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AOL 9.0 Called Badware

CmdrTaco posted about 8 years ago | from the been-called-worse dept.

295

An anonymous reader writes "The bad news at AOL keeps coming. First they get in trouble for releasing search data on more than half a million customers, then it gives away security software with a nasty EULA, now its free client software is accused of acting like badware according to Stopbadware.org, the Google-funded rating group."

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Erm (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994722)

Keywords: google funded

Why is that? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15995184)

This in no way benefits Google. It is not the same way that MS funds FUD to help itself. The group's mission has no hidden agenda. It is not trying to make a profit by putting down a different group. It is simply pointing out bad software.

Though, I am trying to figure out how the H#$l you got upgraded. I would guess that at least one of the mods is from a FUDster. In addition, your mod ups point out the changing nature of slashdot. All in all, I am guessing that we have MAJOR artificial turfing going on here.

in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994725)

...in other news, Hotbar purchased AOL for $1000.

LOL (5, Informative)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | about 8 years ago | (#15994732)

So, Google technically owns like 5% of AOL, and funds stopbadware.org. So this is sort of like Sony vs. Sony, isn't it? Not directly relevant, but interesting as it shows how widespread these big Internet companies are, and how many pies they have their fingers in.

Re:LOL (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994782)

"What's it feel like?" Like waaaaarm apple pie...

Re:LOL (5, Insightful)

pmancini (20121) | about 8 years ago | (#15994963)

Its more like a concerned stock holder voicing a concern. I own a good chunck of the company I work for and if they were to screw up I'd get on them to fix things too. Its not uncommon to see stake holders do this sort of thing because it protects your bottomline.

Lets face it though, hasn't AOL been "badware" since like 1991? ;-)

Badware? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994737)

That sounds like a term a 5 year old would come up with.

Re:Badware? (5, Interesting)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | about 8 years ago | (#15994773)

Well, it's a nice way to sum up adware, viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, spyware, and all that stuff. It's easy to understand. Joe Schmoe might not know what a rootkit is, but he's got a good idea that "badware" or "malware" (my prefered term) is not something he wants on his computer.

Maybe Joe Schmoe shouldn't be using a computer. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994992)

If Joe Schmoe can't understand the risks associated with using a PC, then perhaps this Joe Schmoe shouldn't be using one. Not just for the safety of his own computer and data, but for the safety of everyone else's systems. After all, it is often computers owned by people like the average Joe Schmoe which get compromised and are used to send spam or propagate worms.

We wouldn't let Joe Schmoe drive an automobile if he wasn't aware of the dangers of doing so. He knows that getting into an accident can be fatal to himself and others, even if he doesn't have a deep understanding of Newtonian mechanics and biology. He knows that drinking and driving can lead to accidents, even if he's not a toxicologist. If he doesn't understand such basic ideas, he will either not get his license in the first place, or he will lose it if he does manage to get one.

Perhaps the same expectations of responsibility need to be put upon computer users.

Re:Maybe Joe Schmoe shouldn't be using a computer. (5, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | about 8 years ago | (#15995044)

After all, it is often computers owned by people like the average Joe Schmoe which get compromised and are used to send spam or propagate worms.

Let's talk about Joe Schmoe for a second here. Joe Schmoe is probably a decent guy, and not necessarily dumb. It's just that he has a job, bills to pay, hobbies, and with any luck, a wife/girlfriend, and maybe kids. He thinks of his computer as he thinks of his washing machine. He buys it at a big box store, spends an hour or so setting it up, and then he uses it as a tool. When it breaks, he calls Geek Squad or the smart nerdy kid down the street, just like if the washing machine breaks, he calls the repair guy from Sears.

He doesn't look at a PC as a car, he thinks of it as a washing machine. We need to educate him about how to use it safely (SP2, patches, and AV for starters), and acting all high-and-mighty about it gets you nowhere.

Re:Maybe Joe Schmoe shouldn't be using a computer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15995138)

Yes because heaven help us that someone should by a washing machine and be able to plug it into the water source and drain without flooding his house (or his apartment). Godc frobid he gets a gas-powered dryer and blows up his corner of the neighborhood

*All* appliances have safety precautions that must be taken andsafe woorking habits that must be maintained in order to protect the operator and the environment. Computers are no different. I would love to see someone operate a toaster oven with the same casual disregard for safety that people seem to want to operate computers with. That would be cool to see on YouTube

Re:Maybe Joe Schmoe shouldn't be using a computer. (5, Funny)

monsterfish (987631) | about 8 years ago | (#15995205)

He doesn't look at a PC as a car, he thinks of it as a washing machine.
In that case... I guess I look at my car as a washingmachine, look at my PC as a car... but I just can't remember what I use my actual washingmachine for!

Re:Maybe Joe Schmoe shouldn't be using a computer. (1)

TheGhostOfDerrida (953992) | about 8 years ago | (#15995248)

so that's what that smell is...
Nah, I'm just kidding. we all know what a washing machine is for... it's something to keep your wife occupied.(again, I'm only joking, we're all nerds here, noone really believes in wives...)

Re:Maybe Joe Schmoe shouldn't be using a computer. (4, Interesting)

atokata (872432) | about 8 years ago | (#15995189)

My god, you're a moron.

First of all, people *do* operate cars without a thought to safety. Have you ever driven on a major highway in a large city?
How about the number of people who destroy thousand-dollar engines for want of two bucks of motor oil?

If Joe Schmoe decides he wants to click "Yes" when AnnoyingAdBar, LLC tells him to, than doesn't he pretty much get what he deserves?

(And, more importantly, when he pays me to fix it, don't I get what *I* deserve?)

Support freelancers, encourage stupidity!

Re:Badware? (2, Funny)

iced_773 (857608) | about 8 years ago | (#15994840)

Or an AOL user.

Re:Badware? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 8 years ago | (#15995041)

That sounds like a term a 5 year old would come up with.
Or an AOL user.
Close enough

Not really (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | about 8 years ago | (#15994987)

Spyware has a conotation of being, you know, about _spying_ on the user. Malware implies some malicious intent. Etc. That's stuff which not only doesn't cover all the crap out there (e.g., yes, how about stuff that keeps nagging me after I thought I uninstalled it?), but also is attackable -- and indeed attacked -- in courts on technicality grounds. You get people like Claria/Gator sending legal nastygrams around just because they're prepared to argue in court about some technicality in that classification.

"Badware", while maybe it does sound like a kindergarten word, tends to convey the broader meaning and not get bogged in such lexical arguments. It doesn't imply malicious _intent_ or have to fit any definition of spying or whatever else these fucktards argue in court. It's just "bad".

And, frankly, as an end-user I don't care why or with what intent it was written like that. E.g., if a toolbar or anti-virus is a nightmare to uninstall and leaves components running after I uninstalled it, it's "bad". I don't care if it's like that by malice or if Hanlon's Razor applies. ("Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.") It's just "bad" and they better clean up their act.

To give a personal example, I had an experience like that with one of those MacAffee all-in-one security packages. An older version, but annoying anyway. Among the many problems it had, picture this: so when installing I installed it on D:, to free space on C:. But the first update installed itself in the default directory in C: anyway. But here's the stupid part: it also let the original version from D: running at the same time, so I had two anti-viruses running at the same time, slowing my machine to a crawl. So I uninstall it. Ok, it uninstalled the newly installed one from C:, but left the old one still installed and still running. Only this time without an uninstall, so I had to manually edit the registry and remove files to get rid of it.

I'm sure that Hanlon's Razor fully applies there. It was no malice, there was no intention to spy, it's just written by the cheapest incompetent monkeys. But it's "bad" anyway. So "Badware" seems to fit that just nicely.

I thought it was something the media would come.. (1)

StressGuy (472374) | about 8 years ago | (#15995073)

up with

Oh, wait....that's what you said

nevermind

Re:Badware? (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | about 8 years ago | (#15995197)

That sounds like a term a 5 year old would come up with.
No, that would by "Pottyware". ;)

conflict? (1, Insightful)

johnnyringo (202714) | about 8 years ago | (#15994741)

AOL releases free software- to compete with google.
Google funds 'badware' company saying AOL is... bad.
that is pretty funny

AOL was good before....? (4, Insightful)

BlahMatt (931052) | about 8 years ago | (#15994744)

Does this mean people actually believed that old versions of AOL were good? From what I can recall AOL has never been good. Perhaps it didn't act with malicious purpose, but it has, in my opinion, never been good and I certainly recall several occasions in my previous support job where it ended up being the cause of problems with totally unrelated software. My apologies to any AOL supporters out there, but this is looking like the end for AOL.

Re:AOL was good before....? (1)

DarthStrydre (685032) | about 8 years ago | (#15994933)

AOL version 2 was not necessarily bad. It performed its function well, was relatively stable, but had not yet opened up the intarweb to the masses.

With Version 2.5, which started doing funky things like making virtual devices to simulate internet access to other applications, my impression of the service went kaputnik. Not malware, necessarily, but more than enough to hose network settings and make itself a nuisance, and nearly impossible to uninstall.

I had free AOL up to version 4 as a beta-tester of the client software, at which point they stopped providing any incentive or free service to their beta people. Yep, not only am I going to pay for access, but I'm going to pay for the 2 hours of time every week or so to download the latest 8MB client. I think not! Goodbye Steve Case!

Long live the free net!

Re:AOL was good before....? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 8 years ago | (#15994981)

I've recently been approached by several different people (most recently, the concierge at my office building) about why their internet is so slow recently. Stupid me, I forgot to ask if they used a portal... I gave them a sheet with instructions for cleaning out malware, and it didn't seem to help them. Then one of them informed me she uses AOL. Turns out, they all did. I told them all to uninstall AOL, cancel their account (good luck with that!) and use Firefox instead of IE.

My protocol for handling 'computer slowness' requests from acquaintances now begins with "Do you use AOL?".

Re:AOL was good before....? (2, Interesting)

Scoth (879800) | about 8 years ago | (#15995005)

I was doing ISP tech support for a major ISP when AOL 5 came out. We got absolutely flooded by calls from AOL users who either used our service with AOL, or did the BYOA plan. AOL 5 replaced Windows DUN with its own version, which conveniently only worked with AOL. It was nearly impossible to rip it out and replace it with the original DUN. We had to turn tons of customers back to Microsoft or their computer vendor to reinstall Windows.

Fortunately, most people were already unhappy with AOL so it didn't take too much to convince them it wasn't our fault. I bet we gained a few users from that. I think they called it the "Evil Connectoid" bug.

Ah, memories...

Back in 95? Yes, they were good (4, Interesting)

HighOrbit (631451) | about 8 years ago | (#15995194)

I know its very popular to bash AOL, but in their time they served a purpose.

Back in 95, I had Prodigy. It was terrible. My username and email were something like "85XZW9@prodigy.net" or some such un-memorable non-sense. I couldn't tell people my e-mail address because I couldn't even remember it myself. IIRC, there was no "screenname", just the account name. Their client software was very much a DOS type app (even when run under Win3.1) that could not be minimized and filled the whole screen with a single task. And they did not have IM or anything like it.

So one-day I tried AOL 2.something. It had a windows interface, so I could have multiple tasks open (i.e. one with the news, another with the weather, and another with a browser). I had a real username that was memorable and that approximated my own (along with a few other screennames for chat). And they had IM (no buddy list yet, that would be another year or two away), so I could send private messages in chat. And there was more content than prodigy. The web based advertising and spamming business were still immature, so they were not as sophisticated or motivated to spy on their customers as they are now.

I also tried a few more services back then, MSN, still independantly run compuServe, something called WOW, etc. None of them were as good as AOL in 1995. Remember that pure ISP-only "web" was still young, web content was sparse, and search technology was immature, so it was hard to locate. Once cable-modem came to town in 1999, I keep AOL around for a few years for the email address. But I shut that down back in 2002.

In their time AOL was the best on-line + internet service around. Basic internet was just not developed enough and the other services just didn't match up.

badware? (-1, Troll)

sxltrex (198448) | about 8 years ago | (#15994754)

I've heard of malware, and I'm all too familiar with spyware, but what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is badware?

Yes, I'm too lazy to RTFA. Can you help a brother out?

Re:badware? (5, Funny)

w33t (978574) | about 8 years ago | (#15994772)

I prefer to call it "misunderstoodware".

Re:badware? (2, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | about 8 years ago | (#15995278)

how about badwear? or better yet naughtywear?

Now those sound much more interesting!

Re:badware? (2, Funny)

rackhamh (217889) | about 8 years ago | (#15994793)

Badware is software that's really good when it's good, but better when it's bad.

Alternatively, badware can refer to software that gets lots of plastic surgery and lives with a monkey.

Re:badware? (4, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | about 8 years ago | (#15994803)

"Bad" is in English what "Mal" is in Latin/Greek. Badware is adware, spyware, viruses, rootkits, worms, trojans, and anything else I'm not thinking of that John Q. Public doesn't want on his PC. "Trojans" are sort of an abstract concept for most (they think of the condom before the Trojan horse), but any idiot knows that "badware" is, well, BAD.

Re:badware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994870)

Badware is ..... anything else I'm not thinking of that John Q. Public doesn't want on his PC.
so by this definition, Windows = Badware... I knew it!

Re:badware? (5, Informative)

Br00se (211727) | about 8 years ago | (#15994807)

Badware Behavior
Installs additional software without disclosure (Deceptive installation)
Forces users to take an action (Interferes with computer use)
Adds AOL toolbar in Internet Explorer (Makes changes to other software without disclosure)
Adds additional icons to default Internet Explorer toolbar (Makes changes to other software without disclosure)
Adds to "Favorites" in Internet Explorer (Modifies other software without disclosure)
Adds AOL Deskbar to the user's taskbar (Modifies other software without disclosure)
Updates software automatically (Deceptive installation)
Fails to uninstall software completely (Unacceptable unistallation)

Re:badware? (5, Funny)

Tom in Boston (453354) | about 8 years ago | (#15994986)

But it's so simple and easy to uninstall! I wrote up these instructions...

http://websiteperson.com/advocate/uninstallaol90.h tm [websiteperson.com]

1. Go to the control panel, Add/Remove Software, and choose AOL. I think it asks you to restart after this.
All done, right? Not yet!
2. Follow the same steps to remove "Real Player," assuming you don't want it! (Spyware, intrusive.)
3. Follow the same steps to remove "AOL Coach." Apparently uninstalling AOL doen't uninstall this, whatever it is.
4. Follow the same steps to remove "AOL Desk Bar." Hmmm... Maybe this was the icon in the task bar?
5. Follow the same steps to remove "AOL Spyware Protection."
6. Follow the same steps to remove "AOL Toolbar."
7. Follow the same steps to remove "AOL You've Got Pictures Screensaver."
I think we're almost done!
8. Follow the same steps to remove "Pure Networks Port Magic." (What the heck is THAT?)
9. Follow the same steps to remove "Viewpoint Experience Technology."
Not done yet...

Firefox (on Windows) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15995031)

Updates software automatically (Deceptive installation)

Uh-oh.

Re:badware? (1)

zlogic (892404) | about 8 years ago | (#15995161)

This way you may name any software "badware"
Fox example,

Windows:
Installs additional software without disclosure - Reversi, Wordpad, Disk Defragmenter
Forces users to take an action (Interferes with computer use) - BSODs, Add Hardware Wizard
Updates software automatically (Deceptive installation) - Windows Update
Fails to uninstall software completely (Unacceptable unistallation) - These's an uninstall?

Office 2003:
Installs additional software without disclosure - Clipart organizer

Most antivirus apps:
Forces users to take an action (Interferes with computer use) - "Virus found. Object blocked. Would you like to delete it?"
Adds additional icons to default Internet Explorer toolbar (Makes changes to other software without disclosure) - Norton, Kaspersky and a few others do this
Updates software automatically (Deceptive installation) - Virus definitions updates

Re:badware? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 8 years ago | (#15994953)

I've heard of malware, and I'm all too familiar with spyware, but what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is badware?
Of more import, what the for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge is h-e-double-hockeysticks?

I say we just pull out all the stops and call it 'evilware'.

At any rate, from now on, I'm only going to install goodware [goodware.com] . Unfortunately, it appears such products are still "coming soon" and might be vaporware.

What the F@&k is H-E-double hockey sticks!? (0, Offtopic)

StressGuy (472374) | about 8 years ago | (#15995154)

there I go, grabbing the low hanging fruit again....

The horror (2, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | about 8 years ago | (#15994760)

Big Internet company claims competitor's product is bad bad bad.
I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

Re:The horror (3, Informative)

remembertomorrow (959064) | about 8 years ago | (#15994809)

Keep in mind that Google also has some stock in AOL...

Really? (1)

Mathiasdm (803983) | about 8 years ago | (#15994768)

I, for one, am shocked!

They are missing the lesson of failing companies (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994775)

When you are in a hole, stop digging.

Re:They are missing the lesson of failing companie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994971)

No, no, no, dig up, supid.

Re:They are missing the lesson of failing companie (1)

conteXXt (249905) | about 8 years ago | (#15995083)

Gotta stop going to that other site.

I swore your comment said "When you are an a hole, stop digging."

And I was ready to agree too

Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (5, Insightful)

indytx (825419) | about 8 years ago | (#15994781)

From the article:

The suite is also criticized for engaging in "deceptive installation" and faulted because some components fail to uninstall.

This is just ridiculous. Why are there so many programs that refuse to uninstall or leave pieces of themselves lying around? How hard can it be for the "uninstall" function to actually work? Worse, do I really need several dialog boxes to get rid of something? I can always install it again. It's not like I'm wiping my hard drive.

Re:Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994940)

the hope is that the customer will perceive the computer as "working" before trying to remove the AOL software, and that eventually they will just give up and "come back to AOL". Just look at how hard it is to call and cancel your subscription.

anything to make the process of "breaking the chains" as painful as possible nets AOL subscribers who feel it a lost cause to quit the service.

Re:Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (3, Interesting)

Metaleks (977598) | about 8 years ago | (#15994944)

Technically, the uninstall function works just fine. Remember, it's how they want it to work. It's their decision if they want crap lurking in your hard drive after the program has been wiped. Usually the data that remains after an uninstall just remembers the settings of the program. So if you were to install it back you would have the same preferences as before. However, that's not always the case.

Re:Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (5, Insightful)

bogie (31020) | about 8 years ago | (#15995015)

If it was just a few preferences left behind then there probably won't be any issue. But have a look at this screenshot. http://stopbadware.org/images/screenshots/AOL/AOL1 1.html [stopbadware.org]

Two processes are left running and sucking up memory. The programmer who is charge of the unistall routine should be tarred and feathered and then forbidden from ever working in the field again. Beyond the obvious issue think about this. Aol 9.0.3343 is updated to 9.0.4000 because of a massive security flaw in AOLServiceHost.exe. You uninstalled AOL before the update came out and yet there sits part of the old version of AOL running as part of your OS just inviting trouble.

Re:Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#15995004)

Uninstalling is not a trivial problem. What happens if the program installs a shared library? If you remove it when you uninstall, you might end up breaking things. You could fix this in a UNIX system by putting the library in /usr/lib and hard linking it to /usr/lib/appname/lib (for example). When you uninstall, you delete the copy in /usr/lib/appname/lib and then remove everything from /usr/lib with a reference count of 1. Or you keep an install count somewhere else (e.g. in the package management framework), although both of these require everyone to play by the rules.

And what about configuration files? Sometimes I uninstall an application because I want it gone. Sometimes I uninstall it because I want to install a new version. In the first case, I want configuration information to be deleted. In the second, I want it retained. The uninstaller needs to know which of these I'm doing. There is even the third case (although less common these days) that I am uninstalling it to free up some disk space, but I will want it back later. In this case, I probably want configuration files deleted.

Re:Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (1, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | about 8 years ago | (#15995080)

"Uninstalling is not a trivial problem."

Yes, it is.

"What happens if the program installs a shared library?"

You answered your own question quite nicely, actually.

"...although both of these require everyone to play by the rules."

And for those who don't, that would be their problem. If you play by the rules, your install and uninstall will go smoothly.

"And what about configuration files? ... The uninstaller needs to know which of these I'm doing"

Ask. Lots of uninstallers do this.

Uninstalling is only a problem if you want it to be a problem. Sadly, lots of companies want it to be a problem to remove their software.

Re:Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15995110)

Uninstalling is not a trivial problem.

Not when your installation is gonzo. If it installs a shared library, install can check to see if there's a library of the same name, rename the original and install. On uninstall it deletes the new and re-renames the old.

Better yet is to not use shared libraries at all! It's not as if we have 10 meg hard drives any more, the size of any DLL compared to the drive it's on is miniscule.

As to configuration files, how hard can it be to back these up when uninstalling? How hard would it be fro the uninstaller to have a dialog "save configuration? (y/n)"

No, an uninstall that doesn't completely remove the produce is a shoddy, sloppy, lazy uninstaller written by an incompetent hack who should be in a different line of work.

Re:Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (1)

manno (848709) | about 8 years ago | (#15995038)

I HATE, and I mean HATE the fact that I have to "install" programs on my computer. I would much prefer the old DOS way of putting a binary, ann all the neccesary files into 1 directory, and just finding the binary needed to run it. If I want to uninstall a program I just delete it. No need to worry about my registry, programs leaving parts of themselves all over my computer ect.

Re:Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (1)

Zardus (464755) | about 8 years ago | (#15995102)

From what I understand, that's how Mac OSX does it (just drop the software image on your computer and launch it). I haven't used OSX much, though, so I'm not totally positive. Gobo Linux [gobolinux.org] also kinda tries to do this with Linux.

mac applications (1)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | about 8 years ago | (#15995120)

Most OS X application installations work like this :
    Drag the program icon from the install disco to the Applications directory.
    To uninstall, just drag the program icon to the trash.

    The icon is actually a directory that holds resources, libs and executables.
    Want to reinstall but keep the old one around just in case? Rename the icon and drag the new one over.

I love that!

-phantom of the operating system

Re:mac applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15995237)

But the application leaves config files and other information laying around doesn't it? The Library folder maybe? Can someone elaborate?

Re:Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (1)

14CharUsername (972311) | about 8 years ago | (#15995149)

That works great when you're only using one app at a time, but if you want to have more than one app running, they're going to have to share resources.

Re:Not uninstalling is a huge pet peeve of mine (1)

vtcodger (957785) | about 8 years ago | (#15995040)

***How hard can it be for the "uninstall" function to actually work? Worse, do I really need several dialog boxes to get rid of something?***

Looks to me like you need to be clairvoyant to write Windows software -- including uninstallers. Since hardly anyone is clairvoyant, it comes as no suprise to me that a lot of Windows stuff barely runs ... if it runs at all. Shouldn't suprise anyone much I think. What DOES suprise me is that "they" keep on making this stuff ever complex and less reliable. I sometimes think that the epitath for the software industry will read "Here lies the remains of a business built by slow learners"

Could happen (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | about 8 years ago | (#15994785)

I can't wait for when you search "AOL" in Google and it pops up that new malware screen Google are doing to warn people before going to a dodgy site.

(And actually, while I'm on this topic, can anyone disable that new Google warning. On Safari/OSX I don't care about 'bad sites'. It's embarrassing when you're installing your clients software and need a serial heh heh)

Re:Could happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994916)

Um... don't your clients already have serial numbers for the software that you're installing for them? Do you worry about the legal liability of "professionally" installing software that the client didn't pay for?

Re:Could happen (1)

manno (848709) | about 8 years ago | (#15995067)

You beat me to it I was going to ask the same thing.

Re:Could happen (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | about 8 years ago | (#15995273)

I was joking really. But there are clients and there are 'clients'.

Malware, Badware... (2, Funny)

whiskeyOnIce (980338) | about 8 years ago | (#15994790)

...I'm the guy with the coasters.

Seriously, none of the free AOL coasters that I've ever received in the mail have ever done anything remotely 'bad'. Unless you consider sticking to the bottom of a cold glass 'bad'.

I've been waiting for one of the new versions to prevent that sort of thing, though. That is certainly a necessary upgrade - maybe version 15?

Re:Malware, Badware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994838)

Well, I don't know... They do get really dirty if you leave them there for a while... And I had one stick to the desk and refuse to detach once, after it was there for a couple of months and I spilled stuff on it a couple of times.

Re:Malware, Badware... (2, Funny)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 8 years ago | (#15994877)

One scratched my coffee table once. Now I use cork toasters instead of CD based ones.

Mad Props, Yo (1)

thedbp (443047) | about 8 years ago | (#15995217)

Seriously, that was a great Army of Darkness reference. Bravo. Laughed my ass off.

I'm really pissed they changed that line in the Director's Cut. But c'est la vie. Sam Raimi could fart on a rotten egg salad sandwich and I'd probably buy it.

Asbestos is the best insulator! (2, Insightful)

Moqui (940533) | about 8 years ago | (#15994792)

AOL 9.0 Security Edition was released 11/18/04. This is relevant for today how? Everything in retrospect is bad for you.

The Main Problem (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | about 8 years ago | (#15994800)

The main problem is that AOL simply doesn't properly inform users of what its software will do to their PCs, said John Palfrey, StopBadware.org's co-director.

Not many programs out there do tell you what it's going to do to your pc. It's more like "Click-and-Pray".

This is news? (4, Insightful)

DragonHawk (21256) | about 8 years ago | (#15994813)

From the summary: "...its free client software is accused of acting like badware..."

This is news? Everyone I know has been saying that for *years* about AOL and their software. It tries to take over your system, has odd compatability problems, is extremely difficult to remove, and bombards you with ads. And that's when you *pay* for it!

Re:This is news? (3, Insightful)

legoburner (702695) | about 8 years ago | (#15994914)

Even back in the windows 95 era it would mess up your dial up networking settings to prevent you from connecting to other ISPs using DUN. Many a support query about that fun feature went flying around.

I wonder what the "Google Toolbar" rates... (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 8 years ago | (#15994828)

I wonder what the "Google Toolbar" rates...

Jessica Simpson (3, Funny)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 8 years ago | (#15994837)

The AOL software is down right angelic compared to the Jessica Simpson Screensaver! [stopbadware.org]

Re:Jessica Simpson (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 8 years ago | (#15994958)

The AOL software is down right angelic compared to the Jessica Simpson Screensaver!


I like to think that the Jessica Simpson Screensaver provides a valuable service: culling the herd...

AOL has allways had bad software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994854)

On several occasions I've removed AOL software and it broke windows installs. One time I went into local area connection properties and removed AOL's service, it broke all network connectivity instantly. Their software is designed to be impossible to remove and that has been their tactic for a very long time, this is not new!

Seems like the end (2, Interesting)

moore.dustin (942289) | about 8 years ago | (#15994861)

While it may appear like AOL is looking down the barrel of doom, I do not seeing the service going anywhere soon. Many people have tried, and failed at being the AOL killer. Some services are able to compete, but really, AOL is still very much on the top of in regards to those providers.

On the same token, AOL is probably ready to go, but they will remain till a service is presented that can offer the same sort of service to the same people, but be much better too. Even more important though, is the ability to convince AOL users that is not only smart to switch, but easy and painless at the same time. AOL users are, typically, some of the newer users of the internet, so that needs to be kept in mind for anyone looking to knock the big guy off.

Lastly, I would not count AOL out just yet. While another service may come along to challenge them, it may only to serve as a catalyst for change within AOL. This would be a good thing overall, but it does suck that we have to wait or a company to be threatened in order or them to innovate.

Why isn't Windows listed? (1, Troll)

computersareevil (244846) | about 8 years ago | (#15994863)

Given StopBadware.org's criteria, why isn't at least Windows XP listed?

Re:Why isn't Windows listed? (1)

jax18751 (998400) | about 8 years ago | (#15994994)

What! Let me guess....This is exactly why you use linux or a Mac right. I think the whole " find every opportunity to bash M$" and pump Linux or Mac is tired and imature. Stick with the topic at hand.

Re:Why isn't Windows listed? (1)

mox358 (166603) | about 8 years ago | (#15995047)

Relax... its a new thing called "humor". The kids love it! And I hear its even good for you in moderation!

Re:Why isn't Windows listed? (1)

jax18751 (998400) | about 8 years ago | (#15995218)

You are correct. It's just not a funny response to every topic. That was the point. Actually, "Relax... its a new thing called "humor". The kids love it! And I hear its even good for you in moderation!" is funnier than origional post. Well done.

Re:Why isn't Windows listed? (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 8 years ago | (#15995276)

Random guess: by definition Windows can't infect it's self.

Stupid terms in today's media. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994864)

What the hell is "badware"? I've just about had it with all of these moronic terms that are being used in the media these days. A term like "badware" is something I'd expect to hear out of a Valley Girl: "Like, oh my god, Sally! There is like some like badware on my compy! And like **bubble gum chomping** oh my god like my AOL is like not working so I can't like chat with Jimmy!"

"Badware" is just about as stupid a term as "Islamofascism" or "freedom fries". There's no reason for a computing magazine like PC World, or a technology company like Google, to stoop to using such stupid words.

wtheck (4, Funny)

kemo_by_the_kilo (971543) | about 8 years ago | (#15994879)

Between not letting you cancel (even post mortum) and having "bad"ware... the only thing left for them to do is start including dell batteries with their CDs

Re:wtheck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994979)

*post mortem

-Tim

duh (3, Insightful)

matt328 (916281) | about 8 years ago | (#15994901)

AOL has been badware since its inception. Even back in the day with version 3.0, why the hell did we need an entire goddamn program just to establish a dial up connection?

Alternatives.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15994927)

Microsoft produces Baldwares. Or Ballwares. You to decide!

Cops (2, Funny)

robotsrule (805458) | about 8 years ago | (#15994935)

Badware, badware What'cha gonna do? What'cha gonna do when they deinstall you? Badware, badware What'cha gonna do? What'cha gonna do when they deinstall you?

Re:Cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15995242)

De Google man a give you no break
De slashdot a give you no break
hey hey badware badware
whatcha gonna do
whatcha gonna do
when they come for you?

AOL Triton and AOL Browser aren't 'bad' (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 8 years ago | (#15994959)

But they suck. They're the slowest creakiest pieces of shit evah.

Re:AOL Triton and AOL Browser aren't 'bad' (1)

kahrytan (913147) | about 8 years ago | (#15994985)

AOL Browser uses IE.

We knew this! (1)

oodgie_boodgie (980886) | about 8 years ago | (#15994977)

Why am I not surprised at all, ive known that AOL is badware for ages...ever since I got a computer with it preloaded. Its about time this came out....

Seeking Neologism Assistance (1)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | about 8 years ago | (#15994997)

So what exactly is the practical difference between malware and badware? Is it a level of instrusiveness metric? Or a measure of the alleged malevolence on the part of those responsible for the coding?

Hypothetically, what would have to happen to have an example of software classified as evilware? Brimstone?

Did you ever think that maybe... (2, Funny)

EnderQON (966077) | about 8 years ago | (#15995053)

It's not Badware, it's just drawn that way?

In related gradeschool news ... (2, Funny)

Floody (153869) | about 8 years ago | (#15995061)

Large object in the center of the Solar System called Hotthing.

Re:In related gradeschool news ... (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | about 8 years ago | (#15995103)

The yellow one is the sun.

No version of AOL has ever been... (1)

ansak (80421) | about 8 years ago | (#15995079)

...anything but a drinks coaster and in our house we save them for exactly that purpose. It's taken Google this long to decide that some version of AOL is badware (but not deciding what their medium is for yet)? Hmmm... could this be a sign of the beginning of the end of this first real post-dot-gone equity-market darling?

oh i have been a beggar, and will be one again...ank

anyone complaining about google funding (2, Insightful)

thelost (808451) | about 8 years ago | (#15995105)

this is called full disclosure. deal with it. Lenovo and Sun also sponsor StopBadware.org, big deal. Whether or not google have alternate reasons for getting behind a push like this they have a history of philanthropic work, I am not surprised to find them involved.

I, for one,... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 8 years ago | (#15995135)

...welcome the exit of our former overlords.

And don't let the Galactic Portal hit you in the butt.

rick

AOHELL is like a virus!! (1)

kb0hae (956598) | about 8 years ago | (#15995213)

I have to say that I have never installed the AOHELL software on any of my computers. There are 3 reasons for this. First, anything I can do with AOHELL, I can do through any other local ISP without their software. Second, There have always been less expensive options for internet access that are better than AOHELL. Third, I have seen (and had to help fix) the problems caused by AOHELL software on my friend's computers. Every time one of them fell for the AOHELL scam (XXXX free hours) there were problems right from the start. And of course when my friends wanted to discontinue using AOHELL after the free trial expired, it was always nearly impossible to do so. Also, uninstalling the AOHELL software was ALWAYS destructive...in several cases the only solution was to format the hard drive and start over. There was one good thing about this however...after the loss of all of their data( pictures, documents etc) my friends learned the importance of backing up their data on a regular basis!

No ISP should require the use of special software to dial up or connect to the internet (well, maybe a driver for USB cable and DSL modems) I use PeoplePC at this time. They have special software, but I don't install it. I merely create a dial up connection (in both Windows and Linux...though I very seldom use Windows anymore). The way to do this is to use your full email address as your username(as in xxxxx@peoplepc.com)

People need to learn not to let an AOHELL disk within 10 feet of their computers! Maybe we need the makers of antivirus and anti-apyware/adware software to recognize and remove the AOHELL virus!!!

If Con is the opposite of Pro, does that mean that Congress is the oposite of Progress?
Politics (n) Poli meaning many, tics meaning blood sucking parasites.

fu'ck?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15995223)

AOhell (1)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | about 8 years ago | (#15995268)

AOhell is the Micro$oft of the Internet Service Provider industry. Why in the world would anybody want to use AOhell? It's time for people like us to tell our friends, neighbors, and grandparents who use AOhell that it's time to dump a chunk of long term memory like Just Johnny and switch to the "real" Internet. Then, AOhell will stop sending us those darn coasters that clutter our home and increase global warming (if you throw them away, you screw up the environment by increasing the garbage crisis; if you install them, you heat up the world because your CPU runs at full speed and generates more heat to run the slow, buggy, bloated software that's on the CD)... That would be of benefit to the entire world.
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