Whatever Firefox Did to Kill Flash, It Is Awesome

One of the banes of the internet is all of the crap that loads in the background: all those damn Flash-driven ads. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on, but the most recent version of Firefox seems to kill most Flash graphics (you can click the greyed-out graphic to activate it). This seems to be making Firefox much less likely to hang up or crash.

While this is great for surfing the web, it is, as I noted when describing the effects of Ghostery and other widget blockers*, bad for internet bidness:

The weird thing is that Ghostery is billed as a privacy protector–if you’re tired of being creeped on while surfing the intertoobz, it (along with other programs) is for you. But I like it because it’s a script-killer (since using it, I haven’t once received those ‘slow script’ warnings Firefox will give you while you face the pinwheel of doom).

But while this brings the Mad Biologist joy, it’s an economic disaster. Basically, every way the web is ‘monetized’ (Intelligent Designer, that’s a horrible misuse) is annihilated by Ghostery. Ads are gone. My tracking info is inaccessible to third parties. And there is a lot of monetization (ugh) going on. One io9.com page has the following things you probably didn’t realize were running in the background: ChartBeat, Criteo, DoubleClick, Facebook Connect, Facebook Social Plugins, Google +1, Google Analytics, NetRatings, SiteCensus, New Relic, Parse.ly, Quantcast, ScoreCard Research Beacon, SkimLinks, Twitter Badge, Twitter Button, Adobe Typekit. That’s a lotta crap, much of it which does me no good. But people are making money off of it, until they have to deal with assholes like me who nuke their business with add-ons.

I’ll enjoy it while it lasts…

*Hilariously, Pando ran a breathless “Hey guys!” article about Ghostery a year after I did. When a Luddite like me is beating the tech press by a year, we need a new tech press. Then again, the tech press probably has an interest in not covering this….

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3 Responses to Whatever Firefox Did to Kill Flash, It Is Awesome

  1. anthrosciguy says:

    Back in the Windows 98 days, I used Proxomitron which killed all the then prevalent massive blinking banner ads, among others. I didn’t realize how restful my surfing had been until I visited my mom and used her computer (I hooked her up with Proxomitron quickly after that). If your business model involves the equivalent of beating me over the head, I want to be able to reserve the option to dodge the blows. Anything that helps is welcome.

  2. Hmmm.. I market myself online and through email. But I make an effort not to assault people with ads that annoy, chirp, talk and slow or freeze their online browsing. Those who “need” to do that shouldn’t have to. If you really built a better mousetrap you shouldn’t have shout at the top of your lungs to a captive audience.

  3. Barry says:

    “But people are making money off of it, until they have to deal with assholes like me who nuke their business with add-ons.”

    And notice that blocking things speeds up your web use, not by a bit, but by a lot. That list of things being blocked sounds like a full census of the internet advertising/tracking industry. The people monetizing sites built things to the point where the experience suffered. If you were running a TV network, and programmed in 15 minutes of ads each half-hour, you’d drive away viewers.

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