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No Honor Among Malware Purveyors

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the say-it-ain't-so dept.

Privacy 416

metalion writes "True to the saying 'no honor among thieves,' adware company, Avenue Media, is finding that competing adware company, DirectRevenue, is detecting and deleting their software. Now Avenue Media is crying foul and have filed a lawsuit against DirectRevenue stating that DirectRevenue 'knowingly and with intent to defraud, exceeded its authorized access to users' computers.' DirectRevenue acknowledges that it may uninstall competing applications in its user license agreement. A researcher at Harvard University, Ben Edelman, reasons that 'Once the computer is infected with 10 different unwanted programs, the person is likely to take some action to address the situation.' Just how far will adware companies go to continue to attempt to bombard us with their ads?"

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416 comments

This is very interesting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033319)

Dear Slashdot

For my entire adult life (the past four years), I have been sexually attracted to little girls. I think about being with one often when I masturbate, and have intense sexual fantasies involving 4 to 10 year old children. I have yet to act on my feelings, and I don't want to either! I know it is wrong to have sex with minors; I know that it violates them and totally scars them emotionally for life. I know that a child can never consent to sex. But... I still have these fantasies. I'm afraid to tell a therapist about this, but I know that's what I should do. Would a therapist tell the cops or something? I haven't broken any laws... but still, what would a doctor say or do? I want to be normal more than anything else, and have healthy relationships with women, but I'm so afraid of them. I feel as though I'm a moth, and adult women are fire... they may look nice, but if I get too close to them, they'll burn me. Kids however... they just seem more real. I have never had an intimate relationship with anyone in my life. I have never been on a date, never kissed, never even held hands. But then again, I've never asked a woman out either. I'm just so afraid of women. I think that might be why I like little girls. I guess what I want to know is... should I tell a shrink, or will that only make things worse?

Sincerely, Cowboy Nea^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h Anonymous reluctant pedephile

Too funny (5, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033326)

We all have been complaining about malware for years. . .
Now they are complaining about themselves.
When does it stop?
-nB

Re:Too funny (3, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033408)

Hopefully it will stop with me complaining about you complaining about them complaining about each other.

-Peter

Spyware, Identity Theft, and China (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033545)

Most of the spam comes from China [phrusa.org] . There is evidence showing that Chinese adware transfers passwords, usernames, social security numbers, etc. from your computer (as you time them into Web forms) to Chinese companies in China. You are at great risk of identity theft.

The best thing to do is to get something like "Spybot Search & Destroy" to eradicate spyware.

MOD DOWN TROLL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033552)

Mod this offtopic troll down. The link has nothing to do with malware.

Mod parent UP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033592)

It's got a good point. We gotta rid ourselves of spyware for safety's sake.

When it will stop. (1, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033565)

Never, of course.

However, when the stupid malware companies realize that what they really need to do is be more like the true biologial parasite, then it may slow down. A RL parasite is benign to the host. If they wrote their code so that you never knew it was there, you would never know to complain now would you?

Re:Too funny (2, Interesting)

kawika (87069) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033631)

Every adware/spyware company complains about their competitors. Each company always claims they are legitimate and that users love their software. It's always the "other guy" that is a sleazeball and giving the "contextual advertising" business a bad name.

This is great!! (4, Funny)

Tetsugaku-San (717792) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033341)

Maybe they will destroy each other in an orgy of program deletion :D Neverthought spyware would be spyware removal . . . . .

Not so great... (4, Funny)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033450)

I'd like nothing better than to see two spyware companies destroy one another in a glorious battle to the death, but I'd much rather they NOT do it on MY harddrive.

This *could* be great... (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033532)

...if they started bombing each others' offices, and wiped each other off the face of the earth.

Now *that* would be great.

Cool! (5, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033602)

We may be witnessing the establishment of an entirely new biome with its own form of species and evolution.

What spyware writers need to do now is add the following features to their code:
  • Random mutations
  • Breeding and crossover with other spyware programs so that chunks of similar malicious code are exchanged
  • A fitness evaluation function
The fitness evaluation should take into account:
  • A penalty for network infrastructure damage
  • Number of competing spyware programs "eaten" by an individual
  • Number of idiots knocked off the Internet

Re:This is great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033609)

>>Neverthought spyware would be spyware removal . . . . .

Of course, spyware removal software is often spyware itself that simply masquerades as a removal tool which removes the competition, and installs itself.

Most free adware removal tools are actually adware themselves.

too funny (1)

StumpMan (176725) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033346)

Lesser of two evils...

Makes you wonder who the judge will side with.

Re:too funny (3, Insightful)

Adriax (746043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033453)

Makes you wonder who the judge will side with.

I'm hoping Avenue Media, I make good money removing spyware from people's machines.

Re:too funny (2, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033495)

I don't really see a lesser of two evils, just two evils squabbling over who gets to screw you over.

Re:too funny (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033648)

Hopefully the judge will rule against both of them and have them both locked up for spreading viri, which is what I consider their products to be.

Spyware filing a lawsuit? (5, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033347)

Reminds me of the stories of people calling the police because someone stole their weed.

Re:Spyware filing a lawsuit? (2, Interesting)

stanleypane (729903) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033606)

Or even worse... Thieves breaking into houses and injuring themselves, only to sue the homeowner they were originally trying to steal from.

I remember the 6 o'clock news reporting on a guy who tried to steal from a Chinese restaurant by crawling through the kitchen's exhaust at the top of the building. Unfortunately for him, he landed on a stove that was left on at the end of the day. And of course, the very next week he was suing for the injuries he had sustained as a result of his illegal activities. Don't know what the outcome was. Go figure.

Off topic, I know. But my face gets red with anger each time I think of either scenario.

Firmware ADS. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033348)

" Just how far will adware companies go to continue to attempt to bombard us with their ads?""

When ads are burned into BIOSes.

First Post!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033350)

HA!

Well... (1)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033351)

I hope they start deleting users files on accident too.

Maybe then people will take some action against these bullshit programs.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

vettemph (540399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033588)

Maybe then people will take some action against these bullshit programs.

We have, It's called Linux.

Mozilla is the key along with a system that is better suited to internet attachment.

Now here's an idea (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033353)

We should require by law that when a spyware application installs itself, it must uninstall another spyware application without damaging the host system, and further that it put itself into add/remove programs. Then we should just shoot the bastards that don't comply. Oughta solve the malware problem...

Re:Now here's an idea (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033422)

We should require by law that when a spyware application installs itself, it must uninstall another spyware application without damaging the host system, and further that it put itself into add/remove programs.
Just because it is listed in Add/Remove Software doesn't mean it is removed entirely.

Re:Now here's an idea (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033685)

Half the time it's not listed at all but at least it would give you an idea of what had installed itself.

Of course, a law doesn't automatically make people comply, but it does provide for additional punishment for those who don't if you can catch them. This is the reason for a lot of the laws we have on the books...

Re:Now here's an idea (3, Funny)

danheskett (178529) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033541)

That'd be great! This is the very last law we need to pass, and then the problem of untrustworthy software, vendors, and tactics will be solved!

Great! I am going to write my congressman and tell him to get busy writing the "Penultimate Fix for Unethical Software bill.

Once Congress gets involved the problem will be solved within 6 months!

Re:Now here's an idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033618)

> We should require by law that when a spyware application installs itself, it must uninstall another spyware application ...

But on a clean install, there IS no spyware to uninstall. So how can you install the first program without breaking...wait, that's brilliant!

Re:Now here's an idea (4, Funny)

kahei (466208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033672)


Wait, I have a better idea... don't do that first bit and go straight to shooting the bastards!

How far will they go? (4, Funny)

sczimme (603413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033356)


Just how far will adware companies go to continue to attempt to bombard us with their ads?

A) As far as they think they need to go
B) As far as they are allowed to go and remain on the right side of the law
C) As far as they need to go despite the law
D) All of the above
E) Profit?
F) CowboyNeal

Re:How far will they go? (1)

jangobongo (812593) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033559)

  • Just how far will adware companies go to continue to attempt to bombard us with their ads?

    A) As far as they think they need to go
    B) As far as they are allowed to go and remain on the right side of the law
    C) As far as they need to go despite the law
    D) All of the above
    E) Profit?
    F) CowboyNeal
Sad, but true. I think the answer is A) and E). They will go as far as they think they need to go in order to make more money. The better question might be, how far will they be allowed to go, either by computer users or by law. Considering the average computer user is rather ignorant of what is going on in their computers, it might be left to the judges and the government to regulate the adware companies as they try to push the boundaries further and further.

a pit (5, Funny)

gotem (678274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033361)

great idea, put all the malware to fight, and the survivor gets to be deleted by spybot.
More fun than core wars

Re:a pit (1)

bebec (678842) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033517)

This is a fabulous idea. And, rightly so, it has me thinking about 'Tron'. Question is: how do you decide which malware is the red guys and which is the blue guys?

Re:a pit (1)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033677)

It's a trick question. After playing Tron 2.0, I can say definitively that if it's malware, they're all the green guys.

fight amongst yourselves (4, Insightful)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033362)

Now if only we could make these malware programs only target other malware programs and not the operation of the PC...

We could have a little battlebots competition! The Amazing Bonzi takes on reigning champion THE GATOR.

Re:fight amongst yourselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033464)

We could have a little battlebots competition! The Amazing Bonzi takes on reigning champion THE GATOR.
Meanwhile, your computer becomes scorched earth... :P

Hopefully they sue themselves out of business (3, Interesting)

Soulfarmer (607565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033370)

That way, competition would again benefit us, the regular consumer.

Personally, ad/malware is one of the rare reasons I would encourage less strict weapon laws... :)

If they succed . . . (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033372)

If they succed with the lawsuit against DirectRevenu , what does that mean for software like ad-aware?

Re:If they succed . . . (2, Insightful)

Politburo (640618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033417)

Well, since Ad-aware is run with the full consent of the user, I don't see how it would "exceed the authorizations of the user" or whatever the lawsuit language is.

Re:If they succed . . . (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033487)

DirectRevenue does have the users authorization. From the user license agreement;

"You further understand and agree, by installing the software, that the software may, without any further prior notice to you, remove, disable or render inoperative other adware programs resident on your computer."

So if a user agrees to this, what is the difference in terms of "user authorization" is this and him running ad-aware?

Re:If they succed . . . (1)

Folmer (827037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033439)

Well.. You have authorised adaware to remove the other programs.. So it is allowed to delete, unlike spyware which you only authorised to install crap :)

Re:If they succed . . . (1)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033445)

I don't think it will have any effect. The scumware makers would have to convince a court that users should not be allowed to run software of their choice on their own machines. I see very few legal strategies that could work here, especially if the case went to a jury. Would you, as a juror, side with the spyware/adware companies?

Re:If they succed . . . (1)

werfele (611119) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033658)

I see very few legal strategies that could work here, especially if the case went to a jury.
Jury nullification aside, EvilCo could argue that the consideration for its Super Useful Adware is the consumer's agreement to 1) view the ads and 2) not remove their adware from the machine. In that case, the software vendor providing a removal tool would be interfering with EvilCo's business relationship with the consumer. I'd say that line of argument has a shot.

Re:If they succed . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033664)

"Would you, as a juror, side with the spyware/adware companies?"

as someone who knows what spyware is, and has a definate opinion on the matter, i would quickly be struck from such a jury, as would anyone who actually knows what the term "spyware" means.

This is the weakness of the jury system, it is strictly forbidden to have jurors who know about the subject at hand.

Re:If they succed . . . (2, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033456)

Given that they're basing their argument on the asssumption that DirectRevenue "knowingly and with intent to defraud, exceeded its authorized access to users' computers," (Pot, I'd like you to meet Kettle...) I don't think there is much to worry about. Users running ad-aware are directly giving their consent to the program to modify their system.

Re:If they succed . . . (4, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033582)

Nothing. Ad-Aware's advertised main function is to remove adware.

This lawsuit is about some adware going outside the boundaries of their advertised function, and removing other adware and only telling the users by the fine print of the EULA.

This is hilarious (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033384)

I think I speak for everyone when I say, break out the popcorn! I love it. Especially the idea of a malware company getting annoyed when another program intrusively attempts to control their applications. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Sometimes... (4, Funny)

Ev0lution (804501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033385)

Now Avenue Media is crying foul and have filed a lawsuit against DirectRevenue

Sometimes you just wish that both sides can lose...

Malware attacking malware... (2, Insightful)

bonaman_24 (790196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033404)

Ironic that they file a lawsuit of thier program being removed when they didn't (explicitly) ask permission to get there in the first place. Maybe we all should just download Virtual bouncer to clean off our systems....oh, wait....

hmm (0)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033412)

That second company should just make their software uninstall their competitors, then stop and not install anything else. Then they could sell it as anti-spyware software and make an honest living.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033437)

I do mod down anyone who says "I know I'll be modded down for this" :) I figure I'm just giving them what they want.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033670)

The second company should advitise that 'why-do-you-need-so-much-running-ads-you-just-need -ours-only"
uninstall every other adware, install themselves and
profit as

1.adware
2.anti-adware

howz that ?

Ripoff (-1, Troll)

iamzack (830561) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033420)

Great job on getting this one out early!
Oh wait, TechReport.com had this story about 12 hours ago.
http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/7708 [techreport.com]

Re:Ripoff (1, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033496)

This surprises you how? I've had a posting rejected and then seen the EXACT SAME story posted four days later!

Come on, this is Slashdot. You don't actually expect competence, do you?

Re:Ripoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033519)

So if I report on my blog site that WW III is gonna begin in 2 days, there's no point in anywhere else reporting it, as it's laready been done?

I hope the plaintif prevails (4, Insightful)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033423)

I hope they win the lawsuit. If they were to get the courts to agree that hiding malicious wording in the EULA is fraud then that would be a nice boon to shutting some of these people down.

In fact, just about any attack on the concept of click-through EULAs is pretty good in my book. Scream "contract!" all you want, they're bad for me personally and bad for the industry. Consent and informed consent are two different things and it appears the industry has completely abandonded any pretext of the latter.

TW

Good ol' malware (1)

iB1 (837987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033428)

From TFA: "You further understand and agree, by installing the software, that the software may, without any further prior notice to you, remove, disable or render inoperative other adware programs resident on your computer." AdAware prompts me about any spyware. And I delete it. Pronto!

Isn't this against the law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033436)

If it is against the law to write a virus...

Could these self installing adware/spyware programs be considered viruses? They are doing it WITHOUT the users consent. NOBODY wants these type programs installed on their computers.

A class action law suit should occure.

mal ware (1)

JCOTTON (775912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033438)

May the Malware Malfunction. Malignant malviolence of malodorous male malice. May we see malware as a maopropism.

OCT 31 = DEC 25

Mr. Kettle's comments upon Mr. Pot's reflectivitiy (5, Funny)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033443)

...knowingly and with intent to defraud, exceeded its authorized access to users' computers.

Mr. Kettle, a question upon your comments about Mr. Pot's absense of reflectivity to EM radiation between 680nm and 430nm....

Really, doesn't ALL adware exceed authorize access to user's computers?

Re:Mr. Kettle's comments upon Mr. Pot's reflectivi (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033543)

Except that most adware have some clause buried deep in the EULA that indicates that they will install the adware. The user clicks OK to the EULA, so technically he has given permission.

Re:Mr. Kettle's comments upon Mr. Pot's reflectivi (2, Interesting)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033683)

IANAL, but this is /. :P

Most 1st world legal systems (not sure whether the U.S. qualifies any more) have a "fine print" legal exemption - you can't put something onerous into an agreement and then try and hide it via tactics like fine print, or clicking through 76 pages, etc. Such clauses can be invalidated in the court.

Basically, you can't put stuff in the fine print that a "reasonable" person wouldn't expect to be agreeing to in the context of the agreement being reached.

Hard to get excited... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033444)

It's nice to think that at least one adware purveyor is going to be inconvenienced by this little tussle, but it's not so uplifting when you consider that the choice of winners is "adware company #1", "adware company #2", or "lawyers who represent adware companies".

hypocrisy (1)

DunbarTheInept (764) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033449)


stating that DirectRevenue 'knowingly and with intent to defraud, exceeded its authorized access to users' computers.'

That should be put in the dictionary under "hypocrisy".

Exceeded its authorized access? (4, Insightful)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033465)

exceeded its authorized access to users' computers

And is my mom and other not-so-savvy users granting said authority in the first place? This suit seems riddled with assumptions that it was legal in the first place to install such software.

And since when has malware displayed any EULA - or any UI, for that matter?

If they really want to do this... (1)

which way is up (835908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033472)

If they really want to stop the competition they'd get in and then close the door behind them, by which I mean deleting/disabling IE.

What's fair is fair (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033483)

I think AvenueMedia deserves to be compensated for this. Let's give their owners the nicer of the two jail cells.

Swine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033485)

...It seems several swine seem to be swimming in their own smelly swill.

Spy Vs. Spy (3, Funny)

SCOX_Free (806174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033492)

Am I the only one who thought of MAD magazine's Spy Vs. Spy when I read this? Didn't they both end up killing eachother everytime?

bah (1)

ssand (702570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033494)

It's unfortunate that the user would get stuck in the middle of this. It is pretty disgusting that they don't ask you before they uninstall competitor software, especially if you use it. I can see adware bars trying to uninstall the goolge toolbar, and other, actuall legitimate programs, to put up their inferior, ad ridden crap.

Let it snow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033560)

Plain and simple, people will take real action when they have enough. Then they will decide that convinience can be worse.

Playing CoreWars the Internet... (4, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033562)

I wondered how long we would have to wait for this to happen. I always imagined it would be university students or black-hats. I never imagined it would be spammers/spyware authors trying to kill each other's programs.

After removing competitors, DR transmits ... (5, Informative)

bedelman (42523) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033568)

Perhaps also of interest:

After DirectRevenue removes competitors' programs from users' disks, it also transmits extensive information about users' computers [benedelman.org] . Among the information: MAC address, Windows Product ID, all running tasks, and registry entrise for certain additional competitors (Gator, 180solutions) and removal programs (Ad-Aware, PestPatrol) if installed.

Double agents!! (1)

Ced_Ex (789138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033572)

I think this is great having spyware remove spyware. At some point, one spyware is going to remove all competitors and leave just itself on your HD. Then all we really need is just a single adware/spyware removal program and we're all clean again.

Infected in the future? Follow these steps.

1. Visit dominating spyware webpage.
2. Allow spyware to remove other spyware.
3. Run spyware removal program.
4. w00t!

fight scammers/spammers/phishers/abusers here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033574)

like the famous lycos screensaver but much better and more performant. surf the spammers and hit them with your bandwidth.

http://www.aa419.org/ladvampire.html [aa419.org]

open in your favourite webrowser and run it on huge broadbandconnections all day long 24/7 if you dont pay for bandwidth. dont use http-proxies for this page.

it will generate huge traffic for the scam/spam sites, and hopefully providers to shut down those damn pages.

thank you

Too many geek quotes to apply here (2, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033583)

Two ads enter one ad leaves!

There can be only one!

Gah.. my brain.

Removal Tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11033585)

So the most effective spyware removal tool is.... spyware???

Finally... it's been predicted of course. (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033603)

We all new they would eventually turn upon themselves, when they have nothing *new* left to feed upon.

It seems the day of reckoning may be seeing it's first light of dawn. Here's to hoping they all devour each other in a darwinistic orgy of competition. Maybe, in the end, each company competing will be the best form of Spyware removal tools a user could ask for.

Let the programs compete until there's a winner, then shoot the winner. Problem solved.

Perhaps they should sue their customers (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033615)

Clearly, its the customer who is giving the other application permission to uninstall the exisitng malware. The vendors of the other application have no influence or stake in the agreement between the exisitng malware authors and the user. The only party that can breach the agreement is the user.

So, the users should be punished for violating the copyright on the software they didn't want in the first place, and was installed without their knowledge.

I don't expect this kind of... (5, Interesting)

bob670 (645306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033622)

thing to be an easy answer to home users, but someone has to explain to me why corporate customers continue to tolerate this stuff that is directly targeted at Windows weak spots? It would be tough, and damn unlikely to get mom, pop and granny off of their Windows XP machines, but I have several customers who spend all day in Office, e-mail and the web for all of their business and I make a steady buck doing spyware removal. And they dont' want to talk prevention, every meeting ends with "well, we just won't allow employees to install things like this any longer" and 2 months later I get a call to come back.

Barring use of some Windows based Spyware prevention tools (most of which aren't free for corporate use), mirgating to some combination of Mac OS X and Linux would end virtually all of this and then I could charge them for stuff like implementing cool new tools for them to use instead of upkeep of a broken system. Of course, these are the same customers who won't try FireFox because it "just doesn't feel right"???

I'm truly torn between my ethics and the need to keep up my income in a crap economy.

Advertisers in general are going insane (5, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033629)

I'd submitted this gem [nbc10.com] to /., but they obviously felt it wasn't news.

A lady in El Paso gets a telemarketing call. She says no, repeatedly. Telemarketer ignores her, repeatedly. She hangs up, forcefully.

She later gets a letter saying:

Jill Beyer,

Before you are rude to another telemarketer, you should keep in mind that he or she has your phone number and your address.

Many of them live in your own state and most don't give a (expletive)!

So, Ms. Beyer, the next time a telemarketer calls and you don't want to be bothered, a simple "not interested" will do.

Your son or daughter or next-door neighbor's daughter could very well be a telemarketer. A handicapped, wheelchair-bound person could be a telemarketer. A biker or ex-con is more likely to be a telemarketer. You really, really shouldn't (expletive) with them!

As they say in the telemarketing industry, "Have a good day Ms. Beyer!"


So, we have:
  • Television stations prohibiting us from recording shows (via the broadcast bit)
  • TV execs saying "skipping commercials is theft"
  • Telemarketers threatening those who will not listen to their pitches.
  • Adware companies fighting over who can infest your computer.
  • Drive-by installs of adware


OK, I move that we commit all advertisers to institutions for the criminally insane, right now.

Any seconds?

and how long before (2, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033653)

Users are sued for deleting malware off their computer? where do you go from here?

If you want to stop malware... (1)

lottameez (816335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033684)

...there needs to be a campaign to identify and discredit the advertisers who use it. If there is no money, there is no malware.

This will create a spyware arms race (1)

bjgolden (313051) | more than 9 years ago | (#11033694)

One of the unfortunate side effects of competition is that even competition among vermin makes them more potent vermin. Now spyware authors will be shoring up their spyware defenses to ensure they are the only leech attached to the host. New, probably more sinister techniques will be developed to both protect one spyware installation as well as prevent/deactivate others. They may even take an offensive strategy to defending themselves. All this will make it even more difficult for the average user to both rid their machine of existing spyware as well as prevent the introduction of new spyware.

Let's hope the folks at Lavasoft [lavasoft.com] (makers of Ad-aware) and others are ready for the almost certain onslaught of new techniques.
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