Cake
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    • There are several Firefox addons that support whitelists for cookies and for JavaScript. I'm not using any personally, so I can't vouch for their performance, but I've generally had pretty good luck with FF extensions.

    • I use uMatrix for this. You can set it up to blacklist (or whitelist) various types of capabilities (cookies, images, scripts, etc.) by default, and then you can toggle individual ones on or off for particular domains. It's more complex than "casual" users would want to deal with, but it's pretty straighforward for technical people.

      For example, here's how it looks on Cake, you can see that I have the scripts from the *.cake.co domains allowed (green squares), but I'm blocking the googletagmanager one (red square). imgix is allowed to display images, but if it tried to use scripts or cookies they'd be blocked, and so on.

    • I have to confess that in my long history of working in Internet companies, it feels a lot like working in a food company that makes cereals: many consumers say they want less added sugar and most would agree with the sentiment. But what they actually buy, and therefore what the stores will actually place on the shelves, are heavily sweetened cereals.

      In my opinion, it's really hard to build a service that becomes popular without all the little touches you can add with JavaScript that most consumers have come to expect.

    • There is the browser that comes with Tor which is pretty locked down, so not much stuff works as intended. Or, a text based browser.

      Of course these are two extreme examples.

    • But what they actually buy, and therefore what the stores will actually place on the shelves, are heavily sweetened cereals.

      I wonder why is it, embracing something as a surrender to comfort v.s. rigorousness, or just simple lack of awareness?

    • There was a fascinating talk about this by a psychology professor at Stanford, who I heard speak last weekend. He gave a TED talk about it that got 13 million views.

      He said most people know but try to use self-discipline to resist. It’s exhausting and ineffective.

      Curiosity is the far more effective thing. Curiosity about sugar, its health effects, how much is added, what it does to cognition, energy levels, etc. The more curious you become, the more you know, the less likely you are to indulge.

    • Oh man... I cured myself of this particular windmill-tilting affliction right about the time web pages started to incorporate video and sound. :-)

      Nowadays I say let them do what they like, and vote with your visits (or lack thereof). Insisting on web being a collection of static, dumb HTML is about as practical as trying to prevent your OS from making network requests that you don't know about and did not approve of (spent an inordinate amount of time on that, too!). That ship has sailed, case is closed, point is moot. Web pages are programs that you download into a particular sandbox (your browser) and interact with them there. You may want it to be otherwise, but it is not. Best you can do is accept that and act accordingly.

    • Knowing Brent Simmons and his years of experience, I am certain that he was not arguing for static HTML. Mr. Simmons has no objections to dynamic content. In fact, in the article he makes reference to an ad serving mechanism that is server side as being a better solution.