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Snopes Pushing Zango Adware

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the say-it-ain't-so dept.

Security 256

DaMan writes "Here's something that isn't an urban legend — Snopes, the popular urban legends reference site, has been pushing adware, for at least 6 months, to users via ads displayed on its Web site. No one seems to have called them on it until recently."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I hear... (5, Funny)

Landshark17 (807664) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216102)

They also run spam servers... http://xkcd.com/250/ [xkcd.com]

It's not a Snopes Problem. (-1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216366)

It's a non free software problem. Free software users don't have to download software from untrusted third parties. No closed source software can be trusted, so Windoze users who don't get software from Snopes ads should not feel so smug. There is very little difference between M$ and Zango.

Re:It's not a Snopes Problem. (3, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217122)

It's a non free software problem. Free software users don't have to download software from untrusted third parties. No closed source software can be trusted, so Windoze users who don't get software from Snopes ads should not feel so smug. There is very little difference between M$ and Zango.
Sheesh.

1: Unless you went through the code yourself, don't trust it. Maybe you can trust the maintainer of that code, but either way you end up trusting a third party.

2: Spelling it "Windoze" and "M$" just makes me think you're a moron. You're not a moron, are you? Why would you want me to think that?

3: Microsoft takes my money and gives me software that is as good or better than what I can get elsewhere. (Otherwise, I don't go to MS.) Zango would take my privacy, and give me... what, exactly? Third-rate software I can find better from a freshman off his first coding binge?

Re:I hear... (3, Funny)

kentrel (526003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216384)

I read that comic too a few weeks ago, and did some research to try and verify it, but couldn't find any significant evidence.

Anyone find any?

Re:I hear... (2, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216728)

I read that comic too a few weeks ago, and did some research to try and verify it, but couldn't find any significant evidence.
I think humor is not your forte.

The joke is about Symantec and all of the other anti-virus/mal-ware companies. The urban legend is that they are in cahoots with the virus writers in order to keep their anti-virus business in business.

I think it is at least as true as the FBI looking the other way when their informants commit 'petty' crimes because they think that getting the big fish is worth it.

Re:I hear... (2)

kentrel (526003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217236)

Oh now I get it..

Humour is my forté. However, humour about the inner workings of anti-virus and mal-ware companies is still on my to-do list. Know any good stand up albums I should listen to? I hear Symantec Kinison is really good. :D







I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry

Re:I hear... (2, Funny)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216552)


They also run spam servers... http://xkcd.com/250/ [xkcd.com]


Meh, I read somewhere that that was debunked.

Re:I hear... (0, Redundant)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216620)

Who by?

You guys must be on drugs. . . . (1)

pushf popf (741049) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217180)

All I see when I go there is: "Privoxy blocked http://www.snopes.com/common/include/adsdaqsky.asp [snopes.com] ."

The internet is a beautiful place when you remove all the crap.

If people only knew this was an option there would be riots in the streets.

My email contains no spam and my browser contains no ads. Things don't pop up, under, slide around or tell me to "Punch the monkey". Life is good.

This sounds fake... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216108)

Maybe I should go check an urban myth site to see if it's real...

According to snopes... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216118)

...this is an urban legend.

News For Nerds HOW??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216122)

Is is just a slow news day or something?
This is such a nonstory.

Re:News For Nerds HOW??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216198)

Well, if you really are are nerd, you'll be interested to know that the malware you're fixing on [insert whomever roped you into free tech support]'s computer came from snopes after you sent them there, after getting an "OMG this letterz from George Carlin (no, not really) is SOOO TRUE!!!!" type mail. Again.

Oneword (0)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216128)

Adblock

Re:Oneword (3, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216206)

Which is probably responsible for no one knowing about the adware for so long.

Re:Oneword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216260)

So few people use AdBlock and even fewer who install it bother to configure it that your statement is probably not true.

Adblock Plus (2, Insightful)

Artuir (1226648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216842)

It might be Adblock Plus, then. It automatically prompts upon your first Firefox load (after installing the addon, of course) for a subscription server. After that, you don't need to touch a thing. I didn't know Snopes (or most sites for that matter) even ran ads until I saw this article.

Re:Oneword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216900)

What planet are you on? Better yet, what kind of drugs are they passing out that everyone accepts pop-ups?
For shit's sake, ABP doesn't even make you manually block anything.

That or free software. (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216430)

Adblock, or that 80% of Slashdot readers are GNU/Linux users and that even the biggest Vista fanboy here would not install software served in a popup and they trouble themselves with a monthly wipe and reloads for that fresh M$ smell.

Re:Oneword (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216494)

Exactly. I visit snopes regularly but had no idea they used ads, much less adware pushing ones, thanks to Adblock and Noscript

Adblock (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216402)

Does this Zango company make an adblocker too? I recently read that they block spam email [blogspot.com] . Would you subscribe me to your posts?

Re:Oneword (2, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216542)

Who needs adblock? I just run a stock Firefox, and visit Snopes regularly. Every once in a while a pop-up appears and is instantly squashed. I can't remember the last time I saw one stay up long enough to read what it was advertising.

Re:Oneword (1)

twbecker (315312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216588)

Do yourself a favor and just try Adblock Plus. It's not just about popups.

Re:Oneword (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216834)

AdBlock Plus [mozilla.org] and Filterset.G [mozilla.org]

Use them. It's just four clicks and a Restart. Install Now. Install Now. Install Now. Install Now. Restart.

Enjoy.

Re:Oneword (3, Funny)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217232)

Use them. It's just four clicks and a Restart. Install Now. Install Now. Install Now. Install Now. Restart.
I just did, but I'm still seeing your message, so obviously it doesn't work.

Re:Oneword (1)

TheRealPhilKenSebben (1011981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216800)

Two words: Nobody cares

News? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216136)

All kinds of sites have those sort of crap ads. It's regrettable, but is it really news?

Re:News? (3, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216544)

The news part is the fact that it's actively being discussed on a site like Slashdot. Here's the note I just sent Snopes via their web contact form [snopes.com] :

As you are probably already aware, Slashdot is running a story (http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/29/0047236 [slashdot.org] ) about malware being served up from advertisements hosted on your site. This malware appears to be in the form of misleading popup ads for Zango (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zango [wikipedia.org] | http://www.zango.com [zango.com] ), which is a company with a long-standing track record of deceptive business practices (reference FTC settlement here: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/11/zango.shtm [ftc.gov] [which they have mostly failed to learn from]). These ads are being served by the Fastclick ad network, which is operated by ValueClick Media (http://www.valueclickmedia.com/ [valueclickmedia.com] ). I strongly object to any site profiting from these sort of irresponsible ads, and would like to see prompt action on the part of Snopes to remedy this situation. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Re:News? (2, Funny)

badasscat (563442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216592)

The news part is the fact that it's actively being discussed on a site like Slashdot.

Help me understand this.

It's news on Slashdot... because it's news on Slashdot?

That's a pretty meta way of determining newsworthiness...

So it also follows that if it was not news on Slashdot, then it wouldn't make it onto Slashdot?

Re:News? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216606)

I suppose my point is that I'm glad the issue is receiving more widespread attention than it might otherwise.

Re:News? (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216952)

It's news on Slashdot... because it's news on Slashdot?Of course! The more something's posted on Slashdot, the greater the chance of it being posted on Slashdot. All original content is due to error on the part of the editors.

Turncoat! (3, Funny)

Misanthrope (49269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216146)

Stay good Snopes! Stay good!

Re:Turncoat! (2, Funny)

hiryuu (125210) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216776)

You forgot the <kiki></kiki> tags... :P

adblock (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216164)

That's funny. I visited them and didn't see a thing. But then again my adblock filter has "media.fastclick.net/*" included.

Re:adblock (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216742)

That's funny. I visited them and didn't see a thing. But then again my adblock filter has "media.fastclick.net/*" included.

My AdBlock filter doesn't have anything in it, plus I have popups enabled, and I too haven't been able to find this ad. Either they've already done something about it, or it's nearly as prevalent as TFA makes it sound.

I'd also like to add that TFA says "and by running this ad, Snopes, which is highly reputable, is providing an implied endorsement of the product." Seriously? Does anyone out there actually place any value at all on the choice of ads displayed on an otherwise free website? I don't honestly believe that the Mikkelson's endorse, or, for that matter, are even aware of the majority of the ads that are served on their site. They most likely get their ads through a third-party that just rotates various ads and sends them a cheque.

Re:adblock (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216820)

and by running this ad, Snopes, which is highly reputable, is providing an implied endorsement of the product.
Man, Slashdot mush *really* endorse Microsoft products then!

Re:adblock (1)

r6_jason (893331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216830)

I use the blocksite mod for FF my string looks like this:

"http://pcturbopro.com|||http://us2.4you.dada.net|||http://amaena.com|||http://winantivirus.com|||http://www.drivecleaner.com|||http://longlifepc.com|||http://scanner2.malware-scan.com/"

That all seems to be the same ad btw, for some antivirus software that is in fact spyware.

Also run WOT.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3456 [mozilla.org]

What any of this has to do w/ anything I don't know...

Coincidentally... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216188)

"Pushing Zango" is Dominican slang for having sex with an elderly woman. It's true.

Re:Coincidentally... (5, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217166)

Is that Dominican-the-country or Dominican-the-Catholic-religious-order?

Re:Coincidentally... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217244)

That's not what snopes.com says...

xkcd has this covered: (0, Redundant)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216196)

ObLink: http://xkcd.com/250/ [xkcd.com]

XKCD (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216204)

http://xkcd.com/250/ [xkcd.com] /Obligatory

all about the money (3, Insightful)

bjmoneyxxx (1227784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216208)

Snopes isn't something built for the common good of people, it's their to generate money, and they just happen to choose one of the darker ways to do it. "Do you want to block junk sites?"

Re:all about the money (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216522)

I just tried to fill out their Contact Us page to ask them about their use of the Zango malware. My form submission threw an error on their server side ASP code. The really scary thing, look at the error message:

Error Type:
Microsoft VBScript runtime (0x800A01A
Object required: 'zango' /cgi-bin/comments/webmail.asp, line 132

We'll see if any spam starts coming in to the (unique) address that I submitted to that form.

What this says to me though is that not only are they including JavaScript for an ad banner network, but their server side code is making references to 'zango' by name, implying a deeper relationship.

I think it's safe to assume for the time being that Snopes probably doesn't have your best interests at heart, and to not use an e-mail address that you care about if you choose to communicate with them.

No urban legend, that's confirmed. (5, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216668)

I get the same result. I thought I had sent my complaint (reference this post [slashdot.org] via their web form, but upon clicking back over to that tab I noticed the same error you got. So, to contact them about Zango's abusive business practices, I have to install Zango's abusive software to interact with their server, or it generates an error? Wow. Somebody's smoking some good stuff at Snopes. WHIOS has the following registry data for snopes.com:

Administrative Contact , Technical Contact :
Mikkelson, David
snopes@best.com
P.O. Box 684
Agoura Hills, CA 91376
US
Phone: (702) 988-4047
Fax: (818) 261-3054

The phone number appears to ring to offices at "best.com", who says their offices are presently closed and offer to take a message. Keying "best.com" into your browser will redirect to Verio [verio.com] . And round and round we go. I think I'll send a fax to the number listed in WHOIS.

Re:all about the money (1)

Desprez (702166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216898)

CONFIRMED: Mod parent up.

It likely wasn't Snopes' decision (4, Insightful)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216734)

A quick primer in online advertising, for those of you who block it:

At one end of the chain, we have Content Provider A. At the other end of the chain, we have Service Provider Z. Z wants to place advertising on A's site but, importantly, doesn't know how to do it, doesn't generally know specifically who A is, and needs this to scale to potentially thousands of As. This is where participants B, C, D, E, F, Google, H... etc come in. There are advertising aggregators, affiliate networks, affiliates, affiliates of affiliates, affiliates of affilates of networks of affiliates who subdivide the advertising market into smaller and smaller slices before it finally gets on A's site.

Now, somewhere in the chain, let us inject one person who is less than scrupulous. He doesn't work at Snopes -- this would tarnish a brand for a week's worth of income, not a smart play. He probably has a steady stream of relationships with each of the numerous advertising concerns on the Internet, picking up and moving from one after he has collected a check or three and then had the banstick for TOS violations catch up with him. He is the one working for, most probably, affiliate of an affiliate of an affiliate of Zango.

This is the way most malware makes its way onto ad networks and, from there, onto high-trust sites. Volokh Conspiracy, one of my favorite blogs, had a nasty browser hijacker which affected non-US users for months before their advertising network caught wind of it. A few popular MMORPG sites have ended up hosting keyloggers in the same fashion. It is an unintended consequence of a system without central control -- much like the Internet itself, actually. (The system being split up this way does have its advantages, for both endpoints of the chain and for everybody between. Google's business model is based on snapping the chain and replacing it with a big cloud labeled Gooooooogle, but they're not yet the only game in town.)

It's their right to be creepy... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216844)

You're right, they have every right to be creepy, and you and I have every right to bitch about it, and put pressure on them to quit being creepy.

In other non-news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216210)

....GetALife.com has considered using adware. HD @ 11.

Obnoxious Advertising (4, Informative)

driftingwalrus (203255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216258)

Snopes has long had obnoxious levels of advertising. The site really isn't usable without AdBlock.

Re:Obnoxious Advertising (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216902)

That explains it! I was like, "snopes has ads?" Actually I'm mildly surprised to see ads on a lot of sites when I have to use a browser that doesn't have adblock or privoxy handy.

Re:Obnoxious Advertising (1)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216994)

I agree. I like the content on the site, and refer people to it somewhat regularly (the need to purge the world of stupid urban legends and the even stupider people who propagate them overrides my hatred for money-grubbing, popup-laden websites). However, I've long noticed that Snopes is one of the worst "mainstream" websites in terms of popup/unders, webpages heavily laced with ads, etc. I know that's how they stay afloat, but it's getting obnoxious. I'd think twice before I go there again, however, in light of the Zango thing.

On a related note; here are good instructions on how to use a pre-modified HOSTS file to block ads. Good for those who still use IE (as there sadly doesn't appear to be a good IE alternative to FF's excellent Adblock Plus + Filterset_G): http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] . There are lots of ways to do this (blocking at the router, 3rd-party software blocking progs, use FF, etc.), this is one of them. :)

Re:Obnoxious Advertising (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217132)

Actually, for IE (in fact for anything on Windows) there's AdMuncher [admuncher.com] - its the one piece of software I've yet to find a good replacement for on the Mac, and I still miss it. Since it taps in at the network layer, it even filters things like MSN messenger just fine. Its also excellent at knowing which ads to just delete, which to replace with blank space, &c, in order to keep the page looking good.

Misleading Summary (4, Informative)

setirw (854029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216298)

This summary is somewhat misleading, since the user actually has to click the banner to install the software. Contrary to what the summary implies, Snopes does not perform drive-by downloads on its users. By the logic of this summary, tons of online publishers "push adware," since those "Free Virus Scan" ads are pretty ubiquitous...

Re:Misleading Summary (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216340)

This summary is somewhat misleading, since the user actually has to click the banner to install the software.
I know, and I had a hell of a time trying to get it to work under Wine! they really should fix that

I don't see any claim for driveby install (3, Insightful)

Tran (721196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216368)

But he does say that since people trust Snopes that the software appears to be enorsed by Snopes. Which would lead people to go ahead and install it.

Re:I don't see any claim for driveby install (2, Interesting)

loss angeles (1227658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216556)

But he does say that since people trust Snopes that the software appears to be enorsed by Snopes. Which would lead people to go ahead and install it.

So.. Snopes readers... Who are generally somewhat cautious, skeptical or suspicious sorts, if only because they're most likely there to debunk some urban legend that's been going around... Are going to blindly install a shady virus scanner from a pop-up window ad.

I'm sure there's an exception to prove the rule, but I just don't see it happening. The fact that it hasn't been noticed for so long is a pretty good indication that most Snopes readers don't even allow pop-ups, or if they do they tune them out without a thought like they do on a hundred other sites a week.

All this says to me is that Snopes isn't careful who they allow as sponsors. After being a very casual visitor of Snopes for over a decade I think it's safe to say that while the quality of writing and research is pretty good, it's not exactly a "professional" site. It's quite possible that the editors themselves had no idea these ads were there, particularly if they use a middleman or service to broker their advertising.

Re:I don't see any claim for driveby install (1)

Tran (721196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216702)

interesting point.
Are current Snopes visitors always the cautious/suspicious kind?
Or has Snopes become / starting to become part of the common culture?
I don't know.

Of course, I did not see any ads not having Javascript on by default.

Re:I don't see any claim for driveby install (5, Insightful)

yotto (590067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217026)

[i]Snopes readers... Who are generally somewhat cautious, skeptical or suspicious sorts, if only because they're most likely there to debunk some urban legend that's been going around... Are going to blindly install a shady virus scanner from a pop-up window ad.[/i]

Um, I don't send people to Snopes because they were cautious, skeptical, or suspicious. I send them to Snopes because they forwarded me an email about how a little girl in Indiana went missing and if you just forward it to your friends some company will donate $1 to the save the little girl fund or some garbage like that.

These are EXACTLY the type of people who will click on the flashy icon that says "Click here"

Re:I don't see any claim for driveby install (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216938)

But he does say that since people trust Snopes that the software appears to be enorsed by Snopes. Which would lead people to go ahead and install it

So have you noticed the Microsoft ads on Slashdot?

Really, who does not know the difference between an advertisement and an endorsement? You're not that dumb, why assume everyone else is.

It's bad, OK? (1)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216520)

The ambiguities of the English language provide ample motivation to English speakers to read articles. Four word headlines are often misinterpreted but those misconceptions can be corrected by doing what you did. Thanks for the good hard work.

It's funny that you would defend Snopes. Now, you might be a little put off if you try to read the Zango license. That's good because it will cause you and many people to turn away from the disreputable advertiser. Just the same, a naive user might just take the advertiser at their word and click through the little "I agree" button. Surely, you don't have people like that at your company that you might wish to warn? They will listen to your warning so that you don't have to put in rules to block Snopes, I'm sure. After all, Snopes is such a valuable workplace reference that no company could live without their least technically sophisticated employees having constant access to it.

Who does what how? (4, Insightful)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216300)

A little on topic/a little bit just an excuse to blather about something in my mind since the Cloverfield [slashdot.org] story:

Folks in the ad game are in trouble. And I mean the folks using ads to sell another product and the folks selling the ads.

Apparently there was some sort of 'buzz' about Cloverfield for the past few months. I missed it. That may not be interesting, except I watch 2 to 3 hours of TV a day, spend more time than that on the web, subscribe to several popular (non-technical) magazines, and read a daily newspaper. I don't claim to have my finger on the pulse of pop culture, but I'm not quite ammish.

I vaguely remember a teaser-trailer (perhaps before Transformers?), but other than usual pre-release media push in the last few weeks, I know nothing of this buzz. If that's the state of advertising, then those folks are in trouble.

How does this tie in to the current topic? Well...Snopes has ads? I would guess it would since there's no subscription fee and would make a very strange charitable effort otherwise. But if Snopes has ads, I can't say I recall ever actually seeing one.

Seriously, for TV I have TiVo. For the web, there's ad buster and other tricks. For magazines, those ads are usually full page and very easy to recognize and skip without reading. For radio, there's NPR. Pretty much the only traditional advertising that gets my attention are bra ads in the daily paper. And those aren't even selling anything I might buy! (Unless the models are for sale.)

Re:Who does what how? (0, Redundant)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216386)

I actually had the same thought as well. I'm really not all that disconnected, and only heard about it a week or two before it hit theaters. It came as both a bit of a shock, and confirmation that I'm doing something right, that I didn't know what it was until that point.

Re:Who does what how? (0, Redundant)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216688)

I actually had the same thought as well. I'm really not all that disconnected, and only heard about it a week or two before it hit theaters. It came as both a bit of a shock, and confirmation that I'm doing something right, that I didn't know what it was until that point.
Another to the chorus of "me too" - and I even hang out on a big dvd-discussion (but not a movie-discussion) forum.

Re:Who does what how? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216714)

Apparently there was some sort of 'buzz' about Cloverfield for the past few months. I missed it. That may not be interesting, except I watch 2 to 3 hours of TV a day, spend more time than that on the web, subscribe to several popular (non-technical) magazines, and read a daily newspaper. I don't claim to have my finger on the pulse of pop culture, but I'm not quite ammish.

Mmmm, I don't watch nearly as much television as you do, and I've certainly seen numerous Cloverfield commercials. It's the only recent movie I could have named.

(I do appreciate your link if only for this comment [slashdot.org] : "No wonder the USA is in utter decline with this state of educational ignorance amongst its' College Graduates.")

Zango, on the other hand, I've never heard of. I'd have guessed it was a new open-source content management system, except that the name isn't bad enough to displace Joomla and Moodle. It needs a second "o".

Re:Who does what how? (2, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216718)

NPR doesn't carry advertising?

The fact that the personalities do the pitches, and they aren't screeming about hotdogs at the monstertruck show, doesn't mean NPR doesn't cary ads.

Re:Who does what how? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216778)

Seriously, for TV I have TiVo.

For Tivo, TV has pop-up ads.

For the web, there's ad buster and other tricks.

For adblock, the web has text ads.

For magazines, those ads are usually full page and very easy to recognize and skip without reading.

For ad skipping readers, magazines make paid ads look like just another product-review article, that just happens to turn into a glowing endorsement. See "Popular Mechanics"

For radio, there's NPR.

Do I even need to bother with this one?

Re:Who does what how? (1)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216788)

You (and I for that matter) may be in the minority in this. While I use all the tools I have available to avoid viewing ads, I don't think most people do. According to this article [signonsandiego.com] and a few others I have read, most people end up watching Tivod commercials anyway. I am not sure why, but I think some people like ads to some extent - they may feel it keeps them up to date on popular culture, or they may actually be interested in new products (I am completely speculating here of course). Given a choice to never have to see ads again, I am not sure if as many people would choose to as you might think.

Re:Who does what how? (1)

davetpa (1109467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216878)

So what you're saying is that if you don't block ALL ads, then you might accidently find out about some products you might actually like? Maybe the ad industry isn't in so much trouble after all, as long as there's more Cloverfield-quality products, and less pop music.

Re:Who does what how? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217254)

Apparently there was some sort of 'buzz' about Cloverfield for the past few months. I missed it. That may not be interesting, except I watch 2 to 3 hours of TV a day, spend more time than that on the web, subscribe to several popular (non-technical) magazines, and read a daily newspaper. I don't claim to have my finger on the pulse of pop culture, but I'm not quite ammish.

This is a bit off-topic, I know, but anyway: I have a Virgin Mobile phone. I paid very little for the phone and very little for the service. In return (as I look at it), they occasionally text me with some advertising crap. It's annoying when it comes in a meeting, but usually it's harmless.

In the past month, I received several spams for Cloverfield. It was the only advertising I saw regarding the film, and it almost made me skip seeing it. (Get that, studio? The ads you paid for nearly cost you a customer!) Only a friend's recommendation made me go after receiving those. (By default, I'll go see any cheesy sci fi, unless it otherwise offends me.)

(Incidentally, I directly stated that I felt no ill effects from the camera work. But, I felt that I'd eaten something bad as soon as I got home that night, and spend the night sick and missed half a day of work. It seriously felt like I'd eaten spoiled ice cream, or something, but all the reports I read later made me wonder if I'd internalized the shaky-cam and gotten sick over it without consciously realizing it.)

I bet it was a nigger (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216316)

Since they are a bunch of filthy scammers, when they can get off their (giant) ass that is.

I know thats not too often. I mean, in all seriousness, have you see the ass on a nigger woman?

"there practically every time" - not for me (4, Informative)

Animaether (411575) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216322)

"These two popups are there practically every time you visit Snopes (see for yourself)."

Well, I did. And I didn't get any popups. I'm on refresh #30 or so.

No, I don't run adblock.
No, firefox isn't telling me it blocked a popup either.

I also tried with IE6. Still nothing.

Is the author quite sure they're not just targeting -him-? Be it my some manner of IP -> location lookup, or via an old cookie he's got laying around, or whatever?
Either that, or Snopes already changed things. Woo conspiracy theorists rejoice.

Re:"there practically every time" - not for me (2, Interesting)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216802)

I get some sort of pop-up (which Firefox initally blocked) within a few refreshes of every time I clear the cookies on the browser. All the ones I've been getting are for Netflix and similarly decent companies, haven't seen the adware one yet.

Re:"there practically every time" - not for me (1)

brhodewalt (636683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217238)

I'm surprised no one else has thought of this: Snopes himself started this whole controversy in order to drive traffic to his site. By tsking and getting on your high horse and visiting the site to see these outrageous ads, you're falling right into his trap!

So Block Fastclick (1, Informative)

nachoboy (107025) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216324)

If you don't like the ads a particular ad-server gives you, make sure they're unwelcome on your network, regardless of the site hosting the ads. I make sure fastclick.net (and about 150 other unsavory domains) resolve only to 0.0.0.0 at my DNS server. If you don't run your own DNS, OpenDNS [opendns.com] allows you to block specific domains as well.

Re:So Block Fastclick (1)

setirw (854029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216348)

Or just install AdBlock, a much easier solution.

Re:So Block Fastclick (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217058)

Or simply edit your hosts file with a line like

domain.tobeblocked.com 127.0.0.1

Not an all in one solution but worked well for me while reading cracked.com... I'm sick of those damn tshirt ads!

Re:So Block Fastclick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22217088)

Or change your hosts file.

favorite urban myth (1)

bjmoneyxxx (1227784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216346)

One of the first scary emails i remember was http://www.snopes.com/risque/juvenile/lobster.asp [snopes.com] about the woman masturbating with a lobster and all sorts of nastiness happening. That had quite the effect on this porn obsessed youth at the time

The downside of adblockplus. (5, Insightful)

ChangeOnInstall (589099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216380)

I've been running adblockplus for quite a while now and have effectively forgotten about issues like this. So have most others who would get upset by it. Of course then I'll unknowingly send friends/family to sites such as snopes without a second thought about malware concerns. To me it looked like a nice wholesome/clean site.

Holy ... (-1, Redundant)

melikamp (631205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216440)

Holy shit! An obscure website pushing adware? Oh my god, what's gonna happen to us tomorrow? Will water fall from the sky?

Re:Holy ... (4, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216480)

Snopes isn't obscure--they're probably the most authoritative debunker of urban legends on the web. On the linked blog post, you can see several comments saying "I used to refer people to Snopes all the time when I got some glurge email."

The rumor is not true (0, Redundant)

psychgeek (838231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216450)

I just checked on Snopes.com, it says this rumor is false and that the spyware in question comes from another source.

Snoped it (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216452)

I just checked this out on Snopes and it ended up not being true.

bad provider? (2, Insightful)

dnwq (910646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216464)

Probably just a bad advertising provider than anything else. ... I get the whole "check who provides your advertisements" thing, it's a duty of the webmaster and all - but wasn't there a case where a provider only showed malicious ads outside the country of origin? Or something? Is checking even reliable? Ethical policy here would probably just be to poke Snopes.com via their forums first...

They also disable text selection (5, Informative)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216604)

Talk about a user-unfriendly feature! They use some very annoying javascript to disable the ability to select a portion of text. No idea why...

Re:They also disable text selection (1)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216990)

So it sounds like that in addition to AdBlock, you should also use NoScript [noscript.net] when reading Snopes.


Blocking Zango at the network level? (4, Interesting)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216608)

I'm sure I'm not the only one that would like to block Zango at the network level. Does anyone have the repository of information needed to create an effective block? I'm talking about RIR assignments, ASNs, SWIPed allocations, domain names, etc. Does anyone know of such a source? With this information I can ensure that none of my users ever have to put up with this Zango horse shit again.

two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216860)

hosts file

Re:two words (1)

imemyself (757318) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216940)

Why do it 500 times in host files on every computer when you can just kill it at the firewall or edge router?

Re:two words (1)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217200)

Isn't that what I implied? Why else would I have asked about ASNs and RIR allocations? I'm going to add Zango to my network sinkhole. With their ASN or netblocks I can define the next-hop as my sinkhole. The domain names will be used to let me pretend that they don't even exist on my NSs. Zero client config involved.

Re:Blocking Zango at the network level? (1)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217028)

You can start by blocking all of these 180solutions.com domains [robtex.com] with the method of your choice. Make sure to scroll down to get the list of related domains which ns1.180solutions.com answers authoritatively for. From a cursory glance, you're accomplishing a great deal just by dropping traffic to/from 64.94.137.0/25 and 66.150.14.0/25.

I'm pretty sure this isn't true. (3, Funny)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216610)

Snopes claims it's an urban legend.

It's ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216746)

I just checked on Snopes and this whole thing is a hoax, so there's no need to worry.

That giant sucking sound (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216766)

would be snope's credibility circling the drain...

Re:That giant sucking sound (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22217222)

No, that giant sucking sound is kdawson and Zonk frolicking.

funny my rss feeder gave me an ad for that story.. (1)

ThinkOfaNumber (836424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216828)

I've been meaning to block those for a while now...

Fri5t psot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22216892)

and JcoderS [goat.cx]

I tried to warn everyone..... (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217104)

Several months ago. But my Wikipedia edits [wikipedia.org] (complete with verifiable references) were quickly undone by Snopes fanboys.

Urban Legend Reference (1)

merc (115854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217146)

Claim: Snopes are in bed with Fastclick, which serve ads via Snopes.

Status: Irrelevant

Examples:

[Collected via Sunbelt Blog 2008]

[F]or a long time now (probably at least a year), I've noticed that they are in bed with Fastclick, which in turn constantly serves one annoying ad on Snopes.

Origins: All joking aside, despite Sunbelt Software passing themselves off as vendors of anti-spamware, they have a sordid spammy past themselves. Go to http://groups.google.com/ [google.com] enter the newsgroup `news.admin.net-abuse.email' and search for keywords "Sunbelt" "spam"/"spamming".

Cheers
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