Most annoying flash thingy; dealing with web crud.

Via ladyada’s rants,

This thingy is by far the most annoying flash anything I have ever clicked on. Oh, let me count the ways.

1. It has the volume already stuck on eleven. When you click on the “volume control, it puts a little red “X” over the speaker picture, but it doesn’t stop the noise, it just tones it down to 3 or so.

2. it’s got an ad for a CD or something “breathing”, continuously in the upper left corner.

3. it’s got this flashing thingy distracting me in the upper right corner.

4. You cannot possibly sweep your pointer over top of anything without having big bubbles pop-up, phrases in red text tumble out, or photographs expanding out at random moments. Constantly.

5. It emits various jingles at random intervals

6. It’s about electronic circuits or something. I really can’t stand all the distractions to figure it all out.

Holy crap! Excuse the swearing, but wow! I have a battery of tools that I’ve installed on my browser (Firefox) to stop stuff like this from happening, but it all doesn’t work in this case, because the text and the ads are integrated into one humongous flash orgasm of motion, light, and sound, I can’t block just part of it, so the whole site becomes an all or nothing thing.

First off, I use the Flashblock extension to stop flash ads in their tracks. Flashblock gives me a button to press when I (rarely) actually want to see the flash object. Most of the time, there are annoying little flash ads on the sidebars that I rarely click on.

Second, I use the Adbock extension combined with Adblock Filterset G Updater to keep it updated automagicly. In the prefs of that last tool, I keep a custom block list designed to target web-bugs, slow counters, and other such annoyances. For instance, I block anything named 1×1.gif.

I use the Customize Google extensions to block them from doing snoopy stuff, and enhance the search experience by putting links directly to other engines on the same page and really cleaning up and improving the image search function, but it does a number of other things like block what really are the least obtrusive ads on the inter-tubes.

If there’s an annoying animated ad that somehow got through all those defenses, Nuke Anything Enhanced allows me to rightclick-kill anything on the spot.

Also, if I’m on a page such as ell-jay, or I’m forced to go to a web forum to harvest some nugget of information, I can either set Firefox by default not to load images or (more likely) Just hit the ESC key when I arrive at the page. The ESC key freezes every animated gif on the page, and that functionality is already built in to Firefox at the factory, no plug-ins needed.

If I’m somehow caught on Myspace, or other extremely poorly formated unreadable page, using the Bookmarklet “Zap Stylesheets” will at least usually make the page readable again.

All theses tricks allow me to speed read, seek and find information faster, and save me bunches of time by not dealing with distractions. If the whole web was a series of awful flash pages, I’d probably go back to a strict hardcopy only policy. Once you start to tune out the web crud, you’ll never go back.

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