All posts by RejZoR

About RejZoR

Beeeeeeeeeeeee!

Farewell Firefox, hello to Opera

I’ve been a long time user of Firefox browser and I absolutely loved its flexibility, modularity and just that openness to cool features. A lot of time has passed since apparently, because Mozilla’s philosophy seems to have lost its ways entirely. With every month and every release, it’s becoming more like a clone of Chrome. And not in a good way. First they copied its basic skin/theme, then they copied the start page and then they copied their retarded last tab closing (which I’ve ranted about in my last blog post), now they are going with the clumsy and restricted add-ons (extensions). And recently, what really placed that cherry on top, the GPU blacklisting which rendered my old laptop entirely useless. It took me ages to even figure it out, because at first, I thought Windows was causing this and then that older Radeon drivers are causing this and then I realized at one point Mozilla just blatantly decided to blacklist my AMD E-450 APU’s GPU so everything runs in software. And runs like shit because it’s not hardware accelerated.

Transition to (through) Chrome

Then, I’ve switched to Chrome for a while. It’s basically Firefox anyway since that one copied half of it. I could also easily ignore the GPU blacklist via chrome://flags panel (they seem to just blindly share this stupid GPU blacklist), allowing my AMD E-450 to accelerate Youtube and webpage rendering again. And it’s working perfectly for 2 months now. No lockups, no crashes, no problems what so ever, I have no clue why the fuck they are blacklisting this GPU and probably many more). But what bothers me with Chrome is that you need like 15 extensions for various stupid little things just to make it half usable and when you have so many extensions, it’s really a bloated hog and a lot of functions still don’t work well because they can’t be done better with clumsy restricted extensions system they have. And their Android version of Chrome si rather clumsy as well.

Hello Opera

And that’s when I (again) resorted back to Opera. My favorite browser back from the days when it was still running the Presto engine and it’s absolutely crazy configurable interface. Opera has since also switched to Chrome’s engine, but with one big difference. It has a lot of goodies already integrated. I don’t need extra extensions for adblocking, mouse gestures, last tab behavior is the way it should be in all browsers, it has a basic RSS reader. I basically need 2-3 extensions and I’m ready. Opera still has few traditional Scandinavian idiocies, but seeing the direction it’s slowly heading, I think they’ll improve that. Where Chrome and Firefox are just an entirely lost cause. They both live in its echo chamber of what they think it’s brilliant and they basically do zero useful innovations.

Opera on the other hand is currently a champion in innovation and it kinda surprises me it is not gaining higher user share. It has integrated Adblocker which is super fast since it works on browser engine level, it has integrated mouse gestures which I can’t live without anymore, has a decent RSS reader, extra Battery saving feature which comes in handy on portable devices where battery autonomy matters, it has a video pop-out feature which works on all major webpages like Youtube, Twitter and Netflix, so you can have a tiny video frame on top of browser, allowing you to browse other webpages while watching that video in the corner. Is the only browser which comes with portable install option in the original installer and even updates itself when in portable mode. Something Chrome just has no clue how to do it (Firefox does though). Bookmarks manager is also good and having it accessible from a sidebar is also nice. Maybe not as flexible as Firefox’s fixed bookmarks “browser” as a sidebar, but close enough. Everything just works so nicely and requires minimal number of extensions, I’m now sticking with Opera and I’m loving it. And the Android browser is also brilliant. With adblocking and compression, it’s saving my tiny data plan and it’s just so fast and functional. And has an EXIT button so you can close it entirely. Unlike Chrome which tends to consume quite some battery when just in the background.

So, all in all, Opera has come a VERY long way since initial terrible versions of their “modern” Chrome based browser. Back then and till few versions back actually, I couldn’t stand it. But something changed with recent Opera 45 build when it received the black sidebar. I lose few 10 pixels of webpage width, but it’s just so usable that I actually want it there. I’ve now also started making recommendations and ideas in their Wishlist section and maybe things will change into absolute perfection. We’ll see.

Yeah, Mozilla’s constant urge to copy everything Google does cost them a user. I don’t play any significance as single user, but it explains why they have been losing users for quite a while. They stopped being innovative and unique. And I think the GPU blacklisting nonsense cost them users as well. When perfectly capable device all of a sudden stutters on all webpages and can’t even play 480p video smoothly on Youtube, people will try something else. And while Chrome and Opera use the exact same GPU blacklist, Microsoft Edge doesn’t. Everything runs hyper smooth on it out of the box even on GPU that is blacklisted by others. Which could explain why people are switching to Edge. I personally don’t like it because it’s clumsy and has no options to customize, but browsing smoothness can explain why people might like it.

When Opera switched to Chromium foundations, I never thought I’d be using it again. It was just such dramatic shift from super configurable Opera 12 to super clumsy and limited Chromium, but I guess they are heading the right direction and their work is slowly starting to pay off. There is also Vivaldi which is made by few original Opera developers, but it’s still in way too early phase for me. But Opera isn’t. So, if you happen to dislike Chrome and Firefox, give Opera a try. I was pleasantly surprised.

Close browser on last browser tab closed idiocy

I wonder what idiot thought this was a cool feature and actually implemented it in Chrome, Firefox and even in Microsoft Edge (though I don’t use it and never will, but it behaves the same). And I freaking bet you they added this feature to an UX telemetry and they count the clicks on the last tab close button thinking “Yes, people are using this, it’s wonderful feature”, where in reality, everyone is bloody furious when entire browser keeps on closing down because you just wanted to close all the tabs. That’s why we have a god damn CLOSE/EXIT button in the top right corner you blundering idiots. It’s for that fucking job, not the one on the last tab! Organizations like Mozilla and behemoths like Google probably spend hundreds of thousands of $ on GUI and UX designs and this shit is what they came up with? Really? It’s pissing me off beyond belief. In both, Firefox and Chrome, I have to use extra extension just to turn this shit off and in case of Chrome, it’s even more infuriating because the garbage extensions system doesn’t allow simple removal of the close button, devs need to use various ugly looking tricks to prevent browser from closing down. Like double tabs which just looks idiotic and clumsy. Opera on the other hand is for some bizarre reason the only browser which does this right, but has it’s share of other idiocies that make it less desirable to use.

Are people really and actually loving this garbage feature? I just can’t understand it…

AMD Radeon RX Vega release date hint

AMD announced via Facebook today that RX Vega will in fact be released this quarter (April-June 2017 timeframe). Which falls within the 1st half of 2017 as announced by AMD months ago.

However, today, a guy named “uuuaaaaaa” posted this on TechPowerUp…

The star known as Vega is 25.05 light years away from earth. Wouldn’t it be cool if it was released on the 25th of may? :D

Anyone else thinks this can’t be just a coincidence? 25th May? It also falls in line with Prey 2 which was heavily advertised along with RX Vega as well as Alien:Covenant, also getting released in May…

It never crossed my mind, but now that I know it, it’s kinda interesting. Maybe we’ll see Vega in May already as predicted from this 🙂

Youtube advertisement drama nonsense

So, if you haven’t heard yet, there this mega drama going on around Youtube and advertisement used on this platform, particularly demonetization of “hateful” videos, leaving Youtube creators pennyless because they allegedly post “hateful” videos.

The alleged problem is that people viewing Youtube connect video content to the ad shown on that video. For example, running a channel that reports on islamisation of Europe and warning people about its effects on Europe, your videos will get demonetized because the content is “hateful” to muslims. If some brand, lets say Coca Cola is shown on such video, people apparently somehow connect this “hate” against muslims to Coca Cola, like Coca Cola is actively endorsing this…

People aren’t really offended over this

Ok, now that you get the context and concept, you may think, ok, so people really don’t like Coca Cola endorsing hate against muslims! Well, not really. The thing is, it was not the people who started this outrage against ads on “hateful” videos, it was the old, outdated, outgoing mainstream media that launched a mass campaign against Youtube. I mean, all of a sudden, in a very short timeframe, countless old mainstream media outlets spewed out countless articles condemning Youtube displaying brand names on “hateful” videos. Sound familiar? It’s exactly the same freaking thing they did when GamerGate happened, when they launched countless, exactly same worded articles attacking certain group or platform. Why? Youtube is what’s killing these dinosaurs off! Youtube is making them irrelevant. There are Youtube creators who have bigger audiences than most mainstream media outlets combined and they really don’t like that. Are you forming a picture already?

Mainstream media and companies don’t understand how ads work on Youtube

These disingenuous mainstream media outlets apparently think ads are carefully selected for videos. And same seems to go for these companies who are now pulling ads from “hateful” videos in what looks like mass panic. They think someone actually sits “behind their screens”, watching videos and going: “Yes, this hateful video needs some Coca Cola love, lets place their ad on it.”

It’s not how things work! At all! With the amount of videos on Youtube, it’s impossible to do this on any kind of viable level. Ads are served to videos automatically in random fashion, because ads have to be on videos, because that’s how Youtube is sustaining itself. There might be some relevancy based endorsing of ads based on user’s previous view history and Google search, but in general, Youtube has this pool of ads to show and they distribute them to videos on random basis. They don’t connect or endorse the content, they just show some ads.

So, why this outrage over famous brands having their ads shown on “hateful” videos? It doesn’t seem to make any sense to me. It’s not relevant. No one is endorsing anything, it’s just some ads shown on some video. That’s it.

Illogical disconnect between Youtube and TV

What wonders me at this point is, if Youtube videos that are “hateful” portray companies who are advertising their products on such videos in a negative way, how come this doesn’t apply to TV?

There are tons of ads shown on commercial TV channels between movies, series and news. Why no one connects Coca Cola to that jihadi beheading just shown in the news? Why no one connects Toyota to ISIS because they predominantly tow around their fighters around the desert in those cars?

Or to make things even further, do you people remember how they place brands in movies directly? I do. I remember countless action movies where terrorists were recording kidnapped victims with Sony cameras and the producers made sure the SONY brand flashed on the screen in a very hard to miss fashion? Do you people remember all the countless times terrorists in action movies used Nokia phones and again, the film makers made abundantly clear to flash the brand name in viewers field of view. Or how Casio watches were again predominantly shown on bombs and wrists of terrorists?

The big question here is, why is everyone supposedly outraged over some Coca Cola and Toyota ads shown on allegedly “hateful” videos on Youtube, but absolutely no one gave any damn about actual terrorists (still fictional though since it was a movie) using those products of those brands to create terror and harm on TV and in cinema?

Can someone explain to me this illogical disconnect between what’s essentially THE SAME advertisement method? It’s not about endorsement or support, it’s just about showing ads and brand names to make money. Because that’s what capitalism is all about. Money.

My verdict on this drama

Advertisers should tell the mainstream media who artificially kickstarted this drama to kindly piss away. And advertisers should grow a pair and stop pandering to these perpetually offended fruitcakes. No one thinks Coca Cola is endorsing hate just because their ad rolled over a video that somehow offended someone. And from what I’ve seen, it wasn’t even people who were offended or connected the brand to something hateful, it was mainstream media, the old dying one that started all this mess in a hope to hurt Youtube and make it less relevant, because Youtube was hurting mainstream media so badly in recent years. And they succeeded because I’m seeing more and more Youtubers losing their livelihood because their videos are now flagged as “unsafe” and advertisement “unfriendly”. I’m also seeing mass panic from corporations, pulling ads from Youtube because they just don’t understand how advertisement on platforms like Youtube even works. You know, those corporate penguins may be CEO’s and CTO’s, but they have next to zero understanding of how internet works and because they need to think of shareholders, they of course panic. Stop it! No one thinks these companies endorse hate! So, why removing the advertisements? There is no need for that. If TV ads did not negatively portray same brands when associated with negative things on screen, why should they be on Youtube or anywhere else? It’s just some ads shown on some videos. That’s the end of it.