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Google Businesses The Almighty Buck The Internet

Google Unveils Flash Ads 225

Posted by Zonk
from the hip-hip-hooray dept.
Gailin writes "Google has announced and given some examples of their new Flash based ads. They seem to vary from average size to full screen-width Flash advertisements, with some interactive abilities. 'Gadget ads can incorporate real-time data feeds, images, video and much more in a single creative unit and can be developed using Flash, HTML or a combination of both. Designed to act more like content than a typical ad, they run on the Google(TM) content network, competing alongside text, image and video ads for placement. They support both cost-per-click and cost-per-impression pricing models, and offer a variety of contextual, site, geographic and demographic targeting options to ensure the ads reach relevant users with precision and scale.'"
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Google Unveils Flash Ads

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  • Target Market (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:05PM (#20684611) Homepage Journal

    a variety of contextual, site, geographic and demographic targeting options to ensure the ads reach relevant users with precision and scale.

    And all that's apparently missing is ensuring the surfer has Flash installed.

    Personally I detest Flash ads and for this reason keep renaming the NPSWF32.dll file as NPSWF32.dllfsdfsd (while I don't have an instance of Firefox open, lest it track the bastid) when I have no intention of viewing Flash content. Too many pages are so whizzy with Flash I position the browser so the Flash bit is offscreen or simply don't visit the sites at all. I don't see many company/commercial sites since they apparently all now believe their best way to reach the customer is with some bloated object 500K or bigger (i'm still on dial-up) and all whizzy. So all this means is I'll see some more puzzle pieces, unless they detect no-flash and throw animated (ugh) gifs at me.

    I'll just have to wrassle with The Morality of Web Advertisement Blocking [slashdot.org] for a while.

    Lucky for Google, I'm the exception and shouldn't make much of a dent in their stock value.

    • Re:Target Market (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:12PM (#20684773)
      Check out Noscript and/or FlashBlock for Firefox. I use both and wouldn't surf without them. It's a lot easier than renaming the DLL.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jarjarthejedi (996957)
        Agreed. Noscript is pretty much an essential part of my browser, more so than Adblock even.

        As for this move...if Google's actually not annoying in their ads (punch the monkey) then this might get more clicks. However it's also gonna use more bandwidth (sorry dial-uppers) and be blocked more often. I went through and unblocked Google from my Adblock list (doubleclick remains safely on there thank you very much) because a lot of my favorite sites used those ads to make money and it cost me nothing to let the
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          The ads all seem to come from gmodules.com so blocking them is easy.
      • by Futurepower(R) (558542) <MJennings.USA@NOT_any_of_THISgmail.com> on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:59PM (#20685763) Homepage
        Google: Do no evil.
        is now changed to, "We want to be like the U.S. government."
        Google: Do evil if it pays more.

        In my opinion, this is the beginning of the end for Google, as the founders lose touch with reality and fly around in their huge corporate jets. If you want responsibility, don't depend on a billionaire to do the work.

        Eventually, there will be a new search engine with no Flash ads, and everyone will use that. Eventually, people will say, "Google? What's that?"

        The new profit-making Mozilla will probably try to get the U.S. government to ban NoScript [noscript.net] and AdBlock Plus [adblockplus.org] and FlashBlock [mozilla.org].

        The problem with ads is not that I don't like advertising. The problem with ads is that they are nearly always stupid in some way. Some of the ads IBM ran on Slashdot were more than stupid, they were embarassing.

        Mostly, ads are written by people with absolutely NO interest in the product they are selling. I'm guessing that more than 50% of ads include at least some dishonesty. It is the ad makers that have given advertising a bad name.

        Larry Page and Sergey Brin, your usefulness to the world is coming to an end. Please find someone to carry on your original vision, and retire.
        • by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Thursday September 20, 2007 @02:54PM (#20686693) Homepage
          I think that murdering a human being is evil. I don't think that an easily blockable flash ad is evil. If you do, you must be living a pretty nice life.

          "Eventually, there will be a new search engine with no Flash ads, and everyone will use that. Eventually, people will say, "Google? What's that?""
          Do you think Google is a SEARCH ENGINE company?

          "The new profit-making Mozilla will probably try to get the U.S. government to ban NoScript and AdBlock Plus and FlashBlock."
          You're simply insane.
        • Please stop with the whole EVIL mantra. Serving flash ads is not EVIL. Murder, rape etc are EVIL. Google might be doing something DUMB or LAME, but it's not EVIL.
          • I'm just using the Google founder's definition of evil. They used that insight to make their search engine by far the most popular.

            I can't remember the name of the search engine I used before Google, but it was terrible with ad abuse.
      • Why both? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Per Abrahamsen (1397)
        I installed Noscript on my new computer, and it seems to do everything FlashBlock did for me on my old computer. That is, replace any flash-animation with a button to start it.
      • by jvj24601 (178471)
        Instead of Noscript and FlashBlock, I use Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition [portableapps.com] and install the IE View Lite [mozilla.org] extension (among others, like AdBlock Plus). By default, there's no Flash plugin in this version of Firefox, so everything is just fine and dandy. When I need to view a page that has Flash (for me, specifically, that's a handful of sites, like YouTube), I just use IE View Lite to open that single page or link in Internet Explorer.
    • by Tackhead (54550)
      > And all that's apparently missing is ensuring the surfer has Flash installed.

      For that matter, that's assuming that *.google-analytics.com isn't blocked just as heavily as Doubleclick.

    • So you dig through .dll files and rename them to create a dirty hack to disable flash (and of course restart your browser every time you want to see the flash, and restart it again when you're done), instead of just installing one elegant extension [mozilla.org] with one-click flash viewing and whitelisting capabilities?

      Sheesh.
    • by ajs (35943)

      a variety of contextual, site, geographic and demographic targeting options to ensure the ads reach relevant users with precision and scale.

      And all that's apparently missing is ensuring the surfer has Flash installed.

      Personally I detest Flash ads and for this reason keep renaming the NPSWF32.dll file as NPSWF32.dllfsdfsd (while I don't have an instance of Firefox open

      First off, you don't have to worry about Google Flash ads unless you're surfing on sites that will actually display them. My site [ajs.com] for example, does not display anything bug Google's text ads and Amazon links to specific products that I review. The fact Google they gives sites a choice of how to treat their visitors is the #1 reason that I do business with Google.

      Second, you don't have to play games with your plugins. Just grab a copy of Flashblock. It will place a Flash logo over the area of the page that

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Innova (1669)
      ...(i'm still on dial-up)...

      Please hand in your slashdot membership, and exit the building.
    • by colourmyeyes (1028804) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:19PM (#20689851)

      Designed to act more like content than a typical ad,
      This sure reads like an admission that ads aren't content (at least "typical ads").

      My feeling on ads is nicely summed up by banksy [banksy.co.uk]:

      Any advertisement in public space that give you no choice
      whether you see it or not is yours. It belongs to you.
      It's yours to take, re-arrange and re-use.
      Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
      (emphasis mine)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:06PM (#20684637)
    Does this mean I get to keep "Punching the Monkey?" I just can't find enough ways to win free ringtones.
  • Flashblock is great (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:07PM (#20684667)
    Get Flashblock here [mozilla.org]
  • by wwmedia (950346)
    didn't certain someone say "do no evil"?
    • by mordors9 (665662)
      To get all of this relevant content to the user, how far away can the spyware be. It's just to be benefit us the user after all.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by catbutt (469582)
        I'm not even going to stop at spyware. What about murder? How far away can that be? Soon Google will start murdering people. It's just a matter of when.
        • by jfengel (409917)
          Like a Google Murder Associates plan? If you need somebody popped, you get to bid on it against other people?

          And they'll suggest other people who can also be offed at the same time, perhaps for a discount.

          They can make it profitable on both ends, just like with AdWords: not only can you do in the people who need to be done, you can also make a few extra bucks to keep your web site going by taking contract jobs. They provide you with a list of the web sites the inhumee has been browsing lately so you can t
    • Yes, this is one step away from murdering babies, those bastards!
    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by buswolley (591500) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:25PM (#20685043) Journal
      Google made its mark by good search results WITH a CLEAN Interface Design.

      Google has forgotten its roots. Sure it might look good in the short term..a new product for more revenue.. But Google will lose in the long term as others offer a clean alternative to Google.

      People want uncluttered.

      • Re:hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anti_Climax (447121) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:58PM (#20685739)
        I didn't see anything mentioning that Google was going to use these ads on their search results page. Obviously they could, but you have to remember that most of the revenue generated by Google comes from ads served up on the pages of others. If a webmaster has the decency to use text ads instead of flash ads, it's still an option. This just allows Google to break into a market where they had no product to offer previously. Though it should be mentioned that some webmasters will want to switch to flash ads offered by Google now that they are available. End result, Google can keep their uncluttered search results, Webmasters that want flash ads can have them like they always could (but now get them with the benefit of Google's system) and the ones that want text ads can keep the status quo.
      • by Socguy (933973)

        Google made its mark by good search results WITH a CLEAN Interface Design.

        I hear ya brother, on /. you're preaching to the choir. I have a Yahoo account I use for when I visit a site that I'm sure will sell my email and I can barely force myself to load the page, virtually unusable in my opinion. Of course, I believe that if I want news I go to a news website, and if I want stock quotes or celebrity gossip I would have a bookmark and so on. Unfortunately, the masses don't see it that way. I believe that I saw an article on /. about this a few weeks ago. I'm too lazy to look

    • by pragma_x (644215)
      Well, that was before they became a publicly held company.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:08PM (#20684673) Journal

    Google has announced and given some examples of their new Flash based ads. They seem to vary from average size to full screen-width Flash advertisements, with some interactive abilities. 'Gadget ads can incorporate real-time data feeds, images, video and much more in a single creative unit and can be developed using Flash, HTML or a combination of both. Designed to act more like content than a typical ad, they run on the Google(TM) content network, competing alongside text, image and video ads for placement.
    Oh my god those are beautiful. Just beautiful. Whole new products I never wanted to hear anything about done in a new artsy kind of way. Exclusive interviews with bands that I've never heard of or cared about or allowed commercial radio to shove down my throat brought right to my computer screen ... without even asking! And the band is trying to sell me a hybrid car!

    So tell me, when I'm trying to use MySpace to reply to a distant friend & my browser slows to a crawl because there's five flash video advertisements of a lonely girl on a webcam waiting to talk to me--that's the kind of experience you want to proliferate through to every site using Google Ads?

    How will this affect people on slow connections like out in the boonies operating on a 56k phone line connection? I'm kind of afraid those users are just going to be squished & that Google will leave it to the sites themselves to figure that out while the sites themselves will expect Google to take care of it.

    Wait, did you hear that? I believe that was the sound of every single router and switch crying out in anguish.

    Ads that are designed to appeal to my eye & take up obnoxious amounts of bandwidth? It must be ... THE FUTURE!

    In all seriousness, this is all very bad news to me. A bloated delivery system (by definition it must be since it provides 'content rich' functionality) being forced to a large percent of the internet in the name of delivery unsolicited advertisement. And it's all legal and--get this--is unveiled like it's a new great feature.

    The simple concept of character based content delivery system is dead.
    • by catbutt (469582) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:14PM (#20684823)
      Geez, you'd think the world was coming to an end....

      The simple answer is that a lot of people are going to end up installing browser extensions that do the "click to run flash object" thing. And if they can't figure that out, I'm having a hard time feeling such pity if they are "squished".
      • The simple answer is that a lot of people are going to end up installing browser extensions that do the "click to run flash object" thing. And if they can't figure that out, I'm having a hard time feeling such pity if they are "squished".

        Remember, in order to use the internet, you must be completely knowledgeable & proficient at all underlying technologies. If you aren't, you're a moron and you deserve to have an IE javascript exploit install that virus on your machine.

        Unfortunately, 98% of the population doesn't want to have to deal with extensions in order to surf the internet. I mean, you can barely get everyone to keep updating IE, how will you get them to use a Firefox extension? These are the mentalities that cause you to

        • by Knara (9377)

          Amazingly, many people look at and even click on ads.

          While the advanced user / geekset seem to abhor them, this doesn't seem to be a problem for a significant amount of surfing population.

      • The simple answer is that a lot of people are going to end up installing browser extensions that do the "click to run flash object" thing.

        Yea! More people to use Firefox!
    • by emurphy42 (631808) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @02:39PM (#20686423) Homepage

      How will this affect people on slow connections like out in the boonies operating on a 56k phone line connection?
      http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=66136 [google.com]

      Maximum of 50k per ad, at least until the user starts interacting with it. Some other things in there that, at the least, count as Don't Be Really Evil.

      I haven't decided how I feel about this yet, but at least this quantifies things somewhat.

  • Well fuck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nimey (114278) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:08PM (#20684683) Homepage Journal
    Google's /clearly/ given up on "Don't Be Evil".

    Adblock+ & NoScript for the win.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You misinterpreted - it is actually:

      Don't! Be Evil.

      (captcha is 'unhappy')
    • No, not really, they just gave up on the little "n't" bit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      google's whole purpose is to push ads out to eyeballs.

      that, in itself, is pretty much evil.

      now, for your 'reward' of being a paid eyeball, we'll serve you some content. or let you think you're getting content.

      (anyone notice the google websearch - the thing that made them famous - is mostly taken over by commercial BUY/SELL vendors no matter what the search term is?)

      advertising companies are always evil. we just are slowly seeing the devil for what it really is. slowly, but surely.
  • X86-64 (Score:3, Funny)

    by phrostie (121428) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:08PM (#20684685)
    now all i need is a version of flash that works consistantly on 64 bit hardware.

    then again, maybe not
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nimey (114278)

      now all i need is a version of flash that works consistantly on 64 bit hardware.


      nspluginwrapper, if you're talking about AMD64. See here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=476924 [ubuntuforums.org]
      • by phrostie (121428)
        i use nspluginwrapper, but it doesn't work consistently.

        some pages don't work at all, and when opening multiple tabs, only the first one using flash works correctly, all consecutive tabs are broken.
      • by burndive (855848)
        emerge -av netscape-flash nspluginwrapper

        Works perfectly on my amd64 Gentoo box.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dynedain (141758)
      Hmm.... Flash on OSX works consistently, even on 64bit hardware... same with Flash on WinXP 64bit...

      Flash on 64bit hardware running Linux or FreeBSD would be something else entirely.
      • by AnyoneEB (574727)
        You mean it works on 64-bit hardware running in 32-bit mode. You can simply run Linux/*nix in 32-bit mode or just FireFox 32-bit and it works fine. If you want 64-bit FireFox, then you have to use nspluginwrapper as someone else mentioned which allow 32-bit plugins to be used on 64-bit browsers.
  • ... or in this case, annoying.

    One thing I've always liked about AdWords is that it's always relevant (well, the vast majority of the time), and it's non-obtrusive. Now I get to stare a million punch-the-monkey ads, or if Google is halfway competent in knowing my patterns, a million flashing "you won X tech gadget!" ads.

    • As far as I know, all information Google stores is associated with a cookie on your machine. So deleting the relevant cookie(s) /should/ cause a new one to be generated which has no association with the old profile Google has stored.
    • by daeg (828071)
      They are quickly losing relevancy, though. Now they're laced with "Website [xyz] sucks? Try [abc]!" even though [abc] has nothing to do with and is in no way related to [xyz] plus the flurry of completely lame eBay and Trader ads, like the somewhat-famous "Used Women. Find used women! We have what you need and more. authentictraders.com".

      Ads like that spurred me to block Google Ads.
  • These are the same busy, annoying ads that other sites have plastered all over...putting them next to a paragraph where the ad's designers justify their use of "artistic" flashing/blinking colors makes them no better than the aforementioned "Punch the monkey, win a ringtone" ads found elsewhere.

    My hope is that Google bigshots will see what an ugly, terrible effect these have on what their former, critically-acclaimed, clean, simple interface, and will do an about-face.

    I do realize how slim the odds of tha

  • That's good (ok, if you find it bad, use your flashblock/content blocker) because the widgets (aka Google Gadgets) are interactive, and they add some 'colours' to pages and make them cooler. Those are like the widgets one uses in wordpress for e.g, just in advert form.

    Plus, it's optional - one can still go for the usual word tag based adverts

    What's really interesting - Google went for Flash ads. MS. which had been touting its Silverlight since long, has not yet started giving the silverlight adverts. I do

  • Do no evil? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SeaSolder (979866)
    I don't know about the rest of you, but I think this goes against Google's unofficial "Do no evil" mission statement.

    Thank god for Adblock...
    • by Chyeld (713439)
      You get to pick, if your site does flash ads or not. So I wouldn't consider this evil. If you are visiting sites that think flash is 'cool' then they'll be serving up flash one way or the other. And I would place the blame, either way, on the site itself.

      In terms of "evil" what will determine if Google's lost track is if they maintain control over the ads or if they'll be come the malware crap that so many shady flash ad distribution networks use.
  • by MikeyVB (787338) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:18PM (#20684909)
    ...and blocked.

    Google, you probably have, sorry, had, one of the only set of ad servers I never blocked. Until now.

    Sorry, but anything that moves without my propmpting it is a distraction and will be blocked.
    • by hottoh (540941)
      I make good use of the FlashSwitch application. FlashSwitch is a utility to instantly turn MacromediaFlash playback on and off.

      http://www.flashswitch.com// [flashswitch.com]

      Sites heavily dependent on flash are faster with it off, and of course flash only sites will not work when you have flash turned off.
  • Well, duh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JamesP (688957)
    At the same time Google has the highest barrier for entry (employee-wise), they buy DoubleCrap (stupid) and take everybody (or, at least, most) inside (DoubleStupid).

    And then people at DoubleCrap start having funny ideas, management at G accepts it and now we have DoubleCrap ads as GAds.

    Remember, people at Google, what GAds was all about and why it was so successful.
  • Flashblock caught all of them, so we're OK for now.

  • Thank you, Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:20PM (#20684961) Journal
    Thank you for creating flash ads-- because I was having a hard time filtering out the embedded text stuff with Adblock.

    A large, clear, well-defined target is always appreciated.

  • by mattgreen (701203) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:22PM (#20684997)
    C'mon, I want to see you all trip over yourselves to apologize for Google. Because I'm sure that somehow, this is okay. There has to be some small technicality that redeems this company because the halo effect is not something that just goes away.

    Anyway, life is good with Adblock and Filterset-G. They can use full-screen Flash ads for all I care.
  • How does this violate the do no evil credo? Google is in the advertising business. They have an obligation to offer a product that is competitive to other company's offerings. Otherwise they will lose marketshare. There is a big flash ad for splunk at the top of this page. I guess Slashdot is evil too.
  • unlike other filter suggestions here, this one blocks them all.
  • by gozu (541069) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:30PM (#20685135) Journal
    How often did I wake up at night, my pillow soaked in bitter tears, cursing google for not offering flash ads. Finally, we shall be rid of the boring text ads we've been shackled with for so long, finally, we will experience web 3.0, an infinite land of beautiful colored, animated flash ads that shall bring us happiness and hope for a new bolder, brighter, blinkier future. On behalf of slashdotters everywhere, I want to thank you google! Thank you! Let the flash goodness begin!
  • Is there a way to prevent Flash adverts being shown on my site if I use AdSense? I don't want to subject people to that crap when they read my poorly-written overly-technical site.
  • Google has turned me into a thief and leech and I'm going to be locked out of websites.

    No flash here, what am I going to doooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!
  • I can deal with animated, as long as they don't make any sound until clicked on.

    And they must stay in their little box unless I click on them; no expanding on just a mouseover.
  • A wave of full screen ads will certainly increase the Firefox browser market share really quickly and will basically mean the end of Flash as an internet medium since everybody and their dog will block it completely.
  • Google flash cookie? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rg3 (858575) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:46PM (#20685479) Homepage
    It would be interesting to see if they start storing a "flash cookie" (not really a cookie) to track your movements on the web. More information on the flash cookie here [wordpress.com]. Sorry to link my own blog. Text here if you don't want to click:

    Yesterday I found out something quite interesting while reading a thread at LinuxQuestions.org [linuxquestions.org]. Summary: the flash browser plugin lets flash applications store information persistently on your hard drive. Sorry if this is common knowledge, but I didnt know it and Im quite shocked. That information can (may or may not) be used as browser cookies, as the thread shows. These days many people take their cookies seriously, maybe disabling them or deleting them from time to time or adjusting the browser cookie settings so it considers every cookie a session cookie that should be deleted when the browser is closed. Now, you need to be aware of a new battle front. Under Linux (and probably other Unix systems), these pieces of information are stored under $HOME/.macromedia/. Run find ~/.macromedia -print to get an overview.

    I remember one of the reasons people started to care about cookies in the first place was that sites like doubleclick (recently bought by Google) would serve ads for thousands of websites on the net, and those ads would store a cookie in your hard drive identifying you, so they could in theory track what you visited on the net and build a profile. Today the problem would still exist because sometimes ads are served in flash format.

    You can, however, configure the flash plugin so it doesnt let anybody store anything in your hard drive. It must be noted that to do so you must visit macromedia.com [macromedia.com] and adjust the plugin settings from a flash application that is available on their site. Moreover, if you completely disable data storage, you are warned that some sites may stop working. Amazing. So this problem is hard to avoid. My personal recommendation is to use a browser plugin like the typical FlashBlock for Firefox or the Load plugins on demand setting under Konqueror, so every flash application is blocked unless you specify otherwise. And, you may want to delete the $HOME/.macromedia/ directory from time to time, or at least part of its contents (settings are also stored in that directory). Its also worth mentioning that the settings and data are cross-browser, obviously. They are stored by the flash plugins no matter what browser youre running the plugin from.

    Its a shame so many websites require flash for basic browsing, as well as the lack of a flash plugin for many platforms. The plugin could also have an option to delete any hard drive data when closing it, similar to the option to treat all cookies as session cookies that many browsers feature.
    • by scruffy (29773)
      Thanks, I hadn't heard of flash cookies. Maybe I'm the last one to know. It appears that Firefox needs a new option to manage these things.

      I also noticed that Firefox has made cookie management a little harder as well. You used to be able to set the number of days to keep cookies in Edit: Preferences: Privacy, but now it looks like you have to go to about:config and modify network.cookie.lifetime.days.
  • That's the very definition of "evil".
    • by ampathee (682788)

      That's the very definition of "evil"

      evil /ivl/
      1. morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life.
      2. harmful; injurious: evil laws.
      3. characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous: to be fallen on evil days.
      4. due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character: an evil reputation.
      5. marked by anger, irritability, irascibility, etc.: He is known for his evil disposition.
      6. the act of serving flash-based advertisements on the internet.

      Well, I'll be damned.

  • I believe that it would have shown a level of greater software based intelligence, and licensing costs if Google have walked the path using SVG.
  • Wait... (Score:2, Funny)

    by thomas.galvin (551471)
    I must be missing something... all I see is a bunch of stylized "F"s in boxes.
  • I'm enthusiastically in favor of advertising, because something to has to pay the bills, and if a bit of screen real estate (within reason) that doesn't cost me anything buys the cornacopia of free content that's out there, then I like it.

    I actually prefer Flash ads, because they seem to be smaller and faster loading than gifs or jpgs.

    I only really get annoyed when some ad starts blasting sound at me. Those people should definitely be brought out in the public square and beaten.

  • by spyrochaete (707033) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @02:37PM (#20686387) Homepage Journal
    Google's served me very well over the years and I've preferred it because of the non-intrusive ads (that can be blocked with AdBlock and CustomizeGoogle). If, for some reason, I cannot block or opt-out of these Flash ads, then that will mark my permanent departure from Google.
  • If they were really smart they would use static, silent, and small ( in file-size terms ) adds. SVG would be ideal. What point is there in adds if they annoy people so much they block them or get negative associations towards your company because of them ? Heck, if I were making these adds I'd make it EASY for users to avoid them should they want to. The last thing you want to do is to prompt users to install tools that nuke your adds on the assumption that will be highly detrimental to their browsing exper
    • by imsabbel (611519)
      Who would need svg?
      Everything svg does for a web-ad can be done with gif, too (nobody cares about scalability).
      They want ads with flash because they want to make blinking, interactive (fear the mouse-over) ,noisy, obnoxious adds.

      And seriously, 90% of all web users dont know what "flash" is.
  • Great! Another reason not to install Gnash! I've been Flash free for a long time, because Adobe/Macromedia will not support FreeBSD (and at one time even had a license forbidding the use of Flash on FreeBSD). I end up with a lot of sparse and blank webpages, but that just saves me on bandwidth.

    More Flash ads means less ads I have to see!

    p.s. It used to be that the Linux community derided Flash and sites that used Flash for navigation or content. Then they got their very own proprietary Flash plugin, and mos
  • by Xentor (600436) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @04:01PM (#20687871) Homepage
    I just read over the guidelines that an above poster linked ( http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=66136 [google.com] ), and I don't think this will be as bad as everyone is saying...

    First off, it looks like these will be ads on other peoples' sites, not on your search results. It can be used in addition to that "AdWords" thing, or "AdSense", whichever one it is... You decide to advertise on YOUR site, and you get banners from Google, the same way you would get embedded keyword links.

    In addition, they're making some nice, strict rules. Here are some of their restrictions:

    * No more than 50k in size unless the user interacts with it (Then it can load more)
    * No more than 15 seconds of animation
    * No popups or javascript alerts
    * No cookie usage (Not even Flash's version of local storage)
    * Must clearly show the company/product being advertised, not just some random crap
    * No sound or fancy cursors unless the user interacts with it

    (Hopefully that entails clicking on it, and not just accidentally moving your cursor over it on the way to the link you want)

    I would hope they're enforcing these rules by requiring the source file instead of just the compiled SWF, or at least have some kind of checks for stuff like this... But I don't see how this is any worse than the banners we have now. Granted, I'd prefer less banners and more text ads, but if the market has determined that animated banners are necessary, then at least Google is keeping a close eye on theirs.
    • by bit01 (644603) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @07:44PM (#20690691)

      "Half bad" is not the same as "not bad". Stop pretending it is.

      And what on earth makes you think this isn't going to get worse in future? This change is itself worse than previous when flash wasn't used. Despite what you claim.

      Google, like most large scale marketers, is just boiling the frog. They are going slower than many but they're still doing it.

      This is not particularly ethical behavior, whatever marketers might claim.

      ---

      Advertising pays for nothing. "Advertising supported" just means you're paying twice over, once in time to watch/avoid the ad and twice in the increased price of the product to pay for the ad.

  • ...not with a flash, but with a widget.

    I can't be the only one who thought that Konfabulator (now something Yahoo) widgets and their ilk were a terrible waste of system resources, and I certainly can't be the only one who rolls their eyes when a Facebook acquaintance turns out to be a vampire, zombie, ninja or viral marketer who wants to bite/fuck/sell you something so that you can bite/fuck/sell things to all of your other friends. This is just taking shit to an all new, cynical level of manipulation.

    Whil

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