This is the first time I've watched an online video which started with an advert and decided "You know what, I can't be bothered to watch an advert just for this."
I have a hunch this is going to become more frequent for me. I've reached my tiring point. Taking 15 seconds of my time just so I can decide if I want to skip through the video to find 5 seconds of interesting content is just not acceptable. Video content is not that special. Would you sit through a 15-second flash ad to see an article? Me neither.
Incidentally, the way the ads are delivered means AdBlock can block them. I was shocked to discover a few months ago how many ads there are on YouTube. I had been blocking them without knowing. (Something went bad with my filter subscription, and I had ads for a few minutes while I googled the fix.)
Honestly, ads are so invasive and easy to block that I'm surprised they work at all. I can't wait until Microsoft realizes they don't make money from ads and starts shipping an adblocker with Windows :)
I'm the opposite. I used to have that reaction, but now I just switch to another tab (I always seem to have several open) and read something else. If you miss the start, most videos will let you go back to the beginning without replaying the commercial.
This is where centralization of video hosting onto sites like YouTube can be a big benefit. They can show you a 30-second ad and then let you watch 10 minutes of video, even if that is in 5-second chunks.
There's certainly an air to having your dot sketch in the WSJ from what I hear, though I imagine that's faded after its years of remodeling itself and its time under new ownership. That said, the difficulties with using an algorithmic filter for creating this stipple effect are, based on my past attempts:
(1) robustness to lighting conditions
(2) recognition of continuous shapes, such as hats (captured well in )
(3) avoiding stipple effect on facial features (e.g. lips, eyes)
I'm not saying it's impossible, just that I haven't been clever enough to encode it correctly. :)
It seems with some work, you could make a program that imitated this well enough that it would be difficult to tell the difference. The fact that the artist noted that it took a human touch suggests to me that they feel a bit vulnerable.