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Public Outcry Over Popup Ads

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the just-turn-them-off dept.

The Internet 435

JCMay writes: "FoxNews is reporting that more and more people are growing tired of so-called "pop-under" ads. Most fascinating I think is the comparison between these ads and gangland street violence: "They?'re like drive-by shootings," said Kipp Cheng, interactive news editor at Adweek. "Consumers will not put up with that." To FoxNews' credit, they even mention ways people can control pop-up ads, including a link to one of the worst offenders, offering a way to shut up those X-10 ads, even if for only a month." Fortunately, Konqueror allows you to disable popups with a single checkbox.

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More than 30 days hack? (5)

Eagle7 (111475) | more than 13 years ago | (#103245)

The link for the opt out is: p:// []

I wonder if changing the DAY= value will actually work... looking at the resulting cookie didn't tell me much, but I've never actually used cookies, so I am not familiar with the format.

Some popups are good (1)

xhorder (232326) | more than 13 years ago | (#103246)

While Konqueror does allow you to disable ALL popups, are there any linux utilities that only disable unwanted popups, leaving requested popups (e.g. Clicktv program listings) alone? Kind of like PopOff for Windows.

More to come... (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#103247)

We're going to see quite a few more of these in the very near future. My ad broker has infomed me that, GetSmart Mortgage, ConsumerInfo, GetSmart Credit Card, and LowerMyBills are going to join the same campaigns. Someone should let these companies know that this sucks before they run with it...

Anonymous to protect my job...

Be prepared to pay (5)

SaturnTim (445813) | more than 13 years ago | (#103248)

Hey, I hate these ad's as much as anybody, but I hate the alternative even more. If you disable the advertising on a given site, that site stops earning money from that advertising, and either turns into a pay site, or closes it's doors.


Well... (5)

Violet Null (452694) | more than 13 years ago | (#103249)

For Win32, all you need is regex knowledge and The Proxomitron [] .

Java and Javascript (2)

proclus (33875) | more than 13 years ago | (#103250)

Here is the solution: Turn them off.


Re:Some popups are good (3)

Hop-Frog (28712) | more than 13 years ago | (#103251)

Mozilla allows this. Check out the release notes [] on the latest version. It's through JavaScript, but it's easy to see what to do. I just blocked all of them, though.



phunhippy (86447) | more than 13 years ago | (#103252)

I think i speak for everyone when the most annoying thing in the world these days(other than hearing isreal and arafat fighting over who shot who first) is the freaking X10 adds on nearly every web site!!! i'm so happy to turn em off finally and still have my pop up windows for sites with useful popup windown stuff :)

Many ways to block ads (5)

crow (16139) | more than 13 years ago | (#103253)

There are many ways of blocking ads.

You can use a filtering proxy, like Junkbuster [] . Unfortunately, I find that Junkbuster slows down my connections too much, and doesn't forward error messages correctly, so it's not 100% transparent.

My favorite solution is to use /etc/hosts to list all the known ad servers and direct them to I then run a webserver on my local box with the not-found error set to redirect to a transparent image. (I use IP aliasing on the loopback device for sites that use direct IP numbers for their ad servers.) This works for most sites, though some (like slashdot) serve ads off the same server that serves regular images.

Using the /etc/hosts method, I occasionally look through my cookies file and find indications of sites that need to be added. It's not perfect, but I'm satisfied with it.

Browser-based solutions are a good idea. I would love to block images that match certain dimensions (1x1) or have a URL that matches some regexp (/ads/).

Of course, the issue here is pop-up ads, which should be blocked by having browsers reject requests to open new windows that aren't in response to a mouse click.

IP Filtering to the rescue! (1)

ijx (66809) | more than 13 years ago | (#103254)

My solution: filter out the ad providers, on the network level. While this doesn't remove the actual pop-up, it doesn't require me to load random free/shareware on my computer.

I simply filter out connections from the big ad companies. A simple ipf/ipfw/pf filter will do the trick.

Red X's are at least a little more pleasant.

Just disable JavaScript (2)

DerFeuervogel (136891) | more than 13 years ago | (#103255)

JavaScript is useless for what I do with myt browser so I just tuen it off. This kills pop-over/under/beside.

Violent Adverts? (2)

al3x (74745) | more than 13 years ago | (#103256)

It intrigues me that, while millions put up with television and radio advertising that literally dictates the content they can consume, it takes a frontier like the web to awaken them to the annoyance (some say "evil") that is advertising. But what do you expect if you browse the corporate web? Consumers demanding ad-free content from corporations may be living a nice dream, but if corps catch on that popups won't sell, then we'll see something else, like those ghastly flash-based quarter-page ads that appear on the short-term solution: use a good popup killer, or a browser with that feature integrated. long-term: don't browse corporate sites, or patronize corporate media. send a message that advertising doesn't sell, and that your mental space isn't for sale.

you won't, though *grin*

KeenSpot/Space bans popup ads (4)

strredwolf (532) | more than 13 years ago | (#103257)

KeenSpot Enterntainment [] bans popup ads on it's KeenSpot and KeenSpace networks, and encourages reporting popup ads on it's forums. It's always been their policy to thwap advertizers who want to use popup ads. It looks like they were ahead of the times in this respect.

WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel

I would like to thank X10 (5)

chrysrobyn (106763) | more than 13 years ago | (#103258)

I had apparently forgotten to turn Java and Javascript off when I recently installed Mozilla. Thankfully, X10 was right there to remind me to take care of that oversight. Sincerely, A Former X10 Customer

What limits? (2) (142825) | more than 13 years ago | (#103259)

What limits should be on ads?

Not allow banner ads?

Not allow pop-overs?

Not allow pop unders?

Not allow ads that keep up by trapping the on-close?

How and who should make these determinations? We have to ask for which limits apply. And then browsers will ad filters for these.

Hum... (2)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 13 years ago | (#103260)

Why no link to this "Konqueror" thing? Anyway, I always have active scripting and 'paste operations via script' disabled. One or the other (or both) keeps pop-ups from......uhhhhh, popping up. It very rarely causes any problems with websites, as far as I can see. I'm no expert on this stuff, though. If I ever get any problems, it takes about 5 seconds to enable it again. Or I can add the site to the trusted list and my paranoid security settings won't affect it.

Re:More than 30 days hack? (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#103261)

looks like you found it too....i'll find out in 30000 days ;)

Possible Solution? (1)

bay43270 (267213) | more than 13 years ago | (#103262)

Maybe someone should write a program, which suppresses all popups except the ones the user wants. The program wouldn't know which popups were good, so it could just prompt the user with... a dialog.

yahoo! has pop ups now? (1)

Adler (131568) | more than 13 years ago | (#103263)

i opened up to yahoo this morning and had an X-10 ad pop-up on me. I like yahoo because i can see the top news stories and search with google all on one page, If only google would add a little box on the front page with the headlines, i'd be set. plus! no pop-ups.

Ads suck (2)

mholve (1101) | more than 13 years ago | (#103264)

I don't put up with ANY of them.

Junkbuster, baby. :)

more permenent solution (1)

sommere (105088) | more than 13 years ago | (#103265)

just go in your /etc/hosts file and add to the end of the line that starts with
so it should read localhost.localdomain localhost

This will block the adds forever (unless your computer is


Re:More than 30 days hack? (1)

Anonymous Cowdog (154277) | more than 13 years ago | (#103266)

I have this link on my home page (which is a file:// link on my local hard disk, not a public home page).

Heh, back in the dot-com era, you could have gotten venture capital funding for a business model where the sole functionality of your site was as a portal to opt-out links like this.

From the Horses mouth (5)

cbowland (205263) | more than 13 years ago | (#103267)

Q: Can you turn your ads off so I never see them again?

A: Click Here! This link will prevent your computer from having the X10 "pop-under" ads appear for the next 30 days! You must make sure you have your cookies enabled, for this link will give your computer a cookie that will disallow X10 pop-under ads from appearing on your computer as you "surf" the Internet. If you clear or delete your cookies, then it will be possible for X10's pop-under ads to appear on your machine. If you don't know what a "cookie" is, then you're probably set and don't have to worry about it - just click this link to remove the ads!
A. Other: if you disable JavaScript in your browser the ads will not open, though this may prevent you from seeing some things you want to see. Ad-blocking software will also help with this problem.

I love that the call their own business a "problem"!

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.

Pop-ups (1)

probabilistic (220245) | more than 13 years ago | (#103268)

It would be great if, like the "always trust content from this source" checkbox you can select when downloading plug-ins, etc, there was a "never display pop-ups from this source" option.

mozilla can block popups (2)

mattdm (1931) | more than 13 years ago | (#103269)

There's no UI for it yet, but you can edit your prefs file. See the release notes [] for details...

user_pref(" ", "noAccess");

Pop-up Ads will soon be gone (2)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 13 years ago | (#103270)

By definition, pop-up ads are invasive. They interupt the browsing experience and generate very negative reactions from users.

The first thing I do when I see one is close down the offending window - I very rarely even look at what is being shoved down my throat.

The pop-up ad is just a phase. Advertisers saw that traditional banner ads weren't working so the marketing people were asked to come up with something different. However, once the user feedback tricles up the chain (via complaints, usability studies, etc) they will be consigned to the bin by any ad agency worth it's salt.

Unfortunately, as one bad idea dies a death, another one springs to life. The sucessor to the pop-up will probably be just as annoying although, eventually, the ad industry will find some form of getting the message across that 99% of the browsing public can live with.

Well... (1)

oogleybob (465531) | more than 13 years ago | (#103271)

They might be annoying, but at least they're effective. People NOTICE them. I knew right away what x10 was when I read it in this story, after having seen that ad many times. I don't notice banner ads, because they're so easy to ignore. Whatever works to keep good content free...... -Berj

Last time this came up... (3)

brassman (112558) | more than 13 years ago | (#103272)

...there were a lot of good tips. Just this morning I screamed "!YA BASTA!" and used the /. search box to find that thread, and downloaded Webwasher [] .

Funny coincidence to see this thread "pop up" right after doing that.

pop-up stopper (1)

insidious (29545) | more than 13 years ago | (#103273) has a free program for windows users called 'pop-up stopper'. exe []

if you want to allow a pop-up, you hold ctrl while clicking the link. I've been using this for about a month and it works really well.

They are also a popular feature for web designers (1)

mikosullivan (320993) | more than 13 years ago | (#103274)

Users may not like popups, but web designers keep wanting to use them. The Popup Tutorial [] is the most popular section of my web site [] , and it's by far the topic I get the most questions on.

I'm not fond of popup ads either, but popups do have their place. I find them handy for help links that provide extra help on something in a form without having to leave the form.

Miko O'Sullivan

Re:More than 30 days hack? (4)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 13 years ago | (#103275)

Apparently it does. I tried DAY=365, and even though the resulting display page said 30 days, the cookie doesn't expire for one year...

Re:Be prepared to pay (1)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 13 years ago | (#103276)

That might be true. What most people object to is way the ads are delivered. Popups and popdowns annoy because they open up extra windows. Banner ads suck precious bandwidth.

The least obtrusive form of ad is the text ad. They might be effective on sites with heavy hits.

Mozilla 0.9.2 Blocks Popups (5)

Meltr (45049) | more than 13 years ago | (#103277)

> Fortunately, Konqueror allows you to disable popups with a single checkbox.

Mozilla 0.9.2 can block popups, too, but there's no UI for it yet. Add this to your prefs.js file:

user_pref("", "noAccess");

You can also allow popups from some sites. See the 0.9.2 release notes [] for details.

You know you need em (1)

moz711 (217919) | more than 13 years ago | (#103278)

If we didn't have popup adds, microsoft, and spam, then what would we bitch about?
We might have to start bitching about things like global warming or starvation in 3rd world contries.


X10 opt out doesn't work (4)

GuNgA-DiN (17556) | more than 13 years ago | (#103279)

I've used thier opt-out link a couple of times, but still get the popup ads for X10. Banner ads don't work. The click-through rates have been dropping like a stone since 1994. Nobody clicks on ads anymore.

My question is what makes these advertisers think that we are suddenly going to say "Oh! Wow! I wasn't going to buy your product before.... but, since you popped up an ad in my face, I just changed my mind. Here's my money!"

Maybe if we're all really lucky, the Net will revert back to the way it was. All the commercial sites will give up trying to "make a quick buck" off the Internet. They will close their doors and go away. Then, since there is no more money to be made or commercial content to be seen... all the marketing idiots will go away too.

In the end, we will be left with text-only pages (viewable in Lynx) with no ads, no Flash, no Quicktimes, and no corporate American bullshit. I don't understand -- why is this is a bad thing again!?!? I would love to go back to the Web the way it was in 1993 - 94. No Porn. No Ads. No Bullshit. No Morons. No Commercialism. Just Net.

Speak of the devil... (1)

tsmit (222375) | more than 13 years ago | (#103280)

I sent this to THIS morning...

Cut from your site:

Note: As the Internet is growing and evolving very quickly so are the ways and means of advertising online. A few years ago, the standard 468x60 "rectangle" ads at the top of web sites were very new. Many people were uncomfortable with these ads but with time, people got used to the ads. In the last year many different sizes and styles of ads have been used to try to add more value to the advertiser. is simply using a new form of advertising. Please try to understand that this type of advertising is what keeps the Internet enjoyable as it pays for operational costs behind the sites you enjoy visiting for free. There are some content based sites that do not accept advertising, yet charge a subscription fee to view their content. This tradeoff is the current environment of the Internet today.

Maybe you would care to use different wording, as about 90% of the people who have to deal with your ads on a daily basis don't find it "enjoyable". If your products were good and viable, you would not need to stoop as low as you have by using these pop-under ads. I know that I, and all of my friends, have sworn off buying ANYTHING from ever due to your "agressive" ad campaign. If you enjoy losing customers, then, by all means, keep up the good work!

Thank you,
Signed by me

live with it. (1)

TomRitchford (177931) | more than 13 years ago | (#103281)

Someone has to pay for all those sites. Since we the viewers aren't paying for them, it has to be advertisers.

If one form of advertising particularly bothers you, just don't purchase the product advertised. They'll catch on really fast...

My /etc/hosts (4)

crow (16139) | more than 13 years ago | (#103282) localhost

# The following is to kill off web advertisements
# This also kills some user-tracking cookie servers.
# This works best if you run a web server that sends a redirect to
# a transparent image for non-found errors.
# This list has grown up over time. No effort has been made to verify that all
# the hosts listed here still exist.
# A few servers serve ads with URLs based on IP numbers instead of host names.
# The following IP numbers are for hosts that serve ads:
# ???
# Unfortunately, I can't deal with those here. Instead, use netconf
# to specify ip aliases for those addresses on the loopback device.

# The following list is based on the default blocking from Junkbuster.
# I've cut out anything with wildcards, subdirectories, or ports.
# Junkbuster is no longer distributing this list.

pop ups? (2)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#103283)

I guess all those people who're complaining know little about turning off java, and java script. I've managed to go months on end without seeing pop ups since I see no need for viewing sites with it enabled anyway.

Could it be those who are complaining are the ones who end up getting bombarded with spam from porn, warez, and geoshitties pages? Personally I see more problems with cookies than I do with pop ups.

Increase the optout beyond thirty days... (2)

Canabinol (184830) | more than 13 years ago | (#103284)

The link to "opt out" of their ads is as follows: p:// []

Will altering the "DAY=30" part mean we can opt out for even longer? e.g. tp:// []

I hope so. I'm getting dozens of these damn popup ads every day. To make matters worse I bought one of their wireless cameras over a year ago via a banner ad (one of the few times I've ever actually clicked on a banner) so am in part responsible for encouraging X10 in the first place. :o(

AOL OnExit Ads (1)

DCMonkey (615) | more than 13 years ago | (#103285)

Some site I visit occasionally has those OnExit ads that popup after you leave the site. When the ad is for AOL and the next site you visit is, it sure gets the anti-monopolistic juices a'flowin until you realize what is going on.

Re:Violent Adverts? (2)

DerFeuervogel (136891) | more than 13 years ago | (#103286)

It intrigues me that, while millions put up with television and radio advertising that literally dictates the content they can consume, it takes a frontier like the web to awaken them to the annoyance (some say "evil") that is advertising.

Um, ever heard of PBS :^) ?

That is the only thing worth watching on TV anyway, besides the Simspons (the commercials during the Sippsons are annoying but just to hear a good Homer quote is worth it!). "Honey do you mind opening the window. The cops have daddy's prints on file"

Or some such.

Metakey for popups (1)

raynet (51803) | more than 13 years ago | (#103287)

Browsers should by default ignore popup scripts, except when the user clicks a link with eg. CTRL-key. This way all unwanted popups would disappear and users could still use those sites that want to popups in links rather than just linking. Unfortunately these pro-popup sites then would just add onClick="createPopUp();" to their links.

Re:Many ways to block ads (2)

Masem (1171) | more than 13 years ago | (#103288)

Browser-based solutions are a good idea. I would love to block images that match certain dimensions (1x1) or have a URL that matches some regexp (/ads/).

The 1x1 gif is a valid, though questionable, way of doing some basic page layout, since you can easily scale it using just HEIGHT and WIDTH tags. (Mind you, I know that you're talking about blocking done when the HTML stream reports HEIGHT & WIDTH both equal to 1).

A better solution for images is to prevent resources located on a different network from being used. For example, if at, I'd expect that "" would be on the same network, but not "". This would prevent the typical 1x1 gif trick from being used.

a better way (1)

ravrazor (69324) | more than 13 years ago | (#103289)

Sure, you can disable the popups through javascript or a proxy, but a more longterm solution:

Don't click them.
They'll die on their own (as they are beginning to do, if you've noticed that dot-commers with business models based on page view ad sales...are in the outs investment-wise).

Another way: don't keep silent when your company uses them on its web sites -- complain loudly...

Re:Well... (1)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 13 years ago | (#103290)

Yes, we know about them, but due to the annoying aspect of the ads, a portion of the audience will disregard them for being annoying. I will not buy from them and there are many here who would probably agree.

Mozilla prevention (1)

PRR (261928) | more than 13 years ago | (#103291)

From Mozilla 0.9.2 release notes:

The syntax for blocking pop-up windows has changed since Mozilla 0.9. To block pop-up windows, add this line to the prefs.js file in your Mozilla profile directory while Mozilla is not running:

user_pref(" ", "noAccess");

What I did (5)

karmawarrior (311177) | more than 13 years ago | (#103292)

As I run my own (private, natch) name server, I put myself as "owner" of the domain in it, and had resolve to a non-existant address. I've done much the same with and other sites that have regularly pissed me off.

The result of this isn't that the windows don't continue to pop up, they do. But as they appear under the browser, it's no great deal. Most importantly, the ads don't suck dry my limited bandwidth (across a modem link) so I can browse at a reasonable pace.

For those who need to know, this is what I did (BIND4, as I'm using OpenBSD as my firewall/NAT-based proxy):

I added the line:


to my named.boot file. Then created a file in my namedb directory, reading something like this:

@ IN SOA (
86400 )
ads A
Actually, any half competent DNS admin should be able to do something similar with their setup.

This has benefits over putting the entries in your /etc/hosts in two ways: to begin with, everything under is blocked, so if start putting out stuff as, the block will still take effect. Secondly, the file applies to every machine on your network. If you have an Intranet at home like I do, that's useful.

Ultimately, if companies want money for their content, they'd be better off asking for it from me than bombarding me with ads. I fully intend to stop visiting certain sites, however much it pains me, until they start providing me with a way to turn off intrusive, bandwidth sucking, unstable browser crashing (y'hear me Netscape? ;-) advertising, whether it be via a subscription or some other means.

And yep, I put my money where my mouth is. I've put in my two year sub to Salon with donation. There's stuff out there I'm willing to pay for. I want to read the site, not get too pissed at it and impatient I end up surfing somewhere else...

galeon and mozilla... (2)

Skeezix (14602) | more than 13 years ago | (#103293)

Fortunately, Konqueror allows you to disable popups with a single checkbox.

You can disable popups in Galeon and Mozilla as well. In mozilla 0.9.2 you add the following line to your prefs.js while mozilla is not running:

user_pref("", "noAccess");

In galeon it's just a checkbox in the preferences, IIRC. Also, what I like to do is set all popups and new url's opened to go to a new tab. I love tabbed browsing. If it's an annoying add, I can ignore that tab or close it later.

More surprising news (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 13 years ago | (#103294)

While people are getting tired of pop-up ads, they don't seem to be getting tired of free content. Scientists remained baffled...
enough levity.. It galls me that someone would compare pop-up ads to drive by shooting. What kind of life does someone have where they think having an ad pop-up is as devestating as watching your childs life bleed away in front of your eyes?
The comparison is either:
a)founded by someone who is a complete idiot, and/or
b)founded by someone who seems to know how important this subject really is(i.e. NOT) and uses this kind of over bearing analogy in the hopes that it will give his 'cause' some justification.
I can picture it now...
lets see, I can help the hungery.. naw they whine
I can help the homeless... naw the smell
I can fight for people in 3rd world country to help stop the slavery of children...naw, they deserve it, beside I like cheap stuff
lets see I know! i can fight to put an end to those pop-up ads that disturb me when I'm surfing for free porn! thats it! thats my calling in life! I use poor analagies to complain about the way companies are trying to get money to pay for content that is free for me!!
next episode our hero tries valiantly to put an end to those nasty TV comercials because there just like burning to death in a fire...

X10 Alternatives (3)

augustz (18082) | more than 13 years ago | (#103295)

I actually like buying X10 stuff, home automation is fun. What others companies sell this stuff on the web at reasonable prices? I'd love to take my business elsewhere and some recommendations would be great.

Why can't I just disable "new window" in J-script? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#103296)

I would also like to see an option for disabling images not coming from the same domain as the web page.

under/over (1)

jaredcat (223478) | more than 13 years ago | (#103297)

this may just be symantecs.. but x10 uses 'pop under' ads, not 'pop up' ads. Their ads appear under rather than over the active browser window.

Konqueror's great; iCab somewhat more complete (3)

Frater 219 (1455) | more than 13 years ago | (#103298)

Of all the Web browsers I've seen, the experimental Macintosh browser iCab [] seems to have the most features for restricting pop-ups and other abusive JavaScript[? [] ]. iCab permits one to enable or disable several different JavaScript/ECMAscript functions (as well as other "features") on a per-site basis. It also offers excellent image filtering -- to the point that I don't feel the need to use my Junkbuster [] proxy when I'm using iCab.

Sadly, the iCab folks have said they're not interested in porting to GNU/Linux. Among the GNU/Linux browsers, my favorite by far is Konqueror. Like iCab on the Macintosh, Konq is small, fast, and customizable. However, it still lags a bit behind in the way of filtering. Site-specific, function-specific JavaScript filtering would be an excellent addition to what's already easily the best browser in the Free world.

Re:pop ups? (2)

vorpal22 (114901) | more than 13 years ago | (#103299)

Turning off Java is fine, and AFAIK, many people have turned off Java. However, turning off JavaScript isn't an option for most people, because a lot of sites heavily rely on client side JavaScript to function properly.

Re:Violent Adverts? (1)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 13 years ago | (#103300)

Y'know, maybe it's me but I don't mind the Flash Ads. I actually will click on them- perhaps because I'm interested in seeing what they've done with Flash, but mostly because I find it less intrusive than a link that will take me away from the page I'm reading.

Re:Some popups are good (1)

JHromadka (88188) | more than 13 years ago | (#103301)

OmniWeb [] , an OS X browser, does this. Its Javascript options include disabling popups except when clicked.

Omniweb kicks ass anyway. I love how it spellchecks while I'm typing in a webform.
James Hromadka

Re:Some popups are good (2)

BlowCat (216402) | more than 13 years ago | (#103302)

The problem with both Mozilla and Konqueror is that you cannot easily re-enable popups for certain links without reconfiguring the browser. Popups don't work even if I use "open in another window" in Konqueror.

Re:Well... (1)

RAruler (11862) | more than 13 years ago | (#103303)

Everytime someone talks about ads, or ad-blocking software you have three groups.

A)Hardcore users that configure host files to block
B) Unix users that use Junkbusters
C) Windows users that use Proxomitron

It's kind of interesting. I'm a proxomitron user myself, works good.. has problems with Hotmail though.


Re:Violent Adverts? (2)

tonywong (96839) | more than 13 years ago | (#103304)

I think there is a difference between the mediums. When one is browsing on the web, it is an active task, ie. focussed and directional. Advertising in a pop-up is perceived as an interruption to the task, which is highly annoying.

Radio and television are more passive tasks, as well as pre-programmed. People are not as peeved when advertising appears on television because they know or expect when the advert will appear, ie. after the introduction and before the climax, etc. This allows them to tune out any advertising or gives them an opportunity to go to the washroom or kitchen.

None of this is based on any proof or evidence, but it's just the way I've seen things.

X10 ads (2)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#103305)

Boy, Taco has become quite the Konqueror enthusiast! The ability to quickly switch off pop-ups while keeping the rest of the (site-specific) JavaScript usage intact is one of my favorite features also.

Anyway, since the subject of X10 ads came up -- are those ads almost overtly recommending the use of their product for hidden-camera spying on women? Or do I just have a dirty mind? Seriously, it's hard for me to me imagine what else the message is supposed to be.

Unsettling MOTD at my ISP. (1)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 13 years ago | (#103306) [] is a free proxy service that will work with any Java-compatible browser. It lets you disable popups, cookies, malicious scripts, and whatever else you want to. It also hides your IP address.

Re:Many ways to block ads (2)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 13 years ago | (#103307)

I guess the etc/hosts thing is for Linux? Windows users can use a hosts file [] also, but it goes in the windows folder and the name has to be "hosts" with no extension. (check the link for all the info).

/. pop-ups (2)

AX.25 (310140) | more than 13 years ago | (#103308)

Everytime I start my browser up pops /. How do I stop this? Help.

Opt-out -- DENIED! (1)

Saeger (456549) | more than 13 years ago | (#103309)

What I'm wondering is what happens in the unlikely event that a significant minority of pissed-off 'consumers' decide to opt-out of being brainwashed by advertisers?

Will the "mental engineers" honor the wishes of these consumers to be left in peace? Or will they take drastic measures to recapture their audience by technical countermeasures?

I'm still awaiting the first brain-dead website to require some kind of IE-only plugin that, for instance, "shuts off content" if it can't verify the presence of banner pixels onscreen. There's probably better ways to force eyeball burn-in (getting image of Gelfling's strapped to a chair in the Dark Crystal)... but I'm not going to waste much thought on it.

Personally, I block all ads, cookies, popups, etc., except from those sites I trust, and I don't feel I'm "taking advantage" of a free service simply because I choose to think for myself instead of being subjected to annoying influence (aka: advertising). Oh, and when Retinal Scanning Displays finally hit the market, I plan on filtering out real-world ads too (a roadside Coca-cola billboard might be overlayed with a something that says, "Sugar water is not a lifestyle!") :-)

X10 ads annoy me the most because... (1)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 13 years ago | (#103310)

WTF does a smiling or half-naked woman have to do with a "spy" camera? It's like they're using my sexual preference to catch my eye just long enough to acknowledge their silly product.

Re:X10 opt out doesn't work (5)

Logic Bomb (122875) | more than 13 years ago | (#103311)

Your question is at the crux of the advertising business. What marketers have learned is that recognition is everything. If you walk up to a grocery store shelf and recognize one brand name out of four offering a comparable product, you are far more likely to buy the one you recognize. There are good reasons for this (i.e. knowing Sony equipment is reliable), and marketers simply exploit it. No matter how annoyed people get at ads, few will say "oh, I hate those damn ads, I'm going to buy this product from a company I've never heard of instead." Companies will go to great lengths to get their name in your brain, and for good reason.

Newspapers and magazine... (1)

Paelon (69063) | more than 13 years ago | (#103312)

are filled with ads. Open up any newspaper, and take a look at how much of each page is advertising. Probably 1/2 or more of each issue. As much as it sucks that advertising is coming to the web, IMO it's still not nearly as obtrusive as print ads which take up the first 17 pages of a magazine.

Outrage that things aren't like they were 2 years ago is pretty futile. VC isn't paying the bills anymore (for most sites), and I'd rather see an X10 ad than see the site go under. The only thing that bothers me is that I don't think pop-ups are any more effective at enticing buyers than banner ads. Skyscrapers which run down the side of the entire article are IMO the most eye catching.

Sometimes It Takes Two (1)

LISNews (150412) | more than 13 years ago | (#103313)

Lately I found for Windows a combination of Guidescope [] and PopUpKiller [] do a great job of blocking out:
Cookies, popup windows, regular ads, and moost other things I'd rather not see.
It takes some tweaking to get them to play nice together, but they do the job quite well.

Another reason to hate Microsoft (1)

MxTxL (307166) | more than 13 years ago | (#103314)

Another form of advertising that i've seen recently that is even WORSE than the X10 popups is the adverts they have on MSN Zone [] ! On this site, everytime you transition between major pages, instead of taking you to the target page, you end up at a page that says "This section brought to you by..." and has a half page ad. You have to click on a link to finish going to the target page. It SUCKS!!!!

Re:Many ways to block ads (2)

Snowfox (34467) | more than 13 years ago | (#103315)

Browser-based solutions are a good idea. I would love to block images that match certain dimensions (1x1) or have a URL that matches some regexp (/ads/).

Time for another link to WebWasher [] . It's now available for Linux and Mac, as well as Windows. It's free for private use - and it's so damned nice that it's the only program I run on my home machine that doesn't come with source.

One more note on iCab ... (2)

Frater 219 (1455) | more than 13 years ago | (#103316)

(Yah, following-up to one's own posts is perverted ....)

The iCab folks keep a list of "10 features you don't find in other browsers" [] , which would make an excellent checklist for other alternative browsers looking to add user-empowering features. Besides its abuse-blocking abilities, other iCab features that stand out include its built-in HTML validator; its recursive download manager (something like a GUIfied wget); and its "Link Manager", which summarizes all the links on a page and is quite useful when using any of the spammier search engines.

My solution - albeit not too effective. (1)

marcop (205587) | more than 13 years ago | (#103317)

Don't buy from the companies... I was going to buy an X10 product because they are rather cool. But after being bombarded every day by their adds I decided to voice my opinion with my money and not buy anything from them.

I would write them to let them know my decision but I fear that they might send me SPAM afterwards.

Web advertising eats itself (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 13 years ago | (#103318)

This is a classic death spiral. The advertisers are losing the attention of the audience. So they try stupid stunts to grab your attention. All this is going to do is piss off more people to the point where they'll take action against the ads. And the advertisers will try even more stupid stunts. It's futile. Ads will always display on a CPU that is under the user's control, and if you piss them off, they'll exert that control.
My particular favorite way to eliminate ads is to use your hosts file to alias the adserver's domain to, here's a web page that explains how to do it: html

Webwasher is your friend (1)

burbilog (92795) | more than 13 years ago | (#103319)

Browser-based solutions are a good idea. I would love to block images that match certain dimensions (1x1) or have a URL that matches some regexp (/ads/).

Webwasher [] does that. Also it has a lot of useful options like killing popups and filtering iframes...

Re:More than 30 days hack? (1)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 13 years ago | (#103320)

Maybe not VC funds, but you could have sold banner ads at the top for $1,400/month, and made enough money before the ad price crash to seed a real startup.

sneeking popups into you home page... (1)

nothng (147342) | more than 13 years ago | (#103321)

Apparently some web site is changing peoples startup page so that every time they open thier browser they get a lovely popup add. This of course makes who ever their start page look terrible if the user isn't very internet savvy. I had this problem a couple of days ago and noticed when slashdot loaded it wasn't loading slashdot first, instead i saw this:

not sure how that got there, i certainly didn't do it, and i don't think slashdot would be the right consumer group to advertise herbal viagra so I'm going to go out on a limb here *sarcasm* and say it's not slashdot either. I don't think it was any software I installed since I haven't installed anything in quite some time so it must be a website doing this.

hmmmmm could it be behind this???

Pythonvideo Inc (NETBLK-PYTV-BLK-3A)
107 Atlantic Ave.CA

Netname: PYTV-BLK-3A
Netblock: -

Chen, Wen (WC269-ARIN)
416 534 5000

Domain System inverse mapping provided by:


Record last updated on 01-Jun-2001.
Database last updated on 5-Jul-2001 23:03:10

30 days hack and more.. (1)

ldopa1 (465624) | more than 13 years ago | (#103322)

Yes, the thirty days hack works (up to 180, based on my testing). Here is a link if you're too lazy to figure it out yourself.. []

Also keep in mind that by talking about it, you're admitting that the advertising works! Whoever it was who said "my mindspace is not for sale" is wrong. It's free - your participation in this conversation gives the lie to your words.

That said, there are some points to consider:

1) If we don't let them advertise, the websites will become pay, or worse, disappear.

2)If you're really adamant about the ads going away don't click on them!

3) Honestly, is it that big a deal? Frankly, how hard is it to click once? You're doing it all day! The only ones that really annoy me are the ones that take the "spam the respawn room" strategy.

Re:Well... (2)

Violet Null (452694) | more than 13 years ago | (#103323)

'Tis true...though I thought Junkbusters worked for Win32 as well.

I don't actually use Proxomitron anymore -- wrote my own proxy as a learning exercise a year or so back -- but yeah, that's an interesting point.

Re:Possible Solution? (1)

masoncooper (443243) | more than 13 years ago | (#103324)

Or how about this, instead of any sort of prompting, have a small icon flash in the status bar of the browser. If you want to release the pop-ups, click the icon and they'll pop up, otherwise just ignore them and continue to the next site. That way sites that require a pop-up to start a download don't get messed up.

Re:yahoo! has pop ups now? (1)

JohnG (93975) | more than 13 years ago | (#103325)

Yep, I noticed the same thing. I had quit using altavista because of it. I don't want to stop using Yahoo for the same reasons you cited, but those X10 ads are WAY to annoying. I don't mind popup ads ala Angelfire and such so much, because they are small and easily closable, but having these huge massive x10 popups open and then sneak under my browser is annoying. I know some people fine pop-under ads to be less annoying, but I don't. I want to be able to close it when it opens, not have to switch to the window, let it's massive size cover up what I'm reading then close it. I just see no need in wasting my limited bandwidth (I'm on dialup) downloading their graphics intensive ads.
As a direct result of that I will NEVER buy something from X10. I don't care how good their products are, pissing someone off isn't the best way to get their money.

My favorite way of blocking pop ups (1)

CokeJunky (51666) | more than 13 years ago | (#103326)

Konqueror has this wonderfull little check box "disable" on it's javascript tab.

That pretty much kills any and all pop-up adds, and that feature alone makes Konqueror my browser of choice some days. Funny how none of the commercial browsers would have that feature which can save one alot of anoyance. I hate it when I am tricked to follow a link that starts a never ending barage of windows that open untill your browser crashes or the cows come home.

shut it off for 3000 days (4)

punkrider (176796) | more than 13 years ago | (#103327)

click here [] to shut off the pop up until Tue Sep 22 12:38:09 2009, and it even redirects you to a friendly page instead of more x10 crap. By 2009 I think they should be sufficiently out of business. ;)

Heh, actually with the trend of the market today, I probably could've set it for 60 and I would've been fine.

Re:Thank God for hosts files... (2)

Tim Macinta (1052) | more than 13 years ago | (#103329)

you'll never get hit with the ads, though you'll still have a harmless window with a 404 error to close.

Hmmmm... the 404s shouldn't be too hard to fix. Just set up an Apache virtual host on your machine for "" and have it redirect all 404 errors to a page that contains some Javascript which closes the current window (perhaps after checking to make sure that you are on the first page in the window's history so as not to inadvertantly close non-pop-up windows). Of course, you'll have to add an /etc/hosts and Apache virtual host entry for each host you want to block, but that's not too big of a deal (or if it is too big of a deal, you could run an instance of Apache on it's own IP address, like, and redirect all requests to that Apache instance to the window closing script regardless of the requested host).

Re:Many ways to block ads (1)

Troodon (213660) | more than 13 years ago | (#103330)

Muffin [] is a java proxy, quite flexible in blocking, stripping out certain tags etc. Configuration is pretty straight forward with a little fiddling. The blurb from the site:

Written entirely in Java. Requires JDK 1.1

Runs on Unix, Windows 95/NT, and Macintosh.

Freely available under the GNU General Public License.

Support for HTTP/0.9, HTTP/1.0, HTTP/1.1, and SSL (https).

Graphical user interface and command-line interface.

Remote admin interface using HTML forms.

Includes several filters which can remove cookies, kill GIF animations, remove advertisements,add/remove/modify arbitrary HTML tags (like blink), remove Java applets and Javascript,user-agent spoofing, rewrite URLs, and much more.

View all HTTP headers to aid in CGI development and debugging.

Users can write their own filters in Java using the provided filter interfaces.

Re:More than 30 days hack? (2)

Randy Rathbun (18851) | more than 13 years ago | (#103331)

Yep... it does work. I set it for 3000 days and it expires in 2009.

Mozilla does not allow on site by site basis. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#103332)

On *some* sites, I want all java/javascript enabled. On others I want it all disabled.

Re:From the Horses mouth (1)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 13 years ago | (#103333)

I love that the call their own business a "problem"!

At least they're honest.

Re:Many ways to block ads (1)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 13 years ago | (#103334)

Oops []

I swear I clicked the preview button.

Negative Effect on Advertisers and Hosts (1)

asv108 (141455) | more than 13 years ago | (#103335)

Is it possible that pop-up ads cause more harm than good for the potential advertiser? I always had a positive opinion of X-10 products untill I started seeing pop-up ads everytime I check out . Are there any studies that have compared the loss of potential sales and brand opinion with the actual gain in sales due to pop-up ads? What kind of gains are pop-up advertisers seeing in click through rates when compared to banner ads?

Opt-out (1)

n8willis (54297) | more than 13 years ago | (#103336)

Great. Now, if only there was a way to opt-out of seeing the Food Network's "Iron Chef v Flay June 3" ads, more than a month after the show....


From X10's site... (3)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 13 years ago | (#103337)

In the last year many different sizes and styles of ads have been used to try to add more value to the advertiser. is simply using a new form of advertising. Please try to understand that this type of advertising is what keeps the Internet enjoyable as it pays for operational costs behind the sites you enjoy visiting for free.

Oh that's funny... The Internet has always been enjoyable to me. Long before people started advertising on the web.

These people are delusional. Do they really think they are keeping the Internet enjoyable by plastering it with pop-ups and banner ads?

Even if they stay, popup ads will fade.... (1)

veddermatic (143964) | more than 13 years ago | (#103338)

How many of you notice TV ads?? You either have grown to ignore them (by petting the dog, taking a leak, getting another beer, whatever) or you are so quick on the remote you only catch only a second of them.

Banner ads? I don;t know about you, but my brain quickly took measures to block out any annoying animated GIFs that are 468x60... I don;t "see" them on pages anymore (which is one of the reasons we moved to pop-ups, yes?)

Have no fear, us humans will quickly adapt and develop the Alt-F4 reflex (or Command-W or CTRL-W reflex, depending on your OS of choice =) and pop-up ads will go the way of the Dodo as well.

Just worry about what comes next..... =)


CookieCop Plus (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#103339)

on My windows boxen I use CookieCop Plus [] , which not only allows blocking of cookies, but also allows you to block the content from entire sites. And the Source Code is Included!

Of course, almost any proxy server, firewall, etc. could likely be set up that way.

But it is nice to see the popup try to launch, and then watch it go away.

Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

Re:More than 30 days hack? (2)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 13 years ago | (#103340)

Oh, so simple. I resorted to editing my cookies.txt file to increase the expirey to 2006. Well as long as the end result is the same...


Re:More than 30 days hack? (2)

bbh (210459) | more than 13 years ago | (#103341)

I guess the only problem is that X10 actually has to honor their own cookies. If they start noticing a bunch of cookies that have values greater than 30 days then they might just consider it invalid or issue another cookie and everyone will have to put up with those "pop-under" adds again. Then again, maybe they will get smart and just get rid of the pop-under ad alltogether... or maybe not...


Re:yahoo! has pop ups now? (2)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 13 years ago | (#103342)

Create your own site. It shouldn't be too hard to find a site that exports the headlines (/. does it, look in the FAQ) and you can add a google search to it by clicking this link []
You can even customize google's output to match your own site.
Voila! No more popups!

"One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

Re:Violent Adverts? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#103343)

There's a big difference between TV ads and web pop-ups:

1. TV ads can be entertaining. Pop ups never are.
2. TV ads are over eventually. Pop ups stick around.
3. TV ads do not consume resources on my TV. Pop ups do consume resources on my machine.
4. TV ads do not require me to do anything different. I am sitting watching TV, an ad comes on, I watch that, the TV program comes back. Pop ups interfere with the website I am trying to read, and I have to manually make them go away.

I have less of a problem with the flash style ads, other than they make scrolling very slow. If they fixed that, I could ignore them just as easily as I ignore banner ads.
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