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Ad Block Plus Filter Maintainer "rick752" Dies At 56 385

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the guy-who-made-the-intertubez-liveable-again dept.
A user on Reddit pointed out that Richard "rick752" Petnel, maintainer of one of the most popular filter lists for Ad Block Plus, has passed away at age 56. In an article last year Petnel described a bit of what he was up against in the ad world. "'I'm playing against some pretty big players,' he said, explaining his reluctance to step forward. 'I don't want to be harassed. . . . I don't want to be bribed. I started it because I was frustrated with getting my computer infected from ads -- malware and spyware and all that stuff,' he said. 'I kind of went overboard with it. But you have to admit, it's pretty amazing, right?'" Update 15:05 GMT by SM: updated to reflect Rick's status as maintainer of the most popular Ad Block Plus filter as opposed to Ad Block Plus itself.
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Ad Block Plus Filter Maintainer "rick752" Dies At 56

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  • erm? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jaggeh (1485669) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:20AM (#27475563)
    does this mean no new updates?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      how is this a troll?
      • Re:erm? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:53AM (#27476073) Journal

        how is this a troll?

        Because there is no "-1 Classless" mod?

        • So what is the current acceptable mourning period before asking about continued support? I'll need to update my records in case something happens to Torvald. /sarcasm

          Geez... IMHO, the OP was asking a perfectly valid question... it's not like he was asking for the widow's phone number...

        • Re:erm? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MrHanky (141717) on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:36AM (#27476651) Homepage Journal

          I'm not sure it's so goddamn classless. It shows that someone who didn't know the anonymous guy or anything about him still cares about his work. It might be "insensitive" in some situations, but right here and now it's also a display of appreciation. This is Slashdot, not a funeral.

        • Re:erm? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Hatta (162192) on Monday April 06, 2009 @02:53PM (#27480261) Journal

          I'd rather be classless than humorless.

    • Re:erm? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Z00L00K (682162) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:31AM (#27475699) Homepage

      As it turns out - he was a filter maintainer, one of the first, but AdBlock Plus is likely to remain.

      AdBlock Plus is one of the best add-ons that has been created for web browsers ever.

      • Devil's Advocate (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mrops (927562) on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:29AM (#27476549)

        Trying to play Devils advocate.

        As a user of AdBlock plus myself, I do often wonder how many services that I perceive free have advert revenue behind them. Will we see these services disappear as usage of ad blocking tools continue when they cannot generate enough revenue?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mister Whirly (964219)
          It is up to the advertisers to come up with a system that works, not up to the consumers to follow the advertisers' system. It is also up to the web sites to find a way to generate revenue. If throwing up ads aren't doing that, it is time for a new strategy.

          As of now a very low percentage of internet users are using ad blocking software, so I doubt it will become that big of an issue. But you never know.
        • Re:Devil's Advocate (Score:4, Informative)

          by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Monday April 06, 2009 @11:01AM (#27477037) Journal
          I compromise: I allow static images through the filter with @@|$image
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by jonaskoelker (922170)

            @@|$image

            perl: post27477037.pl, line 1: insufficient line noise.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by jesdynf (42915)

            I've never used AdBlock — I just use NoScript. I'm not blocking based on content, I'm just enforcing tighter security on my computer.

            It cleanly kneecaps admonger arguments — static ads (I also disable animated gifs) and text ads display just fine, but you don't have my permission to run Flash, Java, or JavaScript on my system. And strangely enough, NoScript's control is finely-grained enough to give a site general permission to execute content without also granting access to skeevyads.cx and oth

        • by Z00L00K (682162) on Monday April 06, 2009 @11:18AM (#27477257) Homepage

          Interesting question, but the need of adblock tools have originated from the excessive ads that takes over all resources and makes the ads the primary content and the page the secondary content.

          If the ads weren't so bad and stressing then the need for adblockers would be small.

        • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Monday April 06, 2009 @12:14PM (#27478057)
          This is how I rationalize it to myself. Not once have I intentionally clicked on an advertisement. By blocking them from my sight I am not depriving them of any clicks. By the same token flipping the channel while watching local TV doesn't make one a pirate because they're not watching the affiliate's commercials does it?
    • Re:erm? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mzs (595629) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:43AM (#27475903)

      From http://adblockplus.org/blog/sad-news [adblockplus.org]

      "With his work, Rick helped improve the browsing experience for millions of people. And while he will be deeply missed, he built up a strong community that will be able to continue what he started. There are several strong candidates and I expect to announce Rick's successor as EasyList maintainer in the next few days."

      So essentially not too much to worry about, but yes that was indeed trollish to care more about yourself rather that the family and friends and publicly ask that question.

      • Re:erm? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 0racle (667029) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:50AM (#27476021)
        No it's not trollish. Most people have never met the guy. When a loss occurs you react in a way in line with how they impacted you. For the majority of people here, that was by creating and maintaining Ad Block Plus. Yes it's sad for his family and friends, but the primary concern for the users is what happens to the project.

        On top of that he asked on a tech site where someone might know, he didn't go up to the guys widow (or mother or whatever) and ask what's going to happen with the project.
      • Re:erm? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sir_Dill (218371) <slashdotNO@SPAMzachula.com> on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:52AM (#27476045) Homepage
        Insensitive, Yes.

        Trollish, No.

        The poster brings up a very poignant and VERY on-topic question even if it was tactless. Not all of us have social skills.

        If the poster had posted anon THEN I would consider it a troll.

        • Re:erm? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kaboom13 (235759) <kaboom108@@@bellsouth...net> on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:16AM (#27476371)

          Seriously, who cares about "social skills" on an online forum for geeks? It's not like his family are going to read it. There's nothing insensitive about it, because the only people who will be offended will be people who didn't even know the guy having mock outrage on his behalf. I'm sorry if I don't want to cater to their imaginary grief.

          If Linus died, I would say that sucks, who is going to be the face of the Linux kernel now? I don't know him, a handful of people on here have probably interacted with him on a professional level, but I doubt there are any that would really be effected on a personal level. I'm sure there would be tons eager to proclaim "how dare you talk about the kernel at a time like this" etc. ad nasuem. Fuck that. They don't actually give a crap about the guy who died, in fact they are probably thinking the same question. They have just seized an opportunity to be the high and mighty self-appointed moral police, and to that I say Fuck you. I'd take a troll over you anyday.

          • Re:erm? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:40AM (#27476705)

            If Linus died, I would say that sucks, who is going to be the face of the Linux kernel now? I don't know him, a handful of people on here have probably interacted with him on a professional level, but I doubt there are any that would really be effected on a personal level. I'm sure there would be tons eager to proclaim "how dare you talk about the kernel at a time like this" etc. ad nasuem. Fuck that. They don't actually give a crap about the guy who died, in fact they are probably thinking the same question. They have just seized an opportunity to be the high and mighty self-appointed moral police, and to that I say Fuck you. I'd take a troll over you anyday.

            Agreed.

            Yeah, it sucks that Rick died... I'm sure he was loved and his friends and family are in mourning... And I guess I'd rather he hadn't died... But, really, I don't know the guy. Didn't even know his name until this story showed up. I'm supposed to act heartbroken and sympathetic and stuff? Over some guy I never even knew?

            People die literally every second of every day. Turn on CNN and you'll see dozens of stories about shootings and disasters and accidents... Am I supposed to just sit around in a permanent state of mourning for all the people who are dying?

            A week or two back when Natasha Richardson died in that ski accident they had people calling in, weeping over their loss... Except that they didn't know Natasha. They weren't her friends or family. They were just random people who happened to see her in a movie, or hear her give an interview, or see her at a gathering... They had no real emotional connection to her. Whatever relationship they had, whatever person they thought she was - that was a creation of their own mind, not reality. And they were weeping as if their best friend had just died.

            Yes, it sucks that this person is gone. It sucks when most people die. But I didn't know them. I didn't know their friends or their family. I've got absolutely no ties to them at all. The only connection I have to this Rick guy is the fact that I use his filter... So, yeah, I'm concerned about the filter living on.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by StikyPad (445176)

              Not all the people, but maybe some of the people who did a significant amount of work to make your life better with no expectation of compensation. I mean, if open source is going to try to make any legitimate claims to an ethos, then those claims should be backed up with at least a bit of humanity. Not bothering to tip your hat at the death of someone who helped you out personally, regardless of whether there was a personal relationship, is in poor taste, to say the least.

              Now I'm not saying that YOU are

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            If Linus died, I would say that sucks, who is going to be the face of the Linux kernel now?

            It would have to be someone who is as effective at Linus at managing DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!!!

      • by brian0918 (638904)

        that was indeed trollish to care more about yourself rather that the family and friends and publicly ask that question.

        No it was not. While there is nothing wrong with mourning someone you care about, there is no requirement by anyone else to care, and people should not shy away from that fact, as you would guilt them into doing. There should be no guilt in such a statement. You should ditch your altruistic tendencies in favor of some rational self-interest.

      • Re:erm? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyYar (622222) on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:22AM (#27476469)

        So essentially not too much to worry about, but yes that was indeed trollish to care more about yourself rather that the family and friends and publicly ask that question.

        I disagree. When someone ties up I-95 with a big deadly car crash, I want to know when they'll re-open I-95, not how everyone is feeling.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mattwarden (699984)

        yes that was indeed trollish to care more about yourself rather that the family and friends and publicly ask that question.

        Uh, what? How about you answer me why this is news. Is it because this random guy died and his family is sad? No. Plenty of other people died in the last couple of days, too. It's news because it affects you.

        The real reason parent got modded troll is that he didn't act like he was more concerned for the family, which is what social norms say we're supposed to do. But the point is: it's

    • This means DONATE. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:49AM (#27475979)

      If you liked the software, donate money to his family to help cover funeral costs, or donate money to the charity listed in his obituary, Community Hospice of Albany, as a last tribute to someone whose work you've enjoyed over the years.
       
      Someone else will maintain adblock plus. It could even be you!
       
      ...Though it'd be deliciously ironic as a Googler's 20% project.

      • If I had mod points, I'd mod you +1 good idea. Remember the guy who had his wife sent a ton of flowers simply because he testified in a trial?

        Why not send this man's family some love too - he, and people like him, have diligently helped stem the tide of crap that floods the internet.

        He's earned a wreath marked "Our brother departed, loved and dear, told the world 'The ad stop here'."

  • What can you say. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:22AM (#27475587) Homepage Journal

    I feel for his family. I use and really like adblock plus but that is trivial compared to what his lose means to his family and friends.

  • by Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:23AM (#27475599) Homepage
    You might have annoyed advertisers, but that's fine with me, because advertisers used to annoy the shit out of me. Thanks to AdBlock Plus, I no longer have to be annoyed by adverts when I go online.
    • by pipboy9999 (1088005) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:37AM (#27475781)
      I some times forget that the internet has adds thanks to ABP. I am reminded how much I love ABP when I use some one else's computer.
      • I sometimes forget as well; one of the first things I do when setting up a new computer is to install Firefox with Adblock Plus and Petnel's EasyList. I did this with my wife's Macbook, and she loved it until she started watching Hulu and shows on CBS.com. So, I just disabled adblock for those sites, and she's happy again.
    • by Abreu (173023)

      Indeed... Richard, may God reward you for helping people remove annoyments out of their lives.

    • by dave420 (699308)
      He also annoyed websites by removing their ability to pay for their hosting. Yay.
      • by Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:51AM (#27476023) Homepage
        That wasn't his problem, and it isn't mine. If you can't support a website without annoying people (and, yes, ads are really fucking annoying) then your website might not be as valuable as you think it is.
        • by Directrix1 (157787) on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:32AM (#27476599)

          Without advertising you often have to either charge for access to your website, or rake in donations. You are being very naive with your assumptions.

          • ...when I had my own shitty little website where I posted the shitty little stories I used to write: pay the hosting bill by working a day job. Again, the need to depend on advertising, subscriptions, donations, or a day job is not my concern. I don't run a website; I just use them. If I find your ads obnoxious, I will block them without apology.
          • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday April 06, 2009 @12:37PM (#27478429)

            Without advertising you often have to either charge for access to your website, or rake in donations. You are being very naive with your assumptions.

            Seems to me that you are the one being naive. The market determines the viability of the business model - not how much effort you put into it. If the market decides that advertising support is unacceptable, then that's just the way it is. You might as well be claiming that your website needs bailout money.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        He also annoyed websites by removing their ability to pay for their hosting. Yay.

        No loss. When websites and advertisers get it through their thick skulls that people won't block advertising that's useful to them then maybe good websites will prosper and everybody will benefit.

        Most web publishers are so focused on maximizing their ad revenue they lose sight of the fact that obtrusive advertising clutters and reduces the net value of their website. To below zero for many viewers.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:04AM (#27476227) Journal

      Not to mention as a PC repairman it has really helped me move folks away from the ubercrap that is IE. I would get a call to go out and fix a home user/SOHO/small business and I always carry my flash with me loaded with computer repair utility toolkit [megaupload.com] and portable Firefox [portableapps.com] with Adblock Plus installed. It never seems to fail that I have this conversation:

      "Hey, how come I don't see that stupid 'hit the clown and win an iPod ad'?" that is because with Firefox 3 and Adblock Plus I don't have to look at stupid ads anymore. Makes my day nicer and my browser load quicker to boot. "I bet that is expensive and really hard to set up,huh?" Nope, it is absolutely free, no adware or spyware either, and with Adblock Plus I answer a single question and I'm done. It even updates itself so as new ads or Internet bugs come along I don't have to worry. "Uuuhh, since you are here anyway, do you think you could install that to MY machine?"

      I can't count how many times I have had that conversation. I even managed to get my Luddite 67 year old dad to get off IE. Trying to sell folks security is like trying to sell them air. They know they need it but actually getting them to grasp it is NOT easy. Thanks to Adblock Plus getting them switched to a more secure browser is simple as 1-2-3. 1-Let them see me using FF3 with Adblock Plus. 2-Tell them it is free and easy when asked 3-Install FF3 and Adblock Plus when requested by the user(which they always do). So my heart goes out to their family. Guys like Rick have done more to spread FOSS than any bullet pointed list about security ever could. Thanks to Adblock Plus the web is what I WANT it to be, not what some damned irritating advertiser makes it into. He really was one of the unsung heroes of FOSS because by maintaining the Adblock Plus list he made FF3 an easy sell to every IE user I've come in contact with.

      And for those that suggested a HOSTS file, aka the Cheap Opera hack? That is NOT easy, in fact for the average home user maintaining a HOSTS file is strange and difficult. With FF3 and Adblock Plus they don't have to do ANYTHING, as the software does it all for them. Can't get much simpler than that.

  • RIP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by saleenS281 (859657) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:23AM (#27475603) Homepage
    That's a bit young to go, but at least he lived a full life. I wonder what the heck he died from "after a brief illness". Given it's a hospice, I can only imagine an aggressive cancer.
  • Love the product (Score:5, Insightful)

    by klui (457783) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:24AM (#27475613)
    Didn't know the man, but I love the product. It's comforting to know he won't have to worry about ads any more.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:25AM (#27475627)
    • Some details... (Score:5, Informative)

      by InvisiBill (706958) <slashdot@@@invisibill...net> on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:41AM (#27475871) Homepage

      From that post:
      It's with great sadness that have to announce the passing of a good friend and our EasyList author, Rick752. Rick had suffered a stroke on St Patrick' Day, and I was just informed that Rick had passed away last evening. During this short period, while hospitalized, Rick had his family very close by his side. There was some able communication and awareness between Rick and his family before his passing and although given this short period to "prepare" for the inevitable, this news (as with any of this type) is still quite shocking and difficult to accept.

  • Donations (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:26AM (#27475643)

    Donations made to:

    Community Hospice of Albany
    445 New Karner Rd.
    Albany, NY 12205

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by awpoopy (1054584)
      From the Obituary:
      "In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to:
      Community Hospice of Albany
      445 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205.
      To leave a special message for the family online, visit www.NewcomerAlbany.com"
  • So young... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thanshin (1188877) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:27AM (#27475653)

    A close friend has recently died at a similar age and it's so strange to think of all the plans we make for after retirement, never contemplating we may never reach it...

    • by kobaz (107760)

      This is why I dislike the "get a nice comfy state job, work for 30 years, and retire" attitude that my dad has. At 65 he's been enjoying his pension... but he can barely walk since he keeps pulling muscles any time he tries to exercise. He's got low energy most of the time, and as the years go on, has less and less of a will to do anything other than sit in front of his computer and tinker.

      Why would I want to piss away 30 years of my life (30 of the best years) working for someone else, and then finally ge

    • by mikael (484)

      I've heard similar stories from friends. One couple moved out to France to retire - the guy was lucky enough to have a pension scheme that allowed him to take early retirement at 60. Bought their dream cottage, renovated it, had friends at church and ran their own bar/restaurant. Then he was diagnosed with lung cancer and eventually passed away.

      Another couple, the lady slipped on a staircase while going downstairs and hit her head against one of the leading edges of the steps. She thought nothing of it, the

  • by lawaetf1 (613291) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:29AM (#27475673)

    First and foremost, condolences to the family.

    Second, Rich, thanks for a powerful plugin that I'm sure has kept my blood pressure down a few notches. Whenever I use a browser that doesn't have adBlock installed I am aghast at the irritating clutter that is on most web pages.

  • by Briareos (21163) * on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:32AM (#27475701)

    Though it's sad that the maintainer of one of AdBlock Plus' block lists (the "EasyList") died he still wasn't the maintainer of AdBlock Plus itself.

    That's still Wladimir Palant, as can be easily seen here [adblockplus.org].

  • by AnalPerfume (1356177) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:34AM (#27475733)
    The battles of advertising & greed / annoying customers was always gonna go like this. They need to keep hitting targets, which means more eyeballs. They know that only a small percentage of eyeballs who see the advert actually convert to cash, so they need more eyeballs to be a bigger pool.

    That means they are more in-your-face, more determined to ignore your option not to see them. This in turn leads to people like Rick taking a stand which leads to all of us AdBlockPlus users having a better surfing experience.

    Advertisers have brought it upon themselves by being aggressively greedy. It's a numbers game which is backfiring to some extent as more people decide that enough is enough and they block all adverts. Unfortunately this greed by the super-corps has hindered the little guys who rely on adverts and use them subtly and responsibly as they are blocked too by users. Then.....since when has any CEO been ousted for considering the little guy? It's all "ME! ME! ME!".
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Of course, it never quite occurrs to them that the more obnoxious they get with their ads, the more people who will resort to blocking technologies.

      Back when ads were just simple banner images without all the annoying pop-up, pop-under, flashing, and annoying sounds, I didn't really mind them. As they started adding those annoying features, I went out of my way to actively block them.

      From that point on, just about ANY ad on a web page (except for the non-annoying google text ones) pretty much turns me off f

  • but how much money does this guy going away represent to the ad industry?

  • What should we do? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by XB-70 (812342) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:39AM (#27475809)
    Given the importance of what he has accomplished in the world cluttered with unwanted marketing, his memory deserves something special.

    I'm interested in your thoughts. What about a completely ad-free town? Is there a small town somewhere that is willing to go completely ad-free (maybe there already is one)?

    Maybe ad-free stretched of road (with anonymous sponsors)!!

    Perhaps a huge billboard that is perpetually kept empty (or has only news/info on it).

    Let's do something really good to commemorate this guy's vision.

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@@@slashdot...org> on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:39AM (#27475831)

    ...some kind of Internet-equivalent of a statue built for him, and the creator(s) of the original AdBlock (of whose I can't even find the names :/).
    Without this little extension, the Internet would be unusable for me, and many, many other people.

    Any suggestions besides making AdBlock Plus a community project and maybe even integrate it into Firefox itself? (After all, I don't know a more important extension. If I would have to choose between having tabs and having ads blocked, I'd always choose the ad blocker.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Gamma747 (1438537)
      I doubt ABP will ever be integrated into Firefox. Remember, Mozilla gets most of their funding from Google.
    • If I would have to choose between having tabs and having ads blocked, I'd always choose the ad blocker.

      I... well, it surely wouldn't be very usable with only... but then again... no... wait!... NO... I can't work like this! GAAAAH!

      Oh, horrible nightmare, having to choose.

  • AdBlock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bjorniac (836863) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:40AM (#27475845)

    He made the world a little bit better for a whole lot of people, quietly and effectively. There's almost no higher purpose in life.

  • Rest in piece Richard, thanks for all the good work, strength to the family and relatives.

  • RIP my friend (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I never knew you but as recently as Saturday I was bragging about your awesomeness.

  • A very sad farewell to the man who made the internet usable again. RIP.

  • by Scutter (18425) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:47AM (#27475963) Journal

    I read the article associated and all I heard from the content owners' side was "If you block our ads, we lose revenue!" It seems to me that if websites stopped using more and more intrusive ad techniques that people would be less likely to want to use ad-blockers. You already know your customers hate pop-ups, so the ads get blocked. Your answer is to use pop-unders instead, trying to circumvent the wishes of your target customer. You know they block half the ads on your site, so you double the ads and spread the content out over twice as many pages. Again, your customer has already told you what they want, but you insist that you know better.

    Seriously, I'm getting tired of website owners and advertisers continuing to whine about how we won't let them bug us. If you want me to look at your ads, stop making them annoy me so much! Stop using blinking, flashing banners (too bad the BLINK tag didn't take you with it when that died), stop using javascript banners that are as likely to infect my computer as not. Stop trying to "bundle" your adware with anything I want to install.

    If you make your ads play nice with me, I'll stop using ad-blocker software. I'll look at your ads and I might even buy something from them.

    • by EvilIdler (21087)

      I normally leave ads alone on Slashdot, but yesterday I got a popup. I don't remember what it was, and I don't fucking care. The ads are sometimes relevant on this site (but definitely not the Thai brides ad - that one has to go), but I'll start blocking them wholesale if I see more popups. Flash is evil, but popups are downright intrusive.

      (Yes, my browser blocks them automagically, but I can still bitch and whine!)

  • Real men of genius indeed. You will be missed.

  • And I think Slashdotters are the right people to ask.

    In short, if I want advertisement blocking, what should I install? More specific questions:

    • What is the difference between Ad Block and Ad Block Plus?
    • Do I need to get blacklists elsewhere or are they included in the above-mentioned extensions?
    • by Chad Birch (1222564) on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:18AM (#27476415)
      Just install Ad Block Plus, after the Firefox restart associated with installing it, you'll get a popup asking you to choose a list. The default (which is EasyList, the one maintained by rick752) will do the job very well.
    • by Yosho (135835) on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:24AM (#27476479) Homepage

      What is the difference between Ad Block and Ad Block Plus?

      Adblock Plus is faster, has more powerful filtering rules, and has a cleaner subscription mechanism. There is no reason to use the original Adblock any more. Go with ABP.

      Do I need to get blacklists elsewhere or are they included in the above-mentioned extensions?

      You do not need to manually download any blacklists. ABP supports subscribing to remote blacklists, which it will automatically update itself from. It will automatically suggest a few lists to subscribe to when you first install it.

  • 60% of UK consumers are willing to browse with an ad-blocker in return for free videos, music and other content, a survey has revealed.

    "This willingness to pretend to view adverts in exchange for free content is good news for sites wanting to lie to advertisers, and is perhaps a pointer in the ongoing debate over whether advertising or subscription is the right revenue model," said Tudor Aw at KPMG.

    40% said they would pretend to accept popups, popunders, interstitials, Phorm, floating windows, Flash videos that start playing sound automatically, eye-gouging animations and 2o7.net cookies in exchange for free music. 16% said they would pay to avoid ads. The rest would continue to use BitTorrent or Mozilla Firefox with AdBlock.

    People were more willing to pay on mobile phones, unless they had a modern phone with which they could steal someone's WiFi connection.

    Google, the world's largest online advertising agency, said it was looking into tastefully-interspersed direct content advertising and brand placement, and added that you should PUNCH THE MONKEY TO WIN £20,000!!! [today.com] If you know what's good for you.

  • by rAiNsT0rm (877553) on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:40AM (#27476711) Homepage

    I'm a big fan of both this project and the Open Source movement in general, but this does show off one major flaw in the system. Just like the proverbial bus that is so widely feared and runs down IT folks everywhere, many projects are small and while there may be many contributors there is one main person whom without the project would fail. When that person meets that proverbial bus, in an instant a widely used and relied upon piece of software can become dead as well. That's a major problem.

    If things were truly born of chaos like we seem to think, these things would have no impact... but there is still a major underlying structure and hierarchy to this "chaos" and it is quite fragile.

    The biggest barrier is ego, quickly followed by celebrity. It is hard for the creator of some neat widget to give up total control and truly step back and just share the success with those who hopped onto "their" project after the fact, but that is what needs to happen. There should never be less than two individuals at every level of a serious project, and both need to be fully competent... but that is not the case, even in very large projects.

    * Oh, and give up on bashing the people who are concerned about what this means as to updates/life of the project... none of us were his good friend and the question is not callous or insensitive.

  • "Turned Off"..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IHC Navistar (967161) on Monday April 06, 2009 @10:43AM (#27476743)

    FTFA:

    "Just imagine, they argue, what television programs would be available if there were no commercials to fund their production. "

    -TV show funding comes from the corporations that provide the financial backing from a variety of sources, not just advertising. Plus, the advertising products through ads isn't the only way companies let people know about their products. I can go to several sites and look to see what's new and available. You can use many ways of finding out about products on the Internet at anytime. On TV, you can only watch either the program or the advertisements at any one time. You can change the channel, but you will be watching something other than what you wanted to watch in the first place.

    Advertisers should take note: If someone creates a way to NOT look at ads, and the means of blocking the ads are being adopted by more and more users, then that is a *VERY* strong sign that people do not want to see the ads. If people are blocking the ads, then advertisers should understand that whether they show the ads or not, people are most likely NOT going to buy the product or service being advertised. Companies will save money by not wasting it on advertising products that are not going to be bought, and consumers will go to places where they can voluntarily look for a product or service on their own, without having an ad shoved in their face.

    People are most likely going to buy things when they need or want them, and when they do, they'll go looking for them. When you walk up to someone and constantly try to sell them something that they weren't looking for in the first place (think TRADE SHOWS), you'll definitely piss them off to some degree and they probably won't but it. Ever get annoyed by people begging for a handout outside a business's doors? That's exactly what ad companies are doing, except advertising on the internet it the equivalent of following you throughout the store and continually giving you sales pitches the entire time you're there. Whiny kids are bad enough, but a salesman attached to your back like a remora is even worse.

    Anyways, maybe less TV shows for people to watch would mean more people going outside and having some good, old-fashioned fun as a source of enjoyment.

If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.

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