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Download.com Now Wraps Downloads In Bloatware

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the do-not-want dept.

Software 397

MrSeb writes "At Download.com, page designs have been repeatedly tweaked over the years to push its updater software (now called TechTracker), TrialPay offers, and the site's mailing list. Bothersome, perhaps, but certainly not inexcusable. They've got to make money off the site somehow, after all, and banner ads don't always do the job. Now, things have taken a turn for the worse: Cnet has begun wrapping downloads in its own proprietary installer. Not only will this cause the reputation of free, legitimate software to be tarred by Cnet's bloatware toolbars, homepage changes, and new default search engines — but Cnet is even claiming that their installer wrapping is 'for the users.'"

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Wow, when you can't trust CNET (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169366)

Jeez, you expect this stuff out of fly-by-night crapware sites. But even I trusted CNET (until now, anyway), and I'm about as cynical a bastard as there is when it comes to downloading software apps off the net.

So, is Tucows still around? I have occasionally used SourceForge, but I never felt confident they were policing their binaries very well (that could be an unfair presumption on my part).

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (4, Informative)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169392)

Last time I tried Tucows, same thing. Some crap installer kept popping up. God only knows what the hell it installed on my system. :o(

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (4, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169462)

More and more download sites are doing this.

Hell, even reputable companies are doing this. I see it all the time. We wind up cleaning off "Ask Toolbar" and other sorts of shitty crapware all the time, and it wandered in as a tagalong with Adobe Reader and Java updates!

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (5, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169510)

Hell, even reputable companies are doing this. I see it all the time. We wind up cleaning off "Ask Toolbar" and other sorts of shitty crapware all the time, and it wandered in as a tagalong with Adobe Reader and Java updates!

OK, so that's Adobe and Oracle... what were the reputable companies doing this?

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (5, Informative)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169548)

Well, Google does it with their toolbar for IE, Google Desktop Search and Chrome. I think most slashdotters think Google as somewhat reputable company.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (3, Funny)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169768)

Well, Google does it with their toolbar for IE, Google Desktop Search and Chrome. I think most slashdotters think Google as somewhat reputable company.

Well thats just rude. How dare Google install a toolbar when I download the Google Toolbar for IE!

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (3, Informative)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169904)

No, they pay of other software developers and companies to include their toolbar with their software. Just see this [google.com] or search for "google toolbar affiliate".

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169940)

I`d side with you about apple not being a reputable company, as they also keep bundling Quicktime with other downloads (Safari ? iTunes ?). Anyway..

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (2)

djdanlib (732853) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169566)

The Yahoo! toolbar used to come with Java, did they change that recently?? Also, I never saw anything come in with a Reader auto-update, so I wonder if you're downloading via the website.

Someone needs to write a very simple, no-frills application that removes crapware. Not malware, just crapware. You know, similar to Spybot, or whatever. Or perhaps write something that intercepts the installers, and pretends like they succeeded. Then someone can write a GPO to push it onto domain members at corporations, and another program to auto-download the latest crapware signatures, and we'll have a lot less work... imagine installing it on that notoriously computer-illiterate family member's computer!

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (1)

DarkMagician07 (686278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169744)

The last thing Java tried to install on my machine other than itself was the Bing toolbar, but I haven't seen that with the later 1.6 updates.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169870)

So far with Java I have seen Ask Toolbar, Bing Toolbar, and one other (I forget what). Adobe tends to push Ask Toolbar and Google Toolbar.

What really gets me about the Bing Toolbar is that on any computer with IE8 or IE9, Bing is already the fucking default search engine for the search box anyways. So why the fuck does MS have to push a goddamn toolbar everywhere?

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169912)

The Yahoo! toolbar used to come with Java

In Soviet Russia, Java comes with Yahoo toolbar!

Oh wait, and in the US too.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (4, Interesting)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169914)

I cleaned the Ask toolbar off one of my friends computers after it broke the new tab shortcut and menu item in Firefox. Yeah. "...huh?" The only way to get a new tab was to drag something into the tab bar or open a link in a new tab.

(found that Ask was the culprit by disabling extensions one at a time until the Ctrl-T shortcut started working again)

Oh well, nothing of value was lost. I probably would have cleaned it off anyway, but I wanted to know why the shortcut was broken. And it actually surprised me that it was so poorly written that it broke stuff like that.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169394)

Use sourceforge. You can just download the code, review it, and compile it yourself with proper optimization and architecture flags.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169624)

I really hope you're being sarcastic.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169762)

You must be new here.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (3, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169818)

No, and he'll be done reviewing Netscape Navigator 4.0 and installing it next week.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (3, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169900)

I wish I'd gotten that far; I'm still not even halfway through the gcc source. :P

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169974)

And then you need to review every version of the gcc source that was ever used to compile gcc, just in case Ken Thompson has been playing around in it again...

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169412)

Well, maybe you shouldn't spend so much time blocking banner ads? Were you really that surprised that it will just move sites to use other ways to make money with advertisements, or move them to pay model?

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (1)

djdanlib (732853) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169596)

Sometimes I'd rather that my money and brainspace goes only to the companies whose products I wish to use. I don't want a million me-too widget bandwagon jumpers getting a few cents when I have no choice in the matter and no interest in their products. But I guess that's advertising... At least I can still turn off my TV in the middle of an advertisement.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169652)

At least I can still turn off my TV in the middle of an advertisement.

And TV ads don't eat into your download cap and infect your TV with malware.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (5, Insightful)

djdanlib (732853) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169728)

* Yet.

Lots of newer TVs and Blu-ray players now have Java... it's only a matter of time, I think.

Scary thought!

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169810)

I was thinking that, but so long as ads are just video and not Java applets, and so long as the TV companies charge a shedload of money so there are far fewer people producing them, it's not likely to be an issue.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (3, Funny)

stfvon007 (632997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169856)

Press "Power" on your remote now to install the "MyCleanTV" app!

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (1)

Bozzio (183974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169734)

that only makes sense if people who block banners would, otherwise, be the same people to click on them.

I've been browsing the web since around 1997, and blocking banners since about 2007. I can confidently say that in those 10 years with banners I probably only clicked 3-5 banners.

Obviously I should assume my personal experience is representative of banner-blockers as a whole, but do believe I represent a majority of us. Why? I think if people are tech-savvy enough to block banner ads they are also savvy enough to know what's being advertised using banners doesn't interest them.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169858)

I hosts-blocked most ad sites on my girlfriend's computer when she started complaining about the web sites she uses being so slow; most of the time was spent waiting for some ad site or some tracking site like Google analytics.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (4, Informative)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169490)

I always try to use Filehippo. [filehippo.com] They're the only download site where I've never seen an ad deceptively disguised as a "Download" button.

FileHippo Update Checker (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169618)

FileHippo also has an update checker:
http://www.filehippo.com/updatechecker/ [filehippo.com]

Like it or not, unless Microsoft decides to make their planned app store open to everybody, those sites do provide a reasonable service in notifying users of updates to software that don't have built-in update checking mechanisms.

No, it's CBS (5, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169516)

c|net is long gone, they are now CBS Interactive.

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169544)

The economy is getting bad, and youngsters that grew up with skeezy commercials and shady offers are now running things. Heck, I receive snail mail from AAA stating that "my membership has been activated", even though I canceled my membership with them years ago. It turns out that it's just a scare tactic to get you to open the envelope out of fear of having been enrolled unknowingly in a subscription; once you read their offer letter, they state various inconsistent claims that you are already signed up for a free two week complementary period and can use the service free "for the next 10 days" (which is funny, since nowhere in the envelope, offer letter, or other marketing materials is there a date of any kind that indicates when your "free" trial might have begun). In other places in the offer letter, it claims you need to sign up to take free advantage of the offer.

If AAA relies to such disingenuous tactics, what can you expect of other companies?

Re:Wow, when you can't trust CNET (5, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169790)

Your best bet is Major Geeks. I have found the selection at the Major to be incredible, both of the latest and older stuff, and they don't try to push the crapola like CNET does now.

Heck i'm surprised it took /. this long to run a tory about it, as I've been warning folks to stay away from CNET for a few weeks now. if I'd have known it had been run I'd have put it up awhile back but I just figured somebody else had done it and I didn't want to dupe.

But if you want the "basics" your best bet is Ninite [ninite.com] which always has the latest CCleaner, flash, Java, klite, etc and NO TOOLBARS in software like CCleaner, all automated and easy peasy, and for the more offbeat stuff you can't beat the Major. those are my two "go to" sites now that CNET has become just another adware spammer.

Mod Parent Up IMMEDIATELY (1)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169926)

Can't say about the future of the program - but Ninite WORKS, and it is spectacular.

I can't count the number of fresh XP/7 installs I've done in the last few years, but Ninite has been a god-send.

C|Net has become nothing more than a shell of itself. Its hardware reviews are still a valuable resource - but what is really needed is a large, community driven project that has community reviews from verified users only. Think Amazon.com ratings, without the Amazon.com.

GNU to the rescue (1)

dfsmith (960400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169408)

But if you're publishing GNU'd software through them, you could demand they publish the source to the wrapper.

Re:GNU to the rescue (2)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169434)

Uh, no. They only need to provide you access to the software source code. They don't need to provide you source code to the wrapper, or whatever installes the binary version for you.

Re:GNU to the rescue (1)

dfsmith (960400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169660)

GNU GPLv2:

3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

...

Seems pretty clear to me that, yes, you do. Is the wrapper executable? Is it based on a GNU GPL'd source? You'd have a hard time arguing that section 3 doesn't apply.

Um... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169698)

Where did you get the idea that the wrapper is based on GPL'd code? I don't see anything here about a license for that code (and I'm not about to go try it myself.)

Re:GNU to the rescue (1)

Pionar (620916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169746)

GNU GPLv2:

3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

...

Seems pretty clear to me that, yes, you do. Is the wrapper executable? Is it based on a GNU GPL'd source? You'd have a hard time arguing that section 3 doesn't apply.

Re:GNU to the rescue (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169766)

These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.

Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or collective works based on the Program.

In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under the scope of this License.

Re:GNU to the rescue (1)

growse (928427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169780)

How is the wrapper based on a GNU GPL'd source?

Re:GNU to the rescue (2)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169916)

An installer which simply copies files from an archive to a folder on the computer (and maybe sets up some registry entries, etc) is a distinct program from the program which gets thus installed.

Just because the 'wrapper' is used to make the copy, doesn't make the wrapper part of the GPL program, or the GPL program part of the wrapper.

Re:GNU to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169472)

and use it to make an unwrapper? ;)

Sourceforge is no alternative (4, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169430)

The last few Windows apps I've downloaded from there came with their own "INSTALL TOOLBAR FOO" now in the installer. PDFCreator is one example.

This is why we're headed towards managed computing and app stores. The game is just too dirty. Joe User has no idea whats going on. His computer has a dozen toolbars and all he's done is follow his geeky friend's advice to install stuff like PDFCreator or other GPL products. I'd rather just be microbilled 20 cents or whatever they make per install. Shame no one has properly cracked the microbilling nut.

Re:Sourceforge is no alternative (2)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169468)

Sure, but in your cases it's not SF's fault.

Re:Sourceforge is no alternative (2)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169506)

That's true, but if you want to avoid the "toolbar" bullshit there's no safe haven. Heck, when I'm not using SF and something is hosted independently there's no shortage of ads with "download" buttons designed to fool the end user.

Its just dirty. This is one of the last nails in the non-controlled/non-app store coffin. Oh well, I think if done right, this is a change that'll help people.

Re:Sourceforge is no alternative (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169694)

That's true, but if you want to avoid the "toolbar" bullshit there's no safe haven.

'bullshit'? I understand that people like to have their software free (mostly as in beer, the speech tends to be an added bonus), but calling the desire for the developer to get a minor kickback from the occasional toolbar install/default homepage switch/etc. 'bullshit' is a bit silly as long as it's optional.

Re:Sourceforge is no alternative (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169792)

Its bullshit because most of these toolbars cause browser instability (lets ignore the massive privacy issues). So what these developers are proposing is that I can have their application, but at the cost of my browser running like shit going forward. I don't consider damaging an unrelated piece of software on my machine a reasonable exchange.

Not to mention, they can sell ads to make money. Ads on the webpage that hosts the installer as well as in app ads. Its not toolbars or being broke. Lets stop pretending that toolbars are the only way to monetize free software or that its remotely acceptable way of doing business.

Re:Sourceforge is no alternative (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169824)

This is one of the last nails in the non-controlled/non-app store coffin.

For you people, maybe. Some of us don't like to be treated as kids, so don't expect every developer to force people to download from a single location.
Oh, and non-app stores have been there for long before electricity existed, and should continue to exist after the Apple empire finally dies.

Oh well, I think if done right, this is a change that'll help people.

That would certainly help the people who control the corporations that control the store, yes.

Re:Sourceforge is no alternative (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169520)

That's not sourceforge's fault any more than getting an infected crack from TPB would be TPB's fault. Sourceforge just hosts whatever the hell you upload.

Re:Sourceforge is no alternative (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169922)

Sourceforge just hosts whatever the hell you upload.

Well, that's part of the problem, isn't it? People need a place where they can go to download software with at least a modicum of confidence that they're not getting malware or bloatware. That's the appeal of walled gardens like Apple's app store. If all the more open download sites continue to pulls stunts like CNET, or to just take a "hand-offs" approach like Sourceforge, the walled gardens are going to look more and more appealing. I'd hate to think that my mom may ask me one day "Where can I go to get trustworthy downloads?" and the only answer I can give her is "Get an Apple and use their app store."

Re:Sourceforge is no alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169850)

In my eyes this problem of bloatware bundled with legitimate software is just a symptom of a bigger problem, namely the lack of a unified standard for the packaging and installation and eventual execution of software in windows. That is also a big reason why trojans are still a common problem.

Am I the only one who thinks it is foolish to give a random installer executable administrator privileges to be able to install an application? If I install a game, is there any reason why it should have access to anything other than it's own install directory and some place to store settings and savegames? Why can't this be handled by a package manager similiar to the one on my linux box? When I run the game, why would it need access to anything other than the aforementioned items and the display driver, and maybe access to the internet for multiplayer?

Any bad installer might be able to change core elements of my system or other applications, how is this still possible? Why can't I just install applications, without giving some installer admin privileges? Why not put every application in it's own little domain, and give it access to other resources as needed, to be judged by the user?

Re:Sourceforge is no alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169872)

You can always read the user comments and see how long the binaries have been in place before choosing to download. I haven't had any trouble with sourceforge, though an application could very well decide to cash in and start adding ads after building up its popularity. The trouble with the user reviews is that negative comments can be added by someone with an interest in seeing the application become less popular.

Re:the micropayments nut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169954)

The trouble with micropayments is that the overhead of security, accountability, auditability and (sigh) taxability is too damn much. Paypal offers a "micropayment rate" of 5% + US$0.05 per transaction which is 30% of a 20 cent payment -- not too horrible all things considered, but making users jump through that hoop is even more off-putting than "free registration required to download".

Eh? (2)

asto21 (1797450) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169446)

I haven't downloaded anything from them in at least half a decade. Just out of curiosity, what has anyone gone to their site to download in recent times?

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169508)

Avira AntiVir Personal/free edition

Re:Eh? (1)

Whatanut (203397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169654)

I haven't figured out why people use these big, questionable hosting sites. Why not just go to the source?

http://www.avira.com/en/free-download-avira-antivir-personal [avira.com]

Re:Eh? (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169988)

A lot of times the "source" hosts their downloads on these type sites.

Re:Eh? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169538)

I used to download (known good) Windows freeware from them sometimes, but rarely. Probably been to their site less than once per year over the last decade.

Re:Eh? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169854)

I have likely downloaded things from them in the past year, but I hardly notice whether it's download.com, tucows.com, or anonymous-er-we-mean-trusted-source.com.

The cloud isn't just an API, any more.

Signed reposity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169450)

This is no problem for me!

What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169452)

People still used that site? Really? I stopped about early 2000 when it began being full of spyware infested programs.

No Worries, Stopped using CNET a while ago (2)

supernatendo (1523947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169456)

I stopped using CNET a very long time ago. Sourceforge.net and Filehippo.com are about all I trust anymore. This really doesn't surprise me, the reason I stopped using CNET is that I got infected downloading something from their site years ago. The only thing I hate trying to download and find are Microsoft compatible drivers for old hardware companies that have long since bit the dust. I usually try to convince those end users to switch to linux after I confirm the kernel has drivers for their crappy old hardware.

gotta go oldschool then (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169464)

Tucows.com to the rescue

Driving users to the App Store (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169470)

Apple already has an App Store for the Mac, and Microsoft will soon as well for Windows 8.

Moves like this will drive users in droves to download applications from a known, clean source.

Re:Driving users to the App Store (2)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169572)

Let's call a spade a spade here: App Store = Repository

Re:Driving users to the App Store (2, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169764)

Who you callin' a "Spade"?!?
Damn, racists are everywhere.

Of Course (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169898)

App Store = Repository

Of course. Linux (and other UNIX) users have had an App Store, many of them, for ages.

In a way CNET was as well - many users used CNET to get a variety of applications, shareware and freeware. But what I'm saying here is that things like this will drive more people to first party app stores over the secondary sources...

Linux users will just carry on before as they have enough sense and knowledge to know where to go for applications.

Re:Driving users to the App Store (2)

moonbender (547943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169592)

Not to mention all the Linux distributions which have had something very similar to an app store for, what, more than a decade? Except that they have much more sane policies regarding inclusion in the "app store" and extending the app store with secondary repositories.

Re:Driving users to the App Store (4, Interesting)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169640)

Apple already has an App Store for the Mac, and Microsoft will soon as well for Windows 8.

Moves like this will drive users in droves to download applications from a known, clean source.

I've been a fan of a collection of app stores since I moved to Debian 2.2, 11 years ago, nice to see the non-oss world catching up.

Re:Driving users to the App Store (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169714)

One of the biggest problems with the Mac App store, IMO, is that it apparently cannot recognize applications which have been purchased before the app store was available, and thus cannot upgrade them via the app store. It would be nice if there were a way to tie prior specific purchases (that one still has record of) with one's Apple ID so that they could use the app store in this way... and have a relatively smoother upgrade path to follow in the future.

There are plenty of shareware sites. (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169474)

Just move to another, or go to sourceforge. Who needs this crap?

No problem for non-idiots. From the CNET FAQ... (3, Informative)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169478)

3. Is my direct download URL still available?

Yes. Right under the main "Download Now" button is the direct HTTP download URL which registered CNET members can access.

http://cnet-upload.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2064 [custhelp.com]

Re:No problem for non-idiots. From the CNET FAQ... (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169492)

Registered non-idiots, that is. Use a throwaway address. But being a non-idiot you knew that, right?

Re:No problem for non-idiots. From the CNET FAQ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169558)

Registered non-idiots, that is.

You noticed that after you posted it, didn't you? Kinda' makes you look like a fool, doesn't it?

Re:No problem for non-idiots. From the CNET FAQ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169514)

Right under the main "Download Now" button is the direct HTTP download URL which registered CNET members can access.

So I need to register with them to bypass their installer? Oh great... :(

Re:No problem for non-idiots. From the CNET FAQ... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169720)

Non-idiots and people who register on CNET sites are mutually exclusive.

ho-hum - read the page (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169480)

There's a link for direct download as well - cancel the auto bloatware download, click the direct link, all done.

Download.com (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169486)

Who actually downloads stuff from download.com anymore?

Re:Download.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169608)

Not much, for instance we had 57 downloads from download.com out of the last 10,000 downloads from our total download sites (mainly from our own web site).

But with this crapware installed, we will probably pull the plug on download.com!

Re:Download.com (1)

grimharvest (724023) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169676)

It was a useful concept at one time, allowing free apps and for companies to advertise their products when so much commercial software is so grossly overpriced, but now obviously has taken a turn for the worse.

God Dammit (2)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169504)

So now when I have to deal with Windows boxes and install stuff on there, I can't use the only site I've used in a decade. God Dammit To Hell. The sad part is that Ubuntu's Software Center and all the rest of it's ilk owes at least a tip of the hat to Download.com's ratings system. it's helped me immeasurably with the ratings systems. Although I never trusted the Editor's ratings - too easy to pay off. The user's ratings were usually right on the money.

Re:God Dammit (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169570)

Use Ninite. http://ninite.com/

Adware-free bulk installer. Pick the apps you want, download one installer, start it, come back later with everything installed.

What year is it? (1)

wzinc (612701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169576)

Didn't know download.com was still around...

It will be dead soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169600)

Mac App Store already in place. Windows App store on the way.

who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169602)

If I ever have to go back to 1999 and want to download AIM, Winamp or AdAware, I'll be screwed! Seriously, who the fuck uses download.com anymore?

Premium? (5, Insightful)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169670)

From upload.com:

If you would like to opt out of the CNET Download.com Installer you can sign up for a Premium subscription or PPD promotion, both of which are being excluded at this time.

If find it hilarious that they are talking about how this is 'for the users' and such a great thing, yet the 'premium' subscriptions don't have to deal with this bullshit. If it's sooooo great, shouldn't it be available only to premium users?

Re:Premium? (1)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169828)

Now thats funny :)

Re:Premium? (1)

PhinMak (630548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169990)

Mod parent up

bs (1)

pat sajak (1368465) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169672)

If it's so beneficial for the users, then why would someone want to pay for premium to get rid of it (as they suggest)?

This is why I use Torrents (1)

Cito (1725214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169722)

It's pretty bad when torrents are more trustworthy than free software download sites like download.com/tucows/etc. I can get the same program from torrents without worry, plus torrent sites like http://www.kat.ph/ [www.kat.ph] or http://demonoid.me/ [demonoid.me] have lots of comments on their torrents so you can also check the torrent's reputation. even for free software torrent is way to go, but problem is with more and more companies wrapping their programs with adware/malware/bloatware/spam popups/etc. It makes it more enticing to just say screw it and go pirate the full versions or to skip the free version and pirate a competitors paid version. I would pirate the paid versions or paid versions competitors to free software on download.com or tucows any time. the more companies and/or developers do this the more of us turn to piracy. There is a lesson to be learned, make a good product, and don't wrap it in malware/bloatware/scareware/spam/adware/any virus like behaving extra then people may pay a couple bucks for it.

Yay an installer for the installers! (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169724)

Great, an installer to handle the installers. Yet another layer of crapness.

Now people know how I feel about installers in general. We shouldn't even have to have them. Some of the best apps you can get are single files (not even zipped), and they work just great with no 100 step install processes in sight. Okay you need to specify the download location, but that's about it, and with a purely Metadata filesystem, we wouldn't even need to do that.

Files should be unified in a single folder with everything self-contained. Okay, shared DLLs save a bit of memory, but in this day and age, that's not an issue anymore. Backing up data and compatibility is a lot simpler also when everything is self-contained in a single folder and not dumped in the registry, all over the OS, in the user's "My Documents" folder, and god knows where else.

Re:Yay an installer for the installers! (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169770)

Okay, shared DLLs save a bit of memory, but in this day and age, that's not an issue anymore.

Yes, this is a brilliant idea. Instead of having one copy of foobar.dll on your system which can be updated when there's a security fix, you now have fifty different versions of foobar.dll all over the system in different installation directories, so some programs using it will be safe and others will have major security holes and some will work if you replace the DLL with the new one and some will break.

Ah, the joy of Windows and its 'install anything anywhere, I don't care' philosophy.

Re:Yay an installer for the installers! (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169984)

Sure for the *really* important DLLs, but those are going to be on Windows by default for everyone. Yeah keep a library of those.

Instead the reality is that everyone has their own pet DLLs which they just have to infect the system with. You end up with a million DLLs and bits of preferences (which are usually duplicated beyond belief) in another thousand places. But by all means, have fun with your backup, and trying to make each program independent without going to a dozen different places to find the exact DLL. Yuck.

doesn't that kill the site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169726)

I have no idea what "download.com" is, but who on earth would run such a thing? Doesn't this mean that nobody will use the site any more?

Hasbeens always pull this crap? (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169808)

What's a CNET?

Trust no one. (1)

inkrypted (1579407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169862)

Ever installed Adobe Reader, Quicktime,Or Real Player? It seems to be a trend with even legitimate software I mean how else is a company gonna get their toolbar, registry cleaner, search engine, etc onto your computer? I must admit I am not that shocked to see CNET doing this and I believe it's only a matter of time before it spreads everywhere.

Installers give them two-way comms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169882)

For every website that has one of these "download managers", I seek out and find the direct download method. Sometimes it is an MSI file (there's one available for Google's Chrome and Picasa if you Google for it), sometimes it is an exe. If there isn't a direct download, I don't download.

It isn't the "install toolbar" bit that gets on my nerve but rather once they've got a program running on your system and one that needs to access the Internet to work (i.e. you've got to allow it through your Windows 7 firewall), they can then dump any information on your computer, in your web browser history or registry back to their computers. Uh uh. No thanks.

These installers are a huge privacy and security risk.

who or what (0)

brezel (890656) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169890)

is this downlad.com you speak of? are you saying there are people who install software without a package manager? well i never *faint*

That explains things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37169964)

I downloaded a copy of avg free antivirus a couple of weeks ago due to a scare I had over a hacked gaming account. Turns out my computer was clean *until* I installed avg. Toolbars, background apps, web page "helper" urls instead of normal text all over the place. Internet Explorer will no longer manitian custom settings like the default zoom level I prefer. I can assure you I said flat out no to all "suggested" add-ons during the install. I assumed avg had turned into adware but perhaps it was download.com that was to blame. Neither would surprise me and I now know to avoid cnet at all costs. WTG cnet, you now join the ranks of Sony as scumbag organizations. Unbelievable.

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