Although I recommend many privacy tools at this blog, I have chosen to remain neutral on ad blocking, neither endorsing nor criticizing the practice. Each individual must decide whether to block ads based on factors such as connection speed, download caps, page-loading performance, etc.
That having been said, I encountered a discussion of a cross-browser ad blocking tool rather humorously called “Ad-Stripper,” by Preventon. I have never heard of the company before, so I don’t know if the product is any good, but the name makes it sound like it should replace ads with images of strippers 😉
Ad-Stripper by Preventon
A real stripper
According to DSL Reports, British broadband Internet customers have widely rejected the mandatory opt-out adult content filters which Prime Minister David Cameron had aggressively touted as the be-all and end-all of making the Internet into a safe, harmless toy for babies.
The article states that only 4 to 8% of newly signed up customers are opting to have ISPs censor what they can find on the Internet. The filters are, of course, notorious for erroneously blocking innocent sites and can be easily bypassed by any tech-savvy young person, which may partially explain the low adoption rate.
Despite the high expense and public repudiation of the UK filtering scheme so far, don’t be surprised if the candidates in the 2016 US presidential elections again raise the issue of mandatory anti-porn filters for Americans.
Image Credit: Skye Inominatus
@ Flickr, CC 2.0
Martin Brinkmann of Ghacks reports that an upcoming version of Mozilla’s Firefox browser will include a limited anti-tracking blocklist, which would represent an improvement over the largely useless advertiser-dependent “Do Not Track” option which is currently included. However, there is a certain irony in that the proposed anti-tracking list would depend on the Safe Browsing feature, which is operated by Google, arguably the biggest tracking company of them all.
I continue to believe that most users would be better served by either the free Ghostery or Disconnect add-ons for Mozilla and Chromium browsers, the Easy Privacy list for Adblock Plus et al, a Hosts file such as the Someone Who Cares blocklist, and/or the Tracking Protection List for IE 9 and above with the Easy Privacy subscription, all linked previously at this blog.
The US Federal Communications Commission has been so overwhelmed by public comments about its controversial open-Internet proposal that it has granted another extension of the public comment period, this time for three more days. Many Internet and free-speech advocates worry that the currently proposed regulations would allow large corporations and ISP’s to block or throttle politically sensitive speech and could potentially create artificial burdens for smaller and newer Internet companies.
For those who would like to read a detailed explanation of why Net Neutrality is so critical, I highly recommend adult-Internet lawyer Gregory A. Piccionelli’s lengthy but good article at Xbiz.
For a quicker read at Xbiz, see below:
FCC Extends Net Neutrality Comment Period
The Federal Communications Commission has added more days for interested parties to weigh on the proposal for new net-neutrality rules governing ISPs. Read More>>
Someone on Reddit found this ad for a new and surprising beverage at Starbucks. Is it a typo, a prank, or a Freudian slip? 😉
As previously noted at this blog, US cable television and broadband giant Comcast was required to offer a window-dressing “low-income” Internet plan in order to win regulatory approval for its buyout of NBC. The plan, which only provides service for children, has been criticized as being cumbersome and difficult to apply for.
Comcast, in its mania to make the Internet into the “safe playground for children” espoused by censorship enthusiasts during the past decade, has again decided to give the middle finger to low-income adults who need Internet access to apply for jobs or improve their work skills. According to DSL Reports, Comcast’s chief lobbyist now declares that “high-speed” Internet (in reality, a paltry 1.5 to 3 Mb) is a “school supply.” Comcast’s own website emphasizes that the program is only for households with children, stating that its mission is “to ensure every child can build digital literacy skills that benefit them in the classroom and in life.”
The Internet is a powerful and even dangerous tool which was originally invented by the military and later made commercially viable by the adult-content industry. It was not designed to be a children’s toy or elementary school homework helper. Pretending otherwise plays right into the hands of censorship advocates and pay-TV lobbyists who want to blunt this incredible tool into a useless baby toy that won’t have the breadth or depth of content to seriously compete with cable TV.
Weird news via Reddit: The headline from this story in the Korea Times says that British blogger Cara Houiellebecq, whose job is testing sex toys, has a “lucrative, fulfilling” work environment. It’s probably a “full filling” work environment too 😉
Cara Houiellebecq via YouTube