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Utopia
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005    Post subject: site sees adblock Reply with quote

lokk at that http://environmentalchemistry.com/
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Guest






PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

so, force people to see the ads eh?
screw them
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dx
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you can screw them, cause it's isolated case. But what will you do, if every other sites use this script in the near future?

Is there any possibility to cheat out the script like this?
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FactAnalyzer
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005    Post subject: what is wrong with you people??? Reply with quote

Ok first off i agree that pop ups and under ups are very annoying and it is good to block such things.
But regular ads? I do not think so
We all enjoy the richness of the internet and the ability to search and find the piece of information we look for
I do not think that any of you will appreciate it if the only source of information on the net will be the big fat corporates
because they would be the only ones that can afford keeping and maintaining a good informational site
me you and other can have our sites and inform each others each in his expertise field yet we would need some money if not enough for living and keeping a family and providing the chance to focus more on the site development and maineinance, so at least enough to spend on the site cost from hosting and keeping the domain
I appreciate very much such a good piece of software that can make my surfing life easier and safer but i do not appreciate the attitude of going so far which is not the developpers attitude but some users only

thought it is a point to bring up
have a good day all
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Ken Cooper



Joined: 29 Dec 2004
Posts: 110
Location: Holland, MI USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005    Post subject: Re: what is wrong with you people??? Reply with quote

FactAnalyzer wrote:
Ok first off i agree that pop ups and under ups are very annoying and it is good to block such things.
But regular ads? I do not think so
We all enjoy the richness of the internet and the ability to search and find the piece of information we look for
I do not think that any of you will appreciate it if the only source of information on the net will be the big fat corporates
because they would be the only ones that can afford keeping and maintaining a good informational site
me you and other can have our sites and inform each others each in his expertise field yet we would need some money if not enough for living and keeping a family and providing the chance to focus more on the site development and maineinance, so at least enough to spend on the site cost from hosting and keeping the domain
I appreciate very much such a good piece of software that can make my surfing life easier and safer but i do not appreciate the attitude of going so far which is not the developpers attitude but some users only

thought it is a point to bring up
have a good day all


Yes, everyone has an opinion, and unfortunately for you, I don't share yours.
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Drahken



Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... I just went there and got that message, despite the fact that I'm usoing k-meleon at the moment. Adblock doesn't work with k-meleon, and k-meleon has no other ad blocking aside from the usercontent file (which hides the ads, but still loads them, and shouldn't be detectable by any site), nor am I using any kind of adblocking proxy. In short, I'm not currently "blocking" anything except popups/unders, but it thinks that I am. Their script is obviously out of whack.


Edit: I just refreshed the site and carefully watched it load. Before it switched to the anti-adblocking message, there was this:
Quote:
If this message does not get replaced by real content, then this page's JavaScript onLoad event did not run correctly. If you are using ad blocking software, you will need to disable that software for this site in order to display pages correctly.

This puts the lie to their own statement. They say they don't use popups, but banner ads don't require any onload event. Therefore, either they are lying about not using popups, or they made an extremely stupid choice in using an onload script to detect adblockers, since popup blockers block onload events but banner blockers usually don't.

Edit 2: Heh, after all that, they have a button promoting firefox (with built in popup and image blocking). The people running that site are clearly out of their minds.

Edit 3: Yet more proof of their lies. View source on their page and look at the javascript:
Quote:
// While trying to decode this script, please keep in mind that although we require users to
// view our ads, WE DO NOT USE POPUPS, POPUNDERS nor rich media ads (e.g. flash).

...follwed soon after by...
Code:
function popUpNew(ASIN) {amznwin=window.open('/azbb/'+ASIN,'Amazon','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,status=yes,
toolbar=yes,resizable=yes,width=720,height=450,screenX=5,screenY=5,top=5,left=5'); amznwin.focus();}
function popUp(URL,NAME) {amznwin=window.open(URL,NAME,'location=yes,scrollbars=yes,status=yes,toolbar=yes,
resizable=yes,width=380,height=450,screenX=10,screenY=10,top=10,left=10'); amznwin.focus();}


[edited to stop the window-stretching -- wonko]


Last edited by Drahken on Tue Feb 01, 2005; edited 1 time in total
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kstahl
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's possible that they are checking the visibility and dimensions of their ad images. I think your userContent hacks fuggs this up.
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IceDogg



Joined: 19 Oct 2004
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was able to view the info for the site just fine with Firefox and adblock disabled. So, they are just using that to detect adblocking somehow. As I said I disabled adblock and view the site and it had no popus or unders (of course since Firefox blocks that) but the content still displayed correctly. Just info... I have no ideal about this kind of stuff.
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wonkothesane
The Other Developer


Joined: 22 May 2004
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the envchem site has been posted here at least once before. rue and I have been experimenting with various ways of skirting the detection code. they're using... it looks feasible, but too complex to make it into 0.6. The worst bit is that the full image needs to be downloaded to get the image dimensions.

"Stealth" code to work around this might appear in a later version, but until this sort of thing becomes more prevalent, we'd rather add features in other areas...
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kind of feel bad for them, and that doesn't happen for anyother website:

This code is found in their script for blocking adblock:
Code:
//   While trying to decode this script, please keep in mind that although we require users to
//   view our ads, WE DO NOT USE POPUPS, POPUNDERS nor rich media ads (e.g. flash).

//   Without advertising revenues to pay the cost of operating this site, it would not exist.
//   We simply ask that ALL USERS of this site, do their fair part in helping to pay the bills.
//   We do not ask users to act on our ads, only that the ads be allowed to display.

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SnarlCat



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a continuation of this, the folks over at Proxomitron have had a go at this. Check out the forum thread, including a comment by the site owner.

http://computercops.biz/modules.php?&name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=216980

I tend to agree, however, that this is an isolated case and doesn't require too much attention.. Hopefully, it will stay isolated.

In the mean time, Long Live L(inks|ynx) (and any other text-based browsers)! Smile
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Guest






PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

// While trying to decode this script, please keep in mind that although we require users to
// view our ads, WE DO NOT USE POPUPS, POPUNDERS nor rich media ads (e.g. flash).

// Without advertising revenues to pay the cost of operating this site, it would not exist.
// We simply ask that ALL USERS of this site, do their fair part in helping to pay the bills.
// We do not ask users to act on our ads, only that the ads be allowed to display.


It would be nice if adblocker could be configured to not filter some webpages/domains without completely disabling it. Even if you don't agree that it should be done in this case, the feature would be useful.
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socialchild
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005    Post subject: EnvironmentalChemistry.com Reply with quote

I went to this site and didn't see any ads (well, except 2 or 3 ads done with html and inline .jpgs) and was kind of confused about what the problem might be. Then I clicked on my trusty Adblock button and discovered that the script in question was being blocked. Cool.

I had just imported the latest filter from this site and something in there is blocking the script in question.

Good luck.
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Ed



Joined: 16 Aug 2004
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried the latest G's latest set and still got sent to the ablocking detected page, Which set are you using socialchild ?
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SnarlCat



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005    Post subject: Re: EnvironmentalChemistry.com Reply with quote

socialchild wrote:
I went to this site and didn't see any ads (well, except 2 or 3 ads done with html and inline .jpgs) and was kind of confused about what the problem might be. Then I clicked on my trusty Adblock button and discovered that the script in question was being blocked. Cool.

I had just imported the latest filter from this site and something in there is blocking the script in question.

Good luck.


I just grabbed the same filters, and was greeted with the we-detected-adblocking page -- can you post the filter that blocked the script?

It seems kinda strange that everybody has trouble but you, and you seem to be using a very widely-used filter set ... sounds like a Transformer to me (sorry.. I couldn't resist... it's been one of those days)..
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JAB Creations



Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats terrible that a site would force banners down your throat. Blocking people who have blocking tools doesn't help their cause. We're not going to click on their dam banners in the first place. Why try to force us to just to see their site? The same information can be had elsewhere.
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

because they can make money by just having the ads downloaded, even if the user doesn't click on the ads, they still make money if they are just displayed
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kstahl
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

And there are several people who block ads without really consciously wanting too. Norton Internet Security and ZoneAlarm has ad blocking features which most users don't have a clue about.
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fdejkmtruds



Joined: 24 Dec 2004
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

this case has been here before. When this came to my attention before, I analyzed its anti blocking script. I found that it uses a combination of javascript and server side scripting to detect ad blocking. The workaround is either disable adblock or disable javascript.
I like to browse with images turned off to speed up page load times and even though adblocker is disabled, it detects that it's ads are not shown so it thinks I'm blocking the ads. I am blocking the ads as they aren't being downloaded but I'm also blocking all other images. I know I can use the Lynx text browser but I like being able to turn on images easily.
I know this is an isolated case but it's only a matter of time till other people engineer their own anti-block methods or find this script and use it.
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Drahken



Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disabling javascript doesn't work, you just get a message to the effect of "it appears you have javascript disabled, you need javascript to view this site. Please enable javascript in your browser and then come back."
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Fluffy
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

You people are making some broad assumptions, and you calling them liars bothers me....

1) Popups are not the only things that require onLoad. If you look at their onLoad code, it modifies all the links on the page to a different format.... this has nothing to do with popups.... The onLoad event is required for the URL's on their site to work correctly apparently. Keep in mind that not all javascript deals with ads... onLoad has many many many other applications.

2) Not at all out of their mind, they don't use popups.....

3)You see implementations of functions that create new windows, now search that page for where they call those functions.... nowhere is the answer. It appears these could be functions to open new windows when need be. Its possible this is a global javascript header. Again, javascript popup window functions are not always used for ads... I bet if you look through this forum you'll find some of that same javascript code to open a new window.

I personally agree with the creator of this site, as long as they aren't intrusive popup ads, I have no problem with them. You can ignore them if you aren't interested, and if you click them, the author gets money. Running a site isn't cheap.... So I don't think this is a horrible thing. I'm impressed at the inginuity of that scripts author.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am the creator/owner of the site in question. I have followed threads here on this subject before but didn't feel inclined to respond, however, I see from this thread that there are some misunderstandings in my code. I'd also like to thank Fluffy for their comments.

Drahken wrote:

This puts the lie to their own statement. They say they don't use popups, but banner ads don't require any onload event. Therefore, either they are lying about not using popups, or they made an extremely stupid choice in using an onload script to detect adblockers, since popup blockers block onload events but banner blockers usually don't.


I posted a clarifying comment in my source code next to the two functions mentioned. I do not use popup or popunder ads PERIOD. I hate popups as much as anybody here. These two functions are used from time to time in relation to some Amazon.com book recommendations we make at the end of some articles. These links are clearly marked as opening to Amazon.com so that there is no misunderstanding. The reason I use these functions the way I do is that there is a lot of spyware/scumware that hijack Amazon.com links and steal revenues generated by recommendations like mine by substituting the real affiliate id with their own. This function is designed to circumvent these spyware programs.

The use of the onLoad event is make sure that my ad-blocking countermeasures do not run until the page finishes loading. If this detection was not delayed, users would frequently get false positives if scripts ran out of order. Other measures protect content from users who disable the onload event.

=======

In regards to the issue of banner ads and my blocking of people who block my ads (for Mozillazine readers this is a distilled version of my comments there):

I am providing a service to my niche market, I am not a charity. This isn't just about just paying hosting fees; it is about earning a living. My service is information on a highly specialized group of topics. I spend considerable time effort and resources researching and collecting information on my niche. It is not unreasonable to expect to earn compensation for these efforts. If people want my services, they must pay the "fee" I require for my services.

When people go and get a hair cut, they have to pay someone to provide that service. When someone calls a plumber to fix their pipes, the plumber expects to be paid. I am no different; I provide a valuable service to my "customers" based on my area of expertise and rightly expect to be compensated for my efforts. I just happen to be willing to barter with my customers and am willing to provide my information and services in exchange for them accepting and viewing my ads. If my site had been subscription only, as some of my competition is, threads like this would not exist. If you ONLY had two choices: 1) pay a fee every time you wanted to access a site like mine, or 2) accept some ads and be allowed to access that website without paying a fee, which would you choose?

Yes there are sections of my site where users can find comparable information elsewhere free of charge and without being required to accept banner ads. If users don't like my terms, they are free to seek out those sites. There are, however, areas of my site that are totally unique to my site and WILL NOT be found anywhere else. That information only exists because I knew I had a reasonable expectation of earning compensation for the efforts and resources I had to expend to generate that content. Some of my content is available elsewhere, but only on sites that charge subscription fees and charge steep rates. Furthermore, I have compiled vast quantities of related information in a fashion that makes it easy to use and significantly reduces research time for my users and is not compiled in a similar fashion anywhere else on the Internet.

The fact that people assume that I should avail them of my services free of charge or without expecting something in exchange baffles me. This is after all what we are talking about when people block my ads. If someone follows a link to my site, they are requesting that my server provide them with the goods and services I produce. I have a reasonable right to expect some kind of compensation for my services if I so wish. All I am doing with my ad-blocking countermeasures is using the best method I can develop to protect my right to demand compensation for my services.

Look I'm not forcing ads on anybody. If a user blocks my ads, I simply redirect them to an ad-free page that explains my position and gives them an opportunity to exit my site without further delay if they so choose. I also place a notice on my pages during the download process that lets users know that I require my ads to display properly for my content to be displayed. This allows those users who don't want ads to back out of my site before the download process has completed, thus saving those users some time.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, I wasn't logged in when I posted my comment just now. The previous post should have been associated to me and my profile.
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

........ *chuckle*

I beat it biatch, god i love css.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

idbehold wrote:
because they can make money by just having the ads downloaded, even if the user doesn't click on the ads, they still make money if they are just displayed


of course, if you just use userContent blocking, the ad still downloads so they still make money, but they still block you from seeing the site.
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

um, no. I can see the actual site w/o all the ads, but you are right that the ads are still making you money.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

idbehold wrote:
um, no. I can see the actual site w/o all the ads, but you are right that the ads are still making you money.


Um, actually, no not always.

Ads generate revenue through several different arrangements:


  1. Commision based on sales: This is the most common form of advertising. The site only earns something from an ad if someone actually purchases something because of it. Advertisers prefer this method because they only have to pay if they actually generate revenue, plus if the cookies associated with the ad have a short lifespan or get erased before the user actually makes a purchase, the advertiser get off without paying the site anything.

    The Amazon.com affiliate program is an example of how an advertiser can take advantage of this method. They built their brand on the backs of websites promoting their books, yet the rate of return for Amazon's affiliate program is well below other advertising methods. I only still use it because the links are already on some of my pages and allow my users to get more information about books we referenced in the process of writing an article.

  2. Pay per action (PPA): Another popular payment method is for advertisers to pay based on a desired action. For instance user follows ad link and then completes a form on advertisers site.

  3. Pay per click (PPC): Revenue is earned everytime someone clicks on the ad. This is a common ad scheme among ads that are intrusive. Sometimes these ads are designed to trick the user into accidently clicking on the ad (e.g. fake forms or fake alerts).

  4. Pay per impression (aka PPM): Revenue is earned everytime an ad is displayed to a user. This revenue form is typically used for popup ads. In the beginning it was the most popular form of advertising but now only the most popular sites (e.g. NYTimes) can demand this type of payment method. Obviously from a web publisher's stance the PPM method would be the most desireable, but it also has very little accountablity (e.g. ad-blocking senario mentioned). As such Advertisers typically don't like this method unless their primary goal is branding rather than generating direct sales (e.g. the old X10 ads).

  5. Flat monthly rate: The advertiser pays the website directly to display an ad in a specific spot on the website for a specific period of time regardless of how many times it is displayed. This is typically used on websites run by smaller operations when they sell ad space directly to advertisers rather than going through a broker (e.g. LinkShare, TribalFusion, DoubleClick, etc.).


Most websites, mine included use a combination of these methods. For instance, my graphical banner ads are all PPA and I only earn revenue from then when someone completes the form on the landing page the ad leads to. Some of my ads are pay per click, and the ads I sell directly are fixed rate ads where I charge a flat rate per month.

As I have stated in other forums in the beginning I was not concerned by those who blocked ads, because it was primarily a fringe activity that was only practiced by individuals who both had the technical ability and inclination to configure and use ad-blocking software (like some in this forum). This didn't really represent a threat that was worth worrying about. My solution was simply to avoid using intrusive forms of advertising that really annoyed users (e.g. I don't use popups, Flash, etc.).

Things changed, however, when mainstream software like Norton Internet Security and ZoneAlarm Pro started incorporating comprehensive ad-blocking abilities into their software and then started enabling this ability by default. Because Norton Internet Security comes pre-installed on some new computers, many users are now blocking ads with no idea that they are blocking ads or that such a capability exists.

Users that actively seek out ad-blocking software and then spend considerable effort to configure it probably wouldn't act on ads. Users who have ad-blocking software thrust upon them without their knowledge, however, do tend to act on ads. As such it is becoming necessary to take measures to protect ads in order to protect revenues.

I knew that some people who really needed to use my site wouldn't or couldn't accept ads, so at the same time I implemented my countermeasures; I implemented an inexpensive ad-free subscription option. I didn't feel it would have been fair to implement my countermeasures without also providing a viable alternative.
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G



Joined: 10 Oct 2004
Posts: 550

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the record, it's extremely easy to get around pre-configured filters on a single-site basis.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

deleted.

Last edited by EnvironmentalChemistry on Sat Dec 31, 2005; edited 1 time in total
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kstahl
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Joined: 02 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out of curiosity, how big of a problem is it? I guess popular Firewalls like NIS coming with ad blocking built in might be worrisome. Compared to the number of NIS users, Adblock surely must be almost insignificant.
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

here, everyone add this to your userContent.css
Code:
[class="NoPrint"],
[class="SBA"],
[class="BBA"] {  position:absolute !important; left:-9999px !important; }

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G



Joined: 10 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

You misinterpreted what I said. It's easy for sites to display ads regardless of ad-blocking software, not the other way around.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

kstahl wrote:
Out of curiosity, how big of a problem is it? I guess popular Firewalls like NIS coming with ad blocking built in might be worrisome. Compared to the number of NIS users, Adblock surely must be almost insignificant.


I can't tell the difference between, ad-blocking software. I can only tell with ads have been blocked. I don't know exact numbers, but typically only 80-85% of users get my AdSense ads (which I don't protect). About 2.5% of users get picked off by my ad-blocking countermeasures. It takes too much processing power to crunch my logs to find any more specific information than this.


idbehold wrote:
here, everyone add this to your userContent.css
Code:
[class="NoPrint"],
[class="SBA"],
[class="BBA"] {  position:absolute !important; left:-9999px !important; }


The NoPrint option has the drawback that it also hides other elements that are irrelevant to printed paper (e.g. some menus, links, etc.).

I had redesigned my site to make it printer friendly and forgot to put in a random generator for the class names. The reason, people don't get picked off for not displaying these ads is that I don't protect all ads, I only protect a sampling of ads to reduce false positives and resource requirements. This will be resolved this afternoon.

To give you guys a leg up on the next round of modifications, I will be adding a randomly generated ID to each important object and will then test for whether or not the object is displayed properly. I figure someone here will figure a work around, but it will take care of a bit of sloppiness on my part. I think I'll be hiding the fixes in the main source code rather than putting it in external JavaScripts or CSS as I have done in the past. It should represent no more than an increase of no more than a few hundred bytes to the final HTML source.

Think of this as a challenge that will help sharpen all of our skills (you'll be better at blocking ads and I'll be better at detecting blocked ads). BTW, the Proxo thread in the ComputerCops link in this thread contains the best theories for blocking ads.

While in the end, you will probably still come up with new work a rounds to my countermeasures, you will only represent a tiny fraction of all users who block my ads. As such my telling you what I am doing so that you can develop work a rounds won't pose a serious threat, but this exercise will help me strengthen my scripts and help me reduce false positives/negatives.
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Drahken



Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disabling javascript on that site does NOT work. If you visit that site with javascript disabled, all you get is
Quote:
It appears that JavaScript has been disabled in your web browser, please reenable JavaScript and try again.


If this message does not get replaced by real content, then this page's JavaScript onLoad event did not run correctly. If you are using ad blocking software, you will need to disable that software for this site in order to display pages correctly.
And some huge blank areas where content should be.

Quote:
I can't tell the difference between, ad-blocking software. I can only tell with ads have been blocked.

You can make an educated guess simply by looking at the browser info for each user. If an ad is blocked and the browser was firefox or mozilla, it's a safe bet it was adblock doing it. If an ad was blocked and the browser was IE or opera, then it's a safe bet it was norton or whatever. A small portion of all browsers blocking ads will consist of proxomitron, HOSTS blocking, and other such things, but most IE users aren't competant enough to go out of their way to block ads (if they were, they wouldn't be satisfied with such a crappy browser), and most FF/moz users prefer the convience of adblock over any external blocking methods.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drahken wrote:
Disabling javascript on that site does NOT work.


By itself no, but if you turn off my CSS as well as JavaScript, there is nothing I can do about it.

Drahken wrote:
You can make an educated guess simply by looking at the browser info for each user.


Yes, but as I said, it is too processor intensive. The kinds of things I need to look for to determine what percentage of users are blocking ads is not part of the capabilities of normal web stats packages. As such I had to develop a home brewed method. This means I have to import several gb of server logs into a database table and then run a series of different queries against the table. The last time I did this it took four days for one of the queries to complete and I ended up creating a 20 gb database.

While it would be interesting to know what browsers users that block ads use, it just takes too much work.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, update is done, have at it. All changes are contained within the main HTML source. There are no new external tricks.

BTW: Something I thought of, hiding objects based on the class "NoPrint" is a bad idea. The reason is that any site that is designed to be printer friendly is likely to use this class name to label any objects that should not be printed. In my case, this includes ALL websites I create and many do not have any ads. The result of hiding any object with the class NoPrint on many of my sites will result in pages that are layed out to be printed and have no navigation menus.
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Marcion



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Posts: 6
Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005    Post subject: I don't think so. Reply with quote

Let me admit firstly that I would never had gone to the website had it not been for this thread. Likewise had it not been for this thread I may not have registered for this forum!

I think that Adblock is the best thing since sliced bread. Why? Because it gives me the choice of how I want to use my own computer. I pay for my Internet Connection and I have a right to choose what images and information I download.

In Britain only half the TV channels have adverts, so you can choose not to watch adverts. If you watch a channel with adverts then it is traditional in England to go and make tea for everyone in the advert break. During a big film or popular program, electricity companies have to provide extra capacity for all the kettles out there being turned on at the same time.

They do not employ countermeasures, they do not restrict electricity use within advert breaks, they do not come in and tie me to my chair. The TV channels don't sue the makers of tea.

Quote:
About 2.5% of users get picked off by my ad-blocking countermeasures.


Aiming to 'pick off' your visitors doesn't sound very loving. The first thing I thought about your site was that you are a bit silly. Secondly I thought that you had rather too much time.

Anonymous wrote:
If people want my services, they must pay the "fee" I require for my services.


If that is so then use a subscription only website, you won't of course because people will 'route around' your site.

Quote:
When people go and get a hair cut, they have to pay someone to provide that service.


I think you are stretching the analogy here. Websites are not haircuts. Where I live we get two free newspapers, one has adverts and one doesn't. The former is actually a load of rubbish so I put it straight in the recycling bag. If I wanted to rip-out all the adverts and then give the newspaper to another member of my household, then I can, the newspaper doesn't explode or morph into another one.

Quote:
If you ONLY had two choices: 1) pay a fee every time you wanted to access a site like mine, or 2) accept some ads and be allowed to access that website without paying a fee, which would you choose?


But I don't ONLY have two choices, I have many choices, it is a free country. I choose to 1) Block the ads or 2) Go to another site or 3) Make my own ad-free site (which I have done on occasion).

Quote:
There are, however, areas of my site that are totally unique to my site and WILL NOT be found anywhere else.


Sorry mate but I don't believe you. 'WILL NOT' are small words but also rather wide-ranging in scope.

Quote:
I have compiled vast quantities of related information in a fashion that makes it easy to use and significantly reduces research time for my users and is not compiled in a similar fashion anywhere else on the Internet.


Good for you.

Quote:
This is after all what we are talking about when people block my ads.


No it means that I just don't want to see ads.

Quote:
All I am doing with my ad-blocking countermeasures is using the best method I can develop to protect my right to demand compensation for my services.


Don't get me wrong, we are all in the same boat here, it is getting harder to make any money from the Internet than ever before. Sending me in redirects is not the answer though. In fact I find it mildly offensive, I want to control my own web-browsing.

Quote:
I simply redirect them


Well I choose not to be redirected, if your methods are more widely adopted then I will have to block all redirects with all the loss of function that it entails. I hope the makers of Ad-block or someone else will be able to block all your nonsense.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005    Post subject: Re: I don't think so. Reply with quote

Marcion wrote:
Because it gives me the choice of how I want to use my own computer. I pay for my Internet Connection and I have a right to choose what images and information I download.


Yes and no. When you pay for an Internet connection, all you are paying for is access to the Internet. You are not paying for any content beyond that directly created by your Internet service provider. So yes you have the right to turn off images or block ads, however, you don't necessarily have the right to access any content you want because you haven't paid for it. In addition as a web publisher I have the right to determine how and when I am willing to deliver my services. If I decide I won't allow access to my content without receiving compensation, it is my right.

Marcion wrote:
Aiming to 'pick off' your visitors doesn't sound very loving. The first thing I thought about your site was that you are a bit silly. Secondly I thought that you had rather too much time.


I do spend a little extra time on forum threads like this that I could be using for something else. The purpose in this is to at least give people a different perspective to this issue. If users are going to block ads, I at least want them to understand the harm they could be causing to their favorite web sites. Right now, ad blocking isn't a major issue, however, if more companies like Symatec make it a standard feature and it starts coming preinstalled on more computers than it already does, it could pose a serious threat.

Anonymous wrote:
If people want my services, they must pay the "fee" I require for my services.


Marcion wrote:
If that is so then use a subscription only website, you won't of course because people will 'route around' your site.


It is a subscription site with a free ad supported option. Some users do choose to subscribe rather than view the ads; however, the vast majority of users are quite content to accept my ads.

Marcion wrote:
I think you are stretching the analogy here. Websites are not haircuts. Where I live we get two free newspapers, one has adverts and one doesn't. The former is actually a load of rubbish so I put it straight in the recycling bag. If I wanted to rip-out all the adverts and then give the newspaper to another member of my household, then I can, the newspaper doesn't explode or morph into another one.


First the analogy is very accurate, just like in my examples, I am expending my time and resources and using my expertise to produce content that some people find very useful or need. It is a service. My site is essentially like your newspaper example. You are still viewing the ads in the newspaper before you cut them out, and you can print out ad-free versions of all my pages and share those pages with your family. My entire site is printer friendly and prints without ads, menus, etc. Anyone here can confirm this by simply looking at a page via print preview.


Marcion wrote:
But I don't ONLY have two choices, I have many choices, it is a free country. I choose to 1) Block the ads or 2) Go to another site or 3) Make my own ad-free site (which I have done on occasion).


My point is that quality content sites that contain vast quantities of information take a lot of time and money to produce. Advertising is the most efficient method of generating revenue to cover this expenditure of resources. Advertising also allows users access to content that would not exist or would not be free without it. Right now, ad blocking does not represent a significant threat, if it continues to grow as a practice, however, it could pose a significant problem making it increasingly difficult to generate the revenue necessary to operate a site like mine. This in turn could cause more and more sites to become subscription only or simply disappear without new sites being created to take their place. This would limit the choices you enjoy today.

Yes you could go out and create your own free site, however, to create a site as extensive as mine takes very specialized knowledge and years of research. Simply programming my site and developing the databases structures necessary to contain all of the data and information I have researched would take at least a year of full time development to create.

Marcion wrote:
Quote:
There are, however, areas of my site that are totally unique to my site and WILL NOT be found anywhere else.


Sorry mate but I don't believe you. 'WILL NOT' are small words but also rather wide-ranging in scope.


It is called original content. Some of my content consists of original articles just like some newspapers write their own articles. In some cases you might find similar articles elsewhere but in other cases you will not. Also, I have brought information together in a way that is found no where else on the Internet and several times a week users write in thanking me for providing them with information that they had been unable to find elsewhere. A case in point is my chemical database. Yes from time to time you might find small lists of chemicals on websites, but I started developing my database, because I could not find any freely accessible extensive database of chemicals. Those databases that did exist all required very steep subscription fees.

No other website has tied the periodic table of elements to a chemical database, which is then tied to regulatory information the way I have. A chemistry student is able to come to my site and continue to drill down through my site and access vast quantities of information that helps them research their project. This reduces their need to wade through countless websites in hopes of finding small bits of information they need that may or may not be on the websites returned in their search results.

Because I do require the acceptance of ads or paying a subscription fee, I work very hard to make sure my site is unique and provides a valuable service. This includes using the feedback I get from my users to help guide my decisions as to what new things to ad to the site. Advertising is the bread and butter that makes my site run. It is not unreasonable give the services I provide to expect all my users to either accept my ads or to subscribe to an ad-free subscription.

Marcion wrote:
Don't get me wrong, we are all in the same boat here, it is getting harder to make any money from the Internet than ever before. Sending me in redirects is not the answer though. In fact I find it mildly offensive, I want to control my own web-browsing.


It is the most efficient method bandwidth wise for the vast majority of users of explaining my requirement to accept my ads. It also provides an ad-free landing spot that allows users who do not want ads the ability to escape my site without being subjected to my ads. It is no different then when you hit a subscription site like some newspapers that redirect you to a log in page with a subscription form.

-------

Will my methods catch on with other websites? I don't know, but ironically, the more threads like this there are that discuss my site, the higher it appears in search results of those looking for countermeasures to ad blocking software. This increases the likelihood that those who would employ ad-blocking countermeasures learn about my methods. This wasn't my intention when I created my countermeasures; it is simply an unexpected side effect.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that I strongly agree with EC (EnvironmentalChemistry, its easier to refer to you as EC). Today there are many open source projects which give their projects, that they have put lots of time and effort into, away for free. However you cannot expect everyone to go along with this way of thinking. I mean to expect everyone to be a commie and just share everything they do with others is stupid. Some people use the money earned from these sites to live and others use the money just to pay for the internet connection, server, and other costs just so that they can keep their content available on to other people.
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I forgot to login, that last post was mine
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IceDogg



Joined: 19 Oct 2004
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a question for you. You care so much but still need support for you site, why not text ads?? And I will not buy that they don't pay enough, I already know bettter. Text ads are also a lot harder to block, if done right.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

IceDogg wrote:
I got a question for you. You care so much but still need support for you site, why not text ads?? And I will not buy that they don't pay enough, I already know bettter. Text ads are also a lot harder to block, if done right.


I do use text ads and I prefer text ads. Currently about half of my ad slots are primarily text based. Unfortunatly the best performing text ads, which are Google AdSense, are the first ads every single ad-blocking program targets. Plus they are almost impossible to protect ad-blocking software. People who use ad-blocking programs often suggest the use of text ads, but then turn around and block them anyways.

The only text ads that are difficult to block are those that are sold directly by the web publisher to the customer as direct links. Direct link ads are very hard types of ads to sell and require a great deal of effort to maintain (regular invoicing, etc.). Google AdSense ads on the otherhand require no effort beyond the initial implementation to maintain. The less time a publisher needs to dedicate towards maintaining ads, the more time they have for producing content.
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Drahken



Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many people (like me) will block every ad they possibly can, regardless whether it's a popup, banner, text, or some other type. However, many people who block ads only block them because they are obnoxious. These people will block popups and many banners, but don't mind unobtrusive text ads. Therefore, while there's no guarantee that people won't block the text ads, you have a better chance of them not being blocked than if you use banners.

Personally, I have no interest in this site (nothing against this site specifically, I just have no interest in the topic it covers), nor do I ever find myself wanting to visit many of the other sites that use ad-blocking countermeasures (again, simply because I'm not interested in the site, not out of some need to boycott a site that "dares" to block my adblocker). However, whenever I see a thread about such a site, I feel a need to go and counteract their counter measures, just for the "nyah, nyah" factor. Wink

If you want someone to blame for adblockers, blame the people who invented and promoted the use of popup ads. When ads were just banners, people didn't mind them too much, and rarely bothered to block them. When popups flooded the market, people got thoroughly fed up and set out to put a stop to this obnoxious garbage. In the process, they discovered that A ) banner ads can also be blocked, B )it is fairly easy to block most banners, and C ) the web looks much better without that clutter. This got people addicted to all kinds of ad blocking. If they hadn't been plagued by popups, few people would bother to block ads.
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IceDogg



Joined: 19 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnvironmentalChemistry wrote:

The only text ads that are difficult to block are those that are sold directly by the web publisher to the customer as direct links. Direct link ads are very hard types of ads to sell and require a great deal of effort to maintain (regular invoicing, etc.). Google AdSense ads on the otherhand require no effort beyond the initial implementation to maintain. The less time a publisher needs to dedicate towards maintaining ads, the more time they have for producing content.


Fair enough. I just think text ads are not as bad.. and if it wasn't for all the over the top ads, I wouldn't use ad blocking at all. I thank you for your time replying, and for expressing your point of view, even if I don't agree with it.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drahken wrote:
nor do I ever find myself wanting to visit many of the other sites that use ad-blocking countermeasures (again, simply because I'm not interested in the site,


Out of curiosity, does anyone know of any other sites that employ my tactics? Since I don't block any ads other than popups and popunders, I'd personally never know if a site protected their ads. While I've participated in many threads where people discussed how to do it, I've never heard of anyone actually implementing countermeasures more advanced than simply trying to disguise their ads.

Drahken wrote:
not out of some need to boycott a site that "dares" to block my adblocker). However, whenever I see a thread about such a site, I feel a need to go and counteract their counter measures, just for the "nyah, nyah" factor. Wink


I do understand the nyah, nyah factor. That's what lead to the arms race in the Proxo thread linked to earlier. I was so intrigued by the abilities of one of the people in the thread that I wanted to give him a run for his money.

Drahken wrote:
If you want someone to blame for adblockers, blame the people who invented and promoted the use of popup ads. When ads were just banners, people didn't mind them too much, and rarely bothered to block them. When popups flooded the market, people got thoroughly fed up and set out to put a stop to this obnoxious garbage. In the process, they discovered that A ) banner ads can also be blocked, B )it is fairly easy to block most banners, and C ) the web looks much better without that clutter. This got people addicted to all kinds of ad blocking. If they hadn't been plagued by popups, few people would bother to block ads.


I agree with you fully. The thing is ads don't need to cause seizures or force people to acknowledge them to be effective. All they need to be is relevant--Google AdSense proves this. I'm one person and can't do much, but when discussions of circumventing ad-blocking come up in the webmaster type forums I participate in, I always try to encourage restraint and the use of less obnoxious forms of advertising. Usually I use your line of reasoning as to why we should use greater restraint with our ads.
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Drahken



Joined: 30 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never seen a site use your exact methods before, although a fairly common one that is similar is for the site to open and quickly close a test popup. The site then detects whether or not the popup was blocked, and sends the user to an anti-adblocking page if it was. (I don't know exactly how they detect if the popup was opened, they may have used some form of javascript, or perhaps had the popup load a test imnage, then have a script look at the server logs to see if the image was loaded or not.)
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wonkothesane
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Joined: 22 May 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Food for thought, Mr. Barbalace: how can you be sure that whatever functions you're calling aren't spoofed?

For example,
Code:
var ma = function() {
   function toString() { return " (wrapped) " + this.orig.toString(); }
   if(arguments[0]) arguments[0] = 'spoofed ' + String(arguments[0]);
   var result = arguments.callee.orig.apply(window, arguments);
   return result;
};

ma.orig = alert;
          alert = ma;
alert('hello world');
alert(alert.toString());


Simplified, to be sure, and used merely for illustrative purposes.
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wonkothesane
The Other Developer


Joined: 22 May 2004
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

idbehold: since when did the First Amendment and Communism become inexorably linked?

Nobody's expecting Ken to stop showing advertisements or to stop redirecting those he catches blocking those ads. However, the same thing that gives him the legal right to show ads -- freedom of speech -- gives us the right to try our best to block and/or not view said advertisements.

(In America, at least. Things get muddier when dealing with international laws...)
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do realize that people in other countries have the internet too?
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Marcion



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
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Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Joy, thou beauteous godly lightning, Daughter of Elysium, Reply with quote

idbehold wrote:
You do realize that people in other countries have the internet too?


The Internet was in fact invented in Europe, like all good things Razz

As a European I would have to say that very unsubtle advertising is definitely dependent on an American cultural matrix. Therefore outside of America we see no reason to understand information, even economics, the same way.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drahken wrote:
(I don't know exactly how they detect if the popup was opened, they may have used some form of javascript, or perhaps had the popup load a test imnage, then have a script look at the server logs to see if the image was loaded or not.)


The way this would be done is to open a popup with a specific name, then test to see if a window with that specific name exists. If it does, then the popup worked if it doesn't, then the popup dosen't exist. It would actually be easier to test for the existence of a popup window than it is to ensure banner ads are displayed. In order for me to test for the existence of a banner ad, I have to test to see if the object exists (e.g. wasn't stripped out of the source code ala ZoneAlarm Pro), its visibility set to hidden, its display set to none, that the image file was allowed to load and that it is of the proper size (e.g. wasn't replace with a replacement graphic).

wonkothesane wrote:
Food for thought, Mr. Barbalace: how can you be sure that whatever functions you're calling aren't spoofed?


Everything of importance has randomly generated strings. This includes object IDs, function names, variable names, class names, file paths, etc. The hardest part is synchronizing randomly generated object IDs with their associated CSS instruction in external CSS files (I use both in file and external tests and "switches"). The key is to make sure that both "good" and "bad" (from your perspective), objects, functions, variables, etc. have randomly generated names and that they are generated using similar methods such that it would be virtually impossible to take out the "bad" without also taking out the "good." I also use multiple layers of protection. If the wrong functions get reversed or spoofed, my content gets masked. Think of it like several series of light switches; if any switch ends up in the wrong position at the end of processing the light turns off.

The key with synchronizing on page IDs and classes with their associated external CSS instruction was to actually use systematically changing names rather than pure randomly generated names and to keep them the same over an extended period of time (e.g. an hour) such that the CSS file did not need to get reloaded each time a page loaded. The other key was making sure that the failure objects the objects not being synchronized with their associated external CSS instruction didn't cause a terminal failure of the rendering of the page.

To further gum things up, I actually have my scripts set to randomly change methodologies and/or the order of functions. Thus what may be on line 17 one week could be on line 23 the next. While someone may solve the puzzle for their visit, any solution they share with others will automatically become obsolete in short order.

In short except for the previously mentioned nyah, nyah factor (which I fully appreciate in the best sense) it just isn't worth the hassle for most users to comb through and unravel the puzzle I created. For those who enjoy the nyah, nyah factor it is a great challenge that I'm sure they enjoy to the fullest and it might even be a welcome diversion from the typical "function 'X' and class 'Y' bad, class 'Z' good" rules.

wonkothesane wrote:
idbehold: since when did the First Amendment and Communism become inexorably linked?


Agreed, but I think jdbehold was writing metaphorically, saying that the OSS model of giving everything away for free isn't always practical.

wonkothesane wrote:
Nobody's expecting Ken to stop showing advertisements or to stop redirecting those he catches blocking those ads. However, the same thing that gives him the legal right to show ads -- freedom of speech -- gives us the right to try our best to block and/or not view said advertisements.


Freedom of speech, freedom from speech... I'll agree with that assessment of our legal framework. I personally don't look at this as a legal issue as much as a practical issue of economics. Without ads supporting my favorite sites I visit on a regular basis, I'd have to be paying for them or they wouldn't exist. I'm personally willing to accept ads if that means I don't have to open my wallet every time I want to access something on the Internet. Now some won't agree with my assessment of the situation and it is their right to disagree that is the best thing about a free society.


Last edited by EnvironmentalChemistry on Wed Feb 09, 2005; edited 2 times in total
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
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Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Re: Joy, thou beauteous godly lightning, Daughter of Elysium Reply with quote

Marcion wrote:

The Internet was in fact invented in Europe, like all good things Razz


I'll assume you are trying to bait us Yanks.

Marcion wrote:

As a European I would have to say that very unsubtle advertising is definitely dependent on an American cultural matrix.


Subtlety isn't an American trait. I'll admit it; we're into big, loud and in your face. I don't always like it, but it is the way we are. Unfortunately, some people insist on inflicting this trait on us everywhere and to extremes that are even too much for us Americans.
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Re: Joy, thou beauteous godly lightning, Daughter of Elysium Reply with quote

Marcion wrote:
The Internet was in fact invented in Europe, like all good things Razz

Ummmmm, no.

The Internet and Transmission Control Protocols were initially developed in 1973 by American computer scientist Vinton Cerf as part of a project sponsored by the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) and directed by American engineer Robert Kahn.

The Internet began as a computer network of ARPA (ARPAnet) that linked computer networks at several universities and research laboratories in the United States. The World Wide Web was developed in 1989 by English computer scientist Timothy Berners-Lee for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

So the Americans setup the structure of the internet and the English just put a face on it and called it theirs.

Hey, didn't you guys also invent dental hygiene cause damn, you have some great teeth do you not? Now Smile Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Smile but don't show your teeth... Reply with quote

idbehold wrote:

Hey, didn't you guys also invent dental hygiene cause damn, you have some great teeth do you not? Now Smile Very Happy

Harsh Surprised , my teeth may not look artificially rigid but I can still fit into the trousers that I wore when I was 17! Razz

I am not sure that the open and free standards that the www-form of the internet needed to become adopted by everyone would ever been developed by a massive American business.

I still don't quite understand the whole Al Gore invented the www-type thing. I still hear people repeat it. I'm sure he is a nice guy and all but I don't ever remember Al Gore sitting down and writing the HTML markup.
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idbehold



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Re: Smile but don't show your teeth... Reply with quote

Marcion wrote:
idbehold wrote:

Hey, didn't you guys also invent dental hygiene cause damn, you have some great teeth do you not? Now Smile Very Happy

Harsh Surprised , my teeth may not look artificially rigid but I can still fit into the trousers that I wore when I was 17! Razz

I still am 17 Cool
Not that I'm a fan of Bush or anything, but atleast he doesn't go to parties in a Nazi uniform.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Re: Smile but don't show your teeth... Reply with quote

idbehold wrote:
snip

Sad
There's no need to take pot shots at the royalty of each other's countries.

1st, the Internet was invented in the United States Defense Department's Pentagon as earlier posted. The first "killer" app was email. Later FTP (file transfer protocols) was developed as was Gopher (the predecessor to the WWW) and newsgroups among other protocols. Of the thirty plus years of the Internet/ARPAnet, it has been exclusively a tool of academia, the U.S. Military and researchers for most of that time. Yes it was Timothy Berners-Lee who conceived of the HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocols) and invented the first web browser he dubbed "World Wide Web," which then became Mosaic, however, he was building on the work of others. Likewise the founders of Netscape built their browser based on Tim's work and Mosaic. It was Netscape and the promotion of Netscape that really opened the WWW and thus the Internet up to the masses.

Al Gore's poorly worded quote, which has rightly become the brunt of so many jokes, references to the fact that he was one of the Senators in the U.S. Congress who sponsored and pushed for legislation that provided funding for the creation of the Internet. Without the Congressional legislation and support from a few members of Congress who would actively push the legislation through the House and Senate, the Internet would not have been created.

For those who believe that the Internet should remain free and ad free as it was originally; it would be good to remember that before the commercialization of the Internet, we all paid for it whether or not we used it in the form of taxes. It would also be good to remember that prior to the opening up and commercialization of the Internet, it was the exclusive realm of the academic elite and was not accessible by the masses. It was the commercialization of the Internet that opened it up to the masses.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again, I wasn't logged in the above Guest comment should have been tied to my profile
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wonkothesane
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Joined: 22 May 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

idbehold: Perhaps you'd like to look up the word "international" in a dictionary?

I recognize that of all the world's Internet users, only a fourth to a fifth are American. However, I live in Delaware, Ken (probably) lives in Maine, rue (maybe) lives/lived in California or perhaps England, Ken's site is hosted in Pennsylvania, and a majority of the mirrors distributing Adblock are located on U.S. soil. Thus, we are subject to the broad strokes, if not the subtleties, of United States law.



Ken:

Again, I disagree with the premise that Communism is an accurate way of describing the open-source philosophy, even metaphorically.
(As an aside, socialism would be the more accurate term, being a social/economic system rather than a governmental one... but of course, idbehold is just trolling, and Communism is more inflammatory than socialism...).

When one sees the central tenent of capitalism as not money but self-interest (as makes sense in an economy that is as much service- as goods-based), OSS is really just capitalism from the other side of the mountain. After all, when distribution is free or of neglible cost, and contributed improvements "worth" man-hours of time come in gratis, it's easier to see that it is in our direct self-interest to distribute Adblock free of charge and open to modifications from any interested parties. After all, the currently distributed version of Adblock is comprised of at least 95% contributed code; had the original author not released the program as open-source, Adblock as we know it would simply not exist. Again: self-interest.

Regarding spoofed functions: you're thinking along the wrong tracks. The browser functions themselves ( getComputedStyle, for example ) may be invisibly and undetectably spoofed. It doesn't matter what random IDs you assign the various page elements; eventually, you have to ask the browser what the status of those elements might be, and the browser can lie...
Now, that's not to say that your functions are off-limits for modification, just more work than necessary.

-----

I actually stopped by Portland for a day in the summer of 2004. It was freaking ninety degrees! Ninety! Portland... Maine! Maine! Shock For shame...
It was, at least, ...amusing... to see stupid tourists get very close to a wild moose on the way back Smile
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

wonkothesane wrote:
Again, I disagree with the premise that Communism is an accurate way of describing the open-source philosophy, even metaphorically.
(As an aside, socialism would be the more accurate term, being a social/economic system rather than a governmental one... but of course, idbehold is just trolling, and Communism is more inflammatory than socialism...).


com·mu·nism (kmy-nzm)
n.

1. A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.

-source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.



wonkothesane wrote:
When one sees the central tenent of capitalism as not money but self-interest (as makes sense in an economy that is as much service- as goods-based), OSS is really just capitalism from the other side of the mountain. After all, when distribution is free or of neglible cost, and contributed improvements "worth" man-hours of time come in gratis, it's easier to see that it is in our direct self-interest to distribute Adblock free of charge and open to modifications from any interested parties. After all, the currently distributed version of Adblock is comprised of at least 95% contributed code; had the original author not released the program as open-source, Adblock as we know it would simply not exist. Again: self-interest.


self-in·ter·est (slfntrst)
n.

1. Taking advantage of opportunities without regard for the consequences for others [syn: opportunism, self-seeking, expedience] 2: attempting to get personal recognition for yourself (especially by unacceptable means) [syn: egoism, egocentrism, self-concern, self-centeredness] [ant: altruism]

-source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

wonkothesane wrote:
Again, I disagree with the premise that Communism is an accurate way of describing the open-source philosophy, even metaphorically.
(As an aside, socialism would be the more accurate term, being a social/economic system rather than a governmental one... but of course, idbehold is just trolling, and Communism is more inflammatory than socialism...).


I wasn't agreeing with idbehold's use of the label, I was simply saying that he was using it more metaphorically, maybe as you say to troll (I don't know his intention). It's always easy to throw labels at something we don't agree with or want to be little (. I don't think any of the traditional labels (capitalism, communism, socialism, etc.) accurately depict the Internet.

wonkothesane wrote:
When one sees the central tenent of capitalism as not money but self-interest (as makes sense in an economy that is as much service- as goods-based), OSS is really just capitalism from the other side of the mountain. After all, when distribution is free or of neglible cost, and contributed improvements "worth" man-hours of time come in gratis, it's easier to see that it is in our direct self-interest to distribute Adblock free of charge and open to modifications from any interested parties. After all, the currently distributed version of Adblock is comprised of at least 95% contributed code; had the original author not released the program as open-source, Adblock as we know it would simply not exist. Again: self-interest.


This is a very interesting observation and you make some very good points. I don't like looking at things as purely capitalism or purely socialism, they both have serious flaws and too much of either does not serve society very well. I also try to keep my own efforts from purely being motivated by self interest. For instance I started my project because I wanted to contribute something positive to the Internet. In time, however, I needed to make it pay for itself. Then it became evident, if I really wanted the site to succeed and continue to grow, I would have to seriously invest my time and energies into it. This meant I had to run it more like a business and less like a hobby. I'll never earn enough revenue from it to compensate me for my original investment of thousands of hours of time; however, I do earn enough to justify my current expenditure of revenue


wonkothesane wrote:
Regarding spoofed functions: you're thinking along the wrong tracks. The browser functions themselves ( getComputedStyle, for example ) may be invisibly and undetectably spoofed. It doesn't matter what random IDs you assign the various page elements; eventually, you have to ask the browser what the status of those elements might be, and the browser can lie...


This is an interesting concept. Currently no browser has this capability, but I suppose someone may be able to write an extension that could goof around with it. Of course your type of spoofed functions could have unintended side effects for the user. It would also be very problematic to implement. How would the extension/browser know when to honor the function properly and when to spoof it?

wonkothesane wrote:
I actually stopped by Portland for a day in the summer of 2004. It was freaking ninety degrees! Ninety! Portland... Maine! Maine! Shock For shame...
It was, at least, ...amusing... to see stupid tourists get very close to a wild moose on the way back Smile


I used to live in Fairbanks Alaska before moving to Maine, the best thing there was seeing tourists get off the plane with a suit case full of winter clothes in the middle of June or July. The temps in Fairbanks Alaska can get up to the upper 90s in the summer and are routinely in the 80s. The first thing tourists would have to do is buy summer clothes.

When I worked summers in Yellowstone, we used to keep count of how many tourists got gored by the bison vs. mauled by bears. Usually the bison won. I don't know why, but perfectly sensible people become complete idiots the moment they go on vacation. Its like they left their brains and common sense at home.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay once again I wasn't logged in. If you didn't already figure it out, the previous "Guest" post should be attributed to me.

What is the deal with this forum? It can't seem to keep me logged in, even though I keep checking the checkbox to remember my login (and no I don't clear my cookies).
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EnvironmentalChemistry



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

idbehold wrote:

com·mu·nism (kmy-nzm)
n.

1. A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.

-source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


I guess in the purest sense of the word, you've got us on this one. Its just that historical impementation of these ideas have not lived up to this definition. Hence the word has a negative meaning to most people.
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wonkothesane
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sigh. idbehold, if you'd care to
A) read what I originally posted and
B) include the *full* definition from answers.com,
you would note that I said "Communism," not communism. Looking at the second part of said full definition, one would see that in its lowercased form, the word refers to a theoretical economic system; in its uppercased form, it is
Quote:
Communism

1. A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.

(emphasis added)



The chutzpah it takes to selectively quote from a given source to support a factually incorrect argument... Rolling Eyes

As for self-interest... Self interest and altruism, while antonyms, need not be exclusive of each other. After all, rue's (and my) developement work on Adblock is both altruistic and in pure self-interest.

I find it amusing that even with all that copy-and-pasting, you still haven't given the slightest hint of knowledge of the word "international."


Ken:
* What "us"?
* An extension... such as Greasemonkey? (I haven't actually tried to see if it's viable or not.) Or, if you don't care to leave this discussion board, wait around a bit and it could be Adblock itself... *smile* idbehold would, I'm sure, have a few choice words on the meaning of "a bit" of time...
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

wonkothesane wrote:
I find it amusing that even with all that copy-and-pasting, you still haven't given the slightest hint of knowledge of the word "international."

This is a shot in the dark here, but I think it has something to do with being in more than one country or some sh!t?
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Last edited by idbehold on Thu Feb 10, 2005; edited 1 time in total
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wonkothesane
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Close enough Very Happy
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

wonkothesane wrote:
wait around a bit and it could be Adblock itself...

WH-H-HO! Maybe YOU should look up the definition of "a bit"

again *looks at sig*
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh wait, I think I found your definition of "a bit"

Name
Adblock

Project Description
Updated Adblock to use RDF, whitelisting, automatic downloading of filters, and more. Trying to get everything under the GPL; currently, it's basically unlicensed.

Approx Time
800-1200 hours (May 2004 - Jan 2005) AND YOU'RE STILL LATE!!!
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wonkothesane
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Joined: 22 May 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken: The spoofing is done per-site (that is, to each Window object associated with a site matching some arbitrary filter). The framework (and a dozen other features) were relatively problematic to implement, which is why it's been nine months since Adblock has been updated, but said feature is working smooth as juice right now... Smile

Of course, something as complex as the Internet will not be done justice with a description (even metaphorically) or label as simple as a social/governmental/economic system. However, a facet (of a facet of a facet) of a complex system can be made... easier to understand... given a good metaphor to draw upon.
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wonkothesane
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Late, idbehold, ? That "Jan 2005" isn't a shipping date, it merely reflects the last month/year in which I updated that particular page. I never promised you a rose garden.

Douglas Adams wrote:
"Late?" said Arthur. "What for?"

"What is your name, human?"

"Dent. Arthur Dent," said Arthur.

"Late, as in the late Dentarthurdent," said the old man, sternly.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

wonkothesane wrote:
Ken: The spoofing is done per-site (that is, to each Window object associated with a site matching some arbitrary filter). The framework (and a dozen other features) were relatively problematic to implement, which is why it's been nine months since Adblock has been updated, but said feature is working smooth as juice right now... Smile


I don't see function spoofing, being very hard to defeat. Just like I have poison functions to cause adblocking programs to trip over my redundant styles, one could simply employ redundant calls to the same JavaScript function where one result is suppose to be one thing and the other result is suppose to be something else. This would make it virtually impossible to reliably predict which way the function should be spoofed. This would be no different then my using multiple layers of objects that must have the proper CSS display and visibility status for the content to display properly. I have already implemented aspects of this concept due to the Proxo thread linked to above.
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IceDogg



Joined: 19 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say you are truely enjoying this EnvironmentalChemistry. I can tell . LOL. but I have to tell you reading this thread and some others, I'm learning a lot. Thanks.
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Marcion



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being from England, and not seeing America as the centre (note how you should spell centre!) of the world, I personally have a very different understanding of economics, in England we have had universal free health-care since the second-world-war - I can go to the same hospital as Tony Blair for example - but nodody argues that it is communism. Indeed it is good for business if people can go to work because they are not sick.

Free(dom) software is not bad for business per se, - there are lots of small and medium sized businesses doing well out of it, but it is bad for certain types of big business.

The problem is not communism versus capitalism, at least not in western developed countries and it never really was in the west. The choice now is between a modern welfare state and fascism.

What is fascism - it is when the line between business and government no longer exists, so what business wants becomes law automatically because the businessmen and politicians are the same people, and control over government, business, the media, the military and so on is held by a centralised group of people in the name of nationalism or security or whatever they can get away with.

When I was at school I never heard or sang the national anthem once, I have never seen a British flag hanging from any public place outside of London. In some parts of America, flags and other nationalistic symbols are everywhere – which is a sign of either cultural insecurity or nationalistic triumphalism.
The people who currently run the American government have never read the US constitution, which at the time of its creation become an international standard of how to protect the people. Nowadays, your constitutional rights are being systematically removed in the name of 'patriotism'.
While some people in America have very low access to healthcare and very little chance of affording university without running up huge debts, the government spends more on the military than ever before, cold war era projects such as 'star wars' still get tens of billion pounds a year that could have been spent on more pressing social issues.
Your mass media is the most biased of any western country and constantly tells you what you should think. The problem is that they are all biased in the same way so you have no easy way to find out what is really going on. Foreign news sources, e.g. the BBC/Canal/Al Jazeera etc are demonised. The separation of religion and state has completely broken down. In general fear is used as a weapon by those in power against the American people.

How does all this affects my view of adblocking? Well I am trying to point out that I reject many of the premises that some of you take for granted in your arguments against ad-blocking. This is not your fault or my fault but just the difference between our cultures.
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idbehold



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't England one of our colonies?
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

IceDogg wrote:
I have to say you are truely enjoying this EnvironmentalChemistry. I can tell . LOL. but I have to tell you reading this thread and some others, I'm learning a lot. Thanks.


Actually programming can be tedious and monotonous especially when surrounded by people who don't have a clue about programming. I enjoy these threads, because they are all about problem solving and provide a welcome relief from the normal routine. Good threads like the Proxo thread sharpen my skills and help me see the pitfalls of my methods. In the end, everyone who participates in these threads have the ability to sharpen their skills. I can make more efficient ad-blocking countermeasures and you all can develop more efficient methods of blocking ads.

Participants in these threads only represent a very tiny fraction of a percent of people who try to block ads or try to detect ad-blocking. As such, any successful circumvention of my countermeasures that is developed from this exchange will have a very small distribution and really poses no serious threat. At the same time, any improvements in my countermeasures probably won't be implemented beyond my sites. Thus we all improve our skills while the vast majority of our "adversaries" do not benefit from this exercise.

In my book, helping to make Adblock and your ad-blocking rules more robust as a result of my participating in this thread is a small price to pay to improve my overall effectiveness against the vast majority of ad-blocking users.
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JPWhite



Joined: 10 Jul 2004
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
in England we have had universal free health-care since the second-world-war


Yeah and you have to wait f*ing years for a non-urgent procedure, like a hip-replacement.

I'd like to point out that the British Health system is NOT free. It's paid for by taxation. The hospitals are generally old and delapidated, though the doctors, nurses and staff are first rate.

In addition the British system is run like an HMO. You have to be referred by your GP (Read primary physiscian) to see a doctor that specialises in a certain type of medcine.

It's true that health benifits are guaranteed, but sometimes you are left sucking on fresh air, waiting, waiting waiting.....

Each system has it's benefits and drawbacks. I've seen it from both sides of the pond.

JP
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Marcion



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things sometimes go wrong in America too and according to the census, 1 in 5 Americans don't have any access to any health services at all, thats not good. At least here we are all sitting in the same sh..uger.

Quote:
There is more than enough money in the system now to give Americans all the health care they need or could reasonably want--if it were distributed differently. We spend over $4,000 per capita on personal health care, about twice as much as Canada and the European countries (which cover all their citizens), and the gap is growing. Why is our system such a money sink? Not because our population is older or sicker. All the Western countries have aging populations vulnerable to nearly the same illnesses at roughly the same rates, and ours is actually younger than most. Nor is the reason that we get better outcomes. By all the usual measures of health--life expectancy, infant mortality, childhood immunization rate--we do worse than most Western countries. The only plausible explanation is how health care is financed and delivered. The American health care system is staggeringly wasteful and inflationary.

Source: http://www.prospect.org/print/V11/23/angell-m.html

To be fair though, in Britain it is a bit of a "post code" (zip code) lotttery. Last year we had to go to a really old and scummy looking hosiptal, then we moved a two miles down the road and were sent to a brand new facility.

When I go to Scandinavia, all the medical facilities are top-class, modern facilities and you can see a specialist by walking in off the street.
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boomboom



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005    Post subject: So easily defeated Reply with quote

So easily defeated

Added this find/replace filter to textblock v0.01alpha:

Code:
find:
if\(\(\(!id(* )

replace:
if(1==2&&((!id\1


So much for "randomly generated" identifiers. LOL
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idbehold



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

And where might we find this textblock you are talking about?
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wonkothesane
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Joined: 22 May 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnvironmentalChemistry wrote:
wonkothesane wrote:
Ken: The spoofing is done per-site (that is, to each Window object associated with a site matching some arbitrary filter). The framework (and a dozen other features) were relatively problematic to implement, which is why it's been nine months since Adblock has been updated, but said feature is working smooth as juice right now... Smile


I don't see function spoofing, being very hard to defeat. Just like I have poison functions to cause adblocking programs to trip over my redundant styles, one could simply employ redundant calls to the same JavaScript function where one result is suppose to be one thing and the other result is suppose to be something else. This would make it virtually impossible to reliably predict which way the function should be spoofed. This would be no different then my using multiple layers of objects that must have the proper CSS display and visibility status for the content to display properly. I have already implemented aspects of this concept due to the Proxo thread linked to above.


And what if a given function is only supposed to return one value? Also: it's quite possible to crawl up the scope chain from a called function to the calling function. One can also replace non-functions, such as properties of the window object. Even normally read-only properties are fair game, actually.

If all else fails, then we can always simply rewrite your page script to begin
Code:
if(false && ...
but that's not very sporting, now, is it?

Conducting an arms race on someone else's soil is a recipe for disaster Smile
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IceDogg



Joined: 19 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

wonkothesane wrote:
[ Conducting an arms race on someone else's soil is a recipe for disaster Smile


LOL that is a good point.
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Nathan
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005    Post subject: SE's Reply with quote

It's really great how they screw over the search engines completely. If I did that on my site, I'd lose more money from lack of SE-traffic than I would from people using AdBlock.
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Tooleh
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For instance, my graphical banner ads are all PPA and I only earn revenue from then when someone completes the form on the landing page the ad leads to. Some of my ads are pay per click, and the ads I sell directly are fixed rate ads where I charge a flat rate per month.


You do realise that if people are going to block ads, they aren't going to click on them whether they see them or not.

The only ads you are helping are Pay-Per Impression, which you haven't actually mentioned that you use Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnvironmentalChemistry wrote:
idbehold wrote:
um, no. I can see the actual site w/o all the ads, but you are right that the ads are still making you money.


Um, actually, no not always.

Ads generate revenue through several different arrangements:



I'm not interested into any kind of ads. I do neither use Amazon nor Ebay as such services track my internet usage. If I want to use something where tracking services are needed I use JAP (http://anon.inf.tu-dresden.de/index_en.html) to make this connection secure. JAP uses several proxy servers which scramble tcp/ip packages. All other connections are filtered using a script which does localhost redirections of about 90000 tracking sites and ip addresses on system level where I think that my computer shouldn't resolve IP addresses (like all domain registrations of MPAA and RIAA and others). All the rest is filtered by Adblock.
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Ulmo



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drahken wrote:

Edit 3: Yet more proof of their lies. View source on their page and look at the javascript:
Quote:
// While trying to decode this script, please keep in mind that although we require users to
// view our ads, WE DO NOT USE POPUPS, POPUNDERS nor rich media ads (e.g. flash).

...follwed soon after by...
Code:
function popUpNew(ASIN) {amznwin=window.open('/azbb/'+ASIN,'Amazon','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,status=yes,
toolbar=yes,resizable=yes,width=720,height=450,screenX=5,screenY=5,top=5,left=5'); amznwin.focus();}
function popUp(URL,NAME) {amznwin=window.open(URL,NAME,'location=yes,scrollbars=yes,status=yes,toolbar=yes,
resizable=yes,width=380,height=450,screenX=10,screenY=10,top=10,left=10'); amznwin.focus();}

Hmmm... My turn not to agree with you: I don't consider them to lie, since this function is used when you volontarilly click on the Ad (just check the source to see where these functions are called, since there are no pop-ups when displaying the page...). Actually it's much better for them to make sure a new window gets opened when an ad is clicked IMHO (or Tab bar if FireFox is configured to open a new tab instead)! That way the user can go toggle between both windows, instead of possibly being misleaded away from the site...

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Ulmo



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

JPWhite wrote:
Quote:
in England we have had universal free health-care since the second-world-war


Yeah and you have to wait f*ing years for a non-urgent procedure, like a hip-replacement.

So? In that case you can pay and get it faster! You're not obliged to wait if you can pay for non-vital treatments... Well that's the case in Canada.
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Taomyn



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005    Post subject: Re: So easily defeated Reply with quote

boomboom wrote:
So easily defeated

Added this find/replace filter to textblock v0.01alpha:

Code:
find:
if\(\(\(!id(* )

replace:
if(1==2&&((!id\1


So much for "randomly generated" identifiers. LOL


From where is "textblock" please?
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, well, this thread went back on track. Wink

wonkothesane wrote:
Conducting an arms race on someone else's soil is a recipe for disaster Smile


You are quite right, except you are mistaken who's soil this is taking place on. In the end all methods of circumventing ad blocking countermeasures depend upon the code used to detect and block those using ad blocking software remaining static. Good countermeasures do not remain static; rather they are dynamic and constantly changing via automated processes. This means that no set of ad rules people create to circumvent my countermeasures works for very long.

An "arms race" doesn't worry me. The reason is simple. Every time someone comes up with a "work around" to my script, it simply helps me find weaknesses in my methods. This allows me to make my script more robust and harder to circumvent by someone else. At the same time, that work around is a one time fix for people using ad blocking software. In other words for every site that uses ad blocking countermeasures site specific rules have to be written to circumvent those countermeasures. The level of effort required to develop and maintain site specific rules is high enough as to severely limit their effectiveness and adoption.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005    Post subject: Re: SE's Reply with quote

Nathan wrote:
It's really great how they screw over the search engines completely. If I did that on my site, I'd lose more money from lack of SE-traffic than I would from people using AdBlock.


None of this affects the search engine's ability to index my site, thus it isn't a problem. As a matter of fact, you could access my site perfectly fine using a text only browser like Lynx.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tooleh wrote:
You do realise that if people are going to block ads, they aren't going to click on them whether they see them or not.

The only ads you are helping are Pay-Per Impression, which you haven't actually mentioned that you use Wink


This is not entirely true, because many people are using ad blocking software and don't even realize it (e.g. Symatec's Norton Internet Security comes with ad blocking enabled by default). In addition many users block ads because it is easy, not because they are "religiously" against them. As such many users of ad blocking software would still be occasionally tempted into acting on ads if they saw them.

Besides that isn't the point. The point is if a user wants to be able to access my site ad free, they need to be willing to pay the subscription fee. My site isn't a charity, it is a business. The product it sells is information. A LOT of very hard work and money went into producing this product. If you don't like what I charge for that information, you need to go somewhere else. Trying to force your way past the methods I use ensure that all users "pay" the fee I charge (whether it is accepting ads or paying for an ad-free subscription) is analogous to shoplifting.

If you accept my ads, but don't act on them, this is fair, because it means I didn't find ads that sufficiently interested you. At least, however, you gave me the opportunity to try to find something that would interest you and this is all I'm asking for. It is up to me to find ads that are of interest to my users and trust me, ads that don't perform, quickly get replaced.
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someone



Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnvironmentalChemistry wrote:
Trying to force your way past the methods I use ensure that all users "pay" the fee I charge (whether it is accepting ads or paying for an ad-free subscription) is analogous to shoplifting.

Take a look at the music industry, see how well that kind of statement worked out for them.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

someone wrote:

Take a look at the music industry, see how well that kind of statement worked out for them.


Just because I don't like how much the music industry charges for a CD or individual song, doesn't justify my stealing the song in the form of file swapping. I have a set amount I'm willing to spend on a physical CD (<$1 per song), if a CD I want costs more than that, I probably won't buy it. At the same time, I don't go and download the songs, I simply choose to do without.

Again, it is not unreasonable for me to expect my users to view my ads if they don't want to pay the subscription fee for ad free access. As has been stated before, banner ads are the grease that makes the Internet as diverse and useful as it is. Yes websites need to exercise restraint in regards to the types of ads they use, however; without ads, a lot of the sites we take for granted simply would not exist.

I would also like to remind folks that most of the people who are participating in this discussion are not my real user base and probably would have never even discovered my site existed if someone hadn't complained about my methods. In fact, I often wonder how often the person who starts one of these threads in various forums did indeed discover my tactics by visiting my site, or simply found out about what I do in some other forum and decided to bring it to the attention of members of yet another forum.
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CSSkillsyeradsbaby
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd also like to thank Fluffy for their comments.


Haha, the duckhead is thanking himself. Quick, let's point at him and laugh. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can still view certain pages on that site by going to google cache results for it and VERY QUICKLY hitting the stop button before javascript kicks in.
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Zachariah



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 703
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005    Post subject: Re: SE's Reply with quote

probably easier than doing ^ that trick
EnvironmentalChemistry wrote:
As a matter of fact, you could access my site perfectly fine using a text only browser like Lynx.


in fact, A release of Lynx and pointers to Lynx for DOS386+ and Win32 are available from several locations
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

CSSkillsyeradsbaby wrote:
Quote:
I'd also like to thank Fluffy for their comments.


Haha, the duckhead is thanking himself. Quick, let's point at him and laugh. Very Happy


I did not write the original comment posted by"fluffy," and have no idea who did. If the admins of this forum track the IP address of posts like many forums do, they would be able to vouch for the fact that I am not associated with the "Fluffy" post. All comments I have posted in this thread I have taken credit for. I'm participating in this discussion because:

1) it is an issue relevant to me;

2) to provide a different perspective on this issue than would normally be expressed in this forum; and

3) to gain insight that would allow me to make my countermeasures more robust.

I do not need to stoop to immature acts like pretending to be someone else, posting under multiple identities or calling people childish names to express my side of this issue.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

admuncher owns you Razz
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kstahl
Support


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 1202
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
admuncher owns you Razz


Let's try to keep this thread civil and relevant.
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rue
Developer


Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 752

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnvironmentalChemistry:
Quite nice- having neutral-ground for discussion. Back last summer, the Crew and I engaged in a roundtable on the most advanced blocking-detection scenarios we thought devise-able. Every extreme was listed, in a strike / counterstrike game against, essentially, ourselves. I know you don't fully appreciate this, but extensions (eg. adblock) are in full control of the browser. Everything, from the size+shape of windows to the "integrity" of text coming down the pipe, is under their jurisdiction. This means things you would consider sacred -- built-in methods + properties + elements -- might not be as you think. To circumvent what's coming, you could, verily, commit a great deal of time to learning the browser's inner-workings. But, at that point, the time committed + knowledge gained would enable you for things far more rewarding than simple website maintenance. Education pays in dividends.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

rue wrote:
EnvironmentalChemistry:
Quite nice- having neutral-ground for discussion.


Agreed Ignoring some of the anonymous "guest" posts this has been one of the better discussions I've seen on this subjects. I personally don't like posting anonymously because if I'm going to say something, I'm going to have the courage to own up to it. There will always be extremists on both sides of any argument, the thing is one just can't take themself too seriously.

rue wrote:
EnvironmentalChemistry:
Back last summer, the Crew and I engaged in a roundtable on the most advanced blocking-detection scenarios we thought devise-able. Every extreme was listed, in a strike / counterstrike game against, essentially, ourselves. I know you don't fully appreciate this, but extensions (eg. adblock) are in full control of the browser. Everything, from the size+shape of windows to the "integrity" of text coming down the pipe, is under their jurisdiction. This means things you would consider sacred -- built-in methods + properties + elements -- might not be as you think.


To an extent extensions would have this control, yes, but in the end there are built in limitations caused by the browser and practicality. For instance there are only limited number of ways to remove and ad from a page. They include: removing the HTML source before the webpage is delivered to the browser (e.g. a proxy like ZoneAlarm Pro); preventing supporting objects from loading (e.g. blocking the image); hiding the ad via CSS; writing the code out of the webpage via JavaScript; or writing a blocking object over the ad.

Yes extensions could be written to change the behaviors of methods, properties and elements; however, if done on more than a site by site basis, this would have disastrous results as the exact same methods used to detect ad-blocking on one site would be used for a totally different purpose on another site. Furthermore, sites can be designed such that a property or method used to detect the blocking of ads is also required to behave properly in order for a site to display properly. This means the extension has to know when to allow a method to function correctly and when to modify its behavior.

In other words in order for what you say to work, extensions have to change the rules which determine how a page is displayed. Changing those rules would break more things than it "fixes".

Trying to deal with changing these "rules" on a site by site basis is impractical at best and would require considerable effort. This just isn't a practical option for main steam ad-blocking software. Sure there will always be those who are going for the "nay, nay" factor that would dedicate efforts to overcoming scripts like mine; however, they don't really pose a threat in the big scheme of things.

rue wrote:
To circumvent what's coming, you could, verily, commit a great deal of time to learning the browser's inner-workings. But, at that point, the time committed + knowledge gained would enable you for things far more rewarding than simple website maintenance. Education pays in dividends.


For the reasons stated above, I totally disagree. Yes I need to understand the inner workings of browsers, but as a web developer I need to understand this anyway simply to develop websites and to be able to understand why a website is not functioning correctly on two different browsers. I don't need an any deeper understanding to employ my ad-blocking countermeasures than I do simply to design dynamic websites that function correctly across a wide range of conditions (e.g Mozilla Firefox, MSIE with its broken box model, a PDA or a dynamic Braille display).

In the end, I would agree that it is impossible for me to ensure that my page displays correctly and that my ads get past ad-blocking methods, however, this is not my objective. My objective is simply to make sure that 90+% of users that are using ad-blocking software do not gain access to my content unless they turn off ad-blocking or subscribe to my site.

For those who do get past my countermeasures, I want to make sure they had to expend considerable effort and that accessing my site was a less than optimal experience. In other words, I simply want to make accessing my content while using ad-blocking more trouble than its worth.

Oh in regards to your round table discussion. The weakness with any exercise like this is that they always under estimate the competition. Different perspectives look at things in different ways. This means that the competition can and will come up with totally unexpected solutions. This is the whole reason I participate in these threads. Invariably someone will find an unexpected way to exploit my code. This in turn allows me to better understand the interplay between things, which not only allows me to make my code more robust, but gives me new knowledge that can be applied to my normal programming practices.
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EnvironmentalChemistry



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
rue wrote:
EnvironmentalChemistry:
Quite nice- having neutral-ground for discussion.


Agreed Ignoring some of the anonymous "guest" posts this has been one of the better discussions I've seen on this subjects. I personally don't like posting anonymously because if I'm going to say something, I'm going to have the courage to own up to it. There will always be extremists on both sides of any argument, the thing is one just can't take themself too seriously.

..SNIP...


Damn! Once again I wasn't logged in. This post should have been credited to me.

Okay, I've got a suggestion for the admins of this forum. Please FIX the problem with this forum not keeping people logged in even if they check the "keep me logged in" option. Also, maybe giving us an alert before posting a message that we aren't logged in would be really nice. I participate in a lot of forums, and I've never had as many problems staying logged in as I do with this one.

It is quite fustrating.
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