Sunday, January 27, 2019

If You Can't Trust Your Window...

Mirrored on Pillowfort
Mirrored on Patchwork

We're not cynics, we just don't believe a word you say
 - "Cynics & Critics" by Icon For Hire

"Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world."
 - George Bernard Shaw

"Web browsers are our windows to the internet."
 - me

Future versions of Chromium and Google Chrome may very soon not allow third-party ad blockers installed as add-ons. AdBlock Plus will still probably work, but that comes as little solace if you're aware that developer Eyeo GmbH not only has accepted money, but gone so far as demand it, from business citing falling revenue due to ad blockers looking for a loophole.

An ad blocker that only blocks the advertisements of business that aren't paying it money? That sounds like a protection racket if I've ever heard one. (Statement of opinion, not fact, so doesn't count as libel.)

But Google is getting on board, according to The Register this week, changing how their operating system and browser operates (warning, it gets a little technical) in such a way that hampers other ad blocking software from working.

There is solace to be found, fortunately. Included on the list of browsers recommended and vetted by (oh, how I love that site), is Mozilla Firefox, which also comes recommended from yours truly. They do also suggest (though I recommend it only to paranoid and /or advanced users) Tor Browser, which is a Firefox fork that uses measures similar to those found in Tor to obscure their users' activity. Again, paranoid and advanced users only; for everybody else: switch to Firefox.

For those already using Firefox but still running AdBlock Plus as their primary ad blocker, I recommend uBlock Origins, which is not just open-source, but manifestly refuses financial donations. You won't catch Eyeo GmbH doing that.

And if you find yourself growing in suspicion over Google's choices, one, Facebook is guilty of much worse, and two, come follow me on Pillowfort or Patchwork, because guess what? Google serves as both my domain names service provider and the host of Blogger, my blogging platform. Small wonder that I've been mirroring so many of my posts lately, no?


Update (21 Feb 2019):
Alphabet/Google has recanted their decision on this matter. Don't take that as a promise they won't feel the temptation again. As I suggested in the update to my Patchwork post (no editing of posts):

A year from now, ten, they'll swing back to the idea...
...that they can make people better.
 - Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Serenity

Patchwork Link Reference: %gxezNGAWqMWmkY4ZhKOUx/TfcLo2HEttC38JTpVt2Vc=.sha256