Skip to main content

Why I block web ads

I use Firefox. I also use Adblock Plus, Adblock Filterset.G, and NoScript with Firefox to control what gets displayed to me in my browser. Because I use these, if I view a page that is supported in part by advertising, then I am engaged in freeloading when I visit that page. It is unethical. Whether it is immoral or illegal is open to interpretation, but it is wrong and I admit to doing wrong.

Will I change? No.

I was driven to use these tools because of the increasing use of ever larger and more elaborate banner ads, culminating in the use of Flash ads complete with video and sound. All of that unwanted content delivered to my computer chews up processing, slows down my browser and gets in the way of my ability to just read the page. I got so tired of it I installed Adblock and NoScript to cut down on the computer resource consumption and adverse performance hits that a lot of these ads have on a web page.

Web owners point out that their ads are no different than print ads. I strongly beg to differ. I put up with print ads because I can ignore and/or skip them as I read the printed page they share. Print ads don't (yet) leap about the page or stream blaring multimedia content when they're exposed like web ads do. That doesn't mean I can block all web ads. Some cleverly written ad hacks do bleed through. Those that do are so obnoxious that I stop visiting the web site completely, which is what I suppose the site's owners wanted all along. Accept our content, crappy ads and all, or get out. I choose to get out.

At home I pay lots of good money for lots of bad cable content. That bad content, composed of bad ads and bad programs, have pretty much driven me away from TV (the absolute worse example being the Sci-Fi channel). I seldom take the time to watch TV for any appreciable length of time, and if I do, it's so that I can watch a DVD or tape. If I watch cable TV I surf the various channels, looking more for the latest news than anything else. Which, besides my internet connectivity, is why I keep paying $100/month for cable. I keep hoping for the day when I can cut my TV cable back to basic TV services and save nearly $50, and I think that day is very close.

If the web/digital side keeps heading down the same path as the TV side, then it won't be much longer before the same effect will be repeated. It's pretty much happened already. I don't visit any of the TV sites (NBC, CBS, ABC) except for CNN. If I do head to a site on a regular basis it's one that has little if any advertising content. For those sites that I know I'm blocking (OSNews and slashdot, for example) it's just to skim the headlines.

I want to read. News, opinion, technical information, what have you. I just want to read the page and I don't want to have to consciously ignore the over-the-top ads that cling all over the page and intrude into the printed information (the grossest example of this being TheInquirer). Too many sites make this all but impossible, and so I shield myself with these tools. I know it's wrong, but I won't be stopping any time soon, if ever. And if it ever comes down to a choice between viewing the ads or not viewing the content, then I'll choose to not view the content. Every time.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…