Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Software Advertising Mozilla The Internet

Former Mozilla CEO Launches Security-Centric Browser Brave 223

rudy_wayne writes: Former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has launched a new Chromium-based browser called Brave. "Brave blocks everything: initial signaling/analytics scripts that start the programmatic advertising 'dirty pipe', impression-tracking pixels, and ad-click confirmation signals," Eich wrote on the Brave site. Former Mozilla CTO Andreas Gal said in a blog post that "the web is broken," with current browser vendors unwilling to tackle the dilemma of blocking ads, while looking at alternative mechanisms for funding content. Gal said it was ironic Brave was a for-profit operation that can make money from reducing advertising.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Former Mozilla CEO Launches Security-Centric Browser Brave

Comments Filter:
  • Good on Brendan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 21, 2016 @10:06AM (#51343241)

    I've looked at his offering, and it's a step in the right direction. It's not as aggressive as what I currently do using Mozilla, but again, it's better than the default.

    Whenever I visit people at home, they inevitably ask me to look at their computers and I'm always horrified by the shear amount of dreck online compared to my own laptop. I leave them with no tracking, no ads, you name it. Another happy "customer".

    The Web has become too much about money. Not everything needs to be about money. The last several years has seen me not trusting bloggers as much as I would if they were not in it for the money. There are still a few good tech blogs with no ads, no flogging this or that. Old school BBS, Usenet-style information trading. Always the best.

    Were I a billionaire, I would give away services with no ads, no tracking, no analytics, just to undercut the monsters like Google and Microsoft to show that it doesn't have to be about the money. Apple has more money in the bank than most countries and they smile, all along letting little girls slave away in the tech sweatshops of China and elsewhere, making their wares for pennies on the dollar, yet expecting Americans to pay highway robbery prices for a device that costs less than 1/4 of the asking price to bring to market. There's a difference between making a living and making a killing. Shareholders are the moral death to any company.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 21, 2016 @11:22AM (#51343677)

      The most important thing I see out of all of this is that he isn't using Gecko, despite his very long history with that technology.

      He's also not using Servo, the browser engine Mozilla is working on to eventually replace Gecko.

      I think this says a huge amount about the sorry state of Mozilla's offerings today.

      Users of Firefox already know what I'm talking about. They know how much slower Firefox feels than Chrome, Edge, Safari, and browsers using other engines. They know how Firefox uses more memory. They know how Firefox suffers from bugs that haven't been fixed even after many years.

      It's truly sad what has happened to Mozilla's products. They've shot themselves in the foot by going off on stupid tangents like Firefox OS, Persona, and especially Rust and Servo.

      Rust and Servo are leading Mozilla down a dead end trail. They're a twin example of software rewrites gone bad.

      Rust is basically trying to rewrite C++, but hasn't done a very good job. The syntax is no better, and sometimes much worse. Its approach to resource management is harder to understand and use practically than C++'s. There's only one Rust implementation, and it's buggy and slow. The Rust community is way too focused on social justice and censorship. They even have a moderation squad [rust-lang.org], for crying out loud! It took them ages to get a 1.0 release out, and it isn't good at all. Then there's the fact that C++ has continued to evolve and get better, along with having multiple excellent implementations.

      Servo is written in Rust, so that helps explain why it's a failure so far, too. When I tried it recently, it gave me what I'd consider an experience similar to IE 3, which dates back to 1996. Servo has a huge amount of catching up to do. The entire situation is not encouraging at all.

      Mozilla should end the Rust and Servo projects now, along with Firefox OS and their other failed initiatives. They need to get back to focusing on Gecko and Firefox. They need to restore Firefox's UI to the usable Firefox 3.6 approach. They need to migrate Gecko to C++14, and prepare for the use of C++17 instead of switching to Rust. They need to fix Gecko's performance issues. They need to fix the longstanding bugs.

      Right now there are at least a few remaining users of Firefox and Gecko, although their number is dropping. There are basically no users of Servo. Mozilla's only hope for salvation is to win back the Firefox users they've alienated over the past few years. I fear that if they don't do that, then they will slide into irrelevancy. That won't be good for them, and it won't be good for the web either.

      • by nmb3000 ( 741169 )

        I largely agree with you, except

        Rust is basically trying to rewrite C++, but hasn't done a very good job. The syntax is no better, and sometimes much worse.

        Rust's goal isn't to re-write C++, it's to create a safe language with strict guarantees about resources and memory use. They chose to use a syntax and keywords very similar to C++ as design choice, just as Java and C# did.

        Its approach to resource management is harder to understand and use practically than C++'s. There's only one Rust implementation, and it's buggy and slow.

        Correctness is usually harder than playing fast and loose. Look at const-correctness in C++ and how "difficult" that was prior to some of the C++11 changes. Rusts performance is also not that bad (especially when you compare apples/apples with C++ code t

    • Re:Good on Brendan (Score:5, Insightful)

      by naris ( 830549 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @11:53AM (#51343941)
      Really! you think replacing (NOT blocking) ads with other ads where the revenue goes to the browser maker instead of the site is a step in the right direction! How is this NOT about money?
    • "Were I a billionaire, I would give away services with no ads, no tracking, no analytics, just to undercut the monsters like Google and Microsoft to show that it doesn't have to be about the money. Apple has more money in the bank than most countries and they smile, all along letting little girls slave away in the tech sweatshops of China and elsewhere, making their wares for pennies on the dollar, yet expecting Americans to pay highway robbery prices for a device that costs less than 1/4 of the asking pric
  • Interesting team (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 21, 2016 @10:08AM (#51343251)

    So, Elissa Shevinski [twitter.com], noted self-proclaimed feminist and author of the anti-SFBay-discrimination book Lean Out, is working as the Head of Product for a browser startup by Brendan Eich [wikipedia.org], most famous for being forced out of Mozilla for funding anti-LGBTQ views through funding efforts against CA Prop 8. This is weird.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 )
      And the other day the Human Rights Campaign endorsed Clinton over Sanders for president [hrc.org] even though Sanders has a far longer and better track record when it comes to support for gays and Clinton was even previously opposed to gay marriage for a good chunk of her political career.

      Politics makes for strange bedfellows and it wouldn't surprise me if Elissa was another one of those feminists who has more in common with someone like Benny Hinn [wikipedia.org] than they do with supporting the actual ideals of the movement. I'
      • Politics makes for strange bedfellows and it wouldn't surprise me if Elissa was another one of those feminists who has more in common with someone like Benny Hinn [wikipedia.org] than they do with supporting the actual ideals of the movement.

        You most mean Benny Hill [wikipedia.org]. There, fixed that for you.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      She has written and spoken about this at length. She says she doesn't want to only work with people who share her views, and also hopes to effect change by engaging with such people.

    • There are any number of simple explanations.

      1) Just because Eich hates gay people doesn't necessarily mean he hates women too. Just because both groups are traditionally crapped upon by the conservative mainstream doesn't mean every member of said mainstream thinks identically. No such thing as a collective hive mind yet, after all.

      2) Some factions of feminism (Not all, mind you.) are fairly hostile towards gay people, especially gay men. To this faction, just having the Y-chromosome automatically makes

      • by e r ( 2847683 )

        1) Just because Eich hates gay people doesn't necessarily mean he hates women too. Just because both groups are traditionally crapped upon by the conservative mainstream doesn't mean every member of said mainstream thinks identically. No such thing as a collective hive mind yet, after all.

        Just because he doesn't think the state should subsidize gay marriage doesn't mean he hates gays. I don't think the state should subsidize tobacco but I don't hate smokers.

        3) Some people are simply happy to compromise and throw out any principle if they think there's money to be made.

        Or maybe they're actually just practicing tolerance.

  • by Galaga88 ( 148206 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @10:08AM (#51343253)

    So, the main selling point of this browser is that it will block ads, right?

    The summary fails to mention that the plan is to start inserting its own ads. [engadget.com]

    You know, I hate ads as much as everybody else. But that just feels dirty to me.

    • by rycamor ( 194164 )

      It's actually the only sane approach to the modern web. The web can't be "free". Someone's got to pay the bills. It either has to be ad-supported or subscription-based. Think about it: if you go subscription-based for everything you are MUCH more trackable than an ad-based web.

      The current ad-based web is an absolute nightmare. The average person who doesn't know the magical combination of browser add-ons ends up with a frozen browser several times a day. Try to even have 6-7 tabs open in Chrome or Firefox a

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The network was designed on open standards and anyone is free to make their own network (eg: LAN, wireless mesh/community networking).

        It can still be free it's just corporate greed has come in to milk it for money just like they did TV, newspapers and radio.

        Seriously join a community wireless network, if there isnt one near you create one!

        • by rycamor ( 194164 )

          I absolutely agree anyone is free to set up a free website and pay for it with their own money... and many do. I also agree that anyone is free to go to a website that supports itself with ads. And any website that uses an *honest* ad system (I.E. serving them from their own server) can't even be subverted by Brave.

          And, anyone is free to keep on supporting the current web, disaster that it is. We all have choice, at this stage of the game. I'm saying Brave is the only sane choice for the greater commercial

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's actually the only sane approach to the modern web. The web can't be "free". Someone's got to pay the bills.

        No no no, I'm a self-entitled millennial! Gimme gimme gimme!!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Bullshit. The only ones who will die off are the sites that don't actually offer anything of value or real products to sell. The rest of the internet will route around them and fill in any gaps.

        I was on the internet for years before all of the advertising douchebags came along and it worked just fine.

      • The web can't be "free". Someone's got to pay the bills.

        The red site seems to be doing fine.

        magical combination of browser add-ons

        Ghostery and either AdBlockPlus or uBlock. I haven't used uBlock so I can't offer an endorsement there.

        He is protecting your privacy.

        Here's where I've probably got my tinfoil on too tight. We know that feminism is involved in this browser. So I have to ask: is this browser really going to protect my privacy?

        I've probably dropped enough hints that it would be trivial to dox me (feminism is holding me accountable for things that have happened in real life, not online as far as I know), but wouldn't i

      • It's not a sane approach because advertising is a bubble.

        The only sane approach is direct monetization of services. Could you imagine Facebook with a $1/year subscription?

        I have actually considered this a lot. I've been working, conceptually, on something like Craigslist, but more modernized. A system to categorize and find things. Meetings, landmarks, objects for sale; it's more abstract in design. I started sketching out a basic reputation system so people can mark and comment on listings, then

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Clever plan. Create an ad-blocking browser, but then create your own advertising network that works with it. Site owners have a simple choice: join your network or get $0 in advertising revenue from that user.

      • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

        > It's actually the only sane approach to the modern web. The web can't be "free"

        Let me disagree with both of those.

        First, more fucking ads is not particularly sane. Ads suck. They hurt people.

        Second, the web can be free. It would be a much smaller web, but it could absolutely exist. Plenty of people run websites that aren't profitable, and that's always been the case. What you can't have is a giant industry built on something without a way to monetize (literally: "turn into money") that thing.

        But a

    • by robmv ( 855035 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @10:56AM (#51343539)

      Exactly, it is not a new browser, It is a new ad company that has a browser.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    From TFA: "By default Brave will insert ads only in a few standard-sized spaces."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 21, 2016 @10:15AM (#51343293)

    The first mention I saw of Brave was this morning on a site, I think linked from another Slashdot article, run by the advertising industry. The insiders on that page were touting Brave to one another as a new platform that will send ads only from servers it controls. "More importantly", they said, everybody will get a share of the proceeds—Mozilla and advertisers both. It's clear that users of Brave will have no option to block the ads that appear in any way. So if you're ready to let someone else decide that certain ads are okay and you ought to see them, this is your browser. I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot fucking pole.

  • by Irate Engineer ( 2814313 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @10:22AM (#51343327)

    So let me get this straight - Brave strips ads off of websites, replaces them with those of Eich's choosing? Ha ha, fuck no.

    Aren't the advertisers going to be a little bit pissed about this? This is like renting a billboard to put up your advertising, then some other guy comes down, tears down your ads and replaces them without paying.

    Brave is a dumb, dumb idea. Hard to believe, but anybody looking to block advertising is not willing to replace it with other advertising. And advertisers would just need to count hits from Brave browsers to assess legal damages.

    • Except it's not a billboard, or if it is, it belongs to Eich right? Whatever he puts on it is his business. If you don't like looking at "his billboard" don't use his browser. I'm a researcher and programmer, like many others on here. How many of you want to know that you're legally restricted from "some kinds of code that might hurt some random advertiser's bottom line?" Especially since what kind that is would be totally up to debate, but as you know... Debates in courtrooms are not the place anyone wants

    • Ah, but business models are magical things, comprised of wishful thinking and unicorn farts. They make the world go around, without business models we'd all be stuck to live in dismal reality.

      When Brave is ready, it'll replace the missing content with its own ads, splitting the revenue between itself (15 percent), publishers (55 percent), ad suppliers (15 percent) and even you, the user (10 to 15 percent). Eich sees it as an attempt to "chlorinate the pool" for ads, starting from scratch to build a better

      • This sounds like the 1990s "make money while you buy" applications that showed ads and gave you 10 cents per hour.

    • by bentcd ( 690786 )

      Hard to believe, but anybody looking to block advertising is not willing to replace it with other advertising.

      I'm not so sure about that. A lot of people who block ads are doing it due to the malware threat. If Brave can establish itself as a browser that only serves safe ads (and perhaps even non-obnoxious ones) then I can see a lot of users going for this.

      It's not much different from the way AdBlock is pushing with their acceptable ads programme (or whatever it's called).

      And advertisers would just need to count hits from Brave browsers to assess legal damages.

      This is probably more of an issue but it seems like a tangled legal territory to try and get damages from, if it's the users themselves who are

    • Not to mention the website operators as well. If someone has ads on their site, the purpose is to help pay for the site operations. A program that removes the ads and replaces them with its own ads is just harmful to the website operators.

    • Not really. A better "real-world" analogy is a person wearing augmented-reality goggles... MS hololens, some future evolution of Google Glass, or an Oculus + GoPro hack... as they walk around town. Said person then runs software on his own goggles that blocks out the billboard from his vision and overlays some other content. The original billboard is still intact and there to see for anyone who wants to do so.

      I fail to see any problem. (Other than the involvement of Brendan Eich.) How I choose to see t

    • > So let me get this straight - Brave strips ads off of websites, replaces them with those of Eich's choosing? Ha ha, fuck no.

      I get that you are irate about this, but ...

      - these are my eyes
      - ... and unless I am contractually obligated otherwise...
      - ... websites can't sue me (or my agents) for choosing what to see

      > Brave is a dumb, dumb idea.

      Sort of ... it doesn't go far enough and just ends up moving ad content from one platform to another. Unless Brave transforms into some sort-of hyper-personal Siri

    • by G00F ( 241765 )

      And it's not Adds that most want to block.

      It's the abusive Adds, tracking, and that kind of stuff people want to block the most.

      And it's the blanket blocking all Adds that comes back to bite us. So it irks me quite a bit when I see that being pushed.

  • Okay, we have how fucking many Chrome clones out there?

    And Mozilla has essentially given up, begun slobbing the Google knob, and is in the process of mutating from an independent browser with some of the widest plugin support extant into a Chromezilla?

    So, we're down to Edge and Chrome now. Both with shitty, mickey-mouse plugin support.

    Fucking great...

  • I'll have to give it a try.

    Just as long as he's not making money off my web activity that will wind up supporting this thing where blacks can marry white women. I demand traditional marriage! Next thing you know, goats will want to marry white women!

  • I don't get this. Why would anyone willingly use a browser that is designed to serve you targeted advertising, when you can simply block all ads with a hosts file + adblock + noscript + etc? You're simply replacing one nuisance and security risk with another.

    I have no guilt about blocking all forms of advertisement on the web, because content providers cannot assure me that such advertising does not pose a threat to my computer's security or to my personal privacy. End of argument. They're welcome to no

  • If it was "brave" it would *allow* everything and deal with it.

    Unless he called it Brave [wikipedia.org] for other reasons, like: he consulted a witch for help, used a spell to transform Firefox into a bear. Now he must act to undo the spell before its effects become permanent.

  • That in order to sign up for the beta I had to disable Ghostery and uBlock for the pop-up to display properly.

She sells cshs by the cshore.

Working...