EarthLink, the No. 3 Internet service provider (ISP), on Wednesday introduced a new version of its anti-pop-up advertising software that includes the ability to avoid "rich media" ads, or those with animations, video or audio. Altanta-based EarthLink is the first major ISP to arm subscribers with the means to prevent one of the fastest-growing forms of advertising on the Net.
The company created the software, which can be downloaded from its site, in response to customer complaints about more distracting Web ads that float over the screen, known as "screen stealers," blare audio or video without request. The software update is free, and people can turn the ad-blocking features on or off.