Though you're probably right; Cnet does use targeted advertising, using page keywords and location, among other things, as a method to determine which ads to display. I'd take a road trip, but jumping on a Canadian proxy server might be faster.
As to the page load issues, there have been an increase in Cnet 404s lately, and Thursday has been a day targeted for releasing major updates in the past. However, I don't have anything specific to add at this time.
Finally, regarding the disappearing post content, there are two possibilities. If you use the "Edit Post" button Cnet provides, it's Cnet's responsibility to send the content you've written thus far back to your browser. However, if you use your browser's Back button, it's up to your browser to retrieve the data you submitted from its own memory, something that unfortunately is not 100% reliable.
I'll post back if/when I see the ad.