Why I’ve Started Using an Ad Blocker (and why you should too)

Ad Blocking

I want to start this post out by saying how hard this decision was for me, and how much I hated doing it.

For the better part of a decade I worked for a large Canadian media company. In my division, all of our revenue was generated by Advertising, so ad dollars paid my salary.  I have watched as ads went from a scarce commodity to something so common place that they are worth literally pennies.

I understand how hard it is to build an online business, and how integral advertising is to online business.

In the last year however, ads have become so incredibly horrible that I had to start using an ad blocker. I installed it on Friday August 19th.

Why?  What prompted me to do such a thing?

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Why I Love Kickstarter

One of the sources of frustration for my lovely wife Charlene and a source of great amusement for my friends and co-workers is my seeming obsession and addiction to Kickstarter.

For those of you who don’t know, Kickstarter is an online crowdfunding tool that allows artists, entrepreneurs, and makers to get their ideas funded before they are produced.

To date I have backed 17 different projects, some big, some small.  I have backed projects for as little as $3.00, and as much as $500.

I have backed real, physical things, and virtual goods as well.

So why do I do it?  There’s a few different reasons, and they speak to different parts of my nature.

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Designing Fun

Waaay back in May, my team and I designed a new T-Shirt for our most recent Info-Tech co-op class. I usually help brainstorm these, but this time I had a solid concept in my head that I really wanted to do myself – and how often do I get to use my super-power as part … Read more

I make websites

I make websites. What I do is art and science. I don’t do it with a brush, a calculator, a pen, beakers, a keyboard, or even code anymore, I do it with my brain. I collaborate with others to realize a fully formed vision. This thing is in my brain, I can spin it, turn … Read more

Ruby Newbies: My Ruby on Rails Recipe

Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails

I’ve been using Ruby on Rails for about five years now, and I can’t actually remember my life before it at this point.  As much as I love Ruby on Rails, I hate setting it up.  Okay, HATE is a pretty stiff word…let’s say “really, really, REALLY dislike”.

However, the last couple of times that I’ve had to configure machines, I’ve kept a really good running log of what I did, and I feel pretty confident that this little recipe will let me keep the rest of my hair.

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Why I left Rogers

The Rogers WarningOn Friday I cancelled the last two things I had with Rogers. Home Phone and Internet.

Why did I leave Rogers? I’ve never had a significant outage, I’m mostly happy with the bandwidth speed. My phone has never given me an issue. It can really be boiled down to one reason.

Bandwidth caps aren’t keeping up

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Anatomy of a Redesign – A List Apart

A List Apart – For people who make websites, is one of my favourite resources on the internerds for web usability stuff.  I own all of the A Book Apart books, and I’ve always loved their websites. They just did a total redesign, and posted a great summary of the process.  I always love reading … Read more

My DIG 2011 Web Stream Overview

Jeffery Zeldman at DIG
Jeffery Zeldman at DIG

The DIG (Digital Interactive Gaming) conference in London Ontario added a Web Development stream this year to compliment the gaming streams. With an opening keynote by Jeffery Zeldman’ and a closing one by Derek Featherstone, there was world class content being offered in my own home town. These are my slightly edited notes which I took during the talks. There’s some great insight in here, and some really cool links for reference later.

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A beautiful life – The passing of Steve Jobs

Today the world is a little less beautiful, because yesterday, Steve Jobs died. I have no profound story of how I met Mr. jobs, or how I’ve used his products for decades, the truth is I hated every experience with a Mac I’d ever had until a couple of years ago (except for editing…Macs always … Read more