And cost savings had nothing to do with it? I mean, I have no objections to a hotel chain trying to rein in costs. But please stop pretending it's because you care so much about the planet -- it's because you're trying to stay fiscally sound in a tough economy. There is no shame in that.
Dave, you point out some valid issues with advertising.
Another point I'd like to raise is that when I go to a newspaper website, it's to read things. I don't like flashing banner ads, moving pictures, and horrid wrinkle-face crones morphing into Botox beauties in front of my face. I will read ads that interest me; but wiggly jiggly ads that annoy me get censored when I resize my browser window so I can ignore them. And yes, I've put Post-it notes on my monitor to cover up some of the more obnoxious offenders!
Yes, it is a liability issue. Just because a pedestrian has the legal right of way doesn't mean they shouldn't take the time to look both ways before they cross the street. Or, for that matter, look up to see if they're going to walk into anyone.
Albert, you bring up some good points. Even pennies per page will dissuade some people from visiting sites they don't know. And it's not really the amount of money, either, it's the nuisance factor of having to keep adding money to a spending account or of balancing your checkbooks every month.
Now, if e-mail providers started charging by the message, we could probably reduce spam tremendously, and all without government interference.
Well, not actually mugging... but a year ago I had a guy come up to me on the streets of Washington D.C. with a tin can. He was collecting money for the Democratic Party. I thought it was a joke -- but he was serious.
Really. The media and government gripe that Americans spend too much money and don't save enough. Now that things are tight and Americans are saving more money and spending less, they're berated for that. I guess the stupid serfs will never please their (would-be) masters, will they?