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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:23 am 
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confusion wrote:
Bakkone wrote:
They should pay you for testing.

This portion is a bad idea, as it would give the appearance of favorable reviews being bought.

+1

MikeC wrote:
Aris, I've held my tongue on your various and numerous rants for longer than I can recall, but I have to say it now -- you're one who will always find something to bitch about.

I laught went I read this... It sounds like a old couple having a fight... :P

Just to get back on topic, would having a "buy" section, or a "buy" button next to each of the recommended items (linking to newegg/amazon....) give those guys more coverage on your site (ie, will they give you more money if you put their link really close to a good product review ?)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:46 am 
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xan_user wrote:
Jay_S wrote:
xan_user wrote:
How about a screen saver that opens SPCR on an unblocked browser and clicks sponsors ads while your away from the desk. (while it folds too)

:shock: Maybe your comment was humor/sarchasm ... Reading the slashdot comments in the link dhanson865 posted above was eye-opening. I was unaware how commonly malware gets distributed via third-party ad providers. Seems like auto-clicking everything would be pretty dangerous!


yeah mostly sarcasumor ,but,

My tinfoil hat prevents me from keeping any information of any importance on my machine, so im not worried.

We could always boot to a live distro, once a week or so, for auto clicking all those SPCR malware ads with no risk to a members main system...


xan_user wrote:
we need more of an adhider instead of adblocker.

that way the advertisers think we are seeing the ads because they are still downloaded to our PC just like they are when no adblocker is in place...only the adhider addon would just not display the adds to the user. as far as ars can tell we all saw their super cool ads, but our browsers just didn't actually display them to us.


Something like this seems like a reasonable response to the Ars Technica article/plea. Ad blocking makes sense both for speed (lots of dialup users out there still) and security. If they need image renders - then provide an AP for that.

If advertising image loads are important - then provide a virtual machine/browser appliance like program that people with fast connections (that don't get charged for the bandwidth) can run, rendering the ad on a virtual display (so as not to consume power) in a virtual machine (to protect from malware). Then the images are produced and people can get paid.
Even better - the machine could render the advertisement multiple times from the same download, just sending back a tally of how many times it was rendered - saving on energy and bandwidth costs.

Rather like Douglas Adams' observation:
Quote:
"The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe."

From Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams.
Published by Simon Schuster in 1987

I don't see most online advertisements that are displayed. I am generally focused on the information I am after - and have developed habits to just ignore all the fluff around the edges. Further, most advertisements are not useful or interesting - they promote things I wouldn't get anyway. (So I have no incentive to spend time downloading them.)

I found it interesting/amusing to note the advertisements during the Olympics, in the US (commercial TV station) they were sponsored in large part by: Obesity and dental carries (soft drinks), Fat and cardiovascular disease (fast food places), Recreational drugs (alcohol & coffee), and use of fossil fuels (Oil, coal, automobiles). Ironic company/counterpoint to a celebration of athletic endeavor/excellence.
(Also noticed that they are now doing popup advertising on TV - yuck.)

By contrast, I used to find the advertisements in Byte interesting and informative, but the small screen (be it TV or web) still doesn't have enough extra space to make most advertising much more than an annoyance.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:52 am 
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confusion wrote:
Bakkone wrote:
Mike: How popular is SPCR with the producers of cases, fans etc...?

They should pay you for testing.

This portion is a bad idea, as it would give the appearance of favorable reviews being bought.


The SPCR tests are transparent enough. Bribing wouldn't really work. Of course Mike could change the data... but who is to know that doesn't happen today? If Mike said "Antec is paying me to review this case." At least he is honest. It would only mean that Antec wants it reviewed quickly.

In a way... this would be covered with my idea of a voting/donation on reviews. Antec could just donate the entire sum of the review.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:35 am 
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confusion wrote:
SPCR Shopping Engine, Google search on the right, and Amazon search at the bottom


You consider those Ads? Silly me, I thought they were functional elements.

If you look back a page or two you'll see me describing the ads I did or didn't see render properly. I didn't think about search modules as ads.

For the record I see the Google and SPCR Pricegrabber search modules but not the Amazon search module.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:58 am 
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Bakkone wrote:
confusion wrote:
Bakkone wrote:
Mike: How popular is SPCR with the producers of cases, fans etc...?

They should pay you for testing.

This portion is a bad idea, as it would give the appearance of favorable reviews being bought.


The SPCR tests are transparent enough. Bribing wouldn't really work. Of course Mike could change the data... but who is to know that doesn't happen today? If Mike said "Antec is paying me to review this case." At least he is honest. It would only mean that Antec wants it reviewed quickly.

In a way... this would be covered with my idea of a voting/donation on reviews. Antec could just donate the entire sum of the review.


I'd rather see polls on the main page on products we'd like to see reviewed followed up by "drives" to collect funds to purchase the item to be reviewed run similarly to how the semi-anechoic chamber was funded

It would be closer to the old Consumer Reports model minus the subscription/magazine distribution.

In an ideal world three or more of each reviewed product would be purchased from three or more retailers. No undue influence from a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer would be possible under that model.

Of course that would mean us readers would have to step up and make donations or buy samples on a more regular basis but it would solve other issues as well.

Take for example the situation where a 700 to 1000 watt PSU is sent in for review when we are more interested in seeing the review of the 400 to 600 watt models. If the source of the review material chooses what gets reviewed it already limits the outcome of the review process even if SPCR is as impartial as they can possibly be.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:02 am 
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Thats what I like about Anandtech. They go to the store and buy products. Problem is SPCR doesn't have enough money to start buying all these cases.

Then again... if the readers get to choose what items are to be reviewed. Chances are higher that us readers will buy this item from Mike afterwards at a higher price.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:14 am 
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scdr wrote:
If advertising image loads are important - then provide a virtual machine/browser appliance like program that people with fast connections (that don't get charged for the bandwidth) can run, rendering the ad on a virtual display (so as not to consume power) in a virtual machine (to protect from malware). Then the images are produced and people can get paid.
Even better - the machine could render the advertisement multiple times from the same download, just sending back a tally of how many times it was rendered - saving on energy and bandwidth costs.

While certainly creative, should anyone and any side of this discussion really need to do all this to support an obsolete business model? I don't know anyone who'd do this voluntarily, and if they discovered some ap was doing this on their machine without their knowledge, they'd go ape.

I like Douglas Adams, but IMO the quoted phrase is best described as social criticism: reducing societal laziness to its absurd extreme.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:52 am 
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dhanson865, I completely agree with your proposal on new product review polls. And with the collection of funds for the purchase of new products.

I believe that currently SPCR is receiving products from a limited range of manufacturers, and some good stuff may remain un-reviewed for years.

I also suggest to add a new rank to the sponsorship ladder. Another SPCR dweller, can't remember his ID now, suggested "Afterlife Patron". :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:58 am 
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Jay_S wrote:
Sounds like Aris' issue is more with content than the thread topic: ads and ad-blocking. Would getting "back to basics" excuse annoying and potentially-infectious advertisements? IMO the answer is obviously "no" - no qualitative change (positive or negative) in a site's content will override my distaste & distrust for the types of ads we're talking about.


My deal is that the content is what requires the monetary support and use of ads in the first place. If the site got back to what it was doing originally, and not just producing fluff content to keep readers checking in daily to get increased revenue from ads, then the ads themselves wouldnt be needed in the first place.

The site content has become bloated with non SPCR related material just so the site gets more hits to generate more funds via ads. If you got rid of the fluff, you wouldnt need as much monetary support thus you wouldnt need ads.

You could host this site and its forum for less than $100 bucks a month if you just dedicated yourself to only "SILENT" pc related content.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:30 am 
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dhanson865 wrote:
confusion wrote:
SPCR Shopping Engine, Google search on the right, and Amazon search at the bottom

You consider those Ads? Silly me, I thought they were functional elements.

If you look back a page or two you'll see me describing the ads I did or didn't see render properly. I didn't think about search modules as ads.

For the record I see the Google and SPCR Pricegrabber search modules but not the Amazon search module.

I made the assumption that they generate revenue for the site, and thus whether or not one considers them ads, the fact they are showing up for me was relevant to the discussion. I don't see why my pointing them out elicited the "silly me" attitude.

I also made the assumption that adblocker programs may block them. Since I've never used such a program it's only an assumption.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:48 am 
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dhanson865 wrote:
In an ideal world three or more of each reviewed product would be purchased from three or more retailers. No undue influence from a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer would be possible under that model.

Take for example the situation where a 700 to 1000 watt PSU is sent in for review when we are more interested in seeing the review of the 400 to 600 watt models. If the source of the review material chooses what gets reviewed it already limits the outcome of the review process even if SPCR is as impartial as they can possibly be.

Doug, you've touched on a couple of key points:

1) It's true that sample submissions (donations, mostly) by mfgs, distributors and retailers generally set the limits or range of the products we test. As long as our revenue stream remains limited, there's no easy way around this, even though it is not ideal.

2) Reader funding of product reviews could be workable and has a grass-roots kind of charm. This is probably worth further thought/discussion/development. It happens occasionally now anyway -- readers send products bought w/ their own $ for us to test -- but not often.

3) Your mention of reviewing up to 3 samples of the same product brings up a previously untouched issue: The most "costly" part of SPCR production is labor. Early on in this discussion, people brought up bandwidth/hosting costs. They are not nothing at >$500/mo but a pittance compared to the cost of the time reviewers spend on the editorial/testing work. Our review process is demanding & complex & time consuming; it is what gives us the data to write the kind of reviews we do. Let me give you some examples of the time required for:

--PSU review -- on average, 2-2.5 8-hr days, depending on complexity. If we checked 2 more samples against the 1st, then another day would have to be added.
--motherboard -- 2 days
--heatsink -- 1-1.5 days
--PC -- 2 days
--case - 2.5 days

Often, we end up spending considerably more than the above, because we explore some unique aspect of the product that seems essential to us, something that falls outside our usual testing parameters.

Even if we pay ourselves just minimum wage, the labor cost of almost any review is ~$200. How many reviews do we put up? Around 85 full articles in 2009, ~7 articles a month. Considering that we need to do other work to supplement our income, time/energy is our single most valuable commodity. The only way to change this is to increase site revenue w/o increasing our workload.

So getting back to the idea of 3 samples of each product to test -- only if the extra samples were used in spot checks to confirm the first.

PS: Aris -- your last statement is so utterly, totally wrong in every way. Stay out of this discussion if that's the kind of comment you're going to continue making. There will be no other warnings.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:09 pm 
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andyb wrote:
Is Google AdSense, what appears at the top and right hand sides of many Google searches.?

If so, I have been hiding them for a long time because they are often pure evil........ i.e. full of malware, this is going to be a dying trend just like people using IE is, this needs to be catered for, i.e.e not used.

Please tell me that I am wrong, I would love to know, BTW please post a visual image of "GoogleAdSense", so I can be sure.

Andy


the adsense text ads appear next to the google.com search results, i've never seen google use any flash or image-based ads there... do a google search... google ads are not malware or spyware, but it does happen with other companies, especially those that use flash-based ads.

a lot of companies use text-only ads, most people believe that they are the least obnoxious, but it definitely depends on the size/number of the ad block(s), and how much space it takes up on the page.

i've been creating and monitizing web content for years, and i think that spcr is pretty low-key about their advertising... if you all value the content, turn off the ad-blocking software, and use the spcr affiliate links.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:44 pm 
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Well if you do the vote/pay review thing... Im gonna donate some money.

I just find it hard to donate money when I don't really know where it is going. But if I know that if I buy this fan, it will get reviewed. Then I don't have to feel like Im just throwing away money.

I said earlier that this idea might make the review samples sell for more. Another idea would be that there is a lottery. All the people that paid for a review gets a ticket based on the amount paid. For example, I pay 2%, I get 2% if the lottery tickets. Then if I win, I only have to pay for shipping.

I don't really know what idea would be the best... Ill have to think about this some more.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:15 am 
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MikeC wrote:
dhanson865 wrote:
In an ideal world


2) Reader funding of product reviews could be workable and has a grass-roots kind of charm. This is probably worth further thought/discussion/development. It happens occasionally now anyway -- readers send products bought w/ their own $ for us to test -- but not often.

3) Your mention of reviewing up to 3 samples of the same product brings up a previously untouched issue: The most "costly" part of SPCR production is labor.
So getting back to the idea of 3 samples of each product to test -- only if the extra samples were used in spot checks to confirm the first.


I've often wanted to send a review item but as a US resident I was concerned that the product crossing the border/customs/taxes would be prohibitive and if I wanted the item back shipping it twice makes the matter worse. I'm not sure how accurate my fears are on shipping tech across the border. To add to the fun some items (like fans) really suffer the more they are shipped. The best method to avoid extra travel would be for it to be shipped from the retailer to an address in your town. You could argue that it shouldn't be SPCR's official address as that gives the retailer a clue enough to potentially give you special treatment.

As to testing multiple samples I did say in an Ideal world. If you wanted to avoid full testing for 3 PSUs I would suggest spot testing all 3 before you choose one to be the fully tested PSU. Say for example you put a PSU in the chamber and do a test at idle and at full power (repeat for the other two)

If the numbers were

12 35
12 34
11 36

Then I'd probably pick the one that was 12 35 as the representative sample but I wouldn't freak if you had another preference as all three are pretty close.

If the numbers were

12 42
10 35
11 37

I'd think you would pick the 11 37 as the representative sample

The problem with having only two samples is if you get

12 42
10 35

You have to make a call on testing one or the other or have to punt by asking for a 3rd sample to tip the scales one way or another.

Without the third sample how do you know that the PSU with the louder fan is normal and the quieter fan is a rarity, or the quiter one is normal with the louder one as a rarity, or worse both units are not representative and either one you choose gives you a review that doesn't match the typical unit that people will buy?

The scientific method calls for more samples to increase accuracy. I totally understand why you don't do so often but you have done so for some reviews (a good example is http://www.silentpcreview.com/article689-page2.html where you had 5 samples of one fan).

It's not clear to me from skimming the article if you averaged the data for those 5 samples, chose a median sample, or aggregated the data in some other fashion. And to be clear I'm not even sure who the "you" is in that case. The by line is Devon Cooke but for all I know it was a group effort.

I dunno, maybe I'm over thinking it but at least you know what I thought...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:50 am 
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dhanson865 wrote:
I've often wanted to send a review item but as a US resident I was concerned that the product crossing the border/customs/taxes would be prohibitive and if I wanted the item back shipping it twice makes the matter worse. I'm not sure how accurate my fears are on shipping tech across the border. To add to the fun some items (like fans) really suffer the more they are shipped. The best method to avoid extra travel would be for it to be shipped from the retailer to an address in your town. You could argue that it shouldn't be SPCR's official address as that gives the retailer a clue enough to potentially give you special treatment..................

............The scientific method calls for more samples to increase accuracy. I totally understand why you don't do so often but you have done so for some reviews (a good example is http://www.silentpcreview.com/article689-page2.html where you had 5 samples of one fan).

Actually, we should clarify this for whoever wants to send items for review:

1) Anything with a declared value of $20 or less will pass through Canada Customs unscathed.

2) UPS is the worst carrier to use to send stuff to Canada from another country. They have a "customs brokerage fee" to clear the item through customs, regardless of value, which is something like $50. The only way to avoid this is to use one of their express or air services which includes customs clearance, or for someone from SPCR to go Customs and clear it -- a tedious & time consuming task.

3) The Postal service is the preferred way of sending stuff to us -- as mentioned above, if declared value is $20 or less, there is no fee of any kind and they deliver to the door. If there is any tax to pay (usually just the 6% GST), they collect it at the door w/o any other fees.

It always takes more work, sometimes a lot more, to examine multiple samples, but of course multiple samples are better, especially for things that can vary significantly. Fans, PSUs, heatsinks, CPUs, HDDs -- these are among the types of products that tend to vary more, in rough order of decreasing variability. Not so complete systems, cases, motherboards, video cards. With fans we always ask for several of the same model; sometimes also with PSUs.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:54 am 
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scdr wrote:
xan_user wrote:
we need more of an adhider instead of adblocker.

that way the advertisers think we are seeing the ads because they are still downloaded to our PC just like they are when no adblocker is in place...only the adhider addon would just not display the adds to the user. as far as ars can tell we all saw their super cool ads, but our browsers just didn't actually display them to us.

Something like this seems like a reasonable response to the Ars Technica article/plea. Ad blocking makes sense both for speed (lots of dialup users out there still) and security. If they need image renders - then provide an AP for that.

If advertising image loads are important - then provide a virtual machine/browser appliance like program that people with fast connections (that don't get charged for the bandwidth) can run, rendering the ad on a virtual display (so as not to consume power) in a virtual machine (to protect from malware). Then the images are produced and people can get paid.
Even better - the machine could render the advertisement multiple times from the same download, just sending back a tally of how many times it was rendered - saving on energy and bandwidth costs.

Any site which encouraged that would (if caught) get a slap in the face as they are not paying for the amounts of times an ad is "rendered" but for the amount of people who see it (commonly called "eyeballs"). A site encouraging such an activity would basically be engaged in fraud against their advertisers. They're not paid to transfer images but rather to make people aware of the advertiser and/or their products. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_fraud for a related issue.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:07 am 
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floffe wrote:
scdr wrote:
xan_user wrote:
we need more of an adhider instead of adblocker.

that way the advertisers think we are seeing the ads because they are still downloaded to our PC just like they are when no adblocker is in place...only the adhider addon would just not display the adds to the user. as far as ars can tell we all saw their super cool ads, but our browsers just didn't actually display them to us.

Something like this seems like a reasonable response to the Ars Technica article/plea. Ad blocking makes sense both for speed (lots of dialup users out there still) and security. If they need image renders - then provide an AP for that.

If advertising image loads are important - then provide a virtual machine/browser appliance like program that people with fast connections (that don't get charged for the bandwidth) can run, rendering the ad on a virtual display (so as not to consume power) in a virtual machine (to protect from malware). Then the images are produced and people can get paid.
Even better - the machine could render the advertisement multiple times from the same download, just sending back a tally of how many times it was rendered - saving on energy and bandwidth costs.

Any site which encouraged that would (if caught) get a slap in the face as they are not paying for the amounts of times an ad is "rendered" but for the amount of people who see it (commonly called "eyeballs"). A site encouraging such an activity would basically be engaged in fraud against their advertisers. They're not paid to transfer images but rather to make people aware of the advertiser and/or their products. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_fraud for a related issue.


no problem, I can set up a second monitor in the window facing the street to display the hidden ads on, lots more eyeballs get to see the ads and I can enjoy the site filtered on my other monitor without the annoying used car sales pitches, while SPCR rakes in the eyeball fees.

The ad guys blew it with annoying ads, that pay for eyeballs, why should we suffer for their short sightedness, instead of beat them at their own game?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:25 pm 
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hate ads, commercials. i block all visual ads i see. sorry.
text links dont bother much unless stupid popups arise from them.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:47 pm 
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I wanted to reply to this, but to stay on topic I won't get into how to conduct a double blind review.

Another highly focused forum I frequent charges for access to certain portions of the forum. I make tactical quality soft goods, and the forum is attached to the store I frequently use to purchase materials. They have the Buy/Sell/Trade section cordoned off because people were using it to bypass the storefront rather than purchasing from the storefront to support the business and the associated costs of the forum. Paying a $35 annual fee grants a person access to this area, and the vast majority of members gladly pay the fee and *still* buy from the store when they can.

The business is DIY Tactical - www.diytacticalstore.com, the forum is at www.diytactical.com/forums. I bring this up not as a plug but as a different model by which SPCR may look at conducting business with limited requirement for advertising.

Alternate models are out there. Henry Ford's first car was a PEV...

[edit: broken links]


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:01 pm 
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tomy wrote:
hate ads, commercials. i block all visual ads i see. sorry.
text links dont bother much unless stupid popups arise from them.


Me too. I hate them!
I dream of an ad free world. People would be healthier and wealthier without ads. Having said that, I'm less wealthy by 25 bucks now having recently made a contribution to SPCR - so I don't feel any guilt about blocking the ads.
I felt that I had learnt more than enough from this site to warrant giving something back; some of you guys have a lot of knowledge to contribute - I don't, so cash was the only other option. But no ads.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:23 am 
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Could engineer a poll out of this: What will You tolerate in ads?

(counting down from worst for me)
* Flash, sound, video/animation, interactive text, pictures and pure text - all a-okay!
* Sound, video/animation, interactive text, pictures and pure text - No Flash.
* Video, interactive text, pictures and pure text - No Flash or sound.
* etc.

Personally I would vote for pictures and pure text. Everything else is both redundant and annoying, especially Flash on a netbook (or better yet, a smartphone that doesn't even support Flash!) or ultraportable (my Asus UL30A doesn't like it in multiple tabs). Pictures can even be delightful, if done properly and NOT animated like Corsair, among others, on SPCR. And whoever invented that text keyword popup thing should be shot at dawn.

If ads were static and fitting, I would have no issue with disabling blockers. The way things are now, blockers make sites more enjoyable - imagine that.

I recognize what Ars is saying, but I majorly agree with the response they got from Techdirt: if your content deserves blocking, it didn't belong there in the first place, and You are responsible for Your site. I would only make exceptions for new or small sites that are not capable of implementing a profitable strategy yet - sites as big as Ars can go stuff it, instead of stuffing their readers without warning.

We'll always have freeloaders as long as it's possible to do so, but I'd like to believe people rational to at least some degree will outnumber those in the end. So instead of trying to win over the freeloaders, or annoying them and everyone else to death, attention should be given to people with at least a bit of sense - and that means being sensible, and in this case having sensible ads.

Edit: Thanks for the Slashdot link Dhanson, usually I stay away from there but this was worth a read.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:44 am 
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Posts: 336
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floffe wrote:
scdr wrote:
If advertising image loads are important - then provide a virtual machine/browser appliance like program that people with fast connections (that don't get charged for the bandwidth) can run, rendering the ad on a virtual display (so as not to consume power) in a virtual machine (to protect from malware). Then the images are produced and people can get paid.
Even better - the machine could render the advertisement multiple times from the same download, just sending back a tally of how many times it was rendered - saving on energy and bandwidth costs.

Any site which encouraged that would (if caught) get a slap in the face as they are not paying for the amounts of times an ad is "rendered" but for the amount of people who see it (commonly called "eyeballs"). A site encouraging such an activity would basically be engaged in fraud against their advertisers. They're not paid to transfer images but rather to make people aware of the advertiser and/or their products. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_fraud for a related issue.


This was in response to the Ars technica article. It did not ask people to look at the ads, or click on the ads - only to allow them to load into their computer (i.e. not use an ad blocker).

The interaction after that is not (so far) trackable (despite what the Ars article says). The material could be rendered on a monitor, it could be read by a screen reader, it could be waiting off screen (e.g. down at the bottom of the page or over to the side if I bother to scroll over there). Even if it is rendered I still may or may not pay any attention.

Perhaps the article didn't define clearly what they really wanted. My response was taking what they said, and take it to a logical conclusion.

They didn't ask users to look at the ads, or to click on them, only to load the ads into the users computer. (Maybe they are not getting enough people in their bot net?)

If what they get paid for is click throughs - then if one doesn't click on ads, blocking the ads doesn't hurt (they assert the reverse - but make no case for it.) If they get paid for ads transmitted to the user's computer - then the solution suggested does the trick. If the advertiser is paying for one thing but thinks they are getting something else - that is their problem.

The original piece makes a senseless, bureaucratic request without acknowledging the variables involved - an absurd technical answer seems appropriate. The response article seems much more sensible - if they want people to view the advertisements they should make them safe, inexpensive (for the viewer), compatible (work on all browsers, no fancy scripts, no flash, etc., work with screen readers), interesting, entertaining, and relevant.

Consider Burmashave for instance - make it entertaining and people will seek out the advertisement.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:31 am 
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Location: Greece
I just visited the website http://www.playonlinux.com/en/ .
Since i have adblock enabled by default, i saw what you see on the attached screenshot. I enabled the ads, noticed that they didn't bother me, and then allowed the site on my AdBlock. I think its a good idea to implement it. I think it will get some people(like me) to actually allow the site.

Edit: No attachments allowed, so i will describe it. In the space that was supposed to have an ad there was a message:

"
Advertising seems to be blocked by your browser.

Please notice that advertising helps us to host the project.

If you find these ads obstrusive or inappropriate, please contact me.
"
along with a red STOP-shaped sign with ABP written on it with white letters.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:24 pm 
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I don't mind the ads on most tech sites, the only thing that really annoys me are popups.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:40 pm 
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People seem to have forgotten that information is money. Internet screwed a lot of businesses there. Information good and bad, for grabs, online. Many these days feel they are entitled to access to quality info at no extra charge, which is a very skewed notion. Quality information has a price, for example, almost all scientific article databases have a subscription fee.

SPCR will need a small cashflow to operate, the ads do the trick. I find they're generally unobtrusive. And if you do find some annoying, that's the trade-of you have to make, for good articles and proper reviews in your area of interest. If it's really that bothersome, a small no-ad contribution may be a good solution.


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 Post subject: Re: Donating to a business
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:56 pm 
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Posts: 38
Location: Finland
Worker control wrote:
(Incidentally, I'm currently being distracted by an endpcnoise.com animated gif advertisement. Perhaps I need to use adblock in addition to noscript.)
In Firefox there is also an option to show image animations only once. To set that option first type (or copy) "about:config" into the address field and then acknowledge the warning that warns about possible side effects if set bad values for certain options. Now find the option "image.animation_mode" and click right mouse button and choose "Modify" from the popup menu. Now enter new value "once" in the dialog and click ok and now GIF animations will play only once. The setting has no effect on Flash objects, so those can still blink annoyingly...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:45 pm 
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It's great that we have a discussion about the morality of ad blocking and all that, but as a programmer, mathematician, and amateur cryptographer, I find it really funny that ad providers haven't figured out en masse how to defeat ad blockers yet.

While there are a variety of ways of detecting ads, the most common is pattern matching an URL against a "known" set of keywords that ads generally tend to have in them. At a deeper level, some blockers like AdBlock can also match these keywords against elements in the DOM to provide further refinement for matching. Other methods include blocking images of a certain size, etc.

The solution is simply for an ad to not have these properties.

This can be implemented any number of ways, most simply randomizing the URL of an ad image, randomly resizing an ad image, et cetera. To refine the idea further, have the ad serving page proxy out requests to the ad provider to mask the provider's origin. URLs can have randomly generated embedded digital signatures signed with the ad provider's private key that work together with some crypto system to positively identify which ad has been served and when and how many times. A system like this can be refined and tuned any number of ways. The logical conclusion of this is that it would make the ad difficult to detect by a non-human, much like a CAPTCHA.

It all sounds complex and not worth doing, but if well designed it really wouldn't be more difficult than implementing a shopping cart, and it would basically devastate every ad blocker out there.


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 Post subject: Re: Donating to a business
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:06 am 
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Hezu wrote:
In Firefox there is also an option to show image animations only once. To set that option first type (or copy) "about:config" into the address field and then acknowledge the warning that warns about possible side effects if set bad values for certain options. Now find the option "image.animation_mode" and click right mouse button and choose "Modify" from the popup menu. Now enter new value "once" in the dialog and click ok and now GIF animations will play only once. The setting has no effect on Flash objects, so those can still blink annoyingly...


Thank you for posting this. Does Firefox have to be restarted for this to work?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:18 am 
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confusion wrote:
dhanson865 wrote:
confusion wrote:
SPCR Shopping Engine, Google search on the right, and Amazon search at the bottom

You consider those Ads? Silly me, I thought they were functional elements.

If you look back a page or two you'll see me describing the ads I did or didn't see render properly. I didn't think about search modules as ads.

For the record I see the Google and SPCR Pricegrabber search modules but not the Amazon search module.

I made the assumption that they generate revenue for the site, and thus whether or not one considers them ads, the fact they are showing up for me was relevant to the discussion. I don't see why my pointing them out elicited the "silly me" attitude.

I also made the assumption that adblocker programs may block them. Since I've never used such a program it's only an assumption.


Alas the internet has no tone of voice or facial expressions. Just to be clear when I said "silly me" I meant something closer to "oops, why didn't I think of that" than "I don't see why you thought that way". Though I am guilty of using that phrase to mean more than one thing so it's probably not a good thing for me to type (I should save that phrase for IRL when people can get more clues as to what I really mean by it).

I think you bringing them up is relevant and I'm kicking myself for not thinking of them the way you did.

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 Post subject: Re: Donating to a business
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:20 am
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hezu wrote:
In Firefox there is also an option to show image animations only once. To set that option first type (or copy) "about:config" into the address field and then acknowledge the warning that warns about possible side effects if set bad values for certain options. Now find the option "image.animation_mode" and click right mouse button and choose "Modify" from the popup menu. Now enter new value "once" in the dialog and click ok and now GIF animations will play only once. The setting has no effect on Flash objects, so those can still blink annoyingly...


Thank you for posting this. Does Firefox have to be restarted for this to work?


It's worth noting that the value "none" works as well.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Animated_imag ... derbird%29

In Mozilla Suite and Firefox:

1. In the Location Bar type about:config and hit Enter
2. Type "anim" in the Filter field (to quickly find the needed preference)
3. Double-click the image.animation_mode line and edit it to one of the following:

none — will prevent image animation
once — will let the image animate once
normal (default) — will allow it to play over and over

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