17.463 taking exception to popups, and more

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Sun Dec 14 2003 - 02:15:48 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 463.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 07:08:19 +0000
             From: Robin Smith <rasmith@aristotle.tamu.edu>
             Subject: Re: 17.459 taking exception to popups

    On the subject of popup ads: I assume readers of this list are aware
    that popups only work because browsers allow them to, so the easiest
    way to prevent them is to configure the browser so as not to give
    the popups the necessary support (for instance, by disallowing the
    opening of new windows by javascript, by not allowing images to
    open in new windows (or at least not if the image being fetched is
    not from the same host as the page it's included in), etc. There
    are plenty of browsers that allow the needed flexibility in
    configuration: Mozilla (and its relatives) Konqueror, Opera to
    name a few. However, as I understand it (and I'm going on hearsay
    since I haven't used a Microsoft system in about three years),
    Internet Explorer doesn't have the needed flexibility in configuration,
    probably because it's as much a vehicle for the distribution of
    advertising as it is a web browser. A web browser that lets
    you shut down popups is like a TV that lets you turn off
    commercials; *you* might like to have such a TV, but commercial
    broadcasters wouldn't like that at all.

    I do most of my web browsing with lynx (and with cookies only by
    confirmation). I miss the eye candy that way, but on the other
    hand it's enormously faster (especially over a slow link) and in
    most cases gives me the text information I actually want (it's
    astonishing how little real information many web sites contain,
    apart from the decorations: rather like Powerpoint presentations,
    actually). Allowing cookies only by explicit confirmation can be
    a bit of an annoyance if a site wants to set, say, fifty cookies
    (and there are plenty that try to set ten or more). But do you
    really want all that being dropped onto your disk without your

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