You know those annoying pop-up ads that cover over on-line news pages and you have to either outwait them or move them or click the 'x' to close them? Well, the LA Times in the final stages of its well deserved death rattle has gotten desperate enough to stoop to a new low, even by their standards.
They now have an on-line ad that not only does not go away by itself, but there is also no way to click past it, or even move it. You are FORCED to open the ad to read the article, giving the LA Times money each time you click it.
Now I am all in favor of using internet ad revenue to provide 'free' on-line editions of newspapers, but if the LA Times made even the slightest effort at updating its website or actually turned out a paper anyone would actually want to read, they would make a lot more money than by employing sleazy tactics like this.
Now as the ad seems to only come up when you first enter the site, just click to another story when it appears and then click back to the one you wanted to read, and the ad spam should be gone. Also, despite opening the LAT site a number of times today on differrent computers on different networks - I have only hit it twice this far. So it seems to be a trial balloon to see how much it annoys us.
In addition, on my oldest computer with no anti-pop-up software - I also get FOUR moveable pop-up ads besides this one when I first hit the website.
UPDATE AND ANSWER TO WHAT THE HELL THAT POP-UP IS!
Afer some experimenting, I have discovered how differently each browser downloads ads on the LA Times website. Some are pop-up hell and another has this HUGE Macy's ad that suddenly appears out of nowhere. And on one of them - FIREFOX - the Alaska Airlines ad somehow moves outside of its right hand side box and slides over, largely covering over the text. And then it can not be moved or closed without opening it. It does not do this on my other browsers.
So this is not a new type of pop-up - it is just a piece of rouge software.
LATER UPDATE 9/28/2005
LA Times on-line staff still working hard to fix this problem - which does not replicate on their computers - but does on several readers computers with even the latest FIREFOX. It appears to be something wrong with the Alaska Airlines software - and not a LAT problem. But as of last night, the ad is now almost totally back in its box.