What’s so annoying about the Internet?

What are “web annoyances”?

Web annoyances is a term I invented to describe anything on the web - or the Internet in general - that is annoying, frustrating, dangerous to your computer, or that needlessly wastes your time and money. This page is a list of the major web annoyances, in abbreviated note form, with links to articles containing more information:

  1. Adverts
    1. WHY ARE THEY ANNOYING?
      1. Privacy invasion - advert companies can track what sites you visit.
      2. Excess adverts give you a headache!
      3. Adverts slow down the web page/your computer; especially if you’re browsing via mobile phone
    2. COMMON TYPES OF ADVERTS:
      1. image banners
      2. flash animations
      3. adverts/sponsorship before/during watching Internet video (like advert breaks on TV)
      4. pop-up windows (automatically appear on entry or exit from a web page)
      5. pop-overs, e.g. marketing surveys (that appear over the content of the page)
    3. HOW TO STOP THEM:
  2. Spam e-mail
    1. How to deal with spam and get rid of it
    2. Spam: How to avoid it in the first place
  3. Botnets
    • What’s a botnet? bot=robot (an autonomous computer program). Net=network. A botnet is therefore a network of PCs infected with viruses/trojans which allow someone else to control them remotely via the Internet. Sometimes such PCs are known as zombies, because they mindlessly follow their masters’ orders.
  4. Google
    1. WHY ARE Google BAD?
      1. Tracking everyone via ads / urchin/googleanalytics web stats
      2. New behavioural ad targeting
      3. Google’s hypocritical oath: “You don’t have to be evil”. Google (and Yahoo) have a bad human rights record of selling out “dissident” journalists to the Chinese government. Then there’s the privacy complaints about Google Streetview.
      4. Danger in putting one big company in charge of access to information on the Internet
  5. Searching and getting a page full of irrelevant results. How to avoid that:
    1. Be more specific with your query
    2. add: -buy -shop -order to your query to filter out adverts, unless you ARE looking to buy something.
    3. Use a specific search engine e.g. IMDB for films
  6. People who use the Google search box instead of the browser’s location/address bar to type in the address of a site.
    • Learn how to use a browser! It’ll make your life easier, honest!
  7. Malware (malicious software) - this includes:
    1. viruses and worms
    2. trojan horses /
    3. “drive-by” downloads (Active X)
    4. spyware / adware
    5. HOW TO AVOID / Get rid of it
      1. You don’t need to if you have a Mac / Linux!
      2. Use anti virus software [Clam AV, McAfee]
      3. Also, anti-spyware and anti-adware software [SpyBot S&D, AdAware]
      4. BE CAREFUL what you download - only install things from reputable sources
  8. People who think they’re right all the timeand forum trolls who just want to stir up arguments
  9. Repeated bad spelling, irritating Americanisms, and profanity (unless it’s done with style!)
    • Rewrite web pages automatically, on-the-fly to fix this. Using Firefox and the GreaseMonkey extension (or Safari and CreamMonkey); + custom word re-writer js [in 3 versions]
  10. Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook
    • The world’s two biggest malware conduits, alone responsible for many of the world’s IT problems.
    • Symptoms of Microsoft’s marketing-led approach: ”we’ll add gimmicky features and hype them in advertising campaigns. Speed and real security be damned - WE know better than you what you want!”
    • IE’s breaking of web standards - for years, supporting IE’s flaws has made web developers’ jobs more difficult, and web development more expensive than it could have been. Microsoft either ignore established standards or “embrace, extend, destroy” them.

This page is under construction. In the unlikely event that you’ve read this far and want to suggest I add to this list, you can e-mail me using the Contact link in the menu at the top of the page!

Oh and if you are new here, and you think it’s perhaps not the worst website in the world, you might want to bookmark it and visit again in a few weeks when I’ve added more pages; or send me an e-mail. Or not as the case may be.