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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Adblock in Technical; What are people's thoughts on using the Adblock extension in schools? I haven't looked into the licensing part of it ...
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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Adblock

    What are people's thoughts on using the Adblock extension in schools?

    I haven't looked into the licensing part of it - firstly and most importantly, is it allowed? If so, do you think it's worth doing? Some of the adverts that pop up still get past various filters and are inappropriate at times or downright annoying considering we're working in education and not a home user. Of course we were never shown the adverts when watching VHS copies of Channel 4 Schools or anything so same should apply, right?

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    X-13's Avatar
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    I force adblock on chrome.

    Way too many "educational" websites have dodgy ads...
    Last edited by X-13; 18th May 2014 at 06:56 PM.

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    synaesthesia (18th May 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    do you think it's worth doing?
    Very much so!


    You might find it worthwhile to also block ads in Internet Explorer via tracking protection lists. The relevant registry values are shown below, but you need to ensure the folder where the .tpl's get downloaded to already exists (it isn't by default IIRC).

    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Safety\PrivacIE\Lists\{560378B1-C7BC-4B80-983D-C72B8CB036BB}]
    "Path"="%LOCALAPPDATA%\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Tracking Protection\\{560378B1-C7BC-4B80-983D-C72B8CB036BB}.tpl"
    "Name"="EasyList"
    "Url"="http://easylist-msie.adblockplus.org/easylist.tpl"
    "Enabled"=dword:00000001
    "LastUpdateTime"=dword:00000001
    "TTL"=dword:00000004
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Safety\PrivacIE\Lists\{7DF43E5D-53FE-48DD-BEC2-BAB72F6B8D91}]
    "Path"="%LOCALAPPDATA%\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Tracking Protection\\{7DF43E5D-53FE-48DD-BEC2-BAB72F6B8D91}.tpl"
    "Name"="Fanboy Adblock List"
    "Url"="http://www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/ie/fanboy-noele.tpl"
    "Enabled"=dword:00000001
    "LastUpdateTime"=dword:00000001
    "TTL"=dword:00000004
    Last edited by Arthur; 18th May 2014 at 10:28 PM.

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    lionsl2005 (19th May 2014), mac_shinobi (18th May 2014), Reverend_Dan (26th September 2014), synaesthesia (19th May 2014)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Any reports of "false positives" - anything being blocked that shouldn't be? Would this have any effect on lessons that may otherwise rely on them, Business studies perhaps?

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Any reports of "false positives" - anything being blocked that shouldn't be? Would this have any effect on lessons that may otherwise rely on them, Business studies perhaps?
    The only issue I've had with adblock plus was with YouTube videos.

    Though that was before I brought it in here.

    There used to be a problem with videos not buffering properly because of the unskippable ads being blocked, but that was sorted a while ago.


    Le EDIT: woops... thought you were still talking about Adblock.

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    Bompalompalomp's Avatar
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    Adblock is on all of the netbooks here. I've heard that it's a memory hog recently, but it hasn't affected us really. I think that's getting fixed, too.

    I honestly couldn't imagine not using it wherever possible in schools. The kids are allowed to go on game sites during their after school club here and some of the ads on those sites that make it through the firewall have contained nudity or malicious clickbait in the past. Combine that with kids clicking sponsored links and game ads that aren't related to what they're doing...

    You can add exceptions for sites that you feel need it (on-demand services, etc. 4oD?) so I'd just roll it out with whatever settings you would like for sites that they commonly use. I haven't ever noticed a false positive that hasn't been user-defined.

    I'd definitely make sure to disable the option where the blocking tab pops up on every flash and javascript object, though. I've had to sort out staff laptops for "it broke my Candy Crush!" because of wandering cursors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Any reports of "false positives" - anything being blocked that shouldn't be?
    Not really, although most people use Chrome here. IE only tends to get used when a site doesn't work in Chrome (so not very often ).

    I suppose you could deploy the Adblock extension and/or the IE TPLs to a small number of users to see how it goes?

    The other alternative would be to block ads on your proxy (Smoothwall has an 'Adverts' category), although this is obviously of little use when staff take laptops home, but at least it enables you to unblock sites that have been blocked inadvertently.
    Last edited by Arthur; 19th May 2014 at 10:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bompalompalomp View Post
    I've heard that it's a memory hog recently, but it hasn't affected us really. I think that's getting fixed, too.
    FWIW, the HTTPSwitchboard extension uses significantly less RAM than Adblock Plus, although it looks more complicated.

    http://github.com/gorhill/httpswitchboard/wiki/Adblock-Plus-memory-consumption

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    Installed it on a couple of test PCs, and the firstrun keeps popping up Mandatory profiles so it keeps cropping up with a new window saying it's installed, as well as another popup saying "would you like to update" :|

    Edit: Can get rid of the pop up window saying it's been installed, but not the little yes/no box that asks if I'd like the icon to go into the status bar
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 19th May 2014 at 01:44 PM.



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