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Frightened Dell Employees Call Cops on Horribly Misguided P.R. Campaign

We're comforted to know that we're not the only ones who get severely weirded out by overzealous P.R. people. Dell employees in Round Rock, Texas were so freaked out, in fact, that they recently wound up calling the cops on their own coworkers. Of course, they didn't realize at the time that the black-clad, mask-wearing men clutching "metallic objects" and barking orders at them were doing so as...

HP's 'Everybody On' Grammys Ad Appeals to Nobody

During last night's Grammys broadcast, HP ran a comprehensively awful commercial for its TouchPad, combining a track from Lou Reed with a script straight from 'Everyone Poops.' The idea behind the ad is simple: with the TouchPad, you can do a lot of different things. It's a message that the company probably could've portrayed in a million ways. For some reason, though, HP decided to build...

Groupon Pulls Controversial Ads, Apologizes for Offending Viewers

Groupon has pulled a series of commercials that debuted during the Super Bowl, acknowledging that the controversial ad campaign "offended a lot of people." In a post on the company's blog, Groupon founder Andrew Mason announced that some of the satirical spots would still air today, but confirmed that the campaign would end thereafter. "We hate that we offended people, and we're very sorry...

Groupon Courts Controversy With 'Offensive' Tibet, Rain Forest Ads

If you watched the game last night, you may have witnessed many affronts to good taste, including Timothy Hutton shilling Tibetan food for Groupon. Lampooning the seriousness of conservation and humanitarian efforts, Groupon employed celebrities to ask you to "Save the Money" rather than, you know, save the whales. Hutton explains, "The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in...

Motorola Xoom Landing With Crippled Wi-Fi on February 24 for $800

If you're excited for the Motorola Xoom, allow us to disappoint you a bit. The world's first Honeycomb tablet will land on February 24th, and will cost $799.99. What's more, Verizon may be crippling the Wi-Fi radio unless you cough up for a data plan, which starts at $20 a month for 1 GB. In case you missed it, the 1984-esque Xoom Super Bowl ad is above....

Pro Tip: How to Opt-Out of Google's Targeted Ads

In the past, we've shown you how to opt out of targeted ads from Google. But did you know that there is actually an easier way to quickly opt-out that doesn't involve digging around in your advertising preferences? There is now a giant Opt-Out button on the Advertising and Privacy page in Google's Privacy Center. Along with allowing you to opt out, the page offers a detailed explanation of...

Google Experimenting With Image Ads in Gmail

The unlucky among you might have noticed something new in the sidebar of your beloved Gmail: display ads. Google confirmed to Search Engine Land that it is testing out picture ads in Gmail's side panel for image-heavy e-mails. We're hoping, though, that Google doesn't decide to replace our unobtrusive, easy-to-ignore text ads. The only thing worse than text ads for discount Viagra are image-based...

Facebooks's 'Sponsored Stories' Turn Your 'Likes' Into Ads

The next time you "like" your favorite restaurant or clothing brand on Facebook, you may very well end up in the middle of an online advertisement. That's because the social network recently rolled out a new feature called 'Sponsored Stories,' which essentially allows advertisers to use your Facebook activity for their own campaigns. From now on, if you "like" a company that's purchased a...

Google, Mozilla Adding New 'Do Not Track' Features to Browsers

Yesterday, both Mozilla and Google introduced new browser features capable of preventing third-party advertisers from tracking Firefox and Chrome users, respectively. And, while both services aim to give users greater control over their online information, they operate in noticeably different ways. Mozilla's new system alerts third-party advertisers and companies whenever a Firefox user doesn't...

All Those Free Trial CDs Cost AOL Around $300 Million

In the mid-'90s, we remember being befuddled whenever we'd open the Sunday paper to find a CD emblazoned with the AOL logo. Were these people made of money? Were they really giving away compact discs?! As it turns out, yeah, pretty much. According to various former executives, AOL spent something in the neighborhood of $300 million to ship all of those discs....

DirecTV's Personalized Ads Guarantee Wall-to-Wall Cat Commercials (If You're a Cat Owner)

Targeted advertising is all over the Internet. Soon, it might be all over our televisions, too. As the Wall Street Journal reports, DirecTV is planning to launch, next year, a targeted TV ad service, which would feed personalized commercials to nearly 10 million homes. These so-called 'addressable ads' would be tailored to the demographics of each home. Dog owners, for example, would receive...

Ninjas Attack the Nexus S, Trash YouTube for No Good Reason

The Google unboxing ninjas are back again, this time taking on the successor to the Nexus One, the Nexus S. What was initially an endearing YouTube-friendly stop-motion riff on unboxing, has transformed into an over-the-top YouTube takeover, complete with fake comments, interface and video suggestions. And yes, you can drag those nunchucks around to trash the screen. Does anyone find this amusing...

IE9's 'Tracking Protection' Lets Users Block Third-Party Sites From Tracking Them

Share The next version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer will come with a new feature that allows users to block third-party companies from tracking their online behavior. The new tool, called Tracking Protection, will be included in Internet Explorer 9, which will be released next year. Users will be able to create their own lists of targeted sites. The browser will then automatically block these...

YouPorn, Perez Hilton Exploit Bug to Obtain Your Browsing History

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have discovered a bug that many sites are using to track the browsing behavior of their visitors. The flaw was found on some 485 websites, including YouPorn, Perez Hilton and Wired, and reportedly reveals all of the other sites that each user has previously visited. Of the 485 sites affected by the bug, 63 were found to be copying the data,...

YouTube Now Allows Viewers to Skip Commercials

Google is now allowing viewers to skip the commercials that play before YouTube videos. The new ad system, dubbed TrueView, has been in testing for some time, but the format saw a wider roll-out today. When a TrueView ad begins playing, you'll see a counter at the top of the video window. After five seconds, you'll be able to skip the rest of the ad if you so choose. Surprisingly, advertisers...