The Future of the Web is VNC

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Many gallons of digital ink spilled at Google's plans for "Web Environment Integrity" which - depending on who you believe - is either an entirely reasonable proposal to protect users or a devious plan to add DRM to the entire web.

(It's the latter, obviously.)

We'll never know exactly whether users want this because Google is pathologically adverse to performing or publishing user research.

Anyway, I have a solution to all of Google's problems. Forget this notion of untrusted "user agents" executing code on untrustworthy computers. I have a foolproof way of getting pixel-perfect rendering on every device. It also stops scraping. And, as a little side effect, completely defeats ad blocking.

It's VNC.

This takes "Server Side Rendering" to the extreme. Render exactly how you want the page to look and then stream it over a remote framebuffer protocol. Users get to see exactly what you want them to see - ads included!

Just imagine the possibilities. No more worrying about which browser is being used - render everything through Chrome and stream to everyone!

Users simply can't alter the content they see - which keeps them safe from hackers, and protects your advertising revenue.

Low bandwidth? VNC will simply degrade the quality of what you see. Look, do you really want poor people viewing your expensive website?

Those naughty hackers won't be able to copy and paste your content - the trusted VNC viewer simply won't let them.

Want to track users across multiple sites? Might be tricky. Just route all your content through Google's AMP VNC service!

...ugh... I've reinvented Opera Mini and given myself a sad.

There are so many decent people working at Google. And all the good they're trying to do is being drowned out by mediocre and mendacious crap like this. Google desperately needs to be broken up. It's simply untenable to have the largest browser in the hands of the largest web advertising firm. Android isn't safe with a firm which priorities their advertisers' needs over their customers' needs.

The thing is, this is coming. There is literally nothing you can do to stop it. Your protests are meaningless next to the desire for some people at Google to sanitise the web.

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10 thoughts on “The Future of the Web is VNC

  1. Joker_vD says:

    I've reinvented Opera Mini

    That's one way to put it. Another one is that you've reinvented Google Stadia but for web-browsing. So even though the original proposal sounds ridiculous, I'm pretty sure Google actually has enough of hardware to pull it off with not much hassle. It absolutely can stream web-pages to the ChromeVNC's users in full HD.

  2. mike says:

    The vast majority of users have nowhere near the technical literacy needed to understand what Google is proposing and any user research Google did would doubtless show that the majority of users are in favour of the proposal, as Sir Humphrey Appleby demonstrates

    I'd copy/paste the content out of the Google VNC session by taking a photo of it and then having Google Lens extract the text. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Alexandro Sanchez Bach says:

    Next stage would be browser extensions with AI models trained to detect ads, inspecting the framebuffer in real-time and erasing them.

    PS: I'm aware that's not the point of this post. Just a fun thought. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. @Edent Topics seems another technology that came about because and advertising company owns a browser

    Why would I ever want a site to have any idea of the other types of sites I browse?

  5. trigglux says:

    This is an awesome idea! \o/ I was advocating for this two years ago. Check out the long list of benefits of using VNC over Web:

    Later on I built a remote desktop and used VNC + PulseAudio on it, over OpenVPN. I watched YouTube videos without any problems. If not for the bills from AWS for the remote desktop server, I'd still be doing it (maybe I should use a cheaper provider?). I also made a three-part guide on how to do this published on the same Locals above that I sadly made subscriber-only and can't undo now. ๐Ÿ™ No matter, I'll repost it elsewhere and post a link here. Check back here in up to a week. (BTW, @Edent (Terence), if you'd like to republish it yourself, I'm OK with that - just shoot me an email associated with this comment and I'll send you the texts.)

    Let's get this started! \o/ xD Initial testing by hackers using remote desktops, then maturation of a comprehensive protocol that is supposed to be VNC+audio over TLS and an optional bulk data channel - ONLY FOR BIG FILE DOWNLOADS/UPLOADS. Really, the only thing missing from VNC is synchronized audio. Once the protocol matures (late 2024), we get some influencers to promote it. By 2030 we should be having panels/cyberpanels/screampanels without tracking instead of bloated Web 2.0 with all the tracking imaginable. Web 1.0 can be retained for those few people that actually collaborate (as in, use the Web for it's intended purpose).

  6. Swapnil Bhatia says:

    I had this idea ~2002 and I told this to a group (herd?) of MSFT engineers at a conference. They asked me a lot of questions and seemed excited. The next time I thought of it was when I heard of Citrix which I believe had a product which allowed you to stream any application on any device. Then, I heard Frame (or was it Frame2? Or was it called Terminal? Anyway, some company named like that) did this. And most recently, a startup called Mighty (now pivoted?) tried to do something similar but for performance reasons. It's not a bad idea and is probably the inevitable future of a "consumer" cloud. Security is just one benefit, I believe the thin client architecture has a host of other benefits.


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