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Like Privacy? Try Brave

The swing of a soccer player

Serendipitous discovery is not just for apocryphally wandering through library stacks–sometimes you can stumble across a cool tool, as well. Friday offered just such an occasion: I was working through Moacier P. de Sá Pereira’s The Javascripting English Major (recommended in Weekend Reading), and in the first chapter I discovered a new-to-me-web browser: Brave.

Brave is a recent-ish browser (1.0 release last year), developed by a team led by Brendan Eich (who invented JavaScript) and Brian Bondy (co-founder of Mozilla). It’s focused on privacy, blocking ads and especially trackers on both desktop and mobile devices. In addition to the privacy improvements, the speed improvements are b-a-n-a-n-a-s. I’ve particularly come to value the clean, tracker-free approach during the transfer window, as loading a Liverpool Echo transfer liveblog can be an exercise in frustration, thanks to all the ads and trackers.

screenshot of Brave

But now they’re gone!

Brave is developing a micropayment model that will let you pay publishers directly, or even to view ads that don’t track you. (Visit Daring Fireball, and you’ll see it’s ad, as those are known not to have any tracking software.) It supports a few common extensions–1Password, LastPass, and Pocket, for example–already, and more are coming. It doesn’t support hypothes.is or Zotero yet, which will be a thing for some users.

It’s 2017, so there’s a video:

Brave is definitely worth spending some time with. At a minimum, you could use it as a sort of site-specific browser to isolate certain kinds of work from the near-ubiquitous corporate surveillance structure of the modern web.

Do you have a favorite nonstandard brower? What’s it great at? Let us know in comments!

Photo “At the plate” by me. (He was on the Braves at the time, see.)

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