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back to article Firefox-Google marriage on shaky ground?

Yes, Firefox reached a major milestone this week, surpassing 400 million downloads worldwide. But that's just the good news. There's another story swirling around the famously open source web browser - and it's a little less sunny. Last week, The New York York Times questioned whether the growing popularity of a Firefox …

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Adverts

It may come as a surprise to some but with Adblock you do see some adverts. Most notably sponsored links at Google.

As for sites blocking Adblock, let them, we'll just go somewhere else. If adverts were not everywhere people wouldn't mind the odd one, but often you go to read an article and there are three columns, one is links, menus, terms, conditions etc, one in the middle has the actual information and the third, often the biggest third is all adverts. Many people now email the printable link because all the crap is removed.

We all used the fast forward button videos, we love the skip on PVR's, who is going to choose to see web adverts?

Incidentally, I use Konqueror which has its own version of Adblock, so all those Kubuntu users will also miss the adverts! :-)

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hmm

From the linked (blocked?) site

"PopularTechnology.net—Why Adblock is bad for the "free" Internet

Adblock effectively robs these free sites of their revenue. If Internet Explorer came with a feature such as Adblock, you would effectively wipe out thousands of websites, maybe more. These are the same free sites users of Adblock frequently visit. The irony is how this is self-defeating."

An alternative interpretation is that Adblock stops these sites robbing advertisers of their cash.

For a user that isn't going to look at site adverts and isn't going to click on them then who is ripping off who when I site gets revenue for serving them anyway?

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This is why i use a different adblock type thing...

http://www.proxomitron.info/

Been using it for years. :D

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I wondered how long it would take

I don't see any reason I should support advertising in my

browser and if they wish to block me let them of course

nothing stops them from putting the ads on site except

the storage and some bandwidth actually it wouldn't be

too hard to use a different protocol to make those files

appear to come from your site adblocks days are probably

numbered anyway.

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My monitor, my choice

If they want to put advertising on my screen, they can do so in such a way as to make it non-intrusive. I don't WANT or NEED idiots screaming in my face through the use of jittery images, loud bangs, or huge, useless graphics drifting across my screen. I have no problem with small advertising around the edges of what I'm trying to read, or even embedded in the page, so long as the advertising isn't moving around or otherwise trying to grab my attention.

I'll bloody shop when I bloody want to shop, not when some asshole marketer wants me to shop. I am not a walking wallet. I am not a portable revenue source. If I decide I need something I will go out and look for it, but I certainly won't get it from some idiot just because he or she happens to be shouting the loudest!

It's the height of hypocrisy to claim that my not accepting their deceptive, intrusive advertising practices is "theft". Bullshit. The theft happened long ago, when these idiots decided that being loud and obnoxious was a replacement for being good.

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Block AdBlock?

Fine I'll use one of the several good alternatives, block those and a million others will take there place. Some people, myself included cannot stand to view ads either online or anywhere else and as long as we exist someone will make a product that fills that gap in the market.

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Ed

"Shut it down easily"

No, they can't shut it down easily.

It's open source.

Firefox is open source.

If either block the other, then they'll just get forked which isn't in Mozilla's interest (nor particularly Google's, if that's less people being directed to their site).

Plus it'd be bad PR for everyone involved.

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Tom
Silver badge

They should ask why do people install addblockers.

When crap like "punch the monkey", the X10 ads, flash ads that flash/dance and even sing started showing up what did they expect to happen? And it's not like there are no ad blockers for IE or even something as simple as a hosts file. If a site blocks adblock people will just use something else to block ads, or go to a different site.

I don't block all ads, but if an ad server gives me a flashing ad, or one that makes noise, or one of the crap fake error message ads "your computer may be infected, click here for a free scan..." the server will be blacklisted. Sites that have a no crap ads policy still get to display ads on my system.

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the part i dont understand

Why are these webmasters so worried about the people who use adblock or adblock plus (i am one of them), if we dont want to see these adds in the first place, what in the name of christ (allah, zeus, or whom ever you bow to) makes these webmasters think we're going to buy anything printed in these banner ads.

These mentally defective webmasters dont seem to realize how badly they are shooting themselves in the foot. more powerful than any advertising medium in this world, is word of mouth advertising, people trust real life recommendations from people they know. likewise they will steer well clear of companies and or products based on a bad word of mouth review.

if these card carrying members of the webmasters retardation-nation think this is good for business, they're just plain wrong, they've got a snowballs chance in hell that i'm going to buy something from an ad i see on their site after being forced to view ads i didnt want to see in the first place.

what i will give them, for their efforts, is, a wretched word of mouth review to anyone and everyone who asks me about a product or service they deliver. the fact that i'm an independent consultant who's opinion is trusted by the people around me, might actually have a chance at returning the favor upon these scholars of the mentally deficient arts.

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Anonymous Coward

Who clicks on adverts anyway?

Hands up please, who genuinely clicks on adverts they see on random websites? Some sites claim 2-3% click through, do you even click a link on 1 in 100 sites which display adverts?

My own personal opinion is that the entire market for online advertising is yet another bubble. The prices which Google charges for the most popular keywords is rather expensive.

Site operators need to accept advert blocking users in a similar way to people skipping adverts in newspapers and on TV. These users might not bring in as much revenue as some idiot who clicks an advert, but they still might bring extra users to the site by word of mouth. Those additional users may bring in revenue, where as the first user doesn't.

Be grateful you get any revenue at all.

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Really stupid reasoning...

If I turn off the t.v. when commercials come on during Simpsons, is Fox going to block me? I think internet users have the right to turn off the ads; besides, it's not like I would click on one anyway (okay, maybe I used to play those flash things like Hit the Monkey when I was bored, but Firefox blocked the popup window that came after so it was harmless for me).

Besides, there are several ad blocking programs for IE, and many people use them.

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Anonymous Coward

Ads race

Danny Carlton seems to forget about the give and take associated with ads on sites. When web sites plaster too many ads and ads that are too distracting (blinking, moving, popups, etc.) that their content is dwarfed in comparison or difficult to use, users will either stop coming or seek ways to circumvent the ads. Advertisers started and continue to propagate the "ads race" with their flash monkeys and animated gifs. Ad blocking is a natural escalation from the other side.

Advertisers such as Google and DoubleClick should start policing their own ads. I'll suggest they even tag their own ads such that filters *can* block unacceptable ads (blinking, moving, etc.) and allow acceptable ads (static images). Mr. Carlton should quit blaming users and their natural response and push the advertisers for a solution.

Doug

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Anonymous Coward

In the words of the great philosopher...

Nelson: "Ha-HA"

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There's lots of reasons....

There's lots of reasons to avoid ads on web sites. In response to some sanctimonious lecturing at http://www.linuxhowtos.org/News%20Archive/adblocker.htm I fired off an email that outlined many of these reasons. In summary, the reasons I have for avoiding ads are:

1. They waste time since invariably the actual content I'm interested in is loaded *LAST* on the page. So I wait for extended periods of time for images, scripts and flash animations to load from overloaded servers before the content I'm looking for pops up in an instant. If the content at least came up before the ads I'd not be so pissed about it.

2. Many (most?) ads these days are served up via JavaScript or Flash. I have JavaScript turned off for security purposes, selectively turning on JavaScript (and almost never Flash) for sites I trust. I will not reduce my security just because some f***-up wants to throw pictures of animated monkeys at me.

3. Taste issues. I don't like blinking text or images. I REALLY hate full-motion ads that use Flash, etc. to throw images up all over my computer in a desperate bid to get attention.

When webmasters can serve up ads that don't suck up my time and bandwidth on stuff I'm not even looking at, that don't open my system to security holes a mile wide and that don't give me a headache as I try (often in vain) to find the actual content in between the garish, flashing, moving images, then maybe I'll turn off my adblocker. Until then they can go f*** themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

Really funny...

I have AdBlock Plus installed. I also have NoScript installed to block scripts everywhere but for where I allow. The really funny thing is that Danny Carlton uses JavaScript to block AdBlock users, and then to keep people from turning off JavaScript to see his site anyway, he blocks everyone that has JavaScript turned off, too. Let's just throw out the baby with the bathwater.

BTW, here is his source code:

<script>

if(document.all){ci= new Array(1,2);}

else{ci=Components.interfaces;}

if("nsIAdblockPlus" in ci){

document.write('ad block detected');

var bod = document.getElementsByTagName("html");

bod[0].innerHTML = '<p align="center"><font face="Century Gothic"><b>This page cannot be displayed because ad blocking software has been detected.</b></font></p>';

}

</script>

To get his site anyway, turn off JavaScript and then hit the "stop" button on your browser toolbar after the page loads but before it redirects to his nojs.html.

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A matter of choice

The attitude of Danny Carlton to site visitors who use ABP reminds me of an indignant letter to Macuser last year, shortly after the London Macexpo. The writer was an exhibitor at the show and complained angrily that Macexpo visitors weren't interested in his sales pitch and some were even "rude" after he pressed the point. His bottom line was that, having paid "good money" for a stand at the show, he had a "right to expect" punters to listen to the sales spiel. If thats the idiotic pact Carlton expects his visitors to sign up to, he may as well charge for admission - or perhaps his "original" content isn't really that compelling.

I run several websites that have ads AND I use ABP, and I don't have any issues with anyone else using it. Someone who actively goes out of their way to block ads is unlikely to click on them were they visible, so why bother forcing them to see them whether they like it or not? The additional costs are negligible in any case. Around 25-30% of visitors to my sites block the ads; around 3% of the rest click on something, so they must think something useful is on the other end.

My own ABP rules allow Google ads, on the basis they are not especially intrusive and can occasionally be more useful than search listings if I'm looking to buy something. The same can't be said for most other ad vendors, and prior to using an adblocker, I just avoided gaudy, headache inducing sites like CNN etc - shoving it in my face is the best way to get me NOT to click. The web is a saner place with ABP.

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Missing the point

Perhaps instead of an Ad-Blocker perhaps what we really need is to ban Animated Flash adverts, especially the ones that expand across the page when you roll past them...

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Interesting how...

...so many simply do not understand the way in which adverts work on the internet. You have a choice? Why? You're visiting the website, they're putting adverts on (in many cases as their only form of revenue), so what gives you the 'right' to decide?

I agree that some of the flash ones are a problem - especially ones with sound, or which expand over half the page and are nigh-on impossible to close. But there's a reason that they're there - they bring in the most cash. If a company is providing a free service, funded by adverts, the choice of the user should be whether to use the service, not whether to display the revenue stream or not.

People have gone on about 'Well, I wouldn't buy anything from an advert anyway', showing sheer ignorance into the ways of the advertising world. It's not all about click-through rates, much of the revenue from advertising comes from sheer exposure.

I've intentionally not used AdBlock because, as a webmaster myself, I'm aware of how much benefit advertising can bring to people like me. Does that mean I support intrusive adverts? No. But equally if the adverts are too much of a problem, I won't use the site. Simple.

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Silver badge

No story here

This is just idle speculation with no substance: parroting one inconclusive story; no response from Google and citing one webmaster who has something to say.

Given that El Reg itself is funded by advertising we should hope to have a slightly more informed opinion: you will know how many of us are blocking what forms of advertising and to act accordingly if revenue was being severely threatened. Cade, I don't mind you repeatedly bashing Apple's PR machine but it would be nice to see some real journalism from you once in a while.

And remember everyone: it's not just about which adverts you click on, possibly of even greater interest to the marketing machines will be the profile they can make of you through their supercookies.

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Ad blocking

I use firefox, but don't use adblock plus, I DO however use a flash blocker where I have to click the control to activate it.

I have absolutely no issue with most ads, even placing ads of our company on sites and signing up with banner companies.

I do, however, despise advertisers that are so self-obsessed they believe their content should mask the main content of the page. I also find it amazing that site owners will LET that happen.

1. Keep banner ads - they keep a revenue stream which is important to many companies

2. Remove the so-called 'crap-ads'. This can only serve to prune the saturated internet of a lot of low quality providers. if you're savvy enough to understand your customer you'll be savvy enough to know how to target the advertising.

I was also interested to note that the Danny Carlton page is using some web search optimisation tricks... This seems slightly hypocritical - I see it as 'I'll accuse ABP users of creating an uneven marketplace but I'll also use all the tricks to ensure an essentially information-free page gets coverage.". If you want to provide information - do it properly - don't provide it in off-white text after the end of the natural page content. Likewise, if you're not interested in providing information to support your argument - don't use the optimisation tricks just to promote yourself.

Incidentally some of the links he provided there were quite interesting.

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google ads

Umm, google don't have much to worry about, from what i've seen most of their ad's are text based and are embedded within the code... i.e we can't block them because they are part of the page.

unless adblock becomes VERY smart and starts to figure out what html are ad's google is safe and will only benifit from other ad companies loses... so seems its win win

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Small correction

Carlton has not successfully blocked users of adblock, he has just blanket-banned all users of Firefox. he makes no attempt to determine whether adblock is installed - nor, indeed, any of the alternative adblocking software available for Internet Explorer, Opera and Camino. He has simply banned users of a browser, on the basis that that browser can have a feature installed on it, regardless of the fact that any other bvrowser can have similar features installed.

Carlton is, effectively saying Mozilla users are more likely to be intelligent enough to install such a feature - so he's banning all Mozilla users, on suspicion of being intelligent. All other web users are allowed in, on the basis that theya re stupid enough to be allowed to read his content (much of which is right-wing, christian-fundementalist, anti-abortion, homophobic hate-rage, anyway).

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click throughs

a 2-3% click-through rate is not the same as 2-3% interested customers. The trackpad on my laptop has been playing up a bit lately and I must have accidentally clicked about 50 adverts this week already, mostly ones positioned just under my Bookmarks. None of the adverts were anything I was interested in.

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Imagine

Everyone posting comments here keeps neatly ignoring the issue of who is going to pay for websites if not advertisers. I'm as selfish as the next man and I use ABP with wild abandon but if everyone was using it (and it seems to be heading that way), the advertisers will move away and most decent websites would have to charge a subscription. That includes our beloved El Reg.

The same may well happen with TV. PVRs allow people to skip ads and the advertisers are already getting tetchy; the next step could be boxes that automatically skip ads (the exact equivalent of ABP). What would happen? The money would drop out of commercial TV and if you think TV is bad now, wait until we're reduced to the BBC's handful of 'entertainment'. Eeeek.

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Flashblock

I never used Adblock, but I do use the Flashblock plugin for Firefox. All it shows is a placeholder for the flash content, and I can click on it if I really want to watch it.

Of course, I've allowed certain sites that require flash (americascup.com), but it's made my browsing experience a lot better.

However, if I find the content on a free site really helpful I do occasionally click on a random ad to give the webmaster some revenue.

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And I forgot ...

Surely you could use greasemonkey alongside Adblock to disable Danny Carlton's script. Or will he have to start blocking that too?

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courtesy

As someone who built and runs a leading website on a niche subject matter and has written enough content to fill a lengthy novel I would like to think that readers would reciprocate my efforts by at least letting my non-invasive ads show. It doesn't bother me too much if they don't as my site isn't meant to be profitable and ad revenue only serves as an emergency fund in case I get into difficulties.

I do feel it's rude though to block ads for non-commercial sites whose owners often struggle for cash. Not all ads are those irritating unclosable spyware doctor ads and most webmasters avoid placing ads in a way that interferes with content

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Blocking visitors?

Wow, so "Oklahoma-based web developer Danny Carlton has succeeded in rejecting any user who visits his sites with AdBlock Plus installed."

He should realise that web-users aren't a patient bunch. If the average web user isn't granted access to Carlton's website, then they'll go somewhere else and not give it a second thought.

Seems like rather a stupid approach to website development.

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Anonymous Coward

Ready to throw up

What Danny Carlton is saying in effect is that he has some kind of inalienable right to make money from my web surfing. If Internet advertisers hadn't become so pernicious, greedy and intrusive there wouldn't be a problem. Now pages are about 90% crappy adverts and about 10% content subverting the entire point. Like someone else said blocking Adblock is absolutely pointless because it'll just keep getting rewritten and modified to stay ahead of advertisers. At an even more basic level I keep loads of ad farms in my hosts file so they don't even get resolved at all. Anyone I know is absolutely fed up with web advertising which is little more than a virus or parasite.

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Adblock considered beneficial

I would have thought that people using adverts on their site would be glad about adblock. After all, the people using adblock are the ones that find the adverts irritating - therefore, they are not annoying those people, who may then buy from them despite their adverts.

I don't have any problem with sites blocking people using adblock. If they want to do that, then I'll just not use their site. There are very rarely any sites that are truely so unique that the information they contain is that valuable. And if I'm that bothered and I just must see the page, I can always temporarily disable adblock while I look at their site.

I wish marketting types would pull their head out of their backsides and realise that not everyone is addicted to product promotions and that their job is not the most important in the world - if it is necessary at all. The truth is, if a product is any good at all, then it will make it's own market with the minimum of promotion. The only products that need saturation advertising are the ones that are not that good or notable in the first place. Which is why I dont in general buy products that are over-promoted like Cillit Bang, or that damn crazy frog.

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Anonymous Coward

The Register too

Sorry, but I've blocked all of those slow to load and distracting flash adverts on The Register too, otherwise I'd be less inclined to read the site. Google text ads still accepted though.

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If there is any ring of truth in this

then there is an element of hypocrisy when it comes to Google and advertising. I'm sure people will recall when they released a pop-up blocker for "all those annoying adverts" for Internet Explorer: http://www.google.com/support/toolbar/bin/topic.py?topic=116

I agree with By, yeah right. when it comes to shopping or browsing I will look when I want to look. I've been on the net for 12 years now and I don't remember buying anything just because an advert popped in my face. Granted I would occasionally click on an advert to see what it was, but it certainly wasn't flashing and making sounds apart from some of these new youtube esque ones that have started to appear.

I'm sitting on the fence on this one because from the webmaster's perspective, someone has to pay for the bandwidth and the hosting and if you don't want to charge the visitors to view the quality of the content you have what choice do you have but to succumb to advertisers. Some have gone down the donation route, but from my experience it is very hit and miss.

Maybe if Adblocker Plus made it easier to select what type of adverts you are willing to see rather than turning it on and off then it would be a much more market friendly product so that we still receive a portion of the adverts for each visit to a site.

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Anonymous Coward

Its My choice

I've got adblock plus installed - If I want to view ads then that is up to me. For sites that I know are non-commercial that I visit regularily I tend to have it turned on and if an advert interests me then I'll click through and people get paid and people are happy.

Some "commercial" sites, like here, I allow ads from as they are not overwhelming and as I'm a regular visitor and find the site useful then it seems sensible.

Other sites that, as other people have said, force huge flash ads down your throat and actually have so many ads that the content isn't very obvious get Adblock turned on after the first page hit.

I've always looked on GoogleAds as a way of recouping some of the costs of running a site - not as a real revenue earner.

As for Carlton's statement that "It comes down to whether they're going to be like adults and support the concept of freedom, allowing site owners to block AdBlock users".. what a load of bollocks. Who is the person who is crying like a baby - whining that Adblock plus is depriving him of his rightful money... clue... its not us.

Wake up Carlton : it's a free world and no-one owes you a living : grow up and stop being such an moronic little twat.

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Google is not the advertiser

So, it won't bother FF or anyone else since it just sales the places and it hasn't any obligation to be successfull like any TV channel or magazine which sale their places to the advertisers.

IT enable a lot of possibilities, but this isn't a reason to enable a right.

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Target Adverts

It seems to me that web site owners are complaining to the wrong audience. If the advertisers were putting out acceptable adverts then we would not need ABP. Problem solved.

Also the general user population of the internet has no particular head or structure. I'm sure that ABP could be shut down but that would really piss all the users off who would go even further to avoid the adds ultimately having a negative effect.

On the advertising side you have a nicely organised group with good lines of communications. Why not complain to them and get them to change. Fighting a battle with the who internet community is not something website owners are going to win.

Gav

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If this work machine had Firefox with ABP

Then El Reg would be a nicer place, just like it is at home

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Arms race for idiots

Some time ago popup ads were all the rage amongst idiot marketeers (as opposed to the more astute ones). This so irritated people that even Microsoft implemented a popup blocker in IE6 (XPsp2). I wonder if Danny Carlton whinged then.

It would be interesting to see if Carlton's site uses any Google 'tricks' to attempt to get his site up the rankings. I wonder if he whinges when Google changes its algorithms and his site's drop down the rankings.

But I shan't be accessing his website to find out as there's no reason to further his 15mins of fame - I cannot believe that he's stupid enough to think that people won't use adblock et al just because he doesn't like it. He must be using this as a PR stunt.

If your ads are 'quiet' and non-intrusive, I'm happy to see them on a site. If the ads are distracting or overpowering, I'll adblock them. If I can't see the site afterwards, I'll leave. You loose.

Adblock; it's the web like it was in 1995.

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ROFLMAO

if any site of my interest tries to block firefox i ll just erase it from my bookmarks, my memory and from my know INTERNETS!

Heck i ll even block it through my firewall.

Blocking the fox is too cocky foo!

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contented

As far as I see it the majority of the ads aren't being served from the website in question, so why shouldn't I block them? If they in-line ads with their content (NOT by inlining JS to load from a third party) what are my chances of blocking it without missing out on the "premium content"? Pretty much zero, with a modicum of common sense on the part of the webmaster (e.g. don't serve images named adbanner.jpg).

Quite frankly I welcome efforts to try and stop blocking because it will let me know straight away which websites solely exist to try and get rich from me viewing them whether I find the content useful or not.... and avoid them like the plague.

In fact, let's hope this one gets taken to the extreme. Oh how I will chuckle the day I mistype an url and end up on a cybersquatters page, only to be told that I am stealing their premium content and I must enable Javascript and stop using Firefox so that I can see their valuable and carefully compiled list of links to dodgy websites.

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Silver badge

Obnoxious Ads

The Reg is not exactly innocent when it comes to in-your-face ads - I find the site far more readable without things moving and flickering on the page, it's just a cleaner presentation with that sort of advert blocked. The blocker I use does appear to take out Google ads as well, it does mean I miss the gems such as nuclear power stations for sale on eBay, but I can live without them to avoid the rest. There are definitely sites out there that are unreadable due to the amount of distracting ads - either I block the ads or I don't go there again - either way there's no revenue for anyone.

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Anonymous Coward

Moving adverts

I don't mind adverts until they start moving. I've recently installed my first Mac adblocker purely because of the moving adverts on this site. It got to the stage where I had to hold my hand over the screen to read the article.

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we need a "reasonable advertiser network"

I'd be quite happy view any static adverts, hell occasionally they have been useful, alerting me to new products i didn't know about.

but animated ads, ads with noise, ads that float in on top of the content, i've had enough and installed ABP. If all the sites I use block ABP and any other blocker (probably technically impossible) you know what? I'll just go back to reading newspapers and books.

The fact all those "click here and win a free ipod" type ads are STILL going just shows you the world is full of fucking morons. I think education in this country should have a whole year of writing down "if it seems to good to be true, it probably is" 8 hours a day and hopefully it might stick in their heads.

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How typical

What Mr Danny Carlton forgets is that the freedom of speech includes and implies the FREEDOM NOT TO LISTEN!!!

Quite typical actually, many people especially in some well known "pro-free speech" countries forget this minor and "insignificant" detail.

As far as Danny Carlton's lame snippet of code is concerned it will take 2 minutes to modify adblock to be undetectable. Just renaming it to "IdiotBlockPlus" and rebuilding so it registers under a different name should do the job straight away.

As far as the main contents of the article are concerned Google has so far shown that it understands the "FREEDOM NOT TO LISTEN" principle and has based its model on that. Unless it changes its entire advertising model I do not see it doing anything about adblock anytime soon.

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Anonymous Coward

Why I Block The Adverts

I use ABP at home because I cannot get access to a high speed net connection. I am stuck using a modem (56K) for now. Some of these sites put so many adverts onto their pages that it becomes a major pain to load the page I clicked on.

As an example, recently I visited one site where on their front page they had a 2.5MB flash half-screen advert with music. This is becoming more of a problem for me because a lot of sites appear to be of the opinion that everyone has a high speed connection.

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maybe the advertisers should consider

If 400,000 people are downloading this a month, then perhaps it should be a hint to the avertisers that these people don't want their ads, infact they find them so annoying and intrusive that they have actively sought out a means to get rid of them.

as an example, at home i use firefox with adblocker to view el reg. The pages open almost instantly and the stories/comments aren't broken up by the adds stuck in the middle of them. I do however see the nice discreete google ads, which i don't mind.

At work however where, in the name of security, i am forced to use ie6 (boggles the mind), pages take far longer to load as they load all of the adverts, stop to display them for a bit and then continue on to load the story full of animated flash ads in the middle of the pages.

Overall using adblocker i have a much faster, and cleaner, browsing experience, it doesn't block all ads, just ads that are intrusive or annoying, as well as anything from ad companies that are borderline spyware (doubleclick i'm looking at you) If i go to a site, and the ads from that site interrupt my browsing, ie in the main body of a page. i add those to my blacklist too and the ads are neatly trimmed out as if they were never there.

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Silver badge

I <heart> Adblock!

As a long time Firefox and Adblock user on various platforms, I never cease to be amazed at just how messy most webpages are when viewed with their ads intact.

Usually this is when I'm fixing someone elses IE only PC, which is often closely followed by a Firefox download, a quick Adblock and a cry of "Wow" from the PC owner.

Don't get me wrong, free websites are good, and for that there is obviously a price to be paid somehow, but does that mean I have to try and read a review in a 300 pixel wide window surrounded by bouncing ducks and other annoying animations? I'm there to read the review, not suffer an epileptic fit! If I didn't have Adblock, I'd be off of that site as quick as I could press backspace.

I know I'm going to sound just like my father here (not that he knows how to use a mouse), but in the good old days you might have the occasional letterbox animated gif at the top or bottom of the screen, but since the spread of the flash infection and syndication style sheets, the whole standard advert size and placement has gone out of the window, now you have squares and rectangles of every size all over the page. You even get adverts that appear over the text you are trying to read and get in the way! Possibly the most annoying ones being those automatic text sensing ones, which initially look like they might show a dictionary definition of a word, but actually just send you off to a back alley version of froogle!

One day when you're really bored, load up a page with, and without the ads (don't forget to flush the cache). Have a look at the bandwidth you use for each. Ads are sometimes over 80% of the total page download size! With some of the cut price ISPs having a 2gig a month limit, blocking this kind of bandwidth abuse starts to become a necessity!

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Bad ads

I appreciate 'free' content and therefore understand the need for advertising, however like American television, some content and advert providers seem to forget that advertising can be included without utterly interfering with actually reading the page content. Primary irritants in my book are

1) Those intellitxt green links that pop up and block what you were actually trying to read.

2) Popup flash ads. Especially those that are position relative to the window rather than the content so follow you around and block what you were trying to read (see a common theme here). These ads also seem to take great glee in making the close button almost invisible.

3) Badly written flash ads that hog the processor to such an extent that firefox stops responding to user input. Arguably a firefox issue, but a recent example was an advert for the game Stuntman: Ignition on Eurogamer.net: Somehow it was playing a video in such a way that it absorbed 100% CPU power and utterly crippled Eurogamer's video playback applet and caused most of firefox to become utterly unresponsive (this was on a fairly meaty dual core box too). Other recent adverts with similar video content manage to display without any of these side effects so clearly the advert creator is at fault.

As such I have ABP installed but use it selectively, whenever advertising crosses the boundary from reasonable to intrusive as above. If advertisers and website creators gave more consideration to how damaging excessive and inappropriate advertising could be then ABP usage probably wouldn't be an issue.

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M

F* them...

...the advert can f* off! As I don't want to read them never mind clicking on such crapware!

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Bunch of greedy fecks

I'm a web user not content provider (mostly) and I really can't see why people think that somehow it is unfair for someone to want some ad revenue for the content they provide.

I understand the dislike of flashing intrusive adverts, I can't stand them and I agree with almost everyone here that 99.9% of adverts are of no interest to me. How ever content providers should be allowed to return an income if their work is sufficiently popular, and adverts are one of the best ways for them to do this.

Make your view known by not using sites with advertising you find offputting, and take your page views to a site that you prefer.

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Anonymous Coward

Advertising revenues != good publicity

I wonder what would happen if, instead of dumping millions of (insert curency unit here) on advertising a "new" (read slightly modified) product to the masses, manufacturers would instead spend that money on R and D, creating genuinely new products that can be sent for independant review.

I for one never click on ads for even interesting looking products. I wait for them to be reviewed by an independant reviewer I trust. Preferably several. I would never buy an Ironkey based on a flash-ad but after reading a Reg review for example I would probably consider it. This strategy should as easily apply to washing powder as it does to TFT monitors.

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