Chrome change could hobble ad blockers

first_img Comments 5 Share your voice Google Chrome dominates the browser market. Stephen Shankland/CNET A Google plan to improve the Chrome web browser has triggered an explosion of concern that it’ll also cripple extensions designed to block ads, improve privacy and protect against security problems.Google’s proposed approach would torpedo ad blocker uBlock Origin, tracker blocker Ghostery, privacy and password manager Privowny, JavaScript software blocker NoScript and a malware blocker from F-Secure, according to their developers.In a statement Wednesday, though, Google said it’s trying to improve Chrome while keeping all those extensions working.”We want to make sure all fundamental use cases are still possible with these changes and are working with extension developers to make sure their extensions continue to work while optimizing the extensions platform and better protecting our users,” the company said in a statement.The controversy shows the difficulties that arise from Chrome’s dominance 10 years after its debut. Google’s browser accounts for 62 percent of website usage today, according to analytics firm StatCounter. But if a Google change causes problems, then extension authors and website developers can be stuck with it unless they can get millions of people to change to a different browser like Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari.Chrome’s power also is amplified by the fact that other browsers, including Vivaldi, Opera, Brave and soon Microsoft Edge, use Chrome’s open-source foundation, called Chromium.Extensions let you customize web browser behavior to do things like take screenshots, manage tabs, disable websites’ potentially risky JavaScript software and even replace photos of President Donald Trump with images of kittens. But ad blockers are a top extension use. Indeed, it was one of the uses Google specifically called for when it first revealed its Chrome extensions plan in 2008. uBlock Origin has been installed more than 10 million times, for example, according to Chrome Web Store statistics.Ghostery developer Cliqz said Google’s proposed change is radical, and threatened legal action if it goes forward.”This would basically mean that Google is destroying ad blocking and privacy protection as we know it,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “Whether Google does this to protect their advertising business or simply to force its own rules on everyone else, it would be nothing less than another case of misuse of its market-dominating position. If this comes true, we will consider filing an antitrust complaint.”Chrome’s Manifest v3 destinyGoogle revealed the change way back in October as part of a broader plan to improve Chrome extensions. Some developers are only now noticing the part that could hurt ad blockers, called Manifest v3. Manifest v3 is designed to improve Chrome extensions’ performance, privacy and security. One part of that change, though, limits how extensions will be able to examine aspects of websites. The thorny limit affects how an extension can check if website elements originate from a list of hundreds of thousands of advertising sources. Google has proposed a limit of 30,000.One extension designed to protect people who click on malicious links, Blockade.io, “will cease to function” under Google’s Manifest v3 plan, said Brandon Dixon, who maintains the extension. “There is a 30K rule limit imposed, which is not enough to handle our ruleset (~250K),” Dixon said in a Wednesday mailing list post.Safari and Firefox have embraced variations of Chrome’s extensions technology, an approach that in principle makes life easier for extension authors trying to support multiple browsers. But Privowny’s Daniel Glazman lamented the fizzling of an effort to turn Google’s extensions technology into a web standard all browsers collectively develop and support.The browser extension technology is “fully in the hands of Google, [which] can and will change it anytime based on its own interests only,” Glazman said in a blog post Wednesday.Google probably will amend its extensions plan, though not its aspiration to improve performance and security, Chrome team member Devlin Cronin said in a mailing list response Wednesday.”This design is still in a draft state, and will likely change,” Cronin said. “Our goal is not to break extensions.”First published Jan. 23, 10:49 a.m. PT.Updates, 10:58 a.m.: Adds more Google comment; 11:29 a.m.: Includes further background; 4:11 p.m: Adds comment from Ghostery.’Hello, humans’: Google’s Duplex could make Assistant the most lifelike AI yet.CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET’s newsstand edition. Tags Software Internet Security Microsoft Edge Advertising Brave browser Chrome Chrome OS Firefox Privacy Googlelast_img read more

Teen Dalit girl gangraped and set ablaze in Muzaffarnagar

first_imgREUTERS/Adnan Abidi [Representational Image]A 14-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped and set ablaze by some miscreants in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar on Friday, May 24. The victim’s body was found in a charred state at her house.According to reports, the girl used to work at a brick kiln and stayed at a makeshift room. The autopsy report suggested that the girl died of asphyxiation and burn injuries.The UP police have booked seven people for the heinous crime, although none of them has been arrested. The police said that they have not yet arrested the accused since they are still gathering evidence of the incident.The girl along with her family used to work at the brick kiln and lived in a room adjacent to it. The victim’s father had gone to the town to get some medicines on Friday evening after her mother fell ill. He left her along with her brother, 12, and the incident took place after he left the kiln. He was informed the next day that his daughter’s body was found in a charred stateAccording to the police, the girl’s family did not suspect rape initially but filed a complaint against the brick kiln owner and six others claiming so. The father claimed that she was taken by two men who work in the area and was gang-raped, after which they burnt her alive. The girl’s slippers and some clothes were recovered from the crime spot.”An FIR has been registered on the basis of a complaint by the victim’s father against the brick kiln owner and six others on charges of gang rape, murder and sections of the SC/ST Atrocities Act. The allegations of rape have not been confirmed. But the investigation is pending and arrests will be made as per evidence,” said the area’s Circle Officer, reports The Indian Express.The girl’s father also claimed that since the makeshift room does not have electricity or any other inflammable materials, how can the room catch fire. He alleged the accused to have set the dress on fire as to misrepresent it as an accident. He claimed that everyone knows what happened with his daughter but choose to remain silent and there is immense pressure on anyone who wants to speak out.The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken cognizance of the case, police said. A statement of the girl’s father will also be recorded before a magistrate, adds the report.last_img read more

To stop BJP minorities likely to go with TMC in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: Despite nursing a grudge against the state government for its alleged failure to curb communal riots, the minorities in Bengal are likely to vote for the TMC to stop BJP’s march, leaders said. A deciding factor in several Lok Sabha seats in the state, the minorities especially Muslims are likely to vote for the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) which they perceive as a “credible force” unlike the Congress-Communist Party of India (Marxist) alliance, they claimed. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose “Despite having anger against the state government over various issues including several riots that took place in the state, the minorities will vote for TMC in the state to ensure their safety and security,” Mohammed Kamruzzaman, General Secretary of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation told PTI. “In Bengal, TMC is the most credible force as it is in power, when it comes to fight against BJP,” he added. Kamruzzaman, whose organization has the biggest following among Muslim youths in the state, said that the Congress-CPI(M) seat sharing talks have evoked little hopes as credible alternative among the masses. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The Imams of the city, who hold a sway over the large Muslim population here, felt that the minorities should vote for the strongest secular candidate. “We would appeal to the minorities to vote in favour of the strongest secular forces in their respective areas. Efforts should be made to ensure that only secular and democratic candidates win,” Qazi Fazlur Rahman, the Imam, who conducts prayers on Eid at Red Road every year, told PTI. The Red Road Eid prayers witnesses the biggest congregation of Muslims in the state. Rahman’s view was echoed by Shafique Qasmi, Imam of Nakhoda Masjid, the biggest mosque in the city, who stressed that the minorities must ensure that there was no division of their votes and only a secular and democratic force comes to power. The minorities, which comprise nearly 30 per cent of the electorate, are a deciding factor in nearly 16-18 Lok Sabha seats of the state. They are a vote bank that every political party has tried to woo. Parliamentary seats such as Raiganj, Coochbehar, Balurghat, Malda North, Malda South, Murshidabad in north Bengal and seats such as Diamond Harbour, Uluberia, Howrah, Birbhum, Kanthi, Tamluk, Joynagar in south Bengal have very high Muslim population. The TMC presently holds a great influence over the minority votes in the state but several riots that took place in the last four years have angered a section of the minorities. According to Union Home Ministry data released in 2018, communal violence increased sharply since 2015 in West Bengal. While the state recorded 27 incidents of communal violence in 2015, the number almost doubled by 2017 when 58 such incidents were recorded. The recent ones being the Basirshat riots in 2017 and Asansol riots in 2018. The TMC, however, blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for trying to flare up communal passions to serve its own political purpose and expressed confidence that it will repeat its 2014 feat with the help of minorities. “The minorities are very well aware of developmental work that the TMC government has done. Bengal is known for communal harmony but BJP is trying to disturb that for its own political gains,” TMC leader and minister Firhad Hakim said. According to TMC sources, minorities are likely to vote for the party to stop the march of the BJP. Since independence, the minorities in the state voted in favour of the Congress in order to keep outfits like the Hindu Mahasabha and Jan Sangh at bay. However, since the late sixties, they gradually started drifting towards the Left forces, which under the leadership of Jyoti Basu and Promode Dasgupta put up an alternative against the Congress rule in the state. After the CPI(M)-led Left Front came to power in 1977, through its iconic policies of ‘Operation Barga’ – giving land to landless farmers which benefited lakhs including Muslims – cemented its support base among the minorities. Riding on the support of minorities and rural Bengal, the Left Front in 1996 and 2004 had sent the largest bloc of 33 and 34 MPs, respectively, to the Lok Sabha. But things started falling apart for the Left Front after the Sachar Committee report in 2008 painted a dismal picture on the condition of minorities in the state. Adding to their woes was the anti-land acquisition movement in Nandigram and Singur that made the TMC, led by Mamata Banerjee, as the new “saviour” of minorities. Banerjee unseating the 34-year-old Left Front regime in the state but has been accused of appeasing minorities by the BJP-RSS, which emerged as the main opposition in West Bengal. “The policies of the state government were only aimed at protecting the interests of a specific community in the state. This has ignited anger among the majority community which feels only BJP can protect their interests,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said. Senior CPI(M) leader and MP Mohammed Salim said the assertion by TMC that it is a saviour of the Muslims in the state has fallen flat in the last few years. While Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan said that minority voting pattern would depend a lot on the credibility of the CPI(M)-Congress alliance in the state. “If we are able to put up a credible alternative then we too will receive considerable minority votes. But if we fail to do so, TMC will take away the entire share,” the senior Congress leader said.last_img read more

Beer belly bad for your heart

first_imgIf you have developed a spare tyre, it is time you saw a doctor to assess your cardiovascular health as researchers have found that belly fat, even in people who are not otherwise overweight, is bad for the heart. “People with a normal weight but a fat belly have more chance of heart problems than people without a fat belly, even if they are obese according to BMI (body mass index),” said study author Jose Medina-Inojosa from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”This body shape indicates a sedentary lifestyle, low muscle mass, and eating too many refined carbohydrates,” Medina-Inojosa said. BMI, which is weight relative to height in kg/metre square, is used to categorise adults as underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. However, BMI does not account for the amount and distribution of fat and muscle.Central obesity is a store of excess fat around the middle of the body and is a marker of abnormal fat distribution. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis study tested the hypothesis that people with normal weight and central obesity would have more heart problems than people with normal weight and normal fat distribution.From 1997 to 2000, the study enrolled nearly 1,700 people aged 45 years or older in the US. Participants underwent a clinical examination and measurements were taken of weight, height, waist circumference and hip circumference. Patients were followed-up from 2000 to 2016 for the occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events such as as heart attack, stroke, and death from cardiovascular causes. Participants with a normal BMI (18.5-24.9 kg/metre square) and central obesity had an approximately two-fold higher long-term risk of heart problems compared to participants without central obesity, regardless of their BMI, the study said.”If you have fat around your belly and it’s greater than the size of your hips, visit your doctor to assess your cardiovascular health and fat distribution. If you have central obesity the target will be waist loss rather than weight loss,” Medina-Inojosa said.last_img read more