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The 8 worst things about the web

There's plenty in Web 2.0 that's archaic and annoying

The web has evolved but we still see sites pulling the same obnoxious stunts that annoyed us in 1994. Here are our 8 biggest annoyances about the net.

3. Third-party cookies

You probably already knew this. The Man is keeping an eye on your web activities with 'tracking cookies', or little files that identify you across an advertiser's network. That way, ad networks can know what kinds of sites you're visiting and pump the appropriate pitches to your eyeballs.
The easy way to work around the issue is to shut off third-party cookies in your browser entirely. As far as most browsers are concerned, however, undesirable third-party cookies are lumped in with honest-to-goodness useful cookies. Many browser extensions rely on third-party cookies to work, and ever since I blocked third-party cookies, I haven't been able to use any of my Google Calendar extensions in Chrome.

Fortunately, you can sidestep that problem with a cookie whitelist extension. Install the extension, and then check Protect white-listed cookies and Clear cookies and other site data when I close my browser in Chrome. Afterward, every time you close the browser, Chrome will clear all cookies except the ones you choose to keep.

4. Ads that sing and dance

Banner ads and Google AdSense might not buy a site operator a new Bentley, but they also don't offend the audience quite like other ads do. For example, they don't expand to take up your whole screen or play a video just because you were unlucky enough to move the mouse over the advertisement.
Not only do these ads look obnoxious and get in the viewer's way, but they also can be unexpectedly disturbing and hard to avoid - particularly when audio is involved. I routinely have at least five or six browser tabs open, and I'm constantly opening and closing new ones. At least once a week, I open a new window, accidentally move the mouse over the banner's hot spot, switch tabs while waiting for the page to finish loading, and think nothing of it until I'm being pitched on a product through my speakers. Loudly.

Once the sound starts blaring through my speakers to the whole office, I panic. What just happened? I didn't open a video. My only open tabs are Gmail, Google Docs, and an article from the BBC perhaps. Maybe it's some new kind of malware? Nope - just an ad.

Take heed, advertisers: Moving the mouse over a banner is not a click. If you really think the audience wants to hear your pitch, wait until they click your ad before you play the video. If they're not clicking, it's because they don't want to hear it.

NEXT PAGE: Suggested friends/Twitter accounts to follow

  1. Archaic and annoying
  2. Third-party cookies
  3. Suggested friends/Twitter accounts to follow
  4. Autoplay audio and video


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