Skip to main content

Block Those Ads!

It is a stormy night. A flash of lightning shows an old dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere. Thunder rumbles across the sky as the pretty blonde girl inside the dark house looks terrified. Suddenly there is a knock at the door. She picks up an axe and with trembling hands, opens the door. Just then the lightning flashes again and in that flash, looking at the visitor, the girl's face turns ashen-white. "Uski safai meri safai se behtaar kaise? Rin Supreme apnao..." I switch off the TV and bang the remote on the bed in frustration. Yet another commercial break.

Despite the fact that we all hate advertisements (except may be when someone posts a hilarious video of one on a social-networking site and we choose to see it), ads are present everywhere. From TV, internet, newspapers to billboards, everyone is asking us to buy something. The unbearable part is when they appear out of nowhere just when we least expect them to be.

In case of TV or internet, there are many ways to escape ads. TimeShift TV or the AdBlock extension for Google Chrome works wonders when we want a clean, ad-free environment. But what do you do in case of newspapers? There has never been a day when I have picked up the copy of Times Of India lying outside my flat's door without fliers falling out of it. Sometimes there are tens of them each asking you to join the local gym or to protect your PC by taking it to Raja Computer Institute. Its certainly does not make up for a good morning when the wind blows away all the fliers and you have to run after them lest the society members accuse you of littering. Being bleary-eyed doesn't help at all.

Nowadays there is a trend of ads being printed on pages cut in half. Just today, Salman Khan was flapping out of one informing me that Bigg Boss 4 will start tonight. These half-page ads make holding the newspaper an exercise in gymnastics. How do you hold it without removing the offending page in its entirety and thus losing the news that is in the adjoining page! I haven't figured it out till now.

Just a few days back readers in the NCR region were in a shock when their newspaper started making noises. Some even called in the police suspecting it to be a bomb. Turns out it was an advertisement for Volkswagen and they had pasted a device at the back of every newspaper, which when opened made the noise. TOI was gloating over this "innovative" way of advertising without being least worried about the hot tea that I spilled over myself when I opened it.

As R. Serling said, "It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper." Now if you don't mind, will you please click on the ads appearing on the right-side of this blog?

Comments

  1. Hi, came here via GreatBong. Good one, totally agree. The last line was very funny!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

As far as possible, please refrain from posting Anonymous comments. I would really love to know who is interested in my blog! Also check out the FAQs section for the comment policy followed on this site.

Popular posts from this blog

Pi Hole - Ad blocking (Turbocharged!)

The entire internet is now made up of ads. To easily navigate it and find the information you are looking for, most people use ad blocking software. It improves page loading times and also uses less data (sometimes by up to 10 times!)
Google Chrome is the de facto browser of choice for most people. Google's main business is advertising. So you can see how ad-blocking software collides with Google's business objectives. When Chrome was trying to be popular, it started allowing plugins like AdBlock Plus etc. Then slowly it started partnering with them for "Acceptable Ads Program" for a lot of money. Now after cementing its position as the most popular browser, Google is now coming down hard on ad blocking software. It is turning off a Chrome API (webRequest API) which most ad blocking plug-ins use to block ads.
Enter Pi Hole. This is an amazing use of Raspberry Pi which blocks ads before they enter your network. It keeps a blacklist of most popular ad serving domains …

Centralized Configuration for .NET Core using Azure Cosmos DB and Narad

We are living in a micro services world. All these services are generally hosted in Docker container which are ephemeral. Moreover these service need to start themselves up, talk to each other, etc. All this needs configuration and there are many commercially available configuration providers like Spring Cloud Config Server, Consul etc. These are excellent tools which provide a lot more functionality than just storing configuration data. However all these have a weakness - they have a single point of failure - their storage mechanism be it a file system, database etc. There are ways to work around those but if you want a really simple place to store configuration values and at the same time make it highly available, with guaranteed global availability and millisecond reads, what can be a better tool than Azure Cosmos DB!
So I set forth on this journey for ASP.NET Core projects to talk to Cosmos DB to retrieve their configuration data. For inspiration I looked at Steeltoe Configuratio…

IoT on Google Cloud Platform

Google wants people to use its Cloud Platform for connecting and managing IoT devices through IoT Core and use other GCP components like BigQuery to analyze data produced by those devices. While these products are fantastic, they also have some real world challenges.
IoT Core provides a managed service for connecting IoT devices. It talks with both HTTP and MQTT protocols and features one-click integration with Cloud PubSub easing most of the infrastructure tasks. However there are some limitations:
You cannot use any random MQTT topic to send/receive messages as you would expect on a custom MQTT bridge. There are special topic formats to send messages and also to receive commands.IoT Core uses Public-Private Key cryptography to secure devices. All IoT devices must first authenticate using the Public Key in a JWT token and then start sending and receiving messages. While these may seem like reasonable restrictions, one has to keep in mind that hardware vendors are still stuck in the 9…