[buug] Block Ads w/o Extra Software
rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jul 17 10:16:10 PDT 2000
begin Zeke Krahlin quotation (quoting a Web-forum post by Borisse):
> This is a simple but elegant way to block adds from showing up in your
> browser. All you do is make some manipulations to the so-called
> 'hosts' file. No extra software is needed.
That works only to the extent you can identify named hosts you want to
block entirely. It creates a number of problems:
1. Ad servers invoked by IP address, rather than hostname, get through.
Check the HTML of ad-laden pages, and you'll see that this is a big
2. It's ineffective against ad domains that use a huge variety of
hostnames. I.e., there's no way to block *.doubleclick.net, so you'd
end up with an endless maintenance task, adding the interminable series
of new Doubleclick hostnames to your static hosts file.
3. It results in your pages being peppered with broken links, which
sometimes impair legibility.
4. In cases where a hostname contains both substantive content and
ads, there's no way to allow the former but not the latter.
5. If memory serves, some substantive sites do not work at all without
some redirect code (but not the ads themselves) from the linked ad
6. It does nothing to control cookies. (Some people adopt the
quick-fix of symlinking ~/.netscape/cookies to /dev/null . This has
some predictable disadvantages.)
All of these disadvantages can be cured using more selective remedies,
such as the Internet Junkbuster proxy, which rewrites HTTP exchanges to
protect your privacy, eliminate ads, _and_ carefully manage your cookies
You'll also want to see Don Marti's Realtime Backhoe List:
He also maintains Webclean, a proxy that can be used by anyone running
an Apache server. (It uses the mod_rewrite module.)
Also, if you are running a DNS nameserver, you can easily consign entire
advertising domains such as doubleclick.net to oblivion:
My own nameserver (currently at 188.8.131.52) does exactly that: Any
users whose machines use it for their DNS will never be troubled by
The problem, you see, is not limited just to ad banners: A number of
companies are using both banners and the much-less-obtrusive "Web bugs"
(in conjunction with cookies) to track your activity on the Web:
Zeke, you're welcome to post this reply back to your Web forum.
Cheers, Right to keep and bear
Rick Moen Haiku shall not be abridged
rick (at) linuxmafia.com Or denied. So there.
More information about the buug