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The Return Of The Pop-Up Ad 1129

Posted by timothy
from the open-in-tab-is-a-nice-sidestep dept.
SYFer writes "Shortly after upgrading my Macs to OS X 10.3.8, I noticed that I was getting pop-up ads on Safari. It had been so long since I'd seen a pop-up, I completely forgotten how annoying they can be. I went over to Apple's Support site to see if there was a relationship, but learned that the timing is just a coincidence (even though there's a lot of the usual FUD and flailing of arms in the discussion forums). In fact, it turns out that the pop-up advertisers (what's the proper denigrating term here?) have finally defeated the pop-up blocking functionality found in many browsers. MacFixIt is running a front page article on the topic and says 'Contrary to initial reports, this problem isn't limited to Safari; subsequent reports have noted pop-under ads victimizing a number of browsers that provide pop-up-blocking features, including the latest versions of Safari, FireFox, Mozilla, OmniWeb, and Camino.'"
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The Return Of The Pop-Up Ad

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  • by aichpvee (631243) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:47PM (#11731950) Journal
    I've been coming across popup ads in firefox even with popup blocking on for a couple of months now, though luckily not too many.
    • by Hes Nikke (237581) <{moc.etantog} {ta} {todhsals}> on Monday February 21, 2005 @01:35AM (#11733519) Journal
      i've been deleting [forgottennewbies.com] bookmarks [forgottennewbies.com] for sites that i used to regularly visit since september because of this "problem".

      I'm vocal about it (see above) to convince people to stop viewing the sites that are infested with popups. It's the only way to resolve the problem - if a site endorses popups, they may get a short term boost in earnings, but they get a long term reduction in eyeballs, and in turn a reduction in earnings.

      BOYCOT THE POPUP INFESTED SITES!
  • Well then... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:48PM (#11731954) Homepage
    ...it's time for the return of my shotgun to active duty.

    I tolerate text ads because something has to pay for the web, but popups and other abusive ads (like the huge flash ads in the slashdot TEXT ONLY service) just get blocked. The fuckwits deserve not to get any ad revenue for pulling stupid tricks like that.
    • by MutantHamster (816782) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:54PM (#11732018) Homepage
      What good is a shotgun going to do? What are you going to do? Keep a log of all of the sites that use pop-ups, looks up who's personally responsible and then track them down by yourself in a vigilante style vendetta killing spree?

      I'm coming too. I'll go get my shotgun.

  • Science Blog (Score:3, Informative)

    by UID1000000 (768677) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:48PM (#11731956) Homepage Journal
    I've had this trouble too just recently. I get one off and on at this site: http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/index.php.

    Call me crazy (ok don't) but I thought I had spyware. I certainly don't. I'm running Firefox 1.0.

    Hopefully they don't catch on too quick.
    • Re:Science Blog (Score:5, Informative)

      by servoled (174239) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:01PM (#11732100)
      Pop-up free for me, but adblock did block two javascript items which is probably why. With a combination of adblock [mozdev.org] and userContent.css [gozer.org] in firefox I'm still pop-up ad free.

      You might want to try something similar. If things get really desparate, using an blocking HOSTS [mvps.org] file can help as well.
    • Re:Science Blog (Score:5, Informative)

      by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:08PM (#11732152) Homepage
      I just tried that URL but don't see any pop ups. I'm also running Firefox 1.0 on Xandros.

      In the arms race between pop ups and browser, I'll put my money on the Firefox team. There's no way to win the pop up battle against open source. Against MSFT, certainly. They develop at the speed of glacier.

      I'm guessing the first couple pop ups the Firefox developers see they'll be writing a fix.

    • Re:Science Blog (Score:5, Informative)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:02PM (#11732596) Homepage
      Wow. Kind of weird. Firefox says the add was blocked. After a little while though, it pops under. I've never seen this before, so I decided to investigate. Seems it pulls some javascript file from some other domain. Fastclick.net in this case. Is there a tool that blocks the site from bringing scripts in from other domains? Like blocking images from other domains? This would probably stop a lot of the problems.
      • Re:Science Blog (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:12PM (#11732655) Homepage
        Not to reply to myself, but, after further investigation, I have some more info. The script that it links to has a function called ffPop, which probably stands for firefox popup. This function does a document.write of an embed tag pointing to a swf file. http://cdn.fastclick.net/fastclick.net/ffp.swf That file, when loaded, will make firefox have a popup window. Maybe this will lead to having these popups blocked in future versions of firefox
  • by calebtucker (691882) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:49PM (#11731962) Journal
    So do those X10 camera ads still exist? I know they used to annoy the heck out of me, but it's been at least 2 years since I've seen one of those ads. I hope they don't come back.
  • by isecore (132059) <isecore@isecore.GINSBERGnet minus poet> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:49PM (#11731963) Homepage
    it turns out that the pop-up advertisers (what's the proper denigrating term here?)

    Poppers? Plippers? Flippers? Flappers? Wippers? Snappers?

    Sorry, kinda high on Red Bull right now.
  • Oh man... (Score:5, Funny)

    by FireballX301 (766274) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:49PM (#11731964) Journal
    ...am I lucky.

    Lynx is, and continues to be, the ultimate browser for ad-less internet browsing.

    Take that, 21st century!
    • by useosx (693652) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:12PM (#11732171)
      You know what the ultimate crime is? Naming a god damn web browser "links." Do you have any idea how hard it is to find info on the links browser?

      Does anyone know if there some way I can get lynx or links to log into my US Robotics router? It uses standard home router authentication. But neither lynx nor links will work.

      I'd try elinks but I can't find a Darwin binary and I don't have dev tools installed.
    • by sahonen (680948)
      You still get ads on Google.
  • by IO ERROR (128968) * <<error> <at> <ioerror.us>> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:50PM (#11731967) Homepage Journal
    Hm, Firefox's built-in pop-up blocking hasn't yet failed to block a pop-up ad, and the Adblock extension has gotten all the rest, once the offending sites were added to its blacklist. I rarely see an ad anymore, of any type, unless I'm looking for it.

    In any event, it's going to be something of an arms race between advertisers and pop-up blockers. Ideally, these jerkwad marketers should realize that people using pop-up blockers do not want to see their ads and display them to someone else who does want to see them. If they can find anyone like that.

    • It's failed for me. I've seen a few popups in Firefox (and Safari) this week, for the first time since I've used those browsers. Fortunately, Adblock sometimes keeps the messages from appearing, so all I get is a blank window. But it's still annoying.

      Anxiously awaiting a fix.
    • People who state that they don't want to see ads are traditionally considered to be the most profitable to advertise too. The logic has been that the person attempts to avoid being sold something because he/she KNOWS that they're too weak to say no to a good sell. The same logic, theoretically, holds true for people blocking web ads... hence the effort to get around pop-up and ad blockers.

      The being said, I love my pop-up and ad blocking.
    • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:26PM (#11732294) Homepage Journal
      No, you just don't go to the right sites to see this shit. Try going to http://www.spacedaily.com/ [spacedaily.com] and observe absolute insane shit that FireFox still allows random web sites to do.
    • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:00PM (#11732577)
      Ideally, these jerkwad marketers should realize that people using pop-up blockers do not want to see their ads

      They do not care. The people putting up those ads are not the same people sellling you the piece of crap. The marketers, be it a division within, or a separate company, sells your eyeballs to the retailer/manufacturer. They don't care if you personally want the piece of junk or not. What matters is that you saw it. And they can sell that to someone.

      One day, we will all realize that for a large segment of the industry, we are not the consumer. We are the product. The are selling your eyes/ears/minds/personal info. Every day, all day.

    • by tiltowait (306189) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:52PM (#11732930) Homepage Journal
      > people using pop-up blockers do not want to see their ads

      Advertisers don't give a damn about that.

      They know that some of those people -- admittedly a minute percentage, but in a game of millions a 0.1% click-and-buy rate can make you rich -- do not maintain the minimal essential commitment of an online citizen and refuse to ever buy something as a result of invasive, unsolicited advertising.

      This is also the reason the telemarketing associations oppose the "Do Not Call" lists. They know that a portion of the people on these lists can still be persuaded to buy things from them.
    • by miu (626917) on Monday February 21, 2005 @01:15AM (#11733360) Homepage Journal
      I was interested enough in the spammer/pop-up advertiser mindset to read some of their drivel once... Their justification for attempting to defeat blocking is that ISPs and browser developers are making a choice for consumers (to block ads) without letting the consumer make a choice to do it themselves.

      A silly bit of sophistry, but they can get really worked up about it. If you have a high resistance to righteous anger then follow one of their forums for a couple days to get some insight into how they think.

  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TWX (665546) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:50PM (#11731971)
    I haven't had any popup ad troubles yet (Mozilla on Linux/x86) but the first time I tried to click on the "Read More" link below the story from Slashdot's main page, the web browser spontaneously closed itself. Interesting feature...
  • How it mostly works (Score:5, Informative)

    by BWS (104239) <swang@cs.dal.ca> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:50PM (#11731978)
    Fundamentally, most browsers allows popup if it is cuased by a click. (eg, you click on a link and a popup window occurs).. So what they have done is figured around that. They wrap all links around javascript calls, it changes your current page to the new destination and popups up a new window (that's an ad). Here's some code I did that popups up 5 windows in Firefox..
    <html>
    <head>
    <title>Test Page</title>
    <script type="text/javascript">
    function goLink(t1, t2){
    window.open(t1, "pop1", "name=a1,width=400,height=400,left=10,top=10");
    window.open(t1, "pop2", "name=a2,width=400,height=400,left=40,top=40");
    window.open(t1, "pop3", "name=a3,width=400,height=400,left=70,top=70");
    window.open(t1, "pop4", "name=a4,width=400,height=400,left=100,top=100");
    window.open(t1, "pop5", "name=a5,width=400,height=400,left=130,top=130");
    window.location = t2;
    }
    </script>
    </head>
    <body>

    <A HREF="javascript:goLink('http://www.google.com','h ttp://www.fark.com')">Go TO Fark.com</A>
    </body>
    </html>
    • by BWS (104239) <swang@cs.dal.ca> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:53PM (#11732009)
      mistake in the code

      the HREF line should read
      <A HREF="javascript:goLink('http://www.google.com','h ttp://www.fark.com')">Go TO Fark.com</A>
      basically, produces popups whenver you click on a link
    • by querencia (625880) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:27PM (#11732775)
      Here's another one: note how they split the string in the "write" call up so that the browser can't detect the javascript just by examining the original script:

      <!-- FASTCLICK.COM POP-UNDER CODE v1.8 for spacedaily.com (12 hour) -->
      <script language="javascript"><!--
      var dc=document; var date_ob=new Date();
      dc.cookie='h2=o; path=/;';var bust=date_ob.getSeconds();
      if(dc.cookie.indexOf(' e=llo') <= 0 && dc.cookie.indexOf('2=o') > 0){
      dc.write('<scr'+'ipt language="javascript" src="http://media.fastclick.net');
      dc.write('/w/p op.cgi?sid=8288&m=2&tp=2&v=1.8&c='+bust+'"></scr'+ 'ipt>');
      date_ob.setTime(date_ob.getTime()+432000 00);
      dc.cookie='he=llo; path=/; expires='+ date_ob.toGMTString();} // -->
      </script>
      <!-- FASTCLICK.COM POP-UNDER CODE v1.8 for spacedaily.com -->
    • by orthogonal (588627) on Monday February 21, 2005 @05:40AM (#11734433) Journal
      Proxomitron regexes can be written to get around this.

      While I don't have one that does exactly this, I do have one for the more common "send the real url as a GET parameter" -- Fark.com and yahoo.com like to do this. An example from fark:

      http://go.fark.com/cgi/fark/go.pl?
      IDLink=13658 27&location=http%3A%2F%2Fnypost.com%2F news%2Fregionalnews%2F40168.htm

      So rather than go directly to the NYPost, you hit Fark first, and Fark get to tell its advertisers, look at all the clicks on our links. It also means most clicks take a good long time, to hit fark and be redirected.

      The Proxomitron regex not only makes the url the real url, it adds an "[orig]" link in a small red font, just in case it really is necessary (as on Yahoo) to go via the redirecting link.
      Here's the regex:
      Match: <a (*href=)\0("|)\1(*(/|\?)*)\2(('|)http(%3A|:)(%2F|/ )+)\3([^&;=>"*]+)\4\5("|)>
      Replace: <a \0\1\2\3\4\5\1><font size=1 color=red>[orig]</font></a>\r\n
      <a $UESC(\0\1\3\4\1)>
      The nice thing about Proxomitron is that I not only don't get pop-ups, I also don't even get many embedded adds.

      For example: on Washingtonpost.com's front page, I see only text adds. Bypassing Proxomitron (it's done with a bookmark) shows me three additional ads in Firefox, but even bypassed I don't see many, as I have a second proxy behind Proxomitron to filter out the "always bad" sites like doubleclick.

      From where I sit, the web is a calm place with no pop-ups, no annoying ads, no distractions.
  • Why??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Avenger337 (840754) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:51PM (#11731982)
    Why do advertisers/companies think that annoying the hell out of people is a good way to make money?????
  • pop-unders? yeah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ALpaca2500 (125123) * on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:51PM (#11731983) Homepage
    the macfixit article mentions that these are pop-under ads. i definitely have noticed a few of these in the past week, using firefox on windows...

    it really confused me, since like the submitter, i havent really seen anything like it for over a year...
  • by saihung (19097) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:51PM (#11731985)
    while browsing macslash.org, oddly enough. Fortunately there's nothing really interesting enough to justify the annoyance. The best way to fight this is to stop using pages that have these, and to let the owners know why you're not giving them your eyeballs any more. Scratch that, the BEST way is to find out what's powering these new ads and kill it on the browser. Ad arms race (again), here we come!
  • by Stealth Potato (619366) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:51PM (#11731987)
    We go through all this trouble to block pop-up ads, and they come up with some way to cram them through our browsers anyway. What's the point? Do they really think I'm going to buy anything from them, when it was me who installed an alternate browser/pop-blocker add-on so I'd never ever have to come into contact them in the first place?

    It's sorta like this:

    "SCREW YOU, POPUP-BLOCKING BASTARD!! Now buy our cheap cameras.

    ...Please?"

    Hmm...

  • Drudge (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jimmyCarter (56088) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:51PM (#11731996) Journal
    Drudgereport [drudgereport.com] seems to pop for me on Firefox all of a sudden. It just started happening w/in the last week.
  • Adaptation (Score:5, Funny)

    by Elpacoloco (69306) <elpacoloco AT dslextreme DOT com> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:54PM (#11732017) Journal
    So....how long before firefox develops a popup blocker blocker blocker?

    I think I just confused myself. Yikes.
  • Adblock and Firefox (Score:5, Informative)

    by MightyPez (734706) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:54PM (#11732023)
    Lately I've been hearing complaints by people using Firefox of some sites having pop-ups come up again. The biggest complaint coming from people that visit The Drudge Report [drudgereport.com]. I too have seen them.

    However, ever since I started using the Adblock [mozdev.org] extension, as well as keeping an updated list of definitons [geocities.com], I haven't had these problems lately.
  • by FunWithHeadlines (644929) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:55PM (#11732036) Homepage
    How clueless must advertising executives be? Serious question, so if anyone reading this works in advertsing, would you please explain this to me:

    How does defeating a measure designed to block your ads make good business sense? Does forcing your ads upon someone known to hate your approach produce good results? Does irritation equal a higher rate of return because people who hate your ads see them and have a change of heart? Do they say, "Hey, I had no idea those hateful ads were so interesting and useful to me. I think I'll buy their product."

    Cuz my instinct is that when a person takes active efforts to banish you from their lives, forcing your way into their living rooms isn't a cost-effective approach. But hey, I don't work in advertising, as anyone who reads my About page on the headlines site knows. I like advertising in its place, but c'mon, if I kick you out of my house, stay there, please.

    • if I kick you out of my house, stay there, please.

      So Popup Ads are like Jehovah Witnesses?
    • by miyako (632510) <miyako AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:13PM (#11732186) Homepage Journal
      I don't work in advertising, but I would like to venture a guess.
      People on average are stupid bumbling idiots that want life to be as easy as possible, even if it means sacrificing their ideals.
      The end result of this is that most people see a popup for, say, brand X of a digital camera. Later, when they are trying to decide on a digital camera, they remember brand X, they don't remember where they remember it from, but because they've seen the popup so many times, they remember it, and are therefore more likely to buy Brand X of digital camera.
      Compounding this is the fact that even if they remember seing a popup for brand X of digital camera, if they want a digital camera, they aren't going to be thinking, or care about "if I buy brand X of camera, that means I'm supporting popups".
      Same with websites that have popups, most people hate them, but when it comes down to it, it's easier for them to put up with the popups than to deny themselves of free flash greeting cards to spam their friends with or whateve else they may happen to be browsing.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:14PM (#11732198)
      Very simple explanation:

      A lot of technically unsavvy people have their computers configured for them by technically savvy relatives (cousins, nephews, neighbor's kids, etc...). These folks are a desirable audience for the advertising industry and so getting around the blocks is a good way to get at them.
    • by AbbyNormal (216235) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:19PM (#11732235) Homepage
      "How does defeating a measure designed to block your ads make good business sense?"

      Uhm, How about SPAM? All it takes is one click to make it worth it to them.
  • by DeadScreenSky (666442) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @09:56PM (#11732042)
    The Internet ad industry is causing an arms-race they won't be able to win. If the increasingly popular pop-up (or pop-under really in this case) blockers start getting defeated, that is just going to force the average browser user to start using a custom Hosts file of some kind to block nearly all ads [google.com]. There isn't too much the ad industry can do about that, IMO, with the possible exception of making the ads come from the same server as the content. This will be okay for some sites, but I can't imagine too many people will want to give up that much control over their sites.

    (But maybe that control is the ultimate plan of the ad industry - it would really make things easier on them...)
  • by Linuxathome (242573) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:08PM (#11732149) Homepage Journal
    I've also recently encountered more pop-ups in Mozilla and at first attributed it to the Macromedia Flash plugin. The following page from Hindustan Times (often linked from news.google.com) puts up a pop-up ad that is quite effective -- centered and blocks most of the content such that you have to move it or click it or close it (no chance to have it pop-under). See it/slashdot it here:

    Gurinder Chadha believes Austen was a Punjabi in her previous birth! [hindustantimes.com]
  • Macslash had this... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by paulthomas (685756) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:12PM (#11732177) Journal
    until users complained.

    I sent them a brief email:
    Hi, I was disappointed to find that you are running advertisements that intentionally circumvent the settings of the user. I will not be browsing to your site again until you remove the annoying onclick() popups. You should share with your advertisers that people who see these ads are even more pissed about them than regular popups. I don't mind advertising, but I like to be in control of my computer. Opening new windows is not something I want someone doing from a web site unless I request it. And if I specifically make efforts to prevent someone from doing this and they maneuver around it, it is even more frustrating. Entirely unscrupulous and I am sincerely disappointed. Regards, Paul
    I received an email from them soon after that they had sent to their advertising partner, TribalFusion:
    Hi. I want to express my anger at the recent changes with your popunder ad technology. It is infuriating to both my readers and to me that you would write ads that do not respect browser pop-up blocking preferences. Just because you're able to fool Safari and Mozilla-based browsers into displaying pop-under advertisements does not mean that you should. In fact, it's among the most unethical thing I've seen by internet ad companies. The reason I allowed pop-unders on the site to begin with was because there was an easy way for readers to "opt-out" of seeing them by using browsers that they could enable pop up blocking with. After four great years of working with TF, that you would go to such lengths to subvert my reader's wishes tarnishes Tribal Fusion's image in my mind is disturbing. I've heard from 20 long-time readers just this week telling me they will no longer visit MacSlash because of these ads. Why on earth would you go to such lengths to antagonize my readers? It's unacceptable. Dismayed, Ben Stanfield Executive Editor, MacSlash


    Needless to say, I was very impressed, am browsing Macslash again, and have yet to see any more of these pop-ups.

    -Paul
    • by dr00g911 (531736) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:25AM (#11733133)
      I got tired of dealing with the pop-up-blocking arms race several months ago and just decided to start filtering pretty much all advertising, full-stop.

      There's a wonderful little extension for Safari called Pith Helmet [culater.net] that does a fair amount of adblock filtering, blacklisted hosts and some other voodoo. I can't remember ever seeing it 'break' a site or the design of a site: even ones using crazy CSS tricks to get revenge on those of us with adblockers. Combined with Safari's built-in popup blocking, I've yet to see the problem everyone has been metioning. There's a possibility that the ad servers responsible are in my blacklist.

      PithHelmet is an extended site preferences and ad blocking plugin for Apple's Safari browser. The basic purpose of the plugin is to empower you the user to view the web as you like. You can block ad images, Flash, Shockwave or horrible midi loops - the world is your oyster.

      This is just a series of hacks on top of Apple's WebKit framework, but it seems to work rather effectively.

      Due to the manner in which PithHelmet blocks ad content, most types of advertising content can be caught in the filter - this includes images, javascript, css, text, iframes, popups and popunders.


      At first I felt guilty for blocking all ads, even good-faith, not-horribly-annoying ones like on /. Then I realized than I could relax the filter on sites that I felt weren't doing any harm, and were using not-horribly-sleazy ad placing services, which I've been happily doing ever since.

      God help you if you've got Flash, Shockwave or Java ads, though. All I see is a big white hole in the page.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:14PM (#11732195) Homepage
    A not-terribly-computer-savvy friend of mine is having problems with his AOL email.

    So I suggested he sign up for Yahoo mail, because all the people I know who use it find it perfectly satisfactory.

    He can't get signed up for Yahoo mail. I tried coaching him step by step over the phone. I can't be 100% certain of what's happening, but as I followed through the same steps on my own browser, he ran into troubles at exactly the point when Yahoo popped up a confirmation screen on my browser.

    I'm about 95% sure he has popup blocking enabled and that's what's preventing him from signing up with Yahoo.

    Of course, he doesn't know what a popup blocker is, or how to control it.

    So, these days there are probably users who are suffering both from the new popups and from incompatibilities caused by the use of popup blockers.
  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:39PM (#11732403) Homepage

    I'll second the recommendation of others here: block the ads at the DNS level. Windows users need to add entries to their local hosts file. Myself, running Unix at home, I use a three-step approach. First is a very small web "server" running on a scratch server. It's only job is to respond with a "404 Not Found" to any HTTP request (it does SSL and listens on ports 80 and 443). Second, I create a wildcard zone file for BIND that returns the address of my 404 server for any name in or below the zone's root. Third, I modify the named.conf file for the copy of BIND that serves my network, pointing each domain that's a problem (eg. "fastclick.net", "doubleclick.net") to the wildcard zone. Presto, as far as everything on my LAN's concerned any hosts in or under the domains I list now belong to me and my 404 server, not the companies who registered them. This can obviously be worked around by using IP addresses instead of hostnames in URLs in the ad HTML/JS, but nobody's doing that yet and if they do I can deal with it with some appropriate IP-level redirect rules in my firewall.

    Advice to obnoxious advertisers: we control the clients, not you. If we don't like what you're doing, we'll do something about it. If you make it too hard to do something about it and won't change your ways, we can make you cease to exist. And with a Linksys router with custom firmware and configuration the non-geeks can get a turnkey solution too.

  • Solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by brsmith4 (567390) <brsmith4@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:42PM (#11732428)
    A solution to this is to install the AdBlock [mozdev.org] extension for Mozilla/Firefox. Once you've done this, grab this list [process-of...nation.net] of search strings. Once you've done this, import the text file and you should be home free. Try to keep that file updated as it should be a good starting-off point, but will become outdated as time goes by.
  • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:43PM (#11732444)
    I haven't tried this with the specific examples referenced here, but it ought to work in general in Firefox and other *zilla browsers.

    1) Type about:config in the URL bar
    2) find dom.popup_allowed_events
    3) change the value to the empty string

    Now no events allow popups by default. That means if you want to let a site pop up a window from Javascript you will have to whitelist it.

    This blocked the popups on drudgereport.com for me when I tried it a few months back. I don't leave this setting on, for now, since I prefer to choose not to frequent sites that maliciously abuse me with ads. However, if it starts to become a regular nuisance, I will set Firefox back to this aggressive anti-popup setting. After all, nobody really NEEDS to use Javascript popup windows, and if I can see where a legitimate site is trying to do so, it only takes a few seconds to whitelist them in FF's popup blocker.
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:47PM (#11732474)
    1. Get an old POS PC from a trashpile
    2. Install Smoothwall [smoothwall.org] on it. It's free..
    3. Install Ad Zapper following THESE [martybugs.net] directions.

    Any and ALL system that you connect into your lan will have ads blocked whether they want to or not.
  • by Bruha (412869) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:30AM (#11733158) Homepage Journal
    In the back of my mind I keep thinking there was a law on the books about people taking control of a computer without the users consent. Now it seems to me that circumventing a pop up blocker to open a new window violates this law and the advertiser and possibly the website could be held liable.

    I know this law is on the books maybe someone could point it out.
  • Code example (Score:5, Informative)

    by theolein (316044) on Monday February 21, 2005 @04:07AM (#11734107) Journal
    I too noticed this, but contrary to most, realised that they must simply be doing what has been possible for a long time but which no one had really bothered with, with the exception of porn sites and other spyware "value adders", until now.

    Basically, it just uses the age old technique of using the document.write method, but obfuscated, to write other, obfuscated tags which are not recognized by the blocker as being new script tags, which themselves call a new obfuscated pop.js code that actually, in yet another round of obfuscation, produces the actual pop-under code: In essence, if one can block any request for the server of the obfuscated pop.js, or pop.cgi or whatever code, one will be in peace for a while. This can be done via adding the following lines to the hosts file on Windows (C:Windows(or WinNT)\System32\drivers\etc\HOSTS) or on Linux or MacOSX (/etc/hosts) or simply via your firewall software, which I'm sure we all use, don't we?

    127.0.0.1 www.fastclick.net
    127.0.0.1 media.fastclick.net

    I have the code from the above server, as used by scienceblog.com, but I won't post it, as it's copyrighted, because the last thing I want is some internet low life trying to sue me for their own low life purposes.
  • by Val314 (219766) on Monday February 21, 2005 @05:09AM (#11734329)
    if you see PopUps in Firefox, please file them here : https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=25383 1 (no link, Bugzilla doesnt like /. links)

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