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Is Yahoo Actively Supporting Adware?

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the things-we-hate dept.

Security 176

conq writes "According to BusinessWeek, a report said Yahoo was actively supporting the companies that spawn pop-up ads. In early September, Yahoo engineer Jeremy D. Zawodny sounded off on his blog: "Do I like those [software installation] practices? Hell no. It's insulting and disrespectful."" update the story submission takes Jeremy out of context which he blogs about and says mean things about us.

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Yahoo has been like this for some time (5, Insightful)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603153)

Yahoo has been doing something like this for quite some time. Many years ago, Yahoo was the place to go to find the best price on products you could purchase over the net. However, they evolved into a search that only showed the prices from businesses that had a relationship with Yahoo. Mind you, they still claimed to find the best price on the web but in truth they only included companies with an arrangement with Yahoo (and those companies rarely had the lowest price) It may be business, but it's not trustworthy. So for me Yahoo lost my trust years ago. Now they are just one source for information and no more trustworthy than the next source.

More evil? (5, Informative)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603200)

Yahoo in the past has bundled their toolbar with flash [slashdot.org] and other products. They charge to get inclusion into their infamous directory. Now, they are becoming more linked with spyware?

Yahoo is doing other evil stuff as well: [com.com]


By accepting Yahoo's "typical" installation of YIM with Voice, it will also download Yahoo's Search Toolbar with anti-spyware and anti-pop-up software, desktop and system tray shortcuts, as well as Yahoo Extras, which will insert Yahoo links into the Internet Explorer browser. The IM client also contains "live words," which will automatically show an icon when the user highlights words online and then hyperlink to Yahoo search results, definitions or translation tools. Finally, the installation will alter the users' home page and auto-search functions to point to Yahoo by default.

To avoid these changes, users must actively choose the "custom" installation and uncheck five boxes.


Evil is yahoo becoming?

Speaking of flash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603454)

Anyone know how I can completely remove flash support from a windows 98 box or do something else to completely block it? Preferably it would not even download.
Neither uninstall nor the instructions on the macromedia site actually remove it. It would also be nice if it did not pop anything up to tell me I need to get a plug in when flash is encountered in a web page...
Thanks

Re:Speaking of flash... (2, Informative)

iow (552227) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603799)

Try the flashblock [mozdev.org] plugin for firefox. You won't see any flash movies unless you want to.

Re:Speaking of flash... (1)

Glsai (840331) | more than 9 years ago | (#13604042)

You don't by chance know if there is something like that for Opera do you? It'd be a great help to getting rid of some of these flash advertisements that pop up.

Re:More evil? (4, Interesting)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603468)

Er, this is new? I've found Yahoo to be blatantly evil since the late 90s, and I go out of my way to never visit their site. They've done nothing but hemorrhage ads, spam, and crap over the net since they began (and they've spewed plenty of ads into other media as well). I've never understood how a company that does nothing but promote misery stays afloat, much less profits.

Re:More evil? (2, Interesting)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603600)

Yup. And this is what Excite did just before nose-diving into the ground.

Re:More evil? (2, Funny)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603759)

I've never understood how a company that does nothing but promote misery stays afloat, much less profits.

Neither have I, but somehow those companies spreading misery keep putting the likes of Yahoo Serious, Pauli Shore, Paris Hilton, and the entire cast of the WWE in front of the cameras. It only makes sense if you assume great masochism on the part of the public at large which is not too hard given how many people still use Lynx and Vi right here in geekdom.

Re:More evil? (0)

popeyethesailor (325796) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603634)

Wow. A company bundling its other services with its flagship service? Those Evil BAST4RDS!

But when Google does it [google.com] , its kosher? WTF?

Everybody is in the bundling game, and guess what; some people like the bundled stuff. If you dont like it, dont use it.

Re:More evil? (1)

Secret Agent Man (915574) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603873)

Slight difference: Yahoo Messenger installs the toolbar, etc. without prior consent of the user.

Re:More evil? (2, Funny)

VATechTigger (884976) | more than 9 years ago | (#13604050)

I'm aghast. You mean I have to MANUALLY uncheck a box. Oh the horror...............

But they're trying to help! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603846)

Yahoo also insists it does business only with adware companies that adhere to best practices
and that its ongoing involvement in the industry has already boosted standards.

Can anyone tell me what exactly the standards are for spyware? Hm... slow performance, crashed programs, increased bloat, ... standards? bah!

Of course they are (1, Funny)

ellem (147712) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603157)

They have nothing to tangible sell. The only way for them to make money is to sell data they've garnered and they users who they garnered it from.

Note CISCO not adding spyware to their PIXs.

*or are they*

Re:Of course they are (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603575)

They have nothing to tangible sell. The only way for them to make money is to sell data they've garnered and they users who they garnered it from.

Just to point out, you're treading on very thin ice there lad. There is a very popular search engine company who sell some search appliances but whose major revenue stream comes from the sale of targeted advertisements. Targeted? How?

Every time you visit one of this company's pages, you'll get a unique cookie (if you haven't already got one), that won't expire until 2038, and your search terms are logged with datestamp, IP address, User-Agent and, of course, your identification number from that unique, immortal cookie. Not even the CIA could get away with this. [google-watch.org]

Now look, people tell search engines things that they wouldn't tell their closest friends and relatives. This is a hostile invasion of privacy - or, at least, will become one.

This is precisely the same information that, as you say, Yahoo! garners from its users to sell for profit. Not to say you failed to see the similarity, it's just that people seem to love this company and won't hold it to the same standards that they would expect of others. Classic hypocrisy.

In other news Jeremy D. Zawodny fired (3, Insightful)

mrkitty (584915) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603173)

Google's fired people for comments about the company, will yahoo?

Re:In other news Jeremy D. Zawodny fired (1)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603239)

Now that it's hit slashdot, almost certainly.

Nothing New Here (1)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603176)

I've used Yahoo since 1996 and every time I do a search there, I've always got at least a dozen popups from the top results.

Re:Nothing New Here (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603748)

I've used Yahoo since 1996 and every time I do a search there, I've always got at least a dozen popups from the top results.

Then stop using it.

Re:Nothing New Here (1)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603795)

Okay.

Re:Nothing New Here (1)

gcw1 (914577) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603924)

I get one pop-up when visiting a site for the first time and theres a good chance that I'll never return.

Re:Nothing New Here (1)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13604002)

I agree. I think search engines should lower pagerank for sites that are using popups, popunders, etc.

Jeremys post in question.. (5, Informative)

grazzy (56382) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603179)

Re:Jeremys post in question.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13604040)

For the pleasure of slashdots readers and in the case someone over at zawodny.com would pull the plug, we give you - THE FULL BLOG TEXT!

In CNet's article Yahoo IM users get more than they bargained for:

If you're one of the tens of millions of Yahoo users asked to upgrade your instant-messaging software this week, be on your toes: The update can open the door to unwanted PC houseguests--and setting changes--by default.

        By accepting Yahoo's "typical" installation of YIM with Voice, it will also download Yahoo's Search Toolbar with anti-spyware and anti-pop-up software, desktop and system tray shortcuts, as well as Yahoo Extras, which will insert Yahoo links into the Internet Explorer browser. The IM client also contains "live words," which will automatically show an icon when the user highlights words online and then hyperlink to Yahoo search results, definitions or translation tools. Finally, the installation will alter the users' home page and auto-search functions to point to Yahoo by default.

On Make You Go Hmm:

        Wonder if Jeremy Zawodny, Russell Beattie or any of their other blogging employees will address these installation practices? Do they agree with them? Like/dislike them? Or are they hoping this story gets buried with the holidays and other more pressing stories in current news? It takes stones to stand up when your company is doing something wrong and IMO, this is very, very wrong. I sure hope somebody internally over there is complaining about these questionable software installation practices. If they aren't complaining, I hope somebody is at least questioning them.

Do I agree with those practices? No.

Do I like those practices? Hell no. It's insulting and disrespectful. I've aborted software installs or upgrades when they try to pull this stuff. In fact, I just had this happen yesterday.

I'm sick and tired of this crap. I don't know which company started using this tactic, but it's become the standard operating procedure for lots of software out there. And it sucks.

Leave my settings, preferences, and desktop alone!

Why do companies do this? Money. And when your competitor does it and you don't, you're letting them take advantage of an "opportunity" that you are not. (An opportunity to piss off your users, perhaps?)

Remember pop-under ads?

I don't know what it's going to take to get companies to stop this crap either. Do you have any good ideas? I'd love to hear 'em.

What popups (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603183)

What popups?

I use Mozilla and selected privacy options.

Re:What popups (1)

Bob Lambeau (767081) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603434)

Except a macromedia Flash popup I use Yahoo as my home page, but that may change soon......... at least once a week I get a Macromedia flash popup (with an ad) that covers half the screen with "no" x or close button. the only way to get rid of it is to reload the home page a couple of times. the happens both with Mozilla and FF on a Linux system. If you have Windows, it must be hell I wrote to Yahoo and complained, but I still get them.

Re:What popups (4, Insightful)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603480)

  • You can use adblock to block swf's from Yahoo,
  • You cn use the extension that you have to click to get the flash.
  • You can use the underdocumented config setting to turn off popups from flash.


There's no good reason to put up with those popups.

Re:What popups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603710)

* You can use the underdocumented config setting to turn off popups from flash.
Care to elaborate for the rest of us?

Re:What popups (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603756)

I don't get any of these. Adblock seems to be the key. I wish it would give me a good way to post my filters but alas it doesn't. Use wild cards carefully and you will get rid of most of your problems.

Re:What popups (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603937)

Tools -> Adblock -> Preferences

In preferences window, click "Adblock options"
choose "export filters"

You will save your filters in a text file, then copy and past to post them to slashdot.

Re:What popups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13604009)

filterset.g

Google it. Haven't had an ad since.

Is Slashdot hiring dumbass editors ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603192)

... we'll find out !

More at eleven...

huh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603197)

define:actvely

Re:huh? (1)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603348)

s/tv/tiv/ I guess.

Also, to karma-whore even further, here [slashdot.org] is a more readable version of this page for those who object to slush-brown.

Re:huh? (1)

op12 (830015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603778)

Or use this link [slashdot.org] to gain appreciation for the slush brown.

It's True! (4, Funny)

tgbrittai (599035) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603209)

Yeah, I installed the Yahoo! Toolbar the other day and ended up with the Adobe Reader on my computer.

What the?!?!?

Re:It's True! (2, Insightful)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603226)

I really don't like those toolbars. It's like giving up screen real estate for things I'm not using. Might as well be a advertisement in that spot. If I want to use yahoo, I'll go to yahoo.

Re:It's True! (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603281)

And if you install Adobe Reader you end up with the Yahoo! Toolbar getting installed unless you click in the right place.

Re:It's True! (1)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603283)

Conversely, I installed Adobe Reader the other day and ended up with a Yahoo! Like! Toolbar! In! Adobe! Reader!

meanwhile... (2, Funny)

cswiii (11061) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603219)

...I load up Slashdot, see this story briefly, only to have the Network Solutions banner at the top expand into an ad that takes up about 1/4 of the browser window on mouseover, thus covering it up.

Re:meanwhile... (0)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603243)

1) install firefox
2) install adblock
3) block ad
4) ???
5% profit!!!

Re:meanwhile... (1, Funny)

eggz128 (447435) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603323)

Only 5% profit? Not worth it :)

Re:meanwhile... (1)

cswiii (11061) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603334)

On my box at home, that's what I do. Unfortunately it's not an option here. ...and that's beside the point anyway. I wasn't talking about being annoyed by pop-ups, I was talking about an article questioning Yahoo!'s pop-up practices, noting that the vehicle for this article also happened to use them.

Re:meanwhile... (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603344)

That sounds horrible.
Is it flash or java driven?

I disable both whilst continuing to download adverts in general, occasionally a still frame will grab my attention enough to warrant a click, but if its jumping up and down like a hyperactive rabbit on heat, then I think I'll pass.

Re:meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603357)

The what in the where?

...oh, you're still using a browser that shows you ads! I'm sorry.

and I load up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603513)

....wakamaru, and it communicates something robotic with the aibo, which in turn goes over and lifts its leg and whizzes on the roombah.

What's next? (2, Funny)

Teresh (911815) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603234)

What's next -- Google viruses? Oh, wait...

They are here to make money (2, Insightful)

drzolo (760845) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603265)

Lets face it. Yahoo is a huge company, so is Google. These companies are not here to be our friends. It just seems they are our friends, but in fact, their main goal is to make money (duh). So what is so suprising here? If pop ups increase revenue, they are good for the company. Why get attached personally to this? By that I mean, yahoo is for pop ups. Oh no! Who cares? Use Google. Google is bad too? Use Msn Search. If there is enough people who despise the current multi billion search engines, maybe that will give rise to open source search engines. Also, if the guy did post those comments while working, fire his ass. But if he did it outside working hours, I don't see a reason to fire that person.

Re:They are here to make money (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603646)

I need to see you in my office right now, zolo. I understand you've been at slashdot...

Don't see a reason? (2, Funny)

Urusai (865560) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603721)

Employees indulging in spontaneous honesty is never good for business. They should fire him and have a court slap an injunction on him that forbids him from talking about the injunction.

Just look what happened when it was pointed out that the Emperor had no clothes. It destroyed an entire textile industry, embarrassed the nation, and undermined confidence in hucksters *ahem* businessmen with innovative revenue models. We can't undermine the economy in these fragile times! WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA????

Re:They are here to make money (1)

bedroll (806612) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603763)

Just because Google is another search engine and huge corporation doesn't make them evil. For that matter, I wouldn't even call Yahoo! evil, they're just more interested in the bottom line.

In Google's defense I can say that I've never experienced a pop-up from any of their sites. I've never had to actively work to not install their software. Their software has never done anything more than what I've asked it to do on my machines. With that said, I don't use their desktop search because it requires me to be an administrator and I'm not sure if I really want everything indexed that way.

In Yahoo!'s defense, well, it's a little tougher. I can say that they are one of the best free (as in beer, with advertising) community sites. They have a great mix of services that range from poor to excellent, but most are somewhere in between. It's great to have a single sign-on for all of that, and you can depend on them to be there. Thing is, they depend much less than Google on finding innovative ways to make money without annoying users. They depend on more traditional net-marketing, which has evolved into a battle to get in the user's face as often and bluntly as possible. They can't just up and change now, if they do people will cry foul that they're copying Google. Their investors look at their bottom line and so long as it turns a profit then it won't change.

MSN is a whole 'nother monster. They don't have to be as intrusive because they're much less worried about turning a profit and much more worried about maintaining Microsoft's dominance. MS puts a lot of value on being the only company in the software business, and MSN is a key part of that strategy. Unfortunately, MSN never has been able to outdo Yahoo! or Google, and rarely even AOL.

Re:They are here to make money (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603776)

On the other hand, abusing your customers is rarely good for business, at least not for very long...

Trust Yahoo? (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603266)

"Yahoo Chief Operating Officer Daniel L. Rosensweig insists the company has the highest standards. "Users can put their trust in us because that is what we're built on," he says."

What Rosenzweig fails to mention is that Yahoo, like most companies, will take advantage of that trust to the furthest extent they can get away with.

Trust us because we say our foundation is trust? I don't think so.

How about "Trust us because we take steps to prevent adware, not support it."

Or, "Trust us because we will never piggyback software and settings changes onto downloads from us that you choose to install."

Or, "Trust us because it's not in our financial interest to do bad things to you."

Unfortunately, none of these three possibilities are true... and until they are, I will not trust Yahoo farther than I can throw them.

Re:Trust Yahoo? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603315)

One word.. Choice .. Go wank google some more if you don't like it.

Re:Trust Yahoo? (3, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603483)

It's not about Yahoo vs. Google. It's about Yahoo versus me.

That said, I don't trust Google either... I just distrust them less.

And it's not about choice here -- it's about informed choice. As we learn more about the business practices of Yahoo, Google, et al, then we gain the ability to make informed choices. But until every company comes clean about the things that like Yahho has been getting bad publicity about, we don't have real choice.

"Go wank google some more if you don't like it.

Go wank yourself before you make assumptions about what companies I do or do not like.

Bad Troll.

Re:Trust Yahoo? (1)

kwark (512736) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603947)

"That said, I don't trust Google either... I just distrust them less."

Why would you distrust them less? For example why does google put an ID in their preferences cookie? That "feature" isn't on the preferences page (neither on hte help page)! And the reason I have to set preferences is because google.com redirects me to the localized version in the local language which I don't want to use on google. Why!!! It's not for loadbalancing purposes since they are the same machine.

Re:Trust Yahoo? (1)

MagicBox (576175) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603359)

at its simplest form Yahoo was created with money in mind. It is not innovation by any means. It's not to make our lives easier. It's a money machine. It's an opportunity taken. It will do whatever it takes to make more money.

Re:Trust Yahoo? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603500)

"at its simplest form Yahoo was created with money in mind... It's a money machine... It will do whatever it takes to make more money."

I'm not disputing that. In this case, "whatever it takes" means gaining my trust... otherwise, they'll never get one red cent from me.

"Don't be evil" and other corporate nonsense (3, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603613)

Trust us because we say our foundation is trust? I don't think so.

"Don't be evil" ring a bell? Everyone pretty much "believed" the head honcos at google when they declared that was the company's motto.

Dow's motto is "We Bring Good Things to Life", except they purchased Union Carbide after Union Carbide killed tens of thousands of Indian people when a chemical plant in Bhopal released methyl isocyanate. [google.com]

Last time I mentioned Bhopal [wikipedia.org] and Dow, someone said "hey, that was Union Carbide, not Dow! Dow just bought them!" Well- Dow management and shareholders didn't seem to have much trouble sleeping at night after buying Union Carbide for a song (Union Carbide after the disaster became next to worthless as a brand.) Dow pretty much turned into a industrial-disaster profiteer.

Re:"Don't be evil" and other corporate nonsense (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603786)

Dow's motto is "We Bring Good Things to Life"

Actually, that's GE's old motto, not Dow.

except they purchased Union Carbide after Union Carbide killed tens of thousands of Indian people when a chemical plant in Bhopal released methyl isocyanate

What would you have prefered to happen? Somebody has to end up owning that mess. Or are you suggesting that Union Carbide be left to rot until the value was zero as punishment? Either way, this is an amazing red herring.

Re:"Don't be evil" and other corporate nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13604032)

Or are you suggesting that Union Carbide be left to rot until the value was zero as punishment?

Oooh, a death sentence for corporations, I like it! Still not the satisfaction of piercing the corporate veil and punishing the actual people responsible, but it will at least let people pretend that justice was served.

huh (-1, Redundant)

mecro (597901) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603288)

actvely? way to go.

Re:huh (2, Funny)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603308)

He didn't have the $150 to buy the vowel. Damn you Pat Sajak

Proposed new name for Yahoo! (1, Funny)

andy55 (743992) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603299)


In other news, Yahoo! will be changing its name to "Realhoo!"

Re:Proposed new name for Yahoo! (2, Interesting)

zarmanto (884704) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603504)

In response to: In other news, Yahoo! will be changing its name to "Realhoo!" That's exactly where my thoughts went too; I was always annoyed by the way RealPlayer puts up a dozen check boxes (some of which you need to scroll down to find) and forces you to opt-out of every single one -- which I always have, in those rare instances when I needed to install RealPlayer. Ironically, within the past couple of years I've kept my computer relatively Real-free, because the vast majority of sites which offer Real streams also offer alternative streams in Windows Media Player, QuickTime, or both. I would imagine that I'm not entirely alone in this. (Come to think of it, I don't believe I've heard much about Real in the news lately... perhaps that corroborates my theory?)

So it seems that the question which Yahoo must ask themselves is this: Does the revenue from all those adware related pop-ups (which I believe -- correct me if I'm wrong -- are consistently seeing fewer click-throughs) outweigh the potential revenue from people actually surfing to the Yahoo portal sites?

Here is the real issue...LEGALLY, what is Spyware? (5, Interesting)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603307)

I work for a company that produces an Anti-Spyware product that got bitch-slapped in court some time back by Gator for calling Gator Spyware. Now...WE all know what Spyware is. They know what Spyware is, but (and please, correct me if I'm wrong, because I might be) until a court of law legally defines Spyware, it seems to me that YAHOO and everyone else can load your machine up without an ounce of legal liability.

Re:Here is the real issue...LEGALLY, what is Spywa (3, Funny)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603435)

Well, that should have been a lesson. It is not "Spyware", it is "Fucking Goddamn Crapware". You got to be accurate when you talk about these things...

Re:Here is the real issue...LEGALLY, what is Spywa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603672)

Right. How is banner advertising on a website different to an application on your computer showing banners in it as advertising?

Re:Here is the real issue...LEGALLY, what is Spywa (1)

yEvb0 (904248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603884)

until a court of law legally defines Spyware

Let's hope they define as clearly as they defined pornography: "I know it when I see it."

More complicated than that... (1)

sweetnjguy29 (880256) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603894)

Most states have some sort of statute that prohibits and/or criminalizes unauthorized access of a computer. More fundamentally, an action for trespass could be brought against a spyware company, potentially, for installing software on your computer without permission. The real question becomes "what is an authorizated installation of software?". Is a small print disclosure enough? Should the disclosure be BOLDED? Another issue, of course, is slander and liable. If you say a company's product is Spyware, you may have defamed that person's business. So the issue becomes, "is it true that this product is spyware?". Then, a legal definition of spyware becomes important. I think its time for an anti-spyware statute to be passed!

Not surprising (1)

highcon (857286) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603342)

A big company is going the cheap and dirty way to make some cash, and I'm not surprised. If there isn't a culture of "We make money by respecting the customer" at a company, you can expect the customer to get screwed over as soon as some marketing dude deems it convenient.

Re:Not surprising (2, Insightful)

JasonKChapman (842766) | more than 9 years ago | (#13604005)

"...respecting the customer..." I'm sure they do respect their customers. The mistake is in thinking that the users of their free services are Yahoo!'s customers. They aren't. They're the product. The adverstisers, or perhaps piggybacking software companies, are the customers. The free service is the means used to produce Yahoo!'s primary product: eyeballs.

Can I trust Yahoo? I think not. (5, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603350)


Over the years, I have learned to have zero (0) trust in Yahoo.

From the Business Week article:

"Sure, no one issue will turn off Yahoo users in droves." One issue will definitely convince a large percentage of people never to visit Yahoo.

Another quote:

"... Yahoo risks tarnishing its reputation as a trustworthy Net player." Notice that doing an internet search is called "Googling". For knowledgeable people, Yahoo has a bad reputation. For others, Yahoo has no reputation at all.

Business writers write a lot of DISGUSTING nonsense about computer technology:

"To Yahoo's credit, it is leading industrywide discussions aimed at devising new practices for the adware companies." Here's another quote: "Yahoo also insists it does business only with adware companies that adhere to best practices..."

It seems to me that Yahoo cannot compete, so it is trying every trick to stay alive.

Not real news: AOL and Yahoo and MSN will merge. The combined company will be called CyberHell.

Yahoo's Reputation (5, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603405)

Yahoo risks tarnishing their reputation by turning over e-mail accounts of dissidents to the mainland Chinese government. Compared to that, adware is nothing.

Re:Yahoo's Reputation (1)

NewStarRising (580196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603541)

A lot of people will not care too much about things that do not directly affect them (e.g. Chinese dissidents in China), but do care about things that directly affect them (e.g. pop-up adverts on their webpages).

Indeed, how can I organise the online protest against Chinese draconian government with all these pop-ups all over the place????

Re:Yahoo's Reputation (4, Insightful)

clifyt (11768) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603585)

As much as I hate it, they do have to follow the law of the land.

If the US government had asked them to turn over email for accounts that originated in the US and were maintained on US servers, and the courts agreed with this decision -- they'd turn it over too...just the same way you'd roll if the gov't and the court system told you to do something.

What? You think that just because they are a US company that they don't need to follow the laws in countries they do business?

Again, I don't agree with it either...but so long as they maintain a physical business presence there, they need to follow the law like anyone else.

Re:Yahoo's Reputation (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603683)

clifyt wrote:

What? You think that just because they are a US company that they don't need to follow the laws in countries they do business?

No, I think there's a cost associated with doing the right thing. Sometimes that cost can be quite high. Whether you're willing to pay that cost says what type of person or what type of company you are. I think we now know what type of company Yahoo is.

Re:Yahoo's Reputation (1)

a1ok (250188) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603709)

I agree with parent - I don't see any point in blaming Yahoo when they are forced by a government to do something, you can't really expect them to fight that.

On the other hand, whether to use adware or not, and things like changing settings on user machines, is definitely within their control. I dislike the bloated Ymsgr which has to include stock quotes, news and lots of other things I don't want or need; but Y! doesn't offer a lighter option. Result: I use msn msgr which actually loads faster (atleast, that's the impression I had), and now am moving to gtalk and planning to dump msn msgr.

Yahoo seems to think that users need to know everything that they can potentially do at Yahoo, no matter if the user actually *knows* he only wants a simple chat client. No - he just hasn't tried our fantastic stock quotes, so what if he's got no money? :-)

In summary, I differ from GP's view in that I don't really blame them for taking actions beyond their control; but I do consider them responsible for only caring about users as a source of revenue.

A New Spelling Low for Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603426)

Never thought that I would see an entire thread started with a spelling mistake *in the title*. Now this whole forum is doomed.

Ortha, Goddess of Spelling

Actvely? (5, Funny)

ave19 (149657) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603459)

Are the editors actively supporting spell checkers?

I'm joking!

In a perfect world... (1)

Tominva1045 (587712) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603518)



In a perfect world they'd be running servers with free Linux and free bandwidth and no ads so everyone could P2P all day...

Dude, this isn't how the real world works. Folks really emotional about what Yahoo is doing could surely start their own portal conforming to their own standards of what is right and good.

However, after investing all their engery in it for some time they would realize, as Yahoo does, at the end of the day you still have to put food on the table.

We all have a choice if we find something we don't like-- navigate elsewhere right?

Re:In a perfect world... (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603807)

Folks really emotional about what Yahoo is doing could surely start their own portal

Indeed they could do that, but it's sufficient merely to stop using Yahoo and to influence their 1,000 closest friends to do likewise.

Is Yahoo actvely Supporting Adware? (1)

ngyahloon (655557) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603523)

Well of course. Jst like the consipracy that slashdot takes away the 6th vowel in some titles.

Re:Is Yahoo actvely Supporting Adware? (1)

PhoenixPath (895891) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603789)

Unless you count the "y".

Sheesh.

Yahoo! sucks (1)

twbecker (315312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603546)

I have to say I agree 100%. I've never seen a company that tries to inject it's craptacular toolbars, utilities, etc into a legit software installation as much as Yahoo does. I went to upgrade to Adobe Reader 7 last night, and could not remove the Yahoo Toolbar even when doing a custom install. Now I still run Adobe 6. People download the Google Toolbar of their own volition, because they *want* to. I guess Yahoo realizes they can't compete, or maybe they just think this approach is easier than trying to.

Re:Yahoo! sucks (1)

galaga79 (307346) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603757)

The Yahoo toolbar can be easily removed from Acrobat Reader 7 by right-clicking and unchecking the "Search the Internet" item.

You can even remove the annoying ads displayed in the right hand corner: http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/007183 .html [mozillazine.org]

The Yahoo toolbar is everywhere though, I noticed it even appears in the Plaxo toolbar for Outlook.

Re:Yahoo! sucks (1)

twbecker (315312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603822)

Thanks for the info. I'm sure they're betting that most people won't figure out why they can't unbundle the toolbar.

Re:Yahoo! sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603770)

The only way to upgrade to Reader 7 without installing Yahoo! Toolbar is to go to adobe.com and download from the reader section (make sure to un-check the "Install Yahoo Toolbar" option).

Speaking of which, I've complained to Adobe several times (through their automated comment system that probably goes straight to nowhere) and am now looking for alternatives to Reader for customers of mine. I distribute many PDFs and my customers live in developing countries where computing power is low. If Yahoo Toolbar slows down their computers and they get frustrated with using computers it slows my business.

So, my proprietary-format-hating slashdot community, can anyone recommend a free program for reading PDFs that is easy to install & use for a non-nerd?

Yahoo (1)

Kylere (846597) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603573)

I have not been to the Yahoo site since the 90's. Altavista once rocked, then they lagged in updating their database, so I switched to Google. I never have liked the overcrowded look of Yahoo, nor the clutter involved in gathering basic info. I understand they added, mail, chat etc and so has google but without being offensive about it. Yahoo deserves to fail for focusing on the 13-18 crowd, all the extra is just making it obvious for the slow.

How Yahoo Funds Spyware (5, Informative)

bedelman (42523) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603610)

For those who are interested, see my article that (I think it's safe to say) sparked a portion of the Business Week piece:

How Yahoo Funds Spyware [benedelman.org]

I post screenshots and packet logs showing how Yahoo ads get syndicated into notorious spyware -- Direct Revenue, eXact Advertising, 180solutions, and some smaller players too (SideFind, Slotchbar, etc.).

Went to Business Weeks site and got a pop-up! (0)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603650)

Yeah, real slick there.

Re:Went to Business Weeks site and got a pop-up! (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603831)

Using IE, are we?

Speaking of unrelated bundling... (1)

dark-br (473115) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603665)

... my Adobe Acrobat Reader upgrade wants to install the Yahoo toolbar. And no, I cannot opt out.

Actvely ? (0, Offtopic)

connah0047 (850585) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603674)

Is Yahoo Actvely Supporting Adware?

Is SlashDot ACTIVELY supporting spell checking?

Hello Kettle? Your Black! (1)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603688)

I come here, read the Slashdot synopsis click on the link and (slow server) eventually get to what resembles a page. Then BAM! popup, my cat like reflexes shut it down before I can even tell what it is, but then BAM! anoter attack. This time by Verizon in a colorful borderless pop up.

Who put this article together? I mean, wouldn't you want to not be seen as supporting pop ups when your running an "expose" on other sites and thier affinity for pop ups?

Meanwhile, Yahoo stamps their crap on Flickr (3, Interesting)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603724)

Yahoo's engineers and marketers have already had their first stab at ruining Flickr, the wonderful photo-sharing website. The simple, friendly, three-question signup that worked so well before has been turned into a ghastly Yahoo ID signup process that includes the usual corporate interrogation and other goofiness spread across multiple pages and redirects.

Just wait till the rest of Flickr gets the Yahoo treatment.

http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/flickr_signup_f rom_human_to_droid_in_a_yahoo_moment.php [37signals.com]

...perhaps not what the engineers want... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603813)

but it's probably what the suits want.

It's the same case at Microsoft, I've noticed. The engineers tend to be do-no-evil kind of folk yet market forces elsewhere dictate otherwise. Go figure.

Yahoo Owns Spyware Companies (3, Interesting)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 9 years ago | (#13603826)

Yahoo OWNS Intermix through Overture who has lost some massive court cases involving spyware. So this is no real surprise. Intermix was ordered to pay 7.5 Million in a seattle case. http://www.technewsworld.com/story/43894.html [technewsworld.com]

Two Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603910)

HELL YES!!!

Proof FreeBSD isn't dying, rather.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13603950)

...it's popping up all over the place!
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