ASUS Phones And Laptops Will Block Ads By Default

ASUS Phones And Laptops Will Block Ads By Default

ASUS is integrating AdBlock Plus into its smartphone and laptop browsers, blocking most advertisements by default.

Ad blocking has always been something of a touchy issue on the internet. On the one hand, bandwidth isn't free. Websites must generate income to pay the bills, or else content we love disappears. On the other, ads can range from being annoying and obtrusive, to downright depositing malware on your PC. This climate fueled the growth of an entire market that hates most advertisements - a market ASUS plans to tap into. In a recent announcement, the electronics manufacturer revealed AdBlock Plus will be built into all its products by default, blocking the majority of ads from day one.

"We're extremely happy to team up with Asus, the first major hardware manufacturer to integrate ad blocking into their mobile devices," AdBlock Plus CEO Till Faida told Motherboard. "This is another call for innovation in the ad industry - a call getting louder by the day."

In short, anytime you buy a new ASUS smartphone or laptop, AdBlock Plus will be bundled into its proprietary browser. This blocks any advertisements which are not featured in AdBlocks "Acceptable Ads" program. The program is basically a whitelist of vetted advertisers who don't use malware and produce relatively unobtrusive ads. Getting on this whitelist takes about ten working days if you meet the requirements.

By itself, ASUS' partnership with AdBlock Plus isn't earth-shattering - its estimated browser market only covers 15 million users. But making AdBlock a default at all suggests advertising standards are changing in a huge way. Earlier this year, we saw Firefox crack down on Adobe Flash, the platform responsible for most web advertisements. What's to say Firefox wouldn't form a similar AdBlock partnership to be more effective on a larger scale? Google's prior struggles with AdBlock means it probably wouldn't happen on Chrome, but if the movement builds enough inertia YouTube would absolutely want to stay on that whitelist.

Of course, even if this partnership does change how advertisements are displayed, as long as AdBlock allows users to bypass the Acceptable Ads list entirely the controversy is likely to continue.

Source: Motherboard, via Business Insider

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How does commenting here work? I can either go off topic and be warned, or be on topic and be warned.

Good!! I am sick of... wait. Is this a trap? Will I get a warning if I go further or worse, banned?

Asus I am liking you more and more. The Nexus 7 was great and fancy your Transformer Tabs but can't afford it just yet. You are doing good in my books.

Ugh. Ad blocking is really something that should be done on the basis of what the ads in question do, rather than by fiat. AdBlock Plus in particular is on my shitlist for literally taking bribes from advertisers to be whitelisted, as well as being directly responsible for the rise of those awful Taboola clickbait ads by pretty much making any other form of advertising unprofitable.

What I would do, if it were up to me, would be to make a browser that completely blocks sites from spawning new windows (because current generation "pop-up blockers" don't prevent the ones that spawn when you click on something), closes whatever loophole is currently allowing some ads to redirect the entire page (whoever came up with that one ought to be executed in front of a live audience), and makes it easy to disable autoplaying videos. Beyond that, it should really be a matter of, if you don't like the ads on a site, don't visit that site anymore. Vote with your feet, as it were. Maybe send them a nasty letter explaining your departure, if you think it'll help.

Ehh, I'm not sure how to feel about this, on one hand I use certain software to make the web much more browsable and less likely to piss me off, but on the other I don't think ads should just be blocked out of the box. I think users should have to know enough to make some effort to remove them. Because the web does work on ad revenue, despite how intrusive and sometimes dangerous those ads are.

Methinks this won't go over well with other tech companies who have a vendetta against AdBlock Plus.

No NO, DO NOT DO THIS. I don't understand how people can be so blind.

If you give adblock a lot of users then advertising companies will go to adblock and pay them to let their ads not be blocked.

Also blocking ads is selfish, just give the content creator some money and watch the 5 second ad

Well, this is certainly an untapped market, so good for them?
Good to know some corperations are finally taking notice that some people hate ads.

To everyone saying "But corperations will bribe (The Company) to be whitelisted!"
I have been...told that there is a "Block all" button. Problem solved.
And they get money! (Which is the point of running a business)

Jesus, back in early to mid 2000s', there was nowhere near as many ads as there are today, and they werent as annoying. But nobody was screaming "We needs the money from ads!" The websites were still there..including this one.

What people dont understand is-
They are free to run thier own websites how they want.
And I am free to consume the internet as I want.

They get like a millionth of a penny per view anyways (exaggeration, but barely) its a game everyone loses except for the advertisement company.

But its only 5/15/30 seconds! You can watch it.

Yeah, and not only is my time valuable, I dont give a crap about the product advertised. Ever. Forcing your product spiel on me, before I watch my Markiplier makes me Hate your product. I have stopped watching entire channels and streams because of how pushy they were.

30 second ads dont sound long, but that builds up Quick! Ten 30 second ads is 5 minutes! And my tablet says I have watched 12.5 gigs of youtube in the last week!Just Youtube! Streaming, not downloading. Ive seen it reach 22 gigs of data usage in a week! And thats just on my tablet, I watch on my computer and xbox too! How many ads could that be?

You want me to care, do like ScrewAttack and Gamegrumps do- Work it into a skit for a video. Im here to watch the youtuber, so if they endorse something, its easier to bear, and I dont feel like im being blackmailed.

You can scroll past/not look/ignore static website ads, how is blocking the videos different?

People are not watching tv as much for a reason-they pay for a service, then they are being bombarded by ads.
Sounds a lot like how the Internet works huh? I wonder if we can draw a parallel.

Note-I am not endorsing/condoning/admitting tohe use of blocking software, I am responding to both the topic, and the posts following it, and have even provided a good way to show ads, that I actually enjoy watching. Also, I refer to the ads on youtube/video ads,not static ads on webpages. Thescapist is pretty decent in this regard, and I have no compliants regarding it. (Cept maybe that Battlefront srticle, but I just wont read it.) Good job Escapist :).

Chareater:
No NO, DO NOT DO THIS. I don't understand how people can be so blind.

If you give adblock a lot of users then advertising companies will go to adblock and pay them to let their ads not be blocked.

Also blocking ads is selfish, just give the content creator some money and watch the 5 second ad

If they chose to run an obtrusive ad then I'll certainly block it as it's their own fault. There's certain YouTubers and websites (the Escapist in particular after Jim's episode on it) that I will watch the ads for.

Don't run obnoxious ads and I will gladly Greenlight your page.

OT: I can get behind this as adblock is actually finding a way to make ads better as a whole, or at least pushing for it. Hell, this may actually encourage marketing teams to come up with more entertaining and memorable ads rather than ones that drill themselves into your skull and attach themselves to your brain and oh god make it stop, I can still hear the screaming (for anyone who has ever heard an autoland radio commercial, and even some of their TV commercials, you know what I'm talking about).

@The Enquirer
Oh you dont have to tell me how they get in your brain-last month I was singing the Thats on Ebay commercial song. I was surprised I still knew all the words, and went to youtube to look up the original air date-2003! Ive had a commercial memorized for almost a decade and a half! If that aint a sign that commercials brainwash, I dont know what is.

And the Hersey kiss "Sometimes you feel like a nut?" I made a offhand remark about it once, then found out its from like 1997!

Chareater:
No NO, DO NOT DO THIS. I don't understand how people can be so blind.

If you give adblock a lot of users then advertising companies will go to adblock and pay them to let their ads not be blocked.

Also blocking ads is selfish, just give the content creator some money and watch the 5 second ad

personally, I don't use adblock, but I understand the appeal, and it has nothing to do with being selfish. too many times I've tried to view something online only to have a huge ad blocking a large portion of it, with fake x's as close windows to trick you into clicking it... if ads don't want to be blocked, sites should do a better job of making them unobtrusive.

good example: the new video player here on escapist. when you try to watch ZP, it starts for a few seconds, stops, plays the ad, then goes back to the video... poorly implemented, entirely broken, and just annoying. I suffer through it because about 65% of the time, I want to support the escapist, but I couldn't judge those who choose not to.

I let out an audible "oh, fuck" when I read the headline for this. The balls, man. THE BALLS!

I do like the idea of a pre-approved whitelist. I kinda wonder what their standards are for what's acceptable though. Not that it really matters to me personally, but still, I'm kinda curious.

On a phone, this stuff is extremely important. Ads on cellphones can obtain your phone number, MEID, ip address (like normal ads of course to better advertise to you) and most importantly your GPS location if it's on.

So... For cell phones, it's always advised to just use adblock if you can. It sucks but that information can ruin you if you're an important person (like say one of your companies IT staff, someone higher up the chain or security of sort).

On PCs, don't be a dickhole and use Adblock. Keep ads on and grab a script blocker extension and HTTPS-Anywhere (I think the extension is called). It'll let you keep ads and block ones that misbehave as well as protect against browser hijacking or cross-site scripting (while some website use this legitimately, most of the time this is used it's to take you from a secure page to a dummy page).

Steve the Pocket:

What I would do, if it were up to me, would be to make a browser that completely blocks sites from spawning new windows (because current generation "pop-up blockers" don't prevent the ones that spawn when you click on something), closes whatever loophole is currently allowing some ads to redirect the entire page (whoever came up with that one ought to be executed in front of a live audience), and makes it easy to disable autoplaying videos.

Can you please go and develop all browsers from now on? Pretty please....

The truth is that there should be some better governance of what is acceptable and/or allowable and what isn't online in terms of ads. All of what you've said is correct. I can't handle the ads that go to the extremes of hijacking my computer for either sound or other things.

kurupt87:
How does commenting here work? I can either go off topic and be warned, or be on topic and be warned.

Parasondox:
Good!! I am sick of... wait. Is this a trap? Will I get a warning if I go further or worse, banned?

Asus I am liking you more and more. The Nexus 7 was great and fancy your Transformer Tabs but can't afford it just yet. You are doing good in my books.

Nobody likes advertisements (except in those rare cases when they're very well made and entertaining...what?), but the site can't run without ad revenue. The CoC states that you're fine so long as you don't link to, advocate or admit to using ad-blocking software. If you do browse the site without any ad-blockers (or with The Escapist white-listed) and you see advertisements that auto-play with sound or expand to cover parts of the page when you mouse over them, please take a screenshot and report it (including the page it appeared on) in the Tech Team chat so they can shoot the offending advertisement in the face (they really don't like them either).

martyrdrebel27:

personally, I don't use adblock, but I understand the appeal, and it has nothing to do with being selfish. too many times I've tried to view something online only to have a huge ad blocking a large portion of it, with fake x's as close windows to trick you into clicking it... if ads don't want to be blocked, sites should do a better job of making them unobtrusive.

good example: the new video player here on escapist. when you try to watch ZP, it starts for a few seconds, stops, plays the ad, then goes back to the video... poorly implemented, entirely broken, and just annoying. I suffer through it because about 65% of the time, I want to support the escapist, but I couldn't judge those who choose not to.

Have you consulted this thread? It started working fine for me after I fiddled about with my cache (not in-browser, there was some folder I can't recall on my PC that did it).

Now imagine if websites were to restrict access to people who block their ads... have fun surfing the web on that phone!

Barbas:

martyrdrebel27:

personally, I don't use adblock, but I understand the appeal, and it has nothing to do with being selfish. too many times I've tried to view something online only to have a huge ad blocking a large portion of it, with fake x's as close windows to trick you into clicking it... if ads don't want to be blocked, sites should do a better job of making them unobtrusive.

good example: the new video player here on escapist. when you try to watch ZP, it starts for a few seconds, stops, plays the ad, then goes back to the video... poorly implemented, entirely broken, and just annoying. I suffer through it because about 65% of the time, I want to support the escapist, but I couldn't judge those who choose not to.

Have you consulted this thread? It started working fine for me after I fiddled about with my cache (not in-browser, there was some folder I can't recall on my PC that did it).

no I haven't. I'm of the opinion that I shouldn't have to jump through hoops to correct the mistakes of a poorly programed site.

it's the same idea why some people defend piracy: the pirates provide an objectively better experience. it's not my job to make up for their shortcomings, it's their job to address and correct them.

on a practical note though, I do appreciate your advice and link, I wasn't saying you were wrong or anything, just explaining why that is an inadequate solution to a problem that they created.

martyrdrebel27:

no I haven't. I'm of the opinion that I shouldn't have to jump through hoops to correct the mistakes of a poorly programed site.

it's the same idea why some people defend piracy: the pirates provide an objectively better experience. it's not my job to make up for their shortcomings, it's their job to address and correct them.

on a practical note though, I do appreciate your advice and link, I wasn't saying you were wrong or anything, just explaining why that is an inadequate solution to a problem that they created.

You're not a guinea pig. I understand wanting something that doesn't appear complicated to simply work when you want to use it, and I know the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", but web standards change, sites get updated to meet the new standards and things like the old Flash players get phased out. They've been toiling away behind the scenes to try and get the Escapist and its sister sites up-to-snuff, which is no small task. It's almost inevitable to have problems, so that thread was created for the techs to see who the updated video player does and doesn't work for, narrowing those problems down and eliminating them. Virtually every site problem I've heard people complain of (like intrusive advertisements) aren't known to the tech team or anyone on the staff because they're simply not reported (and in the case of advertisements, they won't see them unless they browse while logged out).

I've rarely seen anything work as intended from day 1, but to get as close to working order as soon as possible, user feedback is required.

littlebunnyfuufuu:

And the Hersey kiss "Sometimes you feel like a nut?" I made a offhand remark about it once, then found out its from like 1997!

That dates back to the 1970s, actually. And it lasted at least 30 years. Possibly, this has less to do with ads brainwashing you and simply hearing anything for potentially 30 years will get it in your head. In 30 years time, you could probably get me singing Justin Beiber songs.

martyrdrebel27:

good example: the new video player here on escapist. when you try to watch ZP, it starts for a few seconds, stops, plays the ad, then goes back to the video... poorly implemented, entirely broken, and just annoying. I suffer through it because about 65% of the time, I want to support the escapist, but I couldn't judge those who choose not to.

Honestly, I stopped consuming much of the site's content a couple of years back because it gave me no end of trouble to play through videos and the ads seemed to be a big problem with that. The same reason I stopped going to Blip. Im more likely to watch their stuff now that it's officially on YouTube as well, but that may solely be because at least I'm used to YouTube's ad service and it's never really given me trouble.

I think adblock and piracy send the wrong message. People may think they're saying "I love this content but I hate the ads," but companies tend to hear "I would watch the ads if you could somehow force me to." So, in a move the hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy predicted ages ago, we have a thumb-waving contest between the advertisers and the adblockers, with more and more annoying ads showing up. Adblock users become part of the problem, then, as advertisers and sites come up with new ways to improve throughput.

I feel like I am taking a chance by commenting here but since the Escapist has seen fit to include a comment thread on this piece I am going to assume that the mods will act in good faith here.

I find it fascinating that the author of this piece has indicated that bandwidth isn't free in regards to paying to post content. Well that goes both ways in a mobile environment for an wireless phone user. Every time a video ad pops up on a mobile user that is data use that is not benefiting them going on their account.

My stance on ads has not changed since my first time on the internet. I have no problem with them so long as they do not affect my browsing experience (ads that cover the screen or have video or sound or any combination of the above are terrible), do not allow easy access to my computer for hackers (flash is a terrible security risk in this) and most importantly do not interfere with my attempts to use the site's services. If any of the above are true I have to seriously question my relationship with that site.

Interesting. I like that adblock has an acceptable type of ad it lets through, but I'm not sure I agree with them on what is acceptable. Here's my list:

Acceptable:
-Banner ads on the top, sides and bottom
-Recommending something within the content (sponsored videos/articles (as long as it is clearly stated))

Unacceptable
-Any kind of tracking or targeted ad
-Any sound
-Ads in the way of what I want to look at
-Ads playing before a video
-Ads that link to other sites

jklinders:
I find it fascinating that the author of this piece has indicated that bandwidth isn't free in regards to paying to post content. Well that goes both ways in a mobile environment for an wireless phone user. Every time a video ad pops up on a mobile user that is data use that is not benefiting them going on their account.

The same problem exists for anyone using services with limited download capacity. Any ad is taking their bandwidth.

bluegate:
Now imagine if websites were to restrict access to people who block their ads... have fun surfing the web on that phone!

That's literally impossible. Certain methods of ad-blocking might be detectable by the parent site but unless they're hacking the viewer's computer there's no way to be sure.

Even trying is just going to lead to the same problem we have with piracy. Those that block ads will do so with specialised software capable of tricking the site into believing they are viewing the ads and those that don't will occasionally have the entire site blocked due to false positives.

Fanghawk:

Ad blocking has always been something of a touchy issue on the internet.

I find it quite funny that this Jimquisition episode should be linked here. "Touchy issue" is the understatement of the bloody century when you look at the comments thread on that video.

It's a selling point, and ads are getting worse and worse. It's bad enough on sites like this one, but there are sites that are built as ad delivery venues. That's not just having poor judgement in advertising, that's that they spread image libraries over pages of clickbait to spam you with ads for as many clicks as possible. My friends have been discovering a couple and reposting them, and it is maddening. I just want to shake them, like, are you this fucking stupid? You can find the original on imgur, this is just a fucking ad.

It is a shame. Ads provided revenue to support websites, but as we've seen with Netflix, if you build it, they will come. If you have something that people really want, and are willing to pay for, and price it well, then people will pay for it. After that, I just can't go back to watching television, the ads are just fucking attrocious.

I'm willing to put up with ads. Banner ads, video ads before videos, even intermission ads for long videos. But the dodgy russian bride type ads, the "ONE SECRET TRICK" etc, that are at best, scams, and at worst, malware, are too much.

Hagi:

bluegate:
Now imagine if websites were to restrict access to people who block their ads... have fun surfing the web on that phone!

That's literally impossible. Certain methods of ad-blocking might be detectable by the parent site but unless they're hacking the viewer's computer there's no way to be sure.

Even trying is just going to lead to the same problem we have with piracy. Those that block ads will do so with specialised software capable of tricking the site into believing they are viewing the ads and those that don't will occasionally have the entire site blocked due to false positives.

Far from impossible, actually. It is a trivial task to check whether ads have been properly loaded on a webpage.

bluegate:

Hagi:

bluegate:
Now imagine if websites were to restrict access to people who block their ads... have fun surfing the web on that phone!

That's literally impossible. Certain methods of ad-blocking might be detectable by the parent site but unless they're hacking the viewer's computer there's no way to be sure.

Even trying is just going to lead to the same problem we have with piracy. Those that block ads will do so with specialised software capable of tricking the site into believing they are viewing the ads and those that don't will occasionally have the entire site blocked due to false positives.

Far from impossible, actually. It is a trivial task to check whether ads have been properly loaded on a webpage.

And loaded doesn't equal displayed. Hell you don't even have to actually load them. Just send the request to the ad-server then ignore the entire reply, no need to even load it into memory.

In the end the server, be it from the ads or the page itself, has absolutely no way to actually check what's on screen or even in memory.

Want to check load events on iframes that have ads? I'll write a plugin that triggers them constantly.
Want to check requests on the ad-server? I'll send as many as you want and ignore the replies.
Using actual postMessage communication between the ad and the page to verify? I'll just move the entire ad slightly offscreen and keep it there.
Going even further? People will fork chromium and/or firefox to counter whatever you're trying and communicate to your server as if everything went fine.

You can't control what's happening on a client unless you literally hack them. There's no magic method of checking what's actually on screen if the program doing that checking isn't under your control.

Hagi:
And loaded doesn't equal displayed. Hell you don't even have to actually load them. Just send the request to the ad-server then ignore the entire reply, no need to even load it into memory.

In the end the server, be it from the ads or the page itself, has absolutely no way to actually check what's on screen or even in memory.

Using Javascript, one can easily check what is and what isn't being displayed on a page and where it is being displayed.

Sure, Javascript is executed on the client's machine and can thus be tempered with, however most average users don't bother with custom plugins and custom compiled applications in order to combat the more creative ways people could try and enforce ads on a website, especially not on a phone.

People using conventional ad blocking software can easily be found out, people who like to create their own custom plugins and what have you can also be found out, although it would take a little more effort, however, seeing as these kinds of people are small in number, putting this extra effort into it doesn't make much sense.

bluegate:

Hagi:
And loaded doesn't equal displayed. Hell you don't even have to actually load them. Just send the request to the ad-server then ignore the entire reply, no need to even load it into memory.

In the end the server, be it from the ads or the page itself, has absolutely no way to actually check what's on screen or even in memory.

Using Javascript, one can easily check what is and what isn't being displayed on a page and where it is being displayed.

Sure, Javascript is executed on the client's machine and can thus be tempered with, however most average users don't bother with custom plugins and custom compiled applications in order to combat the more creative ways people could try and enforce ads on a website, especially not on a phone.

People using conventional ad blocking software can easily be found out, people who like to create their own custom plugins and what have you can also be found out, although it would take a little more effort, however, seeing as these kinds of people are small in number, putting this extra effort into it doesn't make much sense.

And what do you think is going to happen to conventional ad blocking software if measures like this are introduced?

They'll be updated to work around these new limitations. Then I'm sure new measures will be taken. And the ad blocking software will be updated again. The whole cycle repeating as often as needed.

And in that whole mess of additional validations there's going to be more and more false positives and users without ad-blocking software who still get blocked entirely.

In the end it'll be an arms-race without any winners. Because there's no validation that's absolutely certain, that's by definition impossible without full control of the client machine.

It's impossible to force ads on a machine you don't control. And for those lacking the knowledge there's going to be plenty of developers who do have that knowledge and are willing to share, just like happens now with current ad-blocking software.

Nothing will change except for a lot of essentially wasted development hours and false positives that negatively impact user experience.

I'd say good for them, maybe others will follow suit and advertising companies will be forced to reevaluate not making intrusive or annoying ads. Maybe adding variation so it's NOT THE SAME AD ALL THE TIME would work because frankly, I'm tired of the same stuff showing up. This also applies to Youtube's video ads..mix it up for crying out loud!

Just think all you have to do is not design ads that don't:

Play Sound automatically
Open itself and shift around the actual website to make itself larger or force itself into view
Strobe or be garish in nature
Excessively invasive
Pop up in your face
Blanket the page making it a nightmare to click on what you want without fear of getting redirected

If only the people responsible for this disease on the internet would learn that people will accept your ads if they aren't just plain fucking annoying.

I'm not against advertising because it generates profits, but too much advertising kills advertising. but the problem of advertising is that they have no limits. on mobile, there is often more advertising on the screen than the real content.

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