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March 14, 2013 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Google has removed Ad Blocking apps from their Play Store. AdAway is available on the open source Android repository F-Droid. AdBlock+ remains available from their own site.
posted by jeffburdges (129 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Google is on my list this week. :|
posted by Space Kitty at 5:54 PM on March 14, 2013 [16 favorites]


Hmm, rings a bell.
posted by alms at 5:54 PM on March 14, 2013


What, is it "Destroy Our Public Image" week at Google or something?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:55 PM on March 14, 2013 [20 favorites]


They are upholding the T&C that is in the agreement - the know, the one nobody reads? As many point out, blocking ads == blocking possible revenue for the app writers, but since I'm paying for the bandwidth on my device, I think you should have the right to strongly limit what can be used to consume said bandwidth.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:59 PM on March 14, 2013


Seems like you can still install Adblock Plus for Chrome from its web site.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:59 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


But alms, I am paying for my product. I bought my phone as part of a package from my (wretched) telecom company, which has a contract with Google to supply all the Google crap on my phone (much of which I can't even disable), and which sets defaults so that Google has access to my location and other personal information unless I opt out.
posted by gingerest at 6:00 PM on March 14, 2013


Maybe this is building up to an April 1 announcement that they will be phasing out search at the end of 2013.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:01 PM on March 14, 2013 [25 favorites]


Imho, one should always check F-Droid before Google's Play Store or the numerous other Android AppStores or Blackmart Android. F-Droid has great stuff like aNarXiv and Guardian Project for example.

I've never gotten around to switching to CyanogenMod or similar myself, gingerest, but you definitely can escape your phone company's crappy software.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:03 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I must have missed it: what else did Google do?
posted by double block and bleed at 6:03 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I must have missed it: what else did Google do?

They announced yesterday that they were killing Google reader.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:06 PM on March 14, 2013


About 96% of Google's revenue comes from advertising. It is an advertising company.

I think they've just decided that they're going to openly embrace it.

Given that so many of the best and brightest tech people have been willingly swallowed up by Google over the years, but the company is clearly shifting away from the geek-wonderland image that made so many of us buy in to the company's world domination changing mission in the past, I really wonder how wide the disconnect (and discontent) is growing between management and technology people inside the company.

It's hard to imagine there are many Google-employed Internet Idealists (of which I have always assumed there were many, at least in earlier days) still there who are very happy. Maybe I'm wrong.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:06 PM on March 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


They are upholding the T&C that is in the agreement

Oh fuck that shit. If we had any kind of functional legal system those things wouldn't be worth the electrons they're displayed with.
posted by odinsdream at 6:06 PM on March 14, 2013 [14 favorites]


Once you've used the Web for a while with adblock and flashblock turned on, you really can't go back. What a nightmare.

Fortunately, we have options.
posted by mhoye at 6:07 PM on March 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I was looking for a game or two recently for my baby to play on my shiny new Nexus 7.

Guess how many had banner ads?
posted by ODiV at 6:09 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's hard to imagine there are many Google-employed Internet Idealists (of which I have always assumed there were many, at least in earlier days) still there who are very happy. Maybe I'm wrong.

In my (professional) experience, Google is filled with ernest true believers. One of them told me recently that they think of themselves as 'the good guys'.

Facebook, on the other hand, is staffed by hard-bitten cynics who'll say or do anything for enough filthy lucre to fill the gaping chasm where their souls used to be.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:10 PM on March 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


Not to derail, but to bring in some perspective: What are the ad-blocking options on iOS?
About 96% of Google's revenue comes from advertising. It is an advertising company.
True. How much of Apple's revenue is advertising?
posted by anarch at 6:10 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


His thoughts were red thoughts: "What, is it "Destroy Our Public Image" week at Google or something"

I never thought about it that way, but, maybe yes. Why string out a bunch of unpopular announcements? Rip the sticking plaster off quick.
posted by Jakey at 6:11 PM on March 14, 2013


Well, with android apps don't need to be in the App store for you to install them, just download the APK file and put it on your phone manually. That will work fine.
They are upholding the T&C that is in the agreement
Agreement with who? Between customers and app developers? Between app developers and the play store? Between users and the play store? Who are you talking about?

If I have an app in the play store, and I include ads, but no EULA, then how could someone break it by blocking those ads?
They announced yesterday that they were killing Google reader.
WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!!?
posted by delmoi at 6:13 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!!?

Where you been, mang?
posted by jquinby at 6:15 PM on March 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


Has Richard Stallman come out with a libre Android fork yet? Because that would be super cool.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:15 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


What are the ad-blocking options on iOS?

There was an app earlier this week called HiddenApps that would allow blocking ads, but I think it got pulled a day or two afterwards.

And, to be honest, if you saw it in action, it looked and acted dodgy as hell, like it was only one button press away from rooting your phone and sending all your personal data to some Russian mafioso crook.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:16 PM on March 14, 2013


WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!!?

Seriously, delmoi, do you live under a rock? There was a great disturbance on the interwebs yesterday, as if millions of bloggers suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. How did you miss this?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:16 PM on March 14, 2013 [24 favorites]


True. How much of Apple's revenue is advertising?

5% of Apple's revenue comes from 'other' (at least circa a couple of years ago), presumably including advertising, so not very much at all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:16 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


700-odd comment thread about it here, delmoi. Sorry for your lots.
posted by Jimbob at 6:17 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm on the Galaxy Nexus, which has a checkbox that says (roughly) 'only install from the Google store', and which is easily unchecked. Do other devices lock you into the Google store as your only source for apps?

If so, then the removal matters, it's important, because that means you simply can't run those apps anymore. But, as long as you can still load them from other sources, then I don't see that Google is under any particular obligation to tell you about them, or to use their bandwidth to give them to you. If you're not locked into them as a source, then they have no ethical requirement to carry apps they don't like.

If you are locked in, however, then I'd react exactly the same way for most folks that I do with Apple; vehement dislike. Maybe not quite as intense, because my actual, official Google phone gives me a way to easily opt out. But I will still think it's super-crappy if folks are being locked out of things they want to run, on computers they own.

That is all-caps BULLSHIT, and it's bullshit no matter who's telling you what you can do with your own computing devices. Be that Apple, Google, or phone companies, it's wrong, and it should not be tolerated by anyone.

The fact that so many people enthusiastically put on the handcuffs maybe pisses me off even more.
posted by Malor at 6:17 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Has Richard Stallman come out with a libre Android fork yet? Because that would be super cool.

AOSP builds are about as close as you'll get to that.
posted by mhoye at 6:18 PM on March 14, 2013


I could have sworn Google had said earlier that they weren't going to do anything against ad blocking, because they respected their users. Can't find the quote, though.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:18 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


You've an interesting point there, odinsdream. Any chance this violates European law? At least making a legal stink about it there might get more people using ad blockers and F-Droid or similar.

All iOS ad blockers either require jailbreaking or effect only one browser, anarch. I'd shorten that to "iOS requires jailbreaking" though.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:19 PM on March 14, 2013


What are you using to look for that quotation, dunkadunc, hmm? Still surprised you can't find it anymore?

... I'm kidding.
posted by telegraph at 6:19 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


AOSP builds are about as close as you'll get to that.

Cyanogenmod, if it will run on your hardware, has a pretty good reputation. I gather it's an AOSP derivative, plus additional stuff.
posted by Malor at 6:20 PM on March 14, 2013


I could have sworn Google had said earlier that they weren't going to do anything against ad blocking...

Hahahahahaha, I see no reason why anyone would have ever believed that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 PM on March 14, 2013


Once you've used the Web for a while with adblock and flashblock turned on, you really can't go back. What a nightmare.

The other day, my husband made a comment about preroll commercials on Youtube. And I was like, wait, what? Since when has Youtube ever had commercials? It's to the point now, I can't imagine using the web without ABP + FlashBlock.
posted by xedrik at 6:21 PM on March 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


About 96% of Google's revenue comes from advertising. It is an advertising company.

I agree, but really, it's more like an ad platform. And with the right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) choice of hardware/software, it can be a soup-to-nuts, vertically integrated ad platform, that includes all the personal trace data backend analytical jiggery-pokery that underpins all the various 'services' that they provide for 'free.'
posted by carter at 6:24 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That is all-caps BULLSHIT, and it's bullshit no matter who's telling you what you can do with your own computing devices. Be that Apple, Google, or phone companies, it's wrong, and it should not be tolerated by anyone.

The push to make the Web a series of proprietary information delivery channels - the cable over IP model if you will - has been going on for yoinks. The only way to push back I really do think is to try and maintain an ecology where straightforward open source/open access hardware/software approaches are still possible. That sounds idealistic, but unless that is a possibility, all that happens is that the corporations steal/monetize the Web in many many small increments, in such a way that no-one really notices or cares or decides that it is worth worrying about, until suddenly one day, BAM.
posted by carter at 6:31 PM on March 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


I agree, but really, it's more like an ad platform. And with the right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) choice of hardware/software, it can be a soup-to-nuts, vertically integrated ad platform, that includes all the personal trace data backend analytical jiggery-pokery that underpins all the various 'services' that they provide for 'free.'

Oh, definitely. I'd actual go further and try and come up with some new name for it, because I think it's something we've never actually seen before. It's a datamining ecosystem supporting an array of advertising species. It's a shitrocket on a collision course with planet BuyMoreCrap.

I dunno. Now that the gloves seem to be coming off in the last year or two, it's getting increasingly scary, whatever the hell it is.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:31 PM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


NearlyFreeSpeech will give you your own web server with email, content hosting, and the whole nine yards for a couple cups of coffee a month.

I am getting really fucking leery of "the cloud", and recently got rid of my smartphone. It's basically paying to be spied on.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:37 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


it's getting increasingly scary, whatever the hell it is.

Cory Doctorow isn't well thought of in these parts, but he nailed this a year or two ago: this is the War on General Purpose Computing.
posted by Malor at 6:38 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


When I saw someone else tweeting about it today, they said it might also be the adblock for Android would constantly bug you to donate to the app developer? Is that true, because that sounds super dodgy.
posted by mathowie at 6:43 PM on March 14, 2013


That is all-caps BULLSHIT, and it's bullshit no matter who's telling you what you can do with your own computing devices. Be that Apple, Google, or phone companies, it's wrong, and it should not be tolerated by anyone.

As always you are free to do whatever you want with the hunk of plastic, metal and glass they sold you.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:43 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I could have sworn Google had said earlier that they weren't going to do anything against ad blocking, because they respected their users.

Maybe you're thinking of this from The Register, 16th December 2009:
Google - the world's largest online ad broker - sees no reason to worry about the addition of ad-blocking extensions to its Chrome browser. Online advertisers will ensure their ads aren't too annoying, the company says, and netizens will ultimately realize that online advertising is a good thing.
posted by unliteral at 6:47 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not to derail, but to bring in some perspective: What are the ad-blocking options on iOS?
About 96% of Google's revenue comes from advertising. It is an advertising company.
True. How much of Apple's revenue is advertising?
– anarch

iCab: Fantastic browser with tabs, extensions, and ad blocking filter lists, with 201 filters by default.

iCab's been around forever for Mac, but rocks on iOS.
posted by Skeuomorph at 6:47 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was having trouble playing YouTube videos on Chrome earlier this week. I tried everything, and then disabled my extensions - I only use a couple, including Adblock Plus. Disabling ABP got YouTube working again.

I wonder if there's a connection?
posted by KokuRyu at 6:49 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


But alms, I am paying for my product. I bought my phone as part of a package from my (wretched) telecom company, which has a contract with Google to supply all the Google crap on my phone (much of which I can't even disable), and which sets defaults so that Google has access to my location and other personal information unless I opt out.

Well, you paid some hardware manufacturer for your handset and maybe Google got some location information out of it. But the only way Google makes money from Android is by showing you ads. That is the Android business model: give the software away for free, make money by showing people ads. Android is fundamentally an advertising platform and ad revenue is the only business justification for Google's investment in Android.

Google wants to increase quarterly earnings? Gotta increase that ad revenue. Why is anyone surprised that they are doing this? They're doing it for the same reason that TV networks don't like it when DVRs let you skip over commercials: it's how they make money.
posted by alms at 7:02 PM on March 14, 2013


As always you are free to do whatever you want with the hunk of plastic, metal and glass they sold you.

Haha, no, sorry, that's not true at all. America, Fuck Yeahtm
posted by mhoye at 7:02 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


But the only way Google makes money from Android is by showing you ads.

Specifically, Google makes money by selling their understanding of how to best target you with which ads, to advertisers, an understanding you provide to them by using their phone and products.
posted by mhoye at 7:04 PM on March 14, 2013


It's that Code is Law, dunkadunc. Your smart phone still represents a major opportunity to enhance user security via encryption, especially given we've open source distro like CyanogenMod. Yet, corporate code defines the default behavior. And Google has proven they'll happily exploit this loophole. Ain't surprising for an advertising company. Can we regulate that? I donno, maybe, not sure.

Worse possibilities exist though, like iOS dominating the market for example. Google remains the good guys when compared with Apple, etc. because CyanogenMod could not track Android's feature set without ASOP. How do we prevent close source systems like Windows and iOs from taking over? Ideally, we could simply revoke all legal protections for closed source software, aside from contracts. In other words, only open source software should receive any copyright protection or be usable as part of a patent application.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:12 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know, Machiavelli said that when a ruler has a need to do evil things, as may be necessary to preserve his rule, he should do them all at the same time. People will get pissed off once, but you can smooth that over. Good deeds, on the other hand, should be doled out one by one, so that your subjects remember them as many separate good things vs. one bad thing.
posted by echo target at 7:19 PM on March 14, 2013 [20 favorites]


Haha, no, sorry, that's not true at all.

Sorry. You can do whatever you want to unless you specifically sign a contract saying that you will restrict your actions for two years based on the deep discount they're giving you on the phone.

Better?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:28 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Specifically, Google makes money by selling their understanding of how to best target you with which ads, to advertisers, an understanding you provide to them by using their phone and products.

This is a misrepresentation. Google sells clicks to advertisers. They try to gather information about you so that they can show you more relevant ads, increasing the probability that you'll click the ad so that Google gets paid. They don't sell information about you to advertisers. They do the targeting themselves.
posted by zixyer at 7:31 PM on March 14, 2013


Yeah, man, fuck Google. I'm gonna buy an Apple iPhone and install my ad blocker there! That'll show me.

Is there anything to stop you from sideloading an ad blocker on Android?
posted by Nelson at 7:46 PM on March 14, 2013


I'm pretty sure it was someone here that so perfectly described what it's like to browse the internet without an ad-blocker: Like slipping on the ring of Sauron.
posted by odinsdream at 7:52 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sorry. You can do whatever you want to unless you specifically sign a contract saying that you will restrict your actions for two years based on the deep discount they're giving you on the phone.

It's illegal to flip that bit on your phone whether it's under contract or not.

(Not that that should matter. If it's legal to walk away from a mortgage, it should be legal to flip a bit on your damn phone.)
posted by dirigibleman at 7:55 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's illegal to flip that bit on your phone whether it's under contract or not.

I believe you are incorrect.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:02 PM on March 14, 2013


How much of Apple's revenue is advertising?

From what I can tell, less than three percent. Unlike Google, Apple sells *actual physical things*.

Google sells, well, you.

There was a great disturbance on the interwebs yesterday, as if millions of bloggers suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. How did you miss this?

Because by millions, we mean "a couple of hundred." A couple of hundred noisy folks, but seriously, they're whinging on twitter. How is this different than, well, any other day?

If they were serious, they'd delete everything they had at Google, block every connection from a Google server, and get on with life -- and Google would have Reader back online, forever, by Monday.

But they're not, which is why Google killed Reader, and it will remain dead. Because they known that pretty much *every* one of them will be using a Google service tomorrow, and they'll get the info they want, so they can sell better ads for you.

Why should they waste time, storage, CPU and effort on Reader?

I'm gonna buy an Apple iPhone and install my ad blocker there!

Funny, I see *zero* ads on my bog-standard, non-jailbroken iPhone.

I also *pay for apps*. If you're not willing to pay for it, you deserve exactly what it costs you. That might be viewing ads. That might be your soul. But if you're running someone else's code for free, you operate on their terms. I suggest you read them.

Indeed, if you pay for that app, you operate under those terms. But you have much more power to negotiate if you come to the table with "if your terms are stupid, I won't give you cash money."
posted by eriko at 8:04 PM on March 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm pretty sure it was someone here that so perfectly described what it's like to browse the internet without an ad-blocker: Like slipping on the ring of Sauron.

Chrome stopped working for me a few weeks ago, so I had to delete my profile (and my extensions), as such, I've been surfing without adblock for a few weeks. Man, Google is really forcing ads into youtube. Now ads will play at the beginning and end of a clip (and if it's long, the middle too). Some they'll let you skip after a few seconds, but they're offering up 1-2 minute ads.
posted by drezdn at 8:05 PM on March 14, 2013


They can't do much about my hosts file.
posted by Chuffy at 8:06 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I also *pay for apps*. If you're not willing to pay for it, you deserve exactly what it costs you. That might be viewing ads. That might be your soul. But if you're running someone else's code for free, you operate on their terms. I suggest you read them.

By that logic it's OK for somebody to spike a drink they bought for you.
posted by mhoye at 8:17 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


The sheer entitlement of people on the Internet sometimes boggles me. You want a free mobile phone OS, on a carrier-subsidized piece of phone hardware. And then you want the advertising company that wrote that free OS for you to host, on their app store, software that blocks all advertisements. So you can look at websites without seeing the ads that fund those websites, the carrier subsidized phone, and the company that wrote your phone OS.

Funny, I see *zero* ads on my bog-standard, non-jailbroken iPhone.

How do you do that? I'd sure love to know how; I hate all the ads I see in Mobile Safari on my iPad and iPhone. This very Metafilter discussion has an ad on it if you look at it on an iPhone when not logged in to MeFi (a crappy ad for tire discounts, when I loaded). So does every other web site that's figured out how to serve mobile ads. The only way I know of to block those ads on iOS is to route traffic through a VPN or HTTP proxy like Privoxy. There's only one browser allowed on the iPhone, Mobile Safari, and Apple gets a big fat cut of all the search ad revenue from Google. And Apple has never allowed anyone to put an ad blocker on the Apple AppStore.

Google was letting ad blockers through on their very store and now they've stopped. I'd be sad too if I were using Android. But I'd still have a variety of options that didn't require using some funky jailbreak root 'sploit to let me install something. It's a bummer that Google shut down ad blockers on their store, yes, but it still beats the options from Apple.
posted by Nelson at 8:19 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've been thinking that I need to spend less time on the computer/phone/pad, evidently Google agrees.

I'm taking the dog for a hike tomorrow....
posted by HuronBob at 8:26 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I also *pay for apps*. If you're not willing to pay for it, you deserve exactly what it costs you. That might be viewing ads. That might be your soul. But if you're running someone else's code for free, you operate on their terms. I suggest you read them.

By that logic it's OK for somebody to spike a drink they bought for you.


No it's not. Don't be melodramatic.

It's exactly like someone walking up to you with a drink and saying, "Hey, here's a free drink, but you have to talk to me for 15 minutes first." Ads in free apps are part of the contract for getting it for nothing.
posted by sbutler at 8:28 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


About 96% of Google's revenue comes from advertising. It is an advertising company.

False, although it is a bit of a pedantic point. It is (generally) a web services company that sells ads as its business model. The TV networks aren't advertising companies. By the commonly accepted meaning, an "advertising company" is one that creates ads, not provides the venue for presenting them.
posted by JHarris at 8:31 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nelson, Atomic Web has built in ad blocking.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:32 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The sheer entitlement of people on the Internet sometimes boggles me. You want a free mobile phone OS, on a carrier-subsidized piece of phone hardware. And then you want the advertising company that wrote that free OS for you to host, on their app store, software that blocks all advertisements. So you can look at websites without seeing the ads that fund those websites, the carrier subsidized phone, and the company that wrote your phone OS.

The 'subsidized' phone is paid for by subscription revenue. That 'free' phone will cost you close to a thousand dollars. And once you've signed that contract, that phone is yours, not the carrier's. They have no right to dictate what you do with it. If you don't fulfill your contract, there is a huge industry in this country that's very good at extracting money from people that don't want to pay.

If someone wants to avoid ads, on a device they own, they should be able to.
posted by Malor at 8:36 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


In other words: most good phones cost more than a desktop computer. And users should be able to do anything they want with a device they paid that much for.
posted by Malor at 8:37 PM on March 14, 2013


No it's not. Don't be melodramatic.

In a conversation where the other party said "you deserve exactly what it costs you, might be your soul", that seemed like a measured response.

But in any case, I believe that we are going to have to admit an impasse here. If you think using an app constitutes a contract to look at ads, I don't know what to say, because I think that's nuts.

Further, to Nelson's accusation of entitlement, I don't think it's unreasonable that I would like the device I ostensibly own, for whose usage and bandwidth I pay, not to show me information I find worthless or offensive at my own expense.
posted by mhoye at 8:38 PM on March 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's illegal to flip that bit on your phone whether it's under contract or not.

I believe you are incorrect.


I am not (PDF). The relevant section is III(C). Note that there is no exemption for phones out of contract, only phones purchased within 90 days of the decision. It ultimately comes from the recent ruling that software is licensed, rather than owned, and that (some) carriers currently have "generous" policies about unlocking.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:40 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm doing the carrier a great favor by blocking ads: judging by what they charge for bandwidth, it obviously costs them immense effort or perhaps even actual physical agony to serve me data. I wish to spare them needless pain, so I will not ask them to expend precious, precious bandwidth on ads I don't want to look at anyway.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:42 PM on March 14, 2013 [17 favorites]


There's only one browser allowed on the iPhone, Mobile Safari, and Apple gets a big fat cut of all the search ad revenue from Google.

Sorry, but this hasn't been true for years. My iPhone has Safari, Chrome and Opera.
posted by Jimbob at 8:46 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


mhoye: I don't think it's unreasonable that I would like the device I ostensibly own, for whose usage and bandwidth I pay, not to show me information I find worthless or offensive at my own expense.

Well, mhoye, jumping to the other side of the argument: if you're using an ad-blocker to prevent free apps from showing ads, you're preventing that developer from making money from you. This may be acceptable to you, but if you like the app, and want it updated, explicitly removing yourself as a revenue source is rather self-defeating.

Myself, I think that's perfectly okay, since installing the program on your phone didn't cost the developer anything. You're not stealing. (well, assuming the program doesn't use his or her server infrastructure, at least.) Unauthorized enjoyment is not a crime. But, at the same time, you're being foolish... and, in a way, free-riding on the people who are tolerating ads. Most apps offer a paid version that's ad-free, and paying for software you use is a good idea. Most apps are really cheap, so it's not a major sacrifice.
posted by Malor at 8:47 PM on March 14, 2013


It's hard to imagine there are many Google-employed Internet Idealists (of which I have always assumed there were many, at least in earlier days) still there who are very happy. Maybe I'm wrong.

So what is considered the Platonic Ideal of Geek Employment at the moment? At various points it has been Microsoft, Google, Apple...what is it right now? Valve, maybe?
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:48 PM on March 14, 2013


So what is considered the Platonic Ideal of Geek Employment at the moment?

Self-employment.
posted by device55 at 8:53 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


False, although it is a bit of a pedantic point.

Well, yeah, kind of, especially since I said, just a few minutes later
I'd actual go further and try and come up with some new name for it, because I think it's something we've never actually seen before.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:59 PM on March 14, 2013


My iPhone has Safari, Chrome and Opera.

They're all running Apple's version of Mobile WebKit, with Apple's HTML layout and Apple's Javascript engine. Functionally they are more like Mobile Safari than the real Chrome or Opera. OTOH George_Spiggot totally schooled me by linking to an iOS web browser that has ad blocking wrapped around Mobile Webkit; that's pretty cool and I had no idea Apple allowed it. Any idea if it shows search ads from the browser searchbox and, if so, how the revenue is split?
posted by Nelson at 9:10 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ubuntu Touch is coming along, to install on what are currently Android devices. It also uses the linux kernel, but will use a different "desktop" and UI.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:10 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was having trouble playing YouTube videos on Chrome earlier this week. I tried everything, and then disabled my extensions - I only use a couple, including Adblock Plus. Disabling ABP got YouTube working again.

I wonder if there's a connection?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:49 PM on March 14


WIN7 Dell laptop, I have Chrome, Firefox, and Opera on this machine, almost always have both Chrome and Firefox running at the same time. If I have any problems on one browser I just go to another, it's annoying but not that annoying, not to me. And if both of those browsers have problems, Opera won't. All okay, life is good.

I will not ever go back to the days before ad-blockers, it's just insane, it's as bad or worse than watching commercial television; when I get on someones machine that's all weighted down with that junk I always do what I can to help them out but amazingly some people are just total drones, ads are no problem. It's a wrist-slitter to me though.

~~~

Funny, til I came into this thread I'd not installed AdBlock Plus on this phone I own, android 4.1 from Virgin -- I hardly ever browse on it, text and voice and whatever else, only browse to grab a schedule or whatever. (I *really* don't like trying to type on a screen the size of a playing card. I have to admit that I've really got to liking the voice search and voice typing, etc -- very cool.) But then coming in here and reading, I'm like "Hey, google -- you rotten scum! Why'd you undo my holy precious ability to load AdBlock Plus on my damn phone?" and went to AdBlock Plus site and downloaded from there, as recommended by someone upthread.

And then a big scare msg came up -- "For your safety, you cannot install this baddy-bad-guy software blah blah blah blah blah." I dug around a little bit on the phone, unchecked a setting that was checked, got another big scary scare screen, that it's all my fault if my phone 'splodes and kills me and everyone else here in Austin plus we all get polio blah blah blah blah and I clicked OK and then installed AdBlock Plus on the phone.

(No root needed, just ignore some scary scare screens, designed to scare people who think security theater protects anyone from anything, and agrees that no one should take shampoo on a plane -- wtf am I going to do, wash the pilots hair? Jesus christ.)

Jerks. Flippin' jerks. Google I mean, they've gone onto a big jerk run here. Remember when everyone went on about how iPhones are a walled garden, go with an android phone for your freedoms, and for Truth, Justice, and The American Way etc and etc. I love the convenience of the phone, I'm just crazy-mad about the app that I can point at the sky and it tells me what star or constellation I'm looking at and how far away it is, it's absolutely amazing to me, it's to shake my head in wonder. Still, I want AdBlock Plus, too, along with the stars and stuff.

(I don't have chrome on this phone because you can't load *any* add-ons onto it, at least no way I've been able to find. I've got Firefox, Opera, and Dolphin, which I've never used, not yet anyways. Plus whatever standard browser came on the phone. I like Opera, seems really fast)
posted by dancestoblue at 9:22 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Android (and I assume iOS, but I know less about it) is designed to be primarily a targetted consumer tracking and advert delivery system and uses a frightening array of privacy denial "permissions" to accomplish this. Run something that's been even more samizdat (per Google) than an adblocker such as a permission blocker like LBE Security Master and you see just how much your phone is tracking you. The nice thing is you get to selectively block these. I've found that despite asking for it, pretty much all apps still function even with something like IMEI access blocked.
posted by meehawl at 9:36 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


If someone wants to avoid ads, on a device they own, they should be able to.

And on Android at least they still can. What Google won't do is host the applications that allow you to do it on their servers. Nothing is stopping you from downloading an ad blocker and side-loading it on your Android phone.

For what it is worth I see this as being much more about Android developers rather than Google's own ad revenue. It is pretty frustrating to be trying to ship an ad-supported app when right beside it in the same store there is an app which will block all the ads in your app.
posted by markr at 9:39 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


fyi -- Truth, Justice, and The American Way
posted by dancestoblue at 9:40 PM on March 14, 2013


Nothing is stopping you from downloading an ad blocker and side-loading it on your Android phone.
posted by markr at 11:39 PM on March 14


Unless maybe you don't know enough to ignore the scary scare messages that pop up on the screen.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:42 PM on March 14, 2013


How is the quality of curation on other app repositories besides Google Play? Is there any curation or does one have to -- for any given app -- trust that if it was malware someone would have spotted it by now?
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:45 PM on March 14, 2013


When I saw someone else tweeting about it today, they said it might also be the adblock for Android would constantly bug you to donate to the app developer? Is that true, because that sounds super dodgy.
Well, it would certainly be ironic.
posted by delmoi at 10:09 PM on March 14, 2013


It's a bummer that Google shut down ad blockers on their store, yes, but it still beats the options from Apple.

I understand what you're saying here, and I don't disagree, but any step backwards is still a step backwards. The old Clausewitzian perfect as enemy of the good is a consideration, but it really does seem these days that our ability to choose and control our own computing experiences is being purposefully and systematically eroded, to the benefit of corporations whose only interest in us is as consumers of their products and services. Especially when we want those experiences to be free of advertising, surveillance, and, er, overenthusiastic protection of copyright.

A significant part of people's (including my own) revulsion at some of the decisions Google has been making lately certainly comes from expectations (no matter how spurious they might have been) that Google wasn't as focussed on fucking us out of our money as most other corporations are, I think. I guess, as others have said, we should have known better.

Then there's the element of pulling up on the lip of the abyss here, just as we're about to fall in, and the 'holy shit' catching of breath. It might not be too late in letting a company like Google become so powerful, then watch it begin to turn on us, but it feels like we've gotten very close, which is a bit of a shock, I think.

Just as calls for Microsoft to be broken up were everywhere 10 years or so ago, I wouldn't be surprised to hear similar things about Google now. And I don't think I would be opposed to the idea.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:27 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


But how could you meaningfully break up Google, stavros? All they are, pretty much, is search. Even if you divest everything else, they're still the thousand-ton gorilla on the Internet. Their other stuff is pretty much an afterthought.

And, again, while removing the ad blockers is scummy, nobody's come right out and said that they have no choice but using the Google store for apps. I don't know what the state of the Android ecosystem is in this area, but I can easily install an adblocker whether Google wants me to or not, and I have an actual Google phone.
posted by Malor at 12:25 AM on March 15, 2013


Also, you'd need grounds for a breakup, extremely strong evidence that they are using their monopoly position in search to unfairly force themselves into new markets. I haven't seen any evidence of that at all. From what I've been able to see, at least, they seem scrupulously fair about not abusing their search algorithms to benefit their other projects, or damage their competitors.
posted by Malor at 12:28 AM on March 15, 2013


I can't help but wonder, is there any correlation between this weird engulfing advertising/control/spying/data-mining thing which threatens our ability to use computers however we wish, and the similar changes in political landscape.
posted by Goofyy at 12:36 AM on March 15, 2013


Well, yeah, kind of, especially since I said, just a few minutes later

False, although it's kind of a pedanic point. You hadn't "said," you typed. EEEE-hee-hee-hee!
posted by JHarris at 1:01 AM on March 15, 2013


But the only way Google makes money from Android is by showing you ads

I've always seen android as a defensive play from google, rather than a particular money maker. The old saw about google making more money from ios was true, until recently - the revenue from licencing google maps to apple was substantial.

Google's crown jewels, by a long way, is search - both for ads sold, and information gathered. Seriously, think about how many times you 'just google that' in a day (assuming you're not a duckduckgo user, obviously). All their other services either tie into that, or were a 'eh, we have all this hardware, what else can we do with it?'. Such as the very popular gmail, which acts as an anchor to google, even if people aren't using the web client and aren't seeing ads, and google maps which doesn't have ads yet. Youtube is roughly break even, I think.

But by controlling the most popular mobile platform, they're in a much stronger position to push their real money making business, search. Android is like gmail, or youtube - not a big money maker on its own, but part of the raft of services google provide to keep you coming back. If they were just a provider of services via apple, they were always in danger of being replaced - as has already happened with Maps.

Of course, android isn't all google's own work by a long stretch. While the dalvik vm to run apps is all them, the android kernel and much of the userland is pre-existing open source code, such as the linux kernel at the heart of android, and of course webkit nee khtml from kde. Hell, there's likely a few bytes of my own code in there given its antecedants.

It might not be too late in letting a company like Google become so powerful, then watch it begin to turn on us, but it feels like we've gotten very close, which is a bit of a shock, I think.

I see where you're coming from - nerds kinda went through this a while back. It's a bit like being savaged by a sheep - but Google was different! And now we're realising, they're not that much different to Microsoft. Or Apple. Though they're not quite there yet, they do still let you opt out of their stuff, it's not tied as tightly together as either microsoft or apple do. But right now, everything seems to be about
a) making money or
b) making people use google plus.

If your current favourite service from google doesn't do ads directly, and could conceivably be horked into google plus in some butchered fashion, be afraid for it.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:07 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


And on Android at least they still can. What Google won't do is host the applications that allow you to do it on their servers.

Well damn, you can do that on iOS too, you just got to jailbreak the darn things to do it!

You can do all kinds of things on all kinds of computers. But there are knowledge and skill barriers blocking the way to all of them. Companies try hard to reduce the barriers towards the things they approve of, but not the things of which they disapprove.

The knowledge barrier in this case is how to install software not in the Play Store, which is installed by default on Android devices and thus very easy for many people to use; they don't have to install any APKs or intermediate markets. That will be an insurmountable barrier to a sizable portion of Android's userbase, and that is worthy of condemnation, because it's an artificial knowledge barrier, one Google imposed themselves, an extra trick you have to perform to have ad blocking. Not as bad as the tricks needed to do it on iOS, but still, arbitrary.
posted by JHarris at 1:08 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


EEEE-hee-hee-hee!

*shakes fist, howls in operatic mock-shatnerian rage*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:13 AM on March 15, 2013


Seems like I need to move some of my things away from Google, does anyone know of a webmail provider with a good privacy policy?
posted by DrRotcod at 1:58 AM on March 15, 2013


Just updated to AdBlock Plus from their home page.

You know that little check box in the options for AdBlock Plus, the one that says "Allow some non-intrusive advertising" and mostly lists Google services?

I unchecked it with great vengeance.
posted by formless at 2:30 AM on March 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


iCab's been around forever for Mac, but rocks on iOS.

Apollo works for me, and unlike iCab it's free (as in beer.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:41 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seems like I need to move some of my things away from Google, does anyone know of a webmail provider with a good privacy policy?

Your own? It may be worth registering a URL, getting dirt-cheap hosting, and just using it for e-mail via a Webmail interface. My old site has been an "under construction" message for 2+ years now, and I really just use it as my mailbox.
posted by Shepherd at 6:05 AM on March 15, 2013


I can't help but wonder, is there any correlation between this weird engulfing advertising/control/spying/data-mining thing which threatens our ability to use computers however we wish, and the similar changes in political landscape.

Capitalism.
posted by notyou at 6:06 AM on March 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


that Google wasn't as focussed on fucking us out of our money as most other corporations are, I think. I guess, as others have said, we should have known better.

That's the part I don't get, and never have. In all the Apple vs. Google hype, there are certainly differences between the two companies, both good and bad. You choose what you value, and this certainly sucks for those that side with google. And it sucks for everyone, because hey, less choice.

But the quest to make as much money as possible from as many people as possible is the one quest that bonds both companies. I guess it stems from google giving shit away from free (here's gmail, with more storage than anyone ever wanted, for free!), but it was always a mistaken notion.
posted by justgary at 6:20 AM on March 15, 2013


2010: NYT -- In Allowing Ad Blockers, a Test for Google (via)
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:34 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seems like I need to move some of my things away from Google, does anyone know of a webmail provider with a good privacy policy?

It's not clear what you mean by privacy. If you mean a provider that doesn't inspect your messages to target advertising, then by far most e-mail providers meet this definition. Rackspace and Fastmail are two big ones.

If you mean providers who take special efforts to avoid selling or giving your data to other businesses or governments, that's going to be a much tougher thing to investigate.
posted by odinsdream at 6:36 AM on March 15, 2013


Jesus Christ, people here are overreacting.

As long as sideloading is still allowed, this is a complete non-issue.

The Play Store is just one of a great multitude of ways of loading applications onto Android phones. It's always been clear from Day 1 that Google controls and curates the content in their own store.

The prohibition of ad-blocking apps seems fairly sane -- you're not allowed to insert ads into other people's apps, and you're also not allowed to remove ads from other people's apps. By removing those ads, you're hurting independent developers as well as Google.

This remains leaps and bounds better than the iOS or Kindle "walled garden" situations. I see no evidence of suppression or censorship -- Google just doesn't want to directly facilitate users who want to undercut their business model. This sounds eminently fair and reasonable to me.
posted by schmod at 6:48 AM on March 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


About 96% of Google's revenue comes from advertising. It is an advertising company.

I'm no Carnegie, but that seems like a suicidally high dependence on one thing.

Also, somewhat apropos:

Funding education or culture through advertising is like trying to get nutrition by connecting a tube from your butt to your mouth.
posted by seemoreglass at 6:51 AM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


About 96% of Google's revenue comes from advertising. It is an advertising company.

I'm no Carnegie, but that seems like a suicidally high dependence on one thing.


I think that's really just like saying 96% of Exxon's revenues come from oil. In Google's case, it depends how you now view their core activities - does search now support their ad business, or do the ads support their search business, for example.
posted by carter at 6:55 AM on March 15, 2013


Jaron Lanier has many issues but that quote rings true. You should not fund education by mixing in lies.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:04 AM on March 15, 2013


formless: "that little check box... that says 'Allow some non-intrusive advertising'"

See, I actually think that check box is a great compromise. Let me explain.

I think marketing breaks down primarily into two categories: information and promotion. Most ads are both to one degree or another. But for example, movie trailers are fairly informational: "here's what this movie is about, the general tone of it, and when it's coming out." It drives business because people who might want the product now know about the product.

By comparison, look at soda commercials. Most of them barely mention the product itself these days, because people already have all the information they need about the positive aspects of soda. Instead, they focus on advocacy: "Drink Burst™ Cola instead of those other sodas." Or more specifically, "here's some flashing colors now while your guard is down DRINK BURST™ COLA hey look it's that famous person you know exists!!!!" No information, just planting the brand in your brain so you'll get that pleasing little release of endorphins and comforting sense of familiarity when you see it at the supermarket.

This latter type is the problem, and not just because most people would agree that facts are better than flash. The more significant hazard is that it's not self-limiting. Whereas there's only so much you can do to educate someone before they are as informed as they're going to be, you can throw slogans, distractions, etc. endlessly... the only theoretical maximum is to consume 100% of people's senses 100% of the time and have them also spread it to any friends or family members who happen to be nearby. And you'd absolutely do it if your competitor is currently doing 99.9%, otherwise you're out of business.

As much as I dream of the day, we're not likely to rid ourselves of the propagandistic side of this equation anytime soon; we're too limited by our primitive monkey brains, and too many smart people are only studying those brains in order to make more effective propaganda.

So, absent a sea change in human psychology and culture, we have to work with what we've got. Like it or not, there aren't enough people who prefer (or can afford) the pay-as-you-go model for content. Ad revenue is where the big money is, and there are certain industries in which big money is the only way to stay competitive. I think it'd be great if more places would offer a choice between free/ad-supported and paid/ad-free, but I do think there is a tacit social contract: if I don't like their business model, I have the right to take my business elsewhere, not to unilaterally redefine that model to benefit myself. To be clear, this is an ethical consideration, separate from what is technically or legally possible.

Note: this is my opinion, you're welcome to disagree about the ethics here. Your moralage may vary.

However, there's also a duty to not employ coercion as a tactic, and many advertisers have gleefully abdicated that responsibility. Make no mistake, many ads today are well over the line into psychological assault, and as I mentioned above it's because that technique can be escalated indefinitely.

So what's to be done when it's wrong to force you to view brain-frying ads, but blocking all ads is also ethically problematic? Well, that's where that little check box comes in. It doesn't magically turn all ads into the benign informational kind, but it imposes a reasonable restriction on the other concerns.

It's an opportunity to be the bigger person. You don't owe that to the corporation that approved those ads, since it's not a person at all. But it's an act of good faith to the journalist or author or actor who created the content you're enjoying, who can't afford to work outside the system, but probably doesn't like being next to a giant BURST™ SODA logo any more than you like seeing it.
posted by Riki tiki at 8:07 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Funny, I see *zero* ads on my bog-standard, non-jailbroken iPhone.

I also *pay for apps*. If you're not willing to pay for it, you deserve exactly what it costs you. That might be viewing ads. That might be your soul. But if you're running someone else's code for free, you operate on their terms. I suggest you read them.

You are aware that the first is determined by the second, no? Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and AFAIK BlackberryOS all use this model.

The nice thing is you get to selectively block these.

And you get notified when permissions change. This is not something that happens on iOS or Windows Phone, as a number of my co-workers found out when the company switched to the new (and IMO ultra-shitty) Microsoft Online whathaveyou. Every Android user that tried to connect to the server got a message telling them that the server needed permission for a bunch of nasty stuff like remote wipe or else you couldn't connect. Not a single person with an iPhone or Windows Phone got that message. If the Android users hadn't brought it up, anybody who used a mobile device regardless of company or personal ownership could have had lost everything if someone on the IT staff was vindictive or just pressed the wrong button, and would have been none the wiser until it was too late.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:10 AM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


You'll probably never see an Android fork from a major vendor, not if they ever expect to do business with Google again. Acer had to do the walkback of shame when they embedded support for Android in a non-Google OS. But despite what that article implies, that doesn't mean that Android can't be forked, just not by anyone whose business model relies on Google's continued participation and goodwill.

You can't have it both ways: Google could not have begun to build Android without the gargantuan amount of other people's free work that it contains and builds upon. So they're perfectly at liberty to say "nice knowing you, good luck going it alone" to any commercial entity that tries a fork, but if they ever renege on basic FOSS principles their goose will be cooked. And they'd lose.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:40 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Google could not have begun to build Android without the gargantuan amount of other people's free work that it contains and builds upon.

Is there a writeup of what other open source software Android contains? I'm not doubting what you're saying, I just honestly don't know. My impression is Google/Android wrote a whole lot of its own stuff. And I'd be very surprised if any of the open source code they use had a viral license like the GPL. Using BSD/MIT code doesn't require your product be open source. But I could easily be wrong about any of this.
posted by Nelson at 10:58 AM on March 15, 2013


Most of Android is licensed Apache 2.0, which is nonviral. It uses the Linux kernel, but that separation is legally well-understood and doesn't obligate them to release any code except their own kernel enhancements. They do release the Android source except for some closed elements, including many related to low-level hardware. But yeah, if Android is uncontaminated by any copyleft licence then yes, they could in theory close the source and keep it that way.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:37 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]



I am not (PDF). The relevant section is III(C). Note that there is no exemption for phones out of contract


I appear to read that section differently than you do.
Register determined that with respect to newly purchased phones, proponents had not satisfied their burden of showing adverse effects related to a technological protection measure.

However, with respect to “legacy” phones – i.e., used (or perhaps unused) phones previously purchased or otherwise acquired by a consumer – the record pointed to a different conclusion. [...][One reason is that the customer] may have difficulty obtaining unlocking codes from wireless carriers, in part because an older or expired contract might not require the carrier to cooperate.
The conclusion:
The Register concluded after a review of the statutory factors that an exemption to the prohibition on circumvention of mobile phone computer programs to permit users to unlock “legacy” phones is both warranted and unlikely to harm the market for such programs.
On first reading I found the use of the word "legacy" confusing in that I thought it might only apply to phones that existed before the ruling. However the second paragraph of the first quote seems to me to define legacy as used and/or out of contract phones.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:28 PM on March 15, 2013


Umm, GPLed code can always be taken closed source by the copyright owner, George_Spiggott.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:12 PM on March 15, 2013


Right, which is why I said "uncontaminated". They would have to have clear copyright, incorporating no incompatibly licensed code. There are audits which can determine this sort of thing to a reasonable degree of confidence.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:16 PM on March 15, 2013


If you're not willing to pay for it, you deserve exactly what it costs you.

By your logic, poor people have no moral rights. You can take that line of thought directly to hell.
posted by JHarris at 2:27 PM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Slashdot: Google Begins Blocking Third-Party Jabber Invites

This also appears to include presence notification, so external Jabber servers/clients aren't able to determine if Google accounts are online. Wow, Googlers. What the hell is going on in Mountain View right now?
posted by jaduncan at 2:53 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know that little check box in the options for AdBlock Plus, the one that says "Allow some non-intrusive advertising" and mostly lists Google services?

I unchecked it with great vengeance.


If I were a developer for Adblock or Ad-Away, I would remove any such features immediately.

Google can play nice and get some consideration from ad blockers, or they can get cut out completely.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:32 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ahh, I found echo target's Machiavelli quote finally, "[I]n seizing a state, the usurper ought to examine closely into all those injuries which it is necessary for him to inflict, and to do them all at one stroke .. For injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less, they offend less; benefits ought to be given little by little, so that the flavour of them may last longer." in The Prince, Ch. VIII, Concerning Those Who Have Obtained A Principality By Wickedness. hmmm
posted by jeffburdges at 3:37 PM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, mhoye, jumping to the other side of the argument: if you're using an ad-blocker to prevent free apps from showing ads, you're preventing that developer from making money from you. This may be acceptable to you, but if you like the app, and want it updated, explicitly removing yourself as a revenue source is rather self-defeating.

Late getting back to this, for which I apologize.

My experience has been that even giving developers money won't make ads go away. The most recent place I've seen this is "Where's My Water", a fun little game I played the demo of, bought, then bought the expanded version, and which one update later decided to start showing me ads anyway.

Yay.
posted by mhoye at 4:16 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


they think of themselves as 'the good guys'.

Everybody thinks of themselves as the good guys.
posted by Twang at 4:30 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


This also appears to include presence notification, so external Jabber servers/clients aren't able to determine if Google accounts are online. Wow, Googlers. What the hell is going on in Mountain View right now?

I'm petty sure 99.999% of the users of those features were spammers...
posted by aspo at 9:36 PM on March 15, 2013


I'm petty sure 99.999% of the users of those features were spammers...

Finally I am the 0.001%!
posted by jaduncan at 11:19 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Finally I am the 0.001%!
Congratulations, unfortunately you're the petty 0.001%
Seems pretty small. ;-)
posted by unliteral at 5:37 AM on March 16, 2013


eriko: "Unlike Google, Apple sells *actual physical things*."

Anyone know what perventage of revenue comes from hardware and what percentage comes from intellectual property? I would have thought the majority of Apple's revenue was from their take of all downloads they are selling.
posted by Mitheral at 11:50 AM on March 16, 2013


If I were a developer for Adblock or Ad-Away, I would remove [unobtrusive ad exclusions] immediately.

They're intended for things like small text ads, such as Google provides. It is indeed sad that Google blacklisted them even though they made a special case of the ads that Google generally serves, but it's not just Google that provides them. And being professionals, I assume, they wouldn't remove Google from their own ad whitelist just for being JERKS.
posted by JHarris at 11:53 AM on March 16, 2013


For injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less, they offend less

Yes, like we're all getting over the Google Reader removal! Sorry Niccolò, not working this time.
posted by JHarris at 11:55 AM on March 16, 2013


Adblock Plus founder: Google used Reader outcry to hide our Google Play takedown
posted by homunculus at 1:26 PM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd say the tremendous furor over their murdering Reader caused us all to look at the Adblock removal in a worse light.
posted by JHarris at 7:10 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


“I believe they’re testing the reaction to see if they can get away with it. If the users don’t object, I think it’s quite likely they will try something like this on Chrome too,” Till Faida said.

Agreed. If you've any friends with Android devices, help them install an F-Droid and install an ad blocker such as AdAway.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:48 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone here looked at the Chromium source? I've heard that ad blocking, cross site script blocking, etc. become much harder under Chrome or that Chrome still loads the ads buy simply doesn't display them. Anyone read why? Are there any Chromium forks really worth trying?
posted by jeffburdges at 7:56 AM on March 19, 2013


The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.

Technically I suppose Google has always been an advertising company, but for the better part of the last three years, it didn’t feel like one. Google was an ad company only in the sense that a good TV show is an ad company: having great content attracts advertisers.

James Whittaker
Why I Left Google
posted by alms at 11:05 AM on March 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


... and went to work for Microsoft.
posted by zixyer at 1:14 PM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hadn't you heard that Microsoft is now the scrappy underdog?
posted by alms at 1:26 PM on March 20, 2013


Apple Yanks "Sweatshop Themed" Game From App Store
posted by jeffburdges at 8:28 AM on March 21, 2013


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