TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: 14.4 Runs Faster Than 56k Modem. Why?

Re: 14.4 Runs Faster Than 56k Modem. Why?

William Warren (
Sat, 15 Oct 2005 09:56:43 -0400 wrote:

> I only have a 14.4 modem for my dial up connection. It obviously runs
> slow nowadays with all the junk they throw on the Internet. (for
> straight text, it runs great).

> I needed access to some information and went to a neighbor who has a
> 56k dial up. I went to the desired site and to my surprise, the site
> loaded much slower than it does on my home machine. That didn't make
> any sense to me.

You might have a cached copy of the page on your home machine.

> I did suspect one thing: My browser is also old. I get Javascript
> errors and tell it not to bother with that. Perhaps the heavy java
> junk they send down today is bypassed since my browser won't support
> it; further, my browser won't execute any of that java script (which
> can slow things down quite a bit). I don't get the animations, but
> who cares? I also miss out on a lot of ads.

> In some ways the fancy java junk is helpful. But in many ways it is
> nothing but a huge waste of bandwidth and PC CPU cycles. My high
> powered work PC with a good connection pauses when it works on some
> internet screens, which I think is utterly absurb and unnecessary.

> (Part of my frustration is my feeling that PCs should not be disposed
> of until they're physically worn out, which is about 5-10 years. But
> with the rapid obsolesence of ALL the components (browsers, I/O ports,
> operating systems, internal motherboard connections, appplications),
> PCs become functionally unusable (obsolete) much earlier than their
> physical decline. Buying a new PC is an expense, not only for the new
> machine, but also for transferring files and appliations over and
> learning the new hardware and software.)

Javascript has its uses, but you're right about the main one: it's
mostly used to serve up ads. Marketers are trying to "target" ads more
and more, not only based on the site you're visiting, but also on your
past viewing habits, and Javascript is the method of choice.

Web developers are turning to Javascript in order to bypass popup
filters: ever since Mozilla & Firefox made popup blocking a user
option, advertisers have been screeming for ways to defeat the
control. Javascript, when used cleverly, will bypass popup
filters. There is, of course, a cost, and the currency they're paying
with is your time.

I've tried surfing with Javascript turned off, and as much as one-half
of the "typical" page comes up blank when I do. However, some sites
just don't work well without it -- Ebay, in particular, needs it for
searching the way I'm used to. If you don't choose to use an external
proxy, you can turn off the "Raise or lower windows" option in
Firefox's "Advanced" Javascript options, and that's also effective, at
least for popup ads, although it also kills the popup logon screen at
my bank.

Since I want better control, I've gone back to using Proxomitron to
filter the Javascript, and so far that has worked well: Proxomitron
has an exception file where I can enter sites such as Ebay. Although
Proxomitron isn't maintained anymore, (R.I.P. Scott Lemmon) there are
other proxies available.

The fight for control of your browser is an arms race, and no solution
will work forever. The trick is to stay (pun intended) off their
radar, and that means using a control mechanism that's not common
enough to attract countermeasures. I'm working on a Linux firewall
that will return a "site unavailable" error from every IP address used
to serve up ads: that's going to be my next big gun.



William Warren

(Filter noise from my address for direct replies)

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