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Advertising IOS

One Day After iOS 9's Launch, Ad Blockers Top Apple's App Store 241

HughPickens.com writes: Sarah Perez reports at TechCrunch that only one day after the release of Apple's newly released version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 9, ad blockers are topping the charts in the App Store and it seems that new iOS 9 users are thrilled to have access to this added functionality. The Top Paid iOS app is the new ad-blocker Peace, a $2.99 download from Instapaper founder Marco Arment. Peace currently supports a number of exclusive features that aren't found in other blockers yet. Most notably, it uses Ghostery's more robust blocklist, which Arment licensed from the larger company by offering them a percentage of the app's revenue. "I can't believe how many trackers are on popular sites," says Arment. "I can't believe how fast the web is without them." Other ad blockers are also topping the paid app chart as of today, including the Purify Blocker (#3), Crystal (#6), Blockr (#12). (Ranks as of the time of writing.) With the arrival of these apps, publishers and advertisers are fretting about the immediate impact to their bottom lines and business, which means they'll likely soon try to find ways to sneak around the blockers. In that case, it should be interesting to see which of the apps will be able to maintain their high degree of ad blocking over time.

It's no surprise that advertisers and publishers who make their money from advertising aren't exactly fans of blockers. What is surprising is that no one seemed to disagree with the argument that online ads have gotten out of control. "I think if we don't acknowledge that, we'd be fools," says Scott Cunningham, "So does that mean ad blockers are good or right? Absolutely not. Do we have an accountability and responsibility to address these things? Absolutely — and there's a lot that we're doing now." Harry Kargman agrees that in many cases, online ads have created "a bad consumer experience — from an annoyance perspective, a privacy perspective, a usability perspective." At the same time, Kargman says that as the industry works to solve these problems, it also needs to convince people that when you use an ad blocker, "That's stealing. It's no different than ripping music. It's no different than pirating movies."
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One Day After iOS 9's Launch, Ad Blockers Top Apple's App Store

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  • They are the pirates (Score:5, Informative)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @05:50PM (#50544683) Journal

    They're stealing my time, and electricity

    • by sl149q ( 1537343 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:10PM (#50544837)

      The problem is that publishers don't see the cost of delivery of their advertising. Like email spam there is little to no cost to throw in a few more lines of JavaScript to pull another ad from another ad delivery service.

      But the consumers do see the cost. Download costs (especially for mobile) for the extra data. Longer time to load. Harder to read with ad's cluttering the page. Etc etc.

      At the very least if this pushes publishers to convert 2nd and 3rd party ads to first party by (minimally proxying or caching) the delivery through their own site it will provide them with a better idea of the cost.

      Moving more content to first party delivery allows protocols like SPDY to shine and optimize delivery. Faster and less bits (through compression.)
      The message to publishers is take control of the data you want people to look at. Deliver it yourself.

      The message to advertisers is to develop alternate mechanisms to ensure your ads are being delivered through first party sites. Ad blocking of crappy delivery mechanisms means that your choice is no ads or delivery as a first party ad.

      • by BuckaBooBob ( 635108 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:34PM (#50545047)

        With so much malware being pushed from shady advertising sources your crazy not to block them...

        Running without a ad blocker is more akin to walking around with a open wound in a infectious area than stealing music ect...

        • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @07:13PM (#50545331)

          Running without a ad blocker is more akin to walking around with a open wound in a infectious area

          I read an article a while ago about some scientist who decided that he wanted to go around investigating a certain species of leech that lives inside a hippo's butt, like attached directly to the colon. He suggested that, as big as the hippo is, it probably wasn't really all that aware that the leeches are even in its butt, but that's where the leech likes to be because there's a good source of blood there for the leech to feed on.

          Now, the scientist is probably right, the hippo probably goes its whole life not really knowing that it has all these leeches in its butt. It might feel a little pain in the butt, but the hippo probably isn't concerned with why that pain is there, much less how or even if it can get rid of it, it's just something that the hippo has always lived with. The hippo accepts that one of the facts of daily life is that you just need to live with some pain in your butt.

          Now, imagine (and believe me, this is a hypothetical), if the hippo let someone root around inside its butt and remove every one of the leeches, and even stop any others from attaching. It might take a day or two to get used to and get back to normal, but the hippo would wake up one day and realize that it no longer has a pain in its butt. It can still do everything it used to do, it can frolic in the water, it can roam around and find the tender little pieces of grass, it can do that thing where it poops and swishes its tail around to spread it all over its neighbors, and it realizes that it can do all of those things it likes without having that pain in its butt.

          Now, maybe the leeches could talk. Maybe the leeches talk to the hippos and they say things like, listen, hippo, my life cycle depends on you letting me get into your butt when you're in the water. I need to drink your blood and drop out some eggs, so that other leeches can be born and start the cycle all over again. It's not really a big price you pay, I mean sure, there's a little pain in your butt, but I need you to do this. If you want to get in the water, it's just something you have to deal with. It's the price of admission. If you get in the water without letting me in your butt, it's like you're stealing the water.

          I bet that the hippo would hear that, and would still want to continue going about its day without any pain in its butt. I don't think the hippo would feel very sorry for the butt leech. Sure, maybe the butt leech contributes to the aquatic ecosystem, maybe its eggs or the dead leeches get eaten by other things and fertilize the grass that the hippo likes to eat. But, if the leeches weren't there, the grass would just find other nutrients. Even though the leech is trying to argue that it's a necessary part of this ecosystem, it's actually just a pain in the butt. In reality, despite what it tells everyone else, the major beneficiary of anything that the butt leech does is the actual butt leech.

          Anyway, I just had a thought that advertisers kind of sound like hippo butt leeches.

          • by zieroh ( 307208 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @07:42PM (#50545493)

            You win the internets today, sir.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
            I wanted to come here and make some snarky 1 liner about how advertisers are useless parasites on the internet ecosystem. This is far far better. Too bad we can't mod you to +11.
            • I wanted to come here and make some snarky 1 liner about how advertisers are useless parasites on the internet ecosystem. This is far far better. Too bad we can't mod you to +11.

              A Pennsylvania Housewife discovered a secret that has Slashdot editors confounded!

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          • by glitch! ( 57276 )

            Excellent post, sir! I thank you for your insightful analogy. It is a rare event, but yours goes to eleven.

          • Permission to copy this post to any and every future topic on the issue with full credit? lol

          • Interesting, Insightful, Funny, and one of the finest analogies I have ever read.

            I think you even covered Troll and Flamebait from the leeches perspective......

            Well done indeed!
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            The only flaw in an otherwise great analogy is that without the leeches the nature of the water changes a lot.

            Some people view that as a good thing. They long for the old days when the internet was mostly personal sites. A lot of people like the commercial, ad funded services though. I mean, we are both posting on Slashdot, probably because we are bored at work. Without any ad revenue could a site like this exist? Soylent News is currently failing to raise a mere $2000 from users to cover its costs. I used

      • by sl149q ( 1537343 )

        I'm also waiting to see how long it takes for somebody to do a good mod_GA for Apache that uses Googles Measurement Protocol (https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/protocol/v1/?hl=en) so that sites don't loose Google Analytics for people that block it.

        In theory it should be possible for Apache to collect as much interesting data as is required and forward that to Google Analytics without the end users web browser being involved at all. And more efficiently done as the web server can d

        • by Morgon ( 27979 )

          Not everything. Apache itself couldn't query the user's effective browser/screen size, for instance, which can help during redesigns. The UA string only goes so far.

          • Hear that browser developers? We need more information stuffed into the UA. If you could see to that feature that'd be great!
        • by Pieroxy ( 222434 )

          If your browser doesn't contact GA directly, GA can't drop the cookie that will help analytics be more precise. It also doesn't have any code running in your browser - hence less data to collect.

          Don't get me wrong, we're not losing analytics, but we'll be far less fine-grained.

          And I think we'll all be better off this way.

    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:12PM (#50544853) Journal

      It isn't fucking stealing at all. The content provider is putting up the content without a paywall. That I choose not to load all the elements of that page is not stealing, so I utterly reject the underlying assertion.

      Quite frankly, if there is a Hell, then every marketer who has ever lived is either already getting Satan's trident up the ass, or should be preparing for an eternity of "sponsored rectal content".

    • You don't understand. If they're not making money while not producing anything of value, it means somebody must be stealing what is rightfully theirs.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly this, ads use my bandwidth, often most of the bandwidth when loading a site, along with my electricity to run on my computer and waste my time trying to mute or figure out how the hell to close them. Advertisers had the goose that laid the golden egg with much more targeted ads, with a largely captive audience and now have found a way to piss off consumers to the point where people are seeking out an extra program to block the adds because they have become such a pain in the ass.

      Here is a clue to a

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly! By using ad blockers we are not stealing from publishers or advertisers, we are stopping them from stealing from us! I paid for my computer and my internet access, and they are stealing from me by their out of control ads, and trying to track me!! Stealing the bandwidth and connection speed that I paid for with their ads that I do not want to see, My time and attention are too valuable to let the evil corporations steal them for their own profit, and my loss!

      Also, ad servers have become an att

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:57PM (#50545211)

      You know how some horror games have a Lovecraftian "sanity" meter?

      Well when I get a full page popover, or I click on the screen randomly and am suddenly whisked to a page I did not expect - each of those events reduces my real life sanity meter. Out of control ad techniques are literally stealing my sanity.

      A side effect is the support I once had for ads on websites has eroded to my not caring at all what the loss of ad revenue does to websites, to not caring at all if the web as a whole dies or is reduced to some pre-historic form.

      My thought now is, if whatever ad you wanted to present was not in the initial HTML load it's fair game to be choosy about loading. I will whitelist sites I like a lot to help them out, but only if the ads there behave.

    • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @07:05PM (#50545271)

      Add bandwidth, attention, and enjoyment to that list too.

      And what their analogy fails to capture is that when it comes to CDs, movies, fruit, toys, or anything else they want to compare it against, there's a simple, well-established relationship between consumers and producers: stuff gets produced -> a price is agreed on -> price gets paid -> stuff gets consumed. Not so with web pages, since the reader pays for the goods (e.g. allows cookies to be set, allows tracking scripts to run, sends information about themselves, has their information sold to third-parties, etc.) before they've had a chance to find out what the price is or see what the goods are.

      Marco Arment suggested that the practice was akin to a restaurant charging its patrons for food they looked over in the menu, before they had even ordered, and I'm inclined to agree. What ability do I have to say, "no, your product is not worth the price you're asking" if the tracking cookies and scripts are immediately placed and executed upon my arrival? Where are sites spelling out the price that visitors pay in a place that visitors can see before they pay (and no, burying it in fine print on page 26 of a privacy policy does not count)? Where do they get off thinking that a contract of adhesion has any sort of enforceability when they never even offered me a chance to take it or leave it? Moreover, where even in those contracts do they state that I'm required to make my information available to them or to consume everything that they're making freely available? I eat around inedible food that restaurants serve me (e.g. burnt edges), so why wouldn't I
      "eat around" non-content data that's served up, such as tracking scripts?

      I don't tear the ads out of the local newspapers I read that are given away for free (I also don't have to worry about them tracking me or compiling data on me that they'll sell to the highest bidders), but should I choose to do so, I would be well within my legal rights, since the item was made freely available for me to read as I want. So it is with sites published online. And because they are engaging in tracking and other practices with which I do not agree, and because they are not forthcoming with the details regarding how my data will be used, and because they've provided me with no means for working it out with them, and because I am within my legal rights to refuse to accept or provide data to them, I have absolutely no problem stripping tracking content and ads from those pages.

      All of which is to say, publishers engaging in these practices: stop treating the people you need like your enemy and find a business model that aligns our interests. Otherwise you'll go the way of every other dinosaur company that failed to adapt.

    • If you don't allow us to invade and loot data from your computer, you're a pirate!

      How about no. If you're not taking personal responsibility for malware in your ads, including the cost to clear infected computers and compensate for lost data, you have no right to complain if we take security precautions in the form of blocking this attack vector.

    • I can't believe yet another industry produces a shit experience for their customer and then when the customer rectifies that shitty experience they are demonized as thieves. Didn't they learn anything from the music industry?
    • That's stealing. It's no different than ripping music. It's no different than pirating movies.

      They're stealing my time, and electricity

      The funny thing is, neither is stealing! One is a court upheld right to, in the case of third party ads, decline to interact with companies/services as well as to do what you will with documents on your system. The other is the cost of interacting with a program/service you voluntarily engaged with, not stealing of time/electricity.

      • by ruir ( 2709173 )
        If I decline to interact with the music industry, then borrowing their musics is not "stealing" or "pirating" also I guess. To be fair, we have to apply the same logic everywhere...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 17, 2015 @05:53PM (#50544711)

    If they want to claim that as stealing then they should pay us for the bandwidth THEY are stealing.

    • by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:14PM (#50544867)

      They obviously don't know how HTTP works. I issue a command on my computer that connects to their server. They voluntarily send me back some data and tell me what kind it is, so I can make a decision about what to do with it (i.e. render as a web site, interpret/run JS code, show it as plain text a la "view source", save the bytes to my hard drive, 3D-print the bytes as chew toys for my dog, etc.).

      If you want to require my usage of the data that your server freely gives away to be constrained, then I need to sign a contract of some kind. Or you need to not send the data. But failing those options, what I do with data that you push to me is is my decision and not yours... if that means I selectively do not render your ads, then so be it.

    • Forget about the bandwidth, what about the malware? How about "serving up malware laden ads is the same as handing out my bank account number to strangers"?

      The comparison to piracy is interesting. Piracy forced the music and movie industries to change massively (sure, they're still not great, but we'd still be buying discs if Napster hadn't happened). I guess what he's saying is "use ad blockers until we're forced to change".
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The last three sentences. Good grief.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 17, 2015 @05:59PM (#50544751)

    Crystal offered their product for free for literally less than a day but I snapped it up in time.

    Holy shit. It's like the first time you discovered adblock+ on your desktop. Suddenly surfing is fast and, well, useful.

    Fucking advertisers are especially aggressive on mobile because they know their audience is captive and less skilled. If, as a species, we spent half as much time as it took to research how to make predictive ad slide right the fuck under your thumb before you tap the screen in to medical research we'd have cured fucking cancer by now. (I'm looking right the fuck at you slashdot on mobile. In-line adds for fermium shitware skinnerbox games and hovering banners? Fuck this place has fallen since the 90s)

    This is a real coup for apple. Think you'll ever see operating system supported ad blockers on the play store? Fat fucking chance!

    • Not to mention that, when web surfing on my iPhone, I have both limited GUI space and an imprecise pointing instrument, so it's often hard to avoid triggering some stupid ad by accident, and some of them are sticky to the point where I wind up just closing the browser window.

      I'm really not against ads, and I don't really like using an ad blocker. That said, I just installed one on my main browsing machine and am very interested in this new iOS capability. I can't take it any more.

    • Tried to download, but there is no love for the iPhone 5...

    • Crystal offered their product for free for literally less than a day but I snapped it up in time.

      Holy shit. It's like the first time you discovered adblock+ on your desktop. Suddenly surfing is fast and, well, useful.

      Fucking advertisers are especially aggressive on mobile because they know their audience is captive and less skilled. If, as a species, we spent half as much time as it took to research how to make predictive ad slide right the fuck under your thumb before you tap the screen in to medical research we'd have cured fucking cancer by now. (I'm looking right the fuck at you slashdot on mobile. In-line adds for fermium shitware skinnerbox games and hovering banners? Fuck this place has fallen since the 90s)

      This is a real coup for apple. Think you'll ever see operating system supported ad blockers on the play store? Fat fucking chance!

      There are adblockers on Play. There are also addblocker add-ins for browsers (for example Firefox w/adblock+ which is what I use) that are on Play.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      This seems to be a new trend for apps. Go free for a day or so, get in a load of good reviews from early adopters and get pushed up the search rankings or on to the front page of the app store. Free apps with ads tend to rank lower down than your revenue-free one.

      Then slap a price tag on it, hoping to cash in on the good publicity and ranking.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 17, 2015 @05:59PM (#50544753)

    I'm NOT buying your product because you advertised it. I'm buying it because a friend told me it was good.

    By blocking your ads, I'm freeing myself from the annoyance of advertisements that I'm going to completely ignore anyway, and I'm recovering both bandwidth and electricity that YOU are stealing from me, because the application developer whose app I am using decided their app wasn't good enough to be a pay app, and decided instead to steal from me to get money from you (the advertiser).

    You have to realize that you are spending your advertising dollars on very ineffective advertising. Worse, you are directly harming your brand by advertising in such a negative, intrusive, and annoying way.

  • Stealing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chilenexus ( 2660641 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @05:59PM (#50544759)
    It's stealing the same way that using the restroom when a TV show has a commercial break is stealing. Can they really blame people for defending themselves when they are constantly barraged with out-of-control ads that track users, install malware, block the actual content, and play difficult-to-stop audio that's not related to the actual content? I see them as no different than if the ads played before movies started showing up on the side walls of the theater while the movie is playing, and sometimes in the middle of the screen while the movie is still playing. And they send people into the theater to try and pick your pocket and leave ads in place of your wallet. Sure, the theater would make a good living taking money from those people for being allowed in - but they will still be driven out of business if all the customers stop showing up because of it.
    • I see them as no different than if the ads played before movies started showing up on the side walls of the theater while the movie is playing, and sometimes in the middle of the screen while the movie is still playing.

      Seriously? Are people so complacent that they don't even recognize product placement in movies when they see it any more? Go watch Repoman, and you'll see what a shock it is to NOT have product placement.

    • by ruir ( 2709173 )
      When I have a commercial break, I do not use the bathroom, I just mute it, glaze over, or stop entirely seeing the show, and go to bed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:01PM (#50544769)

    If ad blocking is considered "stealing" then most of these "ads" should be considered "hacking" and ad companies and executives, especially the ones that end up serving exploits, should be prosecuted just as aggressively as Aaron Swartz and others.

    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      I don't know a great deal about HTML and the way it's used to communicate and render web pages, and fetch 2nd and 3rd party content - ads - but is it possible to insert a URL in the user string or a similar packet of data sent to the web server, said URL containing MY contract for serving data to MY computer? e.g. along the lines of THEIR conditions that if I want to view their website, then I agree to accept cookies, etc - something like: "by responding to my browser's request to fetch and render your cont

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:01PM (#50544775)
    I'm still not sure how they convinced sharing music where no one loses is stealing, but some people think it is stealing even though the distribution costs are basically 0. Anyway, if they can pull another fast one and convince people that not watching ads is stealing, they'll want to go the extra mile,"If you watch your content without buying stuff our sponsors promote, you're basically stealing free content.". Don't buy into their mind poison.
    • Well said. Next they'll say I'm stealing the newspaper that I read, simply because I skip the sections marked "Paid Advertisement" and don't read the Classified Ads thoroughly each day.
  • "That's stealing. It's no different than ripping music. It's no different than pirating movies."

    How the heck is decreasing your bandwith by selectively not downloading ads the same as transcoding a music CD you own or copyright infringing a movie from https://kat.cr/ [kat.cr] ?

    • by bledri ( 1283728 )

      "That's stealing. It's no different than ripping music. It's no different than pirating movies."

      How the heck is decreasing your bandwith by selectively not downloading ads the same as transcoding a music CD you own or copyright infringing a movie from https://kat.cr/ [kat.cr] ?

      Because the ads presumably pay for all the infrastructure. The publishers are mad because they need to pay for bandwidth and whatever staff it takes to generate content. The ad companies are made because they don't get their clicks. I feel for the publishers, I want quality content. The ad companies can go pound sand, they are middlemen that are part of a bad solution to a real problem (how to fund worthwhile, but largely "drive by," content.)

      I have no idea how this will play out. Paywalls don't really

      • by sl149q ( 1537343 )

        The ads pay for *their* (the publishers) infrastructure.

        The ads do NOT pay for the consumers infrastructure. I get a bill from my CableCo and WirelessCo every month that convinces me that I'm the one paying the full tariff for EVERY downloaded bit/byte of data.

        I could care less if the publishers can or can't pay for theirs. Find a business model that works. Forcing me to subsidize my local CableCo and WirelessCo is not the way. If I seriously want your content then I'll find a way to help fund it. Mostly se

    • I loved that line. It shows the problem in a nutshell: They compared ad blockers to stealing, and then gave two examples of things a large portion of the public isn't convinced is stealing.

      So, yes, it's exactly like it. It's something you need to convince us is stealing, if you want us to act in the way you want us to. In fact, just like in those two cases, your best solution is to change your own actions to help us get what we want, so we can accept your solution.

      I currently run adblockers solely becaus

  • If companies complain about ad-blocking, they should move to a pay wall. Let's see how that works out for them.

  • by sbaker ( 47485 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:11PM (#50544843) Homepage

    1) They advertise to me.
    2) I dislike their adverts sufficiently that I'm prepared to spend actual money to stop seeing them.
    3) So they try very hard to force me to see their adverts anyway.
    4) ....with the intention that after they've forced me to see something I definitely said that I didn't want to see - that somehow I'll want to buy their product?

    Did I get that right?

    They send me crap that I've very explicitly opted out of by installing an ad blocker...and they think that'll make me want to buy their stuff?

    OK - I don't get it. I really don't.

        -- Steve

    • by gnupun ( 752725 )

      2) I dislike their adverts sufficiently that I'm prepared to spend actual money to stop seeing them.

      Which results in lowered income for ad-driven apps, which means your free/app website won't be available anymore because the developer can't pay his bills to keep a roof over his head. Are consumers incapable of seeing beyond their own myopic, selfish needs or portraying themselves as the victims?

      • 2) I dislike their adverts sufficiently that I'm prepared to spend actual money to stop seeing them.

        Which results in lowered income for ad-driven apps

        Anyone selling ad impressions is a scammer, and deserves nothing. If they're selling click-throughs, then using my ad blocker is actually saving them money, because I am not clicking through.

      • 2) I dislike their adverts sufficiently that I'm prepared to spend actual money to stop seeing them.

        Which results in lowered income for ad-driven apps, which means your free/app website won't be available anymore because the developer can't pay his bills to keep a roof over his head. Are consumers incapable of seeing beyond their own myopic, selfish needs or portraying themselves as the victims?

        Allow me to illustrate what happens when the advertisement becomes the main focus of the experience, as it has become in computing.

        Let us look at (especially) daytime television. Roughly 50 percent ads. And such ads they are. Since retiring, I've tried watching daytime TV from time to time. While you don't get malware, you do get force fed a steady diet of:

        Almost Pain Free Catheter ads - You're getting ads for little pipes you stick up your dick!

        Vaginal mesh and mesothelioma lawsuit ads - Oh yea, ther

        • by ruir ( 2709173 )
          Have you ever heard of a remote and mute button? The ads you are talking about are so damn stupid, that is nearly the same as insulting people.
      • by sbaker ( 47485 )

        Truly, I would prefer to pay what the app actually costs - and do micropayments for websites I use a lot. I've stopped watching broadcast and cable TV and happily pay NetFlix and Amazon Prime for the privilege of watching TV without the adverts.

        Advertising bites two ways - firstly it intrudes horrendously into my life, but secondly, it drastically increases the cost of goods - because I'm actually paying for the advertising costs on every product that's advertised. Did you know that 23% of the cost of a

  • Turn off javascript, and ads go away.

    • Many websites simply don't work without javascript. More and more, I've found that I can't tell which domains I have to allow in NoScript to get functionality, and which are likely to infect my computer. I'm giving up and switching to an adblocker.

      • Of 100 sites that require javascript for basic operation (not just tracking or advertising), 95 of them are not worth visiting anyway and society will not miss anything if they vanish, and the remaining 5 you can get away with by selectively unblocking some common third party javascript sites. Out of 10,000 sites that require javascript, only one of those will be nice to their visitors and use only their own hosted scripts rather than rely on third party.

  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:11PM (#50544847) Journal
    The iPhone doesn't just work...
    • by phayes ( 202222 )

      Funny, we have boxes of broken Android phones at work and so few broken iPhones. Looks to me like it's all the Android phones that don't work.

  • by MacTO ( 1161105 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:16PM (#50544885)

    Ad blockers are pretty much a necessity on mobile networks.

    Don't feel guilty about using them either. Ads cost real money on mobile networks because they eat into your quota. They also degrade your device's performance and track your behaviour. Don't dismiss that last point as the cost of free services. While the network is public, your device is private. You should have the right to control which network requests your device does and does not make, as well as control which code executes on it. All of this talk about ads funding websites and behaviour tracking being used to improve the relevance of ads is pure nonsense. If it was about funding websites with relevant ads, they would simply display ads based upon the content of the website.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Yep. Ad blockers have been an essential install on Android and desktop for years now. Saves you money, time, battery and RAM.

    • If I could give you mod points I would.

      People (and the advertisers and content creators that are vying for their attention) forget that WE are paying--and at least in the US, quite dearly--for the data usage involved in serving those ads. If I use an app or a browser that is offering content for "free," it's not really "free" if I am forced to download gigabytes of video advertisements each month. That's data I could have spent in other ways. So I have a simple proposition: if you are a content provider

  • by r-diddly ( 4140775 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:19PM (#50544901)

    Hey advertisers! Yeah we're "taking" website content for free, without paying for it, because that is precisely the nature of our contract and covenant with said website. Meanwhile your covenant with them is to pay them money and in return they'll place your ads. We have no covenant with you. We are not obligated to look at your ads.

    But what if every ad-supported site fails? If web content were not totally optional and inessential in every way you might have a point there. But since it's plentiful, mostly stupid, and hardly costs anything to deliver(*) we're actually paying close to market value for it. And a web made up of enthusiasts and community-supported sites might actually be a hell of a lot better than the corporate-dominated one we have now that's so full of bloodsuckers who want something for nothing.

    (*) Sure, starting from no web server or site, and going all the way to reaching user #1, takes a lot of effort. But users #2 through (thousands) take zero effort beyond that. (You webmasters are STEALING! SHRIEK!!! SHRIEK!!!)

    • If every ad supported site fails, then so what? The world existed long before the ad supported web did. The internet also worked and was functionally useful long before ad support web sites. We learned to live without Twinkies, we can learn to live without blogs from narcisists.

  • I wonder as they keep mentioning "browser blocking" if it is as effective as the way a rooted android phone blocks ads. I dont have said phone, but as I understand it, the android adblocking will block ads in applications as well (some sort of host file block?) which by the sound of it, this does not do.

    Anyone got any info? Has android lost the superiority wars in terms of adblocking?

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      Yes and no.
      Yes because you basically have built-in ad blocking features in Safari. You don't have this in Chrome. There are alternatives like Firefox for Android but they are not as popular as Chrome.
      No for everything else. Android allows alternative browsers, not IOS, and you don't even need to root for this. If you are rooted, the possibilities are almost endless : hosts based blocking, proxies, xposed modules, lucky patcher...
      Personally, I use #NoChromo and YouTube AdAway, I used to use MinMinGuard and X

      • by sl149q ( 1537343 )

        On IOS 9 ad blocking should work for all applications that use the webkit api to render pages.

  • by swerk ( 675797 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:26PM (#50544981) Journal

    "That's stealing. It's no different than ripping music. It's no different than pirating movies."

    True. It's my computer and those are my shiny discs full of bits. Using a blocker to customize the way I interact with web pages is no more wrong than moving my music from a CD to a more-convenient file. Since blu-rays I own refuse to play on my secondary TV (an old CRT), pirating those movies gives me no moral hesitation whatsoever. Nor does turning off flash, blocking ads, or doing any of the dozens of things I do with my browsers and my other software on my computers.

    If somebody wants to call what I do "stealing", well, fine. I never put my monitor up for rent as a billboard, so I could say anyone who tries to use it as such is trespassing and vandalizing my property. :^) The fact that ads are so far out of control that people will use non-free (and non-Free) blockers to avoid them is pretty telling.

  • In App ad blocking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greggman ( 102198 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:35PM (#50545061) Homepage

    So when will Apple let us block in app ads?

    Oh I see. This isn't about blocking ads for user's. It's about Apple trying to get more devs to make apps and use iAds which are not blocked so Apple can make more $$$

  • ... without looking at or or mute an ad on television or alt-tab away from a youtube ad to ignore it, or perhaps just close my eyes, put my fingers in my ears and shout "lalalalalalala" does that mean I am a pirate or thief or ripper?
    • by gnupun ( 752725 )

      No, because it's unlikely you'll completely ignore the ad if you mute the TV or ignore the web ad because it still registers in your peripheral vision, sometimes you'll notice it by accident.

      It is stealing if you read a magazine where the postman, following your instructions, has used scissors to cut out all the ads from it. That analogy is similar to this case.

      • No, because it's unlikely you'll completely ignore the ad if you mute the TV or ignore the web ad because it still registers in your peripheral vision, sometimes you'll notice it by accident.

        It is stealing if you read a magazine where the postman, following your instructions, has used scissors to cut out all the ads from it. That analogy is similar to this case.

        That's a fantastic idea! Let's make the postal service relevant again!

        So, am I to understand by your very narrow definition, heading to the kitchen to make popcorn, going to the bathroom, or in any way removing ourselves from the vicinity of the television while commercials are on is stealing, correct? Because the advertisers went to all the trouble to create and send us those obnoxious little video clips, helpfully sprinkled throughout video we are actually interested in seeing (and 'stealing' as much as

  • heh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @06:36PM (#50545071)

    ... it also needs to convince people that when you use an ad blocker, "That's stealing. It's no different than ripping music. It's no different than pirating movies."

    So you're saying that you cannot show any actual loss from the use of ad-blockers?

    • Who wrote that original quote - Steve Ballmer? He of the famous line "the most common form of music on an iPod... is stolen"?

      I haven't bought a CD in years; but, when I did, the first thing I did was rip it using iTunes or some other similar tool. Then I put the CD away for safe keeping. Ripped music is not another way of saying "stolen music".

  • I assume it won't block iAd
  • Just like the grossly exaggerated claims that were made a few years ago [arstechnica.com] by Edward Withacre (then CEO of SBC). Or so many other "industry heads" like the music execs who want to endlessly resell you different copies of music you've already purchased, whatever stands in their way of "maximizing shareholder dividends" is anathema, and should be destroyed at all cost. Consumers being nothing more than opportunities to fleece money from.

    It's a pattern, a chronic need to do this; but a phenomenon which in no s

  • I use the Mercury browser on iOS. One of its features is adblocking, I haven't seen an ad in ages.
    Mercury homepage [mercury-browser.com]
  • I think it is backwards to say "blocking ads is stealing". It is quite the other way around. When I want to watch a video online, or read an article, it is stealing from me to divert my attention to something I did not choose to see and which I have no interest in. That act of theft of my precious attention (I only have so much of it in my life, and it is MY attention that I have the right to direct as I choose) is an immoral act. We are so used to this immoral stealing of our attention that we have gotten
  • it also needs to convince people that when you use an ad blocker, "That's stealing. It's no different than ripping music. It's no different than pirating movies."

    Go die in a fire, you asshole. It's not stealing. This prick reminds me of Jamie Kellner [neowin.net] (chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting) who equated going to the bathroom during commercial breaks with stealing:

    When asked if he considers people who go to the bathroom during a commercial to be thieves, he responded: "I guess there's a certain amount of tolerance for going to the bathroom. But if you formalize it and you create a device that skips certain second increments, you've got that only for one reason, unless you go to the bathroom for 30 seconds. They've done that just to make it easy for someone to skip a commercial."

    By this 'reasoning', not looking at ads or not listening to commercials is 'stealing'. No. No no no. That's not what stealing is.

  • Refusing to buy or be enticed is not "stealing." It is MY time you're wasting, MY bandwidth your consuming, and MY CPU that you're overloading.

    Go fuck yourselves.

  • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Friday September 18, 2015 @04:02AM (#50547357) Homepage Journal

    Are there no free ad blockers out there for iOS?

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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