just one more geek in a sea of austin techies

September 24, 2016

TIP: Anti-anti-AdBlock #WebGeek

If, like me, you use an "ad blocker" in your web browser to improve your web experience then you've likely run across so-called anti-ad blocker measures on sites like Forbes, Wired, and other big-name news websites.  Over the past year many of these sites instituted measures that prevent you from viewing content unless you turn off your ad blocker.

Tip if you use AdBlock
Click the AdBlock icon that appears near the top of your web browser and select the "Don't run on this page" option from the pop-up menu.  Done!  This step will deactivate many site's "anti-ad block" content blockers on all of a site's pages, not just the single page you allowed ads on.

(Don't have AdBlock?  Check it out here: )

Allowing ads only on the initial page can help skirt ad walls.
Here we see the AdBlock plugin blocked 16 ads on the home page of "".

Why This Works (for now)
Many of the current anti-ad blocker solutions interpret this action as you having deactivated ad block for the entire site and so will allow you to browse all pages without issue.  On a site like you won't even have to see ads on the page you "allowed ads" on since Forbes' solution uses an intermediary page to shield content.  In other words, all you'll have done is to "allow ads" on the intermediary page which Forbes will no longer show you since the site believes you've deactivated your ad blocker for the entire site.

September 1, 2016

Give your kid a phone...cheaply! #PhoneGeek

My kids are growing up and getting into more and more activities.  A cell phone has become an item my wife and I *need* the kids to have.  Not for social use, mind you, but as a tool for necessary family communication.  And for taking photos.  And maybe a few games.

Notorious penny-pincher that I am, I've settled on a rather excellent combination of phone capabilities and value.  Our first "kid phone" includes:

  • Android 6.0; 2GB RAM; 48GB storage; HD display (1280x720)
  • Location service + remote lock/wipe so I can pinpoint phone and secure it if needed
  • Limited monthly talk (200 minutes), texts (500) and data (500MB) to force responsible phone use
  • Ability to increase/decrease monthly limits as needed
The kicker?  I paid a one-time price of $71 with no monthly cellular service charges (free cellular service!)  That's $71 and done.  I can harp at my kids for hours on the need to be "phone-responsible" but the truth is that I'm only out $71 if the phone is ever lost/broken/stolen.

Read on to see what I've put together...