There is a certain kind of site out there that manages to exist through trickery. You go to it, looking for a specific file to download, and there’s a Big! Green! Button! that says “DOWNLOAD” on it in large, friendly letters… except, that’s not the download button you were looking for. The link you were looking for is actually one mostly-hidden line of text. The thing you’ve clicked was actually an ad, and now it’s redirected you and your computer is installing god-knows-what. Oops.
As ad-blocking plugins become increasingly popular, the online ad industry is realizing that maybe it shouldn’t have helped to create an environment where ads bog down, interrupt, annoy, and track users. [More]
If we posted every ridiculous or terrible ad that popped up on Facebook, we’d have no pixels left to post anything else. But Patrick encountered this ad for TASER flashlights that is simultaneously strange and scaremongering, and features a balaclava-clad man in a Santa hat meant to scare Facebookers into ordering a handy stun gun flashlight. [More]
How annoying is it when you see that you’ve got a new Twitter follower or a reply (“I bet someone loved that last clever bon mot I sent into the Internetz!”) only to have it turn out to be a bot telling you to click on some link to get new followers? It stinks, and I’m pretty sure no one likes bots. Especially not online advertisers, who reportedly lose around $1.5 billion every year in ad spending because of such software bots.
Preparing to settle a Department of Justice investigation of “use of Google advertising by certain advertisers,” Google has set aside $500 million to make the investigation go away.
If $140 for an Amazon Kindle e-reader is still too rich for your blood, the online book-seller is starting to take pre-orders for a new $113 “Kindle with Special Offers.” What makes it cheaper (and “special”)? The new e-reader will display advertisements on the Kindle’s screensaver and at the bottom of the home page.
Seth sent us this screengrab of an ad he found on Fark in which Electronic Arts is offering games for less than $20. Problem is, none of the games pictured — The Sims 3, Need for Speed Shift and FIFA 10, hot, recently-released games all — can be had for any cheaper than $40 at the EA Store or any other retail venue other than the back of some guy’s van.