As of about 10:30 this morning, we started blocking advertising banners and popups on the caching proxy servers. While this is not infallible, it should certainly reduce the amount of advert-related traffic flowing over Rhodes' Internet connection. From the users' perspective, this also has the positive effects of reducing the amount of data that contributes to their quota, as well as making browsing a more pleasant experience.

The software we're using to do this is called adzapper. If you notice adverts that get past the ad blocking mechanism, you can help improve its rule sets by telling the authors of the ad blocking software (and letting us know too, so we can update the configuration).

We realise that there may, at times, be legitimate reasons why people want to see adverts on their web pages. In order to facilitate this, we've created a mechanism to allow users to bypass the advert blocking if and when they want to. Web browsers that are configured to fetch proxy settings from will automatically have adverts blocked, while those configured to fetch their settings from will not. Thus, if you want to see adverts, change the proxy.pac in your web browser's configuration to adproxy.pac.

Advert blocking is experimental at the moment and we'll review the effectiveness of the system, as well as its impact on our cache server in two weeks time. We may decide to discontinue the system at that time, or we may decide to extend the trial period. Users who change their proxy settings to use adproxy should check back here to see the status of things.