"can you all please fix this? It blocks the entire right column"
1. Download & install Firefox 3.0 browser (easy steps given once you click the green download button):
2. Launch Firefox and install Adblock plus extension by going to Tools> Addons or by going to the link(s) below:
Original installation instructions and Adblock Plus download location:
Instructions with snapshots for Installing Adblock Plus:
3. Learn to configure Adblock plus to show ads on some pages and block it on others if you want to see google ads and other banner ads on some pages.
I just realized today (after so many years of my existence) that advertisements are by their very nature, tools to lower productivity. Think about it, if you are reading a magazine article, the ad page serves to distract you. A TV or radio commercial comes in the way of what you were watching or listening.
A 'contextual ad' from google or yahoo, serves to take your attention away from the web page (although on many occasions they also help you reach your goal, so that is a marked improvement). In this context sponsored links that show up when you search for something on google, are definitely a step ahead, because they are not distractors, but they are the end goals of the activity (i.e. search).