Ads are the unfortunate reality of the free and open internet — websites have bills to pay, and users have been more tolerant of ads than paid subscriptions. News website Salon has been nagging visitors about ad blockers for a while, but now it’s giving some people an alternative. Simply opt into the new “Suppress Ads” feature and browse ad-free. The catch: your device’s CPU will be harnessed to mine cryptocurrency.
We’ve seen websites running crypto mining plugins like Coinhive before, but it’s usually done in a profoundly shady way. You just show up at a website and your CPU usage skyrockets as the site tries to crunch as many numbers as possible on your hardware before you close the tab. People have also built ads and even WordPress plugins that can mine cryptocurrency.
In contrast, Salon isn’t hiding the presence of its mining operation. When the site detects you’re using an ad blocker, it offers the option of either turning it off or opting into Suppress Ads; or at least it will eventually. The feature is still just a beta that won’t show up for everyone. There’s a whole FAQ that covers the new Suppress Ads option, and it adequately explains what you as a user can expect. However, Salon makes the mining operation sound much nobler than it really is.
According to the FAQ, Salon will leverage your “unused processing power” only when you’re browsing its site. Close the tab, and mining stops. You won’t see any ads when opted into this feature, but the opt-in only lasts 24 hours. At that point, you need to confirm again. It’s a completely reasonable way for a website to mine crypto.
Many users will probably see this as a reasonable tradeoff. You use a little more electricity while browsing Salon, but there are no ads, and you can support the creation of content. However, Salon needs to be honest with users — this is not a noble pursuit to cure cancer or find aliens. It’s about money.
MSI’s Nvidia RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Review: 2080 Ti Performance, Pascal Pricing
Nvidia's new RTX 3070 is a fabulous GPU at a good price, and the MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio shows it off well.
AMD Has No Near-Term Plan For Hybrid Big, Little Cores on Same Silicon
AMD has no plans to build a hybrid CPU with big and little cores any time in the near future, but the company continues to evaluate the concept.
Microsoft: Bethesda Games ‘Either First or Better’ on Xbox, Not Exclusive
Microsoft's Tim Stuart doesn't think the company will try to cut PS5 gamers out of future Bethesda titles. The company wants Xbox to be the best destination for its games, but not the only one.
Astronomers Spot Earth-Sized Rogue Planet Wandering the Galaxy
Astronomers have identified more than 4,000 exoplanets orbiting other stars but just a few "rogue planets" wandering the galaxy without a star to call home. A new study claims to have spotted one of these worlds, and it may be a small, rocky world like Earth.