Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Essential Ad-Blocking

First published on MySpace blog - 09/10/2010
In which our hero points out that if you don't like all those adverts festooned over your pages, well, you've only yourself to blame...

For many weeks now, I've been enthusing at anyone who will listen about the wisdom of installing an AD-BLOCKING PLUG-IN on the internet browser of one's choice... [...especially now that the Spacemonkeys have discovered fiendish new ways of selling advertising space on 'YOUR' profile, whilst somehow making YOU feel smug about it! Yes, yes, I KNOW that it is advertising that allows them to make it all "FREE" to the user. But I don't have to like it.]

I'm particularly keen on the one called AD-BLOCK
that resides on my Safari For Windoze.[Yep, I believe there is a version for Firefox and Chrome as well.]

It works a treat! "End browsing misery today..." etc etc. No more people desperately trying to sell you things you don't want, while you go about your daily cyberlife. TAKE BACK THE INTERNET!

- Those annoying Flash production numbers, advertising the latest Hollywood blockbuster or Xbox game (both the same thing really), that take up half the MySpace homepage and slow you down while you're trying to log in? GONE!

- The irrelevant and immoveable Thing that exists in the top right-hand corner of 'your' profile page? PFFFT! GONE! replaced by an empty space. At least YOU don't have to look at it again, even if everyone else does.

- Even those distracting small-ads of dubious relevance that appear on EVERY google search page can be banished from sight if you want. ALIKAZAM!

But the other day, I noticed a small quirk that showed me that AD-BLOCK is a little too good at its job. I'm in the process on dragging some of our/my pages screaming into the 21st Century with this new Profile 3.0 lark. I created a banner ad to go on the various pages, to advertise the "TALES FROM THE WINGED EYEBALL" downloads on my Bandcamp site. Having built a nice little graphic in trusty old CorelDraw, I saved it under the name "advert.jpg". Then I noticed something peculiar. As soon as I'd uploaded the graphic to my Photobucket folder, the thumbnail disappeared from the screen. I embedded the link in an HTML box, but no graphic appeared on the page itself. Then I twigged... The AD-BLOCK plug-in was so thorough that it spotted that file called 'advert' and treated it as one!

Just to be sure, I turned off the blocking by adding MySpace and Photobucket to the 'Exceptions' list. Reload the pages and LO! the graphic and its thumbnail appear on the screen. [...along with all those other things that clutter up the Photobucket site. Yeah, yeah, I KNOW! See comments above].

So now the graphic is there on the page, because I re-saved the file under a less specifically-descriptive name. I can remove the commercials from ALL websites again. Thanks to that awfully clever Michael Gundlach, I don't have to look at any of that cak anymore. Until 'they' find a way to BLOCK the BLOCKERS, of course...

The moral of this story: if you don't want YOUR adverts to vanish from YOUR pages, then don't call them adverts in the first place!

AD-BLOCK by MICHAEL GUNDLACH (Safari/Windows version)

The latest FIREFOX version of AdBlock Plus can be installed here
The version for GOOGLE CHROME can be obtained here 

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