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Yahoo Sued for Spyware, Typosquatting-Based Ads

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the double-whammy dept.

88

An anonymous reader writes to mention a Yahoo! suit involving allegations of spyware and typosquatting-based ads. From the article: "The suit claims that Yahoo displayed these advertisers' online ads via spyware and adware products and on so-called 'typosquatter' Web sites that capitalize on misspellings of popular trademarks or company names. Potentially more explosive is the plaintiff's claim that Yahoo regularly uses its relationship with adware and typosquatting sites to gin up extra revenue around earnings time, alleging that the company is conspiring to boost revenue by partnering with some of the Internet's seamier characters."

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88 comments

Interesting (4, Interesting)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252893)

Of course, I quit using Yahoo when I started using only Google. Yahoo's website went from being the cleanest and least laden with trickery and pervasive ads to one of the worst.

Google ads at least are text and off to the side. Whether or not they are promoting typosquatting or not they are easy to ignore.

Re:Interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252920)

Two words - YAHOO TOOLBAR.

Re:Interesting (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253051)

Two more words - Please elaborate. seriously, I know it's an AC post... but are you saying the Yahoo tool bar is a good or bad thing?

Re:Interesting (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253061)

That stupid thing that installs itself when you upgrade/install Acrobat? Besides this exists: http://toolbar.google.com/ [google.com]

Re:Interesting (3, Funny)

de Siem (840522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253759)

That stupid thing only installs if you let it. Opt out before you download!

Re:Interesting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15253154)

Yeah, we should all practice the act of using only one type of software in all our daily practices. I mean why explore other technologies? If it's not broke, don't fix it. In fact, I can't understand why anyone would even look to other web browsers when IE is obviously the way to go.

Re:Interesting (1, Funny)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253245)

Whether or not they are promoting typosquatting or not

They do! google [google.com] typosquats gooogle [gooogle.com] and redirects it to google [google.com] ! Those sneaky bastards.

Re:Interesting (1)

LittleK (640585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253404)

Hey, don't forget Foofle [foofle.com] .

Re:Interesting (1)

Literaphile (927079) | more than 8 years ago | (#15255507)

Hoohle [hoohle.com] is another story, however! Type that in accidentally and you'll discover everything you ever wanted to know about female ejaculation.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15253797)

or gogle [gogle.com]

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15255169)

What the fuck are you people talking about? I haven't seen an advert on the internet in years!

Full description (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252905)


Ben Edelman has a breakdown on how Yahoo fund spyware [benedelman.org]

this is just the tip of the iceberg, Google, Ask Jeeves, MySpace, MyWay,iWon, the list of million dollar companies built from and profiting from these seedy practices goes on, its about time somebody gets the smackdown either in court or via other methods

Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1, Troll)

Kincaidia (927521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252965)

My small company lost over $25,000 to google over this... Google was providing "high quality" clicks that were producing one sale in over 1200 clicks. I could walk down the street and slap people across the face and tell them to buy my product and I'd get more sales than one per 1200 people. They're all dirty. Until advertisers figure out and only advertise on selected websites vs the shotgun approach, OR the major search engines take the time to have sale-based payment instead of Pay-Per-Click, the screwing will continue.

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (2, Insightful)

Fallus Shempus (793462) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253042)

It's still better than T.V. advertising, or national newspaper advertising.

You are only paying for people who followed the link
not for people who have just seen it.

Newspaper advertising cost is based on circulation
T.V. on expected audience figures.

roughly.

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (2, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253124)

Just out of curiosity, how did you measure "sales per click"? I'm assuming that you measure the number of sales you got received from people who clicked the ad and then bought your product during that session, but how do you know there weren't others who clicked your ad, saw your product, then decided to come back later directly through your URL to buy the product? Seems kind of difficult to sort out I would imagine. Of course a lot of the clicks may be fradulent, but meausring the success of your ad by the number of people who buy right away after clicking the ad seems to be a poor measure of cuccess.

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (2, Insightful)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253259)

i agree, i never buy stuff on the first impression.

usually when i see something cool, i bookmark the site, look around, and after i'm convinced that it was the best offer i go back and buy the stuff. now the bookmark made has no idea that i came from google originally.

but if it's really the case that you only made 1 sale after advertising stuff on google, i doubt that your product is any good ;)

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253338)

I agree I do the same thing... I almost NEVER buy immediately like that.

I think a good measure of if the clicks were real or fraudulent is if the clicker hung around the page for any length of time, visited other areas etc. A fake click would simply load the linked page and exit immediately.

If someone browses around your page for 5 minutes after following a google link and still doesn't buy... it's probably NOT Google's fault.

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253598)

Just because they follow the ad, and then decide that they don' want to be there, doesn't mean it's a fraudulent click. Maybe they took 1 look at your website, and decided that they didn't like it. Remember that article about how it only takes .5 seconds for someone to make a judgement of your site? There's lots of times when I'll click on an ad, and then leave the site right away because it wasn't really what I was looking for.

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253752)

...thats true

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253852)

Are you saying that you actually click on ads or are you just talking about your general online shopping habits?

-matthew

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253669)

This is off the top my head cos I'm too lazy to check, but I think the conversion tracking Google provides is done by cookies - cookie is set when you click the ad, probably with a 30 day expiry or similar. When you complete the order, if you accepted and still have the cookie it gets logged (you put a bit of code on your "conversion pages" to use Google's conversion tracking).

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254835)

We use a system that tracks users based on how they came to our site; it works quite well.

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1)

sharkb8 (723587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321238)

Drop a cookie on their computer when they visit your site through an ad click, and read the cookie when they visit later.

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (2, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253707)

My small company lost over $25,000 to google over this... Google was providing "high quality" clicks that were producing one sale in over 1200 clicks. I could walk down the street and slap people across the face and tell them to buy my product and I'd get more sales than one per 1200 people. They're all dirty. Until advertisers figure out and only advertise on selected websites vs the shotgun approach, OR the major search engines take the time to have sale-based payment instead of Pay-Per-Click, the screwing will continue.

It's your job to make the sale, NOT Google's. If your clicks per sale ratio is poor then you have a problem.

Google got them to your page (ie. they made the lead)... it was up to you to actually make the sale (convert the lead)... perhaps you should examine your own site first? it might be confusing and difficult to actually find what they were looking for or your prices were crap compared to other sites or something else may have turned them right off buying from you...

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1)

azuretek (708981) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254175)

Not only this but his ad description may have been misleading, the best way to earn is to put an honest descriptive ad, if people are interested they will click. If you advertise "HOT XXX CHICKS" and your site doesn't deliver on that, the people are just going to leave.

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254404)

Your post would be insightful were it not for:

  1. Spyware which automagically clicks ads to earn revenue for the spyware affiliate (yes, Google does try to weed these bastards out but they're not 100% successful)
  2. Competitors paying people to surf and click on other companies' ads
  3. Sites which display ads and run the "get paid to surf the web" scams, where they pay you for every ad you click on their sites

  Not all click-through advertisements are legitimate, and I can imagine that some cutthroat industries bemoaning a 1200:1 hit ratio (where a click turns into a sale) with this kind of crap going on, especially when there is no problem with the first impression of the target site.

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258991)

Google sales arn't that bad, they sold you didn't they. That is googles real market (just the same as yahoo or MSN etc.), sellin to the sellers not the buyers because the sellers pay for adds whether or not they actually generate any sales from them.

When it comes to webvertising and it's low entry cost it all just becomes spamwords and spamsence, it is so flooded with bad companies and bad products that the customers just start ignoring it all.

Re:Google and Yahoo - banging the same dirty whore (1)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15319721)

It's not Google that's dirty, it's your company that's stupid. Google delivers exactly what they promise: impressions and click-throughs, and they give you near real-time reports. They also let you set spending limits. If it's not working for you, you can figure that out long before you spend $25k.

who cares? (1)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15319745)

It's not the government's responsibility to protect you from yourself. If you install spyware or click on the wrong ads, it's your own damned fault, and if you keep paying Yahoo! or anybody else for ads that aren't working, that's your own stupidity, too.

What's going on here? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252921)

This apparently isn't about consumers: the plaintiffs are a bunch of pissed off advertisers, who would prefer to interfere with your search results rather than with some parked and forgotten domain. The plaintiffs also refuse to name themselves and use terms like "improper advertising displays" (like advertising speech could somehow be "improper".)

Re:What's going on here? (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253161)

like advertising speech could somehow be "improper".

Jesus, I'd like to just see some proper advertising speech again before I die.

Old school proper advertising speech:

"Our car has more hp than either Ford or Chevy. It's better. Buy it."

Modern school improper advertising speech:

"Look at my dog's ass. Ugly, ain't it?"

Old school proper advertising speech:

"I'm hot. Buy this car and I'm yours, big boy."

Modern school improper advertising speech:

"I hate that car."

What's with that "silly little fairy" ad? 'Cause any car she doesn't like I ain't buyin', 'cause I want that hot, little bitch ridin' with me.

There's something very funny going on in the world of "marketing" these days.

KFG

Re:What's going on here? (1)

lightyear4 (852813) | more than 8 years ago | (#15255152)

Actually, I imagine the advertisers are more pissed off that they're paying twice for the same click.

A comment above contained a link to How Yahoo Funds Spyware [benedelman.org] . A relevant quote:

Search for "computer repair" at any major search engine, and Claria adds a popunder giving Yahoo Overture ads for that same term. Sponsored link popunders also target specific web sites. Visiting Dell often yields a Claria popunder of Yahoo Overture ads for "computer." Claria's provision of Yahoo Overture sponsored links raises clear questions of business benefit for affected advertisers. In the second screenshot at right, the user was already at the Dell.com site. (Indeed, Dell might have just paid several dollars to reach that user, via a pay-per-click ad at Yahoo, Google, or elsewhere.) Claria's popunder risks drawing the user's attention away from Dell -- but if the user then clicks on the prominent Dell ad in Claria's Overture listing, Dell has to pay again for the same user who was already at the Dell site. Why pay Yahoo and Claria to get the user back, when it was they who took the user from Dell in the first place?

Similar practices are not difficult to imagine in the context of typosquatting, and while Claria might be effectively defunct now, but rest assured that plenty of others have risen to fill the gap.

Re:What's going on here? (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259926)

>The plaintiffs also refuse to name themselves

_Crafts by Veronica_ is the lead plaintiff in the complaint [washingtonpost.com] . It's normal for a class action suit to say "All others similarly situated": that's what makes it a class action suit.

>who would prefer to interfere with your search results rather than with some parked and forgotten domain

Which is what they paid for. Clicks from search result pages are more valuable than clicks from spyware. Yahoo is accused of charging for one and intentionally delivering the other.

They have a point! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15252927)

They do have a point. Do you want me to tell you why?

Lots and lots of typosquatters use Overture's Keyword Selector tool to find the juiciest domains. Try it yourself, try searching for "fool.com" without the quotes, and you'll be able to see the number of people who searched for that domain using one of Yahoo's search bars. This gives you a hint that there are many people who would be typing that domain in the address bar, so if nobody registered it, then the typosquatter goes ahead and registers the domain to make lots and lots of money from ADs.

Now, please remind me, why on earth would Yahoo leave the opportunity to search for keywords that have .com or .whatever in their name? Why not filter these searches out?

Re:They have a point! (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253022)

That ties in with one of the most commom errors by people new to the web typing the web address they want into the search box on their default yahoo/MSN/whatever home page, rather than the address bar. I've seen tons of grannies, housewives, jocks, and other stereotypical net newbies do this, even after corrected they still find it "easier" since it's where the cursor starts out when they fire up the browser. Of course, it usually brings up the site they wanted as the first result, but it still pipes in a ton of advertising and near-miss links they wouldn't have seen otherwise. It must look like a goldmine to the type of people who would try to get rich off misspelled domain names.

Re:They have a point! (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253289)

Hell, even I do that half the time, and I've been using the net since before Tim Berners-Lee first put together the letters W-W-W. It's just habit; I use the search bar more often than the address bar, so that's where I gravitate to. Since Google pulls up the right page more often than not it's not a habit that's worth correcting.

Typosquatting is a problem, but not enough of one to insist that search engines somehow try to filter out terms that look like URLs or domain names and break a very useful (if unintentional) feature.

Re:They have a point! (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253212)

Now, please remind me, why on earth would Yahoo leave the opportunity to search for keywords that have .com or .whatever in their name? Why not filter these searches out?

For the simple reason that they are a business, they need to make money to satisfy shareholders, and it's easy to do. And best of all, it's not strictly illegal, only the practice of double-dipping the customer is illegal.

Re:They have a point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15253405)

Lots of people can't remember the exact web adress of the site they're trying to purchase from. So they simply type in a close approximation and look for the right one. This is actually a really good tool for a company who has an easily misspelled name. They can then bid on the improper spellings so people can find their site. Now, the best way to handle this would be a separate search engine (or feature) that's just a website search, so you don't get all the spam. You'll still deal with misspelled domains, though.

Re:They have a point! (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258191)

I think this a philosophical issue. Is it better to have a mal formed or unregisted domain return a 404 or a list of alternative sites? Some would feel that running everything typed into the URL line should pass through a search engine so if the user made a mistake alternatives could be presented. Others would say that browser should simple do the best with a URL and try to find a domain. In practical expereince this means that one browser would take th input amazon, run it through a search engine, and return a list results along with ads, while another browser might just tack on the http://www/ [www] and com and go to the amazon website.

From the user point of view, the browser simply going to amazon is the better experience. From the search engine point of view, forcing users to view ads is better. This is why IE is set to set MSN for anything but the most perfectly formed URL. This, of course, screws advertisers as they are paying to present ads to users that are in fact not searching for anything but merely have been hijacked on the way to the desired destination.

This doesn't surprise me (-1, Troll)

Joel from Sydney (828208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15252990)

All companies engage in shady, unethical or even illegal behaviour. The only difference is how blatant they are about it.

Remove the Toolbar! (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253048)

Follow these directions [microsoft.com] should you be afflicted with the Yahoo! Toolbar.

That toolbar is probably the portal for this Spyware and crap. You know, it comes with applications and installs itself (seemingly) sometimes. I've had to remove it countless times, the battle rages on.

Or you can just switch to Firefox. A new version is out, now's as good a time as ever!

Re:Remove the Toolbar! (2, Insightful)

HumanisticJones (972339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253143)

We had massive problems with the Yahoo toolbar out at the university I used to work at. Not only did it portal in all the spyware we could ever choke on, it was often installed by way of some sites that our lab computer users were fond of visiting.

Is it just me or are 90% of these helpful little utilities nothing more that spyware in the end, toolbars and accelerators just bog down the machine and sprout security leaks like a zarking seive.

Re:Remove the Toolbar! (1)

cyp43r (945301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253395)

Yes, but then again Google has it's toolbar which seems to be in everything. Sure it's easy to get rid of, and easy to avoid, but it seems that everyone has a toolbar nowdays - some are just shadier about it.

Re:Remove the Toolbar! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253684)

I had Yahoo toolbar slip in with an install of adobe acrobat reader. What does the yahoo toolbar have to do with the adobe reader? I know I should have been more careful, but Adobe reader used to be one of the least invasive programs. Now I have to worry about it installing things that shouldn't even be there in the first place.

Re:Remove the Toolbar! (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254202)

Adobe reader is a piece of crap in itself. Can anyone explain why it has become so huge >16 meg - and hasn't added anything discernible to me? From 1.4mb for version 2, to 16 mb for version 7 - what the hell does it do different?

Re:Remove the Toolbar! (1)

MvD_Moscow (738107) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254792)

While I agree the Adobe reader is a piece of crap, I can't agree that it doesn't do anything different in the new versions. With every new version, the PDF format is expanded. Like recently, they added the option to embed flash. If you want to see an exact list of addition just compare plugins between different versions.

Re:Remove the Toolbar! (1)

freakmn (712872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15255343)

I believe that the GP already answered that. What it does different is installs the Yahoo Toolbar. Joking aside, it does seem that newer versions are less likely to hijack my entire browser until a pdf loads, as well as what appears to be a shorter loading time.

Re:Remove the Toolbar! (1)

kckman (885561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253937)

It isn't spyware. It is installed ONLY by User interaction. It is installed when Yahoo Messenger is installed "IF" the user leaves the "Check Box" clicked. I use this toolbar and am NEVER a victim of any spam or spyware as a result.

Re:Remove the Toolbar! (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254194)

I think I tried warning people a year or so ago about this when I noted that installing Yahoo Messenger automatically dropped my set security levels (mine were always set to maximum security) and re-activated ActiveX in my IE settings. (And I don't use IE, I just max out it's security and disable everything possible in it to reduce the risk of potential exploits.) No surprise that Yahoo doing that after it's installed would leave one open to spyware and other useless crap.

Re:Remove the Toolbar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258649)

Or you can just switch to Firefox.

And then you can download Yahoo Toolbar [yahoo.com] for Firefox. ;)

Seriously though, I've never had any problems with the Yahoo toolbar. When its' configuration is stripped down and completely customised, I find it pretty handy. Not least of which is the common browser environment (ie: custom buttons and bookmarks) that follow me from one computer to another since their configuration is tied to my Yahoo account.

Based on my experiences with their toolbar, I have a sneaky suspicion that 3rd party sites may have been repackaging Yahoo's toolbar, bundling it with spyware - and trying to pass it off as legitimate. Although, admittedly, I only started using the Yahoo toolbar with Firefox, so I have no idea how pushy / dangerous it is with Internet Explorer.

Doesn't this mean Google? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15253049)

For instance, if I type "Asia" doesn't google return with :

Did you mean "Send me ur outsourced job plz"

Isn't that indirect squatting?

Re:Doesn't this mean Google? (1)

aed (156746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253182)

No it doesn't
It does, ironically, return with Yahoo Asia as first hit :)

Yahoo!!! (-1, Flamebait)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253072)

It's not suprising that they'd do this. After all, with such a name like "yahoo", it should be clear that you've got a SERIOUS fackin' customer on your hands here. This is fackin' terrible. I can't believe they'd do this.

Captain, they've just decloaked off port (3, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253074)

Raise AdBlock, Mr. Worf. Continual fire, all bannings.

Re:Captain, they've just decloaked off port (2, Insightful)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253972)

"...we shall fight in the <iframe>s, we shall fight in the <object>s, we shall fight in the <script> tags and in the Flash files, we shall fight around the window.open(); we shall never surrender..."

diacK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15253097)

but I'd rather hear is EFNet, and you woot that *BSD is to make sure the troubled OS. Now THIS EXPLOITATION, Assholes, as they opinion in other Assholes, as they NIGGER AASOCIATION Fatal mistakes, Distro is done Here Are tied up in it. Its mission is it just 0wnz.', said. 'Screaming move any equipment troubled OS. Now All over America happiness Another [theos.com] on his

In other news (0, Offtopic)

FryingDutchman (891770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253158)

The Pope is catholic and I'm fat.

I think this was an excuse for someone to use the word "typosquatting" in a serious context. Chances are a lunch bet was made over whether or not he can pull it off. Vegas has the odds of said lunch being Chipotle being 3-2 favorites.

You don't suppose, in some terribly deviant scheme, someone someplace needs to piggy-back off the popularity of another site and the poor typing skills of today's interweb surf0r to turn a quick dime do you? Do you have any idea how insane that sounds?

People need to get over the fact the internet is brought to you by companies who are paying huge sums of cash to put their product in front of you and they will find any and every way to get you to see them.

Now if anyone needs me I'll be over at Chipotle enjoying a fresh made fajita burrito with only the finest Bell & Evans chicken, grilled peppers, and recycled organic renewably-farmed rice. And I'll wash it down with an icy cold Coke...ahh...now THAT's refreshment. /walks away with canvas bag with large "$" printed on front.

Re:In other news (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253276)

People need to get over the fact the internet is brought to you by companies who are paying huge sums of cash to put their product in front of you and they will find any and every way to get you to see them. This is the big lie. Take a look at a decent history of the Internet, and you'll see that Internet is NOT "brought to you by companies paying huge sums of money to put their product in front of you.." Those companies saw a tool for satisfying their rapacious greed using a publicly funded utility and have since been trying to turn that utility into their own private playground. And they'll probably succeed, since our public officials are almost all whores. We'll remember a brief, shining moment when some kid with a computer and list of html codes could get a message out to hundreds of millions of people. We'll remember a day when an outfit like slashdot could have an idea and be on an even playing field with Microsoft and Sony (at least in the arena of online media). We've got at most another 2 years of a free and open internet before it becomes little more than another television. There might still be some sort of third-tier "public-access" internet, but it'll be slower, harder to get and less powerful. And we'll probably only get that as part of a bigger package, including the new "AT&T brings you the Internet!"

Re:In other news (1)

FryingDutchman (891770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253520)

*Applause*

Well spoken.

I'm not championing the commercialization of the internet, nor am I saying Nike supplied the inspiration. My point is simply that the modern expansion of the internet is undeniably paralelled by corporate involvement in it.

Denying such a correlation is as blasphemous as denying that pr0n was one of the largest contributing factors the the growth of the internet in it's infancy.

Sad, but true. I do in deed remember a time. I'm not naive enough to think grant-funded university projects and student development will carry the internet to new heights. God I would love to see it, but I'm not holding my breath. That's how the robot monkey ninjas get you.

Re:In other news (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254656)

"We'll remember a brief, shining moment when some kid with a computer and list of html codes could get a message out to hundreds of millions of people."

Sounds like spam to me. Not a shining moment in my book.

Re:In other news (1)

trajik2600 (944364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254808)

We'll remember a brief, shining moment when some kid with a computer and list of html codes could get a message out to hundreds of millions of people.
I was one of those kids. I was 13, and had the JDaLy -- first initial, first two of middle and last names, boy was I clever :) -- Online Nooz Page, hosted on AOL. I had that around on a floppy for years, but my years of learning and burning have made it a distant memory.

Re:In other news (3, Insightful)

lashi (822466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253564)

"People need to get over the fact the internet is brought to you by companies who are paying huge sums of cash to put their product in front of you and they will find any and every way to get you to see them."

No, internet was brought on as a collbration tool used by universities. If all the big companies disappear off the face of internet, most of the sites that were built by users as a hobby or to share information with the world would still be there and internet would still be 'good' and probably 'a better thing'

Re:In other news (1)

FryingDutchman (891770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253657)

Oi...whatever "collbration" was done is done. If all the big comapnies disappear - "most of the sites that were built by users as a hobby or to share information with the world" would fall into complete disrepair because who would give a rats ass if nobody goes on the internet. Then people could make up arbitrary stats like "most people host a site and don't do it to make money". It's fun to make stuff up. Anyone reading this is already biased because chances are the only sample set you have to pull from (people you know) are also nerds.

Re:In other news (1)

lashi (822466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254373)

"who would give a rats ass if nobody goes on the internet." What makes you think nobody will go on the internet? I regularly check hobby sites for hardware hack, discussion groups for cars, business related forums... none of that belongs to a big company. People like to put stuff up online and other people like to view them. Have you heard of 'blogging'???

Re:In other news (1)

FryingDutchman (891770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254843)

"Have you ever heard of blogging?"

No. Bentwookie.com is just a link I like to toss up there because I'm a big fan of befuddlement.

I think you're being a bit naive in thinking that the internet can sustain itself on the work of independently operated sites and users. Without advertising and marketability few sites would be able to sustain themselves. Others rely on services (by your own accusation - blogspot, typepad, etc) which come from major companies which rely on revenue from venture capitalists, investors, and the like; which in my book makes them a corporation.

Business forums - wouldn't exist if business wasn't there to talk about.
Cars - You're telling me you spend hours online discussing cars and in the next breath saying the growth of the internet isn't fueled, in this case even indirectly, by corporate america?

Call me a naysayer, call me a pessimist, call me a beligerent jerk if you want, but you have to accept the fact that the internet isn't soon to be another TV, it has already surpassed the TV in terms that we're all subject to hundreds of times more ads, plugs, and influences - what's more we don't even realize it.

The only question that remains in my mind is did the advertising agency and market do this to us or did we create this market? Chicken? Egg?

Re:In other news (1)

lashi (822466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15256759)

"we're all subject to hundreds of times more ads, plugs, and influences - what's more we don't even realize it."

So you are saying the fact that a lot of website is supported by ads justifies spyware and spamming? Going back to your original post, you are just telling us to 'get over it'. I guess you like your spyware and v i a g a r a emails.

It doesn't have to be that way you know. That's why spammers are being sued. If everyone just accept things as they are, there would never be any change for the better.

Re:In other news (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320078)

"No, internet was brought on as a collbration tool used by universities."

You're at least closer than the parents. The Internet was created as a U.S. Defense Department research experiment. Universities were (relatively) early adopters.

In related news... (-1, Offtopic)

csoto (220540) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253249)

Apple establishes a new French government in the central France town of Vichy. Steve Jobs is appointed as head of state.

Google isn't innocent either (2, Interesting)

bshver (605026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253301)

Everyone who is ready to flame Yahoo's "evil" practices should realize that Google does profits from typosquatting too, with their DomainPark [google.com] service. How many legitimate websites are there that get more than 750,000 page views a month and are just "parked"? Yahoo may be doing something evil, but "do no evil" Google isn't innocent either.

Re:Google isn't innocent either (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253360)

Again, do you think "he's bad too" can make everything ok ? Guessed so. You could probably fairly quickly assemble a list of other not-innocent-either companies. That will not make Yahoo (or the others) any less "bad".

earnings time? (1)

PhYrE2k2 (806396) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253477)

around earnings time


Isn't all the time earnings time for a big public corporate entity? Wow- if they make all that money while only earning for a portion of the year, just think of what they could get if they did it year-round!

-M

Publically Traded Corps & Quarterly Earnings (1)

neuraljazz (307431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15255710)

So, the answer to your question is no. This behavior is based on the quarterly earnings startments that publically traded companies need to report on. When your company is publically traded, it is just as important to do business as it is to sell stock.

When sales to invoice (order to cash) processes are days/hours long vs. weeks or months, publically traded companies will do whatever they can to gain more business during the end of a quarter.

Is it bad business? Not really. Is it good business? Definitely not. Is it a fact of behavior for publically traded business try to squeeze every dollar out before the quarter ends? Yes.
   

Crying about thing's we knew (3, Interesting)

Electr!c_B4rd_Qu!nn (933533) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253531)

Honestly, this article is like the light that's been shining in our eyes for so long we didn't care anymore. I stopped using Yahoo when it installed a toolbar in my IE(I know, I'm all Firefox now)and began not just pumping, but flooding my PC like N.O. with spyware. Yahoo's a long standing company, and in being long standing, they start getting the shady people inside their ranks, and eventually one of them gets high enough to implement an idea like this. Sadly, this is Capitolism. The Company that can profit the most does the best. If Yahoo is in with typosquatters, so be it! That's their business practice and I didn't find much about it being illegal, just not nice. So while Yahoo didn't break any rules, it only re-enforced the belief of this non-net-savvy person that I should use Google from now on. And didn't Yahoo start this when they had the Full Page Flash Overlay ads?

Re:Crying about thing's we knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321888)

But if the people purchasing adspace are told by Yahoo that everything is done to make sure as many of the clicks as possible are not fraudulent, then Yahoo goes and encourages or at least enables spyware/etc which creates false clicks, then those who purchased the adspace have been defrauded out of money.

Otherwise, I'd have a great business plan for you. Go around asking people to lend you money with the promise of paying them back twice as much in a week. Then don't pay them back, never have the intention of paying them back. Or another great business idea. Sell people expensive electronics items/perfume/whatever only for them to get home and find the box is empty. That's not fraud... THAT'S JUST MY BUSINESS MODEL!!!

Re:Crying about thing's we knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15346801)

I've got some great oceanfront property in Arizona for you to buy....

Would someone sue Adobe? (2, Interesting)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253560)

...for force-bundling the yahoo spy/spam/crudware with Adobe reader, and even the FULL RETAIL version of Acrobat PRO 7? when I (or the company I work for) pay $300+ for an app, I/we dont want the bulls**t!

de-selecting the yahoo tools option in the install has no effect!

(FYI DLing the 56k version of the reader seems to cut out most of the bloat)

Re:Would someone sue Adobe? (0, Troll)

turtleAJ (910000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253755)

jUST DON'T INSTALL NEWER VERSIONS ever... UNTIL ABOUT 30 TIMES, WHEN aDOBE RELENTS AND LETS YOU UPGRADE without INSTALLING THE SHITTY yAHOO! TOOLBAR CRAP.


wHOOPS! sORRY... i JUST REALIZE MY caps WAS on. i'M NOT SCREAMING... SORRY...

Re:Would someone sue Adobe? (2, Informative)

fjfish (612801) | more than 8 years ago | (#15253963)

I had the same problem and did discover that you can download it from the adobe website without it insisting on installing the yahoo toolbar. The auto update does give you yahoo though, and their photograph album software (gah).
Yahoo are only one of the idiots that do this, my son regularly fills IE with bogus toolbars from some of the games sites he visits but as we use firefox it isn't a problem, I just edit the registry every few weeks and dual boot linux and remove the DLL's.
Amusingly the M$ anti-spyware stuff does seem to stop a lot of this, particularly hijacking the home page with a referer URL.

Re:Would someone sue Adobe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15254068)

Once again the solution to user ignorance is to blame the OS. If you had done the sensible thing and put your son on a non-administrative account then you wouldn't have had to waste your time cleaning anything.

I'll never trust Yahoo anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15253603)

Ever since they wiped out several years worth of e-mails one day in February, I will never go back to them. I kept getting "Temporary problem accessing your mailbox" errors for a week, and then finally everything was wiped. After numerous attempts to contact them, it turns out that they do not back up e-mails. Anyone know if they are in violation of Sarbanes-Oxley?

"the Internet's seamier characters" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15253879)

From TFA: ...conspiring to boost revenue by partnering with some of the Internet's seamier characters.

Considering their relationship with the Chinese government, I'd say they are "some of the Internet's seamier characters".

Just to illustrate how typosquatting works (2, Funny)

Sigg3.net (886486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254396)

Dear Homeowner,
For only $3.99 you can be the proud owner of a newly enhanced penif.
Send in cash to-day to receive your personal penif kit.
Become a member, for your member, today.

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So, Yahoo! is still up to the same old tactics? (1)

obfuscat0r (972397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15254887)

This was why I stopped using yahoo like 4 or 5 years ago. =/

"Seamy" character? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15254928)

What exactly is a "seamy" character? One who was cut up and required stitches?

Toolbar! I don't need no steenkin toolbar. (1)

camg188 (932324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15255211)

I never understood the purpose of these toolbars. I prefer to see content in my windows, not bars and tabs. I just bookmark the advanced search page for Yahoo and Google. (They return just about identical results).

tu*bgirl (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15255759)

as it is licensed by simple fucking hobby. It was all We strongly urge A sad 3orld. At continues to lose

Hmmm - Yahoo accused of spyware - THEN (0, Troll)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 8 years ago | (#15256685)

Microsoft wants to merge with Yahoo or at least work closely with Yahoo.

Coincedence?

I think NOT!

Remember the Claria - Windows antispyware debacle?
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