Columnist Jim Hillibish says, "Latest in the Internet advertising scheme is something a lot of us have wanted for decades. They’re now paying us to see ads." See what else he has to say by following the link. Would you rather pay extra for no advertising or see ads and have it be cheaper (or free)? The Kindle is one example. What are your thoughts?

The Internet revolutionizes everything. A lot of that comes from being close to users. The best websites constantly sample readers’ wants. Ones that don’t flop.

Latest in the Internet advertising scheme is something a lot of us have wanted for decades. They’re now paying us to see ads.

It’s not payment in the form of a check. It’s getting something for nothing or a generous rebate in exchange for accepting the ads.

My new laptop came with a copy of Microsoft Office onboard. Well, not exactly. It’s Office, but it only lasts 60 days. Without my $250, it leaves the building.

But wait. Here’s another Office program, called Starter. This is a downscaled edition, but it has Word and Excel and it does stuff I need daily.

On the install screen, it informs that there will be advertising with the programs. I’ve been using the Word for a month now and am not missing anything. And yes, there’s an ad for a Microsoft product in the right-hand column.

Price of this — in exchange for accepting their ads, I get the program for free. Note: Starter is only available pre-loaded on new PCs.

Amazon is beating the same trail. You now can buy their latest Kindle electronic book reader for $114, down from $139. Downside is you must accept ads on your homepage and the screen saver. For $25, I’ll do it. Others, too. The ad-Kindle is a smash hit.

I love discounted or free software — shouldn’t everything on your computer be free? We’re getting it. Latest in the software marketing scheme is to give you a working program for free if you’ll accept some advertising on it. If you pay for it, they’ll remove the ads. (Some websites are doing this, too.)

They call this “in-product” and “in-game” advertising. (Games are not products; they are a religion.) The idea is surging. Spending on ad-laden discounted software is heading toward $1 billion.

The customer trolling is going beyond software. We’re seeing ads for consumer products. This started with a spot in 1991 for Penguin biscuits that popped up in a “James Pond — RoboCod” epic.

So far, the ads aren’t nearly as intrusive as the Web’s. Hopefully, they learned this from their readers. People hate ads that block them from content, period.

A lot of you are saying, “Well, I’m not doing it.” Right. But what happens if you don’t have to buy it? You can always ignore ads. We do that by the thousands every day.

Trivia time: When was the first in-game ad?

In 1978’s “Adventureland.” It inserted an enticement for a “Pirate Adventure” game. OK, I ignored it.

Contact Jim Hillibish at jim.hillibish@cantonrep.com.