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uBlock Origin 1.50.0 (github.com/gorhill)
561 points by rc00 on June 7, 2023 | hide | past | favorite | 262 comments

Ublock is without a doubt the most valuabe chrome extension. Most people underutilize it as a way of filtering “legitimate portions” of websites as well.

For example, I used it to filer out all recommended content from youtube, as well as comments. My youtube is merely a search bar and the video I wanted to watch, nothing more.

I’m often amazed at how people I know, full internet “power users”, don’t use it and complain about ads. I have never seen an ad in years, not on YouTube or wherever. How do people who build web stuff daily not know about adblocks? It’s so weird to me.

> how do people who build web stuff daily not know..

I'll stop it right there. You'd be surprised how many people who build web stuff daily know surprisingly little about how the web actually works or any details aside from that.

A surprisingly massive portion of people in tech have learned just enough through bootcamps and youtube videos to accomplish just enough for the specific job they are doing without realizing how it works or anything deeper than simple what to type to fix a problem.

For example: I'm shocked at the number of even senior web developers that I work with who don't know the difference between an A record and a CNAME record in DNS or even the basics of how DNS works. It is surprising how many people don't understand basic port mapping or even how a compiler works at a high level.

There is a whole generation of tech workers that only understand how to swing a hammer, and rely strictly on these tools without knowing anything larger in scope than the hammer and nails in front of them. The world of tech has turned into white collar factory workers for the vast majority of its' participants.

It's funny how I agree with your post, still switched from "full stack" to frontend, have studied at university and still there's a disconnect.

I've never dived into DNS and it's mostly a black spot in my knowlesge about weg technology basics.

OTOH, I agree with your point in that I've often been very disappointed with the lack of basic knowledge about HTTP and request/response lifecycles with BE as well as FE developer colleagues in the past.

I still would advise against mashing all of this together. Knowledge needs practise.

E.g., I learned about IPv4 CIDR at some point but just never really utilized the knowledge, so it's mostly gone.

Being a generalist is hard.

Of course this is no excuse for lacking basic knowledge (e.g., what code runs where)

As a front-end specialist you really don't need to know about anything about DNS though, unless you're doing front-end for a domain registrar, openDNS, or a cloud provider with DNS services.

I'm perplexed that there are full stack seniors who wouldn't know about this though.

As a web user who relies on controlling DNS in order to "block" ads and telemetry, among other things, and having done so since before "ad blockers" existed, I have long theorised this is why DNS is continually effective for me in successfully avoiding web developer shenanigans. Generally, DNS is a blind spot for web developers. And it appears likely to remain so for the forseeable future.

I’m cherry picking but A vs CNAME is incredibly simple, just not something most keep in their mind since you usually set it and forget it. As an aside, my guess is the recall rate would be a lot higher amongst people if the record types had better names instead of “A” and “CNAME”. Something like “Name-to-ip” and “Name-to-name” seem to be far better (I’m sure I’m missing nuance, like what do we call ALIAS, etc. but you get the point).

I guess to your core point I’m ok with there being different levels of engineers. Like any field once it becomes large enough there are opportunities for the deeply technical polymaths, the superficial tradesmen, and everyone in between. It’s just important that whoever’s hiring identify which level they want and hire accordingly. I’ve met plenty of people of both varieties so it’s not like the true “masters” of tech are dying out.

When people say "they don't know the difference between an A and a CNAME" they're not just talking about the basic definition of these concepts, which I agree with you is trivial.

But can you remember _which is which_? For instance, can a host have two A records? Can a host have two CNAMES? one of these might mess with mail delivery but the other is pretty common. Do you remember which is which?

DNS is an onion. At first it makes tons of sense. Then you learn a little bit and it makes less sense. Then you learn some more and it makes more sense. It is a bit tricky like that in a way that trips up lots of people. This speaks a little bit to your "levels of engineers," I think.

It’s not even those professionals, I’m talking people who are highly skilled and trained (CS/Engineering degrees). Like they could tell you off the top of their head HOW to build an adblocker, but they don’t use one themselves. That type of disconnect that is weird to me. People who don’t know any better I can understand.

Ad blockers can be an ethical issue if one considers that's what funds a site's content and its widespread availability.

Indeed, spying on users and sharing data about them so you can make a buck is unethical.

Not to mention ads incite to consume more, attempt to creep inside your daily thoughts and lie about the qualities of the product using all the tricks in the books.

Add on top of this it gives more power to the big players with more money and create terrible incentive for the medias and you have one of the easiest moral decision in the world.

Not all ads are exploitive or deceptive. Ads empower small players as well. Without them large and entrenched players have a greater advantage.

The whole industry lost me way back in the 90's when I saw the first popover/under ads for X10 cameras. No, the industry is entirely exploitative of technology with little to no real redeeming qualities and are so invasive, pervasive and dishonest that you generally can't even trust the top search results for product class reviews either.

This reads like a submarine article.

This presumes ads must spy on users. Yet ads have existed long before such spying was possible and can and do exist without spying on the web.

In fact, the ethical ones that are clearly written are the users with blockers, NOT the websites with ads


> 2.12 People should be able to render web content as they want

> People must be able to change web pages according to their needs. For example, people should be able to install style sheets, assistive browser extensions, and blockers of unwanted content or scripts or auto-played videos. We will build features and write specifications that respect peoples' agency, and will create user agents to represent those preferences on the web user's behalf.

I was definitely late to the game when it came to ad-blockers at least compared to a lot of HN. In general my position is that sites have to make money somehow, and too many users are never going to purchase their way past your paywall, not matter how cheap it is. Even having the friction of making someone sign up for an account is often too much.

There just finally came a breaking point where too much of the web was essentially unusable without it. It's a shame this ends up punishing sites who do the reasonable thing and just have for example a static add off to the side of the content, but I don't know what else to do at this point. This is why we can't have nice things.

Depending on the type of ad/adblocker combo, the website might still get the money for them, so the only “harm” you do is to the advertisers.

It's just a trust issue maybe? Browser extensions with this kind of access are surely not to be installed on a whim.

That being said, I do use uBlock origin.

But that's the only extension not from a huge company with this kind of access rights that I'd ever install on my machine.

Maybe they just don't want to. I don't use an adblocker because I'm not bothered by ads. I just don't care enough. The only place where it's actually annoying is YouTube and that's solved by paying for Premium.

I grew up with ads and learned to not pay attention to them.

I still use an ad-blocker on all of my own systems, and on my current company laptop.

But a few years back at a different company I didn’t have any ad blocker installed. This was an office job with a desk and coworkers walking past me all the time.

So at that job I’m having the browser open reading something and one of the older guys is walking past me. He stops dead in his tracks and says jokingly “are you looking at women on company time” and he laughs.

I look at him, confused. Then I look at my screen. Whoops! Next to the content I am reading is a huge ad that is pretty much a soft core porn ad.

Embarrassed I say I didn’t even notice the lady. My coworker chuckles and says “sure”.

But really, I had developed built in blinds in my mind that prevented me from consciously paying attention to ads.

That experience reminded me to always make sure to have adblockers installed.

And of course video ads are annoying no matter what, so having an ad blocker is nice for that as well.

Plus who knows, even if I don’t consiously notice ads my subconscious is probably registering it. So having an ad blocker is nice for this reason as well!

Marketing is a branch that employs hundred of thousands of people to devise the best images to manipulate you. Billions are spent on research in this domain.

thinking oneself impervious to ads, let alone blind, is in my view a bit presomptuous. I am convinced you are influenced by ads, you just don't notice it (and that's the point of ads, you shouldn't notice)

I can't find it in a quick 2 minute search, but I seem to recall a study that concluded that people who thought they were unaffected by advertising were actually MORE susceptible. Which makes a sort of intuitive sense. If someone is aware they can be manipulated they can make a conscious effort to counteract it. Someone who assumes they are immune won't.

> I am convinced you are influenced by ads, you just don't notice it (and that's the point of ads, you shouldn't notice)

Yeah that’s why I explicitly mentioned the difference between what I consciously notice and my subconscious and why I mentioned this as another reason to have an adblocker :I

Sorry then I misread you. I focussed on the statement "truly blind to ads"...

No worries :)

Thinking that the purpose of online ads is advertising, is in my view a bit presumptuous :-)

Depends a bit what your definition of "advertising" includes I guess...

I can't help but wonder what effect advertising has peoples mental health. I doubt it's positive.

Video ads are an exception — especially when your country pushes their disgusting propaganda through it. I could honestly throw my phone at a wall when I hear that ad, and it is constantly everywhere — I don’t even understand how come I can’t report it or make it not appear to me in google?!

(Country is Hungary..)

The frontend dev experience in particular is so heavily abstracted these days that it’s no surprise that the rest of the stack is ‘out of sight, out of mind’. You spend most of your time in the browser and deployment is just a fire-and-forget CI integration (like with Vercel).

I’d expect more from backend and full-stack engineers since it becomes much more relevant then.

I work for an IT provider - I don't think I've spoken to a single web developer who actually understands DNS and doesn't need their hand holding to get us the correct records to update. Most of them just ask us/the client to change the NS to wordpress.com or w/e, breaking their e-mail and a load of other stuff

I've been in the field for seven years, primarily working for startups, and though I'm primarily FE I've dabbled in some backend stuff, and I've deployed many apps. I couldn't tell you off the top of my head what the difference between CNAME or A record is. All I know is when it comes time for deployment, I go to Google cloud DNS or AWS's equivalent and follow the instructions on how to deploy. If things don't work, I Google it.

I understand your higher level point (these boot camp guys don't understand even the basics) but where do you draw the line between basics and not basics? Many people couldn't employé Dijkstra's algorithm, or A*, or an efficient sorting algorithm. Many people couldn't tell you how memory works outside of "don't try to load 1million things from a database."

But if they're hired as a FE/BE engineer, and can perform the tasks provided to them 99% of the time (and googling / enriching themselves that 1%) what's the concern here?

I think it's fair to expect people know the basics of how DNS works at a high level. For specific terminology, I think it's hard to remember without having some practical use for the knowledge, at least occasionally, so it's not that surprising that someone couldn't recall.

> A surprisingly massive portion of people in tech have learned just enough through bootcamps and youtube videos to accomplish just enough for the specific job they are doing without realizing how it works or anything deeper than simple what to type to fix a problem.

If this is true across the board, it may be a data point that software engineering requires a set of specific mentality and skills, so much so that we software engineers can still enjoy imbalanced supply and demand of tech talent for years to come. On the other hand, it can well be my wishful thinking. EE has always been more hardcore to master and was once a booming career, but the market for EE talent shrank a lot from its hay days.

Back many decades ago when I started, the field wasn't so broad and you could learn how so many more things worked, compilers, DNS, IP, distributed systems, hardware implementation, blah blah blah.

This is why AI can replace programmers.

Not the 10% who are actually good but everyone else. BUT AI ISN'T CREATIVE be honest are you?

Once they develop past 3 years olds in reasoning abilities…

Those all sound like things for a network engineer to know. I’d rather a web developer spend their time mastering the intricacies of CSS than learning someone else’s specialty.

No, you would know about these things if you ever deployed an application (and you cannot convince me otherwise.)

DNS records are usually set once and forget. You read the documentation once when you’re doing it, and then you basically never have to touch it again. I had to look up the difference between a CNAME and an A record, even though I’ve set them numerous times before. Not useful in day-to-day.

DNS servers: going to assume you query a DNS server that has a map of domain names to IP addresses, with basic routing via DNS records, which then resolve to a final address which is sent back. Again, never going to have to know this unless I’m a network admin.

Port-mapping: what is there to understand? I have literally never had to map ports unless I’m port-forwarding a game server I’m running on my local machine, that’s using a router to be exposed to the outside network. Literally, every cloud provider will give you an endpoint address that does not require port-mapping. If you’re setting up a company network you have to port-map, but not if you’re deploying a simple server/app. Ergo, network admin’s job.

Compilers: lol. There’s tons of languages, and tons of different compilers for each language. Then there’s distinguishing compilers, interpreters, compiler-interpreters, and transpilers. At the end of the day they take text (usually) and transform it into another form. I’ve built a compiler before (toy AST & recursive descent), but I have never needed to know about it in a CRUD context.

I'd like to take the opportunity to throw some shade at network admins because out of all companies I worked at, they have consistently been the slowest to respond when their stack is usually the most reactive to changes.

Almost like those annoying neurosurgeons taking 18 hours to perform a brain surgery that could've been 30 minutes.

Network configuration changes are the reason for 90%+ of domain-wide multi-hour outages.

You can remote-reset everything but if the network breaks, you have to physically get there. (OOB/LOM notwithstanding)

The more people that offload their knowledge to the category that should be handled by networking experts, the higher the backlog for the networking experts. Which kind of supports OP's point.

> Literally, every cloud provider will give you an endpoint address that does not require port-mapping

Try running a real server. But even in the cloud you'll quickly run into it as soon as your stack becomes even mildly complex.

It depends what you mean by 'deploy', because that could cover everything from spinning up a new box in a cluster to creating a kubernetes deployment to simply dragging and dropping files in an FTP application or using scp.

I’ve been working professionally in the field for 25+ years. I just turn it over to the network and devops teams when it’s time to deploy. There is no reason a web developer should know those things.

I train people in web, and here's my observation.

Younger generation is comfortable with ads, paying for extra items in their games, purchasing stuff from those ads, installing apps from the ads etc.

They also are comfortable in knowing only their scope of work and they get only that much done.

Older generation people, they very rarely will pay for items in games online, will curse when ads are targeted.

They also tend to work better if they understand overall scenario.

Think how wide the web is now and what it was 30 years ago. The scope of work of those young people will get wider, maybe only a fraction of what happened to the web, and they'll know the overall picture because they grew with it. Younger people will know only a very specific subject and will be frowned upon.

> They also tend to work better if they understand overall scenario.


I encountered it kinda the other way around. In a previous job I had developed a deployment system for developers. Some users on one specific team only where complaining their deployment would not show up in the tool. Though they where properly deployed after the pressed the button. Many debug sessions later I sat down with one developer and found the issue. Their team “advertising” had the team name in the deployments. So the request to get deploy status would be blocked because all of them ran adblockers themselves.

It doesn't work for Prime videos with ads, which is irritating (I pay for Prime so I don't have to see ads, among other benefits).

You mean Amazon Prime? With this release, it's already addressed: https://github.com/uBlockOrigin/uAssets/issues/14512#issueco...

However, until the stable release is out for all supported browsers, you'll need dev (pre-release) build (https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/releases) to test it.

What we need are users' reports and feedbacks. For example, I don't know if the domain is `amazon.com` or `primevideo.com`.

I am even more amazed, about companies paying for ads, while seeming to ignore most users will not see them as they use adblocks plugins.

https://www.statista.com/topics/3201/ad-blocking/#topicOverv... suggests adblocker usage was around 26% in the US [2020], which is much higher than I would have guessed, but still well under 50%.

>... most users will not see them as they use adblocks plugins.

Forgive my ignorance, but is there data around what percentage of browsers has an adblocker installed? I am inclined to assume that a tech-focused forum such as HN is going to use them at a much more disproportionate rate relative to the average, non-tech-savvy joe, and therefore further assume that they're not as widely adopted as we might think.

I could totally be wrong, though.

Edit: 42.7% globally, but it varies by country. The US, for instance, only sees 38.8% adoption.[1] Hardly what I would call "most".


42.7% is unbelievably huge. Can the tech economy even survive if half the people are taking free rides? For the longest time it was no more than 10% since only the technical class used the things. Nowadays corporate and government policymakers are requiring adblockers be installed on normy computers.

I see ad blockers as good filters for them. Someone that feels annoyed by ads to the extent of making the effort to install ad blockers is not a good target for ads too. Less tech-savvy and caring users are perfect targets for ads.

They won't be paying for content that wasn't loaded.

Is that true in all cases?

It seems for example for Cost-per-mille (CPM) advertising if a user has an ad-blocker, they will not see the ad, but it would still count towards the number of impressions if the ad request is made?

> in all cases

No idea of course. I couldn't tell you any anything in ALL cases.

But the ad space is dominated by a few companies and all do that as far as I know.

The other dominating ad space is spliced into videos and they certainly know you will skip around if you can on YouTube.

> If a request is made

It won't be made that's what adblockers do. Or it won't land in the case of pihole/DNS level blockers.

Otherwise it wouldn't speed up browsing and tracking would continue unhindered.

There's some adblockers focused on disrupting tracking and those will both intentionally load ads and automatically click on every one of them for you.


Neat idea, I'd worry that the tracking is worse than the benefit.

That said I routinely let long YouTube ads play while I go off to do something else. Personal best was circa 1.5hour ad!

Someone told me that costs them big bucks so long as it's not skipped.

I think it's sort of a vicious cycle too- because the number of impressions goes down from all the adblocking, the users not running adblock get even more ads to the point of absurdity (see: local news sites) as tech companies try to make up the difference.

Browsing the web without an adblocker is... illuminating. A vision into a corporate hellscape of garbage constantly screaming for your attention.

I'm sure they don't allow adblockers in Hell.

IME you learn which sites and services can balance ads vs user needs. So it's only hell if insist on consuming from those who don't care enough about you.

Of course if ad blocking gets too be too mainstream all that will be left are 'native' ads and directly paid content.

I don't use "sites", I use the internet. I don't know, beforehand, which page I'll land on.

Some sites I do use out of necessity, because I follow the "content"/"community", and it happens to be there: YouTube, Facebook. It saddens me to no end a lot of groups of niche interests are only on Facebook, but if I don't want to end up talking to myself, I'm forced to use it.

I have this distinct impression whenever I watch Youtube from my TV's app and Youtube serves me 6 different unskippable ads on a 10-minute video.

I used to watch YouTube daily. I’m now done to once a week and more often than not it’s a terrible experience. If there are others like me, that seems like a death spiral. The more leave, the more ads must be shown, the worse the platform gets, the more people leave…

Years ago as YouTube’s ads really started ramping up, I realized paying the measly $12 a month or whatever for Red, now Premium, was an obvious good decision for me. I get no ads besides actual sponsorships that are part of the video, which are the kind of ads people who hate modern advertising say they want — not “targeted at me” but rather “alongside content that is related to the ad.”

If you just aren’t into “short form” video (or what used to pass for short until TikTok came around, lol) I can see how it would be unappealing to pay for a site you don’t use much, but YouTube premium is my ideal way for media to work.

I had Red/Premium as part of my Google Music subscription, but they decided to kill that.

I assume YTM is far inferior to what you had? That's bundled with my premium, but I don't use it much on account of Apple Music's integration with my own longtime music library (which, ironically, I remember GM being also strong with letting you upload your own collection)

It used to be that you wouldn't get youtube ads on a chromecast. That changed and I never use the thing anymore since it can't block ads. A shame.

Some are real bad, you have those unskippable ads PLUS the in-video sponsored segments.

You can get a addon called 'SponsorBlock' that fixes in-video sponsored segments. It allows anybody to submit timestamps for sponsored segments, and tag them in various ways. Its on Chrome too I think.


Yeah, the bummer is if I'm trying to watch YouTube on my Roku TV I'm stuck getting the full Monty of YouTube's ad experience.

Ublock Origin, NOT "Ublock":

> The donations sought by the individual behind ublock.org ("to keeps uBlock development possible", a misrepresentation) are not benefiting any of those who contributed most to create uBO (developers, translators, and all those who put efforts in opening specific issues). ...


couldn't agree more.

I put together an explainer about how to use it to _rapidly_ (and usually permanently) delete nearly any part of public websites.

When I see friends on many websites now, it makes my heart ache.


Great post ! Thank you

Routine reminder for everyone to also subscribe to annoyance block lists, which you aren't by default. It massively improves the web

whoa. Thank you! Just enabled this for my ublock extension. Don't see a difference yet, but I'm psyched for any chance to up my ublock usage.

> Ublock is without a doubt the most valuabe chrome extension.

Also the most valuable Firefox extension as well. Thanks to gorhill for maintaining both.

It also has more capability on Firefox.

When reading, I often scroll up and down, and those annoying banners that appear only when you scroll up drive me mad. I hit em with the 'ol uBlock zap and they go away. So much nicer.

I've used it to block nearly every notification icon I can find. I now check things on my schedule. Surprisingly helpful.

Yes! The Kill Sticky extensions/bookmarklets are good for this, too.

Yes! I also delete all the cookie warnings (try ###onetrust-consent-sdk to eliminate many of them) and the "subscribe to our newsletter" popups.

I briefly tried to go without blocking anything through uBlock. I was willing to give sites a chance because I felt if they needed ads to survive, I'd put up with them. They're insufferable. Pop-ups, changing the layout after the page has already "loaded", interrupting content and forcing me to scroll over it, making it difficult to recognize what's an ad or what's just an embedded video related to the article, etc. Then there's Youtube, who'll insert 30s ads in the beginning and in the middle. Even if I just want to browse videos and I haven't committed a watching a specific one all the way through.

I gave up quickly.

Ublock is a scam. Ublock Origin is without a doubt the most valuable chrome extension.

I know you people understand this but normal people take our advice and could get scammed.

Are "normal people" reading these comments, or is it just us?

Hacker News is not your secret club, unfortunately.

Given the context, I would assume they were already talking about Ublock Origin.

Don't take your context for granted.

The most valuable chrome AND Firefox extension, without a doubt.

I've been using uBlock for a long time but I really don't think I've scratched its surface; do you (or anyone) have a good write-up on advanced uses of UBlock? That would be super helpful!

uBlock Origin (uBO) Wiki : https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki

Oh god yes. It filters out ~50% of my youtube. I'm at the point where I can't view websites on my phone anymore because I can't stand all the ads, three popup videos all autoplaying and talking over each other ... ublock origin provides such a stark contrast.

Maybe you already know it: you can filter ads by DNS on phones (manually configured or with pseudo VPN apps), and if you don't mind using other mobile browsers, on Android Firefox supports ad blockers and Brave (Android and IOS) has an integrated one.

Why not use Firefox mobile, on which ublock origin can be installed?

Only on Android, not iOS. I have an iphone now after android my whole life. The biggest feature it's missing is the ability to block ads. It means I refuse to use the browser on my phone, which is a pretty big feature to lack.

Maybe try AdGuard. It does a fantastic job of blocking ads for me on iOS.

You can definitely blocks ads on your iPhone browser. Use a content blocker like wipr or firefox focus.

Phones have adblockers too. I know they are harder to use on Android than iOS, but both have them.

Without VPN, iOS doesn't have an ad blocker for in-app ads, like YouTube. And blockers for browsers is extremely poor, routinely failing to block ads. Then there are sites which detect ad blockers and flag them, prevent the site from being used without disabling the ad blocker on Safari/WebView.

With the right filter lists, you can also get around those adblocker blockers.

Unfortunately not on alternative browser shells like Edge.

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter about this.

I use it on Android with Firefox.

First install in a new computer. I'm shocked everytime I must use a browser that doesn't use an ad blocker. Internet experience for standard users suck.

My personal filters are categorized into:

- advertisements: things that weren’t caught by the third-party filter lists, e.g. Discord upsells

- animations: gimmicks that spend CPU for cosmetic effect, or visual effects that worsen a headache

- annoyances: components such as sticky headers that conflict with content, and unused features

- dark patterns: fake/inflated notification badges

- distractions: unsolicited suggestions, e.g. Hot Network Questions

- theming: removing classes that conflict with user styles

I often use it to filter contemporary propaganda on most big tech sites, makes pages a lot cleaner

I switched back to Firefox when Chrome gimped uBlock Origin's function.

Agreed. Funnily enough every single school provided chromebook in my city comes with it preinstalled, and yet the teachers don’t use it.

Thanks to a change by dang, I filter out my karma on HN and would highly recommend others try it.


Same! There is an excellent extension for this called RYS which makes it really easy to toggle parts of youtube you don't want https://github.com/lawrencehook/remove-youtube-suggestions

I wish there was a way to auto-hide Cookie consent and Subscribe banner prompt automatically on each and every site

It's not perfect, but you might be looking for the "I still don't care about Cookies"[1] or Consent-O-Matic[2] extensions.

[1]. https://github.com/OhMyGuus/I-Still-Dont-Care-About-Cookies [2]. https://github.com/cavi-au/Consent-O-Matic

uBlock Origin 1.50.0 - Includes 'Annoyances' filters ( Not enabled by default )

Annoyances 0/14

AdGuard – Annoyances 0/6

AdGuard – Cookie Notices

AdGuard – Mobile App Banners

AdGuard – Other Annoyances

AdGuard – Popup Overlays

AdGuard – Social Media

AdGuard – Widgets

EasyList – Annoyances 0/6

EasyList – Chat Widgets

EasyList – Cookie Notices

EasyList – Newsletter Notices

EasyList – Notifications

EasyList – Other Annoyances

EasyList – Social Widgets

Fanboy – Anti-Facebook

uBlock filters – Annoyances

There are YouTube specific addons that will do a better job of that and likely use less memory just FYI.

Also sponsorblock, that blocks internal video ads.

Some good userscripts around still also

> My youtube is merely a search bar and the video I wanted to watch, nothing more.

Next up. Pipe the yt url to mpv which uses ytdl to show the video in standard video player in your favorite resolution and codec so your laptop won’t even spin the fan

Thats exactly what I do :-) userscript injecting additional button on YT interface

    @="\"xxxxx\\play.bat\" \"%1\""

play.bat breaking back passed parameter to url (720p version is still one h264+ogg mp4 file so no need for ytdl) and title and passing that to smplayer

I'd love a brief description on how you filter recommended content from youtube.


Pipe-viewer (CLI, gtk), invidio.us or piped (web).

But yeah, ublocks content hiding is a gem.

YouTube recommended has been great for me. Showing me relevant channels and videos to my interests -- woodworking, chemistry, engineering. Hasn't tried to sneak in any annoying viral videos, just good content I want to watch. I hope it stays that way -- I was always annoyed when I looked at "trending" and it's full of pop music and "we're pregnant!" videos.

I use it to erase those chat popups.

Chrome extension? - 'uBlock works best on Firefox'

does ublock origin really work on chrome with its api limitations?

It works but not at par - for best performance, it is advisable to use it with a Firefox clone.

I understand why gorhill doesn't ask for donations, but I still wish there was some sneaky way I could send him some money anyway.

Don't forget blocklist maintainers. Their work is just as valuable as the actual adblocker — without them, it would be mostly useless. I checked mine and none of them seem to be accepting donations, but yours might.

edit: actually, several massive lists are maintained by AdGuard, who do have a way to throw money at them.

I am left feeling awful about Money, Advertisement, False promises after modestly exploring this.

I also wanted to support financially - and after seeking to support, and encountering the misleading "ublock dot org" (called-out as unrelated on github.com/gorhill/ublock - where it claims Chris Aljoudi of CO seeks $$$ for gorhill's project) I feel terrible.

I'll let my feelings drive my action here, and not continue seeking to support.

ublock github is the best desktop ad blocker.

You can also pick your favorite list(s) and send a few bucks their way for their efforts, which are also critical.

Volunteer your time reporting blocking issues. Also sign up for the annoyances filters and report for those as well, because there's opportunities everywhere

Same, I'd love to buy them a beer (or coffee)!

He's written in detail (with many revisions) about why he doesn't accept donations...since 2014, actually (and versioned those on GitHub too).

The latest version from April 2022 [1] says:

> I do not want the administrative workload that comes with donations. I do not want the project to become in need of funding in any way: no dedicated home page + no forum = no cost = no need for financial support. I want to be free to move on to something else if ever I get tired of working on these projects (no donations = no expectations).

> Have a thought for the maintainers of the various lists. These lists are everything. I can not emphasize this enough.

The oldest version from July 2014 [2] says:

> A couple of reasons, each on its own is enough for me to not want donations.

> First reason is a mix of practicality and because of who I am.

> If I were to accept donations, because of who I am, I would be unable to not disclose exactly what is going on with these donations: revenues, withdrawals (for what purpose), etc. Because these would be funds donated with the expectations to help, I would want to disclose everything related to these donations, so people who have given know how their donations are used for this project. That's just who I am, I wouldn't be able to do otherwise. Thing is, I don't want to deal with all this administrative work I would bring to myself if I were to accept donations. I just want to code.

> Second reason, to ensure the main purpose of these projects is protected.

> If I were to accept donations, then in my opinion, the projects (µBlock, HTTP Switchboard) would start a slow descent toward becoming dependent on outside funding, a slow descent toward a mean to earn funds, and this drift eventually leads to the projects' main purpose becoming vulnerable to other agendas. In my opinion. There are excellent open source projects out there which accept donations and are not compromised. Some others are in my opinion. So, as it is, I don't want these projects to have a dedicated home page (requires funding), a forum (requires funding), or whatever requires funding. No financial footprint means no way the main purpose can be preempted (µBlock, HTTP Switchboard are GPLv3). It bothers me Firefox decided to go along with HTML5 DRM.

[1]: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/Why-don't-you-accept-...

[2]: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/Why-don't-you-accept-...

Honestly this just makes me wanna tip them even more. Even if it's a Hallmark card with a handwritten "thanks, no strings attached" with beer money. But I respect that ability to walk away guilt-free. It's a magical thing.

Totally agree. The value that ad blockers (especially uBlock Origin) have given in terms of user experience is immeasurable. It's a stark difference evoking anger as well as sympathy when looking at someone else's default (Chrome, usually) browser not having an ad blocker.

If someone finds a way, I'm in.

Well, at least we have our undying gratitude to give. ;)

What's the rationale for not accepting donations?

Resisting for temptation? Showing for everyone, that decisions are not influenced by money?

Suddenly Google throws a promise of one million donation in hopes of enabling ads in Youtube.

Obviously a project like this has already been offered multi-figure money deals already: https://github.com/uBlockOrigin/uBOL-issues/issues/44

And he declined all.

I've copy pasted some of his rationale for not accepting donations (with links to the originals), in my comment on this thread at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=36230210

As someone who is neither a lawyer nor an expert, I always wondering if refusing donations gave them less surface area for civil suits from advertising companies for stolen revenue.

How could they complain about stolen revenue? Even if he took donations that doesn't make any sense. He didn't sign an agreement with the advertisers, the page displaying the ads did or the person viewing the page clicked through a "thou shalt not block ads" but that is extremely unlikely to stand up in court plus horrible PR. I know I would personally end any relationship with and boycott any company that pulled that on a regular Joe.

From time to time, I happen to browse using someone else's computer (browser) and I get immediately overwhelmed by how crappy the experience is without uBO.

Yet, I cannot convince people to install it :)

Telling them it blocks ads on YouTube has been enough to convince them every single time so far

Weirdly enough, some people I know are still are afraid of it. I can't really know why but they distrust change.

I had the same experience, it’s a mentality for sure, some are open to try and test and others are not, to the point for some close family members, after failing to convince them, next time I took it to “fix” something, I sneakily installed it.

P.S. My home network had a network level blocker, but that was in case they don’t use my network or for other ads that are in the same domain.

> Add thunderbird as target for installation

That's interesting. I get a couple of newsletters with advertising in them, and while I still find the Thunderbird interface a little clunky, this might sway me a bit.

I'm currently running Thunderbird as an email backup solution, with a rule to automatically copy every new email to a local folder. Maybe I'll start using it a bit more. (It's in a docker image on my file server, accessed via noVNC in a browser, which definitely adds to the clunkiness. Maybe I'll switch it to my local machine.)

> Thunderbird is clunky

> I'm running it in a docker image on my file server, accessed via noVNC in a browser

FWIW, I have used Thunderbird locally in the past. And it felt clunky then too.

you gotta admit that it probably didn’t feel as clunky thou

> It's in a docker image on my file server

At this point you could|should run a proper mailsever with fetchmail. I'm running [0] specifically as a local archive solution. Now that can be accessed by Thunderbird.


Interesting, I might try that.

Your link seems to be broken, though - is this the right one? https://hub.docker.com/r/mailserver/docker-mailserver

It's not a link, it's the image name that you'd directly use from docker or podman. And yes, that's the same one.

One of the things I found so confusing about docker at first was how much information you could leave out of your image reference and docker would assume the rest. I'd prefer if it only assumed localhost, and never automatically assumed any remote registry. There's really no reason for docker.io to be special.

Something else that's confusing is why these links don't just redirect to the registry landing page.

A simple redirect from https://docker.io/mailserver/docker-mailserver to https://hub.docker.com/r/mailserver/docker-mailserver would make so much sense.

Duh, I just copied image name from the docker-compose.yaml *grin*

But yeh, this one.

> I'm currently running thunderbird in a docker image


It's my backup solution, not my primary interface. I reworded it a bit to make that more clear.

You may find this handy https://github.com/sapristi/mmuxer :) (yes I'm the author)

I really like the recent overhaul of the Thunderbird UI. I think it makes it feel a lot less clunky.

My terminology may be wrong, but I would assume these ad-blockers are great until streaming platforms catch up and embed ads directly into the video stream.

Twitch is getting close to that. They directly inject video ads into streams at random times causing you to miss parts of streams. uBlock Origin seemed to have a way around that with some extra setup but it's only a matter of time before it's completely transparent, seamless, and technically unblockable by client-side addons.

Part of me wonders why they haven't done so yet.

There is also sponsorblock (at least for YT):


Which also integrates with ytdlp. I run an instance of metube. If I want to watch a longer video I throw the video there, it downloads it, strips the sponsor stuff and makes it available on Plex.

I tried Sponsorblock for a while, mainly for getting all the garbage out of LTT vids. But I ended up turning it off because it always seems to jump a little to soon and a little too far. So it will jump from mid sentence to mid another sentence seemingly out of nowhere, which got to be too disorienting for me. Now I just use it for the little green marker and skip manually.

Segments are provided by community members, and you can adjust/edit them if you're finding the segment to be badly timed yourself.

Also useful for skipping intros and recaps. Saves time for hn lurking.

Those are fine by me. My problem with ad networks is that my machine is caught in the middle of upholding the contract between the advertiser and the presenter. That's their problem, not mine. I don't want to be part of that in anyway and I have every right to refuse to be. That and the personal tracking across sites, the sooner that dies, the better off we'll all be. With all that stuff gone, "ad" will finally be the correct term to use. No other form of advertising ever got to do those things.

The silver lining of the current state of embedding the ads into the video itself at least is the creator makes the deal directly with the advertiser, rather than through YouTube.

But you're suggesting that YouTube alter the video to insert the ads, which wouldn't be the same thing. IDK how that would scale (processing uploaded videos seems to take a while still on YouTube, and splicing video in a way that gives YT the continued control over dynamically displaying targeted ads could be a Hard Problem), but if anyone can figure that out, it'd be YT.

The best YouTubers also make the sponsored part of their videos a distinct block that can be skipped. I appreciate that.

This is how podcast ads generally work- the adtech can splice a targeted ad directly into the audio file, even when streaming in real time.

Right? The fact that YT hasn't started doing that leads me to believe it's harder than we think.

I'm also generally less offended by "dumb" advertising, where everybody consuming the same media receives the same advertisements. It doesn't contribute to a surveillance capitalism dystopia to nearly the same degree as the carefully chosen for you advertising schemes.

Ublock used to hide all the hulu ads for me, now some get through but its more than satisfying seeing the other 6 god damn ads just blink through when they don't load. I'll deal with a Hyundai or apple commercial if I don't have to deal with 8 more every 5 minutes.

My half-serious and half-assed attempt at solving a similar problem: make a bot watch the video for you first, then skip the crap.


That is such a well made website, love the art.

So it can tell when videos contain sponsored segments just from the video's content? What parameters does it check to make its conclusion?


It's quite primitive:

1. I have a service extracting captions from YT videos.

2. I process them a little bit (parallel batches with a sliding window containing the captions),

3. then add to a simple GPT-4 prompt with some examples.

Feel free to check the repo source (esp. detector.js and its dependencies)

There is "Sponsorblock" for YouTube, which allows you to skip over adds which are part of the video.

> Part of me wonders why they haven't done so yet

I’ve wondered if they know that they’ll lose numbers of users, which is an important metric for selling space to advertisers.

That’s not easy from a technical standpoint.

A lot of radios do that and it ruins radio streaming, especially if you're flipping between them a lot.

Youtubers I follow are doing just that.

Have a look at SponsorBlock. It automatically skips this kind of ads as long as someone contributed the time stamps.

I just let my YouTube Premium lapse, but I'll check that out the next time I pick it back up.

it's a never-ending cat and mouse game. there is no "end state".

Back in the day Safari + uBlock was one hell of an efficient browser on my macbook. I miss those days.

Use Firefox, it's the best combination with uBlock Origin by far:


Firefox Mobile also supports uBlock Origin, it's the only sane way of browsing the web.

I use Wipr and don't see ads, including on Youtube...

You can still have that combination with the Orion browser

I’m on day 3 of the Orion browser - on one of my computers I indeed installed UBO, but I can’t tell if it’s necessary.

How good is it on Orion? I remember trying it a while ago and it was very unreliable.

Haven't had any issues with bitwarden or uBlock origin in Orion that I have noticed. There is perhaps a little delay when you click the extensions in orion to their ui loading but thats about it.

Have been using it for a few months now and its become my default browser on macOS and IOS. As I understand it for IOS the killer feature is extensions... I haven't got round to trying this yet.

On a side note it has by far the best native tree style tabs I have used and until firefox has an equivalent I won't be going back. (yes I used sideberry extension but like I said orions native implementation beats it hands down).

Try Firefox + uBlock

Or LibreWolf which comes with UBO out of the box.

Have they been able to figure out how to continue being effective with the new chrome manifest junk?

They’re pretty clear. Switch to Firefox. uBlock Origin works best on Firefox for a number of reasons: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/uBlock-Origin-works-b...

For your mobile needs, uBlock Origin also works great in Firefox for Android!

This is, honestly, one of the things that brought me back to Android. Content blockers on mobile Safari just didn't work as well for me.

Yeah. There's a glimmer of hope that Apple being forced to open the app store will allow us to use Firefox on iOS, too. Fingers crossed!

There are several ad blockers or content blockers (free and paid) on iOS with varying experiences (and sometimes annoyances due to the platform limit on the number of rules a blocker can include). Firefox Focus on iOS comes a built-in blocker. Additionally, using something like NextDNS – which allows adding the same filter lists as uBlock Origin – also helps. Of course, these will not allow easy element picking and blocking.

I use Brave on iOS. I know it's forced to be just a webkit skin there, but it's better, at least.

Gorhill released a lite version as a test: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ublock-origin-lite...

how good is it compared to the non-light version for only ad blocking?

It has a preset few lists in the extension, and you can only adjust a slider to determine blocking level, with the default just being DeclarativeWebRequest (non-blocking) ad domain blocking, and the higher tiers I suppose blocking dynamic content on the page like usual. No custom filters.

When it was announced I used it for a while and I seem to remember that the lack of cosmetic filtering was the only thing I really noticed.

Yes, use the User Agent that best represents your needs as an user.

(In other words, pester Google to revert the junk, or use a non-junk browser)

There is an experimental version for Chrome that does what it can, but many advertiser/tracker workarounds are not covered. One example is the CNAME trick: the website creates a CNAME subdomain and points it to the advertiser/tracker. I'm not sure what the current status of that is for Chrome (I use Firefox), but it certainly was effective against Manifest V3 blockers at some point.

As-per gorhill: uBlock works best on Firefox.

They haven't. When Chrome flips the switch it will not work well there.


I recommend brave as well. I've had it running on my phone for a month or two now and it is quite nice in terms of search results. I also don't really deal with ads on websites, including YT.

I wonder; is there a way to calculate how much electricity uBlock saves over time?

If all you browse is HN or other ad-less websites, uBlock wastes electricity instead of saving it :)

And bandwidth.

Always wanted to try it, but have used noscript and strict Firefox for a decade. Am often astounded on the two dozen js trackers it doesn’t load on a news site.

Is there a big difference between that and UO? Thought it might be better for regular folks who may not recognize what js needs to be loaded and which is probably superfluous or dangerous.

You're looking for "Hard Mode."



In this mode uBO can replace most of the features of NoScript, but you can always run both (and many folks do).

You might also be interested in uMatrix, but sadly it's abandonware.

Well, I'm not looking to replace noscript, am happy with it.

Just wondering if I should recommend UBO to others instead. Is it easier to use as a novice or intermediate? And what are the ramifications of the difference?

Is this the good one that isn't the scam? Which ones are the shady ones these days?

This is the one and only legit Ublock Origin. Yes, the link name might appear misleading, but a look at the author (gorhill) and the about (Ublock Origin) will remove any doubt about the authenticity.

It's the best ad-blocker available and has been for some time.

It is. No point in using any of the others in my opinion.

Considering that this is from Raymond Hill (gorhill), I'm 99% sure that this one is the good one.

Ublock Origin is the good one. Ublock is bad one.

Correct. Not sure why the OP is getting downvoted as that was a reasonable question. It would be easy to mix up which of "Ublock" and "Ublock Origin" should be used.

Sadly becoming something less than it was soon, due to the constraints of manifest v3.

Most of the shady ones aren't going to be open source, for one thing.

searching for github and gorhill will not lead you astray, at the moment, for an authentic ublock


I’m curious what the plan is for when everyone starts blocking adblockers in YouTube style. Switching browsers won’t do anything to that.

The plan is simple. If YouTube is valuable enough to you, start paying for YouTube Premium. If it’s not, then stop watching YouTube. There’s no such thing as a permanently good service. It will slowly degrade as it attempts to get more value from its “captured” user base.

To be clear, this does not suggest that I’m “owed” YouTube without ads. Just that I won’t participate in it either.

What do you mean by “in YouTube style”? As far as I can tell, blocking ads on YouTube works fine.

Anti-adblock has been in active for years now, and it's fixed by default in uBO. What it needs is users' detailed reports and feedbacks.

Can’t wait so all these cringy “content creators” are gone for good, might YT be fun again and start watching it.

This is what keeps the internet as useful as it was in the 90s and early 00s. The internet without an ad blocker is brutal.

The hero we don't deserve.

Further cementing his hero status, I checked if there was a way to donate. The homepage says:

> The uBlock Origin project still specifically refuses donations at this time, and instead advises all of its clients, users and supporters to donate to block list maintainers.

Although not really import but just FYI, if you mean the website https://ublockorigin.com/ it's not the homepage, it's a fan-made page. uBO does not have any servers nor websites. The "homepage" is just the github page: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock

Raymond Hill is like a 9/10 on the Jesus scale as far as programmers go. He even survived being martyred by that self-serving schemer who gained control of uBlock, before being successfully resurrected as uBlock Origin.

Now if only I could install this onto my corporate locked-down laptop.

I think you can download portable version of a Chromium-based browser and install any extension you want on it.

If it's like the locked down laptop I had to work on in a recent role, running a portable browser is not an option. Everything had to be installed by admins via "service now" requests. It wasn't a particularly efficient process to set up a machine... but for security/compliance reasons, practically nothing was allowed to happen below the radar.

Live drives are still a thing.

However the optimal solution is to keep work and personal completely separate.

Some places just block all executables that aren't explicitly approved.

Use portable Firefox if possible.

Thank you Mr. Gorhill.

Would this add-on benefit Brave users?

As far as I know, they actually embed it: https://github.com/brave/brave-core/tree/v1.54.44/components...

Although I can't say with 100% confidence because their build system is some ... special

Brave has its own Rust implementation of an adblocker embedded in the browser: https://github.com/brave/adblock-rust; so it does not embed uBlock Origin (but the filters are mostly compatible)

Disclaimer: I work at Brave but not on the browser.

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