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Next-Gen Pop-up Ads

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the anything-for-a-buck dept.

The Almighty Buck 547

bje2 writes "CNet has a disconcerting story about a new generation of pop-up ads that use a "kick through" technique such that you don't even need to click on the pop-up ad anymore, you just need to mouse over, can they make our web surfing experience any worse?"

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Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935350)


Any more ways of wasting our precious time? (1)

The Fold (242121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935351)

I can imagine this'll cause a problem for all us pr0n freaks out there who get a shitload of banners everytime we click on anything remotely about naked women/men/sheep/cowboyneal :-P

This isn't the worst (4, Informative)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935353)

In many israelian sites, there are flash commercials that cover the contents, and are very hard to close.
You surf peacefully, and suddenly the screen is filled with lottery ad and the computer shouts " 50 millions!!! " at you.
There are other things, like a anti-virus ad that looks like the computer has been compromised, etc, which are just plain agressive.

Re:This isn't the worst (1)

matula (334464) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935422)

Who needs flash?

Re:This isn't the worst (4, Insightful)

PurpleFloyd (149812) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935436)

That's not just Israel. Even the "big" pages seem to use talking popups, "interstitials" (those Flash monstrosoties that cover part of the screen) or ads designed to look like Windows UI components and warning messages.

People say that Web advertising doesn't work, but I will click on a banner ad that displays something relevant to me. However, I absolutely refuse to patronize a site that uses popups or any of the above mentioned ad techniques. I don't care that Orbitz will save me several hundred bucks, I use a travel agent (who gets me decent deals anyway). I don't care that I can get nifty-looking spy^H^H^H home-monitoring equipment from; stuff that I might even buy under other circumstances (tiny cameras are neat!). Don't even get me started on the ones that try to defraud me by displaying Windows error messages (in Linux, no less!). These companies will never see a cent from me. Too bad, because they might have something to offer.

Its already out there.... (1)

GargoyleTS (633785) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935354)

Ran into one of these the other day (will try to find again and post URL). It at least stated what would happen when i moused over it. Popped up again when I went to close the danged thing too!

Marketing:Invading your personal space every chance we get!

Just in time for christmas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935355)

Great just what everyone always didn't want for christmas :/

what's the point? (5, Insightful)

firebat162 (463459) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935356)

maybe i missed something, but how will this increase revenue for the advertising companies?

so their websites get more hits. but since they are hits that are basically forced, or unaware hits, how will this increase sales for the product being advertised?

Re:what's the point? (4, Insightful)

Kiwi (5214) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935399)

how will this increase revenue for the advertising companies?

Well, see, we are dealing with the accountants of the 21st century. We are in a world where Webvan and Enron were roaring successes because they were able to generate revenue. Never mind other pesky accounting details, like expenses.

And, well, as we know, in a day and age where the marketing department knows their new pop-up ad is a roaring success because it generates so many clickthroughs. Well, OK, lets ignore such minor details like the ads actually are drag-them-to-our-site-kicking-and-screaming-throug hs, because, as long as we are getting clickthroughs, we have the potential to have all sorts of revenue. In fact, we can call a clickthrough "revenue" since, there is always the possibility that a given clickthrough will actually give us money. Maybe to pay off the company so that the poor hapless user no longer has to deal with our drag^H^H^H^Hclickthrough ads any more.

- Sam

Re:what's the point? (3, Insightful)

Wtcher (312395) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935415)

I'm sure it'll do much the reverse - the increased hits will eat up more bandwidth but - and this is the big one - these hits will be from people who don't care about the product being advertised, and will likely never willingly come back.

In the end, it just has the effect of alienating users. I'm sure most of their success metrics (as touted by Orbitz) are of people who won't be back. Hello, turnover rate!

Re:what's the point? (5, Funny)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935444)

so their websites get more hits. but since they are hits that are basically forced, or unaware hits, how will this increase sales for the product being advertised?
Simple. They're selling popup-blockers.

Same game spam emailers are playing. (3, Interesting)

digital photo (635872) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935483)

It's the same numbers game that the SPAM mongers are playing.

Ie, if you can get even one half of one percent to buy something, with over 1 million people hitting your site, you still get 5000 customers. If each of those customers buy just one thing, the company is making money off of their "efforts".

Those who don't like it and don't buy are considered to not have wanted to buy in the first place.

The same is true of passing out flyers, sending spam emails, or going door-to-door. A numbers game.

Can they make it any worse? (1)

MortisUmbra (569191) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935357)

No sooner does someone say that then, inevitably, they make it possible scenario, well, maybe someday not only will it kick youthrough the ad, but it will also be some flash based thing that, until its run its course, you cannot close without closing your browser. How's that for worse?

Easy Fix.... (5, Informative)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935360)

Use Mozilla or Phoenix or Netscape 7.1 and turn them off. Probolem solved!

Re:Easy Fix.... (1)

Malicious (567158) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935370)

However the more people, who are using these circumvention methods, the more likley the advertisers will switch to using other methods, to reach a larger audience...

Re:Easy Fix.... (1)

Aronymous Coward (619197) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935395)

Sure, but sticking with software that doesn't behave in the best interests of the users just makes it easier for advertisers to force their impressions.

I'm not giving up without a fight. I'm going to force THEM to try harder, until THEY give up.

Re:Easy Fix.... (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935424)

I'd like to see them pull something like that off with me using LYNX.



What I think is needed is a browser configuration that doesn't run any of this shit, and then reports it's self as LYNX. This will surely confuse the shit out of them.

Re:Easy Fix.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935452)

What, like textads? Bring em on.

Re:Easy Fix.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935497)

I've been using banner blockers for about five years and I've heard that theory about too many people blocking ads come up over and over and over. It hasn't happened. My copy of atguard still blocks ads on almost every page I visit because banners are still using exactly the same technology that they always did. Here's the block entry off the very page that I'm typing this on:

Removed From outbound connections Because /banner/

All that crap about interstitial ads and servers that detect whether you're clicking through some percentage of ads and lock you out if you don't NEVER MATERIALIZED, and the marketing droids have had years of banner blockers existing to think about it.

I sometimes shut the blocker off just to try to see what everyone is wailing and complaining about. I'm convinced that there will always be enough people that don't bother to just block the stupid things that the handful of people who never see ads have nothing to worry about. Witness the number of slashdotters complaining about ads right here. Whatever. I don't see any ads.

Re:Easy Fix.... (5, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935432)

Use Mozilla or Phoenix or Netscape 7.1 and turn them off. Probolem solved!

Nah, I don't think so. Doesn't Mozilla/Phoenix block the javascript open() on the onLoad event? These new popups were probably made to circumvent that kind of protection by using javascript open() on the onMouseOver event.

I don't think Mozilla blocks all open() calls regardless what since then a lot of web sites I've visited that popup stuff when you click on a link shouldn't work.

Re:Easy Fix.... (1)

amorangi (187312) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935463)

If you are too lazy to install an ad blocker then you deserve all popups you get. These constant stories about advertising on the net annoy me as much as someone complaining about any other self inflicted pain. If you don't like it then deal with it - it's not that hard.

Re:Easy Fix.... (2)

ottffssent (18387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935471)

Depends on what you set. Mozilla has a long list of javascript permissions you can turn on or off. I believe the "nix unrequested popups" box ignores all new windows unless they're created by an onClick event. It sounds like these ads are of the "onMouseOver = 'go somewhere stupid'" type. The Mozilla option to disallow javascript changing the page you are at would fix that too.

Or you could just turn javascript off completely.

Re:Easy Fix.... (1)

Pathos78 (398591) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935472)

I don't think Mozilla blocks all open() calls regardless what since then a lot of web sites I've visited that popup stuff when you click on a link shouldn't work.

< biting sarcasm >

Boy, that should take a while to fix.

< /biting sarcasm >

So now businesses make the user experience worse, so new businesses spring up to block their crap, so now <A> other </A> businesses spring up to force us to degrade our browsing...

And mozilla, properly <A> customized </A> can just walk right over most of it. Any one else find this economic oscillation bizarre? OS/FS makes so much sense it must be illegal...

Re:Easier Fix.... (3, Insightful)

nautical9 (469723) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935438)

Turn off all javascript, sound, flash, shockwave, and other scripting techs... then you're safe. Oh, wait... then turn off all graphix & sound... then turn off that nasty CSS formatting most sites use nowadays (god I hate fonts)... then remove colors...

Weeeeee. We're in Surfin' Heaven! Nothin' like a B&W mono-spaced equally-formatted no-graphics page to inspire me...

Ok, maybe going a little too far... but these new methods of introducing dynamic content to an otherwise static medium actually CAN be useful, in the right hands.

In fact, all of them were developed with good intentions, and all can be used with purpose - it's just the few sockcuckers out there who take advantage of them that ruin it for the rest of us.

Re:Easier Fix.... (4, Insightful)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935486)

but these new methods of introducing dynamic content to an otherwise static medium actually CAN be useful, in the right hands.

Really? Care to point out a single constructive use of popups? (If I really want to open a link in a new window, I middle click it, period.) What about <blink>?

The web was designed for user control of presentation. Technologies that attempt to subvert this paradigm are *evil*. If you've got a good browser, you can only take what's good and throw out the rest (For example, in mozilla you can enable javascript but prevent javascript from opening popups). If you haven't got a good browser, switch.

Re:Easy Fix.... (3, Interesting)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935461)

This could get very interesting.

AOL shipped NS 7.0 without popup blocking because that would hurt advertisers' interests, but reversed their decision because of public outcry.

MS, of course, isn't bothered just yet. Now if more people start blocking popups with mozilla/netscape, advertisers will start trying more agressive methods, in turn leading more people to switch.

Could this tussle lead to a spiralling backlash against MSIE?

Provide the tutorial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935494)

Ok, so tell me HOW. I can't noddle it out.

edit your hosts.... (4, Informative)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935361)

my hosts file is already several KB long. Another entry is added everytime an advertiser annoys me. Like Robofind. Soon to be Orbitz, I'm sure.

Yes, I use mozilla a lot, but I still need IE for some sites.

Solutions (2)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935362)

  • use a quality browser : konqueror, mozilla, opera, phoenix block popups. The three latter are available on nearly any OS
  • surf to quality websites only : google, nerd sites, tgp galeries, nearly any type of website has a version that respects the customers.
Problem solved

Re:Solutions (1)

Lasalas (628720) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935428)

It's a shame these quality browsers can't stop intrusive flash inside divs..

It's a problem with all browsers in fact. There's actually no way of stopping those types of ads. the only ones browsers can successfully block properly are popups - and the technology for stopping such a method is very simple indeed; Af popup is requested by javascript, but not from a direct user-driven event, then disallow it.

Personally i think advertising will move away from popups in the few years to come, and transist to placing themselves on the actual pages, in front of content as layers.

These kind of ads are unstoppable, without severly reducing the abilities of legitimate sites.

Re:Solutions (2, Informative)

wscott (20864) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935467)

I recently installed adzapper [] on a squid [] proxy and it reduces way more ads than I was able to get with Mozilla alone.

All the annoying flash and shockwave ads are gone as well. Bliss!

apt-get install adzapper
And then set your proxy. TaDa!

This is new? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935363)

I seem to recall being subjected to mouse-over pop-ups a while ago, as well as on-load and on-close popups. Is this actually a new thing, or is the article just not up to date on how the web works?

Re:This is new? (2)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935394)


The mouseOver part is not to open the add, but to follow the link on the add. E.G. The pop-up opens, and as soon as you hover your mouse over the add (probably reaching for the close button), it whisks you away to it's destination (probably hi-jacking the artical you're reading), just as if you had click on the add.

Re:This is new? (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935405)

Actually, the ad opened a new browser window to the destination; it didn't hijack an existing window.

Not much of a bother... I am already used to closing pop-unders by right-clicking on their task bar icon, and picking Close from the menu.

Re:This is new? (1)

Aronymous Coward (619197) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935416)

That's one reason why it's pretty much essential nowadays to remember the keyboard equivalent for closing windows in your OS of choice. Ever been hijacked by a full-screen ad that hides all menu bars? Close it with the keyboard.

OT, who the hell thought that alt-f4 would make any sense for closing a window in Windows? Typing it with the left hand alone forces you to twist your wrist, and who would associate "f4" with "close" anyway? Mac OS got it down right the first time, as did BeOS.

Surf over to (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935364)

they have ads that just pop up on your screen no matter what you do. Its quite frustrating. I even have a pretty kick arse pop up killer from meaya.

Re:Surf over to (2)

StarHeart (27290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935380)

Have any exact urls? I was unable to find a page that gave me a popup.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935366)

Pop-ups block YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

MortisUmbra (569191) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935378)


word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935367)

word: no java

Re:word (1)

Fallen_Knight (635373) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935417)

Isn't that 2 words?

Does anyone have any URL's with examples of these (2)

SacredNaCl (545593) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935368)

types of Ads and know the server they are originating from? Just curious would like to see one. I'm guessing it uses either javascript or flash?

Filters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935369)
this thing rocks

Worse?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935371)

"wow, can they make our web surfing experience any worse?"

Yup, publish our surfing behaviour on the internet...

excellent promotion for alternate browsers (1)

tgke (258215) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935373)

This all sounds like nice possibilities for Mozilla (andother alternative browsers) to block those annoying ads in their default setup. Maybe M$ Internet Explorer might catch up one day, but I'm not waiting for that! ;-p

Re:excellent promotion for alternate browsers (5, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935418)

This all sounds like nice possibilities for Mozilla (andother alternative browsers) to block those annoying ads in their default setup. Maybe M$ Internet Explorer might catch up one day, but I'm not waiting for that! ;-p

Hmm... Moz can't just block these kind of ads or all those javascript menus and other leditimate onMouseOver scripts that's quite common might stop working.

However, Moz could add a feature similar to "block images from this server", but "block scripts from this server". However, the scripts can still be on the actual web server which won't help much since it would again block *all* scripts from the server which we don't want.

A solution might be to tell Mozilla to "block scripts associated with images of this size".

That's the best I can think of now, since ads almost never change size and it's fairly unusual to have legitimate images in the same standardized size as advertisments.

If we could find the Pop-Up Authors, we could... (3, Interesting)

dWhisper (318846) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935374)

Pop-ups are by far the single most annoying thing on the web. I'd say that by this trend, we're only a step away from the pop-up ad that automatically installs GATOR and whatnot just by sitting at a keyboard.

What is disconcerning about these ads that it's the same thing as if you were watching TV, and there was a product on the screen. By glancing at the product, your channel is changed to an Infomercial about that product. If it's anything like other ads, changing back to your channel will give you 4 PIP windows that support that product and other products by that company.

I thought it was bad enough when I saw the anti-pop scripting that existed on a site I went to. I still use my trusty Pop-UP Killer (may it rest in peace), and was rather annoyed to be denied access to a site based on my software choice.

I am seriously starting to wonder about the legality of pop-up ads and internet spyware. I don't have a problem with things that function like a TV commericial (banner ads, or Advertisement and Click-to-continue at Gamespy), but I despise it when someone else tries to determine what I should look at, and hate it even more when someone decides to put something I didn't authorize on my system.

I say we gather up all these pop-up authors in room. Tie them all together, and make them run Windows Me on 386s. After that, we'll just send them to Equitorial Guinea to be humanitarian workers.

Re:If we could find the Pop-Up Authors, we could.. (1)

Xrikcus (207545) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935402)

Something similar happened to me the other day, I was browsing away and something popped up, it was one of those annoying "Do you want to install this" windows in IE. Of course by an extreme and infuriating coincidence the "Yes" button was right over the link I was trying to click.

After that even though I disabled the bar that it had installed Explorer was crashing under xp and I couldn't browse anything, took me a good amount of wasted time trying to track it down and get rid of it.

Re:Allready been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935434)

There are a few websites that use known security holes to install gator and other spyware. And before you say "patch your browser", check out for a list of known holes with no patch (short of 98lite). And before you say that gator has added their own EULA screen to prevent that, remember that it can easily be bypassed by just about anyone who did game cracks back in the 80's when codewheels and manual checks were common.

Re:If we could find the Pop-Up Authors, we could.. (2)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935451)

Doesn't some do that already? I recall hosted sites doing this. Not because the hosted sites are evil of course, but because adds some code to all of them.

In IE, you're asked if you wish to install a spyware (through a rather cryptic IE dialog about certificates for novice users) and then given the options OK and Cancel. I wonder how many "amateur surfers" click OK there. :-P

Who cares? (1)

Aronymous Coward (619197) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935375)

If the pop-ups don't show up in the first place, you don't have to worry about any mousing over them.

Gotta love modern browsers. Oh, IE doesn't do that without the use of additional tools? Huh.

Re:Who cares? (3, Insightful)

90XDoubleSide (522791) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935413)

But the same technology could someday be used on banner ads; the marketers are just pointing out what anyone who codes for the web already knows: if your browser will run any piece of JavaScript sent to it, any website can do whatever it wants to your browsing experience, including bringing it to a grinding halt, and if your machine doesn't have protected memory, crash it. Pop-up blocking is only the first step in what will have to be a shift from the creation of new languages and plug-ins to let content creators do whatever they want on the viewers' machine, to have browsers decide what is reasonable for a web page to do. Pop-up windows not initiated by clicking a link quickly became one obvious thing that pages shouldn't be allowed to do, but flash ads that take over the page and ads that load if you mouse over them make you realize that there are many more things they shouldn't be allowed to do either. But if alternate browsers keep innovating, and IE keeps doing whatever the javascripts and plugins tell it, this can only help drive people to the alternatives.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Aronymous Coward (619197) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935449)

Well, I agree with you completely.

I only wanted to point out that this particular exploit (I do consider it an exploit) already has well-known workarounds in most common, clueful browsers. The "Who cares" in my subject was meant only to specifically address this so-called "Next-Gen Pop-up Ad"; I actually do care a great deal about the topic of browser behavior in general.

It Harasses People with Visually Disabilities (1)

ivi (126837) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935377)

It's hard enough to make a screen reader
work satisfactorily if your need one now;
just wait until the screens change (new
pop-up windows at the hover of a mouse).

I really think this comprises harass-
ment to PWD's.

Re:It Harasses People with Visually Disabilities (2)

MonTemplar (174120) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935475)

It's hard enough to make a screen reader work satisfactorily if your need one now; just wait until the screens change (new pop-up windows at the hover of a mouse).

I really think this comprises harassment to PWD's.

Good point! I suspect, though, that the sites that are taking on this new breed of super-intrusive ad probably weren't too concerned with gaining the custom of visually-disabled user in the first place. :(

But we can use this as a lever to persuade other, more civil-minded sites not to succumb...

Hmm? (2)

MadFarmAnimalz (460972) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935383)

I tried the popup in question on and mouseovering took me nowhere...

Anyone with more success?

Bloody annoying... as any pop under ad (3, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935385)

Go to espn [] to see this thing in action. I don't think this form of advertising is much worse than regular pop-ups, just slightly more annoying. I do wonder how advertising agencies will distinguish between eyeballs and click-throughs... since many people will click-through accidently on these things.

A favorite quote from the article: "There's an enormous segment of the population that are appreciating these ads". Eh, name one!

Re:Bloody annoying... as any pop under ad (2)

jedrek (79264) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935431)

Advertising agencies, media houses - anyone who profits as a go between the sites and advertisers.

Re:Bloody annoying... as any pop under ad (2, Insightful)

bheerssen (534014) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935446)

The whole point of advertising is eyeballs, not clickthroughs. Advertising creates brand awareness. If people actually click on the ad, that's a plus, but just having been viewed is often good enough. And that's why pop-ups/unders are so effective for many companies.

You have no right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935386)

to a pop up free web experience.. havent you learned that yet. This is capitalism damnit... if we cant force feed you advertising in your dreams, pumped directly into your brain then poor little children in some far off land will starve.. wont someone please think of the children.

But seriously, I dont think they've figured out that it wont likely work, and no I'm sure they think we DONT have the right to a pop-up free web experience. The problem with this is of course that its generally so easy to ignore other types of ads ( I can avoid pop-ups too - my alt-f4 trigger finger is faster than you advertising demons ). But thats what they dont get. The web is not a broadcast medium but a narrow cast medium so you cant force feed people adverts in the way you can on TV. But then again we already know they're idiots who dont get it. The only way ads work on the net really is if people wish to see then, or take notice. Slashdots ads work fine.. I notice them everyday and even click once in a while to follow up on some of them but pop-ups will only piss people off more than they do know and if anything engender ill will towards said advertiser.

It could be worse.. (5, Funny)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935388)

It could be worse... They could make it so that your browser crashed whenever you went to certain webpa...

Oh wait. They already do that.

Nevermind. ;)

Hrmm (3, Insightful)

acehole (174372) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935390)

Perhaps I'm not the only one that is thinking that they should have put a couple of restrictions when they introduced commercialism on the internet.

And I swear I'll break the fingers of anyone who makes that 'In soviet Russia....' joke.

Re:Hrmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935409)

And I swear I'll break the fingers of anyone who makes that 'In soviet Russia....' joke

Yeah, but in soviet Russia *CRACK*

Re:Hrmm (2)

lpontiac (173839) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935492)

Perhaps I'm not the only one that is thinking that they should have put a couple of restrictions when they introduced commercialism on the internet.

Why? All that the site is doing is sending an instruction to your computer, telling it to open a window/site/image etc. Instruct your computer to ignore this. You can place whatever restrictions you like on your computer!

One more reason (4, Interesting)

90XDoubleSide (522791) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935391)

...that browser makers need to shift more and more from blindly displaying and executing whatever code comes with a web page, to screening that content to provide the best experience for the user.

This has started with things like disabling the blink tag and having pop-up blockers, and now we see that browsers should not allow certain actions to be triggered simply by a mouseover, and so on. Remember things like this the next time you see someone on bugzilla commenting about how the browser has to respect command X because it's in the standard!

Um.. javascript mouseovers... NOT new... (1)

chemguru (104422) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935392)

Look... I just invented a new tool called the wheel! Oh, wait....

Alternative browsers. (2, Insightful)

MortisUmbra (569191) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935396)

Ok, I see alot of "oh just use Mozilla or Opera or Pheonix". Well, what do you suggest I do when I want to access my bank account ( and cannot because they have problems with Mozilla not always working right so just decided to disable it entirely? What about the flash-enabled pages I want to visit that, in IE work fine, but in Mozilla hang with a persistent "Loading...." screen? Or the plethora of other sites that don't work right?

Now I am not saying it's Mozillas fault, I'm sure alot of the offbeat layout problems are actually the designers screw up, but that doesn't change the fact that I cannot view the site. If adhering solidly to standardsmeans you cannot view more than just a few websites, then I guess I will have to use that "crappy" IE6. Another thing, I don't appreciate a piece of software that, after taking as long as it did to be released, makes my PC respond like a PII 400Mhz with PC66 RAM. God help you if you minimize Moz for awhile and do other things, you'd think it died when you restored the window! No other browser acts like that.

My point is, lets come up with solutions to this problem that are a bit more practical than "only use these browsers to view only these sites". Because that is NO solution.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935406)

Or maybe it's I haven't BT.

Re:Alternative browsers. (1)

chemguru (104422) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935423)

Try changing the Browser Identification to IE 5.0 or whatever.... I've had no problems what so ever getting to any of my bank's pages.

Re:Alternative browsers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935426) and cannot because they have problems with Mozilla not always working right so just decided to disable it entirely?

Get a bank with a clue! Really! Here over in Germany *waves* most banks use just HTTPS and work dang fine with any browser you can think of. I used Konqueror to do my banking for a long time and now use Mozilla - no problems.

Re:Alternative browsers. (2)

tempfile (528337) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935433)

The only solution can be by legislation. I don't know about the USA, but Germany, for example, has some rather strict rules concerning TV ads, limiting their length, their percentage in programming time, defining that they shall be strictly separated from the stations' own programming, and more.

Web ads, as they can be even more annoying, need similar rulings. Ads like these should be defined as harassment, and you should be able to file an information about that. The size, amount of scripting designed to circumvent (hey... where did I hear that phrase last?) user input or to annoy the user etc. should be strictly limited. It's very important that the USA receive such legislation because most commercial web sites with such extremely penetrant ads are US based.

Re:Alternative browsers. (2)

cortana (588495) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935457)

Frankly, get another bank: it's their job to cater to your requirements. That's why you allow them to keep your money for you! There is a list floating around somewhere of which banking systems work with which browsers.

Mozilla performing poorly on your system is a different matter. Have you tried Opera? The only reason I use Mozilla (well, Phoenix) today is because Opera 6 couldn't do the flashy DHTML stuff that some sites needed, and I *do* miss Opera's speed--however Opera 7 has just come out with vastly improved DHTML support... and a mode that makes any page look like it was rendered on a C64!! :)

this plus one click = no click? (5, Funny)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935400)

Maybe amazon should try and patent this type of thing, popup a window, when you mouse over it automatically purchase the book! Imagine the convenience, you no longer will have to even use the energy required to punch a single button, everything is taken care for you. And the best part is you don't even have to think about the purchase, the've already done it for you! Imagine getting the hottest book sells in the coutry delivered right to your door!

Microsoft Pop-Up Ads ? (1)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935404)

You mean right here, in Slashdot ? There will be Visual.NET pop-up ads ?

Sigh (1)

Isbiten (597220) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935410)

And that's why you should boycott companies that force you to visit theyre sites. If I want to buy something from them, I'll find them don't worry.

How apt (3, Funny)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935414)

The Orbitz ads feature interactive games with snowballs, reindeer and snowflakes that ask people to join in a snowball fight, for example.

How apt. Getting hit by all those popups can be very much like getting caught in a snowball fight.

No Problem (2)

koh (124962) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935419)

Sure it's quite a harsh move (can we call it a "feature" ??), but I don't think it really matters. Just use a filtering proxy like Privoxy or Junkbuster and regexp out the involved events :)

In addition, there's a good chance that this will piss off even Joe L. User sooner or later...

Hit 'em where it HURTS! (2, Interesting)

GargoyleTS (633785) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935421)

The heck with ignoring them! Most companies pay to advertise and that payment is oft-times based on CLICK-THRU!! They put on the blindfold and walked right up to the wall, i say we PULL THE TRIGGER! Everytime you find one of the mouse-pop URL, give it to all your friends and spend a couple of minutes just reloading and mousing over and closing after 30 seconds. O*bitz and anyone else foolish enough to do this will soon be BANKRUPT! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

It's a Video Game (1)

Entropy248 (588290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935427)

I like to think of it like a really complicated video game.

1) Use Alt+Tab to switch to the offending window without actually bringing it up. Then, quickly let go and hit Alt+F4 to close the window.

2) Get Pop-Up Stopper [] . It's free & this article doesn't even mention whether pop-up blockers are effective against it, but I assume they are.

3) ????

4) Profit.

Here is a simple example of such (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935429)

Give this one a try. []

simple javascript, surprised no one has thought of this before.

As an odd bit of irony. . . (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935491)

I had to switch to IE to see what the hell the parent post was talking about.

In Konquerer with Java disabled the demonstration of the abuse never occured and just left me staring in puzzlement at the page.


Varities (1)

C.Maggard (635855) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935435)

There's some pop-up ads I only find mildly annoying; for example, the occasional Geocities pop-up. However, there are a lot more vicious ones out there. I experienced one that, when Xed out or Alt-F4ed, opened a new pop-up, and when the new one was closed, it popped the old one back up. Suffice it to say, I was happy at that moment for XP's 'Close Group' feature. But just mousing over without any warning doesn't seem as malicious as recursive pop-ups, unless they're combined to create a greater evil.

This reminds me of an infamous troll! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935440)

Some troll exploited a bug on slashdot a few months ago and created a 'kick-through'

It was something like this

<p &gt; onmouseover="alert('You are a loser');this.href=''">Large chunk of text to make sure you get kicked through!</p>

That troll was a classic!

Remember what slashdotters did to the spammer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4935441)

Maybe its time to post the principles' info from both the discount travel retailer quoted in the article, including the guy in charge of marketing, and of the interactive ad agency that came up with this ad for the discount travel retailer, and that is enabling this crap?

How does that go again? Get name, address, phone numbers, email addresses from publicly available information sites, and post here for the spambots to pick up?

The travel site principles should be easy to get. The ad agency may be harder. But if they're going to be annoying a huge segment of 'net users, perhaps they should get a taste?

Re:Remember what slashdotters did to the spammer? (1)

GargoyleTS (633785) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935473)

The O*bitz ads are Flash. ( and i call the O*bitz in the hope i find them in those pages soon...)

Vote with your e-mail, not just your feet! (4, Insightful)

MonTemplar (174120) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935442)

If more people contacted the websites that are running the really intrusive adverts, telling them why the ads are so annoying, and asking them to reconsider, then we'd stand a better chance of seeing the back of them.

As it is, we seem to be locked into an Arms Race of sorts - ad companies devise new ad format, ad blockers move to block them, repeat ad nauseum... Just blocking the ads will only attract the attention of the ad company, not the owner of the site displaying the ads.

guaranteed fix... (5, Funny)

Vaughn Anderson (581869) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935447)

I found my cable modem has this long black thing plugged into it, and if I pull it out it completely and utterly cuts off all internet advertising... it's quite amazing.

Whatever happened to smart advertising? (5, Insightful)

Vegard (11855) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935448)

Internet is a wonderful media, used right. It *could* also be a wonderful media for the advertising business.

The reason the ads get larger and more annoying, is that noone clicks on them - because no one WANTS those ads. This is *not* going to change by making them more annoying, only the oppsosite.

No, the advertising business does *not* understand Internet. Had they done that, they would have done a lot more targeted advertising, to people who WANTED it, and perhaps even used some effort to build up interesting web-sites related to the field they operated in.

Take, for example, a sports chain. Would it be as annoying if a sports chain co-financed a sports news site, or an outdoor activities site? There could be a prominent, non-intrusive link on the front page, pointing to "shop". This is only one example of things that would be less intrusive but perhaps more effective.

Instead of buying ads, buy a part of a well-used website, make the commercial section well accessible from the front page, but non-intrusive unless you REALLY want to see it.

Another thing they could do, once having bought access to an internet site, is participate in talkback fora. Teach a person that task, and make him inform about general topics AND advice about products. What makes me like and want to buy from a shop, is *service*, *well-informed personell* and willingness to help.

In other words - contribute to the community, make your name known through *that*, and I think one would benefit in the long run.

There might be better ways than my examples, they're just examples of ways *I* think are better than push-your-ads-in-the-face-of-too-many-people-strat egies.

But no, the advertising business hasn't understood the media at all. It's all about pushing annoying ads in the face of unwilling customers, in the hope of catching *one* willing customer more.

Ask not... (2)

crashnbur (127738) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935454)

Ask not how they can worsen our web-surfing, but how we can fight them back! They are stamping over our right to the "pursuit of happiness", not to mention privacy issues. Last I checked, newspapers don't contain popup ads (popup books are just scary!)... There must be something we can do. Hire a good cyberlawyer. :-)

Blocked! (2, Insightful)

00Monkey (264977) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935458)

The more annoying the advertisement, the more people that will try to find a way to block it. I'm sure with a little programming, it won't be a problem to do so...and it may not even need that.

I sit here and look at the ads on Slashdot while I'm typing away...I don't look for long and I'm not interested in what I've seen so far but the key part is that I am looking at them. If the ad popped up in my face or made me click links, etc I would immediately find a way to stop it and ignore whatever it says because I'm too irritated to care.

A way to fight back? (5, Insightful)

Kasmiur (464127) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935460)

Bandwidth is expensive. If we were to take 20K slashdot users and have them try and go through the website as much as possible we could eat up thier bandwidth. Thereforth costing them more money without actually buying anything.

I personally have been boycotting any company that uses a popup ad that I have run across. It doesnt appear to be doing much. But a boycott is something I can do forever while trying to get others to do the same.

though using up thier bandwidth sounds nice. theres gotta be a way to call for the download of a single .jpg x1000 without it actually caching on my machine. though a jpg would only be 50K I am looking at it along the lines 50Megs but if I get some program that could do that on 10 machines at work have them eat up 500megs of bandwidth a hour would equal what 12gigs a day. 360gigs a month. If I can get them to download a larger gif perhaps I could reach 500gigs a month. Thats gotta cost them some money. Perhaps make them go out of business so thier add wont popup anymore.

But that would be wrong too.

so boycotting it will have to be.
Ignore what I just wrote. And do not use it for evil purposes.

Re:A way to fight back? (2)

ninthwave (150430) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935469)

Plus you would be using a similiar amount of bandwidth at work. But a community like this could eat up their bandwidth just by slashdot agreeing to do the ads and everyone whom disagrees with the ads ignore them or even worse click on them so the advertiser pays slashdot they get tons of click stats but no sales of products. And it is not evil it is consumer choice using the market system to express the irrelevance of some market techniques.

Who needs spelling and punctuation?

Well I do.

Re:A way to fight back? (2)

Treeluvinhippy (545814) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935479)

for (i=0, i null

or something like that.

Whoa slashcode screwed up my post (2)

Treeluvinhippy (545814) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935488)

or maybe it was me so I'll try again.

for (i=0, i<1000, i++)
wget someserver/somefolder/whatever.jpg > null

or something like that.

better: just slow down the connection (3, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935493)

Not only would the repeated downloading eat up your own bandwidth too, but it would congest the network for others around the world. A better system would be to have your client download the ad reeeeeeaaaaaalllllyyy sssssssssllllllllloooooooowwwwwwwlllllyyyy. That way, you tie up the server for a minute say, for each connection request. This is bandwidth friendly and blocks only the advertized server from servicing other customers in the time you download.

So What (1)

fredistheking (464407) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935464)

How is this worse than a popup ad that doesn't require you to do anything at all? Am I missing something?


ianezz (31449) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935474) banners CHASE your mouse pointer!


mpchatty (622391) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935498)

Given that my bandwidth (and other resources eg CPU time, Memory, Drive space) are *MINE*, and IIRC, under UK law, it is illegal to send unsolicited commercial email (unauthorized use of somebody elses resources == theft).. How are banner ads this intrusive any different? When will the insanity stop? When you switch on your computer, and are forced to watch a 10 minute commercial before your OS boots?

2 Possible Solutions? (5, Insightful)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935484)

Why don't we use the power of Slashdot? Suppose all of us made a perfectly legit phone call to 888-656-4546, the contact number on the Orbitz site, and told them, "I just want to let your company know as long as you use pop-up ads, especially with kick-through, I will go to your competitor's site instead."

It's kind of like "Alice's Restaurant." If one of us does it, they'll think s/he's nuts and ignore them. If two of us do it....and so on. If several thousand people called them and voiced perfectly legit complaints about their method of advertising, and this went on to the tune of several thousand calls a day for a week or more, the costs would ad up and they just might feel they need to change their ways. It's a variation on some of the passive resistance tactics used in the South in the Civil Rights Movement.

Another possibility -- and IANAL, but I might be checking with a friend who is, would be to see if you can legitimately "sell" space and use of your computer. Specify that any banner ads are acceptable, but you are charging a company a fee of $100 per ad for each window that they open up on your computer without your requesting that window. Say you don't want their product, but you are offering them the chance to test their software and you will report all successful events to them when you bill them.

This is similar to the tactic a private citizen's group (I think they're called Private Citizen) has used to get many of their members off telemarking lists. They tell the marketers they may not call their list of numbers because their members don't want to buy their product. Then they make an offer for the company to test their telemarking system by calling their members, and the rate per test is $100 or more per instance. They also specify all a company has to do to accept this offer is to call their members. This has stood up in court!

Anyway, there's two suggestions. I think the first, if organized, like what people are doing to Ralsky for his spam, would have SOME kind of effect on Orbitz. I don't even know if the second one can be done legally.

Related - Aqua Teens "Interfection" episode (1)

kobotronic (240246) | more than 11 years ago | (#4935499)

One of the funniest ATHF episodes EVAR.
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