Tech News

Apple Accepts Ad-Blockers, Google Fights Back… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 08-09-2015

Blocking ads is bad for business, Netflix rejects offline viewing options, watch Disney Movies Anywhere, Steve Jobs garners great reviews, and Star Wars vs. Star Trek… again!


Ad-Blockers Are Evil, Obviously

A new round of skirmishes in the war between ad-blockers and advertisers is beginning. On the one side we have Apple, turning to the Dark Side and allowing ad-blockers on iOS for the first time. On the other side we have Google, which is punishing AdBlock users for blocking ads 3 Tactics For Dealing With Ad-Block Users On Your Site Leaving ethical discussions aside (since I made my views on that quite clear last time), it is nonetheless true that ad-blocking is a real problem for bloggers and site owners the world over whose only... Read More on YouTube.

First up is Apple, which is set to welcome ad-blocking extensions on the iOS version of Safari for the first time in its history. According to BBC News, iOS 9 will support ad-blocking extensions on iPhone and iPad. This means iOS users could all start blocking ads very soon.

This could be fatal for smaller websites, and extremely damaging for any sites that rely on advertising to pay the bills, such as your very own MakeUseOf. Not that Apple cares, as it’s also set to launch Apple News, which allows the company to get involved with delivering stories to users, and taking a cut of the profits. Call me cynical, but this is a win-win for Apple.

However, ad-blockers aren’t getting it all their own way, as Google is now actively fighting back. As first reported by Neowin, some AdBlock Plus users have reported seeing ads on YouTube while using Chrome. And the twist is that anyone with AdBlock installed isn’t being given the option to skip the ads, forcing them to sit through the whole thing instead. And about time too.

Make no mistake about it, the war between ad-blockers and advertisers is ramping up. The reason being there is too much at stake for either side to back down. If you want to be on the right side of history please uninstall any ad-blockers you have running, or at least whitelist your favorite websites Please Whitelist MakeUseOf In Adblock: A Plea From a Former Adblock Filter Developer It’s no secret that we’re not huge fans of Adblock here at MakeUseOf. But we know that some of you won’t let go of Adblock until it’s pried out of your cold, dead hands. If... Read More . Otherwise the Web will be a much barer, more shallow place in the future.


Netflix Rejects Offline Viewing

Amazon recently rolled out an update to its Prime Instant Video apps which allow users to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing How to Download Amazon Prime Videos to Watch Offline Amazon Prime Video lets you download movies and TV shows to watch offline for free. Here's how to download Amazon Prime videos. Read More . Amazon is the first streaming media company to offer this option, but will Netflix now follow suit and offer users the chance to watch content offline?

In a word, No. At least according to Neil Hunt, Netflix’ Chief Product Officer. He told Gizmodo, “I still don’t think it’s a very compelling proposition. I think it’s something that lots of people ask for. We’ll see if it’s something lots of people will use.”

He continued, “I think a much more interesting proposition is, can we make streaming work better in more places that people want to stream?” He finished with a flourish, suggesting, “I think Amazon is playing a good game of PR, but I’m not sure it’s a good consumer experience. We’ll see”.

Watch Your Disney Movies Anywhere

You can now watch Disney movies purchased on one platform on other platforms, thanks to Disney Movies Anywhere. Disney launched Disney Movies Anywhere in 2013, but the “Anywhere” was a misnomer thanks to the app only being compatible with Apple iTunes. Google Play and VUDU have since joined the ranks Mozilla Teases Browser For Developers, Who Is Alex From Target? [Tech News Digest] Also, Taylor Swift dumps Spotify, Disney Movies on Android, Apple flies high with Beats, and the movie which looks like a video game. Read More .


However, Amazon and Microsoft are now on board too, with new Disney apps for the Xbox 360 and Amazon Fire TV. And, even better, Roku and Android TV are coming on board on Sept. 15th too. For those still on the fence about Disney Movies Anywhere, Disney is (for a limited time only) offering a free digital copy of Monsters, Inc. to anyone connecting their account

Steve Jobs Gets Great Reviews

The new Steve Jobs biopic, titled simply Steve Jobs, is garnering great reviews ahead of its release on October 9th. While there have been several films about Steve Jobs made already, and even more books about Steve Jobs iRead: 7 Books About Steve Jobs All Apple Fans Should Own We have selected the best books written about Steve Jobs and Apple. These seven tomes provide all the information on Jobs you'll need to know, and a lot more besides. Read More released since his death, this appears to be THE definitive story of the co-founder of Apple.

9to5Mac have a rundown of the early reviews, with The Guardian, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter all giving their verdicts on Steve Jobs. Even Steve Wozniak, Jobs’ fellow co-founder (and the brains behind the operation), seems to like this film. According to Deadline, after seeing a rough cut of the movie he thanked Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin for “getting it so right”.

Star Wars vs. Star Trek… Solved

And finally, while Star Wars and Star Trek are undeniably the two greatest science fiction franchises the world has ever seen, there is no clear winner between the two. Star Wars is more popular, but Star Trek has the pedigree. Star Wars is more mainstream, but Star Trek is infinitely more geeky.


WatchMojo recently released a video pitching these two sci-fi giants against one another, comparing the starships, the universes, the overarching themes, the special effects, and the various heroes and villains. Did WatchMojo pick the same winner as we did when we compared which is more technologically advanced: Star Wars or Star Trek? [H/T CNET]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Whose side are you on in the upcoming war between advertisers and ad-blockers? Is Netflix doing its users a disservice by not offering offline viewing? Will you be enabling Disney Movies Anywhere? Are you planning on seeing the Steve Jobs biopic? Star Wars or Star Trek: which is your personal favorite?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Related topics: Ad-Blockers, Movie Review, Netflix, Online Advertising, Star Trek, Star Wars.

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  1. Anonymous
    September 9, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    I'm sorry to inform you that the truth is you produce nothing of any value that a person would pay for. Most of your articles are a re-hashing of other peoples' and sites' information made freely available by those true to the original intents and values of the internet or are personal opinions nobody ultimately cares about. You have nothing to sell and want to charge for it. If your site passed away tomorrow please don't delude yourself that anyone would give it a moments thought.

    The internet was not intended for direct personal profit and advantage. It is a portal not a commodity. The internet of the past was a far, far grander and useful entity than it is today since it has become a means of moniterization and to provide careers for carpet baggers, illusionists and those unable to get a paying job in the 'real' world. However, many, many people do use the internet as a proper and legitimate market place to sell some tangible talent or object and that is an admirable pursuit, but they rarely, if every, plaster their pages
    with ads; others finance it themselves for love not money.

    Ads and trackers are making the internet almost unbearable, and your site is one of the worst offenders, if you doubt it just try using an Ad blocker for one hour and see the difference. At the most sites should sell advertising space for static ads like traditional media and if they have a popular and viable site they will make more money than they ever could using ad networks, trackers and the like.

  2. Anonymous
    September 9, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    If ads didn't RUIN my browsing experience I wouldn't need adblock. Have you tried surfing the web on your phone? It's absolutely insane how these popups, coupons, trailers, newsletters, offers, misleading links, and sometimes malicious ads dominate the internet. With adblock, you get a clean and effective browsing experience.

    Don't blame sites and developers... they need support somehow. Blame the actual advertisers for misleading you and basically conning their way in to your hard-earned funds.

  3. Anonymous
    September 8, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    As per an earlier request I've turned off AdBlock Plus at MUO but I continue to block trackers with Privacy Badger and Disconnect. If you can obtain income from that configuration more power to you but tracking is a whole different beast. Showing me things is ok as long as that isn't abused but telling other sites what I'm doing or letting them install anything in my browser to help track me is out of the question. The slipperiness of that slope should be obvious.

  4. Anonymous
    September 8, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    MUO uses at least 26 tracker cookies which is the most of any site I've ever visited and that includes XXX sites.

    Quit beating a dead horse. MUO is acting like the panhandlers in New York City - if the tourists do not make a donation, the get verbally and physically abused by the panhandlers.

    Users are voting with their browsing habits and the vote is FOR adblockers. If sites go to war with the users, the sites will ultimately lose. User will go to the sites that do not force them to endure obnoxious, malware ridden, advertisements.

    MUO keeps threatening to set up a paywall. Go ahead. Let's see what happens to your income stream when the majority of users go to sites with static ads and that do not oppose adblockers. MUO, Google and other sites are forgetting one basic fact: they exist at the pleasure of the users, not the other way around. Just ask MySpace and other sites that disappeared because their users went somewhere else.

    This is MY computer. I determine what programs run on it and what content is allowed. not MUO, not Google, not Microsoft. If all three disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow, it would not affect the greater scheme of things in the least.

  5. Anonymous
    September 8, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I turned off my adblocker today after years and years using them in some form or another. Within an hour, my browser crashed. Twice. That's unacceptable.

    Sorry, but it's a two way street.

    Why is it OK for you to label those who use ad blockers all but thieves when there are legitimate problems with adverts? Everyone, including MUO, like to cry and cry about their missing munnies, but don't seem to give a crap about the actual reasons people block ads?

    Mind boggling.

  6. Anonymous
    September 8, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    If I turn off my ad blocker, nobody's ad revenue is going to increase. But I still need to block the malicious and irritating ads which are either trying to hijack my computer or my eyes. I might notice the ads on 1 out of 50 sites I go to. I'm not going there to shop, so the ads don't even tempt me. When I do happen to notice the ads, they usually are not relevant to my interests. And sometimes, the targeted ones just show me more of a product I already purchased and won't need to purchase for quite a while. Useless. I pay little attention to commercials on TV. Only if they are exceedingly entertaining or are showing a new product or a significant change to a product that I might want to check out sometime. The entertaining commercials, I could not even tell you what product they were selling even after watching several times. I'm not interested in the product, only the entertainment value. YouTube ads prior to the start of the video are irritating. But the thin ads appearing during a video are worse. They inevitably cover enough of the screen so as to interfere with proper viewing. I am quite surprised that ads on pages that are not part of a store receive significant traffic. Very few people I know respond to them. They are either invisible or an in-your-face irritant. Too many of the latter, and I never return - unless the ad blocker keeps them at bay.

  7. Anonymous
    September 8, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    The right side of history in the war over internet ads is the side that doesn't demand users expose their computers to risk of malware infection. Ad blocking is essential to a safe internet exprerience and no, it is not safe or reasonable to expect users to whitelist specific sites if they demand users view third party traffic. This is not the fault of end users. It is a hole that commercial web sites have dug themselves.

    Ads need to be static images with no script content that are hosted on the same domain that the user intended to view. Anything else is unsafe and unacceptable.