Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Hate Ads

Advertising is private sector propaganda. It's vile. It's evil.

I avoid it whenever possible.

Especially on the Internet. I've been running a Squid proxy at home for over ten years, primarily to use Ad Zap to eliminate the popups, banners, and ShockWave Flash crap all mainstream Web sites would like to shove down our pipes.

For example, here's a screenshot of ComputerWorld on a slow advertising day. Click for a larger view..

SHITTY ADSAgain, this was captured on a weekend. Durig the week, when there is much more traffic from corporate proles such as myself, it is one hundred times worse.


Here is the same exact page when viewed through my Squid prozy with Ad Zap...

ADS NO MORE!Much better.

One thing the screen captures don't show is the fact that all three of the ads are animated. Animation sucks primarily because the bandwidth required chokes a remote desktop connection. I do most of my browsing at work through an encrypted pipe back to my house, which uses the 785kBps (**SLOW**) uplink. Any animation sucks the lifeblood out of that link.

There are several other ways to accomplish the same thing. I had been using FireFox with NoScript exclusively for the past eight months, but I switched to Google Chrome because it is much faster than FireFox.

Blazingly fast. Un-fucking-believably fast.

Blogably fast! TROOF! But maybe some other time. We're talking about ads today.

Since there's no NoScript plug-in for Chrome, I had to go the Ad Zap route. As it's distributed in its stock configuration, it kills maybe 90% of all adds, banners, popups, etc.

But I want no less than 100%!!!!

The big problem I had with Ad Zap was the small town TV and radio news sites across the US. They tend to use more obscure Web advertising companies, or they use their own home-brew methods. These aren't included in Ad Zap out of the box, so you have to roll your own rules. This is simply a matter of setting a few variables and editing a text file or two.

The result is very clean and very safe Web surfing. Once you start blocking ads, you will never want to go back.


I have mentioned before I'm the Network Nazi at work. I run a commercial content-blocking software package - that will remain nameless - and I also block ads on my own corporate account. I've been doing so for a very long time with this package. I am so used to not seeing ads that I'm totally appalled whenever I have to use someone else's computer.

Why do people put up with that crap?

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