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Google Technology

Google Chrome Extensions Are Now Available 291

Posted by kdawson
from the bloat-your-own dept.
kai_hiwatari writes "The Google Chrome Extensions site is now open for Windows and Linux users — but not yet for Mac — and contains around 300 extensions. AdBlock is not yet available, however. (The closest thing to it is Adsweep, but right now it seems to be broken. Who wants to take this on?) Does the availability of extensions put Chrome at risk of becoming bloated, like many complain about with Firefox?"
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Google Chrome Extensions Are Now Available

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  • Even though I'm a little bit skeptical about the bloated aspect, hopefully SRWare Iron [srware.net] will be updated to support them soon too. Iron is Chrome but with all the things that violate your privacy removed.

    Hopefully Chrome's extension system is done better than in Firefox though. It becomes incredibly clumsy, and the interface itself is already too. Been the main reason I've stayed with Opera, as it has everything build-in and works fast. But maybe Chrome becomes more useful now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mdm-adph (1030332)

      Hey, I think Chrome's great, too, but I don't see how you can call Firefox's extension system "incredibly clumsy" -- you install extensions, you can remove them from an addons panel, and they're upgraded automatically (which is more than you can say for Chrome, I think). That's it -- there's nothing more to it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FlyingBishop (1293238)

        He was clearly talking about the architecture, not the UI.

        Personally, I'm skeptical that Chrome will offer significant performance improvements over Firefox once its extension system is up to scratch. Even if Chrome's architecture is better, I would expect the extensions themselves to be of similar quality to those in Firefox.

        • by mdm-adph (1030332)

          I don't see how you can say that he was "clearly talking about the architecture, not the UI," when he didn't mention either one of those in his post. ;)

          • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

            by hclewk (1248568)

            sopssa: Bananas are gross.
            mdm-adph: I don't see how you can call bananas gross -- they are yellow and smooth and curved. How is that gross?
            FlyingBishop: He was clearly talking about the taste of bananas.

            My point: If I make a vague statement about something that could mean either A or B and A is obviously wrong, then it's pretty safe to assume I'm talking about B. So don't bash me because you assume I'm talking about A. (replace "I" with "sopssa")

      • by mcrbids (148650) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:42PM (#30370008) Journal

        Hey, extensions are great - but for one detail: Security! The current extensions model is as insecure as hell. All extensions have full access to the browser process - there is NOTHING that stops a rogue extension that was helpfully installed when you tried to punch the monkey and clicked "Yes" to the annoying question from watching everything you do in the browser and send any input you type into a form back to a mother ship you didn't even know existed.

        I appreciate that the idea of adding a decent security model into extensions and plugins is a hard, thorny problem to solve. But that is exactly why we really, desperately need it! The browser is, for many computing environments, the "Operating System". Although I write this on a Linux laptop, the computing platform I use for development isn't Windows or Linux or MacOS, it's Firefox/Chrome! I don't personally much care what O/S the end user uses.

        Because of this importance, because the browser is fast becoming the only O/S that actually matters, it's vitally important that we develop SOME kind of framework for application level security. The utter lack of a current extensions security model is just begging for disaster!

        • there is NOTHING that stops a rogue extension that was helpfully installed when you tried to punch the monkey and clicked "Yes" to the annoying question

          Bad example. All the security in the world's not going to have save you from stupid shit like that. By your metric, everything's an incredible security risk because we're all lusers. How's that Mozilla's fault?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Thinboy00 (1190815)

            At least mozilla disables the "OK" button for ~5 seconds so that you actually read the warning (and by default doesn't allow installation of extensions from anywhere other than addons.mozilla.org (but you can (easily) change that if you want to so it's not evil)).

        • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @04:21PM (#30370494) Homepage Journal

          All mozilla extensions on addons.mozilla.org go through a review process. Stuff might slip through, but its unlikely that unwanted behaviour in popular addons isn't noticed. The addons are distributed over SSL.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by js_sebastian (946118)

            All mozilla extensions on addons.mozilla.org go through a review process. Stuff might slip through, but its unlikely that unwanted behaviour in popular addons isn't noticed. The addons are distributed over SSL.

            And are the updates properly secured with digital signatures? Otherwise dns poisoning or open wireless MITM is all that is needed..

        • by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3NO@SPAMjustconnected.net> on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @04:43PM (#30370764)

          Firefox extensions would be next to useless if there was sandboxing or anything like that. The entire base browser is more-or-less a large extension, at least from an architectural point of view. The idea is that extensions can and and replace arbitrary bits of the browser, because they're peers.

          "Fixing" that problem would destroy Firefox.

          Enough people use Firefox that, if your dire predictions were accurate, we'd see hundreds of exploits. But Firefox makes it really hard to install extensions from anywhere outside the SSL-secured addons.mozilla.org site.

          IOW, it's not a problem

        • by jonbryce (703250) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @06:08PM (#30371796) Homepage

          There is a firefox extension I use called Property Bee. What it does is that every time I visit certain popular British and Irish real estate listing sites, such as Rightmove, it sends details of everything I look at on the site to a central server. In return, it tells me what all the other plug-in users saw when they looked at that particular property, so I can see a full history of all the changes the estate agent (realtor) has made to the listing, including price and description.

          A plug in like that, which is totally up-front about what it does is fine, but the same technology that is used in that plug-in could be used for purposes that are definitely not OK.

      • by The MAZZTer (911996) <.megazzt. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:57PM (#30370172) Homepage
        Chrome updates extensions in the background without prompts. I was actually surprised when I realized this had happened, didn't expect it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bencoder (1197139)
        Chromes extensions install without you having to restart the browser. if they crash, they crash only the extension, and they are also very easy to make (just javascript). I find the extension model much better than firefox's.

        Unfortunately I can't stand webkit's middle click behaviour [webkit.org] years of middle clicking on everything are not easily forgotten, so i'm sticking with firefox.
        • by Tetsujin (103070)

          Chromes extensions install without you having to restart the browser. if they crash, they crash only the extension, and they are also very easy to make (just javascript). I find the extension model much better than firefox's.

          Unfortunately I can't stand webkit's middle click behaviour [webkit.org] years of middle clicking on everything are not easily forgotten, so i'm sticking with firefox.

          I've never been too happy with Firefox's middle-click behavior, though. It seems to be mapped to a bunch of one-click operations that have apparently nothing to do with each other...

          Middle click in window: paste clipboard buffer to URL bar and go
          Middle click on link: open link in new tab (this one is actually useful)
          Middle click on tab: close the tab

          So if you mistakenly middle-click while you're not over a link you get sent to some random place - quite possibly the badly-behaved DNS server's ad page... It

    • You forgot that Iron also has a built-in adblocker. It works a lot better than Adsweep.
    • by at_slashdot (674436) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:28PM (#30369874)

      I don't know about you, but I trust more Google than some random guys on the Internet.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by curunir (98273) * on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:04PM (#30369570) Homepage Journal

    Does the availability of extensions put Chrome at risk of becoming bloated, like many complain about with Firefox?

    No. For a lot of us, that's like asking, "Does the ability to run JavaScript put Chrome at risk of becoming bloated?" or even, "Does the ability to render HTML put Chrome at risk of becoming bloated?"

    Extensions are among the core featureset that a browser should support. With extensions, you simply make sure that everything is possible to accomplish with the extension API instead of implementing new features. That way, the user decides how bloated the browser becomes and doesn't have to put up with the bloat of unwanted features.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your analogy is more apt than you know, since Chrome extensions are entirely written in Javascript and HTML. They don't pose the same problems as Firefox extensions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by windex82 (696915)

      Yeah, we're all totally pissed that our extensions take up an added 5% of our memory usage and .00000000005% of our disk space, and the extra 00:00:03 of time the processor spent loading them right? /sarcasm

      Why is it that the people here, on a computing and technology based site, have the shittiest, low end, antiquated computer equipment around? The actual users of the extensions don't care AT ALL that it takes that tiny fraction more to view their sites without ads or whatever else it is that help

      • Because A) Most of us aren't in the disposable mindset, most of us prefer to re-use working machines B) Most of us have had programming instruction and know that a slow application is the result of crappy coding or a crappy architecture C) Most of us don't take out loans/financing on our toys. You would be surprised the number of people who don't or can't pay cash on their computers, TVs, or other electronics and instead either put them on the credit card so the $1,000 laptop quickly becomes a $1,500 laptop
        • Try again. Firefox+Windows XP run fine on an 800Mhz PIII with 256MB RAM.

          They run better on a faster machine, but it's not the bloated POS you seem to think it is.

    • No. For a lot of us, that's like asking, "Does the ability to run JavaScript put Chrome at risk of becoming bloated?"

      I don't know, judging from some NoScript fans, they certainly think so.

  • It wasn't until I recently fired up Chrome that I realized how spoiled I've become with FF+AdBlock.
    • What sort of masochist would browse without AdBlock?
      I would sooner go whoring without condoms.

      • by darjen (879890)

        I've been using chrome for all my personal browsing with a host file. works pretty well for me.

        • True, though I prefer an HTML aware solution. Sometimes you need to collapse seizure_inducing_flash_advert.swf AND its associated div

          • by jo_ham (604554)

            ClickToFlash for Safari is *invaluable* for that sort of nonsense. I use that in combination with a custom stylesheet and have an ad-free life on the net.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by clone53421 (1310749)

          I have a fundamental disagreement with the concept of telling your computer a domain points to a non-existent server simply in order to block advertisements originating from it.

          The only entry in my hosts file is a server that was taking ages to respond, and as all it was providing was some stylesheets and javascript, I just mirrored the files on localhost and temporarily linked that server to 127.0.0.1. The hosts entry will be removed as soon as it’s no longer needed.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Tynin (634655)
            Why do you care how it is blocked? In many ways it is similar to how DoS attacks are blocked along major backbone routes. You just blackhole the IP, telling it to go to a local, non-answering IP. In this case you are just blackholing the domain, sending it to an IP that shouldn't be answering (unless you want it to like you did using localhost to answer more quickly for sites you care to mirror). Please elaborate with what is wrong with using the hosts file in a way that is effective? I do understand that u
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by clone53421 (1310749)

              It’s an ugly hack. That’s all. I put it on a similar playing field with the DNS domain search pages. You’re breaking the internet, or a part of it.

              Much more elegant is telling your browser “hey, this object/element... don’t load it.”

              • by Tynin (634655)

                You’re breaking the internet, or a part of it.

                Really, wow. I didn't know that my client had any effect on the internet, especially in a negative way. It might be a hack but it is a useful hack for when you just want a site to load but it keeps hanging on a few of the ad / image server. Sometimes the problem is bigger than a few object/elements. Use the right tool for the right job and all of that.

      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        I browse without AdBlock and I'm perfectly happy. I do use Ad Muncher however, as it works system-wide with all browsers (incl Chrome).

        • by Sparr0 (451780)

          +1 for AdMuncher. Adblock is superior within Firefox, but AdMuncher is a solution for ALL of your web browsing. I used it for years before switching to FF.

    • It took about an afternoon. There are a few downsides, however:

      First, it's not actually adblock. It uses jQuery queries. This means it doesn't work at all with your existing filtersets. That's fine with me, since I don't want to block all ads, only the annoying ones -- animations, flash, etc.

      Second, it's really cumbersome to use. SQL storage didn't work at the time, so I used CouchDB, which means you need to run a CouchDB server on localhost. I've also been entirely too lazy to add any sort of GUI.

      Finally,

    • No AdBlock? I've been using the Chromium version of AdBlock Plus for a few weeks now. That chromeextensions.org site has been live for quite some time.
    • The link (to the AB+-like extension) in TFS is questionable... this is arguably a better target [google.com]. OTOH, reviews are mixed (see for yourself).

  • If this doesn't get adblock I don't think it will ever make me switch, as it is I value to many of my firefox addons in my browser that I'd miss if I did change. Xmarks for example, read me later, stumbleupon....and a myriad of other extensions or addons I don't think I could do with out.
  • I don't use any Firefox extensions and I feel like it's bloated. Extensions aren't the problem, they're the solution.

    Firefox has slowly become more and more like what really bothered me about IE. Nothing specific -- but it's getting slower and buggier. Just like IE. It's not quick and light like it used to be. I'm ready to try Chrome on my Mac.
    • by Manip (656104)

      I was about to post the same thing. Firefox isn't bloated as a result of addons it is bloated and addons are the reason people still want to use it given that fact. Opera is less bloated but yet isn't popular, why?: No addons.

      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        Exactly. And the fact Firefox users try to push it down everyones throats who don't even want to use it (thank god it's not as bad anymore than it was a few years ago).

        However Opera pretty much has all the features built-in I need, expect for ad blocking I use Ad Muncher. And since they're built-in, you can be pretty sure they're fast, done with the same quality and are consistent to rest of the browser.

      • by Toonol (1057698)
        I agree. It would be LESS bloated if more functions were moved INTO addons. Things like the Awesomebar should never have been built into the core functionality of the browser. If that was done because addons didn't have the performance necessary, then they need to fix the addon structure.
    • Re:Bloated. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by harmonise (1484057) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:14PM (#30369696)

      Firefox has slowly become more and more like what really bothered me about IE. Nothing specific -- but it's getting slower and buggier. Just like IE. It's not quick and light like it used to be.

      I think the problem is all the extra javascript that is being added to the average web site. I've noticed sites getting slower and slower even on the same version of Firefox. Then 3.5 came out and sped things up a bit. I suspect that this will encourage developers to use more excessive javascript when it's not necessary and slow down their sites even more.

      • by Amouth (879122)

        i seriously can't wait till FF gets a new JS engine - sorry but the erata for it is horrid in how you can deal with the dom - it's almost to the point where you have to make exceptions for it as often as you do for IE

        oh and the forcing you to update on start - no question just "i'm doing shit come back later" is god damn annoying

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Maybe we'll have MHz requirements for websites at some point.

  • adthwart (Score:4, Informative)

    by GrumpyOldMan (140072) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:07PM (#30369608)

    I'm in the process of trying out Chrome, and was looking for adblockers. Right now, I'm using adthwart (http://qux.us/adthwart/). It uses EasyList, just like AdBlockPlus on firefox. So far, it seems to work nearly as well as AdBlockPlus, but is not as configurable.

    • I'm using this [chromeextensions.org], which appears to be more configurable and takes AdBlock Plus subscriptions (it doesn't appear to be related to AdBlock Plus, just rips off the name).
  • by icannotthinkofaname (1480543) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:13PM (#30369686) Journal

    You can find Adblock right here [chromeextensions.org].

    Works with SRWare Iron 4.x.

    Now, quit complaining that Chrome doesn't have Adblock.

    • by hackel (10452) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:20PM (#30369784) Journal

      I've been using this Adblock+ extension in Chromium for a while and it works well and even supports (Firefox) Adblock Plus subscriptions. However, Chromium doesn't yet support content filtering so all this extension does is *hide* ads, it does not stop them from loading...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fluffy99 (870997)

        I've been using this Adblock+ extension in Chromium for a while and it works well and even supports (Firefox) Adblock Plus subscriptions. However, Chromium doesn't yet support content filtering so all this extension does is *hide* ads, it does not stop them from loading...

        So it's not really blocking webbugs then. Hmm.

  • From the article:

    "Does the availability of extensions put Chrome at risk of becoming bloated, like many complain about with Firefox?"

    The availability of extensions has nothing to do with potential bloat. It's how many extensions you add. Adding extensions for adding's sake will certainly cause bloat, but smart, targeted extension selection can keep things very lean. My Firefox install is efficient (for me) and lean.

  • What is all this talk about how Google Chrome violates your privacy? Does it send a list of everything I type and every site I go to, to Google?

    Is there an option to turn it off? If there isn't a way to turn it off, I'm going back to Firefox. I don't want to use some third party hack of Chrome, thanks.
    • by Nadaka (224565)

      on the first count: yes, if you type it into the chrome url bar.
      no if you are talking about anything else.

      on the second count: yes, it does.

      Not sure if there is a way to turn it off, you would have to fiddle around with it.

  • Waiting for NoScript (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jfengel (409917) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:39PM (#30369976) Homepage Journal

    I actually don't care if a site displays ads at me, so long as they're well-behaved.

    But I don't want a site to do ANYTHING that moves unless I give it permission. NoScript handles that pretty well.

    There is a Flashblock extension there, which is a good start, but I'm going to hold off switching to Chrome full-time until I can selectively disable Javascript. (There are many good uses of it as well, so I don't want it disabled entirely.)

  • Bloat... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:41PM (#30370002) Journal

    Well, I've just dealt with Adblock in another post -- there are several adblocking extensions, and I wrote one myself in an afternoon. Trust me, adblock will happen, whether Google wants it or not.

    So now let's talk about bloat...

    First, I won't lie. It's a very real possibility. Take something like an adblocker -- in Chrome, that would be implemented as at least a "content script", a script which runs on every page. Every content script is adding some finite but real cost to the pages it effects. And of course, poor extension design would lead to a bloated browser.

    On the other hand, no one's forcing you to install extensions, and a bare Chrome is much lighter than a bare Firefox.

    Also, consider a properly designed extension -- you're going to have some of it running in the page as a content script, you might have some buttons in the toolbar, but chances are, you're also going to have a bunch of logic in a "background page", doing things like making HTTP requests, talking to your local sqlite database, messing with your bookmarks and tabs, and so on. A background page is essentially an HTML page that gets loaded in the background, and is completely invisible, except that scripts on it can talk to other parts of your extension. Add to that the fact that every popup, even configuration, is a separate HTML page, and communication between all of these happens through a message-passing API.

    What does all of that mean?

    It means that a fair chunk of every extension, including the glue that ties it together, is happening in a Background Page, which could very well be a separate process. I'm also fairly sure you can have more than one background page per extension. This means that almost by default, you have a certain amount of concurrency built in. So it might bloat, maybe, but it's certainly going to mean less chance for extensions to directly lag you, if they're all in a separate process -- possibly using a separate core.

    Plus, v8 just screams.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by The MAZZTer (911996)

      Some of my own real observations:

      You are limited to one background page per extension. There is no need for more than one. If you want concurrent code you will probably be able to use an HTML5 web worker or something like that, or at least fake it by using setTimeout.

      Separate process implies separate threads, which can run on any core that the OS decides to assign them to. So yeah the more cores you have the more efficient Chrome will be, extensions or not.

      AdBlock+ has not noticeably affected my browser

  • Complaining that your extensions make Chrome bloated is like complaining that your car weighs too much after you fill the trunk with cement -- if you want to keep it fast, just don't add extensions! If you would rather sacrifice a little speed for added functionality, go for it! Hell, if you want to install every single extension you find until your browser barely runs, that's your choice too! I can't see why anyone with half a brain, however, would suggest that the option to add extensions puts the browser
    • This was my approach to Firefox. I usually only kept a handful of my must-have extensions enabled. It also was my logic to abandon every single one of my extensions and move to Chrome... the startup time was simply unbeatable. I had up to 30 seconds in Firefox... later I would find out 33% of that was a malfunctioning AdBlock Plus, but even with managing to cut it down to 6-10 seconds it was still slower than Chrome.
  • Take on AdBlock? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by peterwayner (266189) * <p3@@@wayner...org> on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:44PM (#30370044) Homepage

    As someone who makes his living selling content through the Internet, I want people to think several times before building a tool like AdBlock. If the content industry can't make money from ads, we'll either go out of business or put our information behind a paywall. That may happen whether or not you create the ad block extension because ads don't generate enough money to pay for the kind of reporting that newspapers used to do, but it will definitely happen if a tool for blocking ads gets adopted by any non-trivial subset of society.

    I understand that advertisements can be annoying and often temperamental, but tools like this are rarely as precise as they should be. They usually end up blocking far more unless the user spends more time monkeying with the config files than it would take to actually glance at the ads or wait for them to finish their flash animation.

    Also I want to remind people that some open source projects like Firefox depend on advertisements for their support. Google itself depends almost entirely upon ads for their revenue. While I recognize that many of their ads were historically unobtrusive, they are selling more and more display ads.

    An ad blocker for Google chrome will not only hurt Google but slice into Google's revenues and undercut their ability to pay for more development. Okay, you say, let's be selfish and ensure that the ad blocker won't block Google ads. That's clever, but it still hurts Google because it hurts the free information ecosystem which is what drives Google. If there's no free information, there's fewer and fewer things for Google to index and thus fewer and fewer reasons to look at Google ads.

    Please consider the long term consequences for building such a tool. The information ecology is much more fragile than you can imagine.

    • by MORB (793798) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:52PM (#30370120)

      You can't force people not to develop and deploy solutions to filter out ads any more than you can force them to look at them.

      You have to accept this, and if your business model can't work because of it then it simply means that it's not viable.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by peterwayner (266189) *

        Really? It's hard enough to force people in my town not to steal or murder, some do it every day. But that doesn't mean that the police give up.

        Okay, perhaps the business model can tolerate a small amount of free riding, but the long term consequence of your point of view seems to be that all ad supported content will either disappear entirely or run to hide behind a paywall.

        Is that what you want? If so, go write an ad blocker. I just want to point out that it's a very political act that has consequences fo

        • Re:Take on AdBlock? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @04:51PM (#30370866)

          the long term consequence of your point of view seems to be that all ad supported content will either disappear entirely or run to hide behind a paywall.

          Right, and it will be replaced with content that doesn't require advertising to support it.

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          Really? It's hard enough to force people in my town not to steal or murder, some do it every day. But that doesn't mean that the police give up.

          So refusing to spend bandwidth on advertising is analogous to murder? I'd call this a false analogy [wikipedia.org] and give you an F in Logic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by revlayle (964221)
      This is why i never use adblockers. If a site has a terrible ad-display model, i simply never go to the site again (or a terrible content splitter, where a 2 page article is split among 10 pages, for example, i find that a deal breaker for a web site too). I go to many other sites where ads are only a minor side-annoyance, if this helps a website just a wee-bit more, I am more than OK with that.
    • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:56PM (#30370164)

      So, in summary, if we block the ads, we'll have the internet of 1992, which I rather enjoyed?

      • by peterwayner (266189) * <p3@@@wayner...org> on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @04:09PM (#30370338) Homepage

        To each his own. I like glancing at my home town newspaper without committing to a big subscription. If the ads don't work, though I won't have that option.

        If you really want to live in the past, here's the Wayback Machine's take on Slashdot:

        http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.slashdot.org [archive.org]

        Note, it didn't exist before ads and it won't exist without them.

        • Re:Take on AdBlock? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by electrosoccertux (874415) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @05:34PM (#30371432)

          To each his own. I like glancing at my home town newspaper without committing to a big subscription. If the ads don't work, though I won't have that option.

          If you really want to live in the past, here's the Wayback Machine's take on Slashdot:

          http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.slashdot.org [archive.org]

          Note, it didn't exist before ads and it won't exist without them.

          Don't complain to us, complain to all the websites that implement ginormous banners that slide right over the article I'm reading and ask me DO YOU WANT TO TAKE A QUICK SURVEY!!!??? FREE PS3 IF YOU DO!!!

          I don't mind google ads or picture ads, but the second they start implementing flash and slowing my browsing experience down, it all goes out the window.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Blakey Rat (99501)

            Yeah, but using AdBlock is like using a nuclear weapon to go deer hunting.

            So you went to ONE site that had ONE ad that slowed your browsing experience down. You install AdBlock, and suddenly it's blocking everything ever! Sure there's a whitelist, but there's no way to turn AdBlock off for all sites *except* for the one you had problems with.

            I'd love to use AdBlock for the 3 or 4 sites I regularly visit that have bad ads, but there's no way to do that without blocking thousands of perfectly innocent sites.

    • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @04:49PM (#30370846)

      If the content industry can't make money from ads, we'll either go out of business or put our information behind a paywall.

      Have you considered why people block ads in the first place? Historically ads have been both obtrusive and have degraded the user experience in terms of performance. Advertisers do not have a good record of restraining themselves, if they can get a neon ad to appear in the middle of your screen and shake around until you respond to it, that's what they're going to do. Now that the public has the ability to restrain ads it's up to the advertisers to figure out how to structure their ads so that they are not a problem for users. It would be pretty easy to gauge how well they're doing by the number of people who choose to block ads. It's not up to the public to support an obnoxious business model, if advertisers want money they need to figure out how to not be obnoxious. Unfortunately for them, advertising is inherently obnoxious.

      Please consider the long term consequences for building such a tool.

      If the long-term consequences involve removing ads from the internet, that's not a bad thing. Even if a lot of content goes with it, in time the content will come back and there will always be people willing to post content without expecting a paycheck from it. The internet doesn't exist to put money in your account.

      The information ecology is much more fragile than you can imagine.

      No it's not, it's far more robust then you give it credit for. Information will always be available online, as long as there are people willing to spread their message without being paid for it. That's the backbone of the internet, advertisers and people selling content are just along for the ride. If you don't believe me, look at Wikipedia, or take a poll here and figure out how many posters got paid to comment.

      • If you don't believe me, look at Wikipedia, or take a poll here and figure out how many posters got paid to comment.

        I see. Just because there are 50-500 people who are willing to comment without reading TFA, we don't have to worry about the destruction of the business model that produces TFA.

        While I'm always amazed by many of the free sources of information on the Internet, I also like professional content. There's no reason why both can't exist and I don't see why some anarchists should be able to dict

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by amicusNYCL (1538833)

          I see. Just because there are 50-500 people who are willing to comment without reading TFA, we don't have to worry about the destruction of the business model that produces TFA.

          I can only speak for myself, but I am in no way worried about the destruction of that particular business model. That is not something that keeps me awake at night.

          There's no reason why both can't exist

          That's true, and that's not to say that the only way professional content can exist is by pushing ads that users don't want to see.

          I don't see why some anarchists should be able to dictate the terms for all of us

          It sounds like you're trying to dictate a non-ad-blocking future. Most anarchists seem to be in favor of personal choice. If the majority of users online chose to block ads they wouldn't be anarchists, they would b

      • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @05:34PM (#30371444)

        The problem is that AdBlock's only mode is "always on, except on whitelisted sites." If it had a mode of "always off, except for blacklisted sites" then I think a lot more people would get behind it-- content creators and web surfers.

        I know for me, there are only about 3 domains I regularly see that have ads I want to block, everything else I visit I want to see the ads. But there's no way to tell AdBlock this, and so my choices are either to block all ads, or keep AdBlock constantly turned-off until I'm on one of those sites. Neither is a good choice.

    • I have no doubt that there could be some far reaching consequences of blocking all advertising out of the majority of folk's lives on the economy. In fact, I would imagine that it would require quite a few industries to rebuild significant parts of their business model from the ground up. It might even, eventually, force certain parts of the economy into bankruptcy and blackout, like, say, companies that rely on ad-revenue for profit. So yes, I agree, there could be far reaching consequences to the business
    • I'm perfectly happy to look at ads, particularly relevant unobtrusive ads. To that end, I go out of my way to allow Google's ads - text on a howto doesn't bother me.

      But without adblock, I feel like I can't even use the damn internet any more. Even Slashdot has a huge ad just below the story. I have the "disable ads" checkbox now, so that's not a problem, but all sorts of other sites have this bullshit spewed over the page. It's particularly bad when accidentally hovering over some jiggling flash ad takes up

    • That may happen whether or not you create the ad block extension because ads don't generate enough money to pay for the kind of reporting that newspapers used to do

      Of course ads generate enough money to pay for reporting. How do you think google pays for all those data centers, "free" gmail, groups, dns, blog, 'drives' services they have?

      There is plenty of online advertisement money, the problem is that google gets pretty much all of it instead of more going to the people creating the content. Google is the SONY + EMI + Universal of the online advertisement industry... they keep all the money and the actual creative talent gets shafted.

      Google has well paid employees

  • Does anybody have any experience with Xmarks in Chrome? I want to try it out ASAP, as it's the only thing preventing me from using Chrome full-time, but I get scared away with very beta software like this-- I'm afraid it'll delete all my bookmarks.

    Any opinions?

  • by The Evil Couch (621105) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @04:34PM (#30370640) Homepage
    From the summary:

    The Google Chrome Extensions site is now open for Windows and Linux users

    From my browser:

    Google Chrome is up to date. (3.0.195.33)

    From Google Chrome Extension site:

    Extensions are not yet supported in this version of Google Chrome. Please download the Beta Channel of Google Chrome to install extensions.

    I realize that this was posted by kdawson, but having "beta test" in the title or, at the very least, somewhere in the summary would have been great.

  • Bloat? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lemming Mark (849014) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @04:35PM (#30370660) Homepage

    I make very little use of extensions, so I've always assumed that the bloaty behaviour I'd seen from Firefox was largely due to something other than extensions. Mostly, I think the thing which slows my system to a crawl is Flash having a tantrum on a frequent basis, which doesn't change much across browsers. Chrome is good because it makes it easier to kill off Flash. But earlier today the browser to eat my memory sufficiently rapidly that it took about an hour to get access again and kill it properly. I'm blaming Flash for that. *sigh*

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