Posts filed under ‘adware’

Priceline, Travelocity, Cingular settle over adware charges

reuters.gif By Reuters, and Cingular Wireless have settled over charges that they used secret adware Internet software programs as marketing tools, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.


This is the first time marketers have been held responsible for ads displayed through adware, the software that automatically displays promotional material, Cuomo’s office said in a statement. The settlement calls for, Travelocity and Cingular, the wireless unit of AT&T, to pay New York $35,000, $30,000 and $35,000, respectively, to cover penalties and investigatory costs.

“Advertisers can no longer insulate themselves from liability by turning a blind eye to how their advertisements are delivered, or by placing ads through intermediaries, such as media buyers,” the statement said. The settlements followed a lawsuit the attorney general filed against Direct Revenue, alleging the company installed adware programs in millions of computers worldwide that delivered streams of advertisements to PCs without the consent of users.

In Monday’s statement, the attorney general’s office said that lawsuit against Direct Revenue had uncovered evidence that “Priceline, Travelocity and Cingular, among others, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars delivering ads through Direct Revenue software.” Under the agreement, the companies are required to use due diligence when selecting and using adware providers, give consumers full disclosure of the name of the applicable adware program and allow them to remove the software.

Story Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Copyright ©1995-2007 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved.


January 30, 2007 at 9:42 am 15 comments

Microsoft goes global with antivirus tool update

Originally posted by Joris Evers of CNET

Microsoft plans to ship an update to Windows Live OneCare on January 30, marking the first time the antivirus and PC maintenance tool will be sold outside the U.S.


The release of OneCare version 1.5 is slated to coincide with the consumer launch of Windows Vista, Microsoft’s long-awaited operating system update. The new OneCare version, as expected, will also run on Vista, Microsoft said in a statement Tuesday.

OneCare is Microsoft’s first consumer security product, released in May. It combines antivirus, antispyware and firewall software with backup features and several tune-up tools for Windows PCs. Microsoft is going head-to-head with security companies such as Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro.

The OneCare update includes a single scanning engine that will detect viruses as well as spyware, increasing the efficiency and protection delivered by the tool, according to Microsoft. Other enhancements will make PC security and maintenance simpler, the company said in a statement.

Also, this release of OneCare will be the first to be sold outside the U.S. It will also be available in Australia, Japan, Mexico and Singapore, among other countries, according to Microsoft.

OneCare is priced at $49.95 a year for use on up to three PCs. International pricing will be similar, Microsoft said. Retailers often offer significant discounts, however. In the U.S., has sold OneCare for as low as $19.99.

Copyright ©1995-2007 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved.

January 23, 2007 at 5:19 pm 2 comments

Microsoft may delay Vista in Europe – CNET

Microsoft raised the possibility on Thursday that it might delay the introduction of its new Vista Windows operating system in Europe, saying it depended on the European Commission’s antitrust requirements.

The European Commission responded sharply, saying it was “misleading to imply that the Commission could be the cause of delays in launching Vista in Europe.” Microsoft said in a statement it made concrete proposals to the European Union’s executive Commission, responding to its concerns about new features in Vista.

“Once we receive the Commission’s response, we will know whether the Commission is seeking additional product design changes that would result in delay in Europe,” it said. The Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, had a different perspective. “It is not up to the Commission to give Microsoft a green light before Vista is put on the market; it is up to Microsoft to accept and implement its responsibilities as a near-monopolist to ensure full compliance with EU competition rules,” a representative said. “Microsoft only responded to our latest concerns last week,” he said. The Commission and Microsoft are locked in a legal battle dating back to 2004 when Brussels hit the company with a 500 million-euro ($640 million) antitrust fine and required changes in its business practices.

Still talking
When Microsoft failed to meet Commission requirements, the EU executive fined the company another 281 million euros ($358 million) this summer. It is still waiting for compliance. The Commission is also talking to Microsoft about whether Vista has anticompetitive elements that must be changed. Vista, set to replace Windows XP, has run into many delays. Microsoft this week confirmed its plan to make Vista available to large-volume business customers in November and for a general launch of the product in January. European parliament members Chris Heaton-Harris, Sharon Bowles, Peter Skinner and Michal Kaminski wrote to the EU competition chief on Thursday, saying the Commission was endangering the ability of European business to compete. “It is alarming that one of the world’s most successful technology companies considers the European Commission’s attitude a risk factor,” they said in the letter.

The possibility of a Vista delay in Europe recalls similar comments made by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and other senior executives in May 1998, shortly before the release of the Windows 98 operating system. At the time, the U.S. Justice Department was working on a major lawsuit against Microsoft, which it ultimately won. Then-chief financial officer Greg Maffel said any lawsuit aimed at Windows 98 could have “broad, negative consequences” for the entire personal computer industry. Around the same time, top executives of Microsoft partners sent a letter asking the federal government not to block Windows 98’s release. The picture was muddied by news reports that the company had planned to plant public opinion pieces to create the appearance of a groundswell of support.

Story Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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September 7, 2006 at 10:37 pm Leave a comment

Is 180solutions/Zango Spyware?

There is always a lot of attention surrounding the Bellevue, Washington online media company Zango, Inc. (formerly 180solutions). The popular press claims that millions of users are crying out for help against Zango’s unlawful acts and frustration stemmed from the desktop advertising software that is installed on their personal computer. However, Zango announced this morning that the class action lawsuit filed against the company last year in federal court in Chicago was dismissed, with prejudice. Meaning the dismissal ends the litigation, is final, and is binding on the plaintiffs.

Zango’s executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer, Ken McGraw, said,”We are pleased, but frankly not too surprised, by the voluntary, with- prejudice dismissal of the lawsuit by the plaintiffs. We have maintained from its inception that this case [Logan Simios, et al. v. 180solutions, Inc.] had no merit. The dismissal vindicates that position.” The dismissal “serves to confirm that Zango’s desktop advertising software is not spyware in any shape or form and that our innovative business model is entirely legitimate,” McGraw added. The Simios case was filed September 13, 2005 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and dismissed on September 6, 2006.

Zango’s CEO, Keith Smith, expressed that “Despite occasional distractions like this unfounded lawsuit and the background noise of a small group of fixated critics, I’m very proud of the fact that our desktop advertising business continues to grow and progress nicely. We will continue to execute upon our Content Economy vision of automating and monetizing the ecosystem of content providers, Web publishers and online advertisers, while delivering the free entertainment experiences consumers desire and expect.”

Presumably the largest Zango critic is Ben Edelman, a spyware activist and researcher studying advertising fraud at Harvard University’s Department of Economics. Edelman has claimed several things against Zango, ranging from misleading installation methods to Zango purposefully interfering with affiliate commission tracking processes in order to seize affiliate commissions they did not earn.

Zango is of the opinion that their software fulfills the demand of millions of consumers for free access to online videos, games, music, tools and utilities, in exchange for targeted advertising when they search or browse the Internet. In a recent blog posting by a Zango representative wrote, “that Internet users like their music, pictures and everything else accessible via the Web to be available for free.” The post goes on to say, “At Zango, our goal is to fulfill consumers’ growing demand for free content, such as online videos, games, music, tools and utilities, while at the same time automating and monetizing relationships between content creators, Web publishers and advertisers of all sizes. This is the essence of the Content Economy.”

With a self claiming 20 million opt-in users and an average of 200,000 new consumers installing their products every day, maybe Zango is offering a useful product and service to end users and advertising clients alike?

Digg story

September 7, 2006 at 10:07 am 2 comments

Is Browzar Adware?

Browzar's logoBrowzar describes itself as a useful application that allows end users to search and surf the Internet without leaving any visible trace on the computer they are using. The site goes on to say, “Browzar is free, it only takes seconds to download and you don’t even need to install it, so you can download Browzar time and time again, whenever and wherever you need it to protect your privacy.” Despite initially receiving a large amount of positive attention from several popular media sources including BBC, CNET, Slashdot and Digg a growing amount of negative speculation has started to surface. The popular weblog TechCrunch did a great job sharing both sides of the story and at the end leaves it up to the end user to decide (hopefully after conducting some proper due diligence) whether or not to install their application.

September 2, 2006 at 8:11 pm 1 comment

New TechAddress Launched!