outpost overzealous blocking ads

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by pipspeak, Mar 23, 2009.

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  1. pipspeak

    pipspeak Registered Member

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    I have Outpost Pro (6.5) web filter set to block ads and nothing else (all other filters set to "allow") but it also blocks all active content nevertheless. I suspect since most active content is streamed from third party sites it assumes it's an ad.

    Is there a simple way of allowing all active content (ads and all) but blocking static ads? Or any other way around this issue without resorting to creating a new exception for every site I visit with active content I wanna see?

    I like Outpost's web filtering, but with such a clunky implementation I might end up switching it off.
     
  2. markcc

    markcc Registered Member

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    pipspeak

    This will not answer you question directly but here goes anyway. I also use Outpost & have for years. I agree that the ad blocking does not work the best. I use Firefox & use the adblock plus add -on & it works great! You can use the other web filtering features, just not for the ad blocking. Again I have found the plug-in for Firefox works as advertised!

    Mark
     
  3. pipspeak

    pipspeak Registered Member

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    yeah, I considered that but I use both Firefox and IE7 and was hoping for a nice ad-blocking app that worked for both. Outpost does a very good job, just a bit too good for some content!
     
  4. Manny Carvalho

    Manny Carvalho Registered Member

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    I'm surprised to hear that because it works for me. I can block just ads if I set the other Active Content to allow and set ads to block. In fact, I can obtain prompt or just block active content. It works as designed for me.

    For example if I block javascript I can't log into the forum and get this in my blocked content log:
    1:35:28 AM MAXTHON.EXE www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=236992 JavaScript Web Control Settings <script type="text/javascript">

    Are your settings like in my attachment so as to allow Active Content?

    Which exact browsers are you using and what shows up in the blocked content log when you try just to block ads?

    If you give an example of where this happens to you I'll give a try and see what happens.
     

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  5. hayc59

    hayc59 Updates Team

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    Thanks Manny!!
     
  6. pipspeak

    pipspeak Registered Member

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    Yup, my settings are identical to yours... in fact I only block ads by keywords, not even size. Everything else is set to "allow".

    A classic example of the problem I'm facing is on the Guardian website (www.guardian.co.uk/video). All its video content is streamed through a third party site and is automatically blocked by Outpost (so there's just a blank space where the flash content should be). Only setting up an exception fixes it, but I really don't want to have to do that for every site I have problems with, not least because finding the third party site that's being blocked often involves wading through pages of site source code to find the link!

    (This is for IE7 or Firefox with Windows XP Pro SP2)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  7. Manny Carvalho

    Manny Carvalho Registered Member

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    Yes, I see what you see. The video content is missing but this is not due to Active Content being blocked. Rather it's the AD by keyword that is causing the block. There are several keywords in the flash command causing the block by keyword to activate.

    If you look at the blocked content log, you can see the following rather long entry:

    1:08:16 AM MAXTHON.EXE
    Code:
    admin.brightcove.com/viewer/federated_f8.swf?flashId=flashObj&cdnURL=http%3A%2F%2Fadmin%2Ebrightcove%2Ecom&servicesURL=http%3A%2F%2Fservices%2Ebrightcove%2Ecom%2Fservices&playerWidth=466&playerHeight=398&ord=1237957696488&adServerURL=http%3A%2F%2Fads%2Eguardian%2Eco%2Euk%2Fhtml%2Eng%2Fspacedesc%3Dvideo%26system%3Dvideo%26title%3D17380054001%26site%3DGlobal%26url%3D%25252Fvideo%26comfolder%3DGlobal%26keywords%3D%252C%26series%3D%26bandwidth%3Dbroadband%26tile%3D0108084&override[B]Ads[/B]=false&adjustedHeight=392&showOverlay=false&preloadBackColor=%23FFFFFF&autoStart=false&playerTag=null&lineupId=null&videoRef=null&playerId=979376896&videoId=17380054001&buildNumber=12
    Ad (by keyword) AD Block
    Code:
    /viewer/federated_f8.swf?flashId=flashObj&cdnURL=http%3A%2F%2F[B]ad[/B]min%2Ebrightcove%2Ecom&servicesURL=http%3A%2F%2Fservices%2Ebrightcove%2Ecom%2Fservices&playerWidth=466&playerHeight=398&ord=1237957696488&adServerURL=http%3A%2F%2Fads%2Eguardian%2Eco%2Euk%2Fhtml%2Eng%2Fspacedesc%3Dvideo%26system%3Dvideo%26title%3D17380054001%26site%3DGlobal%26url%3D%25252Fvideo%26comfolder%3DGlobal%26keywords%3D%252C%26series%3D%26bandwidth%3Dbroadband%26tile%3D0108084&overrideAds=false&adjustedHeight=392&showOverlay=false&preloadBackColor=%23FFFFFF&autoStart=false&playerTag=null&lineupId=null&videoRef=null&playerId=979376896&videoId=17380054001&buildNumber=12 (*%2F[B]ads[/B]%2E*)
    The keyword ads appears in that flash statement and is blocked because this type of keyword block is a bit dumb. It says if it has a keyword on my list no matter what it is block it. Unfortunately, in this case, the keyword ad(s) is heavily blocked as you can see by looking at the ImproveNet list with all the ad variants that are blocked.

    I wouldn't think that you want to remove the keyword ad or its variants from the list since mostly it's the right keyword to block. Additionally, you have the misfortune of having third party sites blocked by other keywords. Namely *revsci.net* and *2mdn.net* which I presume are third party ad delivers. You are left with making an exception for these site as the only real workaround. I admit a real hassle to figure out exactly what to put on that exception list.

    I think any blocking software would make this mistake since it can't distinguish between a real ad that and something else that has the keyword in its statement. AD is ad no matter where it is. In this case, unfortunately, it blocked flash content due to a keyword rather than because it was active content. Even though OP was working correctly it produced the unexpected wrong result.

    Personally, I don't block ads since I figure everybody needs to make a living. As long as ads aren't a PITA I leave them alone now that bandwidth isn't really a problem. If I was using dial up it would be different.

    [Just to add, I even noticed that the filters on my browser, Maxthon, make the same mistake of blocking the flash player from loading due to Ad keyword block.]

    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2009
  8. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Hi There:

    As usual I take a different approach.

    I don't use these FW/ or suites to block ads having the quaint idea that I can do the work needed via phishtank and adblock in FF and the ip block lists in blutack. I also load my host file. On this site you can use FF and then mark it as okay for script, blocking all the rest. Seems to work for me.

    Just a thought.
     
  9. pipspeak

    pipspeak Registered Member

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    Thanks Manny... in that case I made an exception for brightcove.com and got thing working again, but I've since determined the ad keywords you pointed out are a problem in several other sites. A shame, because Outpost's ad blocking was pretty effective in speeding up page-load times and blocking those *really* annoying expand-on-rollover or full-page "skip this ad" ads.

    I might modify the ImproveNet list to make a custom list for my purposes that only blocks the most egregious ad servers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
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