For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

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azurekep
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For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by azurekep » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:45 pm

In the past couple of weeks, there has been news about companies trying to defeat ad-blockers. That will inevitably lead to countermeasures on the ad-blocking side. Here's one countermeasure that's already available and it applies to Chrome/Chromium users who use UBlockOrigin.

uBO-Extra

A companion extension to uBlock Origin: to gain ability to foil early anti-user mechanisms working around content blockers or even a browser privacy settings.

The extension is useful only for Chromium-based browsers. There is no need for such an extension so far on Firefox, and thus there is no version for Firefox.

clutchied
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by clutchied » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:23 pm

2009 called about switching.

jk :)

azurekep
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by azurekep » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:31 am

clutchied wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:23 pm
2009 called about switching.

jk :)
Chrome release date was 2008, so you're saying that was the time to ditch FF? :)

There have been recent threads with folks complaining about Firefox, so that's where this all comes from. I would have put "Ad-Blocking" in the title since that's the real topic (not browser switching), but Bogleheads is indexed by Google and no need calling this thread to the ad crowd's attention. :)

macheta
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by macheta » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:15 am

I have been using Chrome since it started. The browser now uses too much resources and causes a lot of problems similar to Internet Explorer. I actually am starting to use FireFox now since I like the VPN feature.

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KSOC
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by KSOC » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:57 am

I use FF on my mac. But somethings just don't open or appear & I need to use chrome for those. Chrome is also better I think for streaming video. Chrome can be a memory hog on PC's as it opens multiple background sessions for quicker reloading I guess. Check Task Manager when you're running chrome and look how much memory it uses.
Too soon old, too late smart.

munemaker
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by munemaker » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:18 am

macheta wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:15 am
I have been using Chrome since it started. The browser now uses too much resources and causes a lot of problems similar to Internet Explorer. I actually am starting to use FireFox now since I like the VPN feature.
What problems did you experience? I have not noticed any problems,

mouses
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by mouses » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:06 am

I primarily use Firefox. I only use Chrome when I want to see flash videos since for some reason I can;t get Flash to install in Firefox.

I do not like Chrome. It hangs with script errors, it sinks like a stone sometimes because it lets sites run videos without asking me, often video ad screens and that swamps my pc.

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Thrifty Femme
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by Thrifty Femme » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:29 am

azurekep wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:45 pm
In the past couple of weeks, there has been news about companies trying to defeat ad-blockers. That will inevitably lead to countermeasures on the ad-blocking side. Here's one countermeasure that's already available and it applies to Chrome/Chromium users who use UBlockOrigin.

uBO-Extra

A companion extension to uBlock Origin: to gain ability to foil early anti-user mechanisms working around content blockers or even a browser privacy settings.

The extension is useful only for Chromium-based browsers. There is no need for such an extension so far on Firefox, and thus there is no version for Firefox.
Viewing a cached version of a site generally gets around the disable ad-blocking message.

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5th_Dimension
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by 5th_Dimension » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:39 am

I have switched to Opera on my Macbook Pro. So far it is the only one that I have found that stops auto-playing videos. It also can put itself into a lower power mode when I am on battery which extends my running time.

jebmke
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by jebmke » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:43 am

5th_Dimension wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:39 am
I have switched to Opera on my Macbook Pro. So far it is the only one that I have found that stops auto-playing videos. It also can put itself into a lower power mode when I am on battery which extends my running time.
I have stopped them on Firefox and Chrome. In FF you have to go into the config file which is a bit daunting for some. For Chrome there is an extension.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

jebmke
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by jebmke » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:45 am

mouses wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:06 am
I primarily use Firefox. I only use Chrome when I want to see flash videos since for some reason I can;t get Flash to install in Firefox.

I do not like Chrome. It hangs with script errors, it sinks like a stone sometimes because it lets sites run videos without asking me, often video ad screens and that swamps my pc.
on Chrome you can install an extension -- I think it is called "Disable HTML5 Autoplay" or something like that.
Last edited by jebmke on Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

likegarden
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by likegarden » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:47 am

I used Firefox in the past, but one of their revisions was not workable for me, so I switched to Chrome. I noticed that some sites don't let me view videos with Adblock Plus on, so I refuse to see that video and ad. I visited recently a site where more than 100 ads got blocked, I felt liberated!

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bertilak
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by bertilak » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:48 pm

likegarden wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:47 am
I used Firefox in the past, but one of their revisions was not workable for me, so I switched to Chrome. I noticed that some sites don't let me view videos with Adblock Plus on, so I refuse to see that video and ad. I visited recently a site where more than 100 ads got blocked, I felt liberated!

It's nice that we have a choice
. I switched from FF to Chrome, probably over a year ago. I ran into some problem about a week ago and switched back to FF and that solved the problem. (I forget what the problem was exactly.) I also think FF might actually be a little faster than Chrome. Anyway, I see no reason to switch back. (For now!)
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

azurekep
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by azurekep » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:58 pm

KSOC wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:57 am
I use FF on my mac. But somethings just don't open or appear & I need to use chrome for those. Chrome is also better I think for streaming video. Chrome can be a memory hog on PC's as it opens multiple background sessions for quicker reloading I guess. Check Task Manager when you're running chrome and look how much memory it uses.
If I'm understanding you correctly, that's where FF is headed as well. A single session per tab. It's for security, and a look at Task Manager should show one entry per tab.

That's where they're headed. I'm not sure what version that will be.

Also, as new features are rolled out, some may not be available through the normal preferences dialog. They will be turned off by default and one has to go through about:config to turn them on.

But again, I don't know where we are in the FF upgrade cycle. I've temporarily turned upgrades off and am used Pale Moon instead.

BTW, the multiple sessions isn't the only thing that's mimicking Chrome. It's also the new system for creating extensions -- called WebExtensions. IOW, whatever extensions you're using now will be deprecated by FF 57 and replaced by a WebExtensions version. Until the full replacement, FF will use a hybrid of the old and new extensions.

But the direction is to emulate Chrome, which ticks off a lot of us FF users who like FF because it doesn't emulate Chrome.

FF is still number one in browser privacy (compared to Chrome), however.

azurekep
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by azurekep » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:06 pm

mouses wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:06 am
I primarily use Firefox. I only use Chrome when I want to see flash videos since for some reason I can;t get Flash to install in Firefox.
Mozilla, Firefox's parent company, is on the forefront of doing away with Flash due to security concerns. It either now, or will be, turned off by default and eventually won't be available at all. I no longer use FF as my primary browser so I don't know where we are in that cycle, but that's the end game. I think all the major Web-related companies, including Google, are following suit.

HTML 5 has built-in video capabilities. In Pale Moon (a fork of FF), I have Flash turned off when playing YouTube videos and they play normally. I used to have to append "&html=5" to the end of the URL to push the YouTube videos into playing in HTML 5. So I think the transition to HTML 5 is complete in FF-based browsers and Flash isn't needed for most things. But if not, that's the direction the entire Web is going.

azurekep
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by azurekep » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:08 pm

Thrifty Femme wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:29 am
azurekep wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:45 pm
In the past couple of weeks, there has been news about companies trying to defeat ad-blockers. That will inevitably lead to countermeasures on the ad-blocking side. Here's one countermeasure that's already available and it applies to Chrome/Chromium users who use UBlockOrigin.

uBO-Extra

A companion extension to uBlock Origin: to gain ability to foil early anti-user mechanisms working around content blockers or even a browser privacy settings.

The extension is useful only for Chromium-based browsers. There is no need for such an extension so far on Firefox, and thus there is no version for Firefox.
Viewing a cached version of a site generally gets around the disable ad-blocking message.
Back when I used to use Google ( :) ), I occasionally used the cache feature. I now use DuckDuckGo and Start Page and I haven't seen that feature.

azurekep
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by azurekep » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:13 pm

5th_Dimension wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:39 am
I have switched to Opera on my Macbook Pro. So far it is the only one that I have found that stops auto-playing videos. It also can put itself into a lower power mode when I am on battery which extends my running time.
There are extensions for stopping auto-playing videos. Heck, there may even be an about:config preference. But nothing happens by default. We have to work at turning things off. The more ads that can be thrown at us in audio and visual, before our intervention, the better. ;)

Edit: jebmke beat me to it.

jebmke
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by jebmke » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:15 pm

I have had two pernicious issues with FF lately. Every once in a while it seems to go wild with memory - ballooning to 2.5-3gb in task manager. I end up having to kill the process and restart FF.

It also seems to create a massive duplicate history on some sites such that when you hit the back button you get the same page you are on. If you right click on the back button you can sometimes see a massive list of identical pages at the end of which, sometimes is the page you clicked from (once). I think this may have something to do with scripts in ads. Not sure.

When I have the time I am hoping to try to fix this. Otherwise I will abandon FF entirely.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Toons
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by Toons » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:19 pm

Chrome/ChromeBook
Lightning Speed
Last edited by Toons on Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jebmke
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by jebmke » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:19 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:15 pm
There are extensions for stopping auto-playing videos. Heck, there may even be an about:config preference. But nothing happens by default. We have to work at turning things off. The more ads that can be thrown at us in audio and visual, before our intervention, the better. ;)

Edit: jebmke beat me to it.
In FF about:config you change the setting for media.autoplay.enabled to false.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

azurekep
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by azurekep » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:26 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:15 pm
I have had two pernicious issues with FF lately. Every once in a while it seems to go wild with memory - ballooning to 2.5-3gb in task manager. I end up having to kill the process and restart FF.

It also seems to create a massive duplicate history on some sites such that when you hit the back button you get the same page you are on. If you right click on the back button you can sometimes see a massive list of identical pages at the end of which, sometimes is the page you clicked from (once). I think this may have something to do with scripts in ads. Not sure.

When I have the time I am hoping to try to fix this. Otherwise I will abandon FF entirely.
I rarely have memory issues with FF* and yet I have only 1 GB RAM on my main home computer. Also, I normally have a dozen to three dozen tabs open at one time. The main things I do different than most people are:

1. Keep javascript disabled most of the time
2. Have disk cache set to zero.

I thought #2 would cause slowness, but apparently RAM cache kicks in. It's something to try.

But javascript for sure causes weirdness and slowness. I will never allow 3rd-party javascript to execute, but I will allow 1st-party and inline javascript to execute on sites that require javascript. UBlockOrigin in advanced mode allows for dealing with first-party vs third-party issues.

* - I realize I've been talking about Pale Moon, since that's what I'm using currently. FF is slower, but turning off disk cache and javascript still apply.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:27 pm

FWIW.... https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/1/15726 ... ced-google

From article:
Google will introduce an ad blocker to Chrome early next year and is telling publishers to get ready.

The warning is meant to let websites assess their ads and strip any particularly disruptive ones from their pages. That’s because Chrome’s ad blocker won’t block all ads from the web. Instead, it’ll only block ads on pages that are determined to have too many annoying or intrusive advertisements, like videos that autoplay with sound or interstitials that take up the entire screen.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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telemark
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by telemark » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:30 pm

azurekep wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:58 pm
KSOC wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:57 am
I use FF on my mac. But somethings just don't open or appear & I need to use chrome for those. Chrome is also better I think for streaming video. Chrome can be a memory hog on PC's as it opens multiple background sessions for quicker reloading I guess. Check Task Manager when you're running chrome and look how much memory it uses.
If I'm understanding you correctly, that's where FF is headed as well. A single session per tab. It's for security, and a look at Task Manager should show one entry per tab.

That's where they're headed. I'm not sure what version that will be.
As of version 55, Firefox uses multiple processes, but instead of one process per tab it's a configurable option: on many systems the default number is 4, but you can go to settings and make it lower or higher. This is more for performance than security, apparently.

Also, on my underpowered Linux system I now prefer Firefox to Chrome for watching Netflix. YMMV...

jebmke
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by jebmke » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:32 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:27 pm
FWIW.... https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/1/15726 ... ced-google

From article:
Google will introduce an ad blocker to Chrome early next year and is telling publishers to get ready.

The warning is meant to let websites assess their ads and strip any particularly disruptive ones from their pages. That’s because Chrome’s ad blocker won’t block all ads from the web. Instead, it’ll only block ads on pages that are determined to have too many annoying or intrusive advertisements, like videos that autoplay with sound or interstitials that take up the entire screen.
That is appealing. I don't use an adblocker anymore because I try to support sites wherever I can. Some are just too cluttered with ads and redirects and become very cumbersome.

I use Chrome for Google services (mail, drive, calendar) and like to keep all other browsing on a second browser that is not logged into my Google account. FF has all my low risk site IDs and passwords as well which makes it convenient. Not sure I could port all that to Chrome.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

azurekep
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by azurekep » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:37 pm

telemark wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:30 pm

As of version 55, Firefox uses multiple processes, but instead of one process per tab it's a configurable option: on many systems the default number is 4, but you can go to settings and make it lower or higher. This is more for performance than security, apparently.
I think the security aspect comes in if malware infects one tab, it's isolated to that tab. Does that make sense? It did to me when I read some of the earlier material on it, but I'm just a user, not an IT guy so I may be getting it wrong.

peppers
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by peppers » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:38 pm

Toons wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:19 pm
Chrome/ChromeBook
Lighting Speed
Agree ⚡️
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."

Mudpuppy
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:49 pm

For both Chrome and Firefox, there has been a concerted spear phishing attack to try to compromise developer accounts recently. The goal is to get into the developer's account, push out an update, and have it automatically propagate out (since the browsers default to automatically updating add-ons when a new add-on is available).

So far, this has primarily been used to push out ads, but I see that action as more of a proof-of-concept. If they get into a widely-used developer account, pushing out ads is the least amount of damage they could do with that sort of access. It could easily be used for browser-in-the-middle attacks.

I am personally rethinking whether or not I should be running NoScript and the like on the browser my financial virtual machine. That browser only visits trusted financial sites, so the add-ons are becoming a bigger threat vector than malicious code on a website.

Edit: Clarification, by "developer accounts" I mean "add-on developer accounts".

azurekep
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by azurekep » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:07 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:49 pm
For both Chrome and Firefox, there has been a concerted spear phishing attack to try to compromise developer accounts recently. The goal is to get into the developer's account, push out an update, and have it automatically propagate out (since the browsers default to automatically updating add-ons when a new add-on is available).

So far, this has primarily been used to push out ads, but I see that action as more of a proof-of-concept. If they get into a widely-used developer account, pushing out ads is the least amount of damage they could do with that sort of access. It could easily be used for browser-in-the-middle attacks.

I am personally rethinking whether or not I should be running NoScript and the like on the browser my financial virtual machine. That browser only visits trusted financial sites, so the add-ons are becoming a bigger threat vector than malicious code on a website.

Edit: Clarification, by "developer accounts" I mean "add-on developer accounts".
If worse comes to worst, many things can be done from about:config anyway. Extensions/add-ons are many times just handy interfaces for things that can be done via about:config.

One extension I've used since the very beginning is PrefBar. The reason it's so great is that almost anything in about:config can be made into a toolbar button with a dropdown or checkbox. The default buttons that come with PrefBar are good enough and handle such things like toggling javascript, but it's great to have control over some of the other parameters in about:config. PrefBar allows for leaning on that one extension and not adding a lot of superfluous extensions.

jebmke
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by jebmke » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:43 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:49 pm
I am personally rethinking whether or not I should be running NoScript and the like on the browser my financial virtual machine.
Just for clarification, you mean stop using NoScript because it has the potential to be compromised?
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:52 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:43 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:49 pm
I am personally rethinking whether or not I should be running NoScript and the like on the browser my financial virtual machine.
Just for clarification, you mean stop using NoScript because it has the potential to be compromised?
On that specific VM, yes. NoScript will remain firmly in-place, along with Ghostery and an ad-blocker for my "browse random webpages VM", but this particular VM is only for viewing financial websites. There is a balance of threat vectors: malicious scripts on a financial website or malicious add-on update should the developer's account be compromised.

On the one hand, a malicious script on a financial website implies a much bigger problem at hand for that particular financial company. But such a script could compromise the other financial websites visited after visiting the infected website.

On the other hand, the compromise of a popular developer's account should be rare (one would hope the developer of a security product is more aware of social engineering and better able to detect social engineering in action), but it would affect the browser universally and compromise all sites visited while the malicious add-on was "in the wild".

On the griping hand, both threat vectors could affect all financial websites visited by this VM, so the question really becomes "which is more likely: malicious script or compromised developer?"

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5th_Dimension
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by 5th_Dimension » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:42 pm

azurekep wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:13 pm
5th_Dimension wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:39 am
I have switched to Opera on my Macbook Pro. So far it is the only one that I have found that stops auto-playing videos. It also can put itself into a lower power mode when I am on battery which extends my running time.
There are extensions for stopping auto-playing videos. Heck, there may even be an about:config preference. But nothing happens by default. We have to work at turning things off. The more ads that can be thrown at us in audio and visual, before our intervention, the better. ;)

Edit: jebmke beat me to it.
I did the config file mod in FF, videos still played. I tried the HTML and Flash blocking add ins to Chrome and Safari and Firefox, videos still played. 30 years experience in IT so I am pretty sure I didn't miss anything, but I'll admit I didn't spend a tremendous amount of time on it. Opera solved the problem, doesn't have some of the things I don't like with the other browsers, and it works well so I went to it. Your mileage will vary of course. :happy

mouses
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Re: For those switching to Chrome from Firefox

Post by mouses » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:24 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:32 pm
That is appealing. I don't use an adblocker anymore because I try to support sites wherever I can. Some are just too cluttered with ads and redirects and become very cumbersome.
I use Adblock Plus, but I disable it for sites I want to support, like bbc.com. Some sites are so ad heavy I don't know how anyone can use them.

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