It’s Your Duty to Install Ad Blockers. But Which Ones and Why?

“Ad Blockers! I love them. They clean up my internet experience and my computer is very happy when not downloading all those ads… The featured image is from blog.mecco.me.”

edward-snowden-just-joined-twitter--and-he-is-already-trolling-the-nsaIf you value your privacy you might have taken notice this week when Edward Snowden says “it’s your ‘duty’ to install ad blockers”… “In an interview with The Intercept (a must read!), the government surveillance whistleblower gave some advice on how average citizens can shield their privacy online. One of the less obvious security tips: flip on an ad blocker.” You can read more at Mashable here.

What are companies doing to counteract ad blockers?

Yahoo has been experimenting with a feature that requires you to turn off your ad blocker in order to access your email. Probably not a popular option. You can read that here….

Websites may know that you’re using an ad blocker and if so, I think that there will be a small war against them in the near future. When you’re running an ad blocker your taking away marketing dollars from someone.

Websites supposedly know you are running an ad blocker, as also stated by mashable. I have yet to run across a website that asks me to turn off my ad blocker or states that I am running one.

As a part-time marketer I prefer having ads hosted directly on the website and people can just click on the ad image to be taken somewhere else. What’s really happening is that websites are putting up JavaScript as ads. JavaScript needs to download outside content to be viewable. This works great because ads can be updated constantly and rotated frequently because the content is somewhere else. The downside is it slows down your computer. Imagine loading a page that has 15 ads that also have to be downloaded. The download process becomes very slow and bloated. You sometimes think your computer is running slow but it’s not.

There is a huge upside to marketers using JavaScript as ads but I can’t go into all of that here. I do know that if people start using ad blockers en mass, that upside of using JavaScript for marketing won’t mean a thing.

Why to use an ad blocker?

I have been using an ad blocker for a while and I have to admit, once installed the laptop started running better than ever. So even if you think an ad blocker is not needed or you don’t mind the advertisements, you should at least know your computer will run better since it’s not downloading so much outside content.

I’m using an ad blocker called WebGuard which you can download from the Mac App Store. I have no complaints.

I would be curious as to what ad-blockers you run and why?

 

The Roosevelt Field Mall Christmas Trees are Back!

The Christmas Trees are Back!

9 Days ago I wrote a post questioning how Long Islanders may be too apathetic. Despite having a record low number of Long Islanders get out and vote on November 3rd, we all went nuts over the Roosevelt Field Mall “Holiday Display” for not having a Christmas Tree. Well… The trees are back and there are a LOT of them!

Here is the before pic:

This pic was taken by Newsday a few days after the public went nuts over the original glacier display. The mall had just flanked the glacier display with 2 little trees.

Old Mall Display

Here is the after:

This taken today (11/18). Completely redone in a true Christmas theme! Nice Job!

Roosevelt Field Mall Trees

 

The people do have power when we speak up. We just have to use it. Now what issue should we go after next?

Keep Posting to Facebook. You’re Sharing some very Personal Information with an A.I.

“Tonight I’m shaking my head over an article I’m reading. Facebook will eventually be an A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) in less than 10 years. Future robots will know every little detail about Facebook users. This A.I can currently recognize what is going on in pictures you post so it will be into Instagram too. Combine that with facial recognition and this is going to be one powerful A.I.”

The attached blurb is from the DailyMail. Read on and then follow the link to the article because there is plenty more information, including videos, documenting Facebook’s plans to use your Facebook postings to help develop an A.I. that will know everything about you.


Goodbye FacebookFacebook is set to become a lot more intelligent – and could outperform humans within ten years, Mark Zuckerberg has claimed.
In an interview with Fast Company, the Facebook founder revealed the firm’s huge investment in artificial intelligence.
This, he hopes will allow it to do everything from organise diaries to recognise friends in pictures automatically.
The firm hopes to be able to take advantage of the vast amount of data people are producing every day.
There’s just going to be a lot more data generated about what’s happening in the world, and the conventional models and systems that we have today won’t scale,’ said Jay Parikh, Facebook’s VP of engineering.
One of our goals for the next five to 10 years,’ Zuckerberg told Fast Company, ‘is to basically get better than human level at all of the primary human senses: vision, hearing, language, general cognition.

There’s a lot more to the article by dailymail.co.ukRead the entire article here…


So keep posting to Facebook about everything you do. I get the feeling it will all be used against us in the future.

The Day After the Paris Attacks, from the eyes of a “Scoper”

“I had so much planned for this weeks post. I had lots of stuff to talk about but the recent attacks in Paris stopped me in my tracks.”

As I normally do, I went straight to the Drudge Report for the most up to date information on the attacks where this article caught my eye, “President states ISIS has been contained” and posed no immediate threat. Irony. Thanks to Drudge for pointing out something that would have most definitely been buried by the mainstream media.

Then I go onto Facebook, but only briefly, where the trend was for people to change their profile picture with a superimposed image of the French flag, but no way to get a meaningful dialog going. Yes, all the major news media sites dump their content directly onto Facebook but Facebook is still not a great aggregator of news and people who use it to talk about politics have little to no training on how to facilitate a conversation. On top of that no one can really trust the mainstream medias postings anyway. Facebook is useless to me.

Meanwhile, on twitter, hashtags run rampant and with only 140 characters to use on a tweet, hardly a medium to have a realistic conversation, let alone find an intelligent one. Even if you are like me and have the ability to follow a conversation, there are just too many of them. How do you find the good ones?

Then, on to Periscope… where some of the best facilitators of conversation are just roaming around the streets. I happen to follow a Paris Scoper. If you follow me on twitter you can easily find this Paris Scoper because I tweet out a lot of his scopes as soon as he comes on… I’ve embedded one of the better scopes below but the best time to view a scope is “live” because you can follow the chat while the Scoper is interacting with his viewers.

There are such beautiful photos coming out of Paris, Beautiful videos, video chats and “Scopes” are happening on a smaller and more intimate scale… Get off the internet Ghettos (Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+… blah blah blah) and try some of these more personal social media channels which allow you to connect on a more personal level. There’s a lot of information coming out of Paris and it’s coming directly from it’s citizens.

Long Islanders are not Completely Apathetic?

We lose the Islanders, we don’t come out to vote but we save our Mall Christmas Tree?

Two things really struck a cord with me this week. 1) Long Islanders just don’t vote. 2) Take away our Mall Christmas Tree and we go nuts! Here are two stories I pulled out of the local news this week:

“All of us should feel uneasy that so few of us choose our elected leaders. Our collective lack of involvement is shameful. there’s a definitive conclusion in the big-picture contest on Long Island: As voters, we’re a sorry lot.” http://www.newsday.com/opinion/editorial/long-island-democracy-of-the-few-for-the-many-1.11064013

And Then:

“Two Christmas trees have been added to the futuristic Santa photo area of Roosevelt Field Mall following an outcry from Long Islanders.

Photos showing this year’s photo-staging area devoid of any traditional Christmas decorations went viral online. As News 12Long Island first reported, a petition was started urging mall management to drop its new set-up, dubbed “Glacier,” and instead return to a more classic holiday display. Many customers had threatened to boycott Roosevelt Field and do their holiday shopping elsewhere. http://longisland.news12.com/news/roosevelt-field-mall-sprucing-up-its-cutting-edge-santa-display-1.11071056?1

We’re not truly apathetic. Are we?

Simon Mall

Of course we were not alone in our Christmas tree issue. Other malls around the country had the same issue as you can see from the screenshot above. It is a step in the right direction as everyday citizens are learning to use social media to coordinate change. Unfortunately, as my last post pointed out, social media is completely controllable and someone decides what story gets in front of a lot of eyes and which do not.

I do find it encouraging that people are figuring out they can make changes if they come together. Now if we can just light a fire under everyone because there are bigger issues to tackle. Our social security is gone, our kids futures have been stolen and they have been tricked into massive student debt, our President is starting wars without authorization, the Federal Reserve isn’t federal but controls all our money, the IRS? Don’t get me started.

A simple change.org petition won’t fix all of that but this little exercise in social media activism may be a start? We just take baby steps but we have to start running soon.

It’s Your Duty to Install Ad Blockers. But Which Ones and Why?


The Roosevelt Field Mall Christmas Trees are Back!


Keep Posting to Facebook. You’re Sharing some very Personal Information with an A.I.


The Day After the Paris Attacks, from the eyes of a “Scoper”


Long Islanders are not Completely Apathetic?