By Charlie Cummins –

Two interesting articles were published in Canada’s national newspaper – The Globe & Mail – on May 1st which each looked at an item relevant to today’s digital world. The articles looked at a trial initiative being carried out by Google in the US to allow users to opt-out of viewing ads and the second highlighted an issue with the new Apple Watch.

1. Google “Contributor” Test:

Google is testing a new initiative called “Contributor” – a concept that would allow users to pay a small monthly fee ($1 to $3 US dollars per month) to block ads from showing up. The idea behind this initiative is that Google would partner with a number of website publishers to block ads when users visit these partner sites. In return, Google would use part of the monthly fees collected to pay their partner websites. Google could also eliminate the vast quantity of ads it carries through its Google Display Networks. For now, this is a beta test and it is being confined to the US market among 1,000 users.

It seems odd that Google, which spends so much time and effort to get advertisers to invest media budget money with them, would then try an initiate to block these ads and charge for the privilege.

However, ad-blocking is hardly a new concept – it is estimated that more than 140 million people worldwide use ad-blocking software such as Ad Blocker.

2. Apple Watch and Tattoos:

The new Apple Watch would appear to have a problem with people with tattoos on their arms. In a number of cases, the watches have had their functions interrupted by dark tattoos, as the sensors on the backs of the watch fail to recognise that the watch is being worn. They cannot sense the skin through the tattoo ink This makes it difficult for the watch to get reliable readings, causing the watches to go into “lock mode”. This does not make for an ideal user experience if they have to continually re-enter passwords to have the watch function. For more information on this follow these links: