19 May 2008 edit
Our solution, as it were, meant an extra HTTP request to our server for every ad on the page, just to avoid a problem that wouldn't exist in the first place if the authors of these widgets and ads would offer some real options to their savvier users. A simple method like
seems like it would do the trick -- something that could be called at the end of a page and fail fairly silently by just leaving the destination element empty. I imagine that the use of such a method is hardly out of the reach of the good folks at TechCrunch, or plenty of other sites. Until an approach like this becomes a bit more common, expect many more rants like the one we saw from TechCrunch.