Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bonzi Class Action Suit Settled: No Foolin'!

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the not-even-a-slap-on-the-wrist dept.

The Courts 376

An anonymous reader writes "According to this article in the Toronto Star, a class action suit against Bonzi Software has reached a settlement. Bonzi will not pay damages but will be required to stop using fake user interface (FUI) style error messages to trick users into clicking on their banners. This is a big win for the community as it will help to improve the Internet's ailing perceived user experience. Most of you have seen Bonzi's banners, and probably most of you won't admit to having been fooled by them at some point. Well, imagine how many novice computer users were tricked into installing again, or paying for software they really did not need. Congratulations and thanks to Lukins & Annis for a job well done. Interestingly, bonzi.com has been returning connection refused all day. This is usually one of the net's busiest sites."

cancel ×

376 comments

SLURP-A-DEE DOO DAH, SLURP-A-DEE AYYY (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 11 years ago | (#6058993)

,ououououououououo.
o o
u MMMMMM DICK u
o o
u (50 cents) u
ouououou. .ouououou'
l l _|/
l l ." ".
l l /(o)-(o)\
/_)ll / )
l_)ll '- o . .
\_)l\ '.o__.' / |\/|_.
l l \ \_/ / ._| '/
l_l\ \.___./ \ ) /
\ \_/\__/\__ l==l
\ \ /\ /\ `\ l l
\ \\// \l l
`\ /\ l / l
; ll l\____/
l ll l

Re:SLURP-A-DEE DOO DAH, SLURP-A-DEE AYYY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059088)

Sheesh, that is getting old.

wow, how is this good? (3, Insightful)

sweeney37 (325921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6058994)

so how does this help those same novice users who had to pay for expensive PC repair because they also didn't know how to remove the software?

Mike

Re:wow, how is this good? (-1, Troll)

rkz (667993) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059066)

Who cares, because you are the village geek they PAYED you to do the repair/reinstall windows.
Bonzi is great for geeks.

Re:wow, how is this good? (1)

DoraLives (622001) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059131)

Actually, I do it for free. Call me a karma whore if you will.

Re:wow, how is this good? (5, Informative)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059078)

It doesn't, truthfully; but those novice users are still responsible for their actions. More importantly, this will help future novice users from falling for the same spiel. Sometimes, that's all you can do.

Re:wow, how is this good? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059115)

IN SOVIET RUSSIA SPYWARE INSTALLS YOU! Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Bubba Asks (3, Funny)

Arbogast_II (583768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059133)

What in tarnations are yall talkin about. I use Mozilla everyday, I never seen one of these Bonzi Gorilla Men!!!! What is the big hullabaloo about:)

Overstated Impact (4, Interesting)

dtolton (162216) | more than 11 years ago | (#6058995)

"The San Luis Obispo, Calif., software company has reached a
settlement in a landmark U.S. case that could have far-reaching
impact for companies that try to disguise their online banner
ads."

That seems like a pretty drastic over-statement. This is a
settlement, the judge didn't decide in their favor. I don't
think settlements have any value as far as precedent goes.
That's why so many people settle cases in the first place. To
classify this as a "landmark" case looks like someone is having
delusions of grandeur.

I am happy to see that they'll stop using those irritating
banners though. They don't usually get me anymore, but every
once in a while they'll cause a minor palpitation (unless of
course I'm on a Linux box).

Re:Overstated Impact (5, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059236)

I don't think settlements have any value as far as precedent goes.

IANAL, but they do...

See, this settlement means that it's not correct to say that Bonzi lost the lawsuit, but it does allow somebody to say that Bonzi didn't win either. They gave up, indicating that Bonzi didn't believe enough in its own argument to bother to take it to a judge or jury.

So, to the next Bonzi-like company that comes along the message is that FUI isn't likely to be defendable in court. Yeah, there's a chance somebody else could defend the use of FUI in court and end up a winner because in the eyes of the court this is still an undecided question. However, in the eyes of the greedy businessman there's already a precedent logged in the world's history that says the first company to try to use FUI in a bold way got a public embarassment and was forced to accept an agreement that made them promise to never use FUI again.

Will there eventually be somebody willing to take the chance that FUI will stand up in court, of course. However, there's a good number of business people who when shown what happened to Bonzi will take that information and conclude that "somebody already tried that and failed" and take their company's marketing in a differnt direction, so it's going to be a good long time before somebody bold enough to make heavy use of FUI comes along.

FUI's not dead, but this settlement has it hospitalized.

Ah... (5, Funny)

Obiwan Kenobi (32807) | more than 11 years ago | (#6058997)

Interestingly, bonzi.com has been returning connection refused all day. This is usually one of the net's busiest sites.

Ah...a little thing called justice.

Re:Ah... (5, Interesting)

Empty_One (90408) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059021)

That's funny, the site worked fine for me, and it even popped up one of those error like advertisements warning my that my pc was broadcasting my IP address.

Re:Ah... (5, Funny)

danheskett (178529) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059077)

Haha.. that ad was always the funniest thing to me. "Your computer is 'broadcasting' an IP address".

Sounds scary! "Broadcasting", "address", "IP" - sounds terrifying for a newbie.

Funny how essential things like "routing information" can be turned into a scary thing to uninformed users. Funny meaning "sad".

Re:Ah... (1)

mobets (101759) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059186)

What's really funny is when they say this and display your supposed IP address. Except it isn't yours, it is the Address of your ISP's caching server.

Re:Ah... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059300)

"Your computer is 'broadcasting' an IP address"

Quick! Install the latest WinXP security patch!

Re:Ah... (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059119)

Soon followed by a not-so-little thing called SlashDot.

Re:Ah... (1)

maunleon (172815) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059174)

It works fine for me...

and when I got there, there was a nice little popup with a fake user-interface window. :)

Re:Ah... (1)

Dylan Zimmerman (607218) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059252)

Well, I just went there and got a connection refused. Of course, it has an entry in my hosts file, so I kind of expected that. I wonder if the story submitter has a similar entry and just forgot about it.

Bonzi buddy (0, Redundant)

nenolod (546272) | more than 11 years ago | (#6058998)

Bonzi buddy will now be ashcroft's buddy.

Bonzi buddy! (5, Interesting)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059001)

Anyone remember when Bonzi first came out? I was a tech back then, and almost all of the systems on the campus were crashing and experiencing major slow down for a couple of days. I would run the usual gamut of questions: "Did you install anything new? Are you using AIM or ICQ? How many programs do you have open?". Asking these questions over the phone is futile, but you do it anyways, cause you're a lazy tech and you don't want to leave the air conditioned NOC. So I had to eventually turn off the game of Quake, log out of heat.net, and carry my lazy ass down to all of the offices. It was funny to be half listening to the clerk/professor/secretary/manager telling me about how they "never install anything on their computer" and how they "always run scandisk and the virus scanner on Friday at 4:30pm" and bla bla bla, just as their system grinds to a halt with a big purple ape [bonzi.com] on the screen jumping out at you, and the jarring blare of a long drawn out "uh ohh!!" that corresponds with the reception of 80 new ICQ messages.

Re:Bonzi buddy! (5, Funny)

malia8888 (646496) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059353)

just as their system grinds to a halt with a big purple ape [bonzi.com] on the screen jumping out at you,

The true victim in this lawsuit is the purple ape. He has been neutered and sent to a zoo;)

Oh bullshit (0, Flamebait)

The Terrorists (619137) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059009)

User interfaces were developed to interface with the user. That means that lots of science was put into them to make them easy to use, intelligible, etc.

That's also why advertisers use interfaces that are very similar. They want to encourage familiarity and comfort with their ad, to get people to click on it.

Also, parodic uses of common UI's do occur. These are protected under the first amendment. Just for civil liberties in general this is a bad court case. It's similar to the Nike free-speech/commercial speech court case recently in the US supreme court.

Re:Oh bullshit (5, Insightful)

Gorm the DBA (581373) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059028)

Except for one thing...parody with intent to defraud is not protected, and never has been (so far as I know, IANAL). Bonzai and other similar UI based ads were completely and totally intended to fool the unsupecting user into taking an action they ordinarily wouldn't, and generally to spend money they wouldn't ordinarily spend. That's fraud, and it's illegal, even if you claim it's a parody.

Re:Oh bullshit (4, Interesting)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059062)

That's also why advertisers use interfaces that are very similar. They want to encourage familiarity and comfort with their ad, to get people to click on it.

You're either trolling or smoking something, but I'll bite. These are not 'similar' interfaces to encourage familiarity and comfort. These are 'similar' interfaces to deceive "customers" into thinking that it's not an advertisement but rather is part of the system's normal warnings.
It's kin to the full-page magazine ads that look just like stories - which have been found to be deceiving, which is why they all have to have 'advertisement' printed at the top and bottom.

Also, parodic uses of common UI's do occur. These are protected under the first amendment. Just for civil liberties in general this is a bad court case. It's similar to the Nike free-speech/commercial speech court case recently in the US supreme court.

This was not a parody. This was not a satire. This was intended to deceive viewers into thinking it actually was the original art, thus violating the protections given to parody and satire.

-T

Re:Oh bullshit (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059141)

Bonzi's popups do have "Advertisement" up in the "title bar".

So I guess there should be a different litmus test for online ads than for print ones?

Re:Oh bullshit (1)

DivideX0 (177286) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059320)

Does this agreement cover 'Graphical User Interfaces' or any 'User Interface'. Not sure if it was Bonzi, but yesterday I received a popup that looked like a command prompt box. I typically have a putty, cygwin, or a command prompt open. I was a little confused by that at first, the only reason I noticed it was that it was a different size than my settings, but it did match the Windows default command prompt size though. Yet another way to confuse users that don't know any better.

Re:Oh bullshit (2, Interesting)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059085)

Whenever a Java applet wants to create a window it will have a prominent border saying 'Warning: applet window'. This is so that applets can't spoof dialogue boxes belonging to other applications.

Web browsers ought to do the same, although sticking a border round every image might be overkill. Perhaps some hairy heuristic could work out what looks 'rather like' a system window and disguise it appropriately. I'm talking here of images embedded in web pages (which can still look near enough like a dialogue box to fool novice users). Popup windows, of course, are the spawn of Satan and should be blocked by default anyway.

Re:Oh bullshit (4, Insightful)

TamMan2000 (578899) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059100)

I will admit up front that I am not terribly familiar with this case, but I have to say that I think you are wrong.

Don't misunderstand me, I am a HUGE fan of the first amendment (and an ACLU member). But I believe that the Bonzi ads are fraud. Fraud is not protected, not should it be. They are trying to trick people into clicking, not entice people into clicking, a very important difference. I don't think that this adversely effects the 1st, even in cases of interface parody... (esp. since it is a settlement, not a decision).

Good job! (4, Funny)

aeinome (672135) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059010)

I agree, m4d props to L&A for showing them up. I've never actually clicked on one of them (I swear) but my friend, who uses the same computer, does so numerously. I pretty much have to uninstall Gator and such on a daily basis.

Re:Good job! New Friend (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059248)

I've never actually clicked on one of them (I swear) but my friend, who uses the same computer, does so numerously.

Now there's a definition of "friend" of which I was previous unacquainted with.

HAY guys (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059012)

hay guys whats goin on in this thread?

Ya, I was fooled... (5, Funny)

oscast (653817) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059013)

I thought my OS X aqua icons turned into these nasty, square-shaped, clunky, windows-esch styled buttons.

Re:Ya, I was fooled... (1)

spumoni_fettuccini (668603) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059048)

And I thought my system clock was fouled up.

my dad used it... (4, Interesting)

zbowling (597617) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059014)

Seems to be work for me. Maybe your isp blocked that domain on there dns servers. Interestingly anough I got this popup image [bonzi.com] when I visted the site.

My dad used to use bonzi before I explained what a fool he was for installing spy ware. He like the bonzi-buddy (the little Microsoft Agent Charater) because he could make it talk and it would sing to him.

Re:my dad used it... (3, Funny)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059091)

My dad used to use bonzi before I explained what a fool he was for installing spy ware. He like the bonzi-buddy (the little Microsoft Agent Charater) because he could make it talk and it would sing to him.

Maybe you should trade your dad's computer for a parrot. ;)

-T

Re:my dad used it... (4, Informative)

terrymr (316118) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059259)

They have 30 days to stop using the popups.

Re:my dad used it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059272)

  • My dad used to use bonzi before I explained what a fool he was for installing spy ware. He like the bonzi-buddy (the little Microsoft Agent Charater) because he could make it talk and it would sing to him.
    --
    Zac Bowling
    MCSD,MCSE
And you grew up to be an MCSE. Like father, like son.

qsd (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059016)

1sts qs qsd

Bonzi, Ponzi, Shmonzi ? (5, Interesting)

McSnarf (676600) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059018)

What will keep Bonzi from "selling the idea" to another seemingly independent company?
Their scheme (not to be mistaken for the way more profitable, way more illegal Ponzi scheme) most likely made them enough money to be of value to a lot of other seedy companies.

Still - a milestone !

Need to filter out this address (2, Interesting)

mozumder (178398) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059030)

There needs to be a way for the IP addresses of known bad guys, like Bonzi and Gator, to be filtered out at the ISP level so they do not massively disrupt computers. Perhaps a central authority used to designate spyware domain names and IP addresses...

Re:Need to filter out this address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059203)

I agree. However I could see someone trying to get such a list (BGP feed) shut down for interfering with a business blah blah blah. You'd have to be very careful when creating such a thing.

do it your damn self (3, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059207)

If you're an admin, you got the power. If you own your PC, you got the power. The last thing the 'net needs is some "central authority" to determine who gets to talk and who doesn't.

Client Side sotware. (5, Informative)

zbowling (597617) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059219)

Spyware Blaster (http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.ht ml) is nice because it prevents spyware from installing by fooling Windows into thinking its already installed by making regisitry keys with the spyware ClassIDs. It also prevents you from seeing ads and spyware by changing IE's privacy host to reject anything from a list of spyware domains. (even doubleclick.net so about half the ads on the internet disapeared in IE for me) It also auto-updates its known host list. This will only help you prevent spyware, but it also comes with a tool for reseting your browser pages. (So if you installed yahoo bar and can't figure out where it reset your default search page and error pages at in the regisitry this will help).

Ad-aware (http://www.lavasoft.de/index.html) is a nice client side product for scanning and cleaning out spyware from your system. Its free version will do almost everything the paid version will but it won't doing anything automaticaly.

mynetwatchman.com does a very good job at listing bad hostnames and ips so if you want you can check that site for more info.

Hope that helps!

Re:Need to filter out this address (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059220)

There's nothing illegal about Bonzi or Gator. The internet is about a free exchange of information.

If someone suggested we block sites like linux.org or sourceforge.net because they encourage hackers, you'd probably have a tantrum.

Re:Need to filter out this address (1)

asr_man (620632) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059244)

Don't worry, Homeland Security will be in charge of that.

Re:Need to filter out this address (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059267)

I think I'd rather control the filtering of the internet that reaches my machine. I am not ready to let my ISP decide what should and shouldn't make it through.

Big win? (5, Insightful)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059031)

Bonzi will not pay damages but will be required to stop using fake user interface (FUI) style error messages to trick users into clicking on their banners. This is a big win for the community ...

A big win? What are you smoking? Bonzai duped countless users for years and completely got away with it. They didn't have to pay anything. A big win would be if they got slapped with such a huge fine that it would serve as a lesson to other companies contemplating the same sort of "business model".

GMD

Re:Big win? (1)

spumoni_fettuccini (668603) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059127)

What really would have been a big win is fining the hell out of them and spreading it around to those poor Sysadmins that had to remove that crap afterwards. Yeah I know... how would you distribute the award? $1000.00 to everyone who applies :)

Re:Big win? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059288)

Yes its a big win.

They settled out of court with the litigious idiot who sued them (look at the guys history, he's one of those "sue em all until I'm rich" lawyers), and gave him a pile of cash!

Hooray for freedom! What a great day for YRO!

Re:Big win? RIAA and other agreement (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059302)

RIAA Headquarters: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy

Excellent!

Btw, fully agree with the rest of your post too. How many more of these "big wins" can we afford?

Cavaliers (5, Funny)

Jack Comics (631233) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059035)

Bonzi doesn't have to pay any money? I guess Perfect Tommy and the rest of the Hong Kong Cavaliers managed to save the day after all!

Bad joke, I know but it had to be said, err... written. :)

Re:Cavaliers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059106)

No it didnt have to be said.

Because noone knows what the fuck you're talking about.

I assume its some obscure lame cartoon (no doubt one of those chinese pseudo-porn crapfests) that nerds think is super-fantastic.

It's probably about a 13 year old girl who has sex with a robot orangutan or some such bullshit.

Re:Cavaliers (3, Informative)

Jack Comics (631233) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059234)

Sigh. Kids these days. You assumed incorrectly. It was a reference to the science-fiction cult classic film Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai in the Eighth Dimension." [figmentfly.com] It was a movie made in 1984, starring Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, and Clancy Brown. A television series based on the movie has been in development Hell for the past few years. Who knows if it'll actually see daylight. But the original movie remains a classic, and some semi-famous quotes, including "No matter where you go, there you are," came from the film.

Re:Cavaliers (4, Funny)

iamsure (66666) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059255)

"Because bonzi doesnt have to pay any money?"

Of course not - they hit the monkey, and won the cash!

Your Computer is Being Controlled by a Moron (4, Funny)

dbravender (576338) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059050)

Your operating system sucks. Click here to install Linux now! [Ok]

Re:Your Computer is Being Controlled by a Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059081)

plz where can i downloade lunix 4 ms dos ??
he;lp

Re:Your Computer is Being Controlled by a Moron (1)

gordie (139287) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059184)

Try here: MicroSoft Linux [mslinux.org]

Re:Your Computer is Being Controlled by a Moron (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059193)

d0nt 1n5t4LL d4 lunex 0r j3ff-k w1LL h4x0R y0uR b0x!!!!!! 17 h4pp3n3d t0 4 fr3ind!!! LOL on AOL!!

experienced? (0, Redundant)

jaxle (193331) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059052)

If your an experienced computer user and you get fooled by one of these banners...well...that's just sad.

Re:experienced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059215)

If your an experienced computer user and you get fooled by one of these banners...well...that's just sad.

well, my "an experienced computer" and I don't get fooled by these banners....I would think most people reading this site (along with their "an experienced computer user") wouldn't fall for them...

p.s. your grammar sucks

bonzi.com works for me - got fake UI pop-up ad (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059057)

I got this pop-up ad [bonzi.com] when I went to bonzi.com 2 seconds ago

SYSTEM WARNING! (0, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059070)

Your PC is in need of maitainance.

Click here [slashdot.org] to get the latest upgrade for your system.

Re:SYSTEM WARNING! (4, Funny)

Jack Comics (631233) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059112)

... Your system apparently is also in need of a decent spellchecker. Please go here [wordperfect.com] for more information.

Fooled? (0, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059079)

The only people fooled were Windows users (not surprisingly).

Just like the idiots who get worried when they see the "your computer is broadcasting it's IP address" messages.

Even when I was occasionally using a WinBloze box I wasn't taken in, as I'm sure most tech-savvy users weren't. The people who fall for this tactic are the same ones who keep forwarding email warnings about anti-perspirants causing cancer, etc.

Re: Fooled? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059161)


> The people who fall for this tactic are the same ones who keep forwarding email warnings about anti-perspirants causing cancer, etc.

And by strange coincidence, the G33k 3lit3 are immune to social engineering hacks based on the use of deodorant too!

Re:Fooled? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059183)

The only people fooled were Windows users

Because the software they're trying to push is windows only. (And thats 99% of the internet)

You're a twit if you just assume everyone that runs windows is an idiot. >60% of slashdot readers run some flavor of windows on their main PC (according to their poll, at least).

Re:Fooled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059189)

"The people who fall for this tactic are the same ones who keep forwarding email warnings about anti-perspirants causing cancer, etc"

LOL. What a bunch of dummies. The only emails that I forward are the ones about that kid who will get that brain transplant from Bill Gates if they are forwarded to a trillion people. I'm altruistic.

Yikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059098)

I have been using Bonzi buddy for convenience purposes lately. I can keep track sports scores. monitor geek activity on slashdot. bonzi also lets me buy my movie tickets. i really don't know where i'd be without bonzi buddy to help me get through the day. thanks, bonzi!

Re:Yikes (1)

voxlator (531625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059191)

The preceding comment was a paid endorsement for the Bonzi products. The providing network, its affiliates and employees, make no implied or expressed warranties on the claims of the manufacturer and/or endorsing associates.

Next up on this channel, a paid infomercial on weight loss using a diet of Oxi-clean...

Re:Yikes (1)

zbowling (597617) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059270)

HAHAHA! LOL! I guess the techs their seen the traffic going to their site from here and came to see what was going on. I guess they didn't understand why a porno or warez site (or other type of internet trash) is linking them.

Nothing (2, Funny)

unicron (20286) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059117)

Will EVER beat the Window Messaging Service pop-up I got selling a program that blocks Windows Messaging Service. They never responded to my emails as to whether or not they offered "change your windows background" or "how to change your boot-up wav" software.

Heyyy...wait a minute (1)

NetDrain (167337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059120)

These guys are in San Luis Obispo, huh? Never knew. I'm attending college here -- time to get a group of other disgruntled geeks and do the same sort of things they like to do: send them a forged Cease and Decist from the anal city government here for some alleged violation..."It has come to our attention that your paking lot has CARS in it. Please remove them at once," or "Your car is showing a license plate!" etc. etc.

I've always hated those bloody things -- fortunately, the computer illiterate family all use Macs, so even when they clicked through they couldn't install the stuff if they tried.

Shoot! (1, Funny)

GundyRage (611514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059125)

Now I'll never be able to optimize my dial-up connection!

I feel left out (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059128)

Every time I read one of these articles about web spammers and goatse.cx links.

I'll say one good thing for bonzi: it was their goddamn "punch the monkey" ad that finally pushed me into setting up my own ad filtering proxy.

I'm sure this sort of thing is good for the web in general, but I must admit the only such irritation I have suffered in the years since is that damn ad popup at NYTonline. I thought everyone these days uses an ad filter/proxy server/decent browser/crappy browser plugin? I mean, it's not like they actually cost money or anything. Do some people actually feel left out if they miss X10 popups and TGP porn dialers?

Re:I feel left out (1)

Funksaw (636954) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059180)

Actually, at work, where I'm given a Windows machine, we're not allowed to install anything without permission.

Which means that we didn't have permission when we fixed the apparent "network slowdown" by going over to the client computers and running ad-aware.

If we were smart, the company would be using Mozilla.

-- Funky.

About time! (1)

part_mapsrocky.lbles (676718) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059137)

Wooo ha!

Any Bonzi-type ads for Apple? (2, Interesting)

Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059145)

I figure the Bonzi ads worked because everyone had the same-style GUI elements universal to all Windows. (The ads didn't fool me because they didn't look like real windows on my KDE screen ;)

Seems like someone would try to create ads that follow the Aqua L&F...at least if they are selling their 'goods' to a Mac crowd.

On the other hand, Apple may not like that, and be more proactive than MS in stopping this kind of thing.

Fooled? I hardly think so. (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059151)

Most of you have seen Bonzi's banners, and probably most of you won't admit to having been fooled by them at some point.

Yeah, 'cause on a linux or MacOS X box, those Windows dialog boxes look SO realistic! I know I always had to think twice. Not.

It's a shame they're going to stop using (snicker) "FUI". I thought it was fantastic- Internet Darwinism!

OH PLEASE (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059154)

### GIVE ME A BREAK! ### Has anyone noticed the guy (Philip J. Carstens) who is suing Bonzi Software also sued his "former employer" after he sustained an "injury" of a "traumatic nature" when he bit into a piece of "Halloween Candy" taken from a dish located on the reception desk of his employer and "broke loose a dental crown."

It's kind of like the story about the burglar who sued for being trapped for 8 days in a garage of a house that he burgled -- with "nothing" to survive on, except a case of soft drinks and a bag of dry dog food.

You should read his legal arguement: "The candy was either furnished by Mr. Carstens' employer, or by the receptionist employed by Mr. Carstens' employer, with full knowledge of the company's management and because the injury occurred in the course of his employment, Mr. Carstens had clearly sustained an injury compensable under the Industrial Insurance Act."

Compensable? What does that word mean? Do they mean like... as in... compensation? Do they mean like... M-O-N-E-Y?

But the really shocking thing is: HE WON THE CANDY LAWSUIT AND ACTUALLY GOT MONEY FOR HIS "TRAUMATIC INJURIES"! You can read all the "traumatic" details of that fateful day at: http://www.wa.gov/biia/890723.htm

However, there's one more interesting twist to this story. It turns out the "businessman" who filed the lawsuit is not really a "businessman" after all, but a lawyer who is just pretending to be someone else -- and it gets worse -- the "employer" that Mr. Carstens sued was none-other-than the law firm of "Ludkins & Annis" -- that's right, the same law firm who is now suing Bonzi Software on Mr. Carstens' behalf.

If you are scratching your head, so am I. I don't get it. What's really going on here? This lawyer claims he does not work for the law firm of Ludkins & Annis -- yet, their website in Google's "cache" says: "Philip J. Carstens has been a principal at the law firm of Ludkins & Annis since 1974."

SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. YOU HAVE A LAWYER -- WHO SUID HIS OWN LAW FIRM FOR BEING "TRAUMATICLY INJURED" BY A PIECE OF HALOWEEN CANDY -- AND NOW THIS SAME GUY HAS BEEN "INJURED" BY INTERNET POP-UP ADS TOO.

The poor guy. I guess some people just have all the bad luck.

How do ads like these work? (3, Funny)

Schezar (249629) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059156)

Not just Bonzai, but all of those ads that try to 'trick' users into clicking through: fake 'X' buttons, bogus radio buttons, etc...

How many people, once fooled into the company's web site, decide "Hey, I'm already here. Why not give them my credit card number for some useless piece of shit I don't need."

?

I'm serious. Has there ever been a study on this sort of thing?

Your asshole may not be optimized! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059158)

Click "okay" to get a class action buttfucking without the courtesy of a reach around.

Bonzoi = Bleah (1)

SynapseLapse (644398) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059164)

I, for one, am glad to see that something is being down about the more unscrupulous internet advertisors.
Of course, using Opera [opera.com] to stop pop-ups and a little bit of control of the windows Hosts files (To block ad sites from even being connected to) means I haven't seen that annoying Ape in months, or any of the "You computer could be infected with a virus/not optimized/my GOD, why aren't you using our POS program???"

Smack! (1)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059166)

Bad Monkey, BAD!!!

People like that make me sick. (4, Insightful)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059175)

Liars. They think lying's an OK way to make a buck. And like all liars, they think everyone else is a liar, too, which makes it OK.

They have no idea that the content of one's character is the most important thing in the world. Contrary to what the religions of mammon would have you believe, the ONLY truly holy thing there can ever be is an impeccable character. I'd much MUCH rather sleep in the gutter with a sparkling character than be a Banzi executive.

Bunch of animals, those Banzi creatures, and everyone like them... no, I take that back... most animals are sincere... humans have the corner on the liars market.

Re:People like that make me sick. (1)

Politburo (640618) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059316)

Bunch of animals, those Banzi creatures, and everyone like them... no, I take that back... most animals are sincere... humans have the corner on the liars market.

What about animals such as the Angler Fish [ukonline.co.uk] or the like, which use tricks to capture prey?

Not quite (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059185)

These banners aren't fraudulent just because of what they say -- although what they say is certainly deceptive as well. My most serious objection to them is that they are deliberately designed to look like something much more important than advertising. If a company started putting up roadside advertisements made to look like road construction signs, little carts with blinking arrows made of individual lights (such as the DOT uses), and so on, in order to convince drivers that their driveway was the next exit, or that it was imperative to get off at their exit as part of a detour due to road construction, would we allow that? (Okay, Microsoft is not a government agency, but the importance of operating systems error messages on a computer is very similar to the importance of highway department messages on a highway.)

Geek version.... (5, Funny)

bobm17ch (643515) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059197)



WARNING Linux user! You have some Micro$oft webpages in your browser's cache! We can help you remove them safely!

Open up a shell and type: apt-get install hitthemonkey

K THX!

Re:Geek version.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059227)

thank you very much for that useful tool. i hate M$

I was tricked.. (2, Interesting)

xchino (591175) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059221)

I'll admit it, they got me once. I don't think the company was Bonzi, but this company had a really dirty trick :) They had a regular FUI, then an extra control menu graphic on top of the regular FUI, in a window with no menus. I instantly recognized it as another fake windows popup, and as I have been so accustomed to doing, I went to close it down, and clicked on the added destroy window button graphic and was of course taken to some site with no interest to me.

That's just dirty..

Gimme a 'P'! (3, Funny)

Col. Panic (90528) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059231)

gimme an 'R'!
gimme an 'E'!
gimme a 'C'!
gimme another 'E'!
gimme a 'D'!
gimme yet another 'E'!
gimme an 'N'!
gimme a 'T'!
What's that spell?

PRECEDENT!

Re:Gimme a 'P'! (2, Informative)

TamMan2000 (578899) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059240)

This is a settlement, no precedent here, move along now...

[blink] !!!WARNING!!! [/blink] (1)

switcha (551514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059251)

WARNING::Your web browser may not be compatible with this page! To update your browser, and assure full compliance, click here. [slashdot.org]

Dumb targeted adverts (1)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059253)

I don't know who bought the ad space for Bonzi and their like, but seeing their "Your computer is broadcasting an IP address!" or the "Your computer is vulnerable to virii!" on my Mac always freaked me out. The stupid people ran boxes in the windows GUI on mac sites for jebus sakes

eeek! How the hell did Windows get installed on my mac??? Why are there these ugly boxes showing up???

However, I was concerned about this dangerous "IP address" it mentions, so I still downloaded it for that protection...

Bonzi's buddies are getting out of hand. (3, Interesting)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059256)

It took me days to convince my girlfriend that bonzi buddy was not her friend. The same thing happened with comet cursor. I had to explain to her that you can get southpark cursors without a special program. It is just too easy to fool people into installing this software. I basically do the maintenance on all of my friends' computers (for free), and this spyware stuff is getting out of hand. In my opinion it is already more hostile to the average user than spam and viruses combined.

style sheets to block annoying ads (5, Informative)

zrodney (253699) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059257)

Most of you have seen Bonzi's banners...

nope -- I don't see any of them anymore thanks to the userContent.css style sheet.

it will match urls for ads and replace the image with nothing. So, you get the web page without any irritating ads at all.

The css lines are customizable as much as you like. They look like this:

A:link[HREF*="?click"] IMG { display: none ! important }
A:link[HREF*="?banner"] IMG { display: none ! important }

more details and the file at this url:
http://www.fogcat5.com/twiki/bin/view/Fogcat/Mozil laCustomize [fogcat5.com]

Yum. (5, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059304)

I worked at a corporate office for about a week before everyone got laid off. Naturally, they learned of my skill with computers and wanted me to fix them during breaktime and such. Being nice, I did. AOL Companion. AOL. Bonzi buddy. Gator. Weathercast. With these programs and Windows open only, newly booted, the machines had about 20% free system resources. Considering they'd be working and Gator or Bonzi buddy would popup and make noise and disturb them, how much damage is it doing? How much fun is it to be in the middle of a big data entry project, in the 'zone' and you get disturbed by a gigantic monkey with no 'off' button that wants to eat/nap/take your money? Not very much, I'd imagine. So I uninstalled everything. AOL Companion, Bonzi buddy, Gator, Weathercast, but I left AOL on non-startup. Just for their convenience. Next day same thing happens. "I was just clicking the targets and..." The targets. Isn't it illegal to say you've won something and you've really won nothing? Not even a high score on the high score list. But you've just won SPYWARE for your mad banner-clicking skills. Don't get me started on how illegal things like Xupiter should be to put on someone's computer without their permission. Even if their computer gracefully accepts the file and will run it, it still should require the users' authorization. And none of those "Installing.." boxes that just pop up with a progress bar and no cancel button or X, either.

So how much did the sharks collect? (2, Interesting)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059318)

We know the consumers got nothing, but how many new BMWs are being bought with the settlement cash?

MS Office Paperclip (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059326)

Now we just need a suit against Microsoft for that annoying Office Paperclip... I'll get you paperclip! You may have won the battle, but the war is not over! You're dead paperclip! DEAD!

Dumbasses... (4, Insightful)

kotj.mf (645325) | more than 11 years ago | (#6059331)

I've never understood why they used static images for those fake alert ads; I mean, yeah, it's usually the default colors of some flavor of windows, but wouldn't they have better luck using CSS and system colors [w3.org] ? Or maybe that part of the spec doesn't work with IE... I wouldn't know.

I'm just happy that I got my computer illiterate parents to use Mozilla. When the telco guy was installing DSL, he told them that they'd have to use IE and Outlook. I nearly kicked him out on his ass.

SCO is tanking!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6059341)

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SCOX&d=v1 [yahoo.com] shows SCO (SCOX) is tanking BIG time. Down over 10% now. Suck it, SCO bitches! :-D SELL! SELL! SELL!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...