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If I couldn't use AdBlock, NoScript, & FlashBlock I'd probably switch to Linux on a spare laptop for browsing the internet and just use my Windows desktop for gaming.
I uh..hacked a computer network..
2. Install Ad Block Plus
3. Install NoScript
4. Install FlashBlock
With APB, NS and FB I rarely almost if ever get any ad's on a webpage, and thanks to FB Flash only loads when I want it to, even on popular flash based sites like Youtube. NoScript will stop a lot of spyware and java based popups that get around Firefox's built in popup blocker. Chrome has it's own version of ABP but you may have to search around for variants of NoScript and Flashblock.
It depends upon what you mean by "necessary to have physical access to equipment". I was recently laid off from a technical support call center for a large voip provider. We had a work at home program for a certain percentage of employees. In theory it works out fine as you say but that is just that, in theory. The huge hurdle is successfully getting it to work on a technical scale, or at least it was for us. Most of the time a large percentage of folks working at home either had issues staying connected to our VPN, or actual PC problems. Since our company provided the PC's there was nothing a work at home employee could do if something went wrong. If your PC had technical issues, one of our IT gurus couldn't remote in and just fix it, the employee would be required to physically come into the office with that PC, within 30-45 minutes of when it stopped working (if you were late that meant some form of punishment against you, but that is another issue).
And each employee at home, had to provide their own ISP service. So all the ones having issues connecting to the VPN, it wasn't just on one local ISP, it was across half a dozen or more. Either you couldn't connect at all to the VPN or so much packet loss would have you drop off in the middle of work. The office and VPN only existed on a rather bare bones T1 line, that was shared between a thousand or more employees on site, and all the ones working at home as well. Maybe it was just this company and it's own technical issues but working from home does not always work out. Sometimes there is just not a technical infrastructure there to sustain it on the company end, whether it's hardware issues with the PC's or connection issues with the employees trying to remote in, it doesn't always work out. Thankfully I never worked from home and every time it was offered to me I declined, if I accepted it I would have spent most of my time requesting PC repair from the woefully under cared PC's they had or banging my head against the wall hoping the VPN would connect (if not I'd have to juggle interstate traffic to get there within the 45 required minutes if I could not log in).
Degrees are nothing but a racket created by what passes for an educational system in America. Life isn't about what you know or how good you do something but how many fancy pieces of paper with your name on them you grinded out. It's like an MMORPG.. but with paper. Spend X years getting Degree Y, earn awesome Reward Z