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Mozilla co-founder’s new browser blocks ads, speeds up web

Brendan Eich, one of the co-founders of the original Mozilla Foundation and the creator of the JavaScript language, has announced a new venture: Brave Software. The new company has developed an alternative browser based around Google’s Chrome, that Eich claims can run far faster than other options and also offers better privacy protection from targeted advertisements.

The Brave browser is designed to operate as one part ad-blocker, one part browser optimiser. By stripping out targeted advertising and other tracking elements from websites before loading them, the Brave browser is said to operate two to four times faster than other smartphone browsers and can even boost desktop browsing by 1.4 times in certain circumstances.

Right now this leads to big white spaces where the adverts usually are, but it won’t always be that way. Brave still needs to fund its development and it hopes that it can do that with adverts, but with a transparent and much less invasive system.

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Brave will collect information on what sort of websites you visit, but that’s it. The data is anonymised and categorised, so that advertisers can target specific groups, but without knowing anything about them beyond their rough interests. Eich hopes that will be enough to interest advertisers, but without impacting the personal privacy of the users.

As it stands, users of free services are the product, not the customers Eich said. He wants to change the nature of that so that sites aren’t encouraged to find more and more about their consumers in order to earn more. But that’s in the future. For now Brave just wants to attract users that like a much less intrusive web experience.

Some may wonder why Eich didn’t opt for a Firefox base for his new browser, rather than Chromium. As CNet explains though, it’s because Chrome is more widely used and therefore has a much bigger test bed of developers helping patch it.

If you’d like to try Brave out, you can have a play with the 0.7 beta by downloading it from the official site.

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KitGuru Says: Which browser(s) do you use? Would you be interested in a platform that halted tracking adverts in exchange for more morally acceptable options?

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