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Old 03-17-2007, 10:39 AM   #1
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Contentlink popups - appearance and removal

Today I noticed how many "Contentlink" popups are appearing on the ASForums site. I don't recall seeing these before.

Is this a means to generate revenue, or was it an unintended consequence to switching to the new server?

These popups appear on either Firefox 1.5 or 2.0, or Internet Explorer 6 and 7. Bringing the mouse on these unusually highlighted text entries triggers a popup ad.

To me these are interfering with the experience of using the forum, to which, by the way, I am a financial contributor via PayPal.

These popups are not created or chosen by the thread or contributor author, but are processed by an independent server to the forum. They are often completely out of context and useless.

Refreshing the page causes a re-scan of the contents, and other highlighted phrases may appear.

Try it yourself: As an example, see the thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ged-30774.html

started by Boatdoc on 3-12-2007, first message. In Boatdoc's entry, there are nine "contentlink" popup highlighted phrases.

Let me describe these nine highlighted phrases and the popup that appears over them on one typical refresh, and I've attached screenshot captures of these popups so you can decide for yourselves. Note that the captured images are NOT clickable, so don't worry about being redirected by them.

trailer links to "Nedland Industries EZRoloff trailer", www.nedland.com
door hinge links to "Door hinges at Kwiklocks.com", lockhouse.com.[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/WALRUS%7E1.WAL/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-4.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/WALRUS%7E1.WAL/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-3.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/WALRUS%7E1.WAL/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.jpg[/IMG]plumbing links to "Plumbing supplies" at efaucet.com.

windows frames links to "Windows frame" at hire-contractor.com.
rubber links to "In Rubber- Buy at DealTime.com"
wiring links to site for getting your California electrical wiring certification at plz wait.
wheels links to the MSN Auto site for buying cars, autos.msn.com.
kitchen sink links to "50% off Kitchen sinks" at Kitchen-sink.center.us.com.
check valve links to "Breather valves" at AGM: AGM Specializes in Environmental Control Products for Containers and Enclosures.

Can anyone argue that ANY of these are relevant to our browsing of this thread?

I urge that this completely irrelevant "service" be removed from the forum servers.

In the meantime, you can stop the popups from appearing by blocking the content provider http://*.kontera.com/* in your browser. Do a websearch for "blocking contentlink" to see the various solutions for your particular browser.
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:47 AM   #2
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I just went to the thread that you linked and saw none of what you mention. I tried it with both IE7 and FireFox 1.5.0.10. Could the problem be that your PC is infected with spyware? Does anyone else see these things?????
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:53 AM   #3
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Richard,

Either you have javascript disabled, or your browser has Adblock or similar service enabled with the kontera.com site blocked.

As I understand it, this is not spyware, but is something chosen by the server administrators to implement.

It seems that the popups only appear when I am NOT logged in. When logged in, even without AdBlock active, the kontera.com popups do not appear on any pages I searched. So that may explain their use- targeted at non-logged in users.

In the example, none of the links would be useful and are a distraction. Attached is the way Boatdoc's post looks on Firefox 2.0.0.2 without AdBlock of the kontera.com site:
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Old 03-17-2007, 11:30 AM   #4
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Marshall, I see these when I am not logged in; they go away when I log in. Are you seeing them after you log in?

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 03-17-2007, 11:44 AM   #5
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Bob,

Apparently the popups only appear when I am NOT logged in to the forums, either in Firefox or IE.
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Old 03-17-2007, 11:48 AM   #6
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I don't see them, but I'm always logged in. That would be greatly annoying.
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Old 03-17-2007, 11:56 AM   #7
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The mods will talk this over but ultimately it's not up to us. I know that I browsed as a guest for some months before signing up as a member.
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Old 03-17-2007, 12:03 PM   #8
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this reads a bit like the full-page-hi-jack-pop-up-flash-ads...

that opened a new brower window or took over the interface...

that were tried and killed after just a few days last year.

seems it would take a LOT of folks complaining again...

to alter this new 'feature'...

cheers
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:47 PM   #9
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Please be careful, Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream
The mods will talk this over but ultimately it's not up to us...
At another one of Andy R's forums, discusscooking.com, these annoying ads show whether you are logged in or not.

I'd hate for you to rub Andy the wrong way.

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Old 03-17-2007, 02:11 PM   #10
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Tom,

I am hoping to hear if the appearance of these popups was a conscious decision or an unintended result of some choice made in the server setups.

Hopefully if people find these unacceptable, they will express their opinion.

But as I noted, I found several sources of info to help me disable these popups.

I would be curious about your view of discusscooking.com's site- do you have AdBlock software or something similar on your browser, and does it have the site kontera.com site blocked?

I went on the discusscooking.com site, and found as you did that as a non-logged in viewer, I see those doubleunderlined popups through kontera.com. When I activate Adblocker on my firefox browser, which excludes the kontera.com servers, while I am still not logged in, the doubleunderlined highlights and their popups do not appear.

Looking at their subforum "Forum help and ideas" I see that there was a post on 3/5/07 which mentioned the doubleunderlined highlights with popup ads. Several others posted, but as of today (3/17) no one on that forum has identified a solution nor has had a response from Andy R. So it appears that a second forum has similar issues.
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Old 03-17-2007, 02:40 PM   #11
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Some sites run me off because of the setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by mswartz
... I would be curious about your view of discusscooking.com's site- do you have AdBlock software or something similar on your browser, and does it have the site kontera.com site blocked? ...
No, I do not. I am running nothing but 'IE latest' under XP with standard settings.

If airstreamforums was to get "bad", I would probably enable the website blocking you outlined. But other sites, such as discusscooking (DC), do not hold my interest as much, and I have chosen to rarely visit them BECAUSE the sites are difficult to view with all that crap. Plus, DC has gotten really slow lately, and I am not willing to wait for it.

Of course this is just my viewpoint, shared because you asked.

Tom
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Old 03-17-2007, 03:19 PM   #12
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It appears that mswartz needs to load/activate/or buy anti-spyware or a pop-up blocker. I clean my computer at least once a week to avoid what you're experiencing. Did a check both online and off line. No problemo. Cheap investment to avoid a BIG problem ! .
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Old 03-17-2007, 03:35 PM   #13
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I find the pop-up annoying and wish that whoever is in control would do whatever it takes to delete them. I doubt the forum users need them. Perhaps they add value to the sponsors.
In addition, orange is a difficult color to view and read quickly, so if we have to have them for some financial reasons, they should be some other color.
Questions are: Who needs them? Who uses them? and Why keep them?
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Old 03-17-2007, 03:57 PM   #14
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Note that I have the ability to block these popups through my browsers' adblocking service.

To Rick: This is not a spyware issue, related to 'cleaning my computer' and not something that has corrupted or infected my computers.

To all: It is an issue with how the server for our forum is now operating. It is simple to fix once one knows what it is. A spyware scanning solution does not fix the problem, since it is not with our computers. However, if a spyware solution also provides for ad-blocking, and has the server IP or name on its blocklist, then it would work.

I brought this up since I saw no one else apparently mentioning it, and it only affects people who go to the forum but do not log in, and only then if they do not have that specific site blocked.

If anyone is interested, here is what the kontera.com website says about the operation of their ad servers: [Kontera - What is ContentLink™ ?]

And a more technical discussion is on MacWorld... see the article: Macworld: Editors' Notes: On meaningless hyperlink graphics

... and its companion forum of Mac developers discussing these adlinks: Macworld: Editors' Notes Weblog: On meaningless hyperlink graphics

... the general consensus on which is that at best they are distracting, at worst take up computer resources and the user's time, and eventually can drive away the very people targeted by the ad.
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