back to article Brave claims its mobe browser batt use bests whatever you're using. Why? Hint: It begins with A then D then V...

Brave ran some benchmark tests on the Android version of its browser, and – funnily enough – found it to be less power-hungry than a handful of competitors. Specifically, the benchmark involved running battery-historian, an open-source testing tool. Using a Samsung Galaxy S9 running Android 9.0, Brave's researchers compared …

  1. oldtaku
    Facepalm

    sigh

    Well, you had me till the very last paragraph.

    1. Wokstation

      Re: sigh

      That.

      But it lead me to a related thought - cryptocurrency is criticised over the amount of electricity used to create it - how much electricity is used in the generation, transmission and display of all these adverts on millions of devices?

      It can't be trivial.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: sigh

        As I've been saying for years, my computer, my paid-for connection, my electricity, my rules. You are NOT entitled to display adverts on my equipment unless I expressly allow it.

        Unless I'm allowed to spraypaint my advert on your living room wall, that is. Or on the side of your car. At my discretion, without so much as a by-your-leave.

        1. cb7

          Re: sigh

          The point you seem to have missed is that many sites wouldn't exist were it not for the revenue from adverts.

          Would you rather have to pay to visit websites? I know I wouldn't.

          An analogy would be TV channels like ITV, Channel 4, Film4 et al in the UK.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: sigh

            The point you seem to have missed is where I said "unless I expressly allow it".

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: sigh

              "The point you seem to have missed is where I said "unless I expressly allow it"."

              By choosing to browse a website which includes ads, you HAVE expressly allowed it.

              The publisher of the information you are browsing has given you access to the information on the basis that you receive advertisements along with the information in order to pay for them publishing it. If you look in the terms and conditions of many websites you'll find you have consented to receive ads by browsing the site.

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: sigh

            And yet no browser has a built-in point-and-drool tip jar, all thought so far seems to be towards clobbering ads sometimes followed by 'letting the ads we think are good though' or 'replacing other ads with our good ads'.

            If you could pay a few pence if you liked an article by simply clicking a button, that would really challenge the advertising model.

            1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

              Re: sigh

              DEC actually tried to address this in the early days of the web with a project called "millicent".

              Damn it we need DEC back. They were thinking years ahead of everyone at one time, now it's just a name and a bunch of old files gathering dust in Dell's archives...

              1. sitta_europea

                Re: sigh

                "Damn it we need DEC back. ..."

                I wish I could upvote that a thousand more times.

                When I took delivery of my last PDP-11, it came with a crate of manuals.

                Not with a manual.

                With a crate of manuals.

                When you opened the crate, there was one on the top which said on the cover

                READ THIS FIRST

                God I miss DEC.

              2. WolfFan Silver badge

                Re: sigh

                Not Dell, HP. Compaq bought DEC, HP bought Compaq.

            2. pakman

              Re: sigh

              "And yet no browser has a built-in point-and-drool tip jar"

              The desktop version of Brave has exactly this.

              Note to The Register: are you going to become a Brave verified publisher? There is real money to be claimed to compensate for the ads that have been blocked by Brave. If you don't claim it, it will eventually return to the User Growth Pool.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: sigh

                When I last looked at that it seemed users and content providers (El Reg) have to faff around with crypto currencies though, so I discounted it.

                1. pakman

                  Re: sigh

                  For users, they need a wallet inside the browser, but it is pretty easy to set up and manage, and doesn't need any other tools other than the Brave browser itself. At least for now, Brave grants tokens to active users of the browser from time to time, which are easy to claim and add to the wallet. I am sure that most El Reg readers would be able to manage it. Topping up the wallet using £/$/€ etc. gets more complicated, but I don't think that most users will need to do that, at least for the time being.

                  I have no experience of claiming the tokens as a content provider, but IIUC you transfer them to an account at uphold.com, convert them to £/$/€, and you can then withdraw them to a bank.

                  Sites that have verified include theguardian.com and xda-developers.com.

                  I should also correct my earlier comment about unclaimed tokens going back to Brave's User Growth Pool. I have realised that this has changed in recent versions of the browser. They go back to the user's wallet if the tokens came from a token grant, or stay waiting to be claimed for ever, if the user had bought the tokens.

          3. Ochib

            Re: sigh

            "An analogy would be TV channels like ITV, Channel 4, Film4 et al in the UK."

            That's why there is a fast forward button on the controler

            1. Nifty

              Re: sigh

              It's is scientifically proven that watching ITV, 20% of the power goes in the advertising content.

              There's a skip button on my ancient PVR which I do like. But for online catch-up viewing of Channel 4 and ITV there is of course no FF or skip button. I just find something else to do 'just like the old days' before VCRs/PVRs. Will admit though that a lot of web and phone ads are more intrusive/annoying. I boycott certain sites if they've gone beyond the pale.

          4. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: sigh

            The point you seem to have missed is that many sites wouldn't exist were it not for the revenue from adverts.

            Fine by me. When can we start?

          5. Mage Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: sites wouldn't exist were it not for the revenue from adverts.

            Such as Facebook.

            Google might not exist.

            The targeted, tracking ad is Google Snake Oil. What was wrong with an image and a link? That could make the websites just as much money.

            Internet advertising is based on lies and abuse. It should be no different to ads on printed paper except the ability to click if you are interested.

            Who benefits from click Fraud? Google, Facebook and some web site owners. The advertisers are being ripped off.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: sites wouldn't exist were it not for the revenue from adverts.

              "Such as Facebook."

              Before Facebook there was Usenet. There still is Usenet. Some of the users had institutional accounts but for the rest of us we could, and did, pay for a service. In fact some ISPs bundle a Usenet service along with everything else the subscription pays for.

              There was and still is email. Same thing; you can and some of us do pay for our own domain and a service from an independent provider. Some use the ISP service they pay for.

              So communication services have history as a paid for services way before Facebook came along. Many Facebook users are already paying their ISPs for such a service even if they don't use it.

              "Google might not exist."

              A search service is so useful that even if Google didn't exist paid-for services would have a market. If push came to shove Google could be that service with a subscription business model.

          6. Cuddles Silver badge

            Re: sigh

            "The point you seem to have missed is that many sites wouldn't exist were it not for the revenue from adverts."

            Correct. And? If people aren't willing to pay for content, that should tell you something about how much they actually value said content. As the adage says, time is money. There are a great many sites currently in existence that people consider to be worth exactly the time taken to view them and not a single penny more. If those sites all suddenly disappeared, no-one would actually care in the slightest - as long as there's still enough content to entertain them, the fact that some sites they didn't value enough to support in any way have gone is simply not relevant.

            You can already see this happening after a fashion with things like YouTube. It became popular because there was tons of free stuff to see on it. But no-one actually cares about YouTube itself at all. And the rise of things like Netflix, Patreon and Twitch which allow paid subscriptions and pay-as-you-go (and often pay what you want) shows people more and more moving to a model where they actually pay specifically for the content they value rather than just sticking with what happens to be free. So yes, ITV is actually a perfect analogy - it's dying because people prefer to pay for Netflix and Amazon rather than watch limited "free" content stuffed full of adverts.

          7. Alumoi

            Re: sigh

            The point you seem to have missed is that all the sites that exist based on the revenue from adverts are crap and should be let to die. The web would be much cleaner.

        2. jmch Silver badge

          Re: sigh

          "You are NOT entitled to display adverts on my equipment unless I expressly allow it.

          Unless I'm allowed to spraypaint my advert on your living room wall, that is"

          Wrong analogy. Your own local content on your pc/ local network can be described as your digital 'living room'. But whenever you're in a browser you're explicitly viewing someone else's content on someone else's server. That's more analogous to walking into someone's shop or office. Sure some shops / offices have ads / promotional stands you are not interested in, and sometimes they are actively in the way and annoying. But you can ignore them, and if that's still not enough, you can inform the owners that they are annoying you, and/or stop going to that shop/website. It's their choice to run ads, most likely because they don't make enough money otherwise because you don't otherwise pay for the services / content you're getting.

          Ads are terrible, intrusive etc, and they absolutely should be limited in terms of tracking and personal data gathered. BUT they are the price of otherwise 'free' or very cheap content.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: sigh

            Not as long as I'm paying for the hardware and power. Now if You want to pay for my hardware and power, then go ahead and run all the ads you like. Until then, I am free to drop them at my discretion. There is no law that states I have to pay to view your adverts. Have you ever heard the term "cost shifting"?

            1. error 13

              Re: sigh

              no law that says you have to visit these sites that consume your power and hardware resources. You choose to do so, if you don't like it take your business elsewhere

              That'll teach em

              1. LDS Silver badge

                "no law says you have to visit these sites that consume"

                You mean my bank site to manage an account I already pay for?

                Right now plug-ins are blocking 17 ads and 3 tracking items on its site.

                Or my country revenue service, where plug ins are blocking 6 ads and 3 tracking items? And yes, laws do me require access that site for mandatory tasks.

            2. Tom 38 Silver badge

              Re: sigh

              Not as long as I'm paying for the hardware and power.

              Bit small minded. You aren't paying for the server that has produced the content, or the electricity running that server, or the internet connection used to deliver it to you. The ads are the cost of getting the content; not displaying the ads is like watching cable TV without a subscription - hey its your electricity running the TV, that must be fine.

              I dislike ads just as much as anyone else does, the way things are currently makes most websites tediously slow to load and use way more resources than it should be to just display an ad.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: sigh

                You're right, Tom 38. However ... Here's a little free insight: I pay for my end of the link. You pay for your end of the link. They pay theirs. We pay ours.

                But there is no "they pay mine". That's all Holland & tulips & the mid-1630s. My screen, my rules. Make it profitable for me to see your marketing, and I'll allow you to use my paid for link, my pixels, my CPU, my memory, my disk and my electricity. Maybe. I am not here purely for you to make a profit. There is no such thing as a unilateral contract. You do not make the rules with regard to my equipment, I do.

                If you don't like this, block access to people who use ad blockers. We probably won't miss your so-called "content" ... but IF we do, we'll stop blocking your ads in order to access it.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: sigh

                  You could say the same about TV ads, which dare to consume electricity you are paying for. I would claim that the electricity cost is absolutely negligible compared to the annoyance of seeing the ads.

                  In the end, the basic fact is that ads are a necessary inconvenience in order to pay for content production. If you find a way to access the content without being inconvenienced by the ads, pushing the inconvenience on others, I guess "that makes you smart".

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: sigh

                    "the electricity cost is absolutely negligible compared to the annoyance of seeing the ads."

                    And here's the crux of the matter. The advertisers are being royally ripped off. They're paying to piss off potential customers.

                    I have to repeat this: the only thing the advertising industry sells is advertising. If you're in a business and somebody in the advertising industry is trying to sell you advertising all he's interested in is taking your money. It makes no difference to him whether you make net gains or losses of customers, just as long as you pay.

                  2. M.V. Lipvig
                    Mushroom

                    Re: sigh

                    Only if I'm watching said channel over the air. If I'm paying money to see the show, like someone paying for cable, then no. If I'm writing a check every month to watch TV, I've already paid and won't watch ads. This is why I stopped paying for cable in 2000, I'm not paying money to watch ads. Internet content is the same thing. The site may have an agreement with an ad company to show an ad, but the ad company doesn't have an agreement with ME to use MY gear to run an ad or track ME. When ads were a small static picture off to the side they were fine, but when the ad blocks most of the screen, runs video or takes 10 times longer to load than the content does it is no longer acceptable.

                  3. WolfFan Silver badge
                    Pirate

                    Re: sigh

                    You could say the same about TV ads, which dare to consume electricity you are paying for. I would claim that the electricity cost is absolutely negligible compared to the annoyance of seeing the ads.

                    I very rarely watch anything, even sporting events, live. I set the timer on my PVR and go do something else and come back perhaps a half hour later. And hit the fast-forward to not see the ads.

                    The complete and utter morons running TV networks are so certain that you must view their ads that they have literally sued to prevent people from selling a service to bypass them. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120525/04185919074/tv-networks-file-legal-claims-saying-skipping-commercials-is-copyright-infringement.shtml

                    Further restrictions include fast-forward-restricting technology. https://news.slashdot.org/story/17/04/12/2015220/broadcasters-put-new-ad-skipping-restrictions-on-youtube-tv

                    YouTube is not the only place where this happens. My TV provider (AT&T) has placed restrictions on the on-demand part of its service so that ads cannot be fast-forwarded. I was sufficiently irritated by this that I worked out how to dump the output to an external hard drive using the (theoretically locked) USB port on the set top box. Once on the hard drive, I can view the program on any computer on the home network and zip past ads using VLC.

                    I will go to considerable trouble to avoid ads. I will also make a note of any ads I cannot avoid, and stay as far away from the vendors as possible. But that's me.

              2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: sigh

                "You aren't paying for ... the internet connection used to deliver it to you."

                Yes I am. And given the amount of advertising shoved down the internet that connection ought to be cheaper without the bandwidth it consumes.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: sigh

                  >"You aren't paying for ... the internet connection used to deliver it to you."

                  >Yes I am. And given the amount of advertising shoved down the internet that connection ought to be cheaper without the bandwidth it consumes.

                  Don't mistake your tiny internet connection from your ISP endpoint, with "the internet connection used to delivery it to you".

                  There's a whole lot of high bandwidth network between your ISP and the website you're browsing that YOU are most definitely not paying for. Various companies involved in hosting operations are paying for that, and believe me it costs a flipping fortune, which is why I eventually walked away from the hosting business.

                  Urgh, now you've got me sounding like I am defending advertisers - which I'm not. Just making a technical clarification here. I hate sodding advertisers as much as anyone.

          2. tiggity Silver badge

            Re: sigh

            Not like a shop - shop ads do not (currently!) have a high risk of malware.

            The reason I block JS ads on the desktop is mainly to reduce my risk of exposure to malicious software.

            On mobile it is for both reasons - mobile browsing next to impossible without ads disabled, plus on mobile (using SIM data) then far less data allowance than using desktop on big broadband data allowance, so reducing data throughput vital on mobile to keep data use low.

          3. LDS Silver badge

            "That's more analogous to walking into someone's shop or office "

            No, as they fully paid for the ads and I don't have to wait for them to load before looking at what I'm interested in.

            A better comparison would be those shops (or airports duty-frees) that force you to go along a very long path to reach what you really need because they want you to pass in front of everything. Not surprisingly, people hate them, and whenever they find and learn a shortcut, they use it.

            And while I can understand it in a shop I'm free to avoid (i.e. Ikea) - I really hate it when it's an airport, and I want to reach my gate quickly - which is what I paid for, not wander around stupid overpriced goods.

        3. Numpty

          Re: sigh

          You expressly allow it by visiting their site, and disallow it by not visiting their site.

    2. joeW

      Re: sigh

      I'm OK with opt-in on certain non-intrusive ads, or even opt-out as long as the setting is there.

      1. ItsMeDammit
        Holmes

        Re: sigh

        I agree, but with one major caveat. Here is the typical lets-blame-it-on-GDPR cookie control:

        1 click to accept all their crap, or

        40 clicks to block their so called "functional" (read "tracking"), performance (read "tracking") and advertising cookies with one for each damn ad agency they have employed with more added each time you visit, with a default of "On", of course..

        I can see the ad supported sites making us do the same for advertising in general, ie:

        1 click to accept all adds, or:

        1 click to disable full screen flashing ads that aren't a scam

        1 click to disable full screen flashing ads that are a scam

        1 click to disable malicious XSS ads

        1 click to disable auto-run video based ads with loud noises that sounds a lot like p0rn

        Another click to disable auto-run videos that have audio and start with "OK Google", "Hey Siri" or "Alexa" and then proceed to try and order things on your behalf

        Another click to disable ads for products or services that are not even available or illegal in your country...

        You get the idea. Defaults typically favour the seller and the habitually lazy. I wouldn't mind an opt-in approach so long as the choice to opt out was as easy to make.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Here is the typical lets-blame-it-on-GDPR cookie control:"

          "with a default of "On", of course.."

          Which is in breach of the GDPR... because it's not explicit consent.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: How does it compare

      Um, they are in the linked-to report:

      https://brave.com/images/battery_8-1.png

      Brave beats Firefox with uBlock Origin (as the opening pars state).

      HTH,

      C.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: How does it compare

        But how does it compare to other built-in blocking browsers like duckduckgo or Opera

        Ps. anyone else dropped Opera mini over the annoying chinese ad popups on the phone's home screen?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How does it compare

        > Um, they are in the linked-to report:

        Duh, I must have been reading this article before my third coffee. :(

    2. Piro

      Re: How does it compare

      literally in the article

    3. emullinsabq
      Linux

      Re: How does it compare

      As others have noted, it's in the article. Or is it? All it says is compared with FF running uBlock Origin. That doesn't mean much because it depends on filter lists and configuration.

      I run with various additional lists, mostly the annoyance ones. But I also have 3rd party Javascript and 3rd party frames blocked unless needed. So who knows if that's remotely like what was tested? Probably not as it isn't the default, yet very effective at blocking unwanted junk.

  3. Jimmy2Cows
    Coat

    CPU... uh... pressure...?

    Well there's a CPU metric I've not encountered before. Is it all the bullshit hot air from ads building up inside the CPU?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: CPU... uh... pressure...?

      It's a measure of task backup ... If CPU utilization is at 100% and CPU pressure is 0, you have perfect CPU utilization. It also applies to memory and I/O, for what should be obvious reasons. (This is a very simplified explanation, but it's close enough for the task at hand.)

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: CPU... uh... pressure...?

        so ... runqueue?

        1. overunder

          Re: CPU... uh... pressure...?

          Yeh it has to be a queue of some sort. You can't have 100% of anything being pushed by 20% more of the _same_ thing, that would equal 120% of something in action. Considering queues change size randomly, I'm not even sure how you calculate a queue with confidence. I guess half-life would cover it, but that's a little problematic when dealing with memory (are you going to malloc() twice the size of everything?).

          I dunno, there's plenty of "teamwork" examples out there, but they all require a concept of some sort of queue or generator to even work.

  4. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Garish, flashing adverts, no wonder no one likes them. On the telly and commercial radio they are there but regulated. Not so the virus ridden spyware that most websites don't even know their punting just so they can earn a dollar. Plus the cyber crims who fake web traffic to get money to fund their drug/sex/gun trafficking business. If people want to build their own websites, it's not much more work to run their own advertising platform rather than offloading it to an unknown criminal (possibly) organisation.

  5. Gio Ciampa

    Cue my obligatory...

    ..."If they weren't so lazy and hosted their own adverts - rather than spend 5 seconds plugging in a script that pulls in who-knows-what - then fine, show me some adverts" comment...

  6. Alex Walsh

    I've used Brave a fair bit on Android but ended up with Firefox Focus as my go to instead. Brave actually stopped quite a lot of sites working, it was that strict.

  7. Chris Gray 1
    Meh

    Back to Brave...

    I installed Brave on my desktop and tried it out a while back. It seemed fine for what sites I visit. I also like its micropayments system, although I didn't use Brave long enough to participate. El Reg could have been one I would contribute for.

    The reason I stopped using Brave is that I could not find any description of just what it does. I was left with blindly trusting its developers to safeguard my interests.

    I don't want to block ads per se. I want to block 99% of Javascript. Ads don't harm me, Javascript can. So, I went back to Firefox with NoScript. And yes, that occasionally prevents me from seeing something a regular website points me at.

  8. Milton Silver badge

    Never looked back: yet

    Got fed up with Firefox on Android (appallingly slow) and switched to Brave about six months ago. It is so much better I've never even considered switching again.

    But as someone else said, the last para about Brave plotting its own ad model is very discouraging.

    How difficult would it be for Brave simply to offer its browser app for 99p a year, with annual upgrades and interim security fixes as what you get for the money? Heck, I'd probably pay up to £5 a year for a good, fast, ad-free mobile browser. (And yes, I'd pay for Vivaldi on my desktop, too, if it ditched ads as well as Brave does. Again, it makes Firefox look like a dinosaur, especially since last year's nasty 'upgrade' to the Firefox UI.)

    But do NOT start manuring my eyeballs with ads again. They are utter shit. They don't work. They're not good or amusing to look at or listen to. They just waste my time, my reading space and my battery.

    Be honest, and charge for the software, or please, just get lost.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Following the hint by using letters...

    Let's just work though this scenario:

    Advertiser A* pays advertising middleman W** to place adverts. W pays site owner S to let their add be shown on a page I view. I see the advert and am annoyed. being annoyed I am less likely to buy whatever it is that A wants me to buy. A has paid good money to make it less likely to achieve their goal. A, if only they knew would be unhappy. I'm unhappy. W and S are happy because they get paid.

    Now let's modify it:

    A pays W, W pays S, S tries to send the ad but I block it. I don't see the add and thus bear A no grudge. W is happy, S is happy, I'm happy. What about A. A, if rational, is also happy. They'd have paid W and S the same amount if I had seen the add but now the outcome for them is neutral, not negative. In a rational world (not an easy concept where advertising is concerned), A, W and S should all be content to accept my ad blocker because they all gain from it.

    * Note that the advertiser is someone with goods or services to sell, not the advertising network. The money that fuels this entire scenario is the money that A hopes I will pay to purchase such goods or services.

    ** W. You should be able to decode this one.

  10. Sloppy Crapmonster

    The WWW is the wrong place for you if you make your money from ads

    Simply because of how it works. What you really want is a magazine, or a TV network, or some other technology where the suckers consuming what you're producing have no choice in the matter. It might be my *fault* that my ad-blocking results in you not making any money, but it's certainly not my *problem*.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The WWW is the wrong place for you if you make your money from ads

      "What you really want is a magazine, or a TV network, or some other technology where the suckers consuming what you're producing have no choice in the matter."

      Actually, with print the punter can ignore the ads. That means that they're read by people who are looking for something to buy and, crucially, they're not pissing of potential customers who will simply skip them. All gain and no downside. Yes the advertiser is paying for a lot of ads that are ignored. They've done that for a few hundred years and it seems to have proved satisfactory.

      With TV we seldom consume anything live hereabouts so it's just a matter of FF through the ads.

      In both cases we do have a choice and exercise it.

  11. sitta_europea

    Did the 'Ad wars' just start?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why should I trust it?

    I trust Google with my data, their privacy policy is very clear, and they are audited the hell out of, so happy that they are in compliance with that. Brave, and all these other small companies, I really don't trust.

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