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Yahoo Mail Forcing Ads Through Adblock? 291

Posted by Cliff
from the isn't-javascript-wonderful dept.
egNuKe asks: "Like some people here, I use Firefox and Adblock. I've blocked the ads that Yahoo puts in my inbox, however the next time I opened it, I've found other ads, and blocked them too. This happened for several times, until I figured out that Yahoo must have some script that checks if the ad is displayed and displays another one, if it hasn't. This is no big problem, I just needed to add several rules to Adblock to block the several ad sources they use. Here is the problem: when Adblock is running and effectively stopping Yahoo mail ads, Firefox would freeze (all open windows and tabs) for about 15 seconds. Then the page opens and there is no ads. The script must be on client side, since it's the browser that's freezing and not the network. Turning off Adblock solves the freezing problem. Is there a cure for this?" This is a touch-and-go issue as it basically boils down to the user's priority (not seeing ads) versus the services priority (displaying the ads it needs to allow the user to enjoy a free service). It was only a matter of time before someone thought to try and work around ad-blockers, and all this will eventually lead to is open warfare (competing Javascript or browser code in the browser) on your machine. Instead of working around the workaround, why not consider another service that doesn't inundate you with ads?
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Yahoo Mail Forcing Ads Through Adblock?

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  • Gmail (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kingrames (858416) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:37PM (#17582410)
    I can send you a gmail invite. that'll fix it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Threni (635302)
      An advantage of using Gmail is you don't send out emails offering the chance to win tickets for last years World Cup in your sigfile. (Yes, I told Yahoo about this; No, I didn't get a reply). I see no point in using a Yahoo account when Gmail offers much more whilst still being free.
      • Re:Gmail (Score:5, Funny)

        by dthable (163749) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:08PM (#17584430) Journal
        But Apple says Yahoo mail is the best and they even included it on their new phone. Everyone knows Jobs wouldn't lead us astray.
        • by Pausanias (681077) <pausaniasx@gmail ... inus threevowels> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @02:08AM (#17587410)
          Sarcasm well taken, but it seriously is amazing how little Yahoo has bothered to evolve since, oh, about 1999. I can bear text ads but I cannot stand graphical ones. I started using adblock on Yahoo (with my own rules) as soon as it came out (was it around 2002?). And that was with phenomenal success---I blocked all incoming ads with about 15 minutes worth of detective work. Back then I figured it'd only be a few months till they figure it out; and then they will somehow block the blocking. Guess what, five years later I'm still blocking all their ads. Not that I visit their site that often anymore---GMail is my default mail account now.

          Here's a few reasons why noone should use Yahoo as their mail system:
          • Messages dated to the year 2038 appear in my Inbox rather than getting filtered to Bulk Mail. Huh? Isn't date filtering the most obvious filtering you can do? Turns out you have to pay $20/yr for their "best" Spam filter.
          • You still have to pay $20/yr for POP access. GMail is free.
          • You get 1GB of space, and have to pay $20/yr for 2. GMail has almost 3GB for free.
          • Graphical and flash ads are plentiful in Yahoo mail. You have to pay $20/yr to rid yourself of them. GMail has text ads only.

          Don't even get me started on GMail vs. Yahoo maps. Or GCal vs. Yahoo Calendar. Yahoo are not innovating; they are riding the pure inertia of their 1996 early start.

          Oh, here's a word for those of you who are moaning about unethical users blocking ads: some of us are truly incapable of tuning out obnoxious banners and flash animations. It realy ruins our internet experience. Don't worry. The sheep will always be there to provide you with advertising revenue. As for the rest of us, if you want to win us over, use text ads only. You will get many more clicks from us, that's for sure.

          But Apple says Yahoo mail is the best and they even included it on their new phone. Everyone knows Jobs wouldn't lead us astray.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by enosys (705759)
            I have an account with Yahoo Canada. A few months ago I was able to enable POP3 access if I agreed to receive some spam. However, they did not support encryption and so I felt that was useless. I just checked and I was able to activate POP3 access without agreeing to receive any spam, and SSL is supported both for POP3 and SMTP. Sure, Yahoo is just trying to catch up to Google, but I think they're doing fairly well. I sent a message using SMTP and they didn't even append the stupid ad at the bottom.

            Ju

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by freakxx (987620)
      oh no...anyone can sign up the gmail now...invite is not a need anymore :-)
  • GReasemonkey (Score:5, Informative)

    by AuMatar (183847) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:39PM (#17582448)
    You could run a greasemonkey script to remove the script causing all this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by posterlogo (943853)
      Oh yeah? Well I'll deploy my greaseape script to pwn your greasemonkey's ass!!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by MrShaggy (683273)
      In Soviet Russia, the monkey greased you.
  • Opera (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheDawgLives (546565) <http://www...suckitdown...org> on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:41PM (#17582498) Homepage Journal
    One trick that worked in Opera was to find out which javascript function was creating the adds and overwrite it. Opera allows you to define a user.js file and any functions in it overwrite the functions in any page loaded javascript. I just created a function with an empty body and I was good to go.
  • by jfclavette (961511) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:42PM (#17582508)
    If I had a website relying on ads and a reliable way to do it, I'd terminate accounts of people with an ad blocker right off the bat. You are using a free service in exchange of which they are putting a bunch of advertisement on your screen. By blocking it, you become a free loader, absolutely useless for them as a customer. If you don't like the business model, pay for your webmail.
    • If I had a website relying on ads and a reliable way to do it, I'd terminate accounts of people with an ad blocker right off the bat. You are using a free service in exchange of which they are putting a bunch of advertisement on your screen. By blocking it, you become a free loader, absolutely useless for them as a customer. If you don't like the business model, pay for your webmail.

      I would disagree for two reasons:

      1. That's not true that adblockers are complete freeloaders on the Yahoo network. Attached to every mail you send from Yahoo is an advertisement for Yahoo Mail. That's presumably worth something- very possibly more than the ads you're blocking (especially as the type of customer who blocks ads is not likely to click on them).

      2. Yahoo simply can't do this. People would scream bloody murder if their email- their online identity- was terminated. Bad, bad publicity and a quick erosion of trust for very little gain.

      Personally? I'd switch to gmail. They've never pulled any shenanigans on me.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Zwaxy (447665)
        You can use POP3 with gmail, and then you don't see any ads at all. I don't know if Yahoo supports POP3 or not, but even if it does I guess they still tag an ad on the end of each mail you send.
        • by L7_ (645377) on Friday January 12, 2007 @07:51PM (#17583598)
          when you download your gmail to a pop3 reader, do you get the other stuff in the column that comes with the ads? Like the auto-parsing of any addresses in your email with a link to thier site on maps.google.com, auto-parsing what it sees as DHL, FedEx or UPS tracking numbers with a link to those web tracking services, or parses any dates and descriptions and links directly to adding them to your google calendar, or even better yet linking news site articles that have content that actually is relevant to the discussion?

          Thats what gmail does for me, and why I use the web interface.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LunaticTippy (872397)
            That's the secret. Make it better enough and the ads subtle enough and you can rake in the bucks. Give 'em flash and blink and noise and get blocked.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Zwaxy (447665)
            I used to use the web interface. It really is a joy to use. Then one day about 6 months ago I found I couldn't log in. It's almost impossible to get any useful information from Google when you experience a problem. For over 2 weeks I couldn't access any of my old email at all. Then as if by magic it started working again.

            That was when I stopped trusting 3rd parties to hold my information for me. Now I use POP3. The interface might not be so pretty, but at least I know I can access my mail when I want
        • by Arker (91948) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:08PM (#17584422) Homepage Journal
          Yahoo decided awhile back to remove POP access from free accounts. You now have to pay them for that access. While gmail gives it to you for free, then makes the web interface useful to you so you won't want to...
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by nra1871 (836627)
        I personally like Gmail's ads. They add a lot of humor when having a back and forth discussion, coming up with stuff that is completely inappropriate. Often we have more fun discussing why Gmail decides we need to see "The secret coffee cos don't want you to know" more than the actual topic.
        • I've actually found gmails ads' sometimes useful too. I GM a roleplaying game with virtual tabletop software, and some interesting things I had never heard about, but am interested in, show up in the sponsored links section.

          Google's adsense is far more useful to users than regular banner ads.
    • You are using a free service in exchange of which they are putting a bunch of advertisement on your screen. By blocking it, you become a free loader, absolutely useless for them as a customer. If you don't like the business model, pay for your webmail.
      How is hiding the ads any different from not clicking on them?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)
      By blocking it, you become a free loader, absolutely useless for them as a customer.

      The math is nowhere near that simple.

      You neglect one important factor - the network effect. It took a lot of eyeballs for a site like Yahoo to become successful, and it takes a lot of eyeballs to maintain that critical mass and stay successful - especially online where barrier to entry is low and users are notoriously capricious.

      Every user of Yahoo's services tends to drag in other users - through popularity and word of mou
    • By blocking it, you become a free loader, absolutely useless for them as a customer.

      I doubt it:

      "Yes, we'd love to sell you some ad space. We have 20,000,000 users."

      "Yes, we'd love to sell you some ad space. We have 20,000,000 users, and only 5,000,000 block ads."

      Which do you suppose is the sales pitch closer to reality?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by supaneko (1019638)
      What difference does it make if I don't see the ads? I NEVER click them anyway. I never support the ads in any shape, way, or form. And actually, the ads, for the most part, are mostly useless to me. I have never seen an ad on Yahoo that even remotely appealed to me. So, if I never click the ads and I never see ads that appeal to me, what difference does it make if I simply don't see them?
  • by GweeDo (127172) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:42PM (#17582524) Homepage
    I personally do have Adblock installed on my machine here, but I only use turn it on for sites that uses ads in a way that are obtrusive. Think of those lovely sites that uses flash to overlay ads that you have to figure out how to get rid of. Those sites, sure. But think of something like /. here. The ads don't get in the way. But they also let the service continue to be free for me. I won't block /. ads unless they start doing something to get them in my way.

    Now, there is a somewhat person reason for this for me too. I am starting up a new gaming company that will depend on ad revenue on the site to survive. If people block it, we will die off. We won't ever put ads in the way, but some people just can't stand to let us make money for a free service to happen.

    I just don't understand some of you.
    • by Kelson (129150) * on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:52PM (#17582686) Homepage Journal
      I won't block /. ads unless they start doing something to get them in my way.

      Agreed there. If an ad interferes with reading the site, or blares audio without asking me, I'll block it. I remember one site that had a pair of interesting articles (about website usability, ironically enough) that had so many ads it was almost impossible to read. I blocked all the ads, read the two articles, then never returned to the site.

      With most of them, it's just as easy to tune them out.

      Oddly, the only ads I can recall clicking on in the last year or so are on a handful of webcomics that I read. I wonder if that says something...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by novus ordo (843883)
      Adblock Plus has a whitelist so you can support the sites you like while blocking all others.
    • I started blocking here when they had these super-annoying IBM ads. I can't remember exactly but they either crept into the content or flashed or something. Oh yeah, and they munged firefox margins and made the page display all narrow. I dealt with it for a week. No more ads for slashdot. I'm with you, but if I get to my increasingly low annoyance threshold the site gets no more ads.
    • by fotbr (855184) on Friday January 12, 2007 @07:43PM (#17583486) Journal
      I don't buy based on ads. I don't do research based on ads. Why should I waste my bandwidth, AND YOURS, loading ads that are not going to result in a sale, or even a click for that matter? Bandwidth costs money. You should be thanking me for blocking ads and saving your business money, since there was no possibility of me clicking on the ad anyway.

      And yes, I even block google ads, even though they are the least annoying. I still won't click them, so why bother with them in the first place?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LunaticTippy (872397)
        The "reasoning" these ad-people use is that ads you are forced to watch, against your will, will somehow corrupt your free will. That your unconscious mind will be screaming "Ford! Coke! Gap! Etc!" every time you try to think clearly about making a purchase. Maybe it's even true. I find myself wanting to punch the monkey from time to time, and a free iPod seems compelling to me. I haven't seen an internet ad in a long time, either!

        So, don't waste your time trying to be reasonable. It's all some kind o
    • I just don't understand some of you.

      To help you understand perhaps a bit more of the ad-blocking mindset, another reason for blocking ads that you didn't mention so might not be aware of is that the major web advertising companies set themselves up to track users movements across the internet. I personally have no desire to give Doubleclick any information about what sites I surf. Even Google, whose ads are less intrusive, gets their ads/scripts blocked since I don't really care to give them that much insig

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, 2007 @08:19PM (#17583870)
      Now, there is a somewhat person reason for this for me too. I am starting up a new gaming company that will depend on ad revenue on the site to survive. If people block it, we will die off. We won't ever put ads in the way, but some people just can't stand to let us make money for a free service to happen.

      I just don't understand some of you.


      Let me try to help you understand. First, consider that not everybody blocks ads. If you run a site that depends on
      ad revenue, you will have some people downloading and viewing your ads, but you must accept that not everyone will.
      Some of us really dislike ads, and some of us even believe that the web is a one-to-many publishing medium that exists
      for people to express themselves with, not for people to try to make a go of business ventures that are so pathetic that
      the only way they can survive is if everybody that visits their site views their ads.

      Second, the way that some sites display ads is simply unacceptable. When I point my web browser at www.domain.com,
      I am expressly downloading content from www.domain.com, and from nowhere else. If that site attempts to trick my
      browser into requesting files from any other domain, it is pissing in the wind. I guarantee this behaviour with
      any browser I use via a custom proxy, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Keep that in mind if you want to
      embed ads in your pages. You had better plan on managing those ads yourself, because some people's browsers are
      not going to fetch them from anywhere else.

      Finally, you need to come to grips with the fact that some people believe that the web would instantly become a
      better place if all sites that depended on ad revenue vanished. Granted, a lot of useful and popular sites would
      disappear, but I assure you that equally useful sites would fill their places. There were excellent free search
      engines before google, and there would be again.

      If you cannot survive with web surfers exercising their ability and right to control what HTTP requests they do and
      do not make, then kindly release your domain name as you die.
    • "I just don't understand some of you"

      We dont care if, or are in any way responsible for, your site making money? Is it really that hard to grasp?

      Advertising is garbage for the brain and causes therapy. It is responsible for over consumption, driving consumerism and the general unhappyness of the masses. Advertising is a psychological disease that gradually and continually perverts, manipulates and conditions society. It creates an epedemic of distrust. You will have no idea of the effect advertising has on

    • by phorest (877315) *

      I won't block /. ads unless they start doing something to get them in my way.

      I won't block /. ads, unless of course I'm a subscriber to /.

  • I use Firefox with AdBlock and haven't seen an ad on Yahoo Mail in ages. But I haven't switched to their new layout, either. Maybe that makes a difference (and if so, I'll never switch).
    • by dc29A (636871)
      I've been using their new layout, no adverts whatsoever. AdBlock with a good regex filter is awesome.
  • Dear Slashdot, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Mysterious X (903554) <adam@omega.org.uk> on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:45PM (#17582560)
    I signed up for a service that is paid for by displaying advertisments.
    I am trying to avoid my side of the bargin by blocking the ads, however, the service provider seems to have prevented me from doing this easily.
    Can anyone help?
    • Dear Mysterious X,
      In spite of what you were told, attempts to sell yourself into slavery are considered invalid - enjoy the free room and board, but it's not the Hotel California - you can indeed leave anytime you want - and you don't have to view the ads while you're there.
      Your pal in non-slavedom,
      Abby
    • by KillerBob (217953)
      *sigh* that's not a troll, mods. That's paraphrasing the original blurb.

      The submitter really is griping because Yahoo is taking measures to make sure that their ads (the only source of revenue to support their free mail, at that) are getting displayed. And the complaint that when all the ads are being blocked, the page will start loading, freeze for 15s, and then finish loading? That's probably JavaScript, or whatever they're using to make sure the ads are displayed, running through its myriad adservers for
    • by jdavidb (449077) *

      So there's no commitment and no obligation on either side. So he's got no call to complain if they work around his work around, and they've got no call to complain if he asks a thousand hackers for help working around their work around of his work around. :)

    • I have a technical question for the group.
      Could someone please ignore it and give me a sarcastic, pseudo-moralistic entreaty to consumerism instead?
      Thanks.
  • by Kris_J (10111) * on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:45PM (#17582562) Journal
    The first thing you need to do, more or less straight away, is find a way to separate your email address from the place your email comes to rest. I have a domain AND an account with Spamgourmet [spamgourmet.com]. One is for fighting spam, but both are so I can hand out addresses that are independant from whatever service I choose to use to actually receive my mail. This allows you to easily leave crappy places that force ads on you or otherwise stuff up your mail. Start advertising your new address now, so that in a year or so when Yahoo pulls some new crap that pisses you off, you have the option of leaving them without any of your friends noticing. I also recommend setting up a bunch of IM accounts, then using an ad-free all-in-one IM client like Miranda IM [miranda-im.org] and move away from email in general.
    • seconded (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nasarius (593729) on Friday January 12, 2007 @10:16PM (#17585144)
      Any self-respecting geek should have his own domain. For less than ten bucks a year, you can get a domain with DNS and email forwarding (I use Namecheap, but there are others). Forward everything to a Gmail address, and use POP3 to make a backup.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by unborn (415272)
        Better yet, add Google Apps for your domain and there'll be no need to forward.
  • Why not allow it (Score:5, Informative)

    by vga_init (589198) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:45PM (#17582568) Journal
    I hate ads just as much as anyone else. I certainly hate being subject to "driveby" ads where you happen to visit a web page once in your life for no important reason (ie check out a story linked to by Slashdot), and I would stop at nothing to block those bastards. Yahoo, however, is offering you a pretty valuable service (free web mail), and I assume you enjoy the benefits of having it, so why not let them have their ads? Quid pro quo is not too unfair in this case.

    If you really want to get the ads off of your Yahoo mail account, pay them. I have a premium account with Yahoo because my ISP partners with them to provide all the web services. I log in--no ads! It's not too shabby.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Pay? For an internet service? What are you, some kind of capitalist? Subsidize the cost of it being free? What are you, some kind of capitalist?

      Yes those servers are free, damnit. Who pays for bandwidth and development time, these days, anyway. Get out of the past.

      ;)

  • Use the options (Score:5, Informative)

    by dantal (151318) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:53PM (#17582708)
    in addblock just click the radio for hide add instead of remove add, the add are still downloaded but you don't see them
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:54PM (#17582718)
    I just had an ad come up when I clicked on this article. Not a popup, but one of those annoying things that layer across the content. It smacked up right in the middle of the web page and asked me if i wanted to take a survey.

    I had a choice of hitting Yes, or I guess letting the ad sit there blocking my viewing the content.

    There was no close option.

    I don't mind ads, but what is the purpose of annoying me?
    • by fotbr (855184)
      The purpose is to force you to read the ad.

      Yes, its annoying. But the geniuses in marketing deparments think that annoying ads correlate to good sales.
  • Move your email to a different provider.

    I for example have been using Windows Mail Desktop [live.com] which lets me consolidate email from several emails accounts from a couple of different providers in one single place.

    Ads can be turned off in the program.

  • I use the Flashblock and NoScript Firefox extensions to surf the web. I also use Greasemonkey with user scripts to clean up sites like MySpace. I've found the AdBlock extension makes the already slow and crash prone Firefox even more so. Also, I run my own web site, so I don't like blocking other's ads.

    I block Flash and JavaScript because it uses my CPU time, and I'd rather have a smoother web experience.

    I just ignore advertising anyways. I don't read or pay attention to it. Do the ads on Yahoo really b
    • Why Flashblock? NoScript handles flash these days. And besides, last time I tried it (awhile ago, I'll admit, since it was back when Noscript didn't handle flash on its own) Flashblock required scripting to be enabled on a page in order to work.
  • They are sending some of the ads through HTTPS which most ad blockers can't handle.
    If you have a blocker that handles SSL ads, then let us know. I'd love to use that with Privoxy [privoxy.org].
    • Only for proxies (Score:3, Informative)

      by pestie (141370)
      Only ad-blockers that works as proxies have that issue (Privoxy, for example). Firefox extensions and the like handle HTTPS just fine.
  • related to bug? (Score:3, Informative)

    by lpq (583377) on Friday January 12, 2007 @07:31PM (#17583350) Homepage Journal
    Sounds similar in "symptoms" (the freezing and the 15-20 second period) to this Firefox bug: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=36684 9 [mozilla.org].

    I take it that you can't reproduce the problem in IE or Opera?
    What's they cpu usage? Does it freeze all firefox windows or just the Yahoo window?

  • I find with Firefox 2.0 yahoo mail causes it to crash constantly. As in usually 3 or 4 times a day. likely ad related as it happens on a refresh or a page change. I don't use adblock though, I use flashblock (and hosts rules to block their particular ad servers).

  • I always watch ads. How else will the people who want me to see their ads get me to see their ads? Also, they want me to buy their products, so I do. How else are they supposed to sell me their products unless they make me watch ads that tell me to? Also, they want to cover my town with ads: let them. How else are we going to see ads unless they cover the whole country? Also, they now want to put ads into movies and books -- good for them! How else can they really get mind-share penetration unless they comp
  • Best would be a proxy that a) downloads the ads, but b) does not display them or displays empty pictures. Shpuld not be too hard to do in a way the service provider cannot detect...
  • by feld (980784) on Friday January 12, 2007 @10:24PM (#17585228)
    Why do you use Ad Block Plus? It just bloats up firefox!

    Use Privoxy and force Firefox / Opera through the proxy on your localhost. It filters the ads for you! :)

    Also, I just tested -- I created an account on Yahoo and tried regular Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Mail Beta.

    I saw no ads. None. Nada.

    Privoxy > Ad Block Plus in my opinion. I never see ads thanks to this. And it's less work.

    Give it a shot guys.

  • Sorry for my ignorance, but it is a free ad supported service. You might actually see an ad to click on.

    I agree on banning large flash ads, but a 15k banner never hurt anyone (ok sometimes it did), so I cannot really relate to this tragedy of not being able to block a free service's ads.

    What about blocking them by the DNS / host file?

    cheers
  • daydreaming (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thinsoldier (937530)
    There should be an official standard for advertising on web pages.

    Advertisers should adhere to it.
    Browsers should adhere to it.
    Webmasters should adhere to it.
    Advertisers should ensure that the webmasters adhere to it.

    Then...
    have the contract you agree to when signing up for ad-supported services indicate that the site uses the official industry standard advertising method. Any attempt on the users part to block the ads is in breach of contract. The browser gets a certificate indicating that it must display
    • by kimvette (919543)
      What will pay for "free" services then, if not advertising?
    • by oyenstikker (536040) <slashdot @ s b yrne.org> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @01:03AM (#17586924) Homepage Journal
      * Firefix will not adhere to it on principle, but there will be 17 plugins that claim to, 3 of which actually work.
      * Konqueror will support it, but 90% of the ads won't show because KHTML properly handles CSS errors but the authors assume a laxer CSS parser. There will be an option to turn it off.
      * Opera will not support it because the users don't want it.
      * Internet Explorer will claim to support, but there will be the usual embrace, extend, extinguish, and all ads will be replaced with MSN ads.
      * Lynx will put a note in the man page that the next version of Lynx will support frames.
  • Touch and no go. (Score:3, Informative)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @01:16AM (#17587010) Homepage
    TANSTAAFL! Yahoo has ads. Slashdot has ads. Just about every site on the net has ads. If you want email without ads, you can pay a real email hosting company that will provide you with POP3/IMAP/SMTP access for a fee. Heck you can even get that from Yahoo, I think it's 30$ a year or so.. if you had been looking at their ads you would know ;)

    But if you want something for free, you have to pay with your eyeballs. Someone has to foot the bill for the web hosting, and the sysadmins, and the time and effort that go into building a site. Or are you one of those guys who gets HBO for free, spliced off your neighbor's cable ?

    The ad blocking game is no different from copy-protection schemes, or product activation, or any other undesirable software trait. They're like human viruses; they start out as a minor nuisance (simple banner ads), then you develop antibodies (adblock), then the virus grows stronger (javascript detection), then come stronger antibodies (adblock++.Net 2.0 GT), and then finally the virus grows so strong and belligerant it just plain kills you (ad company buys out Mozilla and makes you watch 2-minute full-screen noisy ads every time you click, then forces you to complete a "short" survey before letting you read the actual page).

    I personally don't employ any kind of ad blocking.. yes, it slows down page loads a little bit, but I don't mind it so much. An extra second or two won't kill me, I'm usually multitasking anyways. The sight of ads doesn't bug me, I just scroll past.. every now and then I'll actually see one that catches my interest and click through, because sometimes I actually discover something I like. The only gimmick I use against ads is FlashMute, because the last thing I need is for the neighbors to call the cops on me, from hearing those stupid screaming smilies pumped through my loud stereo.

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon

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