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The Case For Targeted Ads

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the sell-it-to-me dept.

Privacy 290

Nofsck Ingcloo writes "CNet has published a guest column by Eric Wheeler warning the world of the evil consequences of Do Not Track. In it he makes strong (I would claim exaggerated) arguments in favor of targeted advertising. He claims the threat of political action on Do Not Track should, 'strike fear into the hearts of every company that does business online....' He speaks of compromising a $300 billion industry, which I read as being the industry composed of online advertisers and all their clients. He clearly thinks the trade off between freedom from snooping and free access to web content always favors free access. He concludes his arguments by saying, 'Taken as a whole, the potentially dire impact of Do Not Track is clear: the end of the free internet and a crippling blow to the technology industry.' He then goes on to advocate contacting legislators and the FTC in opposition to Do Not Track."

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Irony not lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41405781)

Published at a website that probably makes more from tracking and selling the data....

Re:Irony not lost (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405897)

The writer of this bullshit piece is the CEO of an advertising/tracking firm "33Across"

"Over 600,000 publishers and more than 375 Fortune 1000 marketers use 33Across’s Brand Graph technology, tools, and real-time predictive systems to connect their content and products into the social graph. Clients rely on their Brand Graph to leverage how individuals and the networks around them react to what is read, purchased, shared, and recommended in real-time. Reaching over a billion users, 33Across processes tens of thousands anonymous social engagement, influence, and interest actions that surround marketer and publisher brands each second."

Why do we even listen to these people?

Re:Irony not lost (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406231)

Why do we even listen to these people?

"We" don't, but our elected representatives do.

Re:Irony not lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406267)

ok. i'll play.
we don't listen.
we read. and post.
listening is archaic.
no one beyond the age of
55 does that to any degree.

Re:Irony not lost (2)

kwerle (39371) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406281)

Why do we even listen to these people?

We don't. But the editors put it on /., so there you go.

Agreed, 110% (& how to beat them + Apache) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406151)

Since Apache is violating or allowing violating DNT policies? Well, here is HOW you blow all that, clean away, AND IN YOUR FAVOR as the end user with a file tool you ALREADY HAVE -> []

(Marketers? Sorry - they the MOST useless people and usually least PRACTICALLY EDUCATED in ANY industry, I don't care WHO or WHAT says otherwise, they're the biggest CROOKS that get way, Way, WAY TOO MUCH GIVEN THEM (Yes, I've seen corporate payrolls & KNOWS who gets what, especially in "expense accounts")).

* In the end, know what makes ME feel really good? This:

The advertisement "marketing" people ARE "reacting"...

(LMAO, & one day, I knew they would, & in EXACTLY this fashion, since it threatens their "goose that lays the golden eggs" for them & their "bonuses"... & it shows me that folks like myself, who is FIGHTING FOR OTHER "REGULAR JOES" LIKE MYSELF and YOU READERS, are winning)...


P.S.=> In the end here - In the link above I show a way to BURN THEM, since they're burning YOU on:


A.) Your bandwidth/speed
B.) Infesting you with malware (it happens in ads)
C.) Robbing your CPU cycles, RAM, & other I/O running ads


and more... ALL OF WHICH YOU PAY FOR WITH YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY YOU ACTUALLY WORKED FOR, unlike "marketers" & the "investment class" trash!

( & their reaction via this article is showing that in the methods the "community uses to take care of its own" such as custom hosts, AdBlock (which got bought out & crippled BY DEFAULT, this is the way of the 'corporate stooge' in fact, buy out that which threatens your ill-gotten gains, or trash them via the media, & worse as I am sure you ALL know from just living life))

Your point's EXCELLENT & truth...

... apk

Isn't it Voluntary? (2, Interesting)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405789)

Isn't Do Not Track voluntary? The advertiser can choose not follow it, right? If so, what is all the fuss about?

Re:Isn't it Voluntary? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405865)

Surely you aren't suggesting that the government should just allow consumers to speak ill of advertisers and other members of the better sort?

Clearly the horrors of 'do not track' are so great that we must have a law to forbid people from even expressing such a destructive preference.(Now, um, never you mind that I said that targeted advertising was awesome, and thus would theoretically be popular and simply outcompete DNT, that was, um, different for some reason! Targeted advertising is exciting and ought to be mandatory!)

Re:Isn't it Voluntary? (4, Interesting)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405963)

It is currently voluntary. A lot of people are pushing for it to be mandatory, which would practically chop Google's business plan off at the hips. Right now they read your mail (not the employees, but the servers), they track your searches, and if you have Android they know a lot more about you than you think. Do not track being mandatory would turn off a lot of their data gathering. And they are an advertising sales company, no matter what other products they bring to consumers. Just as with FaceBook, you are the product and your eyeballs are being sold to advertisers.

Microsoft intends to turn DNT on by default for IE 10, and even if you don't go with Windows 8 you might get some updates for Win7, if not actually IE 10, that set DNT accordingly. Now a huge browser market, including most people people who don't know what DNT is, nor do they care, will have it disabled by default. This pits Microsoft against Google in a huge way.

Aside from all of the other fallout that will happen by making it not just a standard, but a fine-inducing requirement, it will be essentially unenforceable in that it will be hard to prove tracking versus proper context-based targeted adverts. Pointless unenforceable laws/regulations that depend on politicians pretending to support their constituents on the small things so they can screw voters on the big things are not the way to a better internet. But that's what we're going to get when politicians get involved.

The fuss isn't about right now, it's about looking down the road and seeing oncoming traffic. A smart person would at least pull over, and assess whether a U-turn is in order, or getting off the road, or if maybe staying the course is in fact appropriate.

Re:Isn't it Voluntary? (3, Informative)

jonsmirl (114798) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406117)

The way to combat this is for every website that detects the DNT header to simply respond with a page saying how to turn it off or download a different browser. How quickly we all forget what it was like to be constantly bombarded with ads for products you cannnot use or cannot be purchased in your locale.

Re:Isn't it Voluntary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406269)

The locale issue can be easily enough dealt with without hurting privacy, you just go by the ISP. Unless you're the only one on the ISP it's unlikely that any private data would flow.

As for being bombarded by ads for things I can't use, I think that's preferable to being stalked by creepy advertisements. Plus, they're rarely for things I want or can use anyways. Most of the ads I see are for scams that just use the city I'm in to try and play to a sense of comradery with other people from the same city.

Re:Isn't it Voluntary? (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406521)

except the locales issue applies in the United States due to the national ISP's. Simply put, some products are regional and can't be bought by me, yet I see ads for them all the time

Re:Isn't it Voluntary? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406277)

The way to combat this is for every website that detects the DNT header to simply respond with a page saying how to turn it off or download a different browser. How quickly we all forget what it was like to be constantly bombarded with ads for products you cannnot use or cannot be purchased in your locale.

I vastly prefer random ads to targeted ads. It's absolutely infuriating trying to get a good deal on hotels or airfare. I have to enable 3rd party cookies, turn of ghostery/noscript/adblock plus, and then browse to travel site a, look for something, browse to travel site b, look for the same thing, leave, and browse to travel site a and look for the same thing again to get a lower price.

Of course, my actual preference is for NO ads at all, which is why I block them fiercely.
Content creators can't make money without? Not my problem. If money is your focus, then make content worth selling on its own.

Re:Isn't it Voluntary? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406311)

I think there is a subtle difference between targeted ads and tracking. Personally, I'm okay with using my IP address to get my general location or the context of my searches or the pages I'm on to target ads towards me. Compiling my every move on the other hand gets a little creepy. Unfortunately, instead of a healthy debate on where a line might be drawn, this country will argue two extremes and come up with a solution so mangled it will only benefit those with the pockets to understand it.

Re:Isn't it Voluntary? (1)

Nexion (1064) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406359)

How about do not track me as an individual, but here is a list provided by my browser of things of which I'm interested. You cannot keep information about me in a DB, but I'll give you access to a DB of interests I have when I visit your site. Hey, I have no fear the "free internet" will collapse... that is straight bullshit. What I have a fear of is being overwhelmed with tampon, chick flick, makeup and my little pony adverts. I would love if all adds were as targeted to my interests as those present here on slashdot. Its no big secret... they know I'm a geek. I can disable the ads here too, but I'm just not motivated to do so as they are never obnoxious and often they are something of interest to me. Still for other sites I don't trust I rock noscript, ghostery and noredirect in firefox to mitigate attempts to cyber stalk me by ad companies.

Re:Isn't it Voluntary? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406443)

How about do not track me as an individual, but here is a list provided by my browser of things of which I'm interested

Better still, use a private information retrieval protocol to fetch ads. Your browser knows what you are interested in, uses PIR to get some relevant ads, and shows them to you.

AdBlockPlus is mandatory (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406123)

ABP is mandatory; DNT is just a distracting waste of time predicated on bad ideas about what Internet advertising should be (and for that matter, what the Internet itself should be). We solved the invasive web advertisement problem long ago with ABP, just like we solved the email / Usenet spam problem with spam filtering.

The first paragraph of TFA should be enough to know how uninformed the writer's opinion is: he pushes the idea that anonymous data is being collected, despite all the work that has shown how that data can be de-anonymized (especially when several "anonymous" databases are combined).

AdBlock is "crippled" by default (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406221)

This isn't (& you already OWN one, you just need to fill it) -> []

AdBlock was BOUGHT OUT so that advertisers could pull their shit, plain & simple... by default settings, which MOST FOLKS WILL NOT TOY WITH? Allow it... & the marketers + those who bought out AdBlock know it.

* Enjoy, if you're NOT aware of custom hosts files & what they can do for you? Read below (great detail on it)...


P.S.=> As far as AdBlock though? Well, it's TOO BAD, but here is the "skinny" on what I stated:


Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option []


Custom HOSTS files are way, Way, WAY superior...

Here is a list of HOW/WHEN/WHERE/WHAT & WHY they are over AdBlock &/or DNS (which I have posted here MANY times) but, that actually SUPPLEMENTS them & overcomes their weaknesses (ending up COMPLIMENTING them in fact):


21++ ADVANTAGES OF HOSTS FILES (over browser plugins for security, &/or DNS servers):

(Over AdBlock & DNS Servers ALONE 4 Security, Speed, Reliability, & Anonymity (to an extent vs. DNSBL's + DNS request logs)).

1.) HOSTS files are useable for all these purposes because they are present on all Operating Systems that have a BSD based IP stack (even ANDROID) and do adblocking for ANY webbrowser, email program, etc. (any webbound program). A truly "multi-platform" UNIVERSAL solution for added speed, security, reliability, & even anonymity to an extent (vs. DNS request logs + DNSBL's you feel are unjust hosts get you past/around).

2.) Adblock blocks ads? Well, not anymore & certainly not as well by default, apparently, lol - see below:

Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option [] )

AND, in only browsers & their subprogram families (ala email like Thunderbird for FireFox/Mozilla products (use same gecko & xulrunner engines)), but not all, or, all independent email clients, like Outlook, Outlook Express, OR Window "LIVE" mail (for example(s)) - there's many more like EUDORA & others I've used over time that AdBlock just DOES NOT COVER... period.

Disclaimer: Opera now also has an AdBlock addon (now that Opera has addons above widgets), but I am not certain the same people make it as they do for FF or Chrome etc..

3.) Adblock doesn't protect email programs external to FF (non-mozilla/gecko engine based) family based wares, So AdBlock doesn't protect email programs like Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows "LIVE" mail & others like them (EUDORA etc./et al), Hosts files do. THIS IS GOOD VS. SPAM MAIL or MAILS THAT BEAR MALICIOUS SCRIPT, or, THAT POINT TO MALICIOUS SCRIPT VIA URLS etc.

4.) Adblock won't get you to your favorite sites if a DNS server goes down or is DNS-poisoned, hosts will (this leads to points 5-7 next below, & especially vs. the July 12th 2012 "DNSChanger" trojan purge that's coming soon (those folks won't get to sites if infested - I will, due to hardcodes in my hosts file of my fav. 20 sites + using BETTER filtering DNS servers (see list below))...

5.) Adblock doesn't allow you to hardcode in your favorite websites into it so you don't make DNS server calls and so you can avoid tracking by DNS request logs, OR make you reach them faster since you resolve host-domain names LOCALLY w/ hosts out of cached memory, hosts do ALL of those things (DNS servers are also being abused by the Chinese lately and by the Kaminsky flaw -> [] for years now). Hosts protect against those problems via hardcodes of your fav sites (you should verify against the TLD that does nothing but cache IPAddress-to-domainname/hostname resolutions ( via NSLOOKUP, PINGS (ping -a in Windows - functions for "reverse DNS lookups"), &/or WHOIS though, regularly, so you have the correct IP & it's current)).

* NOW - Some folks MAY think that putting an IP address alone into your browser's address bar will be enough, so why bother with HOSTS, right? WRONG - Putting IP address in your browser won't always work IS WHY. Some IP adresses host several domains & need the site name to give you the right page you're after is why. So for some sites only the HOSTS file option will work!

6.) Hosts files don't eat up CPU cycles (or ELECTRICITY) like AdBlock does while it parses a webpages' content, nor as much as a DNS server does while it runs. HOSTS file are merely a FILTER for the kernel mode/PnP TCP/IP subsystem, which runs FAR FASTER & MORE EFFICIENTLY than any ring 3/rpl3/usermode app can since hosts files run in MORE EFFICIENT & FASTER Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode operations acting merely as a filter for the IP stack (via the "Plug-N-Play" designed IP stack in Windows) vs. SLOWER & LESS EFFICIENT Ring 3/RPL 3/Usermode operations (which webbrowsers run in + their addons like AdBlock slow down even MORESO due to their parsing operations).

7.) HOSTS files will allow you to get to sites you like, via hardcoding your favs into a HOSTS file, FAR faster than remote DNS servers can by FAR (by saving the roundtrip inquiry time to a DNS server, typically 30-100's of ms, vs. 7-10ms HardDisk speed of access/seek + SSD seek in ns, & back to you - hosts resolutions of IP address for host-domain names is FAR faster...). Hosts are only a filter for an already fast & efficient IP stack, no more layered b.s. (remote OR local). Hosts eat less CPU, RAM, I/O in other forms, + electricity than a locally running DNS server easily, and less than a local DNS program on a single PC. Fact. Hosts are easier to setup & maintain too.

8.) AdBlock doesn't let you block out known bad sites or servers that are known to be maliciously scripted, hosts can and many reputable lists for this exist:

Spybot "Search & Destroy" IMMUNIZE feature (fortifies HOSTS files with KNOWN bad servers blocked)

9.) AdBlock & DNS servers are programs, and subject to bugs programs can get. Hosts files are merely a filter and not a program, thus not subject to bugs of the nature just discussed.

10.) HOSTS files protect you vs. DNS-poisoning &/or the Kaminsky flaw in DNS servers, and allow you to get to sites reliably vs. things like the Chinese are doing to DNS -> []

11.) HOSTS files are EASILY user controlled, obtained (for reliable ones -> [] ) & edited too, via texteditors like Windows notepad.exe or Linux nano (etc.)

12.) With Adblock you had better be able to code javascript to play with its code (to customize it better than the GUI front does @ least). With hosts you don't even need source to control it (edit, update, delete, insert of new entries via a text editor).

13.) Hosts files are easily secured via using MAC/ACL (even moreso "automagically" for Vista, 7/Server 2008 + beyond by UAC by default) &/or Read-Only attributes applied.

14.) Custom HOSTS files also speed you up, unlike anonymous proxy servers systems variations (like TOR, or other "highly anonymous" proxy server list servers typically do, in the severe speed hit they often have a cost in) either via "hardcoding" your fav. sites into your hosts file (avoids DNS servers, totally) OR blocking out adbanners - see this below for evidence of that:


US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth: []

(Yes, even the US Military used this type of technique... because IT WORKS! Most of what they blocked? Ad banners ala doubleclick etc.)


Adbanners slow you down & consume your bandwidth YOU pay for:



And people do NOT LIKE ads on the web:



As well as this:

Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It: []


Even WORSE still, is this:

Advertising Network Caught History Stealing: []


15.) HOSTS files usage lets you avoid being charged on some ISP/BSP's (OR phone providers) "pay as you use" policy [] , because you are using less bandwidth (& go faster doing so no less) by NOT hauling in adbanner content and processing it (which can lead to infestation by malware/malicious script, in & of itself -> [] ).

16.) If/when ISP/BSP's decide to go to -> FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans: [] your internet bill will go DOWN if you use a HOSTS file for blocking adbanners as well as maliciously scripted hacker/cracker malware maker sites too (after all - it's your money & time online downloading adbanner content & processing it)

Plus, your adbanner content? Well, it may also be hijacked with malicious code too mind you:


Yahoo, Microsoft's Bing display toxic ads: []


Malware torrent delivered over Google, Yahoo! ad services: []


Google's DoubleClick spreads malicious ads (again): []


Rogue ads infiltrate Expedia and Rhapsody: []


Google sponsored links caught punting malware: []


DoubleClick caught supplying malware-tainted ads: []


Yahoo feeds Trojan-laced ads to MySpace and PhotoBucket users: []


Real Media attacks real people via RealPlayer: []


Ad networks owned by Google, Microsoft serve malware: []


Attacks Targeting Classified Ad Sites Surge: []


Hackers Respond To Help Wanted Ads With Malware: []


Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC: []


Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills: []


Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web: []


Two Major Ad Networks Found Serving Malware: []












London Stock Exchange Web Site Serving Malware: []


Spotify splattered with malware-tainted ads: []


Demonoid Down For a Week, Serving Malware Laden Ads: []


As my list "multiple evidences thereof" as to adbanners & viruses + the fact they slow you down & cost you more (from reputable & reliable sources no less)).

17.) Per point #16, a way to save some money: ANDROID phones can also use the HOSTS FILE TO KEEP DOWN BILLABLE TIME ONLINE, vs. adbanners or malware such as this:


Infected Androids Run Up Big Texting Bills: []


AND, for protection vs. other "botnets" migrating from the PC world, to "smartphones" such as ZITMO (a ZEUS botnet variant): []


It's easily done too, via the ADB dev. tool, & mounting ANDROID OS' system mountpoint for system/etc as READ + WRITE/ADMIN-ROOT PERMISSIONS, then copying your new custom HOSTS over the old one using ADB PULL/ADB PUSH to do so (otherwise ANDROID complains of "this file cannot be overwritten on production models of this Operating System", or something very along those lines - this way gets you around that annoyance along with you possibly having to clear some space there yourself if you packed it with things!).

18.) Bad news: ADBLOCK CAN BE DETECTED FOR: See here on that note -> []

HOSTS files are NOT THAT EASILY "webbug" BLOCKABLE by websites, as was tried on users by ARSTECHNICA (and it worked on AdBlock in that manner), to that websites' users' dismay:



An experiment gone wrong - By Ken Fisher | Last updated March 6, 2010 11:11 AM []

"Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content."


"Our experiment is over, and we're glad we did it because it led to us learning that we needed to communicate our point of view every once in a while. Sure, some people told us we deserved to die in a fire. But that's the Internet!"

Thus, as you can see? Well - THAT all "went over like a lead balloon" with their users in other words, because Arstechnica was forced to change it back to the old way where ADBLOCK still could work to do its job (REDDIT however, has not, for example). However/Again - this is proof that HOSTS files can still do the job, blocking potentially malscripted ads (or ads in general because they slow you down) vs. adblockers like ADBLOCK!


19.) Even WIKILEAKS "favors" blacklists (because they work, and HOSTS can be a blacklist vs. known BAD sites/servers/domain-host names):



"we are in favour of 'Blacklists', be it for mail servers or websites, they have to be compiled with care... Fortunately, more responsible blacklists, like (which protects the Firefox browser)...


20.) AND, LASTLY? SINCE MALWARE GENERALLY HAS TO OPERATE ON WHAT YOU YOURSELF CAN DO (running as limited class/least privlege user, hopefully, OR even as ADMIN/ROOT/SUPERUSER)? HOSTS "LOCK IN" malware too, vs. communicating "back to mama" for orders (provided they have name servers + C&C botnet servers listed in them, blocked off in your HOSTS that is) - you might think they use a hardcoded IP, which IS possible, but generally they do not & RECYCLE domain/host names they own (such as has been seen with the RBN (Russian Business Network) lately though it was considered "dead", other malwares are using its domains/hostnames now, & this? This stops that cold, too - Bonus!)...

21.) Custom HOSTS files gain users back more "screen real estate" by blocking out banner ads... it's great on PC's for speed along with MORE of what I want to see/read (not ads), & efficiency too, but EVEN BETTER ON SMARTPHONES - by far. It matters MOST there imo @ least, in regards to extra screen real-estate.

Still - It's a GOOD idea to layer in the usage of BOTH browser addons for security like adblock ( [] ), IE 9's new TPL's ( [] ), &/or NoScript ( [] especially this one, as it covers what HOSTS files can't in javascript which is the main deliverer of MOST attacks online & SECUNIA.COM can verify this for anyone really by looking @ the past few years of attacks nowadays), for the concept of "layered security"....

It's just that HOSTS files offer you a LOT MORE gains than Adblock ( [] ) does alone (as hosts do things adblock just plain cannot & on more programs, for more speed, security, and "stealth" to a degree even), and it corrects problems in DNS (as shown above via hardcodes of your favorite sites into your HOSTS file, and more (such as avoiding DNS request logs)).

ALSO - Some more notes on DNS servers & their problems, very recent + ongoing ones:


DNS flaw reanimates slain evil sites as ghost domains: []


BIND vs. what the Chinese are doing to DNS lately? See here: []



(Yes, even "security pros" are helpless vs. DNS problems in code bugs OR redirect DNS poisoning issues, & they can only try to "set the DNS record straight" & then, they still have to wait for corrected DNS info. to propogate across all subordinate DNS servers too - lagtime in which folks DO get "abused" in mind you!)


DNS vs. the "Kaminsky DNS flaw", here (and even MORE problems in DNS than just that): []

(Seems others are saying that some NEW "Bind9 flaw" is worse than the Kaminsky flaw ALONE, up there, mind you... probably corrected (hopefully), but it shows yet again, DNS hassles (DNS redirect/DNS poisoning) being exploited!)


Moxie Marlinspike's found others (0 hack) as well...

Nope... "layered security" truly IS the "way to go" - hacker/cracker types know it, & they do NOT want the rest of us knowing it too!...

(So until DNSSEC takes "widespread adoption"? HOSTS are your answer vs. such types of attack, because the 1st thing your system refers to, by default, IS your HOSTS file (over say, DNS server usage). There are decent DNS servers though, such as OpenDNS, ScrubIT, or even NORTON DNS (more on each specifically below), & because I cannot "cache the entire internet" in a HOSTS file? I opt to use those, because I have to (& OpenDNS has been noted to "fix immediately", per the Kaminsky flaw, in fact... just as a sort of reference to how WELL they are maintained really!)


DNS Hijacks Now Being Used to Serve Black Hole Exploit Kit: []


DNS experts admit some of the underlying foundations of the DNS protocol are inherently weak: []


Potential 0-Day Vulnerability For BIND 9: []


Five DNS Threats You Should Protect Against: []


DNS provider decked by DDoS dastards: []


Ten Percent of DNS Servers Still Vulnerable: (so much for "conscientious patching", eh? Many DNS providers weren't patching when they had to!) []




TimeWarner DNS Hijacking: []


DNS Re-Binding Attacks: []


DNS Server Survey Reveals Mixed Security Picture: []


Halvar figured out super-secret DNS vulnerability: []


BIND Still Susceptible To DNS Cache Poisoning: []


DNS Poisoning Hits One of China's Biggest ISPs: []


DDoS Attacks Via DNS Recursion: []


High Severity BIND DNS Vulnerability Advisory Issued: []


Photobucket's DNS Records Hijacked: []


Protecting Browsers from DNS Rebinding Attacks: []


DNS Problem Linked To DDoS Attacks Gets Worse: []


HOWEVER - Some DNS servers are "really good stuff" vs. phishing, known bad sites/servers/hosts-domains that serve up malware-in-general & malicious scripting, botnet C&C servers, & more, such as:

Norton DNS -> []
ScrubIT DNS -> []
OpenDNS -> []

(Norton DNS in particular, is exclusively for blocking out malware, for those of you that are security-conscious. ScrubIT filters pr0n material too, but does the same, & OpenDNS does phishing protection. Each page lists how & why they work, & why they do so. Norton DNS can even show you its exceptions lists, plus user reviews & removal procedures requests, AND growth stats (every 1/2 hour or so) here -> [] so, that ought to "take care of the naysayers" on removal requests, &/or methods used plus updates frequency etc./et al...)

HOWEVER - There's ONLY 1 WEAKNESS TO ANY network defense, including HOSTS files (vs. host-domain name based threats) & firewalls (hardware router type OR software type, vs. IP address based threats): Human beings, & they not being 'disciplined' about the indiscriminate usage of javascript (the main "harbinger of doom" out there today online), OR, what they download for example... & there is NOTHING I can do about that! (Per Dr. Manhattan of "The Watchmen", ala -> "I can change almost anything, but I can't change human nature")

HOWEVER AGAIN - That's where NORTON DNS, OpenDNS, &/or ScrubIT DNS help!

(Especially for noob/grandma level users who are unaware of how to secure themselves in fact, per a guide like mine noted above that uses "layered-security" principles!)

ScrubIT DNS, &/or OpenDNS are others alongside Norton DNS (adding on phishing protection too) as well!

( & it's possible to use ALL THREE in your hardware NAT firewalling routers, and, in your Local Area Connection DNS properties in Windows where you can "layer in" as many of them as you like, for again, "Layered Security"/"Defense-in-Depth" too - however: IF you are on a work LAN or even HOME LAN that uses Active Directory? Using these DNS servers can "mess up" MX mail records OR things like Outlook (full in Office) bindings to Exchange Servers since AD is HEAVILY DNS dependent - ask your network administrator or test yourself first using those tools to make sure it doesn't happen to you (this is MOSTLY for "single system 'standalone' machine" users but it works great & supplements what YOU locally control in custom HOSTS files, with better filtered vs. malicious exploits of all kinds online DNS servers))...




"I want my surfing speed back so I block EVERY fucking ad. i.e. [] and [] FTW" - by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday December 13, @12:04PM (#38356782)

"this is not a troll, which hosts file source you recommend nowadays? it's a really handy method for speeding up web and it works." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday March 22, @08:07PM (#39446525)

"I use a custom /etc/hosts to block ads... my file gets parsed basically instantly ... So basically, for any modern computer, it has zero visible impact. And even if it took, say, a second to parse, that would be more than offset by the MANY seconds saved by not downloading and rendering ads. I have noticed NO ill effects from running a custom /etc/hosts file for the last several years. And as a matter of fact I DO run http servers on my computers and I've never had an /etc/hosts-related problem... it FUCKING WORKS and makes my life better overall." - by sootman (158191) on Monday July 13 2009, @11:47AM (#28677363)

"I actually went and downloaded a 16k line hosts file and started using that after seeing that post, you know just for trying it out. some sites load up faster." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday November 17, @11:20AM (#38086752)

"Ever since I've installed a host file ( to redirect advertisers to my loopback, I haven't had any malware, spyware, or adware issues. I first started using the host file 5 years ago." - by TestedDoughnut (1324447) on Monday December 13, @12:18AM (#34532122)

"Better than an ad blocker, imo. Hosts file entries: [] " - by TempestRose (1187397) on Tuesday March 15, @12:53PM (#35493274)

"^^ One of the many reasons why I like the user-friendliness of the /etc/hosts file." - by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 05, @09:26PM (#35393448)

"They've been on my HOSTS block for years" - by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Thursday August 05 2010, @01:52AM (#33147212)

"I'm currently only using my hosts file to block pheedo ads from showing up in my RSS feeds and causing them to take forever to load. Regardless of its original intent, it's still a valid tool, when used judiciously." - by Bill Dog (726542) on Monday April 25, @02:16AM (#35927050)

"you're right about hosts files" - by drinkypoo (153816) on Thursday May 26, @01:21PM (#36252958)

"APK's monolithic hosts file is looking pretty good at the moment." - by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday November 17, @10:08AM (#38085666)

"I also use the MVPS ad blocking hosts file." - by Rick17JJ (744063) on Wednesday January 19, @03:04PM (#34931482)

"I use ad-Block and a hostfile" - by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday March 01, @10:11AM (#35346902)

"I do use Hosts, for a couple fake domains I use." - by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday December 11, @09:34AM (#34523012)

"It's a good write up on something everybody should use, why you were modded down is beyond me. Using a HOSTS file, ADblock is of no concern and they can do what they want." - by Trax3001BBS (2368736) on Monday December 12, @10:07PM (#38351398)

"Let me introduce you to the file: /etc/hosts" - by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday December 19, @05:03PM (#38427432)

"I use a hosts file" - by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday December 13, @01:17PM (#38357816)

"I'm tempted to go for a hacked hosts file that simply resolves most advert sites to" - by bLanark (123342) on Tuesday December 13, @01:13PM (#38357760)

"A hosts file certainly does not require "a lot of work" to maintain, and it quite effectively kills a LOT of advertising and tracking schemes. . In fact, I never would have considered trying to use it for ddefending against viruses or malware." - by RocketRabbit (830691) on Thursday December 30 2010, @05:48PM (#34715060)

"I make use of the hosts file for various purposes, including getting my forum users set up with hosts file entries to the new server, beforehand, whenever our DNS entries are changing so they can still reach the forum while changes are propagating. THIS is a prime example of why the hosts file still exists and the behaviour should not be fucked with by those assclowns at Microsoft." - by TheRealGrogan (1660825) on Sunday August 19, @11:45PM (#41050749)

"I recognize the need for HOSTS files in certain circumstances." - by Martin Blank (154261) on Monday August 20, @12:56PM

"The hosts file is there for a reason; it is necessary" - by CAIMLAS (41445) on Monday August 20, @02:11PM (#41057409)

"How about for those of us who have to deal with internal and external IP addresses on websites as we move in and out of client networks. I have lots of hosts entries that *I* put there (and comment out, and uncomment) so that I can get to a site by one of several IP addresses without having to throw up an internal DNS server wherever one might be missing (like on a client's DMZ)." - by drakaan (688386) on Monday August 20, @01:20PM (#41056643)

"There's a whole slew of reasons for having a hostsfile (especially for developers) that DNS doesn't solve." - by Dynedain (141758) on on Sunday August 19, @10:31PM (#41050345)

"We use hosts files with shop floor manufacturing software that requires it." - by Lime Green Bowler (937876) on Sunday August 19, @10:20PM (#41050279)

"I also have a couple dozen SSH tunnel host overrides and various custom paths. The hosts file is used to define per-machine address resolution." - by Bob9113 (14996) on Monday August 20, @01:32AM (#41051303)

"The HOSTS file provides a convenient way to do this for those without direct control over their DNS server." - by wolrahnaes (632574) on Sunday August 19, @08:24PM (#41049667)

"Since the dawn of time, it's been typical for the marketing people to edit the hosts file to make a final review before authorizing something to go live." - by raju1kabir (251972) on Sunday August 19, @10:01PM (#41050173)

"I use a hosts file on my home machine to block the ads, and OpenDns for the kids machines." - by mrbcs (737902) on Monday August 20, @12:12AM (#41050909)

"Using the hosts file this way is legitimate" - by gweihir (88907) on Sunday August 19, @10:29PM (#41050333)

"I started using the hosts file over a decade ago" - by frovingslosh (582462) on Sunday August 19, @05:38PM (#41048641)

"The advantage of a hosts file is that one doesn't need to install extra firewall software" - by tepples (727027) on Monday August 20, @08:05PM (#41062129)

"One common use of the hosts file is to test staging servers, particularly web servers before pushing them live, and without the complexity and time it takes to set up an additional DNS server." - by kimvette (919543b) on Sunday August 19, @04:56PM (#41048345)

"I' consume your bandwidth YOU pay for: /b/or ScrubIT DNS help!m often tinkering with the hosts file in a development setting" - by Geeky (90998) on Sunday August 19, @05:06PM (#41048409)

"I like to play Doom 3 every so often (particularly with mods like The Dark Mod, a great Thief clone), and the hosts file is something of a necessity." - by humanrev (2606607) on Sunday August 19, @09:20PM (#41049949)

"The hosts file is a popular, cross-platform way of blocking access to certain domains" - by maestroX (1061960) on Monday August 20, @03:43PM (#41058621)

"another cool trick is to set up a host file. [] " - by phrostie (121428) on Friday February 17 2012, @11:39AM (#39074805)

"I modify my hosts file directly. I don't need extra shit using resources." - by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday November 17 2011, @02:56PM (#38088942)

"The fix? Edit my Windows /etc/hosts file" - by mattbee (17533) on Sunday August 30 2009, @04:52PM (#29254321)

"Web browsing is really very fast, provided you turn off advertising. I set them up with a combo of Ad Block Plus on Firefox, and a customised hosts file. They can't believe the difference." - by VShael (62735) on Monday June 29 2009, @11:35AM (#28514655)

"you can also edit the hosts file if all else fails. We have a few (Vista) laptops where we needed to hardconfig LAN side server addresses in the hosts file" - by AndGodSed (968378) on Wednesday May 13 2009, @02:31PM (#27941353)

"If it's servers on your network you need, you could just stick a hosts file entry on their computers to resolve "webserver" to etc." - by jafiwam (310805) on Wednesday May 13 2009, @02:51PM (#27941723)

"A logon script here loads a hosts file that null-routes a lot of known bad (spyware, etc) sites" - by i.r.id10t (595143) on Wednesday May 13 2009, @03:22PM (#27942211)

"check out an enhanced hosts file at [] " - by NeverVotedBush (1041088) on Tuesday March 17 2009, @01:42PM (#27228373)

"Instead of using a filter maybe a hosts file would work better for you" - by falconwolf (725481) on Tuesday March 17 2009, @01:36PM (#27228241)

"I maintain a large hosts file to kill traffic with any server I find to be suspect." - by BrokenHalo (565198) on Thursday February 05 2009, @12:02PM (#26738403)

"I modified my hosts file to black-hole all of the worst offenders with regards to ads/malware" - by orclevegam (940336) on Thursday February 05 2009, @02:02PM (#26740813)

"I've been using a hosts file since around 2003. It blocks out all those ads, popups, spyware,adware, stops alot of virii from calling home, you name it" - by cyberjock1980 (1131059) on Thursday February 05 2009, @11:30AM (#26737795)

"HOSTS file FTW! This really is the best method. Its cross-platform and no matter what strategies the ad people try" - by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday February 05 2009, @11:40AM (#26737963)

"Recommendation 2: Go line and look for hosts files people have put available on the web. Copy it and save it. I once had a hosts file that was about 2 megs in size. Considering it is plain text that was a LOT of sites it blocked. It was my own little slice of heaven" - by furby076 (1461805) on Thursday February 05 2009, @11:48AM (#26738109)

"I have several notorious slow adservers in my /etc/hosts" - by jandrese (485) on Friday August 17 2007, @01:00PM (#20263547)

"If you're interested in populating your hosts file, check out [] " - by halcyon1234 (834388) on Friday August 17 2007, @01:43PM (#20264387)

"(Ads) they dont bother me at all c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts" - by Anonymous Admin (304403) on Friday August 17 2007, @01:15PM (#20263863)

"hosts is useful" - by crutchy (1949900) on Saturday August 25, @09:41PM (#41126337)


Then, there is also the words of respected security expert, Mr. Oliver Day, from SECURITYFOCUS.COM to "top that all off" as well:


Some "PERTINENT QUOTES/EXCERPTS" to back up my points with (for starters):


"The host file on my day-to-day laptop is now over 16,000 lines long. Accessing the Internet -- particularly browsing the Web -- is actually faster now."

Speed, and security, is the gain... others like Mr. Day note it as well!


"From what I have seen in my research, major efforts to share lists of unwanted hosts began gaining serious momentum earlier this decade. The most popular appear to have started as a means to block advertising and as a way to avoid being tracked by sites that use cookies to gather data on the user across Web properties. More recently, projects like Spybot Search and Destroy offer lists of known malicious servers to add a layer of defense against trojans and other forms of malware."

Per my points exactly, no less... & guess who was posting about HOSTS files a 14++ yrs. or more back & Mr. Day was reading & now using? Yours truly (& this is one of the later ones, from 2001 [] (but the example HOSTS file with my initials in it is FAR older, circa 1998 or so) or thereabouts, and referred to later by a pal of mine who moderates (where I posted on HOSTS for YEARS (1997 onwards)) -> [] !


"Shared host files could be beneficial for other groups as well. Human rights groups have sought after block resistant technologies for quite some time. The GoDaddy debacle with NMap creator Fyodor (corrected) showed a particularly vicious blocking mechanism using DNS registrars. Once a registrar pulls a website from its records, the world ceases to have an effective way to find it. Shared host files could provide a DNS-proof method of reaching sites, not to mention removing an additional vector of detection if anyone were trying to monitor the use of subversive sites. One of the known weaknesses of the Tor system, for example, is direct DNS requests by applications not configured to route such requests through Tor's network."

There you go: AND, it also works vs. the "KAMINSKY DNS FLAW" & DNS poisoning/redirect attacks, for redirectable weaknesses in DNS servers (non DNSSEC type, & set into recursive mode especially) and also in the TOR system as well (that lends itself to anonymous proxy usage weaknesses I noted above also) and, you'll get to sites you want to, even IF a DNS registrar drops said websites from its tables as shown here Beating Censorship By Routing Around DNS -> [] & even DNSBL also (DNS Block Lists) -> [] as well - DOUBLE-BONUS!


* THE HOSTS FILE GROUP 37++ THUSFAR (from +5 -> +1 RATINGS, usually "informative" or "interesting" etc./et al):

HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
APK 20++ POINTS ON HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2010 (w/ facebook known bad sites blocked) -> []
HOSTS MOD UP CAN DO SAME AS THE "CloudFlare" Server-Side service:2011 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2011 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP & OPERA HAUTE SECURE:2011 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> [] IN HOSTS:2009 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> [] (still says INSIGHTFUL)
HOSTS MOD UP vs. botnet: 2012 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP vs. SOPA act: 2012 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP vs. FaceBook b.s.: 2012 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP "how to secure smartphones": 2012 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP "Free Apps Eat your Battery via ad displays": 2012 -> []
HOSTS MOD UP "How I only hardcode in 50 of my fav. sites": 2012 -> []
HOSTS vs. BANNER ADS AT uTorrent: 2012 -> []


* "Here endeth the lesson..." and, if you REALLY want to secure your system? Please refer to this: []


P.S.=> SOME MINOR "CAVEATS/CATCH-22's" - things to be aware of for "layered security" + HOSTS file performance - easily overcome, or not a problem at all - ALL of them may not fit here, but if you want them in FULL, A-G? Ask - I can post them in a subsequent followup reply:

A.) HOSTS files don't function under PROXY SERVERS (except for Proximitron, which has a filter that allows it) - Which is *the "WHY"* of why I state in my "P.S." section below to use both AdBlock type browser addon methods (or even built-in block lists browsers have such as Opera's URLFILTER.INI file, & FireFox has such as list as does IE also in the form of TPL (tracking protection lists -> [] , good stuff )) in combination with HOSTS, for the best in "layered security" (alongside .pac files + custom cascading style sheets that can filter off various tags such as scripts or ads etc.) - but proxies, especially "HIGHLY ANONYMOUS" types, generally slow you down to a CRAWL online (& personally, I cannot see using proxies "for the good" typically - as they allow "truly anonymous posting" & have bugs (such as TOR has been shown to have & be "bypassable/traceable" via its "onion routing" methods)).

B.) HOSTS files (relatively "largish ones") require you to turn off Windows' native "DNS local client cache service" (which has a problem in that it's designed with a non-redimensionable/resizeable list, array, or queue (DNS data loads into a C/C++ structure actually/afaik, which IS a form of array)) - covers that in detail and how to easily do this in Windows (this is NOT a problem in Linux, & it's 1 thing I will give Linux over Windows, hands-down). Relatively "smallish" HOSTS files don't have this problem ( offers 2 types for this).

C.) HOSTS files, once read/loaded, once? GET CACHED! Right into the kernelmode diskcaching subsystem (fast & efficient RAM speed), for speed of access/re-access (@ system startup in older MS OS' like 2000, or, upon a users' 1st request that's "Webbound" via say, a webbrowser) gets read into either the DNS local caching client service (noted above), OR, if that's turned off? Into your local diskcache (like ANY file is), so it reads F A S T upon re-reads/subsequent reads (until it's changed in %WinDir%\system32\drivers\etc on Windows, which marks it "Dirty" & then it gets re-read + reloaded into the local diskcache again). This may cause a SMALL initial load 1 time lag upon reload though, depending on the size of your HOSTS file.

D.) HOSTS files don't protect vs. DPI (deep packet inspection)

E.) HOSTS files don't protect vs. BGP exploits - Sorry, once it's out of your hands/machine + past any interior network + routers you have, the packets you send are out there into the ISP/BSP's hands - they're "the Agents" holding all the keys to the doorways at that point (hosts are just a forcefield-filter (for lack of a b

Re:AdBlockPlus is mandatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406263)

ABP and DNT are fine. Neither of them covers everything.

The question is, do you want the wild west or do you want a police state? Because, let's face it, we're no good at being somewhere in between.

Re:Isn't it Voluntary? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406261)

When someone follows you, that's called "Stalking." And an un-invited person is refered to as an "ass."

The problem, commenter, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41405795)

The problem is more people will listen to this shill than your words, ever.

Luckily they will put two and fuckall together and realize he's a douche who does things they don't want. (re: targetted 'tracking/advertising'.

Do Not Track is one of the better-named ideas, quite unlike your usual Protect Child I.P. act and the usual sludge.

Re:The problem, commenter, (2)

Quakeulf (2650167) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405873)

I wish that in my unfathomable, uncontrollable rage did not reply to this thread otherwise I'd mod this comment up.

Two words: (3, Insightful)

Quakeulf (2650167) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405799)

Fuck. You.

Re:Two words: (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406001)

But unless you stop deleting cookies, TEH INtARNeTS AS WE DONE KNoW IT GOES BOOM!

Three words: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406027)

Fuck. You. Too.

Re:Two words: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406075)

Challenge Accepted!

Re:Two words: (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406285)

Fuck. You.

I'm trying to figure out why swearing is considered insightful... but I got nothin'.

Bullshit (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405805)

So what? It could be a three hundred quintillion dollar industry. It doesn't change the ethics, morals, or the fact that most people don't want it. Advertising has been shoved down people's throats. It's been put in places where it was promised not to appear. It eats away at our culture, it deadens people's nerves, and it saturates everything it comes in contact with. It is a plague -- and it needs reform. It is an industry without regulation, without controls, and with an insatiable appetite.

And not a one of them are for reasonable controls. It was only recently, and after fighting tooth and nail, that we even got them to stop screwing with the volume on our TVs. Fuck them -- when they learn to be responsible, then maybe I'll learn to give a damn whether they get thrown under a bus or not. But probably not.

Re:Bullshit (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405851)

It's the money. All the way down.

Pretty impressive diatribe by an advertising executive. He probably eats the Wheaties box for breakfast.

Re:Bullshit (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406085)

He probably eats the Wheaties box for breakfast.

Probably tastes better than the bag.

"EXACTAMUNDO" & how to BURN them back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406393)

Is right here -> [] AND IT DIDN'T GET ITS BALLS CUT OFF like AdBlock Plus has by being "bought out" & setup by default to burn you just like Apache is doing with DNT!

(And, it NEVER will... nor will the sources of its data either!)


Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option: [] []


* KEEP THAT IN MIND, just like how Apache is "circumventing" the DNT policy that is "voluntary":


Apache Patch To Override IE 10's Do Not Track Setting: []


* It's "ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS" folks..., especially to advertisers/marketers!

Hence, how they even "GOT TO" the Apache folks I wager as well in the 1st place - money (like it or not, it's most likely, reality!).

(What a bunch of BULLSHIT "DNT" is turning out to be - anyone with 1/2 a BRAIN realizes marketers won't obey OR allow it, as their livelyhoods depend on ads!)


P.S.=> What I personally LOVE though? The fact "marketers" are CRYING about it now... just like Arstechnica did after pulling bullshit that burned their AdBlock using crowd (but not hosts files, via "webbugs" usage) ->

Addendum on arstechnica "WebBug" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406475)

"P.S.=> What I personally LOVE though? The fact "marketers" are CRYING about it now... just like Arstechnica did after pulling bullshit that burned their AdBlock using crowd (but not hosts files, via "webbugs" usage) ->" - by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, @08:10PM (#41406393)

Quoting that from myself, in a hurry here, but had to make SURE that was covered too... here goes:

PERTINENT QUOTES/EXCERPTS FROM ARSTECHNICA THEMSELVES: per my prior post I am replying to noting it @ its termination -> []


An experiment gone wrong - By Ken Fisher | Last updated March 6, 2010 11:11 AM [] []

"Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content."


"Our experiment is over, and we're glad we did it because it led to us learning that we needed to communicate our point of view every once in a while. Sure, some people told us we deserved to die in a fire. But that's the Internet!"


Thus, as you can see? Well - THAT all "went over like a lead balloon" with their users in other words!

(Since Arstechnica was forced to change it back to the old way where ADBLOCK still could work to do its job (REDDIT however, has not, for example)).


P.S.=> However/Again - It's ALL about the BENJAMINS folks...

... apk

Re:Addendum on arstechnica "WebBug" (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406547)

Off your meds again, I see....

Re:Bullshit (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405929)

Actually, the larger the valuation for the industry, the worse it is, since the size of the industry is what gives you an idea of how much is being bled off from sectors that wouldn't be better off if set on fire.

Re:Bullshit (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406029)

Actually, the larger the valuation for the industry, the worse it is, since the size of the industry is what gives you an idea of how much is being bled off from sectors that wouldn't be better off if set on fire.

Hey, I'm not saying advertising doesn't have its place. I'm not even saying companies shouldn't be allowed to spend as much as they want on it. I happen to believe in freedom of speech, even speech I disagree with. But I also have the right to ignore others' speech, or to respond with speech of my own. Legislating away that choice is wrong -- and that's what this guy is advocating. Well, fuck him. His position isn't just unethical, it's unamerican. Nobody has a right to shove their own beliefs down other people's throats and that statement doesn't change because money is involved, even a lot of money.

If people hang a "no soliciting" sign on the door of their home or business, it should be respected. In many jurisdictions, there's a penalty if you don't. If you add your phone number to the "do not call" list, that also has to be respected. It's even required by law in cases where the other party is owed money. The right to free speech doesn't include the right to be heard: I can walk away. That doesn't change just because the speech is digital instead.

Re:Nobody has a right to shove their own beliefs (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406397)

Sure, we should nationally publish the public schedule of one Mr. Eric Wheeler, get a little money from a mysterious donor to "Make It Okay", then we should flood him every waking moment of his life with about 7 people per minute offering him stuff. 'Oh, I'm sorry, you said you liked advertising. I'm sorry if you think that doesn't apply to you." But no, it's always built in with little cute loopholes to the Powers That Be, like an I Am An Executive setting.

Re:Bullshit (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405953)

I'll just never get the point of any of it and I'll never understand why people would rather get something for free than pay a little and get ads.

First, when someone says "hey, shut up, you can't complain about it because it's free". Bullshit. Charge me a buck a month or something. If you're a worthwhile service, my sanity and reducing the visual clutter of everything is worth a buck to me. Give me the damn *choice* to decide what is more important to me. Let me decide if I want to be the product or if I want your service to be the product and pay you for it. You know, like real life. Value for value transaction.

Second, I don't need targeted advertising, anyway. No amount of advertising changes how many tubes of toothpaste I need in a year or how much food I need to buy or how often my dishwasher has to be replaced. And when those things ARE needed, I will go investigate to find out what fits the bill and what has the best reputation, quality, price, etc. Throwing up a giant advertisement somewhere saying "HEY COME BUY OUR KITCHENWARE!" is meaningless. It's like the idiots who come to my door every god damn day all summer long, trying to sell me new siding or windows or sprinkler systems or insulation. If I was in the market for those things, wouldn't I already be looking at them? Who the hell says "why, yes, stranger -- now that a totally anonymous person has come to my door, I guess I *do* need some roofing done!".

Advertising -- targeted or not -- is just a fucking nuisance.

Re:Bullshit (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406035)

Charge me a buck a month or something.

In fantasy land, this would work. They might only earn $1 off your visits for a year.. but if you had to pay, the bill would be more like $50/year.. because 49 other people would have refused to pay anything.

Of course, then you would say, $50/year is outrageous, and you're not going to pay

So in REALITY, the site would have 0 customers, and would be shutdown.

So the question is.. if you don't like the ads on the site.. WHY DO YOU GO THERE?

WHY are you here on slashdot for example? And I noticed you chose not to pay for a slashdot subscription either.

Way to stand up for your hard line against advertising.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406153)

If you can't sustain yourself based on subscriptions, donations, etc then you have a failed business model. Boo wah hoo.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406427)

"failed business model"?

Wake up and see the fucking world - Advertising is an incredibly successful business model, *why* should it be changed? You don't want to see ads? Tough shit, pay for the service with your cash then. But guess what? Most people are perfectly happy to see an ad in exchange for a "free" service.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406593)

Tough shit, pay for the service with your cash then. But guess what?

Oh I know the answer to this one!

I pay $120 per year to access a newspaper's website and they still try to show me ads. That's what.

Re:Bullshit (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406337)

I sympathize with the advertising industry, and the companies like Google that have done so many kewl things with the money they made out of Internet ads.

But the Internet killed off the newspaper and magazine business, where I used to work. At one time, newspapers in every city would hire a lot of reporters to spend a lot of time following the issues and informing their readers what was going on. Now they've been laying off their reporters, they're down to skeleton crews, and some of the great newspapers went out of business. The advertising, much as I hated it, was paying the bills. Now it's decimated. Blogs are nice, but they really don't replace the newspaper model that served pretty well for the last 2 or 3 centuries.

Technology improves, we got what we wished for, the market changes, and there are winners and losers. (There are a lot more losers than most of us expected.) If people delete their cookies every morning, it might make it harder for web advertisers to make money, but we've all got problems. Let the market rule, it will anyway. This isn't tragic enough to give these guys a government favor.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406441)

I like it how whenever web advertising topic comes up none of those who claim "I'd rather pay, but see no ads!" (usually continued with "And if it withers and dies, it probably wasn't worth visiting anyways!") have a /. subscription.

Or maybe you're all just modest and hit "No subscriber bonus" checkbox? If so, I apologize. But otherwise it looks rather hypocritical.

Re:Bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406003)

No one gives a fuck what you think, you stupid bitch.

Re:Bullshit (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406039)

"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to the public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
Life-Line by Robert A. Heinlein, 1939

If you cannot innovate; legislate.

Re:Bullshit (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406227)

If you cannot innovate; legislate.

A lot of businesses consider legislation to be innovative. Some of them are in the news right now for suing their competitors to keep their products out of the marketplace. Others are being sued or investigated by various governments for anticompetitive practices that consist of making their product incompatible with a competitors', and then using the law to keep them from reverse engineering compatibility back in.

A large number of lawyers is now as important as a large number of engineers these days; That is, if you don't want to go out of business. So maybe businesses created the problem, but government allowed it, and government supports it now. It doesn't matter whether the chicken came first or the egg, the problem is that corporations and businesses cooperate in furthering the status quo. There are hundreds of thousands of businesses. There is only one government: It seems clear where the change needs to come from.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406043)

Exactly. It could be a trillion dollar industry, but there are plenty of repugnant industries out there, such as dog fighting that make a ton of cash.

Its simple: Targeted ads are trespass, pure and simple. They are not asked for, but foisted upon us.

We have seen this shit before. Remember how popup ad makers whined that the whole Internet will collapse once MS put a blocker in IE?

As for DNT, it is cute and all, but I like coupling that with an IP level filter on my router, DNS level filtering, and an Adblock filter. Until ad servers (except Google which has been good with non-intrusive text ads) stop allowing malicious software through their ad-rotators (one of the primary causes of infected Windows boxes), I will continue to treat their stuff as malicious code or potentially malicious.

Re:Bullshit (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406051)

It could be a three hundred quintillion dollar industry.

Whoa! That's almost the entire derivatives market.

Re:Bullshit (2)

klingers48 (968406) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406095)

This isn't specifiically about internet advertising, but it is relevant. Last week I paid $20 to see a movie at my local cinema. I also paid another $15 for stale popcorn and watery soda.

I then had to sit through what they had the audacity to call a "pre-show programme" which consisted of (I timed it) 3 previews totalling about 6 minutes together and close to 15 minutes of advertising.

This shit is in my face, wasting my time and adding no value. Based on the prices I'm paying at the box-office it's also not cross-subsidizing my moviegoing experience either... So how am I benefiting?

You can also apply this back to a doomsayer's future where half the web is behind paywalls. Will the ads magically disapear, considering that unlike print magazines the cost of delivery is as logistically close to zero as you can get? Or will I still be paying a premium price to have annoying ads plastered all over my content?

Also, I might be in the minority here but I'm actually less likely to react positively to targetted advertising. I find it offensive and creepy, not "relevant".

Re:Bullshit (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406509)

People don't want targeted ads? That's completely made up. Maybe a tiny subclass of people don't, but people at large do. Why do you think they work so well? If you're a guy, haven't you complained about TV ads for tampons?

Face it - ads are a part of life, and if you're going to have to see them anyway, they may as well be for things you'd be interested in. I'll take ads for video games, car products, and electronics over random ONE WEIRD TIP FOR WHITENING YOUR TEETH shit any day.

Looking at it another way, sites expect to earn a certain amount of money. If the ads are less effective because they're not targeted, then the ads will become more annoying. If the ads are blocked, then the ads will become unskippable (think: interstitials, sites blocking people who block ads, etc).

A world without targeted ads would be a lot more annoying than the present.

Do Not Track is not a problem (2)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405837)

Do Not Track is not a problem.. because it will never seriously be implemented. It's just a request, and it will be ignored by every advertising company there is.

1) it's a $300 billion industry
2) targeted ads are more effective.
so 3) if your ad company implements DNT, you will be less effective, and your clients will go where their ads (and $) are more effective -- which is where DNT is not implemented.

No one is going to give up billions (or their jobs) to implement DNT.. any ad company that does will be out-competed by their competitors and die.

And NO consumer is going to pay to have DNT. If consumers REALLY cared about targeted ads, they wouldn't happily post every details of their lives on facebook.

Re:Do Not Track is not a problem (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405991)

Which is why others use proxies, noscript, ghostery, and other blockers to both obscure our addresses, and confound these jerks. Trust DNT? Not really.

But it's painful for the big data analysis engines, the advertisers, and the data whores. And if it's a bit painful for Uncle Sam, sorry about that, but get out of my biz.

Remember that you're playing with the business models of corporations that believe they have every right to know all things about your, for their purposes, not yours.

Re:Do Not Track is not a problem (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406069)

Which is why a very small percent others use proxies, noscript, ghostery, and other blockers


1% use blockers.. 1% opt-out (by not using the site), and 98% are busy posting what they ate for breakfast on facebook.

Re:Do Not Track is not a problem (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406265)

There is much truth in this. This is why I try and educate people.

Re:Do Not Track is not a problem (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406467)

That's why ABP etc. should be included by default in browsers. If users actually want advertising, let them disable ad blockers and opt in.

Re:Do Not Track is not a problem (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406145)

If consumers REALLY cared about targeted ads, they wouldn't happily post every details of their lives on facebook.

Most people have no idea about what Facebook is collecting about that, which is part of the problem. Even highly educated people are shocked to learn about this: []

It is the responsibility of browser makers to provide for user security. We cannot stop people from giving their information away voluntarily; we can include ABP or similar software in all browsers, and thus remove the incentive to create invasive advertising.

Re:Do Not Track is not a problem (1)

lightBearer (2692183) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406229)

Those of us with extensible browsers can do better than DoNotTrack, which relies on the good nature of the site you visit.
Try getting a browser plugin to modify your headers [] and set it to filter or change your Referer header (I like to set mine to something snarky, in case the site I'm visiting is watching).
I've yet to have anything noticeable break as a result of this little hack.
Steps 2 and 3? Disable Cookies and Javascript. Of course, that can take quite a bit of fun and functionality out of HTTP services, but it's your privacy.

Subject Opt In (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405853)

There may be a middle ground. I think most people against tracking don't want all of their private information collected. Things like looking up what that bump means or some other personal problem. Instead you could have a system like Pandora. A thumbs up and thumbs down. If you are on a website and an ad for hemorrhoid cream shows up you can click on the thumbs down so in the future it doesn't display ads like that.

I'm always looking up crap on Amazon I'd never buy because I'm curious to read the reviews. Then next time I'm on a website it throws an ad for it the browser. Most of the time if I actually want something from Amazon I ordered it.

This would be better for companies buying the ads because they aren't wasting money on people that have no intention on buying their product.

Re:Subject Opt In (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406121)

I shop Amazon, eBay. and AliExpress ( China ).

All have a targeted ad system to show me products similar to ones I have placed on my wish list or have purchased.

Frankly, I like it.

I have been buying a lot of Arduino stuff, DC/DC converters, electronic components, connectors, lithium batteries, LED's, sensors, motors.

I am not interested in plastic flowers, dresses, Ipods, bridal accessories, diapers, insurance, or dinnerware. They have not been loading my screen with these unwanted items. The suggestions they have offered me have been welcome - they often offer an item I wasn't aware that it even existed.

Now, one place that I had just as soon not be tracked is which YouTube videos I will watch. I do not mind them tracking me for that session - but its quite annoying if they remember and suggest the same thing at a later time - when I am in another environment. For that reason, I do not want YouTube's cookies or registration. What goes on in the bedroom needs to stay there, and not be revealed at the office.

Case for Samzenpus (0)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405857)


Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41405879)

If you can't sustain your business without being overly intrusive into people's lives by tracking their every movement and collecting lots of data then your business is a fail.

You don't need tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41405885)

They could easily just make targeted ads based on the content of the page where it appears, rather than the user behavior - and most of the time it's prone to match whatever the user may be interested on (since they got there for some reason in the first place). So this whole thing about lack of tracking killing targeted advertising is pure BS.

Excellent (5, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405889)

All this screaming means that we're on the right track.

Re:Excellent (1)

kiriath (2670145) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406037)

I agree, lets keep rocking the boat till it tips over.

Perhaps bandwidth costs would go down if the internet wasn't flooded with advertisements.

Is the Internet just advertising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41405891)

There's plenty of people using the Internet without advertising, they have a product that their web site compliments.

hurrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41405911)

Eric Wheeler is the CEO of social ad network 33Across. Prior to 33Across, Eric was the CEO of Neo@Ogilvy and Executive Director of Ogilvy Interactive North America. Under his leadership, Ogilvy Interactiveâ(TM)s revenue grew five-fold from 2003-2007 working with leading brands including IBM, American Express, TD Ameritrade, Cisco and Yahoo!. Eric was co-founder and President/COO of Lot21, the award-winning digital agency that sold to Carat in 2002. Ericâ(TM)s 18-year career includes leadership positions at CNET, Young & Rubicam and Anderson Lembke in San Francisco. Eric holds a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Boston University.

Nuke him from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.

It'd only be the end of the commercial internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41405921)

Non-profits will take it back. I don't see a problem with less online commercials, since I already pay for internet access.
Of course, companies selling products online won't just go away, but at least I won't see them unless I search for them.

Here's a guest column on Slashdot (4, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405923)

Just another shill for the investor class, bemoaning the fact that there are still things that can't be bought and sold.

This site is amazing. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41405949)

Simply amazing!

Re:This site is amazing. (0)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405961)

You must be new here

stopped reading TFA at " ... anonymous" (2)

logicassasin (318009) | more than 2 years ago | (#41405977)

Are you logged into Google or any other search/email service right now? Then the data collected is most definitely not anonymous. Your search and surfing data is being collected and can be tied to you, or at least your online identity.

Re:stopped reading TFA at " ... anonymous" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406119)

Are you logged into Google or any other search/email service right now? Then the data collected is most definitely not anonymous. Your search and surfing data is being collected and can be tied to you, or at least your online identity.

Data collected by Google, sure. However, if I'm logged into, say, Google, and some unrelated ad network tracks me, their data is "anonymous", because they have no way to connect it to any element of my online identity other than current IP and browser stats, and if I go to a different computer, it doesn't follow me.

so to recap... (1)

logicassasin (318009) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406233)

you just said pretty much the same thing I said... Albeit with a bit more info, but the same basic principle.

None of the collected data is anonymous (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406169)

Take a supposedly "anonymous" database, and chances are you will be able to compute the identity of each person whose information is recorded in that database. This is even more true when you take several "anonymous" databases in combination, and it is a certainty when you combine "anonymous" data with not-anonymous data.

When someone defends invasive advertising by claiming that the data is anonymized, you know they are either uninformed or lying.

Re:None of the collected data is anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406243)

Which is why it annoys me when telcos sell my "anonymized" location data. If they know where I live and work, they know who I am.

Huh? (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406005)

"the online industry's highly successful self-regulatory privacy practices"

Right, which is why all junk mails are opt-in and all unsubscribe requests are honored quickly.

"Online advertising has been one of the few unqualified success stories in our economy in recent years"

Yes, pop-up ads, and then the new pop-up ads designed to defeat my wanting to avoid them, have been an "unqualified success". Ditto for hovering crap, garishly flashing crap, and automatically starting embedded video and audio.

All that has really made the web a better place.

"they would have to employ subscription models where consumers pay a la carte"

better than suffering through all of the above.

"Eric is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of 33Across."


Ever hear of planning ads based on Demographics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406015)

Instead of using bots to plan all your ads, I don't know, maybe find websites where people would actually be interested in what you're selling?

Oh, I know, stop the bullshit ads. You know the ads that make noise, expand as you mouse pass them and don't close until you click on them, ads that literally slow my computer to a crawl, nevermind pop-ups and the misleading or downright lying ones. I'm all for ads, but ads have gotten insanely complicated. All you need is an image, at the most an animated gif, and have it link to a url that notes where the ad came from.

THOSE ARE THE ADS I ACTUALLY CLICK ON. If an ad pisses me off, I not only won't click on it, I will be less likely to come back to that website in the future.

on a slightly related note, if I want to join your website, I will look for the sign-up/join/subscribe link. DON'T ASK ME WITH A POP-UP.

Beat them @ THEIR OWN GAME, easily... apk (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406041)

IF you don't want to be tracked, & to get your speed/bandwidth back you paid for (as well as electricity, CPU cycles, RAM, & other forms of I/O as well), better "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth", reliability (vs. DNS poisoning redirection OR being "downed"), & even anonymity (to an extent vs. DNS request logs) + being able to "blow by" what you may feel are unjust blocks (in DNSBL's) & more...


APK Hosts File Engine 5.0++ 32-bit & 64-bit: []


Custom hosts files gain me the following benefits (A short summary of where custom hosts files can be extremely useful):


1.) Blocking out malware/malscripted sites

2.) Blocking out Known sites-servers/hosts-domains that are known to serve up malware

3.) Blocking out Bogus DNS servers malware makers use

4.) Blocking out Botnet C&C servers

5.) Blocking out Bogus adbanners that are full of malicious script content

6.) Getting you back speed/bandwidth you paid for by blocking out adbanners + hardcoding in your favorite sites (faster than remote DNS server resolution)

7.) Added reliability (vs. downed or misdirect/poisoned DNS servers).

8.) Added "anonymity" (to an extent, vs. DNS request logs)

9.) The ability to bypass DNSBL's (DNS block lists you may not agree with).

10.) Blocking out TRACKERS

11.) More screen "real estate" (since no more adbanners appear onscreen eating up CPU, Memory, & other forms of I/O too - bonus!)

12.) Truly UNIVERSAL PROTECTION (since any OS, even on smartphones, usually has a BSD drived IP stack).

13.) Faster & MORE EFFICIENT operation vs. browser plugins (which "layer on" ontop of Ring 3/RPL 3/usermode browsers - whereas the hosts file operates @ the Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode of operation (far faster) as a filter for the IP stack itself...)

14.) Custom hosts files work on ANY & ALL webbound apps (browser plugins do not).

15.) Custom hosts files offer a better, faster, more efficient way, & safer way to surf the web & are COMPLETELY controlled by the end-user of them.


* There you go... & above all else IF you choose to try it for the enumerated list of benefits I extolled above?

Enjoy the program!


P.S.=> Of course, THIS is NOT going to "go well" with 3 types of people out there online, profiting by advertising & nefarious exploits + more @ YOUR expense as the consumer:


A.) Malware makers & the like (botnet masters, etc./et al)

B.) ADVERTISERS - the TRULY offended ones, as it is their "lifeblood" in psychological attack galore, tracking, & more, etc.!

C.) Possibly webmasters (who profit by ad banners, but fail to realize that those SAME adbanners suck away the users' bandwidth/speed, electricity, CPU cycles, RAM, & other forms of I/O they PAY FOR, plus, adbanners DO get infested with malicious code, & if anyone wants many "examples thereof" from the past near-decade now? Ask!)


... apk other forms of I/O as well), better "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth", reliability (vs. DNS poisoning redirection OR being "downed"),

QA !! BE ONE OF US !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406049)

Queue up for Apple !! Don't be a yesterday's lammo chump !! Queue up !! Be one of us !! Come to me now !! Welcome !!

Spot on! (1)

mothlos (832302) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406061)

He is right, if we have Do Not Track legislation the economy is going to crash just like after recordable tapes destroyed the film industry and Napster eliminated all musicians.

But does it even work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406093)

I don't really get targeted ads. I have a few websites I read daily/weekly and if I am searching for a product I open up a separate browser that is cleansed of all cookies, cache, etc. immediately after use. It takes negligible effort, and the ads I see...well let's look at two sites I frequent. Designer glasses (WTF?) Qantas airline (Haven't bought a plane ticket in years) Walmart (haven't been there in a decade) Elton John (bleh) real estate (Bwahahaha). Completely random bullcrap that I have zero interest in.

Why not... (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406097)

... do what television advertisers do and display ads based on the typical demographic based on the subject matter?

slavery was big too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406107)

Didn't make it right though.

Dear Eric: Hug a nut. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406133)

I mean that only in the kindest and gentlest sort of way, of course.

But seriously: Hug. A. Nut.

golden rule (4, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406163)

Don't forget the golden rule of business! It applies to advertising as well. It is: "If customers hate your product, fuck you, I hope you go out of business."
Sorry, web advertising. There's always Valpak, lol.

300 B isn't much (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406197)

It's extremely unlikely this $300 B number represents all the targeted advertising companies and all their clients. There are very few companies that don't do some form of targeted advertising. If you were to add up the revenue of all the companies that use targeted advertising, it'd be tens of trillions of dollars.

Same story, different industry. (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406223)

This is the same thing we heard from the credit bureaus when the fair credit reporting act was enacted. The same thing we heard from many industries with the EPA & clean water acts.

For most things there is an upside and a downside. If most of the country doesn't think your upside out weighs your downside, then sucks to be you.

(BTW and off topic) If Apple really wanted to stick it to Google, then what they'd need to do is push for legislation similar to the FCRA only applied to online tracking.

Re:Same story, different industry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406423)

For most things there is an upside and a downside. If most of the country doesn't think your upside out weighs your downside, then sucks to be you.

I'm a libertarian and naturally err on the side of "no law" for issues where the link between the activity and significant unavoidable harm (physical or psychological) is weak. It almost always sucks to be me :(.

The fact that DoNotTrack is not a law is, overall, a good thing in my book. However, I would be in favour of funding a comprehensive study on the psychological effects of currently permitted advertising and, if sufficient evidence of significant "psychological damage" is found, would support toughening existing advertising regulations.

Want no tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406235)

I was always advocating CHOICE as the only viable alternative. Want to be tracked, and have relevant ads displayed to you at the cost of your privacy? Say "yes". Do not want to be tracked and would rather have your Facebook page cluttered with ads for dating sites and Viagra distributors? Say "no". But as long as the advertising companies insist we say "yes" even if we don't want to, I will oppose them.

Here is a handy addon for Firefox:

AND you'll be interested to know, that CNet rated this addon as "Outstanding" ;)

Other browsers should have something similar, go and have a look.

Such ignorance here... (1, Insightful)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406237)

It always amazes me how such an educated group of individuals as exists on /. always makes such irrational statements evertime an article like this comes around.

Full Disclosure: I've been in digital media for several years and am currently a fairly high-level individual on the more technical analytics/strategy side of things at a top digital media agency.

Now, despite my background, I want to preface this by saying that since I was very young, I've always been very paranoid about my privacy, and still remain paranoid to this day. I used to react to these sorts of things by spewing vitriol without knowing enough technical details to truly be qualified to comment. I would venture that is the case for the vast majority of people here. You know how to code, but I doubt you know how these systems actually work, what they actually collect, or how that data is actually used in the real world (not whatever scare story you are reading this week).

If you knew these things, you wouldn't be so disgusted by online advertising tracking practices. Do I dislike intrusive advertising? Yes. Do I think there is a lot of shitty advertising out there? The vast majority of it is. But just as there are bad coders who give the rest a negative reputation, the same is true for online advertising.

Beyond that, the end user of the tracking data does not give a shit about the special unique snowflake that you are. I know--I used to be one of those end users and now I managed a relatively large group of them. Do we have IP-level data? Technically, yes. Although to be honest, the only time I've actually looked at that was when trying to figure out a tracking bug with discrepancies between analytics platforms when I needed to compare timestamps.

Could the big bad evil government know what you are browsing? Yeah--but they could have done that anyway. Encrypt your traffic if you care.

The reality is, you guys are in the minority, and despite a lot of people being vocal about this, they are still in the minority. The reason this stuff keeps being made and actively pursued is BECAUSE IT WORKS AND PRODUCES BETTER RESULTS. Digital is all about the data, and I can tell you that retargeting, RTB inventory that uses audience data, etc. are all incredibly effective because they are SO well targeted that people click more, and more importantly, convert at higher rates. This means people find the ads more relevant, and are purchasing because of it. Period. End of story. They can think it is evil all they want--it still works and nobody forced them to click the fucking ad or make the purchase.

So get off your high horses and realize that this wouldn't exist if it weren't effective, and nobody is holding a gun to your head to click an ad. Don't like ads? Use ad block.

Now, with that rant out of the way, I will say that I am just as in favor of DoNotTrack measures as the rest of you. I think a user's data is theirs to own and do with as they please, and that if they don't want it collected, that is their right. I also think that sites have the right to withhold content from those who do not make their info available because the content is provided in exchange for it. Don't like it? Go elsewhere--maybe the impact will be such that the site will find another revenue source. But unless you are in the majority, that will likely not happen.

Bottom line...get educated about this topic if you want to have a real world discussion about it instead of just throwing out false statements and vague statements that anybody in the industry would laugh at because of how uneducated you sound. This is no different than when creationists attack science because they don't understand it and it scares them.

Re:Such ignorance here... (5, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406589)

You know how to code, but I doubt you know how these systems actually work, what they actually collect, or how that data is actually used in the real world

I am one of those people who DO know how they work and what data they collect. I spent plenty of time engineering them and the subsequent delegations of production. They are just as evil as you can imagine, only more so. You may feel that you are a single point of consumer data, but your behavior changes and your habits along with them. They know this and see this, and if they can tell you are willing to spend more money, your new PC from XCompany is $39 more expensive.

Your post is misleading, and on purpose. It may be well articulated, but the Devil is in the details

The problem with targeted ads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406253)

The problem is that I use the web for many different reasons at different times. Work, entertainment, study, porn.

I don't want adverts for work subjects like ISA card extenders for maintenance of industrial ball bearing polishing machines when I want entertainment. And certainly not when I'm looking at porn.

The Internet will be just fine (1)

dkh (125857) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406295)

The ad industry has been around for a long time. It survived just fine with out knowing all kinds of info about everyone that happened to access a venue they occupied. They need to return to a methodology where they actually select the proper place to run their ads and pay for a period of exposure. The whole pay per impression/click concept is a large part of what has led us to where we are today. The industry has over reached what most people find as acceptable behavior and its past time for a correction. Sadly the DNT efforts aren't going to be successful unless there are some teeth somewhere.

Someone should inform this d-bag (1)

forgottenusername (1495209) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406313)

We had the internet long before people like him were trying to massively profit by any means necessary, no matter how low.

if he is right (4, Insightful)

binarstu (720435) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406325)

Just imagine what would happen if "do not track" were incredibly successful, and as this guy predicts, the "bottom drops out" of the online advertising industry, forcing "free" sites like Facebook to turn to subscription-based models to pay for themselves.

We would find out really quickly what people actually care about on the Web. My guess is that for many advertising-supported sites, Facebook included, we'd see that user loyalty is a mile wide and an inch deep. Most current users would be unwilling to have to pay to continue using the service, in my opinion. Most people don't care about paying for a service with their privacy, but make even a small dent in their wallet, and they will suddenly care very much.

Re:if he is right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406367)

Exactly. Most of these business would collapse because they are being propped up by phony eyeball numbers. If they had sustainable business models they wouldn't be so worried about DNT.

Right to exist? (2)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406453)

He speaks of compromising a $300 billion industry

Just because there is some 'industry' where some arbitrarily large amount of money is exchanged, it doesn't mean it has any right to exist at all.

This is different, but about as justifiable as the "too big to fail" arguments of yore.

WWJS (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406461)

He would call down the wrath of god on EVERY ad company.

Save us jebus

This has happened before. This will happen again. (1)

MrLizard (95131) | more than 2 years ago | (#41406555)

Yes, because the radio, television, magazine, and newspaper industries were unable to survive without targeted advertising...

(Yes, many of those are dying now, but it's not because targeted advertising is infinitely better in every way. Programs that block/hide ads are more likely to be a threat to ad revenue than limiting targeting. Good old fashioned "People on a site about cats probably will respond to ads for cat food" logic ought to be good enough to sustain the sites. And, if there isn't a way to generate sufficient content on ad revenue, then, people will begin to pay for the content they like, or they will do without it, or the entire system will evolve in ways not easy to predict. As another person mentioned, there is no "right" to any business model, just as there is no "right" to have access to content for free. Solutions will evolve, and the first people to find them ones that work will get very rich.)

Yet another advert exec crying Wolf (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41406599)

The advertising industry has a long and uniformly failed history of crying Wolf at every new technology. Anything that even hints at a modicum of consumer control over their environment will End the World as We Know It!! (R) (TM) (C).

Let us count the ways:

1). VCR's were going to cripple advertisers, end free TV, hurt consumers and kneecap media companies;
2). PVR's were going to cripple advertisers, end free TV, hurt consumers and kneecap media companies;
3). AdBlock was going to cripple advertisers, end free Internet sites, hurt consumers and kneecap media companies;
4). Do Not Call was going to cripple advertisers, end free, er, newspaper solicitations (??), hurt consumers and kneecap media companies;
5). Now, Do Not Track is going to cripple advertisers, end free Internet sites, hurt consumers and kneecap media companies.

And it's all unAmerican, undemocratic, and anti-capitalist to boot.

Starting to see a pattern here?

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