back to article Use ad blockers? Mine some Monero to get access to news, says US site

US website Salon.com has decided that if people want to block its ads, they should pay in another way - by allowing the biz to use their computing power to mine for cryptocurrency. On visiting Salon’s site, users with an ad blocker are greeted with a message that asks them to either disable the kit or allow the site “to use …

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How about

No?

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Re: How about

How about yes.

Just not the cryptocurrency of choice for all the fraudsters out there. Anything but Monero.

The choice is:

1. Sacrifice CPU cycles to run some some nasty garbage which distracts from the article and feed marketing scumbags.

2. Sacrifice CPU cycles to run something which does not distract from the article and (if it was a cryptocurrency other than Monero) does not feed people who will sell their parents to the highest bidder.

I think the choice is obvious - provided that the cryptocurrency (or other form of CPU rental) is something whose use is mostly legit and aboveboard (at least as much as normal money).

I would personally prefer 3 - a form of micropayment, but none of those stay afloat for long enough to be something websites are willing to integrate.

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Re: No

That's already one of the options.

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Re: How about

Personally, I would say that the choice is not to use Salon.com for information if there is a clear requirement that you must generate ad revenue for them one way or another.

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Re: How about

Or just block the ad block blocker.

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Re: How about

"I would personally prefer 3 - a form of micropayment, but none of those stay afloat for long enough to be something websites are willing to integrate."

Pfft, to hell with that. Sounds like you've drunk the kool aid.

3. Disable javascript.

That way nothing can run yet the site seems to still work perfectly well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How about

Personally, I would say that the choice is not to use Salon.com for information if there is a clear requirement that you must generate ad revenue for them one way or another.

I'm not defending their decision to go down the crypto mining route but...

They are providing content which has a financial cost to them to generate, host, etc.

You are consuming it, so presumably it has some value to you

It seems only fair that you reciprocate by giving them something in return. Their default position is to expect you to allow some advertising material to be displayed

By installing an ad-blocker you're actively declined to allow that reciprocal "payment" to take place, so it seems fair enough for them to look for some other mechanism by which to recoup their costs.

I'm setting myself up for a multitude of downvotes from freetards, but honestly - if a content provider doesn't get anything in return for their content, how can you expect them to be able to keep up doing what they're doing?

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Re: How about

"They are providing content which has a financial cost to them to generate, host, etc."

But does the content have any value to the reader? If the content isn't good enough to persuade people to pay to view it, is it worth even publishing?

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Re: How about

An adblock blocker?

If an adblock blocker would block adblock ads and could block adblock ads, how many adblock ads would an adblock blocker block if an adblocker block could block adblock ads?

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Re: How about

42

or thereabouts

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Flame

How about HELL NO!

Or I just go the 3rd which is blacklist the site, and never go there again.

I am not letting them run Crapware on my PC, that's just asking to get yourself infected with plague.

Did they already raid the employee lounge courch for loose change?

This sort of stuff should NOT be encouraged.

On the bright side, I hope this means Salon is about to go bankrupt. Nothing of value will be lost

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Re: How about

"I'm setting myself up for a multitude of downvotes from freetards, but honestly - if a content provider doesn't get anything in return for their content, how can you expect them to be able to keep up doing what they're doing?"

There's a difference between a "freetard" (a word used by people who don't see the offensive link to the insulting term "retard") and people who are protecting their systems from 3rd party scripts which may be malicious. Salon, in their TOS, take no responsibility for their advertising being hijacked and potentially damaging my computer. If they choose to take responsibility for the data they serve to my computer then I may consider removing any blocking.

If they want me to see adverts, all they have to do is accept adverts from advertisers as image files and serve them from their own domain. If a site blocks me for using a protective ad-blocker then I'll go somewhere else. Very few sites have value to me in that respect.

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Facepalm

Re: How about

Already been done to death numerous times.

It would be cheaper to pay the site directly than pay the electricity company to waste electricity so a percentage of the bill goes to the site.

More environmentally friendly as well.

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Linux

Re: How about

Nice tongue twister!

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Re: How about

"Just not the cryptocurrency of choice for all the fraudsters out there. Anything but Monero."

Last time I checked, there were things called exchanges where you could easily convert crypto currency so the choice of starting point is fairly irrelevant..

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Re: Excellent.

"cryptocurrency innovation"

Innovation? You've having a laugh. Blockchain was an innovation from a technical perspective, however the sudden explosion of cryptocurrencies is nothing more than financial speculators trying to make a killing on the inital mining then dumping the coins onto suckers before the price crashes. Apart from the complete moral bankrupcy of this, the enviromental cost is becoming unsustainable as all these GPUs use up gigawatts of power to calculate sums that nobody gives a damn about the answer to but might make these guys a bit of extra money. I can't help wondering how much more good all that computing power could be put towards, folding@home or something similar.

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Re: Excellent.

Well said.

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Re: Excellent.

"Cryptocurrency would not have been needed if we just had an honest monetary / banking system. But we don't, and that's why it appeared."

Right, because an algorithm is going to change human nature. Notice how the majority of bitcoins are now owned by a handful of people/groups?

"activism in the form of cryptocurrencies "

Yeah, activism, stick it to the man, smash the system, [insert more cliches here], whatever.

How's the weather in your nirvana? Must be a rose coloured sun.

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Re: Excellent.

>if we just had an honest monetary / banking system

You couldn't afford an honest monetary / banking system - even if you knew whaqt such a thing looked like.

There's a great deal wrong with money, as it is, but it isn't going away, and you can always choose to try and live without it.

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Anonymous Coward

Browsing an independent school's home page Norton blocked a mining attempt. Sent them an email - but they never replied. The page is now apparently clean - so presumably they were not intentionally mining.

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Anonymous Coward

them and several thousand others.

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"presumably they were not intentionally mining"

No, just a clueless person happily adding in random shiny-shiny to their pages. How many social media buttons were festooned on the site?

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JLV
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Of course, Norton could add some mining of its own and no one would be the wiser - it already excels at slowing down your computer.

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Anonymous Coward

Or the web admin realised someone had noticed and thought, "Shit, someone noticed! Best remove that, and delete all the evidence sharpish".

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Meh

So-

Bye bye, Salon.

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Re: So-

Bye bye, Salon.

Never read them. Just looked at their home page, which doesn't display the warning. Didn't see anything worth the effort to read. "Dripless umbrella?" "Right-wing media trolling Parkland shooting survivors?" Wow, I'd suffer to read those articles. Bye, bye, Salon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So-

"Bye bye, Salon"

Can't imagine they'd be sad to see you go. If you were blocking their adverts you were actually costing them money. Here in the real world content, servers and bandwidth costs real money, so it always amazes me that so many people thoughtlessly begrudge them the few pennies they are able to earn from a visit.

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Re: So-

Yes, bandwidth etc do cost money...

...but are you putting in the effort to host the adverts yourself...?

... or are you just plugging a script into a page somewhere, and letting A.N.Other host the adverts for you (and whatever other junk that happens to come with them)?

If the former - then fine, I'll unblock your site... if the latter, then forget it!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So-

Yes, bandwidth etc do cost money...

...but are you putting in the effort to host the adverts yourself...?

... or are you just plugging a script into a page somewhere, and letting A.N.Other host the adverts for you (and whatever other junk that happens to come with them)?

If the former - then fine, I'll unblock your site... if the latter, then forget it!

Putting it another way...

...are you generating content yourself...?

... or are you just going to a website somewhere, and letting A.N.Other generate the content for you?

If it's the latter, then shouldn't you be compensating A.N. Other in some way for their efforts and financial overheads required to bring you that content?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC

You think they generated that content and did not scrape it and regurgitate it?

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Re: So-

> "so it always amazes me that so many people thoughtlessly begrudge them the few pennies they are able to earn from a visit."

It always amazes me that marketing shills such as yourself refuse to accept the fact that advertising formats currently available are a huge security risk to a person's computer, privacy, and identity. You will harp on and on about the costs to the publisher, without acknowledging the costs to the consumer should they allow the snooping adverts, or worse, assorted Trojans and virii on their systems, because advertisers refuse to sanitise the products they wish to shove down our throats.

Host it yourself, advertise in the way of images and not in scripts, and stop with popups, pop-unders, autoplay audio/video, and the every annoying floating ads, and then we'll consider switching off ad blockers.

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Re: So-

A clueless one has spoken again. Hosting ad servicing - or any web service for that matter - on their own is about the worst thing a publisher can do. Why? Because they won't have dedicated and properly educated staff for doing that - and that will leave them (and through them their readers) more prone to attacks by hackers, than if they'd just have let a far larger company, specializing in that stuff, do that for them.

The argument that every site should host their ads, because that would be somehow safer or better by any means is as stupid, as arguing that everybody should raise their own cattle or grow their own food, make their own equipment and tools, sew their own cloths, etc. It just makes no sense, not only in the economic sense, but also in regards of security. Because a single person or a few persons doing everything can't possibly reach the level sophistication at anything (including security) that a group of highly specialized experts can reach.

So, no, ads should be NOT be served locally, by every and each website, but by large ad networks - both because of economic, and also because of security reasons. Obviously nothing is and can be 100% secure, but a large company specializing in a niche field (like ad serving) can secure their servers magnitudes better and make them work more effective, than can Average Blogger Joe or even a medium-size media company could.

But then again, we all know, all this "ads are a security risk" is just a stupid excuse, made up by weak minded sociopaths, in an attempt to justify robbing honest working bloggers/journalists/publishers or their well-deserved income, so they (ie. the blockers) can deluded themselves in being control of and over something in their pitiful lives, otherwise hopelessly controlled by people a lot smarter than them.

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Re: So-@FF22

There is plenty of evidence to show that a small number of big ad-slingers are a risk to a large number of individual users - the reports can be found on this here website. The risk to me is too great, with little or no risk for either the hosting website or the purveyor of adverts - until that changes, no ads on my devices. I have no reason to trust you (I am inferring from your comment that you have something to do with the advertising "industry").

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Re: So-

"But then again, we all know, all this "ads are a security risk" is just a stupid excuse, made up by weak minded sociopaths, in an attempt to justify robbing honest working bloggers/journalists/publishers or their well-deserved income, so they (ie. the blockers) can deluded themselves in being control of and over something in their pitiful lives, otherwise hopelessly controlled by people a lot smarter than them."

You are flailing.

When I see good journalism, written by folks who have actually bothered to do some proper research, then I am quite willing to pay a fair price.

The current debate is about how we pay, and what amount. Many of us use adblockers because we find the means of payment and/or the amount unacceptable.

Most of us here have had to adapt their careers to cope with advances in technology and the changes they have brought .

Now it's your turn. Deal with it.

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Re: So-

> "But then again, we all know, all this "ads are a security risk" is just a stupid excuse, made up by weak minded sociopaths, in an attempt to justify robbing honest working bloggers/journalists/publishers or their well-deserved income, so they (ie. the blockers) can deluded themselves in being control of and over something in their pitiful lives, otherwise hopelessly controlled by people a lot smarter than them."

You're either naive, stupid, or just plain belligerent to try that argument, on this site, when it has run stories, time and again, detailing how ad-slinger services have been compromised to shove malware down the throats of unsuspecting Web surfers.

The comment forums on the stories have offered up numerous ways in which these problems can be fixed, but instead people like you insist that the model is perfect, despite evidence to the contrary. You make me Trump seem like a reasonable, rational person in comparison.

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An opportunity?

Is it still early enough to make a good profit out of mining Monero? (I realise that the website owners won't be spending the electricity but they will have admin costs.) I was wondering about it from a personal cost viewpoint.

I remember reading that the cost of doing the work to mine Bitcoins will soon be prohibitive, because of the way the blockchain encryption calculations 'grow'?

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Trollface

Re: An opportunity?

You can make a lot by forking off your own. In fact my new coin, Omi-Coin will fork at every coin generated. Thus generating an exponentially growing coin pool of altcoins for people to invest in. I'm going to sell the plans to program the psudiocode to compile on Ebay at £50 a pop...

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I actually don't mind this - much... but...

This would be terrible on mobile though, the last thing I want is a site hammering my battery - this applies to laptops etc too.

On the desktop? Well, I do have some computing power to spare if I am just browsing the web.

If a site isn't charging for access to content, they do need to pay the bills somehow. Trying out these sort of strategies can only be a good thing - we find out if they are accepted and work, or are not and don't.

My preferred strategy would be to have an ad system that only has certified clean ads on sites like these.

If a site can promise that they will only have some banner ads, no autoplaying videos, no third party scripts (potentially malicious) from the ad slinger etc, then I would be happy to white-list their site - there are sites that I do indeed to that with already.

If a site has offensive, or badly behaved ads then that adblocker is staying enabled.

The ad industry only has themselves to blame for adblockers existing. People don't go around tearing ads off of bus-stop billboards etc because they are there, and you can ignore them. They are not a significant detriment to the people they are being shown to. Popups, autoplaying videos etc are.

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Re: I actually don't mind this - much... but...

If a site can promise that they will only have some banner ads, no autoplaying videos, no third party scripts (potentially malicious) from the ad slinger etc, then I would be happy to white-list their site - there are sites that I do indeed to that with already.

In theory, that's about what you're supposed to get with Adblock Plus with "Allow Acceptable Ads" enabled. I use that setting, unfortunately it doesn't seem to give any stats on that, so I have no idea how many sites actually carry "acceptable ads", or what the ratio of acceptable to non-acceptable ads is (pretty bloody low, I expect).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I actually don't mind this - much... but...

I don't care what they say, I don't want them running arbitrary software on my machines for any reason whatsoever. The end does not justify the means.

Notthing to stop them getting hijacked into running DDoS of choice on thousands of desktops, for example.

my view is there fore no, no, and NO.

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Re: Electricity.

Alt*coin is exactly: electricity cost ---> futures market paper slips.

So while they are using your PC/phone etc. It's literally "printing money" at this point via converting power. They would be better set buying up a dam/gas reserve. ;)

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I went to the Salon by mistake once. Once.

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Trollface

After that you chose to read it.

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Anonymous Coward

I also went there once.

It was because I (stupidly) clicked on a 'TinyURL' link.

As a result, and of these shortened links that get sent my way OR used on Web Pages are totally ignored.

Just clicking on one could see you break the law and endup inside a Jail if one happened to take you to a Child Pron site. You have no way of knowing where it will take you. So I just refuse to click on them from now on.

As for sites like this and ones that don't like Ad-blockers... I usually just close it down and go somewhere else. The sites I use regularly are whitelisted but even some of those are getting almost unusable due to the increase of ads in recent months.

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Re: I also went there once.

You can check shortened urls before visiting them. There are various websites that allow you to do this like unshorten.it, checkshorturl.com, getlinkfinfo.com, and I'm sure there are more. Alternately some of the shorteners have built in tools. If you have a tinyurl.com/[whatever] link change it to preview.tinyurl.com/[whatever] to get the full address. Likewise with Bitly you can simply add a + to the end of the string to get site details like this bitly.com/2onEO9w+ and adding .info to a goo.gl link will get you a similar result, for instance goo.gl/l6MS.info.

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Trollface

Just Visiting

Just went there to check it out. I got no warnings about adblocking and I'm not showing any extra CPU usage. I'm free the roam and read the site. Could it be that NoScript and UMatrix works too well?

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Re: Just Visiting

I'm just running ublock origin and am not getting any notifications about this. 31 Ads blocked though.

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Re: Just Visiting

31 Ads!?! And publishers wonder why people use adblockers...

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