In the discussion of why I work on ads people asked whether I use an ad blocker (no) and what I think of them (it's complicated). So, what about ad blockers?
It should be up to you what you see. If you don't want your computer displaying ads, or any other sort of content, you shouldn't have to. At the same time, most sites are offering a trade: you're welcome to our content if you also view our ads.
These are in conflict, but I feel like the resolution could be simple:
Sites could choose to respond to ad blocking by showing a message explaining that ads are what fund the site and requiring users to either subscribe or allow ads if they want to proceed. Or not: the marginal cost of serving a page is trivial and perhaps some visitors will share articles they enjoy. Still others might implement something like the first-n-free approach you see with paywalls, or progressively more obnoxious nagging.
This isn't what we have today:
Some sites (ex: Facebook) try to disguise their ads to get them past blockers. A big site that runs their own ads might scramble the names of resources on every page view, while a smaller site might hire an ad-tech company to proxy their site and stitch in ads. When successful, users are seeing content they specifically said they didn't want.
Some blockers (ex: uBlock Origin but not AdBlock) hide "please disable your ad blocker or subscribe" messages. For example, 37% of uBlock Origin issues are people pointing out anti-adblock banners it misses (ex: #9005, #9006, #9007). When successful, sites are serving content to users they specifically said they didn't want to serve.
I don't have any sort of proposal here; I'm not proposing a browser feature or government regulation. But in thinking about how future decisions might affect ads, I'm going to be most excited about ones that support (1) and (2).
An Android phone (likely iPhone too, but I don't know those) can record audio from any standard ("class compliant") USB audio interface. This may bring up images of spending hundreds of dollars on professional audio equipment, but if you only need a single channel and don't need a preamp (or you already have mixing equipment) you can use a "USB soundcard":
"I work on ads at Google"Someone recently asked me why I work on ads, and I wanted to write up something more thorough than my comment. (Despite being a work topic this is a personal post and I'm speaking only for myself.)
"Can I ask why? I honestly can't understand how anyone could."
One answer is that I'm earning to give: I give half of what I earn to the most effective charities I can find, and the more I earn the more I can give. This is not the full answer, however, since when people ask me this they're generally coming from a perspective of viewing ads (or perhaps online ads) as negative, and the question is more like "why do you choose to work on something bad?"
The thing is, I think advertising is positive, and I think my individual contribution is positive. I'm open to being convinced on this: if I'm causing harm through my work I would like to know about it.
So: why is advertising good? I mean, isn't it annoying when sites show you ads instead of whatever it is you want to read? The question is, what is the alternative? I see two main funding models:
With the baby getting closer, about a month out, I put the seats in for practice. I tried two different ways:
As of today, all the adults in our house have had at least one shot, so we're starting to think about how this should change how we'll handle risk.
One issue with three-row vehicles is that the third row is hard to get into. If that row is rear-facing, like in a traditional station wagon, you get in through the rear door. If it is front facing, you either remove one of the seats from the middle row, or have a way to slide or fold them out of the way. This is awkward for the same reason that the rear seats in a two door car are awkward, and there we fix it by adding a second row of doors. Why don't we see six door cars?
Car manufacturers have made some:
Checker Aerobus, also produced with eight doors
You also see aftermarket conversions:
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