Even for malware, hiding from Activity Monitor would be quite a feat. Short of an exploit, you couldn't hide your process without a kernel rootkit, but macOS has required user approval to load kernel extensions for several versions now. I suppose you could go the low-tech way and just name your process "WindowServer" to confuse the user, but you'd still end up with two WindowServers.
The idea that Chrome's auto-updater is doing this is ludicrous.
You can choose to flip off people's qualifications if you want.... but it doesn't make what they say wrong, no matter hooooooowwwww much you don't like it. :)
Copying itself is odd and probably suboptimal behavior, but it is explainable without assuming malice: my guess is that it’s related to some kind of “before we update let’s update the updater” bootstrapping logic. I could be wrong, but IIRC the updater code is open source, so it should be easy to find out.
[Edit: Oops, it's actually not open source. Their Windows updater (Omaha) is open source, but their Mac one (Keystone) is not. Of course, one can still open the binaries in a decompiler.]
Regardless, moving a program around on disk, or even deleting the program while it’s running (which is possible on macOS), would not prevent it from showing up in Activity Monitor.
However, it happens (happened) specifically, if network access has been denied and there couldn't have been an upadate possibly received.
This user says their WindowServer runs hot. Some Chrome-related software may have entered a state where it accidentally DoS'es the WindowServer either due to a bug in google software or a bug in WindowServer that google software triggers, at least in the system configurations particular to this user.
I had my own run in with chrome recently where dwm.exe (Desktop Windows Manager on win10) would eat and eat memory until everything OOM'ed. Didn't use much CPU tho. I eventually tracked it down to a single chrome tab that had a specific website open. It's reproducible at least on my system but I haven't yet had the time to look into it more thoroughly. If I had to guess, it was the website making Chrome use some "hardware layers/surfaces" or something like that and cause the corresponding buffers in dwm to be retained forever. No idea if it's a chrome bug or a dwm bug or even some kind of driver bug, and just closing the tab was enough as a "quick fix".
For those that didn't measure, it's almost irrelevant — I'm telling you it's not a subtle difference. It's night-and-day.
It's very low on my list of plausible theories, but if there was a hypothetical keystone exploit, what is the latest on code-injecting WindowServer?
Also added an FAQ to the site: https://chromeisbad.com/#faq to address the low-hanging fruit of obvious objections to the possibility that Chrome/keystone is doing something to the system to cause it to thrash.
In fact, Un-googled Chromium (without the autoupdater) easily causes load that's displayed as WindowServer's, for me—when I open a Youtube video on my oldish Macbook with a shitty integrated video card. However there's little chance that I would think this to be caused by something else.
Looking through a full system trace in Instruments didn't yield anything interesting either (outside of discovering that I forgot to shut down one of my virtual machines).
All in all, this sounds like hot air, and I can't help but wonder what the motivation behind making this page was.
Because there is a rich history of issues that only affect certain configurations, and those configurations are typically only revealed in hindsight: your results have to be seen as a single datapoint and not a nail in the coffin.
To others who are curious about this: please contribute more datapoints
Why would you immediately jump to assuming bad faith?
No grand conspiracy required... the author believes that Chrome is slowing down his Mac and decided to share it. The end.
To then "wonder what the motivation is" is to suggest that you don't believe this simple positive explanation, and imply there's something less simple, and more scheming.
Filing a bug report that would get "works on my machine"'d and then ignored and auto-closed by a bot in 5 years didn't quite feel worthy.
Auto-updating browsers are a good idea. Keystone is bad auto-updating software. It should probably get scrapped.
Sure looks suspicious and not the content I expect to see on HN.
"Please don't post insinuations about astroturfing, shilling, brigading, foreign agents and the like. It degrades discussion and is usually mistaken. If you're worried about abuse, email email@example.com and we'll look at the data."
Anyway, FWIW, I was defending the author from the charge of doing something suspicious.
Personal attacks are not ok on HN. Please don't post like that again, regardless of whom you're defending.
I myself have been personally attacked on here, or been interpreted uncharitably, etc., countless times. Mostly with no moderators intervening. In general I have no objection to "policing" the comments, if it is done well, and consistently, but the problem with policing, not just on HN but in general, is the selective, arbitrary enforcement of rules.
Just looking at the current case, for example, why was my reply flagged, but the comment I replied to, which you also cited as violating the guidelines, was not flagged?
Moreover, IMO this whole submission seems to be a strange time to be pedantic about enforcing the guidelines. After all, the submission itself was flagged as very low quality, and many of the commenters were justifiably complaining about the low quality of the submission and wondering why it was #1. The author is deserving of some rebuke, especially for the "nefariously hides itself from Activity Monitor" bit, which is technically false, indeed impossible. The author should know better, being or having been a Mac software engineer himself.
In fairness, HN is no worse off than any other site that allows comments from the general public. HN wants to believe that its comments are higher quality than other sites, but the reality is that it's not really true, and it's hard to see how that will ever become true. Maybe it was true in the distant past when HN was less trafficked, I don't know.
> violation of the HN guidelines is the norm on HN
It happens much more than we'd prefer, but to say "the norm" is a huge exaggeration.
I understand how it can feel like the norm—it's common enough to run into frequently, and painful experiences leave a stronger imprint than pleasant ones . But this false feeling of generality is dangerous because it leads to a feeling of why-bother. Current toxin levels, though bad enough to produce symptoms, at least aren't fatal. Why-bother would kill the community if it spread.
> selective, arbitrary enforcement of rules
HN moderation is inconsistent in one way but consistent in another—call them strong and weak consistency. Strong consistency would be "every post that breaks the guidelines gets moderated in the same way". That would require moderators to read all the posts, and there are far too many for that to be feasible. Weak consistency would be "when a post does get moderated, the mods do it consistently and even-handedly". That's at least possible, and what we're shooting for. We don't get everything right but we're open to hearing about and fixing our mistakes.
If you see a post that ought to have been moderated but hasn't been, the likeliest explanation is that we didn't see it . (You can help by flagging it or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
> why was my reply flagged, but the comment I replied to, which you also cited as violating the guidelines, was not flagged?
Users flagged one more than the other. Your post violated the guidelines worse, so I don't think that was unfair.
> this whole submission seems to be a strange time to be pedantic about enforcing the guidelines
That's not how moderation works. When users break the guidelines and we see it, we ask them not to. Keep in mind that we don't necessarily read the threads in order—sometimes we do, but other times we're looking in via more random-access views. The guidelines don't change relative to the submission, so I don't see why moderation should.
Sometimes the output isn’t useful due to a binary having been stripped of symbol names, but all macOS system libraries have symbols, so you can usually figure out something.
Many years back I couldn't sleep and noticed my HDD's was working hard. I checked and it was google updater that was scanning everything...
I will never know why, they might be stealing IP (i was working on OCR at the time) or they just wanted to create a profile to serve better ads...
That's like saying "So we're expected to investigate and have a full trial before sending someone to jail?". If you just want to delete it, go ahead. If you want to go as far as creating a whole domain to blame Chrome, yes, you do need more than just "I deleted it and coincidentally my computer got fast".
I think the fact that the site exists and is a pretty highly ranked story on HN probably proves that incorrect.
Clearly if you read the thread, most people here aren't happy about this being at the top of HN, and it honestly reminds me of reddit where people just upvote things purely based on the headline, without even looking at the content. If anything this is just a sad day for HN.
well the ones that comment, at least.
there might very well be a silent majority that is reading these threads with great joy.
like for instance the bit where someone lost it when they got reminded of the site guidelines and felt the need to list their "accomplishments" on HN
you don't get entertainment like that in normal threads.
Of course your comment also violates the guidelines: "Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith." Reinforcing my claim that violation of the guidelines is the norm here rather than the exception.
My point was that authors of HN submissions are almost always treated with disrespect by HN commenters, and I was citing my repeated personal experience of having been such an author. (I believe the HN moderators are in denial and view the site through rose-colored/orange-colored glasses). I don't view having been #1 on HN to be an "accomplishment". I don't find it useful at all, because I run an independent business, yet being #1 on HN never increases my software sales at all, so it's pretty useless as far as I'm concerned. It just increases my server usage. I've sometimes considered (as I'm sure many people have) simply blocking Hacker News referers on my server. Could still happen...
In fact I finally created an account on HN simply to try to have some "control over the narrative" in HN comments about my own authored articles, because there are often some really dumb misunderstandings in the comments. Not sure it has been worth it though.
Technically, I "lost it" on HN about 3 weeks ago, when I got sick and tired of accurate information being downvoted. The only reason I'm still here now is that I have way too much free time on my hands due to the pandemic/social distancing.
By definition, “hidden” programs are not gonna tell you what they are doing up front.
This may not work for binaries that set PT_DENY_ATTACH, though.
Another option is to use `xcrun xctrace` to get a recording from the command line, which can then be opened in Instruments.
It's not a 'far' thing to purchase a domain anymore. Domains are cheap as chips, and have gotten cheaper now since the advent of novel generic TLDs where usually the first year is sold cheap but to roll it over into the next few years the price is hiked (which is why so many people now purchase a domain for a year only).
It is common now and expected to see single-serving-sites that are just thinly veiled blogposts.
If you already have payment integrate, adding a domain to a blog is a few clicks - if even.
Perhaps that is the only reason this simple, trivial article exists.
besides, most probably would learn themselves the hard way when put in the same position the OP detailed
problems with Goo are widely known in circles of the Mac-communities ever since Goo-acc's first became avail in the beginning only by invitation, back then
also worth to look into the history of why, when and by whom LS aka LittleSnitch was developed in the first place -- tho this was more related to issues with that then must-go-to site 'versiontracker' [for all sorts of Mac shareware] and a vintaged firewall [3rd party] product widely used that time that didn't work as advertised
a Mac OS w/out LS these days ? back then very few only were concerned with 'calling-/phoning-home' issues on a scale nobody could imagine, least speak or post about in public, in those pre-iPhone ages
I, too, was hoping for something, well, technical. Considering #1 on hacker news...
Well, why shouldn't it be?
Or, you know, Apple gets the same or more kind of criticism, but since you are biased to agree with it, you are blind to it, and only see the praise/defenses.
>for things like fighting to keep forced labor camps open
That's probably because the framing of this by the media is BS, playing into the trade war objectives and narrative of the US foreign policy.
It's just that these companies have a lot of suppliers in those areas, unrelated with any "labor camps", whereas the US/law has put a wide canvas that includes a huge area and all kinds of inoffensive suppliers. Seeing that the companies can't just cut off their supply chain on the drop of a hat, they ask for extention period, better monitoring on which and if any of their particular suppliers might actually involve such labor, etc.
But that doesn't make for good headlines for the masses, or for good propaganda.
Do you honestly believe if this post was about apple or an apple product with the exact same lack of content, it would have gotten the same number of up votes as quickly as this one did?
Here's one in the front page, just a few days ago:
Falling Out of Love with Apple, Part 3: Content and Censorship (hardware.substack.com)
321 points by zherbert 7 days ago | flag | hide | 292 comments
> However, there is one potential explanation.
> In July, campaign groups called on Apple to err on the side of caution by ceasing using production facilities based in the Uyghur Region of China. The bill as it is currently written might make that the only way that US companies could ensure compliance.
> > One provision in the bill requires public companies to certify to the Securities and Exchange Commission that their products are not made using forced labor from Xinjiang. If companies are found to have used forced labor from the region, they could be prosecuted for securities violations.
> If Apple cannot easily avoid using downstream suppliers based in the region, it may be that it is trying to dilute the provision to something more along the lines of a requirement to conduct audits, investigate claims, and to take all reasonable steps to prevent the use of forced labor.
The linked article references a source I’m sure most on HN would agree is reputable, to the extent it confirms their biases.
> A report in [The Washington Post](https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/11/20/apple-u...) claims that Apple is trying to weaken provisions in the bill.
> > Apple lobbyists are trying to weaken a bill aimed at preventing forced labor in China, according to two congressional staffers familiar with the matter, highlighting the clash between its business imperatives and its official stance on human rights.
"Apple lobbyists are trying to weaken a bill aimed at preventing forced labor in China, according to two congressional staffers familiar with the matter, highlighting the clash between its business imperatives and its official stance on human rights."
1) The US legislators could not care less about "forced labor" in China (or even in the US for that matter, e.g. penal labor). Same way they don't care when it is their allies doing it (or worse things). It's all about the trade and dominance war with China.
2) Apple and the other companies involved don't care about forced labor either (if they could legally and without media repurcusion use it, they would). But they also don't need and don't seek forced labor. Good old capitalist low wage labor is good enough for them. So it's not like they try to defend China's forced labor because they benefit for it.
3) What Apple and the other companies have is multiple suppliers all over China, including that area. Most of them (if not all) have little or nothing to do with forced labor. But because the law aims to hurt China and not to stop forced labor, it doesn't care about little details, but uses blunt force and a wide net.
4) Understandingly (from a business/logistics perspective) Apple, Google, and co, can't just drop/replace suppliers at the drop of a hat. So they ask for more time for check, and a better look at which suppliers are actually problematic to be added to the bill. So "weaken the provisions" is actually "make the law more accurate and fairer", but they won't say that.
Then the mix of propaganda for foreign policy (as if those legislators care), hypocrisy, business interests (from Apple and co) and extremely bad reporting for clickbait and patriotic reasons, then turns into:
"Apple lobbies in favor of force labor".
It's as if some companies wanted to continue to use some useful drug medically, and e.g. tried to "weaken the provisions" of an strict anti-drug law that forbade it without nuance, and the headlines were like "Company X lobbies in favor of heroin".
It's nearly an exact match of the meme like utterance often seen on reddit: "chrome bad".
And most of HN (and of social media, and the world in general) is dominated by dumb people.
I'm not low-level enough to confirm or deny the specific claims in the article.
I will say that my experience with regards to CPU performance "leaks" and Chrome seeming to always be running in the background even when I didn't want it to, as well as Chrome starting up on system startup when there didn't seem to be any references to it anywhere I'd expect to cause that, are consistent with the article.
I saw a lot of "low-level integration" with my system going on, a lot more than I understood, ever wanted or asked for, and there was no way I knew of to turn it off. It was like IE on Windows all over again.
I was also able to solve the issues by removing Chrome from my systems.
I sometimes install it temporarily to do Web testing and remove it shortly afterwards, but I think I'll do that in a VM from now on.
If I disable Remote Desktop again… well, it doesn't actually delete the LaunchAgents plist or ChromeRemoteDesktopHost.app. That's rude. But it does make the processes stop running.
(To be totally clear, Chrome's updater does run in the background, though not all the time.)
Chrome itself would run on system startup.
I no longer use that system, and don't remember the details well enough.
I have a standard install of chrome on big sur, as well as brave, and a bunch of electron apps. When I start up my mac none of these are running, there is no process with chrome or chromium in the name, and nothing in the process list that I can link back to chrome. When I launch some of the electron apps, chrome_crashpad_handler launches, which I assume is some kind of default electron behavior. When I close those apps, all chrome-related processes disappear from my process list. There is nothing untoward about chrome I can tell, nor is my system seeing any kind of recognizable slowdown, with or without chrome running. I also have chrome on very low-end macs, a 2009 mini with 8 GB ram and a 2014 air with 4 GB RAM, both running catalina. It runs fine on both, without seeming to cause particular performance issues. I just went through a reinstall of the 2009, and there was no performance difference before and after installing chrome.
I'm not saying yours or other people's bad experiences with chrome are not real, but I do wonder how it's possible that there are such very different experiences out there with what is ostensibly the same product. Maybe it's not just one cause: bad extensions, broken profiles, old installs with broken updaters (I had a broken microsoft updater causing havoc for a while), badly configured enterprise deployments, etc...
To test, just open a terminal and compare a few samples of `ps aux | grep WindowServer` with Activity Monitor open and with it closed.
Mine averages 7-11% with Activity Monitor closed and 20-40% with Activity Monitor open. It's even more noticeable if your refresh rate is set to "Very Often". Closing Activity Monitor brings the WindowServer CPU back to normal.
As other have noted, this site provides no evidence. The keystone daemon is not running in the background constantly. When it does run, it's plainly visible and not "hiding itself". According to the launchd job config located at `/Library/LaunchAgents/com.google.keystone.agent.plist` my keystone process is set to run itself every 3623 seconds. Probably randomized to avoid the thundering herd problem. When it does run it checks for updates, often downloading new ones, and then quits.
Meanwhile Activity Monitor updates once per 30 seconds when the system is under load.
It's a single anecdote that deleting Chrome on two computers sped them up. It provides zero evidence (even anecdotal) that it has anything to do with "Keystone" specifically. It provides zero evidence for the idea that "Keystone" is able to "nefariously hide itself from Activity Monitor". And it also completely contradicts the normal user experience of Chrome, which is that most people's computers don't slow down after a Chrome install. (WindowServer on my MBP usually uses <10% CPU and I've used Chrome for many, many years.)
Why is this nonsense being upvoted? I get people dislike Google and Chrome, but wouldn't it be better to stick to things backed by real evidence?
This is a nice case because moderators only saw it after the process was done.
My grandpa twenty years ago had some legitimate gripes with the other side of the political aisle. However, he has seen so many biased and false news stories that his confirmation bias has accepted as truth without critical thinking that he now believes the other side is literally made up of evil criminals intent on destroying the country.
The only solution I can think of is something like a libel law that makes anyone who publishes false information liable to anyone who reads that information... Basically, cut out the enormous amount of garbage produced by media and people chasing pennies. People should only publish things they firmly believe based on evidence to be true.
Let's bring things a little bit back into perspective, because on the whole nobody's getting hurt here.
It's just Google Chrome. It's not a person. A thread like this isn't going to hurt its dominance of the browser ecosystem. And if it did, it would even be good for the diversity.
I don't think it would make a really big dent in people's bias against Google, because slowing your computer down is way way WAY less bad than the things that people biased against Google are worried about (being a gigantic faceless corporation with power equal to nation states that is controlled by something that is not, does not care for democracy).
It's like badmouthing Thanos because he has bad breath.
If true then Chrome has some bad code, and what else is new. If false then ... then what. At worst somebody deinstalls Chrome, and then?
Let's not bring libel law into this, or in fact even compare it to biased and false political news stories.
It's also an old problem - the adage "A lie flies around the world while the truth is still getting its trousers on" traces back to Jonathan Swift:
Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect.
A perfect 18th century description of internet dynamics!
A discussion oriented more around a question (what explains this odd phenomenon?) could be a good thing. A more neutral submission, with a less baity title, might get a different reception from the community. But the combination of overstated claims and baity denunciation is usually going to trigger an immune response.
 I have no idea if it's wrong or not, just that a lot of informed commenters reacted that way.
“ Also, sincere apologies for any misleading language in the original post, coming down off my fury that this was possible (helps not wanting to hurl your mac through a wall).
Thanks to everyone for coming through now with samples/evidence.
Something's up, but I'll shut up now.“
Thanks, as always for the calming and wise guidance Dang.
EDIT: Maybe it's just placebo. I checked the CPU usage on WindowServer before and after deleting & restarting.
(High CPU use isn’t necessarily a real performance issue and might be caused by just having Activity Monitor open.)
This is 100% chrome, with their annoying updating agent, which you can't remove
The OP claims the high CPU usage went after uninstalling chrome and rebooting their machine.
Rebooting their machine.
The thing we tell everyone to as the absolute first step in trying to solve any problem with a computer, "have you tried turning it off and on again?".
This isn't proof that chrome or keystone or anything at all caused the problem. We have nothing to determine the root cause.
But it's an "essential part" of chrome
At the same time even "hard" evidence would likely get dismissed as anecdotal, and there's certainly enough of it now (and even plenty in the past) to point a clear finger at Chrome/Keystone.
This certainly beat filing it in the black hole that is Chromium's bug reporter where it would have been ignored / works-on-my-machine'd / or dismissed as anecdotal there.
Whatever it is doing is sketchy and causing WindowServer to thrash. And this is not the first sketchy thing it has done.
But this post alleges it is really bad when not running, which seems like huge news if true.
I don't see enough evidence here, but I'd be open to the idea that this is true if someone looked into it deeper.
'facebook advertises based on IRL conversation' is another example of something that feels true to people but nobody has made stick as far as I know
upvotes don't always mean 'yes, guilty, firing squad'. I think they can mean 'yes tell me more, let's bookmark and start investigating'.
Not even close to being true...
On the other hand, I generally feel that Chrome is garbage that slows computers down, so I wouldn't be surprised. But I don't see enough evidence here.
Google = Bad
An analogy I see here is the scene from an old film where a woman walks behind a wooden screen and a goose walks out thus the woman is a shape shifting witch.
And yet, as of this writing, it has 200+ upvotes and is at the top of the front page.
HN audience really needs to do better. If you are reading this and are one of the people who upvoted the story, please really ask yourself why.
I wonder how H.N. and similar websites would work if ranking was purely a function of activity and not of votes — simply push to the top whichever branch of the tree has the last reply so highly debated news is statistically more often at the top, but whichever link had the last reply somewhere will be currently at the top.
Many of us believe, with some justice, the causalization of computers has been to the diminishment of power users.
Therefore chrome bad gets hundreds of upvotes. I guarantee you not everyone read the entire article, and then ran their own diagnostic CPU benchmarking to verify the results, and also compared it against chrome competitors.
It's more like the common folk like chrome, and chrome ruin PCS for us
There's no upside for me either way.
This is anecdotal but there is a noticeable difference for me with responsiveness after following these steps. Currently the WindowServer process is hovering around 14%.
The change only happened for me after removing Chrome as well as the launch agent for keystone.
Just for the sake of the argument, do you have installed Chrome?
(I have recently started using Apple tools for developping with Swift/Xcode on iPad. I am very unimpressed by the quality of the tools, and quite impressed by the range and depth of features....)
I feel like I'm back in the IE7 era.
More and more I find that sites / apps work badly on my FF or Safari. It’s truly shameful and that IS my why absolutely am disappointed with Chrome and devs who can’t be arsed to do the work for other browsers.
The author appears to be technical enough to know that there is something called keystone on his computer, but not technical enough to benchmark and investigate further. The name keystone sounds kind of nefarious, so it makes sense that someone would be able to convince themselves that it makes their computer slower.
If removing keystone doesn’t harm the user, and may make the computer faster; why would anyone leave it at all?
fast forward to 2020 when (1) adobe has this and (2) they still email me every so often to remind me to install their software which (3) I have installed and been using
I think life would be better if there were a 3rd-party update service that wasn't trying to also own marketing + distribution (i.e. take 15-30% of the sale and also maintain platform dominance). A tool that was 'just updates' so my other software doesn't get to install a rootkit.
if they had a commercial offering I think they have the brand trust to make this work
Personally I use homebrew-cask to manage almost all applications and their updates, turning auto-updating off in almost all apps. That way I am in control and can update when it is convenient, know if an update broke something, etc.
On an alternate timeline, Apple could have allowed software vendors to hook into the old software update application, and pull in updates through that mechanism, in addition to the first party updates.
It's not just Google. Adobe or any other company installing always running updaters... is just wrong.
14?! Ridiculous. We need a single company that's allowed to install rootkits.
Situation: there are 15 companies installing rootkits.
How about we just stop digging when we find ourselves in a hole?
I do often have a windowserver hang.
I don't really use Chrome much (just for testing, or the odd times that a site won't work on Safari). Not a big deal for me to rip it out.
If it were a tool that I use all the time, though, I might be more comfortable with a posting that had a bit more detail.
I should be able to build my own browser in a 3 month sabbatical.
This exact part of your comment is why big companies are fighting so hard to own and gatekeep web browsers.
> This exact part of your comment is why big companies are fighting so hard to own and gatekeep web browsers.
Yes. And it goes even further, it's also why they're working hard to destroy the WWW, and have everybody silo-d into their app.
It's why on most social/media networks you can't really link to anything. Why they're dressing down the address bar so that people don't see (and learn about!) URLs any more. Or learn about their use, that they are one of the fundamental building blocks of what was the WWW.
Although there's more, they already burned some parts of the woods before attacking the WWW. Do you remember there was a time when almost all of the popular instant messaging protocols were supported in ONE (free, non-tracking, non-ad infested) app (and there was even a choice of such apps: Pidgin, Trillian, Miranda ..).
Some of them could even talk to each other. It's crazy to imagine, but ultimately even more crazy is that we don't have this any more!!
They won the instant messaging war, it was pretty silent in fact. Just wasn't as ingrained as the WWW used to be. They had to wean the users off slowly, which is exactly what they're doing right now.
The time is coming but not yet. If they could, they would completely do away with the browser and just have their own apps. All the browser represents to them is a liability; an opportunity to click away and leave their platform for another.
could you expand on this? Which big companies are you referring to?
Google has Chrome, we've covered that already.
Apple has Safari.
Firefox exists, and is only funded by Google - in my opinion - to fend off anti-trust at this point.
Just because Google has more or less won the browser wars doesn't mean all those other companies wouldn't _love_ to regain market share in the future.
And perhaps they will. Owning that window is hugely valuable and lucrative, so why wouldn't they?
When Google worked out that Microsoft owning the browser might cost them in the long run, they started working on Chrome.
I don't see anyone doing anything similar at the moment. Microsoft's adoption of Chrome is a tacit admission that they lost the browser wars and are not interested in continuing that fight. Apple isn't trying to get Safari adopted en masse on any other OS, it just seems to want to have a browser that it controls on its platform, which I guess makes sense. But it's not a play for "controlling the browser" - they don't even stop you from installing other browsers on their platform.
This just isn't an area anyone is fighting for any more. Building a standards-complient fully-featured browser is a huge project, but not so huge that a large corporate couldn't afford it. Persuading people to use it is a larger problem, but again, nothing that hasn't been done before and can't be done again. But no-one at this scale is even trying.
There are a few attempts from the other direction, dedicated companies like Brave trying to make this happen, and I hope they succeed.
Its frustrating to see replies discussing the definition of the internet.
The point I wanted to discuss is that there are not many choices for browsers and it takes a lot of effort to build one from scratch. Thus the competition is lacking.
If you want to see what it does:
ar x google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
tar xf data.tar.xz
It's just making a decision for me that, as an administrator, I need to be the one deciding instead.
That looks like crazy theory, but tell me what they will do if the nsa request it?
ls: cannot access '/opt/google/chrome/cron/google-chrome': No such file or directory
As far as I can tell, it will re-add itself no matter how many times you have removed it. This strikes me as incredibly user hostile and I'm surprised Microsoft is quite so brazen about it. I would expect this behavior would lead people to just uninstall the desktop application and use Teams through a browser when needed.
To add to my suspicion.
A month or so ago, I was running Big Sur beta and was asked to give a system service from Google, admin access and restart. That in turn broke my Mac, so I had to spend hours to get back up and running. Why does the service require admin-access? Why did it require me to restart my computer?
> When any installed hosted app, packaged app, or extension has "background" permission, Chrome runs (invisibly) as soon as the user logs into their computer—before the user launches Chrome. The "background" permission also makes Chrome continue running (even after its last window is closed) until the user explicitly quits Chrome.
But, subjectively, my computer post-restart is MUCH more responsive and e.g. firefox is MUCH faster. WHereas it would take like 30-45 seconds for fx to load all of my pinned tabs, just now it loaded in like 5.
I don't know what is going on, but I definitely notice a difference. I honestly expected this not to work, and was really surprised when it did.
I do see many times WindowServer would be at 40%-50% CPU usage, it happens fairly often. I might just delete Chrome now.
Youtube works just like it did under Chrome.
And, yes, Microsoft AutoUpdate, which however seems reasonable so far.
Chromium based browsers do not have that issue, I used to use Vivaldi but temporarily switched to Safari as I wait for ARM build of Vivaldi and I am constantly frustrated by that issue.
I have tried debugging it but got nowhere, it seems to be system wide issue as some 3rd party apps exhibit this behaviour too (for example live streaming through IINA or Skype) while others not (Electron based apps usually work fine). Recently switched to new M1 Macbook and it happens on it too.
Chromium based browsers certainly ignore something, it might be DNS related but I'm out of concrete ideas what exactly to change.
I tried to switch recently since it's supposed to waste less battery but two things I found were a bad experience after Chrome:
- no decent ad blocker? the one I saw recommended was Ad Guard but that seems to require you to have an Electron app running simultaneously (!) in order for it to block anything
- in Chrome when I hover over a link I see the url in the bottom left 'status' area... I had no idea how much I like this until it wasn't there in Safari... it feels really weird to click on a link and not know where it goes to
The other thing I miss with Safari I don't think there is a solution for... there's no version for Android, so I miss sharing history and passwords with the browser on my phone.
My fault for not buying all Apple devices I guess
KB here: https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/go-to-websites-ibrw10...
Ad Guard for Safari does not require you to run the app to block ads. Just quit the app.
The hover thing might be some pref but Safari shows urls on mouseover.
I'm using Safari as my primary browser because Chrome is a resource hog and this i9 MBP sounds like a 747 taking off when it starts using CPU but Chrome is a better browser feature wise - I plan on switching back to desktop (since this WFH shift it's just better) and I will 100% use Chrome even if Safari was an option (fan noise/CPU power/power consumption aren't a concern).
(not a big fan of chrome though)
It's kind of a shame that Apple killed off the Windows version of Safari. I often wonder if they would consider bringing it back.