Thursday, February 24, 2005

 

Moral, adj. Conforming to a local and mutable standard of right

I decided to post about the latest round of initimidation by adware vendors up on Blogcritics yesterday after reading some of the goodies on the various security forums. This extract from iDownload's EULA has me alternating between cold chills and uncontrollable laughter:

...redirect certain URLs including your browser default 404-error page to or through the Software; provide advertisements, links or information in response to search terms you use at third-party websites; provide search functionality or capabilities; automatically update the Software and install added features or functionality or additional software, including search clients and toolbars, conveniently without your input or interaction; install desktop icons and installation files; install software from iSearch affiliates; and install Third Party Software.

In addition, you further understand and agree, by installing the Software, that iSearch and/or the Software may, without any further prior notice to you, remove, disable or render inoperative other adware programs resident on your computer, which, in turn, may disable or render inoperative, other software resident on your computer, including software bundled with such adware, or have other adverse impacts on your computer.”

I love this piece of FUD from iDownload's link to its uninstaller:

Please be aware that many so called "ad ware removers" and "spy ware removers" can cause damage to your computer and may alter your computer in such a way that our automated removal application will not function. At the present time, there is no third party software which is capable of removing iSearch applications. If you have purchased an application which claims to remove iSearch, we encourage you to contact your credit card company and request an immediate reversal with the reason of "Product Not As Described" and/or contact the Better Business Bureau.


Apparently MSFT AntiSpyware couldn't get clean it (at least in the case of this test on the software). Not an encouraging sign, but I recall seeing somewhere yesterday that at least one of the well-known tools will indeed banish this thing.

And of course where's your recourse if something goes wrong? The domain registration is most interesting:

Contact Type Registrant
Organization Name: iDownload.com
First Name: Domain
Last Name: Manager
Address 1: 1180 Avenue of the Americas
Address 2: 14th Floor
City: New York
StateProvince: NY
PostalCode: 10036
Country: US
Phone: 8008445919
Fax: +1.-
EmailAddress: webmaster@idownload.com

Hmmph. The admin, billing and technical contacts are all the same info. Notice no fax number, and what do you want to bet the phone number isn't going to be the most helpful (no, I'm not going to call it).

In other news.....

I wonder if the school principal in Park Slope has torn that idiot social studies teacher a new one yet. The bloggers are all over it, the soldier's father has been on Hannity a couple of times, O'Reilly mentioned it, and the Post has latched onto it. Of course, consider that Park Slope is mostly yuppie overpriced territory with a touch of real toilet mixed in (my recollection of the Slope was that the bad side began roughly about 9th Street, and you really didn't want to go much further west than say 5th Avenue, but then again gentrification has really exploded around there, even going all the way down to areas like near the Smith-9th Street viaduct), so it's unsurprising that there's more than a touch of liberal guilt there, not to mention the proximity to the ROP enclave centered around Atlantic and Court. Apparently they can't even teach geography, since PFC Jacobs is stationed in South Korea near the DMZ, and Mr. Kunhardt's charges accused him of "destroying holy places like mosques", a type of institution presumably about as prevalent in South Korea as synagogues are.

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