Guidescope is the helper application
available at www.guidescope.com
that enables blocking
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.