11.06.2003

Misleading web sites/advertisements.

I'm just pissed now!

So, I'm checking my hotmail acct when I notice I've got something in the spam box. I look at it, it's a monthly special for a local restaraunt (i signed up for it, only one e-mail a month and they haven't even sold my info yet!) - something I want so I say "this isn't spam"

Now, while i'm still in that folder I look at the message and all the images are blocked. It (hotmail) says that they block them for privacy reasons. That is a great idea because that is the oldest trick to verify an address. Send them an HTML message and let them open it while online and viola you just got a reciept of their existance. (And that they open any old mail).

Well, no one really talked about that much (from what I've seen). I've known that it's bad but no one warned us like everything else. But then I notice something else. I'm in IE (at a friends house), therefore I get pop-ups. The popup is similar to a blue screen and it's an image linking to "System Soap".

You know, those deceptive ads that say: "We found a virus on your pc click this button" and the button is just a link to dl some crap that will ruin your pc or take it over. I hate those ads and I despise companies that would use them. For god's sake virus writers and spammers have more respect sometimes.

IANAL, but I see these type of advertisements a violation of federal trade laws. It is interstate commerce and they are using fraud to lure you into installing their product on your machine.

I don't care, you can't defend it, and I defend telemarketers!

It's worse than the Gator installation attempts and time updating software that you get bombarded with. Yea, so there is a work around, but should I need to do it? No. I should be able to leave this system utility on and not bother with deceptive companies. The worst part is that they sometimes have actual digital signatures that this software is "trustworthy". Maybe you claim it is, but the company isn't.

So, this is the problem. Hotmail blocks images in some messages because they want you to have privacy. M$ owns hotmail and they announce an award for exposing virus writer's. But they have no problem letting a third party use their site as:

1. A place for advertisements. - Fine, ads are here to stay, I don't care. I like hotmail, good service - just cut back some.
2. A place to launch pop-ups - funny thing is that you almost have to be using IE to be getting pop-ups today because everyone hates them and less apps will let you use them.
3. A place to run fraud cases from - don't offer me money for "Free" and not put a star by it to show that barely anyone wins at said game or that the money is fake or whatever. Also, don't disguise a link with an important looking system message.

If I could find some web-space I'd like to start saving these names, the images and start a 'boycott' list of them so they stop this. This takes advantage of everyone who vistis a site which pushes this.

The one I was on even had 4, yes 4; pop-ups after I clicked close. I bet right now someone is trying to "hit" me.

So, to start... Don't use Soap!

(By the way, the image uses a "BSOD" to make it look




real and they also have "buttons"so that you can select ok or cancel. Of course cancel leads to the same place "ok" does.

Just sad as all fuck huh?