Re: Too little, too late for advertisers
"Why shouldn't El Reg get some advertising revenue?"
Because the ads they use to generate that revenue actually make the site too slow for my browser to load an article, so I can't actually read the content that is being paid for. At least, that was how bad things had become when I stopped white-listing them. And here's the rub -- I'm never going to switch the whitelist back on to see whether things have got better because, frankly, I have better things to do with my life than act as as unpaid parole officer.
"And surely they need to know which articles are most popular with various demographics?"
I don't see why. They may need to know which articles are most popular, but their web server's logs will tell them that. Breaking it down further means identifying and tracking people on this site and then correlating that with spying done on other web-sites to determine the overall demographic. Advertising managed for a century or more without actually having *that* level of detail, so I don't think this is really necessary either.
And anyway, unless the advertisers control the PC I'm using to browse, they only get the demographic information that I choose to share, so their much-vaunted analysis is basically dividing the population into "can use an ad-blocker" and "can't use an ad-blocker".