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Old 12-01-2005, 09:14 PM   #1
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Default Top tip for anyone annoyed by ads

I have a shockingly slow computer, so Flash-y banner ads aren't just annoying in themselves, they're annoying because they slow my computer to a crawl. I don't mind normal ads - they make money for the originating web site after all - but Flash ads annoy the piss out of me.

Imagine my surprise when I found a way of getting rid of Flash ads - in Internet Explorer! Microsoft must have added this in XP SP2, because I've never seen it before. Anyway, it's great.

Go to the Tools menu and choose "Manage Add-Ons". From there, just choose "Shockwave Flash Object" and click Disable. Simple!

'Course, you'll have to re-enable it when you actually want Flash. A better solution is to use the "FlashBlock" plugin with Firefox, but for those too lazy to make the switch or who just prefer good old Internet Exploder, this works fine. The ad hounds can even tell you've done it (somehow!), and you get animated GIF versions of the ads instead - so the site you're on doesn't lose out.

Hope someone finds this useful, anyway. It's revolutionised my AG forums experience!
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Old 12-02-2005, 01:11 PM   #2
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Good suggestion. What a surprise, for IE to have something useful!
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Old 12-02-2005, 02:11 PM   #3
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If you're on a mac and using the rather simplistic (but still nice) Safari browser, SAFT is worth having a look at. It does quite a lot to the safari experience but manages to keep it all under the hood rather than make a garish show of its improvements.

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Old 12-02-2005, 03:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fov
Good suggestion. What a surprise, for IE to have something useful!

Really, that *is* a surprise. I believe they must have made a mistake...they can't possibly have intended to be user-friendly.


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Old 12-02-2005, 03:12 PM   #5
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Hasn't IE had the option to disable flash for ages?

Or am I just going crazy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazhara7
Really, that *is* a surprise. I believe they must have made a mistake...they can't possibly have intended to be user-friendly.
I dunno. The quit button is really well-designed and effective...
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Old 12-02-2005, 03:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLacey
I dunno. The quit button is really well-designed and effective...

Psst! Not too loud. We don't want them to remove that bug.


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Old 12-02-2005, 03:18 PM   #7
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I was able to add css code into Opera, then by using the menu script I added a toggle menu item to activate/deactivate it. Opera has had the same feature as IE for aslong as I've been using it, but this way you don't disable the plugin, just filter out any flash objects when you want to from the menu.

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Hasn't IE had the option to disable flash for ages?
Not in an easy manager form that lists all the active plugins. There was a directory with the plugin files, and registry items that you could delete though.
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Old 12-02-2005, 03:20 PM   #8
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You always could disable Flash in IE, yes, but you had to wade through several menus and tabs and check boxes to do so. You also had to restart the browser, IIRC, it's been a while. This sounds a bit easier.

Of course, what I like about Opera is... you can just surf with plug-ins off, then when you hit a page where you want them on you just hit F12, click the menu option, and refresh the page. Then you can hit F12 and click the menu option off again. Takes about 5 seconds. Even better, I hear the next version has site-specific settings...

AFAIK, Firefox is just as easy in its own way. Tell me, why do people use IE again?

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Old 12-02-2005, 03:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeysie
AFAIK, Firefox is just as easy in its own way. Tell me, why do people use IE again?
Because Microsoft can't won't make a version of Windows Update that doesn't use it ...
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Old 12-02-2005, 03:32 PM   #10
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Enable third-party browser extensions was available in IE before, but you couldn't individually disable those extensions.
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy in milk
If you're on a mac and using the rather simplistic (but still nice) Safari browser, SAFT is worth having a look at. It does quite a lot to the safari experience but manages to keep it all under the hood rather than make a garish show of its improvements.
I use Safari at work, and I haven't experienced any of the Flash pop-ups (on the AG forums, anyway) that I'm getting on Firefox at home. I don't even have pop-ups blocked at AG because it prevents me from opening PMs in a new window which was bugging me before. I'm not sure why I'm not getting the ads here... maybe because the ads don't target Safari browsers? Really, no idea, but I'm not complaining.
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Old 12-03-2005, 05:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fov
I use Safari at work ... I'm not sure why I'm not getting the ads here... maybe because the ads don't target Safari browsers? Really, no idea, but I'm not complaining.
The really annoying ads are probably geographically targeted. Depending where you work (especially if it's a big corporation or something), they probably can't tell where you are, so you get generic-o-ads.

I don't think we in the UK get any of the really annoying ads, either, although of course I can't really tell now....
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeysie
Tell me, why do people use IE again?
Because FireFox likes to ignore what people tell it to. I kill programs that plant themselves on my desktop and program files after I expressly told them not to do so. Ugh. And because it's that much more useful for XML, without that you have to download a special plug-in. And speaking of which, because some of FireFox's plugins are totally brainless. Like the Webdesigner one, where if you pick "Edit CSS", it removes all images (or at least all background images) and gives you no oppurtunity to re-enable them. Userfriendly?! Bull. Shit.

Yes, the list of reasons I dislike FireFox are growing. You guys can keep it. I don't care for it.


I just love how every thread about IE gets turned into a bashing.

As for disabling Flash entirely... er... *peers at statement of "'Course, you'll have to re-enable it when you actually want Flash."* ...WHY? Why would you want Flash? *shudder* Or JavaScript on 99.9% of all sites.

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Old 12-03-2005, 08:31 AM   #14
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Heh. Well, I can't speak for Firefox, since I don't use it (I dislike the idea of plugins, I'd rather have functionality built in...) However, AFAIK IE doesn't handle XML properly either... not according to spec, anyway.

(I have to admit that your desktop/program files problem baffles me a bit. Erm, don't pretty much *all* Windows programs install to Program Files and create shortcuts? About the only ones that don't are the (unfortunately) very rare self-contained ones.)

I will say that in the case of your plugins, however, it's the fault of the people who make crappy plugins, not the fault of the browser. Which brings me to...

As for why people would want to use Flash, it's great when used for what it should be used for, stuff like games, movies, and interfaces that can't be done with basic (X)HTML and DOM stuff.

Ditto for javascript, it's great when used to enhance web functionality in ways that basic (X)HTML can't do.

In short, don't fault the usefulness of a technology because people abuse it in stupid ways.

Peace & Luv, Liz

P.S. I personally bash IE because everything it does there are other browsers that do better and with IMHO fewer problems.

Furthermore those other browsers do helpful things IE doesn't.

Even furthermore, since IE doesn't follow standards and uses lots of proprietary stuff, there are so many shortsighted webmasters out there who blindly code only for IE, and it interferes with those of us who want to be able to choose which browser we use.
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeysie
(I have to admit that your desktop/program files problem baffles me a bit. Erm, don't pretty much *all* Windows programs install to Program Files and create shortcuts? About the only ones that don't are the (unfortunately) very rare self-contained ones.)
I don't know, since I rarely install things. Fact is, though, they don't PRETEND to give me the option. That's what makes me furious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeysie
I will say that in the case of your plugins, however, it's the fault of the people who make crappy plugins, not the fault of the browser.
Of course - but since so many people I've ever spoken to seem to love FireFox because of the multitude of plug-ins, as though there were no FireFox without plug-ins, I don't see why I shouldn't bring it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeysie
As for why people would want to use Flash, it's great when used for what it should be used for, stuff like games, movies, and interfaces that can't be done with basic (X)HTML and DOM stuff.
I know, Jeysie. I'm just being spiteful. I don't like Flash, and yes, it's mostly because 99.9% of all websites abuse it. I get all twitchy when I see websites made of something close to 100% Flash. Why? WHY? Gurglegraaaaah...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeysie
P.S. I personally bash IE because everything it does there are other browsers that do better and with IMHO fewer problems.
Perhaps. But the browsers tend to be few and far between, and FireFox certainly isn't the epitome of all browsers. I'm still hoping to test other browsers over time, though - and I think you know that Haven't had the time to, yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeysie
Furthermore those other browsers do helpful things IE doesn't.
And IE does helpful things FireFox doesn't. Like it's XML-DTD validation. <3

Edit:

I think I have to add this in since people like to assume because I detest FireFox, I love IE. This is not true. FireFox has betrayed my initial trust in it on various points, and since then it's just been a pain in the arse for me. So for all intents and purposes, IE is better for me, as a user. But better does not mean best. And I'm never going to claim that unless I've gone and worked with other browsers (e.g. Opera).

You know what my sigline about IE is? FireFox groupieism parody. Nothing else. You'd think the way I worded it would make it obvious, but apparently not
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:41 AM   #16
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So Firefox installs icons on the desktop, and has a few extensions that aren't very good. While Internet Explorer has had many security incidents, some with less than imediate action, while being labelled "critical". Yet still manages to be the least standards compliant browser out of Opera, Firefox, and Safari.
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:43 AM   #17
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Aj, read my edit. And on top of that, FireFox also managed to NOT import my IE security settings like it said it would. So I had to disable JavaScript all over again. No, it's betrayed my trust to often. It's apparently safe, yes? Very apparently. I'm NEVER going to trust it. It's done too many errors even just installing itself.
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkgothic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeysie
(I have to admit that your desktop/program files problem baffles me a bit. Erm, don't pretty much *all* Windows programs install to Program Files and create shortcuts? About the only ones that don't are the (unfortunately) very rare self-contained ones.)
I don't know, since I rarely install things. Fact is, though, they don't PRETEND to give me the option. That's what makes me furious.
Well, while I can understand that it might be annoying, I find it a little unfair to totally bash the program for it since it's pretty common for Windows programs to do that.

If I had to guess, they did it to make it more user-friendly... it's usually not the computer-saavy folk that alternative browsers need to worry about wooing, it's the people out there who treat their computers like mysterious black boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkgothic
Of course - but since so many people I've ever spoken to seem to love FireFox because of the multitude of plug-ins, as though there were no FireFox without plug-ins, I don't see why I shouldn't bring it up.
Well, what I meant was, just because some people write crappy plugins, it doesn't necessarily mean plugins are a bad idea in general.

As for importing IE security options... er, I have to admit I don't understand why you'd *want* to. FF and Opera handle various security settings much differently (and IMHO better) than IE does.

There are reasons to dislike FF, I'm just not sure the ones you're choosing are ones I agree with.

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Old 12-03-2005, 09:02 AM   #19
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What errors? Installing icons?

Perhaps your individual experiences, that you don't even seem to care how they came to be, have made you somehow hateful of a browser. Even so much as to criticize the standards compliance and security, while the evidence is stacked towards the opposite conclusion.

Security experts recommend Firefox, sure you can make IE safe by disabling everything, but that just makes the benefits of Firefox so much greater.
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Old 12-03-2005, 09:04 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeysie
As for importing IE security options... er, I have to admit I don't understand why you'd *want* to.
Because I dislike Flash and JavaScript, hence I'd like FireFox to do the same. And it was offering importing them... it even said, "Okay, done!", but it'd done no such thing. *shudder*

And how is 'giving someone the option' to not have those icons flying around and then ignoring what was chosen userfriendly? *doesn't get that argument*
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