Ad blocking, my conscious decision to abstain

When Apple released iOS 9 on iPad and iPhone it included a new feature that can block web ads within Safari. I’ve been using Ad Blocking plugins on my PC and Mac browsers for a while and jumped straight in and installed 2 apps to play around with.

I wanted to improve my online experience by reduce page load times, reduce my battery usage and stop being so damn distracted by them!ad spam

The funny thing is, I also own a couple of blogs like where I have used advertising and the occasional affiliate links in the past, nothing grand and nothing horrible in my opinion! The aim was to earn money towards the next 12 months online hosting costs (less than $100). Yet I also removed the ads 8 months ago when I thought they detracted from the overall look and feel of the sites and have only recently re-introduced them.

So, after some thought I removed all of my ad blockers PC, Mac and iOS devices and now view webpages as the creators intended, warts and all. Many of these smaller sites may need my ad impressions to keep the lights, they may be starting on their journey towards self employment and my adblockers could impact them directly.  So I have now decided to show my displeasure to any annoying sites with bad ads by voting with my eyeballs.

  • If your site uses javascript linking in text that’s annoying I will close the tab and never return.
  • If you make an advert appear over what I’m trying to read say goodbye to a potential customer.
  • If you autoplay a video ad without my implicit click, don’t be surprised when I leave and you never see my tracking cookie again.
  • If your article or page is riddled with lots of ads that distract too much or cause nausea, I will bid you farewell for good.
  • This is not add related, however applies; If your site has a ‘Top 10’ list of something and you put them on individual pages or a gallery that reloads each time someone clicks ‘next’ to boost your page views I will laugh at you heartily as I press the back button.

I do find myself using Safari Reader view or Evernote Clearly more often when I find the ads too distracting (Inject an Ad between every paragraph? tut tut). This way the site gets my initial page impression as I switch to Reader view but I can read the article in with less distraction. In fact it often looks a lot better than the same webpage when using an adblocker.

If you run a website and run ads, take a good look at how you are using them. Less is more.

Mostly, just treat your readers with some respect .

Windows 10 and Surface 3 – Turn to the dark side

With all the buzz of the Windows 10 launch a few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to experience it for myself, rather than throw it on a virtual machine on my Mac I decided that I’d replace my iPad Mini and opt for a Surface 3 for my light commuting and travel needs, the idea of a full OS on tablet was a huge draw. I even got a twitter mention from the official Microsoft account.

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1st impressions of my MacBook Retina

My Mac laptop journey has taken in an 11 inch MacBook Air, 13 inch MacBook Air, 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina and now the new MacBook.

My taste in Laptops has always been light and portable, a large laptop makes no sense for me personally. My original 11” Air was my 1st Apple laptop and I really found it great to use, eventually the reality of the small screen (and my fading eyesight) lead me to the 13” Air which was much easier on my eyes! Then the MacBook Pro went Retina and I loved the screen when I saw it in an Apple Store, after a lot of soul searching I got a MacBook Pro in 2014. Whilst a little heavier and bulkier than the 13” Air it was a tradeoff I was willing to make.

Now the MacBook Pro is for sale and I’m now typing this on a MacBook Retina. This is the Apple machine I’ve been waiting for. A display larger than 11” and Retina, a small portable form factor thats crazy light, fan-less design and bags of battery.

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What are you drinking Marcus?

It’s time to introduce a new type of post I may have shamefully ripped off from a podcast I listen to… What are you drinking Marcus?

In 2014 my amazing Wife invested in a small micro brewery startup called Sacre Brew and ordered me a number of beers as a Christmas gift. This for me was the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received as I have a love of artisanal beers and I love the idea of investing in startups as my numerous indiegogo and kickstarter purchases have shown! Louise appears on the Sacre Brew Community page!

They arrived just in time for Christmas with a little hand written note advising how to store them and to leave a few for a couple of days to allow the process to finish.

So today I thought I’d open the first of bottle of 11 different beers, I’ve waited long enough!

Sacre Brew – Hailstone tripel

It’s very lively and very strong at 7.8% volume, it certainly warms you from the inside. It’s fizz is a little more than I’m used to (I’m not a fan of lager beers!) but it’s not unpleasant. Drinking 1/2 the bottle actually has my head swimming a little already! It reminds me very much of Blue Moon American beer and a citrus slice of orange could accompany it very well. I do have 2 more bottles of Hailstone, I will give that a try that next time!

It’s perhaps a little to strong for a school night, but on a cold Christmas evening it would be perfect! Just the one though it’s at the limit of your NHS 3-4 Units per day!!



Flipboard makes a difference to my blog stats!

For some reason my latest ProductiveWizard post has been appearing in some peoples Flipboard streams in a number of ways and my blog has seen a nice increase in views which is really cool!

It’s turning out to be a popular article, I will have to research how to get more articles onto Flipboard as it seems to be the way a lot of people are now reading blogs and websites. (Which isn’t a surprise to me as it’s the way I read them!)