back to article Google nukes ad-blocker AdNauseam, sweeps remains out of Chrome Web Store

Google has removed ad blocking and privacy extension AdNauseam from its Chrome Web Store, and has taken the unusual step of flagging the extension as malware, thereby preventing AdNauseam from being used by those who have installed the software via Chrome's developer mode. Chrome users who put their browser into developer mode …

  1. Captain DaFt

    Well I never!

    /sarc An ad pushing company bans ad blocker as malware.

    Who could have seen that coming? /sarc

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...have submitted another version of AdNauseam that they hope Google will allow.

    Wouldn't place any bets on that happening long term.

  3. inmypjs Silver badge

    Not very popular in firefox

    10 reviews and 4876 installs compared with 805 reviews and 2.6 million installs for uBlock Origin.

    Don't see how chrome users care about privacy anyway. Did it have any installs in chrome?

    1. theModge

      Re: Not very popular in firefox

      I'm trying it in firefox as a result of the article. So far: so ineffective, but I'll persist a little longer before I switch batch to uBlock Origin

      1. theModge

        Re: Not very popular in firefox

        Just to update: one firefox restart later and it's fine.

  4. W Donelson

    Google is running scared now. Too many ad-blockers on too many platforms are crashing it's revenue.

    Just look at AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to see the future of Google Search:

    - Links provided to Google's own version of those pages, complete with Google's own ads.

    (You may have used Google search to go to a page, and see a white banner at the top of the page. Take a look at the URL in your browser!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Facebook do the same from within their app. Facebook also auto-play all of their (mostly stolen) videos to inflate their view counts.

      It's astonishing anyone still spends any money on page ads. Utterly worthless.

  5. LiarLiarLiar
    WTF?

    Just use Firefox

    why would anyone use google chrome? It's malware, spying on everything you do.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Just use Firefox

      I do use Firefox as well as Chrome. Seems Firefox is having "issues" with memory and slowness. I'm hoping for a new build release (I'm using the current one) soon... very soon.

      IE is the pits for some of the forums I use as there's a few bugs in IE 11 that won't let it play nice with them.

      1. Smartypantz

        Re: Just use Firefox

        So, willing to sacrifice security for convience? That is what fuels this whole disgusting mess!

      2. Zakhar

        Re: Just use Firefox

        That is on Windows, and it crashes quite often too. It looks to me related to the poor state of OpenGL and the likes on Windows because crash usually happens after the display becomes funny.

        On Linux it's fine. Crashes are extremely rare.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Just use Firefox

      why would anyone use google chrome?

      One word Postman. That is the only reason why chrome still survives on my machines.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: why would anyone use google chrome?

        Because they have something to debug and need to see how it behaves it on the most popular browser. IMO the Chrome debugger is better than the firefox one for general web dev anyway.

        It's not my daily browser but when I'm working in JS Chrome is my default debugger.

        1. Unicornpiss Silver badge

          Re: why would anyone use google chrome?

          The Firebug extension for Firefox seems to work pretty well if you're looking for an alternative. Admittedly I'm not a developer, but my only complaint would be that it does slow things down a bit when active.

    3. Robert Sneddon

      Firefox is blocking extensions too

      The latest builds of Firefox block the use of unsigned and unapproved extensions. I switched some of my browsing to Pale Moon so I could run a couple of old "Jet Pack" extensions that no-one is maintaining since the Pale Moon developers said they would continue to allow unsigned extensions to run. The next release of Pale Moon kicked Jet Pack to the curb...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just use Firefox

      [IWishthiswasSarcasm]

      It runs Farmville on my mothers machine better than Edge/IE (Before you flame me I know it uses Flash and no she doesn't want to play any alternatives such as locally installed PC farming games)

      Anon for obvious reasons

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just use Firefox

      Because they have something to debug and need to see how it behaves it on the most popular browser.

      Then use SRWare Iron. Chrome without the spyware.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just use Firefox

      Always pisses me off folk who act all high and mighty.

      Why do people use Chrome? Because they do. Same way people drive Fords, people watch Eastenders, eat Sushi or fly to the Costa for the summer hols.

      Sheesh.

  6. Terry 6 Silver badge

    What would you expect

    It seems like forever that Google has been using its assorted "free" services as bait to get the public to give it access to our behaviour, interests, purchasing habits and just about everything else. Yet still there are people who should know better recommending Chrome as a browser. In effect making Google into the spider at the centre of our individual bits of the web. Of course they are going to do their best to stop users blocking the very reason Chrome exists. Chrome is not there for our benefit any more than a worm is on a hook for the fishes' benefit. It is there for exactly the same purpose. And they are not about to let anyone grab the bait and swim off with it.

    Chrome should be treated as the spawn of Satan. And the almost ubiquitous Android is no better - yet we don't get anything like the level of bile aimed at Google on El Reg that we get if Microsoft is even so much as mentioned.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: What would you expect

      I guess it may be time to 'fork' Chrome and maintain a 'totally free' version...

      (you gotta admire the fact that it's open source over on chromium.org)

      1. PTW
        Mushroom

        Re: What would you expect

        For a privacy respecting Chromium fork try SRWare Iron [Win/Linux/Droid/Mac]

        http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php

    2. Arctic fox
      Windows

      @Terry 6 Re: ".........that we get if Microsoft is even so much as mentioned."

      Indeed. It is amazing how much howling and hosing you get on any thread even remotely connected with Win 10 whereas it is very much quieter both in terms of the nature of the postings and the number of them that we see on any thread which involves Google's privacy issues. I am not in any way implicitly or explicitly making excuses for the serious privacy issues with Win 10 but when it comes to data "slurping" Google could give master classes to world plus wife plus dog and Microsoft.

      1. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: @Terry 6 ".........that we get if Microsoft is even so much as mentioned."

        "howling and hosing you get on any thread even remotely connected with Win 10 whereas it is very much quieter"

        Yes because google has been scum for years while Microsoft only just started putting all the shit I hate about android into windows.

        I have never trusted android. I do trust my Win 7 install although the assholes have made me disable windows update.

  7. Oengus
    WTF?

    Give me the option

    "To make Chrome safer, we have disabled the following extension that isn't listed in the Chrome Web Store and may have been added without your knowledge."

    Don't disable it... Give me the option to accept that I know what I am doing and want to use it. It is acceptable to make the default option "Disable" but for F%$#s sake at least give me the option. I am sick of companies deciding that they know what I am trying to do and overriding what I want.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Give me the option

      Here is a good answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi8kYcl2Y38

      the one you are going to get.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    This is only the second time I've heard about AdNauseam. Thanks for giving them free publicity, Google.

  9. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Come on

    This software *actually* clicked ads without the users knowledge?

    1. Old Handle
      Headmaster

      Re: Come on

      Of course not. It only simulated clicks.

      I don't see any reason to believe this was concealed from the user either. The Firefox add-on listing (which still exists) clearly lists this behavior are a feature.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Come on

        Besides, I would think the ad people would start developing Turing Tests to tell the real clicks from the fake ones.

      2. Hans 1
        Angel

        Re: Come on

        >Of course not. It only simulated clicks.

        Yes, and probably the best feature it has ... thanks, google, will install asap.

      3. theModge

        Re: Come on

        clearly lists this behavior are a feature.

        And the setup page lets you turn it on (off by default)

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Come on

          Can't help thinking it'd be better if you had a slider to set the percentage of ads it clicked. Google'll spot that you're clicking every ad pretty quickly (in fact I'm surprised they killed the add-on and didn't just ignore the clicks) whereas if you were to click 0.2% of them you'd look more like a normal user.

          Surely that'd do more damage to their business in the long term, it'd be much trickier to pick the fake clicks out of the real ones.

    2. Rob D.
      Facepalm

      Re: Come on

      Just switched from AdBlock Plus to AdNauseum to see how well the two compare - it is made patently obvious that this add-on can do background 'clicking' of ads. The initial config requires confirmation of three main settings: Hide Ads, Click Ads, Block Malware. Definitely not "without the users (sic) knowledge".

      Whether there is any real benefit in generating a false click trail is probably going to remain a matter of debate. Personally I'm finding the combination of AdN, NoScript and Cookie Monster on Firefox is giving a relatively clean web browsing experience.

      Choosing to use AdN now may add to the pressure for the ads industry to do something relevant and useful about the current situation. With Google deciding to punt AdN now, maybe the pressure is being applied in the right place. We'll see.

      As for El Reg - not one ad appears although I guess with AdN they are generating the revenue even with a big fat zero on viewability.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Come on

        As for El Reg - not one ad appears although I guess with AdN they are generating the revenue even with a big fat zero on viewability.

        That is exactly Google's problem here. It is not malware for user's PC. It is malware for their advertising system and financial streams.

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: It is malware for their advertising system and financial streams.

          This doesn't seem quite right. Surely the advertisers are the ones losing money, Google still get paid. So while their bottom line may be impacted in the long term in the short to medium they're quids in.

          The question is how much will the fake click trail confuse their behavioural targetting, and how long will it take for the fake clicks to impact the effectiveness of the ad campaigns?

          Nevertheless, now I know about AdNauseum I think I'll be changing from UBlock.....

          1. Known Hero

            Re: It is malware for their advertising system and financial streams.

            Just installed it myself, not only can I block their shitty ad's I can support the webpage I'm visiting too :D

            This has *nothing to do with Sticking a big F*CK YOU to the advertising industry.

            Enjoy the clicks El'Reg

            *nothing equates to mostly

  10. RAMChYLD

    Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

    I don't mind text-only ads. However, when you start pushing obnoxious javascript, flash and video ads that play by default and I can't turn off, you've crossed the line. You're eating my quota by forcing stuff I don't want down my throat. And I'm pretty sure this is the sentiment felt by those who're on an Internet connection with an unreasonably low cap like I am. Also, javascript and flash ads are known to push malware (still having that problem on cracked.com on mobile).

    Go back to text-only ads and I'll gladly stop using adblockers. Heck I'm pretty sure adblockers will fall out of use with text-only ads (plus, text-only ads won't be able to force malware onto a device because there's no javascript, it relies on the victim to be a schmuck to click on the link and get infected).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

      The problem being people become innured to ads over time so they have to become more ostentatious to MAKE you pay attention. That's why banner ads and text ads aren't worth their money. And they don't care if you're annoyed because they hire psychologists that show: "Love them or hate them, as long as you KNOW them" works. Unless you can show independent psychological studies to show otherwise. After all, why do people stick with the likes of Google and Yahoo IN SPITE OF all the bad press in the MSM about them?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

        "The problem being people become innured to ads over time so they have to become more ostentatious to MAKE you pay attention.

        Hi there, ad industry shill. A recent article here reminded us of the John Wanamaker quote that only half of his advertising worked but he didn't know which half. I think he'd have been delighted with ad-blockers because they'd have provided that knowledge.

        Perhaps one day your clients will take the hint - after all many of them are probably blocking ads too because, of course, this making people pay attention bit gets you the WRONG sort of attention - pissed off people are not going to be good customers. And when your clients make that connection you are in really big trouble. In the meantime no doubt your arrogance and lack of self-awareness will keep you charging to the cliff edge. The rest of us will enjoy watching you fall over it.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

          "Perhaps one day your clients will take the hint - after all many of them are probably blocking ads too because, of course, this making people pay attention bit gets you the WRONG sort of attention - pissed off people are not going to be good customers."

          Didn't you read? "Love me or hate me, as long as you KNOW me." Especially if I can smother the alternatives on the market and make it a Hobson's Choice. Now what will you do? Alternatives don't always exist, and it's not always possible to roll your own.

          And, I'm no shill. I just know that ads are a fact of live, have been for over a century. Hell, even E. E. Smith wrote about advertising in First Lensman (which dates back to World War II) and about how they go to great lengths to get your attention.

          1. Esme

            Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

            @Charles 9. Hmmn... I go into shop. I buy stuff that I know I want. I see other stuff. Some of it piques my curiosity, so I look at it, and make a decision whether to purchase it or not as well. On-line and telly advertising has NO impact. Heck, I love the meerkats in a certain advertising campain, but they're not advertising anything I want (I purchase from a different supplier that I'm happy with and that does almost no advertising). Some brands have guaranteed I'll never buy from them either due to their product quality, their unethical behaviour or due to their advert-spamming. Others have ensured that I'll avoid them whenever I sensibly can, for the same reason. I can't think of a single case where I've brought a product simply due to the advertising

            (shrugs) I'm not by any means arguing that advertising never works, but I'm pretty damned sure it isn't anything like as effective as some ad-slingers claim.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

            "Love me or hate me, as long as you KNOW me."

            This, of course, has to be the advertising industry's motto. As long as they can keep the punters believing that's all that matters they'll stay in business. Remember, the only thing the advertising industry sells is adverts. Preferably big expensive adverts that they can persuade their punters are getting them value for money.

            1. This Side Up

              Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

              "Preferably big expensive adverts that they can persuade their punters are getting them value for money."

              If I see a big, expensive advert I think "Why should I pay for that?" Same with a big, flashy shop.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

                If I see a big, expensive advert I think "Why should I pay for that?" Same with a big, flashy shop.

                Yes, but we're not in the business of selling big, expensive adverts or big, flashy shops. At least I'm not and I don't suppose you are. But being in such a business requires you to take a different attitude - and try to get your clients to share it. I say again, the advertising industry sells adverts to advertisers, that's all. What effect it has on the advertisers' bottom line isn't their problem providing they get paid.

          3. Tannin

            Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

            Well done on your EE Smith reference - not too many people remember the Doc these days. But - though one should hesitate to mention her in the same paragraph as EE Smith - a rather earlier and utterly compelling insight into advertising is Dorothey E Sayers' Murder Must Advertise. But, of course, she had inside knowledge of the industry.

            (What would she have made of Google/DoubleClick? One hates to think.)

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

              "What would she have made of Google/DoubleClick?"

              Probably bumped all the management off before getting Lord Peter on the case.

          4. This Side Up

            Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

            "pissed off people are not going to be good customers."

            You can say that again!

            "pissed off people are not going to be good customers."

            Thanks.

            'Didn't you read? "Love me or hate me, as long as you KNOW me."'

            No I don't buy that. There's no way I'm going to uSwitch or Go-compare because of their irritating tv ads. If I KNOW a brand then I'll remember to avoid it. If you stick a pop-up window in front of what I'm trying to read what makes you think I'm going to buy your stupid product anyway?

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

      text-only ads won't be able to force malware onto a device because there's no javascript,

      There is. To load it as the alternative is server code which is not feasible. Otherwise agree.

      There are several issues here:

      0. There is no Google. The company should be called is Doubleclick. It subsumed Google and Google adopted its advertising practices after it "took over" it (quotes needed).

      1. Text only ads need a very high degree of relevance in order to generate significant click-through rates. Google decided to forgo the relevance level for sake of more realtime ads and trending. This is the so called dumb-ass to smart-ass transition ~ 9 years ago. In reality - that was the moment of internal takeover by Doubleclick - as the ads stopped being relevant they had to become Doubleclicky shout in your face crap (primary reason Google text ads took most of Double's market).

      2. We are back to a point where the lion share of ad spend on the market are from big brands. These do not rely on clickthrough at all - they are per-impression ads. They are there to "maintain presence". They are also the ones who have marketing departments with budgets sufficient to feed the ad agencies to generate the flashy video crap. If Google decides to switch to text this revenue goes elsewhere. As it is now a public corporation a 90% drop in revenue is not going to work well with its shareholders.

      It is a classic lose-lose situation where the only solution is the emergence of a new player which does text only ads. That unfortunately is not likely to happen as there is no way for a newcomer to push out Google from the search space which is both its relevance info provider as well as primary opportunity to serve ads.

      1. ArrZarr

        Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

        "Google decided to forgo the relevance level for sake of more realtime ads and trending."

        Google sites have reasonable levels of monetisation. Look at youtube - sponsored videos on the right, preroll ads and postroll ads. creators can monetise their content more heavily but again, that's the creator's choice. Search pages also have only text and unobtrusive image ads.

        Beyond that, it's the advert creator which causes the ad obnoxious and the agency which doesn't set impression limits. Neither of which are limited by Google - or any other display ad provider.

        Personally, I'm not even sure if the GDN supports those godawful autoplaying video ads (with the exception of YouTube obv)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

        > 2. We are back to a point where the lion share of ad spend on the market are from big brands. These do not rely on clickthrough at all - they are per-impression ads. They are there to "maintain presence".

        Then make them unclickable so AdNauseam can't click them. Don't need tracking either.

        Of course they'll still be obnoxious but it'd be a step in the right direction.

    3. Updraft102

      Re: Maybe they should've thought the whole video ad thing over

      If the text-only ads are hosted by the site being visited, it's possible they'd be rendered nearly impossible to block anyway. The more the ads differ from actual content, the easier they are to identify and block. All the things that make modern web ads intolerable are the very things that make them so blockable-- poetic justice if there ever was any.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting why block this one?

    I think it's interesting that Google chose to block this while ABP continues to be available. The article touches on it briefly but I think the automated click on the ad was a bridge to far for Google. The advertiser must pay for the 'click' and this ruins the analytics drawn from this. This fact alone was probably too much for them to take

    1. wikkity

      Re: Interesting why block this one?

      I assume that this one is blocked as the software is "clicking" the ad and therefore incurring the charge ad as the article says this could be considered fraud. They are not blocking this one as it blocks ads.

      While I'm sure Google would like to earn the extra cash from these clicks they have a responsibility to their clients to ensure ad clicks are bona fide.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: they have a responsibility...

        ... to their management to ensure ad clicks appear bona fide so customers don't complain.

        FTFY!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Interesting why block this one?

        "they have a responsibility"

        Even thinking about that must have brought them out in a sweat.

      3. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Interesting why block this one?

        Software that "clicks ads" is simply fraud and not really ad blocking at all, as obviously the script must be run to have a link to click.

        My main motive in ad blocking, isn't to block ads as such, but 3rd party scripts which break privacy and are one of the most common malware vectors. Even BBC.com and CNN were serving adverts that served malware via their javascript.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Interesting why block this one?

          "Software that "clicks ads" is simply fraud and not really ad blocking at all, as obviously the script must be run to have a link to click." ?

          Bollocks, by your assestment any ad I click on that does define my interest is also fraud.

          I can click any ad I like or not simply because ad companies do not own me, no matter what they think, nor am I in any way obliged to provide them with employment.

          IMHO yet another another bunch of lowlifes who make money off the public's back telling us it is criminal not to keep them rolling in money, well they have only themselves to blame.

  12. Tim99 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    No free ride

    I have not understood why Google is sometimes excused behaviour that many commentards would think was unacceptable if carried out by Sony, Microsoft, Apple etc. Unless you pay them money you are not a Google "customer", you are just their harvest. I suspect that if you do pay them money you are probably just a more valuable crop, but they do seem to filter out the obvious spam that a freetard using their products normally sees. A tip for Windows users of Chrome - Delete the local Google Appdata folder to get rid of crap and don't log in to your Google Acc.

    ' A simple vbs script that you can run at logon

    Dim delFolderPath(1)

    delFolderPath(0)="C\:SomeOtherFolderThatYouWantGone"

    delFolderPath(1)="C:\Users\Your_Account\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome"

    Dim fso

    Dim objFolder

    Dim objFile

    Dim objSubfolder

    For Each x In delFolderPath

    'Set objects & error catching

    On Error Resume Next

    Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

    Set objFolder = fso.GetFolder(x)

    'DELETE files in path unless they are ReadOnly, or set to True for All

    For Each objFile In objFolder.files

    objFile.Delete False

    Next

    'DELETE all subfolders in delFolder Path even if they are ReadOnly

    For Each objSubfolder In objFolder.Subfolders

    objSubfolder.Delete True

    Next

    Next

    Set objSubfolder = Nothing

    Set objFile = Nothing

    Set objFolder = Nothing

    Set fso = Nothing

    ' The usual warnings apply if you run some VBS file you copied from the Internet!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: No free ride

      "I have not understood why Google is sometimes excused behaviour that many commentards would think was unacceptable if carried out by Sony, Microsoft,"

      Probably because most of us use blockers. It's a bit more difficult to block ads served direct from your OS. Also, if not blocked, it's the ad itself that draws the immediate ire; the system that served it is less visible.

    2. nijam Silver badge

      Re: No free ride

      > I have not understood why Google is sometimes excused behaviour that many commentards would think was unacceptable if carried out by Sony, Microsoft, Apple etc.

      Because, notwithstanding the general tenor of the commentard rants here, Google are largely quite upfront about what they do. That is definitely not the case with Microsoft (and many others) who have been found to be deliberately lying about it. Apple's a special case, they deny everything and it's quite difficult to find out what they actually do.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Google are largely quite upfront about what they do.

        Either you're very high up in Google management, or you're assuming that what they say is what they do. If it's the second then I'd suggest you become a little more realistic.

        Blocking ads doesn't stop google following you around the internet. You need to block Google analytics first. While a site owner only sees analytics for their site, Google can follow your analytics cookie around the web. They don't publicise that much.

    3. Updraft102

      Re: No free ride

      "I have not understood why Google is sometimes excused behaviour that many commentards would think was unacceptable if carried out by Sony, Microsoft, Apple etc."

      In my case, it's pretty simple-- I haven't been running a Google operating system for the past 25 years under one paradigm, only to have them suddenly change the rules to "customer be damned, let's serve ourselves instead!" That's what's happened with MS, though.

      Apple, Google, and Sony can do whatever they want; it's no concern of mine. I don't run anything from Apple or Sony, and my Android (wifi only) tablet was suspect from the start, so I always kept it figuratively at arms' length, keeping any personal information off of it. It has a modified hosts file to block pretty much all ads (on all apps), so a lot of the spying is blocked, but again, I expect it and behave accordingly. It doesn't matter, since it's just a toy, unlike my PCs.

      I expect more from my PCs than I would from a Chromebook, Playstation, or iDevice, though it's notable also that I've never actually owned any of those things, and don't plan to. I chose MS-DOS and then MS Windows all those years ago, and it was based on the rules in place at that time. I was a tiny part of what made Windows and MS what they are today-- without users adopting Windows, it would have been like OS/2. Now, as a reward for all of us people adopting Windows and investing in its ecosystem for decades, we're being plundered by MS, and that's a betrayal many of us will not soon forget.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: No free ride

        I haven't been running a Google operating system for the past 25 years under one paradigm, only to have them suddenly change the rules to "customer be damned, let's serve ourselves instead!" That's what's happened with MS, though.

        Well put although in may case MS got my ire much earlier. It was a little advertising trick (glueing magazine pages together FFS!) that did it and even at the time they should have spotted the double meaning of their tag-line "Don't get stuck with Microsoft" which I decided to take to heart. Effective stuff that advertising.

    4. Tannin

      Re: No free ride

      Thanks for that script.I'm sure it will be useful. Forgive my ignorance here, but what is the point of using vbs for it when a perfectly ordinary batch file is faster and easier?

      (Possibly I am showing my age.)

      1. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: No free ride

        @Tannin

        I volunteer to keep the equipment running at a retiree community centre with about 1500 members. What some users leave behind is sometimes private or "interesting". The full code deletes stray stuff from Downloads, the Desktop, etc, and gives them a message at logon. It takes about 3 seconds to run.

        Yes you could use a BAT/CMD file, but in this case you may not know the names of subfolders. I have never been able to reliably delete unknown subfolders from a folder that you want to keep when using wildcards, particularly when you don't know what their contents permissions are. So the easiest thing for me was to use filesystem objects with VBS.

        1. Tannin

          Re: No free ride

          Cheers Tim99, that answers my question nicely.

          It wouldn't have occurred to me to use .vbs for a task like this (or indeed for anything else much) but I can see the advantages in your context. Me, I'm only just used to these newfangled batch file things, since they replaced the normal .sub SUBMIT file. :)

  13. JLV
    Happy

    In other news...

    The mayor of Sheepsville, Mr. Wolf, has passed a city ordnance banning doors on barns.

    Think of the children lambs if there was a fire!

  14. Kurt 5

    Take responsibility for content

    I'd run without an ad blocker if the sites would guarantee that the ads they display didn't have malware and were well behaved. Since that will never happen I have to run with an ad blocker.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Take responsibility for content

      If you're unsure about running ad blockers, you could always try editing your hosts file and adding the sites to block in there. Take a look at http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/ for more info.

      Works fine on both Linux and Windows irrespective of the browser you're using.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Take responsibility for content

        Until the ads start going through proxies or are hosted ON the sites, in which case you risk blocking the content. And don't say there are alternatives to some things like manufacturer's drivers sites (any that are are potential malware spots themselves) NOR can we put down for alternative hardware that's already purchased (sunk costs).

      2. bpfh

        Re: Take responsibility for content

        Using the hosts file does not work for a lot of the ad neworks that use dynamic subdomains that change at almost every call...

  15. Stjalodbaer
    Pint

    you are the product

    How does the ad know it's being blocked ? Can the blocker be written to block but give the ad sender the impression things are fine ? Beware also of evil Disqus, Scribd etc.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: you are the product

      Simple. The ad doesn't get requested. The server always knows if a request goes through and if the connection completes fully since it can measure the transfer total (part of its job for reporting purposes). Basically, if the request isn't sent and the ad not sent in its entirety, the server can assume the ad wasn't sent and the impression not made. The only way to fool that is to load the ad out of sight, but that means you use up (for many, precious) data allowance.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: you are the product

        "if the ... ad not sent in its entirety"

        That could simply be a network problem so it couldn't reliably assume a blocker.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: you are the product

          Doesn't matter if it's intentionally blocked or lost to static. Still means no impression.

  16. NanoMeter

    Message to advertisers and ad agencies

    Don't hurt my privacy, else I will hurt your profit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Message to advertisers and ad agencies

      One drop against an endless sea, they will reply.

      And if you try to hack us, we're pretty good friends with the FBI, they will add.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Message to advertisers and ad agencies

        "One drop against an endless sea, they will reply."

        My counter reply: Many drops are what make an endless sea. You risk being swept away on the rising tide you create.

        (See? I can do fortune cookie wisdom too!) ☺

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Message to advertisers and ad agencies

          Counter-counter:

          The thing about an endless sea is that it's endless. Ten thousand or a hundred thousand means as much versus infinite. Besides, if you're in a boat, a rising ride means little to you.

  17. Iain Gilbert

    I seem to remember there's a fork of chrome called iron, whether it's been kept up to date is another matter.

    Personally I use Firefox with noscript and ghostery along with piehole running on a vm in the house for dns based blocking.

    Certainly recommend piehole although I'm never 100% keen to trust an auto update script that fiddles with dns so have a crib job to remove anything not pointing to the pieholes own ip.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Yeah, that was mentioned a little higher up. I thought Iron was abandonware but looking at their site there was a release in December, so definitely worth a look! There's an Android version as well!

  18. Wolfclaw

    Adblocker software running on router stamping out HTTP and HTTPS connections, lovely !

  19. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Pale Moon with Latitude

    Just saying.

  20. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    Ad blockers on Android

    Anyone have any suggestions for adblockers/javascript blockers on Android?

    NoScript (my number 1 add-on on desktop) isnt yet available on firefox mobile version, and i havent found any others that work on any mobile browser (chrome, firefox, opera).

    Suggestions?

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Ad blockers on Android

      I think you might find that your version of Firefox is too new for the Noscript add in. I have it on my phone but I installed it a couple of years ago and it was an unsupported, install at your own risk job then. Worth digging around for it, it's crude and basic but works.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Ad blockers on Android

      uBlock Origin works on mobile Firefox.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Ad blockers on Android

        Yes, uBlock and others work, I'd rather have noScript on Mobile. I don't quite understand why it's not available.

        So I rarely use tablet for Internet, and never phone, TV & BD player not connected (I might add them to LAN and block mac at router). So limit myself to laptop.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Ad blockers on Android

          NoScript is an old-school XUL (pre-Chrome) add-on, and mobile Firefox only supports Chrome-style XUP add-ons (uBlock Origin is XUP, thus why it's also on Chrome).

          PS. You might want to hook up your BD Player. Otherwise, it may not be able to play newer titles if your player's been used as a cracking tool in the past.

    3. STGM

      Re: Ad blockers on Android

      Depending on your use case scenario, NoTrack is worth a look:

      https://github.com/quidsup/NoTrack

      At STGM Towers it's running flawlessly on a Pi B mk1 connected by ethernet to my router.

      Fairly straightforward to setup for non tech folk (relative to this site), even comes with a handy video.

      I think I had to 'forget' the wifi network and re-add and select the Pi's IP for DHCP when reconnecting too, a trivial point.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks, Google!

    If not for this action against the interest of your Chrome users, I wouldn't know about this great extension for Firefox! Just installed it and disabled uBlock to try it out.

    Streisand Effect, anyone?

  22. Mage Silver badge

    Ad blocking continues to hurt online publishers

    Citation?

    If I never click how is it hurting to go a step further and block ads?

    Actually I don't that much care about static small images/text. I DO care about 3rd party scripts, 3rd party tracking, animated, video or audio adverts, or adverts that delay access to content (evil BBC.com news). All of those I will block. They may in any case be illegal.

    I think Sony & Google have broken EU law. New TV, you can't install/tune it without agreeing to totally unacceptable Google Terms and Conditions.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the Playstore is illegal in EU. Certainly it's immoral as are Google's popup multipage T&C or one sign in for all Google services (which are quite unrelated, such as Google Groups for programming support, You Tube, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search, Translate).

    Google are evil and arrogant.

  23. RedCardinal

    Another good reason not to use Chrome (as if we needed another...)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021