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Killing ad banners

© September 2003 Tony Lawrence

Link: Style sheet for ad blocking

The link above will let you apply a style sheet to browsers that use such things (Netscape, Mozilla, Safari etc.) that rather completely hides ads from view.

Note that it doesn't actually block anything: it just makes them disappear. The web page provider still thinks you saw the ad, you still did download it, it's just that your browser ignores the content.

This kills popups and Google text ads too, and I think that's unfortunate for several reasons. First, while we are accustomed to the web being a free resource, somebody is paying for it, and web site owners have to get their income from somewhere. I agree that popups and popunders are objectionable, but I think better sites recognize that already and the few that don't will learn.

I don't think Google style text ads or even in-line banners are quite so awful. In some cases, context based placement such as Google provides actually adds to the information content of the page you are looking ad. That's not as likely to be true for editorial style pages like this one, but I think it is definitely so for the more technical articles here.

If ads stop working, "free" web sites will either disappear or will have to find other ways to get revenue. That will either be by anti-blocking techniques (inserting the ads into the page in a way style sheets like this can't distinguish) or by charging subscription fees for content. It's either that or close up shop. Note that if you use that on my pages, not all ads will be hidden, because many of my ads don't match the criteria. It's also unfortunate that the style sheet sees "iframe" as a trigger, because there are legitimate uses for that tag and using this could cause you to miss content you'd like to see.

So: I've provided the link, but I seriously suggest that you should not use it. I do as much or even more browsing as the next guy, and I don't use anything like this. I do block popups and their kin, but few of the sites I visit use those anyway. Consider the consequences: we may not like the results of this sort of thing.

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-> Killing ad banners

Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

iOS 10: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Pages

Take control of Apple TV, Second Edition

Take Control of OS X Server

Take Control of iCloud

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Today’s computers are not even close to a 4-year-old human in their ability to see, talk, move, or use common sense. One reason, of course, is sheer computing power. It has been estimated that the information processing capacity of even the most powerful supercomputer is equal to the nervous system of a snail—a tiny fraction of the power available to the supercomputer inside [our] skull. (Steven Pinker)

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