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  Reply # 909869 8-Oct-2013 13:59
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Ragnor: Unfortunately when publishing on the public internet you have no control over how your content it consumed by end users.

I subscribed to support the site because Geekzone is awesome, but I used to block ads that were annoying and generally block ads on many sites.

Personally I don't think using a browser plugin like AdBlock+ is morally any different to throwing out the junk flyer in the middle of the free local suburban newspaper or skipping ads in recorded tv, that's life.

Alternative models to ad supported content will naturally emerge to counter the ease and increase in ad blocking online and ad skipping in media. Tech Dirt has some great articles on connecting with fans and giving them reasons to buy. 

I do however think blanket ad blocking for your network via a proxy/router/server is a mistake, this should be done at the browser level so it can be turned on/off selectively not at the network level. 




The Times in London went behind a paywall completely. The sub is expensive comparatively (especially outside the UK because the better value packages are not available outside the UK) but I have not regretted a bean of my sub.

No ads, journalism that makes Stuff and the Herald look like junior school project papers and of course that bastion of civilised life, the Times Crossword.





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  Reply # 909914 8-Oct-2013 15:00
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Geektastic: 

The Times in London went behind a paywall completely. The sub is expensive comparatively (especially outside the UK because the better value packages are not available outside the UK) but I have not regretted a bean of my sub.

No ads, journalism that makes Stuff and the Herald look like junior school project papers and of course that bastion of civilised life, the Times Crossword.


Exactly, they've effectively removed their site from the public internet and put it behind a subscription. Valid option for some sites but not everyone, others will have to think outside the box.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 910046 8-Oct-2013 19:44
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Google adsense and other providers should implement a way for web developers to check if a client is loading adverts placed on the site, it should be do-able using a query from the webserver to the ad provider.  The client could be monitored over a series of page loads and if they fail to send an http request for more than a certain percentage of the ad's then the website simply refuses to hand out any more content or redirects to another page.  Identifying the client could be done using php sessions, and if the website requires users to login, ie forums then clearing cookies to bypass the block would be painful for users as they would need to login again.

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  Reply # 910171 8-Oct-2013 22:36
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Yes, but I suspect your suggestion would just involve expensively chucking more resources into escalating an arms race with the people who use blockers, and would be ultimately futile. Within a couple of weeks someone would have dissected your new approach, found a work-around, and rolled it out in the next ad blocker upgrade. People who want to block would then deploy the fix, and you would be back where you started.

Just like those sites that rolled out scripts for detecting adblock plus. Before too long there were simple fixes available that blocked the blocking detectors. Wash, rinse, repeat.........

I'm somewhere in the middle of the argument, I don't like ads but recognise that sites need ads to survive. The balance I strike is to block the really annoying ones (those awful videos that autostart on stuff.co.nz when you are reading an article, popups/unders and animated flash). I let static banner ads through, but with a hosts file that maps some known malware sites to 127.0.0.1).

On the other hand I am happy to aggressively avoid ads on TV. As I see it, via my share of NZ On Air funding and my very limited FTA viewing, I'm being compelled to give them far more than the value of the ads I avoid - so they are still coming out ahead.

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  Reply # 910184 8-Oct-2013 23:02
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I'm gonna put it out there - I actually like the ads to see what's going on (even though I subscribe).

Expand your minds folks!





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  Reply # 910190 9-Oct-2013 00:07
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NonprayingMantis:
gcorgnet: Hi,

I would say there is still a subtle difference with the TV add analogy.

TVs ads are not paid by actual views so whether or not you mute you TV or go make yourself a coffee, the advertiser will still be paid the same amount.

In the case of web ads, these are usually paid by impression so blocking them will directly impact the advertiser's bottom line...

Guillaume


It’s less direct, but still has an impact.   Because they can’t track in real time, TV ads are paid according to how many people they think will watch them.  If every single person got up and made a coffee in the ad breaks then the ad value would be zero (and hence the shows couldn’t get made at all).

To see the impact one only has to look at the value of ads. The ads either side of the break are worth a lot more than the ads in the middle.  This is because those are ads most likely to be watched by people.  They don’t know which individual is not watching the ad, but they do know that fewer people will watch them and so the overall value is reduced.


Television pickup is a phenomenon affecting the British National Grid electricity transmission network. As the British public tend to watch the same TV programmes and take advantage of breaks in these programmes to operate electrical appliances (particularly kettles) they cause large, synchronised surges in electricity consumption. National Grid staff devote considerable resources to predicting and providing electricity supply for these events which typically impose an extra demand of around 200–400 megawatts (MW) on the Grid. Short term supply tends to be found from pumped storage reservoirs, which can be quickly brought online, backed up by the slower fossil fuel and nuclear power stations. The largest ever pickup was on 4 July 1990 when a 2800 MW demand was imposed by the ending of thepenalty shootout in the England v West Germany FIFA World Cup semi-final.[1][2] In addition to pickups the Grid also prepares for synchronised switch-offs during remembrance and energy awareness events.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_pickup

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  Reply # 910195 9-Oct-2013 02:17
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NonprayingMantis: Whether that is fastforwarding through adverts


What is interesting with fast forwarding through ads is that the ads actually work better that way (at least if they know what they are doing). Because you are not away from the TV when you do it and they are able to deliver their branding and possibly even a message as you are zipping through them. If you have seen the ad before it might even jolt a memory of the ad.

If I were an advertiser I would make sure my ads worked well for fastforwarding ;)




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  Reply # 910196 9-Oct-2013 02:20
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gareth41: Google adsense and other providers should implement a way for web developers to check if a client is loading adverts placed on the site, it should be do-able using a query from the webserver to the ad provider.  The client could be monitored over a series of page loads and if they fail to send an http request for more than a certain percentage of the ad's then the website simply refuses to hand out any more content or redirects to another page.  Identifying the client could be done using php sessions, and if the website requires users to login, ie forums then clearing cookies to bypass the block would be painful for users as they would need to login again.


There are a number of ways to fool such a system into believing the ads are seen - at least for now. I would not rule out DRM-like systems that would allow Google and friends to make sure circumventing ad views would be much harder. It seems W3C now thinks DRM on the web is a good idea. Not sure I like were that is heading..




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  Reply # 910199 9-Oct-2013 04:53
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I've got to put it out there, I've been a subscriber for 3 years now, and as a rule I don't block ads on any sites and don't have to worry about Malware to the same degree since I don't run Google Chrome as Root (Linux user), since I use Geekzone all the time I feel it's well worth the subscription, Mauricio does an extremely good job controlling ads on Geekzone so even if I was not a subscriber I still wouldn't go all out to block them.

Of all the sites I visit however I do find the Metservice site seems the most invasive of privacy,



The scripts on Metservices page ping my visit to 51 different elements. Geekzone is 26 (without a subscription, or 7 with) and Trademe is 11 (which I was actually surprised with) - I only use Disconnect to block Facebook elements, as well as Tracking cookies. Disconnect does count elements from Google and a bunch of other meaningless sites.

Using a device like this or an ad-blocker is taking money out of hard working individuals pockets, if you're visiting something dodgy it's fine, but Mauricio would never put content on this site that could harm his visitors, nor would Metservice or Trademe (intentionally), if I am visiting something potentially dodgy (like a link sent to me via Twitter from a follower that seems alright but might potentially be spam, or dodgy) I open it up in an incognito tab.

If you're really blocking ads since you're scared you might get Malware then download Virtualbox, set up a Linux VM and browse the net using a web browser in "Seamless Mode" - that way, if your VM get's infected (If you get a Linux VM infected, you're doing something wrong) you can fall back on a Snapshot. Most modern browsers safeguard you from these sorts of things so the old internet rule of "don't open files you don't trust" comes into play, I'm not sure about IE or Firefox but Chrome does a pretty damn good job of sandboxing.

And how many sites use Java these days? Remove it, or disable it from your browser.




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