Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Browser’

Blocking Annoying and Privacy-Harming Cookie Consent Banners ➝


Starting with the current Brave Nightly, and in version 1.45 when it releases in October, the Brave browser will block cookie consent notifications on Android and Desktop (and, soon after, on iOS). Cookie consent notifications are an infamous and near-constant annoyance on the Web. They break and disrupt one of the main benefits of the Web: the ability to browse content across many sites and publishers conveniently and easily. And, what is ironic, many cookie consent systems actually track users, introducing the exact harm the consent systems were supposed to prevent.

New versions of Brave will hide—and, where possible, completely block—cookie consent notifications.

I’m looking forward to this feature launching.

➝ Source: brave.com

Libredirect ➝

A nifty browser extension for Firefox and Chromium-based browsers that will automatically redirect YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and other links to privacy-respecting alternative frontends. I’d love to see something like this for Safari on iOS.

➝ Source: github.com

On Being Frustrated With the Current State of Browsers ➝

Michael Harley, on the state of the web browser market:

Has the Internet just become an ad delivery network? Is there so much money sloshing around from ad people that software companies/teams doing browser development are simply unable to pass it up? They have to take the money because it’s so much, but everyone seems to recognize people don’t want to be served ads, or tracked across the web. The browser developer organizations recognize the concerns of users but really all they’re willing to do about it is use the word private in the title of their ad tracking platform.

Maybe I’m being too naive, rigid or unrealistic but I don’t want to be served ads at all. I’m sorry that businesses have built their websites using an ad-based model but that’s not my problem. Offer me a subscription service, and if it’s valuable enough to me then I’ll pay for a subscription.

I’m currently using Brave because, despite my lack of interest in their ad network or BAT, I appreciate that they’re trying to build a business model that doesn’t rely on Google or other major tech companies for funding . And it’s easy enough to disable the features I dislike.

I’m not thrilled about it being built on Chromium, though. I hate the idea that there could be a future where the entirety of the market is Safari, Chrome, and Chrome-based browsers. But until Mozilla gets their act together and spends a little more time building a great browser and a little less time encouraging censorship, I’ll have to settle with the least offensive option.

➝ Source: obsolete29.com

xSearch for Safari ➝

I recently switched back to Safari as my default browser on iOS. Although I would prefer to support third-party browsers, Apple has restricted them to such a degree that it’s a pretty bad experience overall. And with the introduction of extensions in iOS 15, the benefits of using Safari are hard to ignore.

This browser extension — xSearch — has become one of my favorites. I have it configured to use my instance of SearX as the default search engine and setup a number of shortcuts to mimic my most commonly used !Bangs from my time with DuckDuckGo. It’s a fantastic product.

➝ Source: apps.apple.com

Laboratory, a Firefox Add-on for Generating Content Security Policies ➝

I got on a kick of implementing security-related headers on Initial Charge this week. Most of these were fairly easy to add, simply copy and pasting some code from various tutorials into my .htaccess file and then testing. But Content Security Policy was a major pain. It essentially tells the browser what content is allowed to run on webpages and where it can load that content from.

This add-on made the process much easier. Once installed, I opened the add-on’s menu, enabled recording of my site, then browsed to every type of page I could think of — on the front-end and the backend. The add-on kept a running tab on all the different types of content loaded and where it was loaded from. Then I grabbed the markup provided from within the add-on’s menu and added it to the site’s .htaccess file.

I’m using some declarations that are considered unsafe, notably the ability to run inline JavaScript and CSS. But now that I have the header implemented, I can go through the process of adjusting that content to run from safer sources and then change my security headers accordingly.

➝ Source: addons.mozilla.org

Apple Considering Letting Users Change Default Email App and Browser on iOS ➝

Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg:

The technology giant is discussing whether to let users choose third-party web browser and mail applications as their default options on Apple’s mobile devices, replacing the company’s Safari browser and Mail app, according to people familiar with the matter.

This is a huge step in the right direction. And I wouldn’t mind them giving developers the ability to release web browsers with their own rendering engines as well.

➝ Source: bloomberg.com

Firefox to Start Blocking Flash Content in August ➝

Sebastian Anthony, reporting for ArsTechnica:

Firefox will begin retiring Adobe Flash on August 2 with the release of Firefox 48. In 2017, probably with Firefox 53, Flash plug-ins will require the user to actively click-to-play.

First we learned that Google Chrome was going to begin phasing out Flash later this year and now Firefox is following in their footsteps. This is a trend I can get behind.

Why I’m Not Crazy for Making Safari My Default Browser ➝

Matt Birchler:

I don’t think that Safari is the best browser for everyone, and I don’t think Chrome is the only other game in town either. Some people love Opera, while others are getting excited for Vivaldi, and Firefox still has its supporters. But there is a mass of people who scoff at those who use anything besides Chrome, and I wanted to explain why some of us use it over the Goliath in the room. Chrome is great, but so is Safari.

Matt makes some great points in this piece, but I think he missed one of the biggest reasons for using Safari instead of Chrome — significantly better battery life. I can understand why it was omitted from his list, though, his primary home computer is a Mac mini.