Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 28th Jul 2007 11:07 UTC
Bugs & Viruses A lot of people have been emailing us about an issue we are having with one of our ads taking over OSNews. Thank you all for emailing us, the information provided is of good use to us. We are currently working on the problem, and will let you know once it has been fixed. We would like to apologise for the inconvenience. Update by DA: I think that I've tracked down the offender. Read more for details Update 2: This time I think we really fixed it.
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Stop blocking ads!
by aent on Sun 29th Jul 2007 02:38 UTC
aent
Member since:
2006-01-25

I really hate that mentality. Ads are your form of payment for this and other websites and services. Its what makes it so they can afford to pay their employees, pay for the servers, and a big part of what makes the world go round without you having to pay for each site individually. While some people may be willing to pay $10/month out of their own pocket for owning a website, many others are running a website and don't want to have to pay for it themselves, for understandable reasons (it can get expensive).

Is it better for this site to be around with ads, or not to be around at all? People like you who block ads has already hurt a lot of OTHER people. I remember the days when there were free ISPs that would give you dialup service, no charge, in exchange for some real estate space on your screen. They ended because people decided "its my screen" and my free ISP can't tell me what I need on my screen while I'm using the internet. Of course, the free ISPs could have stayed around and paid for the service out of their own pockets, but they obviously decided not to, and now if you temporarily need dialup service, you're out of luck.

Now you all are helping to kill more websites that are offering free services and information. Instead of using adblock, why not just avoid visiting sites that have a free, advertising supported revenue stream and restrict yourselves to websites that don't display advertisements. You can still visit OSNews without ads by subscribing, and if you don't think its worth the price of A) your screen real estate, bandwidth, and other related costs of displaying the ad, or B) the cost of the subscription OSNews offers, then you ultimately are stealing the website's content, and you should just stop, and go somewhere else without advertisements for your information (don't ask me where, not that many people maintain a site like this at their own cost and time).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Stop blocking ads!
by steviant on Sun 29th Jul 2007 04:27 in reply to "Stop blocking ads!"
steviant Member since:
2006-01-11

So when a website serves up ads that make my browser slow down or otherwise annoy the living fornication out of me, aren't they "charging" me more for viewing the site than other advertisers? How is that fair, or right?

Others might see a different non-annoying ad while I'm subjected to the annoyware version, so we are effictively "paying" different "prices" to view the same content.

If sites need to resort to pissing their users off in order to satiate their advertisers then the pendulum has already swung too far in the direction of the advertisers and website owners who recieve kickbacks for subjecting us to annoying drivvel surrounded by mock window facades and flashing backgrounds.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Stop blocking ads!
by aent on Mon 30th Jul 2007 03:17 in reply to "RE: Stop blocking ads!"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

Yes, some websites charge more then others. Just like when you purchase an iPod with 40GB its likely to be cheaper then one that has 80GB. They clearly think their site is more valuable, and you don't have to pay the higher price (more CPU time, space, annoyance), just don't buy their product (visit their website) anymore, at least until they cut costs (make advertisements less annoying).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Stop blocking ads!
by aent on Mon 30th Jul 2007 03:19 in reply to "RE: Stop blocking ads!"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

Yes, some websites charge more then others. Just like when you purchase an iPod with 40GB its likely to be cheaper then one that has 80GB. They clearly think their site is more valuable, and you don't have to pay the higher price (more CPU time, space, annoyance), just don't buy their product (visit their website) anymore, at least until they cut costs (make advertisements less annoying).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Stop blocking ads!
by UltraZelda64 on Sun 29th Jul 2007 05:39 in reply to "Stop blocking ads!"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I used to sit through the ads. I didn't like it, but they were there, and they at least didn't bother me that bad. Sometimes, if something interested me, there might have been a chance that I'd click it (although rarely). That was years ago. Just plain, simple, gif picture ads. Thank advertisers for not only merely trying to "get our attention," but now also:

-Annoying me with Flash ads that take up a ridiculous amount of processor cycles, literally slowing the computer down at times.

-As if those Flash ads weren't bad enough, there are ones with sound. These ones literally drive me up the wall... or should I say, did. Nothing like sitting at the computer at night, tired, peace and quiet... and all the sudden... instant headache as you scramble for that volume knob. Or all the times I just want my computer to STFU and play my music, and more crap starts playing. Sorry, but this is my computer--and if these ads start annoying me even past the web pages they were intending to fund (er, distract you from), they've gotta go. And they did.

-Pop-ups, pop-unders, floating ads, etc. Thankfully the pop ads have been done for in most major browsers for years, and thank noscript for getting rid of those wretched ads that follow you as you scroll down the page. And those ones that appear when you highlight certain words in articles, only to pop up some crap that in reality is 100% pointless. Both of these also usually guzzle lots of pointless CPU cycles.

-Commercials. Literally, commercials. From the site that really pushed me over the edge into using Adblock in the first place years ago, IGN, who has every obnoxious ad in the book... now they're starting to put ****ing commercials up that you have to sit through and watch/listen, before watching one of their videos. Unfortunately, I haven't found a way around these yet, so I just refuse to watch them at all. Plus, I try to shun the IGN sites whenever possible in general now.

Sorry, I used to play fair. Advertisers have pushed me too far, and continually come up with even worse methods to piss me off instead of fairly try to sell me something. Unless they start coming up with *less* obtrusive methods instead of *more*, I will continue to block all their ****. I don't see that happening any time soon... as long as there's money to be made, they'll only get worse. Just look at TV (which I also refuse to watch) and DVDs (which I don't buy if you can't skip the trailers at the beginning).

Also--if I had the choice between cheap 8-15 dollar 56k Internet access years ago, and ad-supported free access... there's no way in hell I'd settle for the free ad-paid version. I'd pay up before I allow my ISP to install ad-showing crap on my system just to browse the Internet. Fortunately , 56k is dead now, unless you happen to live in an extremely rural location or a country that's technologically behind.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Stop blocking ads!
by aent on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:44 in reply to "RE: Stop blocking ads!"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

Unfortunately, I haven't found a way around these yet, so I just refuse to watch them at all. Plus, I try to shun the IGN sites whenever possible in general now.
Yes, when a website is displaying so many ads that viewing it becomes too much of a pain, stop viewing it. If enough people stop viewing it, the website is likely to rethink the position of displaying this type of ads, as very intrusive ads that no one views make a lot less money then non-intrusive ads that tons of people view. I encourage everyone to stop visiting websites that display insane, extremely annoying ads, as I do so myself. If they take a hard enough hit, its not going to pay for them to continue showing the ads. That is the whole point.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Stop blocking ads!
by deathshadow on Sun 29th Jul 2007 06:28 in reply to "Stop blocking ads!"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> I really hate that mentality. Ads are your form of
>> payment for this and other websites and services.


You know, I'd love to be young, dumb, naive and willing to trust online advertisers, I really would.

Unfortunately I don't trust the average click-through advertising link-whore as far as I can throw them - I am SHOCKED this is the first time an advertiser has been a 'problem' for OSNews all things considered given what total sleazeball piles of filth RUN these online advertising firms.

To me, a good ad block is as important a part of my computer as a antivirus, antispy, or making sure that Java is NOWHERE NEAR my machine. (I don't trust that pile of crap either - probably because my machine has been raped by rogue java crapplets TWICE now... Never again). It is as important as disabling "raise/lower windows, change status bar, set window position" and all the other CRAP they let javascript to that it should NEVER have been allowed access to...

Adblocking has reached the point of being a necessity for ANYONE who needs their Windows based computer to work 24/7 and cannot make the jump to so called 'safer' operating systems due to the lack of basic functionality involved in actually getting work done or hardware incompatability sending you back on functionality to 1992.

If these sleazeball advertisers want to blame anyone, they should be looking in the mirror, not at the users who are smart enough to block their crap.

Edited 2007-07-29 06:38

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Stop blocking ads!
by Peter Besenbruch on Sun 29th Jul 2007 08:26 in reply to "Stop blocking ads!"
Peter Besenbruch Member since:
2006-03-13

I really hate that mentality. Ads are your form of payment for this and other websites and services.

Unfortunately, ads are something else, a security threat. Any Web site a person visits can be potentially dangerous. If the site isn't malicious, there is also the possibility of someone taking elements of it over, the better to capture at least some of the site's readers.

The risk increases when you add third party content, as each third party offers something to commandeer. Images can have Javascript in the tags that call them. The images themselves can be used to trigger buffer overflows. Many ads are loaded via Javascripts from third party servers. Flash adds and cookies offer significant privacy concerns. Flash also has had some major security issues on all platforms.

Microsoft frequently responds to a security issue in Internet Explorer by suggesting we visit only "trusted sites." Unfortunately, as OSNews has learned the hard way, any Web site that makes use of third party content cannot be considered trusted.

The OSNews staff may already have asked the question: Does the revenue they receive from advertising offset the risk of multiple visitors suing them for infecting their machine? The continued presence of ads from Doubleclick indicates at least a tentative "yes" for now, but if the staff isn't nervous, they should be.

For the users, it's a question of minimizing risk. At the very least one should browse with third party Javascripts blocked. Unfortunately, Firefox with Noscript is the only way I know to do this gracefully. I use the Adblock Plus extension with element hider, and Flashblock. I also throw in a huge hosts file for good measure. I subscribe to updatable block lists.

No, OSNews' ads aren't all that annoying, but I don't block ads because they annoy me. I block because they are a security risk. Browsing is a potentially dangerous activity, and the safety and security of my data comes first.

Is it better for this site to be around with ads, or not to be around at all?

I hope there there are other alternatives. I'm not sure what they might be, but having enough other people expose their computers to potential attack so I can view OSNews content isn't very satisfying.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Stop blocking ads!
by aent on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:48 in reply to "RE: Stop blocking ads!"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

I keep my browser up to date, and I never have had ANY security issues. If your current browser has security problems, use another one. I'm not saying click yes to the security dialogs for viewing an ad, and if necessary, increase your security level in the browser. If an ad needs more privileges, you have every right to say no.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Stop blocking ads!
by jsutton on Wed 1st Aug 2007 19:17 in reply to "Stop blocking ads!"
jsutton Member since:
2006-03-24

Cry me a river. Too bad for advertisers, they poisoned the well with spyware, viruses, popups, etc. long ago. Hey, I don't mind the ads that come up in-frame and don't take a noticeable amount of time to load. But any ads that take a while to come up, I block the whole domain of the ad source, that way they don't slow me down in the future no matter what sites I go to. So if they can keep their servers fast, they don't get blocked.

Reply Parent Score: 1