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Feds Asked to Take Action Against Adware Creator 240

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the paging-big-brother dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNet is reporting that a consumer watchdog group has asked the Federal Trade Commission to take action against 180solutions and CJB.net for unfair and deceptive business practices. The Center for Democracy and Technology submitted over 150 pages of examples of 180s bad practices." From the article: "180Solutions deliberately and repeatedly duped Internet users into downloading intrusive advertising software, according to a Center for Democracy and Technology complaint (download PDF). The company continued these practices even after it pledged to better itself and after receiving warnings from spyware experts and privacy advocates, the group said."
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Feds Asked to Take Action Against Adware Creator

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  • by flakier (177415) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:38PM (#14543838) Homepage
    ...because they will say something like it was their "partners" that engaged in the deceptive practices. Then they will say that they will watch their partners more closely in the future.
    • Yes, because the folks in Washington never change their mind. Especially if their chances for relection are hindered. It will matter eventually, we just have to keep fighting.
    • by mordors9 (665662) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:46PM (#14543903)
      it won't matter because their is no public outcry yet at this point. Most non-Slashdot computer users seem to look at it as part of life. Nor are any of the corporate interests flexing their muscles to get the government hopping.
      • There's no public outcry because 90% of users don't know what's actually happening. "Oh, I hate these darn ads!" they'll say, but they don't know why they are there or that they can easily get rid of them. I am constantly amazed by the level of computer knowledge people demonstrate, despite the fact they are parked in front of one 8-10 hours per day. In fact, a good PhD Engineering friend of mine IMs me and asks if the web server is down, he wanted to look up someone's address on the site directory. I t
        • He then asks: "Well, if the website is down, can I still email them?"

          If you send an e-mail to user@domain.com and the server hosting domain.com is down, after a certain length of time won't the e-mail bounce back in to your mailbox? Seems like a valid question to me, unless of course they were trying to e-mail user@hotmail.com.
          • If you send an e-mail to user@domain.com and the server hosting domain.com is down, after a certain length of time won't the e-mail bounce back in to your mailbox? Seems like a valid question to me, unless of course they were trying to e-mail user@hotmail.com.

            No. There isn't one server hosting domain.com, and mail is handled differently anyway. If the mail server is down, it gets returned after about 4 days.

      • by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Monday January 23, 2006 @10:51PM (#14545605) Journal
        it won't matter because their is no public outcry yet at this point. Most non-Slashdot computer users seem to look at it as part of life. Nor are any of the corporate interests flexing their muscles to get the government hopping.

        Actually, it won't matter because even though we (tech savy, anti-malware consumers) are the vast majority of the marketplace, we are the vast minority of Crapware 180's "customers".

        What power do we really have? A boycott won't work. None of us buy thier "products" anyways. The Malware makers income is all based on being paid by shady or downright illegal companies for advertisments. And all of those companies rely on uninfomred (read: stupid) people seeing those ads and responding to them. It may not be many people, but it's enough to make a profit. (After all, when you're either a) selling snake oil or b) stealing people's money/credit card numbers/identity/whatever, only a few suckers are needed to make a profit).

        So we can't do any economical harm to them through the usual methods. We can't boycott products, or refuse to shop at the advertised merchants. And even if one or two of those merchants get nailed/go bankrupt/whatever, there will be 500 more right behind them, all waiting to get their share of the sucker pie.

        Corporations aren't going to do anything about it, either. None of the "merchants" are their direct competators. Those corps are focusing on "ligitamate" consumers (ie: us). They don't see Crapware 180 as a competator. They may see it as a minor nusicence to their own networks. But keep in mind that there are SEVERAL corporations who's business model depends on the existence of black hat advertisers. (After all, with no spyware infested computers, there's no way to see spyware removal programs/services...).

        So the government can try to step in and blow up Crapware 180, or any of their ilk, but it'll only go so far. Most of those companies have gone to great lengths to (just barely) stay within the letter of the law (or at least, snuggled safely in a nest of loopholes). Any action they can try to take would get tied up for years, if not decades, in the courts. Crapware 180 will make enough money to survive the legal actions. And, in the worst case, they can fold and secretly/illegaly shuffle their money away, only to pop up again as another company.

        Personally, I still think that a user supported massive attack on the spyware companies will do any good. Something like the Make Love Not Spam screensaver from a year or so ago. Either DDoS the servers to hell (of the merchants or the adware provider, whichever), or some form of massive "click fraud" type attack against the merchants to make it too expensive to operate. (No profit = no companies).

  • Only one? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by catahoula10 (944094)
    What about the rest of them.
    • deliberately and repeatedly duped Internet users into downloading intrusive advertising software....(download PDF)

      Oh, the irony. Acrobat Reader must be the most resource-hungry bloatware [theinquirer.net] I've ever come across, and it displays ads, and has been used [smh.com.au] as spyware...
  • by DaHat (247651) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:40PM (#14543848) Homepage
    The one and only time I've ever had a PC of mine hijacked was because of 180solutions under IE7 and XPSP2 a few months back... I browsed to a site related to them and a moment later I had several new icons next to my clock and plenty of pop up ads saying hello.

    Never before and never since had I ever had this happen... and it did make me a believer that a system could be hijacked without the user doing anything more than navigating to an HTTP url.
    • Under IE7? The browser's not even out yet, and already there's exploits in the wild?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      it did make me a believer that a system could be hijacked without the user doing anything more than navigating to an HTTP url

      That depends heavily on what program you are using to browse to the respective HTTP url. Your problem was not that you are simply "browsing to a url", the specific problem is that you are "using IE to open a url". IE leaves itself wide open to attack for a variety of reasons, I've been browsing almost exclusively with Opera for the last few years (a little Firefox as well), and I ha
      • I don't run a virus scanner

        I'm sorry... but I will laugh if one day your pc is taken down by a virus... Why not run a free one like AVG? It'll make you feel all warm and cosy inside... if just for the fact that it comes up clean in its checks.
        • and i'll laugh the day your AVG fails 22% of the time ... which is today [virus.gr]

          and I don't run a realtime scanner either.

        • by Killall -9 Bash (622952) on Monday January 23, 2006 @08:18PM (#14544711)
          Its been a long time since i've used a virus scanner at home, and I'll tell you why:

          1. They can only find known virii. Maybe being 'protected' from tens of thousands of viruses comforts you, but I'm worried about the few no one knows about yet, and AV software provides no protection against those.
          2. They are only partially sucsessfull in removing virii. How many times have you seen "Delete Failed! click here for more info"? I've seen it a few times too many. I SHOULD NEVER EVER SEE THIS MESSAGE! This is a design failure.
          3. AV software is not effective as a means of prevention. Virii come in two flavors-- trojans and worms. Trojan==idiot user clicked on BrittneySpearsNaked.jpg.exe; AV cannot prevent this. Worm==windows security issue; AV cannot prevent this. This is an over-simplification, and may not be 100% technically accurate, but you get the picture.
          4. (sum of points 2 and 3) If AV software can't prevent infection, and if it sometimes can't even remove the infection, what good is it again? Its good for Symantec, its good for Macafee, and its good for IT professionals who get to say "its not my fault, I did everything i could to prevent it" next time a code red happens.
          • This is an over-simplification, and may not be 100% technically accurate

            I'd say this applies to your entire post, as it's pretty much all wrong.
            1. Most pay for virii scanners (McAffe, Norton) have a technique to detect unknown virri. It's called Bloodhound in Norton.
            2. I know Norton can get this message, but it can also try to delete the file at startup. Or you can go into safe mode and it will delete it.
            3. Norton is quite effective with this problem (trojans). When you try to run the program, Norton wi

            • 'd say this applies to your entire post, as it's pretty much all wrong.

              I don't bother with virus scanners - they-re far more trouble than they're worth. Instead, I run behind a NAT router, use Firefox, and avoid questionable content, like elf bowling. I haven't had any issues in rather a long time (hardware related), and I have no intention of changing.

          • ". They can only find known virii. Maybe being 'protected' from tens of thousands of viruses comforts you, but I'm worried about the few no one knows about yet, and AV software provides no protection against those. "

            Actually Anti-Virus programs have had an ever increasing ability to dectect unknown viruses for over a decade.
            I remember an antivirus program from BEFORE win95 came out that did some simple checks for programs behaving like a virus.
            Also your definitio
          • 1) So what? Most people get infected by a very small subset of the huge number of known viruses antivirus software protects you against. It is an elite few who are so exposed that they are bound to get hit first by a new virus in the wild, so new the antivirus vendors haven't added a signature to their databases yet. Sure it happens once in a while, but SO WHAT? Meanwhile there are all these KNOWN ones out there EVERYWHERE that AV software CAN protect you against. It's like saying you won't take vaccines, s
          • BrittneySpearsNaked.jpg.exe

            Do you know where I can download that? Rad!

    • The one and only time I've ever had a PC of mine hijacked was because of 180solutions under IE7 and XPSP2 a few months back... I browsed to a site related to them and a moment later I had several new icons next to my clock and plenty of pop up ads saying hello.

      The only reason this is a problem is because of the type of user that these companies are exploiting. You're running IE that doesn't appear to be locked down in any way on an account with administrator privileges. Basically any ActiveX app (most lik

      • I see a lot of 'don't run windows xp as admin', but has anyone tried to anything usefull with such a setup?
        I'm shure it's possible to some extent, but Everytime I re-install I swear I'm not going to use the admin acount or permisions for day to day use and everytime I wind getting tired of every damn idiot app or game or whatever refusing to install or run elsewise.
        The problem is so many software vendors (especially the snake oil vendors selling 'copy protection') just assume
        • It's possible to do it, and it's easier for me because almost all of my apps are open source projects and they work well with plain users. It takes a bit of work for others, but depends on what you're running really. For a lot of apps you might need to set some crazy permissions but you can eventually get most things working, or try using runas as a last resort.
        • It's possible but extremely frustrating. All of my users run the majority of their software off our central Citrix servers. They run as unprivlidged users. Whenever we get a new app from some clueless software company we have to educate them in basic security practices and let them know that "Just run it as an administrator" isn't an acceptable solution. Hell I had to pull teeth and call back 3 times and ask for a supervisor before Intuit would even TRY to give me a list of the registry keys that a non-powe
    • I just realized that 180Solutions' office is just down the street from my house. I mapped it on google, at it's a three minute drive. I think I'll go buy some eggs...
  • Stupid adware. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BigZaphod (12942) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:40PM (#14543854) Homepage
    That stuff is evil. I think we should just submit them to a public stoning or something like that. Not only would it be more fun - they might actually consider not doing it again!
    • Public stoning? Why would we want to smoke them up?
    • Yes, people tend to stop doing stuff after being stoned.
    • by redheaded_stepchild (629363) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:49PM (#14543929)
      Perhaps I'm the only one who sees this on a regular basis:
      When I uninstall 180Solutions based stuff from a clients computer, I get a little questionairre that I am required to fill out. Questions are usually closely related to "Why did you remove this software?", "What services would have made you keep this software?" and "What could we do in the future to better serve you?" The first two are followed by drop-down choices (none of which are even close to my desired answers) and the last is a text field. Now, I don't know about you guys, but if they had honored my request for a Remote-controlled Sniper Rifle auto-aimed at their CEO's head, I might have considered keeping the software. Oh well.
      • When I uninstall 180Solutions based stuff from a clients computer, I get a little questionairre that I am required to fill out.

        When people bring me an infected computer, I simply answer yes to the short-form questionairre: FORMAT C: (Y/N)?

    • I think we should just submit them to a public stoning... they might actually consider not doing it again!

      Death tends to make people lethargic and unmotivated, as a result most do not repeat transgressions once they are dead.
    • it should be... public stoning, ironing, free torturing, raping, slicing, cuting, sawing, steaming, painting, drowning... YESSS!! i feel much better! - George W. Dr.Evil Bush -
  • They had it coming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mikeswi (658619) * on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:42PM (#14543862) Homepage Journal
    For the last two years, 180Solutions has been issuing press releases claiming that they are going to clean up their affiliates. Then an affiliate is caught installing trojans and sneaking onto computers without consent. Then 180Solutions issues a press release .....

    And round and round we go.

    If they spent 1/10 as much time actually controlling their affiliates as they do writing up press releases, maybe something might have been done.
    • More like "if they spent 1/10 as much time looking for real jobs as as they do writing up press releases, maybe something might have been done." These are just another group of sociopaths out to profit off the Internet by any means possible. Not much you can do about people that don't even accept that they're doing anything wrong.
  • by biocute (936687) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:44PM (#14543886) Homepage
    What about Advergaming [slashdot.org]?

    If you buy a software, install in your computer and it's showing you ads when you're using the software, it may even retrieve new ads from a remote location, are we supposed to put up with that?
  • by Number_5 (519448) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:44PM (#14543889)
    and massively fine anyone who advtises with them. My mom has called me in tears because she could not use her computer due to popups etc. The only way to end this problem is to fine the advertisers.

    • ...won't somebody PLEASE think of the mothers?

      ;)
    • It's easy to say this, but how do we judge what's illegal and what's not? For instance if you install certain file-sharing software, you get adware. I think that the developer has the right to do this as long as they disclose what they're doing. I'd like to see labeling on this instead of making it illegal. Make a clear label saying this software what some might consider intrusive advertising included. I can't see anyone installing with that kind of label. Then, if they don't put the label, I wholehartedly
  • Anyone remember those back in the happy early days of circa HTML 3 Internet? :-)

    I recall them once being a rather clean host, and among the first more well-known ones offering free subdomains.
    • Yes. With all the frame issues and stuff, they were pretty bad as well. Not many adds, I concur, but not much commercial sites to browse either.
      • Yes. With all the frame issues and stuff, they were pretty bad as well.

        I recall that was just if you used "URL cloaking". That el cheapo feature to make it look like you really owned the domain and didn't just use a redirect. I don't really like to use that feature on services that has it and would rather have visitors get an "ugly" URL. It's simply why -- the site becomes hell to bookmark as browsers usually just (by default) use the frameset document. You'd have to navigate submenus and stuff to get the a
    • I've been using them for a long time to redirect my e-mail. Anything @mysubdomain.cjb.net goes to me, so I can give everyone a different e-mail address and block any that spam me. Hopefully I won't have to change that now...
  • by putko (753330) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:46PM (#14543901) Homepage Journal
    180Solutions is always right on the line. They used to play really dirty, until it was illegal.

    Then they did the arms-length thing: blame the affiliates, but encourage them to break the law.

    I don't see how their behavior is any different from companies that mislead people as to what they are buying or signing (e.g. I'll give you a check for a dollar -- but it is also a contract that switches your long distance service to may carrier).

    Some people are stupid. Our laws assume that people are responsible and that if they sign a contract, that is them willingly singing a contract.

    I suspect the problem is that some people are so stupid that they aren't really responsible, and that is especially the case when it comes to computers running spyware.
    • Some people are stupid. Our laws assume that people are responsible and that if they sign a contract, that is them willingly singing a contract.

      Not true. You can't sign away your rights. You can't for example sign yourself into slavery. Unfortunately.

      • In that case, it is the contract that is illegal.

        But you could have all the other elements -- consideration, for instance, and mutual benefit.

        Whether or not someone will willingly agreeing to something is a different issue from whether or not the contract is of a legal or illegal nature.

        Slavery is a good example -- at one point, someone could have sold themselves into slavery. And then suddenly that contract might be determined to be illegal, if slavery was banned.
      • Not true. You can't sign away your rights. You can't for example sign yourself into slavery. Unfortunately.

        Unless of course you join the army.
    • The problem is that most people have been worn down by 200+ line "End User Licensing Agreements (EULAs). Most of it is legalese gibberish and often a substantial part of it is in a language the end user does not understand.

      Microsoft is largely responsible for beating the public down in the computer arena until they just click OK or I Agree and be done with it. Microsoft is also responsible for establishing legal precedent that assenting to such an agreement is legal and binding regardless of whether yo
  • No more spyware! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BHennessy (639799) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:46PM (#14543905)
    This will stop spyware dead in its tracks, just like how when the "spam king" got sued all spam ended. ...
  • by nixkuroi (569546) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:58PM (#14543997)
    I think the feds should be granted warrants to enter the 180's employee's homes and build furniture in them. This furniture would be covered with fleas, ticks and head lice and be generally annoying to the person who lived there and there family. They would also be painted in ugly colors and make noises anytime someone entered the home or used another piece of furniture. Additionally, the furniture and appliances would be built in such a way that it would be difficult or impossible to remove from the homes without causing damage.

    Maybe we could send them some Sony DRM cd's too.
  • "The company (180Solutions) continued these practices even after it pledged to better itself and after receiving warnings from spyware experts and privacy advocates, the group said."

    But, in typical relapse fashion, 180Solutions lived up to its name and did a full 180 on its pledge to better itself.
    It says it now may check in to an undisclosed rehab center on the coast to help with its spyware addiction.
  • by spoco2 (322835) on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:09PM (#14544100)
    Ok... I don't really get spyware on my pcs... neither my wife or I go to porn sites (ok... in my youth I did... :/ ), I've made firefox the default browser on all my pcs, we have AVG free virus protection [grisoft.com], Sygate Personal firewall... although, bugger... I just noticed they've discontinued that... will have to switch to ZoneAlarm [download.com] now I suppose... humph. And we run Ad-Aware [download.com]
      and SpyBot Search and Destroy [download.com] every now and again...

    But just recently I've had to clean my father-in-law's pc, and a friends one too.

    Now the father-in-law's one was pretty bad, popups would launch with IE, and there was a lot of CPU activity etc. that was not accounted for... nasty stuff... but a clean with Adaware, Spybot, using Add/Remove to kill anything that looked suspect, putting firefox on etc. and we have a clean computer.

    The other computer though... my GOD! On startup it would immediately go to 100% CPU usage... and once you could finally get Task Manager up it was iexplore.exe that was doing the damage... a few minutes later when it'd actually respond to a kill process and the work of cleaning it could finally take place... well... hours later and using all tools I think it's clean now... but it required all of them to get it all... with HiJack This [download.com] being the final saviour to remove the last of the damage...

    And what were the biggest damage makers? The damn programs that these people downloaded that claimed they were 'Spyware cleaners'... but really were spyware themselves.

    EVIL

    FUCKERS

    they prey on people who already have pcs loaded up with spyware... and put more on.

    Of course the second of the two pcs was infected so damn badly (Spybot found over 3 thousand items) due to porn surfing... almost always the cause of these things.

    I don't know how the makers of these programs live with themselves... there's nothing redeeming about what they do... AT ALL.
    • Here's another one you need: Spyware Blaster. [javacoolsoftware.com] It's so good that if Spybot Search and Distroy detects it, it tells you that some of Spyware Blaster's protections are better than its own.
    • Nice. I noticed that Symantec acquired Sygate and are (surprise!) not giving away their excellent firewall anymore. Sygate Personal Firewall is IMO the best free Windows firewall available. Don't use Zone Alarm. It's extremely icky. Download SPF from here [oldversion.com]. It should last you for a while.
    • Preface: I work for a Small-ish computer company in Wisconsin. Adware/Spyware/Malware (etc.. The list goes on.) Has become more of an epidemic than anything. We get roughly 20 pc's in a week to repair. Some are your run of the mill hardware failure, but most (90%) are coming in with the customer complaining that the system is just "running slow" Needless to say, I've seen everything. 180 to vx2 variants, rootkits, and rouge removal products. PC's so loaded down that the only means of repairing is an Fn
    • So you have to run 4 third party programs to keep your system free of spyware. And you don't have a problem with that?

      Back in the days when I was doing OS/2 tech support, there was a good bit of concern at IBM that users didn't want to have to do a software shut down before powering their machines off. The thinking was that although system administrators on "real" operating systems accepted this as necessary, it would be a change that home users would not be willing to accept. A couple years later Microso

      • I didn't say I didn't have a problem with that... I do... but hey, I DO need windows to run one of the bigs things I have that machine for.... Games. There's no getting away from that, I like playing games, and so Windows it is. Simple.

        But yes, it sucks a lot.
    • I don't know how the makers of these programs live with themselves... there's nothing redeeming about what they do... AT ALL.
      maybe they don't need to think about it when they're rolling around in their money.
    • i used to do heaps of porn surfing (before i got a girlfriend) and i never got any adware.
      i think the sentance you were looking for is "Of course the second of the two pcs was infected so damn badly (Spybot found over 3 thousand items) due to porn surfing with IE"
  • A modest proposal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TomGrantAtXythos (898055) on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:20PM (#14544192)
    [Note: For the thuddingly literal out there, I am not actually advocating that anyone do this.]

    Go into the homes of the 180solutions executives. Rewire all their consumer electronics, from their refrigerators to their Tivo boxes. Make it very difficult to figure out what has been changed, or how to change it back. Leave a note behind saying, "We saw how you were using your home electronics and thought we could help!"

    Seriously, I see no difference between this scenario and what adware/spyware companies do with your PC. Even the EULA on adware-loaded software doesn't make it clear what's going to happen once this stuff gets unleashed on your hard drive.

  • RIAA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by qualico (731143) <worldcouchsurfer@ g m ail.com> on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:21PM (#14544200) Journal
    Sure wish we could pit RIAA against 180.

    Why is it that we can have organizations like the RIAA to protect industry interests, yet there is no one to protect the interests of consumers?
    • Re:RIAA (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TechForensics (944258)
      We do have one. Or actually, fifty or so. Each state (and probably D.C.) has an Attorney General with powers to sue to stop public scams or nuisances. Usually there is a consumer protection division. People have to start bugging their A.G. It takes a lot of complaints about any particular abuse to get things moving, so go ahead.. and spread the word. CC your letter to your state and federal congresspersons. Larger volume of mail equals better chance you'll be heard.
    • Re:RIAA (Score:2, Insightful)

      by c0d3h4x0r (604141)

      Why is it that we can have organizations like the RIAA to protect industry interests, yet there is no one to protect the interests of consumers?

      Because consumers aren't the ones who have all the money.

      Well, that's not entirely true. After all, corporations only get rich because consumers buy their shit. As a group, consumers actually have all the money.

      The problem is that consumers are a bottom-up bunch, so trying to convince them all to support a single agenda and allocate money toward it is nearly impos

  • 180 could do like Claria/Gator and sue everyone calling it spyware/adware. Then make back-door deals with the anti-spyware software developers to take them off the threat list. Sue, those who don't comply. Case dismissed!
  • by js9kv (690351) on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:32PM (#14544296) Journal
    180solutions are scumbags, true.

    What about 2o7.net? These bottom-feeders have been using a domain name that looks like an IP address for ages - and there's no legitimate reason for it, other than to confuse those who can't tell zero's from O's in their firewall reports. Even their hosts appear with stuff like 192.168.1.2o7.net.

    Most folks out there would miss that in a firewall report if they didn't read it closely and wonder why an IP address appeared in the resolved names column.

    What ever happened to the Internet Death Penalty? Boy, do we need it now!

  • ...is about to turn 180 degrees.
  • by mcguyver (589810) on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:11PM (#14545093) Homepage
    For details on 180 solutions tricks go to http://www.benedelman.org [benedelman.org]. It has screenshots of 180 solutions in action [benedelman.org]...pretty detailed and interesting to read. I'm especially amused by this recent bit of jousting [benedelman.org] going on between 180 solutions and Ben Edelman. Here Ben accuses 180 solutions of targetting kids [benedelman.org] as well as being deceptive. 180 solutions responded [zdnet.com] and here [benedelman.org] are Ben's latest additions to the arguments. This is a great (and sad) example of how people choose to define the law when it's not explicitly defined.
  • by venuspcs (946177) * on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:32PM (#14545229)
    Okay a couple things I want to say:

    1.) 180 Solutions has now resorted to FLAT OUT HACKING to get their shit on your computer. I use Firefox 99% of the time. Today, while reading Slashdot (in Firefox) my computer mysteriously rebooted. When it came back up (for a few minutes) I noticed that I now had 180 solutions crap all over my fracking computer. Attempts to clean it caused my computer to reboot again and again and again. I wound up having to do a System Restore to a few hours earlier. These FUCKERS WILL PAY!

    2.) While I am a big fan of ALTERNATE Operating Systems, having the GENERAL PUBLIC switch to them would not solve the problem, for long. The reason Linux, Unix and MacOS don't have this problem is because there isn't a big enough user base to make figuring out how to infect these systems PROFITABLE. If you had a massive move of people to these OS's then they Spyware people would just move too.

    3.) Someone asked why there is an RIAA to protect CORPORATE INTERESTS but nothing to protect CONSUMER INTERESTS. Well there are several reasons: 1.) They have BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, 2.) They work together (probably the most important) to form these groups like the RIAA, 3.) We (the voters) keep electing these low-life son-of-a-bitches that PROTECT CORPORATE AMERICA while SCREWING CONSUMERS and 4.) American's (the consumers) have become complacent and won't TAKE A STAND against CORPORATE AMERICA to PROTECT OUR RIGHTS.

    If people would spend half as much time BITCHING ONLINE (Like I am doing right now) and more time FORMING A GROUP then we might have enough power to CHANGE THINGS.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Richard Colbert
    Web: http://www.venuspcservice.com/ [venuspcservice.com]
    ICQ: 14466429
    YIM: cmptrgeeknshermantx
    MSN: pcheaven2k at hotmail dot com
  • I don't think the government has any interest in protecting our privacy. They pay lip service at press conferences, but nothing seems to change. An example, for all the Canadians voting in the federal election today...if you received one of those cards in the mail that says you are registered to vote, that means your name and address, along with other personal information, is on the federal voters list. This list isn't just for the government...it's distributed to each candidate for each party running in
  • I remember back in the days when AOL was cool and we all...well most of us used punters and all that crap CJB.net was a godsend. It was the difference between

    www.angelfire.com/moonbeam/wtf/12672/usa/east/omf g /some/one/shorten/this/url/index.htm
    and
    whatever.cjb.net (redirect)

    I guess when times got tough they went down the wrong road instead of finding ways to add value to their service. Its too bad because this is an excellent example of a do good company that went the wrong way, hopefully Google neve
  • by GT_Alias (551463) on Monday January 23, 2006 @10:31PM (#14545522)
    I thought this was a pretty amusing article:

    Search Marketing Company 180solutions Ranks Seventh On the 2005 Inc. 500 [180solutions.com] (press release on 180solutions.com web site)

    Either Inc. didn't do their research on companies in their top 10, or they truly don't care how the money is made, only that it is made.
  • String 'em up by the balls. Then they'll be 180.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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