Re: "Online advertising model"
"how much of this is money hurled against a wall like so much shit (which, of course, it is), hoping some will stick?
Maybe there are credulous children out there, believing the shabby advertising drivel, but does anyone else even notice this garbage any more?"
quite true... and yet... say you're a small business starting up and want to advertise your product or service, how do you get customers? People blank out ads in newspapers and magazines as much as the online ones... and let's face it, El Reg readership is much more likely to be blocking ads than the general population. Given how expensive print / TV ads are anyway, online per-click ads are still probably a good option.
Sure, maybe you pay for 1000 clicks, 800 of them are fake and from the remaining 200, you get 1 or 2 people who are paying customers. That's still probably worth it from business point of view. Or as I once heard (paraphrasing here) "we know X% of marketing dollars are wasted, but we don't know which ones". In other words, business owners are prepared to pay for online ads even when they know that the vast majority of them are a waste.
Personally I think it's better to go back to a model of targeted advertising based on site-specific content rather than individual targeting. eg advertise sportswear on a sports site, fashion accessories on fashion site, electronics on tech site etc. That provides a minimum of targeting without invasive tracking and privacy issues. And from the consumer side, what is needed is a combination of legal safeguards a la GDPR and technical solutions like 100% of browsers having inbuilt VPN / gateway system that exposes only the absolutely necessary information to the server and/or for anything else keeps changing externally visible identifiers and severely limits cookies so the server can't track users across sites / sessions etc