For the past week or so, I’m experiencing a sensible slowness in my browsing experience: recently I often don’t manage to open Google maps, and at the same time some other websites, having -theoretically- nothing whatsoever to do with Google, slow down to a crawl. What the hell’s going on?, said I to myself.
Then, I noticed that, when browsing these “suddenly slow” websites, the status bar got stuck with a message saying something like “waiting for maps.gstatic.com”; and this is the hint that put me on the right track. Hmm…, thought I, that “g” in “gstatic” is very suspicious. Hang me if it doesn’t belong to Google. So I checked it down and, in effect, it does: gstatic.com is Google. Now, connecting both facts (maps.google.com being very slow, and maps.gstatic.com slowing down some websites) was easy: whenever Google servers, for whatever reason, become slow, any other website running scripts that involve these servers becomes also slow.
But what on earth is gstatic.com, and what has it (therefore Google) to do with certain websites? After doing some research, I concluded that this annoying gstatic.com thing is, among other uses, just one more controlling tool by Google. (For other example, check this post: Google Getting Greedier.) I’m very much afraid that Google is the greediest “creature” on the planet. They want to control about every single click you do, website you visit, email you send/receive, phonecall you make, contact you have, document you write, or anything you do in your life involving internet, computing or telecommunications.
And the truth is, if it didn’t slow down my browser, I wouldn’t care that much. I wouldn’t even have noticed. But Google has gone so far that now they’re directly bothering me, and I can’t stand it. I don’t want to be waiting for ten minutes (no exaggeration) to load a webpage which used to load in five seconds.
So, if you’re like me, I’ll tell you a workaround for this. I’m sure there must be some better ones, but this is the one I’m using, and it works. It’s quite simple: in your browser script settings, blacklist the whole gstatic.com domain or the offending subdomain (maps.gstatic.com, t1.gstatic.com, csi.gstatic.com, ssl.gstatic.com, whatever). I believe that IE, Opera and Chrome have built-in scripting preferences. As to Firefox or Seamonkey, you have to install some script blocking extension, for example “NoScript”. This particular one has no blacklist feature (which is a pity), but only whitelist. By default, it blocks all scripts. So, you can set it to allow scripts globally and then “forbid” the gstatic bunch.
Mark, though, that after blocking gstatic.com scripts, some websites might stop working, or have a limited functionality. So, you might need to temporarily unblock it.
Hope this has been of some help for you. If you have any questions, please post here or send me a personal mail.