- Samuel's Blog - https://samuelgordonstewart.com -

Important Notice Re: Popups

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 [1]

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)


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#1 Comment By John B1_B5 On February 18, 2006 @ 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 Comment By John B1_B5 On February 19, 2006 @ 7:05 am

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

#3 Comment By John B1_B5 On February 19, 2006 @ 7:06 am

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

#4 Comment By John B1_B5 On February 19, 2006 @ 11:49 am

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

#5 Comment By Samuel On February 19, 2006 @ 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 Comment By heatseeker On February 19, 2006 @ 1:09 pm

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

#7 Comment By Kooky_Pound_Puppy On February 19, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

Heatseeker are you male female or venutian

#8 Comment By flakey blondie samspam On February 21, 2006 @ 8:09 pm

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