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posted by chromas on Tuesday December 18 2018, @08:08AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the yes dept.

Google isn't the company that we should have handed the Web over to

Back in 2009, Google introduced SPDY, a proprietary replacement for HTTP that addressed what Google saw as certain performance issues with existing HTTP/1.1. Google wasn't exactly wrong in its assessments, but SPDY was something of a unilateral act, with Google responsible for the design and functionality. SPDY was adopted by other browsers and Web servers over the next few years, and Google's protocol became widespread.

[...] The same story is repeating with HTTP/3. In 2012, Google announced a new experimental protocol, QUIC, intended again to address performance issues with existing HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/2. Google deployed QUIC, and Chrome would use QUIC when communicating with Google properties. Again, QUIC became the basis for IETF's HTTP development, and HTTP/3 uses a derivative of QUIC that's modified from and incompatible with Google's initial work.

It's not just HTTP that Google has repeatedly worked to replace. Google AMP ("Accelerated Mobile Pages") is a cut-down HTML combined with Google-supplied JavaScript designed to make mobile Web content load faster. This year, Google said that it would try to build AMP with Web standards and introduced a new governance model that gave the project much wider industry oversight.

A person claiming to be a former Microsoft Edge developer has written about a tactic Google supposedly used to harm the competing browser's performance:

A person claiming to be a former Edge developer has today described one such action. For no obvious reason, Google changed YouTube to add a hidden, empty HTML element that overlaid each video. This element disabled Edge's fastest, most efficient hardware accelerated video decoding. It hurt Edge's battery-life performance and took it below Chrome's. The change didn't improve Chrome's performance and didn't appear to serve any real purpose; it just hurt Edge, allowing Google to claim that Chrome's battery life was actually superior to Edge's. Microsoft asked Google if the company could remove the element, to no avail.

The latest version of Edge addresses the YouTube issue and reinstated Edge's performance. But when the company talks of having to do extra work to ensure EdgeHTML is compatible with the Web, this is the kind of thing that Microsoft has been forced to do.

See also: Ex Edge developer blames Google tricks in part for move to Chromium

Related: HTTP/2 on its Way In, SPDY on its Way Out
Google Touts QUIC Protocol
Google Attempting to Standardize Features of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Google AMP Can Go To Hell
The Next Version of HTTP Won't be Using TCP
HTTP/3 Explained: A Work in Progress
Microsoft Reportedly Building a Chromium-Based Web Browser to Replace Edge, and "Windows Lite" OS
Mozilla CEO Warns Microsoft's Switch to Chromium Will Give More Control of the Web to Google


Original Submission

Related Stories

HTTP/2 on its Way In, SPDY on its Way Out 15 comments

In an ever-evolving world where every technology gets a transition sooner or later, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) seemed the exception: it went on unchanged for fifteen years. Too much time for Google, who started developing its own alternative: SPDY. As time would have it, SPDY became the cornerstone for the work on the new HTTP/2, and now that this new standard is so close as to be in IETF Last Call state, Google is happy to say Hello HTTP/2, Goodbye SPDY, move in to the new standard, and drop SPDY support on Google Chrome in about a year.

This news is available in Ars Technica and Slashdot too.

Google Touts QUIC Protocol 10 comments

Chromium Blog has published an update on Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC). QUIC is a UDP-based transport layer network protocol which began testing in the Google Chrome browser in 2013. One of the goals of QUIC is to reduce latency compared to TCP by making fewer round trips between clients and servers. It also handles multiplexing and packet loss better.

QUIC clients store information about QUIC-enabled servers that have been connected to previously, allowing a secure connection to be established immediately (zero-round-trip). Google claims this can enable significant reductions in page load times:

The data shows that 75% percent of connections can take advantage of QUIC's zero-round-trip feature. Even on a well-optimized site like Google Search, where connections are often pre-established, we still see a 3% improvement in mean page load time with QUIC.

Another substantial gain for QUIC is improved congestion control and loss recovery. Packet sequence numbers are never reused when retransmitting a packet. This avoids ambiguity about which packets have been received and avoids dreaded retransmission timeouts. As a result, QUIC outshines TCP under poor network conditions, shaving a full second off the Google Search page load time for the slowest 1% of connections. These benefits are even more apparent for video services like YouTube. Users report 30% fewer rebuffers when watching videos over QUIC. This means less time spent staring at the spinner and more time watching videos.

Google plans to propose QUIC to the Internet Engineering Task Force as an Internet standard, just as it has done with SPDY, which is being superseded by the HTTP/2 standard.

Google Attempting to Standardize Features of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) 33 comments

Google promises publishers an alternative to AMP

Google's AMP project is not uncontroversial. Users often love it because it makes mobile sites load almost instantly. Publishers often hate it because they feel like they are giving Google too much control in return for better placement on its search pages. Now Google proposes to bring some of the lessons it learned from AMP to the web as a whole. Ideally, this means that users will profit from Google's efforts and see faster non-AMP sites across the web (and not just in their search engines).

Publishers, however, will once again have to adopt a whole new set of standards for their sites, but with this, Google is also giving them a new path to be included in the increasingly important Top Stories carousel on its mobile search results pages.

"Based on what we learned from AMP, we now feel ready to take the next step and work to support more instant-loading content not based on AMP technology in areas of Google Search designed for this, like the Top Stories carousel," AMP tech lead Malte Ubl writes today. "This content will need to follow a set of future web standards and meet a set of objective performance and user experience criteria to be eligible."

Also at Search Engine Land and The Verge.

Related: Kill Google AMP Before It Kills the Web
Google Acquires Relay Media to Convert Ordinary Web Pages to AMP Pages
Google Bringing Accelerated Mobile Pages to Email


Original Submission

Google AMP Can Go To Hell 69 comments

Web consultant Barry Adams has written a blog post about the problem with Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and how to fight against it being shoehorned into the WWW.

Let’s talk about Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for short. AMP is a Google pet project that purports to be “an open-source initiative aiming to make the web better for all”. While there is a lot of emphasis on the official AMP site about its open source nature, the fact is that over 90% of contributions to this project come from Google employees, and it was initiated by Google. So let’s be real: AMP is a Google project.

Google is also the reason AMP sees any kind of adoption at all. Basically, Google has forced websites – specifically news publishers – to create AMP versions of their articles. For publishers, AMP is not optional; without AMP, a publisher’s articles will be extremely unlikely to appear in the Top Stories carousel on mobile search in Google.

And due to the popularity of mobile search compared to desktop search, visibility in Google’s mobile search results is a must for publishers that want to survive in this era of diminishing revenue and fierce online competition for eyeballs.

If publishers had a choice, they’d ignore AMP entirely. It already takes a lot of resources to keep a news site running smoothly and performing well. AMP adds the extra burden of creating separate AMP versions of articles, and keeping these articles compliant with the ever-evolving standard.

So AMP is being kept alive artificially. AMP survives not because of its merits as a project, but because Google forces websites to either adopt AMP or forego large amounts of potential traffic.

And Google is not satisfied with that. No, Google wants more from AMP. A lot more.

AMP is also purported to throw in an 8-second delay to punish those that do not toe the line.

Earlier on SN:
Google Attempting to Standardize Features of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) (2018)
Kill Google AMP Before It Kills the Web (2017)


Original Submission

The Next Version of HTTP Won’t be Using TCP 40 comments

The next version of HTTP won’t be using TCP

In its continued efforts to make Web networking faster, Google has been working on an experimental network protocol named QUIC: "Quick UDP Internet Connections." QUIC abandons TCP, instead using its sibling protocol UDP (User Datagram Protocol). UDP is the "opposite" of TCP; it's unreliable (data that is sent from one end may never be received by the other end, and the other end has no way of knowing that something has gone missing), and it is unordered (data sent later can overtake data sent earlier, arriving jumbled up). UDP is, however, very simple, and new protocols are often built on top of UDP.

QUIC reinstates the reliability and ordering that TCP has but without introducing the same number of round trips and latency. For example, if a client is reconnecting to a server, the client can send important encryption data with the very first packet, enabling the server to resurrect the old connection, using the same encryption as previously negotiated, without requiring any additional round trips.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF—the industry group that collaboratively designs network protocols) has been working to create a standardized version of QUIC, which currently deviates significantly from Google's original proposal. The IETF also wants to create a version of HTTP that uses QUIC, previously referred to as HTTP-over-QUIC or HTTP/QUIC. HTTP-over-QUIC isn't, however, HTTP/2 over QUIC; it's a new, updated version of HTTP built for QUIC.

Accordingly, Mark Nottingham, chair of both the HTTP working group and the QUIC working group for IETF, proposed to rename HTTP-over-QUIC to HTTP/3, and the proposal seems to have been broadly accepted. The next version of HTTP will have QUIC as an essential, integral feature, such that HTTP/3 will always use QUIC as its network protocol.


Original Submission

HTTP/3 Explained: A Work in Progress 11 comments

curl hacker Daniel Stenberg has announced that his online booklet, HTTP/3 Explained, is available for download from GitHub. The booklet will remain a work in progress as neither the protocol specifications themselves nor any working implmementation are even remotely ready at this moment.

The book describes what HTTP/3 and its underlying transport protocol QUIC are, why they exist, what features they have and how they work. The book is meant to be readable and understandable for most people with a rudimentary level of network knowledge or better.

These protocols are not done yet, there aren't even any implementation of these protocols in the main browsers yet! The book will be updated and extended along the way when things change, implementations mature and the protocols settle.

Earlier on SN:
The Next Version of HTTP Won't be Using TCP (2018)
Google Touts QUIC Protocol (2015)


Original Submission

Microsoft Reportedly Building a Chromium-Based Web Browser to Replace Edge, and "Windows Lite" OS 64 comments

Microsoft is building a Chromium-powered web browser that will replace Edge on Windows 10

Microsoft's Edge web browser has seen little success since its debut on Windows 10 back in 2015. Built from the ground up with a new rendering engine known as EdgeHTML, Microsoft Edge was designed to be fast, lightweight, and secure, but launched with a plethora of issues which resulted in users rejecting it early on. Edge has since struggled to gain any traction, thanks to its continued instability and lack of mindshare, from users and web developers.

Because of this, I'm told that Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, a rendering engine first popularized by Google's Chrome browser. Codenamed Anaheim, this new web browser for Windows 10 will replace Edge as the default browser on the platform. It's unknown at this time if Anaheim will use the Edge brand or a new brand, or if the user interface between Edge and Anaheim is different. One thing is for sure, however; EdgeHTML in Windows 10's default browser is dead.

Report: Windows Lite is Microsoft's long-awaited answer to Chrome OS

The success of Google's Chromebook hardware and Chrome OS software wasn't an inevitability, but the ease of use they afford ended up allowing Google to carve out a niche in a very crowded PC marketplace. Ever since Chrome OS entered the scene, we've been waiting for Microsoft to come out with its own pared down version of Windows, but its half-hearted attempts (Windows 10 S, Windows RT) have all fallen flat.

Those failures haven't stopped Microsoft though, as Petri on Monday reported that the company is working on "a new version of Windows that may not actually be Windows." Based on the documentation he has seen, Petri's Brad Sams believes that Windows Lite — the new OS — is Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS.

According to Sams, Windows Lite will only run Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, while removing all other functionality. He says that this is the first "truly lightweight version of Windows" – one which won't run in enterprise or small business environments, and may not even be available for purchase on its own. Just like Chrome OS, Windows Lite will have to be pre-installed by an OEM.

Microsoft ChromeOS: It's Linux-Free!


Original Submission

Mozilla CEO Warns Microsoft's Switch to Chromium Will Give More Control of the Web to Google 70 comments

Mozilla's CEO is not enthusiastic about Microsoft's switch to Chromium:

When Microsoft announced that its Edge browser would be revamped using Chromium, the internet's response was generally quite positive. Edge is far from the worst browser on the planet, but it's certainly not what we'd call a fan favorite. As such, even the slightest indication that it could be changed significantly would have been welcome news for many.

However, it would seem that "many" doesn't include one individual in particular: Mozilla CEO Chris Beard. In a blog post published today, titled "Goodbye, EdgeHTML," Beard expressed his frustrations with Microsoft's decision.

"By adopting Chromium, Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google," Beard writes in the post. "This may sound melodramatic, but it's not. The "browser engines" — Chromium from Google and Gecko Quantum from Mozilla — are "inside baseball" pieces of software that actually determine a great deal of what each of us can do online."

Microsoft's switch to Chromium could be a big boon for Google's own implementation.


Original Submission

Microsoft Employee Sparks Outrage by Suggesting Firefox Switch Browser Engine to Chromium 66 comments

Microsoft Engineer Causes Online Wrath After Saying Firefox Should Use Chromium

Mozilla should give up on its own browsing engine and switch Firefox to Chromium, a Microsoft engineer said in a series of tweets, as what the company does right now is "building a parallel universe that's used by less than 5 percent."

The message posted by Microsoft Product Manager Kenneth Auchenberg has triggered an almost instant reaction from the user community, with most of the replies pointing out that building alternative products that can compete against Chromium is vital for the health of the browsing ecosystem.

"It's time for @mozilla to get down from their philosophical ivory tower. The web is dominated by Chromium, if they really *cared* about the web they would be contributing instead of building a parallel universe that's used by less than 5%?" he tweeted.

"I couldn't disagree with you more. It precisely *because* Chromium has such a large marketshare that is vital for Mozilla (or anyone else) to battle for diversity. I'm shocked that you think they're not contributing. "Building a parallel universe"? That *is* the contribution," web developer Jeremy Keith responded.

[...] Auchenberg's message has obviously received more acid replies, including this one criticizing Microsoft's recent browser changes. "Just because your employer gave up on its own people and technology doesn't mean that others should follow," Asa Dotzler tweeted.

Also at ZDNet.

Previously: Microsoft Reportedly Building a Chromium-Based Web Browser to Replace Edge, and "Windows Lite" OS
Mozilla CEO Warns Microsoft's Switch to Chromium Will Give More Control of the Web to Google

Related: Is Google Using an "Embrace, Extend..." Strategy?
Google Denies Altering YouTube Code to Break Microsoft Edge


Original Submission

YouTube Software Engineers Hatched a Plan to "Kill" Internet Explorer 6 in 2009 25 comments

Former Google engineer reveals the secret YouTube plot to kill Internet Explorer 6

Nearly 10 years ago, YouTube started displaying a banner to Internet Explorer 6 users, warning that support for Microsoft's browser would be "phasing out" soon. It was a message that appeared on all YouTube pages, at a time when IE6 users represented around 18 percent of all YouTube traffic. Frustrated by supporting the aging browser, a group of YouTube engineers had hatched a plan to kill Internet Explorer 6.

"We began collectively fantasizing about how we could exact our revenge on IE6," reveals Chris Zacharias, a former Google and YouTube engineer. "The plan was very simple. We would put a small banner above the video player that would only show up for IE6 users." A group of engineers implemented this banner, knowing that most YouTube employees using the company's staging environment wouldn't even see it. At the time, Google had acquired YouTube a few years prior to the IE6 banner and the video sharing site hadn't really fully adapted to Google's infrastructure and policies.

YouTube engineers had created a special set of permissions called "OldTuber," so they could bypass Google's code enforcement policies and make changes directly to the YouTube codebase with limited code reviews. Zacharias and some other engineers were granted OldTuber permissions, allowing them to put the banner in place with very little oversight. "We saw an opportunity in front of us to permanently cripple IE6 that we might never get again," admits Zacharias.

[...] YouTube engineering management eventually realized what had happened, but it was too late and they "begrudgingly arrived at the conclusion that the ends had justified the means." The rebel YouTube engineers succeeded with their secret plan to kill Internet Explorer 6, and by April 2012 IE6 usage had dropped below one percent in the US. Even Microsoft was celebrating IE6's death.

Related: Is Google Using an "Embrace, Extend..." Strategy?
Google Denies Altering YouTube Code to Break Microsoft Edge


Original Submission

Google Denies Altering YouTube Code to Break Microsoft Edge 6 comments

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

Google denies altering YouTube code to break Microsoft Edge

A former Microsoft intern has revealed details of a YouTube incident that has convinced some Edge browser engineers that Google added code to purposely break compatibility. In a post on Hacker News, Joshua Bakita, a former software engineering intern at Microsoft, lays out details and claims about an incident earlier this year. Microsoft has since announced the company is moving from the EdgeHTML rendering engine to the open source Chromium project for its Edge browser.

[...] The claims are surprising if they're genuine, and they come months after a Mozilla program manager claimed a separate YouTube redesign made the site "5x slower in Firefox and Edge." That incident led Edge, Safari, and Firefox users to revert to scripts to improve the YouTube experience. Google was also at the center of claims it intentionally blocked access to Google Maps for Windows Phone users years ago.

[...] Google disputes Bakita's claims, and says the YouTube blank div was merely a bug that was fixed after it was reported. "YouTube does not add code designed to defeat optimizations in other browsers, and works quickly to fix bugs when they're discovered," says a YouTube spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. "We regularly engage with other browser vendors through standards bodies, the Web Platform Tests project, the open-source Chromium project and more to improve browser interoperability."

Previously: Is Google Using an "Embrace, Extend..." Strategy?


Original Submission

Mozilla Was "Outfoxed" by Google 53 comments

Mozilla "Got Outfoxed" by Google – Former VP Accuses Google for Sabotaging Firefox

Former Mozilla VP, Johnathan Nightingale, has called out on Google for what could only be termed as anti-competitive practices. In a Twitter thread on a somewhat unrelated subject, Nightingale said that during his 8 years at Mozilla, Google was the company's biggest partner. "Our revenue share deal on search drove 90% of Mozilla's income," he tweeted.

However, that doesn't mean Google wasn't involved in some underhand practices. "When I started at Mozilla in 2007 there was no Google Chrome and most folks we spoke with inside were Firefox fans," Nightingale wrote. "When chrome launched things got complicated, but not in the way you might expect. They had a competing product now, but they didn't cut ties, break our search deal – nothing like that. In fact, the story we kept hearing was, 'We're on the same side. We want the same things.'"

"I think our friends inside google genuinely believed that. At the individual level, their engineers cared about most of the same things we did. Their product and design folks made many decisions very similarly and we learned from watching each other. But Google as a whole is very different than individual googlers," Nightingale added.

Google Chrome ads started appearing next to Firefox search terms. gmail & gdocs started to experience selective performance issues and bugs on Firefox. Demo sites would falsely block Firefox as "incompatible."

All of this is stuff you're allowed to do to compete, of course. But we were still a search partner, so we'd say "hey what gives?"

And every time, they'd say, "oops. That was accidental. We'll fix it in the next push in 2 weeks."

Usage share of web browsers.

Previously: After 10 Years with Google, Firefox Switches to Yahoo
Netmarketshare Claims Mozilla Firefox Usage Drops Below Ten Percent
Mozilla CEO Warns Microsoft's Switch to Chromium Will Give More Control of the Web to Google
Is Google Using an "Embrace, Extend..." Strategy?
Google Denies Altering YouTube Code to Break Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Employee Sparks Outrage by Suggesting Firefox Switch Browser Engine to Chromium

Related: Firefox 29 is a Flop; UI Design Trends Only Getting Worse
Mozilla Teases Chromium-Based Firefox, Then Pulls Back
Can the New Firefox Quantum Regain its Web Browser Market Share?
Firefox 64 Will Remove Support for RSS and Atom Feeds
Microsoft Reportedly Building a Chromium-Based Web Browser to Replace Edge, and "Windows Lite" OS


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Tuesday December 18 2018, @08:34AM (13 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @08:34AM (#775759)

    Google has become so big and unavoidable, it's more a do-as-I-say-or-else kind of a strategy.

    Access to most of the internet depends on talking to Google servers, and people will use whatever browser "just works". If browser makers don't implement SPDY, they'll lose market share. So they obey even if they don't like it.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @08:48AM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @08:48AM (#775761)

      Yeah, in that and many other ways, Google is the new Microsoft.
      Google pumps out crap software they abandon regularly, just like Microsoft. It's the arrogance of being a giant, rich company with a captive audience.

      • (Score: 4, Redundant) by crafoo on Tuesday December 18 2018, @01:34PM

        by crafoo (6639) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @01:34PM (#775811)

        I'd argue that Google is bad in every way that Microsoft was (is), but additionally they are actively fighting free speech (a basic human right) and pushing hard on regressive social and political agendas. They are far more evil.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Whoever on Tuesday December 18 2018, @04:29PM (3 children)

        by Whoever (4524) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @04:29PM (#775891) Journal

        While I don't want to dispute your general premise, I think this case is slightly different. In this case:

        1. Microsoft puts optimizations into its browser that are very specifically targeted to Youtube.
        2. Google changes Youtube in a manner that is valid HTML, but breaks Microsoft's optimization.

        In other words, Microsoft tried to cheat on browser performance and Google broke the cheat.

        • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday December 18 2018, @08:42PM

          by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @08:42PM (#776031)

          It's a strange world we live in where Microsoft tries to cheat and finds it does not have market power to succeed anymore.

        • (Score: 2) by bobthecimmerian on Tuesday December 18 2018, @09:47PM (1 child)

          by bobthecimmerian (6834) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @09:47PM (#776063)

          I don't think Microsoft was trying to cheat. They were just trying to reach max performance. That's not cheating, there is nothing in web standards that says, "Browsers may not use GPU acceleration on pages with the following elements."

          Microsoft are not the heroes of the story, they're still Microsoft. But Google is the bigger villain here.

          • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Friday December 21 2018, @02:56AM

            by Whoever (4524) on Friday December 21 2018, @02:56AM (#777071) Journal

            They tried to optimize the browser in ways that only work in specific, limited circumstances. Where have we heard of that recently? I know: Dieselgate.

      • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:02PM

        by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:02PM (#775942) Journal

        Often the abandoning of a project *is* part of the EEE strategy. They use open source in order to get people to adopt their technology, but they can't do the extend/extinguish if the code is kept open source. So they build the product, get people using it, then announce that it's being killed to be replaced by something similar but marginally "better". And the new thing is no longer open source.

        It's more of an embrace, extinguish, extend perhaps...embrace a new market with open source tools, extinguish those tools, and extend the newly created market with a bunch of proprietary lock-in devices.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @01:10PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @01:10PM (#775805)

      Nice story, but it's simply not true; google still supports good old HTTP 1.x, same as always. Everyone adopted SPDY because it was faster, not because it was required for any content, google or otherwise.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:20PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:20PM (#775857)

        Really? I don't think I've ever seen requests use it, nor seen configuration options in web servers for it.
        It always seemed to be one of a hundred other google brain farts that they eventually abandon.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @04:21PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @04:21PM (#775886)

          "Everyone" meaning web browsers, since those are the ones that google supposedly forced into using it.
          Most non-google sites never adopted SPDY (eithr not caring at all, or waiting for HTTP 2.0 instead), and google abandoned it once HTTP 2.0 was finalized.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:11PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:11PM (#775947)

          the op meant http2 when they said spdy, obviously...

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Tuesday December 18 2018, @04:21PM

      by Freeman (732) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @04:21PM (#775885) Journal

      I've been a Firefox user since near it's beginning. I'm not going to change now. I had a brief dalliance with Chrome when it was still pretty new, but ended up reverting to Firefox. Firefox is a true open source project and don't have the same monetary incentives that Microsoft and Google have/had. Google treats you like a product, whereas Firefox treats you like a person.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Tuesday December 18 2018, @05:57PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @05:57PM (#775937) Journal

      Not sure about the network protocol stuff, but Google's EEE has been discussed a number of times as it relates to Android, and it seems pretty accurate there.

      They release it open source, with a bunch of open source apps. Then they start slowly replacing all the open source apps with their own closed-source variants. And now that they've got most Android users and manufacturers dependent on those free apps, they've started their plans to kill off Android entirely. This is one reason why, if you buy a phone from someone like Samsung, it's preloaded with all kinds of duplicate garbage. Samsung doesn't want to risk being a hostage to Google, so when Google started replacing the open source apps, Samsung started making their own replacements too. (I believe other companies have done the same, but Samsung is the one I'm most familiar with.)

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @08:59AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @08:59AM (#775765)

    We should know better than to trust google. But what do we trust instead, mozilla with their DRM encumbered browser? lol.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @11:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @11:24AM (#775788)

      Waterfox. I've not yet seen anything that makes me distrust that.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday December 18 2018, @02:47PM (1 child)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 18 2018, @02:47PM (#775839) Journal

      Pale Moon, Waterfox, Falkon, Iridium...

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:08PM (#775945)

        Yeah, those are what to use. Never use Mozilla directly. But I do think the original point outs are probably hoping people go to Mozilla. Which is not a solution and if anything can only be worse because people don't see it.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by FatPhil on Tuesday December 18 2018, @09:18AM (9 children)

    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday December 18 2018, @09:18AM (#775767) Homepage
    And in its day, MS deliberately served broken stylesheets to Opera and other non-MS browsers to make it look shitty.

    Turnabout is fair play. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Etc.
    --
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by zocalo on Tuesday December 18 2018, @10:41AM (3 children)

      by zocalo (302) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @10:41AM (#775781)
      It goes back even further than that: I remember things like "DOS ain't done, till Lotus 123 won't run", or even all the "improvements" that just happened to cause software to break when users tried to run it on DR DOS. While I think that if Google is indeed doing this kind of thing deliberately it's no less deplorable than MS doing it back in the day, I'm still having a hard time getting up the willpower to even get out my tiniest little Violin to play for them.

      I'm also wondering how much of this might actually be sour grapes since we are talking an *ex* Edge dev., and probably one who is proud of their work. Keep in mind that we are talking about Edge, here; the browser almost no one actually liked and with a resultant market share that's *still* pretty much a rounding error, and absolutely was for much of the period being talked about. Why on earth would Google waste the time and effort to deliberately and specifically target Edge instead of IE, Firefox, or Safari if they wanted to boost Chrome's market share and/or performance stats?
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday December 18 2018, @12:25PM

        by c0lo (156) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @12:25PM (#775797) Journal

        I'm also wondering how much of this might actually be sour grapes

        Might just well be - that element on top of the videa clip area is likely to display the ads and support the video nav buttons popping up on hover.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by curunir_wolf on Tuesday December 18 2018, @04:24PM (1 child)

        by curunir_wolf (4772) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @04:24PM (#775888)

        Surface and Windows devices. People using Windows and relying on Edge are not sending sufficient personal details and telemetry to Google's servers when they use Edge. They can't collect sufficient data from those folks.

        Google even launched a marketing campaign [betanews.com] based on battery usage comparing Chrome and Edge (orchestrated by one of their highest paid [er-hmm ... "users"] [naibuzz.com]). They want those Windows users browsing with Chrome for a reason.

        --
        I am a crackpot
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @07:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @07:42PM (#775999)

          Indeed, just like Microsoft wants people using Edge, Windows 10, and Office 365 for a reason.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by BenJeremy on Tuesday December 18 2018, @12:34PM (1 child)

      by BenJeremy (6392) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @12:34PM (#775801)

      Stigginit to the man! Two wrongs always make a right, amiright? Sounds like a true Trumpster's philosophy.

      Users are caught up in this sort of crap, and it has no place in a technological world. Microsoft, for its part, has gone quite a long way toward repenting its ways, but hey, never forget that 30 years ago, they did bad, passive aggressive things.

      How about we stop playing stupid games and work to make the place a better world, rather than trying to cut off each others' dicks to win a penis measuring contest?

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:28PM (#775953)

        lmao. fuck microsoft.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Immerman on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:14PM (2 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:14PM (#775853)

      Unfortunately, at the end of the day both Microsoft's and Google's anti-competitive practices aren't just attacks on the competition - they're also attacks on the entire population of internet users, who will inevitably suffer from abuse and neglect by the monopoly du jour.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by FatPhil on Tuesday December 18 2018, @05:38PM

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday December 18 2018, @05:38PM (#775930) Homepage
        True, but I think a nice holy war might just be a good way to get the masses to slap some sense into themselves and realise that they're being abused, and that the big companies really aren't their friends.

        I've known this since google shat on usenet using a the technique of embracing, extending, and extinguishing dejanews. I wonder where they learnt that technique...
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19 2018, @04:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19 2018, @04:23AM (#776168)

        Capitalism reveals its power and tyranny... on the internet.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @09:39AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @09:39AM (#775768)

    And a credible one, instead of one that peddles DRM.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:13PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:13PM (#775948)

      I hate to stack a second anonymous coward on this. It's exactly the problem. W3C credibility is zero and they have no desire to solve the problem. I can prove that easily because they have not removed DRM from the HTML5 standard for all their recent talks.

      I am also concerned about IETF since TLS 1.3 RTT0.. So no standards bodies around willing to do the right thing.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:36PM (#775957)

        Speaking of trusting google with things.. this is probably not a good time to be worrying about market share if we think google will (and have) ruin the web. IETF has handed them the transport layer from the looks of it: https://www.zdnet.com/article/http-over-quic-to-be-renamed-http3/ [zdnet.com]

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @10:16AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @10:16AM (#775774)

    Two takeaways from TFS:
    1) Google's intentions to "speed up the web" are actually intended to only benefit Google.
    2) Microsoft doesn't like being on the receiving end of these types of acts, which is too bad because, you know, hypocrisy is ironically delicious.

    Fuck both of these companies. I'm sticking with Apple because they never hurt anyone. /s

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by c0lo on Tuesday December 18 2018, @12:28PM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @12:28PM (#775799) Journal

      I'm sticking with Apple because they never hurt anyone.

      Neither did C64 or Sinclair Spectrum (grin)

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @05:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @05:07PM (#775909)

        I'll stick with my Amiga. It can do everything I want it to, even if the software is old.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday December 19 2018, @01:50PM

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday December 19 2018, @01:50PM (#776297) Homepage
      Yeah, apple never sued samsung for having rounded corners on their devices, despite the fact that microsoft's (admittedly failed, but that doesn't mean it didn't exist) web tablet having rounded corners 10 years earlier.

      My favourite bit of apple hypocricy is the far more light hearted one where their design guidelines told you to always use enough of a contrast ratio between foreground text and background colours, yet the very page upon which they were telling you this violated that guideline. They're marketting-driven scheisters, just like the rest of them.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by PiMuNu on Tuesday December 18 2018, @10:59AM (5 children)

    by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 18 2018, @10:59AM (#775782)

    Following recommendations off this site, I installed umatrix and was shocked at how pervasive google APIs are... I expect them in google obv, even places whose revenue comes from advertising (tumblr, etc). But they are *everywhere*. Even on corporate websites with nothing to do with google. Maybe 90 % of websites I visit call google APIs.

    So their strategy is obviously working. It is impossible not to be spied on.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by DannyB on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:11PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:11PM (#775850) Journal

      Their tragedy is working for most people.

      Tip: Visit some web site. See another domain such as doubleclick that you would like to make red, or a domain that you might like to make green such as jquery.com. In uMatrix, click the asterisk directly to the right of the web site's domain name, at the top left of the uMatrix dropdown. Now mark certain domains as green or red. Then click the save button. Then re-click the domain name instead of the asterisk. Don't click the sub domain (abc.foobar.com) but the primary domain (foobar.com).

      Now certain domains will be green or red on all websites you visit. There are some sites that I always want whitelisted, or blacklisted as I browse.

      --
      Islamic Fatwas = BAD; MAGA Fatwas for FBI and Judges = GOOD ?
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:31PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:31PM (#775955)

      stop visiting sites run by scumbags.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday December 18 2018, @07:07PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 18 2018, @07:07PM (#775974) Journal

        You can't say that!

        Conservatives are already complaining that Google and the intarwebs are biased and don't give them enough traffic.

        --
        Islamic Fatwas = BAD; MAGA Fatwas for FBI and Judges = GOOD ?
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by urza9814 on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:33PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @06:33PM (#775956) Journal

      Just add these to your firewall blocklist; that ought to get most of it:
      https://api.hackertarget.com/hostsearch/?q=google.com [hackertarget.com]

      Life without Google is pretty nice. Helps if you add some generic ad server lists too. Personally I also like to add the Bluetack level 1 and 2 lists (https://www.iblocklist.com), plus a few thousand additions that I've found myself. Mozilla's Lightbeam is a pretty nice tool for finding those; something like PrivacyBadger can help too.

      It IS possible to get this crap off of your internet. Takes a bit of effort, but it's absolutely worth it.

      The biggest problem I have though is with ReCaptcha being owned by Google. Makes it hard to login some places. But often there's another way in -- ie, with Sparkfun I can't login directly, but if I add stuff to my cart and go to checkout then I can login from the checkout without a captcha. Recaptcha is a mess anyway...half the time it doesn't load even when Google *isn't* blocked...

    • (Score: 2) by mr_mischief on Tuesday December 18 2018, @09:43PM

      by mr_mischief (4884) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @09:43PM (#776060)

      Many sites are using Google's Javascript code as part of their Google Analytics service as it's easier to let that call out to Google than to build comprehensive traffic analytics gathering for yourself. It's not necessarily nefarious on the part of the site, just expedient. They're already having Google index all those pages a particular way to get ranked where they want in search results and to get the cached data in Google's results freshened at proper intervals.

      If Google is doing very sinister things with that data, someone needs to inform all the people providing it. They have reasons to do so, so they aren't going to suddenly stop for no reason.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @11:19AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @11:19AM (#775786)

    Judge ruled that yes, the NFL was a monopoly, but that the USFL's problems were of its own making. Awarded them $3 in damages, which was a few million short of what the league needed to survive.

    Similarly, regardless of Google's behaviour, Edge is still shit.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bradley13 on Tuesday December 18 2018, @12:55PM (2 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 18 2018, @12:55PM (#775803) Homepage Journal

    Wow, just about the first time ever: a question in an article title, where the answer is "yes".

    Allow me to digress: I just discovered another way that Google and stupid UX designers haved screwed up again. Go to Google Maps. Zoom in on a town until some business pops up, one that has a website. Click on the little bubble, and information about the business displays in the sidebar. Part of this information will be the web address of the business. So far so good. Now, imagine you actually want to visit that web address. I know of two ways that this should work. If you don't want to risk losing the current web page, you right-click on the link and choose "open in new tab". This does not work. They've buried that natural and obvious functionality under some stupid Javascript. You can't even just copy the link address, so as to paste it into a tab.

    I don't like Quic, I don't like AMP, I don't like any single company with the power to force through changes to protocols and web standards. Google now has that power - of course they will abuse it, just like Microsoft did back in the days of IE6. It doesn't even have to be deliberate - simple carelessness by a bull will destroy the china shop, whether or not the bull intends harm.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by crafoo on Tuesday December 18 2018, @01:40PM (1 child)

      by crafoo (6639) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @01:40PM (#775815)

      Javascript was a mistake.
      We need a web standards committee that has an open and free web as it's core goal.
      The web browser should not be a second-class OS.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:06PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:06PM (#775848) Journal

        Don't worry, in time some new type of standardized vendor neutral platform will emerge that runs on top of all of the web browsers.

        Then corporations will fight over it, one will win, and then some newer open platform will be developed which runs on top of the previous platform.

        Eventually you have turtles all the way down.

        --
        Islamic Fatwas = BAD; MAGA Fatwas for FBI and Judges = GOOD ?
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:04PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:04PM (#775847) Journal

    Google changed YouTube to add a hidden, empty HTML element that overlaid each video. This element disabled Edge's fastest, most efficient hardware accelerated video decoding. It hurt Edge's battery-life performance and took it below Chrome's. The change didn't improve Chrome's performance and didn't appear to serve any real purpose; it just hurt Edge, allowing Google to claim that Chrome's battery life was actually superior to Edge's. Microsoft asked Google if the company could remove the element, to no avail.

    I've got to laugh out loud.

    Dear Microsoft: it couldn't happen to a nicer company.

    After all the dirty tricks and underhanded things Microsoft has done, now they cry about this? Especially dirty tricks with IE, IIS and FrontPage trying to "Microsoftize" the internet back in the 90's. Destroying Netscape because of the thread of web based applications that make the OS become irrelevant. Their efforts to destroy and/or undermine Linux.

    The depths of my anguish could fill a thimble and my heart just bleeds for poor Microsoft.

    --
    Islamic Fatwas = BAD; MAGA Fatwas for FBI and Judges = GOOD ?
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18 2018, @03:57PM (#775871)

      Ditto. I laughed when I read this:

      "A person claiming to be a former Microsoft Edge developer"

      If they want to talk about proprietary formats on the WWW, I've only got one thing to say about that: "PNG Transparency". This was a standard that everybody else complied with, except MS. Hell, probably half of the CSS on the web wouldn't be there if they had honored it. And it was broken for a decade, and probably still is, though I haven't tested it in Edge.

      Microsoft has corrupted government officials just to break other peoples standards. And there have been hundreds of working systems mamed and broken by their antics over the years. Notably their fuckage very often introduces architecture problems that led to years of recuring security issues. Their war on open standards has harmed millions of bystanders. Yes Google does a lot of douchy things on the Internet. But pissing in Microsofts cornflakes... That's just quid pro quo. Unfortunately there is no hope for peace. Microsofts war on open standards has gone on for so long, and is so pervasive that they simply have no credibility on the subject. It may be true, but it doesn't matter considering the source of the complaint.

      Asking Microsoft about open standards compliance, is like asking a nazi about world peace.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Zinho on Tuesday December 18 2018, @04:05PM

    by Zinho (759) on Tuesday December 18 2018, @04:05PM (#775877)

    About half of the article and comments seem to be focusing on the unilateral introduction of new browser features, and painting that action as a bad thing. That seems short-sighted, given the history of the Web and how the standards we all use now came to be.

    From the beginning of the Web the standards were a reflection of current usage, not a prescription for features no one had implemented. In fact the first IETF HTML standard [wikipedia.org] included the <plagiarism>NCSA Mosaic browser's custom tag for embedding in-line images, reflecting the IETF's philosophy of basing standards on successful prototypes.</plagiarism> Competing implementations of novel features, later agreed upon by consensus, was how the web was built. Lately everyone's been happy to rest on their laurels, and while this has been good for browser compatibility (it's been a LONG time since I've seen a "best viewed in Browser X" note on a website) it's been bad for innovation.

    Now, I guess it's time for me to shake my cane, and yell at the kids on my lawn about how back in the day I had to test my code against three or more browsers before publishing to make sure it presented well, and I'm better for it! Actually, I think we're all better for it, since the features that were single-browser back then are everywhere now. It's about time that someone got a bee in their bonnet and started making waves again. It will suck for a while until everyone agrees that the new features are useful and they get adopted into the new revisions of the standards, and then we'll have more stories to tell our kids about the bad days before Sliced Bread was invented.

    One last comment to deflect incoming accusations of being a Google shill: breaking the web for a specific competitor is a Wheaton's Law violation. Even if the intent was just to do something a bit fun, breaking the user interface on a lark is bad design. Google is famous for this. [soylentnews.org] (kudos to driverless for winning yesterday's "awesome phrase of the day" contest! Latte-sipping hipster cretins, indeed.) They are bad and should feel bad. And if anyone wants to accuse Google of Embrace-Extend-Extinguish, they need look no further than the "don't be evil" motto that was famously dropped from the Alphabet corporate charter in 2018 and dropped from the Google corporate charter this past May. Embrace the Internet community with the promise of ethical presentation of search results. Extend the trust granted into a near-global panopticon of the Internet's contents, inhabitants, and traffic. Extinguish all hope of personal privacy, and train an entire generation to willingly trade their rights for shiny targeted ads and apps-for-that. Any complaints from Microsoft, meanwhile, sound like a runner-up complaining that they didn't get to do it first, this time. Tough luck, Bill; you're not the biggest silverback in the jungle anymore.

    --
    "Space Exploration is not endless circles in low earth orbit." -Buzz Aldrin
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