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Google Warns 1,000 Annoying Advertisers That They’ll Be Blocked On Chrome If They Don’t Shape Up

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If you’re tired of auto-playing videos with sound, pop-up ads, and other annoying advertising tricks, well, join the club. Google knows how you feel, and is planning to start blocking those by default in both its desktop and mobile versions of Chrome sometime next year. But first, it’s giving publishers a grace period to clean up their acts.

The rumor that Google planned to build an ad-blocker into Chrome first floated in April. Sources confirmed it in June, saying at the time that the tool was more like an “ad filter” designed to block the ads that gave users a bad experience.

To you and me, that means “really annoying things,” like pop-up ads, auto-playing video with sound enabled, and those prestitial full-screen blocks with a countdown timer that you have to wait through before you can read the dang article you came for.

At the time, Google said it would give publishers six months of lead time before the tool went live, with advance notice and tips about how to make their ads not obnoxious. Well, six months apparently starts now: Ad Age reports that roughly 1,000 online publishers are getting notices from Google this week.

Of the 100,000 sites Google says it has reviewed so far, approximately 1% (i.e. 1,000 sites) are in violation. The most common violation by far — 97% of desktop violations and 54% of mobile ones — is pop-up ads, Ad Age says.

What’s in a warning?

Google isn’t explicitly saying what it will and won’t block. Rather, it’s directing publishers to view its Ad Experience Report for their sites, which determines if a site is in compliance with the Better Ads Standards.

Scott Spencer, director of product management at Google, gave advertisers the benefit of the doubt when speaking with Ad Age.

“We are doing this so they have ample time to change their ad experiences so there are no violations or concerns about anything,” Spencer told Ad Age. “We provide the tool that’s just telling people what’s happening on their site and many publishers want to do the right thing, but some might not even know that there are annoying ads on their site.”

Google said it’s testing the biggest websites, basically, where “consumers spend 90% to 95% of their time.” That includes many major publishers, like the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, as well as more focused news sites like Eurogamer or ZDNet.

Who defines “annoying”?

That standard is developed by the Coalition for Better Ads, a group made up of the world’s largest digital advertisers (including both Google and Facebook, who far and away lead the pack).

It may seem strange for an advertising group to want to curtail advertising, but it makes perfect sense as a defense strategy. If ads are too annoying, users will get a third-party tool and block them all. If ads are neutral, users are more likely to just leave well enough alone and use the web as it’s presented to them.

Thus, setting a standard that blocks the most annoying and intrusive ads means you’re more likely to put up with seeing the less-irritating ads, instead of going to a no-ads experience, and the money can continue to flow.





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Covarr
7 days ago
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I'm really disappointed these ad standards don't include content rules as well. Fake download links need to die.
Moses Lake, WA
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Geologic Faults

3 Comments and 6 Shares
I live on a torn-bag-of-potato-chips-where-the-tear-is-rapidly-growing fault, which is terrifying.
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Covarr
7 days ago
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Hey I didn't choose to live on any of these. #NotMyFault
Moses Lake, WA
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2 public comments
ChrisDL
7 days ago
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the real question is (without looking it up) which is the final real one?
New York
bluegecko
7 days ago
I know up through the thrust fault is real. I find a taffy fault plausible, but definitely don't remember it. (I'm also not entirely clear how that would work; one expanding? Maybe by getting pushed up from underneath?) After that, they're definitely made up. Except the Apple Power Cable Fault. That's real. Just doesn't have to do with plate tectonics. :)
alt_text_bot
7 days ago
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I live on a torn-bag-of-potato-chips-where-the-tear-is-rapidly-growing fault, which is terrifying.

Email Reply

4 Comments and 20 Shares
I would be honored, but I know I don't belong in your network. The person you invited was someone who had not yet inflicted this two-year ordeal upon you. I'm no longer that person.
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Covarr
9 days ago
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Sorry it's taken me two years to reply to your email. Anyway, I'd love to attend your barbecue if you haven't had it yet.
Moses Lake, WA
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3 public comments
mooglemoogle
9 days ago
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https://emaildebtforgiveness.me
Virginia
0utis
8 days ago
Wow, now I can wait another nine months before replying to that email. Thanks!
hannahdraper
9 days ago
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This is me.
Washington, DC
alt_text_bot
9 days ago
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I would be honored, but I know I don't belong in your network. The person you invited was someone who had not yet inflicted this two-year ordeal upon you. I'm no longer that person.

Determined To Get It Right, McDonald’s Testing Chicken Tenders Again

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More than two years after McDonald’s brought back its Chicken Select tenders for a limited time, the Golden Arches is once again trying its hand at the chicken meal, this time with a crispy buttermilk version. 

AL.com reports that McDonald’s began testing its new buttermilk crispy chicken tenders at restaurants in the Birmingham, AL, area Monday, five months after running a similar test in North Carolina.

McDonald’s has a long history of testing and then pulling chicken tenders. Back in Feb. 2015 the fast food giant indicated that it would be willing to bring back Chicken Selects after a two-year hiatus; it changed its mind just a few months later.

But the new tenders differ from the fast food giant’s previous reiteration, Chicken Select tenders. The revamped meal takes a page from McDonald’s buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich. The 100% white meat tenders are seasoned and battered before frying.

A Birmingham-area franchisee says his restaurants began offering the tenders late last week and they’ve proven popular so far.

“All of my restaurants have been selling out of their allotment each day, so that’s a good thing.” Jason Black told AL.com.

Black notes that he expects the test to go well, as customers liked the buttermilk crispy sandwich that the tenders are modeled after. It appears that customers are onboard with test redux.

Consumerist has reached out to McDonald’s about the test and whether the tenders will see a national rollout in the future. We’ll update this post if we hear back.





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Covarr
14 days ago
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When you're on a chicken bender, grab a box of chicken tenders, BAWK BA-KAWK!
Moses Lake, WA
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Russell's Teapot

3 Comments and 4 Shares
Unfortunately, NASA regulations state that Bertrand Russell-related payloads can only be launched within launch vehicles which do not launch themselves.
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Covarr
26 days ago
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I'm crowdfunding a project to launch two slices of bread into orbit around the earth on opposite sides, so the whole world can be a sandwich.
Moses Lake, WA
vanbcguy
26 days ago
I'd kick in $5 for that...
benzado
25 days ago
The Earth became a sandwich over ten years ago, thanks to the hard work of volunteers! http://scourist.com/2006/06/09/0009-earth-sandwich/
CaffieneKitty
24 days ago
The most complete idiot sandwich ever. :-)
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2 public comments
tante
27 days ago
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Engineers "fixing" philosophical problems
Oldenburg/Germany
alt_text_bot
27 days ago
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Unfortunately, NASA regulations state that Bertrand Russell-related payloads can only be launched within launch vehicles which do not launch themselves.

Family Says Fidget Spinner Caught Fire While Charging

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Fidget spinners and hoverboards don’t have much in common on the surface, but they might be more alike than you think: Both are (or were) uber-popular toys for kids, appeared on the streets almost overnight, and can explode… if the toy contains a battery.

Sacramento CBS reports (warning: link contains video that autoplays) that the latest case of an overheated fidget spinner occurred over the weekend as the toy was charging.

As we’ve previously reported, fidget spinners have evolved from their modest designs with mechanical parts to include internal batteries that power bluetooth speakers, lights, and other features.

These batteries, like those used in hoverboards, can be charged — although it’s unclear if the batteries are lithium-ion. And that poses a problem, because if there’s a battery inside a thing, that thing can catch fire when you least expect it.

This was apparently the case in California, where a 12-year-old girl’s toy — equipped with a bluetooth speaker — began to smoke while charging.

The girl, who had picked up the toy, dropped it when she saw sparks. When the girl’s mother entered the room she tells Sacramento CBS that it was filled with smoke.

The spinner, she recalls, was so hot it burnt her hand when she tried to pick it up. The toy, which didn’t have any manufacturer information on it, was left with bubbled plastic.

“If I wasn’t home, that’s scary. That really scares me a lot,” the mother says, noting she was relieved no one was hurt.

Not The First Time

The incident is at least the third in recent months related to the popular fidget spinners. Last month, parents in Alabama and another in Michigan reported that fighter spinners caught fire while charging.

Consumerist has reached out to the Consumer Product Safety Commission about the latest incident, and whether the agency would open an investigation. We’ll update this post when we hear back.

In the meantime, the CPSC has previously advised fidget spinner owners to never leave a product unattended while charging.

The CPSC also urged anyone who has had a safety issue with a fidget spinner — or frankly, any other device, really — to report the problem at SaferProducts.gov.





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Covarr
29 days ago
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This story barely has anything to do with fidget spinners, and has everything to do with cheaply-made electronic gadgets. This is a risk with ALL poorly-made products with rechargeable batteries.
Moses Lake, WA
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