"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 2 October 1995. Updated every WEEKDAY.

NoShit, Sherlock.


Well, now someone's gone and

done it. Axel Boldt got around

to implementing what we Sucksters

(and probably many of our dear

readers) thunk up about a year

ago, when HotWired's Barbara

Kuhr introduced to the Web the

now-ubiquitous ad banner.

Originally designed to stretch

across a PowerBook screen, ad

banners have since mutated into

a multitude of shapes and

sizes, so that our friends at

Pathfinder now stack 'em three

deep, obviously playing the

loaves and fishes hits game (in

which twice the number of ad

banners somehow translates to

twice the number of salable

page hits) that those of us

close to the industry are only

too familiar with...


Axel's gift to computer geekdom

is a small patch to the CERN

httpd/proxy server, called

NoShit, which filters content

based upon simple rule sets. In

the same manner that some folks

hope to filter the "nasty bits"

on the Web (and Axel's kind

enough to provide a NoFilth

filter to remove some of Suck's

favorite words), Axel's NoShit

filters the ads.


[Proxy Servers Suck.]

For those unfamiliar with proxy

servers, a client, such as Lynx

or Netscape, is configured to

connect to a proxy server, which

then connects to the actual

server the client is requesting

data from. Proxies are usually

put into place to cache data for

a local network with a slow net

connection (like AOL) or to log

access from an internal network

to an external network. (Yeah,

they may know you're reading

Suck, but just walk up to a few

of your colleague's workstations

during the lunch hour and type in


safety in numbers.) The NoShit

proxy recipe simply calls for a

UNIX box with a few extra

processing cycles, and enough

know-how to run a compiler, and

maybe install a GNU utility or two

if your sysadmin's a slacker. You

know, standard UNIX shit. No UNIX

box? You're outta luck, pal, and

don't dream of using all those

publicly available NoShit

servers, 'cuz that's a lawsuit

just waiting to happen...


A cooler hack might have been a

patch to the Mosaic source to do

the same thing, so those of us

fortunate enough to use a

personal computer could do our

filtering locally - but then

again, who wants to use Mosaic?

After all, that browser still

uses some of Marc Andreessen's



It's a shame, too, that Axel's

sample filters only culls ads

from select commercial sites,

and removes some of our favorite

words, because we Sucksters can

think of better filters, such as

replacing the URLs for those

commercial sites with the URL

for the ad-free Suck...


Funny that you would even want

to filter out the ads on those

commercial sites, though. The

"content" seems to us to be

quite complicit with the

"advertising", both selling the

same consumerist ideology. We'll

take just the ads, ma'am. It's

always faster to mainline.

Besides, how else are we gonna

know what to buy?


Where Mr. Boldt really went

wrong, however, is that nobody

pays attention to the damn ads,

anyway. More loyal Suck fans

will remember the parody ad

banners which Suck debuted with -

or not, since hardly anyone

recognized them as parodies.

After all, they were just more

ad banners; nobody looked.


But if ads don't work, how

else can an honest, for-profit

enterprise pay for content

development on the Web? Well,

you could always charge for it...

but, with Suck available for

free, who's gonna buy?


So do us a favor, Axel. Throw

together a script that just hits

ad banners, and let that loose

on the net. You wanna fuck over

advertisers? Just let 'em keep

forking over the cash. Someone's

gotta fund our day jobs...



In the meantime, we strongly

encourage all of you to take a

gander at a product site every

now and again. If the Web excels

as a broadcast medium for

people's sad little neurotic

fantasies, why not revel in

those pages that push the

envelope of desperation and

far-fetched wishful thinking:

the ad pages.

courtesy of Dunderhead