Free, Legal Music OnlineWritten by Daniel Punch
Almost everyone has heard about massive crack down on Internet music piracy that has been occurring over past few years. Napster was taken down (although it has now returned as a pay service), other file sharing programs now require users to pay for a license and RIAA and other similar organizations are doing their best to hunt down copyright offenders and put an end to their crime sprees. The consumers on other hand argue that their actions hurt nobody, that there is no damage done to anyone by their not buying an album. Furthermore, they claim, MP3s allow them to sample a CD before purchasing it, thus actually helping sales.
I'm not here to argue pros and cons. Basically it's not worth it, as neither side of argument will ever see opposition's point of view. What I'd like to do is take a look at completely free and legal alternative to 'stealing' music. Those wonderfully talented musicians who are willing to put their creations online to download for free, solely for joy of spreading their creations to masses.
Free music is surprisingly easy to come by, even music by famous bands. Sometimes it needs to be 'streamed' from Internet, meaning that you can only listen to a song while you're online, but with ever-growing popularity of broadband Internet this is really no longer a problem. Sites such as MP3.com and purevolume.com provide free music by almost any band you can think of, although there is a large amount of it that has to be streamed and not downloaded. A search for 'free legal MP3 downloads' will reveal a huge number of pages to visit.
For something specific, try visiting artist's website, or site of their record label. These will often offer a few sample tracks to download for free. It's not quite as convenient as having access to every song that you want, but it's not a bad alternative.
But how about we forget about mainstream for just a while and move towards alternative? Towards hopefuls, talented bands that have yet to be 'noticed'. There are a huge number of these smaller bands out there that are sticking their stuff online for any and all to listen to, just so that they can be heard. These can be easier to find, because most MP3 sites will be filled with these smaller acts. A great place to start is http://www.garageband.com/ or aforementioned http://purevolume.com
Pop-Up Blockers: Before you decide to fight ads you better know what you’re up against!Written by Anti Spam League
A ‘pop-up blocker’, also known as ‘pop-up killer’, is a program that prevents pop-ups from being displayed in a user's web browser. Pop-up blockers work in a number of ways. While some close window before it appears, others disable command that calls pop-up, and yet others alter window's source HTML. One problem with pop-up blockers is that they cannot always differentiate between an unwanted pop-up window and one that is user-requested. But that is just a minor problem. Before you decide whether you want to fight ad-blocking battle, you really need to know threats that you are dealing with.
Let’s just start from beginning: Pop-ups are those annoying windows that get in way of us viewing web sites that we want to view. Sometimes they even have things on them that are offensive. Most of us get mad when faced with undesired pop-ups but, in fact, few of us do something about it. The most reasonable explanation for this is that even people who detest web ads concede that explosion in web advertising has financed a no-cost Internet rich in content. However, if every Internet user blocked all advertisements all time, companies might have to charge user fees for their web services or else they would go out of business. Albeit most web surfers would, to some extent, agree on need of advertisement as a financial resource for Internet-based companies that fundamentally operate as content providers, new online advertising methods and techniques that some advertisers have been using appear to cross line between what is reasonable and what is not; in other words, what can be considered a ‘fair amount of advertising’ and what is just an ‘unethical use of advertising as a means to invade people’s eyeballs, minds and lives’. The trick here is that online advertising evolves faster than one could possibly imagine. You would be very naďve if you thought that latest generation of online ads just sits timidly on a web page carrying an identifying label that says ‘Advertising. Click on me’. Instead, bulk of adware stealthily masquerade ads as non-commercial content or bombard our eyeballs with pyrotechnic excess. Although it is literally impossible to describe all different types and formats of existing online advertising, let us walk you through most common ones that have so far been identified. First there are Standard Banner Ads, including new formats such as vertically oriented skyscraper. These stay inside primary browser window. Second, there are pop-up and pop-under ads. As opposed to standard banner ads, these appear in new browser windows, typically stripped of toolbars and menus, and either cover your original browser window or hide beneath it. Third, there are Interstitials, which are ads that appear after you click on a link but before you see next page, and Pop-up Transitionals, a type of ad that plays in a separate window between two pages of content. Fourth, there are Superstitials, a highly evolved ad species which move across face of a web page, as if they were animations projected on a piece of glass over page. Worst of all are Mouse-Trappers and High-Speed Spawners, so called because they break your browser's Back button and/or disable Close box and often also have ability to replicate windows faster than you can get rid of them.
Most legitimate web sites try to avoid using misleading ads to get clicks but some allow trick banner, that is, an ad that mimics a dialog box. When you click its OK button to dismiss a system message, you are automatically drawn into a spiral of other web ads: a total nightmare! Then there's also adware like TopText, which skulks onto your system when you install certain shareware or freeware programs and then spawns its own pop-ups to compete with those launched by sites you visit.