Newsletter Archives

  • Can Microsoft Advertising just keep your money?


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    Scores of legitimate business owners report that they were rejected by Microsoft for “egregious behavior” shortly after applying for an account to advertise in the Bing search engine.

    If Microsoft doesn’t want to accept more advertising revenue, well, fine. But the new account holders say Microsoft failed to promptly refund hundreds of dollars that the potential new advertisers had deposited to fund their initial ad buys.

    Talk about adding insult to injury: US applicants, among others, receive a formulaic email message telling them to call a phone number in Brazil for support!

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.42.0, 2023-10-16).

  • Falling for the click


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    After watching the technology-related advertisements from this year’s Super Bowl, my takeaway was that we are a gullible population that will absolutely and utterly click on anything without verification.

    For Super Bowl LVI, cryptocurrency companies were a major advertising presence. Coinbase ran an ad with a floating QR code moving around the screen. So many people scanned the QR code that Coinbase couldn’t handle the load, crashing the website and the app.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 19.08.0 (2022-02-21).

  • Five fatal flaws in the current Windows 10, and how they’ll fare in the new Creators Update

    Take a look at the five worst traits of Windows 10 Anniversary Update – forced updating, snooping, advertising, stability, and hijacked settings – and how they’ll change in the Creators Update. Some very good news. Some not so good.

    Details in InfoWorld

  • Can you confirm? Edge in the Start menu “Suggested” spot

    Over the weekend, Mehedi Hassan on MS Power User posted an article that says

    Microsoft is now promoting Edge’s efficiency features on the Start Menu under the “Suggested” area. In this case, Microsoft is promoting Edge’s ability to stream videos longer — once clicked on the ad, Microsoft takes users to a page where the company compares Edge’s battery usage with Google Chrome. In the page, Microsoft states that users can “get up to 32% more battery life than Chrome when we browsing with Microsoft Edge”.

    I haven’t seen it, and I can’t replicate the screenshots he posted. Can you? If so, which version of Windows 10? Any idea why Edge would ever appear in the “Suggested” spot?

  • Turn off advertising in Windows File Explorer

    I’m getting confirmation that this infernal ad appears in Win10 File Explorer, going back at least to version 1511.

    Fortunately, it’s easy to zap – but you have to know the trick.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    Thanks to Martin Brinkmann,

  • The AskWoody ads should be clean now

    If you ever see an ad on this site for a product/service/site that’s unsavory, email me immediately, please!

    My ad broker has been very responsive. I think the ads are OK now, but I’m counting on all of you to tell me if something goes off the rails. If you see a bad ad, I need the URL that it points to – the web address. That’s how they’re filtered.

    Thanks, everybody.

    (NOTE: Some programs like Privacy Badger take exception to a couple of links on the page. Firefox even has a cross-site scripting setting that may make the ads appear as raw HTML gibberish. See the comments for details.)

  • Advertising on AskWoody

    As many of you know, I’ve been operating AskWoody without advertising and without cookies (except for the open source avatar site) for several years. I occasionally toss up a post for my books, or for my son’s mobile phone games, but that’s been the extent of the ads. I pay for the site out of my own pocket and, increasingly, spend a whole lot of time keeping up with it.

    I need to start making the site pay its own way. It’s a tough decision for me.

    I’ve thought about doing some sort of pay scheme, but just can’t figure out how to make it work. I subscribe to Paul Thurrott’s $64-a-year Premium service – it’s a great way to support Paul and Brad – but I just can’t see trying to implement anything similar. Windows Secrets Newsletter went the pay route long ago — $25 to $59/year is worth it just for Susan Bradley, Fred Langa and Tracey Capen — but I’ve done the newsletter thing before and it’s a whole lotta overhead. Several of you have suggested putting a PayPal donation button on the site. Martin Brinkmann at does that, but (as he says) his site’s dying.

    So I’m turning back to the old, old approach: Display ads. I found a company that brokers ads, and I trust them. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I’ll start posting their ads.

    I’m not going to hit you with pop-over black-out, roving scroll, time triggered, blaring ads. They’ll be simple, out of the main line of fire, and relatively unobtrusive.

    Here’s what you can do for me. Turn off add blocking for If you see something interesting, click on it. And if you’re ticked off about any ad, shoot me right between the eyes,

    Let’s see if we can get this baby up and crawling.

    UPDATE: Thanks to all of you for your encouragement!