Adblock Plus

I finally had enough of internetnews.com’s intrusive CPU-eating ads and remembered that there was a Firefox add-on for the job. I have snagged Adblock Plus and can vouch that for its effectiveness. It also works with AccuWeather.com, a site about which I complained a while back. I just wonder why I didn’t thin of this earlier; it certainly beats what ZoneAlarm could do. Now, I see why its functionality has raised some hackles but if advertisers didn’t overdo it in the first place, there would have been no problems. Well, that’s marketing for you… And yes, we do want the right to ignore ads.

Accuweather ad frenzy

I have had to stop using the Accuweather.com website because of annoying pop-up advertisments, the origins of some of which are branded hacking websites by the firewall at work. Even with Firefox, the whole approach is painful with windows popping up asking to install some utility software onto my home PC. That is certainly something that I am not going to do and the whole in-your-face approach seems direputable in any case. It is all very much over the top and I intensely dislike the hard sell mentality and will not be returning: it’s an effective way to drive away visitors.

Weather gizmos

With a good amount of snow forecast for parts of the U.K., one’s mind does turn to weather matters. Interestingly, Accuweather is now powering browser plug-ins for all the major PC browsers and not just Firefox: Internet Explorer and Opera also get a look in. I have already tried out ForecastFox, the offering for Firefox, and had a quick look at the others. The IE add-on, I tested it with IE7, slots in neatly into the browser’s toolbar. Unlike ForecastFox, only the current weather and the forecast for the next day are shown for the selected location with a link to Accuweather for a 15 day forecast. The Opera widget is not docked with any toolbar, a bit of an irritation to put it mildly, but it does offer similar information.

These gizmos do highlight differences in the units used for weather information around the world. The U.S. is very much old school in its use of Fahrenheit (means next to nothing for me, I have to say) for temperature and miles per hour for wind speed. Other parts of the world measure temperature in Celsius (also called Centigrade) with wind speed measured in either metres per second or kilometers per hour. I find m/s strange for wind speed but mph or kph are fine; I think in terms of miles but my hillwalking is causing me to become more and more conversant in kilometers.

ForecastFox issue

ForecastFox should be a useful utility, adding a weather toolbar to Mozilla Firefox as it does. However, it developed a penchant for hogging the CPU when I upgraded from Firefox 2.0 to Firefox 2.0.0.1. I’ll hold out for a new version to see if the problem has been sorted. You can find out more here.