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Why are downloads repackaged "cnet_ (Then software name)..."

by edgbaston / August 8, 2011 7:50 AM PDT

Last week's, TechTracker's 'scan results' downloads appeared on my desktop with the product name and its specific or generic icon. Following a system restore these same downloads today, with one exception, have been renamed with a prefix of, "cnet_" accompanied by 'CNET green, with white chevron and smile, icons'. Why?

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Clarification Request
Is there a way to not use the CNET installer

I look at the CNET Installer as a hindrance and very bothersome.

I would rather just download the full application that I am looking for.

To have to remove the 3 check marks each and every time any application that TechTracker is monitoring seems ridiculous to me. I have pretty close to 40 applications on each of my machines that I receive updates for via TechTracker. I would rather just install the updates and not have to do the workaround each and every time I download an update. Sometimes there are almost 10 updates that I download.

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re: Is there a way to not use the CNET installer
by CNET_Gregg-23902024539272 / August 10, 2011 7:28 AM PDT


Thank you for your feedback.

When you initiate the download,you will encounter a single offer for additional 3rd-party software, which is clearly disclosed and provides the option to accept or decline the offer before proceeding with the download. We only show offers for software that is approved for listing on CNET If you do not wish to use the CNET Installer, we provide a link to the direct HTTP download URL below the main "Download Now" button. You need to be logged in as a CNET member to use this link.

CNET Technical Support

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We are talking about the TechTracker tool & not
by JPMTJR / August 10, 2011 10:19 AM PDT


We are talking about the TechTracker tool & not

I do see what you mean if I were to be using Download.COM but particular Forum is discussing TechTracker.
Techtracker does not have a link to the direct HTTP download URL below the "Download Now" button (maybe this should have been added before making the change to the way downloads work)

We have to be signed on prior to Techtracker showing updates so that issue doesn't relate.

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You have ignored my original questions
by edgbaston / August 12, 2011 5:08 AM PDT

Hello Gregg

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Please attach screenshot of said "direct download link".
by rodburt23 / August 16, 2011 8:40 AM PDT

I am logged in as a CNET member, and I can't see anything that looks like a direct link, If I "EXPAND ALL INFO & SETTINGS", I can see that Firefox 6.0 is `13.33MB, but the only visible link button or link is your green "Download Now" icon that sucks "cnet_Firefox Setup 6_0_exe.exe" at 454,120 bytes, and then tries to entice me to install some or all of Babylon. If I wanted Babylon, I would have installed it already, and I know that one day soon, I'm going to click through step 2 without thinking and install it. This is starting to seriously annoy me.

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"I can't see anything that looks like a direct link"
by edgbaston / August 18, 2011 8:20 AM PDT

Hello, rodburt

In the intervening two days you may have worked this out, if not, i hope you'll excuse the 'blind' leading the 'blind'?

So, on your TechTracker, 'SCAN RESULTS' page instead of clicking, 'Download Now' on the right of the window click, instead, on the product name (Mozilla Firefox) on the left of the window. This takes you to the product page which shows, 'Download Now (13.33MB) CNET Secure Download' and below that comes, 'Direct Download Link'. Well, in most cases but i have come across products where it is not there.

This is definitely not an ideal situation. Just the best solution i've been led to.

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Just a note.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 18, 2011 8:24 AM PDT

I don't use Tech Tracker but when I go to I have to look carefully under the big download button for the direct download.

I've asked folk if I need to look at Tech Tracker. The answer was they didn't use it either.

Maybe I'm missing the boat.

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NOW I can see the direct link - indirectly
by rodburt23 / August 18, 2011 10:51 AM PDT

Hi Edgbaston,

All Answers

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For what it is worth, here is the official announcement...
by John.Wilkinson / August 13, 2011 11:06 AM PDT
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The "Official Accouncement" was talking about "Download.Com"
by JPMTJRGMAILCOM / August 13, 2011 3:13 PM PDT

John Wilkinson,

I just read the attached announcement that you forwarded to this Forum. It is talking about CNET's Download.Com & not about TechTracker.

If TechTracker contained the Link for the user to download the full application and not the CNET Installer then I would have no dispute.

Before a person can use TechTracker they must signon with their CNET UserID. So, that part of the equation is already satisfied. It's just that CNET changed Download.Com but they did not change TechTracker to contain the Link to the full application.

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I know...

I am not sure if the intermediary was intended for TechTracker updates or not. The article doesn't mention TechTracker, but it essentially uses CNET Downloads for version checking and updating, so I am not entirely surprised. Still, I rarely use TechTracker myself, so my comments focus on


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The CNET Forum where we are is titled: CNET TECHTRACKER
by JPMTJR / August 16, 2011 10:29 AM PDT
In reply to: I know...

This is the TechTracker Forum and not the Download.COM Forum.

One of my favorite sayings that I constantly quote to users is: Read the Screen

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As I said...
by John.Wilkinson / August 16, 2011 2:56 PM PDT

TechTracker uses CNET Downloads to check for/download/install updates, so changes there can affect TechTracker. Just wanted to share the article that announced the change, since the one edgbaston found was outdated and not directly related - this one is. I am well aware of which forum this is, but if we placed TechTracker in a bubble and ignored CNET Download's impact, well, we wouldn't be having this conversation because the 'secure installer' wouldn't exist in the bubble.

Sometimes you have to read the context, not just the words on the screen.

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by edgbaston / August 18, 2011 3:38 AM PDT
In reply to: As I said...

Hello, John.Wilkinson

Re: Home CNET Forums Forum feedback 'SUBMIT REPLY' not working in TechTracker forum

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by edgbaston / August 18, 2011 3:40 AM PDT
In reply to: TEST

Hello, John.Wilkinson

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I will not be recommecnding now
by TWB404 / August 18, 2011 8:58 AM PDT

While I have an account and I use it from time to time to express my opinion or give a review I would not ever log in just to download a program. I think this is just a lame excuse to track what we download, or collect and save every little bit of info on people and their internet usage. This is the exact reason I delete anything that shows to have Open Candy in it. This is no big lost to me because I have downloaded from the developers site for years. The only lost here is to CNET because I have sent literally hundreds to to find programs. As long as CNET continues this policy I will be recommending other site. I spent last night sending out emails informing those who will listen to switch their downloads to the sites that do not demand to collect and save info on our usage.

I can not help but think that somehow CNET has lost advertising $ thru the bad economy and is now looking to profit by selling info on its users. It is a sad day!

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It had to happen.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 18, 2011 9:01 AM PDT

As sites get download pilfered from direct downloads without folk seeing the ads, this had to happen.

How else will the bills get paid.

There will be folk like you that will go away but since all download sites need to pay the bills, eventually you see this happen all over.

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Please explain
by TWB404 / August 18, 2011 11:09 AM PDT
In reply to: It had to happen.

I have seen many sites set up blocking software that stops direct downloads as you say and it did not require me to turn over my life history of downloads to do it. CNET could easily stop direct downloads without this tactic. I have a few sites that require me to turn on my cookies before I can navigate to what i want. That is really no big deal, I turn them on get want I want, turn them off, delete cookies and go about my business. As a programmer yourself you know that there is probably a dozen ways CNET could achieve this without requiring us to sign on or install a download installer and let them track our downloads and reveal what programs we already have on our hard drive. That is a lame excuse for trying to explain CNET download,com wanting to collect data on our usage. This is simple a bad business decision that is going to further hurt CNET and just make it a lower tier download site. Years ago I lost all respect for the professional reviews that originally brought me to CNET. It was and the info available in the forums that kept me visiting. Now we are down to just the forums. I wonder how long will it take before CNET requires us to turn over all our surfing history or first born before we can sign on and post.

I think the bigger problem here is how bloated CNET has become and the more leaner sites who run a lean business model have chipped away at CNET visitation.

The good news Bob, I will always be around to try to keep people informed on programs like Open Candy and CNET installer and how their hard drives are being searched and the results being sent back to servers.

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Open Candy is a good discussion to have.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 18, 2011 11:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Please explain

Sadly it's not installing anything so the most adamant will have to just do without.

Look at the title MEDIA INFO. It's a great free title and the author explains that without it there may not be such a free title.

Are you ready to pay for apps?

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Depends on how you define install
by TWB404 / August 19, 2011 1:16 AM PDT

They place what they call a plug in, called OCSetupHlp.dll, on your hard drive and in your memory and run it. This dll phones home and gets a list of other programs to recommend then searches your hard drive to see if it is installed, then phones home again and reports what it has found. I will copy and paste what their FAQ says about this.

For each recommendation in the list, an anonymous "Yes" or "No" is sent back to our servers so we can collect aggregate data to improve our recommendations.

My question is how many programs are on that list and what else they are collecting? Google and doubleclick taught us not to trust what the PR side of a company says. This, by my definition, is spyware. Most users will not even know this is happening because they run there firewalls in auto mode and do not even have a clue on what is being granted access to the net. Open Candy depends on the person between the chair and keyboard not knowing what is happening.

To answer you question about am I prepared to pay for my programs. YES If a programmer wishes to be compensated for his or her work all they have to do is make it trailware. If I like it I will definitely buy it, if not I will uninstall it. I will not allow programmers or corporations to spy on what I already have installed on my hard drive under the pretense of offering me a free program.

To respond to your first statement about going without these programs. I and others are prepared to do just that and the storm is building on the net to put an end to this.

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Then vote with your mouse clicks.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 19, 2011 1:32 AM PDT

I'm surprised you are not upset with software activations today. Dissecting that reveals more problems than your last post.

Let me trot out AppForge. When it was acquired by Oracle, the activation servers vanished and any machine you didn't activate had no hope of getting the software running again.

Imagine what happened next.

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Activation has always been a worry.
by TWB404 / August 19, 2011 1:55 AM PDT

Hence the only program that I use that requires a phone home to activate is Windows. I have a key for all the others and they work just fine. I know that does open the door for piracy but the companies chose not to punish the 95% of their user in hopes of catching the 5% who cheat.

I have the believe that Linux is just a few steps from reaching the critical point of being user friendly enough to put a real hurting on MS. They just got to lower the geek factor just a tad more and MS and their desire to punish the honest to try to catch the cheaters will come back to haunt them.

As far as Appforge, I am a bit confused. That was so old and long ago I had to search to make sure I remember it right. Oracle did not buy the company just their IP. I will paste below to help you and others to remember it correctly.

Please note that Oracle's acquisition of AppForge's intellectual property did not include the purchase of the company as a whole, or the purchase of other AppForge assets including its customer contracts.
Accordingly, Oracle does not plan to sell or provide support for former AppForge products going forward.

I think tho that is a good reference on how a company who does not run a good and lean business model can go under leaving those who purchased a product from them can be left holding the bag. I wonder what will happen to all these programs that have the Open Candy installer will behave if they can not phone home. Will this prevent the user from installing the program? That I think is a good question to ask.

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Tipping my hand.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 19, 2011 2:17 AM PDT

I benefited from that failure because my tool set is GCC based. I paid for my tools and have simple activations that do not rely on servers or services that a company could turn off.

As to Linux I see less and less now. The consumers have spoken.

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