Marco's blog An [almost] daily rant 

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Pop-ups used to be a rare annoyance (remember when the X-Cam pop-under first made its appearance?), but now they have become a crushing burden. While the worst offences were pop-ups as I LEAVE a site (because one, I am trying to get out, and two, non-technical users may think the site I am going to served the ad), four ads with loud sound in five minutes was the final straw for me, so I broke down and joined the mainstream and installed the free version of Pop-Up Stopper. Regaining (OK, mostly regaining it; some pop-ups slip through) my desktop never felt so good, but I could not help wondering if users like me would have been happy to endure a reasonable number of silent ads as a trade-off for decent content. Now I fear an escalation of hostilities. First shot: EarthLink's arsenal to lure away subscribers from its online rivals includes a multimillion dollar marketing campaign and new access software that will let Web surfers banish pop-up ads -- one of the most-often cited annoyances on the Web. The Internet service provider will unveil a major upgrade of its access software on Monday that will include pop-up blocker software and a $10 million (6.5 million pound) plus ad campaign as it steps-up its efforts against rivals Microsoft's MSN and AOL Time Warner's America Online. Return fire: Soon the commercial version of Antiadbuster, Antiadbuster Pro, will be launched, and it will also detect pop-up blockers. Now that I am used to almost no pop-ups, a website that insists on serving them had better offer unique, compelling content.

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