Opera has become the first desktop Web browser with built-in ad blocking and is advising users to turn it on to improve their browsing experiences.
Opera’s 37.0.2162.0 developer build for Mac OS and Windows, can cut page load times by a whopping 90 percent. It will show you how many ads it found on the page.
Senior vice president in charge of engineering for Opera Krystian Kolondra said that the current approach to advertising is damaging users’ online experience. Browsers are spending far too much time handling ads and trackers than thought.
When you install a new version of Opera, a popup appears, asking whether you “would like to block ads and surf the Web faster.” If you agree to Opera’s invitation, ads are blocked right away.
Opera added an incredibly slick benchmark tool to show you how many ads it’s blocked on a given page. The browser will also perform a speed test, timing how fast a page loads with or without ads.
The browser will block tracking pixels and third-party scripts if they’re used for advertising purposes.
You can insert your own whitelist of sites that you allow Opera to insert ads.
Big Cheeses at the Mozzarella Foundation have decided to build in an ad-blocker into their Firefox browser.
A brand new Developer version of Firefox has been released which provided a real look at Mozilla’s enhanced privacy features. The new tracking protection is so effective that if you show up on a website you will be invisible and see it ad-free.
Ad networks and content providers are almost certain to be outraged to see their ads broken by the new tracking protection in Firefox. But it could be the key to getting Mozilla popular again.
Mozilla’s believes that if you have clicked in to a private window that you really, really want your privacy respected. Sadly, a block-everything tracking protection may never make its way into the non-private Firefox browsing windows.
Certainly Mozilla’s own efforts at do not track were watered down to the point they were nearly useless.
Since it is all in developer stage, Mozilla might find a way to block tracking without blocking the actual adverts or it might just give up on it.
German ISPs are handing over subscriber details to copyright holders at the rate of 300,000 a month, according to the country’s internet industry association ECO.
As a result, it says, while most of the world is seeing an increase in piracy, it’s dropped by a fifth in Germany since 2008. This is despite the fact that the number of legal downloads in the country has grown by 30 percent.
ECO‘s released the figures to challenge European Commission plans to adopt measures forcing ISPs to block file-sharing sites altogether.
“The increasing availability of digital content on the German market shows that one can combat internet piracy effectively without deep intervention in the basic rights of the population,” it says.
“Barrier methods such as those planned and advertised last week by the European Commission at the G8 Forum in Paris are unnecessary.”
German file-sharers receive letters from rights holders demanding anything up to $1,700 to avoid legal action – something which ECO believes is excessive.
“In most cases a warning letter would be enough,” says Oliver Süme, the organisation’s spokesman for copyright issues. “It does not always have to be a warning for several hundred euros.”
But, hey, it’s a nice little earner. Although the number of illegal downloads in Germany is declining, says Süme, the number of warning letters each year is increasing.
The Chinese government has bitten back about claims that it tried to make it difficult to access Gmail in the country.
A spokeswoman for the country’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement to the media that the claims were an “unacceptable accusation” and told delegates that China would not accept it.
The country is rejecting the claims from Google, which yesterday said that any difficulty users in China may have faced in recent weeks accessing Google’s email service was likely the result of government interference.
It put this down to the Middle East-inspired “Jasmine Revolution,” which China allegedly is worried about and attempting to stem the flow of information.
Although Gmail users in China said they were still able to log in to their accounts, they were unable to perform tasks such as sending email and accessing their address books.
This led to a Google spokesperson claiming that the problem wasn’t the fault of the company. “This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Of course Google has been in a long running dispute with China over the country’s tight censorship of the internet.
Back in January it once again pointed the finger at China and accused it of interfering with its services. Its reasoning at the time was that it claimed it had uncovered sophisticated China-based attacks on human rights activists using its Gmail service around the world.
Earlier this month Google was again infuriated as China allegedly increased its spying on the Gmail service.
The last attack seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, with Google now saying it won’t censor search results in the country. Previously, the company included a disclaimer on its China service that searches may not be complete because of local laws.