Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Every so often something new and annoying happens in the business of the internet. The most recent trend to annoy me is the appearance of streaming video ad-lets that have no escape, mute, or user control embedded in various pages. Many of them have no way to prevent the contents from being streamed at the person viewing the page they are on. One clicks on to a page and there, off to the side, is a streaming video with no accessible controls and sound blaring, making it nearly impossible to read the article you originally intended to read.

Why are these ad-lets annoying and a dirty trick? There are several reasons:

  • No volume control to mute the obnoxious ad audio.
  • No pause control to stop wasting bandwidth for the video.
  • Capricious consumption of my bandwidth without asking permission.

Given that more and more ISPs are installing bandwidth consumption caps on consumer accounts, do you really want to see your bandwidth used without your permission to display an obnoxious streaming ad? I sure don't, and I don't even have a bandwidth cap on my service.
What can be done about the problem? Short of some technical slight of hand to prevent the domains serving the bogus video from connecting, there is very little the average user can do. But one thing we can all do as consumers is to refuse to do business with any company that uses such ads. Maybe they will get the hint that abusing their potential customers is not a way to increase sales.

What do you think?


  1. Anything that takes control away from me is NOT ok in my book. I'm with you.

  2. I hate when you stumble onto a site and you can't get off the page. The pop-up keeps appearing and appearing. It's so annoying.

  3. I agree. I live out in the boonies and have some sort of microwave ISP. Starts slow and goes downhill so having ads suck up my download speed is annoying to be polite about it.

  4. I usually keep my computer audio muted anyway so the the ads don't bother me--but I can see where they can be problematic.

  5. In situations like those, I just hit the little "X" button on the top corner of my browser. :)

    By the way, thanks for the bear link :)


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