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Never Paint Your House With a Flamethrower

Blocking Firefox is a Bad Idea

A friend of mine forwarded me a link to (no, I won't link to them, because I won't feed this particular bit of link bait.) He asked: what are these people smoking?

My initial response probably makes him wonder what I've been smoking!

AdBlock Plus Is Not The Problem

In a nutshell, at least one webmaster has (and perhaps others have) decided to try to block site visitors who are using Firefox, because of the existence of a popular extension called AdBlock Plus, which has the ability to allow one to visit web sites and never see any ads.

I've been reading up on the issue, and it seems that Firefox-blocking webmasters' position is may be summarized as:

  • Firefox users with AdBlock installed are engaging in "theft" (their words, not mine) because they are visiting sites that depend on commercial advertising revenues to support the site, and
  • AdBlock developers have taken steps to circumvent webmaster attempts to detect and defeat AdBlock use by site visitors.

(There are other, non-essential and even more inflammatory arguments made about some Firefox users and promoters, but I won't bother with them here because they have nothing to do with the matter at hand.)

Making a list, checking it twice

If you dig lists and list-making, here are a couple of quick, fun finds I want to share with you all.

Simple Checklists

Want to keep a list of things for your private consumption, or to share with others? Need reminders?? Try ZingLists.

"My Dog is Better than Your Dog" lists

Want to make a list and share it with the world? Want to rank things by popularity? Want to see how others rank the items on your list? Try UnSpun by Amazon.

AdSense - what can you control?

I see frequent posts on 'My AdSense revenue/EPC/eCPM is/are down, what's going on?' - the conversation often degrades into a slam session asserting that it's all a conspiracy or the phases of the moon may be factor - so, I've been thinking of some of the things that a webmaster can control, and those that can't be controlled.

Here are things I have discovered over the years: It is important to focus on the things that you can control, and not worry too much about the things you can't control directly. I find it more productive to focus on the things that I can change, rather than dwell on something totally out of my reach, such as Google's motives or need to increase this quarter's profits.

Google AdSense - Balancing supply and demand in a dynamic network

A strange thought just popped into my head: What if Google's content network pricing algorithms (smart pricing, etc.) are at least partially driven by the need to ensure adequate inventory ('supply') of ads to run on publisher sites on any given day?

In other words, in order to prevent showing blank ads or PSAs on lots of sites, they need to drop the actual per-click payout rates across the network in order to ensure that advertiser daily budgets are not exceeded too quickly... in order to have the ads shown across the network throughout the day.

Another Anti-virus related SNAFU

In the news: another SNAFU related to malfunctioning anti-virus software. See: Symantec breaks Chinese XP systems due to a false positive.

HD DVD Cracked; firestorm of controversy ensues.

A huge legal battle is forming around the HD-DVD crack posted on numerous websites, including Many sites have pulled the crack (which consists of nothing more than a series of hexadecimal digits making up a decryption key) under legal duress - It appears that started to comply but has reversed its position, citing pressure from the reader base.

So, it appears that a legal battle is brewing, and may be the one to challenge the vastly hideous DMCA in court.

DLL Error: Illegal System DLL Relocation

Find and fix DLL errors

Having DLL problems in Windows XP or Vista? Check our DLL error repair guide.

If you are running Windows XP SP2 (including Media Center and Tablet Edition), and you have applied the Microsoft updates 925902 (MS07-017) and security update 928843 (MS07-008), and you are using Realtek audio components on your system, you may receive this error message when trying to use ElsterFormular, Realtek HD Audio Control Panel, TUGZip, and CD-Tag.

{application name} - Illegal System DLL Relocation

The system DLL user32.dll was relocated in memory. The application will not run properly. The relocation occurred because the DLL C:\Windows\System32\Hhctrl.ocx occupied an address range reserved for Windows system DLLs. The vendor supplying the DLL should be contacted for a new DLL.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for Windows XP!

It looks as if Windows XP's number is up. According to various reports, Microsoft will be pulling the rug out from under Windows XP by forcing manufacturers to stop selling machines with XP by the end of 2008.

DLL Error: esent.dll and wuauclt.exe - Access violations and other errors after user logs in

A friend had me check out his ailing Windows XP Home notebook computer last night. Every time he booted the computer, it would display an endless stream of error messages about wuauclt.exe having caused an access violation. This message would reappear every 30 seconds or so.

Microsoft has a hotfix (see 'related links', below) that is supposed to address this problem, but I was unable to install the hotfix - the system would display an error message saying that it could not verify the system configuration, and therefore could not install the hotfix.

Essential CSS

If you are working with CSS and you use the FireFox browser, you absolutely must check out the lifesaving Web Developer add-in.

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