Quick Hits: AdBlock Blocks Fewer Ads, Amazon Aces a Test of the Cloud

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ADOTAS – AdBlock Plus developer Wladimir Palant announced last week the popular ad-blocking plugin is going to begin blocking fewer ads — at least in its default settings. AdBlock Plus 2.0 allows for “non-intrusive” ads — that is, ads that are static (preferably text-only) and, as such, have no audio or video, that have a maximum of one script that might delay page load, and that support the Do Not Track list. There’s been substantial backlash among AdBlock devotees, and it’s worth pointing out that users of the plugin can still turn off even static ads by unchecking a box in the “preferences” menu. Palant explained in a post that AdBlock was allowing “advertising that is considered not annoying. By doing this, you support websites that rely on advertising, but choose to do it in a non-intrusive way. And you give these websites an advantage over their competition which encourages other websites to use non-intrusive advertising as well.”

Data protection provider Nasuni has been testing the internet’s 16 largest cloud storage providers since April 2009, and Amazon’s S3 Simple Storage Service beat out everyone else in the field when it came to performance (speed), stability and availability, and scalability (capacity). Only six of the 16 “passed” the test (Amazon, Microsoft, Nirvanix, Rackspace, AT&T Synaptic and Peer 1 Hosting). Microsoft Azure made a strong showing alongside Amazon (in fact, the study found Microsoft to be slightly faster than Amazon), but the victor had, according to Nasuni’s report, “the fewest outages and best uptime, and was the only CSP to post a 0.0 percent error rate in both writing and reading objects during scalability testing.” Click here for the full report.

On Friday, we reported the U.S. Justice Department was delaying its antitrust case against AT&T, further frustrating the company’s efforts to acquire T-Mobile, and today the two telecom companies have joined the Justice Department in requesting a federal judge make such a delay. This is perhaps unexpected, because AT&T had argued for a quick resolution up until Friday. The two telecoms are expected to file a report by Jan. 12 explaining their plans for any proposed acquisition, and they’ve asked for a conference to gauge any further legal proceedings on Jan. 18.

Just as we’ve published Peter Koeppel’s analysis of how Netflix damaged its goodwill among subscribers (and lost valuable market share) in 2011, there are rumors from anonymous sources that Verizon might have expressed interest in acquiring the troubled video service. Verizon reportedly wants to launch a streaming video service and would rather pick up one that already exists than develop its own. The rumors, at the very least, boosted Netflix stock value.

As part of a collection of predictions for 2012, AdExchanger quotes American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) president Nancy Hill as speculating, “I think we will finally see agencies reaping the benefits of behaving more like Silicon Valley than Madison Avenue… We are seeing true partnerships form that gives everyone the ability to look at a problem from many points of view. Most of the start-up agencies over the last two years are built on this tenet and are flourishing nicely.”

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