App Turns Web Ads into LOL Cats
Most April Fools jokes try to get you to believe something that isn’t real, such as flying penguins or archaeologists finding the fossilized remains of a dragon.
But AdBlock, a free plugin for the Chrome and Safari Web browsers, has provided something very real to users – funny photos of kittens in place of online ads. Normally, the program simply reformats the Web page to make it appear as if an ad had never existed. Now, it fills the space with one of several cat pictures.
When you hover your cursor over the photo, you see an option to disable it or to “Learn more.” Clicking that brings you to a blog post, ostensibly written by the cat of Michael Gundlach, creator of AdBlock, explaining why the version of the software she coded, CatBlock, is much better. “I sho u cats insted k?” she wrote. (In fact, he has no cat and just used LOL cat images he found online.)
Gundlach originally wrote that he would keep the kitty option available "for a few days." But he has gotten so many words of praise that he’s offering to provide a full version of CatBlock -- ready in a few weeks -- to anyone who agrees to pay at least $5 per month.
The "at least" logic fits into the free software ethos. Often, creators simply ask people to pay what they think it's worth. In this case, he's encouraging people to pay more, if they like.
There is some irony in this. The creator of software that keeps website owners from being paid (by ad revenue) is making the case that he, however, should be paid.