What happens when you launch google Chrome for the first time on Windows
September 5, 2019 9:13 AM   Subscribe

 
Do you want to make Internet Explorer your default browser?
posted by Fizz at 9:18 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


None of this looks particularly nefarious. It's trying to hook up an existing google account (if you have one, otherwise it seems to fail), and add some extensions for google services, then verify integrity and ensure everything is up to date.

Maybe I'm missing something critical here? IDK, not an expert.

Interesting to me that 7+MB is considered trivial data transfer though. And FF does more than twice that! We're a long way from the old 300bps modems.
posted by bonehead at 9:34 AM on September 5 [10 favorites]


This guy seems to be inserting plugs for the fairly questionable Brave Browser at every opportunity.
posted by winterhill at 9:35 AM on September 5 [19 favorites]


None of this looks particularly nefarious.

This generated quite a bit of in-house discussion at Mozilla about discoverability and transparency; one of the things we want to do as a result is start naming the actual servers operating these services in a more consistent and human-understandable way, so that people looking under the hood like this have a better set of breadcrumbs they can use to get from "this is a thing happening in my network traffic" to "this is a feature I find useful"
posted by mhoye at 9:40 AM on September 5 [50 favorites]


I am not familiar with this side of tech. Is there something I should be taking away from this or is it for a different audience?
posted by munchingzombie at 10:00 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


None of this looks particularly nefarious.

It's the banality of 7MB of downloads before you do anything. 16MB for Firefox.
posted by clawsoon at 10:16 AM on September 5


Lynx
posted by eckeric at 10:21 AM on September 5 [4 favorites]


....fairly questionable Brave Browser

Legit question, as I'm new to it: what makes the Brave browser questionable?
posted by MrGuilt at 10:27 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


Sigh. Guess it's time to go back to Dillo.
posted by clawsoon at 10:30 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Brave's business model is basically "What if instead of you looking at ads on the websites you visit, you look at OUR ads on the websites you visit?"
posted by jacquilynne at 10:31 AM on September 5 [12 favorites]


one of the things we want to do as a result is start naming the actual servers operating these services in a more consistent and human-understandable way

I notice that my browser connects to googleapis, and I have no fucking idea what bees have to do with my Internet experience.
posted by explosion at 10:31 AM on September 5 [17 favorites]


> MrGuilt: "Legit question, as I'm new to it: what makes the Brave browser questionable?"

According to schmod:
Maybe give Brave a pass.

It's a company started by a guy who was ousted from Mozilla for being openly homophobic, and uses an extremely-convoluted mechanism to replace ads with their own ads.


Content-creators can theoretically recover up to 85% of the revenue from ads that Brave displays on your site via a convoluted cryptocurrency mechanism, but many creators have found it difficult to do so in practice (to the point where Brave may actually be violating anti-racketeering laws).


Additionally, certain beta versions of Brave transmit all browsing-history to Brave's corporate servers for ad-targeting purposes.


If you're looking for a new browser, I'd recommend giving Firefox a try. There are some (very occasional) annoyances to be dealt with, but overall it's great.
posted by andycyca at 10:32 AM on September 5 [36 favorites]


(It's funny... browsing in Dillo, a bunch of stuff on the Internet doesn't work, but it's so. damn. fast. It's, like, holy shit, you mean the Internet could actually be this fast if we wanted it to be?)
posted by clawsoon at 10:40 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


What a nothingburger of a story. Yes, web requests get made during startups of a browser cause there's a fucking auto loaded homepage for a friendly UX, and yes a bunch of other stuff runs on web requests and there's bloat in software these days gosh. Who knew.
posted by odinsdream at 10:45 AM on September 5 [6 favorites]


This guy seems to be inserting plugs for the fairly questionable Brave Browser at every opportunity.

If you go through his Firefox thread, one of the first responses to it points out that he works for Brave.
posted by nubs at 10:56 AM on September 5 [6 favorites]


It's been a while since I spent much time using browsers other than Chrome and Safari, and I am, apparently, way out of the loop.

Okay, so, IE doesn't work, Chrome forces you into the googleverse, Opera's junk now, Dissenter's a fork of Brave (and it's looped into Gab), Brave's no good, Firefox is pretty good (but it also forces you into the googleverse), Dillo is the latest version of the browser that doesn't do everything, but is really fast and runs on old and low-powered devices (see also Lynx, etc.), and Vivaldi, for someone whose preferred desktop browser was Opera in the pre-Mozilla days and who now reluctantly uses Chrome, might be worth looking into further.

Is that about the gist?
posted by box at 11:01 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


(It's mostly common knowledge here on the blue but I should say again for the thread's sake: I work for Mozilla.)

I notice that my browser connects to googleapis, and I have no fucking idea what bees have to do with my Internet experience.

This is a common misconception, and speaks to the transparency problem I mentioned above. It's not about an apiary, but is in fact a reference to Apis, noted egyptian deity conceived in antiquity in a ray from heaven into his earthly house in Egypt's Memphis region, where he would later take up a role as intermediary between humans and higher gods. Now that the worship of Apis plays central role in the invocation of the modern tech stack, "googleapis" is a sort of ron-paul-esque attempt to encourage people to self educate about this noted intermediary who carries our bitty messages between our humble computers and the "cloud" where these upper deities live, and to learn about the frankly scandalous use of retronyms like "application programmer interface" meany to obscure the true history of our electronic ziggurat connectivity stack, including...

Sorry, kind of ran out of steam with that joke. Couldn't figure out where to go next. Something about emoji being modern hieroglyphs?

Somewhat more seriously: yeah, we didn't think it was that big a deal but it really did point out a few places we can do better, and we'd like to follow through with those ideas.

Having said that, I strongly encourage people not to lean too hard in to that "Dillo" idea. It's fun to play with this stuff, but you can get a comparable experience by adding Noscript to Firefox and turning it all the way up. The speed, the breakage, all of it.

But a lot of the stuff in those downloads (not all of it, sure, but a lot of it) is there to make sure you've got the most current protection possible; the modern web is pretty dangerous, and even if you're not using Firefox, I strongly encourage you to stick to a major-vendor browser and keep it up to date.
posted by mhoye at 11:01 AM on September 5 [18 favorites]


Yes, software that is out of date needs to be patched. Like probably a lot more than you will remember to do as a human.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 12:15 PM on September 5


mhoye: It's fun to play with this stuff, but you can get a comparable experience by adding Noscript to Firefox and turning it all the way up. The speed, the breakage, all of it.

The one difference is that I don't have to wait 2-3 minutes after Dillo starts before it'll load a web page.

I'm sure this is somehow a misconfiguration of Firefox or Windows 10 on my part, but it's irritating anyway, and I'm too lazy to fix it.
posted by clawsoon at 12:29 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


I run a very locked down version of Firefox as my primary browser, but I also have Opera and Edge on my machine as well. Opera is my secondary browser for when I need something that use when I need something a bit more open or when I encounter a site that doesn't respond well to Firefox.

I'm less and less enthusiastic about Opera these days than I was years and years ago when I first encountered it. So I've been contemplating switching to something else, but I'm not sure what. Note, I'm never installing Chrome. So what's my best bet? Vivaldi?
posted by sardonyx at 12:39 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


I'm sure this is somehow a misconfiguration of Firefox or Windows 10 on my part, but it's irritating anyway, and I'm too lazy to fix it.

Yeah, that shouldn't take that long. If you type "about:support" into Firefox, there's a bunch of diagnostic information there that you can ignore, and a button in the upper right saying "refresh" that you might consider clicking. It gives you a clean profile with your historical data moved over, though you'll have to reinstall some addons if you're using any. There's no risk of dataloss, though, and this solves like 90% of the perf problems we see.
posted by mhoye at 12:40 PM on September 5 [6 favorites]


Lynx isn't great for most sites and is blocked on quite a few but it's really great for some sites.

For example, it is ideal to read and respond to megathreads on metafilter.

*Posted using Lynx.
posted by jclarkin at 1:08 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


So, did he do a fair's-fair thread and report what Brave does?
posted by scruss at 1:22 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


...you can get a comparable experience by adding Noscript to Firefox and turning it all the way up. The speed, the breakage, all of it.
I've been using Firefox + NoScript for over a year now, and it's a little bit of work whitelisting stuff to make pages work but it's not as bad as I'd feared. It's absolutely astonishing how much annoying junk - including most ads and frivolous animations - just disappears with that one add-on. It's sort of flabbergasting how ubiquitous and useless-to-the-user Facebook and google scripts are, too.
posted by Western Infidels at 1:34 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


I've been using Epic Privacy Browser for a year as it reduces bandwidth useage of some apps (sometimes I'm in a low-bandwidth situation, and this reduces data use by Insightly CRM for instance by ~80%). Most websites load fine and it's just generally a compact, well-behaved tool.

It is very basic though with very few apps.

it's not Tor though, so not suitable for the Tor-level needs.
posted by unearthed at 2:07 PM on September 5



I have to use Firefox at work - it blew up last week and reinstalled itself without any of my bookmarks - but now it tells me that practically every site on the internet "has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website." blah blah blah "uses an invalid security certificate." I click "Add Exception" to you know, use the internet, but it doesn't stick beyond my browsing session and tons of add-ons sites that are loaded behind the scenes now don't work. It's like a mysterious ad blocker.

So to get around that, now I use IE10 from 2013. Yay internet browsers and lockdown corporate policies!
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:22 PM on September 5


Firefox + NoScript + uBlock Origin + Bypass Paywalls = a rather pleasant browsing experience.
posted by dazed_one at 4:55 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


now it tells me that practically every site on the internet "has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website." blah blah blah "uses an invalid security certificate."

This happens if your clock is set wrong (unlikely, in a corporate setting) or if your network administrators are MITM’ing all your https traffic (very likely in a corporate setting). If you go to two totally unrelated sites and inspect the certificate causing the error and in both cases it’s the same cert signed by some company that manufactures networking gear, that’s what’s up.

I think there’s a solution for that, but it’s on your network admins to deploy it unfortunately. I’m out and about at the moment, but if anyone wants to email me about it I’ll connect them to the answers.
posted by mhoye at 5:47 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


My bottom line for a browser is being able to integrate my password manager of choice and a few 3rd party blocking tools so I don't need to trust the browser maker's conflict of interest policies. Not that I don't trust anyone in particular, but I don't feel that it's ethical to be placed in a position where trust is necessary.

"Trust me", in a software context, is an unethical ask of a user.
posted by bonehead at 6:37 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


If you're technically inclined, you might also want to check out uMatrix, which effectively supersedes noScript, allowing you to block each type of request (Cookies, CSS, images, JS, frames, etc) by domain and subdomain with a remarkable amount of fine-grainedness.
posted by Quackles at 12:44 AM on September 6


Brave has ads? ??? I'm on a Mac, I've never seen this. I won't use it if it supports a homophobe, though. Opera and Firefox seem to work pretty well for me?
posted by pelvicsorcery at 8:02 AM on September 6


The_Vegtables - a similar thing happened to me and it stopped happening after about two weeks. mhoye answered in that thread, too!

I have always found Chrome so slow as to be unusable. This is on about 4 different machines, work and home. I stick to Firefox except for a specific workflow that works better for me in Opera.
posted by soelo at 10:02 AM on September 6


This guy seems to be inserting plugs for the fairly questionable Brave Browser at every opportunity.

Also said leader of Brave has no issues platforming Nazis.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:15 PM on September 6


« Older Forces of Chaos   |   The secrets of covering a well stocked library Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.