Qt3: Malicious(?) Ads?

Hey all,

Since I’ve gotten on this morning (we’ll generously call 12:30 morning), when I try to load a tab of Qt3, my processor usage for Firefox spikes massively and its RAM usage climbs endlessly until it hits the end of available memory and shuts down (to give some context, it chews up about 200mb/minute and sits at 25% utilization–AKA, one full core). While this occurs, tabs of Qt3 stay in their “loading” format.

A restart or two of FF didn’t fix it, so on a whim, I reenabled Adblock on the site and reloaded the troublesome tabs; the issue immediately disappeared. At least one was trying to load a Sprint ad, but IIRC, there were several different ads in question.

Anyone else?

It’s worth noting that I’m getting the exact same behavior on Chrome, too; in this case, it’s some weird Google + Football ad. The RAM usage eventually stopped there, but the tab is sitting at 550MB and the ad’s container (if I’m reading the processes right) is over 250, and they’re taking up 10% and 20% utilization, respectively.

Seeing the same behavior in IE10. The ads need not be malicious but there’s certainly some very sluggish code being executed that shouldn’t be.

Similar situation here, Firefox 23. Only on the front page, not in the forums.

True, true. I’d hoped my two (count 'em two!) question marks would downplay the alarmist tone a bit, but yeah. I don’t think these things are necessarily out to steal my CCs, but they are definitely more than my PC can handle if I want anything other than FF to be running on it :-/

Hooray 5-year-old processors and 4GB of RAM I guess?

Thanks for bringing this up, but I can’t identify any issues on the front page. If you can point to specific offending ads, I can see about blocking them.

However, on the forum, I’m seeing traces of the old ad network that we dropped a while ago for slowing our load times drastically (lijit.com). I have no idea why they still have URLs loading, but I’ve talked to the person who set it up and later took it out. It looks like he didn’t completely strip out the code they sent us. I’ll hopefully have that fixed by the end of the day.

Also, note that we should never have ads with sound or popup windows. If you see that, what probably happened is that you moused over an ad that thought you wanted to know more. Even those should be rare. But if you see any strange or annoying ad behavior – stranger or more annoying than usual, of course – let me know and I’ll look into it. The last thing I want is to encourage people to use adblockers because we’re doing something obnoxious.


Thanks for looking into it, Tom. When you hear back that it’s done, would you mind posting an update? I feel pretty scummy showing up with adblock on, but you know I just can’t stay away from y’all :P

Unfortunately, I can’t resolve the problems you mentioned on the front page. Unless there are specific ads that are broken – which is possible – that’s just the price of frequenting a site that relies on ads to pay the bills. We have a donate button and an Amazon.com search box, but neither of those would sustain the cost of running this place. We rely on Google ads, and during the 99.9% of the time they’re working correctly, they should be unobtrusive. But as I mentioned, if you guys can identify specific ads dragging down the load times, I’ll block them.

As for whatever crap is still loading from lijit.com, I hope to get out as soon as I can. I’ll post an update when I know more.


FWIW, I had this happen once today, but only once. My typing started slowing to a crawl, and before I could do anything, shockwave pooped out, which solved the problem. It happened on Chrome.

Since it only happened once and I wasn’t able to duplicate it, it’s obviously not been a huge problem for me.