So long, popups

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I switched to Chimera some time ago, notably because of its ability to block those annoying unsollicited popups that are the visual equivalent to browsing as spam is to email. Netscape has just released version 7.01 of its browser which includes the same feature. Netscape's DevEdge has more information on how this works and how you can control it for your own site. Needless to say, this ability will prove to be very popular (if only it was that simple to get rid of spam), until marketers find a workaround.

Although it was obvious to me that this popup barrage would easily make its way through any browser that is not tied to a revenue model, I thought Netscape wouldn't add it to its flagship browser because it would kill its main cash cow (the browser side lives mainly on ad revenues from its portal and affiliates) and would infuriate its own paying customers (the ones who want you to click on those popups). But they found a trick...

Netscape 7.01 gives you two options to control popups: you can either allow them and add domains to an exception list (which are then blocked) OR suppress them all except for a list of domains from which they are allowed. Chimera does the same. The trick is that Netscape 7.01 comes with a predefined list of domains that are, unsurprinsingly, carefully selected (screen capture). So if you don't modify this predefined list, you'll be safe from annoying popups on MSN, but ironically not on netscape.com.

Now that's a smart trick, make advertisers pay twice: once for the ad, once for the right of not being blocked upfront. And thanks to Netscape for making our life better outside the AOL web space!