back to article Google Chrome 85 to block ads that hog power, CPUs, network: Web ads giant will black-hole 0.3% of web ads

Google Chrome is making good on its promise to block so-called "heavy ads" – web adverts that hog the network, drain batteries, or slow down your device by chewing up too much processor time. Announced back in May, the initiative aims to help protect those using Google Chrome on desktop computers and Android handhelds from …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Lorem ipsum

    It's always fun to see a Lorem ipsum in an article anywhere. Any web developer will understand.

    As for controlling ads, I will never rely on Chrome. Good on the article author to mention Brave. I installed that on my Android A3 and have never used anything else since. So good on the page loading, so nice on the bandwidth.

    Go Brave !

  2. find users who cut cat tail

    How can an ad need 60 seconds of CPU time? I happen to be running some image analysis on fast camera data now – and 60 seconds is enough to process 10+ GB video on a normal PC. Or almost enough to start Acrobat Reader…

    Sorry for asking such a dumb question, I have not seen on-line ad for years.

    1. overunder Silver badge

      It's not hard to imagine...

      Connecting to Google.... O.K. (2 seconds)

      └--> Connecting to Facebook... FAILED (5 seconds)

      └--> Retrying to Facebook.... O.K. (2 seconds)

      Connecting to Twitter... O.K. (2 seconds)

      └--> Connecting to Facebook.... FAILED (5 seconds)

      └--> Connecting to Google... O.K. (2 seconds)

      └--> Retrying Facebook... O.K. (2 seconds)

      └------>Connecting to Shady3rdParty... O.K. (10 seconds)

      └----------> Connecting to SharingYourDataWithWorld... O.K. (30 seconds)

      ... something like that.

    2. Man inna barrel

      Ads can be horribly inefficient because the advertisers do not pay for the bandwidth or CPU usage. Some ads cause my laptop to sweat a bit, and the fan speeds up. From time to time, I clean up my browser tabs, when the CPU fan speeds up. My Wifi is a bit slow, so it is really noticeable that ads clobber page loading times. Again, the ad slingers do not pay for this. I suppose the sites hosting the content that users actually want to see might be harmed by bandwidth-hogging ads, but I have had no success in my complaints about this.

      I do not use ad blocking, because I know that the free-to-use sites I use probably depend on ad revenue. But seriously, why should an ad take more CPU than one of my physics simulations, or an interesting video article?

  3. martynhare
    Megaphone

    Firefox is calling...

    ...she wants her RAM and her users back!

    Unlike Chrome, it has all the same-origin-isolation options as Tor Browser has (in about:config) to stop websites learning what other sites you use while also integrating a decent set of anti-tracking blacklists out of the box to go alongside your favourite flavours of content blocking extensions.

    You also won’t find extensions blocked for “threatening the bottom line” like how Google banned AdNauseam for its creative way to make all advertising worthless whether we see it or not by “extending background prefetching” in order to earn website owners money from adverts without having to actually be subjected to any of them...

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Firefox is calling...

      Hahaha . . . Mozilla made some minor changes to Firefox's user interface many years ago, causing the neckbeards to throw their toys out of their collective pram for all eternity. Now they all use hipster browsers you've never heard of . . . mostly based on Chrome.

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: Firefox is calling...

        Mozilla f'd up the way extensions and plugins worked. That hindered the greybeards from customising the user interface so it was usable for them. Mozilla did not seem to be accommodating to long term plugin developers. This is a policy that (in part) killed Windows mobile, the changes from release to release were big and developers had to invest a lot of time to keep up and rewrite their apps - so they left. So there were few apps. So nobody bought the phones (though they were pretty good, the UI did not suck like android and ios - OK, maybe in different ways that did not annoy me).

        Many use browsers based on the old Firefox engine, such as waterfox. Most still fondly remember the old opera engine, that was really light weight and fast. Most do remember Internet without Facebook, Google and Wikipedia, and actively try to avoid at least the first two.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Firefox is calling...

          However it's getting obvious that the differences between the old pre-Firefox Quantum codebase and the new one are starting to make code maintenance difficult, which is why there are two flavours of Waterfox now. It'll eventually become unsustainable.

          Unless Mozilla dies first, in which case the W3C will basically be Google.

        2. CrackedNoggin

          Re: Firefox is calling...

          Plugins are removed altogether (also on Chomium) and extension API's were narrowed, e.g., now can't make pop up windows cover other stuff (which is actually much more secure for the user), and also prevents extensions from easily accessing website internals (which seems to make hacking proprietary data much harder). The user security is appreciated, the latter may not be appreciated by some, but if a browser such as Firefox makes it easy to pirate data then some sites simply won't allow themselves to run on Firefox. So Firefox must comply. (And anyway, any ability to pirate can be turned to threaten the user).

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Firefox is calling...

      @martynhare.

      I took it you don't use Andriod?

      If you did, there is no way you would be recommending it

      "in about:config"

      Nope, no more.

      Plugins? Yeah, Mozilla forgot about those.

      Search? Yup, that cash they received made sure that it was reset back to Google.

  4. TaabuTheCat

    For the love of a hack,

    Can someone please, please hack the thresholds and turn this into a full-time built-in ad blocker???

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: For the love of a hack,

      I was going to post much the same question. The ability for the user to define what constitutes a "heavy" ad would mean we could throttle them down to static plain text, no images, no JS, no movies nor music, & essentially give them all TheFinger.

      Failing that, a Hosts file that can't be ignored would do wonders...

      1. Man inna barrel

        Re: For the love of a hack,

        Part of the problem might be that the sites hosting the ads do not know what trouble the heavy ads cause, because the ad content is external. The TV listings web site I normally use loads pages from all over the place. Because of my slow WiFi, I can see the web addresses as they come up. I am fairly sure the actual content would take just seconds to load: it is just a table. Maybe multiple sites have to be visited to get all of the listings data, but that is just being generous.

        I am not actually against web advertising, which is why I refuse to apply a blanket ad blocker. But some aspects of web advertising are mega stupid. For example, I buy a slow cooker from an online store, then get bombarded with ads for slow cookers. Do you advertising people not have brains? I have bought what I wanted, and I probably will not replace it for many years. You are wasting your time, and you are wasting my bandwidth.

        Ah. I forgot. This is artificial intelligence at work: targeting ads according to user activity. I suppose I can be thankful that these targeted ads are an indicator of how much slurpage goes on when you just browse around and buy stuff on the internet.

  5. osakajin Bronze badge

    Does it also block heavy electricity?

  6. DS999

    Google's way of eliminating competition

    It won't affect their ads, but it will affect some ads of competitors. They can figure out the metrics of their own ads and carefully tweak the parameters so that all of their own ads get through but the maximum number of competitor ads get binned. Google fully believes in ad blocking - so long as it is someone else's ads getting blocked!

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Google's way of eliminating competition

      I’m wondering how this thing will distinguish between a heavy ad and a heavy application that isn’t from Google...

      1. Alumoi

        Re: Google's way of eliminating competition

        Erm, it's not served by Google?

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Mushroom

    ads that demand excessive computation, bandwidth, or power

    i.e. any ad at all.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: ads that demand excessive computation, bandwidth, or power

      Yes, any add that is over 50KB or uses JavaScript should be banned. A simple JPEG and an a href tag are all that's needed, or even just text.

      That is why I use NoScript. They can serve me a static ad, but they can't run JavaScript or multimedia.

  8. tiggity Silver badge

    Farcical

    Definition of heavy use - should be far, far lower.

    Additionally, we are all aware of sites that are more ads than content, lots of small ads soon build up in terms of resources used so useless at addressing those scenarios.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google blocking ads?

    It is like fox guarding the henhouse...Best ad-blocker: Don't use Google Chrome.

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I recently started using pi-hole through Pi-DNS servers and it does a pretty good job at blocking adds in Chrome on Android, and in other apps like Google news. Although not on the Youtube app unfortunately.

    Its a free service, and they claim they don't log or sell your DNS look ups. You can donate to them to help maintain the service.

    You could of course set up your own Pi hole on cheap VPS if you are worried about any privacy implications of using a 3rd party service.

  11. adnim
    Joke

    If...

    I wanna see a kitten adverting rat poison in sunglasses playing bongos at max FPS, ain't that my choice?

  12. Stuart Halliday
    Happy

    The Good Old Days...

    Remember when you could turn off all graphics....

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: The Good Old Days...

      “Reader view available “ ?

  13. Big_Boomer Silver badge
    Meh

    JAFB

    As one of those "neckbeards" (I don't have a beard) that dropped Firefox due to it being difficult to use I can say that I found it to be slow, a resource guzzler, not customisable in the ways that I wanted and needed, and a royal PITA to use day to day as so few websites back then supported the unique way that it handled websites. Yes, I went for Chrome because back then it worked and was massively better than FireFux or Internet Exploder in almost every way. Since then I regularly reconsider what browser to use and have tried quite a few, but they all seem to have their problems and not many of them stick around for long. If Chrome manages to cut back on the advertisers overhead and give me a nice responsive browser again, maybe I won't move to another browser, but it doesn't look like it. Maybe I'll give Brave a try, but it will be one in a looooong list of others tried over the years, with all of them so far being uninstalled as not good enough. And if you can't figure out what JAFB means, go watch Blue Thunder. :-)

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