We've all seen advertisements masquerading as editorial content—not on TR, of course, but elsewhere on the web. These "advertorials" are becoming increasingly prevalent, and they're not always clearly demarcated. Thankfully, there's now a way to sniff out this insidious content. Google programmer Ian Webster has created AdDetector, a plugin for Chrome and Firefox that identifies so-called "native advertising."
Webster reportedly created AdDetector in his spare time, and the plugin sounds pretty slick. It's capable of detecting advertorial content even when the clues are buried in source code rather than plainly visible on the page. If sponsored content is detected, a red bar is displayed across the top of the browser window. The sponsor's name is shown if it's available.
Although some Chrome extensions are misbehaving, this one should be legit. Webster notes that user data is "never used, stored, or transmitted." The plugin's full source code is available on Github, too, for those who want to audit or contribute to the project. Let's hope advertisers can't use the source to avoid detection.
I've noticed a definite uptick in sponsored content on some of the sites that I read, but now I'm wondering how much of it I've missed. Hiding disclosure in the page source is sneaky business indeed. I might start running AdDetector just to figure out which sites are disguising their use of paid content—and then avoid visiting them entirely. Thanks to Engadget for the tip.
|Intel unveils purpose-built Neural Network Processor for deep learning||12|
|Razer's Blade Stealth and Core V2 step to the cutting edge||9|
|Wear Something Gaudy Day Shortbread||12|
|Astro Gaming A20 rockets to 5.8 GHz for clearer connections||0|
|Asus teases ROG Strix X370I mobo for spiffy Mini-ITX Ryzen builds||11|
|NZXT's H700i, H400i, and H200i cases have their heads in the clouds||15|
|ASRock X299E-ITX/ac stuffs Core i9s into mini-ITX systems||29|
|Surface Book 2 flies higher with eighth-gen Core and Pascal||32|
|Rumor: Samsung 970 and 980 NVMe SSDs could be on the way||43|
|Ubiquiti released updates for UniFi devices this morning. Updates take a few minutes. Tell everyone to grab a cup of coffee.||+16|