I get no ads

Apparently Facebook has ads. Who knew?

I didn’t, because I get no ads. Well, very few. That’s because I block ’em.

I’m sympathetic to the “Advertising pays our bills” argument. That’s why I don’t block them all. But I’m not sympathetic to the whizzing, whirring, animated ads you often find. How am I supposed to concentrate my attention on anything with that sort of shit going on? Of course, that’s their intention. THEY want your attention. They don’t get mine.

I’m even less sympathetic to ads with sound!

There are other reasons to block ads too.

  • Pages load quicker. Who do you think pays for the bandwidth they use? You do!
  • No third-parties looking over your shoulder. Most ads are placed by third-party sites you’ve never heard of and have no intention of visiting. So why let them into your browser?

Blocking ads is as simple as installing a browser extension. There’s a few of these around, but I use AdBlock on Chrome or Safari, and AdBlock Edge on Firefox.

(I used to use AdBlock Plus. Then they started white-listing sites and generally acting like a mini ad agency themselves. You can read about the controversy here.)

AdBlock and AdBlock Edge both work in a similar way. You get a little icon up beside your URL line.





Ads are blocked by default, but click on the icon for other options.











You can easily unblock individual pages, or whole websites.

What difference does it make? Check it out …




(Click pics to enlarge)


Experts don’t always get it right


“The Americans may have need of the telephone, but we do not.
We have plenty of messenger boys.”

Sir William Preece,
chief engineer of the Post Office (Britain), 1878


“No balloon and no aeroplane will ever be practically successful.”

Lord Kelvin (William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin),
newspaper interview, 1902


“It must be accepted as a principle that the rifle, effective as it is, cannot replace the effect produced by the speed of the horse, the magnetism of the charge and the terror of cold steel.”

British Cavalry Training Manual, 1907


“Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”

New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard, ‘The father of US rocketry’, 1921


“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.”

Marechal Foch, Professor of Strategy, French War Studies College, 1911


“There is no reason why anybody would want a computer in their home.”

Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977


“So [Steve Wozniak and I] went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.'”

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc.


“Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”

Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946


“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.”

Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872


“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”

Charles Duell, Commissioner, US Patent Office, 1899


More patent absurdities



There’s little doubt the US patent system is badly broken. Last time I detailed how Amazon had recently patented a photographic technique that’s been in use for over a century. Here are some some more patent howlers from the past …


Apple patent the rectangle

November 2012

US patent D670,286 grants Apple patent on a rectangle with rounded corners.

The legend below the drawings for their ”Portable Display Device” patent says, ”The broken lines in the Figures show portions of the portable display device which form no part of the claimed design …” So essentially they’ve patented the rectangle.


Incidentally, this amazing technological breakthrough was the work of no less than 15 people, including the late Steve Jobs.


Microsoft patents email links

September 2011

US patent 8,028,032 ” …detects a link to a web-site in an email message [and] causes content from the web-site to be visualized on a common display area…”

patent emailHow do they think of this stuff?



Jackie Lister patents the tree stump

October 1998

No, no, no! It’s a “Wildlife Feeding Device”.

patent tree stump


Eugene Ross patents the stick

March 2002

If you can patent a tree stump, why not a stick? Sorry, it’s actually an “Animal Toy”.

patent animal toy

An apparatus for use as a toy by an animal, for example a dog, to either fetch, carry or chew …


Dog Nose Art

July 2009

This patent contains no less than 17 detailed drawings of an invention “directed to providing a dog nose smudge laminate for people such as dog admirers who want a permanent reminder of a pet dog.”

patent dog nose


Mouse device with a built-in printer

November 2003

I’d love to see the A3 version of this beauty!

patent mouseprinter


Method of swinging on a swing

April 2002

Patent number US 6,368, 227 “…in which a user positioned on a standard swing suspended by two chains from a substantially horizontal tree branch induces side to side motion by pulling alternately on one chain and then the other.”
patent swing

Stop that immediately kids. We haven’t a license for it!


McDonald’s tries to patent the sandwich

December 2005

It might have been around since 1762, but the Earl of Sandwich never thought to patent it. McDonald’s did. In a mere 55 pages. Including illustrations and flowcharts.

patent sandwich


A patent to patent patent trolling

October 2008

Patent trolls make a business out of trying to extract license fees for obscure patents. Back in 2008, with no sense of irony, Halliburton tried to patent the idea.

patent patent trollsTwo years later, IBM tried to patent the same thing.