The Recycle Bin

A repository of comments, code, and opinions.

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Privoxy

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The AdBlock guys did some interesting analysis on exactly how much bandwidth, space, and recourses web advertisement are taking up and wrote about it in this blog post [adblockplus.org].  They develop an ad-blocking plug-in for Firefox, so they definitely have a one-sided opinion on the issue.  It’s interesting either way to see just how much these ads “cost” you.  Add this post together with the one from here a while back about malware coming in though advertisements, and it makes you want to block them all the more. 

On top of plug-ins for your browser there is another (arguably better) way to block ads, and that is a web filtering proxy.  A proxy is simply a filter that sits in between your internet browser and the web and can help you control what you receive or send out.  I’m current running Privoxy, an open source local proxy and absolutely love it.  It is really simply to use – just install it, and set your browsers connection to use a proxy at 127.0.0.1 port 8118.  Its a quick and dirty way to block advertisements for any browser on your system with use browser plug-ins.

Written by Nathan

February 10, 2009 at 12:47 am

Posted in General

MIA

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So, I’ve been pretty busy lately and haven’t updated this in awhile.  I haven’t forgotten about it though.  I have a lot of ideas for posts floating around my head, and now that school is done and I have a couple of weeks of downtime I’m going to try and get them on the site.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I want this site to be, and the overall point of this.  I’ve decided that I have strayed from the initial purpose considerably.  Be prepared for some significant changes here in the coming months.

Written by Nathan

May 1, 2008 at 6:32 pm

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A case for adblock: "Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC"

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The economics of the Internet is very simple: websites publish content and place advertisements on the page to offset costs.  In most cases these advertisements are supplied by a third party ad agency.  Google AdCenter and Microsoft are huge players in this, as well as Amazon and many others.   Generally, these advertisements are nothing more than annoying.  Unfortunately this is no longer the case.  Hackers have created malicious banner advertisements and are using Doubleclick to get them hosted on legitimate sites.  So far, The Economist, MLB.com and Canada.com have all been infected.  Here is an except from Wired:

If you’ve seen any of the ads, you may have experienced something like this: You’re on a legitimate site. Your browser window closes down. A new browser window comes up, redirecting you to an antivirus site, while a dialog box comes up telling you that your computer is infected and that your hard drive is being scanned. The malware tries to download software to your computer and scans your hard drive again.

[Full Article]

In other advertising news, Engadget, a popular gadget blog, recently got into some hot water over an over the top and intrusive advertisement that was actually crashing people’s browsers.  Here are the related posts (the comments are a good read)

The elephant-sized ad in the room
Ad problems fixed — game on!

In light of all of this I have cranked up my Adblock and am now blocking any and all advertisements.  Ad agencies and websites together need to address this issue and gain my confidence back.  I’m surely not going to let my machine get infected by some advertisement I don’t want to see to begin with. For the uninitiated, I have added links to different ad blocking programs for different browsers.

Firefox: Adblock
Safari: Safari Adblock, Safari Plus
IE7: IE7Pro
Opera: Ad blocking built in.

Written by Nathan

November 28, 2007 at 11:38 pm

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Going Green

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Since being “green” is all the rage right now, I’ve decided to take the Recycle Bin down a more environmentally pleasing way.  Actually, all I did was changed the color scheme, and move.  I think I’m going to move from WordPress to Spaces for a little while and try it out.  Even though I really like a lot about WordPress, I’m having a couple of issues with it, the biggest one being that the template is too narrow for me to put code into the posts.  I know, I could modify the template, but that involves either paying for an upgrade, or buying web space a hosting a WordPress.org site.  Neither of those options are appealing to me right now, so I’m going to give Spaces a spin.  Here’s the link:

http://the-recycle-bin.spaces.live.com/

I apologize in advance for the advertisements.  I never intended to have ads on my blog and if there was a way to remove them (without upgrading my Live account, again, with money) then I would.

I’d like to know which site site you all like better.  If you have any problems with the Spaces blog, please let me know.

Written by Nathan

October 31, 2007 at 10:52 pm

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The Beginning

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This blog is a new venture for me.  I plan on using it as a place to post information about my projects, helpful samples of code, unsolicited opinions, and any other interesting pieces of information I can find regarding software development.

I really don’t have a solid plan for this blog, so it will probably take on different personalities over time.  Keep checking back with me and maybe there will be something interesting posted here.

Written by Nathan

April 23, 2007 at 2:27 am

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