Although some services are backing away from popup ads – America Online has promised to behave itself better, for example – but there are still some ways for things to get worse. Orbitz has just begun inundating popular sites with popup ads that include an insidious new feature. If your mouse passes over the popup – no click, just move the cursor across the body of the ad – your Internet browser is hijacked and automatically shuttled to the Orbitz web page. Here’s an article about this latest abusive tactic.

Incidentally, don’t be fooled by one particularly awful popup. It puts a window in the middle of the screen that looks a bit like a Windows error message and warns ominously that your computer is “broadcasting its IP address.” It’s just an ad. Ignore it.