Just a quick note.
I was (and still am) outraged that Wladimir Palant sneaked into people’s browser preferences and turned on some ads for big companies and parking page parasites that were paying him the big bucks.
There’s now another option; a fork of Adblock Plus called Trueblock Plus. It is derived from Adblock Plus code and is under the same Mozilla Public License as Adblock Plus. Both are free and open source software.
The freedoms that make up “free software” include using the software for any purpose and being able to modify, improve, and redistribute it. In other words, the freedom to “fork” if the upstream dies off, becomes unresponsive to new features that people want, or in the case of Adblock Plus, start to add malicious features that nobody really asked for. (Or for any other reason.)
Right now, the only real modifications to Trueblock Plus are to re-brand it (The name and logos that Adblock Plus uses are trade marks, and are not covered by the free software license of the source code) and to turn off that annoying “Acceptable Ads” antifeature that Wladimir Palant cooked up.
There are also some rough edges in Trueblock Plus. The author of the fork notes that there’s going to have to be some more purging of Adblock Plus branding before Trueblock Plus can progress beyond “preliminary review” status at Mozilla Add-Ons. For example, the Contribute button still links to Adblock Plus’s website. I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not but it says “Contribute to Trueblock Plus”, so I am thinking he may have just searched for and renamed each occurrence of Adblock Plus.
The other problem is that the “Acceptable Ads” code is still there, just disabled by default. Since this code is hardly vital to the operation of the extension, it might be better if Trueblock Plus were to simply revert the commit that added it in the first place. More code in a program means more potential for bugs and security issues, plus the only reason it’s there is so Wladimir Palant can make money by allowing spyware and tracking garbage through by silently switching it on without the user’s consent upon “upgrading” to Adblock Plus 2.0 or later. It is doubtful that any user would opt into something that directly counters the problem that led them to install the software in the first place.
Users who pay attention can still uncheck Wladimir’s Acceptable Ad$ , but he even admits on his website that he’s banking on people not doing that since most people don’t like to tinker and may not even notice what has changed that is allowing ads to get through.
If you have less computer literate friends or relatives, or if you personally don’t want any more nasty surprises from Mr. Palant, then Trueblock Plus might be the way to go.