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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Blocking POP UP Ads

    Interesting Article about the spread of Pop up ads (we all know em and hate em) as a use in aggressive marketing/advertising campaigns. The article goes on to talk about a possible remedy which is to uninstall Microsoft IE for your browser...

    Good ole Bill G. cant catch a break.

    Posted on Thu, Jul. 11, 2002

    Filters help zap aggressive Net ads
    By David Pogue
    New York Times

    It's a fundamental law of bubble theory: No bubble bursts without leaving a slimy residue. No wonder, then, that when the Internet bubble popped, every Web site felt the splash.

    The chief effect of the big tech collapse was to eliminate the prevailing method of generating revenue: collecting free money from starry-eyed venture capitalists. Web-based companies nowadays must find a means of making money that is less rooted in fantasy.

    Most have turned to advertising -- and not just the sissy banner ads that sit demurely in a strip across the top of the window. As the economy declined, Webmasters and their advertisers huddled in shadowy labs, dreaming up ever more creative means of making the ads noticeable. Today, the Web exhibits the fruits of their brainstorming: a proliferation of advertising with features like pop-up windows, pop-under windows and self-propagating, unclosable windows.

    Ah, but technology giveth, and technology taketh away. If you want to fight back, a huge number of inexpensive ad-filtering programs awaits. Each is designed to suppress these aggressive ads, leaving you to read in peace -- and, by the way, speeding up your browser by up to 40 percent (because your browser doesn't have to download the ad graphics).

    If you're unfamiliar with the new form of hyper-aggressive advertising, you must not have been online recently. You've missed the joys of pop-up ads, which obscure the Web page you're trying to read until you frown, mutter and close the pop-up window. Pop-under ads, only slightly less annoying, materialize behind the main browser window rather than in front of it. You don't have to frown, mutter and close the window until after you close the main window. Then there are the skyscraper ads: billboards in cyberspace, huge rectangles of ad that scoff at the quaint self-restraint of banner ads -- and take three times as long to download.

    Nor are the new ads limited to sites purveying gambling and pornography, as they once were. Almost every big-name Web site now displays them, including Amazon.com, siliconvalley.com, Yahoo, CNN.com, AOL.com, TIME

    .com, WSJ.com and NYTimes.com.

    Other advertisers cross the line, relying on deception and mean-spirited programming. Some design their ads to look like error messages from Windows itself; when you click OK, another raft of ads appears. Other ad windows spawn 50 more windows when you close the first, a digital-age Hydra. The latest ad boxes, known as Flash animation ads, even scoot around the screen, daring you to catch them with your mouse (and making it impossible to use the Web page at all).

    No software can eliminate the barrage, but most do an immediate, impressive job of blocking most of it. You notice the difference the first time you go online: Empty squares appear where ads would be, the Windows taskbar no longer fills up with the names of pop-up windows, and most Web pages appear far more quickly.

    One way to achieve ad-free bliss is to abandon Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer. Alternative browsers like Opera (Windows or Mac), Netscape (Windows or Mac) or OmniWeb (Mac OS X) offer settings that defeat pop-up ads, and sometimes banner ads, too. In the latest version of Netscape (and its sister programs Chimera and Mozilla), for example, you can turn off a deeply buried preference setting called ``Open unrequested windows'' to stifle their appearance. (Too bad there are no check boxes to turn off ``Answer unrequested phone calls'' and ``Accept unsolicited e-mail.'')

    If you'd rather stick with Internet Explorer, a search of, say, download.com unearths dozens of ad filters. Most are free or classified as shareware (try before you buy).

    Their quality varies. Some, like Guidescope, work by ``washing'' your Web activity at the software company's headquarters, which makes privacy advocates nervous. Others require you to click each pop-up ad to add it to your personal blacklist, which isn't nearly as helpful as an automatic approach.

    Instead, the disgruntled surfer might visit www.panicware.com. Here, you can download a free version of the company's Pop-Up Stopper program. It's just as effective at blocking pop-ups and pop-unders as Pop-Up Stopper Pro ($20) and Pop-Up Stopper Companion ($40), which add additional privacy features.

    Beeps and boops

    Pop-Up Stopper shows up as a tiny icon in the Windows system tray, quietly blocking pop-ups -- or noisily blocking them, if you prefer. To the company's surprise, thousands of its customers turn on the sound-effect feature, which beeps or boops with every stifled pop-up. You'd think that all this background noise would be nearly as distracting as the pop-ups themselves, but Panicware's customers evidently take vengeful glee at hearing the intrusive ads obliterated one by one.

    Note, however, that Pop-Up Stopper doesn't block Flash animation ads (like the ones that make you chase them across the screen). Like many ad filters, it sometimes blocks legitimate pop-up windows, like the sign-in screens for certain online banks and brokerages. Fortunately, there's an easy workaround for this one: Just press the Control key as you click the link that didn't work. Pop-Up Stopper gets the message and steps aside.

    The wittily named AdSubtract Pro has no such limitations ($30 from www.adsubtract.com). It's easy to install and use, and works with America Online as well as Internet Explorer and Netscape. Like the pay-for versions of Pop-Up Stopper, AdSubtract also maintains a handy list of individual ads that, thanks to its vigilance, you'll never see. Unfortunately, AdSubtract relies on a master list of bad-guy advertisers, and after the first year, annual updates to the database cost $10.

    Blockers not perfect

    For both Mac fans (pre-OS X) and Windows fans (pre-XP), WebWasher (www.webwasher.com) is another free alternative, capable of squashing not only pop-ups but even those self-spawning Hydra ads. Millions of people have downloaded this little ad blocker, which was developed by Siemens engineers. It can block all kinds of sinister-sounding behind-your-back Web activity -- cookies, Web bugs, Referrers and so on. Unfortunately, when it comes to blocking pop-ups and pop-unders, WebWasher doesn't make a very attentive goalie. It lets a lot of ads through, probably because the Windows and Mac versions are 1 and 2 years old and outmatched by modern ad technologies.

    In short, no ad blocker is perfect, but for the Web visitor who's been feeling just a tad harassed, something is better than nothing, especially when it's Pop-Up Stopper.

    Any discussion of ad-blocking software raises the inevitable question: If everybody starts blocking ads, how are Web sites supposed to stay in business?

    Few people object to everyday banner ads or margin ads; after all, Web sites have to pay the bills somehow, just as magazines and television networks do. But the new style of ultra-aggressive ad is a different animal. Your browser becomes like a TV that won't let you change channels until you've watched an ad or two.

    If advertisers really want their ads to be noticed, maybe they should do what TV and print advertisers do: make the ads clever, engaging or even thoughtful.

    In the meantime, the war continues -- and escalates. Last September, a German company called MediaBeam released a program that lets Web sites block visitors who use anti-ad software -- the first anti-anti-ad software. Within days, a German programmer published instructions for defeating MediaBeam's blockade, in effect inventing the first anti-anti-anti-ad software.

    Predictably, MediaBeam responded by announcing version 2.0 of its product, designed to block the blocker's block of ad-blockers.
    freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude

    freedom aint free

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    hahaha.. i need my anti-anti-anti-ad software.. where do i find it ?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    i like to feel in control of things so the jave permissions on my box are set to 'prompt', too tedious for most, but its second nature to me now, every ads ip addy, be it pop-up banner or just graphic, gets resolved by hosts to loopback. i delight every time a new one appears.
    it quickly gets entered into hosts, i wrote a program for myself just for this purpose, and F5 is hit on compleation...gone. i love it. havn't had a pop-up in months and 404 page not found where graphics used to be...yes!
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    This isn't 100% on topic for this thread but I thought some might want to see what works for me to stop pop ups.

    I "kinda" figured out how these pop ups work. They work with your local host address (

    If you edit your hosts file /etc/hosts on a *nix box or if you have winNT or 2k (not xp) you can edit /WINNT/system32/drivers/etc and add the annoying pop up url's to the hosts file and direct them to then they will cease to pop up, or in a few cases pop up with no content.

    It is a work around, albeit lame, but will save you from having to crack one of the ad-remover software packages out there. Hope this helps...

    Like this example hosts file from my 2000 box.

    # Copyright (c) 1993-1999 Microsoft Corp.
    # This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
    # This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
    # entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
    # be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
    # The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
    # space.
    # Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
    # lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
    # For example:
    # rhino.acme.com # source server
    # x.acme.com # x client host localhost abcnews.com advertisement popups.infostart.com ad.doubleclick.net rocketsearch.com autosearcher.com ads.x10.com priceline.com latimes.com adserver.trb.com trb.com targetnet.com www.usapromotravel.com got2goshop.com rankyou.com banners.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    now if TVs had a hosts file...their supposed to start using pop-ups on tv broadcasts

    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

  6. #6
    Fastest Thing Alive s0nIc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    lol im happy im using my Opera.. no pop-ups or whatsoever..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Ok, I did a quick search on google and found a HOST file with over 13,000 entries...... It is below.....

    In Windows 95-ME the hostfile is in C:\Windows
    In Nt/2000/XP it is in C:\WinNT\system32\drivers\etc

    Rename this file to HOST (no extension) and replace the old file with this one

    If you dont want to see a error page when an ad is blocked try this program

    EDIT: The host file comes in two formats, adserver.com and adserver.com, I only included the one because it works better and causes pages to load a lot quicker that the localhost one.... If you want to replace with another IP for a page to show instead of an ad, you may do so, but it does cause considerable network traffic

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    I personally use a little program called popup stopper. Works pretty well. I like it
    Remember -
    The ark was built by amatures...
    The Titanic was built by professionals.

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