back to article Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

Google engineers have proposed changes to the open-source Chromium browser that will break content-blocking extensions, including ad blockers. If the overhaul goes ahead, Adblock Plus and similar plugins that rely on basic filtering will, with some tweaks, still be able to function to some degree, unlike more ambitious …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google are cunts

    That is all

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Google are cunts

      No, Google is evil.

      Big difference.

      Now when Google does implement this... cue the lawyers.

      Its a slam dunk anti-trust class action lawsuit waiting to happen.

      Actually I could see a couple different class action lawsuits.

      The truth.Switch to Firefox.

      Of course... most websites are getting wise and are limiting access to content when you use a tool like No Script which will also block ads.

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Google are cunts

        We FireFox users would LIKE to say "we told you so".

        But we wont, we will just welcome you back with a smile/hug.

        People didnt REALLY think Google were pushing Chrome with bundled silent installs and other old Microsoft tricks just for the love of it ??

        1. ShadowDragon8685

          Re: Google are cunts

          Pretty much this. I never switched away from Firefox except to use Chrome for two purposes:

          1: Google Drive/Docs editing

          2: For when Firefox absolutely COULD NOT show me something I needed to see.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: Google are cunts

            Google Drive/Docs editing

            In what way does that not work with Firefox? Both schools attended by my children now insist (much as I wish they didn't) on Google and (once a few items are allowed through NoScript) it seems to work fine at home on Firefox for them...

            M.

            1. sad_loser

              Re: Google are cunts

              Agree

              The best thing about Firefox is AdNauseum.

              Not serving their ads is not enough, pissing in Google's swimming pool by clicking on all the ads in the background.

              Download and enjoy!

              FF + Adnauseum + NoScript +/- privacy badger + delete cookies on exit = happiness

              1. P.B. Lecavalier

                Re: Google are cunts

                You sir have summarized how to KonMari your browser: get rid of what does not bring joy.

              2. tcmonkey
                Pint

                Re: Google are cunts

                Have one on me for introducing me to Adnauseum -->

              3. ATeal

                Re: Google are cunts

                Doesn't that just get them money?

            2. ShadowDragon8685

              Re: Google are cunts

              > It works well enough with Firefox, but having Chrome reserved for G-Docs editing (oh, and using Wawa's nutrition food calculator,) lets me save those functions just for that browser, making it easier to grab on my task-bar.

              1. Bongwater

                Re: Google are cunts

                Wawa is amazing, just wanted to mention that.

              2. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: Google are cunts

                >lets me save those functions just for that browser, making it easier to grab on my task-bar.

                Yes, I use multiple browsers as it would seem to be the only way to easily have toolbars customised to particular activities (eg. work, client project, home, etc). Also, it means caches, history and logs are separate, which at times can be useful.

        2. E_Nigma

          Re: Google are cunts

          Gah! I guess going back to Firefox will be the way to go, but I so dislike the idea that it hadn't even occurred to me until I read the comment. Nothing personal, but, for several years, it just hasn't sat well with me. I'm using Opera, BTW, and also have some love for what the team behind Vivaldi is doing, but since those too uses Chromium, my guess is that they will be just as affected.

          EDIT: I was wondering for quite some time until when was Google going to be allowing ad blockers. I guess I got my answer.

          1. cmaurand

            Re: Google are cunts

            I have never been able to understand why the ad blockers ever blocked anything rather than redirecting the content to /dev/null. That way the upstream never knows if the ad gets shown or not. Then Google wouldn't be trying so hard to force feed us ads. Look for people to start running ad-blocking proxies. Yet another layer.

            1. muhfugen

              Re: Google are cunts

              Because that content would still take up resources of one kind or another.

            2. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Google are cunts

              Because downloading the ads takes time, uses bandwidth, and possibly costs money.

              Even if you are on a very fast connection, the ad servers often are not very fast, because when you start the download, they spend time auctioning off the space to the highest bidder which takes time.

            3. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: Google are cunts

              Run my own "ad-blocking proxy" here (OpenVPN + PiHole).

              Don't mind static ads, even picture static ads. Hate video ads (including animated gifs) and it's thanks to them on El Reg that I started blocking ads.

              At times I've had very limited bandwitdh, either speed or amount. A static text ad uses 0.0001% of a page whereas video ads might be 90%. But I'm not there to watch video ads and they are so annoying there's many brands I will never visit because of their annoying video ads, so I am doing people favours by blocking them.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google are cunts

          Would that be the same Firefox that bundled in viral marketing for Mr Robot, ads for Booking.com and made other questionable choices? Not sure they're in a good position to claim the moral high-ground here.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Google are cunts

            Hmm, massive global advertising scam and tracking across pretty much every site on the net vs bundling some ads in an installer and "other questionable choices".

            Yeah, that's a really difficult choice if you have no sense of perspective.

        4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Ian Re: Google are cunts

          I have Chrome only for sites that don't work well w my Firefox, NoScript, AdBloc, uBlock mix.

          Or for clients who use it and I need to be compatible....

          My default browser is Firefox and of course being a Mac user, I have Safari.

          The only place Firefox is lacking is on the iPad Pro. (Yes I have one... but I'm not a fanboi, It really helps out in the day job...)

          Google is definitely evil. They have intent and are not clueless. Congress is clueless. I for one would love to talk to them about the dangers of 'big data' and how Google has a monopoly and will have a monopoly on search...

          Again, sites are getting a clue about adblockers. They check and then tell us that we're running an ad blocker and then refuse to let us see their content. Fair enough. I don't go to their site? Am I a freetard? No, I just believe that the value of their content is $0.00 USD. When I see value... like the WSJ, I pay for it.

          Now why won't El Reg ever write an article about why major sites still have Google Analytics on them when they can easily do their own analytics themselves?

          1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

            Re: @Ian Google are cunts

            Firefox is generally alright on the desktop. On Android it's awful. Facebook and other sites frequently fail to load elements, and it's necessary to do a manual page refresh.

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: @Ian Google are cunts

              Firefox is generally alright on the desktop. On Android it's awful.

              I'm running Fennec on my original (early 2014) MotoG under LineageOS with the same add-on mix (NoScript/PrivacyBadger/HTTPSEverywhere) as Firefox on the desktop. It's a bit slow, and the 1GB RAM does mean that multiple tabs end up being 'paged out' and reloading when you switch back, but it seems perfectly usable other than being a little tight on screen space in my prefered layout. On my son's much newer MotoG5s (or whatever it is) with faster processor and a lot more RAM, it's an almost desktop-like experience.

              M.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: @Ian Google are cunts

              "Firefox is generally alright on the desktop. On Android it's awful. Facebook and other sites frequently fail to load elements, and it's necessary to do a manual page refresh."

              I've never seen those symptoms on my Androis phone. Maybe I don't use the kind of sites where the errors occur. I don't use Facebook at all, so neither their site not app ever appears on the screen anyway.

            3. Kiwi Silver badge
              Go

              Re: @Ian Google are cunts

              Try Waterfox or Duckduckgo's browser on Android.

              Or the Adblock browser.

              I like WF as it seems to allow you to set a default of "Request desktop site". On my 10" tablet I can hold it at arm's length and completely block out my 46" that's across the room, so why would I need to view a 'mobile' site designed for a much smaller screen?

              DDG has the obvious privacy elements, fairly decent tab handling and a quick "clear all data" option. But it doesn't have an always-on default of requesting a desktop site.

          2. sabroni Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: why won't El Reg ever write an article about why major sites still have Google Analytics on them

            I went to pay my fucking car tax and HM Gov wanted to tell Google Analytics about it. On a fucking government website. Fucking Clueless!!!!!

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: why won't El Reg ever write an article about why major sites still have Google Analytics on them

              I went to pay my fucking car tax and HM Gov wanted to tell Google Analytics about it. On a fucking government website. Fucking Clueless!!!!!

              It could be worse.

              I went to do our equiv of that here, and the gubbermint site uses (and reccomends) a thing called "Poli".

              This is a 3rd party that you give your banking credentials to and they manage the payment for you. And yes, I do mean your ID and password and any other necessary details so they can log in to your account as you and withdraw money.

              The government says "It's fine, we trust them". The banking ombudsman says "Wha? Duh.. Erm.. I dunno. Sorry come back with something less hard".

              The banks say "WTF???? This is NOT OK at all, and is a breach of your contract if you use it!".

              I think I'd rather analtics over poli!

              1. Scott 26

                Re: why won't El Reg ever write an article about why major sites still have Google Analytics on them

                >I went to do our equiv of that here,

                >and the gubbermint site uses

                >(and reccomends) a thing called "Poli".

                I was on the NZTA site last night and saw that POLi link - I ignored it and paid by CC.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google are cunts

          I used Firefox for years but on Android it is awful, tried too hard to look/behave like Android Chrome, was just easier to use Chrome.

        6. Cavehomme_

          Re: Google are cunts

          Now fully removed Chrome and no longer use Android. Back with Firefox and even a version of it for iOS.

          1. John Lilburne Silver badge

            Re: Google are cunts

            The problem with FF is that FF57 broke the extensions I use. So I'm remaining with FF56 for the rest of time.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Angel

              Re: Google are cunts

              The problem with FF is that FF57 broke the extensions I use.

              Waterfox may well be your friend.

            2. thosrtanner

              Re: Google are cunts

              Still using palemoon here. adblock, ublock origin and noscript work fine. It doesn't have webextensions but I've yet to find a problem with that.

        7. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Google are ...

          ..illustrating the value of there being many providers of a given technology rather than one or two.

          [edited the title because I'd rather not use *that* word even for morally-ambiguous internet robber-barons]

          1. anonymousI
            Devil

            Re: Google are ...

            Quite right too. They should of course be more properly be referred to as:

            Criminally

            Unprincipled

            Net

            Thieving

            Sods.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        Why cue the lawyers?

        Chromium is open source, Google's lawyers will point that out and say "if you don't like it, fork it". Google is evil, this move is evil, but it is not illegal in any way.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Why cue the lawyers?

          Then fork the bloody thing. This is typed and submitted through a forked version of firefox which was forked mostly because people didn't like the ongoing arbitary decisions about what the users would like. The users (and developers) were basically told "if you don't like it then make your own version", so they did.

          It may well in fact be illegal, because they are doing a Microsoft and acting anti competitively.

          1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

            Re: Why cue the lawyers?

            This is a good point, especially since the change is being made to the open source version.

            But I'm already on Pale Moon here anyway...

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @DougS ... Re: Why cue the lawyers?

          Ah good question...

          What do you call a company that controls the ad networks and now wants to limit ad blockers on a product that they control. What alternatives are there and what percentage of the market uses Chrome?

          Google is a product of their own success.

          Being 'Open Source' is not relevant. A good lawyer would tear that defense to shreds.

          Like I said cue the lawyers.

          Imagine if a Jehovah's Witness could not only knock on your door, but had a skeleton key, could walk in to your house and force you to hear their message? And you don't have the option of putting a lock on your door because the Jehovah Witness won't allow it.

          Add to this the fact that some of the lock companies that you use also gets money from the Jehovah Witnesses to give them a skeleton key so that they can come in to your house to preach to you.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Why cue the lawyers?

          "if you don't like it, fork it"

          And very likely to happen if they go ahead.

          1. Phlip

            Re: Why cue the lawyers?

            Or go back to WebKit?

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Google are cunts

        Of course... most websites are getting wise and are limiting access to content when you use a tool like No Script which will also block ads.

        When I come a cross a web site that won't work with noscript enabled, the first thing I do is look to see what domains are being blocked. A handy guide is that if there are more than a handful that you need to unblock (such as the site's own domain and maybe a cdn or two) to get the site to function, then the site is not there for your benefit, but exists solely to push advertising crap into your face. At this point, I go elsewhere.

        Most often, the worse perpetrators seem to be 'news' websites from tabloids and local rags. I take it as an indicator that the site in question is not a reliable news source (i.e. clickbait), and if I'm actually interested in the story in question, I look elsewhere. It's always best to try and find the primary sources anyway.

        1. brym

          Re: Google are cunts

          This saddens me. We don't all write bs JavaScript.

          1. Baldrickk Silver badge

            Re: Google are cunts

            That's fine then, your site gets its scripts allowed.

          2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Google are cunts

            This saddens me. We don't all write bs JavaScript.

            I'm not saying you do. I'm saying that if you have a site, let's call it xyz.com, if that site has scripts running from it's own domain, and some obvious related domains (say, xyz.cdn.com, xyzcontent.co.uk, or whatever), those are fine. If I pop down the noscript menu, and I see you're also trying to run scripts from 30 other domains such as creeptyadtracker.com, google analytics, facebook, bobsmarketresearch.co.uk et al I'm going to move along and probably never visit your site again.

            If I have to unblock some likely looking domains, reload the site, unblock some more, reload, and so on before the content even loads, then this shows that either the site is poorly designed (pulling in scripts from all sorts of places, which in turn try to pull in other scripts when run means you have no real control over their content), or, more likley, deliberately written in such as way so to make people give up and click "allow-all". To do so is a conscious design choice from the site's developer, and is done in their interests, and against mine. It's also a fair indicator that the marketeers are in control of the site, and it'll have little in the way of genuine content anyway.

            1. Numpty Muppet

              Re: Nice

              "To do so is a conscious design choice" .. dont know about that. some dev teams (web or otherwise) don't always know there are options,

          3. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Google are cunts

            Yes, not all JS is bogus -- but it's impossible to tell which is bogus and which isn't from the outside, so I block it all. The right thing for web devs to do is nothing more than engage in good design practice: make sure that your site fails gracefully, so if the JS doesn't work, your site doesn't become worthless.

          4. cosmodrome

            Re: Google are cunts

            What else? I thought bs# was dead?

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @Loyal Commenter Re: Google are cunts

          Yup.

          Its a pain.

          But then again I don't get a bunch of ads hitting me in the face.

          I do get some, but its not that annoying or annoying enough to figure out how they got thru.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google are cunts

        exactly! Google are evil, cunts are not. Cunts are... er... well... NOT evil, that's for sure!

      5. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Google are cunts

        ...cue the lawyers. Its a slam dunk anti-trust class action lawsuit waiting to happen.

        I was wondering how long it would be until Google got caught out abusing its monopoly. When it was announced that Microsoft was going to switch to using Chromium, I thought we had hit the tipping point. This confirms my suspicion.

        1. LDS Silver badge
          Joke

          I thought we had hit the tipping point.

          Just wait for the Microsoft-Google merger... it looks that Nadella and Pichai are a little too friendly, lately... where are they really going to?

      6. TheGriz
        Megaphone

        FireFox is the Only bastion of Freedom Inspired Internet Left

        The title says it all.

      7. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Google are cunts

        "The truth.Switch to Firefox."

        Until that, too, does the same thing. What happened in 57 is a case where plugins were deliberately broken. Once money is involved, it'll happen with FF, too.

        "most websites are getting wise and are limiting access to content when you use a tool like No Script which will also block ads"

        No, just certain hosters do this by putting the re-direct in a script when you first load "the thing". then you get that stupid 'Forbidden' error page instead of the content. So I'll either look at google's cached version, a web archive version, or "not at all" in response to their STUPIDITY.

        If they want MY business, they need to stop PUTTING SCRIPT IN ADS, for starters. The problem is the PREVALENCE OF SCRIPTING in web pages. THAT needs to GO! AWAY! !!!

    2. ParasiteParty

      Re: Google are cunts

      Agreed.

      We use http://www.abelhadigital.com/hostsman/ to block ad servers at the DNS level. So fuck them.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Google are cunts

        Agreed.

        We use http://www.abelhadigital.com/hostsman/ to block ad servers at the DNS level. So fuck them.

        PiHole on the DNS server here, and OpenVPN + PiHole for when I'm elsewhere. With a few added extra blocks.

        But thanks for pointing me to an alternative - nice to know of other options :)

        1. Anne-Lise Pasch

          Re: Google are cunts

          Similar:

          http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

          Been using them for a decade now.

          1. Gyurik

            Re: Google are cunts

            Actually Chrome can circumvent hosts file somehow: I am not able to block the advert sites when I'm using Chrome. With other browsers adverts are not displayed, when using Chrome it does show ads.

            Without a proper adblocker these advert sites are simply not blockable in Chrome... I'm using it only in my workplace due to administrative restrictions. This also says something: cookies are forbidden in our company, Chrome does save them... somehow :)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Google are cunts

              Gyurik,

              Chrome simply uses its own dns which does not *need* to take any notice of your host file.

              Typically this is 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.

              This is particularly noticable on android although this can be worked around !!!

              I filter and redirect any attempt to use 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4 on my router.

              If you have an Asus router see https://www.snbforums.com/threads/diversion-the-router-ad-blocker.48538/

              Also https://kazoo.ga/pixelserv-tls/ and https://github.com/jedisct1/dnscrypt-proxy

              All together gives you *lots* of control over ads and undesirable IP's etc.

              Filters everything at the router and makes browsing much much more pleasurable and faster.

      2. Paul Martin

        Re: Google are crafty

        Google will counter that by using DNS over HTTPS (RFC8484) or DNS over TLS (RFC7858) instead.

        1. muhfugen

          Re: Google are crafty

          Because SSL inspection isnt common on any modern firewall?

          1. Chris Hills

            Re: Google are crafty

            TLS v1.3 will render these middle boxes useless.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Google are crafty

              >TLS v1.3 will render these middle boxes useless.

              Actually, the increasing use of SSL/HTTPS has already rendered the more functional personal firewalls useless.

              When (HTTP) traffic was unencrypted, the personal firewall could perform deep packet inspection and rewrite URL's, javascript, images etc. With HTTP traffic being encrypted by the browser, the personal firewall only sees the encrypted traffic, so all that is available to it to inspect are the DNS requests/responses.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Google are crafty

          And I will counter that (I've already put this in place due to Firefox's DoH) by implementing a MITM packet inspector.

        3. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Google are crafty

          Google will counter that by using DNS over HTTPS (RFC8484) or DNS over TLS (RFC7858) instead.

          Which I counter by not running their programs and running my own DNS server and shitcanning suspect IP at the firewall level.

          IP6 could be an issue. But I think I'll just make sure my guest network is IP4 only, or I do't have a guest network - if you want Wifi at my home you do it my way or not at all.

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Google are cunts

      you lot are a bitter bunch of cunts. Googles gives you:

      The greatest search engine in the world

      Free google drive gigabytes,

      Google earth - they photograph the entire planet for you

      A free mobile phone OS, you'd all be on iTings otherwise

      A fast free broswer...

      A free email service

      Calendars...

      They keep Youtube running for you ...

      all of that FOR FREE

      and all you do is bitch and moan about a bit of data collection,

      and that that ads are "relevent"

      If you dont like it fuck off and never use a google service again - make sure you get the full list of what you cant use.

      good luck with BING.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google are cunts

        no, google doesn't give *me* that stuff as i have a bunch of free alternatives for all the things you describe.

        its more accurate for you to say that google gives *you* that stuff and stop projecting your use case onto everyone else.

        keep choking on that google love stick.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Google are cunts

          whats your free alternative search engine? bing?

          is it really worth using that shit just so google dont get your search stat?

          1. Toni the terrible

            Re: Google are cunts

            there are other free search engines apart from Bing and Google, some even dont collect your data.

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: Google are cunts

              yeah, I'm sure there are , but how effective are they?

              https://www.dogpile.com/

              1. fung0

                Re: Google are cunts

                I switched to DuckDuckGo years ago, and have never failed to find what I'm looking for. Once in a while I use the !g ('bang-g') option to search via Google (anonymously), and I've never yet found any magic link that DDG missed.

                Easy and painless. Anyone still using Google (directly) needs to explain themselves.

              2. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Devil

                Re: Google are cunts

                how effective are non-google search engines? Well, 99% of the time I'm using 'duckduckgo' and only occasionally do I re-enter a query for google, and when I do, I don't log in with any kind of google login. So it's as anonymous as can be (and I assume they're watching everything I do).

                Occasionally I'll pollute their metrics by making scripted requests of things that should cause red flags to appear someplace... heh heh heh

                1. DougS Silver badge

                  Re: Google are cunts

                  Yep I agree with bombastic bob here, DDG does what I need almost all of the time. I'll do the "!g" thing when I don't find what I was hoping to find, but usually I won't find it at Google either so I'll need to refine my search terms or give up. Not saying Google's results aren't better - they have orders of magnitude more dollars to throw at the problem, after all. But they aren't anywhere near better enough to be worth the price they ask, at least not to me.

                  The idea that Google gives me all these free things so I just should bent over and spread it for them to go up to their elbow collecting my "data" is moronic. I think the laws should be changed so that people are in control of their data and must OPT IN to such data collection. People who feel the google love in their nether regions can click "yes please may I have another!" and enjoy all the free services Google offers. Those of who don't will have the right to say no, and they'll be liable if they do it anyway against my expressed non-consent. In the meantime I avoid the problem as best I can by using DDG, iPhone, Firefox, uBlock Origin etc. to minimize my exposure to Google.

              3. Updraft102 Silver badge

                Re: Google are cunts

                Startpage searches Google and gives you the same results, but with no tracking. Any other questions?

            2. cmaurand

              Re: Google are cunts

              If you're using Google's browser, they're getting your search data. You don't honestly think the browser is not sending your search data to Google do you? and what about DNS or HTTPS? Not only do they get your search data, they're going to get all your DNS data, too. You don't thing Google or Cloudflare are offering free public DNS for nothing do you? I won't even get into the fact that both of those services don't update when they should and have very high latency. Soon Google won't allow you to override the dns over https settings. I don't have any trouble with Firefox, though they signed on the the DNS or HTTPS, too. You can disable it. I run my own resolvers locally.

              1. DougS Silver badge

                Re: Google are cunts

                Yes I also run my own caching server on my router, and use the more private resolvers - not Google's!

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Google are cunts

            I use DuckDuckGo, and to be honest, Google search has been declining in quality for years now. It was a couple of years back that DDG and Google became roughly comparable in quality for me.

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @Troll ... Re: Google are cunts

        And your mom gave me an STD ...

        So what's your point?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "all of that FOR FREE"

        Whoopdy-doo, all of that stuff "FOR FREE" ?

        Its run by an American commercial company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

        Tell me my friend, when was the last time you saw a 110% capitalist enterprise give away free stuff (beyond a few t-shirts or badges) out of the goodness of their hearts ?

        Someone's paying for it. And that someone is you my friend, with your data.

        Have you not heard the old saying "Google is an advertising company that happens to run a search engine".

        Trust me, they are "monetising" your data like there's no tomorrow.

        It just like Jeremy Corbyn and his magic money tree .... where the hell do all the Corbinistas think all the money is coming from to provide free this and free that and free everything bloody else .... whilst at the same time increasing the pay of those working in the public sector providing it ....

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: "all of that FOR FREE"

          yeah i know google arnt doing it for fun.

          I really dont give a shit if they monetize my data.

          I've got more data to give away than cash.

      4. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Google are cunts

        "If you dont like it fuck off and never use a google service again"

        I'm way ahead of you! I've been doing that for a long time, because fuck the evil bastards at Google.

        The problem is that doing that STILL doesn't let me escape Google's spying ways.

      5. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Google are cunts

        "Googles gives you:" (snip details) "all of that FOR FREE"

        Not "for free". When our personal data and privacy are "the commodity", that's the cost of using their services.

        Far from 'FREE'. Although, they DO give that particular perception of 'free', don't they? At least, on the surface...

      6. steve 124

        Re: Google are cunts

        I really hope that was meant to be sarcastic. Otherwise, Google and Prst. V.Jeltz are both cunts.

        Google doesn't give us anything. The services you listed aren't free. They are paid for by the ad revenue which is generated BECAUSE of these services. The services are the carrots that draw the herd, which Google then shears, sells the wool to get money, to buy more carrots.... of course, they only spend a small fraction of the wool money on carrots. The problem with the under 30 crowd is they actually thing there is such a thing as "free" (I guess because they grew up with the internet "giving" them stuff their whole life).

        When I grew up in the 70s we had something called Encyclopedias. They charged a TON of money for these books because there was no ad revenue being generated by the books themselves. They sold the books to pay for the research going into to making the next edition of them, which they would then sell next year. I know that seems weird but honest to God, that's how we "googled" stuff back then. No one wants to pay for the internet stuff.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Google are cunts

          I really hope that was meant to be sarcastic

          I think the use of the Troll icon makes that obvious :)

          (@Prst. V.Jeltz - going by the responses I think you may be in for the "best obvious troll on El Reg" award for the year, maybe the decade!)

      7. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Google are cunts

        Google gives away nothing for free. They are not a charity. They lure people in with claims of free stuff, and while you're there, they pick your pocket enough to not only pay for the "free" content, but to make massive profits on top of it. They would not be able to turn a profit offering costly services for "free" if they were actually free. The data they take without asking is valuable, and a service that does that isn't free, it's bait.

        Ads are one thing, but using my CPU power and my electricity to power trackers to do something I don't want done even if it didn't have to steal my resources to do it is too much.

        When I used to read paper magazines regularly, I didn't mind the ads... in fact, they were part of the attraction. I wanted to know which company was selling the products I was interested in, and for what price. The ads were targeted only in the sense that if I was reading a PC magazine, the ads were thought by the advertisers to be relevant to readers of PC magazines. Somehow, though, without mining data about me and observing me at all, those ads managed to be far more relevant than anything I have seen on the internet.

        It looks to me that using all of the data collected for advertising purposes is a huge sham, and the real money is not in using that data to generate sales, but in selling that data to others who think they can use it to generate sales. Google isn't just fleecing the users of their "free" services... they're also fleecing the advertisers, who have been led to believe that Google's targeted ads work so much better than the old-fashioned, un-targeted print ads of the olden days. As long as Google can keep them believing that, the money will keep rolling in.

        I bought a lot of things as a result of those print ads back in the day, and those ads never tracked me. They never moved over on the page and blocked the content I was trying to read. They never made noise and they never had distracting animations. They never bogged down the magazine so that turning the page took several minutes rather than seconds. They never delivered a virus that would spread to all my other magazines and make them hard to read too. How could those old print ads have been effective without all of that stuff? It seems a given now that if you want to get results, you need really obnoxious ads that do all of the things that print ads never could.

        If Google and the others are willing to return to that kind of ad, I will consider unblocking them, but as long as I go to a site and see trackers and other malevolent scripts trying to run, that's not happening.

        That doesn't matter, though; Google doesn't care whether the ads they sling actually work. All they care about is that their customers (advertisers) believe that the ads work.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Google are cunts

          It seems a given now that if you want to get results, you need really obnoxious ads that do all of the things that print ads never could.

          For me, if your ad leaves a bad taste in my mouth that's the impression I have of your company. I don't return.

          I am more likely to respond to a plain text ad (maybe with a photo of the product) than I am to anything distracting. It's trivial to make the content flow around the ad. A site can have a pool of advertisers with a bit of PHP to display an add on a page at random, and you can make a simple counter internal to the server to tell how often an add has been loaded. The advertising client could provide their own picture if they really wanted their own counter, but it must be static and not distracting form the content.

          I'm teaching people to look for cached/archived versions of pages instead of allowing the ads to inhibit content, and teaching people that there's a couple of big alternatives to companies who annoy you with ads - 1) their competition probably has an equivalent product and 2) maybe you don't actually need it anyway.

        2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Google are cunts

          "CPU power and my electricity to power trackers" ....

          jesus christ , if you are that bothered about the electricity used by every clock cycle in your cpu you would spend your entire life examining every process running and tuning or deleting it .

          And as soon as you finished it'd be time for a new computer and you'd start again.

      8. Kiwi Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Google are cunts

        The greatest search engine in the world

        May once have been, now just the biggest piece of spyware.

        Free google drive gigabytes,

        Check the T&Cs. Those documents you stored there? They have a right to use them as they wish, forever. If they wish to make derivative works and sell it, that's their right - you gave it to them. Those photos you were storing there planning to sell later? You no longer own the copyright to them, Google does. Nothing "free" about it, they trawl the data for what pleases them to use.

        Google earth - they photograph the entire planet for you

        I don't actually think having some creepy guy riding past my house with a camera on his bike helmet that took photos of me while I was working on a friend's motorbike was a good thing. (https://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/apps/108237074/lower-hutt-is-the-secondmost-photographed-place-in-the-world-on-google-street-view). Nor do I think their taking record of my WiFi details - illegally - was a good thing either. What I do in the privacy of my yard is my business.

        A free mobile phone OS, you'd all be on iTings otherwise

        Show's how little you know. I use neither for my phone.

        A fast free broswer...

        Nope, it's based on Chromium - ie someone else's work. I don't know whether it is 'fast' or not. Clearly it is not 'free' as it appears they wish to do everything they can to subvert any tools I would use to make my internet experience tolerable.

        A free email service

        Again, see the T&Cs - NOT free.

        Calendars...

        Do they? I use the ones I get from my own cloud server (Nextcloud). Don't have any desire to have 'others' sniffing my appointments or plans looking for whatever they can market.

        They keep Youtube running for you ...

        I think the demise of YT would probably be the best thing to happen to this planet since the first coming of our Saviour. The only thing that could be better would be the return of the King, or maybe the invention of Mr Fusion.

        But a nice troll where I should've checked the icon before typing all this out. Have a well-deserved and sadly-lacking upvote! :)s

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google are cunts

          "Those photos you were storing there planning to sell later? You no longer own the copyright to them, Google does"

          Err...that is a terminological inexactitude.

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/05/29/google_photos_terms_of_service/

          and more recent

          https://www.lifewire.com/google-terms-of-service-and-copyright-1616178

      9. HandleAlreadyTaken

        Re: Google are cunts

        >If you dont like it fuck off and never use a google service again

        If only it were that simple... Unfortunately, Google will not stop tracking you, no matter whether you use their services or not. There is no way to opt out of the stalking - online or in real life.

        Any number of non-Google web sites (such as, to pick a completely random example, theregister.co.uk) will call google-analytics.com, googletagservices.com, googleapis.com, gstatic.com, or who knows what other Google properties, and snitch on you. At least in the USA, Google buys or otherwise collects more than two thirds of the credit card transactions you make in brick and mortar stores. Any breath you take, any move you make, they'll be watching you.

    4. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Google are cunts

      You took your time.

    5. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Google are cunts

      Computer Users Non Technical? Yes I agree.

      They already make advert blockers ineffective on mobile and have banned the one app that works. You can download it directly from block-this.com

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So predictable !

    Oh what it is to be a freetard !

    With Google, its always the same thing ....

    "Use this great free <search engine / email / web browser> "

    "No, really, use this really great <x>"

    "No, seriously, its really good, better than the competition "

    "Oh, didn't we tell you we actually sell your unborn child when you're not looking ? Sorry about that, the legal team put it in the terms and conditions that you agreed to, but somehow marketing and the UX designers forgot to mention it on the front end"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So predictable !

      Lame. They don't sell your information. You really don't know how things work and clearly don't understand anonymised data (which Apple. Microsoft, Facebook and every else are doing).

      The fact ABP stillmworks here should tell you this is yet another El Reg classic storm in a teacup, intended to outrage clueless idiots, which it clearly has achieved

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: So predictable !

        "You really don't know how things work and clearly don't understand anonymised data "

        See icon -->

        You should really tag sarcastic jokes if you post anonymously, you almost had me going there for a second :)

        Oh wait, you were serious? Wow. Perhaps you wouldn't mind citing a few examples of 'anonymised data' so we can all take a good look at this rarely sighted phenomenon.

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: So predictable !

        "They don't sell your information. You really don't know how things work and clearly don't understand anonymised data"

        So they don't sell your data, they just sell your data? Word to the wise - anonymised data can still identify you, and at least Google, Netflix, and Facebook are aware of this.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          Re: So predictable !

          They don't sell your data, they just sell data..

          You never owned it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So predictable !

          And you know this how? Because the internet told you? Google privacy policy is very clear on what they sell, and it's NOT personal data. It's been scrutinized by every man and his dog...

          1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: So predictable !

            "Google privacy policy is very clear on what they sell, and it's NOT personal data"

            Yes, Google would never violate people's privacy for profit like, say, hoovering up the WiFi details of millions of people.

            Google has tonnes of information on people, and even if they're not anonymising it and selling it, they're still giving it directly to the NSA, who then leak it or share it with other agencies who could be reselling or leaking it.

            Do NOT use Google.

            1. Eric Olson

              Re: So predictable !

              Actually, I believe they don't sell your personal data. In fact, I think it would be lunacy if they did. There's a simple reason, too: Profit.

              Someone else mentioned this the other day, but that's probably the truth of it. If I'm OmniCorp A, and my product, the Widgetizer, is targeted towards Millennials with interests in underwater basketweaving, I don't know who that is in a given population. But Google does. And Google will charge a nominal fee to target that population rather than just Millennials. If Google starts to sell that dataset, even an anomonyzed one, companies won't need to go to them. They'll directly target the websites, search results, and other places such people frequent, and cut Google out from the middle. Selling the data would completely destroy Google's profit margin.

              He who controls the data controls the internet.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: So predictable !

                I think this is something many don't understand: Google sell *you*(1), not your data. They have many methods, several of them devious (I finally stopped using Chrome after the recent automatic login nonsense) for collecting data about you, but if Google sell that data, you become valueless to Google. Note that I'm no fan of Google's data collection practices, in fact I've used DuckDuckGo instead of Google search for years in order to limit what Google knows about me.

                (1) You in this case is a person identical to you, who advertisers and others can target, via Google's services (for which they pay Google,) but without those advertisers and others actually knowing who you are - so they can't bypass Google and target you directly.

                1. 's water music Silver badge
                  Trollface

                  Re: So predictable !

                  ...Google sell *you*(1), not your data. ...

                  (1) You in this case is a person identical to you, who advertisers and others can target, via Google's services (for which they pay Google,) but without those advertisers and others actually knowing who you are - so they can't bypass Google and target you directly.

                  Dear Google (if that is your real name), I, 's water: of the music family, a flesh and blood human being in possession of a sovereign and individual spirit, a living soul, do hereby make Oath and state the following:

                  [cont. p94]

          2. LDS Silver badge

            "Google privacy policy is very clear on what they sell, and it's NOT personal data"

            Google is not so stupid to give away the original data, because if it does, those with the data can do a lot without any need to pay Google more - just look at CA. FB was probably more furious they were able to "steal" its data, not about what they did with them.

            Google will sell advertisers the use of some anonymized/aggregated data computed from the original personal data which Google collects, stores, and analyzes as it likes - and on which it can perform any analyses it likes to make its business more lucrative.

            In many ways, the fewer controls the data, the more powerful they become.

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: So predictable !

            "It's been scrutinized by every man and his dog"

            It's also been scrutinised by CNIL, the French data protection regulator. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/21/google_50m_cnil_gdpr/

            Must try harder.

          4. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: So predictable !

        You really don't know how things work and clearly don't understand anonymised data

        Quite right.

        They'll never sell your name.

        ...just your address, sexual preferences, shopping habits, age, height, shoe size, socio-economic grouping, DNA profile...

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: So predictable !

          great. as long as i get free services , crack on.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            "great. as long as i get free services"!

            You have a strange meaning of "free".

      4. Nattrash

        Re: So predictable !

        Lame. They don't sell your information.

        Hummm, so you mean that they call Google the Chocolate Factory because they really make all their money with chocolate? Do they have with nuts?

        Oh Ac, and if this is winding down to a "freetard" and "buy for" discussion; if you pay for something, it becomes property, for you to do with what you want. But I understand you are a "lease-subscription-until-you-die-unless -we-get-bored-of-you-and-pull-your-plug-instead-tard"?

        I notice I get more and more fed up by people/ companies telling me what is best for me. Now, for me personally, I'm arrogant enough to make it water of a ducks back. But I already fear the numerous questions "why do I keep seeing those ads for fluffy piggy slippers? Can you make it like it was before?"

        Hope this works out for Gorhill though. His code is really, really good...

      5. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: So predictable !

        "They don't sell your information"

        This is a meaningless statement. I don't care if they sell the information or not. That they collect it without my consent is the problem.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: So predictable !

      didn't we tell you we actually sell your unborn child when you're not looking ?

      I refer the honourable gentleman to the episode Friendface of The IT Crowd. Some of us were predicting this years ago. Even non-techy types like Graham Linehan

      Yes, ironic use of Youtube noted ;-)

      M.

  3. JoelLkins

    Go for it, Google!

    The moment my "Chrome Experience" devolves into a hot mess of pulsating ads, that's when I start using another browser (Firefox, Opera, Safari...)

    BRING IT.

    1. Remy Redert

      Re: Go for it, Google!

      Opera is Chromium. If this change gets pushed, they're dead in the water too. Firefox and Safari should still work though.

      1. petef

        Re: Go for it, Google!

        Yes, Opera is based on Chromium but its ad blocker is part of the browser not an extension.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Go for it, Google!

        "Opera is Chromium. If this change gets pushed, they're dead in the water too."

        Opera hasn't always been Chromium. They could be something else - they could even go back to writing their own engine or fork Chromium.

    2. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Go for it, Google!

      Sadly, Opera is a variation of Chromium. Cross that one off.

    3. emullinsabq
      Mushroom

      Re: Go for it, Google!

      I'm finally down to two browsers. Chromium is one, but not the main one. It's mostly for convenience as Palemoon does what I want, does it well, and is never in my face with change(knock on wood). Go down this path, Google, and 'apt remove chromium' gets me down to one browser in a hurry.

    4. raving angry loony

      Re: Go for it, Google!

      Having a reasonably good time with Waterfox + uBlock (+ a bunch of other tools).

      As I keep saying. I don't block ads. I block privacy-destroying cross-site trackers. If they decide to hang their ads off that, it's not my problem. If the content providers want me to see ads, all they have to do is run ads on their site. I see images no problem, nothing stopping them from running ads. Locally. Without tracking me. Anonymised? Sure, and the way they do it can be de-anonymised all too easily, especially by social networks and those with huge number of other data points. Anyone who says different is either a fraudulent shill or an ignorant shill.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: running ads. Locally. Without tracking me

        Realistically all you can do is block ad site cookies to defend against this. The ad site has to serve the ad or they aren't paying the host site. So your browser has to request an asset from the ad site and send all the browser footprint info it normally does. They can't track you directly but they know your source ip, user agent and a whole load of other stuff.

        There is no way anyone is paying a site owner lots of cash because they promise on their life that they definitely served loads of ads to people.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Go for it, Google!

        "I don't block ads."

        I salute your courage.

        If the site hosts the ads itself then they can and should take care to keep malware out of them to avoid being sued into oblivion.

        If an ad network does that they'll probably continue to get away with it because it's harder to prove a case against them.

        1. raving angry loony

          Re: Go for it, Google!

          Ads don't need scripting. They can be just images. Servers can track how often they served up the image.

          If advertisers don't trust those serving the ads, how are we supposed to trust the advertisers? Especially when it's been repeatedly demonstrated that yes, they DO track people across sites, they DO track behaviour, they DO destroy expectations of privacy, and they DO serve up malware with their poor quality easily hijacked scripts.

  4. JohnFen Silver badge

    Nope

    That sort of change would be a dealbreaker for me. Not that it actually matters, though, since I avoid Chrome or Chromium-based browsers in the first place...

  5. Sureo

    Run, don't walk away from these browsers. There are other good choices available.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Like Edge

      1. Tim99 Silver badge
        Joke

        If you weren't an AC you could have used the joke icon >>======>

      2. Steve K Silver badge

        At least it blocks AutoPlay now!

        One thing I can say for Edge (the current non-Chromium one) is that it can now block AutoPlay videos following the W10 1809 update...

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          Re: At least it blocks AutoPlay now!

          Disable HTML5 Autoplay Extension for Chrome, FTW

          (At least...it works now...)

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      .There are other good choices available. ...

      Perhaps, but fewer and fewer every year. If one doesn't like Firefox much either, the options seem to be becoming quite limited. Thanks to Javascript (Yechhh) and the insistence that we must all use https, even venerable tools like links can no longer access many sites.

      I'm thinking that in not very long at all, one's choice for Internet browsing is going to be down to chrome or firefox with maybe some variations in colors, imagery, and menus. Many view this as "Progress" (toward what destination?). Personally, I'm inclined to view it as the Internet going to hell in a handbasket.

      1. Jim Whitaker

        Progress?

        The only possible and consistent definition of "Progress" is that it is what happens as time increases. (I forget whose novel I remember that from, but consider yourself acknowledged.)

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Progress?

          "The only possible and consistent definition of "Progress" is that it is what happens as time increases."

          A tapeworm is "progress" compared to a free swimming flatworm.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I'm inclined to view it as the Internet going to hell in a handbasket."

        Welcome to the 21st century, as foreseen by Network 23 and Blank Reg (even before El Reg had a regular user registered under the name Blank Reg).

        The web is dead, the web browser is dead, everything you need and everything that is permitted will be delivered by proprietary "apps" over which the end user will in due course have even less conrol than today.

        Have we tried switching the Interweb off and on again? It usually works for IT stuff. You have to leave it switched off for a while though, otherwise it'll probably come back worse than it was before. Preferably long enough for the adflingers and the snake oil specialists and the antisocial networks to get into a bit of a problem with their cash flow, if you see what I mean.

        .

        Greed is good. You know it makes cents.

        Be seeing you.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: "I'm inclined to view it as the Internet going to hell in a handbasket."

          M..M...M.M..Max Headroom FTW!

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        Waterfox is still a good option. I figure that if Waterfox makes a change that results in it no longer being a good option, and I can't find any others, I'll just stay on the old version of Waterfox.

    3. VikiAi Bronze badge
      Thumb Down

      Even in the absence of good browser alternatives, I'd take a bad one over this!

  6. James 29

    Glad I still use Firefox, the last browser that hasn't waved the white flag to Google

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Glad I still use Firefox, the last browser that hasn't waved the white flag to Google

      Ahem, cough,splutter....

      https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2017/11/14/firefox-features-google-as-default-search-provider-in-the-u-s-canada-hong-kong-and-taiwan/

      Might not be a full-sized flag yet, but someone's got the white surrender handkerchief out already !

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Glad I still use Firefox, the last browser that hasn't waved the white flag to Google

        And how long does it take to change that to something like Startpage?

        About 5 seconds.

        Carry on there nothing new to report.

        With this and the changes to stop you getting at the bootloader, Google is fast building its own walled garden that might even be worse than Apple's. {Shudder}

    2. Ryan 7

      Waterfox, my friend

      It's the fork that still believes in why you started liking Firefox in the first place — but still gets the contemporary security updates.

      Download it, and never look back!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Waterfox, my friend

        But does it work properly ?

        Last time I begrudgingly followed someone's advice to "Download it, and never look back!" it was for the Brave browser.

        Only to find that their CORS implementation was completely broken and broke all sorts of website that otherwise worked properly in all the major browsers.

        I also didn't care much for Brave forcing their choice of photo and smug statistics on you when opening new pages (or whatever it was).

        As you might be able to tell by now, I did "look back" after downloading Brave. But it was looking at Brave in my rear-view mirror !

        1. ma1010 Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Waterfox, my friend

          I've used Waterfox on Linux since Firefox got the "Looks fugly and breaks your plugins" makeover. It's worked very well for me. Occasionally my bank's web site will whine about "you are using an unsupported browser," but the site works perfectly in Waterfox, as do all others I visit.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: Looks fugly and breaks your plugins

            That's the same update that got NoScript running on firefox mobile. That's worth all the fugliness and more.

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Waterfox, my friend

            "Occasionally my bank's web site will whine"

            I have a plugin that lets me change the browser ID string. That eliminated those annoying whines.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Waterfox, my friend

          "But does it work properly ?"

          I don't know about your use case, but I've been using it as my main driver for almost a year now, and it has worked perfectly for me.

          1. raving angry loony

            Re: Waterfox, my friend

            Yes, it seems to work "properly". And it plays nice with many of the privacy-enhancing tools out there, like uBlock, Privacy Badger and others.

        3. Craig100

          Re: Waterfox, my Brave friend

          I agree Brave WAS bad 6 months or more ago but I've been using it as my default browser on Linux Mint and Windows 10 for the last two months and am loving it. As a full time, freelance web dev, I'd notice if it misbehaved, and it hasn't (so far).

      2. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Waterfox, my friend

        I did actually try Waterfox and it promptly bungled both of the old add-ons I care about (ie. are absolute deal-breakers for anything other that an "if all else fails" browser). If they don't take old-add-on compatibility seriously, I seriously don't see the point of their existence...

        1. Drakkenson

          Re: Waterfox, my friend

          @DropBear

          You may want to try Basilisk, from the developers of Palemoon. It works with the old FF plugins, too...

      3. Trixr

        Re: Waterfox, my friend

        Waterfox is great, other than the fact I actually use the Pocket extension, have done so for years, and now it's baked into FF, it's no longer available as a separate add-on.

        The Waterfox dev refuses to make the Pocket extension togglable - fair enough, he's coding it, and he's simply ripping out the whole thing - but it was really really really disappointing.

        It's quite possible some coder would be able to figure out the way to hack the extension out of FF so that it could be installed into Waterfox, but I am not a coder. It would have been even nicer if FF hadn't baked it in, and it was still a separate add-on.

    3. dbtx Bronze badge

      Australis.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Classic Theme Restorer.

        1. dbtx Bronze badge

          Love it. Hope it remains useable, somehow.

          If Waterfox isn't working out for whatever raisin, I'll try going back to Palemoon (which I think is missing out on some neat options FF+CTR afforded you).

    4. Wade Burchette

      Firefox + NoScript is the way to go. On some website, I will find over 15 scripts from different websites. Loading such websites without NoScript on a Ryzen 7 and 100 MBPS connection can take quite a long time even with Firefox or Chrome; but with NoScript enabled ... it is Quicky McQuick.

      Let me give you just one example. These are the scripts on one website that are not from that website: ajax.googleapis.com, amazon-adsystem.com, blueconic.net, chartbeat.com, cloudfare.com, demdex.net, doubleclick.net, gigya.com, google-analytics.com, g-static.com, h-cdn.com, imasdk.googleapis.com, includemodal.com, isocrates.com, outbrain.com, titantv.com, and unequalbrake.com. (That last one is especially bad. It claims to detect DMCA violations, but what it really does it detect ad-blockers. I've seen a lot of those domains show up lately, ones of two unrelated words whose landing page says it is a DMCA check when in reality it is not. I block those at the router.)

      More to the point, why does any website need that many outside scripts? If my Ryzen is bogged down by websites, then I know much weaker computers are even more. Firefox + NoScript is almost a necessity to have a fast page load.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        scrips

        "More to the point, why does any website need that many outside scripts? "

        layers of crappy wordpress add-ons? (ok, that's why it happens, why it's "needed" is a different story)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Ryzen 7 and 100 MBPS" ... ha, kids these days. Noscript makes the modern web usable on this ancient 1st gen i3 with 4MB of RAM.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          An I3 system which can run with 4 MB of RAM - I'm impressed!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            re. i3 system

            My i3 runs on 16GB RAM, what's so strange about that?! :D

      3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Quick question...

        Why do so many websites use google analytics on their web pages?

        Like El Reg?

        I mean when you ask them...either they don't know or clam up.

        Free clue.

        Its evidence as to you you need to cue the antitrust lawyers.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Quick question...

          It's a good question, but in my case, moot. It;s one of those hard-block ones for NoScript, along with doubleclick et al. I mean, why does an ad-slinger need to run scripts in my browser? If they said, "here, run this exe", we'd all be telling them to fuck off without a second thought.

        2. Trixr

          Re: Quick question...

          Because it's free, unlike products like Angelfish. And you don't need to do anything to set it up or maintain it, like Webalizer etc, it's cross-platform, and it's actively maintained.

          So for small/medium organisations, that makes it appealing. For larger enterprises that want to milk their customers, obviously they can scale up to the paid version with even more "customer experience" data-sucking.

      4. sabroni Silver badge

        re: why does any website need that many outside scripts?

        It doesn't need any "outside" scripts. If you depend on a third party library get a version that works and serve it from your domain. Anything else is basically saying "I don't give a fuck about my users security".

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: re: why does any website need that many outside scripts?

          Anything else is basically saying "I don't give a fuck about my users security".

          It may also say, "I don't have the slightest fuckin' idea how to do this", or perhaps, "I can't be arsed to properly implement this...I'll just let this nice package do it for me...sorted!"

          Either way, it doesn't reflect well on the state of the art in web development....

      5. JohnFen Silver badge

        "why does any website need that many outside scripts?"

        In my experience, for two reasons: advertising and developer laziness/incompetence.

      6. Kiwi Silver badge

        Let me give you just one example. These are the scripts on one website that are not from that website:

        Is that stuff.co.nz? Their site is stuffed full of JS badness.

        Or try Revzilla. I think you might be able to scroll the NS list for a few days with all the garbage they have in there!

    5. raving angry loony

      Firefox broke some stuff at some point. Waterfox seems to have kept the working bits, and works just fine with uBlock and other tools.

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Google becoming Big Brother...

    I thought they were pretty much there with not allowing downloads from certain web businesses they own like Youtube. But now there's the doublespeak about "privacy" and "a better experience"... hmm... for whom, exactly? The user or Google? We already know the answer to "for whom".

    1. MOH

      Re: Google becoming Big Brother...

      Reminds me of when they started blocking the REFERER header from search results. "It's better for your privacy if the site doesn't know exactly what you searched for, even though we decided the site is one of the best matches for your search. And we know everything that you search for. But it's totally for your benefit, and the fact that it helps push people toward being more reliant Google Analytics for metrics is a happy coincidence"

  8. wiredrunner

    If lists are limited to 30,000 lines of course adblock plus will be impacted.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Paging Mr Schrems.

  10. DCFusor Silver badge
    Alert

    Don't get the update

    Here, on my linux boxes, new updates for Chrome are listed all the time - and I've been putting them in along with the rest.

    Maybe it's time to stop doing that.

    Maybe it's time to go ahead and do a full download and archive that (instead of downloading and running just the installer).

    wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

    Not sure if everything that uses WebKit will be affected (I also use Vivaldi) but if so....same for that.

    Adblock+ used to be good and it's hanging around here, but became pretty useless compared to ublock Origin. If they break that...I will not use that browser anymore, period.

    I advise making room on some disk or backup for full downloads of these things, not the easier to get installer that then does a download. You WILL want the opportunity to revert. And of course, they will somehow manage to find some 0 days/backdoors in the versions that still ad block - imagine that. You could even wonder if they already know about some and are leaving them in for just that reason.

  11. Richocet

    Concerning big brother move

    Quick thoughts and experiences on adblockers and privacy extensions:

    I installed Adblocker 2 years ago and find it is a good productivity tool be getting rid of the distractions.

    With the amount of sites that show scam ads (Your computer has a virus) or run crypto-mining scripts, I think everyone should be entitled to block ads and other website elements. I find it hypocritical of websites that are full of scammy ads that complain about adblockers because "they need the revenue". That has never been a legitimate defense for aiding criminal activity!

    After thinking about it more, I came to the conclusion that I was more concerned about people collecting and trading private data about me, so I installed privacy badger and uBlock Origin. I have been happy with them. About the same time I installed Firefox and installed the same extensions on it.

    I find Firefox and Chrome about equally convenient as browsers. So if Chrome changes to disable privacy blockers, I will rapidly change to Firefox only browser.

    I hope this is helpful to anyone considering what to do now.

    1. VikiAi Bronze badge
      FAIL

      Re: Concerning big brother move

      Ads don't really bother me (or at least, if they get so obnoxiously in-my-face that they do, I go look for a less shitty site to spend my time on). But this is almost certainly going to also trample on privacy and malware protection and that is unacceptable to me (and I imagine anyone else on this board, irrespective of their views on advertising).

      (Icon for Google et. al., not OP)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Concerning big brother move

        Any AD that makes it through my defenses not only goes on the list to block but I will never buy anything from that company in the future. Most of the time this is easy as for some reason the ad slingers on the internet seem to think I'm based in Cambridge, Mass, not the UK one.

  12. Bush_rat

    Google Can Fuck Right Off With That

    Glad I already made the transition to Firefox on Android. It's gonna be slow going, but I'm gonna find a way to purge as much Google from my life as I can.

    1. Kez

      Re: Google Can Fuck Right Off With That

      Might I recommend Blokada? It uses the Android VPN to black hole DNS requests to ad networks and trackers across all apps, not just web browsers.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Google Can Fuck Right Off With That

        Have you found a way to stop it being killed in the background? I tried all the toggles in the app and disabling battery optimisation and it still disappeared after a while.

        1. Kez

          Re: Google Can Fuck Right Off With That

          No idea, sorry. The 'Keep Alive' toggle did the trick for me.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Google Can Fuck Right Off With That

            It seems that Nokias are pre-loaded with an over-enthusiastic task killer.

            Instructions for disabling it in the link.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Google Can Fuck Right Off With That

      Perhaps you can start by purging Android....

  13. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    FAIL

    That'll Be The Boot For Chromium!

    "Google engineers have proposed changes to the open-source Chromium browser that will break content-blocking extensions, including various ad blockers."

    If this takes place, it means one simple thing: ALL variations of the Chromium browser get booted off my devices, permanently.

    Either I have total control over what junk is loaded into my browser, and what personal data is pulled out of my browser for that matter, or I boot out the browser. I have several other browser choices available, all of which offer me, the user, control. Goodbye Google garbage. And your search engine too.

  14. Winkypop Silver badge
    Windows

    I no longer feel dirty

    I can now give up my Chrome habit for sure...

  15. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Linux

    Privoxy content filtering proxy

    “Privoxy is a web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for .. removing ads, banners, pop-ups, etc.” link

  16. NickJP

    Setup pi-hole on a Raspberry Pi and you don't need to run adblockers in the browsers on any device on your network. Plus a lot of web pages will load more quickly because the DNS requests they make for crap of various sorts don't resolve and the data doesn't get downloaded at all.

    1. Olivier2553

      I installed Pi-Hole here at work and also at my condo, I never had a single complain about valid stuff being blocked.

      In fact, ISP could start offering similar options, that would be good for them too as it would reduce the bandwidth they waste on crap.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        @Olivier2553 --

        Perhaps, but then how could all those ISPs get their kickbacks from the ad-slingers?

  17. GrumpyKiwi Silver badge

    Own DNS server?

    I've got zones on my DNS server for adnxs, ogp, outbrain, revcountent, taboola, zergnet et.Al. and see very few ads as a result. No idea how well that works on the data siphoning thing though.

    1. Chris Hills

      Re: Own DNS server?

      This is why they are pushing DNS-over-HTTPS. When the application does its own dns lookups, you lose the facility to block using your own DNS server or hosts file.

      1. GrumpyKiwi Silver badge

        Re: Own DNS server?

        Grrrr, that totally wangs chung.

        I haven't been keeping up on that. What (apart from unblockable ads) was the rationale behind it?

        Preventing government DNS based spying?

  18. gormful

    Firefox forever (except at work)

    Unfortunately, I still have to use Chrome (or IE) at work. Firefox doesn't integrate gracefully with the Active Directory authentication needed for all of our intranet stuff.

    But for everything else, I've been using Firefox since it was named Phoenix. This latest announcement makes me feel even more smug about my choice.

    1. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

      Re: Firefox forever (except at work)

      Ummm did you go fiddle in about:config - it has settings to support NTLM stuff in there.

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Firefox forever (except at work)

      Intranet isn't really where you normally need to worry about web nasties. So you can use ie or whatever for your work sites and FF for outside stuff.

      1. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: Firefox forever (except at work)

        I should add, there at least used to be a Firefox and Chrome extension that could open up specific sites using a tab with embedded IE (IETab or something like that). That was really useful at the time. I'd be surprised if it or something similar isn't still available.

    3. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: Firefox forever (except at work)

      Interesting. Our official browser at work is Firefox ESR. Seems to support AD just fine.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Firefox forever (except at work)

      Firefox especially at work. It has its own certificate store so you can see if you're being MITM'd.

      There are settings for NTLM in about:config.

  19. eldakka Silver badge

    Lynx!

    Thank FSM that Lynx is still under active development!

  20. liac

    Did I miss something???

    This is an older article... https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/11/future_of_firefox_is_chrome/

    is this not happening?

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Did I miss something???

      The last update on the Tofino page was November 2016 (https://medium.com/project-tofino) and the last modification to the code on GitHub was July 2017 (https://github.com/mozilla/tofino). Looks pretty dead to me - hopefully, it will stay that way.

  21. JBowler

    Title too long:

    So you grandstand your most extreme proposal and then implement something no one would have accepted otherwise.

    This is simple politics via openness; broadcast the most extreme version of what you want to do and wait until unpaid polling organisations like El Reg tell you what you *can* do. I can suggest analogies but they would get me banned.

  22. DrM
    Go

    Adblock Plus

    "Google and other internet advertising networks apparently pay Adblock Plus to whitelist their online adverts"

    I read this a lot. Note that the so-called "whitelist" is completely optional, once click in setup and they are all blocked too.

  23. bryces666

    Scary...

    Run up the Firefox 'Lightbeam' extension and see graphically just how much tracking data from your favourite websites is sent about you and your browsing to unrelated third parties! Now tell me Google has our interests at heart by breaking uMatrix (of course they don't).

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Scary...

      Last time I tried that my GPU just about smoked it's last under the graphical load.

      Must run it again. Have been out of tobacco for a while! :)

  24. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    No wonder one blocker still works

    The specification for declarativeNetRequest looks like an internal implementation of Adblock plus.

    This might fix Chromium's biggest flaw in that privacy mode disables plugins, leaving the page to be immediately hijacked by malware delivered through ad networks. Epic fail.

    I'd really like to use Firefox but it's loaded with well-known race condition bugs, and I have devices that hit the races on every pageload.

  25. Saigua

    paging Depatrtment of Prevulnerability...

    Why have a browser war as the only browser if you can have a Schumpeterian contest of http/v5 wills? Look for VPs to show on Dwayne Johnson's Reality Protocol Winner workout show.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: paging Depatrtment of Prevulnerability...

      Would you like some ranch dressing on that word salad?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: paging Depatrtment of Prevulnerability...

        It is an "AIIIIIntelligence" away from a amanfrommars' post.

  26. tallenglish

    why does anyone still use this garbage.

    It eats ram.

    It tracks everything you do for googles profit.

    and now this, blocking your right to block anything you dont want.

    It is the very definition of spyware, and malware as the anti-blocking will allow bad scripts and others onto your pc.

    What worries me is Android and webview, which for the most part have no choice to use Chrome.

    With assistant AI and intrusive apps and browser, GDPR that only ever give you the option to accept. The concept of user privicy these days is a joke.

    I now block all cookies all the time (dont use any site that complains).

    I block all remote fonts.

    I block all javascript except for trusted sites.

    I never use Chrome ot any Google app (except Android, as I trust Apple even less).

    I use VPN and Tor as much as possible.

    Seriously, when are people going to wake up they are thought of as cattle to these pychopaths.

  27. tallenglish

    why does anyone still use this garbage.

    I forgot to mention, Chrome refuses to let you stop autoplaying videos.

    Which wasts bandwidth and is another form of anti-blocking they do now. And the main reason I do not use it.

    Google is evil plain and simple, avoid at all costs especially the gapps like gmail as it is not secure and makes the job of the NSA, CIA, FBI too simple, not to mention any content you have can easilly be stolen mainly because their attitude to security of those tools is a joke (look how many stories el reg has regarding 3rd party tools scanning emails or amazon buckets being pwned).

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: why does anyone still use this garbage.

      "Chrome refuses to let you stop autoplaying videos"

      ok , I was fine with all the other stuff , but now i'm convinced!

  28. adnim Silver badge

    Debugging sites on LAN

    Blocked from accessing the Internet.

    Chrome has its uses.

    I place exactly the same level of trust in Chrome as I do in IE.

    YMMV

  29. Eagleon

    Ok. Bye, Felicia.

  30. drankinatty

    Google/Trump Synonyms?

    Never let a lying fox guard the hen-house. Bad things happen. Like elections people really really regret later....

  31. Iamthekgb

    But... Google has been known for stealing info from people for years, like the poor suckers who have their phone...

    Just say “google, read back my phone call from last week, that’s a good google...

    Who actually uses Chrome anyway?

    Don’t you like your privacy?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google can do this to Chrome

    If Google wants to do this to their own derivative Chrome, go ahead.

    Just leave Chromium alone. Or, let me rephrase this, leave my choices alone.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Google can do this to Chrome

      I predict some furious forking happening fairly soon...

  33. Steve Crook

    Pi Hole

    Works quite well, perhaps they could cooperate with the extension writers to let the extensions clean the UI by detecting the as slingers etc,while pinhole blocks the requests themselves

  34. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Best joke of the year

    "Google's stated rationale for making the proposed changes, cutting off blocking plugins, is to improve [...] privacy "

    ROTFL, good one.

  35. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Why

    Chrome and derivatives were always in thrall to the world's biggest ad agency. A bunch you'd be mad to trust for an inch.

    For me PaleMoon. I've never had any problems with sites. so why not?

    Why would you use Chrome(s)? Ever? I don't get it.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google may well have suspicious intentions here but the core thesis that extensions can have too much power is valid. At the moment they can intercept/change/suppress content and requests with little user visibility.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      User visibility

      At the moment they can intercept/change/suppress content and requests with little user visibility.

      Does "they" mean Google or extension...? Or both?

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      "the core thesis that extensions can have too much power is valid"

      I disagree entirely.

  37. DrXym Silver badge

    There is a trivial solution for this

    "Plugin X wants to modify or block a network request xxxx, do you wish to allow this action yes/no", where there is also a "remember this decision" checkbox.

    It's the sort of thing that would be trivial to add to Chrome.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There is a trivial solution for this

      ""Plugin X wants to modify or block a network request xxxx, do you wish to allow this action yes/no", where there is also a "remember this decision" checkbox."

      Hell yeah, why not, the same underlying approach has made life on Windows so much securer in recent years hasn't it.

      UAC rocks. Or maybe not.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: There is a trivial solution for this

        "the same underlying approach has made life on Windows so much securer in recent years hasn't it."

        I couldn't possibly say as I don't use Windows but as a general approach it seems better than "We'll not let this plugin stop us from screwing your privacy and we're not giving you the choice.".

    2. Gonzo wizard

      Re: There is a trivial solution for this

      On MacOS, Little Snitch is the perfect implementation of this. Outgoing firewall, good for all network comms by all apps.

  38. STOP_FORTH

    How many browser engines are left?

    Is anyone developing new ones?

    OffByOne is a quirky, no frills browser I found a few years ago. It is quite old and is no longer developed but was still working on Windows 7 last time I tried it. It supports CSS and basic HTML but won't do all that interactive stuff that the modern Web requires.

    Only shows pictures and text, not much more. A bit like Lynx with added pictures.

    It would be no good for buying anything online and doesn't even support video IIRC.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: How many browser engines are left?

      "It supports CSS and basic HTML but won't do all that interactive stuff that the modern Web requires."

      That sounds great, actually! I'll be checking that out.

  39. Maelstorm Bronze badge

    The best way to handle this is to run your own DNS server and black-hole the ad network domains. That's what I did. Sites that complain can go piss off. So far, none have because the content doesn't even get loaded.

  40. Chris Hills

    DNS blocking will not work for long...

    To those suggesting using a dns server which blocks domains, this will likely also be subverted in the future as browsers implement DNS-over-HTTPS which bypass your DNS server altogether. Whilst you have control over it today, I would not be suprised if Google forces Chrome to use its own DoH servers in the future.

    1. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: DNS blocking will not work for long...

      While I like the idea of DNS over *secure transport*, it should be via a DNS service running on your PC, so that you retain control.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: DNS blocking will not work for long...

        While I like the idea of DNS over *secure transport*, it should be via a DNS service running on your PC, so that you retain control.

        Sadly, lots of things we should have control over are being removed under the guises of security, convenience, or "no one does that any more"

        All the while our machines become less secure and harder to use :(

    2. Kiwi Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: DNS blocking will not work for long...

      To those suggesting using a dns server which blocks domains, this will likely also be subverted in the future as browsers implement DNS-over-HTTPS which bypass your DNS server altogether.

      It may be that it's 1:30 am after a rather long and annoying day, but I simple cannot see any really valid reason for DNS-over-HTTPS. It seems like it opens up several attack vectors and blocks attempts to close them.

      But at least for a while a decent firewall should be able to block the IPs. Wonder how soon they'll have lists like the DNS tools have now...

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: DNS blocking will not work for long...

        In my opinion. encrypting DNS communications is badly needed. However, doing it through HTTPS is a terrible, terrible idea. To be useful, any such encryption scheme must be done in a way that doesn't prevent users from being able to monitor and manage their interactions with DNS.

        Also, overloading the HTTPS (or HTTP, for that matter) with non-web-related services is bad on many levels, and ultimately harmful for both the web and the internet.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just block the adservers in my hosts file, it breaks a few sites but that's their loss, if they hadn't put ads that move/flash/autoplay video/autoplay audio/obscure the screen & need clicking on before getting to the site/obscure half the screen/follow the fucking mouse around/do anything but put a static ad in a narrow column somewhere to the left or right of the screen then I wouldn't block them

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome

    I don't give a flying (...) about chrome and chrome sprog. Edge (...), I fart in your general direction. So, I'm safe. For now, until this extends to tor browser.

    1. short a sandwich

      Re: ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome

      Bit of an embuggerance for those of us using Ubiquiti kit at work. They (Ubiquiti) have harnessed their wagon to the Chrome horse to administer networking on Cloud Key and online. Lots of lovely warnings that Firefox or Safari are lacking when trying to use them.

  43. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    Privacy Badger?

    That is now my go-to choice for ad-blockingtracking prevention. Since it effectively trains itself, I don't need to worry about downloading block lists.

    If that stops working, then Chome=connect to google only.

  44. adam payne Silver badge

    Google's stated rationale for making the proposed changes, cutting off blocking plugins, is to improve security, privacy and performance, and supposedly to enhance user control.

    An ad flinger making changes to stop their ads being blocked, that's not unexpected. It is incredibly lame but certainly not unexpected.

    I however can't see how this will improve privacy.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to say goodbye. . . .

    I've been considering the disentangling of the big three chums (Amazon/Facebook/Google) for a while.

    This is now the step where it becomes more important and time to say goodbye.

    Looking for alternatives for all features they do and only retain the ones that are of any use.

    Maps and email will take a bit of detangling (getting used to being without) but certainly not insurmountable.

    1. notamole

      Re: How to say goodbye. . . .

      Protonmail gives you a guide to moving away from Gmail. I presume it would be a similar process for any other email service. I've never used Gmail, so I'm not familiar.

      https://protonmail.com/support/knowledge-base/transitioning-from-gmail-to-protonmail/

      I don't use any Google products now, DuckDuckGo for search, bookmarks for Youtube channels. As for maps, people suggest Waze for getting out from under Google's thumb, but it's owned by Google...

      https://www.maketecheasier.com/google-map-alternatives/

    2. Kiwi Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: How to say goodbye. . . .

      Maps. Lots (and I mean lots) of free Android apps that use Open Street Maps or others to give you pretty decent and offline navigation. Maybe not all the businesses loaded but for the most part you'll be fine, especially if you can figure out how to use a phone book or search engine

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blocks

    "How many ad blocks could an ad slinger block if an ad slinger could block blocks?"

    I want a browser that blocks bollocks

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Blocks

      I want a browser that blocks bollocks

      No more social media/ El Reg comments for you then!

  47. Prosthetic Conscience

    Google Doublespeak

    Brave is mad fast but no sync, Vivaldy and FF have sync but only 1 account.. A bit annoying, just have to make compromises I guess.

    Also FF is very slow nowadays with page loads (But Brave is even faster than Chrome so..)

  48. Gonzo wizard
    FAIL

    Bye bye, Chrome

    Already use Chrome pretty much only for work related activities, preferring other browsers for personal use to minimise the data slurp.

  49. Digitall
    Boffin

    FF FTW

    Brave is FASTER by comparison to other 'blink rendering' browsers and probably the fastest browser out there but,

    at the expense of should you need to uninstall it for some reason or other..big problems arise ;) other than the eventual

    blocking of blockers.

    FF 60+ is bloated and slower than FF ESR 60.x which is a good choice (linux and windoze),

    purely down to blocker extension and security only updates. YMMV

  50. big_D Silver badge

    Hosts

    I gave up on content blockers. I just dropped the addresses of the tracking and advertising sites into my hosts file and made them unroutable. It also blocks Windows 10 telemetry data.

    It doesn't matter what browser, no traffic.

    One better would be to put it into the routers hosts table for its DNS lookup.

    1. STOP_FORTH

      Re: Hosts

      Some weeks ago, somebody in this forum reported that Chrome sometimes used Google's DNS and did not even use hosts files on local machines. It was related to proxy settings I think.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Hosts

        OK...I give up. If I put an actual hard IPv4 address (or even an IPv6) address in the hosts file, how could a DNS server possibly mess with that?

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Hosts

          The hosts file is enforced by the operating system. An OS can trivially ignore anything in it (as Windows used to do -- maybe still does, I dunno -- when sending telemetry). Same with any "firewall" built into the operating system.

          Really, if you want ot go the blocking route, you need to use an external system for that. Something like Pi-hole or a standalone firewall/router would do the trick.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Hosts

          OK...I give up. If I put an actual hard IPv4 address (or even an IPv6) address in the hosts file, how could a DNS server possibly mess with that?

          The DNS server couldn't.

          But if I write my program to ignore the hosts file and use another route for it's DNS queries, the content of your hosts file becomes irrelevant.

          I believe the Opera browser (or a variant) has a built-in VPN that is separate to anything the machine uses. This could get around even blocking IPs at the firewall or router level I guess, unless you were to block the VPN itself.

        3. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Hosts

          A DNS server couldn't, but your DNS client can absolutely ignore anything in the hosts file, and applications don't even have to use your DNS client to begin with anyway.

  51. mithrenithil

    Convenience...

    uBlock Origin makes it easy for me to block ads unless I allow it. For example I allow ads from YouTube and Twitch to support content creators. Make it hard for me and I'll Pi-hole everything. Sure I could add a whitelist to Pi-hole, but if you are going to make me jump hoops why should I.

  52. kzar
    Facepalm

    Of course this affects Adblock Plus

    "Adblock Plus will most likely not be affected, though similar third-party plugins will, for reasons..."

    I'm an Adblock Plus developer, and of course it will affect Adblock Plus if the main API we use to block requests gets removed/clobbered and replaced with something more limited! What nonsense!

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Of course this affects Adblock Plus

      It's not going to hit ABP as much as other extensions. Our understanding is that ABP will be able to continue to some degree, while other extensions will take a big hit.

      See our followup article:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/23/google_chrome_extension_change/

      C.

      1. kzar

        Re: Of course this affects Adblock Plus

        "It's not going to hit ABP as much as other extensions."

        I'm sorry, but _yes it will_. I've been working on this code for approaching 5 years, I don't understand how you could tell me how the code will be affected.

        Thanks for at least removing that first part I quoted, but these quotes all still say/imply that Adblock Plus is affected less than the other ad blocking extensions:

        "The basic filtering mechanism supported by Adblock Plus should still be available. But uBlock Origin and uMatrix offer far more extensive controls, without trying to placate publishers through ad whitelisting."

        "Also, we're happy to clarify that while Adblock Plus is affected by the draft changes, it will not be whacked as hard as other extensions, such as uBlock Origin..."

        It's good you're drawing attention to the API changes, in my own personal opinion they are a bad thing for ad blocking and user control. I'd be happy if they're stopped. But please, stop trying to paint a narrative of "Big bad Adblock Plus is OK since they are paid by Google", it's disingenuous at best.

        Thanks, Dave Barker.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Of course this affects Adblock Plus

          "I don't understand how you could tell me how the code will be affected."

          We're not arguing that ABP will be affected - it will be affected. But uBO seemingly has a few features that ABP doesn't, and these may be stripped away totally by the API change. That's what we mean by uBO being harder hit.

          "Stop trying to paint a narrative of 'Big bad Adblock Plus is OK since they are paid by Google', it's disingenuous at best."

          It's not disingenuous: you have a potential conflict of interest. This is, I suspect but can't confirm, why ABP is so upset with us pointing out that other blockers are potentially worse off than ABP. You're not comfortable with people knowing about this Google relationship at a time when Google is adjusting its filtering APIs.

          ABP's PR line is incoherent anyway. On the one hand, you're saying you're affected by this just as much as others - and uBO is so affected that it won't be able to function in future - and yet you're saying you'll make ABP work with Chrome if the changes are put in place.

          You can't have it both ways.

          Just my personal opinion.

          C.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Of course this affects Adblock Plus

            >ABP's PR line is incoherent anyway. On the one hand, you're saying you're affected by this just as much as others - ... - and yet you're saying you'll make ABP work with Chrome if the changes are put in place.

            I read this as meaning that ABP will work with the data stream that Google allows it to see under the new model ie. it will still work on a data stream, just that that stream won't be the raw stream...

            Thus the ABP PR is all about commercial interests, whereas Raymond Hill is telling it like it is.

  53. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Block facebook

    The easier thing to do is just block all Facebook domains in your hosts file. The most annoying ads come from the Facebook network, and as a bonus you block all of those privacy-invading trackers. Obviously you can't log into their site anymore either, but that's a feature, not a bug. And it works with every browser, every time.

  54. mylittlepwny

    If I hadn’t already ditched Chrome for Safari this would be the final straw. I need to get around to setting up openvpn on my pi-hole and just connect everything to that.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With great power comes great responsibility...

    ... and Google will be responsible for the Internet chaos

    In Google's utopia, every website is well designed, well structured, with a reasonable amount of advertisements from legitimate and trustworthy advertisers. What they fail to realize is that there's a godammit ton of invasive advertisement, with a morally questionable subject and spreading viruses, spyware and what else.

    I mean... If I go browsing in search of something not so obvious without ScriptBlock and Popper, my antivirus pops up a threat message every 5 minutes or so.

    And now they shamefully wanna try (or achieve, because Google say so and everyone play along) this change hiding behind the privacy bullsh*t.

    Since the GDPR crap is privacy this, privacy that... As a developer for a hobby, I'm already sick of this.

    This certainly will make me switch to Firefox. Something I've been procrastinating for a while already.

    1. Hargrove

      Re: With great power comes great responsibility...

      Bravo!

      Firefox has worked well for me.

      Related to that, prioritization by monetization is beginning to break down.

      I am finding that the crap-to-worth ratio of Google Search has reached the point where for most of what I search for DuckDuckGo is better.

  56. Hargrove

    Oh it's worse than that.

    . . . some speculating that Google is using privacy as a pretext for putting the interests of its ad business over those of browser users.

    The following comes directly from the Google terms of service .. . .

    Some of our Services allow you to upload, submit, store, send or receive content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

    When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.

    The term "Services" appears in quotes, and is subsequently capitalized, which by standard usage indicates that it is a defined term. Good luck finding the definition. In fact, based on the thirty minutes or so I just spent looking for it, it doesn't appear to exist.

    I guess this is what is meant by a legal fiction.

    The first paragraph sounds good, but is deceptive.

    Pick a simple example. I am a songwriter. I write a song. I store it on the Google cloud, I email it to a friend using Google mail. In reality I still own the "property", but Google now owns the rights that give the property its value. The "limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones" is really no limitation at all.

    Is my tune catchy . . . Google can use it in their ads to "promote" their services. Will having Justin Timberlake record it and post it on YouTube promote their service. . . You bethca.

    In fact, I am hard put to think of a category of intellectual property that could not, under Googles' business model, arguably fall under one of these "limited purposes."

    This is a simple example in a set of issues that is immensely complex. In fact, this kind of taking of individual property rights and value has become almost universal in the information technology sector, and has begun to migrate in modified forms to other sectors.

    I read the fine print and a few years back I encountered an SLA that contained a provision that by utilizing the service I gave the service provider "ownership of [my] corporate name, telephone number, and address." I promptly called "bullshit!" on this. The technical help desk's response was "well that's obviously not what it means," My response was, "But that's what it says. Go ask your lawyers." They did. Whereupon a miracle occurred. . .

    I got a call from their lawyer, who agreed that was, indeed, the legal effect of the language. Then he explained their problem. Part of their service was explicitly for publication of certain information. Someone had had the bright idea of purchasing this service and then suing them for disclosing their information. The service provider forced the issue, and prevailed in court, but at some unnecessary expense. I suggested that what they needed to do then was change the wording to specify use of, for the specific purposes of, and that's what they did.

    But, they have proven to be a shining exception to what has become a universal practice. That is to claim the rights to everything, and present the customer with a take it or leave it proposition/

    An earlier post used the term Evil. That's a good word for this kind of disregard for the rights of others and what is right. It is a cancer that has the potential to destroy the utility of our information infrastructure and the stability of society itself.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Oh it's worse than that.

      The following comes directly from the Google terms of service .. . .

      Some years back I was involved with the development and marketing of a couple of small businesses.

      I sat down with the people involved and went over Google, LinkedIn and Facebook terms. Surprisingly, FB was the best of them. Google and LI claimed a perpetual license to use any material you supplied for their purposes as you quoted, and stated elsewhere that even if you deleted the content from their servers they could retain a copy and use that content for their purposes. FB, on the other hand, took license to modify for the purpose of displaying (eg you took a panoramic photo they could clip it for a thumbnail), and if you deleted it you understood that copies may remain on backup media for a time (until the backups were wiped). I don't defend FB, but at that stage they had by far the better policy.

      I strongly recommended to these businesses that they did NOT willingly upload their logo, tag-lines or other IP data to Google or LI - if they did they lost the ownership rights to them and could have a hard time prosecuting other trademark/copyright infringements.

      Few people read the T&C documents. Fewer still actually understand the meaning of the text, and even fewer the potential consequences. The South Park "HUMANCENTiPAD" episode should be required viewing for all who wish to click through an agreement.

      People using the Poli 'service' I mentioned elsewhere in this thread don't realise they give Poli the right to access your bank account, store your bank account information (balances, deposits, withdrawals, statements, login times etc etc etc) because they trust the face-value without thinking - 'government site uses this so must be OK', or worse the cheap convenience factor - 'bigbox store uses this so I can pay them and just pick up the bits from the front counter'.

      The levels of stupidity still amaze me. Used to be that people would give away just their password for a chocolate bar, now they give away their full log in info for the picture of one :(

  57. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge
    Boffin

    There's a simple fix for this problem:

    # sudo apt remove chrome

  58. RMycroft

    Fine, it's not like I have a shortage of Raspberry Pis to run Pi-Hole on. It's not that I'm opposed to ads (TANSTAAFL), but it's my computer and I pay for that wire to the Internet. I control the vertical, not you Google or Microsoft or anyone else.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Boffin

      You can install Pi-Hole alongside OpenVPN server on basically any Debian-based (or Devuan for those who value init freedom :) ) system.

      Only took me a few minutes to do it once I found a tutorial for 'Pi Hole + OpenVPN'.

  59. rcoffman3

    Looks like I will be switching to Firefox since Google insists on saying they have the RIGHT to determine and FORCE me to take content and ads I don't want. I have a question though? Is there any way to import Chrome Bookmarks into Firefox? If so how is this done as I would appreciate a quick walk-through if possible. Thanks.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Boffin

      Is there any way to import Chrome Bookmarks into Firefox?

      Is it possible to save the bookmarks out as a HTML or XML file, then import them?

      Waterfox may also import them on install. Just install it and see what it does. You can always delete it later.

      (Last time I tried WF seemed to import very well, but I don't use chrome so I can't comment on that)

  60. cutterman

    A good HOSTS file is your friend. Many uses.

    Wish someone would update and polish HostsMan.

    What happened to abelhadigital???

  61. BGatez

    Another reason to avoid google

    tor

  62. Kev99 Bronze badge

    I'd love to see the ad-blockers be able to get around the stupid "You appear to be using an ad-blocker" messages. Duh! I know I am, fools. Your memory wasting / hogging, speed killing ads are why I have one.

    1. notamole

      They already did, it's called the Adblock Warning Removal List. It doesn't cover every site, obviously but they do a decent job. If you use something like uMatrix it's pretty easy to do it yourself.

  63. Maya Posch

    Pale Moon/Basilisk

    I moved to Pale Moon from Firefox over a year ago, and couldn't be happier. Unlike the Firefox 'devs', the people behind Pale Moon are users like you and me. They want a fast, efficient browser that's free of bugs (in so far as possible) and not cluttered up with features nobody uses. They like XUL extensions, NPAPI plugins and so on.

    Pale Moon and Basilisk are proper open source browsers. Firefox and Chromium are tainted due to their commercial involvement. They should not be used when possible.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reported to Newsguard

    As clearly this is rabid clickbait.

  65. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Am i missing something here? I use Chrome with AdBlock Plus installed and can block ads from Google or anyone else. Since this article confirms that ABP will still work after this change I fail to see why it is such a massive deal. If you don't like ANY ads you can untick to 'allow acceptable ads' in ABP to block them all in Chrome. If you really must use Ublock Origin as your ad blocker switch to another browser where ublock origin continues to work, there are a lot more browser choices than just Chrome on both mobile and the desktop.

    For all those mentioning about law suits, AFAIK Google have never allowed add ons on the Android version of Chrome yet no one has launched lawsuits to force them to allow add ons to be installed on the mobile version, so I doubt it would be coming just because a few changes to the way extensions would work, as they are not removing the ability to add extensions just changing how they work, just like Firefox did recently.

    I am no fan of ads, but I do realise from running my own websites that content, servers and bandwidth aren't free. Sure there are a some people who will create stuff for free because of their passion for a subject or just because they wan't to get their works out in front of as many people as they can, but a large percentage of people want to be paid for their work. And at the moment ads are about the only way these websites can publish stuff for 'free' and still be able to generate revenue. There aren't really any alternatives - especially for smaller websites - as going behind a paywall is only viable for large websites like Newspapers and video streaming websites that have tons of content. Your average small/medium business or personal website would not have enough content to make it worthwhile.

    Unfortunately people see that they have paid their ISP for their internet access and therefore shouldn't have to pay for content on the internet and I feel it would require a massive cultural shift to change peoples mind to alter that.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      You can show ads (and much more effective ones!) without pumping huge amounts of wasted data that just pisses your users off and causes us not only to never bother to visit your site again but also to go elsewhere instead of to your advertisers.

      You're also wrong about monetisation. Google doesn't care if you make money from your content. Actually, they prefer YOU don't make money from your content because that means less money for them to make from YOUR content.

      Talk to relevant firms about the content you create. If it's local-town stuff then talk to local businesses, or find others relevant to your content. Sell them advertising space on a click=payme basis and make it clear anyone following up the ad is doing so because it's relevant to what they want, not some automated thing like AdNaseum which makes them pay for the the ad but no human actually read it.

      It's not the ads that are the problem, it is the way they have been handled.

  66. zekepliskin

    So it's a change to remove user control and privacy while claiming it improves them? Basically a lie then. As Google keep getting sued and making payouts you think maybe they'd know better, but like other tech giant Apple they're hepped up on hubris and unaware they're backing into a profit stealing precipice.

    For my part, I've never liked Chrome anyway. I have been using Firefox with a small suite of cookie and ad blocking software for some time now, and although it doesn't usually top browser benchmarks, in real world terms when my computers aren't being forced to load and render junk ad content there is an appreciable increase in page load times. Also an appreciable decrease in irritation from the end users having to click to quit all the crap that loads over the top of the page, like those stupid cookie nags we've had for a year or two thanks to that pointless EU regulation change.

  67. The Dogs Meevonks

    I did use chrome once... tested it for a few weeks, but it only made sense to use it for google based products... and they actively tried to break functionality of their products when using other browsers.

    But I uninstalled it, and went back to firefox which I've been using... well, pretty much since it came out. I see no reason change to anything else.

    When I tell people I use firefox (mainly non technical people.. or just the stupid)... they look at you like you're mad... especially when you tell them one of the first things you do in android is install FF and disable chrome.

    I've tried to educate people in the ways of privacy, and how you don;t have to accept the ever invasive creep of google and their ilk... But they're wilfully ignorant of the dangers.

  68. Paul

    if Chrome starts blocking effective use of Ghostery, I will be looking for a new browser. f*ck 'em.

  69. kburgoyne

    But wait, Chrome can still "read the network requests made on the user's behalf"

    If a user CHOOSES to use an extension to block ads "on the user's behalf", is that not identical to the user choosing Chrome to perform network requests "on the user's behalf"? Why does Big Google think it gets to dictate to user's who to trust and who not to trust?

    This is similar to Big Google arbitrarily deciding that HTTPS sites are more important to users than HTTP sites, thus effectively forcing small businesses to have to pay for HTTPS certificates in order to satisfy Big Google -- not their potential customers -- when all the business may be doing is displaying a simple text menu of the food they sell.

    I don't believe the INFORMATION on HTTPS sites are any more important to me than the information on HTTP sites, and a Google search is SUPPOSED to be based on the INFORMATION. Not whether the site is created in Big Google's image.

    Big Google could just display an icon next to search listings letting the USER know if a site is HTTPS or HTTP so the USER can decide. Not Big Google dictating to the user. Big Google could even create a user setting so the user can specify if they're paranoid about HTTP sites. But instead, Big Google wants to dictate to users that the Internet shall be created in Big Google's image.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: But wait, Chrome can still "read the network requests made on the user's behalf"

      Agree.

      You can get HTTPS certs for 'free' via LetsEncrypt, but that stills requires either knowing how to set it up + time or paying someone to set it up.

      I think part of the reason for pushing HTTPS and punishing those who don't use it is so google can point to this and say "See, we are all about privacy. Look what we've done!". But most sites DON'T have stuff that would be an embarrasment if your ISP knew you were going there, and the pages on most sites are the same site-wide (eg El Reg is basically IT news, a motorbike site is about those particular bikes or riding styles, you'll find little about 1980's Suzuki cars on a site devoted to Tesla Powerwalls and so on).

      They may have pushed it on the grounds of better privacy/security, but I suspect something else. But then, a company whose motto now is "Do much evil!" - what can you expect?

  70. rassalas

    Not upgrade

    If this will be included, I'd opt to not upgrade. Will they force feed this downgrade on us?

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