m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

Armagadd-on II(a): The Empire Strikes Foot

In a surprise move, the Evil League of Evil Google has announced that its planned removal of ad-blocking functionality from Chrome extensions will not affect “enterprise deployments.” The announcement is buried under a few months' worth of protests in a long Chromium google group thread, but it was freshly complained about across the internet yesterday. Personally, I didn’t even know that Chrome had “enterprise” users, though I did know about pi-holes and Brave. And, of course, the interweb’s preferred solution to the looming armagadd-on: FireFox.

Until Google shot itself in the foot this way, I thought Mozilla’s attempted suicide by expired certificate earlier this month was the end for FireFox. Between the incompetence involved in letting a certificate expire (again), the addition of insult to injury when they sent out a patch over their spyware telemetry channel, and the general head-up-buttedness of their incessant attempts to redesign a browser that only power-users use to be grandma-safe at the expense of the power users (which was how a doomed cert got control over my extensions in the first place), I was sure it was curtains for Mozilla and its little fox, too. (I certainly wasn’t going back; I switched to Waterfox while waiting far too long for a non-spyware version of the patch.)

But now it looks like Mozilla’s grandma moment has arrived. It’s not that grandma wants to block your ads, it’s just that her geek grandchildren don’t want to have to clean the malware off grandma’s computer or otherwise hear her complaints about the modern web as seen from her dusty old PC. So grandma gets FireFox with adblockers.

Grandma is never going to get a pi-hole, though, no matter how many geeks think an extra piece of finicky hardware is going to save the web from itself. I don’t know why people bother to preach the pi-hole when DNS ad blocking is so much more easily done in software. I use Steven Black’s hosts file, which covers a multitude of ads despite my being too geeky to use host file management software. (I just update it manually when I think of it, like whenever another armagadd-on comes around.)