Saturday, May 04, 2013

The ad-blocker arms race

Funny how ad blocking software (notably Adblock Plus) managed to unclutter the web pages we visit by removing most of the advertising, then how web sites and advertisers raged for months against the practice that saves you from bother, but removes them from their profits, and then how web sites increasingly detect ad blockers and try to convince you what you are doing is wrong. The next step is, of course, updating the ad blocking software to detect the notices web sites put on sites to convince you to remove ad blocking and remove them. Then the sites will hide or show content based on whether you have an ad blocker. Then ad blockers will look for hidden content and show it. Then sites will remove the content altogether. Ad blockers will get stealthy. Sites will continuously poll the server to tell it if the ads are present. Ad blockers will hack the scripts polling the server. Sites will add encryption of messages. Ad blockers will decrypt the messages... ... ... 2030, ad blockers achieve self awareness and start nuclear war in order to remove advertisers.

Now, seriously, if you don't have the Adblock Plus extension (for Chrome or Firefox), you are missing out. Unfortunately there is no Internet Explorer version, but I am sure someone will clone it, if the new versions of the Microsoft browser are designed properly.