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A site for sore advertisers.

ADVERTISING on the web is a subject guaranteed to arouse mixed opinions.

While adverts are the life-blood of mainstream media, for some years the web got along just fine without them and would still exist if all online ads disappeared overnight.

But a new piece of software has angered online advertisers and could potentially threaten the viability of those sites which depend on them.

Software which filters out adverts is nothing new, but Gator (www. gator. com) is different. It monitors your surfing, watches what you seem to be interested in and then covers up website ads with specially-targeted ones of its own.

If Khaki Cola have paid a few thousand pounds to have their adverts on, say, a popular online music site, they are going to be less than impressed if Gator-ed browsers replace them with ads for arch-rival Popsy Cola.

You may be surprised to learn that you already have Gator on your machine without realising it. Users of popular Napster replacement Audiogalaxy, for example, may not be aware that Gator is installed by default.

Gator's creators describe it as a "helpful browser companion". Advertisers and website owners may disagree.

For more information about "hidden" web software, visit www. spychecker. com
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 1, 2001
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