The animated Flash advertisements on some websites can hog an extraordinary amount of your computer’s processing power.
If you hit Control-Alt-Delete in Windows XP and look at the Processes tab while browsing The Guardian or The Times website you’ll find that, with just that single page open, Firefox may be using up to 60% of your computer’s CPU.
If you’ve ever wondered why the fans on your laptop start up and run continuously when all you’re doing is reading the news, this is probably the reason.
But the Opera web browser (which is now free and definitely worth checking out) goes much further.
You can right-click on the page, choose ‘block content’ and then shift-click on the Flash to zap ads in that same position permanently. Or, if you right-click, choose ‘edit site preferences’ and the ‘content’ tab you can turn off gif animations, plugins such as Flash and sound for the whole website.