The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where am I?

I was perusing a Dave Barry column just now. I get these links to his column in the Miami Herald. It was one of the more clever things I have done in the last couple of years. Mr. Barry (I bet he would let me call him "Dave" if we ever met) has been entertaining me off and on for a couple of decades.

But this isn't about Dave Barry... or the column I was perusing. Which was very funny but was also about 6 years old. It's about an ad that was on the web page where the column appeared. (Sorry Dave)

The ads change each time you go to the page. The one that caught my eye was offering cruise deals for people in Altamonte Springs. The reason it caught my eye was:

A. I am not in Altamonte Springs.

B. Altamonte Springs is about 75 miles from the nearest cruise port.

Altamonte Springs is near Orlando. And Orlando is about as far from any coast as you can get in Florida. So that bothered me. Why would there be cruises in Altamonte Springs? I can't even think of a lake large enough near there to be worth cruising on. That means the ad is offering cruise deals for residents of and, I assume, visitors to Altamonte Springs. I am neither.

So why did that ad appear? That town is not all that big. Easy. The new "thing" for internet ads is to have them appear to "local" to the page reader.

This is done by tracing IP addresses. Obviously, we are not as anonymous as we think we are (remember that the next time you are drooling over that porn page). Also, the IP addresses are not as accurate a locator as they are portrayed to be on TV. You know, where the super hacker good guy locates the bad guy by his IP address and they storm the apartment building clear across town in about 5 minutes but the guy escaped?

I first noticed this on Blogs that have those widgets that show who is logged in and where they are from. It never once got me right. I was in Lakeland, or Orlando, or Winter Haven (or Winter Park... we have a lot of Winter somethings) but never where I actually was.

But now the ads are starting to annoy me. Especially since they often think I am an overweight woman looking for a way to shed 40 or so pounds.

I thought the internet was supposed to be brilliant.



The Jules said...

I get ads telling me I'm in Peterborough, which is miles away.

Mind you, there are also those handy penis enlargement and viagra adverts.

How do they know?

Douglas said...

Jules - Well, yes, those are useful. I think the this internet thingy is two-way.

Steven said...

1) Install Firefox
2) Install AdBlock Plus
3) Enjoy the intertubes

Douglas said...

Steven - Installed Firefox long ago. Have Adblock Plus installed on laptop. It does not block these ads. Unless I have overlooked some option???

Steven said...

Maybe, maybe Adblock Plus preferences, select Filters -> Add filter subscription... and make sure EasyList (USA) is selected, then select Filters -> Update all subscriptions.

I generally never see ads, but it's obviously not perfect...