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Mozilla Advertising The Internet

Adblock Plus Developers To Allow 'Acceptable' Ads 247

Posted by timothy
from the good-ads-vs-bad-ads dept.
First time accepted submitter Roman Grazhdan writes "Developers of Adblock Plus, an award-winning add-on for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome boasting over 12,000,000 users, announced that starting from version 2.0 the extension would come with a white list of unobtrusive, privacy-respected ads. These will be allowed by default; users will still be able to block them by unchecking 'Allow non-intrusive advertising.' The developers say: 'Only 25% of the Adblock Plus users seem to be strictly against any advertising.' What is this — betrayal of ideals of annoyance-free web or birth of independent authority for standards for advertisement?" Ads are sometimes annoying, but they also make certain websites (like this one!) possible. Getting the balance right is tricky — I know I often avoid sites because of interstitial advertising, pop-ups, etc. Whitelisting sounds like a good way to reward sites that try to keep it subtle; offloading and generalizing the task of categorizing ads into annoying or acceptable gives sites and advertisers a good threshold to duck beneath. Next step I'd like to see: a sliding scale, so browsers can be set to zero, or eleven, for tolerable annoyance. Update: 12/13 14:54 GMT by T : My fault: I liked the story so much that I missed it the first time.
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Adblock Plus Developers To Allow 'Acceptable' Ads

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  • Dup! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thsths (31372) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:37AM (#38354866)

    I have a deja vu feeling, and it is not an ad.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:38AM (#38354878)
    maybe we need a Dupeblock Plus?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dakara (798841)
      And then at some point down the line it will allow unobtrusive dupes through
  • by Tufriast (824996) * on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:41AM (#38354918)
    I can't really state anything but like my subject says, I believe they got paid off by someone to do this. I fear that their hard work probably wasn't seen as a cash flow of significance. I don't buy the only "25% against any advertising" mantra. I think a lot of people, myself included, will be looking for another advertisement blocking plugin. I pay for Slashdot, not much, but I do pay. I pay for what I read.
    • I think perhaps the other 75% are those whose computer-literate relatives have aggressively installed Firefox and ABP on their computers on their behalf.

      In fact, come to think of it, it sort of makes me wonder if perhaps the majority of people who haven't converted to Chrome might be people who were never all that in control of their destiny in the first place...
      • I use AdBlock, installed myself, know about it (otherwise wouldn't be commenting about it), and have no problem with unobstrusive ads.

        The only problem is that now I'll have to check if their definition of unobstrusive is the same as mine. That is quite an easy (passive indeed) check, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

        Also, I care that the sites I see should have some revenue stream. I wouldn't pay for most of them, in part because I don't want to care about currency conversion and tarifs for sendin

        • ABP already had a mechanism to let you choose what ads to block and what ads not to block - it's the blocklist subscription choice that you make when you install/update ABP. Instead of putting in a whitelist, they could have just offered a choice of blocklists beyond the current "Ads in English" / "Ads in French" / etc. choice. Maybe this makes it easier for the ABP authors to get everybody to use the less strict list.

    • by truthsearch (249536) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:47AM (#38354988) Homepage Journal

      I only block ads because the majority are intrusive and many sites are over saturated. If ads were all friendly I wouldn't block any of them. I think many (most?) people probably feel the same way.

      • by jfengel (409917) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:56AM (#38355140) Homepage Journal

        I'm one. I use NoScript rather than AdBlock because it blocks the kind of ads that make it hard to read what I'm trying to read. I don't mind the ads on Slashdot. I've been offered the option of turning them off, and I don't take it. I like the site and don't mind if that's what it takes to preserve it.

        • by tompaulco (629533)
          I've been offered the option of turning them off, and I don't take it. I like the site and don't mind if that's what it takes to preserve it.
          I've been offered that as well, and also don't take it. The ads on slashdot don't interfere with what I am reading. I have never, ever, ever clicked on an ad, and never will, but slashdot is probably paid on impressions and not clicks. Or perhaps they are paid on both, but paid more for clicks. At any rate, if the internet ever went to a click only ad payment system
      • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @11:04AM (#38355212) Journal

        I didn't bother for a long time, partially because I use a lot of different browsers for different needs and that meant that I needed to setup and ad-filtering proxy which is a tiny amount of work and I am very very lazy.

        But ads got so annoying over time that I just installed it, made it the default on my home network (all HTTP traffic is filtered) and not just am I not annoyed anymore by ads, the speed has gone up.

        Ads take just to much time. It doesn't matter where they are. Trying to read an American magazine is a game of "hunt the article". It used to be article - ad - article. Now the article between several ad pages, often only part of the page and spread all over the magazine to force you to keep hunting for it and be exposed to more ads. TV? 5 minutes of ads for every 10 minutes of TV? Including ads for the program you just interrupted?

        That leads me to the next thing about ads. They are so goddamn fucking stupid. A tiny handful are funny but they are shown maybe a handful of times. The ads that are in every single commercial block are the ones that make your brain want to crawl out of your ears. I don't watch TV anymore, not because I am not in the mood for mindless drivel but because even my desire for mindless drivel is insulted when the ads come on.

        Ad-block can start to let ads through but lets face it, they do this for money and so, the ad that pays the most is the one that gets through. That is how all this kinda stuff works. Movie TV channels advertise with not showing ads, and then charge a premium for special offer blocks. You buy a DVD not to see ads and then they put non-skippable ads in front of the content.

        It is not like there are no alternatives to ad-block.

        If advertisers want to get back on my browser they need to sanitize their own industry. Get rid of all the animated ads, the ads that are slow or stupid or annoying and make them be delivered at insanely high speeds so that NEVER EVER a webpage refuses to load because of a slow ad server.

        But that won't never happen and so, I got several block lists. Opera has the most userfriendly at the moment, can even be used to content on the site itself.

        I have even gone to the trouble of filtering out comments on sites with drivel comments. It is easy, just write a javascript command to hide blocks with author "smallfurrycreature" and the net will be a cleaner place.

        Yes, this is drivel, but at least it isn't drivel tracking your every move or taking ages to load.

        • by NotBorg (829820)

          It is not like there are no alternatives to ad-block.

          If you bothered to read just a little bit you'd know that is an optional feature. Even in the absence of adds you fail to read the article. Enough with the charades. How can adds in articles bother you if you don't read articles anyway?

          It's ok... I didn't click either. I don't have a problem with your view on adds I just think it's a bit misinformed to start shouting abandon ship. If anything this option affords the user more choice. With respect to

      • Remember back in the day when you could trust ads to be unobtrusive? Then the Internet came along and suddenly advertisers decided that they had free reign to ruin websites and invade our privacy. At this point, I do not trust any advertisers to respectfully show ads; they all either track everything I do or try to get in the way of what I am trying to read, or both. When advertisers regain my trust, I will stop blocking their ads.
      • by marcop (205587)

        Yup. Even though Slashdot offers me the option to not-display ads I find them to pretty non-annoying so I leave them on. I would guess that there is some view-counter-script so I want to be counted as having potentionally viewed the ads. As Timothy mentions in the article, ads keep the lights on at Slashdot.

      • It's even worse than that.

        Some pages have ads that are non-intrusive in on windows, but break horribly on a Linux machine.
        This most commonly occurs with ads that use flash, so you can avoid the worst lot by blocking flash
        except for when you need it.

        Also, while the browser should be able to handle it, it has happened that some poorly coded site managed
        to lock-up my browser or crash it. That should not happen to a well written browser of course, but blocking
        ads all but eliminates it.

        The bad part about this is

      • by Jamu (852752)
        I have nothing against advertising, provided they aren't pop-ups or such, many websites depend on them to run. The reason I block ads is to avoid malware.
      • And I block them because their presence makes me write off sites.

        Much like TV commercials, web ads have become so annoying that I am distracted from why I came to a website to begin with.

        Let me explain: if I click the link to your website, and the content that I am looking for is not immediately in front of my face, I write off your entire site. With video ads, 30-60 second ads is far too long for my 3-second attention span.

        The only TV advertisement I can actually stomach these days is what I find in anime,

      • > If ads were all friendly I wouldn't block any of them. I think many (most?) people probably feel the same way.

        Um, no, as in DO. NOT. WANT> I want my surfing speed back so I block EVERY fucking ad.

        i.e.
        http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/ [someonewhocares.org]
          and
        http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm [mvps.org]
          FTW

    • by dougmc (70836)

      I don't buy the only "25% against any advertising" mantra

      I do believe that what they said was probably reasonably accurate.

      But remember, what they really claimed was " 'Only 25% of the Adblock Plus users seem to be strictly against any advertising.'".

      In order to be part of that 25%, you have to be *strictly* against *any* advertising. If you don't mind TV being free because there's commercials on it, you're part of the 75%. Or if you do mind, but you're not *strictly* against it -- part of the 75%.

      If you *hate* web advertisements of all kinds, but don't mind a

    • by Tharsman (1364603) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:53AM (#38355092)

      I am a power user, and I actually don’t mind ads. I HATE pop-up ads, though. The ones that show in the middle of the screen while you are reading, the ones that do crazy stuff when you accidentally roll over them, and every single flash based ad. But plain image banner ads, PNGs or GIFs, I don’t mind. Heck sometimes I like them. In some sites they let me know of products I care for (like upcoming games.)

      I currently manually manage ad block in Firefox to allow certain sites to show their ads because I know the sites in question don't allow obtrusive stuff.

      That being said: they stated that they can’t automatically determine what is an obtrusive ad so they are instead going for a kind of partnership program where they won’t block ads from specific sources that agreed to their terms. That is garbage. If you ever dealt with an ad agency you should know they WILL push as hard as they can and they will slowly violate the agreement terms and annoy users like most already do.

      • by hankwang (413283) *
        "I am a power user" - I don't think that there are slashdot posters who might say: "I am a casual computer user, not a power user".
    • What does it matte if they got paid, I hope they got paid. Because either way we get a great feature.

    • Not as much getting paid, but keeping the peace.
      This tool is for getting rid of the sleezball advertisers who will do anything to get their adds out. But there are the good ones who do it nicely, and don't try to trick you into clicking into it. Or take forever loading your pages. We want to encourage good advertising, really we do, the alternative is that we will need to pay for content to access web sites, especially professional ones who have staff that they need to pay for.

      Sure you pay for Slashdot, bu
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      I like this idea. I also do not mind none intrusive ads as a way to pay for content. When I read magazines like Cycle World and Circuit Cellar I actually value the ads. What they consider to be an OK ad matches what I feel are non intrusive ads 100% .
      Static advertisements only (no animations, sounds or similar)
      Preferably text only, no attention-grabbing images
      At most one script that will delay page load (in particular, only a single DNS request)

      Frankly since they have an option to block all I do not see wh

    • by Nemyst (1383049)

      You mean you pay for every single site you use?

      Because that's what you're saying. Sites can't survive on good wishes and nice comments.

  • Doublespeak (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:44AM (#38354940)
    The ministry of adblocking, which displays advertisements.

    In all seriousness though, who thought this was a good idea? We use adblock to block advertisements. I do not want the developers deciding for me which advertisements will not be blocks; the only person who should control the whitelist is me.
    • As a user of Adblock Plus for Firefox who also blocks ads in other browsers I use by using blocklists, I welcome this as an option.

      The only real reason I installed it in the first place was because ads started using animated images/flash and slowed down page loads and my machine (a low-power nettop). Firefox already seemed slow (UI) compared to other browsers at the time and having the ads slow down the machine more than the actual content became much too annoying when I could simply block them all. I tried

    • by quixote9 (999874)
      Come on, now. You merely have to go into options and select total block. That strikes me as "having control." It's just a teensy bit less convenient. So long as they don't run away with it, and wind up with an add-on that requires an hour of customizing, I kinda want to say, "Get over it."
      • I would say that "total block" should be the default, and "allow the ads that the ABP developers think you should see" should be opt-in. Again, this is an extension that is supposed to block ads, not an extension that acts as a sieve for ads that the ABP developers happen to like.
    • Re:Doublespeak (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mounthood (993037) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @12:41PM (#38356480)

      I'm going to *start* using Adblock Plus because of this. Advertisers need to be told where the line is, and this is the first practical way to communicate that too them. They should have even more checkbox options so users can decide what's acceptable rather than the devs. People don't use Adblock Plus often because they don't want to deny funding to websites, but a reasonable and practical compromise could kill intrusive advertising and tracking, just like popup blockers (mostly) killed popup adds.

      As to Doublespeak, it's called Adblock *Plus* - it blocks adds plus tells advertisers what's what.

    • It seems like they went to a lot of trouble writing a whitelist mechanism and the associated whitelist distribution method, when there was already a mechanism to implement it - letting the user choose which blocklist subscription to use. ABP already asks you which list to use, so just put out a list that doesn't block the well-behaved ads and another list that does.

  • This is a duplicate. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Millennium (2451) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:47AM (#38354992) Homepage

    As I said before, though, I'm OK with this. I don't use ABP to stick it to The Man; I use it because a number of my ads either actually make my browser unusable or are annoying enough to seriously detract from my browsing experience. If ABP can block only these while letting more benign ads through, then I applaud them: it allows site owners who don't employ these ads to keep their revenue, and it provides a clear alternative for site owners who currently do employ these ads. That's the sort of thing that actually stands a chance of making some change.

    In fact, I wish this weren't optional. There's a difference between protesting against certain odious forms of advertising and simply stealing content. The people who run this just to stick it to The Man are not allies in that fight.

    • by broken_chaos (1188549) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:55AM (#38355124)

      There's a difference between protesting against certain odious forms of advertising and simply stealing content.

      It's not 'stealing content' to determine what I do and do not wish to download or execute on my computer. I simply do not feel I can trust any advertisers to not be obtrusive, potential insecurity vectors, or abuse my privacy.

      • by IICV (652597)

        Yeah, even the NYT got hit [sophos.com] with a fake anti-virus attack ad.

        Untrusted ads are simply not safe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Blocking ads is not stealing content. You are awfully brainwashed.

    • by dougmc (70836)

      In fact, I wish this weren't optional. There's a difference between protesting against certain odious forms of advertising and simply stealing content.

      Ahh yes, the "if you don't watch our ads you're stealing" argument. (Of course, people have been doing this "stealing" since the first time somebody took a leak during a TV, er, radio commercial, and I could probably think of much older examples if I gave it some thought.)

      I do like this distinction you've made. It's stealing if the ad is not odious, but not stealing if it is (that's just protesting) ?

      In any event, if this wasn't optional, Adblock would find all their customers moving on to something else,

    • by Kjella (173770)

      In principle I agree, but in practice having a gatekeeper with a whitelist you must get on sounds like a really bad solution. "I have here these X million of web users and unless you pay me, they're not going to see your ads" sounds too much like an extortion racket.

    • it allows site owners who don't employ these ads to keep their revenue, and it provides a clear alternative for site owners who currently do employ these ads. That's the sort of thing that actually stands a chance of making some change.

      Yes, I agree. I've long thought that part of the problem with the whole advertising system on the Internet is that there's no real feedback. Some site puts up obtrusive ads. Some people open the site and immediately close it because of the ads-- the person operating the site has no way of knowing. Another user has an ad-blocker installed and doesn't see the ads, but the site owner probably can't tell. Is the user blocking the ads because he finds the ads on your site obtrusive, or is it because he just

  • Until someone releases an Adblock 2?

    Most sites simply just don't understand that ads and sub services aren't acceptable to a large portion of their userbase.

    • You're against both ads and sub-services? How exactly should people make money on the site? I mean, even sites that aren't trying to turn a profit should at least be able to pay for themselves surely? I've never entirely understood the attitude: "Keep making things that I like, but don't expect me to make any sacrifices at all to help you."

      • by AdamJS (2466928)

        I'm personally not truly against either. But I don't view them as reliable or sustainable methods of profit.
        I don't know of what the alternatives are, but innovation is certainly needed by most sites and content producers.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:52AM (#38355062)

    I'd like separate options for suppressing:
    - Pop-unders
    - Pop-overs
    - Ads emitting sound without being clicked on
    - Ads that start playing video without being clicked on
    - Ads that are sneaky (single-pixel, etc.)
    - etc.

    • by higuita (129722)

      Then use the privoxy proxy, to get that level of control...

    • by mounthood (993037)
      Agreed. Letting the end users, rather then the devs, communicate what's acceptable is the key to getting advertisers to change. The advertising industry isn't going to be dictated to by a few devs, but millions of end users will convince them.
  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:53AM (#38355070) Journal
    Usually webcomic artists, who come right out and state that their ad revenue is their primary source of income generation. I'll even click through ads on those web sites. But in exchange, I expect those webmasters to patrol their own ads, and if anything is offensive or obnoxious, have it removed at the source. Web ads, even automated ones, should not be a totally passive thing on the part of the webmasters. If they're asking people to click their ads, then they need to make some effort to supervise the ad process.
  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:53AM (#38355076) Homepage

    I'm not 100% anti-advertising, but the privacy issue is deeper than just being on a "Do not track" list.

    If the ad is served from a host controlled by the advertiser, then they have my IP address, the date and time, the number of times I saw the ad, and (by the "referer" header) what page(s) I was viewing when I saw the ad.

    For me, "acceptable" ads are those served by servers which I've opted into correspond with, either by typing into the address bar or by clicking a link.

    • by mounthood (993037)
      Nothing stops websites from sharing tracking info with advertisers. If we block all advertising that isn't self hosted, we'll get server-side systems that automatically copy adds from advertisers servers and then share tracking info back to the advertiser. With advertisers hosting their own adds, it's practical for Adblock Plus to influence the industry.
      • > If we block all advertising that isn't self hosted, we'll get
        > server-side systems that automatically copy adds from advertisers
        > servers and then share tracking info back to the advertiser.

        But the site I choose to visit would be a layer between my data and the harvester.

        That changes everything because, not only could they decide to not pass on the data or to scramble identifying elements before passing it on, but they would also share responsibility - which means they would be answerable to ques

    • For me, "acceptable" ads are those served by servers which I've opted into correspond with, either by typing into the address bar or by clicking a link.

      You understand that this would never really work in practice. Sites load resources (jquery!) from other servers all the time. A restaurant page might have a frame that loads the Google Maps API or a YouTube review. Blogs load related posts from other blogs on the sidebar. Slashdot has some freshmeat content listed!

      Trying to shoehorn the web into back into a single-server single-client architecture is a huge step backwards and violates the basic principle of one-resource-one-location. Your cache doesn't need

  • I love ads on the sites I visit. Without them, these websites look empty. Anyone like me?

  • Been a while since we've had one of these.

  • by tgd (2822) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:54AM (#38355104)

    On TV, you see product placement in TV shows all the time, because of DVRs. Some shows are rampant with them, like Big Bang Theory, which must get a pile of money from Dell. Laptops are ALWAYS carried around with the Dell or Alienware showing.

    Or you get websites like Slashdot, which show advertiser bias in the bizarre choices of stories, clearly designed to get click rates up, or the new "sponsored" stories.

    I'd rather see unbiased media and unobtrusive ads, then see ads blocked and the whole internet get as bad as /. in that regard.

    • Just remembered an interesting observation about laptops in use in the "real world" versus the media. In movies, they tend to use Apple products. However, when the now infamous "war room" photo of Obama, the generals, and the cabinet circulated at the time of Osama Bin Laden's capture, every laptop in the room was a ruggedized, locked down, extra-secure business HP system.

      As for the Dells in Big Bang Theory, that really reeks of false geekery to me. Real geeks will either be using Macbook Pros, or some
    • For whatever reason product placement doesn't particularly bother me. When I see a close-up of a phone or a shoe in a movie or TV show, I know that it is a form of advertising but it doesn't detract from my viewing. Probably because the actual time of advertisement is on the order of a second or less. When it is just a brief glimpse that requires no interaction on my part I can tolerate it. What I can't stand are commercials that you have to sit through on TV, or worse, commercials you have to sit through t

  • This was a wise move for the overall health of the web, but the people who use Adblock instead of NoScript + Flashblock are the types who are offended by seeing ads at all. With this user base trait in mind, it would have been best to have the "allow unobtrusive ads" off by default, and maybe show a post-install screen explaining the feature and offering the option to turn it on.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:58AM (#38355156)

    I've seen people express that opinion and it's nonsense. Remember the internet before the first banner ad, before the web even? It was as *awesome* resource in the 1980's. It hadn't been corrupted by money and commercial interests. There was no astroturfing, you could believe reviews were a real person's opinion about 100% of the time. There were excellent resources to answer questions about a huge range of things without the $$$ sites offering to sell you shit you didn't need infesting everything. Your every move was not tracked and used to sell you shit.

    So if we kill internet ads entirely, and all this crap disappears from the net? That's no loss. That's a gain. Let it all die, I say. Yes, this site too, if that's what it means: usenet of yore before the commercial spammers ruined that too had FAR better tech discussions than slashdot. Maybe the net can go back to what it was before TBL invented the web to make it usable by idiots, attracting legions of idiots, marketeers, censors, and mouth-breathing people clicking on ads to infest it.

    • We need a search engine for websites that do not use ads. One which doesn't crawl blogs. A few other things.

      Yeah. I think I'll create one. Going to make its operational expenses very simple -> it'll use BitCoins to pay for the monthly traffic. So long as the balance remains positive, the site stays up.

      I favor this approach, as Google / Bing / Yahoo are already unusable to me. If I am doing CS work, searching for information on an algorithm, I don't want 300 sites trying to sell me a book on that very alg

  • If ABP makes money off this deal (and I don't understand why they would do this without making money...), I'm sure their principles of only "allowing non-intrusive ads" will last five minutes until the right price is reached and then they'll allow them, too.

    What I don't understand is why the ad biz would try to do business with them -- short term, it's extortion -- pay us and we might unblock your ads. Long-term, you'll pay them and people will switch to BlockAdPlus or whatever the replacement is that does

    • by NotBorg (829820)

      I don't understand why they would do this without making money.

      Maybe because it sends a clear message to advertisers? Here's what I read between the lines: "Look we can either cut your balls off entirely or you can tone your boner down a bit and be more respectful than a dog humping everyone's legs."

      Also:

      Only 25% of the Adblock Plus users seem to be strictly against any advertising.

      Shit, I didn't even have to click anything. It seems they've done some market research and are giving users what they want

  • The internet cannot exist without ads.
    Imagine if every site above personal hobby projects required you to pay to use its content. Imagine if there was not a single news site that did not charge a subscription cost. Imagine if XKCD charged a subscription cost and Google charged 25 cents to make a search.

    That is where we would be without advertising and anyone not willing to help out at all because of some set of principals are just lazy bums and should stop leaking off of everyone around them.

    • by sohmc (595388)

      But your forgetting that ads have to, at a minimum, not disturb the user experience. Most online ads are very disturbing to the user. Blocking flash gets rid of a large majority of those ads.

      One bad thing about HTML5 is that these ads will make it through the flashblock. Hopefully, AB+ will evolve to include those as well.

      I will say this: at least they are giving the end user an option. I would prefer that the whitelist was opt-in, but having the option to block them is a good start.

      • "But your forgetting that ads have to, at a minimum, not disturb the user experience."
        Why? That is like saying that you are justified to pirate any software out of your ability to afford or steal any car that you cannot pay for.

        Sure I use AB+ for just that situation but no one should feel justified in doing that.

    • What you're really saying is not that the internet can't exist with ads, it's that the world can't exist without consumerism, and somehow people are "lazy bums" if they don't share this belief... I could easily argue that people who subscribe to this dogma are too lazy to fight for a better way of life.
      • No that is not at all what I am saying. In fact I am as anti consumerist as you can get.
        I am saying that just because you do not like paying for something and would rather live in a totally socialistic society does not mean that you get to steal content and revenue from Blogger A who is just trying to do a hobby that he loves and feed his family.

        The internet could exist without ads, as it is today, if the government was willing to subsidize all use of the internet. And I am not saying that I do not support

    • by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @11:33AM (#38355574) Homepage Journal

      Sure, it wasn't the internet YOU know and love, but in many ways, it was a better place. Now get off my lawn.

    • by Animats (122034)

      The internet cannot exist without ads.

      Actually, it did for a long time.

      Without ads, companies would have their own web sites, and search engine service would be paid with your ISP bill. (Running a search engine isn't really that expensive if you don't serve ads or do search personalization. AltaVista was a demo run by DEC to promote the DEC Alpha. Cuil indexed the whole web (badly), with about 25 people and $25 million. At Google itself, the core search engine team was only about 100 people as of 5 yea

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @11:14AM (#38355338)

    The only way that I'll accept ads is if they're hosted by the site that I'm visiting.

    Sure pop-up, pop-under, flash, and all of the other obnoxious forms of advertising that advertisers have come up with are annoying. Yet I am willing to put up with the inconvenience if there was some guarantee of privacy. And advertising (as it stands today) is one of the multitude of ways that users can be tracked across the multitude of sites that they visit.

    So blocking it shall be.

  • There have been a few sites which will complain if you block their ads but not many. I'm surprised that there hasn't been a more wholesale backlash against ad blockers given that visitors who block ads are basically freeloaders. It would be fairly simple to test if ads are being blocked or not with some inline JS and take the appropriate action. What that might be is open to discussion but I expect there are ways to devalue the content commensurate with the devalued visitor, e.g. don't show any news article
  • Many readers have submitted news

    At this point I'm guessing that the license plate still garbed in the pristine shrink-wrap Steve Jobs couldn't bear to tear into has come up for sale on eBay.

    of a week-old announcement

    So it was boring then and it's still boring now, but finally we have geek quorum.

    from Wladimir Palant

    Oh oh, even worse, its about some Twitter celebrity I've never heard of.

    Three strikes, you're out.

    Since I missed it myself the first time, I'll add my two percents.

    I grew up in the era of Coke vs

    • There's more.

      If I make a considered personal opinion that I'm crossing high-fructose corn sugar and most soy derivatives off my menu for now and forever, because the superficial culinary joy is outweighed by the metabolic tax, and because I dislike mega-corporation agriculture, and because I *really* dislike mega-corporation agriculture as pwned by Monsanto under their regulatory capture of having the FDA "generally recognize as safe" a shot-gun genetic modification technology (which scatters the injected g

  • ... "Acceptability" is determined by the amount of cash transferred from the the advertiser to ABP...

  • This post brought to you by Dell.

  • by redelm (54142) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @11:36AM (#38355618) Homepage

    Excuuuuse me if I'm "so last millenium", but what are ads? I browse the web with `links`in gorgeous 149col x 143rows of text!

  • I think it's a reasonably good idea to allow users the option to let some ads through. A lot of people think advertising is a legitimate way to fund Web sites and maybe they want to preserve the revenue streams of sites that advertise in an inoffensive way.

    Myself, I think all advertising is contemptible by definition, so I am also glad the developers preserve the option to block everything.

    I don't see this as a betrayal of the user community. I see it as adding a feature. Yeah it's a feature that is enab

  • I have no beef whatsoever with unobtrusive text ads, or a reasonable number of static graphical ads. The reason I end up eventually installing AdBlock on my browsers is where some badly designed website brings my browser to a crawl with a half-dozen animated ads, or, even worse, a video ad with the sound enabled by default. (And most video ads in general make my machine chug some...)

  • I will probably allow those non-intrusive ads. I don't mind those, I already disable them on my favorite sites like this one.
  • I'm fine with people getting revenue for their ads. I just don't want to see them. All I want is a simple ad hiding extension, something that will suppress the viewing and hearing of the ad. Is that too much to ask for?

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @12:57PM (#38356684) Journal
    Instead of blocking all ads or deferring to the judgement of others, I would like to make my browser send an ad-acceptance policy.

    I would like say, "no sound", "no video/animated gifs", "no flash", etc etc.

    Also I would like to specify what I am currently in the market for, "digital SLR", "Carib Cruise" etc

    Also I would like to say what I would not click at "singles" "sexual stuff", "gambling" etc

    I would like some site like Mozilla to offer me list of these choices in some web site. I go there and I check mark on or off of these items. That site hashes all these choices into a simple hash and gives it to me. I send that hash to all sites I visit. That site can use the hash fetch my ad acceptance policy and displays ads accordingly.

    I would like the site that hashing my preferences into hash to make it available for others. So when I first visit the site, I get a choice of most popular policies number of people using that set of options. I clone one of the popular ones, make a few adjustments and get a new hash for myself.

    Eventually the web sites would know what kind of ads would be accepted by majority of the users and what would not be. With this feedback we can give good guys some decent break. That is the only way to make the annoying irritants go away.

Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes. -- Mickey Mouse

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