AnonymousComrade writes: "In today's Newsbytes, there is an article about MediaBEAM GmbH, a German company that say they have developed Web server software that can detect whether a home browser is blocking banner ads or pop-ups. If the Web server detects blocking software, a message appears on the screen advising the 'free-loading' surfer that he has two choices if he wants access to the Web site's content: pay for it or be exposed to the ads. This sounds strange to me. Can they really include something in the download (Java or JS, I assume) that detects whether an ad picture has been downloaded or not? What if you have blocking S/W that not just blocks the download of the ad picture, but also modifies the HTML on-the-fly (a la the Proxomitron). Can they really distinguish this from a remote ad server that just isn't responding? And how long will it take before ad blocking S/W is updated to block this blocking-detection mechanism?"