The DistRogue

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Copyrights, corporations and commercials

If you use Firefox, you might have stumbled across a few sites that deliberately block you for using Firefox. Welcome to the corporate-controlled Internet, my friend. Apparently, you forgot to RTFM, and the M is here: is a site that tries- pathetically- to explain why some sites practice this despicable (and legally questionable, one hopes) form of discrimination. The overall answer is simple, if a bit illogical: Firefox includes ad-blocking software, and Mozilla sponsors Ad-Block Plus (which I STRONGLY recommend getting!).
So this is The Man's way of sticking it back to us. Consequently, you're stuck using Internet Explorer (or, if you use Linux, Konqueror or Epiphany, which aren't nearly as bad as IE), leaving you open to not only ads, but viruses and hackers, because, from the site, "millions of hard working people are being robbed of their time and effort by this type of software"! Oh noes! You're actually harming the people who write ads by using a better browser! And we can't have that, can we?
It goes on to call these semi-humans who develop ads "honest, hard-working website owners and developers". Propaganda at its best- you can't get much better than this. They call ad-blocking "resource theft" over and over- as if the ads aren't stealing our resources (bandwidth- pages with no ads load much faster than pages with an average number of ads). The fact remains that, no matter how many "honest, hard-working" speechwriters helped make this elegant piece of slander, it's still nothing more than FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Denial), designed to keep you from making your own choices about what sites you want to visit, and how you want to visit them.
So, what do we do?
I suggest just using FireFox as usual, with one difference. The User Agent Switcher makes your browser looks like IE or any other browser to a server, effectively screwing over any form of browser-bouncer. But another good idea is to shove their own words back down their throats: if a site forces you to not use Firefox, then just don't go there. Boycott them. See how they like it. WhyFirefoxIsBlocked says that blocking Firefox doesn't cause much financial loss, but with more users switching every day, that's not going to be true anymore in a while. Eventually, they'll have no choice but to unblock us. Or maybe not- we are talking about big, stubborn corporations here.
From MEPIS 7.0,
The DistRogue.

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