Brave (multi-platform web browser)

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#16 Post by webfork » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:33 pm

Midas wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:42 am
Quick note on Brave's engine...
While I am pleased that (1) Brave is not just a Chrome clone and (2) Muon is functioning as a lighter alternative to Electron, I don't know how much this represents a separation from Blink engine. That is: whether they're making a really intensive code change. The company CEO is the creator of Javascript so maybe he's confident he can make it happen. Brave probably can't diverge too far from the base code without reinventing a very big wheel.

I would also like to see if these updates in any way address Haller's comments about Brave back in 2016: https://portableapps.com/comment/229066#comment-229066 but another thread noted they have little interest in portability. So probably not.

---

On a related note, Brave has already been forked as "Disenter" (intentionally misspelled). I mention this only to say I'd avoid it. I found their license to be unclear and I wasn't impressed by the "comment anywhere" plugin, which I've seen in various forms over the years. Their current website is also real light on details. The problematic group behind it also doesn't appear to be a software company, so it's unlikely they'll really be moving forward with a strong browser effort.
Last edited by webfork on Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: (better wording)

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#17 Post by Midas » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:01 pm

FTR, in last VentureBeat Browser Benchmark Battle, while the new Blink based Microsoft Edge browser (which, BTW, I wouldn't touch with the proverbial ten-foot pole; see end-note for info) aced in more tests, Brave came on top in the Basemark one:

Image
venturebeat.com /2020/01/15/browser-benchmark-battle-january-2020-chrome-firefox-edge-brave/


Furthermore and licensing issues notwithstanding (to date, it hasn't been taken down, it even weathered a trademark violation report from Mozilla and has been commended by official Brave devs), there's no denying that portapps.io Brave page carries some interesting info for the more privacy oriented people...


Sadly and as I noted previously, portable Brave isn't immune to the issues that affect upstream Chrome/ium portability and should simply be regarded as a non-install version -- as has been recently confirmed:

Cookies, passwords and settings [are] not saved across computers.

As a side note, portapps.io seems to be following some good confidence building practices:

Wrapper [appname]-portable.exe of all portapps are scanned by VirusTotal and a link is provided in the description of GitHub releases page.


*) Assorted coverage of Edge's privacy issues:
https://threatpost.com/microsoft-edge-p ... ry/153733/
https://bgr.com/2020/03/11/microsoft-ed ... rformance/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinde ... confirmed/
https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/m ... telemetry/

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#18 Post by webfork » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:14 pm

Midas wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:01 pm
FTR, in last VentureBeat Browser Benchmark Battle ...
Interesting stuff. I was surprised to Firefox win JavaScript tests, when the Brave browser is by the creator of Javascript. That said, most of the other tests put Mozilla in 4th place.

A few caveats about the VentureBeat test:
  • They only tested one machine on one operating system (Win10).
  • Octane is developed by Google, so it's likely they can optimize their browser for the test or the test for the browser.
  • I'm a little surprised they ran SunSpider when the group has "use Jetstream" with a link in big letters at the top of the page.
  • A huge percentage of most user's downloads is adverts and tracking garbage, which is likely not included in these tests. I assume if they tested that, Brave would come out front based on their more aggressive blocking by default.
---
Midas wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:01 pm
... it even weathered a trademark violation report from Mozilla
It's an interesting look into something I've only heard about over the past 10 years. I added something to the "is my Firefox illegal" thread on that.

---
Midas wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:01 pm
Assorted coverage of Edge's privacy issues
I know the corporate copy of Windows 10 I use is very locked-down. I wonder what corporations are going to do with these kinds of issues in Edge. I know if I was competing with Microsoft, I would be very paranoid about my data sharing with them.

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#19 Post by Midas » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:41 am

Midas wrote: ... the new Blink based Microsoft Edge browser (which, BTW, I wouldn't touch with the proverbial ten-foot pole; see end-note for info) ...

The Internet obviously doesn't much care for what I think...


Image
The Microsoft Edge browser is now being used by more people than Mozilla Firefox making it the 2nd most popular desktop browser.
In March 2019, NetMarketShare records Mozilla Firefox's popularity at 9.27%, but over the year the browser has slowly been losing market share as it reached 7.19% in March 2020.


Still, a truly sad state of affairs. :sneezing_face:

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#20 Post by bitcoin » Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:40 pm

webfork wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:33 pm
On a related note, Brave has already been forked as "Disenter" (intentionally misspelled). I mention this only to say I'd avoid it. I found their license to be unclear and I wasn't impressed by the "comment anywhere" plugin, which I've seen in various forms over the years. Their current website is also real light on details. The problematic group behind it also doesn't appear to be a software company, so it's unlikely they'll really be moving forward with a strong browser effort.
they (GAB) aren't the problematic ones since they don't try to censor anyone's Free Speech - that would be google, youtube, MSM, etc

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#21 Post by webfork » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:31 pm

bitcoin wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:40 pm
they aren't the problematic ones
That whole topic is some hot flamebait that I encourage everyone to sort out elsewhere.

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#22 Post by webfork » Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:00 pm

Midas wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:41 am
NetMarketShare records Mozilla Firefox's popularity at 9.27%, but over the year the browser has slowly been losing market share as it reached 7.19% in March 2020.
Still, a truly sad state of affairs. :sneezing_face:
I'm not too worried -- every few years they'll put out a poll asking people what they think of the new Microsoft Science Kits or Microsoft Headphones and invariably they'll get good ratings, whether or not those products exist. I suspect it's a boost mostly coming from brand recognition.

Notably -- unlike Brave and several other browsers, Edge has several things holding it back from real success:
  • Existing licensing and content obligations that will prevent Microsoft from putting in a really good adblocker and untying various consumer-unfriendly DRM
  • Probably overall slower in the long run, because it doesn't block the buckets of bandwidth-wasting tracking services (and instead embraces them): https://www.windowscentral.com/microsof ... ivacy-test
  • Closed-source, making it a non-starter for many
  • Unlikely to find any kind of userbase outside of Windows
Also, a lot of the lauded "features" really don't have me worried. I mean, come on: vertical tabs, fake tracking protection, and a password manager? *shrug*

I'm also curious to see how Google, the primary sponsor for Chromium, will respond as it's primary competitor (office, search engine, cloud services, advertising, operating systems, etc.) shoves itself into the same browser space with much of the same code.


---

In related news, Brave filed GDPR complaint against Google: https://www.cpomagazine.com/data-privac ... st-google/ It's an amusing read:
Central to its GDPR complaint, Brave says that “Google’s internal data free-for-all” includes “hopelessly vague” privacy policies which stand in breach of the GDPR and has requested that Google publish a list of the purposes for which the tech giant processes personal data, alongside a relevant legal basis for each purpose.

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#23 Post by SYSTEM » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:48 pm

webfork wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:00 pm
Existing licensing and content obligations that will prevent Microsoft from putting in a really good adblocker and untying various consumer-unfriendly DRM
This is a strange complaint because the only major browser with an integrated ad blocker is Opera. It's not a feature you can expect in major browsers. Instead, you can install a third-party ad blocker (and Chromium-based Edge is compatible with uBlock Origin).

Not sure what you mean with "untying DRM". All major browsers ship with the DRM modules, although Firefox sandboxes them to restrict what they can do. Is that what you mean with "untying"?
webfork wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:00 pm
Probably overall slower in the long run, because it doesn't block the buckets of bandwidth-wasting tracking services (and instead embraces them): https://www.windowscentral.com/microsof ... ivacy-test
Slower than what? Firefox is the only major browser that blocks some tracking by default. (The difference in that privacy test is about data Edge sends directly to Microsoft.)
webfork wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:00 pm
Also, a lot of the lauded "features" really don't have me worried. I mean, come on: vertical tabs, fake tracking protection, and a password manager? *shrug*
Uhh, what? I myself use Vivaldi and vertical tabs are the number one reason I do. I'm really happy to see another browser adopt them.

At least according to that article, Edge's tracking protection isn't "fake" and blocks just as much as Firefox in strict mode.

Password monitor doesn't sound that useful to me either, but hey, I'd rather have as many features as possible.
webfork wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:00 pm
I'm also curious to see how Google, the primary sponsor for Chromium, will respond as it's primary competitor (office, search engine, cloud services, advertising, operating systems, etc.) shoves itself into the same browser space with much of the same code.
I think they're only happy about it. Edge using the Blink engine only increases Blink's market share. From Google's point of view, Microsoft is now an ally, not a competitor.
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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#24 Post by Midas » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:32 am

To add a platitude to your well reasoned statements -- to each, one's own... :neutral_face:

SYSTEM wrote: Edge using the Blink engine only increases Blink's market share. From Google's point of view, Microsoft is now an ally, not a competitor.

But I'm inclined to agree with you on this. From where I stand, the rise of FAANG rule over the internet is no longer a matter of competition but of the maintenance of an oligopoly.

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#25 Post by webfork » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:24 pm

SYSTEM wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:48 pm
webfork wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:00 pm
...prevent Microsoft from putting in a really good adblocker and untying various consumer-unfriendly DRM
This is a strange complaint because the only major browser with an integrated ad blocker is Opera.
Not sure what you mean with "untying DRM". All major browsers ship with the DRM modules
Microsoft is on track to rake in over 8 billion for ad revenue next year so I have my doubts about their interest in enabling or maintaining tools on their platform that block ads. I can't imagine a product manager selling that idea to leadership.

For DRM:
  • I'm referring to PlayReady DRM, which has already been integrated into Microsoft Edge. I expect this or similar tools to increase with time.
  • More broadly, that tech is all about not letting playing nice with other tools, which reminds me a great deal of Microsoft Office formats. A good chunk of their business surrounds the fact that Microsoft -- and only Microsoft -- can open the file correctly.
  • This is from a company that supposedly embraced open source AND based on an open source project yet somehow ended up closed source? Again, doesn't play well with others.
SYSTEM wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:48 pm
webfork wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:00 pm
...fake tracking protection
Edge's tracking protection isn't "fake" and blocks just as much as Firefox in strict mode
I say "fake" because it's not privacy if you're just handing the data to one company while you block another, especially if that company ends up with that same data down the road via some kind of purchase agreement. User data is after all far more valuable when it's combined either with the same or similar users to draw better conclusions about an audience.
webfork wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:00 pm
I myself use Vivaldi and vertical tabs are the number one reason I do
Oh okay -- I'll be very happy if Vivaldi finally got it right. I just say that because I've seen so many failed attempts over the years.
SYSTEM wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:48 pm
The difference in that privacy test is about data Edge sends directly to Microsoft.
Yes, that's something I had to look at again. The data includes unique identifiers and is sent to only one source, which is a privacy but not a speed issue.

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#26 Post by SYSTEM » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:07 pm

webfork wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:24 pm
Microsoft is on track to rake in over 8 billion for ad revenue next year so I have my doubts about their interest in enabling or maintaining tools on their platform that block ads. I can't imagine a product manager selling that idea to leadership.
Well, Google and Opera are primarily advertising companies. Out of the big five browsers, restricting this way leaves only Safari and Firefox.
webfork wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:24 pm
I'm referring to PlayReady DRM, which has already been integrated into Microsoft Edge. I expect this or similar tools to increase with time.
Hmm, I see. Firefox ships Widewine DRM but not PlayReady.
webfork wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:24 pm
  • More broadly, that tech is all about not letting playing nice with other tools, which reminds me a great deal of Microsoft Office formats. A good chunk of their business surrounds the fact that Microsoft -- and only Microsoft -- can open the file correctly.
  • This is from a company that supposedly embraced open source AND based on an open source project yet somehow ended up closed source? Again, doesn't play well with others.
Yeah, point taken. I see how websites may well end up requiring PlayReady, especially once it's integrated in Chromium with its dominant market share.
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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#27 Post by Midas » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:38 am

webfork wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:24 pm
@webfork: oops, double-post.


Rest assured I've been following this discussion attentively -- but please allow me to repost a cheeky but rather good meme I recently came across on Facebook (I believe issued by Brave marketing itself):

Image

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#28 Post by SYSTEM » Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:23 am

Brave recently got involved in a controversy about redirecting users to affiliate links: https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/8/21283 ... eo-apology

Overall, I think Brave is a super-shady browser with its cryptocurrency business and past controversies (such as the incident where their privacy blocker whitelisted Facebook domains). Personally I would strongly recommend using literally any other browser.
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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#29 Post by freakazoid » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:39 am

Yeah, there was always something off about Brave to me. I couldn't get behind the browser when it was first released.

Firefox is my main browser, but when I have to use a Chromium browser, I stick with Ungoogled Chromium first and Edge if I have to test something.
is it stealth? ;)

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Re: Brave (multi-platform web browser)

#30 Post by webfork » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:05 pm

SYSTEM wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:23 am
Overall, I think Brave is a super-shady browser with its cryptocurrency business and past controversies (such as the incident where their privacy blocker whitelisted Facebook domains).
Although I try to avoid Chromium-based browsers, I remain optimistic that the Brave team could in some sense steer or at least push back against some ugly browser trends. Their resource usage and open licensing were encouraging (the majority of Chromium browsers are only based in open source). Unfortunately, Brave seems to be taking the cutting edge startup route, ala the "go fast and break things" angle.  I understand that headlines (like cryptocurrency) can increase user share and leadership means bold action but, in the security / privacy space, it doesn't inspire confidence.
SYSTEM wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:23 am
Brave recently got involved in a controversy about redirecting users to affiliate links: https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/8/21283 ... eo-apology
For reference, here are some details on the whitelist issue (something I had to look up): https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2019/0 ... whitelist/
Last edited by webfork on Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: (fixed some wording)

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