What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

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ChrisGreaves
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What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

PopUp01.png
Frankly I don't know the difference between an "ad blocker" and a "popup blocker".

I want to block any sort of thing that arrives and hides any part of my screen so that I must take physical action (typically locating a grey X on a white background) and click that target to reveal the rest of the screen. Actually, that definition is a bit too general; YouTube videos all too often put two or more "previews" on the video portion just as the wrestler/car driver/gymnast/cat/dog etc is about to crash. That is, I am denied the full scene of the target event.

My attachment shown above arrives via the BBC web page; it is not an advertisement in the narrowest sense, since it is not trying to lure cash out of my credit card, but it is an advertisement in the sense that it is trying to persuade me to Do Something other than read the web page which I want to read.

about:config in Firefox just now threw up that "Do not ask me again" after the legal warning/caution; I clicked on "do not show this again" a few weeks ago, so my guess is that a new Firefox has been dumped onto my laptop while I was asleep last night. Still and all that caution will not appear again until the next Firefox version comes out. I can live with that (almost!)

Back to the BBC.
I have https://addons.mozilla.org/en-CA/firefo ... ck-origin/ installed.
PopUp02.png
Clearly the BBC is smart enough to fool ublock-origin.
(1) Is the BBS annoyance something other than "an advertisement?
(2) Are there classes/categories of annoyances with different blocking techniques?
A definition of something-to-be-blocked is always going to be subjective; some of us like watching ploys to reduce ear-wax.
That said,
(3) I would love to hear from anyone who feels that they have blocked crud to a personal acceptable level, and what add-ons/extensions they are using.

Thanks
Chris
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HansV
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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by HansV »

It's difficult to block content from the site that you're visiting itself. Utilities such as uBlock Origin help to block third-party popups.
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Hans

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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
20 Jun 2021, 16:02
It's difficult to block content from the site that you're visiting itself. Utilities such as uBlock Origin help to block third-party popups.
Thanks for this response, Hans. I think that I understand it. Let's see:-

At a high, philosophical level, if Chris Greaves decides to visit a web site whose url is JohnGray.com, then it is supposed that Chris Greaves is happy with whatever John Gray (not his real name) has on his web site. This is the same deal as entering a shop (brick-and-mortar). Therefore Chris Greaves should accept whatever John Gray has on display within his shop/website.

However, if the Dastardly Hans Vogelaar (not his real name) has been in the store and dropped several free copies of his book "1,001 interesting things to do in Amsterdam", then Chris Greaves can sniff, point, exclaim loudly that this is an insult to both himself and to John Gray.

A "blocker" (as yet undefined) is in theory concerned only with third-party (Hans Vogelaar) content in the second-party (John Gray) area that the first party (Chris Greaves) wants to visit.

If that is the case then the ultimate (and hyper-sensitive) blocker for me would be one that blocks all content that derives from the JohnGray.com web site except for links within JohnGray.com.
Such a blocker would have to block all hyperlinks to other web sites, links to linked images or other content, and so on.

Thanks
Chris
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StuartR
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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by StuartR »

I think it's a bit more complex than that Chris. It probably depends on the exact combination of web browser and pop-up blocker that you use.

When I visit my bank's web site using Firefox, as I log out I see a banner at the top of my browser window saying that the website is trying to open a pop up window, it gives me a choice of ignoring, opening just this once, or adding the bank to my list of sites allowed to show pop-ups.
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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by stuck »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
21 Jun 2021, 04:22
...I think that I understand it. Let's see...
I realise your story is only an analogy but even so, to me anyway, it suggests that somewhere in your mind you are making the basic mistake of trying to rationalise the experience of browsing websites, i.e. wandering the virtual world, with the experience of roaming around the real world. I'm not sure you can do that.

Ken

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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by curious »

'I want to block any sort of thing that arrives and hides any part of my screen'

Chris, have you looked at Nuke Anything Enhanced?

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... ent=search

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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

StuartR wrote:
21 Jun 2021, 07:13
I think it's a bit more complex than that Chris. It probably depends on the exact combination of web browser and pop-up blocker that you use. When I visit my bank's web site using Firefox, as I log out I see a banner at the top of my browser window saying that the website is trying to open a pop up window, it gives me a choice of ignoring, opening just this once, or adding the bank to my list of sites allowed to show pop-ups.
Thanks Stuart, and I agree that combinations can add complexity.
I was/am trying to understand, starting at the high level, what a "blocker" of any kind is doing, or even, what I might want it to do, so thinking in terms of "I want this web site's efforts" was a starting point

When I visit my bank's web site, I want to see its efforts, but not those of any car dealer or food-pusher.

That said, from my bank's web site ***I*** do not want any unsolicited offers of a mortgage - I'd rather go into the bank itself and sit to chat with a human - so coming down one level, I have a hankering to block even my bank's pop-ups.

At this level it doesn't make sense to block them outright - they are my bank and we do business together - so at this level of complexity I should tolerate the in-house advertisements but would like the option "Do not show me this again".

Here I think I want a "blocker" that inhibits every third-party pop up, and then allows me to filter out my bank's popups according to my conditions.
Cheers
Chris
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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

stuck wrote:
21 Jun 2021, 07:34
ChrisGreaves wrote:
21 Jun 2021, 04:22
...I think that I understand it. Let's see...
I realise your story is only an analogy but even so, to me anyway, it suggests that somewhere in your mind you are making the basic mistake of trying to rationalise the experience of browsing websites, i.e. wandering the virtual world, with the experience of roaming around the real world. I'm not sure you can do that.
Ken, you know how I hate to argue, but ... :laugh: :evilgrin:

I rather think that trying to rationalise the experience is a valid course to take.
Pop-ups are the equivalent of trying to walk to a store, or do business in a store, with beggars and pan-handlers tugging at my sleeve every few seconds. (This is not to diminish the needs of the homeless as much as suggesting that there is a time and place for everything). I suspect that my bank is eager to meet with me and do business with me, and does not want me diverted into buying a car or ordering a pizza. That is, both the bank and I want to get down to business at this time, without interruptions.
FWIW Once we start discussing business, I don't want bank minions popping their heads into the office or popping their reminders over the online form.
There is no difference there, if only because in both the bricks-and-mortar and the online cases, we are dealing with how ***I*** feel about my [precious] time.

Perhaps the term "the experience of browsing websites" is critical here. Using YouTube as an example, when I click on a link that takes me to a specific YouTube video, I want to watch that video; that is why I clicked on the link in the newsgroup or forum or newspaper page.
But when I am bored, I don't mind it when the YouTube site throws up a slew of "based on your previous ... you might be interested in ..." suggestions.

But since I haven't owned a car since 2003, why isn't YouTube noticing that I am not ever interested in buying a car.
And perhaps more to the point of "blocker", why does YouTube keep suggesting that I watch a particular Hugh&Laurie sketch for the umpteenth time; here an effective Blocker might adopt the role of filtering out those popups/ads/suggestions that have been made anytime in the past five years.

Cheers
Chris
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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

curious wrote:
21 Jun 2021, 22:07
Chris, have you looked at Nuke Anything Enhanced?
Well, Curious, I have looked at it now (and we all note, by making a conscious decision to click on the link in your port, not by virtue of an automated popup of some kind!).
Should I install it?
Have you installed it? And if so, what was your purpose, and did "Nuke Anything Enhanced" satisfy that purpose?
Thanks
Chris
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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by curious »

Yes, I use it and like it. With a click on its menu, it will eliminate what's blocking your screen.Why not try it?

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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by stuck »

curious wrote:
22 Jun 2021, 18:54
Yes, I use it and like it. With a click on its menu, it will eliminate what's blocking your screen.Why not try it?
uBlock origin also has an option within its menu to block elements of a web page. The probelm I find though is that the annoying bits are coded to display in an element with a different name (usually a string of random characters) nearly every time they pop-up. The new name means the element no longer matches the filter uBlock Origin put in place the last time you blocked the irritation so it reappears.

Ken

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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

curious wrote:
22 Jun 2021, 18:54
Yes, I use it and like it. With a click on its menu, it will eliminate what's blocking your screen.Why not try it?
Thanks, Curious; I will try it. My hesitation was due, in the main, to being sure if you had tried it, or whether you had just recorded the url and trotted out part of the notes from the web site.
An added caution was brought about by the web site's "This add-on is not actively monitored for security by Mozilla. Make sure you trust it before installing".
Your word suffices!

(Minutes later) I have installed and blocked the pop up which greeted this thread. The BBC site appears to throw this popup up once each day (first visit of the day as far as I can tell), so I won't have an inkling that it worked until tomorrow morning).
Thanks again
Chris
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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

stuck wrote:
23 Jun 2021, 08:16
... the annoying bits are coded to display in an element with a different name (usually a string of random characters) nearly every time they pop-up. The new name means the element no longer matches the filter uBlock Origin put in place the last time you blocked the irritation so it reappears.
This sounds like the "criminals" staying one step ahead of the "police", and I can understand the ratcheting-up of the arms race.
This too is a problem with a too-literal approach to detection, be it speech-recognition, image recognition, of text recognition.
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Chris
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Re: What is a "blocker", - and why doesn't it work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

curious wrote:
21 Jun 2021, 22:07
'I want to block any sort of thing that arrives and hides any part of my screen'
Chris, have you looked at Nuke Anything Enhanced?
Hi Curious. While I was waiting for tomorrow I came across this site (https://www.thelocal.fr/20210623/the-pa ... ur-summer/) which through up a screen-blocking pay wall.
Untitled.png
Strictly speaking, on this one test Nuke fails to block "any sort of thing that arrives and hides any part of my screen".
I tried Refreh (F5), then right-clicked and chose the option to remove, refreshed again, but the paywall block image pops up again.
Now in all fairness to Nuke, perhaps a paywall is a different fish from a regular ad, but the paywall falls within my definition of an advertisement as "and hides any part of my screen so that I must take physical action (typically locating a grey X on a white background) and click that target to reveal the rest of the screen". We note with interest that my original post (BBC site) was a paywall barrier, so yes, I am a cheapskate.
If I could I would disable links to pages that had paywalls. I don't deny the right of a news site to charge for its material, I just wish i didn't waste my time clicking on their links!

I'll leave Nuke in place and see if it is effective at other-than-paywall blocks.

Let me anticipate a solution and agree that I can PrtScr and read the article a scrolled-page-plus-PrtScr at a time, but this solution, while it would be suitable for a live-saving operation, clashes with "I must take physical action ... to reveal the rest of the screen".
Cheers
chris
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