The advertisements aren’t gone — they’ve been moved. For your viewing enjoyment, they are now positioned horizontally: on the front page, below the first article; on individual article pages, between the article and the referrer listing.
The men in suits would surely deem this a foolish idea. For one thing, given the average article length at Daring Fireball, the ads will usually be positioned well below the top screenful of text — in newspaper parlance, below the fold. Second, Google’s horizontal ad format displays only two ads at a time, compared to the four ads in the vertical format.
However, I think the vertical format was overly distracting, and I couldn’t stand subjecting you to it any longer. The glaring white background in such close proximity to the article text was a bit much. Second, I suspect that most of you tend to actually read these articles. If you do, when you get to the end of an article, the ads will be there waiting for you. Anyone who comes to this site (or any site for that matter), and then leaves without scrolling is unlikely to be clicking any ads, anyway.
We’ll see how it goes.