If you regularly use the Chrome browser, you recently may have noticed that clicking on certain news links yields a site not found or similar message. Clicking the link one or two times more gets you to the site. This, at least in my experience and that of some other users, is a new phenomenon. It seems restricted to news sites that hold views not congenial to Google. Here I’m speculating without any real evidence other than limited personal observation. If there were truly something wrong with the wounded links clicking on them again should give the same result. So I’ll succumb to florid paranoia and invoke subtle censorship as the explanation for Chrome’s newfound impersonation of a ruptured duck. Besides a little paranoia add spice to the humdrum activities of daily living.

Regardless of explanation, Chrome’s performance has degraded over the past few months and I looked for a replacement. I tried Opera and Firefox for a while, but I was so used to Chrome’s features that I couldn’t get comfortable with them. They are fine browsers; the difficulty in getting used to them was the inability to adapt to something just slightly different on my part. I was looking for Chrome by another name.

A brief aside about internet browsers. The first one was Netscape. It revolutionized the internet. Microsoft which has grown to interstellar dimensions not by innovating, but rather by copying and improving came up with Internet Explorer and before too long Netscape was interstellar dust. Google which followed the same corporate path as Microsoft improved on IE with its Chrome browser which obliterated IE to the point where Microsoft gave up on it and developed Edge, which is a Chrome variant. Turnabout is unfair play.

Thus my browser paranoia caused me to try Edge. You might opine that moving from Engulf and Devour to Devour and Engulf would be like jumping from the frying pan into the frying pan, but so far Edge has the edge.

Most important, it doesn’t seem to censor my clicks. Every live link goes where it’s supposed to. And it seems very much like Chrome. Edge’s default search engine is Bing. I changed it to Duckgogo which works fine and claims not to track your activity. It takes all the extensions that Chrome accepts. You can even download them from the Google Play store. You have to make a few changes in the settings menus to accomplish these changes, but they’re easy to do. Essential extensions like LastPass or whatever password manager you use fit easily into Edge.

The logical question is have I accomplished anything or just let myself be manipulated once more by Big Tech? Like Chou En-lai’s comment on the significance of the French Revolution, it’s too soon to tell. But the change is harmless and offers a few minutes of diversion from the vicissitudes of internet sloth. Happy surfing.