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Ads that autoplay with sound: A web abomination

If there is one thing I hate with a burning, red-hot passion in a website/blog/whatever, it’s content that autoplays when I access a site. To have a John Philips Souza march start blaring unexpectedly or some video start suddenly and noisily is a jarring experience, and I consider such content to be an abomination, a blight on the web that must be eliminated. I particularly hate such content when it’s an advertisement.

That is why I must reluctantly but nonetheless angrily note that our usually benevolent Seed Overlords have seen fit to place just such an abomination on ScienceBlogs, specifically the West Governors University ad in the right sidebar that starts playing immediately. In fact, it’s even worse than the typical ad that autoplays in that it appears to be part of a rolling set of ads, from which one pops up at random. Consequently, I never know when that damned ad will appear and start talking. Even worse still, the ad doesn’t just autoplay, it appears to play on an endless loop. Those of you in cubical farms, I feel your pain. My postdoc’s desk is close enough to my office that she can hear when I hit that ad while taking a break from pummeling my brain in the course of writing a manuscript describing results that are rather difficult to explain. I hate the ad, and I’m quite annoyed at Seed for accepting such a vile form of advertising. Indeed, in this I agree with Matt Nisbett, and you know that these days I seldom agree with him anymore. I’ve complained on your behalf, and supposedly the ad was to be removed, but a few minutes ago I was jarred out of my reveries about my NF-κB manuscript again by that damned ad.

I’m not ready to take the step Greg Laden threatened to take yet (a boycott that lasted a mere few hours), but I really, really hate this ad and want it gone ASAP.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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