(Approaching rant factor 7 Captain, the engines can't take much more!)
Pop-up advertising, banner ads, and junk email all plague the internet like that nasty algae that blooms on the sea, covering everything with green slime.
Physical junk mail gets tossed out unopened, but at least it costs the sender time and money to print it and send it. Junk email costs nothing to the sender, and costs me time to get rid of it. I don't want to pay time for their advertising, be it junk email, banner ads, pop-ups and pop-unders, or whatever guerilla tactic the marketroids come up with next (marketroids are those festering slime that will go to any lengths to get their ad in front of me, including telemarketers calling during dinner, and people turning up on my doorstep that won't go away).
I do not believe marketing is evil. I know two marketing people who have souls, ethics and morals, and I consider them friends. What I object to strongly is being tracked without my consent (and who would consent to that?), and having to waste my time (and hence my money, and also my bandwidth) clearing up junk email.
So I'm using Nick Bolton's MailWasher to clean up my email, to bounce and delete the spam off the server before my mail program gets to it. Mailwasher catches the few spams that Postini lets through when it filters all my email. My Windows hosts file is now a whopping 446kb of blocked advertising servers.
Periodically I run Lavasoft's Ad-Aware to clean out spyware and other trash that accumulates while browsing. Thanks to the insecurity of Internet Explorer, I'm using Mozilla as my main browser, which allows me to stop windows opening without my permission, but open the ones I explicitly click on (hack the prefs.js, see Mozilla.org for details).
Which brings me to the point of this entry, A Stand Against Pop-unders.
Have I mentioned already that I hate anything that pops into existence uninvited and advertises at me?
There must be a better way of advertising. Google's ad words are unobtrusive, and I've even followed a few of the links. Blogger uses text ads too. Does it have to be obtrusive, invasive, obnoxious, and unpleasant to advertise something on the web successfully? What does it say about a company that chooses to use these methods, and do we seriously want to give them our money? Would reduced sales train the marketroids, like Pavlov's dogs, to get rid of the pop-ups? Not that I want salivating marketroids roaming the streets in packs, looking for someone to advertise at, but you get the idea.