Guidescope Inc. was founded in 2000 in order to 'help individuals navigate the Web faster, safer, and easier,' according to http://www.guidescope.com Their tool, also called Guidescope, acts as a local http proxy, blocking banner ads and cookies. Binaries are available for the Microsoft OS', Linux (x86) and Solaris (SPARC, x86).

The folk behind the internet junkbuster helped create Guidescope, but these two tools are fundamentally different. The internet junkbuster uses regular expressions in urls to filter banner ads. Guidescope does this as well, but also queries a remote database of banner advertisements, submitted by fellow users.

The internet junkbuster folk recommend that people new to advertisement filtering try Guidescope first.

Unlike the internet junkbuster, Guidescope is not GPLed. We're told that the source code will be made available, though.

Guidescope is the helper application available at www.guidescope.com that enables blocking of cookies and banner ads. It works similar to the venerable Junkbuster client in that it serves as a proxy to process webpages requested by a user's web browser; it will also use Junkbuster-style configuration files if the user is upgrading from a Junkbuster installation or simply have particular websites that you want to block manually. However, Junkbuster-style configuration files require manually editing a text file every time the user wishes to block a new ad or allow a new cookie; Guidescope's pop-up control panel allows making these same changes with just a few mouse clicks.

Besides ad and cookie blocking, Guidescope also offers an opt-in system for receiving advertisements and announcements targetted to chosen interests, a "favorite sites" button that will open windows for up to five of the user's favored sites simultaneously, and a "weather" button which uses the user's optionally-supplied zip code to check the forecast on a weather website.

Guidescope is available for multiple platforms, including Windows and Linux. However, it has a few strikes against it for hard-core open-source and privacy advocates. First, it is a closed source application, downloadable only in binary form. Second, it monitors users' browsing activity (in order to add unblocked ads to its database), though Guidescope notes that it does not even try to keep track of individual identities and browsing habits.

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