Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pop-up blocker's revenge

The term for the unintended consequence of a technological improvement is "revenge effect." And while it's hard to believe there might be a drawback to the Google toolbar pop-up blocker, I think I may have found one. Gone are the days when I would rejoice at the sight of an Orbitz pop-ups, because they meant I could spend a few hours goofing off. (Artist's rendering at right)

But because of pop-up blocker, a whole generation of these time-wasters has gone missing.

Where's my Hotel. Island Hop. The Italian blockbuster Gondoliero. There are Orbitz engineers spending weeks perfecting these games, and I dishonor them every time my Google toolbar kills one of their ads.

Orbitz was smart enough set up an arcade, but it's just not the same. I don't want to seek diversion out; I want it to find me.

This is the Internet equivalent of having your mail blocked so you don't get Red Envelope catalogs, but sacrificing birthday cards to do it. I never thought I'd say it, but I may just miss pop-ups.



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