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….