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435 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 717188 14-Nov-2012 16:30 Send private message

I find this interesting - how do you market a product when your product blocks the marketing??

Conceptually I could see the ad being one of the big loud obnoxious ones with the message "Hate this ad? Buy this!"

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 717216 14-Nov-2012 16:47 Send private message

freitasm:
1080p: The obvious bonus here is boosting your network security by stopping possible drive by advertising injection of malware. The reason I run advertisement blocking software on all my computers already.


Not all ads carry malware, blocking indiscriminately hurts everyone publishing on the Internet - including myself. 

I don't use ad blockers. If I go to a web site that shows a popup or popunder then I just never visit the site again. If I go to a web site and there's malware then I just not visit the site again.

Easy as that.



You're right that not all ads carry malware but when even a trusted site starts showing ads that infect computers then what do you do?





BDFL
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  Reply # 717246 14-Nov-2012 17:15 Send private message

I try to make sure my defenses are up and always up-to-date.

Did you stop going to Metservice and Trade Me after they both had events of serving malware?

If the site is dodgy, no problem in not going back. Other sites will up their game. That's what happened.







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  Reply # 717302 14-Nov-2012 18:50 Send private message

NonprayingMantis: Conceptually, I would say blocking ads is not really that much different from pirating content.


Basically content producers agree to let you have access to their content in exchange for something, either directly giving them money, or being exposed to advertising which advertisers give them money for. If you access the content but bypass the other side, then it doesn?t matter whether you have downloaded it from bittorrent or run an adblocker.


If I buy a newspaper and dump the flyers inserted into it instead of reading them, is that conceptually the same as copyright infringement? The advertisers have paid the newspaper company to provide the advertising to me and I choose not to view it. I think your argument is reaching and although they may appear similar there is a reason copyright infringement is forbidden by law and blocking advertising is not.


freitasm:
1080p: The obvious bonus here is boosting your network security by stopping possible drive by advertising injection of malware. The reason I run advertisement blocking software on all my computers already.


Not all ads carry malware, blocking indiscriminately hurts everyone publishing on the Internet - including myself. 

I don't use ad blockers. If I go to a web site that shows a popup or popunder then I just never visit the site again. If I go to a web site and there's malware then I just not visit the site again.

Easy as that.



You're correct of course. Nearly no advertising carries malware. The problem for me is that I cannot and do not know which advertising does carry malware. With the prevalence of malware able to easily attack computers via a number of routes and the software companies being slow to update and patch (I'm looking at you Microsoft, Apple & Adobe) I am forced to take matters into my own hands. A whitelist approach is the only safe solution.

Your argument about simply not visiting a site which had bad advertising isn't valid.

1. It often is not the site's fault. Advertisers often serve ads from their own CDN networks separate from any particular website in general. One infected advertisement server could theoretically serve infection to thousands of sites. Sure, I could simply not visit sites which serve advertisements from particular advertisement networks I don't trust but then what is the difference between that and simply blocking the advertisement domains directly?

2. It is too late to not visit a site and avoid future malware once I am infected. Now I must spend my free time removing malware - which most often involves a reformat for something that I had no control over and no way of knowing about ahead of time. Are you willing to pay me for my time to reconfigure my computer due to something your advertisers sent me? I didn't think so.


freitasm:
NonprayingMantis:
GBristow:
NonprayingMantis: Conceptually, I would say blocking ads is not really that much different from pirating content.


I would argue that there is no obligation, either implied or explicit, that users of a website view or click on the ads. Website owners have discovered that, in situations where their website was not viable on a subscription basis, they could generate revenue by offering ads. Clicking and viewing these ads is entirely at the discretion of those who visit the website. If the website owner isn't generating enough ad revenue, they have the option of going subscription.

Put simply, if you offer your website for free, people will take advantage of the offer. If you wish to enforce rules about clicking/viewing ads, then run a portal which forces users to click and view ads before being allowed entry. Just expect your user base to decrease drastically. You can't expect to generate all the positive aspects of word of mouth and user-generated advertising and referrals without keeping the website open and free. But if you do, expect that not everyone will click and view adverts. You can't have your cake and eat it too.


The obligation is different, granted, but in terms of the user consuming content without the creator being rewarded, it is similar.  Whether you block ads or pirate movies you are saying to the content provider “I want your content but I do not wish for you to receive any money for it.” 

Take geekzone for example.  Frietasm creates this great website for us and in exchange for us using it for free we see ads.  (there is an option to pay a subscription to remove ads).  By running an ad blocker you are basically saying to Frietasm “I wish to use geekzone but I do not wish you to receive revenue for it”


The reality is that people won't pay for things if they can get away with it. And if they can get away with it and not have even the decency of seeing and, they're happy with it.

For example GBristow said "If the website owner isn't generating enough ad revenue, they have the option of going subscription."

Sure, but... We used to have a $60/year $5 a month subscription and people wouldn't subscribe giving lots of excuses. Either "Geekzone is no value for me" (ok, so why are you posting then?) or "It's too expensive" (the price of a coffee per month).

And everyone is just saying "we do not think all this is worth my paying $5 a month". So I put the subscription down to $25 a year and all I read is "we do not think all this is worth my paying 2.08 a month".

I rent movies on iTunes because I do not believe in downloading from torrents. But I can bet the majority of people  blocking ads have no problems downloading a movie from torrents, justifying it with "$5 is too expensive to rent the movie".

To rationalise it they come with "we are generating the content" which is not of many benefit if the people reading the content are blocking the ads. Or "we provide word of mouth" and again not much gain for me since people looking at the content are blocking ads. 
  • We have to pay for hardware
  • We have to pay for maintenance
  • We have to pay for colocation
  • We have to pay for software
  • We have to pay for backup
  • We have to pay for bandwidth
  • We have to pay for CDN
  • We have to pay for SSL certificates
  • We have to pay for insurance
  • We have to pay for stationery items
  • We have to pay for postage
  • We have to pay for electricity 
  • We have to pay for broadband 
  • We have to pay for our own time
  • We have to pay for taxes and GST
  • We have to pay for many other items - too many to list here
It comes down to "We have to pay for food here at home because this is my life".

How would you 1080p and GBristow like to work for free?

Get a grip in life folks. Don't like the ads? Fine, but don't complain if I don't give a damn.



I'll just ignore the ad hominem this time. I agree, you have bills to pay as do I. I do not begrudge your employment choice and believe you should be able to make a living from what you do. The business model is not up to me and I can't offer answers to improve it. When, however, you serve a page to me and the advertisements are twice the size of the HTML content I download and take more than twice the CPU cycles to render then we have a problem. The one thing you can count on with a free market is that it will change with or without you.


eXDee: I'm curious as to how it works - plug it in and it just blocks ads for everything on the network.
Sounds like some sort of DNS Hijack? Does it cause all the ad domains to be resolved as local network addresses? Does it intercept all DNS?


I believe it runs a form of iptables/firewall software which blocks known advertisement domains and servers. I haven't researched much into this and am unsure how it would work over HTTPS etc...


freitasm: I try to make sure my defenses are up and always up-to-date.

Did you stop going to Metservice and Trade Me after they both had events of serving malware?

If the site is dodgy, no problem in not going back. Other sites will up their game. That's what happened.



I never had a problem with MetService & TradeMe. Why? Because I wasn't served the advertisements in the first place. I prefer to be able to enjoy the internet without these kinds of hassles. As explained before, an after-the-fact solution is not acceptable.

With regard to the actual product, I am interested to know what other applications can be built for it. I am not much of a hardware hacker and so I don't know what a couple of the chips are for. Anyone have thoughts on this?

BDFL
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  Reply # 717316 14-Nov-2012 19:05 Send private message

1080p: If I buy a newspaper and dump the flyers inserted into it instead of reading them, is that conceptually the same as copyright infringement? The advertisers have paid the newspaper company to provide the advertising to me and I choose not to view it. I think your argument is reaching and although they may appear similar there is a reason copyright infringement is forbidden by law and blocking advertising is not.


Not really. You're buying the newspaper anyway. You are entitled to dump the advertising. If you subscribe to Geekzone you can visit the site with or without ads.

1080p: Nearly no advertising carries malware. The problem for me is that I cannot and do not know which advertising does carry malware. With the prevalence of malware able to easily attack computers via a number of routes and the software companies being slow to update and patch (I'm looking at you Microsoft, Apple & Adobe) I am forced to take matters into my own hands. A whitelist approach is the only safe solution.


Nope. You should be looking at Adobe, Apple and Oracle. Microsoft is not even one of the top 10 Kasperski vulnerability list. Actually Microsoft has done a very good job in the last five years of getting their act together in this area. They issue patches on a monthly basis, interact with the security community (unlike Apple for example) and release emergency out-of-band updates if a zero day exploit exists.

1080p: Are you willing to pay me for my time to reconfigure my computer due to something your advertisers sent me? I didn't think so.


I'd like to ask you not to visit Geekzone again in the future then. I risk event having to pay you to read forum posts here.

1080p: I'll just ignore the ad hominem this time.


It's not ad hominem attack. It's a rethorical question. An ad hominem is a personal attack. These very different things. Read it again.

1080p: When, however, you serve a page to me and the advertisements are twice the size of the HTML content I download and take more than twice the CPU cycles to render then we have a problem. The one thing you can count on with a free market is that it will change with or without you.


And that's the thing. As yourself I don't like using more resources than needed. That's why I spend so much time changing the things around here to optimise pages. That's why I try to use the best resources to load ads in an efficient way (Google DFP Single Request Mode for example) and fighting with ad agencies for my users. Obviously none of this makes the news...

As per "CPU cycles to render them" is this really what comes down to? A resource that is so abundant that most of the time sits idle, unused?








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  Reply # 717319 14-Nov-2012 19:08 Send private message

1080p: I believe it runs a form of iptables/firewall software which blocks known advertisement domains and servers. I haven't researched much into this and am unsure how it would work over HTTPS etc...

Yeah but it seems to allow you to simply plug it into a port on your switch and will block it for all devices on the network. This mean it must be somehow interfering with all network traffic without directly being a man in the middle.

BDFL
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  Reply # 717325 14-Nov-2012 19:16 Send private message

eXDee:
1080p: I believe it runs a form of iptables/firewall software which blocks known advertisement domains and servers. I haven't researched much into this and am unsure how it would work over HTTPS etc...

Yeah but it seems to allow you to simply plug it into a port on your switch and will block it for all devices on the network. This mean it must be somehow interfering with all network traffic without directly being a man in the middle.


It has to be a man in the middle. It will look at all traffic and there's no way to do this on a side process, it must be inline.






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  Reply # 717361 14-Nov-2012 21:27 Send private message

freitasm:
eXDee:
1080p: I believe it runs a form of iptables/firewall software which blocks known advertisement domains and servers. I haven't researched much into this and am unsure how it would work over HTTPS etc...

Yeah but it seems to allow you to simply plug it into a port on your switch and will block it for all devices on the network. This mean it must be somehow interfering with all network traffic without directly being a man in the middle.


It has to be a man in the middle. It will look at all traffic and there's no way to do this on a side process, it must be inline.




Ah i misread. Never mind!

174 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 717368 14-Nov-2012 21:51 Send private message

NonprayingMantis: The obligation is different, granted, but in terms of the user consuming content without the creator being rewarded, it is similar.  Whether you block ads or pirate movies you are saying to the content provider “I want your content but I do not wish for you to receive any money for it.” 

Take geekzone for example.  Frietasm creates this great website for us and in exchange for us using it for free we see ads.  (there is an option to pay a subscription to remove ads).  By running an ad blocker you are basically saying to Frietasm “I wish to use geekzone but I do not wish you to receive revenue for it”


I agree that content creators should be rewarded. I suppose I took issue with the piracy comparison.


freitasm: Sure, but... We used to have a $60/year $5 a month subscription and people wouldn't subscribe giving lots of excuses. Either "Geekzone is no value for me" (ok, so why are you posting then?) or "It's too expensive" (the price of a coffee per month).

And everyone is just saying "we do not think all this is worth my paying $5 a month". So I put the subscription down to $25 a year and all I read is "we do not think all this is worth my paying 2.08 a month".


This should have told you that the average consumer was not willing to pay that much, since there are many alternatives in the market. Hence why you've chosen to go with a primarily advertising-driven model. It means you get a large subscriber base, and have a greater ability to advertise and sell your $25 subscription. If you had gone subscription, you wouldn't be as popular as you are.

I don't mean to downplay the value of this website. I understand there are costs, and you should be rewarded for your efforts. I simply mean to give my perspective on the positives and negatives of each model. Taking the positives of the ad model, and then complaining about the negatives, seems unreasonable to me.

BDFL
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  Reply # 717377 14-Nov-2012 22:17 Send private message

 GBristow: This should have told you that the average consumer was not willing to pay that much, since there are many alternatives in the market. Hence why you've chosen to go with a primarily advertising-driven model. It means you get a large subscriber base, and have a greater ability to advertise and sell your $25 subscription. If you had gone subscription, you wouldn't be as popular as you are.


I understand you're saying that by initially going with an advertising model we managed to get a large user base to which we can then target with a subscription offering. If we had gone subscription only from the start we wouldn't be popular.

Is this understanding correct?

GBristow: I don't mean to downplay the value of this website. I understand there are costs, and you should be rewarded for your efforts. I simply mean to give my perspective on the positives and negatives of each model. Taking the positives of the ad model, and then complaining about the negatives, seems unreasonable to me.


I am not complaining about negatives of ad model. I was complaining about the fact that, when offered an alternative that means "NO ADS" some users will not take it, saying it's still too costly - even though it's really $2 a month. In general those users who complain about the $2 a month are exactly the same ones who block ads - not helping in practice and in principle.

The way I see it, blocking ads and saying the site is not worth $2 a month is free riding.






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Master Geek
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  Reply # 717420 15-Nov-2012 00:37 Send private message

freitasm:

Is this understanding correct?




Yes.


freitasm:

I am not complaining about negatives of ad model. I was complaining about the fact that, when offered an alternative that means "NO ADS" some users will not take it, saying it's still too costly - even though it's really $2 a month. In general those users who complain about the $2 a month are exactly the same ones who block ads - not helping in practice and in principle.

The way I see it, blocking ads and saying the site is not worth $2 a month is free riding.



I understand that to mean these people do not think the service is worth $2/month. Of course they will use it if it's free. If you were to erect a paywall, they would simply leave. So your options are a) allow them to freeload, and b) erect a paywall and keep them out. Obviously you think their participation here still has some value, despite some of them using adblock.

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  Reply # 717429 15-Nov-2012 00:56 Send private message

freitasm I just have to ask you, as I know you have a HTPC, do you skip over / fast forward the ads when you watch recorded TV?
If you do isn't that basically the same as people using an ad blocker?




BDFL
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  Reply # 717472 15-Nov-2012 08:40 Send private message

We really don't want recorded TV. We actually don't watch much live TV at all, except for a couple of shows a week.

Whatever TV shows we watch are rentals from iTunes.




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  Reply # 717620 15-Nov-2012 12:25 Send private message

freitasm: We really don't want recorded TV. We actually don't watch much live TV at all, except for a couple of shows a week.

Whatever TV shows we watch are rentals from iTunes.


Cool but you haven't answered my question.
People who use ad blockers may only visit Geekzone a couple of times a week too.




BDFL
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  Reply # 717650 15-Nov-2012 13:14 Send private message

CYaBro: Cool but you haven't answered my question.


I did.

CYaBro: People who use ad blockers may only visit Geekzone a couple of times a week too.


Don't assume you know our numbers. The only person who really knows our numbers is... myself.





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