Google proposed Web Bundles could threaten the Web as we know it - gHacks Tech News

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Google proposed Web Bundles could threaten the Web as we know it

Web Bundles is a new proposed standard by Google designed to change the Web fundamentally. The main idea behind the technology is that sites may bundle a full webpage into a single file.

Currently, when you open a webpage in any browser, content, e.g. images or scripts, gets loaded individually. The web browser parses the source of the webpage and loads the content based on the references that it finds in the code.

Google notes on the Web Bundles announcement page on its Web Dev website:

A Web Bundle is a file format for encapsulating one or more HTTP resources in a single file. It can include one or more HTML files, JavaScript files, images, or stylesheets.

Web Bundles are part of the company's Web Packaging proposal that also include Signed HTTP Exchanges and Loading. The technology offers several unique features and benefits according to Google that include that they load "near instantly when served locally", "enables executable JavaScript", or easier sharing of resources.

Not everyone agrees with Google's assessment and description of the new technologies. Privacy researcher Peter Snyder published an analysis on the Brave company blog that highlights the dangers of the new technology in regards to privacy, content blocking, and the Open Web in general.

He points out that the technology can be used to "change the Web from a hyperlinked collection of resources (that can be audited, selectively fetched, or even replaced), to opaque all-or-nothing “blobs” (like PDFs or SWFs)".

A main point of criticism is that Web Bundles allow sites to evade privacy and security tools, and that they make URLs less meaningful.

At root, the common cause of all these evasions is that WebBundles create a local namespace for resources, independent of what the rest of the world sees, and that this can cause all sorts of name confusion, undoing years of privacy-and-security-improving work by privacy activists and researchers.

Webmasters may use Web Bundles to randomize URLs, reuse URLs, and hiding dangerous URLs.

The core of the issue lies in the fact that content that is inside WebBundles may be different from content that is offered elsewhere.  Sites could use random URLs for tracking and advertising scripts to make blocking harder or even impossible, and they could even go a step further by using the names of legitimate resources for advertising or invasive content.

web bundles

Web Bundles are already integrated in Chromium and development versions of Google Chrome. The experimental feature is disabled for the time being but users may enable it on chrome://flags by searching for Web Bundles.

Snyder sees the benefits of Web Bundles but also the dangers if the standard is released in its current state. As a user, there is little that can be done in this regard other than to watch how this will all unfold in the future.

Now You: What is your take on this?

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Google proposed Web Bundles could threaten the Web as we know it
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Google proposed Web Bundles could threaten the Web as we know it
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Web Bundles is a new proposed standard by Google designed to change the Web fundamentally. The main idea behind the technology is that sites may bundle a full webpage into a single file.
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Comments

  1. SpywareFan said on August 30, 2020 at 9:03 am
    Reply

    Google is a cancer.

    1. Google ought to not be trusted said on August 30, 2020 at 5:18 pm
      Reply

      This is what people should realize, once and for all. Stop using Chrome/Chromium/Chromium-based-web-browsers NOW or you’re directly helping them with this stupid monopoly to pull stuff like this. My prediction is that once the monopoly is there they will find an easy solution to the ad blocking problem.

      1. Google ought to not be trusted said on August 30, 2020 at 5:20 pm
        Reply

        Yeah, I forgot: use the Tor Browser (and normal Firefox for your banking, shopping, etc… stuff that requires personally identifiable information). That’s the only inch of hope we still can cling onto in this sad state of affairs that is our day and age.

      2. Trixitan said on August 30, 2020 at 6:59 pm
        Reply

        Yeah let’s support Firefox, the browser that few weeks ago was sending a push notification to mobile Firefox phone (worse than spy apps) asking people to support a pro censorship campaign. That really shows they surely want to free and open internet for everyone… oh yes! That’s better!

      3. f**k Googs said on August 30, 2020 at 7:42 pm
        Reply

        “Trixitan”
        Firefox is the lesser evil of both tho

      4. Iron Heart said on August 31, 2020 at 7:18 am
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        > Firefox is the lesser evil of both tho

        Let’s see:

        – spies on its users by default
        – promotes Google Search
        – pro-censorship
        – promotes yet another problematic service (Pocket)
        – out of browser telemetry insralled unto Windows systems
        – notification system misused for propaganda purposes
        – can run arbitrary code behind your back via FF Experimens

        Sure thing.

      5. Iron Heart said on August 31, 2020 at 8:06 am
        Reply

        *installed, Experiments

      6. Anonymous said on August 31, 2020 at 5:18 pm
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        @IronHeate some very valid points!

      7. Eric said on September 6, 2020 at 5:56 am
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        @IronHeart how is any of this worse than what Google does? lol

      8. Iron Heart said on September 6, 2020 at 8:03 am
        Reply

        @Eric

        The Normandy / FF Experiments backdoor is worse. Also, Firefox‘s notification system gets misused to spread propaganda. Spying level is about even.

    2. ULBoom said on August 31, 2020 at 12:50 am
      Reply

      A rapidly metastasizing cancer.

  2. Benjamin said on August 30, 2020 at 9:34 am
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    …it is a typical dystopia when a single absolutely undemocratic and mighty entity can decide what is good for all of us… as of today there are no alternatives left remebering the beginning of the internet when there were a dozen or so browser to choose from. But then the internet was not based on a single corporation nor was telefony communication based on a single corporation. It is a gruesome development that has taken place…now what is left is cashless societies and implanted chips all centrally controlled and maintained.

    1. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 9:53 am
      Reply

      @Benjamin

      The only entity that could have opposed Google (Microsoft with IE) was shouted down by the users back in the day. Apple is still there and could oppose this, I guess.

      Mozilla is totally dependent on Google, as long as this is the case, you can solidly put them in the Google camp. But as I‘ve pointed out in my main comment, there is no fundamental difference between Firefox on the one side and a possible Chromium fork not implementing this on the other side.

      Google would likely have to be broken up by the state in order for real change to take place, their web services need to be separated from its browser division. I‘d support Chromium being transferred to a truly independent foundation.

      1. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 11:07 am
        Reply

        > The only entity that could have opposed Google (Microsoft with IE) was shouted down by the users back in the day. Apple is still there and could oppose this, I guess.

        > Mozilla is totally dependent on Google, as long as this is the case, you can solidly put them in the Google camp. But as I‘ve pointed out in my main comment, there is no fundamental difference between Firefox on the one side and a possible Chromium fork not implementing this on the other side.

        Haha, is this bullshit what you call “Knowing your facts”?
        That’s wrong of course. Mozilla has allways been fighting Google’s proposed standards for better privacy, irrespecting of whether their money is currently supplied by the Google deal or not.
        And, of course, a fork does NOT have the same leverage.
        Quote from a guy who’se currently part of multiple running standard sessions: “Word on the street is that Microsoft already has lost significant standards clout since switching over to Chromium, and that Google isn’t willing to share control over Chromium with Microsoft. Grab your popcorn, folks!”

      2. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 12:20 pm
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        @Anonymous

        I do know my facts, seems like you don‘t. There is no Google-crafted web standard Mozilla hasn‘t adopted or is in the process of adopting. They even adopted heavy duty DRM and several largely useless APIs that serve no real purpose aside from making fingerprinting easier. Apple refused to adopt several of those, contrary to Mozilla. Don‘t point me to their theater and fruitless talk, point me to Google stuff they haven‘t actually adopted. Good luck.

        And how Google can influence (code-wise) Microsoft‘s version of Chromium is a mystery to me. Microsoft can alter their own version of Chromium in whatever way they see fit.

      3. AK said on August 30, 2020 at 12:57 pm
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        >There is no Google-crafted web standard Mozilla hasn‘t adopted or is in the process of adopting.

        You can see here the list of standards Mozilla is opposed to.
        https://mozilla.github.io/standards-positions/
        They are marked as harmful.

      4. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 3:32 pm
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        @AK

        Entries being marked as harmful there isn’t the equivalent of them not existing in Firefox.

      5. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 2:00 pm
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        @Iron Heart

        > There is no Google-crafted web standard Mozilla hasn‘t adopted or is in the process of adopting.
        This is not how this works. This is not how any of this works. You seem to have a very distorted picture of how web standards work. Someone suggests a standard – then there is discussion. During this discussion, all Browser vendors (those that actually matter = those that have their own engine) work collaboratively to make anyone happy, by adjusting the suggested API. This is the phase where Mozilla has often worked to “avert” a bullet. The conviction with which you spread your half-knowledge is amazing. See AK’s answer for concrete examples.

        Maybe you also understand now (probably not, but it’s worth a try, eh?), why absolutely no-one cares about special behavior of some lousy fork. After the standard was designed and committed, you can either implement it – or be left out. That’s how it works.
        With Blink’s dominance though, Google can simply implement some random API, which WebDevelopers then start to use (Blink has near monopoly after all – who cares about a few percent?), and only submit the suggestion for standardization aftwards. And since this API is already heavily used before it was even submitted as standard by then, the standards committee often basically has to accept it mostly unchanged, or break the net. Example: AudioWorklets

        fun times.

      6. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 3:31 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        > This is not how this works. This is not how any of this works.

        Okay then, show me how it works. Mozilla hasn’t missed out on any newly crafted web standard so far, even if they are harmful by nature.

        > Someone suggests a standard – then there is discussion. During this discussion, all Browser vendors (those that actually matter = those that have their own engine) work collaboratively to make anyone happy, by adjusting the suggested API.

        Are you really that naive? Dude, I’ve followed W3C discussions, Google gets its way there. Sometimes there is opposition from Apple, sometimes not. Mozilla doesn’t oppose shit and is not even in a position to do so, their market share will soon amount to a rounding error compared to that of Chrome, if the trend of the last decade is anything to go by.

        Google even implements stuff unilaterally without even asking the W3C. Te W3C has less power than Google, the one who actually crafts the de facto monopoly browser.

        > This is the phase where Mozilla has often worked to “avert” a bullet.

        Not very often, according to my info.

        > The conviction with which you spread your half-knowledge is amazing. See AK’s answer for concrete examples.

        My “half-knowledge” tells me that those entries, despite being marked as “hrmful”, are still being implemented into Firefox. Example? Network Information API – exists in Firefox, marked as harmful by Mozilla. Yeah, “half-knowledge”, my ass.

        > no-one cares about special behavior of some lousy fork

        The mask of professionalism you try to display here slipped a bit there, eh? Maybe my fork is “lousy”, but it appears Firefox is even lousier, because it is dying and my “lousy” fork is not. What does that tell you?

        Also, reinventing the wheel is stupid / unnecessary. It makes sense to take advantage of existing open source technologies, and in the instances where Brave deviates from standard Chromium behavior, it is usually the case to improve user privacy. But you were blissfully ignorant of that, so whatever.

        > (those that actually matter = those that have their own engine)

        Firefox still matters with 4% overall market share? When does it start to not matter any longer? 0.1% market share? Or is that just wishful thinking on your part?

        > With Blink’s dominance though, Google can simply implement some random API, which WebDevelopers then start to use (Blink has near monopoly after all – who cares about a few percent?), and only submit the suggestion for standardization aftwards. And since this API is already heavily used before it was even submitted as standard by then, the standards committee often basically has to accept it mostly unchanged, or break the net. Example: AudioWorklets

        So, knowing this, why do you still maintain that Mozilla has any say? You are contradicting yourself here, friend.

        > fun times.

        Fun times will only change when Google is broken up. Token opposition does nothing to avert harm, wishful thinking notwithstanding.

      7. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 5:41 pm
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        @Iron Heart

        Congratulations. You repeated everything I said with another formulation (w.r.t. web standards and Google getting their way – because monopoly) while proving my point.

        > My “half-knowledge” tells me that those entries, despite being marked as “hrmful”, are still being implemented into Firefox. Example? Network Information API – exists in Firefox, marked as harmful by Mozilla. Yeah, “half-knowledge”, my ass.

        That is what I meant with: That’s not how this works.
        After a web standard is finalized, a browser can either implement it or not. If a browser does not implement the standard, the web pages that use it will not work. Firefox still is a browser for the masses. It’s not used solely by privacy-minded enthusiasts, even though some people apparently think that. So if they would choose not to implement something, they would loose even more – just like Microsoft with Edge. Mozilla fights the fight where it actually matters: in the standards committee. Now, small forks like Brave e.g. can simply choose to ignore a web standard, because only a tiny amount of apparently privacy-minded people is using it, and they will probably never run into that problem because they don’t use the websites that require these standards anyway. Apple has a completely different situation – due to the guaranteed monopoly within their mobile usage share.

        The only chance to break the overall problem (Google dictating web standards) is to get someone in the standards committee to compete. That’s why Mozilla and it’s marketshare is important, now that Microsoft has lost much of its influence. Apple is only half-way interesting, because they only support a niche(iOS / MacOS) to begin with.
        If Edge were to drastically gain marketshare, they may fork the engine and get their own thing going again – to gain their influence on web standards back. Though otherwise, they will just stay a lousy fork. Their marketshare already slipped back to below Firefox though.

        > Firefox still matters with 4% overall market share? When does it start to not matter any longer? 0.1% market share? Or is that just wishful thinking on your part?

        To the standard committee, different engines matter. Here is a nice write-up about that: https://css-tricks.com/the-ecological-impact-of-browser-diversity/ .
        The question with market-share and relevancy is self-regulating in this case, since it costs insane amounts of money to maintain a web engine.

        > The mask of professionalism you try to display here slipped a bit there, eh? Maybe my fork is “lousy”, but it appears Firefox is even lousier, because it is dying and my “lousy” fork is not. What does that tell you?

        While I will take it as a compliment that I seem to come across as professional, that was not my intention. I’m just not an english-native, and the phrases / formulations usually used in scientific publications are the only ones I know. Since this statement has obviously offended you, an apology is probably due, even though I don’t know what exactly “your fork” is supposed to be. I didn’t have a concrete one in my head while making this statement. After all, the choice is big enough.

        > So, knowing this, why do you still maintain that Mozilla has any say?

        Because they have their own engine, and thus some say in the standards committee still.

        > You are contradicting yourself here, friend.

        Not as far as I can see, no.

        > Fun times will only change when Google is broken up. Token opposition does nothing to avert harm, wishful thinking notwithstanding.

        I don’t know what you hope to achieve with this, but it will not happen. Even if they would be broken up, the same people are still working there. Is there even one case where such a break up was actually done and achieved the desired effect, once?

      8. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 6:47 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        > Network Information API – exists in Firefox, marked as harmful by Mozilla. Yeah, “half-knowledge”, my ass.

        But you do get, that the entries in the mentioned list are not yet actual standards, but standard suggestions, right?
        So it’s only natural that all involved parties implement the specification in order to be able to experiment with it – and actually have an idea of what you are talking about while discussing it in the working group.

      9. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 7:24 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        > Congratulations. You repeated everything I said with another formulation (w.r.t. web standards and Google getting their way – because monopoly) while proving my point.

        Because your point doesn’t really differ from mine except for you thinking Mozilla has any influence on web standards these days, which they haven’t.

        > So if they would choose not to implement something, they would loose even more – just like Microsoft with Edge.

        I don’t blame them for implementing stuff Google pushes when they have no other choice, for example when important websites would break if they didn’t implement a certain web standard. However, Apple also refuses to implement certain web standards, and Mozilla and Apple together could prevent a web standard from becoming mainstream. But rather than to side with Apple, they always side with Google (sure, Mozilla being almost totally funded by Google doesn’t play a role there…). Even the “lousy fork” (according to you) Brave disables some user-hostile stuff which Mozilla keeps activated deliberately.

        > Mozilla fights the fight where it actually matters: in the standards committee.

        You seem to confuse nominal membership with actual influence. Their market share means they don’t have any influence. Talk is cheap, show me their achievements so far… You’ll find that Mozilla approves of what Google does at the W3C.

        > Now, small forks like Brave e.g. can simply choose to ignore a web standard, because only a tiny amount of apparently privacy-minded people is using it, and they will probably never run into that problem because they don’t use the websites that require these standards anyway.

        Uhm, no. Brave means to go mainstream as well, they can’t afford to break popular websites. Believe it or not, there are some things you can disable without negatively impacting user experience. Examples? Prefetching, resource timing stuff… You also don’t have to turn the address bar into a key logger by deliberately sending every single key press to Google (even if the typed in term doesn’t end up being the one the user triggers in the end), like Mozilla does.

        > Apple has a completely different situation – due to the guaranteed monopoly within their mobile usage share.

        Apple depends on their device sales, though. Plus, on the Mac, there is no engine monopoly like on iOS.

        > The only chance to break the overall problem (Google dictating web standards) is to get someone in the standards committee to compete.

        Yes, but…

        > That’s why Mozilla and it’s marketshare is important, now that Microsoft has lost much of its influence.

        …it can’t be Mozilla. Google can make Mozilla shut down tomorrow if they cease paying them, they are completely dependent on Google money. Plus, Mozilla doesn’t have a notable history of preventing Google web standard proposals.

        > If Edge were to drastically gain marketshare, they may fork the engine and get their own thing going again – to gain their influence on web standards back.

        You make an important point here – Chromium can be forked and be used to oppose Google as well, there is no reason why Firefox has to be the one. I’d trust a real Chromium fork more than Mozilla, knowing Mozilla’s background.

        > Though otherwise, they will just stay a lousy fork.

        I don’t know why you automatically call Chromium-based browsers “lousy forks”. I’d trust a “lousy fork” which doesn’t backstab its users over Firefox, dude. Mozilla had their own share of issues (force-installed add-ons, hardcoded trackers, notification misused for propaganda purposes, rampant telemetry even out of browser etc.), I don’t think this kind of arrogance is warranted here. Their browser also had barely mediocre performance and drained battery on macOS last time I checked, so much for “lousy”.

        > To the standard committee, different engines matter. (…) Because they have their own engine, and thus some say in the standards committee still.

        As I pointed out, nominal membership isn’t saying much. Allows them to talk there, but talk is cheap. Their market share and financial background disqualifies them from any real influence.

        > The question with market-share and relevancy is self-regulating in this case, since it costs insane amounts of money to maintain a web engine.

        Don’t worry, Google will supply Mozilla with loads of funds. Better to keep a weak token competition alive, you know. If it promotes your search engine, all the better.

        > Not as far as I can see, no.

        You are vastly overrating Mozilla’s de facto influence just because they have a nominal seat in a standards body. Sorry, but take a look at the real power structure. Your estimation of Mozilla’s influence is unrealistic even if their funding wasn’t compromised.

        > I don’t know what you hope to achieve with this, but it will not happen.

        It is the only way out, most likely. Currently, Google is the main maintainer of Chromium and also owns the most popular web services. As long as this is the case, nothing will change.

        Let’s suppose Mozilla wasn’t Google’s serf and them growing would make the situation better. How would they even grow? For the average user, there is little reason to use Firefox over Chrome or Edge. Extensions? No difference anymore. The pro-Firefox arguments usually amount to moralizing, but moralizing won’t do a thing. Brave grows because it provides an easy to use adblocking solution while giving people a monetary incentive to use it (Brave Rewards). What is the incentive to use Firefox (moralizing aside)? Can’t think of any.

        To make that clear, seems I have not yet gotten my point across to you yet: I think Firefox is dying because it gives people no incentive to use it over Chrome that would exceed moralizing. I think they are compromised by virtue of being funded by Google, this negative influence is visible when you consider Firefox’s deliberately bad default privacy level (allows for Google tracking). I think Brave, contrary to Firefox, actually attacks Google’s business model by giving websites an alternative avenue of funding, something Firefox fails to do (they are not interested in hurting the revenue of their sponsor, most likely). I am also not sad about Firefox’s demise due to anti-user actions past and present, I think those void Firefox’s right to exist – at least as far as the way they advertise it is concerned (the “private browser”, what a joke). I think there is, in effect, no fundamental difference between Firefox and a possible hard fork or Chromium if it really comes down to it, meaning that the claims saying that Firefox is needed for a healthy web are unwarranted. Is my position clear to you now?

      10. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 9:46 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        > Is my position clear to you now?

        I already understood that we do have the same desire: Get Google out of the position to determine the future of the web. Yet, we have a different way we think is best to reach that goal. Pretty much the only thing I trust less than Google is the USA’s government and or agencies (which would have to do the breaking up) – so I don’t regard that as anyway near a solution to the problem. Especially so, since Google is paying vast amounts of money for lobbying. Which, IMHO, leaves only one other solution: a strong Mozilla. The one that is currently (albeit very slowly) in decline.

        > I think Firefox is dying because it gives people no incentive to use it over Chrome that would exceed moralizing.

        I think any other browser than the ones installed per default on a platform, or the ones forcefully pushed into your face while you are using the world’s most popular websites / operating systems, will have no chance – because absolutely noone (statistical exaggeration) cares about privacy. (https://i.redd.it/ftl98149s7751.png) This is the reason why normal non-privacy minded users are leaving Firefox, and this is the reason why Brave will probably never be able to reach the masses, just for the same reason Firefox couldn’t keep them.

        > Brave grows because it provides an easy to use adblocking solution while giving people a monetary incentive to use it (Brave Rewards).

        Are there statistics for how much Brave really grows – and among which type of people? I hardly doubt their crypto currency ad solution is something any normal user would even consider.

        > What is the incentive to use Firefox (moralizing aside)? Can’t think of any.

        For me, from the top of my hat:
        Very good Linux Wayland support upstream. VAAPI hardware decoding upstream (X11 support will come in 2 releases). WebRender (= same code-base of hardware compositing on every platform). Containers, which are an insanely good privacy tool that can even be useful to normal users that care at least a tiny bit about privacy (also marketed by Mozilla as such: https://i.redd.it/r0d3a219b3k51.jpg). The ResistFingerprinting mechanism used by TOR. It’s superior WebExtension API (like: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/ublock-origin-now-blocks-sneaky-first-party-trackers-in-firefox/). The steadily raising level of security, due to the rewrites in Rust of parts and components which are especially critical for security (To be fair: Google’s developers have started evaluating Rust as well). The most important point: The name. Firefox just sounds awesome.

      11. Iron Heart said on August 31, 2020 at 7:53 am
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        > Pretty much the only thing I trust less than Google is the USA’s government and or agencies (which would have to do the breaking up) – so I don’t regard that as anyway near a solution to the problem.

        Google is spying on you to the maximum extent possible already, I really don’t see how the government could be worse here. Notwithstanding the fact that Google has been a member of the PRISM program for ages, so they hand over data to the state anyway.

        Please understand that the combination of owning both the most popular browser (Chrome) and several exceedingly popular web services at the same time gives them the ability to do whatever they want. This can only be fixed by state interference at this point.

        > This is the reason why normal non-privacy minded users are leaving Firefox, and this is the reason why Brave will probably never be able to reach the masses, just for the same reason Firefox couldn’t keep them.

        Google messed up a bit when they didn’t allow for adblock extensions in Chrome. Online ads are annoying, so when a browser like Brave – which is actively advertised as an adblocking solution – climbs the charts (which it did), people would likely give it a chance at least on mobile since Chrome is insufferable there. This may also make the desktop version grow because of sync. Firefox could have done the same thing, but for reasons unknown(?), they refuse to include an adblocker by default. By the looks of it, they don’t want to hurt Google since they are fully dependent on Google money, though this can’t be 100% proven. But they invoke this strong impression, because why else wouldn’t they take advantage of that marketing angle?

        > Are there statistics for how much Brave really grows – and among which type of people?

        https://brave.com/15-million/

        They don’t say among which type of people, except that there is a healthy growth on mobile (probably for the reason pointed out above).

        > I hardly doubt their crypto currency ad solution is something any normal user would even consider.

        Why? All you need to do to withdraw your funds from the browser is to create a related account at Uphold (though they are actively pursuing alternative routes / partners that will be offered next to Uphold in the future). From Uphold, you can transfer the money to your bank account. Doesn’t seem too complicated to me, I think a certain threshold of people will bother.

        > For me, from the top of my hat:

        What you said is nice and all (although you tend to exaggerate at times), but nothing an ordinary user would care for. Containers? Overrated. I can achieve the same effect with a different profile on Chromium. Brave even comes with a “Tor mode” that is a separate profile within the main profile, I can use this to isolate stuff as well. In addition to isolation, it also routs my traffic through Tor. Don’t see the point of containers, personally. But this is not about myself – I see that even the Facebook container only has 1.5 million users, so even the Firefox user base doesn’t care, my own opinion notwithstanding. Mozilla hasn’t extended the WebExtension APIs in a manner I would call significant, don’t know what you are talking about. Tor is only based on Firefox instead of Chromium because Mozilla was willing to work with them, while Google wasn’t. There is no inherent technical reason why Tor couldn’t use Chromium, but it seems they feared they’d be left in the dark whenever an issue arises that requires collaboration with the main browser developer. I think touting Firefox as security-focused all of a sudden is misguided, they still fail to implement a proper sandbox on Linux and Android, and the very important security effort “Project Fission” is currently rotting away in the Nightly channel.

        Rust will be Mozilla’s legacy, it’s also the only thing that grows at Mozilla at the time.

        See, of course I don’t want Google to dominate. But, there are definitely workable solutions outside of Firefox, namely forking Chromium. I think Google being a real danger as the basis for advertising Firefox or Firefox tribalism is just sad, because Firefox also is also problematic from a privacy perspective. Most of the Firefox user base don’t know how to modify it, and without modification, it doesn’t range far ahead of Chrome to be honest with you. Might as well stick with the latter in this case. Mozilla being fully dependent on Google is also not desirable, an independent Chromium fork would automatically be better if it doesn’t have the same kind of dependency on Google. I really don’t want to stabilize a situation where Google is the de facto monopoly while at the same time controlling a largely irrelevant competitor financially. We need a truly independent alternative for once.

        Short of a governmental breakup, users need to look for solutions to fight back against the monopoly as best as they can. For me, this is Brave because it is the only one that provides an alternative to website operators outside of the current revenue streams. It also hampers Google’s main business by virtue of having a capable ad- and tracking blocker enabled by default.

        For you, this is Firefox. I don’t really get why, because in the end they are dependent on Google financially and can be forced to implement stuff just like any Chromium-based browser can be, especially when Google starts to forcibly push certain undesirable web technologies on their most popular services. But then, it’s fine. We all use what suits our needs and ideas best. :)

      12. ShintoPlasm said on August 31, 2020 at 9:30 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart: That’s why using Opera is probably the only way forward, as the Chinese government will not allow Web Bundles to obfuscate stuff from their Great Firewall… :P

  3. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 9:49 am
    Reply

    > What is your take on this?

    This is worrying of course, but knowing Google‘s business model, it seems like yet another attempt to strangle anti-adblock / anti-tracking efforts. Under the new scheme, problematic website elements can no longer be differentiated from the rest of the website, so to speak.

    I guess in the following, people will be blaming Chromium for all this, but this is misguided. The problem is not Chromium – at the basic level, it is just a browser like any other. Chromium can be reshaped to whatever we want it to be, as it‘s open source. The fundamental problem here is that Google is not only the biggest Chromium contributor and main maintainer, it also owns several popular websites on the web and a vast ad network. Content creators are reliant on ad revenue, so I expect them to welcome this new idea of Google.

    I think this move by Google has something to do with a new model of advertising where the tracking is done locally, and users get paid a share of the ad revenue (Brave‘s model, if you will). This directly contradicts Google‘s model of centralized collection and analysis of user data. This new model is not to take hold, and this is why Google proposes this new model, they want to thwart it in its infancy. It was obvious that Brave‘s concept, the only one that offers a real alternative to current revenue streams, is threatening to Google.

    People will also be saying that Mozilla Firefox is absolutely required to thwart this – but then again, this is also misguided. Firefox operates on the very same web Chrome operates on, if Google implements something like that, leveraging their own popular web services, Mozilla will have to implement it, too, lest they be excluded from said web services. Google funding Mozilla is also problematic in this context, a truly independent alternative in the financial sense would be desirable. There is also no reason to believe that Firefox would be preferable to a possible Chromium fork as a reaction to such developments, as there is no fundamental difference, both avenues could be followed to oppose this with the same likelihood of success.

    Google owning both the browser sphere and the most popular websites is problematic, in my opinion the state would have to break the company up in order for real change to take place. Chromium, as said, is not the issue here, it is the combination of browser monopoly and dominant webs services, only both in conjunction can be the foundation of Google‘s power.

    Let‘s hope that Apple will oppose this, they are the only ones that reasonably could. I‘ll stick with the Brave browser, because I want to see its new ad model succeed (next to it just being a good browser for my use case), this is what Google fears the most. Google itself or a controlled token opposition can‘t be a viable solution for obvious reasons.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on August 30, 2020 at 10:03 am
      Reply

      @Iron Heart:

      Mozilla’s position currently seems pretty neutral, bordering on the positive: https://github.com/mozilla/standards-positions/issues/264

      1. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 2:16 pm
        Reply

        @ShintoPlasm

        That’s not completely correct. WebBundles is not completely new, it’s a rebrand/ a revision of “Signed HTTP Exchanges”, which Mozilla deemed harmful. They were apparently able to avert that and at least weaken Google’s suggestion with this. (Which is a good example for why Mozilla is absolutely necessary, @Iron Heart). They are still in the process of investigating the new suggestion.

      2. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 4:04 pm
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        @Anonymous

        > Which is a good example for why Mozilla is absolutely necessary, @Iron Heart

        I’ll believe it when Mozilla for once doesn’t kiss Google’s feet and doesn’t return empty-handed. Hell, I’d be satisfied with them improving user privacy by default at all!

    2. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 11:17 am
      Reply

      @Iron Heart:

      Very nice idea. Let’s split up Google into 2:
      The one company does Search and Advertisement business, and the other is developing Chrome. Mh. the second company doesn’t have any revenue, but that’s no problem. They can simply do a search engine deal with Google! Problem solved.

      1. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 12:12 pm
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        @Anonymous

        Finance the browser with a cryptocurrency-based system and strike search deals with Bing / Yahoo / DuckDuckGo… Why are people lacking creativity these days?

      2. Xeon said on August 30, 2020 at 6:38 pm
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        @Iron Heart
        Bing also sells ads. Yahoo also sells ads to Bing. Microsoft wants that sweet money too from ads. About DuckDuckGo, they have no money and use the Bing API, so they will do what Microsoft tells them to do unless they want to lose access to the Bing API. What makes you think that Microsoft would be any different if they get the power back to control the internet? They will just do what’s the best for the Bing Advertising platform.

      3. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 7:36 pm
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        @Xeon

        I am aware of the things you said, and I would agree that none of the alternative search engines proposed by me would be “optimal” as far as privacy is concerned. However, you need to consider two things:

        – Mozilla requires lots of money to develop Firefox (even if they would drop all unnecessary side projects), that means someone big would have to fund them. Smaller yet more trustworthy projects lack the financial capacity to fund Mozilla.
        – Using Yahoo or Bing or DuckDuckGo or whatever as default in Firefox (of all browsers) wouldn’t give that search engine dominance over the web. Firefox can consider itself lucky if and when it reaches a two digit market share again. However, switching to someone else but Google would at least mean a reduction of dependency on their competitor, which would restore some credibility and independence to them.

  4. anon said on August 30, 2020 at 9:50 am
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    None of the issues that were pointed out are new to Web Bundles so this is highly misleading.

    https://github.com/WICG/webpackage/issues/551

  5. Niko said on August 30, 2020 at 10:13 am
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    It is time for the legislature to emerge and intervene and at the same time split Google into two or more companies to prevent the growing monopoly influence …

  6. leo said on August 30, 2020 at 11:14 am
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    “Nothing can be done as a user”

    No a lot can be done. For starters stop using browsers based on blink

    1. Allwynd said on August 30, 2020 at 12:07 pm
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      Should people go into a hunger strike next?

      The fact of the matter is that the Blink rendering engine is way more capable than Gecko, same reason why Microsoft abandoned Trident or Chakra or whatever Edge’s engine was for Blink and Opera abandoned Presto for Blink as well. Same reason Vivaldi and Brave use blink. Same reason none of these chose to use Gecko or WebKit or KHTML or whatever else there is.

      They could’ve easily chosen Gecko since there are all the extensions available, but they chose Blink, because it gives them more freedom to build their own browser as well as use the most reliable and web-compatible rendering engine available right now.

      That’s also why users are choosing Blink browsers over anything else – they just work better. It doesn’t help that Firefox has turned into a piece of useless garbage in the last 10 years either. Why would I want to use something as crippled and broken as Firefox nowadays? They are removing the only thing that made Firefox awesome – customization and I have to make-do with their crippled Chrome clone, no thanks. I will at least use the real Chrome, because in terms of appearance and customizability, it hasn’t changed both positively and negatively since its inception in 2008 and I like that a lot.

      Firefox on the other hand was so customizable, you could make it look like Firefox 2.x or 3.x if you wanted to, now you can’t. That’s what sucks about it – it was once available and now it isn’t and knowing that and even worse – knowing that there is zero justifiable reason for them to do that is even more disappointing. They only did it, because they are lazy and incompetent like Microsoft with Windows 10 – it’s ugly and broken and you can’t customize it like you used to, because they no longer have top tier programmers and engineers working on it, only rookies with zero experience or talent filling up their diversity quotas.

      So I will be using Chrome, or Vivaldi, or Kinza, or Whale, or Brave or any other Blink-based browser and recommend them to all my friends, relatives and acquaintances and tell them to stay away from garbage like Firefox that is on the brink of death.

      1. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 2:08 pm
        Reply

        > The fact of the matter is that the Blink rendering engine is way more capable than Gecko, same reason why Microsoft abandoned Trident or Chakra or whatever Edge’s engine was for Blink and Opera abandoned Presto for Blink as well. Same reason Vivaldi and Brave use blink. Same reason none of these chose to use Gecko or WebKit or KHTML or whatever else there is.

        “Way more capable”. Would sure love to see a source for that. In what way? That Gecko hasn’t yet implemented all half-baked web “standards” that Google engineers pushed out of their anus – circumventing any collaboration?

        > They could’ve easily chosen Gecko since there are all the extensions available, but they chose Blink, because it gives them more freedom to build their own browser as well as use the most reliable and web-compatible rendering engine available right now.

        Nope, they couldn’t, because Gecko is heavily integrated with Firefox (not very modular) – whereas Blink (forked from Webkit (forked from KHTML)) was built for modularization from the beginning. That’s really the sole reason that Google went and forked Webkit (which, back then, was WAY less complete than Gecko).

        Now that that’s cleared up, the rest of your text is just silly talk.

      2. computer said no said on August 30, 2020 at 5:21 pm
        Reply

        @allwynd.
        I will agree with you about the customisation being taken away as firefox is indeed not as customizable as it used to be.
        Your other points i cannot agree with.
        i have never come across a website which chromium renders and firefox does not.

        You mention vivaldi…I have yet to see any viable evidence of vivaldi being more customisable than say chromium.
        Vivaldi interface cannot be altered and icons cannot be moved etc.
        Vivaldi does not offer full varied personas like firefox does and only changes colours or use square or rounded tabs..

        Firefox still offers more than vivaldi or brave at this point.

        Firefox and mozilla are the only ones doing any legwork in terms of browser engine etc,and all those chromium based browsers are just creaming off the chromium engineers and adding their own stuff.

      3. m3city said on August 31, 2020 at 11:54 pm
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        Pathetic. Customisation is all you care. Privacy, performance, motivation behind browser – yeah, there is one. Chrome is built to broaden access to Googly primary product – adverts. Money. Firefox was and is built to browser web.

        I simply cant understand a logic triathlon one has to undertake to rationalize using Chrome instead of anything else, while being a power-user, educated and informed about how stuff in IT works. All that whinging that one of my precious extensions is broken due to mozilla this and that so I go to Chrome (where all extensions have to be picked from scratch or even there is no substitute). But the customisation argument is the most pathetic of all. Given that FF is still far more customisable than Chrome ever was.

      4. Iron Heart said on September 1, 2020 at 1:14 am
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        @m3city

        Firefox was and is built to protect Google from antitrust investigation. It also facilitates Google’s tracking considering its default settings. You changed the default settings? Consider yourself among the 1% of Firefox users who know how to handle about:config, and your individual setup doesn’t absolve Mozilla from improving user privacy by default.

        Firefox is also non-customizable on Android now and will become non-customizable once they drop about:config like they did on Android.

        Stop advertising Firefox here, please. It is spyware that passes itself off as privacy-respecting, your posts are a burden to read for anyone who knows more about Firefox than what the Mozilla marketing tells you.

  7. Some1 said on August 30, 2020 at 11:54 am
    Reply

    “Web Bundles are already integrated in Chromium”

    Scary stuff. this can actually become a reality!

  8. Dan said on August 30, 2020 at 12:44 pm
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    We know the good people at Mozilla will work hard to do something about this threat from Google as it evolves.

    But what about the greedy people at Brave? You know, the people who replace one set of ads with another so they can profit. What specifically are they going to do about it? Or is Brave just going to remain quiet and let Google have their way?

    1. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 2:02 pm
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      @Dan

      They have barely any say in the standards committee. They could try to get their vocal community to raise there voice and annoy the people working on it – but that’s it.
      The only people who actually have a say in the standards commitee are the people who develop their own engine. (Mozilla, Apple, Google)
      Some developer part of this already said, that Microsoft seems to already have lost a lot of leverage because they gave up their own engine Trident/EdgeHTML.

    2. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 3:17 pm
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      @Dan

      > We know the good people at Mozilla will work hard to do something about this threat from Google as it evolves.

      You forgot the sarcasm tag here, friend. Mozilla couldn’t even stop the DRM blackbox back in the day, I don’t expect them to stop this. Mozilla is also fully dependent on Google.

      > But what about the greedy people at Brave?

      Firefox market share vs. Mitchell Baker (CEO Mozilla Corp.) salary over the years:

      https://www.i-programmer.info/images/stories/News/2020/jan/A/MB2500k.JPG

      At least Brave is self-sustained, leeching off someone else’s money is not their business model. Neither do they beg for donations supposedly going to their browser, while they are actually spent on virtue signaling BS. I’ve heard some other browser developer does, starts with “M”.

      > You know, the people who replace one set of ads with another so they can profit.

      Brave doesn’t manipulate website rendering, their own ads are not “inserted” into websites. Rather, they are system notifications. You’d know that if you were actually informed about Brave beyond hearsay. And Brave Rewards are opt-in, disabled by default. And they are not even a privacy issue when they are enabled. Brave earns a share of the ad revenue – as I said, they are self-sustained and do not need an anti-privacy sponsor unlike a certain other company.

      > What specifically are they going to do about it?

      Disable that by default, most likely.

      > Or is Brave just going to remain quiet and let Google have their way?

      Way to show that you haven’t even read the article… Martin links to this article on the Brave blog:

      https://brave.com/webbundles-harmful-to-content-blocking-security-tools-and-the-open-web/

      They are calling Google out on their bullshit there. And as I said, they will disable this by default most likely.

      Spare us further ill-informed anti-Brave postings, please.

      1. Carey said on August 30, 2020 at 6:56 pm
        Reply

        Getting money to keep Google as default search engine does not make them “fully dependent”. Not going to read the rest of your rant because you’re obviously biased.

      2. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 7:27 pm
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        @Carey

        So, you think getting 90%+ of your money required to run your company from your competitor means they are still “independent”? Yeah… In the past, we called that a “cartel”.

        If you think I am biased, even though I made no deliberately hostile or wrong claims towards any party involved, then this is your prerogative. Time will tell if you are totally unbiased (contrary to me, apparently), friend.

    3. If said on August 30, 2020 at 4:07 pm
      Reply

      >Or is Brave just going to remain quiet

      from the article youre commenting on…

      “Privacy researcher Peter Snyder published an analysis on the Brave company blog that highlights the dangers”

      Theres been several forum discussions and newsblogs like this citing Braves critique, Mozilla is quiet. You obviously know this just as you know by now that Mozilla builds Google trackers in its software.

      Are you here representing Mozilla when you troll Dan?

    4. ULBoom said on August 31, 2020 at 1:59 am
      Reply

      Brave’s co-op of happy users funding Brave and to a lesser extent themselves is OK if a user wants to make a tiny amount of money then give it away. Unless its privacy capabilities are utilized, then Brave gets nothing.

      Brave’s privacy model is bizarre today. It used to kind of make sense a few years ago but with browser independent system level ad blockers/anti-trackers available, it’s irrelevant.

      It’s being funded somehow. Must have a lot of benevolent users.

      Whatever.

      1. Iron Heart said on August 31, 2020 at 8:13 am
        Reply

        @ULBoom

        From what I read, the makers of Brave know that those enabling Brave Rewards are in the minority – that’s fine and expected.

        Don’t know how their privacy model is “bizarre” – the idea is pretty clear here: Show users ads via a privacy-respecting ad system that is optional and analyzes their browsing locally only, instead of doing so on a remote server (like Google does). They have a vital interest in preventing the latter, after all they mean to provide an alternative to exactly that (which also happens to be their source of income). Which is why they constantly improve the default privacy of the browser…

      2. m3city said on August 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm
        Reply

        I would say – hey adverts, go to hell. I want to browse internet, not ads. Browser that blocks this stuff and promotes notracking, fights obtrusives standards where possible is a Good one. Chrome… well it the Bad one. And let me say Vivaldi is the Ugly one;).

        Seems like I found a classic spaghetti western here in browsers section as well:)

      3. Iron Heart said on September 1, 2020 at 12:17 am
        Reply

        @m3city

        I take it you are willing to actively pay for every website you visit? Because if not, the only way websites can make money to fund their upkeep is ads. You now have two possibilities:

        – Accept the current model under which you are being spied on, your data is being processed on some remote server you do not control, the info is also sold to third parties.
        – Invent a new, more privacy respecting scheme that still allows website owners to make money.

        Brave does the latter while preventing the former from happening to the best of their abilities. Firefox does neither by default, but you can install uBlock Origin – however, in this case you are just depriving websites of their money, making them more likely to accept shit like the stuff described in the article above. Way to go, without offering websites a privacy-respecting alternative to the current scheme we are done, finished.

  9. Paul(us) said on August 30, 2020 at 12:49 pm
    Reply

    Security-wise speaking this could be only used in a closed office/house environment.

  10. Shadowed said on August 30, 2020 at 1:11 pm
    Reply

    Soon, Google will start with giving better search ranking to sites implementing this, mark my words…

    Regarding splitting Google into two or more companies mentioned in comments… I would prefer splitting Google into zero or less companies :)

    1. Carey said on August 30, 2020 at 7:00 pm
      Reply

      > Soon, Google will start with giving better search ranking to sites implementing this

      Wouldn’t be too smart. They’d get sued just like MS did back in the day.

      1. Anon said on September 5, 2020 at 1:08 pm
        Reply

        They already push websites that implement AMP, so who’s to stop them from doing the same in this case?

  11. Martin Watson said on August 30, 2020 at 2:21 pm
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    We seem to hate the current giant, and love the little one that comes next, until he is a giant. It’s happened repeatedly over my 60 years in IT – CDC, then IBM, then MS, Google, and somewhere, probably in California, the next focus of our future hatred is planning world domination. It keeps going round…

  12. Nathar said on August 30, 2020 at 2:39 pm
    Reply

    @AllWynd
    Firefox did have a justification to remove all that customizability. https://yoric.github.io/post/why-did-mozilla-remove-xul-addons/

  13. Anon said on August 30, 2020 at 5:05 pm
    Reply

    based google

  14. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 6:39 pm
    Reply

    Since Googles interests are for sure not the Users interests (if any paralleles, they’re coincidential, but marketed as main feature) this stuff is not good. Users need to be aware of that and stop using Googles products as if google wasnt evil..

    1. Stan said on August 30, 2020 at 10:03 pm
      Reply

      If Mozilla is almost 100% financed by Google, the browser might as well be called GoogleFirefox.
      What am I missing here, do folks seriously think that cash cow doesn’t come with conditions ?

      1. Iron Heart said on August 30, 2020 at 10:24 pm
        Reply

        @Stan

        People think Google pays Mozilla to be the default search engine in Firefox, which, to be fair, is the officially cited reason. However, we need to consider two things:

        – The amount of money Google pays Mozilla hasn’t significantly changed over the years – despite Firefox’s market share having declined considerably. It’s also questionable whether or not a deal with Mozilla is worth $400 million, considering the next point.
        – If Mozilla were to switch to another default search engine, people would switch it back to Google immediately. Mozilla tried to pull off that stunt with Yahoo – and Yahoo’s market share didn’t significantly increase as a result.

        So why is Google paying Mozilla a fairly high sum of money seemingly irrespective of Firefox’s market share, when most people would switch their search engine back to Google anyway, even if Mozilla were to switch to another default search engine? It’s a total mystery… *cough* antitrust *cough*

      2. Anonymous said on August 30, 2020 at 11:23 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        > So why is Google paying Mozilla a fairly high sum of money seemingly irrespective of Firefox’s market share…

        That’s simple. The deal is based on advertisement revenue. The market share is irrelevant for this metrik. Only the absolute amount of users counts, and that has been rather stable for Firefox. It only started to decrease very slowly not too long ago.

      3. Iron Heart said on August 31, 2020 at 7:19 am
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        The point is that Google could get the same for free, do you think people would stick with Yahoo or Bing if Mozilla used those? Please…

        Google seems to have a vital interest to keep Mozilla going.

      4. Foxy said on September 1, 2020 at 12:33 am
        Reply

        Between ios and macos, safari has an equivalent marketshare worldwide and google pays apple billions. Sure, its a higher value audience but whats important is keeping numbers in context.

        There are 2 separate agreements bundled together as a payment. Wether google is the default search engine out of the box doesnt matter itself, google still pays mozilla even if users switched it from bing/ddg to google. This is the bulk of the payment made, and normally processes according to the volume of searches generated in the previous year. A separate agreement concerns making google the default (this one supposed to be paid in advance), and its payment is competitive to the amount bing offered in the past so mozilla couldve always switched it anytime – receiving both at once doesnt make bids by other search engines for default placement any less reasonable (new agreements wouldnt include previous year’s performance with those, but google would still have to pay it according to performance even if default placement isnt renewed).

        As for why the amount hasnt changed much despite firefox’ stale marketshare, its because for every 1% they lose, chrome gains users, and for any search queries/ads displayed on chrome, google pays no middleman – the same ad volume on chrome is much more profitable (not just slightly higher, but at least twice more profitable and on google-owned websites its up to 5x higher), so google can afford to give mozilla a fraction of the earnings generated by the userbase they lost as a way to soften the blow.

  15. Kevin Fanch said on August 30, 2020 at 7:23 pm
    Reply

    Seems like another way to stop users from getting some privacy. It is like privacy settings in Android, almost impossible to navigate. I think the best answer is to use ungoogled OS, like /e/ OS from e foundation, which lets you use Android without sending any data to Google. I believe in the future there will be new ways to block web based tracking.

  16. Jeff said on August 30, 2020 at 9:24 pm
    Reply

    Indeed. SWF/Flash was sort of a “web bundle” and very inflexible, all or nothing plus compiled. I can see how a web bundle can be a huge problem for selective content blocking. NO THANKS, GOOGLE.

  17. Jake said on August 31, 2020 at 12:33 am
    Reply

    This will go WAY further than foiling your ad blocker. Publishers want complete control over your computer while you are viewing their content online. They don’t want you taking screenshots, fast forwarding commercials, disabling tracking and other annoyances, or anything else. They don’t want you saving anything from the web for preservation’s sake or as evidence/posterity, unless they explicitly choose to approve that action, and rest assured that anything they do let you save will come wrapped in some DRM malware that makes it expire in 14 days and also lets them spy on everything you do with whatever you’ve downloaded and sell that data to the highest bidder.

    It’ll basically be like this, but for the web. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal

  18. Richard Steven Hack said on August 31, 2020 at 12:44 am
    Reply

    I already use Save Page WE to bundle every Web page I save into a single file. Having an entirely separate folder for files associated with the HTML is a major PITA. Plus, Save Page WE translates all the crap special characters into underscores automatically. I love that thing.

    I understand the issue with being unable to selectively content block – it would render all the ad-blocking ineffective. Obviously that’s what Google wants to do. Remember: Google was created by the CIA (ironically Google “Google CIA” and see what comes up.)

    However, I fully expect some hacker to figure out how to “de-bundle” a bundle and restore ad-blocking functionality. Even if Google “obfuscates” the internals of the “bundle” somehow. This is nothing but another attempt to apply DRM thinking – and that has always failed.

    Google isn’t run by geniuses and never was. It’s just another “corporate hack” with no understanding of how the world works.

  19. ULBoom said on August 31, 2020 at 1:09 am
    Reply

    Not sure the details really matter, Google already rules the web, loading it with ads no one reads, supporting a humongous flow of money that ends up with Google.

    Everywhere they do something supposedly benevolent, such as being the main financier of Mozilla for fifteen years or so, there’s another reason. In Mozilla’s case, it’s to keep a different browser design alive as preventative medicine for anti-trust action. It costs them almost nothing to do so.

    Google owns Chromium, software that collects user data so Google can make money with ads. Chromium is “open source” except the money making part can’t be removed leaving all Chromia with common data collection capabilities. They’d be crazy and irresponsible to share holders to give away Chromium with the ability to take market share.

    Nothing will change except more and more invasiveness unless legislation forces change.

    1. Iron Heart said on August 31, 2020 at 8:06 am
      Reply

      @ULBoom

      Nope, Google doesn’t “own” Chromium. Chromium is an open source project. Google is the biggest contributor to Chromium and uses it as the basis of the browser they actually own – Google Chrome. Chromium itself is used as the basis of other browsers as well and many companies contribute code to it (among the many: Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, Intel, Opera ASA, Brave Software, Vivaldi Technologies etc. pp.).

      > Chromium is “open source” except the money making part can’t be removed leaving all Chromia with common data collection capabilities.

      Sorry, but this is just wrong. There are Chromium-based browsers that are thoroughly ungoogled, i.e. they have the spying parts removed. They do that either by removing or disabling the blobs where applicable, or by replacing the domains they try to contact with pure rubbish URLs. This is what Ungoogled Chromium and Brave do, for example:

      https://github.com/ungoogled-software/ungoogled-chromium-windows/blob/master/README.md

      https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/wiki/Deviations-from-Chromium-(features-we-disable-or-remove)#services–features-we-disable-entirely

      Firefox (not Chromium-based) establishes a lot (I mean a LOT here) more unsolicited requests than Ungoogled Chromium or even Brave, so not being based on Chromium is not automatically a guarantee for good behavior.

      > They’d be crazy and irresponsible to share holders to give away Chromium with the ability to take market share.

      They aren’t crazy. Chromium heavily profits from outside contributions, this is reducing the maintenance burden on Google’s end quite a bit.

    2. Anonymous said on August 31, 2020 at 10:53 am
      Reply

      Nobody reads? Do you really believe that advetisers are so stupid to throw money out of the window? Please.
      I don’t blame google for this web bundle. I blame all of you people who are in a mission to promote adblocking to non tech saavy people.
      Are you that naive to believe that all these tech giants are going not to take measures in the end?
      Adblocking should stay to the tech saavy people and the masses to watch their ads.
      But you want to save the world, in the end ads will become unskippable. That’s what will happen.

  20. Mark1 said on August 31, 2020 at 1:21 am
    Reply

    Never trust anybody, who is ostentatious about their morality – Don’t be evil.

    1. HMMM said on September 1, 2020 at 5:07 am
      Reply

      “Don’t be evil” isn’t ostentatious, it’s just a rule of sorts, much the same as your commandment “Never trust anybody…”

      Which reminds me:

      Never say never.

      But perhaps I am wrong, and thus we are all “ostentatious”.

  21. ULBoom said on August 31, 2020 at 1:48 am
    Reply

    Google Cardboard is the only Google product I trust.

    Carl Sagan was using the terms google and googleplex in the 1970’s. Two more things Google giggles about inventing (throw them some emojis, they’re clowns).

    Toward their goal of using 100% renewable energy, Google bought 500 MW of solar power in South Dakota, Oklahoma and Iowa while funding climate change denying politicians and groups. Maybe those are related just a bit?

    Chromium’s various incarnations are revenue generators among many others for Alphabet, the gory details tech savvy users notice probably don’t make a bit of difference to them, they’ll take whatever path makes the most money.

  22. Gee said on August 31, 2020 at 2:09 am
    Reply

    We already have a perfectly fine archive format: mhtml. We don’t need Googlecrap filled with ads and spyware to replace it. Just like webp, which nobody asked for or wants (can’t disable it in Chrome of course), they can shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.

  23. Nicolás Bahamondes said on August 31, 2020 at 3:41 am
    Reply

    The main problem with Google is they believe they own the web, so they can do whatever they want. Completely absurd.

    And we, the users, are letting these things happen because we normalize their behavior.

    The web should still be open, not dependant on a set of corporate organizations.

  24. lux said on August 31, 2020 at 7:56 am
    Reply

    I will not be visiting any webpage that uses “web bundles”

    Like most monopolistic companies technologies, this will steadily be forced upon the populace.

    The upside is, this will spur further development of alternate technologies.

  25. ard said on August 31, 2020 at 11:38 am
    Reply

    I think that Chrome is developing WebBundles for the authoritarian regimes like China, Russia, N-Korea and the likes, such that in those countries the authorities can decide what the content of a WebBundle is and what not. It seems that Google is working on request of the authoritarian and repressing regimes.

    1. Crack-Pot Pete said on September 1, 2020 at 3:37 am
      Reply

      @ard

      I agree with that conspiracy theory because they clearly want to control us all and turn us into slaves. It’s time to unplug before it’s too late!

  26. Derek Clements said on August 31, 2020 at 1:02 pm
    Reply

    Time for an “alternative web” perhaps?

  27. TelV said on August 31, 2020 at 9:59 pm
    Reply

    An alternative search engine I’d completely forgotten about suddenly sprang to mind while reading the absorbing and somewhat fascinating exchange between Anoymous and Iron Heart. It’s called https://millionshort.com/about

    Here’s the relevant Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Million_Short

    It’s interesting from the point of view that users can wipe a given number of search results before displaying the final results such as the Top 100, Top 100,000, Top Million etc., or none at all.

    I did a quick search on Ghacks, but it didn’t turn up anything,

  28. BatSidCrazy said on August 31, 2020 at 10:39 pm
    Reply

    Google is behaving like what US army to the rest of the world. They will adopt whatever methods they can to grab more domination and market share. Inventions and UX are all superficial talks.
    I wonder what Tim Berners-Lee would be thinking right now… ‘why i gave it away all free !!’.
    But Firefox will do as usual instructed by *cough* ’employer’ *cough* otherwise how will they get their lunch money. When revenues are dropping and CEO pay is rising, you know sh*t is about to hit the fan. I will miss Firefox. Cool name though ngl.
    And seems like Chrome is desperately trying to become the new IE with its disastrous inventions inviting the kind of ‘bed bugs’ which will itch you all over until you finally decide get rid of all.

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