Ad blocking is all well and ok
I'll need a NoScript replacement before I totally leave Firefox though.
Google Chrome now includes the ability to completely block resources from loading inside the browser, and the latest incarnation of the AdBlock extension for Chrome is using this "beforeload" event to not only hide ads from the user but prevent them from downloading entirely. This brings the Chrome AdBlock extension in line …
I'll need a NoScript replacement before I totally leave Firefox though
If you need that then the easy replacement is Opera, use the site preferences in it to decide whether a site can run scripts or not, no need to install any third party extensions to get the job done.
If you do want the chromium feel then try SRWare Iron, a fork of Chrome. The latest version runs all the Chrome extensions, and has content setting taht can be set to block jECMAscript, plugins and others then set exceptions to allow them on trusted sites.
"closed source means hackers aren't reading your code looking for exploits to take advantage of" -- no, but there are still ways to find exploits without reading the Source Code.
Open Source means that for every person looking for exploits to take advantage of, there are ten people looking for exploits to fix before they actually get exploited. And also, when you know other people are looking at the code you are writing, you tend to take more care over it in the first place. Look at the first releases of OpenOffice.org and Mozilla for examples of what people thought they could get away with by concealing the Source Code.
Anyway, I bet you wouldn't buy a packet of biscuits that didn't have the ingredients on the side. Even if you don't know what a particular ingredient is or what effect it's likely to have on your body, you could show it to an expert.
I found the "content blocking" in Opera to be cumbersome, ineffective, and, quite frankly, useless.
You might want to checkout Opera, everything is customizable in Opera, locations of bars (top/bottom/left/right), and there are some nice skins to download.
The content blocking in Opera, if you know how to set it up, is FAR superior to what AdBlock+ offers, simply because it's a pre-load content blocker. if you block a domain with a wildcard NOTHING from that domain gets loaded, no ads, no flash, no scripts, no cookies, nothing.
A simple list of 20 or so domains gets rid of the vast majority of annoyances on the net (you can get more comprehensive list from http://www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/ )
I can see why a lot of people want to use an ad block tool when they browse but I have to say I have some ethical issues with them. I don't like to see ads plastered all over a website and I hate intrusive ads that get in the way of the user experience but if I come across a site that has ads like that I just make a point of not visiting again.
On the flip side I maintain an informative website and the (very small) ad revenue I receive goes some way towards offsetting the costs involved with this. I work hard to ensure that my ads are relevant and don't ruin the customer experience. If everyone blocked those ads I would seriously have to reconsider the time and effort I put into the site.
If you want decent, free online content then you have to accept the fact that webmasters need to find a way to pay to keep it running. If we all used AdBlock how long would El Reg last?
A good point, unfortunately no one so far has been able to code an ad blocker that can stop stupid, big, invasive ads from those that are reasonable and relevant! If only...
I find El Reg's adverts to be OK, as flash is off most of the time in my browser (so no annoying movements), and they are actually relevant to my IT interests.
You are quite correct, if everyone used AdBlock then lots of sites would probably end up closing down through lack of revenue. However the happy reality is that the vast majority of people don't know how to install AdBlock, or don't care to install it, and that simple fact is what enables those that do to carry on without it being a significant threat.
That site didn't have much ads. Suddenly, it started having those annoying ads everywhere, including the Scientology ones (Hail Xenu!) and other crap. The readers complained about this, and (big shock!) the owner decided to ditch the crappy ads. He put up his own ad service, which was better focused to the site (only IT ads) and it worked. Still, there are a lot of jackasses who still use AdBlock, even when the ads aren't intrusive or irrelevant.
"Still, there are a lot of jackasses who still use AdBlock, even when the ads aren't intrusive or irrelevant. Freetards!"
Not always. I have real trouble keeping my concentration on pages when there are images or text within my peripheral vision jumping, moving or flashing around. Being able to selectively disable java on certain pages (with noscript) is a real plus for me, it makes the difference to be able to read a page, or not.
Perhaps it's the most frequent pages I visit, but "not intrusive OR irrelevant" almost doesn't exist.
More importantly, I really don't have the enthusiasm to "fix" offending pages as I get to them, I leave Adblock and NoScript on all the time, "fixing" them afterwards as required.
If that makes me a freetard, then so be it. It lets me function as a sort-of normal member of the community, verses be a blubbering mess in the corner of the room.
But people who actively block ads would never click them anyway, trust me! That's why they are blocked to begin with! So you're not loosing out (well maybe not if you get paid for the ads just being displayed and not actually clicked on)
My sister doesn't even know what Firefox is let alone know how to install something, she'll look at your ads I'm sure, as for me, I'm happy not to thanks. Maybe I *might* support certain sites in some other way as I sometimes do (and independent content creators) but advertising isn't the way for me.
There's nothing ethically wrong with blocking ads I don't think either. You choose to pump your site out to the world, what happens to it when it gets inside my computer is my business. You could always find some way to detect I'm blocking ads and bar me from accessing the site. The one site I've seen that being done on before I never visited again even with add blocking disabled!
Everyone won't block ads, don't worry, that will never happen. If Firefox came with adblock as standard there would be outrage and web-masters would throw up error messages on their sites telling users "This site can only be viewed with Internet Explorer Version 6.0 and higher!!!!" <--LOLZ
It's the tracking cookies & scripts, along with the LSO's that I'm pissed off with. Try sell me something fine! but market something at me & then call me a demographic along with tracking all the websites I visit so you can market at me better when I don't want all that crap in the first place is when I no problem blocking ads & scripts. Want help paying the hosting costs then ask for a donation, my privacy comes at a higher price.
/mines the one with the fortified hosts file in the pocket.
The odds that i'm going to buy something from a random advertisement on a random website are lower that the odds that i may someday buy a snow cone from the devil. so pushing adds on me is equally as unethical as me blocking them.
Do i buy thing from advertisements, yes, all the time actually (i love newegg), but only from advertisements i'm interested in, and those advertisements are delivered to me via email, and are done so by my choice, ie the opt-in method.
People seriously need to stop with the whole argument about ad blocking, because the people youre raising the argument with / about aren't going to buy anything anyway!
I remember a couple years back reading several stories about the bible thumping nut job Danny Carlson, throwing a fit about this very subject and claiming he developed a detection and blocking tool that was going to change the internet, it would detect browsers running ad block plus and redirect the user to a landing page explaining how they were the spawn of Satan and the root of all that was evil, by using ad block plus users were taking food off his children's plates. my first thought was, oh dear lord he reproduced? after coming to terms with that, i decided to head on over to his website to see what all the fuss was about, when i got to his website, nothing happened, i was expecting to get redirected all dramatic like, and nothing, no redirect, no sermon about being the spawn of Satan, then i realized, his little side show was being blocked by no script, so i left him a comment pointing out how much of a jackass he was, because most people who are smart enough to install ad block plus are also smart enough to install and use no script! Life is good...
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I just ignore the bullsheet ads simply because they are worthless to me. I don't need some unqualified geek telling me what I should buy or trying to force me to look at his attempts to make a living. Same old song, local vendors get all pi$$ed if local folk don't support them and they go out of business. Hint here: it's not a potential buyer's responsibility to keep you in business. Either you do that yourself or you don't. And while you may not be creating intrusive ads, well, that's not for you to decide. That's for the viewer to decide and all ads are intrusive to me.
If you don't like the business you're in or can't make a go of it then go do something else. But given the popularity of ad blocking software I'd say you and those in your business are missing the boat in a lot of ways.
Well, not by me, however the numerous sites that just load hideous attention seeking ads that take over your screen can be blocked quite easily and forgotten, which benefits you in that now I am not so well trained at sidestepping ads in my head, i might actually see your more pertinent ads...
I use adblock/noscript on sites such as the reg and this does two things - stops intrusive (but not all) ads and secondly stops remote js from executing. Given that el reg has been enfected before via remote ad scripts our glorious hacks have allowed I and many otehr will not allow the js mess that it adservers to infect our browsing experience.
Sites such as the indy and telegraph do ads right - non intrusive and in certain cases quite elegant.
All you web survivalists (read 'nutters') running NoScript and AdBlock must visit some pretty 'interesting' sites to need such things. I only rarely see annoying ads that-must-be-killed. The rest of the time I don't really notice them. Maybe you're all just more 'sensitive'. Awwwww.
"Sod the ads, I do it for the speed"
My sentiments exactly. Also I use a PAYG dongle for my internet access at the moment, so each ad impression costs _ME_ to download. I am not paying good money to download ads at all, no sir!
On a good day, catching up with elReg would cost me in the region of 50M of data traffic. Doesn't seem like much, but over the course of a week could cost a fiver or more and when you are poor it is a lot of money to pay just for ads.
I find it amazing how people like our good friend AC here, i would call him by his name, but i cant, he choose to post anonymously, have a big enough set that they'll drop bombs like the one above, calling no script / ad block plus users nutters, but he lacks the moral fiber to show his face as he says it.
So heres to you Mr. identifier of internet nutters with a bag over your head! ,,!,,
... and as for you nutters using firewalls or anti-virus software! Wow you guys must have issues!! Maybe you're all just more sensitive about being part of a bot-net? Awwwwwww.
NoScript ain't just about the ads matey - I'm glad I don't do tech support on your machine, that's all I'm saying.
Just installed it on Chrome for Mac and it works well. I might even try Chrome on my Windows machine at home now - I have been using Opera as Firefox has been rather clunky lately, but even Opera has a pretty poor excuse for content blocking.
Poor old Firefox needs to fight back now or else. Even then, though, I doubt it will ever be as unpopular as IE (at least for home users).
I prefer a flash blocker to an ad blocker. I visit some great free sites, and they probably get a revenue stream from ads loaded and clicked. I'd rather they can still display noflash unobtrusive adverts, but blocks the stupid ones that float around the screen and spawn popups when you try and get rid of them.
This is the point, in Opera (and now Chrome), it does not care if it's an advert, flash, cookie or script, it's the domain you are blocking, not the type of content it is.
In Opera, you can make El-Reg load 100x quicker just by blocking 2 adware domains that slow things down. (if you switch on the Advanced progress bar, you can see what sites are where all the delays taking place are).
I've never used ad blocking but I am considering it, not because I mind the ads, but because everything else gets held up waiting for them. Every time somebody gives up waiting, not only has their time been wasted, the advertiser is being ripped-off by a useless advertising company that doesn't have enough bandwidth to deliver the ads quickly enough to be seen.
Paris to emphasise the concept of staring at something blank.
"Firefox was able to capture 25 per cent of the browser market in large part because it offered extensions, and many have pinned a large chunk of its success on AdBlock Plus in particular. "
"But you can bet that its internal data suggests that even if an ad blocker is available for its browser, most netizens won't bother to install it."
There's a fairly obvious contradiction between those two quotes - and I'm pretty sure that the "fail" is on the part of those who think that AdBlock Plusis responsible for a large chunk of the success of Firefox.
Everyone is apparently OK with letting ads get even that close to their browsers?
I block them at my transparent proxy, using the adblock filter lists, so I don't need to make browser choices based on adblock capabilities. And Privoxy elimiates a fair amount of other web garbage along with the ads.
This is especially nice for my mobile devices, where I don't need to be wasting cycles in the browser.
So the lesson to be learned here is to simply block googles adservers. It's all very easy to do and I wonder what google would do if it couldn't sell ad space.
Judging by the amount of money it takes in I guess it would have to close up.
On a side note why are people not allowed to photo/film police because of wiretapping laws but google is permitted to go around the world and spy on everyone.
Just a question is all, aren't they wiretapping as much as some schmoe with a camera is?
"On a side note why are people not allowed to photo/film police because of wiretapping laws but google is permitted to go around the world and spy on everyone.
Just a question is all, aren't they wiretapping as much as some schmoe with a camera is?"
Consider Google's economic contribution in the countries it operates in (taxes, jobs etc) against Schmoe with a camera..................
I don't click on adverts. (if they get thru)
However, I do click on 'content', content that is within the site I've chosen to visit.
If some 'content' turns out to be advertising, for the chosen site, then fine.
But please, no 3rd parties
Do not want.
Do not use.
So El Reg has adverts, eh? Who would have thought? I very seldom see any ads anywhere, which suits me just fine. (Thanks to Noscript, Adblock, hand-made proxy scripts and an updated hosts file.)
If a site cannot survive without adverts, well, "goodbye".
I pay for my bandwidth, and I do not find it necessary to pay to download screen-space wasters that I will not read or click. If I want to buy something online, which I often do, I go and look for it.
I have half a dozen web sites of my own. I pay for the hosting myself. And they survive without third-party advertisements despite not achieving high hit rates. As far as I am concerned, everybody else with a web site should do the same too.
"I have half a dozen web sites of my own. I pay for the hosting myself. And they survive without third-party advertisements despite not achieving high hit rates."
Surely your web sites survive BECAUSE of low hit rates, not DESPITE low hit rates. If you run a popular site then traffic volumes can take you into an area of higher costs. In that case you can:
a) Pay for it out of your wages - nice if you can afford it;
b) Find a way for the site to fund itself e.g. adverts;
c) Close the site.
"As far as I am concerned, everybody else with a web site should do the same too."
I guess "everybody else with a web site" will roundly ignore you and do as they please.
...thinks this would be a bad idea. It would likely up the costs of the broadband service and runs the risk of installing a filtering service which is then easier to hijack by UK.gov ... gov.
Now ... if the routing wizards at Linksys, Netgear, et al. created a DSL modem for the home that allowed the owner to sign up to a regularly updated blocking service, that would be great. A way of stopping the kids from viewing unwanted material without having to watch over their shoulders and without affecting anyone else on the interwebs.
After all, the resources are already out there; we subscribe to one at work and it works reasonably well.
I don't mind ads on most sites but what does annoy me is when a page doesn't load because the stupid ad server is incredibly slow.
Many a time I'm trying to load pages painfully slowly and just before I give up on the site I'll try adblock and suddenly the pages load in a flash.
I'm amazed websites put up with it to be honest, and even more surprised browsers stall loading the whole page becuase of one or two off-site laggards,.
Ok perhaps the title is a tad extreme but advertising is simply not needed, if the web was my only source of information then perhaps but it is only 1 slice, advertising is already so prevalent throughout all mediums that people just accept the fact it "has" to be there.
With the advent of malicious code injection routines via ads on webpage’s it has turned what is a passive medium into something potentially (I say potentially because yes like most IT savvy people I have enabled all the correct security at home additional proxies, hardened firewalls etc but there is always a way of getting through), dangerous and for that fact alone I will block ads that have been served up to me.
The advertisers won't miss me there because they have me captured via all the other mediums, TV, Billboards etc
...I don’t want anyone tracking my activities and reporting back to any one. And definitely not so they can target ads to me. Wankers.
I've never bought anything because of an advert anyway. I despise them so much. I'll find out about what products or services I require myself.
I don’t need to be told to buy the iPhone cause it makes you look great, or that I must drive a Lexus 4x4 to be someone. You see the saddos every day, they purchase these heavily advertised products because they believe the crap the adverts tell them.
Sorry, I'm far more intelligent than that and can see through the crap like a pain of glass.
Advertisers really some of the lowest forms of life in my eyes, and those who buy into the hype, even lower.
Following the web instructions I found made it is a royal pain in the ass to get it working compared to Firefox's ad blocking plugin's installation. Of course I'm likely going about it all wrong but then that's just another problem for us non guru everyday types who just want the frakkin' thing to work.
Oh well, at least I have my iPhone. Oh ... uh damn, no I have a Palm Pre+ that just works and does everything I want it to. Oh well, fanboi status averted ... uh aborted ... what-frakkin'-ever.
In the absence of an effective micropayment system, and given peoples reluctance to pay large subscription fees, what other funding model is there?
I typically browse with flash and image downloading disabled. I don't consider that actively blocking adverts, I uses negligible bandwidth downloading text adverts, and I feel I'm behaving in a moral fashion, accepting advertising in a reasonable medium in recompense for viewing material I find interesting.
Define many, please. I think you actually meant "a tiny minority". I'm a developer myself and I don't know anybody who picks their browser based on being able to view the source-code. I don't deny such people exist but I can't imagine they're many.
The users who will install it are the ones who won't click on adverts in the first place. By removing themselves from the advertising 'ecosystem', Google automatically gets a higher click-rate for those that are left, who will still be the vast majority of clueless users.
1% of adverts result in a click-through.
90% of users never click through adverts, the reamining 10% are responsible for those click-throughs.
half of users install the ad-blocker. Only users who don't click on ads do this.
You are left with:
50% no ads
40% ads but no click-thorugh
By doing this, you have halved the number of impressions that the advertiser has to make, thus halving their bandwidth costs. At the same time, the number of 'hits' they get has stayed the same, equating to twice the click-through-per-impression rate.
This can only be good for Google.
1) Advertisers are usually only interested in click-through rates, not on impressions.
2) People who click through adverts are not the same people who will install an ad blocker.
3) If people who won't click through ads don't see them, then by extension, those adverts that are being shown are more likley to be being shown to people who WILL click through them.
4) This is GOOD for the advertiser who saves on bandwidth. It is also GOOD for the user who doens't want to see them, who also saves on bandwidth.
5) Sites which survive solely on advertising revenue will still attract plenty of users without a blocker installed. Since they usually get paid by click-through rate, rather than per impression, their revenues will not change.
Personally, what I find evil is the idea that not seeing your advert in the first place makes me evil. If I don't want to buy your crap, I don't need to have a garish flash advert telling me about it. if I decide that I DO want to buy something online, then I will do the research as to what it is I want, and find the cheapest retailer. I understand, however, that many people are easily swayed by advertising, which is why the industry still exists, despite its sole purpose being to sell people things they either do not want, or are inferior to another product, which does not require advertising to sell.
Two of my sites have achieved protracted bursts of very high usage, which did not influence the economics adversely. The others are niche sites but the same would apply to them - the business model in place is scaleable and the inefficiencies are at the low end of the hit rate curve. But even at the inefficient end, they are still self sustaining.
The correct answer is indeed B: Find a way of making the site self-funding, but advertising is the not the best answer to that. (And preferably not selling tee-shirts either!)
In the longer term more people are blocking advertising and the amount of revenue from on-line advertising seems set to continue a pattern of decline that was brought about by the economic situation.
There is no moral compulsion to volunteer to view adverts and if sites that depend on advertising revenue for their existence fail, we will just go somewhere else that offers the same thing with a more sustainable business model.
I can see both sides of the coin here..
As a user, I find ads annoying, but I don't usually disable them.
I am a mod for a fair size forum. We have ads, but none of the admin team really like them, so they are as unobtrustive as we can make them. However, the reason we have them is that even if no one clicks on them, they do pay for the running costs of the site.
Before, the admins were each contributing a lot of money each month. And, frankly, some of them were getting a little pissed off with having to pay for other people to enjoy themselves. Also, as an admin of a forum, you get a fair amount of abuse from forum members. As such, they would have been paying to be insulted. I know some people are happy with that concept, but my colleagues weren't.
At the moment, the site makes a small profit. A few hundred pounds a year. Nothing earth shattering, but enough that we can afford to look at improving the site.
People moan about being advertised to, but a *lot* of the web is funded by advertising. I am not talking about the large sites (google, digital spy, the newspapers etc). I am talking about the small, independent sites who don't have a large parent company able to spend a lot of money on a site. People who may even rely on that site as their primary source of income.
When you use adblockers, remember, it's not big business you are killing. They generally have another source of income. It's the small independent sites.
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