Mozilla co-founder unveils Brave, a browser that blocks ads by default

Brave logoBrendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla and creator of the JavaScript programming language, has unveiled his latest project: Brave, a Web browser that blocks ads by default then replaces those blocked ads with its own ads. Brave Software, the company behind the eponymous browser, will take a 15 percent cut of the ad revenue generated.

Brave is an open-source Web browser. There's a Brave GitHub repository for Mac/Windows/Linux, iOS, and Android. It looks like the iOS version, ironically enough, is based on Firefox for iOS, and the PC version is based on Chromium (an open-source project that somewhat parallels the development of Chrome). At first glance, it looks like the Android version of Brave is based on Bubble.

If you want to try out Brave, you have to download and build the browser from a GitHub repo. You can sign up to be a beta tester, which presumably grants you some pre-built binaries. Currently, there is a waiting list.

Mozilla co-founder unveils Brave, a browser that blocks ads by default

The whole premise of Brave, its raison d'être if you will, is that it automatically blocks programmatic online advertising and tracking cookies by default. Programmatic advertising refers to ads that are placed on websites via automated software. Most websites run a mix of conventional display advertising, which is bought and sold in human-to-human advertising deals, and programmatic advertising.

In theory, much like if you installed Ghostery or Adblock Plus, this results in a faster—and potentially safer, in the case of malvertising—Web browsing experience.

In practice, Brave just sounds like a cash-grab. Brave isn't just a glorified adblocker: after removing ads from a webpage, Brave then inserts its own programmatic ads. It sounds like these ads will be filled by ad networks that work with Brave directly, and Brave will somehow police these ads to make sure they're less invasive/malevolent than the original ads that were stripped out. In exchange, Brave will take a 15 percent cut of the ad revenue. Instead of using tracking cookies that follow you around the Internet, Brave will use your local browsing history to target ads.

It isn't clear whether Brave will actually be any faster than another browser, or whether it will save on mobile data usage, once it has inserted its own ads. The new ads still have to be pulled down across the Internet. Brave doesn't have a special pipe that makes its ads load more quickly than the ones it replaced. It's fairly safe to assume that Brave will also use quite a lot of CPU time to strip out ads and then insert new ones.

Of the remaining ad revenue, 55 percent will go to the publisher and 15 percent will go to the ad supplier. Curiously, the last 15 percent will be returned to the user, which they can then use to make micropayments to their favourite websites. There aren't yet any technical details of how this revenue splitting will work in practice.

Except for how it handles advertising, it seems Brave's only other interesting feature is that it rather handily integrates the HTTPS Everywhere add-on (if an HTTPS version of a website is available, then Brave will automatically switch to it). If the browser has some other useful features—a nice UI, cross-platform sync, incognito mode, a password manager, etc.—then the website doesn't mention them at all.

Brave has raised £1.75 million ($2.5 million) in angel investment so far, and is continuing to seek more. Eich says that he needs around 7 million users to hit critical mass, to prove that the system actually works. The plan is to have a stable, public release "later this year."

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: browsers, Mozilla

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
You may still be able to download your content
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (15)