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Sad commentary regarding the new download arrangement

by HellinaHandbasket / August 20, 2011 12:04 PM PDT

Get this!

CNETs new download rig totally messed me up in a way I bet they haven't heard about yet.

I'm setting up a new server. IE is VERY crippled by default on windows server, so I often install an alternative rather than un-cripple IE. The alternative IS THE DEFAULT BROWSER.

I decide to get ashampoo (for light, occasional burning tasks), so I was clicking the "Download Now" button on cnet. I get a quick blip and realize I don't really have the program, just a stub. What if I wanted to put the installer on my usbKey for other customers, etc?? Pretty worthless now for most of the downloads I do, BUT that isn't what was weird!!

EVEN THOUGH I have an alternative default browser the following occurred

1) I clicked on the "stub" to REALLY get the file and got a open file security warning (clicked run to proceed)
2) Get CNETs new downloader "step 1" window (clicked next)
3) WAS PRESENTED INTERNET EXPLORER'S CONTENT WARNING from IE's "Enhanced Security" ASKING me to add it to trusted zone.
4) I refused! I'm NOT USING IE! (damn it).closed the window.
5) CNET's step 2 window is still on screen with checkboxes redying to force the Startnow toolbar, Bing and MSN homepage down my throat.
6) I unchecked them and clicked "next step"
7) CNET'S DOWNLOADED IS LOCKED-UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had to use task manager to kill it.
Cool I'll say it again to remind, IE is NOT the default browser. and I didn't use it to download the "stub".

What a mess. Sure, this doesn't happen on a normal PC, but they still try to force feed you stuff you don't want AND DENY YOU the ability to just put the download on my USBkey where I can use it on other boxes. I am a tech after all.

Guess that is it for me here. I had to sign up just to say goodbye. Ironic.
I might just use cnet for locating programs, but won't DL them here any more.

BOO CNET! Bad call from where I am sitting. I'm sure it serves your purposes just fine. I can even hear you thinking; "don't let the door hit you on the way out". That concludes a 13-15 year relationship.

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It is sad
by TWB404 / August 21, 2011 2:22 AM PDT

A month ago if someone would have asked me the best and most secure site to go to for downloads I would have told them to go to I have sent so many people to this site that the number would choke a goat. I to have been with them since 1997 or 98. There was a time that if you wanted a true reliable review or a safe download this was the place you came to. I could even come to the forums to find fixes for the weird problems that people rarely saw. Now the reviews are a joke and their secure downloader is what I consider spyware and on top of that it is pushing toolbars and software that no one is going to want. It is my believe it is powered by Open Candy but I will not download it to find out. Open candy to me is by my definition is spyware. I know it is not phoning home with our financial data or passwords but it is phoning home with what we have installed on our hard drive. If anything sends data that contains any information about by puter I consider it spyware. I just wish they would have held a news conference to announced that they are in trouble and have decided to hose all their user before they have to shut down their servers.

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Thanks for the post!
by HellinaHandbasket / August 21, 2011 12:54 PM PDT
In reply to: It is sad

What you have written could have easily been from my hand. I too, have been around awhile. I was one of the first few in my city to have an internet connection. I ran a BBS before that.

Wasn't it wonderful to have such a "benevolent power" provide the public such a wonderful service for all these years? Too bad it's over. Thankfully there are some others like "bleepingcomputer, majorgeeks, etc. Of course, we can always go to the author's sites, click their download button. I suspect I will have to send THEM a message to drop cnet.

People like us are the "kingmakers" in this industry. We use and recommend new sites/services, assisting in (if not causing) their success. Unfortunately, once they get to the top, the temptation of "The Dark Side" (forgive that, I couldn't resist) is too great and they give up the very behaviors we based our support on in favor of "cashing in" on their position.

I am sick of seeing Chrome (no complaints about chrome itself) on machines where the users don't know what it is or how they got it . . . . and that IS what I am there to repair (default browser). I am sick of seeing Norton OR McAfee Security Scan at a site where I recently removed one or the other in favor of something else. We haven't needed Google toolbar since IE finally added a popup blocker. I could go on but I won't, and I bet you might be able to add some I miss. (OH, Adobe! the jerks).

I not only no longer recommend cnet, adobe, and others for such behavior, I actively discourage their use. Did you notice HP is putting "PDF complete" on PCs instead of Adobe Reader?

I do have a question for you. Your last sentence; was that prophetic/sarcastic, or is there news I've missed about them?

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Just a line I use
by TWB404 / August 22, 2011 1:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the post!

It has been my experience over the years that when a company starts to abuse its reputation that they have fallen on hard time. It is also a bit of sarcasm. I just think it is a shame that they and others feel they have a right to search my hard drive and phone home with the results just because they offer a program. Personally, I think it is a bait and switch trap. If it is FREE then there should be none of this bloatware attached to it nor should there be any searching of the hard drive and phoning home so they can recommend other programs with more bloatware for us. Now, to be honest I have no problems with companies who offer a browser or something else while doing an install as long as they give me a way of declining it. I learned to read everything long before the internet was just a thought in a geeks mind. I do have a problem with companies who either do not offer a way of declining it or sneak it in on you. Good example here is Foxitreader and CCleaner. CCleaner gives a clear and open way of declining Goolge Chrome while installing the program. Foxitreader states clearly that I have to install a toolbar if I want to use it. I now use a different PDF reader but still use CCleaner. The problem I have with CNET new policy is that they make it clear that your going to use the download installer or your going to have to sign in and allow them to track what we download. Now, to be honest, I have been around long enough to know how to get around both of these if I choose to but that would still drive download traffic to there site and that i am not going to do. Except for the for forums, CNET is dead to me.

To be real honest, I am surprised I still have an account with them because of the way I point out the flaws in some of their major advertisers programs. You should read my review of ZoneAlarm pro 2012 v10 and Firefox4 and up. If you want to see how some of the moderators responded to my bad habit of questioning experts you should check out these 2 post.;threadListing

I have been encouraging all my online connection to email companies and inform them about CNET new business practice. I have informed the ones that do not have a download link on their site that I will not be using their software if they only place it to be downloaded at I have received 2 replies that they have found this practice disturbing and hopefully they will be pulling their programs off the site until CNET changes their ways.

I do know that I will never go this route of allowing them to track what i download nor will I allow my hard drive to be searched so they can build a data base on what people have installed and use. If I can not download it from their site or find it at other download site i will not use the program no matter how good it is.

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Good to know I'm not alone
by HellinaHandbasket / August 22, 2011 12:36 PM PDT
In reply to: Just a line I use

It sounds like we are the same person in two different places. Free should be free. Perhaps we need a new word in our language. Free is taken by some as "no currency / money" where many of us believe it is "get something but give NOTHING". Perhaps they should all be legally compelled to say "free of charge" instead of just "free".

I'm an independent IT contractor with a few small customers, and have used everything you mentioned. I am curious about your current choice for a pdf reader. I really do hope Adobe looses control of PDF and that Flash dies a quick death. They lost their way somewhere around reader 5-6 or 6-7 and never liked flash's hidden settings and the door they opened through which we get bit.

I liked your approach regarding cnet. I am likely to notify authors who send me that way. You mentioned Pirinform (ccleaner), who I have used for some time. I guess I am a "weird bird" because I use Mozilla "SeaMonkey" as a browser. My first browser was Netscape 1.? (just after Mosaic). I have never left. Recently, the Mozilla suite was about to die (arrested development), but was reborn as Seamonkey. They had a large change at 2.0 where they switched to the Firefox back end. CCleaner quit working, I posted at Pirinform. I doubt I was the only one whining, but it was fixed within a month. I'm currently impressed.

I haven't yet checked your links, but I'm going there next. It is indeed a wonder to see such discontent (valid or not!) allowed to remain in plain sight on forums when it seems so damning, but I can't say I have ever heard of the opposite. It is easy enough to have your attention called to a troublesome message and remove it, but to have to constantly cruise every forum for negative messages, AND for follow-ups saying "they deleted my post" would be a lot of work. Still, one day it will happen. So far that is one of the vestiges of the old internet you and I once loved that is still kinda as we remember.

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More of us then you think
by TWB404 / August 23, 2011 3:15 AM PDT

I have found out that there is a lot of people who are rising up and complaining about the new revenue generator that CNET is pushing on their users. Check out this link.

My PDF reader now is Nitro PDF reader. It is very versatile and is free. You can search on CNET then click see Full Specification and find their web site and download it there. lol That alone is probably going to get my account canceled more then anything else I do.

I see your still a Mozilla user. if you read my post on Firefox 4 you will see that I have a real problem with the direction they are taking. If you read my review on Firefox 6 you will can tell I am more upset with Mozilla then I am with CNET.

Maybe it is just my old age and pure stubbornness but the way some of these companies are driving the internet has just touched my last nerve. I am drafting my farewell letter to Mozilla and will be posting soon. I would just email it to them but they have adopted a new policy that you can only contact them if you have the latest browser installed. Just another way of trying to herd us in the direction they want us to go. LMOMBO Not me.

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