Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
The Internet Your Rights Online

Only Thieves Block Pop-Ups 1376

aurelian writes "It's official: using browsing the web while blocking pop-up ads and other such exciting website enhancements is theft. are offering to protect your site from browsers blocking pop-ups (or 'theft tools' as they call them) - just try stealing from them with your favourite pop-up free browser. (I picked this up on the phoenix discussion forum...)"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Only Thieves Block Pop-Ups

Comments Filter:
  • Just fine by me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjhwilkes ( 202568 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:37PM (#4745852)
    If a site doesn't want me then they can %^&* off. There's no shortage of sites that haven't resorted to pop ups.

    • Re:Just fine by me (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Presence2 ( 240785 )
      Popup cop 2.01 on ie6 gets their nasty "come back when you've uninstalled" message. Sorry twits, request denied.

      If you're paying for your site with adds, then run a banner in the page with your copy. Most people don't find them anywhere near as intrusive/annoying to the degree that popping up new browser windows does.

      • Re:Just fine by me (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Jucius Maximus ( 229128 ) <m4encxb2sw@snk[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:31PM (#4746461) Journal
        "On the pages that you want to protect you only need to insert a few lines of HTML code to your website. This will present the below button that will test the visitors to see if the use any sort of blocking software."

        I wonder if this special code can be cleaned before it reaches the browser by The Proxomitron [] or your favourite page-scrubber proxy. It might be a little annoying to disable javascript every time I run into one of these. (Perhaps the mozilla crew will make a nice interface for per-site javascript blocking.)

      • by fenix down ( 206580 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:50PM (#4747147)
        I like the message. Especially the way the whole thing's in the URL []. I can just have hours of fun with that.

        I'm a fucker for pointing this out, but somebody would've figured it out anyway. look. []

        Be careful, kids. Get Phoenix and block images on a per-domain basis today!

    • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:40PM (#4746556) Journal
      Take a look at how they purpose to "protect you from spam" here [].

      "To use this method you will first have to create an Anti-Leech account and then enter the e-mail address that you want to protect into our database."

      No technical reason to create an account, of course. Unless they're selling your email address, and hence have a "good reason" to require you to have cookies enabled. Then they have multiple advertisers on their site, who, if they follow standard procedures, pay extra if they can get email address information associated with a cookie planted in your browser....
    • Re:Just fine by me (Score:5, Informative)

      by ( 555899 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:43PM (#4746581)
      So true. And they arn't even good at what they do! It's really pathetic. I go through fine with Opera 6.05 set to block pop-ups. And the Anti-HTML source protector? My god, it's the most simplistic thing ever.
      Page 1:
      <script LANGUAGE=JavaScript SRC=antihtml.php?id=demo_pop&html=test>
      Alright... so lets enter antihtml.php?id=demo_pop&html=test into our browsers, shall we children?
      // This is the Anti-Leech HTML protection
      // The HTML code on this site has been crypted using
      // advanced Anti-Leech technology.
      // The reason is that the webmaster of this site doesn't
      // want to share this code with the public so please
      // respect this.
      var l = top.location;

      // Visit for more info

      document.write("<SCR" + "IPT LANG" + "UAGE='Java" + "Script' SRC='http:/" + "/www.anti" + "" + "ml/load_cr" + "ypted.php?id=demo_pop&l=" + l + "&html=test'" + " TYPE='text/javasc" + "ript'><\/SCR" + "IPT>");
      REALLY advanced there. I love how they break it up in order to avoid detection. :rolls eyes:
      <SCRIPT LANGUAGE='JavaScript' SRC=' hp?id=demo_pop&l=" + top.location; + "&html=test' TYPE='text/javascript'><\/SCRIPT>
      They will be gone within the year.
      • by broken ( 1648 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:23PM (#4746950)
        Dear MATTCOHN.COM,

        you just published a way to circunvent their protection mechanism, which falls under the DMCA. Expect a letter from our lawyers soon.

        Sincerely, :)
        • it really is.. wow. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by VValdo ( 10446 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:52PM (#4747154)
          Seriously, this system really is a method of copyright protection, isn't it? It's "a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work" the web page or whatever).

          As lame as it is, any discussion about circumventing the protection scheme could conceivably be prosecuted under the DMCA [].

          The law says:

          No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that--

          `(A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title;

          It looks like a circumvention method was just "offered to the public" for the purpose of circumventing a protection measure.

      • Almost there. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:32PM (#4747021)
        let's fetch =demo_pop& t_example.html&html=test

        Sorry for cutting out stuff folks, the lameness filter is turned up high today.

        // This is the Anti-Leech HTML protection

        blah blah blah

        egenskaper="toolbar=no,location=no,directories=no, status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes, width=496,height=65";
        url="http://new.anti-leech. com/ad_popup.php";,'antihtml',egenskaper);

        //Disable right mouse click Script
        //By Maximus (

        great stuff, someone else's right-mouse button javascript. I love it. now here comes the fun bit.

        // Printing out protected HTML code

        document.write(unescape("%3Cfont%20size%3D3%20fa c ...

        Argh, the fearsome document.write(unescape()). So that gives us:

        <font size=3 face=verdana>
        This HTML code is protected by<br;><br>
        With help of the Anti-Html system you can protect both parts of your page or all source code. We can even protect java scripts.<br;><br>
        Take a look in the source code of this page for a better view of how good the protection actually is.

        I must say I'm impressed. I didn't know anyone who could write s/[^A-Za-z0-9\.,]/'%'.hex(chr($1))/eg' in perl. That's really SUPER UNCRACKABLE CODE.

      • by deego ( 587575 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @09:08PM (#4747238)
        >Alright... so lets enter >antihtml.php?id=demo_pop&html=test into our >browsers, shall we children?

        In other news wins a patent for advanced anti-leech protection of content by breaking up the content into a smaller chunks separated by signs like +.

        Anti-leech has also indicated that the patent applies to a wide variety of content-separation situations and is a result of advanced research and hard labor on their part. The auto-fill-mode of the emacs OS distribution moves to non-us servers.
  • by Dolly_Llama ( 267016 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:38PM (#4745858) Homepage
    " can easily CHOSE..." could you??

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:38PM (#4745859)
    A long while back, in a little debate here on Slashdot, someone called me a thief for blocking pop-ups ads. If I recall, I think I stumped them by asking if Lynx users were thieves since their browser didn't support pop-ups.

    Anyway, I didn't sign any contract to view pop-ups, and there is no guarantee I will support any soft of technology when I browse the web, so they take a chance in using it knowing it may not work. Same with Flash, other javascript, or even images.
    • by fferreres ( 525414 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:18PM (#4746328)
      If I recall, I think I stumped them by asking if Lynx users were thieves since their browser didn't support pop-ups.

      Short answer: no.

      I think the problem is people using the fully featured website while trying to suvert the very means that makes the website stay online.

      If a large percent of the people used Lynx, you could expect websites to start using text ads, as opposed to blocking people that try to block the income source of the publisher.

      If there existed a way to automatically reformat a printed newspaper into a non-ads newspaper, they'd have to charge everyone more and due to reduced audience they'd also have to cut jobs and lower the quality of the articles. In the web, thing are the same or worst, because if you try to charge you reduce your audience to a much greater degree, being forced to severily affect the quality of the product.

      So, the bottom line is it's ok for you to try to block adds, as long as you can recognize that when your favourite site closes you are part of the reason. And when a site is doing find and provides you of great pleasure or insight, you are not helping and are freeriding everyone elses "hard work".

      Of course, it's mandatory that i know there are some limits to what means resonable adverticement. If the site wants to place 25 chained pop-ups and 75 flashing banners then I would disable javascript or avoid the site. The thing is the most usefull sites have decent advertizing schemes.
      • by nhavar ( 115351 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:00PM (#4746756) Homepage
        I get it but don't agree. The logic should be that as users bail out on advertising then it's either time to reevaluate the type of advertising you are doing or reevaluate the business model. If you don't do either that's when you shut down.

        Many users are just burnt out on ads. It's been said time and time again. When every show, every channel, every magazine, every newspaper, every website, every shopping cart, every building, every movie, every music CD, every box of cereal, basically every horizontal and vertical surface that a person sees is covered with an ad you get burn out. When an hour long show contains 22 minutes worth of show (2 minutes of beginning and ending + 20 minutes actual plot and acting) and 28 minutes worth of commercials there's a little commercial zone-out going on.

        Pop up blockers and similar technology in PVR's are just helping what the brain does automatically - block out the crap. In fact it might even improve some of the ads getting seen since the users aren't overloaded with so much some of it might actually register.

        Marketers don't understand "reasonable" or "ethical". They understand marketshare, branding, and placement. If they looked to "reasonable" and "ethical" the economy might look a little better than it does right now.
        • by whereiswaldo ( 459052 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:34PM (#4747036) Journal
          Great comment.

          Here's an idea: why don't the anal SOB's who want everyone to view their ads place a small "ads.txt" file similar to "robots.txt" which says to the browser or ad blocker "you must view the ads or you are not allowed to view this site". Then we could just tell our browser to not load sites with that file in place, thereby solving the silly "bandwidth theft" problem.
        • by t1m0r4n ( 310230 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @10:23PM (#4747784) Homepage Journal
          Many users are just burnt out on ads... block out the crap. In fact it might even improve some of the ads getting seen since the users aren't overloaded with so much some of it might actually register

          Too true! Now I work in the online porn industry. Most annoying spammers, popup artists, and what not, I know.

          Recently did an ad campaign using free sites you find on link lists. Two pages of nudie pics, and the only ad was a single standard banner with the site name and catch phrase. 80% of the people who went to the free website visited the pay site. That is incedibley high, if you were wondering :P

          My theory in the design was that either people would appreciate the ad free approach and visit out of appreciation (for lack of a better word), or that they would think the pay site was so good it didn't need to fill every pixel with some BS hype. Don't know what it was, but it worked.

          I'm in the process of converting all my sites using this approach, and will definately use it more in future promotions.

          FWIW I never did popups, "free" sites with hidden fees, or any of that other crap. Honestly got into the biz because I loved porn but hated what was offered :P

      • by g4dget ( 579145 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:02PM (#4746776)
        I think the problem is people using the fully featured website while trying to suvert the very means that makes the website stay online.

        I don't see a problem. If they don't want to put a full featured web site on-line for free, they don't have to. Nobody is forcing them.

        If there existed a way to automatically reformat a printed newspaper into a non-ads newspaper, they'd have to charge everyone more and due to reduced audience they'd also have to cut jobs and lower the quality of the articles.

        Tough cookies. Technology makes some good business models go bad and eliminates certain categories of jobs. It happened for farming, it happened for manufacturing, why should newspapers or content providers be exempt?

        So, the bottom line is it's ok for you to try to block adds, as long as you can recognize that when your favourite site closes you are part of the reason.

        The fewer sites that are created with commercial motives in mind, the better, as far as I'm concerned. Companies and advertising already dominate newspapers, television, and radio. I think it would be great if such business models simply didn't work on the Web. So, please, go ahead: block all you can.
      • by WolfWithoutAClause ( 162946 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @09:05PM (#4747222) Homepage
        So, the bottom line is it's ok for you to try to block adds, as long as you can recognize that when your favourite site closes you are part of the reason. And when a site is doing find and provides you of great pleasure or insight, you are not helping and are freeriding everyone elses "hard work".

        I don't agree. You have to wonder for starters why it's so easy to block these ads.

        It's partly/mainly because the ads redirect you to another site. Is this necessary? No.

        Also, why are they redirecting you to another site? It's because they want to track you across the web. I DON'T want to be tracked across the web. I call that spying; I find that deeply unethical, far less ethical than me turning off the advertisements.

        I mean what you going to do? Visiting a website should not invalidate my need for privacy just because some idiot thinks they I owe them a living off stealing my privacy. This is every bit as evil, and far more insidious than spam- this is a real 1984 scenario happening in our lives.

        Making money on the web should come from selling stuff. Not stealing my privacy. And no I don't care if the websites go broke. I don't owe them a living, just because they think I do. This is the real issue.

        Fine, if they want to turn the site off unless I agree to spying- in that case, I ain't going to that site, and I recommend you don't either.

    • by Strike ( 220532 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:21PM (#4746360)
      This just in:

      Only Morons Depend Upon Client-Side Technology To Force Unwanted Ads Upon Customers

      It's almost as bad as when users bitch about pop-up ads when the software they are choosing to use is the one that is popping them up for them.
  • Good! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:38PM (#4745865) Homepage
    This will spur on the programmers to make sure that they create more effective pop-up stoppers, which should be completed in 5...4...3...2...

    • by Mister Transistor ( 259842 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:59PM (#4746133) Journal
      I went to the test page, got the blocked message (I'm using mozilla with selective image blocking) and just went back there and hit the stop button before it redirected me. How hard was that?!?!?

    • Re:Good! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:47PM (#4746639)
      The only way they can tell you are blocking ads or popups is because your browser stops requesting them, right? The easy solution is for browsers to go ahead and request those images, go ahead and request the source for the popup pages, as if the broswer was going to display everything, but just don't display it. On the server side, everything will appear to be exactly as if you were not blocking anything. Am I missing something?
      • Re:Good! (Score:5, Informative)

        by d_i_r_t_y ( 156112 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @09:23PM (#4747370) Homepage Journal

        The easy solution is for browsers to go ahead and request those images, go ahead and request the source for the popup pages, as if the broswer was going to display everything, but just don't display it.

        this is my current solution. for mozilla, stick the following into your /chrome/userContent.css file -- it makes most ads 90% transparent, and doesn't show flash ads at all.

        it's everyone's right not to be subjected to advertising.


        /* makes ads almost invisible
        * - taken from

        [src*="ads."], [src*="ads/"],
        [href*="dou bleclick."] *,
        [href*=""] [src*=""],
        [ width="468"][height="60"],
        [width="120"][height=" 600"]
        -moz-outline: medium dotted red;
        -moz-opacity: 10%;

        /* i find this a bit much, but someone might like it.

        [src*="ads."]:hover, [src*="ads/"]:hover,
        [href*=".doubleclick."] *:hover,
        [href*=""] [src*=""]:hover,
        [width="60"][height="468 "]:hover,
        [wid th="120"][height="600"]:hover
        -moz-outline: medium dashed red;
        -moz-opacity: 100%;

        display: none !important;

  • by jedie ( 546466 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:38PM (#4745869) Homepage
    changing the channel when a commercial break starts is a major fellony too!
    • by Turbyne ( 563535 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:02PM (#4746170)
      Darn! I'm gonna hafta watch pr0n the old fashioned way: left hand on alt+F4, right hand on...

      For any broadcaster that dares let their photons onto my property, prepare to meet the wrath of tresspassing charges. If you want to let your ads onto my property, I expect to be fully compensated for it at standard billboard rates (1 frame = 1 billboard). While I'm at it, I might as well sue Kiss-108 FM for giving me cancer due to their EM radiation, and deafness from their bad music.
    • by Khopesh ( 112447 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:42PM (#4746570) Homepage Journal
      if you ask me about this whole deal, it screams fair use; if i go to a burger joint and get a kids' meal requesting no toy, they should give it to me that way. if i forget to request no toy, and throw it out without looking, there should also be no problem.

      are blind people all theives? they don't see ads!

      what about stereo systems? they come with graphic equalizers, which let people filter music as they see fit. but hark! this means radio broadcasts and cds can be played without so much treble! the thieves!
      this whole thing reeks of 'loss of potential sales' -- the same argument as used by the MPAA and RIAA. sure, it's a bit more far-fetched (and therefore more obvious), but this may help our case against the motion picture and recording industries.
  • by unterderbrucke ( 628741 ) <> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:38PM (#4745872)
    ...we'll all slashdot the site, and we won't have to worry about idiots like them anymore.
  • can't believe this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greenerx ( 598149 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:38PM (#4745874) Homepage Journal
    bandwidth theft?.. they're stealing OUR bandwidth by polluting our pakets with junk
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:38PM (#4745875)
    Telling me not to block pop-ups because the website needs the pop-up income is bad motivation.

    No website is worth wading through hundreds of pop-ups.

    If their only source of income is pop-ups, they aren't long for the web anyway.

    Pop-up income is a bad way to "earn" money, and everyone knows it. (except
  • Tech fix (Score:5, Funny)

    by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:39PM (#4745883) Journal
    Oh my. We're going to have to improve pop-up stoppers to defeat this technology.

    Well, I'd better free up 45-50 minutes for coding sometime in the next week.
  • so... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HillBilly ( 120575 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:40PM (#4745893)
    What can I do on the internet that isn't illegal these days?

    Soon there will be warning messages when connecting to the internet: "You have connected to the internet. This is in violation of blah blah blah. Disconnect now"
    • Re:so... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Smidge204 ( 605297 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:48PM (#4746001) Journal
      What can I do on the internet that isn't illegal these days? ...log off?

      Seriously, though. There are a bijillion little ways to get around crap like this. I disabled javascript and Netscape 7 went right in with no problem (and no popup). IE 5 didn't, though... Oh well! One more reason to swap from IE to Moz!

  • by Pflipp ( 130638 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:40PM (#4745896)
    Aside from the semi-FP issue (I bet I'll be post # 104 or so by the time I finished writing :-), I don't really see how this differs from M$ browsers (and Netscape 4.x) refusing to render my site correctly. So there.
  • So? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by haukex ( 229058 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:40PM (#4745897)

    What are they going to do if browsers just *hide* the popup windows/banners, still loading the ads in the background?

    • by XaXXon ( 202882 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [noxxax]> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:54PM (#4746072) Homepage
      If the window is loaded, but not shown, then everyone wins except the advertiser. As far as you're concerened, you saw no pop-up. As far as the web site is concerned, they get paid. As far as someone like doubleclick is concerned (or any other advertising-helper company), they pushed the impression and get paid by the actual advertiser. The advertiser loses, doubly, though. They have to pay for an impression that was never "impressed" upon the user.

      As far as I'm concerned, this is fine. I don't like companies that would want pop-ups. This is like blocking spam as far as I'm concerned. I don't feel bad that the spammer paid for the bandwidth and I didn't read their spam. And in the same way, they're forcing ME to PAY for the bandwidth for getting their advertisement. It's not a big deal now, but what do I do when my I have a transfer limit on my broadband and actually start PAYING for downloading their ad.

      I must say, that might be a *good* thing about this whole data transfer cap. People are going to get damn pissed when they start getting billed for receiving spam.
    • by einhverfr ( 238914 ) <> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:26PM (#4746409) Homepage Journal
      1: Load the main add in the main page.
      2: Pop up a new window with requested content.

      Works for me :-P
  • by solostring ( 620535 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:40PM (#4745901) Homepage
    I've never worked out how much bandwidth popup ads have sucked out of me over the years, but until recently, I had to pay for 'x' amount of MB's over my monthly limit (crap monopolistic ISP).

    The people that block popup ads are the same people who would *NEVER* click on a popup ad and purchase something, so I'm sorry, but I can't really see what their problem is. Surely we are saving THEM bandwidth?
  • This works well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Binestar ( 28861 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:40PM (#4745902) Homepage
    Click here to bypass thier test [].

    Kinda funny, This browser had failed the test and been blocked from using the site. Found a direct link past the tester and was able to load up thier page.

    Just goes to show you, everything is just a measure that is able to be bypassed.
  • by TWX_the_Linux_Zealot ( 227666 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:41PM (#4745910) Journal
    ... the Internet was based on an open set of standards, and the only fee requirement for use is that which it costs to physically connect/route to it. I wonder if this will ever become a court issue, and if so, if this point will be made...

    I'd like to see the look on the faces of those suing because we are 'stealing' when the judge asks them where they get off attempting to impose requirements and fees upon a system that is designed to be open.
  • by NakedShavedPussyGuy ( 628948 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:42PM (#4745917) Homepage Journal
    showing pictures of naked, shaved pussy. []
  • Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kris_J ( 10111 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:42PM (#4745923) Homepage Journal
    Since we've also recently been told that going to the loo when the ads are on is theft, this latest mob can go screw themselves. If a site doesn't let me view it through Proximitron (will test when I'm on my own PC) then there are plenty of other things I can be doing with my time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:43PM (#4745936)
    You must block ads, or avoid those sites entirely.

    If companies and individuals go out of business because of blocking ads, that will lead to fewer, higher-quality companies like google that can come up with ways to make ads *work*, or sites that actually .. wait for it .. CHARGE MONEY.

    I would rather pay money to visit a handful of web sites, then to put up with this bullshit pop-up ad crap all over the place. In fact these days I don't even bother visiting more than about 5-6 web sites, since I'll just drown in ads anyway. And I paid for a /. subscription.

    Don't take over my computer with your ads and javascript nonesense, and I won't hack into yours. Deal?

    Remember folks: Advertising is not a god-given right. It just happens to work for TV and magazines. If they don't want me ad blocking, they should take down their sites.

    Is it theft to get up from a TV commercial? To skip the big ad section in your magazine? No. Ads are priced by the eyeballs after the fact, you don't try and force the eyeballs to match your expectations.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:44PM (#4745942)
    Why don't we just replace the outdated WWW with X clients, and make eveyone run X servers? That way, web sites can draw whatever they want on your display. It would really eliminate all this slow javscript and HTML which requires a huge browser to interpret and render. Isn't mark-up just a kludge (tell a browser how to render pages), when you can simply render the pages directly? X is a much cleaner solution, IMHO.
  • Forum (Score:5, Informative)

    by vicviper ( 140480 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:44PM (#4745951)
    The test URL refrenced is here. []

    BTW the site works with no blockage in lynx :)
  • The word stealing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anik315 ( 585913 ) <anik@alphaco r . n et> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:47PM (#4745982)
    It finally happened. The word stealing has lost all meaning. Stealing used to mean physical theft, as in you stole my calculator. You stole my book. You stole my videogame. You stole my song. You stole my TV show. You stole my internet site. You stole my cable. You stole my bandwidth. Stealing = made me mad
  • Theft? Offensive! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gary Franczyk ( 7387 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:47PM (#4745985)
    Theft? That is insulting and offensive.

    I guess you can consider these other things theft also:

    Using the Lynx web browser
    Any TV using Tivo or ReplayTV
    Going to the bathroom during commercial breaks.
    Coming to the movies a bit late for the commercials.

    • by fferreres ( 525414 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:56PM (#4746714)
      Theft? That is insulting and offensive.

      I guess you can consider these other things theft also:

      * Using the Lynx web browser
      Lynx is 100% fine. It works perfectly and is not blocked for a reason.

      * Any TV using Tivo or ReplayTV
      The day everyone has TIVO, you'll see that the advertizements start to get buried INSIDE the show, or that that show you loved in no longer supported. All you can access for free will be propaganda supported stuff or pay-per-views. I'm nt looking worward to that day :)

      Going to the bathroom during commercial breaks.
      Nobody requires you to look at the screen when they display an add last time I checked. Not even to stay on the channel. Most websites are not asking people to click the banners nor asking you to pay carefull attention to all the banners.

      * Coming to the movies a bit late for the commercials.
      They couldn't care less, the fact is some people enjoy those commercials, and for the movie you have already payed a ticket wich is the way you supports the creation of movies.
  • by FearUncertaintyDoubt ( 578295 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:47PM (#4745988)
    If they want to block people who are blocking ads, fine. Just come out and say that you want people to see the ads. Don't call me a thief. Don't say I'm leeching. I'd have a lot more respect for these guys if they would just admit they are trying to force people to watch ads and leave it at that, rather than accusing me of being a criminal.

    When sites put banners and say, please click on these links because it helps us fund the site, I usually do. Why? Because it shows respect, it's honest, and it doesn't treat me like a "leech" that needs to have measures taken against me.

  • by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:47PM (#4745989) Homepage Journal
    If you're writing a browser, just change the behavior of the popup-blocker from actually stopping popups, to having the window open without displaying it, IE it doesn't show up on the taskbar and can't be seen. It's the same effect as not opening, really.

    Of course, this probably wont work with an add-on popup blocker to IE. It's to bad M$ doesn't have the guts to put a popup blocker in IE.

    I've found a simple way to prevent popups is to put frequently-visited sites (salon, the onion) that do have popup's in the restricted sites list.

    Also these people are crazy. The kinds of people who would actually put this software on their pages probably aren't making pages worth visiting anyway.
  • by banal avenger ( 585337 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:47PM (#4745990)
    I think it would be more effective if the message it gave was this [].
  • Who's the theif? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xchino ( 591175 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:48PM (#4746007)
    It seems to me that popping up unsolicited browser windows is both theft of bandwidth and theft of system resources. I've actualy been DoS'd by multitudes of pop ups each spawning it's own pop up children. Although I don't see what their test sight was supposed to do, I didn't get any pop ups and my pop up blocker didn't do anything out of the ordinary..
  • by Rob Kaper ( 5960 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:51PM (#4746033) Homepage
    Except for using the phrase theft, which could be considered libel, I see no problem with this.

    So I won't see the site.. not my loss but ultimately theirs as I can't/won't recommend it to anyone else. And sites might not show up in Google either using this kind of technology.

    The idea of the Internet is that ultimately someone will build a better site.. anyone can publish something. If there's no useful site on a topic, some freak will stand up and make one that is better and more user-friendly. I know I have done so and I bet many others with me.

    Or some browser developer might find a way to show the content after all. Not that I actually see people pay for this stuff to put it on their sites.
  • by jimsingh ( 314245 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:52PM (#4746041)
    Despite what it may feel like, pop-up ads account for less than 5% of the total advertisements on todays websites. Further, AOL (see this [] NYT article posted on ./ several weeks ago) has confirmed that pop-ups are a huge source of dissatisfaction from web users - thus making them in-effective. Rather than use "anti-leech" technology, wouldn't advertisers be better served by simply employing technology that would be more palatable to their readers?
  • by mcwop ( 31034 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:52PM (#4746044) Homepage
    I have Comcast digital cable. I tried to order a movie last night, but it would not order. I called and got the "we will send a tech out in a week" crap. I asked the rep why I should pay $80 a month for digital cable when the movie ordering system never works. Well the woman on the other end of the line said I don't pay for the movie unless I order it. I had to explain to her that I do pay for digital cable so I have the ability to order a movie when I want.

    Needless to say the attitude of many companies these days is all wrong. Making you view popup ads. Trying to blame product shortcomings on the consumer etc. Well, I am cancelling my Digital cable, and I will not visit sites with obnoxious popup strategies.

    If you want to do well in business, don't piss on your cutomers or potential customers.

  • by Zergwyn ( 514693 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:52PM (#4746050)
    I guess that there are multiple sides to any story, though in the end I find the efforts of sites like anti-leech both amusing and somewhat dangerous. On the one hand, I do understand that serving a website can be expensive, and that as the recession continues many people are becomming more and more desperate to avoid going under. However, anti-leech is bad for at least two major reasons, one economic, and one societal.

    1. Alienating your customers rarely makes for a solid business plan: As the RIAA and countless other harsh regimes(both in business and government) have learned, the more you clamp down, the more people squirm to escape your grasp. Companies forget that one of the whole points of the WWW is choice- and that includes the choice to go to another website if this one is treating me badly. I don't think I need to point out that long term business is built on repeat customers, but then again maybe I do. Repeat customers are ideal, because they are likely to spend more, and have a far lower cost of acquisition. You generally get repeat customers by building loyalty, a positive feeling towards the company. Loyalty does not generally follow from pissing people off.

    2. Even more so then with programming, many people start learning their HTML by looking out how another site has done it. I now do a lot of website development, but I got my start when I was younger in part through liberal copying/tinkering with already built stuff until I figured it out well enough to do myself. This makes me concerned about their 'anti-view-source' offerings. While I suspect much of their stuff can be circumvented, the very people who might benefit most from looking at code are new to the web and thus might not know how to get around stuff. If such things became widespread, it could have a somewhat chilling effect on the learning that goes on for the general, casual designer, who might never have the chance to get bit by the bug and learn more(/me looks over at large pile of Mt. Dew bottles, not totally sure this would be bad ;).

    Any how, I hope that the concept embodied by antileech gets thoroughly trounced. Heh, and I haven't even touched on the whole rediculousness of the 'theft' thing, but I'm sure that will get pretty well gone over by others.
  • This [] was quite a shocker for me...
  • Cool. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:53PM (#4746055) Homepage Journal
    Now there is something that will alert me when a website is no longer worth visiting. Thank you, Anti-Leech Dot Com! I am sure your IPO will net you hundreds of dollars.

    - A.P.
  • by chunkwhite86 ( 593696 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:54PM (#4746067)
    I am not morally or legally bound to view the advertisements of others.

    If pop-up blocking in browsers is "theft", is it then also theft when your Tivo skips the commercials??

    This is incredibly silly, and I wouldn't frequent a web site, or give business to a corporation that would ban be based on my browser or browser settings.
  • by smoondog ( 85133 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:55PM (#4746083)
    You know this is silly. I bet that advertisers are pretty happy with this. People who block ads (I bet) are much more likely *not* to buy products related to those ads (if they saw them, of course). So advertisers are getting better views for their money. In reality, however, maybe the website providers should go after the advertisers, not the blockers.

    That said, providers have a right to block access to people not requesting their pop-ups. I also have a right to avoid their page....

  • by oakbox ( 414095 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:56PM (#4746089) Homepage
    When I read the 'denial' message here [], I was pretty shocked. I can't believe that they think this kind of thing makes people want to come back to their site.

    And how about foolishly allowing people to alter the URL and change the message? How stupid is that?


  • by corrosiv ( 116029 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:57PM (#4746105) Homepage

    This guy is maintaining an /etc/hosts file specifically tailored to blocking ads. Alias everything to and voila - banners are now broken images. I haven't installed it yet - I've been getting by with this list which I started before I discovered that guy (sorry Slashdot):

    # hosts
  • Umm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jpt.d ( 444929 ) <> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:57PM (#4746114)
    "Close your browser window, uninstall your pop up blocker and come back here to visit us."

    How about I go to another site and forget about yours.
  • by joe52 ( 74496 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:58PM (#4746124) Homepage
    I don't see what's wrong with this. I'd rather have them attempt a technological solution than buy some congressmen and have them make popup blocking illegal.
  • by theBrownfury ( 570265 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:06PM (#4746205)
    Have a look at bug 181035 on Mozilla's Bugzilla []. There is some good discussion on how to handle this. A pop-up window can't merely be hidden from view, because invisible windows are considered a security hazard. Maybe the sandbox idea will take off allowing pop-ups to have temporary play room.

    However as of now its an open issue at Mozilla with no clear solution in sight. This is going to be an arms race no doubt.
  • by Badger ( 1280 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:08PM (#4746226)
    Ok, so calling ad-blockers "thiefs" is stupid, and the odds of this thing taking off is something around zero. Some points, though:

    1. There's nothing wrong with a site requiring you to view ads before viewing it. This isn't the best way to do it, mind you, but it's a reasonable theory.

    2. Everyone is better off if websites know what advertising works. Pretending to view ads hurts everyone in the long run.

    3. What we really need, at the end of the day, is better statistics on Internet ads. Radio and TV people can factor in bathroom breaks and channel surfing into their ad rates, but we're only beginning to get those stats for the Internet.

    4. Somewhere deep inside of me, I suspect that people who refuse to look at (any) ads are the first ones to yell when their favorite sites go to a subscription model. Actions do have consequences, and your ISP fee doesn't subsidize the sites you visit.
  • by Hnice ( 60994 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:10PM (#4746242) Homepage

    You offer a much-needed service. As a future enhancement, you might consider simply releasing a list of your clients, so i can avoid attemtpting to view their pages altogether. I'd be more than willing to wwork on things on the server side to redirect free-loading http requests from a popup-blocker to a similar site which does not block access via your service.

    Please let me know if you would like to collaborate, I'm offering my services for free, and I'll be sure to forward this same offer to any of your clients I come across, to prevent them from having to handle unneccessary traffic. In fact, it would probably be worthwhile for me to start collecting a list of your clients myself and making them available, along with lists of alternate sites with similar content. Please let me know if you'd like to help, as it should make your job a lot easier. If we can redirect all traffic from your client sites, you shouldn't have to worry much at all about blocking free-loaders. Thanks,

    Henry Quinn
    Brooklyn NY
  • Schweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EchoMirage ( 29419 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:28PM (#4746427)
    I'm an avid user of Phoenix [], which of course blocks pop-ups, and this is great news to me! Websites that use this will now immediately inform me, "We don't want you to give us (or our advertisers) your money." This is a big time-saving feature from having to wade through a webpage for a while to determine whether or not it's crap. Now I know from the outset. Thanks, webmasters!
  • by fbg111 ( 529550 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:44PM (#4746603)
    I was curious enough to try, with an unexpected yet illuminating result.

    Load the page in Mozilla with "Open Unrequested Windows" disabled, and get a short message saying I'm not allowed to view the page b/c I'm using a pop-up blocker.

    I disable Mozilla's popup blocker and load the page again. This time I get the home page, along with the expected pop-up ad. Lo and behold, the popup ad is advertising Cable TV Descramblers.

    So let me get this straight. They want me to stop stealing from them by using a popup blocker so they can try to sell me a way to steal from cable companies using a descrambler.

    uhmmm, riiiiight. If you're going to be a hypocrit, at least try to be clever about it.
  • by PotatoHead ( 12771 ) <doug&opengeek,org> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:46PM (#4746631) Homepage Journal
    I hate delayed content even more. Some hoser posted a good point followed by a lame link, so this reply really can't be under their thread.

    They mentioned the salon system where you are basically forced to look at an ad for a time before getting the content.

    The way I see it, broadband of any kind is a premium service. Why pay for it if the crap from the marketing folks reduces the quality of the experience to that of dialup? Think about it for a moment, if you use free Juno or something, what do you get? Ads --too many of them to make it worthwhile, so you upgrade service, but why? For a better experience of course! So, if the actions of the marketing people degrade this, does this not devalue the very service you pay extra for? Duh!

    Personally, I like the ads that are intermixed in with the content. Most of the benefit of broadband is preserved, and the ads get eyeballs.

    I can somewhat agree that browsing with popup support disabled somehow can be thought of as stealing, but what about malicious pages and such? How are users supposed to secure their machines without the freedom to reasonably define what their machine will and won't do for them?

    Battling the customer for their attention is never going to work. It costs more money and generates more bad PR than good impressions, so why do it? You would think these types of all people would know this cold.

    This sort of thing just limits the usefulness of the Internet just a little more for nothing but the profit of the losers selling this service.

    Salon is going the wrong direction by holding content until the ad is viewed. These folks are just as bad. How are the people who place ads in a reasonable way doing? For that matter, how about the /. ad system? Google? Are these working? I do not mind either one bit because I get to choose the nature of the experience. Seems to me the most valuable impressions are those where a user CHOSE, not was tricked or forced, to follow through that particular ad. In that small moment, you have the holy grail, you have a potential buyer actually interested in your product seeking more information.

    To everyone considering foolish schemes like this:

    How the hell are you going to get this by forcing the issue? Really, tell me how, I want to know!

    Know also, I don't have to get the content.

    This means more than you would think. We are all being attacked more and more in this new age of information. This will backfire and when it does, where will you be then? Consider your answer again after you remember also that everyone gets to talk about it --a lot and for a long time.

    Right now, there is more content presented than I can reasonably view. When I seek to meter my Internet time, guess who won't get the attention?

    Remember that when your stats go down as interested visitors don't come back after being treated like criminals. Our time is valuable too, why not create an experience that rewards participation rather than the opposite? It can be done though it takes work. Isn't that what we are supposed to be doing to make money. Isn't money made by adding value where you realistically can?

    Maybe there is some hope left though. If we feedback (which is what they really want anyway) our negative experiences, marketing people will begin to seek those who are actually working at providing an experience that people will come back for.

    Tell 'em what you think people, it is the only thing that actually matters in the end.

  • by Burning*Cent ( 579896 ) <baker@921.osu@edu> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:06PM (#4746818)
    ... disabling javascript. It's funny how impotent the anti-leech system is when something that simple nullifies it.

    What the phoenix and mozilla projects should add is a javascript manager, similar to the cookie and image managers. That way you can let specific sites run javascripts and block all others or block specific sites' scripts and run ones from sites that haven't been added to "the list".

    They should also add an animation/flash manager. I really hate flash ads.
  • Whu? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Safety Cap ( 253500 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:07PM (#4746821) Homepage Journal
    I checked out their site, and notice that they boast "anti-theft" technology []. Supposedly, they can prevent you thugs from stealing webpage source code and images.

    So I ran their example, and checked it out. Sure enough, they block right-click, shift-f10, and the right-click key on the keyboard. Next stop, my browser's cache. Whoops! All the files and images are in there. Do'o!!

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva