- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 12, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS
America Online says it will soon offer its customers the ability to banish the litter of unsolicited windows that appear atop and underneath its Web pages.
AOL Web Pop-Up Controls was to be available to customers today for download and will appear in future versions of AOL's software, the company said.
Users will be able to block outside ads, as well as those from AOL and the media companies within AOL Time Warner Inc., its corporate parent, said AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein.
"AOL's new pop-up controls will allow our members to explore the Web without being trapped in pop-up purgatory," said David Gang, AOL's executive vice president for marketing. "We asked our members to tell us how we can continue to improve the AOL service, and this was near the top of their wish list."
AOL, based in Sterling, Va., trails Internet-service provider EarthLink Inc., which said last month that it would begin offering its customers a free program called Pop-Up Blocker.
Several small software companies sell or give away pop-up blockers, which operate on varying degrees of aggressiveness. At times, the software blocks more than ads, preventing users from seeing windows that display help information, photo enlargements or sales details.
AOL said its software allows users to see which sites have attempted to deliver pop-ups to them. If the customer wants to get pop-ups from a particular Web site, the user can add the site to a personal "allow list."
The browser will display a running total of the number of pop-ups and pop-unders blocked during each session, AOL said.

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