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Adware Thu, Oct 06, 2005
I hate AOL.  Let me clarify and repeat:  I absolutely hate AOL.  This company is the biggest proliferator of adware in the world.  Adware is defined as "any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertising material to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used."  I would add "any software package which automatically installs, plays, displays..."  That's exactly what AOL does.  Digg said there was a new AIM client, so I decided to check it out.  I looked at the AIM website and it looked pretty cool, so I downloaded it and installed.  And that's where my problems started.  Installing AIM actually installs about 3 or 4 different things.  You get Aim, you get some sort of indexer like Google Desktop, and you get some stupid advertisements on your desktop.  I didn't ask AIM to install these things.  That's the definition of adware.  And not only that, it was a pain in the butt to get rid of it once I realized that it was just like every other piece of worthless nonsense that spews forth out of AOL.  I had to reset my computer twice.  You say, "Reset?  You don't have to reset after installing or uninstalling anymore.  That's so Windows 98."  Well guess what.  AOL has taken us back to 1998.  Thanks AOL.  I'm thoroughly impressed, you bunch of scum-sucking jerks. 

This same type of nonsense happened when I installed Verizon software for DSL.  And I knew it would happen.  I tried to set up DSL without using the CD, but it didn't work.  So I popped in the CD and waited for the carnage to begin.  Sure enough, Verizon installs a bunch of nonsense programs, adds a toolbar to Internet Explorer, and changes your home page.  Hmm that sounds familiar.  Oh yes, it's adware.  A virus.  A malicious program on your computer that does things you don't ask it to do.  Uninstalling was a bit easier than AOL. 

Another example is Yahoo.  I kinda like Yahoo.  They do some cool stuff.  But sometimes their Internet Explorer toolbar gets installed without asking to be installed.  That's not cool in my book. 

I would recommend using Miranda or Gaim for instant messenging instead of AIM.  I would recommend using Google for everything else (Google Toolbar, Google Desktop). #technology


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