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Inside an Adware Company 244

Haikster writes "Brad Stone of Newsweek wrote a great article exposing DirectRevenue which is actually a combination of the old Dash guys with IPInsight, abetterinternet, offeroptimizer and blackstonemedia and the others... it's a bit lengthy but a great read."
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Inside an Adware Company

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  • by badfrog ( 45310 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @08:38PM (#11057175)
    Wonder how many of spyware developers are regular Slashdot readers... Step forward, cowards!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11, 2004 @12:15AM (#11058133)
      Gonna go AC here (sorry), but since you asked, this might be an interesting story (but rather long, if you care to bear with me)...

      I used to work for a company that made pretty hardcore spyware/popups. The owners claimed when they first hired me to do some consulting that they used popups to generate capital instead of going for VC money, and now that they had some income, were going to turn around and try to be a kind of Amazon/1-click shopping for useful tools (spam filters, privacy software, personal firewalls). This was a couple years ago before the market for this was absolutely saturated. So I thought, and the principals assured me, that once they had some $, they'd ditch the popup business and I'd be working on some really cool projects which I otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity to work on, so I signed on fulltime. I was also really well paid and genuinely enjoyed the benefits, interesting engineering challenges, and people I worked with (none of the usual Office Space bullshit my friends complained about, but there were many downsides as you will see.)

      However, after I joined, the owners kind of lost focus and kept delaying work on more legit projects to fix or enhance their popup distribution network or new things that all boiled down to schemes that would get our adware on more computers. Every week they owners would come up with some half baked new idea that was suddenly priority 1 (and the idea of "top priority" became something of a joke.) Because things took longer than expected and we were switching gears every week or so and could never truly get anything accomplished, the skewed lesson that the owners learned was that "software development is hard and expensive and not worth it".

      At this point they stopped even fronting that they'd do legit things and just focused completely on adware. To keep the bills (and the principals' inflated salaries) paid, they started loosening their morals even more and fell down the slippery slope even more, delving into porn and other kinda shady areas which I won't go into, at which point I decided to resign since it was obvious that despite repeated promises, I would never be working on projects that had real value.

      The time wasn't all wasted, though. In case anyone's curious, it is kind of interesting to see how things operate behind the scenes at one of these spyware places, and the psychology of the people who work there. I second another poster's point that the everyone who worked there -- business and developer types alike -- were otherwise normal, cool guys and not like evil masterminds or sociopaths or anything. (Ha, all of us were /. readers, too.) Everyone knows that what they're doing isn't totally cool but is sort of in denial (and we were repeatedly promised that we'd be working on legit projects "soon"), and you're so caught up in your work and the interesting engineering problems that you ignore the bigger picture (not a good thing).

      The owners do a good job of sheltering themselves and most employees from the negative complaints that do arrive (delegating them to a "support" department that responds to hundreds of emails a day with "oh wow, we're sorry you're having problems, here's an uninstaller"). However, most of us did end up reading a lot of the complaints and most of us were in denial about the sheer volume of misery that the popups and other things created. It sounds strange that normal people would work on such clearly awful software, but every shady decision is rationalized in any number of ways including saying "well, it's legal" (or at least not illegal, for now), pointing to "worse" adware companies and being "at least we're not as bad as these assholes," policies like "hey, we email uninstallers to anyone who asks" (while ignoring the fact that only 1% might be savvy enough to actually figure out what's going on since most people never figure out where the popups come from). This will sound strange, but some of the projects were actually really cool technology and worth getting
      • and fell down the slippery slope even more, delving into porn and other kinda shady areas which I won't go into, at which point I decided to resign

        More detail please? If it's some kind of "trade secret", that's all the more reason to spill the beans, and let the rest of us clean up this bullshit.
      • I say make em. Is it evil? maybe. The more spy/malware on the net, the more ways people will develop to counter all the crapware, be more aware of where they visit, and make sure the right tools are being used.

        The more the community knows about exploits, the better, instead of having company X knowing a secret exploit that no one even knows about for years at a time and using it to there advantage.
  • by Neil Blender ( 555885 ) <> on Friday December 10, 2004 @08:40PM (#11057192)
    Information wants to be free. Your information.
  • The article is missing a critical piece...

    where enraged citizens storm the building, set it on fire, seize the funds from the bank accounts and distribute to orphanages everywhere and leave the Adware staff tied up to lightpoles with a note for the police.
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @08:41PM (#11057201)
    > He says his company is committed to "transparency" and is making it easier for users to uninstall its software.

    When pressed, he defined "easy" as "sorta like dipping your balls in sweet cream and squatting in a kitchen full of feral cats."

    And you don't wanna know what "transparent" looked like.

    • by OAB_X ( 818333 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @08:46PM (#11057236)
      New steps to uninstall:

      Add Remove programs -> spyware program -> uninstall window -> im sure i want to uninstall -> i dont want to reconcider -> i dont want to provide a reason for uninstalling -> im still really sure i want to uninstall -> yes i know some features maybe deactivated -> i dont want to install any companion programs -> i dont want to have programs from your sponsors installed either -> i dont want to have more msn smilies -> why do i need to go to a website to uninstall? -> i still want to uninsall reason: i hate spyware -> uninstall -> please wait while you download the uninstaller -> program uninstalled successfully, 5 more programs installed by uninstaller
    • "Feral cats? BRILLIANT!"

      You, sir - funny.
  • I'm a newb (Score:5, Funny)

    by ltbarcly ( 398259 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @08:42PM (#11057207)
    How do you install adware in debian? I tried apt-get install virus, apt-get install adware, apt-get install malware, nothing works. man, linux is crap
  • I bet its like those car dealerships you see where everyone that works there is an ex-high-school jock with gigantic muscles they got from working out four hours a day, six days a week.

    Well, except for the programmer that they made their bitch and is doing all the work for minimum wage.
  • by ravenspear ( 756059 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @08:43PM (#11057213)
    This is good because it is completely amazing to me how the adware/spyware problem has received very little coverage in the media, certainly orders of magnitude less than the spam problem. We have seen many stories on /. over the last few weeks about how millions of Windows boxes are so infested with spyware that they are basically unusable, and yet most non-technical people still seem ambivalent.

    If the same amount of effort currently used to fight spam is not applied to the spyware/adware situation, it will get just as bad if not worse than the spam problem.

    As intrusive and annoying as spam is, at least it's influence doesn't extends past your email client. Spyware has the potential to totally screw up machines that do important tasks, which could be far more harmful.
    • I think the shockingly absent outrage/response to adware has more to do with lack of awareness than anything else.

      We all have gotten used to the idea of planned obselesence. From your car that is "old" after 3 years to your computer which was the absolute best until about 15 seconds after you bought it; most people expect their computers to run more slowly with time. And while popups suck, many people just don't really equate popups with adware. To them, its just "one of those things" that happen to PCs,
    • There's a crucial difference between spam and spyware though. With spam simply possesing an email address means you get it. With spyware, generally you need to be running a poorly configured windows box thats got crummy software on it (Internet Explorer and/or Outlook Express usually).

      This means that generally speaking geeks don't get spyware on their machines and even if they do, they can deal with it. With spam, they are hit just as bad as everyone else so they figure out how to make it go away. The reve
    • Heh, did my first OSS conversion the other day. I didn't want to totally disrupt their lives, or spend 3 weeks trying to install whichever flavour of Linux on their system, but I took care of the biggest pains. At least they can't make, and drink, a coffee during boot anymore. Spybot/Ad-Aware got rid of 85 classes of spyware, and the system was actually usable again. Then I added Firefox/Thunderbird to handle web/email needs while reducing the risks of popups/adware/spam/viruses. The interesting thing
    • The reason is that spam = "some moron keeps sending me ads about penis enlargement", while malware = "my computer just acts weird". While most people don't really understand the reasons for spam's existence and the technical challenges of combating it, at least they can easily have some grasp of the problem (after all, they all get spam in their real life mailboxen too). With malware most won't know the difference between "legit" evil popups and malware-caused evil popups.
  • feedback (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What happens when their own computers get infected with adware?
  • I hate malware. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rice_burners_suck ( 243660 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @08:51PM (#11057272)
    I hate adware, and what we need to invent is some sort of adware realtime blacklist that contains all the IP addresses of adware companies. Then, all legitimate users could set up their firewall to disable access to and from any of these IP addresses. Then, the ISPs could completely disable access, and that would drastically cut down on the success of these illegitimate ventures.

    Doing so could scare the spam authors, malware authors, virus authors, worm authors, spyware authors, and other illegitimate software authors into compliance with global IP standards, which will facilitate the streamlining of compelling enterprise solutions by content providers and emerging stewards of innovative technologies.

    (If you didn't get the above then you need to do some critical thinking. It is composed in four layers and contains 12 hidden messages, 4 double meanings, and 9 psychological facts.)

    • Re:I hate malware. (Score:3, Informative)

      by hsidhu ( 184286 )
      I use the list from, its updated regularly and here the line count for my /etc/hosts file.

      $ wc -l /etc/hosts
      32848 /etc/hosts

      I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

    • does what you want. You use a hosts file (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts, and no, I don't know why the fsck it's there either) to redirect IPs to the loopback addy (search around google, there's lots of good hosts files if you trust the poeple making them :) ). Combine that with a program like spywareblaster that registers Windows Globally Unique Identifiers (GUIDs) for known spyware. If your program's GUID is already registered, it won't install. Those two things + firefox + thunderbird + patches ha
      • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
        Redirect to instead, if you point to you get to wait for every blackholed connection to time out against your own machine, while an attempt to connect to is instantly recognized as an invalid ip and the conneciton fails.
      • You use a hosts file (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts, and no, I don't know why the fsck it's there either)

        Beneath the cruft of Windows, within the [windows|winnt]\system32 directory, there lurks a roughly POSIX system, including such files as /etc/hosts.

        • Just for a few other examples, most people don't know that the windows command line allows redirection and pipes (">" and "|" just like you'd expect), has an almost fully-functional grep replacement (called "findstr"), and has a better "For" than bash.

          Anyways, to answer grandparent, hosts is in that directory because the original winsock developers came from UNIX and changed as little of the layout as possible.

    • And they'd start SPAMMING the list by adding legitimate IP's. Why you think the garbage text below SPAM was created? To bombard the anti-spam bayesian filters. You think they'd be stupid enough NOT to do anything against a malware blacklist?
    • what we need to invent is some sort of adware realtime blacklist that contains all the IP addresses of adware companies.

      Yeah, that would be great... It's too bad everyone on the face of the frickin planet didn't already come up with this idea before now, and publish thousands upon thousands of different blocklists just for this purpose....

      Oh wait, THEY DID.
    • (If you didn't get the above then you need to do some critical thinking. It is composed in four layers and contains 12 hidden messages, 4 double meanings, and 9 psychological facts.)

      And 78 buzzwords.

    • PeerGuardian [] is what you are describing. It has multiple blacklists [], including Spyware/Malware IPs.
  • Google CEO ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SoLO ( 91992 )
    Earlier this year, Direct Revenue raised $20 million from New York based Insight Venture Partners. The respected VC company boasts Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin on its advisory board.

    Wonder if this is some kind of conflict of interest?
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @08:55PM (#11057297) Journal
    We constantly have a nightmare about people on our network installing spyware (we're half green suit/half civilian). Some day, some enterprising young person will create spyware with a key logger phoning home passwords galore. We already had a problem with HotBar clogging our pipe.

    Admittedly we are't suppoed to be discussing classified information but we deal with politically sensitive stuff all the time.
  • 4 pages? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Xeo 024 ( 755161 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @09:02PM (#11057337)
    it's a bit lengthy but a great read

    Damn right it's a lengthy read. Anyone have the Cliff Notes for this?

    • It's a little hypocritical that an article that complains about software that puts ads on your computer is so full of ads itself.

      I'm not just complaining about web page sponsorship in general, but about ones that are so intrusive that the page is hard to "read"... I mean even for my computer. You don't think I'm going to read that long article myself do you? I have my Mac 'speak' it to a file [] for me and listen to it on my PDA later. The problem is that this article is so full of obtrusive advertisement
      • I couldn't read the thing as it was, it formatted too wonky in any browser, and is hardcoded to a very large screen. And the Print link didn't sensibly go to a single unencumbered page, or even a series of unencumbered pages. Noooo, it went to a "tries to print for real" popup for EACH page, which then didn't sensibly link to the next PRINTABLE page, but rather, back to the *original* bloated version of the next page -- which then displayed IN the popup window. Its behaviour is obviously designed to *ensure
  • Just once I want to be the guy who these fucktards approach to get 'my advertising' into their spyware model.

    Just once. I'll string them along, until I've met all the most important players in their company.

    Then...I'll post all of their details on /., and wait for the inevitable melee.

    And, in the spirit of /.,

  • by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @09:10PM (#11057373)

    So, how can a piece of software that gets installed without permission on my machine, that sends out spam emails to everyone on earth be considered a worm/virus, but a piece of software I get installed without prompting, by visiting a fucking web page, that changes my hosts file, dns settings, proxy servers, and or nic drivers be considered adware?

    When will Symantec, McAffee and the others start detecting and removing spyware. I've emailed them requesting that feature, and have never even gotten a response.

    Honestly, at the school I work at, our public use library and labs have no problems except spyware. The 40 machines in our library average about a week before they are so bad that the systems have to be re-ghosted. Yes, I have netscape installed, and yes, its the default browser, but no, I can't remove IE, some services they need to use (other colleges in the area) have web pages that only work in IE. If freaking symantec would just treat adware as a virus, my god, I would love them.. and so would many others..

    • Symantec's v9 of their antivirus software does do this [] (at least the corporate edition), but they do a piss-poor job of it. Of course, this keeps in line with their antivirus efforts, which suck as well. While it's decent at removing files, spyware references in the registry are regularly missed.
    • I also work at a school and I'm wondering the same thing. Check out something like the VX2 spyware/trojan. It:

      - Is often installed without user permission (using holes in IE/Windows)
      - Has versions that restore themselves no matter how many anti-spyware proggies you use
      - Does not register itself in add/remove programs

      In our case, I don't care if the user installed something anyway - IT'S NOT THEIR COMPUTER! School computer policy says 'no unauthorized software is to be installed without permission...' I wa
      • My idea would be to come up with some kind of a live Windows CD (yes, it can be done), put all necessary software on it, wire it into the drive. System boots, runs consistently {well | poorly}, spyware has limited opportunity to install, and is gone on reboot.

        That is, assuming using Knoppix is not an option. I would certainly recommend Knoppix over Windows. XD

    • I use a free crapware blocker (Adaware []) and a couple of very simple registry utilities [] that prevent anyone from setting a registry key without my permission. Not at all bulletproof, but it works for me.
    • Why dont you force a transparent proxy to make sure ALL IE requests are BANNED except for the websites that are NEEDED to be used by IE. And let mozilla requests go thru.

      That will fix all , also you should install MYIE, its a wrapper app for the IE engine, could be safer.
    • ...I can't remove IE, some services they need to use (other colleges in the area) have web pages that only work in IE.
      This is your real problem. Instead of asking Symantec et al to improve their spyware detectors, ask those other colleges to improve their web pages. You might even offer to help. Of course, you should first make sure that all of your web pages are standards-conforming.
      John Sauter (J_Sauter@Empire.Net)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10, 2004 @09:11PM (#11057379)
    Yeah, it is. And I hate it. I hate having to take people's money to clean this shit off their computers; I would rather be deploying servers or upgrading home PCs for the holidays. But I'm not.

    People get infected so easily because the just don't understand. Your average joe doesn't know the difference between virii and spyware; They don't understand that Norton Antivirus doesn't block this stuff too ( though they're starting to try ); They don't realize that IE's swiss cheese-like security is what allows most of this stuff on their system. While I spend a lot of my time cleaning spyware of my customer's computers, I also try to take the time to educate them. I show them the Adaware and Spybot icons. I run through them once with the customer to make sure they understand how to perform updates. I explain the new Firefox icon and how they should always always always use it, unless the site refuses to load without IE. I explain why Norton didn't stop it, and why the firewall didn't help. Folks just hear a lot of buzzwords like these and they just store the basic meme "Firewall=Safe" or "Antivirus=No Infection".

    It shouldn't have to be this way. But it is, and I'm profiting from it. That makes me feel dirty in a way, even though I'm not the asshole clogging up the works.
    • by mrbcs ( 737902 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @10:22PM (#11057678)
      Same here though I don't feel dirty doing it.. I'm doing them a favour. Better to pay me to clean up their machine than to go and buy a new one because of software issues.

      Most times I've only had to see people once. It's very disheartening though, when two weeks later, the same customer comes back, riddled with viruses and spyware.

      Me: "where's the programs I installed? Sygate? Ad-aware? Avg?"

      Customer: "umm, I guess we uninstalled them.. kazaa wasn't working right."

      Me: "fine, $60, we'll try again."

      I don't think I'm long for this game anymore. Users can be very draining on your spirit. Really bugs me that I've had no problems with my 10 machines in 7 years or so.

      • Ever heard of a thing called professional emotional detachment?

        You are being paid to clean their computer, there is no need to be upset about it.

        They will either keep paying you $60 every few weeks to clean their computer, or learn how to deal with it themselves.
        • Professional emotional detachment is a very difficult thing to achieve and most often a hoax. As long as you pretend to be detached and act like you're detached, you're fine in most cases.

          In reality, people who *care* about other people will not be detached.

      • Had one the other day... WinXP blew up at a friend. 4 hours later it was finally running. They had internet problems later on and their ISP actually told them to remove the anti-spyware programs! A few days later, spyware took over again.

        Another time, I wiped & locked down a machine which was constantly getting spyware. A few weeks later they were back to IE running as administrator.

        What's really getting annoying is needing to run 4 different anti-adware programs, plus hosts and adware blocking, just
        • One of my coworkers is constantly somehow managing to run IE to surf the web no matter how many times I tell windows to hide it and tell HIM to not use such an insecure browser. I think he's got it and I set up Firefox to look just like IE, and what happens?!


          How the fuck is he even getting it to run when I removed all access to it!? Next step: block it from net access entirely and refuse to unblock it. Want to browse the web? You won't do it with IE unless you're at windowsupd
          • I actually managed to disable MSIE for a youth center's tech lab. Over 6 months with 340+ kids, nobody's got around it.

            The problem is that all the standard "disabling" tricks (see Joe Barr's NewsForge article this past summer) just hide the interface, they don't actually disable MSIE's browsing capabilities. You can access it many different ways: type 'iexplore' in the 'Run' dialog, enter a URL into the Windows Explorer nav bar, Windows Media Player, and a whole bunch of apps which use MSIE for a help/

            • What I can't figure out is why my explanations of security problems and the like aren't sinking in nor is the fact that I set up Firefox to have all his bookmarks, etc.

              While I'd love to see what you come up with (feel free to send it my way once you write a guide, though it might be overkill for this particular machine) I might try the blocking-access trick with zonealarm. Maybe the irritation trick will be enough for a while at least.
          • How the fuck is he even getting it to run when I removed all access to it!?

            Windows key-R, type in "iexplore", hit return?
    • It's worse than that. A coworker of mine had spyware that redirected all her network connections through their proprietary network stack.

      No uninstallers available, so we had Spybot uninstall it.

      No networking.

      Format, reinstall. And this is without downloading any screensavers or someshit. Just via holes in IE.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10, 2004 @09:27PM (#11057446)
    Consumer advocates familiar with the company charge that Direct Revenue has engaged in an array of unethical practices: it secretly installs its software onto computers, designs its adware so that it reinstalls after users delete it and has changed its name so often that frustrated users can't find the company to complain. if their business model includes such practices, how do they get around many states anti-hacking laws? In several states it is a felony computer crime to install software onto people's computers without permission. Most Adware companies get around this by a "click-through" license but it was not mentioned in the article if Direct Revenue uses such.

    Even with a click-through license I would love to hear them explain to a judge their justification for automatic reinstallation after a user deletes it.

    • Yeah, I want to know how they skirt felony hacking charges too. Did they specially word the Patriot Act to avoid making these people criminals? How come they aren't considered terrorists?
      • The law is only selectively enforced. Adware/spyware companies help launder billions of dollars every year. Unless they step on the toes of someone in a particular position of power there's no fear that a band of /. readers are going to hire an attorney to track them down and sue them. Politicians won't sue them because then Wall Street would pull funds. Wall Street won't sue them because it helps them launder funds. The regulators won't sue them because they are beholden to the politicians. The attor
  • Kill em all (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bogie ( 31020 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @09:32PM (#11057471) Journal
    I don't care if God sorts them out.

    As I type this I'm about to finally sit down for a movie after spending hours on yet on spyware/adware infested PC. I'm just tired of it. As much as I hate those scumbags who put out adware etc I have to once again question. What the fuck was Microsoft thinking waiting until summer 2004 to deal with the problem? Oh and the other 50% of Windows users on this planet who are not running XP with SP2? They're just as screwed now as they were before.
    • Oh and the other 50% of Windows users on this planet who are not running XP with SP2? They're just as screwed now as they were before.

      Well I don't run it on half of my machines because they have so many programs the installer doesn't complete. But I do install all other updates as soon as they come in. I would guess a lot of the "smarter people" who don't run SP2 also have this probllem. But of course there is the stupud 47.5%

    • All of Microsoft's flaws, security holes, bugs, etc., are specifically designed to create and maintain an aftermarket for technical support.
  • Talk, talk, talk. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BillX ( 307153 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @09:37PM (#11057509) Homepage
    "Abram [Direct Revenue] recently backed that claim with a letter to Congressman Joe Barton of Texas urging passage of H.R. 2929, "The Spy Act," a bill that would require adware companies to get explicit permission from users to place software onto their machines and to allow users to easily uninstall those programs. Abram says his company and the industry have not met this goal yet, but they are moving in the right direction."

    Really, does it take more effort to write a letter to a congressman, or to add one sentence to the beginning of an EULA? Or to code, for that matter? Here guys, let's make life easy on you:

    /* Super secret proprietary adware code - please don't steal and copy into your own software */

    wantmalware=Application->MessageBox("I would like to spy on you, slow your PC and pop ads in your face all day long. Is this OK?", NULL, MB_YESNO);

    My poor little fingers, they are cramping up already.
  • give me a break (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tempny ( 602740 )
    According to the article, these companies are "working" on making their glorified viruses less intrusive and easy to uninstall. Amazingly, the article never points out just how bullshit this is. Anyone who has ever worked on commercial software knows that it is trivial to let the user remove your program (automated installshield or something of the sort). Even if you don't want to bother with that, the user should always be able to just kill the process and delete the executables. However, it's certainl
  • Do they really think, given the costs and benefits clearly laid out, that any consumer would choose to install adware?
  • What if all these adware/spyware/malware companies had been smart and hired people that wrote good software, that didn't slow down amd mess up the host computers. They'd be a much bigger threat. Good thing they're (after) dumbasses.
  • but you can go after those that advertise with them. Same for SPAM. If we were to pass laws allowing individuals to go after the companies making money from the practices, we would see them largely dissapear. Enough of this BS, go after the root of the problem.
  • No matter ho hard I try, I just can't install their software!
    axlotl@atlatl ~ $ sudo emerge -pv

    These are the packages that I would merge, in order:

    Calculating dependencies
    emerge: there are no ebuilds to satisfy "".

    axlotl@atlatl ~ $
  • by Tuxedo Jack ( 648130 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @05:02AM (#11059044) Homepage
    Ad-Aware/VX2 Plugin can't get the new VX2 strain. It can't even be removed manually as of yet.

    These little bastards are the older brother of CWS, and they've got legitimate backing to do their dirty work.

    If you se any HOSTS entries for IEAUTOSEARCH, you're infected - gat Lavasoft's VX2 plugin and hope for the best.
  • raised $50 million on this idea from venture capitalists such as AT&T Ventures and the JPMorgan Investment Corp. Now it was preparing to give any leftover cash back to investors and slink off into the dot-com void.

    How many .com companies were in this exact same place? Forget the party line about the middle east, or 9/11, or anything else... _THIS_ is what caused the recession. _THIS_ is what the media won't tell you about the SEC. Those regulators saw this coming 5 years away. They knew w

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye