Patti listens to the Tech Guy with her Amazon Echo and noticed that she gets commercials from San Diego, not LA. What gives? Leo says that when listening to the stream, the radio station sometimes uses specially sold ads for the internet stream that are more regional, or national in design. So that's likely why she heard ads from San Diego. Her device may also not really know your location, so if she can go into the app, she can add the location and get more accurate ads and weather forecasts.
Len listens to his podcasts through Amazon Echo. Leo says that Echo and other home assistants are a boon for podcasters and streaming radio from all over the world. He says the problem though is that it'll completely play live, but if he listens to it pre-recorded, he only gets about 20 minutes. Leo says it all comes down to advertising. If you're listening to a podcast in Cleveland, but you're in San Diego, ads are no benefit to you or the advertiser. And they probably don't pay to have an ad on the download. It's all about economics. Podcasts are like magazines.
Steve fears his Android phone has been attacked by a virus. He's suddenly getting something called "AdChoices." Leo says that AdChoices is by The Digital Advertising Alliance, and is a response to Ad Blockers. It lets users fine tune their ad preferences. Steve can go into his browser settings and turn off popups and redirects. Then he can clear out his browser cache.
Mark wants to know why broadcast ads will use the 'Alexa' trigger word that could hijack his Echo device. Leo says that in Amazon's commercials, they actually use an inaudible sound behind the trigger word that prevents the device from taking action on it, but it may be that other advertisers don't know about this. Leo says it may even be against Amazon's rules to use trigger words in flash briefings.
Online ads have become increasingly pervasive and annoying over the years, so the effort to circumvent or block them entirely is no surprise. Some ads go as far as to completely obstruct content, and it can significantly slow down the responsiveness of the site as well. Some sites automatically start playing video and audio of ads or other content, which can interrupt something else you’re watching or listening to. It may seem like an obvious solution to install and run an ad blocker all the time, but this presents an ethical dilemma.
Frank wants to know how he can filter out ads when he's on the internet. Especially when he's listening to music. Leo says that he has mixed emotions about blocking ads because he makes a living with ad supported content. But UBlock Origin is a good ad blocker. Leo says he should accept ads from sites he prefers. Another option is to block autoplay in Chrome. Just Google it, and he'll find a plugin to do it.
Facebook's top security officer says that it's really hard to keep bad guys off their site. Testifying before Congress, he said that buying so-called dark ads is hard to stop. Leo says that's because they're willing to pay for it. Leo adds that Facebook really needs to do eliminate dark ads completely and have every ad be seen in the light of day so we know who's buying the ads. But Facebook doesn't want to do that.
Robert has been using Google Adwords and Facebook Ads to contact his clients and find new customers, but it's a very expensive way to do it for a seasonal business. He wants to choose one or the other. Leo says Facebook ads are the better of the two, but he'll need to use it effectively. Facebook knows more about its members than anyone, but he needs an expert who can make the most of that. He'll have to think about his business in a way that leverages these new tools and there are ways to do it.
Rob bought a Motorola Moto G and every time he turns it back on, he gets a ton of ads from Sprint. Leo says that it could be Sprint that's doing it, but they say it's an app virus. Leo says that Amazon sells subsidized devices which would give him Amazon ads. So if Rob bought it from Amazon, he'll get lock screen offers and ads. That doesn't mean he's stuck, though. He can root the phone and put another ROM on it.
Apple's iOS 9 update now makes it possible to install an ad blocker. This isn't system wide, and will not block ads within apps. It's just for the browser. To do this, you'll have to download one of several ad blocker apps that are available in the App Store. Leo uses Crystal. Then you'll see in the settings that you'll be able to enable it.