back to article Ad blockers struggle under Chrome's new rules

Next year, Chrome browser extensions – such as ad blockers and other privacy tools – will stop working if they are reliant on an API called Manifest v2 (MV2). So far, when these extensions are rewritten to work with Chrome's new Manifest v3 (MV3) API, you tend to end up with hobbled software that doesn't work as well. The cut …

  1. F. Frederick Skitty

    Firefox it is then.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      No. It isn't.

      Brave is the answer. Always has been the answer.

      Why aren't you using it? That's the question.

      1. F. Frederick Skitty

        I'm not using Brave because of their cryptocurrency bollocks.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          It's not forced down your neck, you can say no to it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            They are all crapware at this point.

            Pick your poison. But don't worry, they slip it into your glass when you aren't looking, they don't force it down your neck(unless you decline to drink it for more than a couple of updates, then the settings to turn it off mysteriously disappear after an update!)

            But don't worry, if you don't like it now, they assure you will once you get used to it.

            Also not having turned it off before the program launches grants them permanent irrevocable rights to scrape all your contacts and park them in their cloud. But don't worry, they would never do anything "bad" or "evil" with them, though to be fair there is nothing to keep them from literally changing their mind about that. You agreed to to the agreement you see, which is like a contract, only where one party can change the rules whenever they want, to whatever they want. And even the current version of the contract is tip toes around the fact that even if the author of the agreement does not screw you completely, they may be sold, acquired, or merged with another company, and then all bets are off. Oh and all of that happens at program launch, but the settings are stored in your cloud account, which is only accessible after the program has launched, and you've given us a place to upload all of that data to that's confirmed to be associated with your real identity.

            The web is shit, and the companies that run it have the integrity and trustworthiness of a used mattress salesperson. Change my mind.

            1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

              Re: They are all crapware at this point.

              Yeah, money trumps decency. Everyone's only in it for the money. Even me.

        2. Amentheist

          Re: Brave

          2 years ago I'd have suggested the same but brave has somehow managed to go down hill since, sometimes hardware acceleration doesn't work and web sockets using websites work inconsistently. Firefox has improved and performs consistently on multiple OSes, not to mention brave sync is still remarkably shit.

      2. vekkq

        *throws Vivaldi into the ring*

        what else?

        1. pavel.petrman Silver badge

          Is Vivaldy good yet?

          Given its startup time and memory requirement, I used to call it Wagner. Has Vivaldi improved recently?

          1. AlanSh

            Re: Is Vivaldy good yet?

            A bit - but it's still slow when inserting usernames and passwords from it's cache.

            1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

              Re: Is Vivaldy good yet?

              It's nice to have a translate function that doesn't go via Google, though, and built in adblocking.

          2. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Is Vivaldy good yet?

            Not a lot, but I'll live with it.

        2. Steve Button Silver badge

          So, we've got Vivaldi, Firefox, Brave. My kids love Opera.

          I've been thinking of moving off Chrome for some time now. Partly because Google "do be evil" are just getting too powerful, and censurious and generally not to be trusted, and partly because Chrome is bloatware (or perhaps my too many extensions and 50-100 tabs open!?).

          Any other suggestions? What about Safari (works on Windows too right?)

          I guess the Windows one (wassit called?) which is based on Chrome anyway is not a great idea?

          1. chololennon

            RE Ad blockers struggle under Chrome's new rules

            "or perhaps my too many extensions and 50-100 tabs open!?"

            Well, this could be seen as the egg and the chicken problem, but there is an extension to manage the open tabs, "Tab Wrangler", it is very useful (at least for me)

            https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tab-wrangler/egnjhciaieeiiohknchakcodbpgjnchh

          2. James O'Shea

            Safari hasn't worked on Windows for quite some time. Safari for Windows 5.1.7 shipped in 2016, and was the last version. It is no longer supported.

          3. FIA Silver badge

            I guess the Windows one (wassit called?) which is based on Chrome anyway is not a great idea?

            Edge is fine, I use it at work as my other browser as I dislike Chrome, and my work soul has already been sold to Microsoft.

            Chromium is a googleless version of Chrome that works well too.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Edge is Chrome based, so you'll be screwed at work,

              1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

                They can collect all the data they want from my work machine. If the company has a problem with their proprietary crap being sent to ad slingers, thr company can figure it out. They're the ones forcing me to use M$, I'd be just as happy using anything else.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: being screwed, I was referring to your reduced ability to install effective adblocking like Ublock Origin at work.

            2. Lorribot

              I think you'll find that Chromium is not as Googleless as you would hope, I seem to remember Microsoft had to untangle 30 odd Google services that were hard coded in to the browser and replace them with their own, I am sure the smaller browsers such as Brave and Vivaldi leave most of those in as they have no alternative, so any Chromium browser is likely going to be talking back to Google in some form.

              "it can harvest all kinds of sensitive data about you from these pages as you visit them"

              This line made me laugh, Google worrying about something harvesting user data for reasons, not like they haven't been doing that for the last 20 years.

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                >I think you'll find that Chromium is not as Googleless as you would hope

                Probably time for the open source community to fork and create a new Googleless Chromium excluding MV3 but including support for MV2.

                Suggest calling it Libre Chromium

                1. Chet Mannly

                  There is a chromium fork called ungoogled chromium which strips out all the google sevices (or at least it says it does, I don't know enough to verify the source code...)

                  1. jasonbrown1965

                    Me neither, although the developer seems open about potential risks, even if they term them 'unlikely', see:

                    https://beebom.com/how-install-ungoogled-chromium/

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Used to use Opera,then they went all Chromium and it lost a lot of the useful features and wasn't as good as it used to be.

          Vivaldi is more Opera than Opera!!!

          1. captain veg Silver badge

            Depends which Opera you mean. More like Opera 12 than Opera 15+, yes, Neither are much like Opera <= 12. In some important respects Brave is.

            All of them, Blink remixes.

            I use Vivaldi on Desktop and Brave on Mobile. They're nice enough, but not magical in the way that Opera was. I wouldn't pay money for either, but I did (twice) for the real thing.

            I don't know who owns the IP in Presto today. Whoever it is, I urge them to open-source it. Or even make a commercial version that I could pay for once more.

            -A.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You could not be more wrong.

        Librewolf.

        where is the mic drop icon?

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          I had not heard of Librewolf, so I will check it out. Thanks for the recommendation! That said, my experience with hipster niche browsers (e.g. Palemoon or Waterfox) is that they don't seem to offer that much of an improvement over stock Firefox, so why bother maintaining the additional browser on my PC? Looking at the Librewolf's list of enhancements, most of those are things I already do:

          * Disable telemetry

          * Use DDG

          * uBlock Origin

          * Block autoplay

          Etc.

          It seems like most of what they're doing is taking stock Firefox and cranking up the privacy and blocking settings, and there's nothing wrong with that. It seems like the developers could solve most of the problem by distributing a custom configuration file, though.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Like all noble efforts to solve the browser problem

            They are under resourced.

            Mozilla can break the head of the Firefox codebase faster than such a small team can fix it, and in the end if they drift too far outside what's hiding in the config files, the effort to merge their customizations will kill them, like every other effort.

            It's like the SystemD problem. Once the head branch went too far down the rabbit hole there was nothing you could do short of building a whole new project. It's too much work to maintain enough changes to make a forked browser that isn't a dumpter fire. And it's WAY to much work to try to launch a new one(Trident Edge having thrown in the towel).

            Congrats Google, you won. The internet sucks, you broke it, and nobody can fix it while you exist. Eff you very much, and know that I will keep voting for people that want to have you broken up until I die.

            1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

              Re: Like all noble efforts to solve the browser problem

              "Congrats Google, you won. The internet sucks, you broke it, and nobody can fix it while you exist."

              If I could, I'd give you my entire week's allotment of upvotes for that. It all started with the heavy-handed "only https" requirement and has gone downhill from there.

          2. NATTtrash Silver badge

            It seems like most of what they're doing is taking stock Firefox and cranking up the privacy and blocking settings, and there's nothing wrong with that. It seems like the developers could solve most of the problem by distributing a custom configuration file, though.

            ...and they still maintain a ppa, which is a blessing for those who don't want or like the Canonical snap force feed and still want to enjoy a convenient and timely update of their browser together with their other software.

          3. jasonbrown1965

            Replace DDG with an instance from https://searx.space .. they got pinged for allowing MS to track ad clicks and promise they've stopped it, but I'm not convinced.

      4. RAMChYLD

        I'm not using it because I do not support homophobic asshats.

        1. FIA Silver badge

          Okay, maybe you could've provided a link or two, but if we've reached the point where someone saying they don't support homophobia gets (at the time of writing) 15 downvotes and zero upvotes then maybe I need a new sarcastic internet forum to shout blythely into.

          Any suggestions?

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Same here. I've tried the others.

      All are decent browsers in their own ways, but nothing gives me more privacy control than FF combined with NoScript and Ublock and it just keeps getting better.

    3. phands

      I thought so too..at first. But FireFox has become less and less usable and less user friendly over the last few months. And since it moved to a default Snap on Linux, it broke a bunch of extensions.

      FF has been losing market share for years now, and it's because their management don't seem to care about users.

      I'm now using Brave and Opera with a view to settling on one or the other.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Snaps?

        I've been downloading the FF tar archive and unpacking it under a newly created /opt/app/firefox-n.m, (re)defining a symlink to point to that new dir, and haven't any troubles. I can't recall seeing Snaps (but then I was never looking for one). Broken extensions? I expect that to happen from time to time but it's been quite a while since that's happened.

      2. Psy-Q

        There's no need for a snap, maybe you are thinking of Canonical's decision to deliver it that way? That's an Ubuntu problem, though.

        On other distros it's still packaged normally, and there's always the official Flatpak (lacks some tight system integration required for e.g. KeepassXC, though) and the option to use the tarball directly from Mozilla.

      3. Cheshire Cat

        You can install FF without a snap under ubuntu - I have it installed under jammy as a proper application, since doing otherwise breaks my password manager and other stuff.

        https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2022/04/how-to-install-firefox-deb-apt-ubuntu-22-04

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Firefox is not losing market share due to being not good, but due to Google, Apple and Microsoft forcing their browsers on users.

      5. FuzzyTheBear
        Pint

        I have used FF for ... at least 10 years .. on linux. I do not see how it limits me as a user.

        I do not see how this is less usable . Im on 104.0.2 latest on LinuxMint 21 Vanessa.

        Please do tell .. i am really curious. Cheers :)

    4. TReko

      Chrome is the standard

      Unfortunately many commercial sites like banks and airlines only work properly with Chrome and Chromium based browsers now.

      Google owns the web and the client now, they have a monopoly Microsoft couldn't have dreamed of 20 years ago.

      1. Lis

        Re: Chrome is the standard

        I beg to differ. I use Safari, and can honestly say I haven’t had any problems. Thankfully, as I can’t be arsed learning a new browser. At my age I haven’t the time to bother.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Chrome is the standard

        >they have a monopoly Microsoft couldn't have dreamed of 20 years ago.

        But MS did dream about it 27 years ago when they launched IE and it took the EU to clip their wings; perhaps the EU needs to do similar with Google...

        Shame we (the UK) do not have any MEPs, we can't kick the process off...

    5. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      Always has been

      Even back in the 90's I used Netscape instead of IE, from the early 2000's I switched to Firefox and have used it ever since.

      I used Chrome once... I used edge once... for very specific reasons.

      Chrome was the only way I could get google+hangouts to work back in the day when it was popular, before they spun it off and killed it's ease of use. They broke it's functionality within firefox so you couldn't use the videochat.

      Edge... well, that was down to Sky being utter cockwombles and only allowing their Sky-Go service to work on Edge due to refusing to use anything by MS silverlight. The only reason to use that was because I used to watch the F1 races via Sky Go after I got rid of my Sky subscription and logged in via my mum and dads Sky account... I refused to pay the extra 30-40 a month for a tv sub just for 18 races a year... and later on they started charging an extra £18 a month just for the F1 channel... So yeah... FUCK SKY.

      Stick with firefox, some privacy enhancing plugins such as ublock, noscript, privacy badger, https everywhere, ghostery and others to make the web experience better.

      Sure, you have to train a few sites first time out... some sites will be broken because they demand you to turn off all privacy enhancing plugins... those websites are never visited again.

      1. MrReynolds2U

        Re: Always has been

        I've been using Sky's NowTV app to watch the F1 via my XBox or PC (which means a costly sports subscription).

        Even paying this subscription, they still show you adverts (90% of which are for betting or car sales).

        On top of that, they want an extra £5pm if you want to watch it in HD (1080p).

        (Also means no adverts for streamed programming and multi-device use).

        Yes, they actually want you to pay more for HD in 2022.

    6. Woodnag

      Manifest v2-based extensions will stop working in Chrome...

      You are fine. The extensions won't actually stop working, but simply not be supported in later versions of Chrome. So set yourself up with a nice install of ungoogled Chromium from Woolyss, and don't upgrade it.

  2. hoola Silver badge

    Security & Privacy

    I think the question here is "What they are trying to protect?"

    Clearly it is not the security or privacy of the user........

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Security & Privacy

      Of course is the security and privacy of Google's revenues.

      That what happens when a software application becomes an enabling product of the real business. Chrome is not there to let user navigate the web - is there to let Google profile and track users - and present the information Google is paid to display them. So what user think or need becomes irrelevant, after all they don't pay for the product, advertiser do.

      People have been brainwashed into thinking open source is for their own good - but most of the time it is not. Sure, someone could fork and keep the old API and store alive - but where the resources would come from?

      Maybe Brave could achieve it, but it wont' be easy.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        Re: Security & Privacy

        "People have been brainwashed into thinking open source is for their own good - but most of the time it is not. Sure, someone could fork and keep the old API and store alive - but where the resources would come from?"

        I would definitely not say that MOST of the time open source is not for peoples own good.

        There are a lot open source projects such as Linux, Libreoffice, Apache, Blender, Firefox, GIMP, VLC etc that respect peoples privacy and are often as good as proprietary closed source software.

        Imagine we were all still reliant browsers such as Internet Explorer or original Edge, then you wouldn't have much choice if it were Microsoft that made this change as you can't fork them since they closed source.

        FYI im not defending Google i personally use Firefox and open fire up Chrome for badly written website that break in FF.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Security & Privacy

          Linux is one of those projects kept alive by interests of companies like Google that need many people contribute to code an OS they can use for their own interests without the need to invest much more money to develop a whole OS themselves. The same was true for Apache - but probably they need it far less now, and Apache development is very slow now.

          Other projects like Firefox could be better - but they are always looking for money to keep them alive. Other projects like GIMP are more amateurish, they can't compete with other commercial applications but might be far less dependent on big companies money.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Security & Privacy

            Google is one of those companies kept alive by leaning on projects like Linux.

            ftfy

      2. Long John Silver
        Pirate

        - but where the resources would come from?

        Answer: donations as through crowd-funding.

        The collective mindset at present centres upon making "investments" and taking a proportionate share of revenue generated. Investment is about "ownership".

        The Internet has global reach. It enables people with common interests to communicate. Thus, a well-presented and plausible R&D proposal arising from people with track-record of successes and of spotless reputation regarding probity may gain funding from sufficient among the billions of Internet users.

        The point is, each donates what he wishes to afford. There is expectation of obtaining a useful digital "product", and perhaps listing among a roll-call of contributors. No donor, however large the amount, has any claim of ownership of the "product". The makers (be it software, film, music, or literature) stand to enhance their reputations, thereby placing themselves in better position when competing again for a share of individuals' discretionary disposable incomes. Also, nothing prevents them vending support services, bespoke variations (still under an attribution licence), and associated "added-value".

        This mode of business/finance sits best with "cottage industries". To be hoped for is resurgence of this form of enterprise at expense of bloated behemoths.

        The Luddites' revenge?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: - but where the resources would come from?

          "Thus, a well-presented and plausible R&D proposal arising from people with track-record of successes"

          This is engineering, you only learn engineering through failure. If someone has a track record with more success than failure in the engineering space, I'd question their credibility.

          The only way to get to a successful product is to fail at it over and over again until it works. That is how software development works. See below:

          function new_app($hipster_name) {

          do while (success = false) {

          $app = publish_software();

          if ($app = "crap") {

          $crap_count = $crap_count++;

          if ($crap_count < 10) {

          $app->patch();

          } else {

          $app->abandon()

          $app = new_app();

          }

          } else {

          $app = new_app();

          }

          }

          }

          $crap_count = 0;

          $app = new_app();

          If this code is in itself a failure, please feel free to send me a push request, I will do my best to ignore it for at least 2 months then announce that Oracle has bought the repo and for everyone to use the alternative fork where I've found a way to consolidate all the bugs into one bug therefore allowing me to close almost all of the existing bugs.

          See, no matter what the result is the same...but the path with the failure has more learning involved therefore in theory produces better engineers as a result who can save a lot of valuable time by moving on to areas of failure as yet undiscovered by other engineers. Boldly failing where nobody has failed before *tng music*.

          Failure, the final frontier...these are the stories of real engineers who seek out new bugs yet to be written, to boldly fail where nobody has failed before...

          In my opinion, if you manage to get from 0 to success without any failure, you haven't invented anything new or broken new ground, you didn't engineer anything. You probably just made a skin for a database. We call these people web developers or C# developers. Professional database skin designers. To be fair to the database skin makers though, some backend engineers can be terrible and your job is sometimes like applying lipstick to a pig.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Security & Privacy

      When talking about security and privacy, one has to always ask for whom and from whom. In this instance, it's the "from whom" which differs:

      uBlock & co. are trying to protect users from malicious websites.

      Google are trying to protect users from malicious browser extensions.

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Security & Privacy

        Don't you mean 'Google is trying to protect users from adblocking extensions'?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Also

        Malicious websites is a little redundant, as the idea of running random code from any rando on the internet. The web is collectively and inherently malicious in nature. Just to varying degrees.

        Also, Google is the one hosting this crapware. The turned a blind eye to the 85-99% of browser extensions that were obvious crapware, spyware, and all but the worst malware. They still will after this.

        They aren't trying to protect users, they are trying to protect an ad monopoly while covering more anti-competitive interference with a fig leaf by calling it a crack down on "malicious" browser extensions.

        They could also police the open sewer of an extensions store they run, or only allow validated projects to access the deeper hooks, or a dozen other things that would be obvious if there real concern was cleaning up the thieves market they have run for decades.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Also

          Google isn't the only place where one can download Chrome/ium browser extensions, just the most popular and most visible. Any solution which only cleans up Google's Chrome extension store will only be a partial solution.

          Unless you want Google to completely lock down Chrome/ium to prevent installing extensions from anywhere but Google's walled garden, which I'm sure they'd also love to do.

      3. Cheshire Cat

        Re: Security & Privacy

        ITYM "Google are trying to protect Google's ad revenue from adblocking extensions"

  3. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    "Outliers like Brave and Mozilla have said they plan to continue support for MV2, though some resources will be required to do so."

    It's almost like the part of the FOSS community that isn't Google needs to create a "primary" fork of Chrome that everybody but Google can use going forward, instead of relying on Google's good graces (which, eh, ain't always that "good").

    1. Zolko Silver badge

      Konquerror

      What I don't understand is that all this "Chrome" thing started with the http engine of Konquerror. Later used by Apple as WebKit for their Safari http engine .... but then, why don't other browsers use the original Konquerror http engine ? Or a pre-google version of it ? Why rely on google for anything web related ? It's like the fox guarding the hen-house.

      1. Mockup1974

        Re: Konquerror

        I'd love it if the teams around Brave, Vivaldi and Opera - plus maybe the smaller uncommercial FOSS developers - would fork Chromium and rename the forked Blink engine something like "Rekonquered"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Konquerror

          That would be awesome! Need a deep wallet to make that happen though, and in the end it's a fools errand. Google rules chrome. It's strength isn't that its code is so great, it's that Google's an aggressive monopolist.

          If you fork it, they just do what they have already done so many times (webkit->blink->whatever as N goes to infinity). They can do that every couple of years if they need to the shake the fleas off. And whatever gets auto-installed on 95% of the browser market after their latest update is what the web will run on. Full stop.

          The only thing that will change that is to break up Google and dissolve Chrome. Otherwise like the baby bells, the severed finger will keep trying to reattach itself to it's old supply of blood(aka cash), and resurrect itself like the emperor in star wars.

          1. Zolko Silver badge

            Re: Konquerror

            Need a deep wallet to make that happen though

            not necessarily : "all" "they" have to do is to stick with Manifest v2. This would not be a real fork with new features, but the fork to continue the same code-base. And that code-base is stable therefore not much to do to maintain it. This could actually help us get rid of the change for changes sake

            1. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: Konquerror

              The problem with that is that the Chocolate Factories Chrome will still be the most used browser, the majority of badly written websites will continue to develop only for Google Chrome and within short order the Evil Overlords will implement something in Chrome that breaks something fundamental in other browsers. Websites don't work in your fancy new (actually old) browser and Chrome reinforces it's market share.

              1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

                Re: Konquerror

                I just remembered there is already another monopolist waiting in Chrome's wings should Google falter, so perhaps my suggestion was already doomed to failure from the start.

                Although it's hard to tell which monopolist's version would be the more heavy-handed on the community. Would definitely be a litmus test of Microsoft's true commitment to the FOSS community.

      2. Mostly Irrelevant

        Re: Konquerror

        The original KHTML engine is tremendously out of date. Even Konqueror uses Webkit now.

      3. rnturn

        Re: Konquerror

        Despite having access to a slew of web browsers on Linux, I can remember one web site that only worked with Konqueror for the longest time (I think it worked with IE well enough). But it's been years since that was the case; AFAIK, the site is now inaccessible to Linux users. I don't even bother trying nowadays.

  4. Big_Boomer

    Advertising weary?

    People don't want to pay for apps or websites (including ElReg) so the only way to get that revenue to pay for the app/website is via advertising. Then these same people want to block those adverts but still want the app/website to be "free". Well, time to wake up people. FREE is a marketing con. There is no such thing as FREE. You pay one way or the other. I don't blame Google at all for wanting to kill off Ad Blockers as they are devaluing their main source of income. Personally I tolerate apps and websites that have reasonable levels of advertising (like ElReg), and avoid the ones that seem to feel that they have to ram their adverts down your throat.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Advertising weary?

      The problem are not ads. The problem is the tracking and profiling. If ads comes without tracking and profiling, I have no reason not to display them.

      1. steelpillow Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Advertising weary?

        Well, Facebook just decided to spam me in every other item in my news feed. All cunningly contrived so that AdBlockPlus cannot stop it. Solution: log out and stay out until the idiots see daylight the other end of their arses. No need to move fast, guys, I'll be a while. Unless ABP bring out an upgrade and the war between them starts over. Then it'll be a very long while.

        1. mattaw2001

          Re: Advertising weary?

          FYI Adblock Plus seems to have a relationship with advertisers, and whitelists certain ads by choice/design. Wikipedia has some of the history and current information at the bottom: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adblock_Plus. Adblock's own site describes the group as being formed of industry folks, ordinary users, etc. here: https://adblockplus.org/acceptable-ads & https://acceptableads.com/. As written the committee for acceptable ads is pretty fair, with 1/3 users, 1/3 tech or academia and 1/3 industry. Note, that bigger companies get more votes in the industry group.

          I am not saying Adblock are doing it wrong, however uBlock Origin appears to be one that does not contain a built in whitelist, and allows you to consume multiple standard blocklists, or you own custom ones, easily.

          [Note uBlock (not uBlock origin!) appears to be maintained and operated in bad faith. I do not advise you use that one, please google for more information.]

          1. cam
            Meh

            Re: Advertising weary?

            I used ABP for a few years, many years ago until I saw the resources it ate up on my smaller, less powerful system. Then I switched to Ghostery, and moved away from it when I realised it wasn't willing or able to block what I wanted.

            Then I used uBO, and still do. It's more configurable and less hassle in the long run, and when you start to get a handle on the syntax, it's quite easy to use. Not only is it able to block a given 3rd party from running globally, it can be enabled on a site by site basis, which is fantastic if you dislike auto-video, which force visual or audio content down your throat before the page had finished loading.

            Of course, coupled with a browser that tries to block ads a little too is helpful. However, people need to get real with these ads, and the people pushing them:

            "Under its former owner Evidon, Ghostery had an opt-in feature called GhostRank. GhostRank took note of ads encountered and blocked, then sent that information back to advertisers who could then use that data to change their ads to avoid further being blocked; although this feature is meant to incentivize advertisers to create less intrusive ads and thus a better web experience, the data can just as easily be used to create more malicious ads that escape detection."

            So they will categorically try to subvert ad blockers even when in an agreement to try to work with them. I've seen this on other, namely streaming platforms. So I have no compunction with blocking any and all ads all of the time, regardless of the site or platform. I pay for my connection, my hardware and my software. They can charge for access to their site, if that's their preferred model. I will not be subscribing. :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Advertising weary?

        ...and of course not plastering them in every bit of available whitespace.

        I don't mind ads per se, I just don't like them being shunted into my peripheral vision constantly. An ad banner at the bottom of an app is fine, and an ad banner at the top of an article is fine. Ads down the sides, between each paragraph and fullscreen behind every link I click.

        At some point there has to be a line drawn between adequately funding your project and blatant obnoxious profiteering.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Advertising weary?

          I'm sure much of this behaviour is down to marketing people who, to put it bluntly, are abject morons and don't or cannot see the damage they are doing to their own brand.

          Take s typical local newspaper's website and try to view it without some form of ad blocking. They are totally and utterly unviewable. Advertising revenue goes down? Simple, insert more bloody adverts. Advertising starts to go down again? Insert more bloody adverts. Advertising goes down yet again? Insert more bloody adverts.

          It's highly important, evidently, for such a site to have at least 50% of the space taken up by the same bullshit click bait that is on every other single news type site - personalised for the detected IP address therefore "local mum from <X> makes this much through this one trick" type bullshit. Nothing says more about the reputation of your own website as including bullshit clickbait on every page.

          Should there be any content to see, it will be frequently trampled on by ad content slid over the top of it, which moves with the content and only needs to be looked at to auto-play some video for the advert. Then when you scroll down to read the rest of the article, it's critical that the advert is moved into the middle of this, causing a whole page refresh and, of course, the bloody video advert to appear in the middle of the screen.

          The end result is a toxic piece of shit of a web page with 0.1% content and 99.9% complete shit. The website will then either fold or be borged into a larger entity that has the remaining resources to spam bullshit "content" into what is left of the reputation of the original website.

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Advertising weary?

        >The problem is the tracking and profiling.

        The tracking is cross-browser...

        Yesterday, in Chrome, did a Google and visited Screwfix...

        Today in Edge on its startup page, is an ad from Screwfix for the part I was looking at yesterday and I'm running an Adblocker...

    2. Totally not a Cylon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Advertising weary?

      Disclaimer: I am old enough to remember the internet Pre-Advertising.

      Sites used to advertise by having footers & headers which contained static images hosted on the server, these contained one or more adverts for companies which paid the company showing the adverts directly. These also tend to be unblockable by adblock because they look like any other image.

      The biggest grumble about adverts is that they are not hosted by the same site and often contain video & sound AND MALWARE!!!

      On a news site I want to read the news not watch a badly produced video of it. The Register is white-listed in adblock but I still don't see adverts due to Pi-Hole which is blocking google, etc....

      tl;dr run your own adverts and get revenue, use an ad agency and get blocked.

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: Advertising weary?

        " footers & headers which contained static images hosted on the server"

        The problem is that it's the brokers who make the real money once ad space is dynamically auctioned. Several researchers have found that the party that makes most out of this is the ad broker, and one research paper on this came to the conclusion that personalised adverts were quite ineffective as those who responded to them had a high likelihood of making the purchase anyway in the absence of the advert. But the ad brokers have got businesses hooked in just the same way as they struggle to get to page one of Goooooooooogle. The gigantic con works simply because nobody dare take the risk of dropping off the hamster wheel in case they lose business.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Advertising weary?

          Also the escalation of the content hasn't helped either. What advert is going to be noticed more? The subtle, well behaved one, or the piece of shit that's blaring in the viewer's face? In the end they all have to be blaring in the viewer's face in order to be seen.

          This escalation benefits absolutely nobody other than, as you've noted, the vacuous middle-agencies.

      2. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Advertising weary?

        Every word the truth.

        I remember that era as well. I even pioneered (and please don't hate me) the first video ads. But they had NO tracking. What for? All you needed was page count. Was page viewed? Yes? Then so was ad. Done.

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Advertising weary?

          Tracking is so they know what ad to show you.

          The model of which you speak is akin to the old way of doing it, with print ads (which worked very well for hundreds of years, before it was decided that advertising necessarily meant tracking too), where the ad that appears on page 20 is the same for every person who sees page 20. If the ad is always the same, all you need to do is count the number of times it was served, and there you have it.

          That's how it works when the ads are hosted by the website itself. In the "modern" model, an ad is just an iframe or some other DOM element that merely points to some ad company site. The ad company dynamically serves up an ad according to an algorithm that takes into account all that the ad company knows about you, along with the price per view of all of the ads that may fit your dossier. By selling the idea of "targeted" ads as such to the advertiser, they are able to demand higher advertising rates than they could if it was an untargeted ad (like putting an ad for a given car in a news magazine or site) or a semi-targeted ad (like putting an ad for PC parts in a magazine about PCs, or on a site whose focus is PCs).

          That's the thing about this "modern" advertising. The whole model depends wholly on spying and tracking and hoovering up huge amounts of data. Ads mean tracking and privacy violation, and I for one am so accustomed to this that I no longer perceive ads as merely annoying as I did in the pre-internet and early internet days. Now I perceive ads as an attack, like a type of malware, and I don't take kindly to that.

          I will never lower my shields and allow myself to be attacked... that would be insane. Even if I understand that a site gets its revenue from ads, I am not going to turn off my adblocker and let myself become the adbroker's punching bag so that the site can make a few cents. If they rely on me being assaulted as part of their business model, they need a new business model. A return to the old non-targeted advertising model would do it, but the likes of Facebook and Google won't ever consider divorcing the spying from the ads. It's not what they are about.

          It's why the entire web advertising model is hopelessly broken. Ads equal privacy violations and an increased attack surface for miscreants who can hijack the ad networks to deliver malvertising right to your PC when you're doing the supposed right thing and sticking to reputable sites.

          1. NATTtrash Silver badge

            Re: Advertising weary?

            If they rely on me being assaulted as part of their business model, they need a new business model.

            That is the thing of course. I'm afraid we are (all?) hopelessly old fashioned when we refer to the "magazine ad on page 20" and think that it is about the woolly sweater or dog food advertised there. Of course selling advertisement has always been a biz and line of income for publications, but now it has come to a point where the ad on itself is insignificant. The whole "real time bidding" model shows you that there is absolutely no relation any more to trying to make you buy something. It's all about conquering and renting out that piece of web page space, and then, like a good landlord, with your data in hand, convincing the person renting it "why it is ideal for $USER" and "it's value for money".

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Advertising weary?

            I suspect the problem for websites is that unless you're quite big, you don't have the resources to do proper research on your customers - nor do you have the resources to sell your ads.

            Big sites could probably do something similar to bigger YouTube channels and actively search out sponsors for ads within videos.

            "We average X views on an article. We served primarily tech inclined people. Our offer of prominent ad space is this such and such, we can also work with your marketing team to setup the look as you want, for an additional fee.".

            Otherwise you'd need a different type of ad broker, who tracked the sites in it's network based on content type and negotiated deals for ads based on that. Here you'd still run into the issue of how to serve the ads locally.

            1. 142

              Re: Advertising weary?

              > Big sites could probably do something similar to bigger YouTube channels and actively search out sponsors for ads within videos.

              The interesting thing to take from YouTube is that it's not just the big channels.

              The sponsors are generally more enthusiastic about buying slots on smaller, niche channels, as viewers generally trust the small channels more.

              The same should hold for smaller websites.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Advertising weary?

        I too am old enough to remember the internet pre-ads...mind you, I might not have been able to see them through the sheer number of shitty animated gifs.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Advertising weary?

      Two forums I use

      Forum 1 offers a £12 PA option with no ads, so I paid £12, even though I was running U Block origin.

      Forum 2 Has ads, relevent ads I have bought from as the companies advertising are directly relevant. Hosted on the forum.

      News sites, one I use has no adverst, the others I admit I use blockerss, but only read one or two articles so not worth subscribing. One particular site can afford to pay a relative well so no money issues there.

    4. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Advertising weary?

      reasonable levels of advertising

      I have actually bought a couple expensive and several not-so-expensive items from YouTube ads.

      Not the random YouTube ads that intrude into the video (those are blocked) but the sponsored portions of the video.

      The sponsors are usually very related to the subject of the video and are thus actually relevant to my interests.

      So advertising does work, to some extent, but they have to put in a bit more effort than just flinging $XX,000s at Google or Amazon whoever.

      And tracking is RIGHT out and gets blocked.

      1. Wenlocke

        Re: Advertising weary?

        The sponsorship ones can get out of hand though.

        For example, thanks to their astroturfing of tons every niche hobby and gamer-related channel going, you couldn't pay me enough to play Raid: Shadow Legends. It might be the Best Game Ever, but the whole thing is waaaay oversaturated. Yeah sure, I might consider someone's opinion valid, but when 20 or 30 people I watch are all spouting the same thing with a few of the words swapped round, I tend to be skeptical.

        I recognise that for some small content creators, these people pay good dollar so its a reasonable survival tactic, given how crap YT revenues have become, but it just means that any merits the game may have had have been obliterated by the tide of astroturfing.

    5. steelpillow Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Advertising weary?

      I prefer to pay in my own sweat and blood, supporting my community of likeminded individuals. In the wider world this is known as charities, in software land it is known as F/LOSS.

    6. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Advertising weary?

      "Personally I tolerate apps and websites that have reasonable levels of advertising (like ElReg)"

      Personally, I don't. I have a no-holds-barred approach to blocking advertising (Pi-Hole, Blokada, and uBlock Origin are my weapons of choice) because most ads these days are insanely intrusive (I find El Reg's liberal spraying of advertising on the side banners to be unbearable), and then there's are the tracking and malware issues brought up already by other posters. I think paywalls are a perfectly valid approach to preventing "freeloading" by ad blockers, and if a site wants to use ad-blocker blockers, that's also fine by me in terms of me going elsewhere. Advertising has become so prevalent, pervasive, and pernicious, however, that for the sake of my own sanity and for the well-being of my various computers, I do my best to avoid consuming it as much as possible.

      And don't even get me started on auto-play video ads, especially on mobile.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Advertising weary?

        And don't even get me started on auto-play video ads, [...]

        Actually, I'd like to. My company requires Chrome or Edge and will not tolerate Firefox (for reasons they refuse to state publicly). I have the Disable HTML5 Autoplay add-on for Chrome active. This is an older add on (version 0.6.2), which is no longer supported and has started to misbehave in that videos (e.g. from reputable news websites) will hang during loading. If you, Throatwarbler, or anyone else has an acceptable substitute for this apparently outdated add-on, I'd appreciate a pointer.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Advertising weary?

      Ads can work, and work well. Without tracking. Without harvesting data. Without profiling.

      A good example is free-to-air TV.

      If I watch <insert programme name here> and you watch it, and my mum watches it, and your neighbor's mum watches it, etc, etc . . .

      We ALL SEE THE SAME AD.

      See? No data harvesting required. The Ad pays for the content. The content creator gets paid. All is well.

      The profiling is based on the content, not the viewer. So SUV Ads might be popular during football broadcasts, supermarket advertising might be popular in cooking shows, and so on. It works.

      The web should operate the same way.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Advertising weary?

        >The web should operate the same way.

        With only sites that appeal to the broadest possible market because without targeting they can only attract broadest advertisers who want the blandest content

        1. ayay

          Re: Advertising weary?

          Not necessarily.

          I was on a channel for space exploration nerds, and stumbled upon an ad for a razor.

          Two oddly specific things, seemingly unrelated. The commonality was that both the channel and the razor manufacturer are Canadian.

          I bought the razor. And it is amazing.

          I ad block the hell out of everything otherwise. As far as I am concerned, niche ads are the way to go.

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Advertising weary?

        If I watch <insert programme name here> and you watch it, and my mum watches it, and your neighbor's mum watches it, etc, etc . . .

        We ALL SEE THE SAME AD.

        Well, not necessarily. I have noted many instances where my streaming service will feed different adverts into he middle of the same program being watched at the same time on different TVs in the house. Probably has something to do with the stream, but it has happened with Live TV being streamed as well.

        YMMV, of course, depending on the streaming service and source being streamed.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Advertising weary?

          He said "free-to-air": streaming services have your individual (to the login, at least) viewing history available at least, probably more.

          Good old fashioned TV, without the streaming, can at most provide regionally differentiated advertising.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Advertising weary?

        @The web should operate the same way.

        That's naive.

        Those with the power to change things (and that's not youBTW), fundamentally disagree.

  5. s. pam
    Megaphone

    Easy as solution

    Don't use Chrome, it is the stuff of nightmares.

    Use Firefox and avoid the insanity of Google's sticky fingers with DuckDuckGo as your default search engine.

    Next problem?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easy as solution

      I have to ask how deep Google's sticky fingers stick in Firefox though.

      1. MrDamage Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Easy as solution

        Grab the linux version and take a wander through the source code yourself.

    2. Rich 2

      Re: Easy as solution

      DuckDuckGo is rubbish. It uses Google underneath so it’s results are basically crap

      In fact, it’s worse than that - at least Google is fairly good at localised results (or used to be). DDG doesn’t know what a localised result is

      I don’t understand why DDG is promoted as much as it is. It’s a crap search engine

      1. Mockup1974

        Re: Easy as solution

        Agree with you on DDG's lack of localised results. It's too US-focused.

        By the way, DDG is based on Bing and Yandex. Startpage is the one the regurgitates Google's results.

        If you want a completely independent yet capable search engine I'd recommend Brave Search. It's giving relevant and localised results and even has the same !bangs as DDG (!d for a DDG search, !s for a Startpage search...)

        1. NATTtrash Silver badge

          Re: Easy as solution

          Saw documentary on the Beeb...

          The people at Google seem to use Qwant... =))))

          BTW: startpage seems to have it's best time after they were acquired in 2019...

          ...by a US company called Privacy One Group, which is a division of System1, a “data science” company that specializes in targeted advertising.

          https://restoreprivacy.com/startpage-system1-privacy-one-group/

          https://www.startpage.com/privacy-please/startpage-articles/startpage-and-privacy-one-group

          https://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/di5rn3/startpage_is_now_owned_by_an_advertising_company/

      2. scot stockwell

        Re: Easy as solution

        you make your choice:

        1. an efficient and easy search with bells and whistles which profiles and tracks everything you do. everything.

        2. a less efficient engine that is privacy focussed.

        DDG may not be perfect but it is better than most. Brave Search is similar.

      3. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Localised results - but without privacy intrusion?

        Isn't that a bit of a contradiction?

        "I don't want websites knowing personal details, such as my location"

        "Why aren't these search results localised to me?"

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Localised results - but without privacy intrusion?

          You know my IP address. That's enough to have a reasonable guess at my country. That's all the localisation that I need, for an ad. If I want anything narrower for a search, I'll say so in the search expression and it's my choice to do so.

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: Localised results - but without privacy intrusion?

            Indeed, if you want localised results you can just add the location to the search.

            Better yet, you can add a *useful* location. For example, if I'm visiting York this evening I have no need of a restaurant search for my current location, Derby, let alone where the search engine believes I happen to live (which shifts all over the place, to my great amusement).

      4. rnturn

        Re: Easy as solution

        > DuckDuckGo is rubbish. It uses Google underneath so it’s results are basically crap

        I thought DDG was using Bing for its searches.

      5. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Easy as solution

        DDG is mostly relying on BING, not Google. And it's anonymising the searches so there is few ways for Bing to find out what you searched for and then track you across the web, unlike when you use it directly where they know what links you click on and sell that data to whomever wants it.

        "In fact, it’s worse than that - at least Google is fairly good at localised results (or used to be). DDG doesn’t know what a localised result is"

        Well yes, DDG is privacy focused and DOESN'T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE. That's the point!! It's hard to localise a search if you don't know where a person is. Learn to add a search term to define your area.

        DDG is promoted because it's not nearly as crap as some people want you to believe, just takes some getting used to as it's closer to how search engines used to behave instead of trying to predict (and fail) what you actually want to search for. Nowadays I find Google to be FAR worse DDG when searching for more niche things because Google has the sheer smegging balls to think it knows what I want better than me and ignores half my search string to put irrelevant and useless links at the top of the result.

        1. Steve Graham
          Unhappy

          Re: Easy as solution

          I use DDG as my first-choice search engine, but I find that if the query has few real results, DDG will silently add results which do not include all the search items. When I open a supposed result web page and find that it isn't relevant, I revert to Google search, I'm afraid.

          1. ayay

            Re: Easy as solution

            I find google to be worse for thinking it's smarter than you, adding results you didn't ask for.

  6. pluraquanta

    Google keeps saying this is necessary to reign in the potential damage that malicious extensions could do, but it's their extension store. Moderate it, jackasses.

  7. Data Mangler

    Pihole, all the way

    Simply use Pihole. This combined with Wireguard VPN for DNS can also ensure your mobile browsing is ad- and tracker-free.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Pihole, all the way

      That is only helpful for people who are aware of the issues.

      For the average user, they have no idea and just click the big button to accept all cookies. Add blockers and such like are an irrelevance.

      At least some antivirus/anti-malware products now have some blocking built in and will stop inadvertent access to the worst sites.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pihole, all the way

      Absolutely - set mine up years ago and haven't touched it since - it just keeps on working. Note: that doesn't mean there in having it running on the inside, but it does effectively block.

    3. chololennon
      Unhappy

      Re: Pihole, all the way

      Sadly Pihole is not good at blocking youtube ads :-(

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Pihole, all the way

        Surprisingly it does if you aren't logged in on YouTube.

        Pihole + brave + not logged into Google = no ads,

        Although you have to manually check for new videos from your fav channela

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. pluraquanta

      Re: Dumb thinking

      If the request just fails, the website will keep trying. They have to edit the request to return a null value so the request "succeeds" but doesn't contain anything.

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: Dumb thinking

        "If the request just fails, the website will keep trying."

        Presumably, it's actually the browser that initiates the request on the basis of some statement in the content it's already acquired. Let's suppose it just chooses to ignore the statement. This is indeed what happens when I turn off automatic image loading in Firefox.

  9. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Holmes

    NSS

    Company that gets a lot of its revenue from displaying adverts to users makes tools that prevent the displaying of adverts less effective.

    How are people surprised by this?

  10. WolfFan Silver badge

    I try to avoid Chrome

    I have a copy inside a ZIP file on my main Mac and Windows machines. (I noticed that somehow copies not in ZIP files updated themselves, and wondered what else they were doing) I take Chrome out of the ZIP if, and only if, a site gives significant trouble with Firefox, Safari, and Brave. I use Chrome long enough to locate the Contacts line on the site (if present, some sites don’t have one) and to fire off a note, requesting that they support browsers other than Chrome, as I won’t be coming back unless they do. I then shut down Chrome, put it back into a ZIP, and drive on. To date more than 90% of Chrome-only sites have ignored me, so I don’t do business with them. I’m in charge of IT around here, and Chrome use requires special permission from me, so no-one at the company goes to those sites either. Some individuals and departments have complained; I say that Chrome represents a security problem, and that they can use it if they sign a form stating that they take responsibility for any problem that may result. Strangely enough, no-one’s signed. Imagine that.

    I find it amazing that some companies apparently are incapable of building sites accessible to non-Chromium browsers. Did they learn nothing from the Great MSIE 6 Debacle? When our company builds a site, you better believe that we make sure that it works properly with Firefox, Safari… and Chrome, and Chromium in general, even Edge. (Site builders are among the few who have Chrome live on their machines, which are locked off from the rest of the network. It’s not paranoid when they are out to get you.) We also test for various screen sizes, down to smaller cell phones. We _want_ people to be able to access the site, on whatever system they have. We are not going to try to dictate to our customers what they must use in order to give us money. Doing that may work in the short term, but long term users will be annoyed and will go elsewhere as soon as they find a source more to their liking.

    I use Firefox or Safari on my personal machines.

  11. Mint Sauce
    Black Helicopters

    Consequences

    "...to deal with what it characterized as the security, privacy, and performance consequences."

    Ah yes, Google were upset that people were using extensions to improve their OWN security, privacy and performance - at the expense of Big G's data siphoning, presumably.

  12. teebie

    Will we still be able to block ads which interrupt you reading a page to show a loading icon, then scroll you down to a question about whether your company is preparing for a recession?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Autoscrolling poll

      See here.

      C.

  13. AndrueC Silver badge
    Facepalm

    It'd be nice if something could block the survey that has appeared on El Reg. It's inoffensive in itself but it causes Chrome to scroll to the bottom of the page to render it when I first arrive at a page.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Autoscrolling poll

      It shouldn't autoscroll at all - and we've asked our tech peeps to address that ASAP. It should be fixed soon.

      C.

      Edit: It should be fixed now - sorry about that!

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Autoscrolling poll

        Yup, all fixed now.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Google

    If I was asked to accept- and pay for - the delivery of an un-franked letter which contained marketing, I would unhestiatingly refuse it.

    Similarly, were I contacted by my phone company and asked to accept a collect call that was some kind of marketing, I would refuse it. Insight actually get somewhat forthright.

    So why does Google and other online advert pushers, expect me to spaff my data allowance and paid-for data just to download marketing?

    People (if web marketers qualify for that term) used to bleat that ad-blocking equated to theft. I suggest the opposite: web advertising is theft.

  15. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

    Means to an end...

    Chrome, isn't that the thing you use to download FireFox?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google keeps making my decision to limit my Chrome use for sites that work *only* with Chrome one my better ones lately. When I skim through Chrome plugin store, I never find the sort of plugins that I can find for Firefox that let me customize my web viewing. So it's Firefox for most sites and Chrome for those troublesome sites whose designers don't care about users who haven't drunk the Chrome Kool-Aid.

  17. raving angry loony
    Megaphone

    Optimal solution:

    Dump Chrome. A browser created by a company that makes money from advertising and data-mining personal information isn't going to be anyone's friend.

    1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      Re: Optimal solution:

      Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

      Or... the 1st thing I do with any new android phone, is disable chrome and install firefox and duckduckgo privacy essentials.

      I'll use googles search only if I happen to forget and do a voice search instead of typing my search in.

      I may not be able to block 100%% of these fuckwits tracking and harvesting... But I'm pretty sure I'm getting rid of a good 80% of it across mobile and desktop.

    2. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

      Re: Optimal solution:

      I vehemently agree. Google facilitating ad-blockers is simply a contradiction in terms.

    3. raving angry loony

      Re: Optimal solution:

      From the downvotes I see Google staff are reading these articles. I wonder if any of the downvoters are going to respond with why they disagree with the statement "that a company that makes money from advertising and data-mining personal information isn't going to be anyone's friend"? Or is it that they don't agree that dumping Chrome would resolve the issue with Chrome making adblockers more and more difficult?

      I'm quite curious really. Just downvoting someone without giving any reasons seems... well, poor form really.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chrome?

    Yeah, nah!

    1. Anonymous IV
      Happy

      Re: Chrome?

      > Yeah, nah.

      You are Ozzy Man and I claim my A$5...

  19. imanidiot Silver badge

    Anti-competitive business practices

    I would think it's about time some of those government watchdogs that supposedly exist to safeguard our privacy and prevent anti-competitive business practices start waking up to these practices. This whole thing seems scummy as heck.

    1. raving angry loony

      Re: Anti-competitive business practices

      You mean the government watchdogs staffed by people on leave from companies like Google, Microsoft, or Amazon? They're called "captured regulators" and Canadian and USA governments specialize in those types of fake regulatory oversight.

  20. js6898

    I use Edge and host file.

  21. Zincwombat

    What am I missing here?

    I use safari, chrome and brave and never see an add.

    The solution is simple, get yourself a pihole (I have a couple in a failover configuration) and I also use a pfsense router running “pfblocker” as well as intrusion detection software.

    When I use other peoples browsers or forget to use my wireguard VPN while travelling, I am continually astounded by the nauseating crap adds people have to put up with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No add huh? What about subtractions? or divisions?

  22. Scene it all

    Do these ad-blockers do anything that a PiHole or other DNS interceptions can't do?

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge
  23. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

    True then?

    So it's true then? Google's deliberately altering Chrome's API's to thwart ad-blockers from working. Why don't they just ban them outright instead of throwing up all sorts of obstacles and pretending it's for "the good of the web"?

    At least people can then make an informed choice and vote with their feet. Hopefully Firefox or some other open-source browser can profit from their greediness.

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: True then?

      The codebase will get permanently forked if Google cripples Chromium or Android too quickly. They break unwanted features "for security" in small steps until they're unusable and unused.

      The joke will be on Google when their moneymakers fail by the same means. I can see official Android and Chromium ending soon. New features are trivial but break everything, so why bother staying aligned to their source repo? Once that's done, there's no reason for anyone to keep showing Google ads or installing Google spyware either. Google can go join whatever Oath is.

  24. AHW

    I use Epic Privacy Browser and have no problems at all

  25. Tron

    Alternative paths.

    One option is to download websites on demand and run them as app/lications in a sandbox, piping them to the desktop/device.

    Another option would be to produce a much simpler browser adhering to an earlier set of hypertext-like protocols. Make the rules clear and allow individuals and companies to produce an alt website at, well, alt.name.com, alongside their main website.

    Being simpler, most of the malware couldn't work by design. You could still do a pretty website with links and jpgs, still stream audio and video and still have adverts. But users would have control over what they saw. One right click on an advert and that source of advertising would be blocked by the user for one or all sites.

    Instead of selling our souls for some pointless new gimmicks, we get the web we want back.

    Don't compete with Google. Users can use Chrome wherever they need to. Nobody is limited to one browser. Then we can use our retrobrowser wherever we can - hopefully an increasing number of sites that adopt it alongside their Chrome-compatible site.

  26. msobkow Silver badge

    I gave up on adblockers about 2 years ago when I got fiber internet. That was around the time they started selling "premium" access to "select" customers, negating the whole point of using an ad blocker.

    Seeing as they weren't doing the job properly any more, I just stopped using them...

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Don't know which Adblocker you were using, never been asked for a subscription.

      Personally, if an adblocker blocks the majority of scam websites, that's good enough - just as I don't expect my security suite to detect all malware but I do expect it to flag known scam websites etc..

  27. EricB123 Bronze badge

    A Modest Proposal

    I say screw Google! Is sticking with their Chromium engine really that much of a cost and development time saver? It seems to me using Google API's is like counting cards in blackjack with the dealer using a 6 deck shoe. The damn thing is constantly changing at every whim.

    I like Brave, but if I notice this privacy thing starts going downhill after the new Chromium comes on-line I will switch to a Mozilla based browser. Problem solved.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FWIW Ublock Origin is much more than an adblocker

    In fact, its first claim is that it's not an adblocker:

    https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock

    1. raving angry loony

      Re: FWIW Ublock Origin is much more than an adblocker

      From my point of view, I don't use ad blockers. I use "anti-privacy code" blockers that will block trackers and other privacy destroying bits of code. If the advertisers keep wrapping their ads in these things, not seeing those ads is simply a side effect. I see ads on websites that don't USE those kinds of things. I never see ads on websites that also try to harvest as much information as they can using scummy and scammy code and practices.

      And yes, I use uBlock Origin. Amongst other tools.

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