How To Disable Windows 10 Lock Screen Adverts

Windows 10 has caused a debate amongst users, both those who have adopted the new operating system and those who have decided to stay with the older operating systems. One of the most contested things about Windows 10 was its adverts, including those found in its start menu. They even added adverts to solitaire (shown above). People aren’t too keen on the adverts and if you don’t like the ones that appear on your lock screen you can disable them by following the guide below.

It should be noted that the adverts that have appeared on users lock screens only appeared earlier this year, advertising Windows or Xbox games from the Windows Store. People dislike the ads for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that they appear as if they are just normal apps you have on your PC, they don’t even look like advertisements most of the time. The adverts are provided as part of Spotlight, a feature designed to customise your lock screen. If you prefer you didn’t get adverts, you can follow the guide below to remove them.

First things first, you need to go to the settings page and find the option titled Personalization (should have a monitor icon next to it). Once you get to the options you need to select Lock Screen on the left-hand side, something will open that looks innocent and gives you the option to change your lock screen image. Selecting Picture is all you need to do to disable the adverts.

Seems simple right? The catch is that when Microsoft have another ad for you in a weeks time, by default when it’s pushed to your computer Spotlight will re-enable (see why people are getting annoyed yet?).

To disable the recurring Spotlight you need to disable the “Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen” option that can be found at the bottom once you’ve changed your selection from windows spotlight.

Thanks to Digital trends for pointing out these tips to everyone, and even going so far as to point out that if you check out the start tab of the Personalization screen, you can even disable the Start menu ad’s by disabling the “occasionally show suggestions” option.

Microsoft isn’t making many friends with their decisions to include ad’s (intrusive ones included) in their operating system and isn’t helping it by hiding the choice to disable them behind obscure names and enabling features whenever they want.

For One Day Ads Will Be Replaced By Anti-Censorship Messages

We all enjoy browsing the internet, viewing all your favourite sites and then suddenly you find a pop up appear advertising a new product that you “must buy” or a new game that you even get a “special offer” when you decide to close the window. The solution people use is an Ad blocker, making sure that only the sites we trust can show us adverts, but in a new move Amnesty International is teaming up with AdBlock to show support in the form of anti-censorship messages.

March 12th is World Day Against Cyber Censorship and to mark this day Amnesty International, one of the most well-known human rights organisations, is teaming up with AdBlock to replace ad’s with something a more thought-provoking.

Instead of Ad’s for the day you will receive messages from artist Ai Weiwei, Pussy Riot and Edward Snowden. With everyone the messages coming from being large, public and actively against government censorship.

AdBlock’s CEO Gabriel Cabbage says the concept is to provoke thoughts about online privacy and will only last a single day. In his statement, Cubbage encouraged people to “take a moment to consider that in an increasingly information-driven world, when your right to digital privacy is threatened, so is your right to free expression.”.

TMZ Falls Victim to Malvertising Campaign

Malicious online activity in the form of hacks, malware and viruses have seen an exponential increase over the past 5 years, the rise in the number of consumers online coupled with a lax understanding concerning the dangers of the many cyber threats has led to more and more victims. Malvertising is one such example of how online advertisements could be hijacked and used to spread Malware through Malicious ads.

This technique has now found a new victim after online gossip site TMZ was found to be harbouring malicious online advertisements. For those who are unfamiliar with the site, TMZ is a hugely popular website that features expose, gossip and general breaking news concerning the world of celeb, the site pulls in over 30 million visitors a month and is a major attraction for online revenue, below is a summary of the attack.

It has been observed that the attack has the same ad chain pattern; this is from “ContextWeb (PulsePoint) to Smarty Ads and eventually various rogue advertisers”. The latter is leveraging CloudFlare’s infrastructure with the aim of hiding the servers location as well as encrypting the advertisement delivery to consumers via the website.

 

 

The malicious ad is pretty cheap to deliver when you consider it costs “$0.19 (£0.12) for one thousand user impressions (CPM)” 

These attacks are designed to be as cheap as possible with the aim of targeting high impact traffic targets, on a side note, many websites try to discourage users from using popular ad blockers when accessing their sites, perhaps malicious advertisements leading to exploit kits is not the best deterrent.

Images courtesy of malwarebytes and nickcannon

Brave – The Browser That Blocks All External Ads

Created by Brendan Eich, co-founder and ex-CEO of Mozilla, yesterday revealed the new “Brave” browser, which disables all online ads and their associated tracking. This may sound too good to be true for users of ad blockers, and in a way, it is.

The crucial selling point of the Brave browser is to fight the privacy concerns raised with typical online ads, but replacing them with their own served ads. While this may just seem like trading one evil for another, Eich argues that Brave addresses the privacy concerns raised by targeted ads and those used to track users. Instead, all of Brave’s advertisements are anonymous and served from a private cloud in response to the browser’s requests, which share no user related information beyond there being an ad space to fill. Eich believes that websites that serve ads to their users in exchange for content cause an agency dilemma, making decisions for their users. Brave solves this issue as Brave users knowingly view their ads and do not have their data unwillingly shared.

The Brave browser is currently in version 0.7, meaning it is still an incomplete product aimed for use by developers and early adopters, a final launch date is yet to be determined. Brave is available for both Windows and Mac OSX as well as a mobile version for Android. Interestingly, despite Eich’s background with Mozilla, the desktop versions of Brave are based on Google’s open-source Chromium project.

Whether Brave’s appeal to privacy can win it a market share in the highly competitive browser market arena remains to be seen. With Eich’s strong credentials on the topic of the web, Brave could just be the next big thing with privacy becoming a more and more contested topic.

Mozilla to Remove Ads From Firefox (Eventually)

Over the last year, Mozilla has been experimenting with integrating ads into its popular browser, Firefox, in an attempt to integrate them into the tiles on new tab page (and presumably earn more revenue). But now, Mozilla’s VP of content services, Darren Herman has released a blog post revealing plans for the advancement of content in Firefox, and this future will no longer include ads.

According to Herman, the decision to move away from providing advertisement is the result of a learning process within the Content Services Team, about what users want from their products and the web. Users wish to experience content that is “relevant, exciting and engaging” and the removal of ads will both allow the space to be used to provide such content, as well as letting the team focus on getting the new systems for content discovery right. This may not be the end of advertisement in Firefox for good, however, with Herman feeling that “Advertising in Firefox could be a great business, but it isn’t the right business for us at this time”.

The ads won’t be gone immediately either, as Mozilla will still honour their commitments and obligations to their existing advertisement partners, with the presence of ads winding down over the coming months.

Online Trolls and Racists Being Targeted With Billboard Ads Near Their Homes

Online bullies, trolls and other people hiding behind the half-anonymity of the internet while insulting people have been a cancer on our society for quite some time and it probably won’t be stopped anytime soon either. We got a lot of stupid people in this world and they don’t seem like they’re learning. In Brazil however, they now risk their comments to be blown up and shown on billboards near their homes for everyone to read.

The campaign is called Virtual racism, Real consequences and it is backed by the civil rights organisation Criola. The group collects comments from Facebook and Twitter and uses geolocation tools to find the location from where the racist comments were posted. The group then buys billboard space nearby and posts the comments in huge letters for everyone to see. The group does blur the photo and names out, but the message comes across.

Translation: “A black girl called Maju. You can’t complain about prejudice.”

“The campaign is intended to encourage people to speak out and report racism,” said Criola’s founder Jurema Werneck. “Those people [who post abuse online] think they can sit in the comfort of their homes and do whatever they want on the internet. We don’t let that happen. They can’t hide from us, we will find them,”

The campaign was launched in July when a prime-time weather presenters photo, who happens to be coloured, was posted on the channel’s Facebook page and sparked a wide range of racists comments. Ironically, the same day was the Brazilian national day against racial discrimination. The billboard campaign has been running ever since and it has gotten mostly positive feedback since launch as well as launched a debate about the issue, which probably is the best effect they could have hoped for. Dialogue is the start of getting along.

Translation: “If she bathed, she didn’t get grimy.”

Does a comment on the internet cause less damage than a direct offence? Maybe for those who make the comments, but those who suffer the abuse experience the same prejudice and effect. I personally think that it is very sad that a campaign like this is needed in our day and age. We as the human race should have evolved beyond such neanderthal-ish behaviour by now. We are all humans and we all share the same small planet, it is about time that we all finally get along.

Translation: “I arrived home smelling black people.”

EE Announce Plans to Block “Intrusive ads”

United Kingdom based mobile network EE (Merger of Orange and T-Mobile) have announced plans to offer ad blocking services to anyone using the mobile network.

Olaf Swantee, Everything Everywhere (EE) CEO, demonstrated this new feature himself showing what would happen to the Web if his company did block mobile ads. This feature is far from revolutionary, desktop users have been blessed with this for many years in the form of the popular Adblock Plus. In recent years, this software has made its way to mobiles and in the latest iOS 9, Apple has included a similar blocking feature for certain content.

The main use for Ad Blockers is more prominent on free to use games and services such as YouTube where an Ad may pop up between each song or every half way through a long video. By doing this, you are reducing the revenue being paid to the developers and uploaders of the content which is why we have seen a sharp rise in Pay-to-use services such as YouTube Red.

Swantee stated the aim was not to block all mobile ads, but the more intrusive ones. By this, we are assuming those highly annoying full-page ads that you sometimes encounter while trying to view certain webpages.

eMarketer predicted that UK marketers would spend around £3.2bn on mobile marketing for 2015. This list could become a marketing tool for EE who could then block all ads and sell specific ad spaces to selected companies.

Google Brings Web Ads to the Streets of London

Google’s DoubleClick online advertising is one of the most widespread platforms on the internet and Google is now taking on the streets of London in a new proof of concept trial. The company started testing the technology that automatically chooses and provides ads on billboards at multiple locations in London. The billboards will collect data in real-time, including weather, audience, travel information, and local events and then select which ads to display.

Google placed these new billboards in some of the most highly trafficked areas of London, including Waterloo Station and Euston Road. Other advertising companies have tested similar technologies in the past, but it never amounted to anything. Google has far higher ambitions, of this we can be sure. And while this only is a trial run, I’m sure that targeted marketing will hit our streets in the near future.

There seems to be a common misconception according to DoubleClick’s Tim Coller, via TheVerge, that merging the web and out-of-home ad industries would be a straightforward process. This trial is designed to show the companies involved what they need to change in order to make it easier to combine the two.

YouTube To Hide Some New Videos Behind Subscription Serivce

YouTube has had a lot of news recently regarding its finance and more particular how people on it have asked for money or how it hopes to make some more money. Recently an indie games studio approached a YouTuber who requested around $22,000 to publicly review their game.

It has long been on the cards that YouTube may look at a subscription based model and most recently there were discussions about YouTube Red, an ad-free version of YouTube. Now it could see YouTube going up against the likes of Amazon Prime and Netflix with a new subscription service with its own programming. Expected to release more details at an event in Los Angeles next Wednesday (October 21st) the subscription service could see them bolstering the revenue they gain from their free to use but ad-supported site.

YouTube has suggested many things about the service, that it will support and contain shows from top creators while also encouraging anyone that makes an income from YouTube ads to join the service.

Are ads more trouble than they are worth? Could you see yourself playing your movies through YouTube? How much would it have to cost to interest you?

 

Ads Found in Windows 10 Start Menu

Windows Insider members who have access to the new 10565 build of Windows 10 have noticed that the Start Menu now carries ads for Windows Store apps. The adverts appear on the left-hand side of the menu, below the list of ‘Most used’ programs, as ‘Suggested’ apps.

“We will continue to offer Windows Ads in Apps on Windows 10. Beyond that, we do not currently have plans for advertising in Windows 10.,” Microsoft told The Inquirer. “Lock and Start content is programmed by Microsoft to help customers learn and discover new features and apps to enhance their Windows 10 experience; app publishers are not paying to be featured.”

So, while the ‘Suggested’ ads can so far only be seen by Windows Insider members that have downloaded the new build, it seems that Microsoft plans to keep the feature when 10565 is rolled out to standard Windows 10 users. Thankfully, there is a way to turn them off.

A right-click on the offending item will bring up a submenu that allows users to either hide a specific ad, or disable them all. This can also be achieved by navigating to Settings > Personalization > Start and toggle ‘Occasionally show suggestions in Start’ switch to ‘Off’.

Images courtesy of Beta News.

Silent Ads Are Slowing Your Smartphone and Stealing Data Allowance

Ever wondered why your battery is going down faster or your data allowance is just evaporating, though you’re not really using your smartphone that much? The answer is ads… and a lot of them. You may not see them on-screen, but research company Forensiq has said that they are there and found over 5,000 such apps available on iOS and Android.

Forensiq tells that an estimated 20 ads per minute are delivered, summing up to 700 ads per hour. That’s quite a lot, even though they are not displayed on your screen. This may not seem that bad, but take note that the ads need internet connection to work. So when you are not home and have no Wi-Fi available, your data plan is just wasted on ads you don’t want and can’t stop.

The research company notes that a single app may be able to download 2GB of data per day. In addition to data allowance loss, poor battery life will be a side effect of the apps that keep downloading and shuffling these ads. So you not only lose a lot of your monthly data allowance, but you can also find yourself with a dead phone when you need it.

A full report has been made on this issue, but it does not mention any specific apps in question. However, Google Play recently suspended three apps that had the above mentioned behaviour, namely Waxing Eyebrows, Celebrity Baby and Vampire Doctor. The latter are not available on iOS, though other similar apps are present on Apple’s store too. You may think that Apple is more strict when it comes to their store, but truth be told, silent ad-serving is not on the company’s priority list when it comes to choosing what goes on the AppStore and what doesn’t.

While you don’t really have a way of detecting these apps, you can start to take notice of how much data your phone uses daily and how much battery individual apps use. I know the Google Store has some pretty neat apps for that, but even so, the native built-in features in the latest iOS and Android operating systems should be enough to give you an idea if you have silent ad-serving apps installed.

Thank you MacNN for providing us with this information

Hulu Planning An Ad Free Subscription?

On paper, the media streaming service Hulu is a great idea, either watch selected shows for free or pay a $7.99 (£5.12) fee to view an expanded array of content. But the problem lies with United States based consumers who pay a subscription but are still subjected to commercials within the lowest tier package, which I think is a cheek considering if you pay a price, you should not have to view ads as well.

Recent reports have suggested that Hulu is planning to respond to this by offering consumers a new subscription package which wipes out adverts altogether. There is speculation that Hulu would be willing to market these new tiers at between $12 and $14 dollars (£7 – £9) approx.

This on paper sounds an improvement, but in order for the rumoured change to be successful, the media streaming service will need to re-think an additional subscription tier by the name of “Showtime”. Which for an additional $8.99 dollars (£5.76) a month on top of the current subscription, consumers can watch a larger library of content which is commercial free.

On top of this there is also another problem, technically, Hulu is only available in the US, Yes we all know where we are going here so I won’t say. So, if Hulu wishes to grow its business model, it will need to offer content to consumers in more countries legally. I do feel Hulu has been dwarfed by Netflix in terms of territories and also notoriety with the most logical outcome being one subscription price for all content.

Will these possible changes be a turn off for consumers? Well here’s the killer, Hulu is owned by many of the TV companies which include-21st Century Fox, Comcast, and the Walt Disney Company. These conglomerates have a vested interest in marketing the product with commercials in order to garner increased revenue. If more people migrate to ad free alternatives and are still able to watch the latest shows at the expense of the traditional TV, what incentive is there for Hulu to move completely away from adverts?

Now, as I write this, I am not condoning or supporting piracy in any way, the facts are this, unless Hulu changes and implements a service which is completely ad free. How will Hulu market the product at new subscribers when said consumers are able to watch the same content, which is available ad free to download illegally or to view on other legal services?

Companies need to drastically re-educate themselves on the effectiveness of adverts in the Internet generation; otherwise there will be a steep decline in revenue as streaming services becomes the prime destination for consumer viewing habits.

Thank you Gamespot for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of gadget review

Apple Contemplates Targeting Ads Based On Bank Balance

How much do you earn? I expect you to tell me it’s none of my business, and you would be right, this information should be private to each individual. But Apple might see things differently and are contemplating targeting specific adverts which are based on your bank balance.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have awarded Apple a data mechanism by the name of the “targeted ad technology patent” This means that Apple is reported to have devised a way to analyse each user’s available credit in order. This is with the aim of pin pointing said users ability to purchase an advertised product. Basically, Apple is not going to target a Lamborghini at a consumer if they can afford a smart car.

What’s interesting about this patent is how far this ability might go if it’s implemented; would Apple install a tracking piece of software with the aim of analysing each user’s bank balance? Or would it be only confined to own branded services for example Apple Pay etc.

Apples CEO Tim Cook recently gave a speech at a dinner hosted by the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) which he stated; “companies are gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be”. So which Apple will it be, the fun-loving and customer friendly brand, or cash for data and spying on consumers financial affairs conglomerate?

You will know if it’s implemented if you attempt to buy a Rolex and Apple advertises you a Timex.

Thank You Gizmodo and the US Patent and Trademark office for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of E&T

Facebook Messenger Gets its First Game

Facebook seems to be thinking of allowing games on its Messenger platform in the near future. The first one spotted on the platform is said to be Doodle Draw Game and although it’s nothing fancy, it still is the first one to pave the way for developers eyeing the platform’s potential for game development.

Doodle Draw is not the first third-party app that can be found on Facebook’s Messenger platform. The company allowed other developers to add apps that allow users to share GIFs and sound effects in the past, but the game addition really opened the market for the platform.

This is not necessarily good news for everyone and Facebook should tread carefully here too. We all are familiar with how game developers tend to spread the word and promote their games with inviting spams and automatic wall posts for achievements or other in-game activities. I don’t think users will enjoy the same marketing strategy on their Messenger too.

Still, this marks the beginning of a whole new market to both Facebook and other game developers out there. Although Facebook is not currently taking anything out of what developers earn from their apps on Facebook Messenger, they may be able to start making a small fortune in the future out of it. Let’s just hope people will still be using their platform and not run away from all the pesky marketing ads.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Google Changes how Flash Ads Work in Chrome

Despite helping pay for web content, auto-playing Flash ads have become the bane of internet users. While third party plugins have long offered the ability to control Flash elements, Google is now baking in the ability to pause auto-playing Flash ads right into Chrome. Starting with the latest Chrome Beta build, pausing non-central plugin elements will become the default setting. Pausing auto-play ads is one thing but Chrome being able to determine which Flash elements are ads and which ones are the content makes the feature so much more useful.

In their blog post announcing the new feature, Google states that the main purpose of adding this ability into Chome is to help improve battery life. By reducing the number of flash elements being played, the processor has a lower workload, reducing power consumption and improving battery life. Flash has long been notorious for consuming processor cycles and being a performance hog so disabling unnecessary elements is sure to help not only battery life but those on older machines.

It’s important to note that it’s not clear how Chrome will determine which elements need to be paused. The feature also isn’t meant to block ads necessarily as a Flash ad that plays in the main video frame before the real video likely won’t be blocked. HTML 5 playable ads and other ads also won’t be blocked so this feature won’t be a replacement for ad-blockers. Nethertheless it’s interesting to see an advertising firm pushing out features that could reduce their ad revenue.

Google’s ‘Buy Buttons’ Coming Soon on Smartphones

Search Giant will soon introduce ‘Buy Buttons’ on smartphones that will live inside an advertisement which generally lives above normal results in a search results. On clicking those sponsored results, you will be redirected to a different Google’s hosted special purchasing page which will let you customize the product such as type and delivery options and will also let you store payment information just in case you would like to repeat a similar purchase in future.

Reportedly, the program came into existence in the month of December last year. This feature will initially be available on a very small percentage of the search traffic. Google is apparently not pushing this feature on the desktop version, it will just dwell on the mobile version of google search which makes sense because “more people are visiting from their phones than desktops”.

As Google already caches product information such as pricing, specification to some extent and offers sellers a way to promote their stores through Google Shopping. You can make a purchase of things from this new system without ever actually visiting a store’s site which is troublesome for companies that want control over customer information or which provides options such that end customer ends up buying some other thing. The first partners could be Macy’s.

We currently don’t have any more information on roll-out dates, but we’ll keep you up to date as soon as we do.

Thank you The Verge and Wall Street Journal for providing us with this information.

Free Ad-Supported Subscription Will Not Be Available on Apple’s New Music Service

Apple will launch a new music service later this year, courtesy of its Beats acquisition. It is know that part of the service has been done by beats, namely its former Beats Music streaming service, and now Apple is going to add its final touch.

However, new reports suggest that the streaming service will not have a free subscription pack, such as the one on Spotify. For those unaware, Spotify offers its users the ability to listen to music for free, as long as they can put up with its ads and are willing to use just a few skips a day.

Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine and Apple’s Eddy Cue are said to have been telling music labels that they can put them “behind a paywall”. This will draw the attention of a lot of people, since it is known that labels are currently not happy with people having access to music freely through services such as YouTube and Spotify.

If this is the case, then Apple’s streaming service will turn into the best place for labels to push exclusive releases, delaying records’ arrival to other music streaming services and in turn giving Apple an advantage in the music industry and the upper hand against competition.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Samsung TVs Inserting Ads into Third-Party Movies and Shows

Reports have emerged that Samsung Smart TVs have started interrupting third-party content – such as film or television streamed to the television from a computer – to insert Pepsi adverts.

Many disgruntled users have been posting the same complaint on the r/plex subreddit, Plex being the Samsung Smart TV media centre. NexVentor commented, “Every movie I play 20-30 minutes in it plays the Pepsi ad, no audio but crisp clear ad. It has happened on 6 movies today.” Another dozen or so people have reported the same problem.

The same Pepsi ad has also be affecting users of the Australian TV streaming service Foxtel while using the service through a Samsung Smart TV. Foxtel has assured customers that “this absolutely should not be happening and is being escalated immediately.”

Samsung is yet to comment on the matter.

Source: Gigaom

BitPay Launches First TV Campaign to Promote Bitcoin

More and more is pointing in the direction that Bitcoins are here to stay. We recently saw the eRetailer iDIAMONDS starting to accept the virtual currency and now the electronic payment service BitPay launched the first TV Campaign to promote the virtual currency. The campaign is aimed at making Bitcoin transactions more appealing to business owners. The ads are conceived by Felton Interactive Group and the two new ads promote Bitcoin and BitPay as a secure alternative to traditional credit-card transactions.

Both spots are focused on business owners who want to increase their revenue by not paying credit-card transaction fees, which BitPay mitigates using Bitcoin. Based on the spots’ positive feedback on social media, FIG founder Ryan Felton told Campaign that the ads may run again later in January.

BitPay Television Commercial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm7wgmwKiAk

BitPay Professionals Commercial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxknhTa8Zx8

At this point, I’d like to thank youtube for showing me ads before I watched these ads, that’s service.

Thanks to CampaignLive for providing us with this information

Image and video courtesy of BitPay

ASA Tackles Vloggers Misleading Advertising

The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency has asked popular YouTube vloggers Dan and Phil to remove an ad for Oreo cookies, after it was found to be misleading.

The ad in question featured the pair competing with each other to see how quickly they could lick the filling from some Oreos. The ASA found however that the ad didn’t really appear to be an ad, possibly misleading viewers into believing Dan and Phil didn’t actually receive compensation for the video.

The video was never actually removed in the end, due to the fact that Dan and Phil complied with requests from ASA by placing an annotation on the video that reads “This is a paid for advertisement” (see below).

“In this case because the ads were on online video channels that were usually non-promotional, the commercial intent should have been made clear before viewers clicked on the content”. – The ASA.

The incident has raised the issue of advertisers using YouTube personalities without actually making it very clear that such content is advertising. The ASA says that this is misleading viewers and could damage the trust they hold in their favourite YouTubers.

Source: The Independent

Ad-Less Social Network Ello Selling T-Shirts to Pay the Bills

Ello, the currently invite-only (I’m still waiting for mine) social network, has decided it needs to sell t-shirts to cover its costs.

The site has always insisted it will forever remain ad-free and this statement has puzzled more than a few people, producing the question of exactly how will Ello make money? The shirts are being made in partnership with artist community focused e-commerce site Threadless. Artists who submit t-shirt designs to Threadless are being encouraged to design shirts themed to Ello’s logo and brand. The Threadless store will cycle through limited edition designs each month, with a a group of standard black and white shirts being sold alongside those for $25 each.

It could be said that Ello can’t really survive on shirt sales alone, so it’ll be interesting to see what else they have up their sleeve to keep their “Public Benefit Corp” alive.

Source: Re/Code

Google Glitch Leads to Ad-Less Sites, Millions Lost In Ad Revenue

Google encountered an embarrassing glitch Wednesday morning when their ads caused major slowdowns to some big name websites. Twitter users reported sites including the BBC and USA Today displaying the problem.

The glitch appeared to be affecting a service called DoubleClick for Publishers, which provides ads that appear alongside news articles. The error, dubbed by people in tweets as #dfpocalypse  meant some sites had to go without their ads to keep everything running normally. Google issued a statement to CNBC stating “our engineers are already on this, and will be providing an update ASAP.”

Reports suggested the problem had been resolved after 1 hour and 25 minutes. We can only wonder how much money Google and those websites lost in that brief time.

Source: Mashable

Rate Your Advertisements – Facebook Asking for Feedback

How often do you find yourself careering through the advertisements located on your Facebook feed? Not often is likely the answer. But if you do, Facebook kindly asks now that you rate the advert’s effectiveness before you scroll on.

Facebook are trying to help companies with their ads. I personally manage a Facebook page and every time I go to make a new advertisement, Facebook will hit you with a bunch of suggestions – be it wording aspects, target audience or even how much money they think you should spend per day, session or advertisement as a whole. Now, if you click “I don’t want to see this” on an advertisement in your feed, Facebook will pop up a little questionnaire for you to answer, asking you to “help them understand the problem”.

People often joke about a “Facebook premium” service where users pay a certain price per week or month, in order to view Facebook advertisement free. We want to know your thoughts on this – do you think this is a justifiable solution to the increasing barrage of ads in your social media experiences? Or do you simply not care as you’re wanting to use a free service.

We’ve seen an increase in Facebook advertisements as of late, but they’re not the only social media provider going for increased revenue. We’ve reported on Twitter looking for their slice of the pie and even Snapchat joining the fray.

Image courtesy of Facebook Newsroom

Yahoo! Infected With Malicious Ads, Targets Great Britain, Romania, France and Pakistan

Fox-IT, a security product and service company in the Netherlands, stated that computers visiting Yahoo on January 3 were infected with malware from the Yahoo ad network ads.yahoo.com. Fresh analysis indicates that Yahoo has a handle on the problem and that the attack traffic has decreased substantially. The ads were in the form of IFRAMEs hosted on the following domains:

  • blistartoncom.org (192.133.137.59), registered on 1 Jan 2014
  • slaptonitkons.net (192.133.137.100), registered on 1 Jan 2014
  • original-filmsonline.com (192.133.137.63)
  • funnyboobsonline.org (192.133.137.247)
  • yagerass.org (192.133.137.56)

The ads redirected users to a site using the Magnitude exploit kit, all of which appears to come from a single IP address in the Netherlands, which is perhaps related to why Fox-IT’s customers were affected so quickly. The exploit kit at the site exploits vulnerabilities in Java on the client to install a variety of malware such as ZeuS, Andromeda, Dorkbot/Ngrbot, Advertisement clicking malware, Tinba/Zusy and Necurs.

Fox-IT’s research shows the 83% of the attacks targeted Romania, Great Britain, France and Pakistan. There were none attacks however in the US. They speculate that the distribution was made through a function of the Yahoo! ads which was affected by the malware. Fox-IT recommends blocking the 192.133.137/24 and 193.169.245/24 subnets until further information is available.

Thank you ZDNet for providing us with this information

Face Scanning & Targets Ads To Be Served At Tesco

Supermarket petrol stations are nothing new here in the UK, many of which are unmanned drive through style stations where you just pop your credit card in before you use the pump. Adverts at the pump are nothing new, nor are cameras in petrol stations, but it is how they’ve going to combine all these aspects that caught our attention.

Face scanning technology will be put into place at the petrol stations to check if you are male or female, even make a guess at how old you are. It does this so it can then serve you up targeted advertisements on a nearby display. It all sounds a little futuristic and a little creepy, but a Tesco spokesperson assures us that the tech will not be used to record data, identify customers in any way, will not have facial recognition or eyeball scanners, it simply estimates age and gender.

People will no doubt think this is an out rage, but that kind of thing happens already. Just take your internet browsing for example, targeted ads are common place there, as well as on TV.

Personally I really don’t mind, I welcome these modern changes, I’d rather see an advert that interests me than one that doesn’t.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of 192.

Google Want To Use Your Face And Name For Adverts, Here’s How To Stop Them

Recent plans were set in motion by Google that would see them able to use your name and face for advertisements, a sort of endorsement from online reviews and all in all, it is pretty harmless. Naturally not everyone will be happy with sharing this information and since Google are such good sports about it all, it is in fact very simple to opt out of this one.

Three super easy steps for you to follow:

It really is that simple, of course you may already find that the checkbox is already clear, in which case you don’t have to change a thing! Many users are reporting that they’ve not had to change it, while some have.

Quick and simple, unless Google decide to make it more complicated in the near future of course.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.