Adblock Plus is an indispensable extension for anybody who finds flashing ads distracting.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against ads in general, they pay the bills for a great number of the web sites that you and I get to enjoy for no cost to us at all. But, unfortunately, some folks feel that their ads really need to get in your face in order to be effective. You know the ones I’m talking about, you’re trying to read an article and the sidebar has a banner that is alternately flashing Red and Black and is so gaudy that you put your hand up to block the ad so you can actually see the content.
Some folks try to block all ads from showing up on their browser. I’m a moderate in this sense, I only block ads that are truly annoying. If something is flashing at me and continues to flash, I simply right click on it and chose “Adblock Image”. A customization box comes up that defaults to adblocking the exact image that is currently bothering me. This can be modified with wildcard characters if I choose to block everything from the the same domain/folder or even anything from the same domain (most ads are sourced from a domain other than the one you are visiting). I seldom will block an entire domain unless I am finding that there are a LOT of ads sourced from them that are interfering with my browsing experience.
Similarly, for flash content, I have Adblock Plus configured to show “Obj-Tabs” which show up as a little tab with the word “Adblock” in it associated with flash animations. If a flash animation is in an endless loop after I’ve seen it once or twice I will left-click on it and then click OK to remove it.
In both cases above, the area the image / flash occupied is simply blanked so that the web page formatting is not distorted. The items are blocked permanently so they won’t show up if you refresh the screen.
Again, my philosophy is that ads can be a good thing. They are a fair way for site providers to try to profit from their efforts to provide content that you obviously find useful (why else would you be surfing there?). So I don’t advocate wholesale blocking of all ads. But it is great to have a tool to get rid of tasteless and annoying ads when you get tired of them.
Now I’m looking for a way to block those “Walk-on” ads that come up and wander across the screen after the web page has loaded. My greatest issue with them is that I am never 100% confident that clicking the “Close” button will legitimate close the ad but may actually execute some other code (install software?) that I really don’t want on my computer. And, of course, they are now wandering in front of the text I am trying to read.