and also in other areas. I have to include "stack overflow" or "forum" keywords to actually find something useful on the first or second page. Example: drone racing discussions.

I've noticed that for far longer than 12 months. Google search results are frequently crap. DuckDuckGo is often better.

But sometimes I dream about building my own search engine. It would avoid the big ad-driven sites as much as possible, and give preferential treatment to obscure blog posts about topics nobody else has written about. I want a search result to show the many different ways it could be interpreted, rather than assume one of them based on whatever heuristic, and show me tons of identical results that aren't what I want.

That’s Google c. 2011

Yes. When I started using DuckDuckGo it was despite Google's search results often being better and every few weeks I used Google for some queries because I simply couldn't find what I was looking for.

Now my last visit to Google is more than a year ago because DDG got better while Google got worse.

> has anyone else noticed a marked decline in the quality of Google search results over the last 12 months?

I noticed this since around 3-4 years ago.

It seems to be based on region.

Quotes get ignored. Even very specific queries about X prioritize clickbait junk like "TOP 10 X!!"

I THINK they might be anti-competitive too; searching for particular Apple APIs is sometimes more miss than hit, though that might be because of Apple's own poor documentation.

However, most Apple-related searches used to show me Samsung crap, and that's definitely not benign. Like searching for "iPhone" literally presented an ad for the Samsung Galaxy at the top, for a while.

> Like searching for "iPhone" literally presented an ad for the Samsung Galaxy at the top, for a while.

That's how ads work. If Samsung pays more money than Apple to show ads to people searching for "iPhone", then people will see Samsung ads.

I'm curious then; would Google list Firefox and other competing services before their own?

Theyd kind of have to if they were being paid to ... whether what they charge FF etc is reasonable would be the question

Would this be considered acceptable if it was a large company doing it to a much smaller company?

i.e. if Samsung was shoving itself into the searches for all non-Apple phones?

well like I say, that depends ... but big players squashing little players is fairly normal in my experience ...

I think this is a combination of SEO exploiting the methods Google used to use to provide good results and personal data based result optimization only being good at certain types of queries...

> they get an IE6-sized kick in the teeth.

as in: people will continue to suffer for about a decade while good alternatives readily spring up but suffer slow adoption?

Yeah, let’s hope that it’s IE6-sized, but not IE6-speed. Although I’m not ruling out a lost decade of web tech happening again.

Why does an alternative have to be widely adopted to be seen as good? Tech has an obsession with "popular or bust" and that's the ultimate cause of the lack of choices IMO.

Firefox is already here.

Since Firefox is already dependent on Google for a great deal of their funding, I’d say the next phase in Google’s strategy will be scaling that back.

They still need to keep Firefox alive, because it allows them to control market concentration and avoid the antitrust issues that MS had to fight.


Betting protection from antitrust issues on getting cozy with a political party is a risky strategy; political landscape shifts on quite regular basis. It's safer to keep a competitor alive so that if and when the power goes to people who don't like you, it won't be easy for them to go after you.

That would be why they're (allegedly -- I haven't checked) buying up those lovely Republicans.

I think it's likely to be a while before any political party other than the Democrats and the Republicans holds a lot of power in the US.

It’s been ongoing since Trump’s win. I can’t find the link right now, but they’ve also been bankrolling and having speakers at those weird, right wing DC conferences. And they’ve been supporting ALEC for years.


The US isn't the only country in the world, and I'm surprised the EU wasn't your first thought here given what they did to Microsoft and IE.

And other projects will apear, all the people that visit sites like this one here, will switch, and slowly transition their families. Majority will conitniue "suffering" since they already don't have adblocks installed.

That doesn't make any sense. Firefox already is open source and forked already. New features can easily be cherrypicked even.

Firefox is a great alternative for many. But it is not great for everybody.

Many many people use adblockers now. The amount of users they will alienate would be very high.

Nope, mostly tech-savvy people use adblockers, it's astonishing how many people still see ads on a daily basis.

It is true and I wonder if the tech people aren't becoming the privileged class who knows ways of not feeding the big corporations.

For example, it takes a lot of effort and energy for me to explain to non-technical people that comparing Apple and Google in terms of their mobile devices is non-sense. Just look at their regular financial reports, I usually say, and understand that one is an online advertisement business, while the other is a purely software + device business. One wants you to use their devices at all costs, while the other wants you to buy them. Those are very different core business models, different mentality and approaches. Etc etc. And so the choice between them comes down not even to taste or quality or price; it comes down to which business model you sell your soul to.

And then there's ad blockers and understanding how modern internet works etc. It worries me that the disconnect between those who understand the inner workings of tech and those who don't becomes bigger and bigger by the day. As the tech business itself becomes more and more sophisticated (and monopolist/authoritarian).

According to stats I’ve seen, around 30% of people use ad blockers. And that’s growing. Nobody stops using an ad blocker.

It’s not just tech savvy people. I imagine plenty of people here have set one up for their family members.

I operate a website visited primarily by both unsophisticated users and non-expert but savvy users (the former group being the demographic that exchange emoji-laden meme images on Facebook, and the latter group as the type of people comfortable getting around a phpBB board in the mid-2000s). I've seen a steady decline in AdSense/AdWords ad-revenue from visitors based on ad-impressions despite increasing visitor counts from those two main demographics - the evidence suggests they're using some form of ad-blocker.

Makes sense for them to kill it now before the majority gets a taste of what it could be like.

But there will still be adblockers. Safari still has them, manifest v3 Chrome will too. They work great and the user doesn't need to hand over all of their browsing information to the adblocker for it to work.

And we definitely have to help speed up this process

> IE6-sized kick in the teeth Sorry to distract, but I'd like this on a T-shirt.

They still are the fastest and the most secure, and Manifest v3 is faster than uBlock Origin since no javascript code needs to run.

I won't be using Chrome anymore once they implement this since I like my element-hiding rules which I wrote myself, but for the common rabble, Manifest v3 will be an improvement.

The speed difference is only noticeable in benchmarks. It's completely meaningless for humans. Manifest v3 will not be an improvement for anyone previously using uBlock Origin.

Disagree. Chrome feels snappier. Firefox stalls sometimes when rendering and can't achieve 60 fps on some websites I use. (Not Google properties)

That difference is very unlikely to be due to the nature of support provided for ad-blockers, though.

They could support declarative rulesets without disabling request blocking. And the request inspection API is still live, it seems; I wonder if this means SimilarWeb and other spyware peddlers can stay in business for now.

Classic cat and mouse moves. Adblockers will move to OS level so google cant do anything about it. Pi-hole and Network level blockers should also see a rise.

Pi-hole can't filter out ads that are embedded into the page though. I think adblockers have to be a browser extension to work conprehensively.

I generally don't mind ads that are embedded into the page (at the moment). It would solve a lot of the big problems people have with ads right now. Anyway, this change only prevents extensions from blanket blocking web requests, and will make no difference to adblockers which manipulate DOM content.

I think the same thing that happened with popup blockers will happen again. Advertisers will be forced to listen to the consumers and the internet will be better for it.

Have you turned off your popup blocker recently? You can surf around even to fairly sketchy sites, and I bet you won't see a pop up. The consumer won. With tracking, we'll win again.

Pi-hole can switch from magicking the DNS to being a proxy that rewrites HTML.

Then you need to manage custom certificates and embedded browsers and updaters may not handle proxied connections well. (And what about your tv where you can't provide custom CA certs?) This way of handling things never ends well. Both in enterprise solutions and consumer ones.

A lot of ads and sites use complex JS as well, so an extension can lean on the browser's rendering engine to JIT block that stuff..

A proxy that wants to do this before the browser will need to do a lot more work I think?

TLS makes that tricky as you need a MITM proxy.

And cert pinning in the browsers blows this out of the water, which is why I'm of two minds about it as a security feature. It seems that a lot of security these days is really about removing people's control over their own devices.

Certificate Key Pinning is in the process of being removed from browsers. https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2018/04/chrome-67-...

You can import an own root cert which will be honored. I work in a company where all internal servers have a certificate a non-public root has signed. Works both on Chrome and FF.

Really? I thought recent dns improvements would prevent this sort of thing.

it's much, much easier to just switch browsers. Firefox is great.

It's worth doing both.

DNS-based blocking schemes lack fine grained control. They're simply less capable than uBlock Origin/uMatrix.

in-application DoH will bypass DNS-based adblockers. this will also expand to electron-based apps.

I've already done this on my phone with Blokada. Don't have to worry about any ads regardless of the app, couldn't be happier with it.

You cant move to OS level and do not compromise security aka https, dnssec, etc

Cosmetic filters will still be needed on the browser.

Dumb question but could you do DLL injections à la video game hacks for the cosmetic filters?

Interesting question, honestly I don't know.

BTW I can see that you are French ^^

They are being very stupid. Switching primary browser isn't trivial, but it's easier than wading through an ad-laden web. Goodbye Chrome, hello Firefox.

You're not their target. It's the less technical people they have in mind here.

Except we are the ones that usually decide what to put on end users computers.

And we are the ones that makes suggestions. And end users then make same suggestions to other people.

Word of mouth I believe is a VERY important marketing tool.

Basically if Chrome looses people that brought them market share in the first place... I think market can shift. Not that it happens fast enough. But having some market share for Firefox is important.

Those people managed to switch from IE.

Chrome used to be the underdog.

Fortunately, a lot of less technical people have technical people in their immediate families and circles of friends.

The big question is, how many of those less technical people switched to Chrome because of technical friends or family and how many switched because of Google abusing its monopoly by displaying deceptive ads for their browser on all web real estate they own?

Ads don't make people switch browser, it's enough of a fuss that only pain will do that.

> Switching primary browser isn't trivial

It isn't? It seems trivial to me -- what are the friction points?

If you're not technical, switching browser means losing your entire navigation map of bookmarks and default start page, along with learning a different program's ways of doing the same things.

If you are technical, it's still a pain to get everything imported and set back up, and the extensions you're used to may be absent or done in different ways, and the subtleties of eg: incognito mode and reader mode may be different. You may have to re-construct your personal adblock rules. And so on.

Like so many others on this thread, this is my push to go entirely back onto Firefox. I'll keep Chrome for the diminishing number of sites that don't like Firefox.

You can use Brave as your Chromium-based browser. It blocks ads natively, and I've not yet run into a site that required Chrome that didn't work on Brave.

Suggesting a browser because it has adblock preinstalled is like recommending a specific Linux distribution because it comes with LibreOffice out of the box: it doesn't matter for anyone who can click 2-3 buttons.

What matters to me is the part I can't influence that easily, and I simply prefer Firefox because it's not based on Chrome. Not something many browser developers can say nowadays.

But if you need Chrome for certain sites that only support Chrome, then giving Chrome the middle finger by using a non-Chrome Chrome seems like the best of two evils. I realize that sites only supporting Chrome is terrible and shouldn't be a thing, but sometimes it really can't be avoided.

I say this as someone who uses 99% Firefox, 1% Chrome... I had never thought about this point I'm making before.

How sure are we that Brave will not break also with these new changes? And also, how sure are we that Chromium isn't secretly tracking users already? I don't have time to read the source, and don't trust that many people that say it's all a-okay.

It's also worth mentioning that Brave's adblock engine is native (written in Rust), not a Javascript-based engine like uBlock [0]

[0] https://github.com/brave/adblock-rust

Thanks for the tip. I've seen some FUD around Brave and their browser but even if true they are still better than where Google is going.

Whut? Sites require chrome?

For the entire history of the internet, there have been sites that only work properly with the dominate browser, starting with Netscape and then, famously, IE6.

I'm always confused when people imply this isn't the case or start demanding evidence. I'm bemused when they are surprised.

I intellectually know this to be true, but I have to take it on faith.

I've never been a Chrome user, and I honestly don't remember ever hitting a website in the last 10 years or so that didn't work for me.

So you do not show us site with "this site working only with chrome"

In Netscape/ie times WWW was other than nowadays, so your analogy is not correct

Sadly, there are a number of websites that assume that Chrome is the only web browser and do not work properly in other browsers.

The web version of T-Mobile Digits is one I can think of off the top of my head.

Welp, I've been putting this off for a few years, but this is as good as moment as any to do it. Took me 10 minutes to import all bookmarks, set up extensions, and customize one or two details but it is done. So long Chrome, it was good while it lasted!

Moved back to Firefox this weekend. It feels so much snappier than Chrome. So far I only miss SuperSorter (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/supersorter/hjebfg...).

Is the current fold at Google too young to remember what happened when Microsoft tried this type of crap with IE6? History truly repeats itself..

are we in the farce stage already?

A couple years ago my mac started to not go to sleep... I checked and it was Chrome saying “webrtc has active peer connections”. No, you can’t disable webrtc in chrome.

So I’ve been a bit ahead of the crowd and gave up on Chrome long ago.

This ad block scandal made me give up on Safari too though. Firefox seems to be the only reasonable option left.

> No, you can’t disable webrtc in chrome.

Is this true? That's a complete showstopper for me.

Was when I checked. Don't know now, haven't used Chrome in a while.

In any case, how do they dare disable my power management for something I didn't start myself?

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