‘Junk Ads’ Now Out of Control
This week we are extending on last Saturday’s topic of online revenue raising. With Internet enabled PC’s and mobile devices becoming so prevalent the opportunity to shove advertising in front of a mass market has never been so tempting – or accessible. All of what I call the ‘junk ads’ that are spattered over most websites are simply there to vie for your attention. These ads will promote everything from the latest cars through to a tooth brush and there is no sign of their presence being lessened!
The above is annoying enough without the now widespread appearance of hidden changes to our PC’s from what was previously ‘standard software updates’. One example in particular is the popular and ‘near essential’ Java software manufactured by worldwide software giant – Oracle Corporation. Near every PC needs Java software to help browse the Internet and there are Java updates suggested to us every few months. These were safe & simple updates until Oracle decided to bundle the Ask Toolbar with them.
Now you need to manually uncheck a tick box during the Java update process so that you opt out of this ‘hidden advertising invasion to your PC’. Elsewise you will have an Ask toolbar added to your Internet browser and Ask.com will also become your home page. This is unethical, untrustworthy and scoundrelous behaviour to gain a few cents per installation. The results of leaving this box ticked is a PC that is slower on the Internet with changes made to your PC that many users don’t know how to reverse.
Oracle Corporation is not the only company to unashamedly prosper from creating extra problems from an end user. Examples like the above have been occurring for years with even the simple purchase of a camera or multifunction printer. In these cases when a PC user runs through the normal device installation (on the CD that came with the device) they often end up with several software bundles that are either useless to them or are installed in trial mode. In either case it is extra software that takes up hard drive space and slows down the user’s PC – not a good result!
Unfortunately the accumulative effect of all of the above forced or semi-forced advertising or tinkering with a user’s PC is the alienation of computer users that already struggle to keep up with technology. Why should paying for a PC, paying for an Internet connection, often paying for an Anti-virus – and trying to maintain a PC in a healthy condition result in further expense needed for professionals to rid it of junk software and malware?
I don’t have all of the answers as to how these problems will ever get sorted. As software is getting developed to keep junk out of a PC – so too are the hackers and profiteer’s developing software to take advantage of a typical PC user. The Internet is at once, both a global asset and a global problem while so many countries are out of reach of the Internet’s regulatory authorities – what chance do we stand? One things for certain, many IT professionals such as ourselves have much of our work mapped out for us for a few years yet!
Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.
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