If you really need any more proof that greed and stupidity are limitless, you need to read this MSNBC article about the patent that the US PTO has granted to Brian Shuster over pop-up ads (I couldn't find it on the PTO online database):
If you hate pop-up ads, you might blame Brian Shuster. A long-time figure in the Internet pornography world, Shuster recently received a patent for the ad format and is now looking to make some money off the sites that use it. And that’s just the beginning — Shuster has a long list of pending patents, including one for pop-up audio ads that cannot be turned off.
This article is full of other pearls, and it feels like reading an interview of Saddam Hussein explaining all the cutting-edge techniques of torture he has invented and are so much more efficient than what has been done so far.
How cute! I am indeed looking forward for those uncontrollable pop-up audio advertisements. I don't know if someone has patented the "audio-off" key, but thanks to Apple for providing one handy on its keyboards.
If you haven't read it already, I strongly recommend the sci-fi novel The Space Merchants (Planète à gogos en français) from Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. Well, it was fiction when it was printed, in 1970.