February 21, 2013

Getting Rid of Popup Ads in Chrome Caused by “Insta” Processes

Posted in Internet, PC Tech, Troubleshooting tagged , , , , , at 5:53 pm by degyes

I recently started getting popup ads with ridiculous frequency, like at least a dozen per hour (and that was a minimum), non-stop, as long as my Chrome browser was open (I’m running Windows 7, Chrome version 24.0.131257m). This was despite having my browser settings defined to block all popups. To make matters even more irritating, in addition to these ads being repetitive and constant, they weren’t even interesting, focusing mainly on things like weight loss, face lifts, and how to make lots of money surfing the Internet (yeah, right).

Getting back to business, after ruling out a virus (see news and discussion about Adserv virus), I went ahead and confirmed that my browser was indeed set to block popups. This led me on a fruitless and frustrating course of checking, rechecking, and making all manner of adjustments to my Chrome popup settings, an annoying mini-project that played out over the better part of a week.

Finally, I’d more or less given up, resigned to either re-installing Chrome, or limiting its use. However, before taking that step, I decided to do a search on what seemed to be the name of one of the companies putting out these ads. To my luck, I came across a Google Group, of all places, hosting a discussion describing the (pretty simple) solution.

The online discussion I came across suggested that “Insta” extensions—such as InstaTwitter, InstaTumblr, etc—in Chrome were the actual culprits. Why this is an issue in Chrome and not in Firefox or IE isn’t clear, though indeed, it seems to be a known problem.

So in my case, the solution was to disable InstaTwitter. Though I’ll provide, in addition to the (simple) solution that worked, the procedures that didn’t work; this might be useful for conveying the overall discovery process, which included some dead-end steps.

(However, note that these procedures might work just fine as solutions to other popup- and ad-related problems in Chrome.)

Didn’t Work #1:

In the Chrome browser, doing as follows:
1. Settings
2. Advanced Settings
3. Privacy
4. Content Settings
5. Pop-ups
6. “Do not allow any sites to show pop-ups (recommended)”

Didn’t Work #2:

In the Chrome browser, doing as follows:
1. Performing steps #1 – #5, as above.
2. “Allow all sites to show pop-ups”
3. Manage Exceptions
4. Block the following (your popups may differ; these were the ones I was getting):

This Worked!:

In the Chrome browser, do as follows:
1. Tools
2. Task Manager
3. Select InstaTwitter (or any other “Insta” processes like InstaTumblr, etc).
4. Click End Process
5. Close Task Manager

You may have to repeat the procedure for subsequent reboots or new log-ins to your PC. Or perhaps you could disable the Insta processes permanently.

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December 17, 2011

Private People, Public Parts – A Book Commentary in Brief

Posted in Book Review, Commentary, Internet, Social Media tagged , , , , , , at 9:35 pm by degyes

Public Parts, How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live, by new media advocate and pundit Jeff Jarvis (@JeffJarvis), presents—in tones that are sometimes urgent—the case for protecting and preserving the internet as a completely open medium, unfettered by government regulation or corporate interference. As Public Parts has been reviewed widely and extensively from Amazon.com to the Wall Street Journal and beyond, I’ll forgo throwing yet another the full-length analysis into the ring, and instead offer a brief word on what I’m taking home as the key message, and my main gut response.

During it’s almost 20 year run as an open resource brought to masses of users via graphically driven web browsers, Jarvis acknowledges that the internet has transformed—not always necessarily for better—facets of life ranging from the economic, political, and corporate to the most intimate and personal. Yet Jarvis sets forth in often strident terms how the parameters of this transformation must be determined through a free flowing conversation amongst the very audience that the internet serves, that is, its public participants, i.e. the people.

While not always finding myself in agreement with Jarvis’ assertions (my inner jury is still out regarding the extent to which privacy is, or should be, truly dead), I believe his overall message (even if at times a bit crass) needs to be heard, and I congratulate him on articulating it rather eloquently and in a well-researched piece of work.

To whatever degree you live your life online, I would encourage reading Public Parts, as it is likely to widen and deepen your grasp of where this newfound openness is taking us as a global community, not only in the broad, virtual sense, but in ways that are most personal and real.