Archive for July 1st, 2007

From The Vault: February 18 2006

It’s the start of a new month, the start of a new financial year, time for me to activate my new bank card (the old one expired at midnight, I probably should have activated the new one earlier), and time for me to pluck another post out of the vault.

This time we are going back to the 18th of February 2006, and a rather peculiar chapter in the history of Samuel’s Blog, unintended pop-up advertising.

Important Notice Re: Popups

February 18th, 2006 at 03:46pm

By now you will all have noticed annoying popups (or your browser constantly telling you it had blocked them). I noticed them too, but just thought it was my computer containing spyware or adware. It wasn’t until I had the same issues on another PC running Linux that I realised this was really coming from my site. I had previously suspected this, but dismissed that theory when I found no reference to the popups in any HTML.

After spotting these popups on the Linux PC, I went to the WordPress theme editor page and disabled Google Ads and Nedstat (now known as Webstats4u or some such nonsense)…the ads stopped. I enabled Google Ads again as I doubted Google would risk the bad PR from having popups…still no popups.

I was hardly surprised the following in the Webstats4u Terms of Service

When you use these free services, you agree to allow WMS to display advertising, including third party advertising, through the Products and Services. WMS reserves the right to modify the Products and Services from time to time, for any reason, and without notice, including the right to terminate the Products and Services or to change the nature, style, or form of advertisements displayed through the Products and Services.

Up until now, they have only had the advertising on their own website, now that it has changed, they have lost me for life.

I sincerely apoligise to everyone for this incident.

Please note that this is NOT webstat (the service I base the monthly stats on) that I am talking about here, but another stat service that has been with this site virtually from day 1. Their service isn’t great, and doesn’t keep stats for very long, I only kept using them because they provided interesting and detailed recent stats. With no regret, they have now been pulled off the site, and will not be returning.

(Update: Thanks to Tiepo and John B1_B5 for their assistance in troubleshooting this problem. It turns out that some browsers and ISPs have a stale cache containing the popup code, see the comments for instructions on fixing this problem)

Samuel

8 Comments

1. John B1_B5 | February 18th, 2006 at 10:05 pm

Those popups have been a real nuisance the past few days …I couldn’t come to this site without having to activate my “popup blocker”, and I don’t like having to do that because it ‘chews up’ extra resources in the background .

Let me give you a “popup report” for tonight ( Saturday , 10.05 pm ).
Ok … I have ONE popup from “ilead.itrack” ….. classname – “Worker A” .

2. John B1_B5 | February 19th, 2006 at 7:05 am

“Popup Report” for Sunday morning — NO popups to report ! …… a few tracking cookies, but NOT ONE popup !

3. John B1_B5 | February 19th, 2006 at 7:06 am

OOps ! ……spoke too soon ….. that “ilead.itrack” popup is back !

4. John B1_B5 | February 19th, 2006 at 11:49 am

Ok …..it’s now 11.49 am , and that “ilead.itrack” popup seems to have gone .

5. Samuel | February 19th, 2006 at 12:24 pm

OK, I would suggest that it was a stale cache not picking up the change to the pages as it was only a very small change.

To explain this in english, most ISPs run a proxy cache of some sort to make your internet access quicker. When you request a webpage, the proxy stores it in it’s cache (secure pages are genrally not cached for obvious reasons) and serves it to you in future. Whenever the page is requested again, the proxy checks the site for an updated version, and if it doesn’t find one, it just gives you its copy.

Browsers also have a cache, which can be configured in the browsers “options” or “preferences” window. Clearing the cache or performing a hard refresh (usually CTRL-F5) of the affected page should give you the latest version of the page.

The pages on this site are created dynamically whenever they are requested, these pages technically don’t exist, they are just PHP and database entries which get formatted as HTML, I think this creates issues with some proxies and browser caches not correctly recognising updates. I’ve personally noticed this when I’ve changed the top banner image and it hasn’t been updated in my browser.

Thanks for the updates John!

6. heatseeker | February 19th, 2006 at 1:09 pm

People who make pop-ups should get big rocks and drop them on their heads!

7. Kooky_Pound_Puppy | February 19th, 2006 at 5:10 pm

Heatseeker are you male female or venutian

8. flakey blondie samspam | February 21st, 2006 at 8:09 pm

Heatseeker is male kooky otherwise he would of had falling for the charms of THE LAWIE.

July 1st, 2007 at 12:00pm


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