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Posts Tagged ‘crystal

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Why do some technologies, including educational technologies, fail to integrate meaningfully into our lives?

Viewed optimistically, one might suggest that the technology was “before its time”. The technology was ready, but the people were not.

Viewed more critically, one might argue that the technology was a solution seeking a problem. The core issue is whether the problem even exists or needs to be invented first. If you put the proverbial cart before the horse, do not expect any movement.

Viewed more realistically, technology co-evolves with our use so rapidly that it is hard to predict what people want, expect, or will do with technology. If the proverbial posts keep moving, do not expect to score goals.

I upgraded my mobile devices to iOS9 the moment the update was available yesterday primarily because I wanted to test the content blocking features.

I read Techcrunch’s review of three main blockers, 1Blocker, Blockr, and Crystal.

When I tried to download all three last night, only Crystal was available. The other two displayed “Not available in your country’s store” messages. Thankfully both were available this morning.

I tested all three on STonline (@STcom) pages which are littered with the awful ads. They are so bad that they distract from reading and encourage accidental tapping.

Crystal is free to try at the moment. It did not seem to remove the ads because the pages looked intact before and after I applied this blocker.

1Blocker is free and offers in-app purchases that enable more features. I discovered that 1Blocker was heavy-handed. On applying just the ad blocking feature, entire pages in STonline would not appear. I had to load pages without blocking to read anything, but when I did this, the ads would appear.

The best content blocker was Blockr. It is also the only one of the three that does not allow you to try before you buy. It is US$0.99 (S$1.28) at the moment and worth the small amount of money. It not only blocks inline ads that interrupt reading (see my tweet above), it also blocked all the other annoying ads at the bottom of the page.

While it is very early days yet in the battle for blockers, this was a reminder that you get what you pay for.

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