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Russell Eberhardt04/03/2020 14:59:12
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For a while now I have been getting problems with my laptop. When I am using my web browser (Firefox) I have been getting slow and jerky response from mouse movements and slow response to typing on the keyboard.

I normally only have three or four tabs open but I have discovered that, if one of them is this site, I get the problem. It usually starts a few minutes after I have opened this site and not only affects the web browser but also actions on the desktop. If I close the "Model Engineer" tab normal operation resumes.

I have now activated "uBlock Origin" on this site and it cures the problem. I had previously de-activated it for this site following a call for readers not to use adblockers.

uBlock origin finds and blocks the following suspicious scripts:

domhttps://www.model-engineer.co.uk/forums/postings.asp?th=148725&p=1
​​--​​​scripthttps://script.crazyegg.com/pages/scripts/0064/8007.js?439814
​​--​​​framehttps://servedbyadbutler.com/adserve/;ID=154425;size=728x90;setID=162072;type=iframe
​​--​​​scripthttps://servedbyadbutler.com/app.js
​​--​​​scripthttps://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js
​​--​​​scripthttps://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js
​​--​​​scripthttps://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbds.js
​​<<​​​scripthttps://ssl.google-analytics.com/ga.js
​​--​​​scripthttps://ssl.google-analytics.com/ga.js
​​--​​​scripthttps://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js

Perhaps the web developers could look into this?

In the meantime I will keep them blocked.

Russell

Frances IoM04/03/2020 15:26:41
766 forum posts
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crazyegg.com is a tracker that informs the source what you are doing on the web site ('heat' tracking or looking for popular parts seems one service) , the google stuff is just yet more tracking by the worlds nastiest tracker, the served by adbutler is one of those companies that look at your various cookies deposited by various sites you have visited to decide just what advert to send you - most of these use your memory, your processor cycles etc for their benefit - just turn of javascript and/or get an adblocker however you feel about it as you have no control over what the adbutler will serve you - sometimes a fatal dose of a trojan is deposited.

Edited By Frances IoM on 04/03/2020 15:27:35

Neil Wyatt04/03/2020 20:00:59
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That's the stuff that gathers the data our advertisers ask for to justify continuing to advertise with us (and thereby pay for this website).

Neil.

Frances IoM04/03/2020 21:07:02
766 forum posts
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Neil mytimemedia could do the analytics itself - passing control across to a 3rd party means that you act as a 'pseudo' publisher on a web site & actually have no control over what is served - the pseudo being that facebook and others can legally avoid the consequences of their decisions by claiming they are not publishers in the legal sense that mags such as ME or MEW + newspapers are and cannot be held reponsible for what appears on their pages.

Edited By Frances IoM on 04/03/2020 21:07:45

Danny M2Z05/03/2020 07:25:39
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 04/03/2020 20:00:59:

That's the stuff that gathers the data our advertisers ask for to justify continuing to advertise with us (and thereby pay for this website).

Neil.

I assumed that if one actually clicked on an advertisment hosted by this site then this site would justify it's existence and get a kick-back from the sponsors.

* Danny M *

Russell Eberhardt05/03/2020 10:51:19
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 04/03/2020 20:00:59:

That's the stuff that gathers the data our advertisers ask for to justify continuing to advertise with us (and thereby pay for this website).

Neil.

That's all very well as long as it doesn't affect the useability of the site. It was fine until recently but something has changed and at least one of those trackers is introducing a problem, probably hogging resources. My laptop is reasonably powerful, not the latest but has a 2.5 gHz quad core processor and 4 GiB of ram. I'm not the fastest typist yet unless, I block the trackers, while typing the screen display is intermittently three or more characters behind what I type which can be most confusing. What's more the mouse cursor follows the the mouse movement in jerks so it's difficult to position it.

In the meantime I find it necessary to block those trackers. Perhaps your website team can find out which one is causing the problem and change to a different one.

Not complaining, just trying to be helpful as I guess a lot of readers block trackers as some browsers have some tracking protection built in making it easier.

Russell

Neil Wyatt05/03/2020 10:58:01
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Posted by Frances IoM on 04/03/2020 21:07:02:
Neil mytimemedia could do the analytics itself - passing control across to a 3rd party means that you act as a 'pseudo' publisher on a web site & actually have no control over what is served - the pseudo being that facebook and others can legally avoid the consequences of their decisions by claiming they are not publishers in the legal sense that mags such as ME or MEW + newspapers are and cannot be held reponsible for what appears on their pages.

Edited By Frances IoM on 04/03/2020 21:07:45

Frances, rather than generating unwarranted unease, could you post a screen grab of ANY content on this website that has been posted other than by ourselves or one of our known advertisers?

Neil

Neil Wyatt05/03/2020 11:01:36
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Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 05/03/2020 10:51:19:
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 04/03/2020 20:00:59:

That's the stuff that gathers the data our advertisers ask for to justify continuing to advertise with us (and thereby pay for this website).

Neil.

That's all very well as long as it doesn't affect the useability of the site. It was fine until recently but something has changed and at least one of those trackers is introducing a problem, probably hogging resources. My laptop is reasonably powerful, not the latest but has a 2.5 gHz quad core processor and 4 GiB of ram. I'm not the fastest typist yet unless, I block the trackers, while typing the screen display is intermittently three or more characters behind what I type which can be most confusing. What's more the mouse cursor follows the the mouse movement in jerks so it's difficult to position it.

In the meantime I find it necessary to block those trackers. Perhaps your website team can find out which one is causing the problem and change to a different one.

Not complaining, just trying to be helpful as I guess a lot of readers block trackers as some browsers have some tracking protection built in making it easier.

Russell

HI Russell,

I don't see these issues, the site appears faster than most for me and I have a very slow connection (2.8Mbps). I make the point of not using any adblockers on the website for obvious reasons.

It may be that you have picked up some other spyware or a keylogger from elsewhere.

What AV do you use?

Neil

Peter G. Shaw05/03/2020 11:42:51
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Funnily enough Russell, I have been having similar problems for a few weeks now and put it down to the age of my computer (12 last January). I did describe the symptoms, similar to the above, and was told that it was "disk thrashing". That may be so but if you and others above are right then the problem is not restricted to this site: indeed it seems to happen to me when using Ancestry or FindMyPast. Maybe the problem lies with Firefox because I have also noticed the same problem on Google Street View with a slight difference in that everything gradually gets slower before grinding to a halt.

Peter G. Shaw

Neil Wyatt05/03/2020 11:52:25
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Posted by Danny M2Z on 05/03/2020 07:25:39:
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 04/03/2020 20:00:59:

That's the stuff that gathers the data our advertisers ask for to justify continuing to advertise with us (and thereby pay for this website).

Neil.

I assumed that if one actually clicked on an advertisment hosted by this site then this site would justify it's existence and get a kick-back from the sponsors.

* Danny M *

No the advertisers pay for space rather than on a pay per click basis.

Neil

Steviegtr05/03/2020 12:05:46
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I stopped using Firefox 2 years ago for this exact reason. I tried all sorts to fix it . Did a google search & I think I found some info on there. Just using the Microsoft edge now & have had no problems since. Just to make it clear I was not having a problem with this site, as I was not a member then.

Steve.

Ketan Swali05/03/2020 13:18:52
1262 forum posts
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This site was established when David Clark was editor, and the chap who dealt with advertisers was Duncan Armstrong. Both of them are no longer with MTM.

The pay per click model (like google paid ads) was considered and ruled out at the outset, especially after discrepancies were highlighted to MTM. For example, Duncan would suggest that according to his figures, X numbers of people who visited MTM clicked on our advert and came over to our site. I would check on my tracking figures and disagree with Duncan. The figures we were seeing were a lot lower than Duncan would suggest.

At the time, and till date, MTM were and are using Adbutler... a software they use 'to serve' or post adverts to this site. Adbutler software also gave them figures of visitors who click on an advert. Duncan would use these figures to justify what MTM wished to charge advertisers for their adverts. As there was and still is a discrepancy over these figures, MTM introduced Google Analytics as a tracking method too. However, we do not know how well it works for them, as it requires correct configuration on a site.

From Russells post, I can see that both Adbutler and GA cookies are in place. All I can tell you is that the GA cookie helps to improve the integrity of MTM, and helps them to analyse the results on search engines. Potential advertisers would also look at MTM's global ranking among similar type of sites. The better the reputation, GA audited traffic, quality of content (including evaluation of spam), the better the result on search platforms, resulting in better global ranking.

At present, based on our analysis, MTMs global ranking is around 540,000, which is currently the highest audited result in the world... a position which is 300,000 higher than its closest 'competitor'. This is just a broad indicator, and this position can change at any time. But we use this type of information when considering our Ad spend.

ARC, along with other advertisers pay MTM a monthly amount to show our adverts. We monitor the number of visitors who come to our site by clicking the advert or a link in a post. We are unable to see if the person clicked the advert of a link in a post. We know how much we pay for the advert, and we can see how much revenue we earned from people who clicked on the advert/link from this site. This enables us to understand if we should continue with our advertising on this forum, or spend our money elsewhere.

Ketan at ARC.

Frances IoM05/03/2020 13:37:58
766 forum posts
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Neil
sorry I block javascript unless totally necessary and then turn on the most restrictive form needed (ie allow only a few MTM hosted scripts.
There is I think a problem with some browsers and certain javascript heavy sites as I've seen problems reported elsewhere but my browsing these days is very limited - usually just used as a distraction from boring copy typing needed when transcribing photographed documents that are not OCRable (at least not by programs available to me).
Also, possibly because of my background I find flashing photos, beloved of certain advertisers a total turn off, and actually browse with images turned off in all sites - I appreciate this is not usual but I can't read a site when something is flashing at the edge of the screen
Ketan - your company, with which I dealt whilst setting up my small retirement workshop quite rightly is praised by all who have dealt with it - this site I guess brings in more positive appreciation than any click-thrus may suggest whether this brings in the business only you can know.
I have no interest in nor to best of my memory have ever visited one of the 'family' sites so I can't comment on MTM's policies there

Edited By Frances IoM on 05/03/2020 13:45:51

Neil Wyatt05/03/2020 14:01:11
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Posted by Frances IoM on 05/03/2020 13:37:58:
Neil
sorry I block javascript unless totally necessary and then turn on the most restrictive form needed (ie allow only a few MTM hosted scripts.
There is I think a problem with some browsers and certain javascript heavy sites as I've seen problems reported elsewhere but my browsing these days is very limited - usually just used as a distraction from boring copy typing needed when transcribing photographed documents that are not OCRable (at least not by programs available to me).
Also, possibly because of my background I find flashing photos, beloved of certain advertisers a total turn off, and actually browse with images turned off in all sites - I appreciate this is not usual but I can't read a site when something is flashing at the edge of the screen
Ketan - your company, with which I dealt whilst setting up my small retirement workshop quite rightly is praised by all who have dealt with it - this site I guess brings in more positive appreciation than any click-thrus may suggest whether this brings in the business only you can know.
I have no interest in nor to best of my memory have ever visited one of the 'family' sites so I can't comment on MTM's policies there

Edited By Frances IoM on 05/03/2020 13:45:51

Then may I politely suggest that you think about how you raise concerns; we don't have the sort of third party advertising you are referring to and there is no reason to worry people about them.

If you did turn off your ad blocker you would see that we are not hosting any random or third-party targeted advertising.

Neil

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 05/03/2020 14:04:52

Frances IoM05/03/2020 14:42:31
766 forum posts
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Neil - for your hosted adverts I'm fine - its the flashing pics I have to block.
As the Javascript - look at your own site there are Facebook trackers aimed even at people like me (eg a special noscript)- this I presume is paid for by facebook to track interest of visitors - once you allow off site fetches of javascript the game is up as you are effectively 'publishing third party content - it doesn't have to be visible advertising (eg facebook drops a tiny invisible image for tracking purposes but its code could well do more)

Edited By Frances IoM on 05/03/2020 14:43:13

SillyOldDuffer05/03/2020 15:31:54
5782 forum posts
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Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 05/03/2020 10:51:19:
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 04/03/2020 20:00:59:

That's the stuff that gathers the data our advertisers ask for to justify continuing to advertise with us (and thereby pay for this website).

Neil.

That's all very well as long as it doesn't affect the useability of the site. It was fine until recently but something has changed and at least one of those trackers is introducing a problem, probably hogging resources. My laptop is reasonably powerful, not the latest but has a 2.5 gHz quad core processor and 4 GiB of ram. I'm not the fastest typist yet unless, I block the trackers, while typing the screen display is intermittently three or more characters behind what I type which can be most confusing. What's more the mouse cursor follows the the mouse movement in jerks so it's difficult to position it.

...

Not complaining, just trying to be helpful as I guess a lot of readers block trackers as some browsers have some tracking protection built in making it easier.

Russell

I've been investigating recently due to email and browser problems on the machine I'm using at the moment. My issue involves missing network packets, packets out of sequence, unseen segments, duplicate acknowledges and Resets. These can all happen in normal operation, but I'm seeing too many of them.

The visible symptom is intermittently slow web pages, and email login failures. Looking at network traffic I see tracking sites often feature in these failed transactions, and that the jitter sometimes disrupts name resolution. It may take a few attempts for my computer to get a websites network address from its name, and this slows everything down. My current theory is ad-block and privacy settings are partly blocking tracking conversations, allowing them to start, but then blasting chunks out in mid-flight! This could be causing the network stutter I'm monitoring, but is unproven.

Another cause of stuttering would be the tracker server failing to respond due to a fault at their end. I don't think it's them because 4 or more are misbehaving at the same time.

Another likely cause is a machine low on RAM. The amount of RAM a modern browser consumes has bloated significantly over time. On my 16Gb computer Firefox with 4-tabs open uses 3.4Gb of RAM, while Chromium doing the same consumes slightly less, about 3.2Gb Pretty greedy, but gobbling RAM is an easy way of improving browser performance.

On a machine with plenty of RAM, the operating system allows Firefox and Chrome/Chromium to spread their wings and leave all their working parts in RAM ready for instant access. On smaller machines, the operating system and browser ration RAM, which takes time. Anything not in use is unloaded immediately, and has to be reloaded when needed again. This can get completely out of hand, with exponentially worse delays if the operating system spends more time managing memory than doing useful work - 'thrashing'. Peter Shaw mentioned in the other thread that his computer has only 2Gb of RAM: in 2020 I'd recommend at least 4Gb.

Before deciding a problem is due to a particular Browser (Edge vs Chrome vs Firefox etc), or Operating System (Windows XP, Vista 7, 8 / 10 vs Linux vs Android vs OS/X) it's worth knowing that sudden changes in performance are often due to network faults, many of which are temporary, or fixed by rebooting the router.

On the subject of trackers, I'm not sure how it's going to end. Ketan and Neil have a legitimate need for tracking, and I don't have a problem with their reasons or trustworthiness. Unfortunately, not everyone on the internet is as cuddly as them! Tracking is a serious privacy intrusion and security risk. For that reason this is one of the few sites I open the door too. Otherwise, I'm with Frances in taking active defensive measures.

Dave

Ketan Swali05/03/2020 15:51:00
1262 forum posts
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Hi Francis - No problem at all. I wasn't really directing my response to you. It was more of a general clarification post.

-------------------------------

Russell mentioned that uBlock origin finds and blocks suspicious scripts...

With the response I made, I was just trying to explain and clarify the reasons for the presence of two of the scripts: adbutler and GA scripts to which the uBlock referred.

Activating uBlock cured Russells problem, but at the same time it is correct for him to bring the issue to the web developers attention, and I read it more as a technical issue.

I am sure, and I know that the moderators bring up technical issues to the attention of web developers. If and when they get around to it is another matter, subject to costs which MTM may or may not wish to pay, depending on many factors. It is usually a balance between advertisement revenue and costs... at a guess.

Also I was referring to Dannys observations, and clarifying how the advertisement model and payment for it works on this site.

Ketan at ARC.

Ketan Swali05/03/2020 16:52:37
1262 forum posts
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 05/03/2020 15:31:54:

On the subject of trackers, I'm not sure how it's going to end. Ketan and Neil have a legitimate need for tracking, and I don't have a problem with their reasons or trustworthiness. Unfortunately, not everyone on the internet is as cuddly as them! Tracking is a serious privacy intrusion and security risk. For that reason this is one of the few sites I open the door too. Otherwise, I'm with Frances in taking active defensive measures.

Dave

I agree Dave. It is a little more complicated now. I am just presenting a functional matter, rather than debating or arguing.

When we implement GA, we - quite rightly - have to comply with a whole bunch of regulations, which we do.

We need to have GA in place for a whole bunch of reasons, to include - challenging MTM figures, but also to look at functionality of our website.. for example: page load times. This could be browser related, coding related, host related, distance to host (UK/EU visitor gets access to page faster than say a visitor from Australia), any other.

GA helps us to analyse which pages are running slow and possible reasons why. We try to check this almost every day. Here is an example for today:

The place where our site is currently hosted delivers a result that says that the 'average page load time' over the past week to date is 1.6 seconds. However, that is average across the site. We analyse this further through GA, and find the worst fifty pages which have a current page load time of 2.21 seconds to the worst 14.52 seconds.

At present we are finding this result to be random - no specific time of day or reason. For operational reasons, our shop provider moved us from one host to another. I am less than impressed with the move for various reasons. GA helps me to monitor the changes/effects of the move. Having discussed the matter with our shop provider, we may move our site to a different host.

Similarly, I guess that the adbutler, and GA, helps MTM to monitor and analyse various issues for their sites, to include increase in database or bandwidths or some other technical issue, to keep their various sites alive.

Ketan at ARC

Edited By Ketan Swali on 05/03/2020 16:55:55

Neil Wyatt05/03/2020 20:36:11
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 05/03/2020 15:31:54:

Another likely cause is a machine low on RAM. The amount of RAM a modern browser consumes has bloated significantly over time. On my 16Gb computer Firefox with 4-tabs open uses 3.4Gb of RAM, while Chromium doing the same consumes slightly less, about 3.2Gb Pretty greedy, but gobbling RAM is an easy way of improving browser performance.

Something isn't right there Dave.

I've got eleven tabs open in Firefox over six websites and it's using 512Mb.

Neil

SillyOldDuffer05/03/2020 22:20:26
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 05/03/2020 20:36:11:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 05/03/2020 15:31:54:

Another likely cause is a machine low on RAM. The amount of RAM a modern browser consumes has bloated significantly over time. On my 16Gb computer Firefox with 4-tabs open uses 3.4Gb of RAM, while Chromium doing the same consumes slightly less, about 3.2Gb Pretty greedy, but gobbling RAM is an easy way of improving browser performance.

Something isn't right there Dave.

I've got eleven tabs open in Firefox over six websites and it's using 512Mb.

Neil

How are you measuring it Neil?

I'm using linux pmap which exposes everything. It shows the Firefox core process indeed uses about 500Mb, but goes on to identify all the shared libraries it's using (DLLs in Windows-speak) and their memory consumption. It also shows each tab opens another sub-process with another family of shared libraries, overheads and buffers etc.

Memory is a slippery customer to measure because it's shared, swapped out, and allocated and released on the fly. The way its reported varies, sometimes OS only show the minimum RAM needed to function, or perhaps memory in use at the moment, or an average. Rarely shown is the memory allocated backstage to operating system services needed to run the program, like graphics, the network, and housekeeping.

pmap indicates how much memory Firefox will use if it's available; not the same as the minimum Firefox needs to run at all. It can work with much less, just slower.

Windows, Linux & OS/X all manage the memory needed by the services and applications running on the computer. When the system has plenty of memory, the operating system will try to use it, effectively allowing programs quick access to functions at all times, and keeping files buffered with read-ahead. When short of memory, the system imposes rationing, and everything slows down. Normally memory management is fast enough that users don't notice, but a definite overload will cause jerky response times, and a bad one will cause the machine to grind to a halt. Put simply, insufficient RAM is a common cause of poor performance - if suspected, add more RAM!

For ordinary use, I suggest 4Gb minimum: 8Gb would do most people proud. A heavy CAD user might need 16Gb, and gamers commonly have 64 or 128Gb. Servers are even more generously provisioned, maybe up into the low terabytes.

Dave

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