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adblockplus    How I experience the internet is vastly different depending on whether I am at work, or at home.  At work, wherever I go, I experience pop-ups, obtrusive ads, and auto-play movies/noise.  Let me assure you, that while teaching, having all the distracting advertising going on in the background does not help the learning experience.   But meanwhile, at home I can browse the web unencumbered by any of the annoyances listed above.  Pages load quickly and are appealing to read with little clutter to distract the eye and the mind.  This peaceful repose is achieved primarily through the use of two program plugins that are available to the Firefox browser – Ad Block Plus and Ghostery.   Ad block screens out most of the ads and Ghostery stops websites from tracking your movements and preferences as you browse on the internet (oh, and duck duck go is a nice start to increase your privacy while browsing as well).  The powers that be though, are not amused by individuals taking control of their internet experience.

“Global ad spending is expected to reach $600 billion US by the end of next year, according to eMarketer, and grow at an annual rate of about five per cent until the end of the decade. Much of that growth is being fuelled by digital advertising, particularly on mobile devices. 

But there was one session in Cannes where some very dark clouds managed to intrude on the sunny forecast. It was a panel devoted to the current scourge of the digital advertising industry — ad blocking.

According to a report by PageFair and Adobe, more than 200 million people worldwide have downloaded software that can block virtually all online advertising.

The number of people blocking ads increased by more than 40 per cent last year, and it is estimated that blocking cost cash-starved publishers more than $22 billion last year.”

Oh my goodness.  People not wanting advertising to be part of every facet of their life, not a choice, but a scourge.

“Almost everyone in the ad industry acknowledges that most of the wounds that have led to the rise in ad blocking are self-inflicted.

Advertisers got greedy by assaulting users with too many low quality, untargeted ads, too many auto play videos, too much click bait.

Last fall, the IAB launched an initiative called L.E.A.N. Ads (light, encrypted, ad choice supported, non-invasive).

The IAB hopes that by following the L.E.A.N. guidelines, advertisers will create ads that consumers will be happy to see.”

Hmm, so we alienate people to the point where ad blocking is necessary to have a good browsing experience and then complain that ad-blocking is ‘killing’ the internet.  Other entities have decided that they won’t let the user in, if ad-blocking is enabled.

“Sites like Forbes and GQ won’t allow access to their content unless users turn them off. At Cannes, Mark Thompson, the president and CEO of the New York Times, announced that his newspaper would soon be offering an ad-free edition to subscribers at a premium price.

Other publishers are appealing to their readers’ sense of fairness and justice, asking them to turn off their blockers and reminding them they are a critical part of the ecosystem that has powered the internet for the past 20 years. Without ads, there would be no free content online.”

Well, GQ and Forbes you can go frack yourself sideways as the content you produce will be reproduced elsewhere on the web without your restrictions. :)  The counterpoint to this though is the insidious beast known as ‘native advertising’.

“So-called “native advertising” has been growing in popularity over the past several years. Also known as “sponsored content,” it looks and feels like editorial content, but it comes from advertisers rather than journalists.

Native advertisements can often pass through ad blocking filters because the filters don’t recognize it as advertising. Many readers seem to prefer this kind of content over traditional advertising, provided it’s properly labelled, although there’s no consensus on what constitutes proper labelling.”

Watch your daily paper, there is more this native advertising junk in there everyday.  If there is a scourge to be named, it should be that of the advertising editorial or advertorial.

“But the real victims of the ad blocking surge may not be advertisers and publishers, but the “free” web itself.

The money to pay for content has to come from somewhere, and if you take advertising revenue out of the equation, readers will have to pick up the slack themselves, something they have historically been reluctant to do. Without ads, the web may be a poorer and less interesting place.”

Breaking news: The sky is indeed falling.  Also:  A-Booga-Booga-Booga!  The heart of the very internet itself will crumble if ad-blocking continues!

The advertising industry may piss-off right the frack off with their hyperbole; starting yesterday.  If the amount of stultifying drek available on the interweebs is halved tomorrow, not a soul would notice.  So I say bring on the next internet apocalypse.

[Source: cbc.ca]

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow.  What brilliant article by Ms.Fowles recently published by the Walrus.  I’m gonna put the whole thing up here because it sheds light on so many of the issues that face women today in the online world.  Consider this example #2348239487 of how woman’s experiences in society are dramatically different than those of men.

 

LockedTight“Every so often, someone (always a man) sends me a casual tweet asking why he can’t retweet me. Of course, the obvious answer is that my account is locked—a tiny optional blessing of Twitter’s functionality that means I’m not searchable to the world outside. The more complex answer relates to why my account is locked in the first place, why I would choose to keep people from reading my brilliant musings on ’90s’ teen movies, Rihanna’s latest video, or the myriad virtues of Magic Mike XXL. There are easy, palatable answers I have given to those that ask; I value my privacy, or I like to keep my circle small and manageable, or I prefer to keep the personal aspects of my life away from my employers and ex-boyfriends.

But the most important (and truest) answer is this: I am afraid of men on the Internet.

There’s good reason for this fear, and it’s likely one you’ll empathize with if you’re a woman who has ever dared to have an opinion in the techno-public realm. In fact, women have never once asked me why my account is locked—and unlike some of my male editors, they’ve never recommended opening it up. They understand that the online world has become a horror show, and that men largely drive that horror. Men are usually the ones who post nude pictures of their exes, release the home addresses of the women they dislike, and run the vileness that is Gamergate. (I’m even reluctant to type the word Gamergate, as if doing so conjures the hoards like some kind of Internet Candyman.) Of course, Not All Men, but unless a new Twitter follower has “I hate women” or some variation thereof in his bio, there’s no good way to predict which one will decide to take offence at you merely existing. And there’s no way to know whether that person who is offended will be the one to threaten to end your life.

Online technology has allowed a stranger to tell me he’d like to penetrate me with a broken light bulb because I’d “probably like it.” It has let a commenter inform me that women shouldn’t act the “way they do” if they don’t want men to commit crimes against them. I’ve been the subject of mockery and derision on men’s-rights-activist websites and right-wing blogs. On a good day, the Internet helps people let me know I’m stupid, and on a bad one it helps them threaten me with bodily harm. It’s facilitated me being called a man hater, a feminazi, a libtard, a hack, an attention whore, or just a plain old whore. It’s brought me patronizing questions, profanity-laden emails, and abuse masquerading as “criticism.”

It has also been a great way for people to tell me that I should ignore all this, that I should get a thicker skin, and if I don’t like it maybe I should get offline altogether.”

 

Catch the rest at the Walrus, as apparently they need their ad revenue – tracking down hole in the wall blogs for copyright violations is an expensive business.

Don't let someone who

Don’t let someone who “leet speaks” onto your computer. Ever.

I’m such a non-fan of passwords.  Keeping track of all that shite is tedious.  So here I am doing my best when along comes the CBC to make life even more difficult.

“If your password is on the list below you had better change it.

Among the 25 most common passwords among 3.3 million that were leaked online last year, the top two were once again “123456” and “password,” according to a company that provides password management software.”

Based on its analysis, SplashData recommends that when crafting your password:

  • Don’t use keyboard patterns e.g. “qwertyuiop” from the top row of letters
  • Don’t use a favourite sport – baseball and football were both in the Top 10, with hockey, soccer and golf in the Top 100.
  • Don’t use your birthday or birth year. People in their early 20s seemed to be especially guilty of this, with the years 1989 to 1992 all in the top 100.
  • Don’t use common names – michael, jennifer, thomas, jordan, hunter, michelle, charlie, andrew and daniel were all in the Top 50.

Here’s the entire list:

  1. 123456

  2. password

  3. 12345

  4. 12345678

  5. qwerty

  6. 1234567890

  7. 1234 

  8. baseball

  9. dragon 

  10. football

  11. 1234567 

  12. monkey 

  13. letmein 

  14. abc123 

  15. 111111 

  16. mustang

  17. access 

  18. shadow

  19. master 

  20. michael

  21. superman 

  22. 696969 

  23. 123123 

  24. batman 

  25. trustno1

So there you go, now out and make yourself and your accounts more secure and less accessible to yourself. You are welcome.

[Source:cbc.ca]

Let it be said up front that this cranky second waver bears no animus with regards to hamsters, electric vehicles, or dancing.  Yet, once these elements are mixed into the toxic soup of everyone’s favourite capitalistic patriarchal construct – better known as ‘our society’ – hilarity is bound to ensue.

The advertisement in whole, before we begin.

This commercial is about selling cars. (Duh!)  But who is the target audience?  (if you thought hamsters, please leave now there are places better suited for your attentions).      Let’s break this down and take a look at the characters.

Science Hamster #1 – Red bow-tie, suspenders.

Hscientist1

Science Hamster#2 – Red bow-tie, red glasses and polka dot shirt.

Hscientist2

Science Hamster#3 – Rasta hat, white shirt.

Because all dudes are not into science!

Because not all dudes are not into science!  Bonus marks for catching the racial commentary this characterization is making.

Female Hamster in Ball – Brown and cute.  Context wise we don’t know the ball hamster is female, but with time spent on establishing a connection one could assume.

Small, helpless, and cute.  Thematic material anyone?

Small, helpless, and cute. Thematic material anyone?

We’re 10 seconds into the commercial and what do we have here – 3 male represented characters creating, designing, and actively teching out with all sorts of futuristic displays and machinery.   The female role, to smiled and waved at; the unsurprising passive receptacle  for male attentions.

Audio note – “Baby I’m preying on you tonight. Hunt you down eat you alive,.  Just like animals (x2).   Ah yes because the predator/prey relationship is so sexy, and filled with equality too!

Well nothing new here under the sun so far, but as with most patriarchal adventures it gets worse the farther you go.  Our intrepid female hamster gets herself into a jam by wheeling her ball into the experimental area and is zapped along with the vehicle by the transmogrifying beams of science.

Oh, silly female caution be thrown to the wind cause she doesn't get Science!

Oh, silly female! Caution be thrown to the wind cause she doesn’t get Science!

Our first glimpse of her portents much of what is to come.  Disembodied woman parts with feminine signifiers for the winz!

   The body parts of women - sexy!

The body parts of women – sexy!

The requisite Male gaze.

To quote Keanu Reeves: Whoa...

To quote Keanu Reeves: Whoa…

And after a full body pan, we as viewers to get to experience the male gaze.  Just some reinforcement in case you missed the objectification the first time around.

Audience gets to objectify her to, as women should be judged by the quality of their tuckus.

Audience gets to objectify her to, as women should be judged by the quality of their tuckus.

Now that we have primed the audience for sexual objectification, lets use it to sell the damn car!

   Inviting female = inviting car?

Inviting female = inviting car?

Where is the female empowerment (do tell my Third Wave friends)?!?  Oh wait the power of love.  How charmingly original for a female character (do contrast this with the creator, the scientist, the engineer).

Empowerful stuff going on here.

Empowerful stuff going on here.

Oh, dudes like their technology more than any single vampy female.  Let’s get a shot of her looking flummoxed so we can reiterate the “female body selling car” angle again.  We do remember the advertising truism – the sexual objectification of women sells.

Damn, they picked me over a car, what could they possibly after?

Damn, they picked me over a car, what could they possibly after?

Our intrepid dudes roll to the nearest pet store to ‘pick up some chicks’.  Consider the perceived power differential – the dudes looming over a cage of helpless females –  and of course the anvilicious buying of women for happy fun sexy times.

Write your own snark about how empowering prostitution is...

Write your own snark about how empowering prostitution is…

So cue more science and boom!  Let the female empowerment roar while striking sexy poses for dudes (science and/or otherwise)!

Huh, because vamping for dudes is approved female behaviour.

Huh, because vamping for dudes is approved female behaviour!

Recently bough females remarkable receptive to their buyers, with nuzzling and other overt signs of female powah affection.

Sexytimes2

Oh, we like you dudes and our role as eye-sex-candy and everything is awesome, see how much fun are having?

Cue the formation dancing with of course, our protagonists front and centre, we must never forget the centrality of the man and his power.

Never forget who is the subject and who is the object.

Never forget who is the subject and who is the object.

And thus endeth the analysis.

Going through this post made me think of all the conversations, mostly with men, about how we don’t need feminism anymore because we are an equal society now thus there is no use for feminism or feminist analysis.  This was a cute commercial until you actually look at the underlying patriarchal messages that surprisingly happen to dovetail nicely how society perceives, and thus, how society treats women in 2014.

You could knock me over with a feather given how surprised I am about the level of misogyny present in our media.

As always, IBTP.

Ah, the familiar strains of the equalist argument blithly denying the power gradients and class structure present in society.  It warms my heart when this old chestnut get brought out displaying the deep level of ignorance and self-importance of the dude that is usually mansplaining it to me.

But hey-hey, hyperskeptics lets look at some evidence…

Google Searches for Sexy Alcohol Ads

Sexyalcoholad

Sexy Alcohol

Google Search for Sexy Deodorant

Google Search for Sexy Deodorant

Google Search for Sexy Clothes

Google Search for Sexy Clothes

Google Search for Sexy Car Ad

Google Search for Sexy Car Ad

Google Search for Sexy Burger Ad

Google Search for Sexy Burger Ad

 

Well daaaaaaamn son, it looks like there might be a slight difference in the level of objectification between women and men.

 

Break out of your browser bubble.  I suggest you use duckduckgo as your web browser as they claim it is more private and bubble free browsing experience.

(ed. *update* – added new Mahr video.)

Huh, as I was browsing the weeb, I ‘happened’ to find this video featuring Bill Mahr on the very same subject.

Some relevant background given the recent publicity of how much our governments pry into our personal lives.

Whatever your take on recent revelations about government spying on our phone calls and Internet activity, there’s no denying that Big Brother is bigger and less brotherly than we thought. What’s the resulting cost to our privacy — and more so, our democracy? Lawrence Lessig joins Bill to discuss the implications of our government’s actions.

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