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Why I don’t use Chrome 2013-Mar-19 at 19:31 PDT

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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From Google bans ad-blocking apps from the Play store, sideloading is your only option, by Grant Brunner, 2013-03-14:

This isn’t Google’s first move to disrupt ad-blocking. In an article on Business Wire, Adblock Plus co-founder Till Faida discusses the actions Google has taken in recent months to make ad-blocking more difficult. Last month, Google forced users to manually configure proxy settings for Adblock Plus to work on their phones and tablets. Late last year, Google even prevented users from finding Adblock Plus through searches on the Chrome web store. No more cat and mouse games, though. This latest move sends a clear signal that Google won’t tolerate ad-blocking on its platform.

If we view companies by where they make their money, then Google is an advertising company, plain and simple. Over 95% of Google’s revenue comes from advertising. Their technology has one thing primarily in mind: mining your data for innovative ways to deliver ads to you. When you think Google, think advertising.

So, yeah, of course an ad company wants to prevent you from blocking ads. The other problem with Chrome is the lack of controls on cookies. I personally allow or disallow every cookie on my system. Chrome doesn’t have a way for me to decide that… it’s either all cookies or no cookies… complete tracking or a basically unusable browser experience.

So what do I use? Mostly I use Firefox with AdBlock. FireFox has really come back in terms of performance and memory usage. When I’m not using Firefox, I use IE10. IE10 is a great browser, and, yes, Microsoft does ads too, but it’s not their primary business. Or their secondary, tertiary, or whatever word comes after tertiary business. Both IE and Firefox allow me to choose which cookies to accept and which to reject. And, at this point, JavaScript performance is within milliseconds of each other for every normal case, so performance doesn’t matter… if a page loads in 2.3s on Chrome and 2.4s in Firefox, really, I don’t care.

As for the “you wouldn’t have the Internet without ads” argument… I pay for New York Times access. I will pay for Washington Post access when they put up their paywall. I pay for MLB, NHL, and Netflix. I donate to multiple sites I frequent if the creator asks for a donation. I don’t mind paying for content if it’s done well, and I wouldn’t miss too many of the sites I graze on daily for free if it came down to it.

So, it’s up to you, of course, but I can’t imagine why I’d want to use a browser that’s provided by an advertising company. It’s kind-of like using a medical app provided by Big Pharma.