I've avoided download.com since they started using that downloader app thing. Downloading their crapware to download what you really want was the final nail.
Although my hatred of cnet goes way back to when they murdered mp3.com.
Download.com has apologised for bundling open-source packages, including Namp and VLC, with crudware toolbar installers. But Sean Murphy, the vice-president and general manager of CNet's Download.com, defended the policy of bundling more generally and fell short of endorsing an opt-in policy for software extras. A row kicked …
in the nicest possible way is wrong. completely.
essentially his point of view seems to be that everyone is trying to shaft you and you have to keep your guard up. it's not the users fault if their browser is hijacked, any more than it's the victim's fault if they are pick-pocketed. yes you can protect yourself, but we still blame the pick pocket.
the car analogy is daft. whilst it is true that nobody would expect a car dealer to drive their car for them, that doesn't mean that the analogy is relevant. i believe in debating terms this is called a straw man. much more appropriate, sticking with cars would be that your car deal retunes the tv in your house and locks it to start on a certain commercial station for which they receive money.
When you buy a car you don't expect to find the dealer's old clothes and used condoms in the back. You don't expect to have to opt-out of installing something completely irrelevant when you've clearly just requested a specific application. The download link should make clear you're getting more than you expect.
I've come to expect it, but I can see why people are annoyed by it and how non-technical users end up installing it.
'Oh, hello. How can I help?'
'Come for your grannies kidneys.'
'I really have no idea...'
'Now now Sir. Downloaded Really Useful Tool Version 1.06?'
'Fair enough. I'll just start up my chainsaw.'
'Also upgraded to Really Useful Tool Version 1.07 Boss.'
'Wife's liver as well then. Better get the other chainsaw.'
'Boss! Yes! Boss!'
'What on Earth?'
'Just show us where the donors are Sir and we'll be on our way....'
It's a "special case" because they are distributing it without meeting the terms of the OSS license under which the software is distributed. In this case the developer actually prohibits this type of activity. So, this isn't a special case, it's a copyright violation. They might as well be offering copies of windows or some current video game.
... is irrelevant. By uploading the software to the site, the uploader will be agreeing to T&C which will confirm CNETS rights to distribute with their own installer. If the uploader doesn't in turn have permissions to assign those rights, then the agreement will shield CNET. Basic contract law. When subcontracting a service, ensure you have the rights to subcontract it.
"When I buy an automobile should I expect the dealer to drive it for me? Just how lazy and irresponsible are folks becoming that they cannot watch what they are doing even when it may involve great pain and effort such as opening their eyes or clicking a mouse button or two. These whiners need to wake up and smell the reality," he concludes.
Good point. Those whiners need to realize that they can get their software straight from the source. If I want software, I first visit the software's website; they usually have a download link, and have packaged their software the way they want. If there are nasty things attached to it, I usually end up not installing it at all.
There is no need for websites like download.com to even exist.
Using sites such as download.com is a step up from simply googling for software, which could lead inexperienced users straight to dangerous sites (which, being inexperienced, they won't recognize as dangerous right away). Any site on the web can make the written claim that the software they "made themselves" is "perfectly safe", after all.
Therefore it is good policy for these low-end users (which is most users) to recognize their own ignorance and rely on websites that collect software, test it, and that have a reputation as trustworthy aggregators of software. Download.com is not the best of these (softpedia is better) but it is a type of website that definitely serves an important purpose on the web.
I disagree somewhat about download sites being useless by definition.
Consider a new-ish application, say MagicBullet, you hear about somehow. Yes, it seems to be useful for whatever you want it to do. But..., do you want to download it from MagicBullet's developer website? What if it is superficially useful, but carries real Trojan software, not just a crud toolbar like Download.com added? What if the dev is well-intentioned but crap at securing his repository?
Google up MagicBullet+Malware? Sure, but it is new and it can take a while for people to notice Trojan behavior anyway. So does an absence of hits there prove anything?
In those cases, rather than doing a direct download from the dev's site, I tend to "trust" tucows or download.com a slight, slight, bit more. At the least, I assume they will spot repository corruption. Maybe even run some malware scanning heuristics. Who knows, maybe even vet it. You can also see user reviews and spot reports of suspicious behavior. None of which you would see on a hostile dev site.
Yes, I know, I tend to believe in magical wish granting ponies too.
With established software like nmap or python or subversion, a savvy tech would be daft to use downloaders, true.
But a noob user may still be better off using an aggregator website when he doesn't know much about nmap. I ain't saying you should use it, it's your choice. But there are reasonable reasons for others to choose to.
<BunchOfRegPosters> Users are such stupid morons! If they want to not get screwed, they should use [web site / service / method only an experienced user could know]! They should have knowledge of what 'installer packaging' is and how it pertains to installations! They deserve to get hacked for knowing less than us. Inexperienced users shouldn't download anything or do anything until they're experienced and know what -we- do, like everyone should! Morons. Don't deserve to use a computer. Not until they can compile their own programs, anyway.
"Download.com has apologised for bundling open-source packages, including Namp and VLC, with crudware toolbar installers."
Download.com has apologised for being caught bundling open-source packages, including Namp and VLC, with crudware toolbar installers.
There, fixed it for you.
No thanks necessary.
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