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ISOCNZ The Next Generation? 25 June 2001 Edition
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Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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Well ISOCNZ members seem to have weeded out much of the dead wood that has cluttered some of its administrative seats in recent years, so here's hoping the Society can now start to address the issues it has so long purported to be concerned with.

I understand that part of the "new look" for ISOCNZ will be a rebranding exercise, clearly designed to distance it from the incompetence, limelighting and infighting that became its trademark in the years since its conception.

Can they pull it off?

Well I have to say that now the small handful of self-interested and incompetent appear to have been shown the door -- I really think they might succeed. And if they are getting their act together, I might even sign up myself.

Ad-Wrapping Your Email and "Forever Ads"
Just when you thought that advertising on the Net had reached unsurpassable levels of irritation -- some bright spark in Australia comes along with yet another way to annoy the hell out of us.

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Reva Networks has decided that it would be really clever to wrap your email messages in advertising.

If the idea takes off, and anyone here is stupid enough to adopt it, even legitimate email could become spam.

Users of free email services such as Hotmail and YahooMail have become used to having the odd advertisement tacked on to their communications -- but this new technology could allow really stupid ISPs to do the same. So, in effect, you'd be paying them to deliver advertisements to you.

And of course, if your ISP -- or the one used by the sender, is involved, you won't be able to filter out these emails either -- because they will still contain valid messages that you almost certainly want to receive.

A few weeks ago I also mentioned those irritating pop-under advertisements which I find irritating. Since then, and no doubt due to the extraordinary success of the X10 ad that created all the furore -- these damned things have begun to spread like a weed.

Even more devilish are the "forever ads" that I've noticed on a few sites.

I call them "forever ads" because I've not seen any other term for them and the way they work means that once you visit a site that has these things on it -- you'll keep getting ad windows popping up for the rest of your browsing session.

I believe it was the porn sites that came up with this evil concept but I've noticed them appearing (and promoting) regular G-rated sites in recent weeks.

They work by spawning another browser window which remains minimized -- you'll see it on your Windows task bar but won't be able to get it to appear on the desktop -- so you can't close it. This window is programmed to spawn a new advertisement every minute or so -- and that's what you'll get.

Even trying to exit from your browser won't help -- because that minimized window is still there on the task-bar. The only way to kill it is to shut down your PC or use Control-Alt-Delete to bring up the task list and nuke the IE or Netscape task.

And why are advertisers flocking to these pop-under and "forever ads"?

Because, unlike banners, they deliver people directly to the advertiser's website -- no click-through required.

I'm seriously thinking of starting a website where people can report sites and advertisers that are using these pop-under or "forever ads" so that they can be boycotted by those who are as irritated with them as I am.


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