Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gift Horses and other Assorted Annoyances




There is an old adage from a bygone era that admonishes us to ‘never look a gift horse in the mouth.’ For those who are too young to know the meaning of this expression, it was the horse and buggy equivalent of a Carfax. There are a lot of free ‘horses’ and assorted software out there on the Internet, but you’re likely to get more than you bargain for if you download them. Recently, I downloaded a program I needed and acquired a little ‘gift’ called Weather Bug. It does what the name implies, but you aren’t likely to like the ‘bug’ part that gallops uninvited into your system. Weather Bug contains adware and is anathema to anyone doing serious research. Right in the middle of your search for some elusive fact you need for your story, an advertisement is likely to pop up and try to sell you something you don’t want. I’ve spent far too much time in the past week trying to uninstall Weather Bug. Nothing works. It is still there and the adware seems to be working overtime. Few of the ads have a cancel button, and I have to exit Explorer in order to get access to my screen again. I don’t know how you feel about aggressive ads, but I wouldn’t accept a new BMW if it came to me via adware. There are a lot of merchandisers on the Internet who need to grow up. There is a subtle difference between a product offer and badgering. Few of these people seen to know the difference. Weather Bug, please go away.

8 comments:

david said...

my sympathies. i wish i could remember how i finally got rid of it, but it was years and a couple of computers ago. now i shudder every time i see their ad.

Milton T. Burton said...

Joe, most people consider this and span to be merely capitalism at work. I consider it a form of rape. In such cases I would prescribe an old 19th century Texas remedy for rape: a hemp rope and an oak tree.

Loretta said...

Well Lord, another thing to watch out for. Thanks for the information! I'm afraid to install dictionary.com onto my bar for fear it will fling all sorts of radical things my way also.
I agree with you, it is much more than capitalism...it truly is badgering.

Good luck with the uninstall:)
Lo

Lise said...

Another old adage: If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. That's what I think about anything marked "free".

I don't ever, EVER, add any program to my computer (because I couldn't clean it up if my life depended on it). That's why I'm very, very nice to my IT department.

Good luck, Joe, and I know exactly how frustrating it is.

The Belle in Blue said...

I feel your pain, Joe! I'm fighting some kind of adware bug myself right now. Every scanner I've used has found some type of malware to remove, but not the right one yet! And I couldn't agree more about the logic used by these merchandisers. Do they really think anyone will buy something from an ad that makes you scream and swear?

Matt Nightingale said...

Did you ever figure it out? I can't! It's killing me...

Matt Nightingale said...

Did you ever find the answer? I'm going CRAZY!!!

Joe Prentis said...

Matt,

I haven't found a way to uninstall the program, but I did manage to remove it from the list of programs that start automatically when I book my computer. As long as it doesn't lurk in my tray and jump up at me continously, I am going to leave well enough alone.