As apps go, Ant Smasher sounds simple enough. The free game, which has been downloaded more than 50m times from the Google Play app store, allows mobile phone users to entertain themselves by squishing digital ants as they scurry down the screen. Splat, splat, splat.
But Ant Smasher has a dark side. It is one of a growing wave of apps that contains “adware” – aggressive advertising technology that displays ads in a phone’s notification bar and other places outside of the app itself, without consent.
Will some online users pay to preserve a free service for all? Wikipedia’s fundraising efforts seem to show that they will – but only if it is not founder Jimmy Wales personally asking for the money, writes Andy Bounds
As regular as Christmas, Mr Wales has fronted an end-of-year fundraiser for the past decade that features his personal appeal to keep the site running without resorting to advertising.