Friday, January 22, 2016

Brave Browsers

Brendan Eich (comments):

Once you grant this premise, that the Web needs ads in the large, it follows that your browsing habits will be surveilled, to the best of the ad ecosystem players’ abilities. Also, depending on how poorly ads are designed and integrated, you may become blind or averse to them. Since the ’90s, I’ve seen several races to the bottom along these lines.


Everyone’s talking about ad blocking. Blockers can make the user experience of the Web much better. But as Marco Arment noted, they don’t feel good to many folks. They feel like free-riding, or even starting a war. You may never click on an ad, but even forming an impression from a viewable ad has some small value. With enough people blocking ads, the Web’s main funding model is in jeopardy.

At Brave, we’re building a solution designed to avert war and give users the fair deal they deserve for coming to the Web to browse and contribute. We are building a new browser and a connected private cloud service with anonymous ads. Today we’re releasing the 0.7 developer version for early adopters and testers, along with open source and our roadmap.

Brendan Eich:

We have a micro payments channel to publishers, frictionless and anonymous, under construction, for folks who want no ads and who will pay.

Other users than you will be able to mix and match, too: better and more private ads on sites they don’t support, with a revenue share to these users that they can spend on sites they do.

We aren’t saying “only ads”. We do see ads as a necessary funding model for much of the web today. I would love to see micropayments replace ads. Let’s see what can be done.


Though the team working on Brave seems to have a few ex-Mozilla engineers, they have chosen to fork browsers other Firefox.


The desktop browser is a cross-platform desktop application created with a fork of Github’s Electron framework that is itself based on Node.js and Chromium.

The iOS browser is a fork of Firefox for iOS, which is a Swift app developed from scratch by Mozilla.


The ad blocking technology is courtesy a Node.js module of Adblock Plus filter that uses a bloom filter and Rabin-Karp algorithm for speed.

Stephen Shankland:

Beyond privacy protection, Eich promises Brave’s browser will come with a big speed boost: It loads pages two to four times faster than other smartphone browsers and 1.4 times faster than other browsers for personal computers.


How does Brave walk that fine line? The browser infers from your browsing history what you’re interested in, such as gourmet coffee or European cars, and shares industry-standard categories with publishers who can then place appropriate ads without knowing anything else about you. Brave, the company, says it doesn’t know or want to know any of this information.

For now, there are no ads. There are only empty patches that show where ads used to be. Once Brave has enough people using the browser, Eich hopes publishers will supply ads based on the limited information the browser shares. That will also be Brave’s revenue source.

Previously: Peace iOS 9 Content Blocker, Modern Web Ad Blocking, Safari Content Blocker and Web Advertising.

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