What is atdmt.com?

Trying to use my Back button and not getting to any page, I see a ton (sometimes up to 50 or more) pages all of which are http://view.atdmt.com/lnt/iview/3957153

What is this page and why do so many copies of it get loaded while on the Straight Dope?

Ad company.


So the second question is why does it load so many times making the back button worthless in some cases?

It’s been flooding my back button for the last couple days as well, pouring in up to 13 instances of it, making backing out of a thread a giant pain in the ass.

I’ve about gotten out of the habit of using the Back button. Instead I click that little downward pointing triangle to the right of it and see the last page I want to go to and click that. Saves clicking on all that sly shit that comes in while you’re not looking. :slight_smile:

Did that but now in 3 cases scrolling through that list has just led to more instances of the same page. That’s how I got my count of over 50 instances.

If it helps at all, I’m using IE8 and have yet to see the first instance of atdmt in that lookback list.

Here’s how I deal with sh|t like that and more.
Almost without exception, when I click on any link of any sort in any page, I always RIGHT-click on the link, then choose to open the link in a new tab. When I’m good and done looking at that, I just close that tab.

If I feel fairly sure I’m done reading the initial page, however (meaning I don’t think I’m going back to it), then I’ll just click directly. I often do this, for example, when reading on-line news articles.

Of course, if I do a lot of clicking on links, I might sometimes end up with a whole bunch of tabs open. I try to keep a low limit on this, just so I can keep track in my head of what-all I’ve got open. So, for example, when I read news or SDMB, I’ll often make a point of finishing one page to my satisfaction so I can close it.

But wait! There’s more! I also try to take advantage of some browser tricks to avoid excess junk. I’ve mentioned many times that I keep JavaScript disabled when I’m not actually needing it. This alone cuts down substantially on junk! Also, my browser (Firefox 3.something) has an option to black-list images: Whenever an image appears on a page, I RIGHT-click on the image. One of the options is to block all future images from the site where that image came from. If it’s an advertising site, that’s what I do. So I’ve built up a black-list of those, and I never see images from those sites. After just a few weeks of doing this, it really reduces that kind of junk a lot.

NOW: If only there was a way to build a similar black-list of third-party sites other than images! Basically, HTML pages contain links to other pages that display in little boxes on the parent page, and I want to block all those from advertising sites, and build a black-list, just like with I can do with images. Short of installing browser ad-ons, does anyone know of a way to do this? (Maybe I’ll go ahead and install ad-ons if necessary, but I’d like a way to do it directly in the browser.)

ETA: TL;DR version: Does anybody know a way to make the browser BLOCK ALL loads from atdmt.com or any other sites I don’t want to hear from? I want to build a black-list of those.

There are a couple of ways of dealing with this.

The ads here come from scripts, which can be disabled with things like noscript on firefox and similar add-ons for other browsers. Disabling all scripts on the SDMB also breaks other things like spoiler boxes. Most script blockers are configurable, so you can allow or disallow specific sites.

Ad blocker add-ons will also prevent access to known advertising sites.

You can also disable all access to a site by spoofing its DNS resolution using your local hosts file. Things like boards.straightdope.com are meaningless to a computer. It needs to convert that into numbers, which are then used to do the actual data transfers. The way it converts words into numbers is through the Domain Name System (DNS). Name resolution starts with your local hosts file, which is almost never used these days. If no entry is found, your computer sends a DNS request to whatever DNS server is configured in your system. If that fails, the request is passed on up the line until, worst case, it reaches one of the 13 root DNS servers for the entire internet. Those guys have the master DNS list. If the entry ain’t there, it ain’t on the internet.

To short circuit DNS lookups for sites that you don’t want to access, open up your hosts file. Hosts files started on unix, and on unix and its variants are located in /etc. Windows sorta copied this, so on windows machines your hosts file is in (system root)\system32\drivers\etc. On a mac it is in private/etc.

If you open up your hosts file, chances are it doesn’t have much in it. Add a line that is something like this to it: atdmt.com

What this does is it resolves the name “adtmt.com” to the IP address, which is the “loopback address” meaning that it always points to your own computer. Therefore, when the web page tries to access atmt.com it instead sends the request to your own computer, which of course can’t find the resource you are looking for (since it doesn’t exist on your local computer) and voila, all access to adtmt.com is blocked.

Get Ghostery from http://www.ghostery.com/download and set it to auto-update the blacklist

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This is also a good time to follow the recommendations in this sticky thread:

How to protect and clean your computer from malware

By disabling JavaScript, as I do, that takes care of all of this. I enable it on occasion when I want to see a spoiler or pay a bill on-line. (This takes 4 mouse clicks. I wish I could set up a one-click button on my toolbar to toggle JS enabled/disabled.) This also breaks all the formatting tools and icons in the Compose Message box, but I’ve learned to hand-type the ones I use most, and keep a cheat-sheet handy of the rest. How retro is that :dubious: Being an old-school Command Line Interface junkie and troff user, that kind of stuph still comes natural to me. (We old 1980’s era Unix Sys Admins don’t need no steenkin mouses!)

Manually editing hosts like that sounds like more trouble than it’s worth. But I have a little in-house intranet of old machines that I’ve collected and various transient virtual machines that I play with, some of which do some kinds of server functions, but none of which do in-house DNS serving. So I have to add them all to hosts on all my machines! :frowning: Here’s a thought! Write a Firefox add-on with just one or two clicks it will take the URL and IP of any page component I click on and edit that into hosts file for me!

Uh, maybe I’ll just look into script blockers. I like the idea of being able to build a site-specific list for what to block, just like Firefox does with cookies and images.

ETA: When I go to, it actually shows a stubby little “Hello World” web page!

Just reporting that my smugness (as I knew at the time it would) has caused the massive inflow of those things and I suspect 50 is a low count. I’m going to try some of the tricks suggested here, so this thread has proved its worth for me. Thanks, Saint Cad for that!

You can (and single-click control over a ton of others), if you use Firefox and the extension

Did all this and it seems to work, but now my computer will not save the login cookie. Could that be related to what I did here?

May I say, I use the back button all the time, and have never seen this problem. I use Firefox, but I do not block scripts or ads. I do block Flash however (with Flashblock). Maybe that is where the issue arises.

Senegoid: to open a link in a new tab, just middle click (usually your mouse wheel). There is no need for the right-click menu. Personally I use a mouse with a left side button configures as a back button, and the Back to close FF extension. Using this plus middle click makes browsing in tabs a treat.

Hey, thanks to everybody for the hints here, in addition to my own ideas above. I’m bookmarking this thread for future reference! One of these days, in my copious spare time, I’m going to play with these tricks. This is fighting ignorance as it was meant to be fought! (Still learning to use computers since 1973! :smiley: ) F’rinstance, 'twas only a few weeks ago that somebody mentioned, right here on this board, the first time I ever heard of it, about middle-clicking to open a new tab. (Actually, that one seems awkward to me – too clumsy to click without rolling the wheel, in which case it doesn’t work.) In fact, it was also in fairly recent times that I first learned that the wheel was also a clickable button!

In particular, I’m going to think more about spoofing out sites I don’t like via my hosts file, as suggested above by engineer_comp_geek – I think I could even write a little script of some sort to semi-automate it!

Here’s something else I think a LOT of us would appreciate: Is there a way to stop pages from auto-refreshing themselves? I’d like to disable those [noparse]<meta name=“refresh” . . .[/noparse] thingies, so once a page loads, it will stay put!