Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 8:00am

Everyone’s all up in arms because Adblock Plus is launching an ad exchange.

Everyone’s all up in arms because Adblock Plus is launching an ad exchange.

Hey, lookie, we’re back on WordPress. I had been trying Squarespace, which was nice and all, but expensive ($16/month) and kind of a hassle to blog with. WordPress is a hassle, too, but really only for the setup and maintenance. The blogging part is easy.

I spent several hours setting up WordPress last night and by the end of it I was all “Oooh, right, this is why I left WordPress.” But of course, this morning, my opinion, as I blog, is “Yay, WordPress, so much easier!”

Anyway.

Everyone’s all up in arms because Adblock Plus is launching an ad exchange. That is, they’ll be selling ads to ad companies that meet their “acceptable ads” standards, and those ads will be whitelisted and shown to users.

Adblock Plus has been whitelisting some ads for awhile and usually they let you to block their whitelisted ads anyway. At least they used to – I haven’t checked their settings recently, and since I whitelist my favorite sites, I’m used to seeing a few ads and probably wouldn’t notice if a few more slipped through. At any rate, I’d expect there would be a setting somewhere that you could change that’ll block their whitelisted ads, too. If not, there’s always uBlock Origin.

It’s not exactly the end of the word, nor is it some kind of ultimate betrayal, is what I’m saying here. Adblock Plus has always been pretty upfront about their position on advertising. IE, that it’s a necessary evil, but that it should be be safer and less annoying. The Internet runs on ads, folks, that’s just the way it is. If we don’t let some through, some of the best places on the web will close up shop or slide behind a paywall, and no one wants that.

Meanwhile, you people still don’t know how to read the news. Okay, look, I get it, there’s an awful lot of “news” out there, and it’s flying in at you from a thousand different sources, and we’re stuck with stupid monkey brains that are objectively terrible at sussing out the truth in those conditions. It’s tough. However, with only a little practice and effort, you too can get the news correctly and stop sharing Onion articles on Facebook like they’re true.

A few tips:

  • During breaking news everything you hear will be completely wrong for at least six hours, and it might be as long as 24 hours before anyone in the media gets enough facts together to start presenting something like the truth. And even then, they’ll be revising the facts of the matter as they learn more, for several days, if not longer.
  • Do not trust a single source. That is, if you can’t find the information in at least three different reputable news sources, chalk it up as bullshit and move on.
  • Pro-Tip: No source with an obvious bias is a “reputable source.”
  • Learn the difference between a “news” article and an op-ed.
  • A few good places to start: AP, Reuters, Christian Science Monitor, Snopes. Snopes sort of does news now, by the way.
  • If it’s on TV – IE, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, even your local news, it’s probably terrible. Confirm it in a reputable newspaper.

Speaking of bullshit news, a bunch of social media platforms are hooking up with an organization called First Draft to combat the spread of fake news.

Hey, remember the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? In case you don’t, it’s the frickin’ massive trade agreement that President Obama supports and like no one else does. The Conversation has a great write-up about it. It doesn’t mention all the crappy copyright/IP garbage included in the TPP, but it does talk about a lot of other stuff.

And to wrap things up, the other day the creator of Darkwing Duck, Tad Stones, claimed that Darkwing Duck and Ducktales exist in separate, alternate universes, a claim which is patently false. Nerdist, please?

Thank you.

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