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Netscape The Internet

No Pop-up Blocking in Netscape 7.0 575

jsled writes "C|Net /News.com article details how the forthcoming Netscape 7.0 will not include the nifty pop-up blocking sported in Mozilla, as AOL depends on pop-up ads for annoy^H^H^H^H^Hmarketing to their "valued" customers. The MozillaZine story and comments have a couple of extra, interesting points of detail: how to easily restore the functionality and how some sites get around the popup blocking." Update: 08/15 12:45 GMT by J : In related news, Doug Isenberg asks over on GigaLaw: Are Pop-Up Ads Illegal? The news publishers who say "yes" say that turning off graphics in your web browser should be illegal too.
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No Pop-up Blocking in Netscape 7.0

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  • the million dollar ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sketchkid ( 555690 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:41AM (#4074885) Homepage
    is there any real internet business model from the standpoint of a website that offers a service but not cult membership?
  • by edgrale ( 216858 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:43AM (#4074898)
    (Original) http://ufaq.org/files/adblocker.xpi

    Pleas post mirrors in this thread.
  • by tomRakewell ( 412572 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:47AM (#4074911)
    Install Mozilla.
  • by Valar ( 167606 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:49AM (#4074923)
    for those of you who have not heard this already. Don't like it? USE SOMETHING ELSE. Netscape can do whatever it wants with its software. Mind you, they might do something else if people quit using the software. So perhaps, instead of compaining that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, like it seems to do three times a day on slashdot, seek alternatives. Thank you.
  • Pop-Down (Score:4, Informative)

    by Devil's BSD ( 562630 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:51AM (#4074932) Homepage
    For those of you who use M$ Internal Exploder, Pop-Down [rr.com] is a nifty program. Relatively small memory footprint, a quick download, freeware. I use it on my computer-illiterate mom's p-120, and it works a whole lot better & faster than a lot of other programs that have to match the title bar with a database. This thing, although crude, lets you limit the number of windows. You also have to hold down CTRL when you want a new window to be formed. Worth a try, I use it.
  • by CySurflex ( 564206 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:52AM (#4074940)
    I recently switched to mozilla after using IE for quite a few years as my default browser. The pop-up blocker won me over.

    Being a web developer, this causes me to primarly develop with Mozilla, and then leave the other browser testing to the QA cycle. Ultimately this causes sites I develop to be "optomized for Mozilla", which in turn may cause more users to use Mozilla.

    So although currently the percentage of the userbase using Mozilla is low, I would guess that the percentage of web developers is much higher - meaning we are at the begining of a growth cycle.

    -CySurflex

    my dads web site.. [ddeonline.com]

    • by Hitokage_Nishino ( 182038 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:16AM (#4075025)
      Ideally, you shouldn't have to code for Mozilla, but rather the W3C specs. This would in turn help promote W3C conforming browsers, be it mozilla or something else.

      Everything isn't always the ideal though...
    • Meanwhile, back on Earth, where most users equate "the Internet" with that "e" icon on their desktop, web developers are forced to make _damn_ sure their sites display properly in IE as a first order of business, then spend a few hours tweaking everything to render properly in the lesser-used browsers, Mozilla being one of them.

      I sure wish things were the way you describe them, but I can pretty much guarantee that no one is going to install Mozilla because you or I or anyone optimized a site for it. If something appears broken in IE, then for all practical intents and purposes, it is broken, and you haven't done your job properly. If we could count on users to do what is best for them, IE never would've become dominant in the first place. Our strategy should be to make sites that don't require IE. Take down barriers to conversion, don't introduce them.

    • Galeon is even better in this area.

      Problem: The "no popups" feature needs to be turned off for some sites :-( Bringing up the prefs box each time you want to change the setting is a minor, but chronic pain.

      The Galeon developers recognized this fact and put a toggle for it in the toolbar. One quick gesture to enable/disable.

      Another nicety is "open popups in tabs". When javascript opens a new window, it just creates a new tab. There's also a setting for "jump to new tabs automatically".

      Allowing the popups to open in tabs, but not automatically switching to them can also be a nice way to browse. You'll notice the new tab appearing, but it won't obscure your current page of interest.

  • by madburn ( 35976 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:53AM (#4074943)
    Disabling JavaScript is the best solution.

    Ask yourself, what has JavaScript done to improve the web browsing experience? Sure rollovers are cute, but is it worth pop up ads and page trapping and filling your screen with full-size windows to a dozen pr0n sites?

    I wish browser makers would focus more on implementing useful things like CSS2. Browsers are for viewing content, not doing tricks.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Why disable all javascript when I can use Mozilla to selectively disable parts of it I do not like?

      Plus Mozilla supports a ton of CSS2, and using that, you can even create javascript-less rollovers on all sorts of elements (not just links!)
    • by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:28AM (#4075071) Homepage
      A great many websites do not function without it. In particular, forms no longer work. Many website also use those small (60x60 pixels or so) click-thru popups to provide instant help. Links in some website depend on javascript, which means that browsing around certain website becomes impossible with javascript disabled. And constant re-enabling/disabling makes it a pain in the ass to do. Summary - IE sucks the big one for pop-ups. You have to get a third party program, and from what I have seen, they aren't great either. So when I go to sites I suspect are going to bombard me with that stuff, I open up Moz. [But I generally stick to IE for the much, much faster instantiation time]
      • With QuickLaunch enabled, Mozilla launches just as fast as IE. Sure, it "cheats" and preloads a bunch of stuff... but that's what IE does anyway. :)

      • > A great many websites do not function without it. In particular, forms no longer work. ... Links in some website depend on javascript, which means that browsing around certain website becomes impossible with javascript disabled. And constant re-enabling/disabling makes it a pain in the ass to do.

        Agreed. Solution? I wish Moz would add per-site enabling/disabling of js, just as they do for cookies. If your parameters are set to call for it, prompt you the first time you visit the site and remember the answer thereafter.

      • by Galvatron ( 115029 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @05:28AM (#4075454)
        That's why I use mozilla and only disable unrequested popups. So it disables those popups that load when I open or close a page, but the popup graphs on CNN, for example (or the help popups you're talking about), will still load. Javascript is still running too. The only thing it nails are those ad popups, or the "localize CNN" popup that appeared every goddamn time I visited that site.
    • If you check the source Yahoo! Mail [yahoo.com], the login page uses JavaScript to hash your password to prevent your password being sent in plaintext. The hashing happens when the login form is submited.
      <script language=javascript>
      /*
      * A JavaScript implementation of the RSA Data Security, Inc. MD5 Message
      * Digest Algorithm, as defined in RFC 1321.
      * Copyright (C) Paul Johnston 1999 - 2000.
      * Updated by Greg Holt 2000 - 2001.
      * See http://pajhome.org.uk/site/legal.html for details.
      */
      • the login page uses JavaScript to hash your password to prevent your password being sent in plaintext. The hashing happens when the login form is submited.
        So? Isn't the plaintext of the hash sent? An attacker that can eavesdrop can then use a locally modified copy of the Yahoo Mail login page that allows him to enter the hash directly.

        The correct approach is to use SSL.

  • by ishmalius ( 153450 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:53AM (#4074944)
    NS7 will be able to block popups just the same. There just might not be a GUI for it! ;-0

    Just enter this line in the prefs.js file:

    user_pref("dom.disable_open_during_load", true);

    Fight the Man!

    Mozilla Power!

  • by LuxuryYacht ( 229372 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:54AM (#4074945) Homepage
    How to disable unrequested (pop-up/behind) windows:

    Add this line to your user.js or prefs.js:

    user_pref("dom.disable_open_during_load", true);

    OR

    Download the adblocker.xpi file.

    http://techaholic.net/adblocker.xpi

    When you download the adblocker.xpi file in Netscape 7, it will add .txt to the filename (adblocker.xpi.txt). Before saving the file, remove .txt from the filename and save the file to disk. Then in Netscape 7 click File | Open to install.

    In Netscape 7 click Edit | Preferences | Advanced - Scripts & Windows to unselect or select the Open unrequested windows.
  • Every time another window opens, another instance of the browser has to be launched which can result in an overload of resources to the machine.

    This link [absurd.org] is purely an educational tool, it will continually launch popups until your machine
    comes to a halt. Unless you're good with kill or task manager don't click it. A reboot and your machine will be fine.

    I think by law, ads should be rendered on the same page as the article and not in a popup or popunder window.

    Sites like slash should have a "Yellow Pages" of ads. I'd go browse a bunch of banners if they were presented like my yellow pages if I needed a service.

    Hmm, maybe we should ask Stallman if popups can be considered spam.

    • Umm... All I had to do was right click the taskbar button and select "Close." It didn't even slow my machine down. Damn that Windows XP!
      • Umm... All I had to do was right click the taskbar button and select "Close." It didn't even slow my machine down. Damn that Windows XP!
        Unless you're good with kill or task manager don't click it.

        Obviously you could handle it then. Try it on a 98 box.
    • think by law, ads should be rendered on the same page as the article and not in a popup or popunder window

      Forget the law. That's too slow, too ineffecient, and what you suggest is downright unconstitional. The easiest solution here would be a technical one - create browsers and browser standards that smack down ads like that. Why the f*** does any browser support unsoliciated pop-ups anyway? Quite frankly, I can't think of a single beneficial use of them (beneficial to the non-advertisers, that is)
    • This [acz.org] is better. This type of thing was known to crash Windows 95/98 machines.
  • by Alea ( 122080 )
    I like and use Mozilla, but do not use the popup blocking. If a site needs the revenue of popups and I don't value the site enough to tolerate them, I won't go there.

    What I worry about is that if too many people block popup, the sites will turn around and block that browser (i.e. Mozilla or modified Netscape 7.0).

    Of course, you could always hack Mozilla to pretend to be IE... :)

    Bottom line: Sites need revenue and will fight to get it. Think twice before blocking ads at a site you like.
    • Use proxomitron... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Critical_ ( 25211 )
      I use a program called Proxomitron. It is a proxy that sits on your own machine and basically filters webpages for pop-ups, javascript, ads, etc. there is no way around this method of blocking and it works great. The only site that gives mee problems is http://www.mail.com. What they have done is made it do that to navigate the site, you have to enable javascript. For sites like that, a simple window killer works fine.

      The thing that websites need to understand is that most of the web is "open-source". I don't mean that you can take whatever you want, but what I mean is that most of the website's code can be viewed. Those sites that use obnoxious java, flash, etc. types of stuff to close source their sites require a third party program (at least with the Sun Java client under windows I use) to be viewed. What do I do? I just disable that stuff, if I can't navigate the site, then I won't go there. The point of the open-source is that if my browser is going to do anything, I have the ultimate control since the code is run from my machine. To hell with pop-ups, pop-unders, javascript, flash, shockwave, etc. etc. etc.


    • Bottom line: Sites need revenue and will fight to get it. Think twice before blocking ads at a site you like.


      Here's another bottom line: if your revenue model upsets your customers, expect to loose revenue as customers go elsewhere or circumvent what annoys them.

      Hey. Even AOL is learning this bold new concept.
    • So? Hack your http header that identifies the browser.

      Oh, the site uses javascript to identify the browser? Filter and re-write the javascript.

      Oh. Proxomitron (yes, I know, I'm being a tiresome shill for Proxomitron) can do both of these things.
    • by 90XDoubleSide ( 522791 ) <[ninetyxdoubleside] [at] [hailmail.net]> on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:24AM (#4075058)
      You're assuming that making new windows is a valid thing that pages should be able to do for advertizing. Personally, I don't beleive www.somenewssite.com has permission to open windows on my computer any more than they have permission to launch my applications or download my files. If they want to display a small pop-up to show, for example, a little help note, when I click on it, I see that there is a good use for the technology. But why should they be allowed to hijack my browser? If you're using a browser without popup blocking, I could just send you to a page that opens 1,001 popup windows, forcing you to kill your browser program (or restart your entire machine if it didn't have preemptive multitasking). I don't block any regular ads; I fully agree that sites need to be allowed to pay their writers, and I don't have a problem with them inserting even gigantic ads. Have any of you read a magazine or newspaper lately? Most other mediums devote more than a 1x8" square to advertizing, and as long as web pages keep the same kind of ratio of advertizing to content as other mediums I have no quarrel. But I would not tolerate a newspaper that used a CO2 cannister to propel advertizing and confetti all over my living room.
      • when I click on it, I see that there is a good use for the technology. But why should they be allowed to hijack my browser?

        That's the plan for Mozilla eventually. Only allow a new window when user interaction deems it appropriate. Bug 159036 is filed for this, but not targeted, so if anyone wants to help implement it, that would be wonderful.

        The only ways to open a new window would be:

        1. Opened from the interface (in new window, middle click, File > New, Accel-N, etc.) -- these are already immune and don't need to be worried about.
        2. Opened via an onClick, onDblClick, onMouseDown, onMouseUp, onKeyPress, onKeyDown, onKeyUp, onSubmit?(debatable).
        3. Opened via a javascript: URL of a clicked link.
        4. Opened via a function called from one of these functions. (anywhere down the line)

        http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1590 36
      • by lpontiac ( 173839 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @03:38AM (#4075237)
        Personally, I don't beleive www.somenewssite.com has permission to open windows on my computer any more than they have permission to launch my applications or download my files.

        "Content" companies don't believe you should have control over the device you use to access web pages (or movies, or music..). For the user to grant or deny "permission" is a ludicrous concept to them.

        I think "Trustworthy Computing", Palladium etc will go some of the way towards addressing this - you will slowly have less and less control over the viewing platform. If you choose to use an alternate viewing platform (eg a pre-Palladium PC), you simply won't be able to view a lot of things. If you attempt to get your old computer to display new content, or to wrest back control of a computer that implements Digital Restriction Management, you'll be in violation of the DMCA (or your local equivalent).

  • Bad karma... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by outlier ( 64928 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:58AM (#4074963)
    Imagine that being wildly successful in your career meant that you failed 95% of the time. A baseball player getting called out 19 out of every 20 trips to the plate. Yet, in the world of direct (snail) mail, that's considered a successful campaign. So, if you mailed out 1,000,000 letters to 950,000 who threw it away, you'd think you were a direct marketing stud.

    Online advertising is even worse, yet rather than realizing that people are probably not interested in your product (they would have clicked the banner ad), you figure you'll pop up extra windows. It's like reading a magazine and throwing out the first 8 magazine subscription cards but then seeing the 9th and saying "hmm, if they're willing to go through that much effort maybe I should subscribe."

    And the best part is that people who figure out new surface area to plaster with ads consider themselves to be "creative." Bullsh-t. You are a hack. You'd be more creative if you were in a boy band or producing a reality TV show...

    Bill Hicks said it best, "If you're in marketing, kill yourself."

    Despite what you may be thinking, marketing people are not insects. Technically, they are arachnids.
  • by Hunter Rose ( 18860 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:03AM (#4074986)

    I am reading this lovely /. news item about Netscape 7.0 in my freshly installed Netscape 1.0.

    The only problems are the gray background and the & n b s p's everywhere.


    This is pretty keen!



    Spoon!

  • IE Users (Score:4, Informative)

    by Joe Jordan ( 453607 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:08AM (#4074998) Journal
    A few good popup killers for IE (for those unfortunate enough to browse without Mozilla);

    hdsoft PopNot [hdsoft.com] - Shareware, personal favorite
    Panicware Pop-up Stopper [panicware.com] - free
    EMS Project [emsproject.com] - free
    Meaya Popup Filter [meaya.com] - shareware
  • Get Proxomitron (Score:4, Informative)

    by orthogonal ( 588627 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:12AM (#4075006) Journal
    Get Proxomitron. [proxomitron.org]

    It uses regular expressions to allow you to convert anything in HTML (including the HTML headers) to anything you want.

    It'll block pop-ups, pop-unders, javascript, cookies, java, or whatever you can write a regex for.

    If you're worried that not viewing site X's pop-ups is theft of service, you can not forego using Proxomitron on those sites, either entirely, or on a regex-by-regex basis.

    You can bypass filtering just by adding string (like "bypass..") in front of the URL, or automate this with a Bookmark/Favorite set to a simple javascript.

    And it makes browsing SO much more enjoyable. It's the difference between night and day, not having annoying, flashing, in-your-face ads.

    And it's fast (even with DSL connection speeds) and it's free (as in beer, but hey, they author also licenses it to adsubtract).

    Get Proxomitron and take back the web.
    • Great program, and it even runs under WINE. (I use it everyday on my Slackware box!)
    • I use proxomitron to filter out version checking java scripts, so mozilla can load those "IE ONLY" websites...

      Proxomitron has to be the best program for http ever, re-write html on the fly and an optional proxy selector (I have 5 proxies at work) makes things soooo easy.
  • This is one of the reasons that I am not extremely happy with the dual-licensed nature of programs such as Mozilla and OpenOffice. Sure, such power in open-source packages can truly be a godsend to all of us, but the fact is that such a licensing scheme protects contributors barely more than a BSD-style license would. If either of these projects (most notably OpenOffice) becomes so popular that its owner could make a good profit by being able to close the code and sell it for a high price, by turning it into, in efffect, just another Microsoft Office, then they are free to at any time fork the code from the open-source project and continue in-house development, only releasing closed versions and extracting a fee from users. In this case the open-source version of the program would have to choose between playing eternal catch-up with the commercial version or evolving into something entirely different and entirely incompatible.

    I also firmly believe that this model discourages contributors, mostly for the lack of protection mentioned above. I would certainly be happy to contribute my work to a GPL project; if a company wants to close some of the code that I have written, however, or link it with closed code, then I would require a fee from that company. It is as simple as that.

    This brings me to my point: No, we wouldn't have either of theses projects without either Sun or AOL, but such a licensing mechanism allows companies such as these to close and commercially use contributed code that many potential contributors would prefer be GPLed for their own gain, rather than the benefit of their users - such is this action by AOL which is the subject of our discussion.

    • Blockquoth the poster:

      In this case the open-source version of the program would have to choose between playing eternal catch-up with the commercial version or evolving into something entirely different and entirely incompatible.

      In the case of OOo, the file structure is open-standards XML. They can't make it "incompatible" without losing the (presumed huge) user base that made it worth closing off in the first place.
  • by mark_space2001 ( 570644 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:20AM (#4075043)
    I'm not a die hard open source fanatic by any means. I use Windows 2000 most of the time, and I only occasionally boot to my Linux partition to play.

    A few months ago however, I tried out Opera. After using it a bit I discovered the "Disable Pop Ups" option and there was no way I'd go back to IE then. Even now when I have to switch for some compatibility issue (not often, only the really small web sites seem to have IE dependant features), I'm amazed at how annoying all the pop ups immediately become.

    This is one of the best things that Open Source can do to convert users. Provide features that consumers (like me) truly want and the big boys won't give them.

    • Not that I don't agree with you're conclusion but the reasoning behind it is a bit wrong.

      Opera is a closed source commercial browser (an excellent one but not in anyway opensource). With its contract to supply the browser for symbian (the phone os) it is a big boy. It is also avaible on almost any platform including of course windows so you could have started using it without ever having heard of linux.

      So how exactly what did opensource have to do with this?

  • My personal vote: Netscape 7.6. Mozilla will live long and prosper but I believe Netscape will not. There may be some(many) tuned (business, embedded, etc.) versions of Mozilla available under different names in future, but Netscape - at the moment does not seem to have much extra to offer. Or if it does, could someone say it out loud? What do you vote? :)
    • Netscape is basically a branded version of Moz with some slight tweaks (like some UI, or the lack of popup blocking), so don't expect to get anything extra. But if Netscape does abandon their browser, and only makes it availible for embedding, that would also mean that there would be no Netscape engineers working on any part of the browser outside Gecko, and I fear how Mozilla's UI mess [mozillazine.org] would escalate without even the little guidance it has now, so be careful what you wish for ;).
  • by pnatural ( 59329 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:26AM (#4075064)
    Just another example of the coolness that is Mozilla: Bannerblind [mozdev.org].
    It removes graphics / objects from web pages that match pre-determined sizes. Very cool!
  • by fr2asbury ( 462941 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:26AM (#4075065)
    Thought you might be interested. Note the very professional attitude the antiadblocker fellow keeps during his part of the discussion. Also note that I never admitted to blocking ads but his tone certainly acts as if I had. I was going to continue the argument but I tired of it. Maybe a couple hundred slashdotters would like to pick up where I left off? ;-) In order to keep it as short as possible I'll just copy and paste the email with the embedded replies etc. I'm sure you can figure it out:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Jonathan Gardner"
    To: webmaster@AntiAdBlocker.com
    Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2002 11:16 PM
    Subject: Ad blockers

    > Hmmm. I wonder what makes you think that anyone who blocks ads would be
    > even the slightest bit interested in buying something from a banner ad
    > that they saw on a website.
    > I guess it's a good thing your customers can't think this in depth.

    From: "AntiAdBlocker" webmaster@antiadblocker.com
    To: "Jonathan Gardner"
    Subject: Re: Ad blockers
    Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 00:52:06 -0400
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000

    A scumbag like yourself probably doesn't understand this, but billions of
    dollars of products are purchased on the internet. MANY people click and
    buy products, just not scumbag leeches like yourself that think you're owed
    something. Also, most websites are paid when you view the ads, not if you
    click or buy something. If you had an ounce of gray matter you would
    understand how all the websites you visit are funded. AntiAdBlocker allows
    the internet to keep running even with scumbags like yourself surfing the
    web and stealing from webmasters. Shame on you.

    AntiAdBlocker

    From: "AntiAdBlocker" webmaster@antiadblocker.com
    To: "Jonathan Gardner"
    Subject: Re: Ad blockers
    Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 10:40:56 -0400
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000

    > I can tell from your tone that you are a very professional outfit,
    > nevertheless you did not answer my question so I will take issue with your
    > assumptions. I have no doubt that many things are bought over the
    > internet. I do it myself.
    > But just as with the real world, when I want something I go and get it. I
    > NEVER purchase anything from an unsolicited phonecall.
    > I NEVER purchase something from an unsolicited email.
    > I NEVER purchase anything just because I see it on an ugly billboard that
    > mars the beauty of the natural land nor do I buy things I see on an
    > obtrusive banner ad.

    Hogwash. Internet ads are like TV commercials. You watch the TV channel
    for free and as a condition, they have commercials. It's not unsolicited
    like a telemarketer. It's an agreement that you watch TV or the internet at
    a reduced cost if you view the ads. So first of all, internet advertising
    is not in the same league as junk mail, spam or telemarketers.
    Secondly, don't lie to yourself. Do you purchase ANYTHING that you've seen
    on a TV ad? I'm sure you have so don't even lie. That's the same kind of
    ad as the internet. The ads offset the cost of the program and delivery.

    Third, you must be foolish if you think that no one clicks on an ad and buys
    something. If they didn't, advertisers wouldn't buy anymore ads, would they
    Mr. smart ass? Also, a lot of internet advertising is branding, just like
    TV commercials. Most TV commercials don't directly sell something. They
    just brand a product. Like beer or car commercials. There's tons of beer
    and car commercials but not once have I even seen a beer or car commercial
    that gives a number to call to order beer or a car. That's because their
    branding the product. Many internet ads are the same, just branding.
    Marketing 101, but obviously, you don't have a clue and even worse you think
    you know what you're talking about.

    > These banner ads cost internet users time and bandwidth just to download
    > them to display them and as the ads get bigger the problem gets worse.

    The same could be argued about TV commercials. It costs time and bandwidth
    to view TV commercials, but guess what? Those are the terms of watching TV
    or the internet for free or at a reduced cost. If a TV show has too many
    ads, you turn the channel. If an internet site has too many ads, you turn
    the channel. The notion that YOU are being inconvenienced for getting
    something for FREE is stupid. The fact is that you pay probably a flat
    amount per month for your internet connection, just like cable TV. And just
    like TV, the costs to view the internet are so low because of advertising.
    Think how much cable TV would cost if there were no ads. I can tell you
    already, about $10-$15 per channel per month instead of $30 for 50 channels.
    The same goes with the internet. Ads pay for most of the internet. So your
    $15-$30 internet connection per month would cost hundreds of dollars if you
    had to pay for every site you visited. I don't think you understand, or can
    grasp the fact that if all internet ads were banned tomorrow, either the
    internet would fold or you would be paying several times more for your
    internet connection.

    Internet ads have become more bold because of people like yourself blocking
    ads and thinking that sites shouldn't have ads. I don't think you
    understand that sites don't run off a $10/month server. Most medium-sized
    sites need a dedicated server which costs hundreds a month. And bandwidth
    is about $300/Mbps (about 30 times the home cable rate). I have a single
    site that costs me $2100/month for the server and the bandwidth. And the
    only way to pay for that is with ads. If everyone blocked ads, the site,
    and every other medium to large site on the internet would close and the
    internet would suck. But you probably only care about yourself and don't
    comprehend the big picture.

    > There are many users out there that actually have to pay per the minute
    > and each ad is costing them real money.

    So what? It's your CHOICE to view a site. The ad wasn't sent to you. You
    came to view it! And you're forgetting that those sites you're viewing also
    have to pay for you to leech from them. Is that fair? Maybe you pay by the
    minute, but you're not paying the web sites you visit. And if you're
    blocking ads, you're stealing from the webmaster.

    > Point remains though, that people who block ads weren't going to buy
    > anything from them anyway.

    That is about the most stupid thing I've ever heard and scumbags like
    yourself always use it. I can spot a idiot scumbag like yourself a thousand
    miles away when you use that statement. Listen to me now and understand me
    later. IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU BUY IT OR NOT, WEBMASTERS ARE PAID IF YOU
    VIEW THE AD, NOT IF YOU CLICK ON IT OR BUY IT!!!! Let that soak into that
    piece of crap you call a brain. Do you understand yet? Ads are paid by
    impression and are designed for branding for the most part. The fact that
    you click on them or not doesn't make a difference. It's that you VIEW
    them. And if you block ads, you're stealing bandwidth from webmasters.

    > They're just sick of having to pay in time and/or
    > money to be forced to see someone's garish snakeoil logo.

    99% of internet users don't pay by the minute. And even if you're too
    stupid to get a flat-fee internet connection, you have the same option as
    you have with the TV, change the channel if you don't like the program or
    the ads. Stealing from the webmaster can't be justified just because you're
    too stupid to have a flat-fee internet connection.

    > Shame on YOU for perpetuating the ugliness of the web.

    Shame on YOU for stealing from webmasters. I can't wait till AntiAdBlocker
    is on every site on the web so scumbags like yourself no longer get a free
    ride and can't steal from webmasters.

    AntiAdBlocker

    • by unsinged int ( 561600 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:50AM (#4075122)
      I just went to that guys site, and it had examples of sites using their anti-adblocker.

      So I visited them using Mozilla with popups disabled and an ad blocking proxy, and I didn't see a single ad. Some product that guy's pushing. Doesn't even work.
      • Well, if you click on the "Test AntiAdBlocker" link, you'll see why, the software is only supposed to detect if the user is running popup-blocking software, it doesn't do anything to get around popup-blocking software, and if they detect that you're running said software, they won't let you into the site.

        I think it's pretty despicable myself, but if someone wants to use AntiAdBlocker, it's their right, just as it's my right to decide that I really don't care to visit that site anyway, and I don't think I'm the only one.
      • No, it kinda works. (Score:3, Informative)

        by hrm ( 26016 )
        Tried one of the sites the guy claims is using his blocker-blocker, arcadeathome.com [arcadeathome.com]. Hit one of the links in the "latest files" box on the right, for example this one [arcadeathome.com].

        If popups are disabled, the download won't start, and you'll get a fairly polite message stating you ought not to block the advertisement.

        I'm not sure I'd use this blocker-blocker on my own site, since it's bound to annoy the shit out of some people. But it does kind of work.

        The whole thing kind of reminds me of that hitchhiking device in HHGttG, you know, the one that was perpetually being improved by half the galaxy's engineers while the other half attempted to block it?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15, 2002 @03:01AM (#4075151)
      I had a similar dialogue with a "Bulk E-mail Promotion Company" a while back, pretty much on the same lines.

      ---

      > Please unsubscribe me from your list. I don't like spam.

      Why do you say that?

      > Well, because it's inconvenient for me.

      Is it because it's inconvenient for you that you came to me?

      > Yes. I would like to unsubscribe from your mailing list.

      What makes you believe you might want to unsubscribe?

      > Because I know I want to unsubscribe.

      Does it bother you that you know you want to unsubscribe?

      > No, what bothers me is spam.

      Earlier you said it's inconvenient for you?

      > Yes, of course it's inconvenient. Do you like spam?

      I don't understand.

      > Do you appreciate getting spam in your mailbox?

      You mentioned that you would like to unsubscribe?

      > Yes, please unsubscribe me from your list.

      Is it because of your life that you are going through all this?

      > Listen friend, my life is none of your damn business. No more spam, end of discussion.

      I would appreciate it if you would watch your tongue!

      > ME watch MY tongue? But you send me mails called "ENLARGE YOUR PENIS 2-4 INCHES GUARANTEED!"

      When did you first know that I send you mails called enlarge my penis 2 4 inches guaranteed?

      --- ... and so on. Eventually I stopped getting mails.
    • This guy sounds like a real piece of work and he truly seems to believe that the Internet would not be as "wonderful" as it is today without ads.

      I remember my first 'Net account in the early '90s with the university I was attending. There were no ad banners, no pop-ups. It was wonderful. You just found the information you needed and you were happy. Now that "scumbag" marketing sleeze like this guy have come along in an attempt to commercialize EVERYTHING, the Internet's going down the shitter faster than.. well.. Cable television! What an appropriate comparison he makes.
      • There were no ad banners, no pop-ups. It was wonderful. You just found the information you needed and you were happy

        As long as, of course, the knowledge you needed was in the 1% domain that the Internet covered at the time - mainly computers and electronics.

        Look, I was there in the "good ole days" and it wasn't so good. Nobody was online because it wasn't popular yet and there wasn't any clear way to gain advantage from it. Sure, you and I knew how kick ass it was -- finding a company with a website and useful information was always a good reason to do business with them again. But try and find info outside of the realm of computers, electronics, or sex? Trudge to the library.

        The antiadblocker guy is a twerp and a moron, but to some extent he's right. Note that most company sites don't have ads -- they run the site as a marketing or support expense largely. Virtually all large private sites have ads. Why? Because it costs money to run the site. It has nothing to do with commercialization -- it has to do with being able to share information on a global basis without running your pocketbook dry.

        If you don't believe that, then maybe you should talk to Taco about paying for the bandwidth used by Slashdot on a monthly basis. I'm sure he'd be happy for you to foot the bill.

        For the record - I have no issue blocking pop-up/under ads, or freaking annoying ads that flash and try to distract you. I personally don't block banner ads because they largely don't annoy me. If they bug you, block 'em. But don't be so stupid as to think that banner ads are the root of all evil and that advertising is either ineffective or unnecessary.
    • It seems that a simple way to defeat the antiadblocker would be to make the browser hit the ad page and just not show it. This wouldn't help the dialup users as much, but it would get around that crap, in theory. I'm sure there would be a way to beat that too, like see if the images on the ad load. That in turn could be defeated as well. Just a cat and mouse game.
    • by publicdomain ( 590843 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @04:07AM (#4075299)
      I wonder what makes you think that anyone who blocks ads would be even the slightest bit interested in buying something from a banner ad that they saw on a website.
      Regardless of your opinion on the matter, there is going to be interest from webmasters in software that prevents people from blocking ads. People who run websites do have real costs (such as bandwidth), and if they so desire, they do have the right to attempt and deny access (or whatever) to people who block site ads.

      The AntiAdBlocker guy is correct in that it's ad views and not click-throughs that are generally the important thing for the webmaster. Granted, he didn't make his case in a particularly polite manner (neither did you). But he's got the right to produce and distribute his software, just as the Junkbuster etcetera people do. If it wasn't wanted, webmasters wouldn't use it and we'd have no problem. Live and let live.
      • The AntiAdBlocker guy is correct in that it's ad views and not click-throughs that are generally the important thing for the webmaster.

        He is correct, but it points out a fundamental flaw in the ad based revenue model. I've been pointing the flaw out since way before the dot-com-crash thing, it's so obvious.

        If everyone is just paying for click throughs and no one is selling anything, it's just a false economy. It's an incestous system, where the same money flows around and around in circles, and the only new income to the ecosystem comes from the few legitimate sites that are actually selling something other than ads.

        This is so common sense and so obvious. An industry can not survive only serving itself, but the internet ad industry seems to think so. I don't know why they persist in thinking so even after the inevitable and rapid contraction when the Ponzi collapsed.
    • Flawed net business number 582093092! If I choose to block ads and a site doesn't work because of that, I just won't bother going there. No site is so valuable that I want to watch ads, and if the net gets thinned out because ad-heavy crap goes out of business, good! I too remember when the net was a lot less full of bloat and nothing would make me happier than a de-commercialisation.
    • by WWWWolf ( 2428 ) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Thursday August 15, 2002 @05:50AM (#4075482) Homepage

      So, how long before we see anti-anti-adblocker.xpi? Oh, never mind, just stuff this to prefs.js:

      user_pref("capability.policy.antiantiadblocker.sit es, "http://www.antiadblocker.com");
      user_pref("capability.policy.antiantiadblocker.dom .disable_open_during_load", false);

      ... and if there's domains that use this baby, just stuff the domains there. Popups only for those sites. And still it's possible to further enrichen this by killing the actual popups (could get as simple as "if that's not an antiadblocker window, kill it")...

      No wonder this guy's a bit frustrated. Fighting a desperate war that can't be won, especially if a random non-Mozilla-geek gives a 2-line recipe that makes the anti-adblocker thing to give false positive =)

      Kids: If it's interpreted by the browser, it must get deciphered at some point, and since it is, it can be intercepted and tricked into believing whatever it wants to believe =)

      I think this thing will just further the development of Mozilla's security policy editor that was planned but probably pushed out of 1.0 release plan... It works even now!

      • I believe that Anti-Adblocker works by simply loading the page and then waiting for the browser to request the ad page. If no request is made, it assumes you have ad-blocking software and will not let you into the site. (Presumably by using something along the lines of <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="15, URL=followthrough.php"> and using JavaScript in the ad page to pop the page through immediately.)

        In reality, this is a very easy script to create. If I cared, I could do it on my own. Personally, what I'll bet will happen sometime in the future is that a new web standard will be created whereby the keys to decrypt the content of a site are stored in the ads and only software that promises to display the ads can decrypt the content. Evil, but with the DMCA, probably effective.

        Anyway, to allow Mozilla through Anti-Ad-Blocker, I'll bet all you have to do is set it up so that window.open calls don't just silently fail, but instead create an "invisible window" that allows the script and HTML to be loaded but not displayed. Since the direct ad pages are usually small HTML pages, this would probably work - the bandwidth usage would be small because the images wouldn't need to be loaded. But I can't be 100% sure...

    • So what? It's your CHOICE to view a site. The ad wasn't sent to you.

      I take it you have replied with some simple mechanics of the internet.

      You send "GET /"
      He sends "Heres the page, p.s. display my advert"
      You say "OK, I'll show the page, but I cant be bothered showing the advert"

      If its immoral to not load ads, then is google imorral, or lynx, or people on 9,600bps (mobile phones) that read the page and move on before the images actually load?
    • Honestly: The quoted person's attitude is not very 'professional', but I have to agree with some of what he said.

      I have been trying to find a suitable way of replacing banners on my (commercial) web sites. In the "good old days" banners got me about 0.02 per view, which was about 50% of the price the banner company charged their clients. With our page impressions, these totals would have just about paid for the online costs, and small salaries for two persons, no luxuries included.

      This is all gone now, banner companies don't pay by view any more, and we are still alive mostly by the many partnerships we have been able to establish, not by banners. The pressure to accept more agressive banner terms is rising, however - we don't want our company.com to go titsup.com and lose 100,000s of satisfied people. Just like Slashdot ...

      I don't like (and will never use, unless my life depends on it) pop-up banners or floating banners or things like that. It's a one-way tunnel that is constantly getting worse, and never going to end. I think explaining to people WHY the Web isn't (and can't be) totally "free", at least not for non-hobbyist sites, will help more in the long run. Providing anti-ad functions, anti-anti-ad extensions and anti-anti-ad-blocker plugins is just plain SICK. IMHO.

      Be honest: Would you be interested in a re-introduction of the HTTP/1.1 "Cost:" header - or similar measures - and pay 0.02 per mouse click? Because that is what you "pay" indirectly to the company providing you a service.

      If the service is bad, then don't use it, full stop. If you use anti-banner software you are effectively cheating the webmaster into providing you his service, without paying for it. It's like going to a restaurant and not paying because you didn't want to see the ads on the inside cover of the menu.

      And please kill the "additional cost" argument, it's rubbish. Your internet costs are larger because you have to download banner ads, right? Of course: Your internet connection is the vehicle to transport you to the service you want to access, it has NO connection with the actual service (most of the time anyway). Do you expect to get everything for free at McDonalds just because you paid the bus to get you there? And perhaps expect McDonalds to actually thank you for your non-paying visit?

      NOBODY expects to get everything for free in the supermarket just because they already paid the taxi. On the Web, this expectation is there, however, and people don't understand that above a certain level, things just cost.

      Why?

      P.S.: Do you expect to get ads in magazines and newspapers banned as well? Because the newspaper is bigger with the ads and you have to pay for the paper, right?
      WRONG. The "Springer" editor house in Germany which sells the "Spiegel" magazine (very popular) published a comparison recently. The magazine costs about 3.- and contains about 40% ads. Without the ads, it would have to cost about 30.- to cover the printing and distribution costs! So, what would you rather have? P.P.S: Reply by email if you want a serious discussion about this. I'm interested.

      • I have no problem with text ads. No problem with non-animated banner ads either. No problems with popups either since I use Mozilla or Konqi.

        Here is my problem: Yesterday I saw a banner ad that was flashing red and white so fast that it was likely to cause seizures if I was prone to such a thing. The irony is I don't even remember what the ad was for. This is why I am likely to install ad blocking software. I have a dialup connection and these huge flashing banner ads take forever to load and take away from my browsing experience. Am I stealing? Maybe. Am I worried about marketers? No. If marketers made tasteful ads I'd have no problem viewing them. and 90% of the ads I have no problem with. But as with everything else, its the assholes that spoil it for everyone else.

        I know that websites depend on ad revenue to keep running. The problem is, they've taken it too far. If a website depends on annoying me to remain in existence, then it doesn't deserve to live.

        If you are so worried about ad-blockers then you, as an advertiser, should petition governements to regulate Internet advertising to prevent the sleazeballs from ruining it for everyone else. If all ads were either text ads or non-animated banners I would have no motivation to turn off ads. But as things stand no I have the motivation (annoying flashing banners) and the means to block ads. My eyes are tired, so I won't be looking at your stuff anymore.

        • Am I stealing? Maybe. Am I worried about marketers? No. If marketers made tasteful ads I'd have no problem viewing them.

          Exactly. Anybody who thinks blocking ads is stealing is a moron. The world does not owe you a living annoying people. Do something useful for a change and get paid for that instead.

          And don't bitch about poor web designers being cheated out of ad revenue either. If your business model fails, too bad. I design 90% of the web pages that I design for free because I actually care about the stuff I put on them. Because of that I can't make a living designing web pages. Too bad for me, I suppose, but not too bad for the web. I have another job, and frankly I don't think the web would be worse off at all if there were little or no advertising revenue available on it. Sure, lots of web pages would die; maybe if we're lucky the only stuff left will be the stuff people write because they care about it enough to do it for free, or because readers care about it enough to pay a subscription to read it.

          But I'm also not anti-ad; if the web stuck to banner ads I wouldn't complain or even bother to block them. But popup and popunder windows are just plain evil. Disabling them by blocking software is no different from putting a "NO SOLICITING" sign on your front door and expecting salesmen to respect it. Disabling blocking software is the equivalent of breaking in through the window to try to sell your product anyway.

          I find the whole concept of anti-adblocking ridiculous for the main reason that is mentioned elsewhere in this discussion - someone who goes through the trouble of blocking ads is probably not going to want to buy your product if you are successful in defeating their blocking software! This is the thing that convinces me that people like the anti-adblocker guy are ideological drones rather than the cold-headed business folk they pretend to be. They feel they must defend the right to advertise even to people who have made it clear that they don't want their ads and that they'll be pissed off if they hear any more of them. What's the point? Obviously, not just to sell the product. Is there a such thing as an armchair capitalist?

      • "If you use anti-banner software you are effectively cheating the webmaster into providing you his service, without paying for it."

        So because when commercials come on the TV or radio, and I switch channels since I don't want to watch or listen to them, I'm cheating the station? Perhaps, but that's the price you pay for using ads as a revenue model. I signed no agreement with anyone saying I have to view anything on TV, radio or on the Internet. Until then I'll change channels or block whatever ads I damn well please.

        If it upsets you so much, then you need to change your revenue stream. When I go to Best Buy and they hand me a flyer from the Sunday paper w/ coupons in it, and I refuse to take it, guess what? They don't care, and I'm in effect blocking their ads, but they have other was to make a profit, and perhaps you should as well.
  • popups (Score:4, Interesting)

    by loconet ( 415875 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:44AM (#4075115) Homepage
    One way to beat mozilla's pop-up blockin feature is by listening to mouse movements instead of onLoad javascript in the body tag. I have seen it in a couple of sites (ie: http://www.cracks.am/ ). Let's hope this and any other ways to beat the built in popup blocking feature are being taken care of for the next release of mozilla.
  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:53AM (#4075130)
    "All popups are ads. A banner is an ad. Therefore blocking popups blocks all advertisements, and is stealing content".

    Uh... What?!?

    Blocking popups doesn't block advertisements, it only blocks *annoying* advertisements that a human has to acknowledge by closing the window.

    There are currently FCC regulaton regarding the moral equivalent popup ads on radio and television: advertisements with twice the audio level as the program. This used to be a comon practice, until it pissed people off to the point that the FCC was petitioned. It shouldn't suprise anyone that people find popup ads similarly annoying, or, similarly, want to block them.

    If you want to create advertisements that won't get blocked, maybe you should look at making the advertisements have the same profile as normal content, and make them plin text, instead of animated GIFs.

    Next the advertisers will all be telling me that turning off the "blink" tag on a text-only advertisement is the same thing as stealing content... "just like those thieving visually impaired communists who use text-only browsers! You're only blind so you can avoid the banner ads and steal content from us!".

    -- Terry
    • Next the advertisers will all be telling me that turning off the "blink" tag on a text-only advertisement is the same thing as stealing content...

      How bizarre. Quite a few people in this topic have mentioned the ideas of content stealing or theft-of-service. Did I somehow miss a real instance of someone getting nailed for this recently?

      Personally, I use one and only one method of eliminating ads - I put ad-only sites in my hosts file with an address of 127.0.0.1, and that seems to work just fine. I have around a hundred entries (about a quarter of which block various akamai sites), and *very* rarely see popups, and only get a modest number of normal banner ads.

      Ad sites have WAAAAAY too much traffic (they basically "auto-slashdot" themselves), and pages take forever to load - not due to the content, but from the slow ad servers.

      If a site hosts their own ads (like slashdot), I'll tolerate them. If they expect me to wait for ads to load from highest-bidder-X's overworked server, well, too bad.

      Theft of service... Puh-lease. Next thing you know, sites like the NY Times Random Login Generator will count as illegal...
      • Personally, I use one and only one method of eliminating ads - I put ad-only sites in my hosts file with an address of 127.0.0.1, and that seems to work just fine. I have around a hundred entries (about a quarter of which block various akamai sites), and *very* rarely see popups, and only get a modest number of normal banner ads.


        Thats what I do and it seems to work relatively well.. and even sites that host their own ads generally have a subdomain you can block without blocking the main site. About the only problem in blocking ads this way is that occaisionally I'll get a blank window popup where the ad content isnt loaded, but atleast that window dies when I close it instead of spawning 100 more like they do when you let them load their content.
  • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @02:54AM (#4075136)
    From the article:

    As the online advertising market deflated in recent years, Web operators sold more imposing ad formats, including pop-ups, to convince hesitant marketers that the Web could prove effective.

    It seems to me that the online advertising industry, such as it is, has found themselves at the bottom of a hole that they dug for themselves. And I suspect Doubleclick was the one with the biggest shovel.

    Conventional advertising campaigns don't expect immediate results. Neither the Coca-cola company nor Honest Al's Used Cars hangs by the phone after their ad shows up on the radio or TV waiting for the phone to ring... and prompty considers it a failure if there has been no rings within X minutes of their spot. Yet online advertising is focused not on impressions, but the click-through.

    When the mystical click-through fails to happen, the online advertising campaign is deemed a failure. In a desperate attempt to win back some marketing revenue, advertising agents promise more and more outlandish gimmicks. Tracking. Animated multi-media banners. Floating advertisements. Pop-ups, pop-unders, etc.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, advertisers continue to advertise. Why? Advertising is a long-term strategy. There is rarely an immediate payoff. But there IS a payoff in eventual sales. Sometimes associating a particular campaign with increased sales is a bit of a black art (and even campaigns that are well-known aren't always a business success - witness the TacoBell chihuahua). This is all well known within the advertising world and a part of a well-established industry.

    If online advertising had been smart they would have managed to adopt the same standards to their particular niche. However, like much of the dot-boom, short-sighted greed and unrealistic expectations were par for the course. And now they are paying their due.

    Or rather, the end user is. Up until they get annoyed enough to patronize the thriving interest in various add-blockers and filters.
  • I use a program called AdSubtract. It acts as a local proxy to kill not only pop-ups, but banner ads, Flashvertisements, annoying background images, and other things on a per-site basis. It sits in your system tray (Windows) and is easy configurable via a right-click menu.

    Frankly, I'm disappointed that Slashdot posts so many articles about Mozilla and its pop-up blocking, but completely ignores the other, better solutions out there. I suppose it's because AdSubtract blocks the regular ads on Slashdot as well.

    Best of all, AdSubtract works with every browser, from IE to Mozilla to AOL (bleh.) It's highly worth it on a dial-up connection, since your browser won't even download the advertisements. (Those of you who understand the pain of waiting for the advertisement to load just so you can see the rest of the page should definitely check this program out.) You wouldn't even believe how much cleaner the web feels when you're not subjected to constant annoyances.

    Check out my example of what AdSubtract does [raqfaq.net], or visit their home page [adsubtract.com] for more. And no, I don't work there or even know the people who built it personally -- I just know a good product when I see one.

    BTW, AdSubtract does cost money, but download the free trial and it will give you a little message in a couple of days telling you to click OK to buy it at a reduced price. I've found the money to be well-spent in making my web browsing less annoying. :)
    • Blockquoth the poster:

      Frankly, I'm disappointed that Slashdot posts so many articles about Mozilla and its pop-up blocking, but completely ignores the other, better solutions out there. I suppose it's because AdSubtract blocks the regular ads on Slashdot as well.

      That implies a level of cohesiveness and cluefulness unsupported by the evidence available... :)
  • by vanyel ( 28049 )
    All the more reason to use Opera...if they'd just fix the javascript bugs, since so many sites require it...
  • by sheepab ( 461960 )
    So when did netscape buy out the company that makes those X10's?
  • by dave_mcmillen ( 250780 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @08:26AM (#4075859)
    Fools! Don't you realize that denying pop-up ads is stealing web-based content, just the same way that skipping TV commercials is stealing television programs [slashdot.org]?

    I'm not sure how sarcastic I'm being, here, when you get right down to it. It's clear that if advertising is supposed to make possibile all the free content we're used to, then the ability to block all ads is something of an issue. (Is it actually advertising that keeps web sites going? Or is it pixies? I've never figured it out.)

    What I am sure of is that people shouldn't be prevented from blocking ads if they want to. If that causes a problem for advertisers, so be it. And certainly, people not viewing the ads aren't in any sense "thieves" -- you put ads out there hoping that people will view them, but you can't force people to view them. (Well, you can try, if you can afford the politicians.)

    Like everyone keeps saying around here: things may change. For example, if ads no longer seem to be working (because, f'r instance, nobody ever sees them anyone), the nature of free content on the Web may alter. If this inconveniences either the viewers of that content, or the advertisers, well, tough.

    I conclude with a quote from Heinlein, which should be sent to all relevant parties, once a day:

    "There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute nor common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back." --Robert Heinlein, Life Line, 1939

  • by idonotexist ( 450877 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @09:50AM (#4076362)
    Mary Bingham, of Springfield, was arrested today for criminal copyright violations. Several shoppers at the PiggyMax grocery store witnessed Bingham, a 42 year old mother of two children attending Spingfield High School, flip past an advertisement in Curve magazine.

    "She [Bingham] was standing at the magazine stand just reading the magazine [Curve]. When all the sudden, she flipped right past a page featuring an advertisement," said Marv Winklman, a sales representative for a local cable operator. "It was horrible. I witnessed the suffering of Curve magazine... I remember turning to others standing next to her in shock. I had no words. My god, the advertisement was just flipped by. I hope she rots in prison!" Mary Bingham and her attorney refused to comment on this story.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @09:51AM (#4076372) Homepage
    That article was fascinating.

    Basically, it seems to me as though from a marketing perspective, they want to force us to not ignore ads. A "good ad" is one that cannot be ignored.

    They are missing the point of marketing entirely. A "good ad" is one we don't ignore because we don't want to ignore it, but because we're forced to not ignore it. That's always been a basic maxim of marketing; you're selling the product, and alienating your viewers does not serve that purpose.

    Seen this way, pop-up (and popover) ads become nothing more than the last refuge of the talentless hack who can't make a decent advertisement to save his life, so he instead forces people to view it.

    The anatomy of an effective ad on the Net right now is changing. Google has the right idea with its AdWords. A good ad doesn't take a lot of bandwidth and isn't intrusive, but still manages to intrigue the user. They're integrated well into the page, so they still manage to Look Good. That's the type of ad I would check out. Text-based ads also have the advantage that even though they take almost no time to download over even the slowest modems, they cannot be blocked because they're part of the page, rather than a separate entity. You might theoretically be able to hack around your user CSS file, but thhat would be the only way, and even then you wouldn't save any bandwidth.

    Here's an example of an a text-based ad system that works. [sourceforge.net] Open-Source, too; nice bonus.
  • K5 text ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apsmith ( 17989 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @10:25AM (#4076615) Homepage
    Personally I think advertisers should give up on the graphics and go back to basics: Kuro5hin textads [kuro5hin.org] are unobtrusive but actually quite effective (I read them a lot more than fashy graphics or popups - and the 'haiku' opportunities are endless). The web isn't like a broadcast medium, it's driven by the user, not the broadcaster; ad agencies need to re-think their approach.
  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt AT nerdflat DOT com> on Thursday August 15, 2002 @12:50PM (#4077885) Journal
    (saying goodbye to my karma...)

    If turning of web graphics in browsers is copyright infringement, then by the same token, people who only listen to the television rather than actually watch the thing would also be infringing on copyright, as are people who get up to go to the bathroom during commercials.

    Guh! Terrance Ross, get a friggen clue! And while you're at it, get yourself an enema... it might help that retentive problem you seem to have

    I apologize for the rant, but I really needed to vent on that issue.

  • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:28PM (#4078226)
    They would either:

    1.) Design their page just the way they want it (ads and all), then take a screenshot of it and upload the imegemapped-JPG as their website. Kinda hard to block parts of a JPG

    2.) The main page does nothing but open a pop-up window and display a message in the main window that says "To continue, please follow the link in the pop-up."

    And now I forsee myself getting flamed about "Why are you helping THEM?" Why? Because I think forcing their viewers to view advertisements will ultmately end up with them shooting themselves in the foot and forcing themselves off the web entirely. I'm willing to bet that their sites get X number of visitors mostly because a great many of them have the option of turning off advertisements in one way or another. Deny them that right, force them to decide between advertisements and no access, and they will ultimately choose the "no access" option every time.

"The sixties were good to you, weren't they?" -- George Carlin

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