Request for Feedback: Pop-ups?

We had a complaint from reader Michael Wilson that there were some nasty pop-ups opening when he visited the site. We have never had pop-ups ads in the past and seeing how much I hate them myself, I would never subject anyone to them.

When I go to HoT and I get the site on okay but after a few minutes I start getting a number of what I would call pop up windows for the HoT site. I am getting about 15 of these little suckers lately and I only get them on the HoT site. Not being a skilled with computers, I hardly know how to plug one in, I have no idea if the problem is on my end, however, since I see it only on the HoT site I thought it might be a fault lying elsewhere.

My initial guess would be that he has some malicious spamware installed on his system and needs to run AdAware to clean it up (in addition to using FireFox, just click the link at the top if you see it).

So tell us, is anyone else having this problem? Any suggestions as to what would cause poor Michael to only get this kind of craziness at our site?

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. I’ve never seen a pop-up here, nor do I recall ever seeing one blocked. Maybe he’s confused because your external links open in a new window. Or perhaps something’s wrong, and your internal links are opening in new windows as well? I can’t be sure.

  2. Grisoft rocks. And I never see a single ad on this site (except occasionally on the sidebar), not even of the inobtrusive variety, thanks to Firefox with Adblock Plus.

    (I’m pretty sure that doesn’t cost y’all any money, since I wouldn’t click on the ads anyways, right?)

  3. Don’t worry Nigel, I’m aware that people will use adblockers (you might be missing out on blogads that are targetted at libertarians though).

    Just think though… if everyone blocked ads, they would just move to interstitials faster (think Salon).

  4. I’ve experimented with Adbrite’s intermission ads. One person complained, but he’s still reading. Even so, I turned it off; it wasn’t really making any money.

  5. Ive never seen a pop up on this website. Then again, my computer is protected with a firewall, anti-virus program, spyware and adware blocker program, and I keep Windows XP updated.

  6. Stephen, I took a look at Salon to see what you meant by interstitial ads…and I can’t see the sponsor logo that they ask me to click on thanks to AdBlock, so no revenue there for them either – no way am I going to remove some filters so that I can read something I could surmise from Google News anyways.

  7. The answer may be simpler. If he is seeing a more-or-less plain gray dialog with text content (rather than a full-fledged web page) he is probably receiving Windows Messenger Service (pop-up) spam. This happens when an unnecessary (with some exceptions) Windows service is turned on, and the computer IP address is static and known. Solutions would be [1] kill the service or tune the firewall to block UDP on port 1026 [2] change the IP address (this can be as simple as powering down a DSL modem for 10 munites then powering back up, or as complicated as calling the ISP for tech support) For an exlanation of how pop-up spam works (USDOT CIAC page) see: [url][/url]
    For instructions from O’Reilly (the computer publisher) on how to easily kill this service in Windows XP, see: [url][/url]


  8. What’s with the [url] business? This isn’t a forum, you write them the REAL way here. <a href=””>HTML</a>. :)

  9. I also am partial to Spybot S&D, and “Hijack This” — but for this guy, Hijack This is probably a bad idea; since it lets you screw around with your web-browser settings.

  10. I’ve never had a problem with this site. But for some reason Firefox has given me problems ( I donwloaded it when prompted at this site). For some reason the browser goes to sites other than what I type in. For example, when I try to go to Hammeroftruth, I endup at And once went to a bestiality site, seriously.

  11. Thanks for the comments. It is strange that I only get this interference on the HoT site and not anywhere else.
    I’m working on correcting it and do appreciate all the pointers.
    Michael Wilson