My belongings are not a fucking corporate billboard.
They used to hide it, but because so much money is being made there's no point anymore.
remember, 20 years ago they wanted microtransactions to enable content production. this coule of course be done in a open way, but the idea that this is worse than the current landscape of abhorrent conspiracy fueled hate med8a parade is silly.
So we can forget about it ever being truly "free" (and free from ads) unless we simplify the web somehow. I also don't think we're going to go back in time and start cutting features out of browsers. So that isn't going to happen.
What might work is a browser funded by massive numbers of small user donations. That's the Firefox model. It kinda works? But Firefox still pushes things on their users and defaults to Google Search.
Another option is to pay for a browser. But there isn't enough interest in a paid browser to get one off the ground.
That's not the Firefox model at all. Firefox development done by the Mozilla Corporation is primarily funded by search engine partnerships. Donations to the Mozilla Foundation (which owns the corporation) fund other initiatives instead, and are a much smaller amount.
Probably shave a few gigawatts off the grid killing off electron apps.
..and then regret it afterwards :D
Well, last I checked, Safari didn't support 4k YouTube videos. Apple may have fixed it, but it's an example for your argument.
A lot of the web is really just distraction and ad peddling crap
Needless to say, it's that third browser I'm trying that interests me most.
If it ever became a competitive issue Google could very easily close source Chrome. Then suddenly all these Chromium-based subscription browsers would be on the hook for all browser development, security updates included. And that would be enormously expensive. So their prices would have to go up. Would their business still be sustainable? It’s questionable at the very least.
Only today did I realize that most of Chromium (and WebKit) is BSD licensed. So closing the source would be much easier than I expected.
Firefox and Gecko are MPL licensed, which is like GPL but scoped to individual source files.
Despite the fact that only large corporate interests can maintain a browser, that monopoly exists because of a careful balance where developers contribute free labor to the project. Also Google's open-source initiatives still have some developer goodwill.
If Google close-sourced Chromium, they would definitely suffer repercussions. They would anger most programmers and hackers. Say goodbye to bug bounties. Say goodbye to free labor. Say hello to Microsoft taking the opportunity to fork Chromium and make Google look even worse.
Gates understood that early on (that the browser would become the platform), hence giving Explorer away for free.
The point is that base browser should be simple enough to be implemented by a single developer. And all those complex standards are just libraries, like Angular.
It's the perfect place for security features, enforcing policies and productivity improvements. The Enterprise™ spends huge amounts of money on (often dubious) security products and productivity tools and their complexity sometimes even exceeds browsers. A paid browser that offers better security, supports policies such as restrictions or data loss prevention and productivity features (such as ad blocking, reader mode, an easy automation API) would definitely have customers.
Well, there has been a recent spike of interest in small protocols (Gemini, Gopher). It's mostly limited to esoteric tech enthusiasts though.
The alternative does exist: you can surf the text-only web with lynx, or by reading pure HTML. Even today, most content is available via RSS as well.
Nobody wants that because the modern web is better than it used to be.
Arguably, Google's interests have been aligned with web users' for the last decade or two. Because their #1 fear is/was "walled gardens, both of the Facebook variety as well as native apps. So they need(ed) the web platform to be just as good as native applications, which is how we got joystick and USB web APIs. This is a chance of this changing because they have their own walled garden in the form of Android, but I'm not seeing it yet.
Besides, all browsers are open-source, standards support is incredibly good today compared to the past, none of them try to lock you into their Windows-only ActiveX components, they don't intercept ads and resell them in the black market (except the self-proclaimed "brave" browser)... I really don't think browsers are epitome of corruption you consider the, to be.
Microsoft's attempts to upsell you aren't really evil, they are just tasteless. Seriously: one of the features of really high end products is that they don't quite need as many flashing lights to get your attention. Apple does earn a lot of money, and it likes nothing more than selling you more stuff. But they certainly have enough self-respect not to run banner ads for third parties in their software.
(The difference is (was?) most obvious with these insane stickers ("Intel Inside", "Windows Ready") every other manufacturer had to ruin their notebooks with. But, then again, I know enough people who never took them off to suspect they don't care. Or worse.)
Just wait until Google has pushed everyone into encrypted DNS like they did with HTTP ...
How does that work? AFAIK there is always a root authority.
Marginal cost of TV is $600, amortized business cost for projected sales is $400, expected average lifetime revenue from user data and ads is $60 ($15/"user"/yr for 5 years which is damn good for an ad network), throw in a 6.3% profit margin and we get TV priced at $999.99.
Throw away the ads and user data collection and up the profit to 10% to make it worth their while (since someone willing to pay more is on average worth more to advertisers and so decreases the value of their network) and we get a TV priced at $1099.99.
This seems totally fair to me.
The product would work just fine without all the extra monetization, that's how it worked for the longest time. Nobody asked for savings trough selling their privacy, that was very much forced on us, and now they force the upsell to "enterpise privacy edition" as the solution to a problem they themselves introduced.
It's strongly tied to economic growth, and thus everybody's pensions are tied up in the success of advertising. It seems illogical it makes such an obscene amount of money, but collectively the advertising industry is bigger than even oil & gas.
Now I don't exactly enjoy ads, I accept a few, but every time they're implemented the pressures of the market just increase it over and over until it ruins the base product, like a cancer.
What's the alternative?
Consumers don't have enough money to pay for dozens and dozens of subscriptions. The ads industry is effectively a tax on every other industry, and thus makes more money than consumers would ever spend on content. I'm open to ban advertising entirely but that also seems like an opposite extreme and counterproductive.
I think it’s the interjection that really rubs me the wrong way. If the shop I was purchasing from offered me credit on their website during checkout, I wouldn’t mind—I’m entering a transaction with the shop. But why is Microsoft offering me credit? This is nothing to do with them.
Same goes for the ads on smart TVs. I’ve paid Samsung money for the TV. Why are they still here?
Not saying it's the same - it's not - but the motivations has some similarity.
I know some incredibly talented artists and writers putting all their effort into ads so they can make a living and it completely sucks.
I say the solution is to move all ads to a dedicated space (ads.gov, say) and then when you have a problem as a consumer you can go there and search for a solution or a product.
Then it will become cheaper for the rest of us, and services will have to become more focused on consumers needs, not the needs of advertisers.
Currently the status quo is that tech people like me just exclude themselves from it. We can block ads very effectively, download video content with the ads removed etc. I see so few ads now that it really surprises me when I do get one.
It works for me but it's not a solution for society as a whole. We can already see adblockers becoming less effective as more people adopt them and ads are being served in different ways by companies like AdDefend.
But personally I don't mind the status quo, it works for me. Fixing the problems of society as a whole is not my problem.
When I dreamed about joining the industry a decade ago I saw all these new companies offering useful & innovative products/services that actually solved real problems and legitimately made people's lives better. I wanted to be part of this world and get in on the action, making honest money in the process - I provide useful service, customer pays me money. Win-win, right?
Nowadays it seems like every tech company's goal is "engagement" and any problems they solve (or claim to solve) are only there to convince you to "engage" with the product. Even when you think you've actually found a company that has a real paid product that shouldn't (and doesn't - yet) rely on "engagement" you will always find some assholes on the inside (typically in marketing) that chase this "engagement" (and over time ruin the perfectly good product).
You could say it's capitalism's fault but I don't think so. There are other areas where completely unbounded capitalism would lead to terrible outcomes such as ponzi schemes, and yet we mostly avoid these because we have appropriate regulation to deter this behavior. The problem is that we have zero effective regulation (the GDPR doesn't count until it's enforced seriously) around misuse of personal data which powers this whole "engagement" crap.
Fortunately I think (hope) there is light at the end of the tunnel. "Engagement" only works if advertisers pay for those eyeballs which they'd only do if those ads worked and the prospective customer actually bought the advertised product. As we are already saturated in ads (and/or people deploy countermeasures such as ad-blockers) and the costs per click/impression keep dropping the bubble will hopefully pop and it will become more profitable to sell paid, premium & ad-free products like it should be.
When your customers are using your product as part of their job, your incentive is (often) clear: make them more efficient at their job, which means make your product faster and easier to use. The vendor and the customer are aligned.
In the b2c world your goal is often “engagement”. Get the customer to spend as much time as possible in the app. Get them to use your app more than other apps. In a way you have to make your app less useful (to the customer) to make it more valuable to the vendor.
You think they are, but they aren't.
If you have to agree to an End User License Agreement to use a thing then that thing isn't yours, not truly.
Just recently I was given an iPad during the pandemic, and noticed the native "books" app constantly pushing a "reading now" view advertising ebooks, etc. I switch it to the library. Restart the app a couple times, I'm back in the "reading now" view. Is there a setting I'm missing, short of airplane mode? Because if not, I don't know how you apple users deal with this money-grubbing bs.
The same could be said of Fitness+, or any of their other services. Yes, it’s “advertising”, but sits pretty inoffensively on the spectrum.
Where is Jony Ive when we need him? ;-)
See this mini thread from a few days ago on the same topic -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29291166
I’m kidding of course (you should still do it if you can/want) ;)
I tend to think that online discussions are better when people can edit their posts, correcting mistakes, adding context or information, or even changing their position in light of new evidence or convincing arguments.
advertises Apple Fitness
Not too much in your face but honestly it does come off as tacky.
I'm not sure why they would want to destroy the positive brand reputation and goodwill that they've built over decades.
This is insanely horrible - another flagstone on the road to hell.
I'm kind of shocked that the HI people at Apple would be OK with it.
Apple has built its entire business on user experience, so it doesn't seem wise to sacrifice that on the altar of marketing for services.
Mine doesn't, because I don't plug it into the intertoobs. (I use a Roku box.)
Even my Roku remote control has ads: the Netflix, Disney, Hulu, and Sling shortcut buttons that can’t be reprogrammed.
> While the service is being promoted as ‘interest-free’, some were quick to point out that all transactions are subject to a “$4 flat fee”.
$4 in fees on $1000 over 6 weeks is an effective APR of around 4% - pretty good. $4 in fees on $35 over 6 weeks is an outrageous APR of around 123%. I'm guessing Zip is hoping most people are closer to the latter than the former. I wonder what kind of cut Microsoft is getting.
Ugh, who ever would have thought 2021 would have come to this.
1980's cyberpunk writers
The dark humor is that some of the developers responsible for today's horrible web experience are here on HN...
Paypal & Shop Pay have the problem of getting people to let them store their CC info to upsell them on afterpay type stuff and CC offers -- browsers and $Platform Pay already have it so MS is bootstrapping their $Pay service via the thing they can control.
this is basically what thta is.
Like totally screwing up Windows 8 because some part of the company wanted to sell more tablets. Ruining Teams by adding so much functionality to it without a clear vision that it's become a slow and confusing mess. Now this, undermining the push for a clean and fast browser with what is probably just one VP pushing this to make a quick monetary win for his team.
This is one thing where Apple under Steve Jobs would shine. The company had one direction, one that was sometimes not what everyone wanted but once it was set it would not let itself be dragged off-track.
And most people are far too financially illiterate to understand what that means.
An APR of 23% for $50 sounds like I will have to pay $12.
A $4 flat fee is so much CHEAPER!
Nevermind that a credit card means I can pay back in 3 weeks minimum in the US, without paying any interest, and further, a $4 flat fee on $50 over 6 weeks is an APR that's over 60-70%, if not a lot more.
A whole lot of people are living day-to-day- lying to the IRS about their number of dependents, just trying to make it through today.
The basic daily needs lead to some poor long-term decisions. The people pushing this 'pay later' scheme are scum.
Can you elaborate? Are you talking about fraudulently claiming a larger EITC by someone who is in fact working?
I believe the incremental EITC for an additional dependent is $40/week or more.
I remember when they were rolling out credit cards in the US as a common payment method (late 90s), and so for the first time you could put your McDonald’s meal on a credit card, comedians were joking that it felt like you were saying you couldn’t afford it all at once.
Which is not too far off from the reaction here.
 and to clarify, yes credit cards were a thing long before that but they were mainly accepted at department stores and for big ticket purchases, not fast food.
If you don't pay in full your statement, you pay regular Brazilian credit card interest rates (i.e. very high) on top of the BNPL interest rates.
Some stores that have high cash flow may opt to not explicitly charge interest, opting to discount the price if you pay in full or charging the same price no matter whether paying in full or in 12 installments.
It's important to note that the Brazilian BNPL scheme is enabled by the credit card acquirers, so there's a high degree of integration.
The net tells me that the average credit card in the US has an APR of around 16%. Credit cards typically charge no interest for a month if you pay your balance in full that month. If you don't pay in full they charge interest based on your average daily balance during the month and the length of the month.
If you were to pay with your credit card and then make 4 payments toward your credit card balance on the same schedule that you would have made Zip payments, I get that Zip beats the card if the purchase is over $487 and occurs at the start of your credit card billing cycle. It the purchase occurs in the middle of the cycle it needs to be over $811 for Zip to be cheaper. (This is assuming that in the month of the 4th payment you pay of the card balance completely).
I'm seeing some employers here offering "next day pay" i.e. you get paid today for the hours you worked yesterday. IDK but could also imagine that many "gig" jobs work that way, i.e. do Uber drivers get their pay immediately with each ride provided, or two weeks later?
Wonder if that model will soon be more common?
But Affirm still defaults to spreading over four months, usually interest free for the retailers they partner with, and ends up a far superior deal.
$35 at 0% APR, $4 fees, 6 weeks fixed term
$35 at 123% APR, $0 fees, 6 weeks fixed term
You could argue the high APR loan is worse because interest will be compounding if you miss your payments. But I'm guessing the Zip loan also has late payment fees.
My problem is not even that Edge collects unnecessary and allows what could be called a most intrusive third party add into its browser per se, I am mostly amazed by how incredibly tacky this looks and feels from Microsoft's side.
Like, imagine buying a Lexus and discovering they are advertisements for a cheap off-brand energy drink plastered on the interior.
I find it straight up incredible that Microsoft somewhat achieved to overcome the meme status of its browser after what, fifteen years, and now this? Passing on the the crown of being the lowest common denominator tech joke to someone else, gaining a little bit of market share and even one or two positive reviews in respected outlets...only to risk it all in this weird move of behaving like a shady car salesman for what must a be a double digit million deal at most, right?
"The government agreed to regulate BNPL lenders after an independent review chaired by City expert Christopher Woolard, published in February, warned that the sector represented a “significant potential consumer harm”."
The benefit to the vendor is that it increases sales / conversion rate & hence worth paying for.
If there was a flat limit on the total you could end up paying, maybe… but there isn’t.
Giving cheap loans to people who can’t pay them isn’t “just fine”, it’s predatory behaviour.
…but anyway, regardless of either of our opinions, it increasingly looks like it’s going to be legally regulated, so, the point is it’s a risky play for Microsoft.
Having said that, if this gets tons of negative media attention, and they still go ahead with it, then that is tacit approval, so.. we’ll see.
Just about every big tech is doing the same since tech trust is so much higher than banks. Irony is - there’s still always a bank behind.
Imagine if they never told anyone about this and just released it.
"Microsoft was apparently hacked today and someone managed to install crapware into the default install of Edge. Crapware, mostly known to be installed by dodgy software installers when you forget to untick something, has been a problem for many decades, but this is the first time it's been installed by default in a Microsoft application (Unless you count Windows 10)"
I will never understand why they NEED to ruin this. It's baffling.
The issue is that once again Microsoft is abusing their monopoly power on the home PC market to make decisions that otherwise would be ignored. No one would download and install Edge and be force-fed ads for money lenders, except that Microsoft installs it by default and aggressively pushes windows users into it with frequent prompts and bogus security warnings.
It’s the bundling and abuse of their market power that is the issue, not their profit motive. In a well-regulated economy they would get fined and forced to change how they operate.
Where I live, house prices are climbing at about 10% a year. More, now that people can work from home. So you see articles in the paper where boomers say how terrible they feel that the young people won’t be able to afford a house because their house price has gone up $100,000 this year.
To the boomer I say, well, you don’t have to take the money. Nobody is forcing you to sell your house for $100k more this year than last. You’re free to sell it for less. Put your money where your mouth is!
Of course this is just a wry view, a letter to the newspaper. It’ll never actually happen. Because we’re all greedy.
So let me rephrase it like this: do you like paying too much?
Public companies are going to be priced on the open market based on their growth prospects relative to other companies. Their management chosen to maximize their growth prospects.
I think it is a fair point to say that "good" companies may choose to maintain the wind of customer satisfaction, goodwill and trust at their back by not doing predatory "bad" things.
But saying public corporations are not going to maximize returns is like saying mother bears are not going to protect their cubs. If that was possible within their nature, they wouldn't exist.
Even if you're Scrooge McDuck that sounds not worth it
Suddenly you've got a full browser engineering team trying to figure out how to monetize a browser - tough sell. So they can't come up with anything, that's fine because a product manager is the owner of this task anyway. They propose a myriad of different ways to monetize Edge in the future:
* A "Edge Pro" subscription $10/mo where you get ad-blocking and no tracking (we'll need to block third-parties from offering this)
* A built in way to pay people online, we take a cut. Hey maybe we finance big purchases and that's a unique selling point?
* Premium apps/websites, web page authors can give access only to users with an Edge subscription and in return they get a cut of the profits.
They discuss these options as a team, and decide which one is least likely to cause backlash and is least difficult to "try out" and they land on what we're seeing here.
Google harms other companies as well that it can get under its thumb, but also harms its users.
In other words the only time I would have thought in the 90s how is MS going to harm me would be if I decided to start a company that would potentially compete with them, or would depend on standards they were likely to sabotage.
Today if I decide to use a google service I have to to wonder - how is google going to harm me?
Definitely not the case.
See: rigging the advertising market in cahoots with Facebook (Jedi Blue).
See: conspiring with other large tech companies to artificially limit salaries for tech workers.
See: leveraging its search monopoly to gain additional monopoly or near-monopoly positions (YouTube, Chrome, Android), as well as using it to harm competitors (eg Yelp and many others).
See: huge, repeat fines out of Europe for various abuses.
What we already know is that they're at least as evil as 1990s Microsoft. What we don't yet know, is likely to yet put them over the top. The Feds have hardly even looked under Google's corporate hood as they did with Microsoft in the 1990s. This is merely the second or third inning of discovery of all the evil shit Google has likely done over the past two decades. Google's founders simultaneously ran away as fast as they could to get out in front of what was coming, because they know where the bodies are buried.
"Well of course I know him — he's me" https://qz.com/1145669/googles-true-origin-partly-lies-in-ci...
Everything they do is aimed at gathering more data for more lucrative ads.
P.s.: I don't mean to defend BNPL, IMO it is shark loaning disguised behind late fees. I forgot the exact number but when I did the (ballpark) math for Afterpay you were capping at like 30% in late fees within 3/4 months.
Of all the MANGA* out there
I'll stick with FAAMG.
Not being able to legally, without paying, test safari compatibility is crazy to me.
> As Zip Money has surged in popularity over the years, hundreds of retailers have signed up to join the fun. You can use this BNPL at a range of stores, like Amazon, Target, Harvey Norman, Just Jeans and more.
> Zip Money also has a Shop Everywhere^ feature within their app. This allows you to shop at just about any retailer through a single-use card that is created at the time of purchase. All you need to do is add items to your cart and hit 'Pay with Zip' at the checkout!
Everybody will cry out loud whenever they hear anything about crypto or blockchain, yet, give them some "Zip Money" from an *app* and they're suddenly all right.
What a time to be alive...
I noticed even shops that sell refurbished computers will shove Windows 10 into them, I always thought it was around 10-20 bucks for a license, so that later they can charge us 90-100 for a computer with windows...
If I didn't mess up the inputs, the calculator at https://www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/financial/apr-cal... says this is equivalent to a 163.2642% APR.
Granted, the effective rate will be considerably less for larger purchases.
Had to go to settings and disable the ads for edge:
> Applying BNPL could take time, you need to sign in with zip every single time. With BNPL in Edge, you can simply link your Microsoft account with your zip account with one click and then bypass sign in from Zip side. It can expedite the application process for you.
"Your Internet also appears to be slow. I can switch you to Comcast... say 'Yes' to begin"
Our dystopian future is here.
The title says "Microsoft pushes ahead with controversial ‘buy now, pay later’ feature for Edge browser"
But the text says: "Microsoft has not responded to repeated requests for comment. Given the widespread condemnation of the feature, it may be reconsidering a full rollout – its deal with Zip permitting."
There is zero substance in this article.
And I say the above as a 90's Linux die-hard who loves to bash MSFT.
We won’t know what they’re actually doing until the next announcement.